In case you were wondering,
here's what I've been up to this month.
The Lizzie Hart Mysteries Series has a brand new logo!
Don't you love it? Special thanks to Abbey Logan at Breadenfish Media for her spectacular design!
If you're middle-aged, you remember when BOOK IT! started. Free pizza for reading books?
Congratulations to my dear friend, Deborah Nam-Krane, on the release of her fantastic novel, LET'S MOVE ON!
Let's Move On
By Deborah Nam-Krane
Zainab has spent years keeping Emily from going over the edge, giving Miranda a shoulder to cry on and nursing Jessie back to health. They'll be the first to agree that she deserves whatever makes her happy, especially after the drama Richard put her through. But did she have to choose the guy who threw everyone's lives into the shredder?
Richard knows he screwed up and he'd do anything to get Zainab back, but first he needs to make sure his company—and his loyal employees—don't go under. (Who knew kicking your primary investor to the curb would have consequences?) Good thing his family has such deep pockets; too bad he doesn't want to take a cent from them. Why should Zainab take him back if he can't get out of his own way?
Maybe Zainab can eat her cake and have it too—that is, until she's given an ultimatum. The choice isn't Lover A or B; it's protecting her friends or letting them fend for themselves. With that hanging over her head, what's it going to take to make sure she and everyone else can finally move on?
Zainab was laughing a few hours later as she stretched out in bed. "You continue to be full of surprises."
Robert rested his head on the pillow and took some deep breaths. "Come on, that wasn’t really a surprise, was it?"
"I don’t usually get that dressed up just to go to bed." She flipped over and smiled. "Or is that sort of a Catch-22? Would we not have ended up in bed if I hadn’t been so dressed up?"
Robert sighed. "I think you’re just trying to get me to admit that I had this planned."
"I know you’re intrusive, I don’t think you’re manipulative."
"What about your friends?"
"No, they’re not manipulative either, although at least one of them is intrusive at any given point—"
"I meant, what do they think of me?"
"You know exactly what they think of you, and I’d say it shouldn’t be something that should concern you."
"It doesn’t, except that I don’t like the idea of you leaving and then going to a house full of people who can’t stop telling you how wrong I am for you."
"First of all," she said, playing with his chin, "you’re getting really sloppy. Jessie isn’t living with me—"
"But she’s around enough—and no, I have not been driving by your house."
"Second of all, they have no idea."
"Really?" Robert said, smiling as he looked her over. "Because Emily is pretty sharp. Annoying, but sharp. Miranda could maybe use a little more time at school—"
"Miranda isn’t stupid."
"She just has lousy taste."
"Don’t we all?"
"If you think that, then why are you here?"
"Why shouldn’t I be, Robert?"
He smiled. "Because of Jessie. Because of everyone else. Because of Richard. Because to the untrained eye it might look like I broke you up on purpose—"
"I know that’s not what happened."
"So am I forgiven?"
"It’s not an issue."
"Why don’t you care?"
"What do you want? You want me to be really mad so you can have an excuse to feel bad? Do you think you should feel bad?"
"Let’s just say I don’t usually conduct my investigations that way."
Zainab raised her eyebrow. "I know you were here with Jessie."
"And that doesn’t bother you?"
"How bothered would you like me to be?"
"I don’t want you to be bothered, but I want you to care."
"Why? Do you care about Richard?"
"No, but I do think he can’t be nearly as smart as he thinks he is to let you go."
"He didn’t let me do anything—I left on my own. I was with him by choice."
He kissed her. "And now you’re with me. By choice."
"Now you’re getting the hang of it."
"So why did you choose me?"
"Because I like you, Robert. But why do we need to look at it so closely?"
He rolled on top of her. "True, when there are so many better things we could do with our time."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 children.
Let's Move On is the fourth installment of the New Pioneers series, the sequel to The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013), The Family You Choose (September 2013), An Engagement: A New Pioneers Short Story (March 2014) and The China Doll (March 2014). Deborah is currently editing Book Five, The Golden Boy Returns. 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. And because she just can't stay away from her characters, she's already started working on the To Be Titled Book Six, a Romantic Suspense.
$10 Amazon gift card
5 copies of both The Smartest Girl in the Room and The Family You Choose
The Smartest Girl in the Room
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?
The Family You Choose
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?
BOOK TWO AND A HALF
An Engagement: A New Pioneers Short Story
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.
What happened to Michael Abbot and Richard Hendrickson's parents in 1980 is going to affect everyone three decades later.
ONLY 99 CENTS!
The China Doll
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.
Thanks to Jami Deise for tagging me for the Character Blog Hop. Today I'm sitting down with my Lizzie Hart Mysteries heroine, Lizzie Hart, for a short interview. She's quite spirited today!
CF: Thanks for sitting down with me for an interview today, Lizzie.
Lizzie: Yeah, well, my boss told me I had to. He said it would be “great exposure” for the Liberty Chronicle to do a blog interview.
And what do you do at the Liberty Chronicle?
I’m the copy editor.
Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
Are you married?
Okay, moving on. I’ve heard you have had some excitement in Liberty over the past week.
Only if you count the fact that I found a co-worker’s dead body.
Yes, about that. How did you happen upon the scene?
I was at the county fair, working at the Chronicle’s propaganda booth with two of my co-workers, Blake and Hannah. It was raining, and Hannah had gone to look at an exhibit. She was electrocuted after falling into a large puddle…along with a plugged-in radio. I don’t think it was an accident.
How horrible! What did you do?
I alerted the police.
Can you describe the scene for me?
Not without having a panic attack.
Can you at least describe what were you thinking when you found your co-worker, Hannah?
*Sighs* I wanted to try to help her, but Blake insisted there was nothing I could do. He held me back to make sure I didn’t touch her or the water so I wouldn’t be electrocuted, too. He…saved my life, I guess.
Wow. Blake saved you. I bet you’re grateful to him.
Yes, I am. He’s really a fantastic guy, and a wonderful reporter.
You’re blushing a bit. Is there more to this story?
NO! I—um…he doesn’t know— I mean, uh…can you cut out this part?
Is there a little office romance brewing?
That’s a little personal, don’t you think?
Fair enough. Why don’t we go with some less serious questions to let everyone get to know you better?
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to go out with my friends, especially my best friend, Julia.
Tell me about your best friend. How did you meet?
We met in grade school, and we’ve been best friends since high school. We went to college together as well. And now we both work at the Chronicle.
It must be fun to work with your best friend. Do you get along well with all of your co-workers?
If you could live anywhere, would you move away from your hometown of Liberty?
Maybe I need to stay away from asking yes/no questions with you. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’m pretty happy right now. I like my job, I have a beautiful home that my grannie left me, and I have great friends.
What about your love life? Would going out with Blake add to your happiness?
Lady, you’re treading on thin ice…
Alright, without naming names, describe your perfect man.
Of course he’d have to be handsome and sexy, but the most important thing to me is “the spark”. I’m looking for romance, but the conversation has to be good too, you know? I want someone who’s interesting and fun—and he also has to make my heart flutter every time I see him.
If you were to be stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring?
Come on, play along.
Fine. A boat, a pizza, and some beer.
You’re pretty straightforward, aren’t you?
So I’ve been told.
Name something people do that annoys you the most.
Prying into my business.
Name something you do that annoys people.
I’ve been told I’m not good at giving details when explaining something or telling a story.
You don’t say.
I also cuss a lot.
Back to our fun questions. What is in your refrigerator right now?
What the hell kind of question is that?
I think we’re done here.
Not a moment too soon.
It's Cover Reveal Day for Courtney Giardina's new book
HOLDING ON TO GEORGIA
The older we get (translation "the nearer to 40"), the more I realize that my college buddies, who were absolutely hilarious as young adults, have honed their respective comedic talents into comedic genius. Gone are the fart jokes (for the most part), which have been replaced by wry, witty observations on life and a charming way of stringing words together. I think these people (ahem, Kristen) should try their hand at writing professionally. I'm also looking at you, Kerrie Olzak. So, please enjoy the musings of Kristen Jurgenson Housen.
There's something wrong with me...
So, here I am, settled into a new home with my new husband, and I'm loving it. But one thing that never really occurred to me is that living without a dishwasher is time-consuming. I spend a significant portion of any given day cooking, washing dishes, and tripping on the pets who are constantly at my feet. I have never felt more domesticated in my life. This domesticity lends itself well to one thing - random thought generation. Though most of you probably do not care what I think on a daily basis, I thought I would share my free flow list of random thoughts that occurred last night as I did the dishes....
■ I had no idea it took this much work to do the dishes.
■ Stupid dishwashers.
■ This is like the 1970s.
■ At least I'm not wearing any fringe.
■ Is this how the Amish feel?
■ Do the Amish even have indoor plumbing?
■ Do they have to carry the water in from the well?
■ No wonder the Amish start the day before sunrise.
■ Do they use only wooden plates?
■ Wooden plates wouldn't be very hygienic.
■ If I step on this dog I will not feel sorry.
■ "Tucker, get out of the kitchen."
■ Ok, that was a lie, I do feel sorry.
■ "Sorry I stepped on you Tuck."
■ I told him to get out of the kitchen.
■ Stupid dog.
■ Is this the wash sponge or the scrub sponge?
■ We eat too much cheese.
■ How many spoons do we have in this house?
■ Oh cruel fate, oh tomato sauce, how I love and hate you simultaneously.
■ Staining. Of course. How trashy.
■ I'll put that in the 'no guests will ever see this' cupboard.
■ Have people thinking I don't wash the dishes.
■ Ugh, my back hurts already? I just started.
■ Can we not just rinse and re-use the same glass, must we pull clean ones out at every opportunity?
■ Frickin' rice.
■ Rice gets everywhere.
■ I wish we grew our own rice.
■ No, that's too much standing water. Mosquitoes.
■ Ugh, I hate mosquitoes.
■ Is that a bug?
■ No, just rice.
■ Wait, when did we have Spanish rice?
■ Oh, leftovers, not a bug.
■ Frickin' cheese.
■ Can we soak the plates before the rice and cheese get dried on?
■ I'm gonna have to let that soak now.
■ Ugh, my back hurts.
■ Frickin' dog, get outta the kitchen.
■ Smoke break!
■ Better dig into that pan.
■ Frickin' pan.
■ I hate scrubbing.
■ This is gonna ruin my nails.
■ This better be the best freakin pan on the face of the planet.
■ Once this pan is clean, I swear, I'm gonna put out a billboard on the greatness of this pan, that's how much work this pan takes.
■ Huh, I bet that's how God feels, He must cherish us after putting so much work in to clean us up.
■ Ugh, I need another SOS pad.
■ Oh pan, you better be worth it.
■ Yep, nails are ruined, I'm sure of it.
■ I'm so domestic.
■ Great, now all I need to be is barefoot and I'm every redneck's dream.
■ Don't ever say that to Kevin.
■ Oh gosh, I'm funny.
■ Freakin' pan.
■ Finally. Freaking dishes.
It's a big day--it's Deborah Nam-Krane's
Cover Reveal Day for LET'S MOVE ON,
and it also happens to be her birthday!
I was one of her lucky beta-readers, so I've read LET'S MOVE ON,
It's fantastic, like the rest of the series. Be sure to get it when it comes out!
Zainab has spent years keeping Emily from going over the edge, giving Miranda a shoulder to cry on and nursing Jessie back to health. They'll be the first to agree that she she deserves whatever makes her happy, especially after the drama Richard put her through. But did she have to choose the guy who threw everyone's lives into the shredder?
Richard knows he screwed up and he'd do anything to get Zainab back- but first he needs to make sure his company -and his loyal employees- don't go under. (Who knew kicking your primary investor to the curb would have consequences?) Good thing his family has such deep pockets; too bad he doesn't want to take a cent from them. Why should Zainab take him back if he can't get out of his own way?
Maybe Zainab can eat her cake and have it too- that is, until she's given an ultimatum. The choice isn't Lover A or B; it's protecting her friends or letting them fend for themselves. With that hanging over her head, what's it going to take to make sure she and everyone else can finally move on?
Let's Move On is Book Four in The New Pioneers series
Release date: September 29th, 2014
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22896360-let-s-move-on?ac=1
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/465697
The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013)
The Family You Choose (September 2013)
The China Doll (March 2014).
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 best way to keep in touch is to follow her blog Written By Deb and subscribe to her newsletter (only publishing announcements, never spam).
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I'm excited to be the first stop on
Deborah Nam-Krane's TV Done Right Blog Hop!
My pick for "doing it right" is ABC's Revenge.
It's this generation's Dynasty!
For TV Done Right, I always have to look no further than Revenge. It’s the one show I watch IMMEDIATELY, without fail, once it’s DVR’d. (I hate commercials.) I think the show works especially well because the main character—well, heck, ALL of the characters are fatally flawed in some way. NO ONE is a goody-two-shoes, and everyone has their price. The general plot of Revenge is based on the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, which is cool because most successful book-to-screen stories these days seem to center around vampires or angsty teens.
But back to the main character, Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke. Can we say “Daddy issues”? Emily has made it her mission in life to exact “Revenge” on every single person who had even the slightest hand in setting her dear old dad up to take the fall for the bombing of Flight 197.
Emily is so tragic, and at the same time, so incredibly likeable, that you just have to root for her, even when she’s ruining people’s lives, relationships, businesses, financial statuses, and reputations left and right. Emily VanCamp’s a great actress (I was so excited to see her in the newest Captain America movie!), and I love watching the episodes where she unravels, only to pull herself up and vow to work even harder to complete her dastardly plans.
Every angry woman needs an archnemesis. Enter Victoria Grayson, queen of the Hamptons, matriarch of the Grayson family, villainess extraordinaire. She is one baaaaad mama jama. And who doesn’t love Madeline Stowe?
Queen Vicky's throne caused quite a stir in the furniture industry. I've seen copies of this chair in every furniture store I've been to in the last two years.
When Emily sinks her claws into Victoria’s son, Daniel, Mama Grayson is not having it. Victoria is smart and cunning, and she’s the one person who has been able to see through Emily from the start. However, it’s taken her until the end of Season 3 to figure out Emily is actually Amanda Clarke. Too bad Emily had Victoria locked up in a mental institution before she could tell anyone. Too bad Emily didn’t lock Victoria up before she had the chance to kill Emily’s boyfriend, Aiden.
The leads are important, but every character on the show is fascinating in his or her own way. Jack is the resident “good guy” (and Emily’s ultimate love interest), but we’ve seen on more than one occasion that he will bend the law to help out his friends.
Nolan is basically Bill Gates, and he’s a wicked good hacker to boot. He’s beside Emily no matter what—a true BFF.
The rest of the Grayson family: Conrad, Daniel, and Charlotte, are all nuts/ruthless/tragic/loveable.
This shot is obviously a promo joke, but it's so against character, I had to put it in here.
Heck, sometimes I find myself rooting for Conrad, even though he’s the one responsible for Flight 197! Which brings up my next point…
Something else this show does well is shock and awe. One of my writer friends and I just had a conversation this morning about how on ABC’s Castle, they keep trying to make us believe they’re going to kill Castle (like they have in the last TWO season finale/premier episodes). Seriously? Do they think we’re stupid? The show’s called Castle. They’re not going to kill Castle. (Nor were they going to kill Beckett in Season 3. Nor were they going to kill Ryan AND Espo in Season 6. They’re the core four.)
Break up this three-way bromance? I don't think so.
Sorry, back to Revenge… Anyway, on Revenge, it seems like no one is safe (except for Emily and Victoria, I suppose, because they’re the two the show cannot survive without, but I’ll bet at least one of them eats it during the series finale). Sure, they’ve killed minor (yet important) characters left and right—Carl (Jack and Declan’s dad), Frank (the Graysons’ head of security), Padma (Nolan’s GF), Takeda (Emily and Aiden’s sensei), and Pascal (Victoria’s latest love interest), among countless others. Those guys were cannon fodder anyway—their sole reason for being was to die so that the main characters could suffer a little more. But then the writers decided to kill pivotal characters—some we’d never in a million years see coming. They killed Amanda Clarke (“Fauxmanda”, who Emily traded identities with) on her honeymoon, and she died in her BFF Emily’s arms. Heartwrenching.
And then Declan? He was just a kid! Heartbreaking. How much more can poor Jack take? Well, the writers had one more screw to twist on him—they killed his dog. So sad.
And then, they really upset me. They killed Aiden. And not in some daring action sequence—Victoria poisoned him, rendering him paralyzed, and then she smothered the life out of him. Holy crap. Victoria doing her own dirty work? Epic.
But did they give us time to grieve over Aiden? Nooooo! They busted Conrad out of prison, only to be shanked and left in a puddle of his own blood in the middle of nowhere by…dun, dun, duuuuuuh…Emily’s dead father, David Clarke! No freaking way!
(I will say, however, that I don’t believe that Conrad is actually dead. We didn’t *see* him die, so I’m holding out hope that he’ll be back.)
Whew! With Season 4 set to premier on September 28th, I’m ready for anything. And I don’t expect to be disappointed.