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 – It’s been mayhem!

Just a short post as I am just back from celebrating Christmas with my family up north, and now I’m getting ready to do it all over again down here.

The winner of last week’s $5 Amazon card was Renee Vincent! Congratulations, Renee!

I’m going to take the next couple of weeks off from blogging, as I’ll be doing some website maintenance. Finger crossed, I’ll have a whole new look for you in 2013.

I want to to thank you all for making 2012 an incredible year for me. You have been my inspiration, and I appreciate each and every one of you.

To prove it, I’m giving away one more Amazon card – this one for $10!! Comment on this post and tell me what 2013 has in store for you, and you’re in. Yes, I am that easy.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year!

xoxo

Margaret

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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 – 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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Let the madness begin!

The winner of last week’s contest was Christine! Thank you all for your comments!

Okay, so we’ve made it through Thanksgiving and I can now turn my attention to Christmas. Unlike many retailers, we do not acknowledge the approach of the December holidays until after the November birthdays and Thanksgiving Day have passed. That being said… Look what followed me home from the tree farm yesterday!

Isn’t he cute? I have him up here in the writing nest with me where I can give my little Charlie Brown tree the love he needs.

You see, I may refuse to shop in April or decorate in July, but I love the holiday season. I believe that the nearly four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas provide ample time to scatter glitter around my house (indoors and out), tie bows on everything that doesn’t move (and some that do – sorry Tim), and stimulate the economy with impulse buys (see picture above).

So let the madness begin! We’ve tagged our tree and will go cut it down in a couple of weeks. I’ll be making a list of baking supplies and going to the store twice because I inevitably find a new recipe I simply must try. The hubby will be dragging boxes of decorations up from the barn all week.

So, are you one who starts early or are you fashionably late to the holiday party? It’s okay if you’re already there. I won’t mock you too much for being a holiday overachiever. Much. 😉

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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 – Influenza Edition

I’m ill. The dog ate my homework. There was flood. Fire. Famine.

Only one of the above is true. I’ll leave you to your conjecture.

I’ll also share this fabulous promo shot for Inamorata.

Come on. Tell me you don’t want to spend a little quality closet time with Frank DeLuca….

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Monday Mayhem – Festival of Fried Food!

October in Arkansas means it’s State Fair time. We go each year as a family, and we always have a blast. This year we saw:

Bunnies!

And bears!

And weird women!

Oh my!

But the star of the show for the Ethridge family is always the delightful array of deep fried foods available for consumption:

Twinkie, pickles, and pecan pie!

For me, the biggest hit was the deep fried pecan pie. Even better than a funnel cake. Yum!

Do you have an annual outing with your family?

What tops your hit parade for deep fried goodness?

Come on, dish!

 

 

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