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Guest Post by Louise Wise

04/16/2014 08:32

Thanks to fellow author Louise Wise for stopping by today to do a guest post!

 
Keep Calm and WRITE!
By Louise Wise
 
My writing process must be similar the world over with other writerly folk, but the one thing I do that’s automatic (and why I like to write alone) is that I act out, or talk myself through, difficult scenes. Say, for instance, I need to write an action scene:
 
Scene from Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!
 
Suddenly all the wind was taken from my body as something painful smashed into my shoulder and spun me around. The sharp movement made my ankle give way inside my high heels, and I fell, my legs like Bambi’s, onto the grass. A grubby leather football rolled away, and a young man stood staring down at me with horror on his spotty face.
 
With the above, I’ll stand and spin sharply to the right as if something hard (the football) had knocked into me, this is because I need it clear in my head before I can type it, and reacting the scene is automatic.
 
I talk things through as well, especially accents, and with modern technology you can easily find a webpage that will pronounce all accents so you can spell them phonically. Lex from Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love telephoned Valerie pretending to be Irish:
 
‘David O’Brien for you, Miss Anthrope,’ Paul said.
I didn’t know any David O’Brien, nor was I expecting a call. I thanked Paul anyway and the call was put through.
‘Top of the morning t’you,’ said a very false Irish accent.
‘Lex.’
‘Tis a leprechaun, missus. I don’t know any Lex.’
I hung up.
 
I have to hear the accent before I can write it even though I didn’t go overboard with the accent.
 
My other process is that I tend to like alternating scenes. With Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love! the two main characters have their own scenes and one character, Valerie, is written in the first person and the second character, Lex, is written in the third.
 
Because of this style, I wrote the book first with Valerie’s viewpoint, and then started over with Lex’s. Then I merged the two ‘books’ together. It took a lot of patience but it was the only way I could monitor both characters. It also gave me scope to include the thoughts and feelings of Lex and get deep and personal to Valerie’s thoughts.
 
Oh no, I've Fallen in Love! is also half price all spring.

 
Thanks to Caroline for having me on her blog, and thanks for reading!
 

Louise Wise Bio and links

Married, with four children, Louise Wise lives in England. She is a pharmacist technician by day and a writer by night. She was educated in an ordinary state school and left without achieving much in the way of qualifications; you could say she was the result of a crap school. Hungry for knowledge she enrolled in an Adult Education centre and studied English, maths and creative writing. Whereas other young girls asked for makeup and clothes for their birthdays, she asked for encyclopaedias!

Louise Wise used her general love of romantic fiction and interest in astronomy to write her first book. The book received many rejections stating the novel was too original for the current market, until finally, an agent took the book on but subsequently failed to find a publisher for it. Instead of becoming despondent, it made Louise realise that becoming a published writer WAS possible. She turned her back on traditionally publishing, threw herself into the indie world and went on to publish her first chick lit book, A Proper Charlie and then Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!

As for the ‘too original’ Eden it has been such a hit that Louise has now followed it up with the sequel, Hunted. So far, they are both selling well.

Links:

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/louise_wise

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelouisewise?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bookjunkies/

Blog: http://louisewise.com

 

_____________________________

Blurb: Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!

On the surface, Valerie Anthrope was happy with her life. She had her own brokerage with Sunny Oak Insurance and was financially solvent. But once asleep, she was plunged into a world of nightmares that reminded her she was cursed.

And that meant she couldn’t fall in love. Ever.

Lex Kendal was a multi-millionaire. Women flocked to him, preened and flaunted for his attention. But one woman, Valerie, knocked him back. Hard. It dented his pride and Lex set out to convince himself he still ‘had it’ by pursuing her.

Only he found himself being needed in a way he never, ever, expected and, for once in his life, money wasn’t the answer.

________________________

Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love purchase links

Amazon

Kobo

Nook

Apple iStore

 
 
 

A FAIR EXCHANGE Book Tour Stops Here!

04/08/2014 08:44

 

Today, I welcome author Monique McDowell on her blog tour to promote her new book, A FAIR EXCHANGE.  Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Amazon AU.

 

A Fair Exchange

A Fair Exchange

Who hasn’t wondered about their first love? What happened? What went wrong? Where are they now?

What if you got a second chance?

Amelia Armstrong is about to find out. What a shame her long-lost love, Matt,  has returned  (looking way too good and acting way too sweet) when her life is a shambles and she has finally decided once and for all to put herself and not whichever man is currently in her life, first.

How do you balance that desire to recapture that loving feeling with the need to finally be the best version of yourself? What if this really is the one, how do you choose when to stand your ground and when to cut your losses?  Amelia takes a journey from Sydney to New York and back again trying to find the answers while negotiating with pop-divas, ex-lovers, crazy teenagers, a well-meaning cousin and the tabloids.

A Fair Exchange is a story about being a grown up when, maybe, you’d much rather be sixteen again.

Excerpt

 

It was not as if he was the first one to mention it. In the past week everyone who had entered my apartment had commented on the shiny new Vespa parked in the middle of the otherwise empty living room. In fact, each and every one of them had imaginatively said “Amelia you have a red Vespa parked in your living room!”  And they all said it in a tone that implied I might not have noticed, as if it may have magically appeared there.

How could I not notice a vehicle parked in what was otherwise an empty room?

What amazed me was that the Vespa was what they chose to comment on.

 

Not that Nick had dumped me, after ten years, for a twenty-one year-old. Nor that he had moved out, taking basically all the furniture and leaving me with a great view over the beach and an enormous mortgage.

 

No one even commented about the fact that I, in turn, had quit the fabulous job that had always meant way too much to me.

 

No, they commented on the Vespa.

 

What I could not understand though was why it hadn’t bothered me until right then, when Matthew Blue commented. And when he did comment, why had I collapsed into this embarrassing sea of tears?

 

How had this happened? How had I become this sobbing pathetic figure of womanhood?  And more importantly how had I ended up thirty-six and alone?

 

Didn’t I used to have so much potential? Everyone had said so, hadn’t they?

 

“Amelia Armstrong is something special.”

 

I was one of those shiny young girls who took risks and dreamed big. I was one of the smart ones who knew what she wanted and went after it. I was one to watch.

 

If I hadn’t been that kind of a girl I would never have met Matthew all those years ago. A different girl would not have found herself, on the other side of the world, at sixteen, staring into his dark and dreamy eyes.

 

So where was that girl right now, I wanted to know? And how had a girl with so much potential gotten it so horribly wrong?

 

 

About the author – Monique McDonell

 

I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter, and despite my dog phobia, with a dog called Skip.

I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards I was busy working in public relations I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)

When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since.

I have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for eight years. Our anthology Better Than Chocolate raised over $10,000 for the charity Room to Read and helped build a library in South East Asia. I am also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia.

A Fair Exchange is the fifth novel I have released in the last two years.

To learn more about Monique McDonell and her upcoming books please visit her at www.moniquemcdonell.com.au

Links:

Amazon author page ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~ Goodreads

 

 

My Review of THE CHINA DOLL

04/04/2014 09:35

 

THE CHINA DOLL, now available on AmazonB&N, iTunes, and Smashwords!

 

Deborah Nam-Krane has done it again!  Just when I thought her characters couldn’t have more depth or go through more trials, she hit me again with her latest novel, THE CHINA DOLL.  This third book in THE NEW PIONEERS SERIES centers around Jessie, the youngest of the main characters, frankly never one of my favorites—until now! 

 

A couple of years have passed since the second book in the series, THE FAMILY YOU CHOOSE, and a few things have changed.  I’ll not spoil it for anyone, because you must read the book to get the full effect.  All I can say is that some deep, old, dark family secrets are revealed, and you’ll be blown away.

 

As usual with Deborah Nam-Krane’s books, I laughed, I cried, I never wanted it to end.  If you enjoy family sagas with heartbreaking twist like the TV series DALLAS and REVENGE, you’ll love all of the books of THE NEW PIONEERS series.

 

 

THE CHINA DOLL Release Is Today!

03/29/2014 08:47

I am thrilled for my friend, Deborah Nam-Krane, on the release of her book today, THE CHINA DOLL!

 
I was lucky enough to get to read it before its release, and it is yet another winner in THE NEW PIONEERS series.
Go out and buy it now!  Here!
And don't forget to enter the contest at the end of the post!
 

BOOK THREE

The China Doll

By Deborah Nam-Krane

Genre: Mystery/suspense

Release date: March 29th, 2014

Hypocrisy, half truths and lies...

Sick of being treated like she's going to break, Jessie Bartolome is back to her old ways and calling everyone on their hypocrisy. Sheesh! One little breakdown and even easygoing Martin Shepard thinks she's too fragile to handle their age difference. Good thing her older and equally yummy teaching assistant Robert Lester thinks otherwise…right?

After spending so long cleaning up after everyone else, Jessie's cousin Richard has never had the time to start a life of his own. However had he managed to find his girlfriend Zainab? So what is Richard going to do now that everyone else has grown up? Marry Zainab and start a family? Things have never been that easy for a Hendrickson…just ask his cousin Michael.

Richard's mother, Lucy, is one of the most powerful women in Boston... so when is she going to put a stop to the blackmail ruthless Alex Sheldon has been holding over her for years? And if Richard knows more than he's letting on, why hasn't he gone after Alex himself? The question is, how much does he- or anyone else- really know?

Welcome to the Bartolome/Hendrickson family.

The China Doll is Book Three in The New Pioneers Series

GOODREADS AMAZON ITUNES B&N SMASHWORDS

 

EXCERPT

“My dad drowned. My mom died in her sleep.”

“How old was she?”

“About twenty-six.” Jessie shuddered just a little bit. “Just a little older than Miranda is now.”

“That’s awfully young to die in your sleep.”

“Heart condition, they said.”

“Who’s they?”

“Richard and Lucy.” Jessie shook her head. “No. Just Richard.”

“What did your aunt say?”

“Nothing,” Jessie said quietly. “She just let Richard do all the talking.”

“How old was he?”

Jessie sighed. “Thirteen, I think.”

“And how old were you?”

“Four.”

“So how do you know you remember it correctly?”

Jessie looked at him square in the eye. “Because you know when you’re that age. When you’re a little kid, you don’t have to go through the apologetic BS you do when you’re older. When you’re eight, even. You just get it. And people think you’re crazy or in the way or rude because you get it and then you say it. So then no one wants to talk to you or they send you to your room. Then you start making up excuses for why they must be right and you must be wrong. Then you grow up, and you realize that you had it right back then, and if your world seems messed up, it’s because you bought into someone else’s lies. So don’t lie anymore, and everything will be just fine.”

“And when did you come to that nugget of wisdom?”

“When I was fifteen,” Jessie said quietly. “And I’ve been very happy ever since.”

 

BOOK ONE

The Smartest Girl in the Room

Genre: Coming of Age

Nineteen year old Emily wants her college diploma fast, and she's going to get it. But when the perfect night with perfect Mitch leads her to a broken heart, Emily is blind to her vulnerability. When the person she cares about the most is hurt as a result, Emily's ambition gives way to more than a little ruthlessness. She's going to use her smarts to take care of herself and protect the people she loves, and everyone else had better stay out of her way. But shouldn't the smartest girl everyone knows realize that the ones she'd cross the line for would do the same for her?

GOODREADS AMAZON BARNES AND NOBLE  SMASHWORDS  KOBO SONY

 

BOOK TWO

The Family You Choose

Genre: Family Saga

Miranda Harel has been in love with her guardian Alex Sheldon since she was five years old, and Michael Abbot has despised them both for just as long. When Miranda finds out why she wants both men out of her life for good and questions everything she believed about where and who she came from. Finding out the truth will break her heart. Without family or true love, will her friends be enough to bring her back?

GOODREADS AMAZON BARNES AND NOBLE  SMASHWORDS  KOBO ITUNES SONY

 

BOOK TWO AND A HALF

An Engagement: A New Pioneers Short Story

Genre: Family Saga

Annabelle Hendrickson always knew Alex Sheldon couldn't be trusted, but even she couldn't have guessed how far he was willing to go to get what he wanted. 

No one was as decent as her brother Jim, but Stephen Abbot had a kind soul behind his mischief. She could accept his reprobate father- he'd be dead soon anyway- but she would never accept his longtime friendship with Alex, her father Gerald's ambitious employee. Annabelle knew it was just a matter of time before he stepped on someone she cared about. 

What a pity she didn't realize who that person would be- and who was going to give him the opportunity. 

An Engagement is Book 2.5 in The New Pioneers series. What happened to Michael Abbot and Richard Hendrickson's parents in 1980 is going to affect everyone three decades later.

 

ONLY 99 CENTS!

AMAZON SMASHWORDS B&N ITUNES

 

AUTHOR INFO

Deborah Nam-Krane is a writer living in Boston proper who has been storytelling since she was a little girl and writing those stories down since she was eight. Any given day will find her reading, writing, reviewing, editing and, just for fun, homeschooling her three school-aged children (she’s very grateful the fourth is now college-aged).

The China Doll is the third installment of the New Pioneers series, the sequel to The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013) and The Family You Choose (September 2013). While her long-suffering editor works her magic on the fourth installment Let’s Move On, Deborah is working on the fifth. That book will be set in the world of Boston and Massachusetts politics, and her job will be to tone down the true stories she’s heard so they seem believable.

Deborah is all over the place on the internet- no, really- but the best way to keep in touch is to follow her blog Written By Deb and subscribe to her newsletter (only publishing news, never spam).

 

FACEBOOK PAGE

GOODREADS PROFILE

TWITTER @dnkboston

 

GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon gift card

5 copies of both The Smartest Girl in the Room and The Family You Choose

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Congrats to Angel Sefer!

03/22/2014 10:49

Booktrope has re-launched Spellbound in His Arms by Angel Sefer, the first book in a romantic mystery series. Book 2 in The Greek Isles SeriesDeadly Secrets, will be out this Spring.

#1 Barnes & Noble Bestseller, a #2 Amazon Bestseller, Recipient of InD'tale Magazine's Crowned Heart Award for Excellence, and 2014 Rone Award Nominee

 

A mansion full of secrets...


From the moment investigative reporter Jackie Alexander steps foot inside the mansion dominating the Demiris estate on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, her suspicions are on high alert. This is no ordinary assignment... the life of her beloved cousin, Aphrodite, is in grave danger, as the heirs to the incredible fortune of Greek tycoon Andreas Demiris are dying one after the other, under mysterious circumstances. 

A man with secrets of his own... 
The only person who can help Jackie is Michael Apostolou, former Special Forces Officer and one of the finest detectives on the Athens police force. Jackie realizes soon enough that despite her simmering desire for him, she can't really trust him, as the seductive detective seems to be investigating those mysterious deaths for reasons of his own. 

Trusting the wrong person can be deadly... 
Jackie and Michael are forced to work together, but the suspicions and unanswered questions are devouring them, just like their rising passion for each other. In games like this, the stakes are high and the players are ruthless. When Jackie is kidnapped by the most dangerous player of all, time is running out as Michael is forced to choose between jeopardizing his mission and personal quest for justice, or the life of the gorgeous intruder of his heart...

 

Buy Links

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Spellbound-Greek-Isles-Series-Volume/dp/1620152150/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1395099854&sr=8-1&keywords=spellbound+in+his+arms

 

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spellbound-in-his-arms-angel-sefer/1116913430?ean=9781620152157

 

iTunes Bookstore

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/spellbound-in-his-arms/id831672146?mt=11

 

 

Cover Reveal for THE CHINA DOLL! And a giveaway!

02/24/2014 13:15

The book will be out soon, and the cover is being revealed today!

 

BOOK THREE

The China Doll

By Deborah Nam-Krane

Genre: Mystery/suspense

Hypocrisy, half truths and lies...

Sick of being treated like she's going to break, Jessie Bartolome is back to her old ways and calling everyone on their hypocrisy. Sheesh! One little breakdown and even easygoing Martin Shepard thinks she's too fragile to handle their age difference. Good thing her older and equally yummy teaching assistant Robert Lester thinks otherwise…right?

After spending so long cleaning up after everyone else, Jessie's cousin Richard has never had the time to start a life of his own. However had he managed to find his girlfriend Zainab? So what is Richard going to do now that everyone else has grown up? Marry Zainab and start a family? Things have never been that easy for a Hendrickson…just ask his cousin Michael.

Richard's mother, Lucy, is one of the most powerful women in Boston... so when is she going to put a stop to the blackmail ruthless Alex Sheldon has been holding over her for years? And if Richard knows more than he's letting on, why hasn't he gone after Alex himself? The question is, how much does he- or anyone else- really know?

Welcome to the Bartolome/Hendrickson family.

The China Doll is Book Three in The New Pioneers Series.

GOODREADS

 

EXCERPT

“My dad drowned. My mom died in her sleep.”

“How old was she?”

“About twenty-six.” Jessie shuddered just a little bit. “Just a little older than Miranda is now.”

“That’s awfully young to die in your sleep.”

“Heart condition, they said.”

“Who’s they?”

“Richard and Lucy.” Jessie shook her head. “No. Just Richard.”

“What did your aunt say?”

“Nothing,” Jessie said quietly. “She just let Richard do all the talking.”

“How old was he?”

Jessie sighed. “Thirteen, I think.”

“And how old were you?”

“Four.”

“So how do you know you remember it correctly?”

Jessie looked at him square in the eye. “Because you know when you’re that age. When you’re a little kid, you don’t have to go through the apologetic BS you do when you’re older. When you’re eight, even. You just get it. And people think you’re crazy or in the way or rude because you get it and then you say it. So then no one wants to talk to you or they send you to your room. Then you start making up excuses for why they must be right and you must be wrong. Then you grow up, and you realize that you had it right back then, and if your world seems messed up, it’s because you bought into someone else’s lies. So don’t lie anymore, and everything will be just fine.”

“And when did you come to that nugget of wisdom?”

“When I was fifteen,” Jessie said quietly. “And I’ve been very happy ever since.”

 

BOOK ONE

The Smartest Girl in the Room

Genre: Coming of Age

Nineteen year old Emily wants her college diploma fast, and she's going to get it. But when the perfect night with perfect Mitch leads her to a broken heart, Emily is blind to her vulnerability. When the person she cares about the most is hurt as a result, Emily's ambition gives way to more than a little ruthlessness. She's going to use her smarts to take care of herself and protect the people she loves, and everyone else had better stay out of her way. But shouldn't the smartest girl everyone knows realize that the ones she'd cross the line for would do the same for her?

GOODREADS

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE 

SMASHWORDS 

KOBO

SONY

 

BOOK TWO

The Family You Choose

Genre: Family Saga

Miranda Harel has been in love with her guardian Alex Sheldon since she was five years old, and Michael Abbot has despised them both for just as long. When Miranda finds out why she wants both men out of her life for good and questions everything she believed about where and who she came from. Finding out the truth will break her heart. Without family or true love, will her friends be enough to bring her back?

GOODREADS

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE 

SMASHWORDS 

KOBO

ITUNES

SONY

 

 

AUTHOR INFO

Deborah Nam-Krane is a writer living in Boston proper who has been storytelling since she was a little girl and writing those stories down since she was eight. Any given day will find her reading, writing, reviewing, editing and, just for fun, homeschooling her three school-aged children (she’s very grateful the fourth is now college-aged).

The China Doll is the third installment of the New Pioneers series, the sequel to The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013) and The Family You Choose (September 2013). While her long-suffering editor works her magic on the fourth installment Let’s Move On, Deborah is working on the fifth. That book will be set in the world of Boston and Massachusetts politics, and her job will be to tone down the true stories she’s heard so they seem believable.

Deborah is all over the place on the internet- no, really- but the best way to keep in touch is to follow her blog Written By Deb and subscribe to her newsletter (only publishing news, never spam).

 

FACEBOOK PAGE

GOODREADS PROFILE

@dnkboston

 

 

GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon gift card

5 copies of both The Smartest Girl in the Room and The Family You Choose

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Down the Hatch!

02/21/2014 08:55

February 22nd is National Margarita Day AND World Sword Swallowers Day!

 

I’d say these two days are equally interesting to watch someone else celebrate, but only one would be fun to participate in celebrating.  I’ve drunk many a margarita in my day, as my college friends would attest to, but I’ve definitely never swallowed a sword.

 

First, let’s discuss the margarita.  Some people are purists.  Their margaritas must be the traditional lime flavor, on the rocks, with a salt rim.  Not me.  My fave is the frozen strawberry margarita with a sugar rim.  I’m no purist, and I don’t care if it’s a sissy drink—I like it.  My personal favorite of all strawberry margaritas are the ones we made every Friday night in college.  Chi-Chi’s Strawberry Margarita mix, ice, extra sugar, and then blend it up.  I recall there being some confusion as to when to add the extra sugar—before or after blending—some of us preferring a smooth drink, others preferring it gritty.  Either way, it was the perfect drink for college partying.  You never had to remember the “Beer before liquor, never sicker” rule if you were only drinking one thing, and your belly would get full long before you’d get wasted.  

Ah, good times.  On to sword swallowing!

 

Folks, I have absolutely no experience in or knowledge about sword swallowing.  That being said, I think it looks wicked cool.  With my gag reflex, I could never, ever, do it, so I respect those who can even more.  There’s obviously a technique to it, because how does one swallow a sword correctly every time, when most of us choke on bits of food and liquids on a daily basis?  I found some instructions, in case anyone wants to try it out. 

It works, obviously, because people do it everyday and we know from x-rays, etc. why it is physiologically possible.  But what I want to know is:  who was the first person way back in the day (around 2000 BC) that thought “I should stick a sword down my throat and see what happens”?

 

Well, regardless of how you celebrate, just remember:  Do NOT try to celebrate these two occasions at the same party.

 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS Giveaway!

02/19/2014 09:12
 
ENTER TO WIN ONE OF FIVE KINDLE COPIES OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS AN ANGELA PANTHER NOVEL AND A HANDMADE SCRAPBOOK/JOURNAL! 
 
 
 
Winning is easy! All you have to do to be eligible to win is: 
 
1. Sign up for author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's newsletter by visiting her website at www.carolynridderaspenson.com
 
Five lucky winners will receive a kindle copy of Carolyn's bestselling novel, Unfinished Business An Angela Panther Novel and one extra lucky winner will receive a handmade scrapbook/journal. 
 
Enter today! Winners will be announced on Saturday at www.facebook.com/unfinishedbusiness
 
 
ANGELA PANTHER HAS A PERFECT LIFE:  A lovely home, an attentive, successful husband, two reasonably behaved children, a devoted dog and a lot of coffee and cupcakes. But while her life might border on mundane, she's got it under control. Until her mother, Fran dies-and returns as a ghost. It seems Fran's got some unfinished business and she's determined to get it done.
 
Now Fran's got some nifty celestial superpowers and isn't opposed to using them to levy a little ghostly retribution on her granddaughter's frienemies and even her own daughter, which doesn't make Angela happy.
 
While Angela's shocked and grateful to have her mother back, she's not thrilled about the portal to the afterlife Fran opened upon her return. Now every ghost in town is knockin' on Angela's psychic door, looking for help-and it's a royal pain in the butt.
 
Now Angela's got to find a way to balance her family life with her new gift and keep her mother in line. And it's a lot for one woman to handle. 
 
Buy UNFINISHED BUSINESS on Amazon here.
 
 
 

Happy Anniversary, TEAR STAINED BEACHES!

02/18/2014 11:47

Congrats to my author friend, Courtney Giardina, on her one year book anniversary!

Buy it on sale here!

One year ago this week, Tear Stained Beaches was published by Take Two Publishing as an ebook! In September of this year, it was released as a print version and since then has read been read by many happy customers! In honor of its one year anniversary, Tear Stained Beaches will be on sale for 3 days only, February 18-20. So stop on over and pick up a copy and share with a friend.

Tear Stained Beaches was a great little "Beach Read". Very easy to read with a storyline that draws you in. The main character is very relatable and her pain as she goes through this difficult time is palpable. I found myself crying during one of the final scenes in the book, as I imagined what those emotions must feel like. Looking forward to reading more!”

“I simply could not put it down. I was drawn immediately to Haylie's character; she was so well written and I could feel the emotions she was feeling. I kept hoping that there was some other explanation for her husband's actions; I wanted to trust him too. Haylie made the best possible decision for herself. I think Chase loved her but he was just too weak. I hope for a sequel; I would love to hear what happens next for Haylie.”

I wanted to take this time to say a big thank you to all my readers, authors, family and friends who have supported me along this journey. I couldn’t have done it without you! --Courtney

 

 

 

My Favorite Romantic Gestures

02/14/2014 10:18

I originally wrote this blog post for a guest spot I did on Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries & Meows, a fun cozy mystery blog.  In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I would bring it out again, because it's all about love!

 

Let’s face it, ladies, we LOVE love.  And what is love without a little romance?  In my bestselling debut novel, IT’S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH, the hot leading man, Blake, has quite a few romantic tricks up his sleeve—although he doesn’t really need them to woo Lizzie, who’s been crushing on him since the moment she saw him.

My list is a combination of gestures that my fictional leading man and my real-life leading man have both used to add a little romance to their respective relationships.

 

Cook for her

Last year on Valentine’s Day, it just so happened that I was scheduled to be in charge of my community’s soup kitchen.  I love volunteering there, and there’s nothing more important to me than making sure that people are fed and cared for.  I was a little bummed that it fell on Valentine’s Day, but what better way to show love, right?  Well, when I got home, hot and tired from cooking and serving over steaming pots and starving because I didn’t have time to eat, my husband had made an entire Chinese dinner (at that time, he didn’t cook hardly at all, so this was monumental), complete with my favorite wine (which he doesn’t even like), roses, AND earrings!  And just this morning, I was treated to a huge surprise breakfast buffet, complete with an omelet, hash browns, and gravy!

 

In my book, Blake, also not known for cooking much, takes it upon himself to make Lizzie a lovely breakfast of waffles, bacon, and coffee in her kitchen while she’s still sleeping.  Lizzie had had a difficult weekend, getting her car blown up, being questioned by the police, and getting her favorite dress ruined by a catty frenemy, so Blake decides to surprise her and pamper her a bit.

 

Give gifts:  flowers and jewelry, but not chocolates—and for heaven’s sake, NEVER a scale.

Flowers as a gift for various holidays are great, but flowers for no reason—now that’s romantic!  I’ll have to say that my husband did the “flowers for no reason” thing a lot more when we were dating, but it still happens every once in a while, and when it does, I get all swoony.  Jewelry is always great.  Just make sure it’s real and not heart-shaped.

 

There are gifts that can backfire, gentlemen, and chocolates are one of them.  If we ladies are on a diet (which, face it, most of us at least pretend we’re on a diet constantly), then chocolates are not always well-received.  Along the same line, never, EVER buy a woman a scale.  Just don’t.  Even if it’s state-of-the-art, beams your weight wirelessly to your computer, etc.  Don’t.  Do.  It.  My husband got me one for Christmas last year.  Granted, it was kind of a symbol of a commitment for us both to get healthier, and we did actually lose 100 pounds between us.  But please, wouldn’t it have been better to just buy it, and not wrap it up and put it under the tree?  Nothing says “You’re fat” like the gift of a scale.

 

PDA

Nothing says “I love you” more than showing it in front of the whole world.  Guys, women like to be touched—and by “touched” I don’t mean “groped”.  There’s a difference.  Public groping is uncool.  Don’t do it.  It makes us feel cheap.  (I only remember it happening one time to me, and the idiot got slapped.  And dumped.)  However, holding our hands, putting an arm around us, brushing our hair back from our face (gently, especially if we’ve spent an hour styling it), and maybe a quick peck on the cheek or lips is all good, and very welcome.

 

Blake loves to be near Lizzie.  They work together, so there’s definitely no PDA in the office, but he takes every opportunity elsewhere to hold her hand, play with her hair, hug her, and kiss her.  The only instance of Blake’s PDA gone wrong is when he and Lizzie broke into a suspect’s office, and as they were trying to avoid the police, he pulled her to the ground and kissed her.  He tried to convince her that their “cover” was that they were engaging in a little outdoor hanky-panky rather than fleeing the scene of a crime.  Yeah, Lizzie didn’t buy it, either.

 

Save her life

Although I can’t say that my husband has ever had to do this for me, I’m confident that if faced with the situation, he would be very heroic.

 

Ever the hero, Blake saves Lizzie in the end.  I don’t think I’m giving away too much of the plot here, because the book is a mystery, and they have to deal with a killer, so it stands to reason that there would be a big finish.  And, considering there is a sequel, Lizzie obviously is indeed saved.  Anyway, this might not be a gesture that can be done on a regular basis, but when it is, it is the ultimate romantic gesture.

 

 

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