Head on over to read Harley's review of Her Last Resort on her site. She's running a rafflecopter until March 20th, for a chance to win all 3 of my Minnesota Romances as eBooks. Good luck!
Do you want to know when I have new books coming out? Or when I'm going to be putting up excerpts and running contests on another site? Usually I offer free eBooks, but sometimes I give the option of a paperback or a gift card, along with a button that says, "Reading is Sexy".
I'm creating a mailing list. Look on the sidebar under the RSS feed icon. Add your name and email and hit submit.
I promise I'll only contact you when I have book news for you. And I won't share your email with anyone else, since I respect the privacy of my friends/readers.
Once I have 10 names, I'll do a random drawing and one lucky reader will get an eBook of her/his choice.
Sign up today!
This month's topic: What's on your bucket list? What do you hope to accomplish?
That's easy: I hope to write a book that will touch the hearts and minds of readers. I want to write a book that everyone is talking about, because they can't get the characters out of their minds. I want to finally be able to say, "I'm a published author" with pride, because others will have heard of the book. I want to be able to take my frequently-ignored husband out to dinner with my royalties, to thank him for being such a supportive man while I listened to my muse and spent hours tapping away on my laptop. But most of all, I hope to meet some readers who have read my books and want to tell me how much they enjoyed it, how it gave them a new perspective on love and life, and how they have put me on "auto-buy", as they anxiously await my next book.
So what about you? Share your bucket list goals, and maybe we can generate good will for all of us to achieve them. Are yours personal, professional, or based on a passion, like mine?
To find out what other authors have on their lists, head to the next one on the list: my friend Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
Yup, that's the cover for my next book, coming out March 1. Isn't it fabulous? I've been sending advance copies out already, hoping for some early reviews. Readers often say they want to read about older romancers. The heroine and hero are in their 50s in this book, with all of the family commitments and baggage that brings. Can they still fall in love? Hells yeah!
To get 50% off all books on the Eternal Press website, use the code: 61NF17DV2LEX
My last 4 books were published by them, and 4 others will be put out as Revised Author Editions, newly published by Eternal Press. I love them!
Go to: http://www.eternalpress.biz
You'll have to register as being older than 18 to buy my books, but for such a great price, it's worth a few minutes!
Or you can head to http://www.CoffeetimeRomance.com
I'm a Featured Author there this year, and will be doing some fun promotional stuff with them, like the contemporary blog date on Feb. 3rd, when I gave away 2 eBooks to lucky readers who left comments.
Right now my books are on sale there.
If you want to get personal updates from me, send me an email and I'll add your name to a list of readers who want to know about my new books. I won't spam or pester you with endless chatter/pitches. Just let you know when I have a new book coming out. I'm at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CoffeeTime Romance does their Book Brew on the first Monday of the month. This month the topic is Contemporary Romance. Both of my Minnesota Romances are on sale there, for a great price!
I'm posting excerpts and running a contest for free books! Come join in the fun, which also gives you the opportunity to win great prizes from other authors, and an e-reader from the site itself!
And I'll be giving a sneak peek into the third book in the series, Her Last Resort, that will be published on March 1, 2015!
What is your favorite time and place to read? How about writing time? Do you have to make time? Do you have a ritual or is your plan helter-skelter?
I read anytime I get the chance. I have books near the chairs in the house that I sit on. In the living room I have a rocker that used to belong to my late Mother. I sit there crocheting afghans when I watch movies with my husband.
"What's that? You're scrolling through Netflix to see what you want to watch next? Let me know when you find something you like," as I dive back into the non-fiction book I've been enjoying.
"You don't want to watch anything now, since you're at an exciting part in the book you're reading? Great! So am I," as I rejoin the characters in the Sci-fi book who are facing life and death peril.
I have a book where I sit at the kitchen table, so when I'm eating alone, I can read. I have a book in the bag I bring with when I sub in high schools, so when I'm in a class that has required reading time each day, I can show them that reading is important to me also. And I have a book in my truck, so if I'm stuck waiting on a train, I have something to read.
Writing time is different. I work multiple p/t jobs, so when I get time off, I catch up on my promo activities first, trying to reach readers who haven't read any of my books yet. Then I go back to my WIPs and decide which one to focus on. Then I spend a couple of hours in the world of my characters...living them, being them, and enjoying their experiences of falling in love.
I write sequentially-meaning that while I have already worked out in my head what the next few scenes will be, I'll write the scenes in the order they occur. The outline is in my head, and I work on the scenes whenever I'm not called upon to be interacting with my surroundings. I use times like when I'm baking or cooking or sewing, to "listen" to characters "talking" to each other. First thing in the morning, if I'm not rushing to get out the door to work, is a great time to "listen". So is last thing at night, before I fall asleep.
I guess my reading and writing aren't that different after all. I squeeze both into whatever minutes I can spare throughout my busy days. How about you? Do you have set times for reading/writing each day? Leave a comment below for a chance to read one of my unpublished short stories.
To find out what the usual suspects do to fit reading and writing into their busy schedules, visit the next author on the Round Robin list:
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Look at the picture. Typical family scene, circa late 60s. Do you want to know the love stories of everyone in the photo? I'll bet some of them are really interesting. Everyone has their own path to romance.
Come read my views on including family in romance novels at my monthly post at: http://sweetnsexydivas.blogspot.com/?zx=19b6edcc01df32d2
This month's topic is about hope, love or forgiveness--all of the things we focus on around the holidays, when we are assessing the past year and anticipating the new one. An organization I'm a member of has a national magazine, and they asked for members to do this in the form of a haiku. Mine was published:
Love shared with others
Returns many times over
Gives my life meaning
I hope you have time during this busy season to share happy moments with people you love. Family doesn't have to be blood relatives--it can be a circle of people who love you, who make you feel valued. Surround yourself with those who share themselves with you, and happily anticipate the coming new year.
(Note: I'll have a few new books coming out next year. After a hiatus due to working so many part-time jobs, I'm hoping for future successes in my writing career. My resolution is to write more.)
Best wishes to all of you!
To see what the other writers on the list have to say, visit them all:
Ginger Simpson http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Rachael Kosnski http://the-doodling-booktease.tumblr.com/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Helena Fairfax http://helenafairfax.com/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Kay Sisk http://kaysisk.blogspot.com
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/
Lynn Crain http://www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/
Connie Vines connievines.blogspot.com
Come and give a listen as the host, Donna Wright, interviews me and 3 other authors about our "Bad boys/bad girls in romances."
I've written a couple of "bad girls" as heroines, though they don't think of themselves as bad, and neither do I. Catalina Reyes in Analysis of Love is a stubborn, highly sexual woman, who plays the field with abandon...until she meets the one man who can be everything she needs.
But the heroine I'll be talking about is Alexandra Blackstone, the biker queen who terrorized Raul in For The Love of His Life. Raul's friend Ivan sends his "cousin" Dmitri to do two things as his wedding gift to Raul:
1-Make sure the drug dealers know to leave him alone from now on, and
2-Ensure that the biker queen never returns to try to "collect" on the threats she made to him in the bar in Grand Marais.
But the biker queen is a lot more complicated than any of them knew, and Dmitri is astounded to find she's a business executive by day, and a redhead...he's always had a thing for redheads.
I'll be the first guest, on at 7pm Eastern time, so 6pm Midwest time. The programs are archived afterwards, so if you're busy on Monday night, you can listen anytime after that, 24/7.
I made 2 pies for our Thanksgiving feast today: pumpkin and chocolate pudding pie. Both recipes are on my "Pies" page. Cranberries? I made a fresh dressing along with a new (for me) recipe for a cranberry fluff.
Maple Cranberry Sauce
1 bag cranberries, rinsed
1 cup cran-raspberry juice
1 cup real maple syrup
Grated peel from 1 orange
--Cook all ingredients in pot until all cranberries "pop" open like popcorn.
--Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup walnut pieces.
--Cool until serving
Cranberry Pineapple Fluff
2 10oz. bags cranberries, rinsed
1 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
--Chop cranberries in blender or food processor.
--Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2 cups whipping cream, whipped until firm
--Fold fruits into the whipped cream
1 10oz bag mini marshmallows
1 cup chopped nuts
--Add to the fluff and chill until serving.
I'd also like to share some thoughts about what we have to be grateful for. Some folks are having a very difficult time, since jobs are scarce, and those there are pay very little. I work 3 part-time jobs myself, for barely over minimum wage, with no benefits. Husband works hard, long hours, to keep us afloat. I pay what bills I can. 1 son will graduate from college next month, and daughter has another year to go. Bills keep on coming, money is gone before it's even in the bank. Society pays lip service to valuing human rights, then slaps some of us in the face, letting us know in no uncertain terms, that while all of us are supposed to be equal, some of us are worth much less than others. Sigh.
So what is there to be thankful for? With age comes perspective...
Life is am imperfect creation, at best. Fate is fickle and justice is blind--a whore who sells herself to the richest bidder. All we can do is grab onto the happiness we can, to make our time here more bearable. Surround yourself with family and/or friends who are surrogate family, and hope everyone can "make nice" for a few hours. If not, that's what alcoholic beverages are for: to kill the pain of not having the "Norman Rockwell" family that we'd all like.
And remember you have the opportunity to make changes, at least in your personal life. My family was a bit dysfunctional, though husband's is much better at respecting each other's differences. Husband and I raised our 4 kids to be very close (and not just in age), and we regard them as our 4 best friends. Often we just turn off all electronics and talk...about anything and everything. Aim for that, and you'll have a haven to relax in, when the pressure-cooker of public life gets too intense to deal with anymore. Hug those you love tightly, tell them you love them, and know that "this, too, shall pass." Or as my late Father-in-Law used to say, "Insure everything and hope for the best."