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 – 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

Facebook or Pinterest

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 – 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 – 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!

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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

Facebook

Goodreads

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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 – Cobbled Together

You remember the old saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes? Well….

I was so busy writng blog posts and answering interview questions that I forgot to write a post for my own blog. How nutty is that?

All is well. I’m crazy busy, both with the day job and the writing. I’ll be traveling quite a bit in coming months. Also trying to meet some deadlines. I plan to take a deep breath somewhere around April.

I think.

Want to know where you can find me this month? Look for me here:

Thursday, October 4, 2012 Everybody Needs A Little Romance >> I’m a regular now! Visit me there the first Thursday of each month!

Friday, October 5, 2012 Diamond State Romance Authors Blog >> I post the first Friday of every month!

Thursday, October 18, 2012 Karen Stivali’s Blog >> Guest posting! Stop by to score my recipe for Chicken Chili!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Sharon Buchbinder’s Blog >> Interview and thoughts about my latest ghostly read, Inamorata!

Oh! And if you like your reading a bit on the steamy side, don’t forget to check out my very close personal friend, Maggie Wells. She has a new short story out this month, a series of sizzling hot novellas coming in 2013, and a slew of smokin’ hot short stories on the horizon. You can get a taste of the delicious things to come by scrolling through her Six Sentence Sunday tidbits!

So….yeah. Other than that, I’ll be around.

I’m here. I’m always here.

Even if I’m not wearing shoes.

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