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Friday, February 28, 2014

Last Friday of the Month Recipe, J. D. Faver's Irish Potato Soup & an excerpt from Bad Karma

 
 

How can one not like a recipe that is called Irish Potato Soup, I'm drooling already.

J.D. Faver’s Family Recipe Irish Potato Soup
 
 
The Irish version of chicken soup came over on the boat with my ancestors during the potato famine. I updated it as I rarely have time to milk the cow and skim the cream off the morning’s milk. We call it “Irish penicillin” because it fixes you right up, no matter what ails you.

3 pounds peeled russet potatoes cut into chunks
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
3 cans chicken stock or water with chicken bouillon cubes
Salt
White pepper
1 tall can evaporated milk
1 stick butter or margarine

Place potatoes, celery and onion in a large stockpot. Add enough chicken stock or water (with bouillon cubes) to generously cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the vegetables, slightly. I just use a potato masher or a fork against the side of the pan. You still want it to be chunky, but mashing part of it makes it rich and creamy. Add entire stick of butter and can of evaporated milk. Add white pepper and salt to taste.

Blurb:

With a vengeful stalker on her trail and a hurricane in the Gulf, Skyler Danforth relocates to South Padre Island only to find a new danger when her neighbor, Zach Bailey takes her heart by storm. Sky tries to fit in and be patient when she realizes she is falling fast for Zach, but he's on the rebound and cautious. Sky is a nurse and after two attempts on her life, moves to South Padre to live with her baby sister in hopes of eluding her stalker.

Cassie, a brilliant prodigy, is in over her brainy head when a local heart-breaker and fire fighter, Javier Rios pursues her. He is attracted to her natural innocence and beauty, but thinks she is only a restaurant delivery girl. He falls hard for the geeky, Master’s degree wielding Marine Biologist.

When the storm comes ashore and the island is evacuated, Sky and Cassie are trapped in the fortress-like hospital with a woman in labor, a heart attack victim and the stalker. Locked out, Zach and Javi use their own unique talents to breach the impenetrable medical facility, each sacrificing something of great personal value in the process. The easy going Zach is forced to step way outside his comfort zone and fight to protect the woman he loves.

Excerpt:
 
Skyler was embarrassed. She’d practically thrown herself at Zach and he wasn’t all that interested. Still, he’d kissed her and it was an amazing kiss, stirring her insides like a blender on high speed. She licked her lips, trying to taste its remnants

Zach walked along beside her, but he seemed preoccupied. At least she didn’t have to make conversation. She heaved a little sigh of relief when she spied the house with her Audi parked in front. Cassie was awake by now and she might have prepared breakfast.

“Thank you, Zach for taking me for a walk.” She tried to avoid his penetrating gaze. “I enjoyed it.”

“So did I.”

She flashed him a nervous smile, noting his serious expression. Those green eyes could sure look grim.

He shoved both fists in the pockets of his swim trunks. “I think I gave you the wrong impression.”

Sky ducked her head and swallowed. Yeah, I thought you wanted me to kiss you.

Zach cleared his throat. “The kiss was great, but it’s just that...”

“Don’t worry about it. I shouldn’t have...”

He held up his hand, effectively silencing her. “It’s just that I haven’t kissed anyone in a while and it took me by surprise.” He stared down at her, trying to gauge her reaction.

“Well, I...I haven’t kissed anybody in a long time either and if I misinterpreted your interest, I’m sorry.” She finished all in a rush, aware that her color was rising. Damn that blush reflex.

One side of his mouth quirked up in a lop-sided grin. “You didn’t misinterpret a thing.”

Sky met his gaze, a shiver playing around her spine.

Zach’s fingers grazed her cheek and he bent down to place a gentle kiss against her mouth.

The fluttering of butterfly wings filled her chest. When he drew away he stood gazing down at her, which made her feel tongue-tied. She sucked in a deep breath and blew it out all at once. “Well, now I know.” She grinned up at him, trying to maintain some semblance of control.

He grinned back. “Now you know.”
 
To Buy:


Bio:
J.D. Faver lives near Houston, Texas. She writes steamy contemporary romance and romantic thrillers/mystery/suspense.

She loves to kill people...on virtual paper, that is. Although she writes daily, she still finds time to enjoy family and friends.

She is a foodie and an adventurous cook. Determined to preserve generations of family recipes, she is publishing a series of cookbooks entitled A Texan in the Kitchen.

All other interests (painting, drawing, sewing, quilting, crocheting, weaving, stained glass and pottery) have taken a back seat since they require hands-on participation which is difficult if your fingers are always on the keyboard.
An active member of several Houston writer's organizations, she belongs to National RWA and is a member of Houston chapters.
She is owned by two cats and a small, yappy rescue dog. As a former educator and healthcare professional, she is an advocate for children, animals and elderly/disabled individuals.


She would rather be sailing or on a beach somewhere, but if not, you can probably find her with her fingers on a keyboard, pouring word images onto the virtual films playing in her head.

 
Find J.D.:
 

 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meet Author Kayelle Allen and How to Write a Series



 Today, I'm pleased to bring you Kayelle Allen, seriously, one of the busiest women I know and her post on writing a series.
 
And don't forget her excerpt from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure on Saturday.

AND A GIVEAWAY

"Thank you for popping in to read today. As my gift, please accept The Tarthian Empire Companion Book, First Edition. This is 23 pages of images and info about Tarth and all the other places in the empire. When you click it, this will either offer you a download, or open in a new window, depending on your settings. To read it, you need Adobe Reader, available free. http://is.gd/seeTarthCity"

 
What Was I Thinking? 

The alternate title for this could be "You Can't Write a SciFi Series Without Losing Your Mind" but I'll settle for the shorter one. Thanks for inviting me today, LA. I appreciate being part of your blog. I know you're busy -- you're an author and have a real life at the same time. That's two full-time jobs right there, not counting family or a day job.

When I started writing the series I've undertaken, I did it because it seemed like the smart thing to do. Writers -- especially SciFi writers -- create new worlds and civilizations, and then craft an entire book around them. Next book, they start all over from scratch. I could not imagine doing that. If I was going to do a bang up job on writing a series, I decided I'd write more than one book in it. I'd get my money's worth, so to speak.

So I sat down and over a period of days, hand sketched my version of the Milky Way galaxy, and decided I needed a history for it. Not past, mind you -- future history. I spent months writing details for that. I wasn't ready for publication yet. I wasn't even ready to write a book yet. I was just world building. I know most people probably don't spend that kind of time, but since I planned to write multiple books, I wanted the details to be right.

Plus, I was scared of being rejected, so the longer I could put off writing, the better. I put it off for about twenty years. I finally realized time was sailing past and I hadn't done what I set out to do, so I knuckled down and started writing. Once I had the plot done for the first story, I wrote it quickly. I started in November, finished it in February, and it was published in July. The next book came out that December. Wham bam thank you ma'am. It was great fun.

But then I realized I had a slew of other books to write, and I needed to make sure the details all jived. I needed a "bible" of details. I had kept notes from the beginning, mind you. I was the queen of advance prep, but I had more work to do. For one thing, I had an alien character with a cat-like language. I developed a lexicon of words, wrote detailed info on how they spoke, and listed an entire bevy of handy phrases to know.

The thing with a series is you need to make sure your left-handed protagonist doesn't become right-handed in book three, unless there's a good reason for it. He should keep the one blue eye, one brown eye all the way through the series. If he's a level 19 thief in the Thieves' Guild in book one, he shouldn't be an 18 in book two unless he's been demoted. Keeping the details straight means keeping notes.

I use combinations of things. I have Excel spreadsheets, documents, lexicons, and lists, and an enormous collection of images to remind myself what something looks like. Was I ever excited to discover Pinterest! I have an entire board there just for two characters. Pinterest can be a writer's dream.

One part of my series takes place in the Tarthian Empire, and there are currently 22 inhabited planets. Naturally I had to write a bit about each one. You can tour them on my website.
http://www.kayelleallen.com/TTC-Home.html

If any of you are thinking about writing a series, I'm not suggesting you can't write it unless you spend ages developing your world. But I do think you should write it well enough, with the details in such good order that people will think you did. And please do the number one thing I did when creating it: have a blast.



Blurb:
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure will be out of print after February 28th, so this is your last chance to grab a copy of the Loose Id edition. It will be re-released with slightly different material in the fall, along with a new sequel, and its previous one.

Antonello Brothers 1: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

When the mission goes wrong, risking pleasure is the least of her worries, but Captain NarrAy Jorlan can't get professional thief Senth Antonello out of her mind -- or her heart.

Reader warning: This book is about a professional thief. The author claims no liability for items missing once the book is open, including hearts.


Loose Id
Amazon
Amazon (Print)
Powells (Print)
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Books-A-Million
ARe


Bio:

Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, award-winning Science Fiction Romance author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, role-playing immortal gamers, warriors who purr, and agents who find the unfindable.

Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Romance Lives Forever Newsletter http://eepurl.com/G3YND
Homeworld http://kayelleallen.com
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog


 









Saturday, February 22, 2014

Excerpt from Beverly Bateman's Missing



 
As promised, Beverly's excerpt from Missing...don't miss it.


Blurb:

Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.

Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.

 
 Excerpt:

Allie pushed open the door to the clinic and stepped into the small, crowded waiting room. The slight scent of antiseptic tickled her nose. She stopped. 

Silence crept across the room. One by one, heads turned toward the door.

It might be the novelty of a stranger, but more likely it was the novelty of a stranger in fancy city clothes with a run in her stocking. She threaded her way through the patients to the reception counter. Patients watched her. A few of them put down the magazines they were thumbing through. 

She’d bet a month’s salary those magazines were three or four years old. The furniture in the waiting room had seen better days, but it was serviceable. 

The men and women stared at her, probably wondering who the heck she was. Several patients smiled at her. She managed to return the smiles. At least no one laughed.

A man stood behind the counter, tall, broad-shouldered, and maybe thirtyish He had curly dark hair, a strong, square chin and he caught her attention right away. His cobalt blue eyes, under long dark lashes, latched on to her as she walked toward him. Even partially covered by his lab coat, his muscled chest strained against the white t-shirt. 

If he was the doctor he was definitely not the old geezer she’d expected.

A few feet from the counter, she stopped. His electric blue eyes locked on her. She couldn’t look away. Sensuality oozed across the space between them. Her breath hitched into an irregular rhythm, kicking her pulse up a notch.

“Good, you finally got here. I thought Jean would send someone a little faster.” His rich, smooth voice rolled over her. “Look, we’re backed up. Patients’ files are over there and the appointment book is on the desk. Check them in, pull their file, and put the file in the slot by the examining room door.”

“Excuse me?” She stared up at the man snapping orders at her. She’d run away from one tyrant and had no intention of putting up with another overbearing one, even if he was knock-down gorgeous. His firm abs, linebacker-type shoulders and muscular body did not compensate for his attitude. 

Who did this jerk think he was?

Her back stiffened. She assumed he was the doctor, but his manners confused her. If staff and working partners were expected to put up with this, no wonder they hadn’t been able to find another doctor.

 “You’re not going to make me repeat all that are you? I have a room full of patients. When I asked Jean to send a temp over from the hospital, I thought she’d send someone with training and at least a vague idea of what they were doing.” A sigh slipped through his lips and he rolled his eyes. The look he gave her placed her one step above an idiot.

He pointed to a huge pile of folders. “The patients’ files are…” 

Allie pulled her shoulders back, raised her chin and tightened her lips together. “Excuse me. I believe you’ve made a mistake. First of all, I’m not stupid. Second, I’m not your damn temp. I’m a doctor, Alexandra Parsons, M.D. I understood you were expecting me.”

“You’re the new doc? Shoot. I didn’t expect you today.” The heart-stopping man stared down at her. His full lips drooped in apparent disappointment.

The disappointment could be her or the fact he still didn’t have a temp. She couldn’t tell.

“I arrived early, so I could acquaint myself with the town and find a place to live. I dropped by to introduce myself.”

He focused on her, drawing his eyebrows into a frown. “You’re the new physician? I should have known by that fancy outfit, it screams big city.”

“Sorry. I’ve just arrived and haven’t had time to get my jeans and plaid shirt yet. I’ll move that to the top of my list, so I’ll fit in.”

A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, but he controlled it, as he ran his fingers through the tangle of dark curls.

Buy links:Amazon
Sony
Nook
iBookstore
 
 
Bio:

I’ve said in other interviews that I think I’m really quite a boring person because everyone else is traveling to wonderful places and doing exciting things. I’ve been told boring is individual so maybe I have a quieter lifestyle. I’m Canadian and live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, BC. It’s beautiful country and I love it here – in the summer.. There are large lakes, beautiful beaches, orchards of apples, pears, peaches plus raspberries, blueberries and lots of other fresh produce. And of course, it’s wine country. We have world class wines which I feel is my obligation to taste.

I write, edit, workout and spend a lot of time on the computer. We also have mountains and great skiing, both downhill and cross-country, however, in the winter, I snowbird with my husband, and two Shiba Inu dogs. I prefer San Diego and Tucson to freezing temperatures and piles of snow.

Find Beverly:
Blog
Website
Twitter
Pinterest
Facebook
Goodreads


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beverly Bateman on My Way or Their Way -Indie vs Traditional Publishing, Chime In




 
Today I'm pleased to bring you Beverly Bateman.
And don't forget her excerpt from Missing on Saturday
 

My Way or Their Way -Indie vs Traditional Publishing

When I first started writing it was the traditional way; write, submit to an editor, get a rejection, get depressed and then try again. Then editors got so busy we switched; write, submit to agent, get a rejection and try again. Vanity press and self-publishing were dirty words. I got published by several small press publishers in both print and e-book. I learned a lot from them, but when you told people who you we published by, they treated it like vanity publishing. 

Then Amazon developed the Kindle and e-books took off, as did Indie authors. I got my rights back for the books I’d published several years ago. There was nothing wrong them but they didn’t do much marketing and took a fair percentage of any sale. I decided to become an Indie author.

It was a great decision. I love it. There’s a learning curve and you have a lot more work because you’re responsible for your own editing, formatting, cover and marketing, but you have the freedom of doing it your way.

I’m seeing posts from Indie authors who have been offered a contract from a traditional publisher. They’re struggling with their decision. I’ve thought about it, but I love the control I have and the freedom of being an Indie author.

What about you? Do you still want to go traditional with a New York publisher, love being an Indie or maybe combine both? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


 LA: Chime in, give us your pro's and cons.


Blurb:

Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.

Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.


Buy links:
Amazon
Sony 
Nook
iBookstore


Bio:

I’ve said in other interviews that I think I’m really quite a boring person because everyone else is traveling to wonderful places and doing exciting things. I’ve been told boring is individual so maybe I have a quieter lifestyle. I’m Canadian and live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, BC. It’s beautiful country and I love it here – in the summer.. There are large lakes, beautiful beaches, orchards of apples, pears, peaches plus raspberries, blueberries and lots of other fresh produce. And of course, it’s wine country. We have world class wines which I feel is my obligation to taste.

I write, edit, workout and spend a lot of time on the computer. We also have mountains and great skiing, both downhill and cross-country, however, in the winter, I snowbird with my husband, and two Shiba Inu dogs. I prefer San Diego and Tucson to freezing temperatures and piles of snow.


Find Beverly:
Blog
Website
Twitter
Pinterest
Facebook
Goodreads



Monday, February 17, 2014

Scriptscene Offers Class on WordPress and Blogging 101


Only at Scriptscene.

All are welcome, you don't have to be a member of Scriptscene or RWA to take this class.




 
 Wordpress & Blogging 101

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. It’s used on many hosting companies from Godaddy to Dreamhost. It also has a free option via wordpress.com. Just like all technology it looks has a lot of perks, but how to learn them all? Lots of options become scary and complicated! Who has time to learn for something new? Don’t know all the resources or who to go to? Then this is the perfect class for you! 


Day One: Introductions

Day Two: Know Your Resources/Where to Start/hosting/wordpress.com
· Hosting companies that offer wordpress for a fair price
· What does wordpress.com offer?

Day Three: The Wordpress Dashboard
· Logging into your account
· Managing Comments
· Tracking statistics
· Customizing the dashboard’s appearance
· Updating your personal settings and profile
· Updating general settings

Day Four: Themes & Customization
· How to I customize my page?
· What are themes? Where can I get them?
· Learning how to customize a header.
· Custom fonts

Day Five: Plugins
· What are plugins?
· What plugins can offer and where to get them.

Day Six: Writing a post or a Page.
· How to add a post and what is quick press?
· Adding links
· What are categories and tags?
· Scheduling a post
· Copy/pasting a post

Day Seven: Adding and Managing Media
· How to add a photo
· How to add a video
· Adding pdfs, .doc, etc.
· How to manage your media

Day Eight: Working with Link Lists
· Adding links
· Managing links

 
Day Nine & Ten: Questions and Answers

 

About the Presenter
An RWA member since 2005, Denise has served the board of Celtic Hearts, Hearts Through History, and Scriptscene.  As an Award Winning author, she always tries to find time to help contests and chapters alike through volunteering.  Denise has her Bachelors in Marketing and PR and an MFA in Creative Writing.
BA in Marketing and PR from Ashford University
MFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University
DeniseAlicea.com 
Thepenmuse.net


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Excerpt From Behaving Badly by Kristen Beairsto




 As promised, here is the excerpt from Kristen Beairsto's Behaving Badly.

 
Blurb:  Delaney Pierce is desperate, no, determined, to rebuild the family business, Manners Matter, after the disaster her own mother brought down on it, and her, a year ago. With two crazy aunts living life moving from one misadventure to the next and her younger sister waitressing to help make ends meet because Manners isn't bringing in enough money to sustain them, she pins her hopes on her commission to curb the undesirable habits of Cyrus Chapman, one of New York's premier businessmen and one of the city's most eligible bachelors.

            Cyrus Chapman is less than thrilled to find out his father hired a life coach (whatever the hell a life coach does) of all things to help him cease the behaviors his father finds unfavorable rather than just discussing the manner with him. He’s not really surprised by his father’s heavy handedness, however he isn’t about to comply that easily. But when his father threatens him with his future position as CEO of Chapman Industries, Cyrus has little choice but to agree to the farce. At least, until he can come up with an alternative.

            Delaney’s resolve to succeed with Cyrus is immediately put to the test during her very first meeting with him and she realizes that no matter how much she prepared for all that was Cyrus, it all paled in comparison to the real man. She believes they come to an understanding, even going so far as to agree to act like his girlfriend to hide their arrangement from the press. But when her reputation, along her mother’s antics, get rehashed and dragged through the mud by the press less than twenty-four hours after being hired because of Cyrus’s actions, she’s rethinking her ability to handle the situation.

             When his new life coach aptly puts him in his place, Cyrus finds himself in the unfamiliar position of feeling guilty. And intrigued. Before long, he also finds himself in the unaccustomed position of fighting for more than just a professional relationship with Delaney while she tries to keep him at arm’s length.

         But Delaney can’t entertain the idea of having more than a professional relationship with Cyrus. After all, that’s something her mother would do and she’s not about to start emulating that woman now. However, fighting her attraction to Cyrus becomes harder and harder the more she’s around him and she finds herself wondering if she’s become so wrapped up in trying not to be her mother that she’s forgotten to just to be herself.

 
Excerpt:

Pausing, he tried to feel a little guilty about the bomb he planned to drop on her and the fact that he couldn’t wait for her response.  But he failed miserably.  “We’ll have to pretend to be lovers.”

Her jaw dropped.

“After the sessions are over,” which will be quickly if he had anything to say about it, “I’ll let it be known we broke up and we can go from there.”  It would probably be the longest relationship he ever had, but he tried to not think about that.

A horrified expression slid over her face.

“Absolutely not!”  She shook her head emphatically.

Not exactly the reaction he hoped for, but then again she didn’t exactly act like he expected, so he guessed that made it par for the course.  Despite that, he couldn’t help feeling a little irritated.  He could easily think of a dozen women that would kill to be in her position.

Arching a brow, “Why not?” he asked, trying to hold back his reaction.

A mutinous expression slid over her face, her pale aqua gaze flashing.  “I’m not that good of an actress.”  Despite the clear physical signs of her agitation, her tone came out flat and devoid of any hints of her emotions.

“Okay.”  He let the word slowly roll over his tongue as he tried to think of where she might be going with this.  “So you really don’t know how to smile?  Or is it that you don’t know how to hold hands?  Please don’t tell me you’re a virgin,” adding the last in a teasing tone in an attempt to goad her into revealing something about herself.

Brows narrowing into a scowl, she shook her head.  “That’s none of your business.”

Tempted to check his hair for icicles that had to have formed from her frosty tone, not a virgin, but not getting a lot of action either.

“Are you seeing someone?”  For some reason, the idea of another man being in the picture left a bad taste in his mouth.

“Not that my personal life is any of your business, but no, I’m not seeing anyone right now.”  Returning to her pad, she started making quick notes.

Relief blossomed at her answer.

“So what’s the problem then?”

“The problem is I don’t like you very much.  I’m not capable of pretending to be someone’s lover that I don’t even like,” she replied tightly without looking up at him.

Mentally, he heard the gauntlet hit the floor.  The smug smile that slowly slid across his lips couldn’t be stopped even if he really wanted to.

“I can make you like me,” he promised in his best bedroom voice.

The woman just added to the list of things he found intriguing about her.  Even at moments of being an extreme jerk, he never had a woman admit they didn’t find him attractive.  Not that he could really blame Delaney after the way he acted earlier.

Snorting, Delaney shook her head and rolled her eyes before returning her gaze to her pad of paper.  “I doubt that.”

Challenge accepted!

 Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Smashwords



Bio:
As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.


Find Kristen:

Website,
Facebook
Twitter


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Meet Kristen Beairsto and Find Out What She Has To Confess


 

It's my pleasure to bring you Kristen Beairsto today.  Enjoy!
Don't forget her excerpt on Saturday.


Thanks for hosting me today, Leslie Ann. So here goes....

I have a confession to make: I got the idea for Behaving Badly after watching the movie Magic Mike. J What can I say, I love Channing Tatum and watching him for a couple of hours dancing around with his shirt off is not something I'd miss. ;)

I know, I know, inspiration is supposed to come from awe inspiring, life altering moments.

But what can I say; I like music, I like dancing, Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey aren’t hard on the eyes, and well, I found it all entertaining. J

When I shared with one of my co-workers how I got the inspiration for my story and told her I enjoyed the movie, she looked at me as though I'd grown a second head and exclaimed, "But that was an awful movie!" Well, ok, it wasn't a shining example of cinematic brilliance. But does everything need to be mind blowing and life altering? Can't something just be fun?

I do have to admit that when it comes to my entertainment, I've definitely gotten to the point where I like things light hearted and easy going. Not that I don't enjoy something that gets me thinking, but to be honest, between my work schedule and how crazy life can get, all I really want is something to take my mind off things with something light hearted.

So I’m curious – how do you prefer your entertainment? The lighter the better? Want something to challenge your mindset? Or is a mixture of the two float your boat? Is there a difference between movies and books?

 
Blurb:  Delaney Pierce is desperate, no, determined, to rebuild the family business, Manners Matter, after the disaster her own mother brought down on it, and her, a year ago. With two crazy aunts living life moving from one misadventure to the next and her younger sister waitressing to help make ends meet because Manners isn't bringing in enough money to sustain them, she pins her hopes on her commission to curb the undesirable habits of Cyrus Chapman, one of New York's premier businessmen and one of the city's most eligible bachelors.

            Cyrus Chapman is less than thrilled to find out his father hired a life coach (whatever the hell a life coach does) of all things to help him cease the behaviors his father finds unfavorable rather than just discussing the manner with him. He’s not really surprised by his father’s heavy handedness, however he isn’t about to comply that easily. But when his father threatens him with his future position as CEO of Chapman Industries, Cyrus has little choice but to agree to the farce. At least, until he can come up with an alternative.

            Delaney’s resolve to succeed with Cyrus is immediately put to the test during her very first meeting with him and she realizes that no matter how much she prepared for all that was Cyrus, it all paled in comparison to the real man. She believes they come to an understanding, even going so far as to agree to act like his girlfriend to hide their arrangement from the press. But when her reputation, along her mother’s antics, get rehashed and dragged through the mud by the press less than twenty-four hours after being hired because of Cyrus’s actions, she’s rethinking her ability to handle the situation.

             When his new life coach aptly puts him in his place, Cyrus finds himself in the unfamiliar position of feeling guilty. And intrigued. Before long, he also finds himself in the unaccustomed position of fighting for more than just a professional relationship with Delaney while she tries to keep him at arm’s length.

         But Delaney can’t entertain the idea of having more than a professional relationship with Cyrus. After all, that’s something her mother would do and she’s not about to start emulating that woman now. However, fighting her attraction to Cyrus becomes harder and harder the more she’s around him and she finds herself wondering if she’s become so wrapped up in trying not to be her mother that she’s forgotten to just to be herself.

Buy Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Smashwords

Bio:

In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.

As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

Find Kristen:

Website,
Facebook
Twitter





Friday, February 7, 2014

Excerpt from Kay LaLone's Middle Grade Book ~ Ghostly Clues

 
As Promised, an excerpt from Kay LaLone's Ghostly Clues.
 

Blurb:
The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom.

Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.

Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive.

Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul.  
Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead. 


Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead. The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.


Excerpt:
I cuddled under the covers with my rag doll Allison. 

Pictures drifted in and out of my head while I slept. I woke up sneezing my head off because the room was filled with the scent of lilacs. Grandma? The flowery smell vanished. The room felt creepy, cloaked in darkness, and shadows crept across the walls. I hugged Allison tightly and closed my eyes again. Just as I did a faint squeak coming from the under the dresser grew louder and louder. My eyes flew open. I stared in the direction of the noise in the far corner of the room. My heartbeat echoed in my ears drowning out the squeaking. A strange, creepy feeling came over me. My skin prickled with goosebumps and my whole body tingled. 

Something tugged at the bedspread. Holy smokes. My heartbeat quickened. I scooted up against the wall. The thing inched up toward my pillow. I moved as far away from the ghostly hand as I could get. It was transparent and the pink of the bedspread was visible through it. I screamed, but the sound caught in my throat. It crept toward me, only a hand with no arm, closer—closer—the thing turned whitish, resembling a puff of smoke, and disappeared. I took a deep breath.

My heart was beating so fast it felt like it would pop right out of my chest. With a trembling hand, I clicked on the lamp and glanced around the room. Bathed in the safety of the glowing light, I snuggled back under the covers. I searched for my rag doll, patting around the blanket. It must have fallen to the floor. I looked over the edge, and there, lying on the carpet was Grandma’s diary.

“What the…?”

I reached down for it, but a stabbing chill shot through me and I jerked my hand back. I wanted to read it but I was too scared. If that was Grandma’s ghostly hand, why did she scare me so badly? 

I nestled my head against the pillow. This was going to be a long night. The light was on, my eyes wide open as I listened and waited. But everything was normal and quiet. How did Grandma’s diary get down there? What was inside? I had to find out. I leaned over the edge. A squeaking sound came from underneath the bed. I jerked away. It will wait until morning. 

The next morning I woke up with the sun peeking through the curtains. I kicked my covers off and climbed out of bed. In the light of day, the ghostly hand from last night couldn’t hurt me, so I lifted the bedspread to look under the bed. Grandma’s journal wasn’t there. Where did it go?

I pulled out a box stuffed with old homework, a ripped tee from soccer camp, and a stack of books. Still no diary. Crumpled against the wall was—my rag doll.

Buy Links:

MuseItUp
Barnes & Noble

Bio: 

I’m Kay LaLone. Ghostly Clues is my first middle-grade novel published by MuseItUp. I live
in Michigan with my husband and teenage son (two older sons and a daughter-in-law live near by) and two dogs and a cat. I love to get up every morning and write about ghosts, the paranormal, and anything that goes bump in the night. Or anything that interest my characters. Making my characters come to life for readers is important to a good story. I’m an avid reader of just about any type of book. I do reviews on the books I read and post them on my website and blog.

Find Kay:

My website
http://www.kaylalone.weebly.com/
My blog http://www.kaylalone.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ghostlyclues
Twitter https://twitter.com/kaylalone

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Meet Kay LaLone, Author of The Middle Grade Novel, Ghostly Clues


Today, I'm pleased to bring you author Kay LaLone, and her novel Ghostly Clues (love the title!)

Don't forget the Excerpt from her book on Saturday!!

KLL: Thanks Leslie, I'm so pleased to be here today.  It's always nice to find a new audience to meet and talk writing.

LA: What’s next for you, Kay? 

KLL: I am finishing revising a YA mystery story, Family Secret. This story has ghosts, witches, and demons in it. Of course, there are other ghost stories in the works.

LA: Which aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

KLL: I love coming up with new ideas for stories. I have a lot of ideas and I hope most of them will become a story. The least thing I dislike about writing is revising. Sometimes I find it hard when to stop revising, when to stop making those changes.

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?

KLL: I love to free write. To just write out the story as it flows in my head. Then comes the hard part of plotting the story and making sure it flows right. The fun part is developing characters. The characters seem to show themselves when I free write.  

LA: Was there a person who inspired you to write?

KLL: I would have to say my mother inspired me to write. I remember in grade school, I'd sit at the kitchen table and write a short story for school and my mother would be there helping me spell. It was fun being creative with my mother.

LA: What themes do you like to write about?

KLL: Ghosts, paranormal, things that go bump in the night. Dreams. I have always been fascinated with dreams. To me dreams reveal a lot about our life and sometimes the future. So I use dreams a lot in stories to give clues to the characters.
 
LA: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and what would you talk about?

KLL: Either Nora Roberts or Heather Graham. These are my two favorite authors. We would talk about writing. I would want to know their secret to making their characters come to life.

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

KLL: The first thing that popped into my head was banana split. Sounds good right now. I think I would be a banana split because you have all these different flavors. I feel I’m like that because I have all these different characters in my head all the time and I never know which one is going to show up.

LA: Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

KLL: Since my mother passed I away recently I have this saying. God is good. Life is good. It gets me through those days when life is hard.


Blurb:
The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom.  

Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know. 

Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive. 

Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul.  

Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead. 

Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead. The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.

Buy Links:
MuseItUp
Barnes & Noble

Bio: 

I’m Kay LaLone. Ghostly Clues is my first middle-grade novel published by MuseItUp. I live
in Michigan with my husband and teenage son (two older sons and a daughter-in-law live near by) and two dogs and a cat. I love to get up every morning and write about ghosts, the paranormal, and anything that goes bump in the night. Or anything that interest my characters. Making my characters come to life for readers is important to a good story. I’m an avid reader of just about any type of book. I do reviews on the books I read and post them on my website and blog.

Find Kay:

My website http://www.kaylalone.weebly.com/
My blog http://www.kaylalone.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ghostlyclues
Twitter https://twitter.com/kaylalone









Saturday, February 1, 2014

Excerpt From Beverly Ovalle's ~ Lightning Strike




Today, as promised, I bring you an excerpt from Beverly Ovalle's Lighting Strike

 
Blurb:
For generations Levi’s family had guarded a sacred glen in the mountains.  Still far from man this isolated area was a favorite spot of his grandfather.  Levi grew up listening to his tales and fell in love without ever having stepped foot there.

Now Levi’s family, led by his grandmother, wanted to sell the land.  With only his grandfather and Levi against it, Levi has to prove to the rest of the family why they needed to continue their guardianship.  Believing in his grandfather’s tales despite himself, Levi went armed with his camera and his well-known expertise behind the lens and headed out for proof. 

Providing that proof and protecting the secrets of the glen from the world, Gaia needs to convince Levi to continue that protection.  Daphnaie, the embodiment of his every dream, is sent to show him why, stealing his heart in the process to save her world.

 
Excerpt:
Levi’s photos always had a way of showing truths the naked eye couldn’t see. That was one
of the reasons both of his grandparents had agreed to him coming here. He had started photography when he was a medic in the Army, taking photos of the aftermath of Iraqi Freedom. Unable to stomach more death and destruction, and desperately needing a peace he couldn’t find, he finished his enlistment. He published the photography that exposed so much of the war, earning almost instant fame. But it didn’t bring him peace. He turned to photographing nature around the world, his treks into the wilds of the world bringing him a measure of what he sought.

He couldn’t wait to see the photo. Wanting to capture the aftermath of the strike, he looked through the lens in preparation for another shot. He thought he saw movement. He straightened up, no longer looking through the lens. Levi saw a figure fall, he swore from the damaged bark of the tree itself. He hadn’t seen anyone in the tree, but then again he hadn’t been paying attention to anything but the deadly beauty of nature.

Moving swiftly to the base of the tree, he found a crumpled heap in the shape of a person. Reaching for the slight arm sticking out from the pile of decaying and burnt leaves, Levi knelt, feeling for a pulse. A faint heartbeat reassured him that the person was alive. Levi brushed away the fallen leaves that surrounded the figure. To his surprise it was a young woman and she was naked. Stunned, Levi stared at her for a moment. His heartbeat quickened. He had seen no evidence of anyone else around. In any case, this was private property as far as the eye could see. From the mountains to the prairie, his family called this land theirs even if none of them lived there any longer.

Shaking sense back into his head, Levi took out his cellphone to make an emergency call, wishing he had brought his satellite phone. The connection was bad this far into the mountains. Getting a recording, he tried giving his location, hoping his message got through and help was on its way. Hanging up, he looked at her, wondering what she was doing there.

Levi thought the lightning had burned her clothes away, though there was really no evidence of clothing to begin with. She couldn’t have just been out in the woods with nothing on. Climbing trees no less! Her skin looked as if it had been in contact with fire, yet she herself was not burned, just slightly pink, most of the damage to her hair, which looked as if it had burned around the edges.

The lightning strike had been different, but then so had the storm. Both had seemed almost alive, deliberate. Maybe his grandpa had been right after all.

Leaving her for a moment, Levi took his sleeping bag from his knapsack and laid it out beyond the fire damaged grass, making sure to unzip it to be able to put her in it. Checking her limbs, he didn’t feel any breaks. He tried not to notice how shapely those limbs were.

Ignoring his libido, Levi checked her over as he had been trained. It didn’t matter how long he had been away from the battlefield, Levi’s instincts kicked in, checking the vitals of the wounded woman in front of him. It was usually a man though, his thoughts drifting to the images he’d rather forget. Forcibly bringing his mind back to the present, Levi continued his assessment. She needed him now. An undressed female was bound to present him unexpected problems. An attractive female, as this little bundle was, presented a whole different problem that was knocking insistently at the buttons of his 501’s.

For generations Levi’s family had guarded a sacred glen in the mountains. Still far from man this isolated area was a favorite spot of his grandfather. Levi grew up listening to his tales and fell in love without ever having stepped foot there.

Now Levi’s family, led by his grandmother, wanted to sell the land. With only his grandfather and Levi against it, Levi has to prove to the rest of the family why they needed to continue their guardianship. Believing in his grandfather’s tales despite himself, Levi went armed with his camera and his well-known expertise behind the lens and headed out for proof.

Providing that proof and protecting the secrets of the glen from the world, Gaia needs to convince Levi to continue that protection. Daphnaie, the embodiment of his every dream, is sent to show him why, stealing his heart in the process to save her world.

Links to Books:
 
 

Bio:

Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 24 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Her son Nicholas is in the US Marines.  Her daughter Susannah lives nearby and is a CNA. 

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS. 

Beverly Ovalle has two published books out.  One, Dragons’ Mate with Boroughs Publishing Group came out March 2, 2013 in their Lunchbox Romance Line. Beverly’s second, Lightning Strike was published with Secret Cravings Publishing on November 2, 2013 in Weekend Getaways.
 
Find Beverly:

 

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