News

NEWS & APPEARANCES

~USA TODAY FEATURE
Woot. We are on USAToday for our boxed collection: Simply The Best ~ International Digital Award Winners

Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Friday of the Month Recipe ~ Pineapple Fluff Squares


This month's recipe is from Cindy Carroll, it sounds yummy, a perfect Labor Day treat.

Thanks for having me here, L.A. This recipe makes me think of summer. When I lived with my parents my mom would make this when we had family barbecues.
 
Pineapple Fluff Squares:

For the bottom:
  
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup white sugar  
*you will save one cup of this mixture for the top layer
  
Second layer:
  
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups icing sugar
1 egg (beaten)
Milk as needed to make a soft spread
1 tsp almond flavouring
  
Third layer:
  
2 cans crushed pineapple, well drained. (I use small cans of the pineapple)
   
Fourth layer:
  
Whipped cream (either home made whipped cream or Dream Whip)
  
Top layer:
  
Graham cracker crumb mixture from above.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   
Mix the 2 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs with the melted margarine and white sugar. Press into a 9 x 9 pan. Save about one cup of the mixture for the top layer.
  
Cream 1/4 margarine with the icing sugar. Add the beaten egg and almond flavouring, mixing thoroughly. Add enough milk to make a fairly soft spread. Spread over the graham crumb layer.

Cover the “icing” layer with the crushed pineapple. Cover pineapple layer with the whipped cream. Then top with the remaining crumbs.
  
Refrigerate for at least one and a half hours.

 
 
Bio:
 
Cindy Carroll is a member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist.
 
A background in banking and IT doesn't allow much in the way of excitement so she turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her fiancé and three cats. When she's not writing you can usually find her painting landscapes in oil or trying space paintings with spray paint.

Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CindyPCarroll


Sign up for my newsletter: http://www.cindycarroll.com/blog/newsletter

 
 
Blurb For REFLECTIONS:

Stay away from the mirrors
A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. A mini vacation and support for Steve, recently dumped, have the friends travelling through small towns and back roads. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they're all ready for something to eat and a good night's rest.
Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. Though a little run down, it hides a supernatural horror.

Don't read the curse
Everything looks normal when they check in, except an old woman yelling about a curse. Intrigued, some of the friends decide to investigate. Some stay behind and learn about the curse first hand.
Run
A curse that replaces people with their repressed alter egos forces the friends to fight for their lives. And they realize they didn't know each other as well as they thought.
  
Excerpt:
Steve slipped out of Nancy’s room, closing the door with a firm pull. From the silence in the hallway he figured the group wasn’t back yet. Perfect. He made his way down the hall to Margo’s room and pounded on the door.
Keith opened the door, beer in hand. “Dude, what?”
“The girls back?”
“Nah, Lena’s taking them on a mission to find some curse she read about.”
The riddle was far from a curse. Steve could barely control the energy he felt, the need to just do something without his weak repressive side being all moral on him. Keith stepped aside to let him in the room. Steve surveyed the room. Everything still in place didn’t tell him much either. Maybe there hadn’t been as much of a struggle as he’d had. Of course maybe Keith hadn’t looked in the mirror yet. He seemed like his usual self but maybe his replacement was almost exactly like the original Keith.
“I think the curse will find them,” Steve said.
Keith looked at him, quirking an eyebrow up. “Dude, what makes you say that?”
Original Keith. Steve smiled. “How about a beer?”
“Sure. I thought you only drank that cider crap.”
“Special occasion.”
Keith walked, danced, sauntered over to the mini fridge. How he managed to do all three at once baffled Steve. “Sucks, dude, that Rebecca dumped you.”
Steve took the beer Keith offered and nodded. He hadn’t really cared about her but if it got him away from his roommate for a week and sympathy sex he would endure the “there there’s” from his friends. He chugged the beer in one long gulp and let out a burp. He tossed the can over his shoulder then fastened his hands around Keith’s neck.


Buy Links:
 
Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
Buy on Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19Ti2ux
Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M
Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a
 

 

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Encounter With a Book Club ~ As Featured Author

Frankly, while I was thrilled to learn that a book club had chosen my book and had asked me to come visit them and discuss that book, I was terrified at the same time.

Mind you, I'm not afraid of meeting new people and anyone who knows me is aware I can talk up a storm with the best of them. 

But this was MY first book, my first child and I was actually going to hear live, not in a written review of what they thought of it.  I think most creative people are all somewhat fearful that what they put out there will be liked or ridiculed. I was no exception.

Yikes.

Well the 5-W's, The Wild Women of Wisdom, Wine and Words, couldn't have been more fun, gracious and interesting.

Christine, Nina, Missy, Diane, Gayle, Dayle, Jessie, Karen and Rose, thank you so much for having me.  You all hold a special part of my heart as my very first book club.

Christine
Christine isn't in the picture...she took the picture


I'd prepared myself for all sorts of questions, but all the answers flew out of my head as the questions started coming.  Why I picked that cover? What was my theme,? What was my schedule and work flow like? Why Jason acted the way he did and my character's pasts. Did I think it was a romance or a kidnapping?  Why change the cover?

In turn I got to ask them if the characters rang true, did the conflict work for them, was it what they expected, did it satisfy them, did they want to throw it against the wall or stay up and read it? Did the Cate scene when she found her daughter, (no spoiler alert here, promise) drive them to tears as it did me?

They also offered great suggestions for future books and made me think. We didn't always agree, but hey, what more could an author ask for?

Nothing. 

There was wine, food, great conversation and I left feeling stronger as a writer, more confident as an author. I found new friends and maybe they'll read my other books. But that's not the reason for my new found confidence.  It was because they'd read a book of mine and enjoyed it and I got to watch their faces as they said so.

And I believe I even found beta readers for my upcoming release.

So, if you're invited to a book club as featured author, jump at the chance.

I want to do more.  So you if you have a book club...find me at www.lasartor.com and use the contact me link.  I'd love to be there.  In person, via Skype chat or Google hangout.  We can make it work.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Excerpt From A Heart To Heal by Synithia Williams



Blurb:
Shayla Monroe fled her hometown of Helena, South Carolina, after a shocking situation broke the heart of the only guy she’d ever loved. Years later, after losing her job in Atlanta with her name once again shrouded in scandal, she has nowhere to go but home.

Now a devastatingly handsome and well-respected man, Devin Jones became a successful doctor as a way to forget Shayla’s betrayal. When she returns as infamously as she left, he plans to put aside old feelings and treat her as any other person in town. But after looking into her soft brown eyes, the feelings he thought long dead quickly rush to the surface.  

Ignoring rumors, disapproval from family and friends, and promises to avoid each other, the two become friends ... then lovers. Devin wants all or nothing, but Shayla, haunted by her past, is afraid their relationship will damage what’s left of her reputation. Can two broken hearts survive the fight against past and present demons to heal and find love?


Excerpt:  Note from Synithia: This is Devin and Shayla’s first kiss:

Shayla threw down her fork and dropped her head in her hands. “Stop it, stop it, stop it,” she said. She rubbed her eyes, hoping the movement would prevent the memory of that night from coming. The drinking. The shadows. Tony’s body. Devin’s anger. She slapped her hand on the table.
 
“No!”
 
It was time to get out of the house. She jumped up and looked for her keys. It was nearing dusk. No Hangman’s Woods, thanks to her promise to Devin. Her options were limited. The one good thing about being home was that there were plenty of country roads she could drive fast on, with the windows down and the music blaring loud enough to drown out stupid old memories. On the way home she’d stop by a convenience store and pick up a bottle of wine. It wasn’t as if she had a job to go too. She could spend the night drinking away the memories.

She snatched her keys of the counter, before nearly running to the front door. When she wrenched it open she gasped. Devin stood on the other end with his hand raised to knock. She stepped back and placed a hand over her pounding heart.
 
Concern replaced the startled look in his eyes. “Are you okay?”

She nodded. “Yes, I was just about to leave. I need to get out of here.” She tapped her hand on her leg, her eyes looking everywhere but at him.
 
He looked over her shoulder. “Did someone hurt you?”
  
She shook her head. “No.” A caustic laugh escaped her. “Yes. Just not today.”
  
He stepped into the house and placed his hands on her shoulders. They were large and warm, and just like in high school, sent shivers down her spine whenever they touched her.
  
He kicked the door shut and leaned down to look into her face. “What’s wrong? I’m sorry about yesterday. I shouldn’t have dug into you like that. But I’m still your friend. You can talk to me.”
  
She lifted her gaze to his and stopped breathing. Whisky brown eyes stared back at her. The dappled sunlight through her window caught the gold in their depths and the woodsy scent of his cologne washed over her. Then it happened. The concern in his eyes switched to desire. Her nerve endings sizzled, her skin heated. His gaze lowered to her mouth and despite herself, she drew her bottom lip between her teeth.
  
He groaned.
  
She gasped.
  
Kia was forgotten as he slowly brought his head down. Her skin tightened when his lips pressed against hers and without a thought she sank into him.
 
 

 

Bio:

Synithia Williams has enjoyed romance novels since she was 13 years old, so it’s no surprise that she began writing her own. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s working on sustainability initiatives in the Midlands of South Carolina. She lives with her husband, Eric, and two boys.


Links:

Website: www.synithiawilliams.com  

Books:  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Heal-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00CA9DEWK/ref=la_B008QGXWCI_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1365641770&sr=1-3 
Social: www.facebook.com/synithiarwilliams
 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meet Synithia Williams ~ Multipublished Author


It is my pleasure to bring you Synithia Williams who is gracious and fascinating in her interview posted below.

And don't forget Synithia's excerpt from A Heart To Heal on Saturday Aug 24th




Bio: Synithia Williams has enjoyed romance novels since she was 13 years old, so it’s no surprise that she began writing her own.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s working on sustainability initiatives in the Midlands of South Carolina. She lives with her husband, Eric, and two boys.

 


Hi Leslie Ann! Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog today. I hope your readers enjoy learning a little bit more about me.

 
LA: Hi Synithia, I'm so happy you're with us this week.  Ready to start? 
Which aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

Synithia Williams: I love revising more than I do actually writing. It’s hard for me to take off my editor hat when I’m writing and just get the words on the page. I have to force myself to focus on getting the first draft written. Which means it’s awful, but I get to make it so much better during revisions. Then I feel like, wow, this story is really coming together.
   

LA: Describe for us, if you will, your writing style, as in plotter vs. seat of the pants, and do you put more time into developing characters or plot or are they equal?

SW: I am a plot driven writer. Mostly I think of a situation and then write a story around that. Now I’m learning to put more focus on developing my characters. No matter how interesting a situation may be, if readers don’t care about the characters then they’re not going to be invested in the storyline. Now that I’m focusing on my characters, it’s fun to see the way they react to the situations I put them in.
  

LA: What do you do when you find yourself overwhelmed with all the stuff that goes along with writing and publishing?

SW: I find that happening to me all the time! My day job and family keep me busy, and sometimes when I think about all of the stuff I need to do to promote my books I want to panic. I’ve tried to embrace my calendar more and check it often to see what’s coming up. I also set goals for myself, such as dates to finish revisions, time to spend on social media, and delegating certain days for working on blogs and other responsibilities.


LA: What themes do you like to write about?

SW: I like to write about learning to love and trust. Relationships aren’t always easy. People have baggage and old wounds that aren’t always overcome just because they fall in love. My stories usually involve someone changing the way they view relationships and learning to trust in the love of another person.
 

LA: Coffee, tea or other?

SW: Both! Coffee in the morning is a must (as my daily Twitter greetings show). I’m a tea drinker on cold afternoons in the winter.

 
LA: Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

SW: It is soooo hard for me to talk with strangers. People find that hard to believe when they meet me and colleagues are so used to seeing me talk at meetings and during workshops that they assume it comes easily.
 

LA: If you were a dessert, what would you be and why?

SW: Strawberry shortcake. It’s fun and sweet, but also kinda luscious.
   

LA: Do you have a day job, too?

SW: Yes, during the day I work on sustainability programs and policies.
  

LA: Are you superstitious?

SW: Yes (thanks, Dad). I don’t open umbrellas in the house (bad luck), I don’t like to walk across someone on the floor (you cut off their life), and if a cat crosses in front of my car I mark an X on the windshield (prevent bad luck).
 

LA: Societal pet peeve … sound off.

SW: Not that I’m a fashionista or anything, but I hate the overall lack of care about what’s appropriate to wear in public. It’s “okay” to go to a show in wrinkled jeans and a t-shirt, or the grocery store with shorts so skimpy they could actually be panties, and I hate seeing guys in underwear—because that’s what an undershirt is—and sagging pants. It would be nice if everyone took pride in their appearance no matter where they went.
 


Blurb:
 
Shayla Monroe fled her hometown of Helena, South Carolina, after a shocking situation broke the heart of the only guy she’d ever loved. Years later, after losing her job in Atlanta with her name once again shrouded in scandal, she has nowhere to go but home.
Now a devastatingly handsome and well-respected man, Devin Jones became a successful doctor as a way to forget Shayla’s betrayal. When she returns as infamously as she left, he plans to put aside old feelings and treat her as any other person in town. But after looking into her soft brown eyes, the feelings he thought long dead quickly rush to the surface.
   
Ignoring rumors, disapproval from family and friends, and promises to avoid each other, the two become friends ... then lovers. Devin wants all or nothing, but Shayla, haunted by her past, is afraid their relationship will damage what’s left of her reputation. Can two broken hearts survive the fight against past and present demons to heal and find love?
 
Links:

 

 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Excerpt from Tangled Web by Julie Eberhart Painter



  
Note from Julie:
 
Jack, Catherine's boss at the silk mill, is recently widowed. He invites Catherine to come to his house and help him pack up his wife Mary’s clothes for charity.

Excerpt:
 
   When she stood up to leave, she noticed that the servants were nowhere in sight. “Where did everybody go?”
            “I gave them the afternoon off.”
            “Is that proper...?” she asked in a shaking voice. Catherine moved to get her coat, but Jack caught her hand.  “Would you mind staying? I need help sorting through Mary’s clothes. I don’t know what to give to whom. I can’t seem to do it alone. If you help me, we can fill some boxes I’ve marked for Catholic Charities and the WPA program.
            “If you need me...”
            Jack cleared his throat. “If you find something you like, you can take it home—”
            “I’d feel like I was stealing from Mary,” Catherine said.
            “Not at all. Mary liked you; she’d want you to have her things. And it’s important to get the stuff out of here and get on with it. Anything you want; take it, unless it’s been photographed in the newspapers. That might start up the gossips.”
            “I don’t usually see the newspapers, Jack; how would I know what’s been in the papers?”
            “Then we’ll go through them together.” He took her hand and led her up to the bedroom he’d shared with his wife.
            A hush fell over them as they pushed through the door. The lush Oriental rug deadened the sound as it had the night she first saw Mary lying in the double bed. The thick lined draperies were pushed back, allowing the waning afternoon light to radiate into the room. The bed, its spread matching the curtains, was made up tight. The closets stood open, the rose sachet fragrance gone. Jack had placed packing boxes around the room in anticipation of her agreeing to this chore. Did he know she’d be willing? Catherine approached the largest closet remembering the night of the party when Mary had offered her the red dress.
            “She told me she had small feet.”
            “Yes.  No point in saving the shoes for you.”  He laughed, pointing to the shoe rack below. “Let’s put them into these two boxes first.”
            They worked for almost an hour. Catherine took the dresses off the hangers and folded them in tissue paper prepared for the boxes. Jack sealed and marked each box as it filled. Eventually, she came to a cloth bag that held Mary’s heavy fur coat. She unsnapped the top and peered in.  Pulling it free, she ran her hand over the luxurious dark sienna and black fur. “A genuine mink. This is gorgeous. You shouldn’t give this to charity unless you plan to auction it for a monetary donation.”
            “It’s sable, Catherine. Would you like to have it? It matches your hair.”
            “I couldn’t!  It’s not proper.  Anyway, it would make my other clothes look out of place.”
            “Um.” He stood back, his eyes roaming over her, appraising her figure. “I think it’s perfect for you. Try it on.”
            Catherine blushed, but slipped the silk brocade-lined fur over her arms and shoulders. She stood, self-conscious as it tickled her knees. It was a perfect fit and enveloped her like cream in a warm bath.
            “Mary said it took someone with more color in her face to wear it. She was right.” He licked his lips. “She usually wore the squirrel cape. You must keep that coat.”
             Catherine shook her head and began removing it. Jack raced across the room and grabbed her elbows. “Leave it.” He was panting, perhaps from the sprint. She smoothed the sleeves, tears beginning in her eyes. “It’s beautiful,” she breathed, “but I can’t take Mary’s lovely coat.”
             He looked down at her. “You deserve it.” He touched her lips with the tips of his fingers, then encircled her waist and pulled her close to him. “You’re a delicious morsel in this coat,” he said hoarsely. “You would be beautiful, in it or out of it.” He slid his moist lips down her neck and kissed his way back up to her lips. Then he took her breasts in his hands, kneading them, making them swell. Her nipples were marbles. She gasped and sagged in his arms. He caught her, lifting her onto the bed.  His hands traced the line of her legs; his fingers worked at her garters. Her back arched. 
            “This is wrong, Jack. I’m your employee and you’re out of your mind with grief.”
            “I’m out of my mind with . . . with you,” he growled. He lay down close to her and buried his face in the crook of her neck, trembling. “I know it’s wrong.” 
            She felt his tears soaking through the collar of her blouse.
            “I can’t stop,” he said. “I want you.”
            She rolled away from him, and slipped off the bed, but he caught her hand, kissing her palm. “Forgive me. It’s just that I’m so dammed lonely.”
            She nodded and sat on the edge of the bed, her feet to the floor. She smoothed her blouse and pulled her skirt over her knees. “That’s no excuse,” she said primly.
 
 
Buy Links: 

 
Bio: Julie Eberhart Painter, a Pennsylvania transplant now living in Central Florida, is the author of ten books when Morning After Midnight arrives on the scene in January 2014.  
Julie is a regular contributor to http://thewritersvineyard.com/ and featured writer for http://www.wix.com/cocktailsmagazine/fictionandgossip, an online slick. She writes essay/blogs for www.writerbeat.com Her flash fiction appears under http://bewilderingstories.com/bios/painter_bio.htm
   
 

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meet Julie Eberhart Painter & How Her Unique Search Led To Her Book ~ Tangled Web


I am so pleased to bring you Julie Eberhart Painter and her story on how her book came to be.
 
Please welcome Julie and don't forget the excerpt from Tangled Web on Saturday, Aug. 17th.
 
 
 
Where the idea for Tangle Web was born:
 
The Great Depression has always fascinated me, not only was I born just before it ended, I was born of it. The protagonist in Tangled Web is my birth mother, whose name I didn't learn until I was sixty-two-years old and had raised three children of my own.

Before knowing about the real Laura Jones, my real birth mother’s real name, I had been informed by the state of Pennsylvania that her name was Catherine Lang, the progenitor on my birth certificate. This had to be an obvious fake and was uncovered, in of all places, the small island of Islay (pronounce eye-la) between Scotland and Wales. Several boozed up Welshmen sampling the Laphroaig scotch were happy to tell me Lang wasn't the proper spelling for Lange. “Lang is Scottish,” they sneered. 

These dismissive remarks reignited my desire to look for my birth family.
 
I had begun writing my memoir, including my volunteer history, which I separated out for another book, From the Inside Out, available in e-book from Barnes & Noble. While compiling the memoir, my editor suggested I was missing a key focus:  You continually blindside me with your humor and your thoughts about your search through your adoptive life, but what you are not addressing is the adoption itself.” 
 
She was right and my search began that very week.
 
From the non-identifying information, the only data allowed in Pennsylvania, I learned some very disturbing facts:
 
At the time of your birth, your birth mother was 28 years old. Because of her wish for secrecy regarding her pregnancy, as she was not married, she sought adoption planning for you.
Society was not accepting of an unwed mother at that time, and it was quite common to conceal a pregnancy and plan adoption. Her family made every effort to conceal this as well, as they were quite upset.  As a result of this wish for secrecy, your mother registered during her “confinement” at the Florence Critterdon ( Crittendon) maternity home in Wilkes-Barre, under an assumed name.  She also gave you an assumed name and it was these names that were placed on your original birth certificate.
Your birth mother placed you with the United Charities of Wilkes-Barre, with the intention that you would be placed for adoption. You were in a foster home, or boarding home as it was called at that time, under the auspices of United Charities of Wilkes-Barre until 1/6/37.  You were then transferred to a temporary foster home in Philadelphia , through the Children’s Aid Society of PA.  You remained in this home until you went to live with your adoptive family on 4/16.37. 
The social worker from United Charities who saw your mother at the time of adoption planning, felt that she was confused and upset and had difficulty recalling the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy. Your mother told the worker that she was engaged to a rather prominent politician, but did not consider marriage for some time. He was not the birth father however; rather, your mother indicated that the pregnancy, which she was not aware of until her fifth month, was the result of an assault when coming home from a party. She indicated that she did not really know what happened.
After the search, while on the phone with the social worker in Philadelphia who knew more than I ever would, she asked me, “How do you feel about your mother being raped?”
My first thought was, “Sad for her. Her life was ruined.” 
 
“Maybe not,” the social worker said. “Maybe she made a life for herself after she gave you up.”
 
And my book was born! What if my mother newly released from her prison of pregnancy took her sister and moved from the judgmental neighbors' eyes to begin a new life. She was 28 when I was born—not the usual age for unwanted pregnancies in the dark and cautious days of the Depression.


Blurb: The community

The cohesive Welsh community was a haven of Protestant values and mutual support. It was also a hornet’s nest of gossip. Neither a canary’s death nor a girl’s fall from grace escaped the community chatter.

Good girls avoided the attention of the grandmothers’ grapevine by behaving--in public--as ladies were expected to behave with good manners and self-control. In private, emotions roiled, passions were explored, appetites satiated, and the end results “talked about.”


Bio: Julie Eberhart Painter, a Pennsylvania transplant now living in Central Florida, is the author of ten books when Morning After Midnight arrives on the scene in January 2014.
Julie's Avatar for Cocktails Magazine


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Julie is a regular contributor to http://thewritersvineyard.com/ and featured writer for http://www.wix.com/cocktailsmagazine/fictionandgossip, an online slick.
 
She writes essay/blogs for www.writerbeat.com
 
Her flash fiction appears under http://bewilderingstories.com/bios/painter_bio.htm


 
  

Repost.Us