Monday Mayhem – Reader & Cookie Appreciation Month

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me. I had three novels release, changed positions at the day job, flirted with empty nest syndrome, discovered I’m going to be a grandma next year, and by the end of December, will have tracked over 400k words written.

In other words…I’m tired.

So I know we’re all busy in December, so I thought I’d dedicate this month to two things very close to my heart. You, my dear friends, and cookies.

Notice how I put you first? I’m feeling schmoopy today.

I will have a couple of guest bloggers this month, and I’m really excited to have them here. Big things are happening for these ladies, and I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them.

Wanted to share a new holiday cookie recipe, too. These are not just yummy things I snagged off Pintrest, either. These are tried and true family favorites that I’ve been baking for years. If you missed last year’s Lime Cooler recipe, you can get it HERE.

Everyone who comments and shares a favorite holiday recipe/craft/tradition on my post will be entered into a drawing. Each Sunday, I will draw the name of one winner for a $5 Amazon gift card and their choice of one of the books from my digital backlist (a great gift for a friend!). I’ll also be picking names in the weeks when my guest bloggers post, so be sure to comments on their posts as well.

I know it’s not much, but I want to do something to show how much I appreciate you and the support you have given me and my authory friends throughout the year.

Sooooo. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Today’s cookie of choice are these delicious Almond Butter Cookies. I discovered this recipe in one of those checkout stand books Land ‘O Lakes butter put out about fifteen years ago. I still have the book, and I still make these melt-in-your-mouth cookies every year.

 

Almond butter cookies

Mmmm. Enjoy!

Oh! And happy book birthday to my pal, Renee Vincent! The Temperate Warrior releases today from Turquoise Morning Press!

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Monday Mayhem – I’m baaaaack!

I’m back! Were you good to Voirey and Sandi while I was gone? I hope so. I love introducing friends to friends.

Sooo…Did you miss me?

I missed you too. It’s been a while since we caught up, so I thought I’d give you a few bullet points.

You ready? Let’s do it!

  1. Just got back from back to back training weeks for the day job. Each day was jammed packed with information, but the training was very informative. I’ll be helping to train my fellow employees in Texas over the next few months. If they’re all as great at the group of trainers I’ve worked with these last few weeks, it’ll be great!
  2. I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. That means I am coming home and cranking out the words each night this month. I love NaNo. I love the challenge. I love being able to draw a deep breath in December and say, “Look. I did that.” But I’m not there yet! Everything is on track. I’m over the 30k mark so far and plan to go at it hard over the holiday weekend.
  3. The Diamond State Romance Authors hosted a public seminar on self-publishing this past Saturday. Tanya Smith from the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge came to speak to the group about the great work they’re doing in big cat rescue. After the seminars, we adjourned to Oceans at Arthur’s for a multi-author book signing. All proceeds from the sales of these collections go directly to TCWR. My story, Teens Gone Wild, is in Volume II– the Young Adult collection. Here are a few pics:
    Megan Mitcham, Lori Freeland, Brinda Berry and me!
    Lynda Frazier, Cynthia d’Alba and Elle James
    Wild At Heart Volumes I & II available in ebook and print at Amazon

    4. I got to meet one of my readers! Meet Joanna – she’s reading Spring Chickens. I’m the one grinning like a loon and trying not to tackle hug the poor woman.

    Joanna

    5. Tim bunny missed me. So did the man. Scored a free double Steakburger on my birthday. Got a stack of Amazon gift cards, so the Kindle is locked and loaded. Life is good.

How have you been? What have you been up to lately? Tell me every little thing in a comment below and I’ll give you a prize… How about your choice of either a digital copy of anything on my backlist or an advanced read copy of Maggie Wells’ smoking hot January release – Jumping Mr. January?

I’ll draw one winner on Sunday, November 25th.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

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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

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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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Monday Mayhem – A room of one’s own

After eleven years of marriage, I finally I have a room of my own! Okay, so I’m not allowed to sleep up here, but I can concoct naughty stories to my heart’s content. It’s still a work in progress, but here’s where I’m at today. I’ll post updated pics as I get things arranged more to my liking.

In the meantime, I’m on the road for the day job this week. Do me a favor? Tell a friend (or seventeen) about one (or five) of my books?

Thanks. I knew I could count on you! See you next week!

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Monday Mayhem – Wild at Heart

The Diamond State Romance Authors and friends have contributed their time and talents to compiling two collections of short stories geared to benefit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Northwest Arkansas. Turpentine Creek was one of the first big cat refuges in the country.

Many of their residents come to the refuge through owners and black market dealers who find they can no longer handle their exotic pets. The Jackson family has dedicated their lives to caring for these magnificent creatures, and in turn, we are dedicated to supporting their efforts.

Wild at Heart Volumes I and II are available now. (Pssst! My story is Young Adult and found in Volume II) All proceeds from the sale of these collections go directly to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The next time you are prowling for something to read, please consider downloading them. Thank you!

Volume I

Stories Included in this volume are:

Spirit of the Tiger by Elle James
Archer Falls by Lauren Smith
A Boy, A Girl, A Tiger by Cynthia D’Alba
The Wedding Crasher by Lindy Dierks
Beached by Dustin Stevens
Sunlight and Solace by Gina Wilkins
Saving Angel by Lynda Frazier
Buck by M. Marie
True Instinct by Vanessa North
Storm Haven by Charlene Roberts
Saving Akira by Candace Sams

Volume II

Stories in this collection include:

Freedom by Connie Wilkins
Teens Gone Wild by Margaret Ethridge
Home by Midnight by Brinda Berry
Cats Rule by Aileen Fish
Refugee by Lori Freeland
The Girl and the Puma by Jayne Grey
Heart’s Solace by Tara Fox Hall
Vision Quest by Karis Walsh
The Bully in the Piney Woods by Delilah Devlin
Fierce Wild by Megan Mitcham
Salvaje by Anna Meadows

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Monday Mayhem – It’s a keeper!

I kind of did. I took a little vacay over Labor Day week, and boy was I good at it! Between bouts of napping, eating, and reading smutty books, I managed to write a new novella. It’s to meet a call for submissions that closes this week, so I am scrambling to edit and polish so I can slip it into the queue at the eleventh hour. But it was fun to write something not-quite-so-spicy. Maggie has been monopolizing all the brain time lately.

My plan is to start working on Containment during NaNoWriMo this November. The plot bunnies are hopping.

Enough about business, let’s talk pleasure…

At the moment, I’m rereading an old favorite I came across in a bargain bin. Carnal Innocence was the first Nora Roberts single title romance I’d ever read. Guess what? I still love it just as much as I did in 1991. I also scored a couple Judith Krantz classics – Mistral’s Daughter and Princess Daisy.

I often reread. There are newer books on my keeper shelf, but I love reacquainting myself with some of the characters that helped turn me into a romance fan for life. Just a few of the more well-worn books on my keeper shelf: Scruples by Judith Krantz, Crossings and Family Album by Danielle Steel, Perfect by Judith McNaught, and Bygones by LaVyrle Spencer.

What about you? What are you reading these days? Do you ever reread books? What’s on your keeper shelf?

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Monday Mayhem – Drive-by posting

I have nothing prepared. Nothing at all.

Therefore I was share a few tidbits with you.

First, this GIF post from Nathan Bransford about killed me. There’s no go way to explain the highs and lows in this business, but this comes pretty darn close.

Second, I’ve been invited to join a group blog! My first post at Everybody Needs A Little Romance will go live on Thursday. 😀

Third, my evil twin has been hogging most of the writing time this year, but I have an idea and a little vacation time over the holiday weekend. I’m going to lock Maggie in a closet and let Margaret run wild!

Last…my friend, Evelyn Jules, has a smutty short story called Blind Faith you should read, and my friend, Karen Stivali’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be released this week. What are you waiting for? Run! Run! Read!

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Bunny Cage Edition

Been crazy busy lately. That’s no excuse for neglecting you, but it’s the only reason I have. I would have asked my mom to write me a note, but then she would want to be privy to the secrets I plan to expose. I guess I’ll just have to forge one. Not that I ever did that… Or mastered her signature….

Ahem. Sorry. Here we go…

Please excuse Margaret’s absence from her blog she has been:

1) Taking up three spaces on the TMP Bestseller list for 8/5/12! Okay, so you may only see two titles with my name on them.

*cough* Don’t tell my mother. *cough*

You’ll have to use your super-detective skills to figure out the third one. For those of you who know my naughty alter-ego…shh!

2) Her inner vixen has busted loose and taken over the works! Almost all of the stories I’ve written so far will be published under that other name, but there are a few Margaret works in the pipeline. I have two of six new Jack and Ellie stories completed for 2013’s Long Distance Love collection written, and the plot bunnies for Containment—the third piece in the Contentment/Commitment trilogy—are running rampant in my head. NaNoWriMo is coming up in a couple of months, so I’m trying to get other things out of the way so I can focus my thirty days and nights of literary abandon on Containment.

3) But with her Evil Twin in control, some big things have been happening. Wow things. Check it out!
› Her story, Portrait of Passion, was chosen to be a part of TMPs Passionate Exhibitions anthology coming in October 2012!
› She has a new series of steaming hot novellas coming soon. Very soon! Turquoise Morning Press will begin releasing the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series in late 2012-2013. These sexy stories all center on the men and women of St. Blaise, Missouri, a blip-on-the-map town where the release of the hospital’s new fundraising calendar sets the nights aflame.
› There may be a sexy fireman short story under submission for a Cleis Press anthology.
› And last, but certainly a big squee, a contract is coming from another publisher for SIX short stories to be included in the Love Letters Anthologies! This is a project she has been working on with fellow erotic romance authors Ginny Glass, Emily Cale, and Christina Thacher.
Whew. Have you figured out who she is yet? Want a hint? Her name may or may not be pretty derivative of my own. Take a look at the TMP Top 15 again. I’ll wait here.

4) Okay, enough about me… or her… us. Whatever. Let’s talk about other things. Did you see that my friend, Evelyn Jules’ first short story released? Blind Faith is now available all over the place. If you want a quick shot of smuff (fluffy smut, for those who aren’t in the know) do not miss this sexy read!

5) Oh! And I’m going to be a grandma. Yes, you are right. I am too young and hot to be a grandma, but what are you going to do? These kids… Squeeeeee!

Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to line the bunny cage. How about you? Any big things, wow things going on in your life? Little things that just make you smile are just as good. It’s your turn to share!

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Monday Mayhem – Watch out world edition

Psst. My buddy, Jennifer Johnson, is here today, and I believe she’s been spending too much time staring into her belly button. Be nice. Nod, smile, back away from the crazy lady, and be sure to leave a comment so she won’t come after you.

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Words.

I have a love hate relationship with words. Words are a lot like the tasty morsel in the Kong toy. Me? I’m the dog who spends fourteen hours trying to manipulate that morsel out of the tortuous plastic device. People who know me well, and even not so well, except for my transparent intolerance for sloppy word use on Facebook realize nothing sets me off more than the taunt with an overused or misused word or phrase.

Some of these may include but are certainly not limited to: literally, uber, nemesis, opaque, or random.

So, I guess word misuse is my torment. My pleasure is the rich hues found in the definition of a word. I like to Google words my eighth grade teacher taught me to see what images I find. This is probably my best friend’s fault because she had this running joke about someone’s picture being in the dictionary next to [place your favorite insulting adjective here]. It only took me a couple of times looking up ‘gullible’ or ‘idiotic’ before I figured out what she was doing.

But I digress.

I’m amazed at the variety the Internet ascribes to any particular word. Take for instance,

Kerfluffle. It’s such a happy word. Somewhat whimsical in its triple *f* composition, and the hint of one definition by its first syllable which is then turned on its ear by the last two syllables. Can anyone be depressed when pronouncing it? Can anyone’s paradigm not be shifted by the orderliness of its disorderly definition?

And yet what a plethora of pictures appear with the search engine.

Such as:

or

Or

That guy made a great Ming, did he not? I wasn’t too enamored with Flash, but this guy rocked in a creepy evil villain sort of way.

And he’s who Google says looks like *kerfluffle*. Ming and pie and some chicks in a bedroom Man, you gotta love the Internet in its ability to search and assign meaning to anything because somebody blogged about it and found a pretty or provocative picture.

And there were many other pictures as well. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Beans. Badger. Paddle, and of course the requisite cute cat picture with the misspelled words. I mean, honestly, haven’t we beaten the dead horse enough with this cheezburger cat nonsense? What is wrong with people?

What does it mean anyway? And that whole texting the dog thing. It’s funny and all, but dogs have paws. They couldn’t possibly manipulate a phone to send texts.

My dog has no sense of anything except his enjoyment in eating, peeing, and sniffing. That’s his life. My kids try to make him look at pictures in books, watch TV, and even listen to me over the telephone when I was gone recently on a business trip. The dog doesn’t enjoy any of these things. He runs away from the children when they walk in the room. Though he’s a pretty good dog as far as dogs go, he has bitten them on more than one occasion because he’s tired of all the crap they put him through. In fact, tonight each kid had part of the dog in their hands pulling him like he was a slinky as they argued over whose bed he was going to sleep in.

It was, I believe, quite a kerfluffle.

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Jennifer Johnson needs more time to navel gaze. She writes contemporary romance and has written five full length novels with three publishers. She has also had short stories published in four anthologies from Turquoise Morning Press. Her book, Rescuing Riley, the sequel to Rescue Me, will be released in October of this year from Turquoise Morning.

Find out more about her at

Website: http://booksbyjenniferjohnson.com

Blog: http://jennfrancesca.blogspot.com/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMJ58I

 

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Monday Mayhem – New release, fabulous weekend, & my bed

Soooooo much going on today. Are you ready for this?

Inamorata is now available in all ebook formats! Run, run read!

As I was scurrying about the interwebs this morning (posting links, updating this site, etc…) it suddenly struck me. Inamorata is my fifth…FIFTH…full-length novel released in just eighteen months. The third in 2012. No wonder I’m so damn tired all the time. It’s a sickness, I tell you.

Of course, you know what this means, don’t you? I need to stop screwing around on the interwebs and get to writing. More to come in 2013!

All this release day excitement on the heels of an incredible weekend at the Annual Reader & Author Get Together in Cincinnati. I had such a good time catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and in typical Margaret fashion, making a fool of myself to score a laugh or two.

And THIS! Check out this fabulous blog post on the kindness of strangers – it features one of my best friends AND one of MY BOOKS!

And last night, I crawled into my very own bed with my warm and snuggly man. Could life get any better? I think not.

Whew! How’s your Monday going?

Here are a few pics from the weekend:

TMP Authors
Slept with my editor, the fabulous Lola del Sol, in order to earn extra commas.
Bribed Kim Jacobs, Publisher, with a ginormous Diet Coke from Sonic.
Mugged for the camera with Renee Vincent
Spent time with some of the best friends any woman could ever have.
Fangirled Jill Shalvis
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