Monday Mayhem – Ennui Edition

So it’s no secret I’ve been suffering a little end of summer ennui. I’m pleased to report that I have powered through, and Saturday I managed to get chapter one of LOVE & ROCKETS (Coastal Heat #3 – October 2016) done. Now I just need to psyche myself up for chapter two.

I got my first round of edits back on FLIP THIS LOVE (Coastal Heat #2) this weekend. Also got some great feedback from my editor on the story itself. Can’t wait to share this one with you in April 2016! Right behind it will be A WILL AND A WAY (sequel to Three Little Words – coming June 2016!) so I will be deep in the writing/editing cave as the leaves start to turn.

But first, I’m planning some prizes and giveaways for the release of GOING DEEP on September 15th!

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Found this super-cute beach bag that matches the cover colors that I plan to fill with books and goodies for my newsletter subscribers (sign up now at the top of the right sidebar!).

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I also have some fun stuff for the Facebook party I’ll be participating in that evening.

So yeah, I’m hoping to gain a little momentum again as the summer starts to cool down. Give me another couple of weeks and I’ll be in full-on Fall mode. That means being football and first draft ready.

I plan on turning this ennui will be off-oui (Gilmore-ism – thank you Sookie St. James Bellville!) and getting back in the groove.

How about you? What are you looking forward to this fall?

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AVAILABLE NOW! Unforgettable Heroes II

rev-UH2-3d -LGUnforgettable Heroes II ~ Includes Spring Chickens

13 NATIONAL BESTSELLING AND AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS deliver romance fiction featuring incredible, unforgettable romance heroes. This set runs the gamut from contemporary to historical romance, sweet romance to erotic, suspense to paranormal, and includes baseball players, cowboys, Celtic warriors, and more….

Amazon ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

 

Includes my book, SPRING CHICKENS!

SpringChickens-MEthridge-Md

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Teaser Tuesday – Mary Carter

LONDON FROM MY WINDOWS

Will Ava finally step up and step out?

LFMW

Ava Wilder’s home in small-town Iowa is her sanctuary. A talented sketch artist with severe agoraphobia, Ava spends her days drawing a far more adventurous life than her invisible disability allows. Until she receives a package from London, explaining that she has inherited her Aunt Beverly’s entire estate—on condition that she lives in Bev’s West End flat for a year.

Once overseas, Ava wonders if she’s simply swapped one prison for another. The streets and shops are intimidating, and Bev’s home appears to be a drop-in center for local eccentrics. Worst of all, Bev left a list of impossible provisos to be overseen by her quirky, attractive solicitor. Ava is expected to go out—to experience clubs, pubs, and culture; to visit Big Ben, Hyde Park, and the London Eye. After years of viewing the world through a pane of glass, she’s at the messy, complicated center of it. As exhilarated as she is terrified, will she be able to step up, step out, and claim the life she was meant for?

Buy now at Amazon!

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Monday Mayhem – Catholic guilt edition

So I think I may have to change my author picture to something like this:

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I was a complete slug this weekend. I mean, I didn’t leave my house other than to go to the Kum & Go to refill the massive mug.

Nor did I write.

What did I do? I read THE ANGEL by the fabulous Tiffany Reisz. I napped. I watched more episodes of Friday Night Lights than anyone should admit to watching in one weekend.

But somehow, I managed to make it through the entire weekend without adding a single word to my fledgling work in progress.

I did do authorly things. If you missed the Unforgettable Heroes II pre-release party on Facebook, you missed a good time. Lucky for you, you can still order your boxed set for only $0.99. It includes SPRING CHICKENS!

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AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1U1in0N
IBOOKS: http://apple.co/1NoBT8o
B&N: http://bit.ly/BNUH2
KOBO: http://bit.ly/KoboUH2

/sales pitch

I also packaged prizes to be sent out and started assembling goodies for my street team. I just didn’t put any words on paper.

That’s when the Catholic guilt kicks in. I feel bad about having so much free time and not making anything out of it.

Yes, I know sometimes I need to give it a rest. I know that reading a book or watching television can and are helpful to me as a writer/storyteller. I just have a hard time with the need to have something to show for my time. And the upcoming month is going to be action packed. UNFORGETTABLE HEROES II releases this week, SEDUCING STEVE will be going on sale September 10-14th, then GOING DEEP releases September 15th. In the midst of all that, I will be working edits on FLIP THIS LOVE and possibly A WILL AND A WAY.

So, I should have used this weekend to crank on the draft of LOVE & ROCKETS.

But I didn’t.

And I feel guilty.

Apparently not guilty enough to stop ogling Kyle Chandler, but there you have it. My confession.

Bless me readers, for I have loafed…

How about you? Are you ruled by guilt, or do you revel in guilty pleasures?

 

 

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Teaser Tuesday – Caitlin Sinead

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Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she’s ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.

Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he’s been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.

When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one—a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she’s also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it’s not just her past on the line anymore. It’s her heart.

Chapter One

 

Peyton asked if I was afraid of death. I responded honestly—no. I’m afraid of the transition. As they say, that’s the truly troubling part.

—The Troubling Transition by Richard Arthur

Lisa taps on her clipboard and calls for more makeup. “She needs more blush.” A brush dances across my nose as a makeup artist examines me without seeing me.

“Remember to smile. A lot. After every question,” Lisa says. Dylan, her intern, stands next to her, gliding his fingers over his tablet. She snaps her intense focus to him. “Torres, do you have them?”

Dylan holds the back of the tablet against his chest so it covers the big Yale on his gray T-shirt. There are three images of me on the screen: me accepting my high school diploma from the principal, me speaking at the US Organization for Learning Disorders’ annual meeting, and me exiting a pizza place with Annie and Tristan.

“Now, remember, we’re going for this smile,” Lisa says, pointing at the pizza picture. “You are a natural, welcoming, American girl who’s happy and excited that her mom’s been nominated as the Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential Candidate.”

“I am all those things,” I say.

She nods and emits a cursory mmm-hmm as she looks at her tablet. “Of course you are.”

I roll my fingers over the armrests and stare at the shiny camera lens in front of me as I attempt to mentally prepare for the onslaught of questions about to assail me. Five via-satellite interviews. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Just as I’m going over what it was like to learn my mom would be the vice-presidential pick, Dylan holds his tablet, with the pizza picture, up to my face.

“Pizza smile, I got it,” I say, with more edge than I mean. It’s not the best time to have a conniption, but I can’t help myself, and more words spurt forward. “Sorry, it’s just—it’s not like I’m a stranger to media attention.”

Dylan presses his lips together and takes a step back.

“Sorry, that wasn’t much of an apology.” I shake my head and some girly mushiness tingles in my chest when his eyes crinkle into a smile. It doesn’t mean anything. He’s got dark, Latin features any girl would get mushy over. “I’m just a little nervous, but I didn’t mean to snap—”

“It’s cool.” Dylan shrugs. Right. As long as I’m performing well, what’s it to him.

“We know you’re used to the spotlight.” Lisa tilts her head and purses her lips in the ever-common—at least to me—sorry-your-dad-died expression. Thankfully, she doesn’t hold it for long. “But this is going to be different than…that. Your dad’s book made you a celebrity, but a sympathetic one. Politics can be, well…”

“Mean?” I supply.

She crosses her arms and nods.

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Monday Mayhem – Gastronomic Edition

This weekend, Team Awesome took Little Rock by storm!

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Okay, the reality is that we ate our way through Little Rock. There isn’t a whole lot to do around here other than eat. My fabulous Jewels arrived on Thursday afternoon, and we had her snarfing real southern BBQ and peanut butter pie at Three Sams before we even took her home.

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Wanna know what else was on the menu?

A movie night feast fit for a Gilmore Girl!

Half-price shakes at the Sonic, David’s Burgers, the Flying Fish, Panera, Dunkin, Cantina Cinco de Mayo, movie theater popcorn, caramel pecan rolls, and of course….

frozen Nutella spoons

AND

 

Bopper sundaes from Shakes.

Yeah…so if anyone is looking for me, I’ll be over here having my stomach pumped.

Between meals we managed to squeeze in a little writing, a spot of shopping, some cardboard box sledding, a bout with some dueling pianos, a few hours with the Diamond State Romance Authors, and about 5 movies.

How about you? Did you indulge in anything particularly yummy this weekend?

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Teaser Tuesday – Sharon Struth

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Share the Moon

Book One, Blue Moon Lake Romances

Book Blurb:

“Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion.

Struth is an author to watch!”

—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot

Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn.

Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.

 

Teaser:

Broad delight spread across Duncan’s face. They sat close enough for her to take in the flecks of light hair brushing his muscular freckled forearm. His large hand cradled the rise in his cheek.

“Something tells me you’re the one around here who’s going to keep me on my toes.” His butter-smooth tone flowed through her. “Not the activists.”

“You know what they say around these parts.”

“What?”

“Never underestimate a woman who knows how to tie flies.”

“I’m not sure who they are, but I’m learning never to underestimate you.”

The provocative way he sampled the icing earlier replayed like an erotic ad for Duncan Hines. She’d like his sweet kiss to be the next thing she tasted.

“There you are!” Lucy Tanner-Scott’s piercing voice sounded as shrill as an air raid siren. “I’ve been looking all over for you, Duncan.”

They both jumped upright on their stools. Lucy sidled close to his side. Duncan’s face brightened too sweetly for Sophie’s liking. Her heart thumped on the floor. She remembered the church organist’s response to him. Perhaps all women were special to this guy.

 

About the Author:

“Sharon Struth has woven a tale of suspicion, mystery and the complete emotional breakdown of two people searching for love and restoration of their past lives. The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page. SHARE

THE MOON is a book that restores faith in human nature and the ability to again find love.” –Fresh Fiction

 

 

Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived.

SHARE THE MOON, book one in the Blue Moon Lake Romances, is a finalist for a RONE Award and a Chatelaine Award for Romantic Fiction! Visit her webpage at www.sharonstruth.com

Amazon   /   Barnes & Noble /   Kobo   /   GoogleBooks   /   iBooks​   / Amazon UK

 

 

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – I need a motivational speaker

It was a fairly unproductive week for me. The day job was crazy busy, so by the time I made it home each night, I didn’t have energy to do much more than mainline season 1 of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

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I did get some character and story outlines started for LOVE & ROCKETS, so I wasn’t a complete slug. I also suckered the man into riding with me when I drove up to NW Arkansas to hook up with my fabulous agent, Sara Megibow, for a couple hours.

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We also managed to sneak in a Steak ‘n Shake stop (I know you are shocked). If you have one nearby, both Bill and I heartily endorse the Nutella milkshake.

This week & weekend, we’ll have a special guest star appearing at the Ethridge Estate…

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Julie Doner will be in the house, ladies and gentlemen!

We have a full agenda planned, but I will share some of the highlights:

Peanut Butter pie at Three Sams BBQ at the Mablevale railroad tracks!

A visit to the container store to ooh and ahh over the variety and quantity of bubble wrap!

Stranger Than Fiction on DVD!

Trainwreck at the theater!

Big Bopper sundaes from Shakes!

Writing sessions conducted live and in person!

Exposing the unsuspecting members of the Diamond State Romance Authors to my crazy Canuck!

I can’t wait! It’s been an action-packed summer for me. How about you? Have you been out and about? Are things starting to settle in for you?

 

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Teaser Tuesday – Aidee Ladnier

The Klockwerk Kraken

By Aidee Ladnier

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Blurb:

When the right space pilot walks into his bar, a desperate bartender uses all his wiles (and tentacles) to talk the man into business and his bed–but the spacer is still enslaved by his past and isn’t sure he can deal with a two-armed lover, much less one with six.

As the supply shipments stop coming, Teo Houdin needs all his tentacles to keep his waystation bar open. Facing a riot by thirsty miners stranded in the backwater of the galaxy, Teo helps a greenie space pilot buy a ship in return for a regular haul of liquor. But he longs for the courage to invite the enigmatic spacer to fill his lonely bed as well.

Still smarting from his newly implanted navigational ports, Jimenez knows owning his own ship will prevent him from ever being bought and sold again. For a former slave, transporting cargo through the emptiness of space sounds like paradise, but after meeting the compassionate and sexy Teo, his heart feels empty, too.

At the edge of the galaxy’s spiral arm, can Teo convince Jimenez that the heart has its own tentacles and theirs should be entwined forever?

Excerpt:

Jimenez opened the bar’s airlock and the urge to run out again washed over him like a splash of cold water. He commanded his frozen legs to shuffle forward and inside. This could turn ugly if he lost his concentration for even a moment. But he wouldn’t. He’d been practicing, becoming accustomed to groups larger than this for revs now.

He could be just like everyone else.

None of them would see the scars on his back or the brand of his tattoo that had marked him since puberty.

Men and women filled half the tables and booths, some laughing and drinking, a few puffing blue smoke. The gaming tables on the side were empty, while a lone player at the billiard table opposite pocketed ball after ball. The room rang with loud voices, clinking glasses, and raucous music.

Jimenez slid into an empty spot at the pale stone bar and caught sight of the clearest, happiest eyes he’d ever seen, a shade lighter than the man’s tousled brown mop above. A dimple quirked at the side of his full lips, mesmerizing Jimenez. The loud voices behind him slid away and for a moment, it was quiet in his mind. Jimenez flinched when his shoulder was jostled and the spell broke.

“Hey, you okay, buddy? First time? What can I pour for you?”

Jimenez blinked, realizing the tall bartender was speaking to him. The man’s smiling eyes crinkled at the corners of his bronzed face. Jimenez swallowed, and he ducked his chin, trying not to stare again, trying to hide his hot cheeks. He’d never been so close to such a handsome man.

“Did you want a drink?” The bartender quirked an eyebrow.

“Yeah… I mean yes. Whiskey neat.” His voice came out gruffer than he expected.

“Bourbon, Scotch, Rye…?”

“Surprise me.” It was a game Jimenez played. He’d order whiskey and discover what the bartender served. If he reached for the rail bottle closest to hand, it meant he would pour either the cheapest or the local favorite. If he pulled something from the top shelf, the bartender angled for a bigger tip. But if he grabbed a decanter off to the side or behind another bottle, he’d score the bartender’s personal pick.

“Coming right up.”

The bartender raised a tentacle in greeting, calling out to another patron.

Oh, God. The man was a Pod.

Of course he was.

In a joint named the Klockwerk Kraken, who better to tend the bar than a tentacled man?

Buy Now: MLR Press | Amazon | iBooks | All Romance eBooks | Kobo | Barnes and Noble

Review: Goodreads

 

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Monday Mayhem – Mostly lazy edition

In case you missed it, I did end up doing my RWA wrap-up post on Thursday. Thanks for letting me slide on the Mayhem last week.

I spent most of last week polishing FLIP THIS LOVE (Coastal Heat #2) to get it ready to turn in to my editor. I’m pleased to report that I pressed send on Friday – one day ahead of schedule! Woo hoo!

Though it was a sprint to write it on time, I loved bringing Laney and Harley’s story to life. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. It should be available from Kensington/Lyrical-Shine in April 2016. But don’t forget that book #1 – GOING DEEP will be out September 15, 2015.

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With this three book series plus the sequel to THREE LITTLE WORDSA WILL AND A WAY coming in June 2016, I’m going to have my hands full in the coming months. That’s why I am asking for help by forming a street team.

Street team members are a merry band of readers who help spread the word about new releases and promoting sales on back list titles. In exchange for their efforts, I provide them with advanced read copies of upcoming titles, swag (bookmarks, pins, etc.), books I’ve picked up from my fellow authors, and other prizes and gifts as my way of saying thanks. If you are interested in joining my street team, complete this form!

Other than that, I’ve done very little writerly work this weekend. Oh, I played around with my series bible (the document were I keep all the details for the Coastal Heat books) some, and I may have written a few sentences – 4 to be exact, and the gist of those were jotted on an index card while in NYC – but mostly, I relaxed and recuperated.

After the month-long writing marathon and the whirlwind that was RWA nationals, I needed it.

I took care of some chores, did a few errands (Did you know that apparently every grocery store in the metropolitan Little Rock area was closed while I was away?), napped a couple of times, cooked an actual meal, and watched multiple episodes of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I feel a little guilty about not getting more accomplished, and there are bits of LOVE & ROCKETS (Coastal Heat #3) floating around in my head, but…yeah.

How was your weekend?

 

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