Monday, December 17, 2012

This little light of mine...

We don't need to dwell on the whys and hows. Instead, let's focus on the healing. For those who were taken, let's remember and honor them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do you believe?

It's that time of year when parents of young kids wonder if their children still believe. I know around my kids' school, it's a hot topic. My children are 11 and 8 and while I'm sure this will be the last year for the oldest, I don't want it to be for the youngest. But it seems the curtain gets pulled back earlier and earlier each year. When I told another mom about my oldest still believing, she scoffed and figured my oldest was pulling my leg.

What's wrong with her still believing? This very question got me thinking about when I witnessed the big reveal and to be honest, I don't remember. Most may know I had a sketchy past. We were poor and moved a lot. So holidays and special events were hard. I don't recall a moment where I felt I'd been lied to or found out all mythical creatures were false. I think I always knew but still held on to the possibility of magic.

Although I do remember figuring out about the Tooth Fairy. I must admit, I'm a snooper!

I remember one year we didn't have enough money to get a tree and with all the moving, we didn't have ornaments to cover one if we did. So I made one out of paper and taped it to the wall. I was proud of my paper tree with crayon colored ornaments.

Christmas morning rolled around and I wasn't surprised to find not a single gift beneath the tree. At the age of 10, I was disappointed but understood times were tough around my house. And I think I still wanted to believe in the idea of Santa Clause. Maybe he got lost. Maybe he ran out of toys. Maybe there were other children out there that needed them more.

That morning, a true miracle happened, or at least to my 10 year old self, it did. Late in the morning, my aunt and uncle arrived at our house. We hadn't expected them since they lived over an hour away. They came into our small home with an armful of brightly colored packages. And one box was for me. I slowly unwrapped the shiny colored paper to reveal a shoe box.

They'd given me a brand new pair of white Nike tennis shoes. They weren't fancy. They didn't light up or boost about making me jump higher. In fact, I'm sure they were the ugliest pair based on fashion standards.

But they were mine. All mine.

And that's what I want my children to believe in. The spirit of Santa Claus. Because when the day seemed dark and when a 10 year old kid gets nothing even when they're good all year, a Santa rides in on a late model Nissan with a brightly colored box with thier name on the tag. I cherished those shoes for years and had a hard time parting with them and what they meant to me.

So folks. Hug your kids tighter this year and share a little magic with them. Because even if they know the "truth", they can still believe.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What I've learned from NaNo 2012...

Now that NaNo is done and I have an unedited manuscript waiting for me to dive in, I thought I'd take a few minutes and use my words for something other than meeting a quota.

2012 proved to be a tough year for me. Time was an issue as well as creativity flow. Unlike last year, I didn't have a new baby who demanded my attention. I also worked a full time job along with my part-time marketing work where as this year I don't have a full time job outside of the home but my work load at TMP has increased. As you can see, running a house and loving a new born proved to be a hurdle.

In November 2011, I had a short story published as well as 3 novellas contracted for release in 2012. So even though I was considered published, I was very new to the game and participating in NaNo for the first time, I did exactly as I was told and threw my words down without looking back. This year, I found myself constantly wanting to formulate perfect sentences in my head instead of purging. I blame this on the publishing. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my publishing status for all the Twinkies in the world, I'm simply admitting that I wanted my NaNo to be too perfect. NaNo's aren't supposed to be perfect. They're supposed to be raw. Full of mistakes but jam packed with idea and promise.

So, what have I learned from this year. First, no more babies! Second, attack this project with fresh, new, naive eyes. I need to approach 2013 NaNo as if I were a newbie. Where the ideas are bursting from my brain that my hands fly across the keys so fast I don't have time to stare at the word counter. Where every red or blue underline doesn't keep me from attaining my daily goal in the time I've allotted myself. Because just like this year, next year I'll still be a mother of 3, working part-time and still published.

How did NaNo go for you this year?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Janie Emaus invited me to blog hop with her this week. You can catch her over at The Boomer Rants. 
· Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

My Brother's Wedding

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I'm not really sure. I don't have a brother. I think part of the concept came from an acquisitions meeting we were having at TMP where we were discussing our new category romance line. My boss had put up a mock cover with my name on it but the book was titled The Boy Next Door. And I guess, seeing my name, I thought, I could write a story about a boy next door. But then I put my own twist on it when I gave the idea more thought. What would happen if you had to return home for a family member's wedding after many years of being gone?.

What genre does your book fall under?

Sweet Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I love Jennifer Garner and since her role in 13 Again, I can totally see her playing the lead in my story.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Alex Daughtry had no idea she'd run into her high school boyfriend, arch enemy, screw up her dress order, table dance at a club or have a roommate in her own bedroom when she agreed to be a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Turquoise Morning Press is expected to release my book in 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I'm actually still writing it now for NaNo. Cross your fingers for me.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'm not a fan of comparison. I'd like to think my story could stand alone. It's like when you query an agent. I never liked the idea of telling the agent that since you like and rep this book, mine is similar. Why would they want to rep a similar book?

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I love the idea of someone traveling home after being gone for so long. You wonder why they stayed away. What events caused them to put distance between them and family? And what if you threw in an old boyfriend you really never got over. Even better, you're walking down the isle with him.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My story is set in St. Louis, Missouri. The suburb I placed the action in is made up but not some of the landmarks. Also, My Brother's Wedding is one of the first releases from TMP's new line of category romances from out Boutique Collection. Check out the website for more information on releases.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNo Status Check

So, we're just about a week in NaNo and I have to ask. How's it goin'? Are you on track? Are the words flying from your head to computer?

Or, are they not flowing? Do you want to give up? Are you lost?

First off, don't stop. Keep writing. Especially if this is your first try; keep going. Even if you don't make it to the end or come up short, at least you tried and know what to do differently next time.

If your story is twisting and turning and your not sure what the heck is going on, stop for a minute and write out a short outline or bullet points. I get it. I'm the biggest pantser there is but I've also learned that sometimes you need to write a few details down. I'm not talking Roman numerals but jot some thoughts or timeline ideas on paper. You'll soon see the benefits.

I will admit I'm not where I was last year at this point. I'm still on track to finish on time but last year, I was ahead of the game which came in handy around the long holiday weekend (and the turkey coma I was in for a few days). Day 1 in 2011, I'd written 5K words. Now, I haven't hit 10K yet (plan to today and surpass it). Maybe it's the baby. Or the kids are busy. Or my job takes more of my time. *shrugs* Or it's all three.

Either way. I'm not giving up. I have a plan and I will finish.

So be like that ant. Have high hopes!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gearing Up for NaNo

It's not like preparing for a marathon or a run. I don't sit at home and see how fast I can type in an hour or how many coherent words I can write in a day.

No, but I am working to clear my head of other projects so I can focus on this one.

Currently, I'm finishing edits on a book in order to shoot it off to my editor. I'm writing a few blog posts so I don't leave everyone hanging for a month. Basically, getting out the words now before I need to horde them for my NaNo.

I also like to make sure my music playlist is current or at least reflects the mood I hope to achieve with the book. However, sometimes the music creates a mind of its own with my writing, as you may already know. Certain songs feel one way and then another.

You may want to stock up on the writing snacks and coffee. Or whatever you drink to get by. If you have to pull a late night to meet your word total for the day, caffeine is your friend. I'm lucky this year as I'll be writing in the day, as along as the baby cooperates (which she's not today!).

I've asked this before, but are you a first time NaNo-er? If not, what do you do right before you write? Any tips?

Good luck!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cover Reveal!

I'm not sure about you, but I've had a full weekend. Dinner with friends on two different nights (both were tapas, too), cleaned the house (that wasn't fun) and cooked a great meal on Sunday. Then, my publisher sent me mock-ups for Queen Mean, Book 3 in the Honey Creek Royalty series.

I couldn't have asked for a better cover. Seriously. 

This book was a bit hard to narrow down what the cover should show. You want to entice but not give too much away. You want to have some similarity with the other books without looking the same. Each of the books can stand alone. It's like getting a new hair cut. You want to look different but not so much no one recognizes you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NaNoWrimo begins in 7 days!

I love how the NaNoWrimo website has a counter reminding participants when it begins. Honestly, how could we forget.

Like last year, I'm participating. Yikes! I know. What am I thinking? Didn't I just have a baby? Am I not in the process of some major work for TMP? Have I lost my mind?

Absolutely yes to all questions.

I can't help it. There's something about signing up and committing myself to this event that motivates me. And this year, I've roped a good writer bestie into trying it again. *looks at Julie Anne Lindsey*

Whatever happened to my NaNo from last year, you ask. Well, nothing except it's gathering computer dust. But don't worry. I have plans for that novel that time hasn't allowed me to finish it up yet.

What's going to make this year different? Easy. I've signed a contract stating that I will have a finished manuscript that will be ready for edits next year. Double Yikes!

Never fear because I'm not. Unlike last year, I've outlined (gasps) this novel out which is something I never do. Ever!

But the main reason I'm jazzed to participate this year is because I love the creative process of writing. I love throwing my words to paper and seeing what happens and lately I haven't allowed myself any writing time. I've been busy editing books due out this year and next.

Oh yeah, and there was that pregnancy thing which sucked my creative juices!

Are you doing NaNo this year? If so, how are you feeling? Is it your first time? Or are you an old pro and can offer some tips for those of us still figuring it all out.

I'd love to hear from you. I also hope to keep you current on my progress. And sent me a message or leave me one and let us know how you're doing. After all, we could all use a little encouragement during those days in the middle when the end seems so far away.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Nibbles

Long time, no see. To kick off my return, I've got Meant To Be by Karen Stivali on Book Nibbles today.

Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

My couple of cents:
I will admit that I'm not much for Women's Fiction. To be honest, I don't think I've ever tried reading one but I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Karen's first Women's Fiction novel. As a writer, I love it when another writer steps out of their normal genre and tries something new. I will be adding this book to my TBR list for sure, along with some of her other titles. 

Here's a link to a review from Karen's recent blog tour. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Prince Charming has arrived!

No, I don't mean this Prince Charming.
Although, he is quit fetching!

I mean, this Prince Charming!
Book 2 from my Honey Creek Royalty series is here! *shakes pom poms*

Break-ups are never easy, and Sarah O’Connor finds her hard truth from a note. Furious with the delivery and lack of reasoning, she’s forced to carry on with her life, but Josh’s timing couldn’t have been worse. The Ohio State High School Cheerleading competition is around the corner, and instead of focusing on a monumental win, she’s overwhelmed with the recent heartbreak, jealous when she sees him with a new girl, and confused by lingering feelings of taking him back.

Enter Adrian Beale, a face from her past. Soon, she’s more conflicted because while she knows she needs to move on, making Adrian an ideal candidate, Josh won’t go away.

She decides to put both boys aside to focus on winning state, but when she witnesses an scandalous situation, can she erase what she’s seen, or will the images plague her performance? Can Sarah move on from an old love to a new one, and will she carry her squad to victory? 

Like with my other HC stories, I really enjoyed bringing this one to life. To me, the story feels real. I mean, who hasn't been dumped? In fact, what are the many ways you've been dumped? Note? Text message? Voice mail? 

The idea behind this story actually happened to me and while I didn't react like Sarah did, I wanted to. I'd love to hear about some of your worst break-ups. Did you get even? Or do you believe in Karma and the offender will get what's coming to them. 

To get your copy of Prince Charming, either visit Smashwords which has all e-formats available or Amazon. Uploads to Barnes and Noble takes a few days longer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love Blossoms by Julie Anne Lindsey

*Rolls out the red carpet* *Sets up the paparazzi cameras*

I'm more than excited to have my writer bestie, Julie Anne Lindsey on today talking about her latest Honey Creek Release. Love Blossoms is one of my favorite in her Seeds of Love series.
The cover is great but it doesn't do it enough justice for the wonderfully, sweet story inside. I instantly fell in love!

Without further chatting from me, heeeeeeeeeere's Julie!

Love Blossoms in Honey Creek

My second sweet romance novella, Love Blossoms, released last week and I’m all smiles. There’s something intoxicating about this little town. I find myself loitering there often. Honey Creek is the kind of place where anything feels possible. I think that’s why my heart jumps to romance whenever I consider a new story for the imprint. Honey Creek is a small fictitious town in rural Ohio. The scenery is magical in ways only the Midwest can be. The people are a touch old fashioned. They’re devoted to family, country and community. They work the earth. Trade sweat for pay and lay their hearts on the line for love.

The idea for Love Blossoms came at a friend’s wedding. It was an enchanting event, but my heart broke for the Maid of Honor. She’d planned every last detail to make the day perfect for her friend, and it was. But I found her crying behind the reception hall. Her husband asked her for a divorce. She hadn’t told a soul. That would’ve been a downer on our friend’s wedding and she wasn’t willing to be so selfish. So, she donned her formal wear and a smile. No one ever knew.

Later, her tears wreaked havoc on my imagination, and Jillian Parker was born. As I began Love Blossoms, I learned Jillian suffered a broken heart after a cancelled engagement. She moved on, but shut herself off from the idea of true love. I thought she needed to know she was wrong. True love exists. Men worthy of our hearts are not extinct. In fact, they are sometimes closer than we think.

That’s when I let Jackson Tate roll into town and change Jillian’s mind. This story is a quick trip to the castle. True love in a hurry. I know there are haters. Insta-love is a hot topic right now. But I say sometimes it is what it is. Sometimes there aren’t years of turmoil and breakups and reunions. Sometimes, a heart knows. I hold on to this truth because I choose to believe in the fairytale.

If you’re in the mood for a sweet romantic read with a very happy ending, I hope you’ll visit Honey Creek. The sun is setting, bullfrogs are croaking and the crickets are singing, “Come on.” Sweet tea or hot cider. Fresh summer strawberries or crisp fall apples. You’ll find it there. And taking a trip to Honey Creek is as easy as  Amazon : ) I hope to see you there!

 Love Blossoms:

Jillian thought she had everything she needed until Jackson walked through her door… 

There’s a wedding coming to Honey Creek and the whole town’s preparing for the party. When Jillian Parker agreed to host a few groomsmen at her inn, she had no idea what she was getting into. One of those groomsmen is Jackson Tate, and he’s making her concentration completely impossible. He’s funny, fascinating, frustrating, and leaving in a week. Jillian does not have time for that level of distraction. With Jackson nearby, events to coordinate, a bride to please, and an ex-fiancé to dodge, her peaceful life’s getting crazy fast. With any luck, she’ll survive the week and put the whole thing behind her as soon as possible.

…But not if Jackson has anything to say about it.


“You used to cause quite a stir,” Jackson said into Jillian’s ear. “I bet you haven’t danced since you came home.”
Jillian smiled the demure smile she’d perfected long ago and slipped out into the night beside Danielle. A laugh split her friend’s face, and Danielle hollered into the night sky. Watermelon Crawl boomed from the truck speakers. An outrageous smile spread across Jillian’s face until her cheeks ached. Memories flooded over her, and she was instantly 10 years younger. Her muscles tingled, and the steps came back like a reflex to the sound of her friends’ laughter and the sight of embers floating in the night sky.
Her skirt swung left and right along with her toe. Material caught her thighs and infused her with energy. Beth’s squeal blasted out of the kitchen door, and she nearly took Jillian down dashing onto the dirt beside her.
Nothing mattered. How could anything matter?
The small troop of dancers stomped and turned in the firelight. Fireflies and golden embers floated and blinked against the deep navy blue sky. No walls contained them; no neighbors complained about the noise; no traffic sounds interrupted the cricket and bullfrog chorus. There was no more freedom on earth than she had right there. A round of clapping went up as the bodies slowed and ambled in place, laughing and congratulating one another. They still had it.
Giggles seasoned the air, and the music changed smoothly to another lifelong favorite. Fishin’ in the Dark . She thought of all the groomsmen planning to night fish before Mrs. Prattle’s punch kicked in the night before. In a flash, men and women sided up ready to twirl and swing in pairs. For a moment, Jillian stepped back to watch the couples, but a massive shadow blocked the light from the fire. Jackson hitched an eyebrow and nodded her way.
In the space of a heartbeat, the group was in motion, and so was she.
“You haven’t lost it, I suppose,” he said as their bodies came together.
She made the most of the time they were apart, enjoying his audience, strutting her stuff. When they met again she said, “You’ve noticed.”
“Honey, every man in town’s noticed.”
The couples began to swing, but Jillian found her body airborne. Like a feather in the wind, her feet swung left then right of Jackson’s hips. Clapping and hooting
ensued. No sooner was she grounded again than she began to twirl. The rush of endorphins and joy shot up from her feet to her hair, and her heart threatened to fly her
to the moon.

About Julie:

Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you'll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book.
You can find my blogging about the writer life at Musings from the Slush Pile
Tweeting my crazy at @JulieALindsey
Reading to soothe my obsession on GoodReads
And other books by me on Amazon

Thank you so much Julie! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Maternity Leave...sort of

In case you've been hiding under a rock, I'm having another baby. I'm expected to deliver any day now and trust me, I'm anxious to get this over with. It's true what they say, whoever they are. Pregnancy gets harder each time and as you get older. I'm not saying I'm old. I would never say that. 


With that said, not the old part, I'm sort of on maternity leave. I here, for now until this kid decides to finally show herself but I'm keeping a low profile. My blog posts will be few, if any until after the baby comes and I can form complete sentences or thoughts.

In the mean time, you can follow me on FB and I'll try to keep you up to date with anything interesting I find in the writing world. My writing plate is a bit full right now. I'm editing Book 3 in my Honey Creek series, waiting for Book 2 to release (September 29th), writing and editing Spider, a YA coming out in March and I'm beta reading for a close friend. 

Fortunately, my TMP work has been lightened until after the baby comes but I'm still around. They can't get rid of me.

So until I'm sort of back to normal, I'm sort of on maternity leave. Keep on writing until we speak again!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cover Reveal!

Drum roll please.      

*rips away curtain*

My new cover for Prince Charming, due out late September! I can not tell you how many emails went back and forth with my publisher to get this right. I think she did a great job, as usual, and the cover fits the feel of the entire book line.

Break-ups are never easy, and Sarah O’Connor finds her hard truth from a note. Furious with the delivery and lack of reasoning, she’s forced to carry on with her life, but Josh’s timing couldn't have been worse. The Ohio State High School Cheerleading competition is around the corner, and instead of focusing on a monumental win, she’s overwhelmed with the recent break-up, jealous when she sees him with a new girl, and confused by lingering feelings of taking him back.

Enter Adrian Beale, a face from her past. Soon, she’s more conflicted because while she knows she needs to move on, making Adrian an ideal candidate, Josh won’t go away. 

She decides to put both boys aside to focus on winning state, but when she witnesses an scandalous situation, can she erase what she’s seen, or will the images plague her performance? Can Sarah move on from an old love to a new one, and will she carry her squad to victory?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new cover!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School Special!

Why should the kids have all the fun?

They get new crayons, pencils, back packs and lunch boxes, while as the parents, we get stuck with the bills.

Well, cheer up. TMP has a Back to School deal for you. (psst, did you notice the cover in the add? That's me!!!!)

So, hit our book store, enter the discount code BTS30 and save 30% on any ebook in our store. We offer all e-formats. 

Might I suggest a book? Ice Princess! And you never know. The discount might run until Prince Charming releases at the end of September!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't say it.

Over on the pregnancy journal page, I wrote about an incident that happened today. If you get a sec, go over and take a lookie loo.

And yes, I would love to hear all of your hater comments.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lay vs Laid vs Lie

Recently, I began editing Prince Charming, Book 2 in my Honey Creek Royalty series. One word, or words, plagued me throughout my journey.

Lay, laid or lie.

Even now, after I've done some research, I'm still confused.

Here are the definitions of each word:
laid: past tense of lay, verb (per a google search)
lay: to beat or put down with force; to put of set down (online Webster dictionary)
lie: to be or stay at rest in a horizontal position (online Webster dictionary)

Clear as mud, right?

I did a little more research and found this great website called Grammar Girl. (The site looks like it's sponsored by MacMillan) Here, she included a chart that breaks down the present and past tense of this word and recommends printing it out and taping it to your forehead (not really, but I might as well).

I'm sure I'll still get caught up with these words when writing. After all, my characters need to lie down eventually! But to keep me on track and hopefully ease my editors pain, I'll use this new resource. This particular article is a little dated but the English language hasn't gone through any sort of major changes. Or none that I'm aware of.

Good luck on your writing and if you have a word that stumps you time and time again, share it and we can all learn from our mistakes.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Nibbles

This week on Book Nibbles, I'm featuring Biting Cold by Chloe Neill; Book 6 in her Chicagoland Vampires series.

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago's vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye--and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined.
And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing--among humans or inhumans.
Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he'll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.

No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

My two cents:
I'm currently reading this title and like books 1-5, I'm hooked. Neill does a great job of describing her characters, making you love and hate them. I knew from book 1 that the relationship between Merit and Ethan would be an more than interesting one as well as with her bestie, Mallory. Often you feel like there are a lot of characters around but I never feel lost or confused or even, wait, who is this person again. 

If you haven't heard of this series, now you have. If you enjoy and good vampire story with fighting, love (some sexy scenes!) and a lot of drama, then this book is right up your alley. I might add the paranormal isn't limited to blood suckers. There are also witches, demons, fairies, werewolves  gnomes (yes, they're new this time) and probably a bunch of other supernatural beings I'm forgetting.

To get your copy, visit your local book store or on-line retailer today!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have a cat!

Rather, an orange fur ball of terror. He's really  my son's cat but I told him he had to share.

I'm really regretting that comment.

(this was the best photo I could get before he darted off. BTW, he's chewing on my hair!)

Don't get me wrong, he can be rather sweet and sometimes he just sits there and lets you pet him while he purrs away. Or when he sleeps, those hours are nice. But since the first day we got him (10 days ago) he has been a handful.

Night one, he meowed all night. Sure, I understand. He's getting used to us. I get it but my kids didn't.
Two days later, my kids said he peed on a blanket. He hasn't done it again but who knows. Next day, I notice a flea on him. YIKES! That's like the death plague, in my eyes. So I run to the vet, get some meds and am hoping for the best. The following day I notice he's developed a raw patch on his neck, not where I placed his flea meds, but I was concerned. Back to the vet I go and the vet is like, "yeah, he's got a lession, not sure from what but it looks infected". She gives me a spray and he seems to handle the application well. My husband and I leave for an overnight trip while the kids stay at a relatives. House sitter (friend) comes by 2 times to check on cat and reports later all seemed well. His neck looks pretty good with a scab forming.

Then BOOM, Monday  we notice he's ripped off the scab and has started a new spot. GREAT! And now, he hates the spray medicine. You try holding down an 11 week old kitten with claws to spray something on his neck. I've got the battle scars to make my point.

So I'm sure it's back to the vet I go later today. I almost want to give up. Throw in the towel but seeing my son, who begged for a kitten, carry the cat around like his new best friend, my heart melts and I can't do anything. Don't get me wrong. We've owned a cat before (pre-son) and growing up, we were cat people but  I guess running after two kids and another on the way, I'm not feeling so much like Wonder Mom.

But to see him smile and have something of his own (he's the youngest soon to be middle kid) I can't help but soldier on.

I'd love to hear your words of wisdom. Advice from fellow kitten owners.

Anyone? Hello?  *taps on glass*

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Nibbles

Grin and Barrett by Ruth J. Hartman is on Book Nibbles today.

Remmie Grin is a self-sufficient dentist who has her life right where she wants it.

That is, until handsome, flirty Dr. Victor Barrett moves in next door. He constantly bugs her about selling her practice to him—but she’s not budging.

How can she convince him to leave her alone when all she really wants him to do is kiss her again?

To get your $2.99 copy, go here.

Here are what a reviewers had to say about this cute story.

Great Book, I loved it! If you like your loves stories with a lot of sass and humor. GET THIS BOOK!

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days cleaning teeth, and her nights spinning sweet romantic tales that make you giggle, laugh, and all-out guffaw. She, her husband, and their two cats, love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats, Maxwell and Roxy, sit in the people's recliners. Not that the cats couldn't get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else's. You know how selfish those little furry creatures can be.

Ruth, a left-handed, tooth-scraping, Jeep driving, farmhouse-dwelling romance writer uses her goofy sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women and the men who adore them. Ruth's husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her in spite of her penchant for insisting all of her books have at least one cat in them. Or twelve. But hey, who's counting?

"Better Than Catnip": A woman who runs a cat rescue center falls for a handsome man. But his son is terrified of cats!

"Flossophy of Grace": The main character, Grace, is a dental hygienist who falls in love with her patient.

"Pillow Talk": A klutzy tooth fairy falls in love with her dentist.

"Purrfect Voyage": A woman and her cat are stranded on a two-week yacht cruise with a cat-hating, handsome stranger.

"Grin and Barrett": Two dentists fight growing feelings of attraction for each other, as they compete for all the new patients in their small town.

"Murphy in the Paw-Paw Patch": A cat, born without pads for his paws, makes a journey to find some. At the paw-paw patch! (Children's book).

Most of her books include cats. Her characters, like Ruth in real life, live with several cats, and love every minute of it. Well, maybe not the litter box, but you get the idea.

"Life in Mental Chains," her first book, is a true-life story about her struggle with severe OCD, which also revolves around dental offices she worked for.

More information about Ruth and her books can be found at:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Away but not forgotten...

I've been away and I can't tell you how sorry I am. I plan to update my pregnancy journal so, head over there next and hopefully it will clear things up a bit. Like mud!

While away, I've done some serious editing and reading. Not all of these books were on my summer TBR list but I enjoyed them the same.

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Kiss Me, I'm Irish by Bella Street
Jinx by Meg Cabot
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Beige by Cecil Castellucci
Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
The Start of Something Good by Gracie Lee Rose

Most are older titles but when the authors are fantastic, you can't help but pick up anything by them.

So tell me, what have you read this summer? Anything worth sharing?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Nibbles

The Reunion Game by Jan Scarbrough is our Nibble for today.

The Reunion Game is the fourth ebook novella in the re-release of
the Ladies of Legend original title, Finding Home. First time released as a
separate ebook!

Pickings are slim in Legend, Tennessee, until a high school reunion gives thirty-something Jane Smith a second chance to exorcise the demon of Graham Winchester and get on with her life.

Switching places with her famous and glamorous twin sister is just what small town girl Jane needs to get Mr. Most Likely to Succeed into bed and out of her heart.

Get your copy for $.99 today on Amazon.

Jan's Bio: I've dreamed of being a writer since I reported on freelance writing for a career project in the
ninth grade. After majoring in English at Western Kentucky University, I taught high school English for
five years. Since 1982 I've made my living as a writer — a technical writer — but I didn't have the nerve
to make my dream come true until after a life-threatening illness in 1988. I've enjoyed my process of
becoming a published author. A member of the Romance Writers of America, I've been active in my local
Kentucky RWA chapter and am a member of Novelist, Inc. My best friends are fellow writers. Who else
will check a point plot for me or understand GMC and POV? I live in Louisville, Kentucky, along with
two dogs and four cats. I enjoy taking riding lessons on the American Saddlebred Horse. I'm a member of
the American Saddlebred Horse Association . I volunteer at The Luci Center, a non-profit 501c3
organization located in Shelbyville Kentucky providing therapeutic riding and hippotherapy for
individuals with disabilities.

My thoughts:
I haven't read The Reunion Game but how can you pass up this cover! I have read her Tangled Memories and really enjoyed her writing. I'll be adding this book to my TBR pile, for sure. Plus, at only 85 pages, this is sure to be a quick, yummy read!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Writing, Writing, Writing

A good friend of mine just finished writing 80K words in 28 days! Like I told her, that's Nano on crack. Let's take a moment to celebrate her achievement.

*claps in a circle*

Me, I'm still editing. It's a necessary evil. Kind of like underwear. No one sees them, but you know they're there but you'd rather skip 'em. Think of all the time you'd save not editing or putting on underwear. Sure the editing takes way more time but who wouldn't love a few extra seconds in the morning.


I've mentioned before that I had grand plans of doing all this writing and editing since I was let go from my day job. That was until I actually tried to write. While pregnant. (This is why I'd rather skip the undies. I have ligament pains and forgoing panties would save some time. TMI? *shrugs*) This little darling is sucking the creative juices from my body. So while I planned on finishing a Honey Creek that is 40K, edit my YA due out next year and then edit and rewrite my Nano from 2011 so I can submit to agents, I'm still editing my YA. Sure my HC is done but I'm not where I thought I'd be on my timeline and the birth of this little sweetie is fast approaching. The Nano? For-get-about-it (done in my best New Yorker accent)

Which brings me back to my friend and her 80K words. How did she do it? Besides ridic amounts of coffee and short of locking her kids in a room (I kid, she'd never do that!) she outlined. And I don't mean a rough roman numeral outline. I mean 10 pages of an outline. When it came time to fill in the actual words, she had a wonderful guide to follow.

I know most authors do the same. Me? Not so much until now. She's inspired me.

With my friend in mind, I have a new game plan. Finish my YA, which I hope to get done before vaca at the end of the month or if not, before September (birth month). Crack open my Nano. It's rough and needs about 20K more words to be completed. But I want to read through it once, make notes and then create an outline with all the extras I want to add. Then I'll attack it with edits and rewrites. The notes and outline will also help me to create a synopsis (I write mine last) so when it comes time to submit to agents, I have that step done. I don't plan on participating in Nano this year. With a new baby, I'm not sure I can handle another thing on my plate. But you never know when inspiration will strike. I could be recovering in the hospital when a dinger of a story hits.

Okay, that's my two cents. Take what you want and happy writing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trying something new...

In case you haven't noticed, but I've added a Pregnancy Journal page to my blog. I'm still figuring out how to manipulate the page but my goal is to update it daily. This pregnancy has not been usual from day 1 and as I get older, I notice many things that didn't plague me in my previous pregnancies. If you have a comment or a story to share, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Nibbles

Today on Book Nibbles we have Cat Shaffer's No Safe Place.
Even small towns hide secrets…

When Lissa Williams loses both her job as editor of a hard-hitting news magazine, and her fiancé, in a one-two punch, she doesn’t plan to compound her troubles by first getting drunk and then into a sexy stranger’s bed. Nor does she expect to wind up in the tiny hamlet of Oslo, West Virginia, three months later, after her best friend is carjacked and left to die. Her shock at realizing that the first person she meets in Oslo is the same sexy stranger who had rocked her world in a single night, is softened by the realization he doesn’t remember her. But how long can she keep things that way when he insists on volunteering as her handyman at the wreck of a house she’s rented?

Folks in Oslo know Nat “Duke” O’Keefe as the man who’s taken over the town’s tow truck service. No one suspects his real job is undercover cop with an elite, multi-state task force investigating a sophisticated auto theft ring financing a global trade in illegal weapons. When a beautiful woman shows up in the two-bit town of Oslo, his boss orders him to cozy up to the town’s newest resident and figure out just what she’s up to. That suits him fine, until the sparks between them light a strange remembrance, a tinder of desire, and danger that may kill them both.

I haven't had the pleasure of reading No Safe Place yet but I have met the author and she's wonderful!

Format:Kindle Edition
NO SAFE PLACE is the kind of romantic suspense I enjoy. It has tension and mystery, but it isn't too dark or edgy. I read it in one day because I needed to know what happens next. If you enjoy the Harlequin Intrigue line, you'll want to read this story.

If you like romantic suspense, add No Safe Place to your TBR list this summer.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Writing Re-Start

Lately, I've felt a little blah about writing. Maybe a better word is unmotivated. I'm sure it all has to do with being pregnant and this new life is literally sucking the creative juice from me but I won't blame her yet! Several weeks ago, I finished a 40K word YA Honey Creek due out next year. I had a deadline and reached it with time to spare. My plans were then to begin edits and rewrites on another YA that is also due out next year but still needed some work. I've gotten until December to finish so I'm not worried. Yet I can't seem to find the motivation to get cranking. I mean, I love this story. It's a little suspenseful, not something I normally do. So instead, I've been a stay-at-home mom, cleaning, keeping the fam fed and making plans for this new little baby since she was a complete surprise and the lingering thought of working on my YA nags at me. But I haven't completely taken a break from my craft. Nope. I've been to the library, which has finally expanded their YA collection, and making my way through older YA titles hoping the reading would spark some typing from me. Nope. Then I attended a conference this weekend and WHAM I'm feeling the writing love! I'm not sure what did it. Was it being surrounded by other awesome writers, most way more popular than myself? Was it sitting and chatting with my fellow TMPers and sharing our thoughts about upcoming projects? Or was it sitting in on a presentation on how awesome YA is and what stories had influenced other authors. Yes. Yes. And yes. So while I took away awesome information from the conference, I also found my mojo! In fact, I've been home for 8 hours (most of those were me sitting on my butt while I watch my feel unswell) and I've written 2 blog posts for this week. In the morning, I hope to be up early, refreshed, coffee in hand and my YA pulled up on the screen in front of me. I want to have it edited, rewritten, and beta read before this baby comes since I might be out of commission for a few weeks afterwards. But once she knows her momma is a busy writer, I plan to begin working on another YA MS as well as a new Honey Creek. Follow me on Twitter (@JenniA8677), where I'll keep anybody who'll listen up to date. Thank you and good night!

Book Nibbles Round-Up

For awhile, I've been featuring titles here under the name Book Nibbles. Books I've either enjoyed or might enjoy. Today, I'd like to take a minute to run through these titles again and mention whether I have read since posting and what I thought. Who knows, maybe you'll find something you'll like as well.

Also, to find a listing of all the books I've read, check me out on GoodReads (I love that place!).

The books listed are in no particular order:

Raeliksen by Renee Vincent: Loved this book. A historical romance that kept my eyes glued to the pages. I cried, laughed and fell in love. Now, I just need to read Mac Liam, Book 2 in her trilogy.

Kentucky Blues by Cat Schaffer: I have not read but heard wonderful things. I can't wait to see Cat again at the Lori Foster Reader Writer Get Together in June.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare: Devoured the second book in the series. The twists, turns and cliffhangers make me starved for the next installment. A YA must read.

Rescue Me by Jennifer Johnson: I fell in love with this book. I have the pleasure of working with JJ and her writing. We are both in the Men in Uniform anthology and I loved her story in there too. In fact, I loved Rescue Me so much, I immediately read Double Dog Dare which is another snarky, fun, sweet romance.

Late Harvest by Suzanne Barrett: I haven't read yet but a friend said she couldn't put it down. Gesh, my TBR list just keeps growing and growing.

Secrets by Jan Scarbrough: This is a re-release that I haven't had the pleasure yet.  A sweet Contemporary Romance that was nominated for a 2011 CAPA from the Romance Studio.

The Most Intimate Wish by FL Bicknell. This book is an erotic title and I haven't jumped in yet.

Purrfect Voyage by Ruth J. Hartman. I haven't had the pleasure yet but I always love a romantic comedy. Plus, some how I mixing cats and a big boat might be really funny.

Be Mine, Valentine. Krista Ames has a short story in this anthology that was so cute. In fact, I read the entire anthology and found the short doses of love to be just what I needed to get into the February 14th spirit.

Rebuild My World by Cheryl Norman. This contemporary romance with suspense is added to my TBR list. What about you?

According to Plan by Madison J. Edwards. Loved this book. It is a bit on the steamy side but the story is not covered up by the clothes flung in these naughty scenes.. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and cheer them on.

Two Brothers by Christina Wolfer. Again, I loved this story. To watch the Amanda and Jacob figure things out ( I mean fight each other) was told wonderfully.

Skeleton in a Dead Space by Judy Alter. First off, I love the author. I haven't read her book yet but she's gotten wonderful reviews and now with the second title out in the series, I really need to step it up.

Buried in Briny Bay by Bobbye Terry. Another mystery I haven't read yet. This is book one in her Briny Bay Mystery series.

Ariel by Gabriel Madison. I really enjoyed the is YA Paranormal. The action was intense and I couldn't put it down. Now if only the author had another book coming out soon. *taps foot*

Love's Long Shadow by Ciara Knight. This short novella precludes her Battle of Lost Souls series. You get a glimpse into the world of fallen angels and demons. Really enjoyed this read and waiting to read her next book, Rise From Darkness where the story continues.

There you have it. I hope my little insight helps. I tried to keep it clean with my selection. But for all my reviews, you can friend me on GoodReads.

Thank you!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Nibbles

A favorite historical fiction is on today, Mac Liam by Renee Vincent.

Get a copy from Amazon for only $2.99!

A tortured soul….

Breandán Mac Liam, the strapping young hunter from Ireland’s lush forests, is in love with Mara, an ineligible beautiful princess. For seven long years, he has been vividly haunted by her memory, taunted by the throes of his heartache. And not even the thought of her marriage to a Northman can extinguish the fierce, burning desire running rampant through his soul.

An innocent heart….

Mara, the spirited Connacht princess, has no idea she is the object of the Irishman’s longing. She is living out her days on Inis Mór, raising a troubled son and trying to endure the cruel loneliness that afflicts her heart.

A deadly secret….

Ordered by the king on his deathbed, Breandán must return to Mara and bring her through the perilous lands of Connacht to fulfill her father’s last dying wish. But as their worlds collide, Breandán not only finds himself wrapped in the arms of Mara’s embrace, but thrown into a struggle to defend his honor.

With Mara caught between the family she loves and the father she knows, can Breandán uncover the mystery of her past and still protect her from a secret that threatens them all?

OMG! I love this book! I have a special place in my heart for Irish Historical Romances and Book One in the Emerald Isle Trilogy does not disappoint!  Not only does Vincent have a fantastic way with the historical facts, language and terms, but she pulls you right in and holds you there. If this is not on TBR list, you need to add it!