Monday Mayhem – Acting Contrite

Hello, my friends! I’m in the great state of Texas again, but I haven’t left you lonely. My friend Linda Rettstatt is here to talk about her new release, Act of Contrition! Please make her feel welcome!

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I’m a juggler. It all starts first thing in the morning when I open my eyes and juggle the desire to close them again and snuggle back into the blankets with the desire to pay the rent. Most days paying the rent wins and I haul myself out of bed. My day job (which is how most of us authors refer to the work we do to pay the rent because we then write well into the night) is that of a social worker. And, again, I juggle my way through the day, determining who needs what, how to help them get it, and who might be feeding me their own brand of fiction to get unneeded help. It’s always a judgment call that requires a good measure of investigation and whole lot of faith.

Evenings are a whole new juggle—making dinner and taking the time to eat it without a thousand distractions, then deciding between something interesting on TV versus the writing or editing I need to do versus the laundry waiting in a pile.

When I started writing, I delved into writing women’s fiction. Well, they say write what you know and I know being a woman. Most women I know are jugglers, even if they’re not writers. It’s a fact of our existence. (In fairness, men may also find themselves juggling, but I can better speak to the female experience.) Women can make a sandwich while feeding a baby and taking a phone call all at the same time. Some call this multi-tasking, but juggling is, I think, a more descriptive term. Don’t drop the sandwich, the baby or the call. Some days you feel you’re juggling Nerf balls and other days it’s butcher knives.

Now, let me try to juggle two truths and lie for you.

1.  I used to play guitar for a folk group and worked as a semi-professional musician for over ten years. We recorded one album during that time, but mostly had a blast playing live concerts in small venues. Once we played a ski resort where we were paid with drinks, ski equipment use, and lift passes—not a good combination.

2.  I’ve been married and divorced three times. Number One was a college jock who never quite made it to pro sports and took up drinking instead. Bottoms up and bye! Number Two was a nice guy who taught math on a college level. In the end, we just didn’t add up. Number Three—well, let’s just say he had a wandering eye. And I don’t mean an optical problem. I’m staying happily divorced now.

3.  I got over my fear of heights by flying (in a window seat) to the Grand Canyon to stand on the edge and look down into that beautiful, terrifying abyss, and then to take a hot air balloon ride over Sedona, Arizona at sunrise. Whew. I’m cured.

But back to juggling. In my women’s fiction novel, Act of Contrition, Jenny Barnes has to learn to juggle grief, guilt, love and forgiveness. Here’s a blurb:

The argument ended as blinding headlights bore down on her. The steering wheel spun beneath Jenny’s fingers. A horn blared, and then…nothing. Jennifer Barnes wakens to learn she is the sole survivor of the crash that claimed her husband and eight-year-old son.

Why did she survive? The question haunts her even after she retreats to her cottage on the coast of Maine. She’s seeking a place to grieve and to escape the guilt that eats at her. Instead of the solitude she anticipates, Jenny comes face to face with her past.

AOC_LRettstatt_MD 

Here are the links to Act of Contrition:

Turquoise Morning Press  http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/act-of-contrition-by-linda-rettstatt

Amazon.com   http://www.amazon.com/Act-Of-Contrition-ebook/dp/B00B1HGWNU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1363565119&sr=8-1

B&N.com   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/act-of-contrition-linda-rettstatt/1114146466?ean=2940015999747&isbn=2940015999747

And you can find me on the web at www.lindarettstatt.com and at my blog at www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com

Thanks so much, Margaret, for having me here today.

Linda Rettstatt

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Now see if you can guess the lie! Ready? Go!

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Special birthday blog!

Today is my good friend Evelyn Jules’ birthday! As her special birthday gift (and because this is one of those big-time-ends-in-a-zero birthdays) I finally gave in and let her come on my blog to play two truths and a lie. Seriously, the woman is obsessed with games. It’s be hard holding her back.

Anyhoo – please play along with the birthday girl by leaving your best guess in the comments below!

cake

When I heard that Margaret was playing Two Truths and a Lie on her blog, I begged her to let me on. Games are like my favourite thing in the world. Then she gently reminded me that I write steamier stuff, and her blog isn’t really directed toward my kind of readers. I said, “People can change, Margaret! I can change!” And then I cried and prostrated myself at her feet. She finally let me have my spot, mostly out of pity I think.

My latest release, Cheapskates in Love, pokes fun at the trials and tribulations of online dating…especially for cheapskates. I have ventured into the online dating world. I saw some things. Things that weren’t pretty. But I did manage to meet a really cool guy along the way. He’s fascinating, adorably nerdy, big and strong, and he makes me laugh. A lot. That’s the most important thing for me. The dating and the getting-to-know-you-ing is going very well so far, so keep your fingers crossed. 🙂

I figured I’d continue along the same theme with my two truths and a lie and talk about some of the boys I’ve been out with, or almost-out-with, over the years. Two of these stories are the truth, and one is a big, fat lie. Can you guess?!

1. My first almost-boyfriend’s name was Kerry. I loved him all throughout elementary school, but it wasn’t until Grade 6 that I decided to make my ‘move’. I asked my girlfriends to ask him out for me. Picture six twelve year-old giddy, giggly girls cornering him at recess and telling him I liked him. I was a nervous wreck the whole time, hiding behind a tree or something. And after recess, Kerry approached me in the hallway because, conveniently enough, our lockers were right next to each other. He asked me, “Is it true? Do you want to go out with me?” I said nothing. “Well?” he prodded. I finally opened my mouth and spoke words so inspiring they should have been set to music. “I…don’t know.” *cue awkward silence*

2. I met my first actual boyfriend, Jesse, in the recovery room of a hospital after he had his wisdom teeth removed. I was about fifteen but I remember his pick-up line like it was just yesterday. He said, “Heyyyyy, pretty girlllll” very incoherently on account of the excessive amounts of freezing in his mouth. I giggled like a school girl. “What’sss your phone nummmer?” he asked me. I giggled more and wrote down my number for him on a napkin. I soon learned that the ‘loopy’ bit wasn’t just a side effect of the anaesthesia.

3. I was friends with a guy named Victor throughout most of my first degree at university. Then one day he decided he liked me. As in, liked me-liked me. We were walking along the wooded pathway to the university and I believe our conversation went something like this: Victor: Wanna come over tomorrow night? Me: Night? But we can’t play sports at night. Victor: *chuckles* I know. I’m going to cook for you. Me: Oh. Are we going to WATCH sports? Victor: I thought I’d take you to a movie. Me: Ohhh. Is this a date? Victor: *chuckles again* I think so. Me: Oh. *silently processes* What are you cooking?

One of these is a lie. I think. But hey, while you’re deciding on that, here’s the blurb for Cheapskates in Love:

It’s couples’ skating night down at the local rink and Elena Armstrong can’t seem to keep her cocky jock blind date around long enough to knee him in the balls. Sadly, she was too much of a cheapskate to pay for a membership to an online dating site and based everything on Leonard’s personality profile alone. Big mistake.

At the opposite end of the rink, Ben Kessel, another cheapskate on a blind date with Iris, the ice princess, is having a similarly miserable time. Elena, a hater of all things sports-related, inches out into the skating world butt-first and collides with Ben. After sharing their hilarious and horrifying dates-gone-wrong stories, the two disappear and make everything right again on the floor in the players’ dressing room. Almost everything. They forget to exchange numbers. Now these two cheapskates need to make the ultimate sacrifice: pay for a membership to the online dating site so they can track each other down. But is the possibility of love really worth the price of $24.95 per month?

Cheapskates_EJules_SM

My Cheapskates are available at the following locations:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cheapskates-In-Love-ebook/dp/B00B14OMZI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358281364&sr=8-

Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore: 1&keywords=cheapskates+in+love+evelyn+jules

http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/cheapskates-in-love-by-evelyn-jules

All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com//product-cheapskatesinlove-1043038-149.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/274775

Naughty Evelyn smaller

I’d love to chat with you all some more! Come visit me at my website! http://evelynjules.blogspot.ca

I’m on twitter https://twitter.com/#!/EvelynJules and facebook http://www.facebook.com/EvelynJules too!

Thank you so much for having me, Margaret! I’m forever indebted to you for this honour! Xoxo Evelyn 🙂

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Monday Mayhem – A Million Miles Away

Okay, maybe it’s not a million miles, but I am on the road today. My good friend Karen Booth is here to keep you entertained. If you were a child of the 80’s, you would know that the title of Karen’s new book is taken from the Plimsouls song I used as my blog title. And it may be playing on my iPod as I type this. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. See you soon, my darlings!

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It’s only fitting that my first guest blog appearance after the release of my new book, Bring Me Back, would be on Margaret’s blog. I’m not sure she realizes it, but she was instrumental in helping me decide that Turquoise Morning Press was the right place for this book. After reading several of her books and eventually getting past my immense fear that I would never write as well as she does, I knew that the stories she likes to tell were very in-line with what I write. So, thank you, Marg. I’m oh-so-just-slap-me-now happy to be here. 

(Aw! I’m blushing. And squeeing. And blushing again. Thank you!)

One of the best parts of becoming an author, aside from the massive royalty checks and all-night sex parties, is becoming friends with other authors. Writing is a lonely business built on a house of cards—one day you’re on top of the world, you just wrote the most amazing ten pages in the history of literature. The next day, those ten pages have been deleted and you’re thanking the stars above that you didn’t get carried away and actually show those pages to anyone. This is why you need friends, preferably friends with large, unlocked liquor cabinets.

My friendship with Margaret has grown from fan/author to author/author, which has been an amazing process for me. Sure, Margaret and I first bonded over my ability to gush about her writing, but we’ve since moved on to more important things like our shared love for Duran Duran and our propensity for getting in trouble on Twitter. When she began to read Bring Me Back and quickly sent me an email saying she was hooked, I nearly fainted. After she finished reading, she sent me an email saying she loved it and I felt as if I’d won the lottery. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as she did.  

So, without further ado, I present my Two Facts and a Work of Fiction. From those who correctly guess the work of fiction, I will award the winner’s choice of my backlist eBooks. And, please, while you’re here, take a gander at the blurb for Bring Me Back.

Two Facts and a Work of Fiction

1)      I have performed on a stage one time in my entire life, in the middle school school talent show. I tap danced to “Me and My Shadow” with the only other girl who’d signed up for tap dancing—Shari, a sweet, but very poor-sighted and unusually uncoordinated fellow sixth grader.

2)      I didn’t have my first boyfriend or first real kiss until college. There were a few sloppy, drunken attempts at kisses in high school, but nothing I care to count. The college guy wore black leather riding boots and listened to The Cult and I thought he was the sexiest thing ever. Now, the thought of him makes me queasy.

3)      I spent the summer after college backpacking through Europe with my best friend, Jane. We spent most of our time in Hamburg and Amsterdam, even though I’d told my parents we were going to Italy and Spain and several other countries that we never made it to. We were having way too much fun where we already were. I’d like to say that I regret our lack of miles traveled, but it was the most fun I don’t totally remember.

Bring Me Back

BMB_KBooth_MD 

Music critic Claire Abby is a single mom dreading her daughter’s departure for college and worried that turning forty will leave her career running on fumes. She’s floored when she lands a Rolling Stone cover story on 80s British rock legend Christopher Penman. She spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend. 

In person, Christopher is everything Claire feared he’d be—charming, witty and unwilling to address the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. Still, she contains her adolescent fantasies and manages to earn his trust, unearthing the truth and the devastating secret behind it. His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling and flirting. She knows she should maintain a professional distance. She knows she should focus on the story. She knows it would be best to simply walk away. But how can she say “no” to the man she could never forget?

Website: http://karenbooth.net

Bring Me Back on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17187439-bring-me-back

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Monday Mayhem – Viking warrior edition

While I’m off traveling for the day job, my good friend Renee Vincent wanted to share the latest in her series of delicious Viking heroes! Whoo hoo! Here’s a little taste of:

The Temperate Warrior

He was her champion. She was his weakness.

Together, they loved with wild abandon.

Blurb:

Gustaf Ræliksen lives by the blade of his sword. After avenging his father’s murder and reuniting with his family, he wants nothing more than to settle down and have sons of his own. Only one woman will do—a fiery redhead he saved from the spoils of war.

No longer forced to warm the beds of the men who’ve taken everything from her, Æsa has nothing to offer the noble warrior but her heart.

When someone with a deep score to settle seeks revenge upon her, Gustaf’s world is torn asunder. He has but one vow—saving the woman he loves from the ignorant fool who dared to best the temperate warrior.

Excerpt:

“Dying a thousand deaths in my head to protect you is better than losing you one time in the flesh. I would never recover if I let anything happened to you.”

His voice was devoid of emotion, monotone as he laid open his heart for her. Most would think he was just being aloof, uncaring as he rattled off sentimental words in an impersonal way. But Æsa knew better. He was not only bearing his soul to her, but doing so the only way he knew how; by occupying his mind and body with a simple task so his heart couldn’t entertain the idea of failure.

Moved by his words, she stood and made haste to join him on the hide. Dropping to her knees, she laid her hands atop his wrists, impeding his progress with the knife. His eyes met hers and they stared at one another.

Long, heartfelt seconds ticked by as she absorbed the magnitude of his pain. She plucked the tools from his hands and set them at his feet. “I am so sorry for bringing this burden upon you.” Gustaf opened his mouth for rebuttal, but she pressed her finger to his lips, feeding his words back to him. “Yesterday, you were without burden, at peace knowing you had fulfilled your duty as a loyal son. Ready to start your life anew…remember?”

He closed his eyes as if forcing himself to hear her and wait his turn.

“And now, I have thwarted your future happiness with a dark past that follows me everywhere I go. You can deny all you want what I used to be and pretend that I am a woman of worth if it makes it easier for you to accept my shame. But I know what I used to be and I will not let you add me to the list of things you will punish yourself for should you fail. I am not worth it. I am not worth any man’s grief. Or death,” she added.

Slowly, Gustaf opened his eyes and stared at her. His lips drew a straight line across his face. He removed her finger from his mouth and held her wrist in a tight grasp. “May I speak?”

Æsa nodded, steeling herself for the tongue-lashing she knew would follow. He took his time replying, which was worse than having him berate her on the spot. The look in his eyes foretold of his disappointment, and his quiet reserve prefaced the exceptional temperance this man was capable of.

“I shall do my best to make myself clear,” he began, his eyes never leaving hers. “We all have a past and oftentimes we have an unfortunate moment in our existence we would rather erase from our memories. But it matters not what we have failed to do, but what we succeed in doing from those failed moments onward. In my past, I have failed to protect my family, as I am the only one left, save for my nephews on Inis Mór. While their deaths, brought about by various regrettable circumstances, were not a direct cause of my own negligence, the burden is still the same. Like you, I face that demon every day of my life.

“That being said, our demons do not become us. They are not the bones and flesh of our bodies, nor the substance of our hearts. They are recollections of what used to be and what is no longer. Your demon—or your previous life as a whore, as you like to beat upon my brow—is not who you are inside. Your worth is diminished only by the demon you place across your shoulders like a royal cloak. Divest yourself of that, my dearest Æsa, and you will understand the depths of my love and the extent to which I will go to protect you. Gladly protect you,” he reiterated. “Until then, you will just have to take my word for it.”

Author Bio:

I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields.

I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar…and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can’t resist watching great epic historical movies.

From an early age, I’ve always had scenes playing out in my head. Whether it was a story with a moral or a tale with a twist, those ideas have never let me sleep until I wrote them out. And considering I have an eclectic ensemble of stories swarming in my brain at any given time, I write under a couple pen names to accommodate the various genre categories.

Renee Vincent
(Historical & Contemporary Adult Romance)
From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day, you’ll be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love.
Visit my website at http://www.reneevincent.com/

Gracie Lee Rose                               
(Lighthearted, Fancy-free Women’s Fiction)
For those who love to read fun, wholesome, and endearing romantic stories that your mother, sister, friends, and daughters can enjoy.

Visit my website at http://www.gracieleerose.com/

Author Links:

Website: http://www.reneevincent.com/

Blog: http://pasttheprint.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reneevincentauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ReneeVincent

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3005290.Renee_Vincent

Romance Blog: http://www.deepintheheartromance.com/

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Monday Mayhem – Big Things, Wow Things

It’s a new year and a new look here at Writings and Ramblings. Take a few minutes to click around and let me know what you think of the redesign.

I’ve been all over the place lately. Last week I was at Everybody Needs a Little Romance and The Diamond State Romance Authors for my usual monthly bog posts. I’m on those sites the first Thursday and Friday of the month (respectively), so be sure to bookmark them!

Next week, my literary alter ego, Maggie Wells, will be at the newly launched Literary Lagniappe (1/10/13), Delilah Devlin’s blog (1/13/13), Madison J. Edwards’ blog (1/17/13), and Evelyn Jules’ blog (1/23/13).

Whew!

I also start traveling again this month, so you’ll get to meet a few more of my friends. I wanted to kick things off with a bang, so I asked the fabulous Valerie Haight to start us off with a little game of two facts and a piece of fiction.

Val has a fabulous new After Happily Ever release from TMP called Happenstance, and this summer she and I will be anthology buddies in the upcoming Wedding anthology from TMP, so play nice!

3Happenstance_VH_md[1] 

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Thank you, Margaret, for asking me over to your gorgeous new site and for allowing me to share Happenstance with everyone! AND you want to play a game!! *claps and bounces* I’m all about games. Two Truths and a Lie will reveal my inner doof. You’ve been warned. J

  1. I once petted an established, successful author. You heard me right. I attended Murder Goes South conference in Atlanta, GA where thriller author Erica Spindler was keynote speaker. I listened to her speak, stood in line for an autograph and a pic, and in the process of trying to touch her arm to connect with her in one of those I-so-get-you type gestures, she leaned in, I moved at the wrong second and my hand was on her arm an awkwardly looooong time as we both tried to regain our respective space bubbles. This awarded me the nickname “the petter” from my twitter peeps for an extended period.
  2. I almost electrocuted my bestie at Lori Foster Reader/Author Get Together in Cincinnati, OH. We were riding together to a restaurant and she handed me this battery back-up plugger-inner thingee and told me to push a button. I, not knowing what I was holding or what button to push, proceeded to act like a three year old and push them all. Turns out, she was holding bare wires and actually asked me NOT to push ANY buttons. She doesn’t ask for my help with that stuff anymore.
  3. I climbed onstage in true Courtney Cox fashion and danced with a local band that opened for Smashmouth in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was EPIC! There was a rocker girl in the band and we both wore short, stiff tulle skirts over striped leggings. We ROCKED it hard that night and surprisingly, I didn’t get arrested! J

Okay, now that you know WHO you’re dealing with, (I’ll wait while you grab your protective bubble wrap suit and face mask) it’s time to get to the WHAT part.

My very first book release!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

 I’m rolling it out with a big bang blog tour and I’m so excited! Today, I received praise for Happenstance from someone I don’t know and it was an AWESOME feeling. That’s not to say I didn’t love the feedback I got from mom, sis and the cousins! But this lovely gal friended me on Facebook, left me a rockin’ message two minutes later and told me she’d written a review on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! SQUEEEE! It was Christmas and New Year and Happy Birthday all rolled into one and yes, I fainted a little.

The sites are still going live and every day I get giddy over some new piece of information regarding the book. This first release stuff has me bouncing around like an ant on crack and I can’t get enough of this new author high. I just know years down the road, I’ll see tweets from a debut author cartwheeling over the same fabulous and I’ll be jealous because I was there once and I know how cool it is. 🙂

Happenstance was published by Turquoise Morning Press on December 13, 2012. *Merry Christmas to me!* I wrote this story using some of the relationship conflict I witness on a day-to-day basis. I’m an assistant in a corporate setting so I get to see a lot of Peyton Place happenings. What’s a writer to do but file that juicy stuff away for the making of a romance novel?! Here’s what all those observations created:  

Taryn Ballard is happily married and a newly appointed analyst for a prestigious shipping company.  Her career upsurges in record time but she’s about to discover the real price of corporate life.

While on yet another business trip, Taryn suffers a brutal attack by a carjacker. Her husband isn’t there, but her co-worker Devin is.  The accidental bond Taryn and Devin share pitches them into dangerous and confusing territory. Taryn struggles to discern both her feelings for her sexy protector and Wade’s reaction to it all. Unfamiliar emotions blur the rules of the game and Wade’s ready to quit.

Taryn must rise above disaster to save her marriage. But is she ready to let go of the man who saved her life? In a single moment, Happenstance changes everything.

This story was so much fun to write because I really let loose and wreaked havoc on both Devin and Wade. I also put poor Taryn through the wringer! Yes, I’m awful in a creative writerly way. J I merged my favorite genres-suspense and romance-to create a story that lets the reader experience pain, joy, laughter and a little fright! Here’s a snippet to give you the feel of the book.

“Devin, it’s Taryn. You were right. The execs want me to meet them for dinner and I feel really foolish because I have a GPS and a connect-the-dot map from the concierge and I’m still lost.”

Devin laughed. “Not a problem. Where are you?”

Taryn took a second to locate the green street sign. “At the corner of First and Third at a tiny, ancient-looking convenience store.”

“Oh, I know the one. You’re right next to us. I could probably see you from the tower window. Okay, which restaurant are you looking for?”

Taryn grabbed the hand-drawn map. “Caminas.”

“I know where it is. Actually, it might be faster by freeway.”

“Of course it would. I just came from—”

An unexpected rush of damp, hot air hit her and Taryn turned, confused to see her door open wide. She sucked in a quick breath and saw too late the arm reaching for her. Terror gripped her as she zeroed in on the gun in her face.

Happenstance is one of my favorite creations and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! You can purchase Happenstance here!

Turquoise Morning Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

ValerieAuthor_photo

Tweet with me @Valeriebrbr, follow me on Facebook or find out the latest on my blog about my upcoming short stories Raeanne Revealed in the Orange Karen Tribute Anthology out in April and Magnolia Brides in a TMP wedding anthology out in June!

Thanks again for having me here! I’m sticking around for a comment session! Let’s gab!! If you aren’t afraid I’ll somehow grope, electrocute you or dance with you through the screen! 😀

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Monday Mayhem – Princess Jennifer

Today I want you to welcome my friend, Jennifer Anderson. She’s going to bare her soul (among other things!) for your entertainment, then we’re going to play games with her deepest, darkest secrets. Whoo hoo! Don’t forget to comment. Jennifer is giving away a copy of Ice Princess and I’m still doling out those little $5 gift cards!

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Thank you so much Mrs. M (can I call you Mrs.?!) for having me on today. First off, can I say how much I love your website *takes notes*. It’s so user friendly *calls webmaster*. (Thank you! I wish it were more user friendly on my end. *grumbles*)

Okay, when I begged Mrs. M to let me on her blog, she said sure but you have to play a little game.

Okay, I said. What? She said I had to give you two truths and one lie and see if you can figure out which is which.

Sure, I said *bites nails*. I’m an open book *uses shifty eyes*.

But before we play I’d like to confess something. I feel like we’ve built the type of relationship that allows us to share. *crickets*

Anyway, I’m a food show junkie. I can’t get enough of them. And when I can’t find one, I grab a food magazine. *scratches arms* *channel surfs*

I blame my stomach. I’m a foodie. I love to cook and eat and cook some more. I don’t like to share my time in the kitchen which makes me a terrible mom but cooking relaxes me. I’m transported into another world where I pretend I have my own cooking show. The best part is when I’ve created a wonderful meal and my family loves it. I feel like I won the lottery.

For Christmas this year, I’m serious, I asked for nothing but more cookware and cookbooks. I know, I have a serious issue. Sure, diamonds are nice but I can’t eat a diamond. Pretty clothes are always welcome but let’s be honest. I’d only ruin them when I cook.

Now that I stay home, I have more time to watch cooking shows. I even have my 12 week old baby watching them with me (let me pretend she recognizes Paula and Rachel’s voices).

Do I need an intervention? Not yet. Should I get outside more and stop thinking about what cooking show is on next? Absolutely! If I get the new roasting pan I marked for Christmas, will I find a way to use it Christmas morning? Do you even have to ask!

I admit, I feel better now that I’ve purged my heavy heart. Now, onto the game. Below I’ve offered 2 truths and 1 lie. Leave a comment with your answer and I’ll randomly select from the correct answers and that person wins an e-copy of my first YA novella, Ice Princess.

Here we go:

  1. I attended my first day of college hung-over from a party the night before where I was not only drunk from cheap keg beer but I also spent an hour asking people if they had a condom I could have to use.
  2. While on my honeymoon, my new husband and I went to a nude beach and laid out in the sun topless.
  3. I dressed up as Ginger Spice for Halloween one year while my roommates were the other members of the band.

 

Thank you for having me. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

For more you can follow me on FB, Twitter (JenniA8677), my blog (www.musingsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com) or my website (www.jenandersonauthor.com).

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Monday Mayhem – Five Golden Rings

Before I re-introduce my good friend, Sandra Jones, I have some winners to announce.

The winners of Taryn Raye’s Castaway Hearts are: Michelle K. and Holly G.

And the winner of this week’s reader appreciation gift card is: Christine

Congratulations to our winners! We have more giveaways today. Read on!

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I’m an only child, so I grew up with plenty of time on my hands to spin all kinds of epic stories. My greatest dream as a thirteen year-old was to be a filmmaker a la Steven Spielberg. I fully intended to make an adventure movie like Indiana Jones with a soundtrack that included music by Duran Duran, which meant I would meet the band’s bassist, John Taylor. And we would have this chemistry between us and…you get the idea. Sigh.

The world will never get to see the awesomeness that was my one and only movie script:

Rishiri Island

Ah well. I never stopped making up stories. Around that same time, I also fell hard for the movie Excalibur and everything else British. Over the years, my storytelling got longer, wordier, and more complex. Now I write novels instead of screenplays, but heck, if Hollywood ever calls, I’m there. I’d still ask for Duran Duran for the soundtrack…and maybe Adam Levine, too!

My very British novella, HER CHRISTMAS KNIGHT, is included in the new anthology FIVE GOLDEN RINGS coming out tomorrow from Avon Impulse.

FIVE GOLDEN RINGS: A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Book Description

The holidays are a time for wishes, magic and, of course, love. Celebrate the season with this delightful collection of Christmas tales. What better way for Connor Talbot, Earl of Redfirn, to spend the holidays than convincing Leonora Compton that the only match she needs to make is with him!

The Duke of Ashton has had three years to plan for his perfect Christmas present—the Lady Eleanor Fitzsimmons as his wife. Now, all he has to do is convince the reluctant lady …

Phin Baldwin does not believe in Christmas magic … until the clever and beautiful Ginny Overton gets it into her head to show him how wonderful it can be when wishes come true.

Just returned from the Crusades, marriage is the last thing on Sir Caerwyn’s mind. But will he be able to resist Lady Nia, the thief of his boyhood heart, when she tempts him yet again?

Responsible Ethan Weatherstone is determined to save Penelope Rutledge—and her reputation—from her silly scheme, but can he save himself from the temptation of her lips?

KOBO

BARNES & NOBLE

BOOKS A MILLION

AMAZON

I love to hear from readers. Visit my website www.sandrajonesromance.com or on Twitter: sjonesromance

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Sandi will draw the name of one lucky commenter for an ebook copy of Five Golden Rings (I’ve already pre-ordered mine) and I’m going to give away another $5 gift card! Comment below and tell us who you want performing the soundtrack to your life story!

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Smoochy talk! Giveaways! This is what happens when Taryn Raye is on my blog!

You write WHAT?!?!

Since starting my writing journey, I’ve had a good majority of family and friends who encourage me to write the stories of my heart. That just so happens to be romance, but I have encountered the fair few who think that what I write falls into their “less than” category of what constitutes a good book or a great read. They don’t come right out and say that they think what I write is “smut” but I believe they are under the notion, and quite possibly the misconception, that any books that are classified under the heading of “romance” are “those kinds of books.”

I have no problem with most genres of books—I’m a book hog of the best kind and tend to follow my nose into a variety of genres looking for the best “truffles.” Oh the spoils I enjoy because you just never know what you might miss if you snub a book based on its genre. When I run across family and friends who do view the world from a book-snobbish view such as this, I find it rather silly and cynical.

I’ve had some people tell me I might want to reconsider how I categorize my novels lest I be pigeonholed and snubbed, because romance is not “worthy” reading material, that it’s not the kind of books libraries tend to shelf and that they’re basically the “trash” of the book world. I should aspire to mainstream or I might as well give up having my books noticed at all, so said a former librarian friend of mine. I’ve been encouraged to write and illustrate children’s books instead of what I LOVE to write because I’m such a “wonderful artist” and it seems a shame to squander my talents. I haven’t been interested in drawing in years, unless it’s to scribble doodles for my kids. Bless my grandmother’s heart, but children’s books and illustration are not where my stories tend to lead me.

I grew up on fairy tales and in a family where I knew very little of divorce, though I had plenty of friends who grew up between two households. I believed when you said I do, that stuff is suppose to stick. I believed in LOVE. I believed in the everlasting kind of love, that conquers all, that is in fact strength rather than weakness. It’s glue that holds families together. It’s magic that has held my parents’ marriage together for nearly forty years and the bond that kept my grandparents bound to each other until death did them part. I believe in that power, that strength, because it’s something miraculous and special and it inspires me.

Sure, I grew up to see that sometimes not all relationships work out, that sometimes people need to go their separate ways or their time together was cut short, but that doesn’t mean they won’t find love again. It’s the reason why I write happily-ever-after romance, because I believe everyone deserves that chance whether it’s the first time or a second or third chance at love. Especially for those who’ve been through a lot, who’ve had their hearts broken and who have nearly lost all hope that they will ever be loved for who they were or who they are and who they will become. I believe they deserve that HEA ending, fictional or otherwise.

So, what is it about “romance” that gets certain people’s panties in a wad to the point they refuse to give a book the benefit of the doubt just because wears it’s heart on its sleeve? (In this case, when it is categorized that way on its spine…)

Maybe it’s what romance represents, that the mere mention of the word implies intimacy and sensuality. Perhaps that represents insecurities for some, as well. It’s okay to be loved, but heaven forbid if we are romantically inclined. That might mean we love on a physical level as well, that the laws of attraction and sexuality also bind us to another.

I’ve often wondered how “romance” became such a dirty word. Is there something wrong with having a connection to someone, on all levels, mental, emotional, and yes, even physical? I say, no, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. That’s why I will still write the stories of my heart and I will keep the flame of romance alive between the pages of my stories, where love and romance go hand in hand, just as I believe they should.

To  those fair few I know who poo-poo romance, I say Bah Humbug to you!

Christmas with Catherine & Dawson, the heroine and hero from my debut historical romance, CASTAWAY HEARTS, published by Turquoise Morning Press is going on now over on my blog. Though the 1st giveaway I had last week is over, I do have the 2nd giveaway going on over on my blog now and a 3rd one coming up next week.

 

I know Catherine & Dawson would love the company, comments are welcome and entries in the giveaways are a must if you’re interested in winning a little something special this holiday season- please feel freel to swing by.

 

I will also be giving away 2 KINDLE EBOOKS of CASTAWAY HEARTS here at Margaret’s to 2 lucky readers who leave comments~ winners will be chosen on Sunday and posted her Monday, December 10th. Oh! And all commenters are automatically entered for Margaret’s reader appreciation gift card drawing too!

Do you read just certain genres or are you like me, and believe variety is the spice of life?

Castaway Hearts Blurb

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of- her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

 

Castaway Hearts is available in eBook & print from my publisher-

Turquoise Morning Press

Also available on Amazon for-

Kindle

Print

 

On Nook from B&N

In Print from B&N

Various formats on

Smashwords

All Romance Ebooks

OmniLit

Bookstrand


Here are just a few places you can find Taryn Raye-

Website

Blog

@ScribblingTaryn on Twitter

FB Page

Goodreads

Google +

 

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Monday Mayhem – Moonlight Madness

I’m away again this week, my friends, but I’m leaving you in good hands! Meet my good friend, Sandra, who writes historical romance and loves Duran Duran! Be sweet to her – I’ll be back next week!

****

When people learn I’m an author, they usually ask, why historical romance? Why not mysteries or novels or picture books? I think it comes back to what awakened me to adult romance in the first place.

I’ve always been an avid reader, but making that leap from adolescent reader to adult reader took a very special author. I remember the first time I read a Johanna Lindsey historical romance set in England. The heroine had long flowing hair and a dress that I, as a very girly twelve year-old, would’ve killed for. As much as I enjoyed the sexy hero and the trials of the heroine, it was the setting that hooked me. I fell in love with the rich descriptions of places I would never see in modern times. I loved the language, the manners, and the pomp of the era.

The heroine of my new historical/time travel romance Moonlight Madness adores history, too. A high school English teacher, she teaches Shakespeare to unappreciative teenagers and attends Renaissance fairs whenever she can. But her orderly world gets shaken to the core when she encounters a real, live 17th century rake intent on seducing her!

To celebrate the Kindle release of Moonlight Madness (book two of the Circle of Destiny series), I’m giving away a signed, print copy of Wish for the Moon (Circle of Destiny book one), or a free e-book download of any of my titles. All you have to do is comment with your favorite historical era. I’ll choose one lucky winner at random.

In the meantime, here’s the blurb for Moonlight Madness and an excerpt!

While visiting Wales, Rance Kingsley, Viscount Waldenham, receives a warning that his daughter will soon be kidnapped by Spanish enemies. Before he can aid her, Rance tumbles into a mysterious portal to the future. His only hope is to find his soulmate, the key to returning. However his curse continues when all signs point to Tess Hartman, a straight-laced teacher, as his match. After a cheating boyfriend, the only male Tess wants in her life is Dante, a troubled teen she would like to adopt. To bond with the boy, Tess brings him on a class field trip to Britain. But the Shakespeare experience becomes too real when sexy, eccentric Rance seduces her. When Tess falls for Rance’s kisses and travels with him across four centuries, she’s convinced he’s made a mistake. How could she love a man who deceived her, separating her from everything she cares about, a man with MOONLIGHT MADNESS?

Excerpt:

“Thou art madder than I. Or mayhap more brave. The lightning.” Rance pointed to the roiling sky above.

He held his open doublet over their heads, blocking out some of the rain at his back.

The sight of him, so thoughtful, damp and sexy, set off seismic tremors in her stomach. An earthy masculine scent, his scent, drifted down from the doublet, and its warmth wrapped around her.

“Danté came back inside,” he told her. “Mayhap the rain will be gone soon. Probably by the time we reach the castle if we leave now.”

She couldn’t possibly spend another moment with this much temptation. Already, her fingers curled at her sides, craving to reach out and touch his rippling body, so plainly visible beneath the damp shirt.

She took a deep bracing breath. “Kiss me.”

“What?” Rance’s expression froze.

“I said kiss me. Now before I change my mind.” She tucked her dripping hair behind her ears and stared up at him in challenge. “You said if I kissed you you’d leave me alone. So kiss me, and then you can go on your way. I’m calling off the trip to Chepstow Castle. I’m soaked and the rain’s not letting up. You can call a taxi to come get you, and you could be back at the theater before the next performance.”

“I did say as much, but art thou sure? Is that what you want, what you truly want?” His gaze dropped to her mouth before floating back up to her eyes. A slight frown formed between his brows.

“Yes. Let’s be done. If all you’re after is a kiss, then do it already—”

His lips stopped hers, cutting off her words and stealing her breath.

Moonlight Madness—available now on Kindle only (until January 18)

Medieval, Renaissance, Regency, Victorian…whatever, I love all historical settings. Just give me a hero with an accent and charming manners and I drool! Now, what’s your favorite historical era?

I love to hear from readers. You can find out more about my books at www.sandrajonesromance.com

Twitter: sjonesromance

Pinterest: sandrawrites

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Monday Mayhem – Angels Edition

No, not Charlie’s Angels, they’re Voirey’s angels!

I’m on the road this week, but my good friend Voirey Linger agreed to stop by and introduce you to her Heavenly Lovers series. Be sure you check out all the cover art too. Whew! *fans self*

Now, be good while I’m gone and show her a little love by leaving a comment and entering her contest!

xoxo

Mags

****

Being a pastor’s kid can put a big kink in the career goal of writing erotic romance. I grew up being reminded that people were watching me and every move I made reflected on my father. For my childhood, the Great Commission was, “Go ye therefore and shame not the family.”

Back then, I always figured I’d grow up, the pastor’s kid thing would be over, and I could write whatever I wanted. Isn’t that the thrill of being an adult, after all? No rules! We can run naked and cause mayhem if we want. Well, until the police catch us, anyway. But life didn’t quite work out that way. My parents’ reminders that the world was watching me left a little something behind, something that I can’t seem to erase.

Guilt.

Not about what I write. I love my stories and wouldn’t change a thing about them. No, my guilt is focused completely on the idea that if anyone knows what I write, my family will fall into some vast chasm of chaos and all will suffer.

Funny thing is, I don’t mind keeping it all to myself. It’s like a secret identity, minus the tricked-out cave. For once, I have an aspect of my life that’s mine alone. I don’t feel like I’m being watched, that my family is being scrutinized. I’m able to step away from that ‘pastor’s kid’ mentality and just be me.

I love my family and friends, but writing is all mine, and I’m not sharing.

The third book in my Heavenly Lovers series, Embracing Eternity, is now available from Ellora’s Cave publishing, and the first two books in the series have been bundled into one print volume, Heavenly Eternity.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Voirey-Linger/144027495637909?ref=ts&fref=ts

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZSjiwnCFds]
Embracing Eternity by Voirey Linger

Evangelos has loved Philomela since before time began. He’s dreamed of having her in his arms and his bed. But she never once looked his way. Instead, she chose a Fall that transformed her into a monstrous creature. He never forgot the one he loved, and he’s determined to bring her back home.

Cut off from the power that fed them, Meela and the other Fallen angels became demons, thriving on vice and preying on Creation. Hell holds too much pain and Meela wants nothing more than to give in to the temptation Evan offers. But a demon has no place in the arms of an angel.

Meela knows Evan’s determination to save her will be his downfall, because Lucifer wants to feast on the power of angels, and she’s the perfect bait.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heavenly Eternity by Voirey Linger

Heavenly Eternity

by Voirey Linger

Giveaway ends November 15, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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