Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sipping Sangria!

When I first wrote NO SWEAT PANTS ALLOWED- WINE CLUB I knew I wanted to also write a sequel. In the course of writing, sometimes a writer's muse takes a detour. Mine did. I wrote another book (I'd Rather Be Growing Grapes) instead of the sequel. For that, I could kick myself in the butt because it delayed things and some readers have forgotten the characters. One good thing came of the delay, instead of just a sequel I decided to make it a 3-book series -- appropriately named: Wine and Sweat Pants Series.

It's been an incredible journey creating Elaina Samuels and her band of unruly cohorts -- Tawny Westerfield, Stephanie Mathews, and Grace Cordray. These women had me in stitches a lot of the time, but I admit to a few tears as well. The humor is plentiful. The situations I put them in are realistic, although some may not share the same opinion. If those folks only knew my fun-loving, quirky relatives that these characters are fashioned after. (Truth. I swear.)

Through Elaina, Tawny, Stephanie, and Grace, I wanted to convey the message that life will always be unpredictable but when you surround yourself with positive energy you can survive just about anything that comes your way. These women found themselves single at a time when they should've already weathered most of the storms in their lives. But the big guy in the sky had alternate plans for them. In their forties, with no clear plans for starting over, fate stepped in and put them together at a cash-for-gold event. Their destinies began at that moment. They formed the No Sweat Pants Allowed - Wine Club in book one. In this book - book two - Sipping Sangria - they teasingly and affectionately call themselves The 4 Hussy Homestead as they move forward in their attempt to get life right-side-up. You can expect some surprises, mischief, chaos, tender moments, and laughter.    

I hope you'll discover (or rediscover if you read book one) and connect with Elaina, Tawny, Steph, and Grace. 

Side note: I've started book three -- Merlot in Maine.







Friday, August 12, 2016

Meet author Pamela Cummins!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing and interviewing author Pamela Cummins! I met Pamela on Twitter. She's a fun, positive personality. You can count on her to tweet something that will make you smile. I look forward to her tweets that begin with 'Happiness Is...'


Meet Pamela



On with the interview so you can get to know Pamela.

Q: Pamela, you write in a very different genre than me. Can you tell our readers about your genre and how you came to write it?

A:  I write in the self-help nonfiction genre to help people with their personal growth, spirituality, and love relationships. The way I came about writing in this genre is through my own self-growth and spiritual journey that began in 1989. My life went from misery to acceptance, love, and happiness; intuitively I knew that I had to share what I learned with the world. I opened my practice in 1993 and have been a teacher/student ever since. My articles, blogs, columns, and books are a reflection of what has and hasn't worked with mine and my clients' lives. I do best to explain complicated techniques in an uncomplicated way with easy to do steps. My hope is that my written words encourage my readers to make positive changes in their lives.

Q: Your new book is titled, Learn the Secret Language of Dreams. Many of us have been baffled by our dreams. Can you share a little bit about your book regarding our dreams without giving too much away?

A:  Yes, Jan, dreams can be baffling at times, and yet they are so fascinating! Learn the Secret Language of Dreams teaches about our different dream categories, which has a variety of styles within each category. The book has close to fifty dreams and interpretations to help the reader understand these dream categories further. The dreams and their interpretations are from mine and my client's dreams and my column In the Dreamtime in Bellesprit Magazine. My intention for writing this book was for my readers to learn and comprehend what their dreams are communicating to them. And their dreams are communicating: answers to their problems, issues they have been in denial about, glimpse of the future, and much more information to help them grow. 



Q:  This is your 4th published book. Could you say a few words about the first 3 books?

A:  In a nutshell; all three books educate the reader to look within and grow so they can attract a long lasting, committed love relationship or improve their current one.

Q:  You host a radio program. Can you enlighten us regarding it?

A:  I just love hosting The Love Channel Show because it's fun doing internet radio! Since love is everything, there is a wide range of topics from relationships, spirituality, healing modalities, bringing more abundance into our lives, owning your own business, self-growth topics, and much more. I do some shows by myself with a topic and do one question readings for listeners who call in. I also have guests whose lives and specialties I find interesting, which is one of the bonuses of being the host.

Q: You're a very focused, positive woman that I met on Twitter. How do you maintain such an upbeat frame of mind?

A: Oh, I have my very human moments! LOL! The number one thing that helps me stay upbeat is my relationship with God. I trust God even if I don't like what is going on in my life. I wasn't always like that and had to learn how to be positive and trust God's will for me. That took years and brought life experience wisdom. I ask God every day, "Please keep my thoughts positive and filled with hope so you and I can create an awesome life filled with love..." What helps me to stay positive is prayer, meditation, and trusting my intuition. I do my best to stay away from negativity, whether that is the news, books, movies, and people. Another thing that helps is when something upsets me: I allow my feelings to come up, release my emotions, and at times I focus on what's wrong with the person or situation for a little while (hey, I am human). Then I look within myself to see my part: did I cause it, is it a reflection of me, is there an issue I need to resolve, what steps I need to take, and what I learned from it. A wise woman once told me, "Out of horror can come beauty," and I look for the beauty. 

Q: When you're not writing, what do you do for fun?

A: The physical activities I enjoy are yoga and long walks in nature because it keeps me grounded in a meditative way and makes my body, mind and spirit feel great. These days my fun is the simple things in life: being with friends and family, good conversations, and quiet nights at home with my man. I do love going out to eat at different types of ethnic restaurants and Eastern NC shrimp and oyster burgers - yummy. Travel is fun once I get there; I'm looking forward to the day I can say, "Beam me up and beam me down, Scotty." My favorite thing in life has always been reading; a day reading in bed is a day of joy!

Q: You have awesome pets. Share a few words about the joy they bring.

A:  You got a couple of hours? Just kidding. I have two spoiled rotten cats. Merlin is very outgoing, can have The Bruiser moments, so loving and almost human at times. He is well known in social media because he doesn't mind his picture taken; shy Rhiannon on the other hand, hates it and runs away. They bring me joy by being their cat selves, loving me, and letting me love them.

It's been great getting to know you better, Pamela!

If you'd like to follow Pamela you can find her here:

Website

Learn Dream Interpretation


Twitter

Blog

Pamela's Psychic Insights






Friday, July 29, 2016

An Angel's Song by Sharon Saracino!

I'm excited to help my dear, good friend, Sharon Saracino with her cover reveal for book #4 in her Earthbound Series...

AN ANGEL'S SONG!




Can an Earthbound Angel overcome Djinn, shattered trust, and his own demons to regain the woman he loved--and lost?

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: TBA
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor DCA Graphics

Blurb:

After ten years of separation, Tessa and Alec are called to the deathbed of Tessa’s father and tasked with solving a mystery that points to WWII, the Nazi rĂ©gime, and the shadowy world of the Djinn. Although their passion still burns, forgiveness requires more than desire.

 Alec, the Riddle King to the Defensori, is used to shutting out the world and working on his puzzles alone. But this time, he can’t shut Tessa out. This time, he needs his estranged wife's help. Tessa and her gift hold the key, and failure could cost her sanity…or her life.

 Insecurity, immaturity, and misunderstanding drove them apart. Can they rebuild their shattered trust and work together to rescue a captive Djinni, stay one step ahead of the servants of the Fallen, and save their marriage along with Tessa's life?

Excerpt:


     “Tessa…” he stepped toward her and held out a hand.
     “Don’t you touch me,” she warned, taking a quick step back, eyeing him warily.
     Okay, so maybe he’d been an oblivious jackass. Hardly the first time, but maybe it showed progress if he’d noticed without someone else pointing it out?
     “Look, I could have warned you, but frankly it just never occurred to me. You’ve had a long night, and you’re tired and hurting. I get it. I’m not happy about this, but believe it or not, I really am trying to help. I’m not the bad guy here.”
     “Meaning I am?” She spat, stepping right up toe to toe, crossing her arms over her chest, and craning her neck to look directly into his face. “I fly thousands of miles, watch my father die, and then, before I can even process what that means, I am grabbed by you, of all people, and spirited off against my will without so much as a by-your-leave. And you have the audacity to stand there and tell me you’re not happy about this?”
     Alec decided he definitely preferred angry Tessa. Her eyes deepened to the swirling blue of an angry sea and her chest heaved, straining the buttons of the wrinkled white blouse and thrusting her high breasts against the thin fabric. With her bright eyes snapping, red-gold curls tumbling over her shoulders, and her cheeks hot and flushed, pissed or not, she was freakin’ magnificent.


All roads lead to happily ever after!

About the Author:

Award winning author, Sharon Saracino, was born and raised in beautiful Northeastern Pennsylvania. Always the girl with her nose in a book, she frequently announced she was going to write one. One milestone birthday (we won't discuss which one!) she decided someday would be here and gone if she didn't get her butt in gear. She plans to win the lottery just as soon as she remembers to purchase a ticket, fantasizes about moving to Italy, brews limoncello, and believes there's always magic to be found if you only take the time to look for it. 

Where to find Sharon Saracino:








Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Love After All by Julie Tetel Andresen

It's my pleasure to welcome Julie Tetel Andresen to my blog! She's currently on an around-the-world adventure with her son but she stopped by (virtually) to share with us her latest release, Love After All!




 
From Julie...

As writers we have stories we have to tell. I had to tell the story of Laurel and Gino, two 50-something Manhattanites, who find love again later in life. It’s a second chances story – one I hope for myself. One many of us hope for!
 


Gino’s a widower, and Laurel’s divorced. Although they’re way out of dating-game practice – because they’re out of practice – they decide to trade favors: Gino agrees to go to Laurel’s 35th college reunion, in exchange for Laurel going to cancer benefit events with him and running interference on the socialites chasing him.


 


I love creating characters and then seeing what they have to say to one another, finding that moment when they click. In Love After All I needed to craft believable getting-to-know-you occasions between two people with a lot of life experience. I wanted to let their attraction develop and mature. Their story is so different from those in my Forest Breeze trilogy where the attraction between the sets of characters is instantaneous!
 


If you’re a fan of Nancy Meyers films – like Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated – give Love After All a try.


For the next four months Love After All is available on Kindle for $0.99.




 
Here’s the opening scene:


Chapter One


LAUREL


 


I hear my phone ping in my purse. I’m dying to read the message, since I can guess who it’s from. I resist the temptation to look, because I make a point of never being on my phone when our doorman is doing his duty.


 As the door opens for me I say, “Hello, Randall.”


 “Hello, Dean Jennings,” he replies with the hint of a wink.


Randall is adorable. He’s also a tease. He’s been at the Brevoort East about fifteen years now. Over this time he’s taken pleasure in acknowledging me by my ever more impressive titles: Associate Professor, Full Professor, Dean of the Humanities. There was even a year I had to endure him addressing me as President Jennings, given my post at the helm of the American Studies Association.


Because the end of my term is now in sight I can say, “The deanship is only for a few more months. Then it’s back to plain old Professor Jennings.”


With a slight bow he says gravely, “You’ll never be plain.”


I shake my head and counter, “When June thirtieth comes, my carriage turns into a pumpkin. Then some other lucky Cinderella will be dancing at the dean’s ball.”


 “The job is that great?” he wonders. His expression is sly.


“I’ve loved every minute,” I lie, “but I can’t hog all the fun.”


He gives me a cheeky thumbs up.


I smile and move along. I’m eager to get to my phone, so I plop myself down at the nearest bench in the lobby and dive into my purse. I read the text. Emotions whirl through me, too swift and complex to sort and so reflexive I’m not aware of my groan.


It must have been a loud groan – too loud, evidently. The next thing I know a man is standing in front of me, looking down at me with concern.


 “Do you need help?” he asks.


The first thing I register is his voice. It’s deep and kind. He’s about my age, mid-fifties, give or take. I recognize him by his distinctive silver and black hair, which I’ve glimpsed from afar in the building and in the neighborhood in recent years. My impression of him has always been that he’s nicely tailored. Up close I can see he’s very nicely tailored. Otherwise he’s nothing extraordinary. Average height. Average looking.


Do I need help? Yes, in fact, I do. I didn’t rise through the ranks of university administration without making quick executive decisions. I make one now, although what I need is far from professional, and I really, really know I should not do what I’m about to do.


I stand up and hold out my hand. “Hi, I’m Laurel.”


He takes my hand. His grip is firm. “Gino.”


 “I teach English around the corner at NYU.”


 He puts his hand to his chest and says, “Restaurateur.”

His occupation surprises me. “Oh! Any restaurants I’d know?”


 "Of the ones in the Village the closest is Otto’s.”


“On Eighth, of course. I love Otto’s. I go there all the time – mostly lunch, you know, since it’s so crowded in the evenings.” I’m about to expand on this subject but put a stop to possible chatter. I come to my point. “The help I need is to find a date for my college reunion the third weekend in April. I’d pay the plane fare, separate room, and registration.”


I see from the look of dawning horror on his face I’ve made the horrible mistake I knew, deep down, it was. To correct the worst of it I plunge on, “I don’t mean you, no, no, no! I thought maybe you’d know of someone. In your line of work you must know lots of people – chefs, bartenders, waiters….”


Worse and worse and still he says nothing – or maybe I don’t give him a chance, because a split second later I reach down to grab my purse, sling the strap on my shoulder, and hold up my hands in a backing-off gesture.


“Don’t give it another thought! I don’t know what came over me.”

"I'm mortified. I see myself as he must see me: the sad, lonely, slightly crazy woman I swore I'd never be. I turn to go, adding, "But thanks for showing concern." As if thanking him will mend matters.

Before I’ve fully turned, he says, “Maybe I can help you.”


By now my gut is a jangly mess. I hope my face is not completely red. I pull myself together and turn back toward him. “You can?”


His smile is slight. “I think I understand what you’re asking.”


You do?


“I propose we discuss it on Friday evening, if you’re free.”


The poetry reading I’m supposed to attend fades in my mind. I’m stunned into saying, “I’m free.”


“Then meet me at Otto’s between 7:00 and 7:30. I’ll be around there somewhere, so just come to the hostess stand and tell Janie your name and that I’m expecting you. She’ll seat you and let me know you’re there.”


“Okay,” I say. I blink several times. “Thank you.”


At that moment his phone rings. While undoing the top buttons of his overcoat, he nods at me then reaches into his suit coat.


I smile and nod in return. As I walk away I hear him quietly speaking. I move through the lobby, around the adjacent sitting area, and get to the bank of elevators as fast as I can. I punch the Up button several times. I glance nervously down the corridor toward the sitting area, hoping I can get on an elevator before he’s off the phone. I think he was coming into the building rather than going out.


Elevator doors open. I step in and press Fourteen. Doors close. Phew. Now I can collect myself. 

*  Thank you for being my guest today, Julie! Your books sounds like an amazing read!

**  Be sure to check out Julie's blog for her around-the-world adventure updates! You can find it here: Julie's blog!
 


 
If you'd like to discover more about Julie and her books...


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjulietetelandresen


Twitter: https://twitter.com/JTAbooks


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/654435.Julie_Tetel_Andresen







Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Magnificent Agony by Katie Mettner

Over the Memorial Day weekend I read Magnificent Agony by Katie Metter. I've enjoyed Katie's other books but this one is my favorite so far. She touched on a lot of different subjects and spun an incredible story of true and unconditional love. I'd like for you to read the blurb before I share my review.


 
Blurb:


Eve Darling has learned one very important lesson in her twenty-six years; life never goes according to plan. The night of her high school graduation her heart was bursting with hopes and dreams for the future, but the universe had other ideas. Instead of New York and culinary school, she stayed in Magnificent, Wisconsin. Barely an adult herself, Eve was irrevocably tasked with becoming a mother to her big brother, Davis, a man with the heart and mind of a five-year-old boy. Now, seven years later, she's become a successful entrepreneur, chef, and businesswoman. All of those responsibilities came at a price and her personal life was payment. No one was more acutely aware of that than she was. And then, with one phone call, everything changed. 'After life organizer' Abraham Von Sallage was not like any funeral director Eve had ever known. He was young, charming, witty, and had a unique perspective on life, because his business was death. They both carried burdens society couldn't, or wouldn't acknowledge, and because of those burdens, they found an instantaneous connection. That night, as Abraham stood in the doorway of her cooking school, she saw hope in his eyes. And then her world crumbled. An inexplicably cruel twist of fate called into question everything she knew about life, and death. With her soul adrift in guilt, she clung to the only person she could trust to save her from the agony her life had become. Shrouded in grief, it would take the love of one man, and the resolve of an entire community, to show her just how magnificent life could be.





* ~ *  My Review  * ~*

Katie Mettner writes amazing stories. In my humble opinion though, Magnificent Agony is her best so far. Eve Darling had high hopes for her future but everything changed in the blink of an eye. At eighteen she became the care-giver and decision-maker for her mentally challenged older brother, Davis. Seven years later she's still handling the responsibility of Davis but has established herself in the business world as the owner of a kitchen gadget store who also gives cooking lessons in the evening. Enter Abraham Von Sallage; a handsome guy who needs to learn how to cook ASAP. Abraham happens to be the local funeral director. There's an instant spark but Eve has a lot to deal with. She bumps into him later at the grocery store. The attraction she'd put on the back burner can no longer be put aside. Their romance takes off. She's happy. Life is great. And then, in the blink of an eye again, Eve's world takes another cruel turn. This particular event sets the stage for the rest of the story. (I can't say what it is. You'll have to read the story to find out.) I cried like a baby but had to keep reading. With this tender saga, Katie Mettner effectively shows how certain people come into your life at the right time. Magnificent Agony ran me through a gamut of emotions. I felt Eve's joy and experienced her sorrow. Her heart and head were a mess, but Abraham was there for her when she needed him the most. In the midst of tragedy, they found love. One of the most remarkable things about Eve was her strength to forgive. This is an incredible tale that touched my heart and made me wonder how I would react if I was faced with the same challenges and circumstances.

* ~ *




Check out the book trailer:









If you'd like to check out Magnificent Agony you can find it here:



While you're checking out Magnificent Agony be sure to check out Katie's other books on her Amazon Author Page.










Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rockin' it!

Anyone else have a thing for rocks? I didn't realize until today that I may have a rock-fetish or a mild obsession. (lol)


(In case you're wondering the plant is the start of a butterfly weed bush)




Maybe it's their strength that fascinates me, or how great they are under pressure.




I might've got carried away with the rocks. They're everywhere - outside and in the house.  




Betcha didn't know...the scientific study of rocks is petrology. (I didn't know it either)






Maybe in another life I was a geologist! (?)






Or maybe I'm just weird. (Proudly weird, that is!)




And then there's this! My not-so-subtle rock! :)




Guess what's hiding in the rhubarb?


When I'm not collecting rocks, I'm writing rockin' romance! ♥ You can check out my books at:




or












Saturday, May 21, 2016

What has Carol Rose been up to?


What has Carol Rose been up to?

Carol Rose

Carol Rose constantly makes me laugh on Facebook and Twitter. Her posts are sometimes snarky, sometimes steamy, sometimes delicious, and always a treat! She’s been on my blog before and I thought it was high time to bring her back to find out what she’s been up to.

Welcome, Carol!



Before I toss questions at Carol, here’s a little bit about the woman who drives the Texas highways and byways in a hot, bright yellow Honda S2000 convertible. Carol has written thirty books! She’s won numerous awards, including a final in the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. During the day, she’s a therapist. After hours, she can be found tapping away at her computer, creating characters and throwing them in all kinds of situations.




Now, let’s find out about those characters and situations...

Carol, you’ve been a busy gal. You've recently published your Blue Collar Boys series. Care to share the amazing cover art?
 




Can you share some of your favorite passages from the books?


I love when in Smooched, our hero, Case Thompson, challenges the heroine, ER Dr. Merritt Morgan, to work with him on an architectural salvage job, so he can get to know her and judge whether she’s safe to introduce to their niece.

“Case started to say something and then stopped. He swallowed and then said in a deliberate way, “I don’t know you, Doctor. I can’t remember if Annie made her remarks about just her father or her father and you—“

Before he could finish, the woman who looked so much like his dead sister-in-law, put her flattened palm on his desk and leaned forward a little. “Then get to know me, Mr. Thompson. Give me a chance to show that I loved my sister—despite our unfortunate estrangement after our mother died—I loved Annie and I mean absolutely no harm to her child. I’m not trying to take her from you, either. Unless, you refused to let me get to know her…”

Case looked at her beautiful flushed face, getting a wonderful, evil idea. At least, he knew some people—those who didn’t have an orphaned nine year-old niece to protect—would call the idea evil.

“I’m a busy man. I don’t have time for tea parties and dinner meetings. If you want me to get to know you, you’ll have to go where I’m going.”

“I don’t mind that,” she said swiftly, straightening from his desk.

“You might not think so. I do architectural salvage, doc. I don’t work in a bank.” Case knew he sounded condescending, but the beautiful witch wasn’t going away. Tough measures were called for. He wasn’t sure if she really just wanted to get to know Kaylie or if she had a more devious agenda, but there was no way she was waltzing into Kaylie’s life without him checking her out. If he didn’t make himself available to her, maybe she’d just go away.

“I don’t care, really. I’ll hang out with you on jobs, if need be.”

Case looked at her, scanning up her body in snug, undoubtedly expensive jeans to a fine-textured jersey turtleneck shirt that clung to her shapely form.

“Lady,” he couldn’t help the laughter in his voice. “We don’t hang out on these jobs. We work.”

“Then I’ll work, too. Just get to know me, Case, because I can’t not know my sister’s child any longer.”

“You’ll go on salvage jobs? You’ll actually work.” He knew she could have no idea. “It’s dirty, doc. Really dirty.”

Stubborn determination shone from her classic features. “I know how to work. You have no idea what I face in the ER all the time. If going with you on the salvage jobs is the only way to get to know you—to prove to you that I’m not a threat to Kaylie—I’ll go on your salvage jobs.”





There are parts of writing that come easy; others, not so much. What parts give you fits? What parts seem to be a breeze?

Plotting is the biggest challenge for me and I’m kind of a stickler about getting the structure of a story right.

Characterization is way easy for me. It doesn’t take much to send my brain off running.




Bits and pieces of us show up in our characters. Is there one common trait of yours that seem to carry from character to character?


I tend toward characters that are really smart—in different ways—and I’m prone to write characters that are emotionally sensitive(Insert cheesy smile emoticon here).


Are you hard at work on another series?

I’m actually trying something really new and if I succeed with it, it will become a series. I’m writing an Amish romance, entitled Amish Renegade. I might not have ventured into the new territory, however, if I’d realized how much research it would take…





I’ve told my readers about you. I know I’ve only skimmed the surface. Can you expand on who you are – Carol Rose the wife, mother, therapist, and author? Maybe say a few words about Texas for those of us who aren’t Texans?

I know this will be heresy for some, but I’ve never really identified with the Texas character—and I was born here. (Apologies to those who love Texas heritage). I love words, however, and I love relationships. Writing romance is a natural for me. I’m fascinated by the written language. I remember waking in the night when a very young child. I then shared a bedroom with my three older brothers and so as not to wake anyone—I must have been about five—I took a book, going into a short hall where I could close the doors and turn on the lights to read.


It’s been a pleasure having you on my blog, Carol. Come back anytime.

If you’d like to follow Carol, you can find her here:






Website:  carolrosebooks.com


Blog:  carolrosebooks.com/blog


Twitter: @carolrosebooks


Facebook:  www.facebook.com/carol.rose.author


Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/56829.Carol_Rose