Friday, December 30, 2011

It's that time of year again! Resolutions!!!

I do this every year. I make a list of goals and resolutions. But I am smart about it and logical. I make goals I know I have a chance at achieving. I did really well in 2011 with my professional goals...achieved them all!! My personal goals, well, not so much. I didn't eat more veggies and I didn't take my vitamins.

So here are my goals for 2012:


* Eat more veggies!
* Take my vitamins- B12, D, and calcium
* Read 30 books, 12 of which will be chick lit for the Chick Lit Challenge
* Continue to go to the gym and tone
* More family time
* Go out to eat far less
* Update my journals more often


* Find a home for The Detour to Happily Ever After
* Find a home for Pretty in Plastic
* Write a full length novel
* Write a novella
* More promo
* Find more time to write
* Blog more and read blogs more often

What about you?? Do you make goals/resolutions???

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Email is important!

I don't know about the rest of you, but email is important to me. It's how I communicate with many people. It's just as imprtant as me leaving an answering machine message for someone, or sending a text message, or writing a letter (as rare as that is these days). I expect a response. And I don't understand why many people just do not respond.

Yes, I understand the impersonality of electronic forms of communication. But honestly, it is easiest for me. I have the most free time during the day, when most people are at their places of employment. The evening, when I'm busy making dinner, cleaning up, helping with homework, attending activities for myself and my kids, bathing kids, reading to the kids, tucking them in, bathing myself, it's just not a good time for me to make a phone call and chat.

In today's world, I just don't understand why some people do not take email as an important communication tool and respond when they've been sent a message. What makes it even worse is that a majority of people now have Smartphones and their email is sent directly to them.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Who got an eReader for Christmas???

I didn't get one (though I already own a two-year old one that I am dying to replace with a fancy new model!!) but I did give one! My mom seemed really excited to get it.

On my hubby's side, three people got a device of some sort- one got a Nook, another a Kindle, and another a Kindle Fire. And all are excited to start reading on them...and want to read my books! :)

My SIL mentioned that she wanted one, but prefers paper books. I said "Just wait til you read on the'll never want to go back." She says she's heard that from other people. And for most I really think it's the truth. So many people bash digital book readers, but have never even used one.

I'm excited for all these eReader gifts! I have books that are only available in digital format. I'm hoping to see a rise in sales...especially with my next book releasing in a few weeks. I'd hoped it would be available in print just like the first in the series was, but my publisher has but an indefinite stop on print. They are just not selling. They tripled their digital sales from last year...but received far too many returns on print.

So...did you get a digital reading device for Christmas?? Did you give one?? Any books you're excited to read this year???

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dream Vacation and a perfect Sunday!

Wanna know what my dream vacation is? And what an awesome Sunday is like for me???

Come stop by Chick Lit+ today and find out!! :)

And there's a giveaway too!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best reads of 2011!

Well.....I didn't make my yearly reading goal. I am not real sure what happened this year. Last year I saw people meet and exceed their 100 book goals and I knew there was NO WAY I could do that too. It is just not possible with two kids, activities, household responsibilities (and an addiction to a couple TV shows!) But I made a goal that I knew I had a chance of reaching. I made a 30 book goal for 2010. And I was close...with 28.

So for 2011, I made the same goal. But came no where near it :( Only 11 books this year. Sad and pathetic. My only explanation is that last year we belonged to a different gym and I read each day for like 30 minutes while I did the elliptical or cross ramp for cardio. Since switching gyms, I do Zumba for cardio, and obviously, I can't read while doing that!!

But here are my favs from this year. I only gave 5 stars to a couple books on Goodreads.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series is my absolute favorite series ever. I just love these stories of the girls and their bonds of friendship. This last book, Sisterhood Everlasting, the girls are adults and have to deal with things they'd never dealt with before. It was really a fantastic ending to the series.

Lone Star Trouble was a really great story. I love a great romance and this one was so so good. I love a little hidden identity! And the main character was spunky!

I really liked Bumped! I only gave this one 4 stars, but wanted to mention it. These futuristic dystopian society YA books suck me in...but few do I enjoy like I did this one! This one isn't as dark and grim as others, but really makes you think about the 'what ifs'. Looking forward to the sequel!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Looking to connect with your fav author?? Here's how!

***Content Warning***
Today's post is for 18 and older only!

Today I have a guest post by a friend, and fellow RWA member, Cassandra Carr!!!

How to connect with your favorite writer

by Cassandra Carr

I'm often asked - "How can I talk to an author directly to tell them I love their book/I want another book in this series/I wish there had been more sex scenes?" Well, maybe not the last part, since my books are pretty hot, but you catch my drift. Here's what I tell readers:

Website. All authors should have a website. And on that website should be an area called "Contact" or "Contact Me". At the very least, an author should have an e-mail address on there, and we love to hear from readers! There might also be links to other places you can find them, like...

Facebook. Facebook is an invaluable tool for writers. Each writer should have a fan page, and possibly a profile in addition to that. Here's my advice about Facebook - "like" the fan page and don't worry about the profile. Why? Because Facebook limits the number of "friends" any one person can have. Dumb, but true. So most authors, if they become popular, have to close their profile to new people because Facebook won't let them be friends with more.

Twitter. Twitter is another invaluable resource for us writers. It's also a great place to see the every day behind-the-scenes workings of a writer. Writing is a solitary profession, so many writers "check in" through Twitter a few times a day just so we can talk to someone other than our cats. Yes, some of us are crazy cat ladies.

Goodreads. Many authors are on Goodreads. Some like it more than others. Some blog there, some don't. But if you want to see what books your favorite author is reading, possibly engage in a Q&A with them, etc, Goodreads is a good (heh) place to be.

Chats. Authors engage in chats on review sites, other authors' blogs, Facebook, and Yahoo groups. Oftentimes you can have a conversation one-on-one - or as one-on-one as you can get during a chat - with the author. Another perk? There are usually prizes!

Those are some of the most popular and prevalent ways to connect with your favorite authors. Where else do you find authors?

Cassandra Carr is a multi-published erotic romance writer who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. Head Games, Buffalo Intimidators book 1, released on November 2, 2011 from Siren Bookstrand, Caught released December 6, 2011 from Loose Id, and Impact is coming in early 2012 from Ellora's Cave. For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www., "like" her Facebook fan page at AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at Cassandra_Carr.

Cassandra's newest release, Caught, is the perfect read for the holiday season!

Read a sample:

'They’re really taking this politically correct thing too far.'
Stepping from the foyer into the living room, Callie spied a twinkling Christmas tree in the corner. On the mantel, a lit menorah burned, the candles flickering as the people nearby jostled for position as more and more guests crammed into the room. This was a boisterous crowd; already drinking like it was New Year’s. Advancing further into the room, she noticed the Kwanza decorations and rolled her eyes.

'Pick a holiday and go with it, people. You can’t please everyone.'

She sought out the host and hostess, old friends from her grad school days, and said hello, handing over the obligatory “Thanks for inviting me” bottle of wine. They chatted for a bit to catch up before she grabbed a cocktail and made her way toward the dining room in search of other former classmates and some food. The smells of the various delicacies wafted by, making her mouth water in anticipation. She had just gotten into town and was starving. Plopping a slice of Cheddar cheese onto a cracker, she stuffed it into her mouth and then looked up -- and everything inside her came to a screeching halt.

Jack was there.

With a beer hanging from his long, rough fingers, he leaned against the wall, casual as can be, while her world tilted on its axis. He looked so good-- still the same tall, well-muscled body, still the same olive skin, black hair, and full lips. His Italian ancestry lent him an air of exoticness, and she’d always been a sucker for that. 
Her stomach roiled. The cracker caught in her throat, choking her. As she began to cough and sputter, he turned to see what the commotion was, and their gazes met. Callie watched as his eyes went dark with heat and recognition. A blush rushed up her chest through her neck and into her face. With suddenly cold fingers, she touched her burning skin.

He brought his beer to his lips and took a long pull, his tongue sneaking out to catch a stray drop from his top lip. Her gaze followed the movement. His own intense gaze never left her face. Even when his companion said something to him, he merely nodded and kept the whole of his attention on her. She took a fortifying sip of her vodka and cranberry juice, then another, longer gulp, trying to dislodge the cracker from her throat. And still he stared.

And she did the same damn thing she’d done three years ago when she’d gotten scared by his demands, his power -- she ran. Cursing herself for her cowardice, she nonetheless wove her way through the crowd, setting her drink down on the nearest available surface as she rushed past. But before she made it to the front door, she felt his hand, still chilled from holding the beer bottle, curl around her overheated arm. “Long time no see. Leaving so soon, Callie?”

He pulled her around to face him, he backed her up against the wall in the foyer. With him this close, with his touch and his smell and his sheer size surrounding her, her body betrayed her, just like it always had where he was concerned. Her nipples tightened, her pussy ached, and her breath quickened. “What are you doing here?” She sighed at her own stupidity for asking something so obvious.

“These are my friends. A better question to ask is -- what are you doing here?”

“I came back to town for the holidays, and I wanted to see some of my old grad school buddies. I guess I-I didn’t think about the possibility of you being here.”

“Is me being here a problem?”

“No,” she answered too quickly.

“I miss you.”

“I miss you too.”

'Dammit! What else am I going to admit to him?'

“I still want you. I want to touch you. I need to touch you. May I?” At her silent nod, he lightly rested his hand around her throat. Not hard enough to choke, but enough to establish his dominance over her.

'Like he needs to establish that. How could I possibly forget who and what he is?'

Callie shivered. God, she wanted him. She’d never been as scared or as excited or felt as alive as she had during the year and a half she had subbed for Jack. Seeing him again made her want to get down on her knees and give him anything he wanted. If she remembered correctly, that was everything. But could he give it back to her? Before, he’d been unable or unwilling to, and when she hadn’t been able to handle loving him without reciprocation anymore, she’d left.

Her lips were parched, and she darted her tongue out to wet them. His eyes turned black as they blazed back at her. “I want you too.” And it was the truth. She wanted him, and this time, she’d have him. If she ran away again, she knew she’d regret it for the rest of her life.
“Are you collared?”


“Seeing anyone?”

She turned the question around. “Are you seeing anyone?” A strange look passed over his face, but Callie couldn’t interpret it before it was gone.

“No. Answer me, Callie -- are you seeing anyone?”


Letting out a soft growl, Jack cupped the back of her neck in his large hand and kissed her. There was nothing gentle in his kiss -- there never had been. This kiss was one of possession, of establishing even more control. He pressed in further, molding his body to hers while he continued to plunder her mouth. He didn’t force his tongue inside; he didn’t have to.

For more info,  go to the listing on Loose ID's website, Amazon,  or Cassandra's website!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

They just don't make things how they used to....

Yeah...I sound completely ancient. That sounds like something someone way older than me should say. But I guess the older I get, the more those sayings make sense. I've even found myself shaking my head and thinking "Kids these days..." But I didn't actually say that one out loud!

Anyway, today I'm complaining about cars and anything in general. I remember when we bought our first house 13 years ago. The previous owners, the only ones who had ever lived in the house, left the appliances. It was great for us...we didn't have to buy anything. The things were old, but still worked perfectly. The fridge was already like 10-12 years old, same with the stove. The washer and dryer were seriously older than I was...which was 21 at the time. When we moved 9 years later, the stove and fridge were still working fine. The washer and dryer we did replace a few years before that...but I think the washer still worked...we just decided to replace the pair.

And 1996 my Hubby (fiance at the time) bought a 1987 Nissan Maxima with 120,000 miles on it We drove that baby another 70,000 miles before trading it in. Yes...we got 190,000 miles out of it.

We bought a new fridge when we moved and only four years later, it already doesn't work right. And our car....not even 10 years old and it's done....less miles than the Maxima when we bought it!

I can't be the only one who is so so sick of buying things that just don't last!

Monday, December 12, 2011

This is why I love that man....

My husband said something so wonderful the other day...and I just had to share.

We were walking through Barnes and Noble and he said to me:

"There's so many books in here. There's no way every single one of them is more talented than you. I just don't get it."

He sees me struggle and get frustrated...he's frustrated too. Just doesn't understand why I can't find an agent like every book in B&N has.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Way too fun to pass on this blogfest!!!

This blogfest sounded way too fun to pass up!! HUGE Thanks to Brenda Drake for hosting!!

So here's the deal. I need to post the first 250 words of my manuscript and you all have to guess how old my main character is! It's all based on the voice of my character!! :)

So here it is!

Only once in her life had Bobi Jordan felt pretty, sexy, and desirable, and it was nearly ten years ago. But that had all changed.
Pulling open her cardigan, she showed off her latest purchase.
“You’re right. Those are some of the nicest boobs I’ve ever seen in my life.” Her sister, Marcy, couldn’t have been more monotone if she’d tried.
            “See. I told you. Now you gotta touch them.”
            “Oh no! I agreed to look at them. I draw the line at feeling you up.”
            Bobi smiled, shaking her head at her prude of a sister, and caught a glimpse of her reflection in the full length mirror, brand new 34 DD’s on display. Would she ever tire of looking at them? And they were so damn perky she didn’t even need a bra. Never again would she be made fun of for having the smallest boobs in history.
            “I personally think they’re too big,” said Kim.
            “Oh, you’re just jealous.” Finally Bobi had something her lifelong friend could be jealous of. “Besides, my doctor said these are the most popular size for implants.”
“Yeah, if you’re a Dolly Parton impersonator.”
Bobi recalled the day she’d gone for her consultation. She’d been working for Dr. Michael Gellerman, plastic surgeon, for almost four months. He’d approached her and mentioned the great discount he gives his employees.

“My staff is my greatest advertisement,” he’d said and winked at her. “All the girls have breast implants. You should think about it.”

So there it is! Leave me a comment and let me know how old you think Bobi is! I'm interested in hearing the replies!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Easy Peasy...My 1st NaNo Experience.

I have been hearing about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for years. But there was always something going on that made it impossible for me to participate. And for something like this, for me, failure is not an option. When I commit to something, I do it. If there is a chance that I will just not be able to do it completely and give my full effort, I won't commit.

But this year I had nothing going on. I wanted to finish my work in progress by the end of the year. It was halfway finished and another 50,000 words would be perfect. Technically I was breaking NaNo "rules" by not starting a brand new project, but oh well. I learned I wasn't the only NaNo rebel out there.

So here's my thoughts on NaNo.

The NaNo website is great. Lots of supportive people there. And you can fine other writers in your area and get together for writing dates and such. very cool. I didn't do it..just not an option for me, but cool for others.

The word count at first seemed daunting, but it's really not. I usually give myself a 1000 word goal for the day when I am in active creating mode. (I often switch between weeks/months of only creating mode or editing mode. I prefer not to do both at once. Just my personal writing style.) So, the most I have ever written in a month's time has been about 30,000 words. I can't write everyday, with the family and other obligations, but I made up my word count other days. So I wasn't real sure I'd be able to do NaNo and keep up. But I surprised myself and wrote over 8000 words the first three days. I did fall behind...there were 4 days I wrote nothing. Just had lots going on personally. But in the end, I wrote over 52,000 words. It wasn't nearly as hard as I'd thought. It was a matter of just getting on the computer and writing....just doing it, no excuses.

As with any writing venture, you can't complete it without drive and determination. Part of mine was not wanting to fail. It's a great motivator.

How did all my blogging friends do on NaNo this year??

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas party!!!!!!

It's the holiday season!!!!!! Such a wonderful time of year!!! I love how cheery people can be! (And yes, I ignore the grumpy people...they obviously don't get what the holiday season is all about!)

My author friend Sandra Sookoo is hosting a Twelve Days of Christmas Blog party on her blog!!! I am guest posting today, so please stop by and check it out!!! And check out her other posts too!! Giveaways!!

Click here!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cooker, baker, or neither???

This time of year everyone is baking and making sweet treats to share. I love enjoying the sweet treats, not so much a fan of making them. Not really sure what it is. Maybe it's the preciseness. Everything has to be measured and be exact or you can really screw it up. Maybe it's the time it takes. Maybe it's all the prep. Nothing is ever quick or easy. And there's the mess. No baking project is ever clean.

I much prefer to cook. I am no chef, but I can follow a recipe pretty well. It just seems easier to me.

But I'm sure there are people who look at cooking and feel the same way I feel about baking.

What about you? Do you like one over the other...or do you avoid it all?

Friday, December 2, 2011

First-hand experience a must???

So I've been thinking. And I wonder what you guys think. Can someone without first hand experience really give advice???

I choose to have a female gynecologist. I'm just more comfortable...I feel more relaxed and can better explain my problems. I'm not convinced a man can relate to my problems. A man does not know what a yeast infection feels like or the pains of pregnancy and child birth. I don't doubt their education and knowledge of the female body, but they just don't have first-hand experience.

Several of my friends have talked about attending Pre-Cana classes in their Catholic churches before being allowed to marry there. I think pre-marital counseling is a fantastic idea before committing to someone, but I'm not convinced a priest is the best person for the job. He's never been married. How can he give advice on how to sustain a healthy commitment? I think some may argue that he is "married" to the church and to God, but that's not the same in my book. God isn't leaving his dirty socks on the floor or leaving the toilet seat open even after repeated requests to not do it. And I'd feel the same of a professional marriage counselor outside the church who was not married.

And while our pediatrician is single and has no children, I completely trust her medical advice, but behavioral advice, advice on potty training....not buying it 100%. She hasn't been there.
What do you guys think? Do you take advice from someone who has never been in your shoes?? 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I prefer experiences over stuff.

Each year as the holidays approach, we are asked by our parents what we'd like for Christmas, what to get the kids, etc..... And every year we make a list. I include lots of ideas for gift certificates and things. I do this because we prefer to have experiences. Our kids have tons of toys. They don't need more. What we always want to do is take them places, do things, go to the movies, go to the museum, even Chuck E. Cheese. Because it's fun. We have fun together. We make memories. But as a one income family, we can't afford to do those things often.

THANKFULLY, my mother in law actually listened this year and bought the family season passes for a local amusement park. We've had them before, but not this past summer, and several times the kids had asked to go. Had to tell them "no". We ended up going once...we got some free passes from our nephew who worked there this summer.

I know the main reason they do not prefer to give things like that is because there is no real gift to open. My daughter is 8, almost 9, so she can read and gets it. If she got a gift card for Chuck E Cheese, she would know what it was and know what it meant right away. Our son, he's only 3, almost 4-- he probably wouldn't get it.

What are your favorite gifts to receive?? Do you like giving things like gift certificates?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Got my mom a Kindle for Christmas!

Prices have finally made it affordable for me to give a Kindle as a gift! I debated last year on getting one for my mom....going on on it with my brothers. But I wasn't sure. So I held off. But this year, Target had a FANTASTIC deal on the Kindle 3g...only $84 on Black Friday. Luckily they had them when I got there.

So I have the device and have opened it and set it up and played with it. I uploaded a bunch of freebies for her and also bought her a couple of my favs. I'm really excited to give it to her. She reads all the time. My only hope is that it isn't too complicated for her. My parents are not tehno savvy people. It is super simple for me to navigate...I only hope mom will get it. Last thing I want is for her to get frustrated and set it down and not use it.

Anyone else get a great deal on an eReader as a Christmas gift???

Monday, November 28, 2011

All in the name of research

When it comes to writing a story, I am extremely visual. I need to often see a picture of something to be able to describe it with enough detail that it is believable for the the reader knows what I am talking about. So, many times I have had to research things online (Thank you internet!). It is one reason I have a real hard time working without internet. Sometimes I am mid-scene and need to look something up right that second...I need a visual.

When I was writing Karma Kameleon, I needed a really fabulous wedding dress for Lexi, my MC. I am not a wedding gown designer, so for me to just come up with a fabulous dress in my head would be extremely hard. So instead I went online and looked up dress designers (Lexi would never wear something un-designer from like David's Bridal or something! LOL!) And I found the perfect dress that Lexi would so pick out for herself. I described the dress in my MS and having the designers description right there helped too.

Last week I was writing a scene for my current work in progress and there was a scene with a little bit of BDSM. So not my I really knew NOTHING. And after viewing a few BDSM shopping sites, I am even more confident in knowing it is just not for my writing, or in real life! LOL! Kudos to those who like's just not me. But anyway, it helped to see pictures of things to be able to describe them.

And then today, I am writing an engagement ring shopping scene. I obviously know what a ring looks like...I have my own. But mine is very simple...a solitaire. My character would not want a simple solitaire. So I Googled engagement rings. I kind of had an idea of what I was looking for, and found it on a site. It helped to have a picture in front of me as I wrote the scene.

So, sometimes research can be really really ring and dress shopping!! And really really informative, like BDSM toy shopping. Just another great thing about being a writer!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving thanks!

It's that time of year where everyone reflects and gives thanks for what they are truly thankful for. I try to be thankful all year long for the blessings in my life. But a holiday once a year to be extra thankful is nice too!

I am, of course, thankful for my family. My kids are the best thing in my life, even when they are driving me insane!! And my hubby too....though I sometimes feel like I am a single mother of three as opposed to a mom of two. LOL! I'm thankful for the things in my life that bring me joy, even though they are not perfect. I know I'm not the perfect mom and wife either!

I'm thankful for parents who don't judge and just let me live my life the way I need/want comments, no complaints. Cause I've seen my fair share of parents who DO NOT treat their adult children that way.

I'm thankful for our health. We've been lucky and have only had minor ailments throughout our lives. My wish is to stay that way!

I am thankful for how far I'm come in my writing career. Sometimes I can't believe how much I've grown as a writer in the last 3-4 years. I am thankful for the start of my career and hope great new things and successes are in my future.

There are many more things I am thankful for, but I think these are the most important! :) Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Busy busy busy! What's your excuse???

I know my blogging frequency has gone downhill...waaaayyyyy down-Everest. I used to blog 4-5 times a week, and lately it's been 1-2 max. I hate that I have not been here like I used to be.

But I've noticed I'm not the only one. Makes me wonder if the blogging thing is done and outdated. I love Twitter...been doing that a lot the last few months. But honestly...even that seems a bit slow now. What will the new thing be???

But anyway, things here have been hectic for me. I've been putting most of my time to writing and editing and trying to push my career forward. Once I finished copy edits for my next release, (Karma Kameleon in January 2012!)  I sat wondering what to do next. It was October and there were still two goals for 2011 that I hadn't met yet. I'd planned on revising an old manuscript and getting it ready to submit again. And I'd wanted to finish another complete manuscript. I had one that I started in May. I was 40K in....about halfway.

So I made a plan. And the plan was gonna need A LOT of my time. I spent the last two weeks of October revising my old MS. I managed to get it to a good place and fixed all the things that were wrong...added the subplot I desperately needed.  Then on November first, I dove into my first ever NaNoWriMo. Now I was not playing by the rules...I was being a total Nano rebel, but I was using it to finish my project instead of starting a new one. 50K would definitely get my MS where it needed to be.

Plus throw in the complete planning and prep for my parent's 30th anniversary party last weekend.

But I am happy to say everything is going well. I got behind on NaNo over the weekend with the party....4 days went by without one single word typed. BUT I am happy to say I am almost back on track. I was hoping to be on course by tomorrow, but it looks like it may happen today if I can stop fooling around on Twitter and Fb and Blogger and actually go write. But in my defense, I'm kinda stuck right now, so I needed the break. :)

So, continued wishes for luck on your NaNo projects or whatever you are all doing! have a great day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ever wish you were somewhere else???

We were supposed to be somewhere else today. Everything was all set and planned and then it all changed and we couldn't go anymore. I understood the reasons, they made sense, but they didn't stop me from being sad.

Many days I struggle with the fact that I am not where I want to be...and it's not just my physical location. I know we all feel this way from time to time. Things just don't work out the way you hoped/wanted. I try to just be happy with where I am now, what I'm doing now, but it's really hard sometimes.

Hoping 2012 will be a good year for me. I have some things to look forward to...some things I hope will happen for me. I am doing all I can to make things happen for myself. Wish I knew what more could be done.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My favorite things about owning a smartphone

The last time my cell phone contract was up, in 2009, we debated. Blackberries were BOGO. But for both of us to pay $30 each a month for a data plan was just ridiculous. It would have been cool to have but it wasn't a necessity. In the end we passed and went with regular phones, no data. I said to hubby, "Maybe in two years I'll be more important and it will be worth it to pay the monthly fee."

This past May our contracts were up again and I wondered if I was really any more important than I had been two years before. Kinda, I guess. In 2009, I had just signed my first book contract, but the book wasn't due to come out for another year. But in May 2011, I had three books out, with another contract just having been signed. I was blogging, networking online, etc. So I did spend a lot more time online.

So I upgraded to an Android phone while hubby stuck with a regular phone (And let me tell you, there is slim pickins. If you don't want a smartphone, you have like three phones to pick from and they aren't great.) I love that I can stay on top of my email and not log on each morning to 50 unread emails. I can keep up on Twitter and FB and all that stuff when I'm not on the computer during the day. It's been real great for me and my career and networking.

BUT....there are also some fun advantages too!! If we're in the car listening to the radio and don't know the lyrics to a song, I can look them up right then and there! If we're watching TV and want to know how old an actor is or who they're married to or if that's really the guy who was on that other show like 5 years ago....I can look it up! I no longer have to boot up my laptop to check movie times. I can search for specific stores or restaurants right on my phone while we're out.

I was watching a special on the History Channel a few weeks back...the Top 100 Inventions of All Time. guess what #1 was....the Smartphone.....passing radio and TV in the #2 and #3 spots.

I have to say I agree.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giving away the milk for free????

Lately I've been wondering what the best way is to reach readers and get them to buy your books.

I'm on Twitter, I blog, I Facebook. I occasionally visit Goodreads and Amazon message boards and groups. I participate in blog hops. I run contests.

I recently did a reader survey to find out what entices readers (read it here) and most readers told me they get most book recommendations from friends. Makes sense. If you love a book, you tell the world. So I've assembled a Street Team and will be shipping out promo packets in the next few days. Hopefully that's a step in the right direction.

But recently I was told readers have found new authors by free Kindle reads. Who doesn't like free??? Just about anyone will give a free book a chance. No loss if they hate it. But if they like it, and like the author's style and voice, will they go out and buy their other books? This is what I'm wondering now.

What do you guys think??? Has anyone done this before??? I am not self I'm not sure it's even possible for me to give my book away for free on Kindle.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To NaNo or not to NaNo?????? And Contest winner!

I've decided to NaNo this year. But I'm being a rebel. Technically you are supposed to start a new project for National Novel Writing Month...but I'm not. I have a book I started earlier this year and need to finish by the end of the year (It was one of my New Year's Resolutions). So, I decided to participate in NaNo this year and finish it. Not sure if I'll need the full 50K to do it, but we'll see. It's at 41K I need at least another 40K.

But I'm delayed by a day or two. Two weeks ago I made a personal goal to revise and do one edit of an old project that's been on my hard drive for years. This story is really great (I think, anyway) and after these tweaks, I think it might finally find a home out in the publishing world. But I just didn't have enough time to finish. I'm only a day or two away, so NaNo will wait. I'm sure I can catch up.

So, without further ado.....the winner of my Spooktacular Blog Hop Giveaway is:

Holly Wright!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And.....the survey says..........

It's time to FINALLY share my survey results with you guys!!! So many surprising results!!!

To recap, a while back, I put together a survey for readers. I wanted only readers to fill it out...those who did not also write. I truly think non writers have very different reading and purchasing habits than those of us who read as well as write. I know some writers did fill out the survey too...but still...the results are pretty shocking, if you ask me!

So lets not waste any more time.

Survey was filled out by 112 people...but only 100 completed the entire survey. (YAY! I got my 100!!)

Some genre questions:

  • When asked their favorite genre to read (only one answer allowed), the #1 choice with 39% of the votes was ROMANCE!!!!!!! Second was mystery with 16% and then women's fiction with 13%. the only choice to receive zero votes was biography. 
  • 77% like to read different genres.
  • 60% said friend recommendations are what encourage them to try a new genre.  Second most popular answer was reviews that accounted for 20% of the votes.

And when it comes to the physical book:
  • 81% preferred softcover.
  • Treebook edged out ebook by only a smidge....51% versus the 49% who prefer digital. 

And their reading habits:

  • The two most popular times to read is in the evening and before bed, both with 27% each, but many people answered "other" and said "all of the above".
  • The most popular place to read is at home with 50%, followed by work with 20%. There were a bunch of "other" answers for this too- car being one that appeared a few times. 
  • When asked how many books they read per month, the most popular answer was 1-3 with 44%. The second most popular answer was more than 10 with 24%. 
  • Only 53% said they borrow from the library, but 62% said they borrowed from friends.
  • 70% of readers read ebooks and 71% own a digital reading device. When asked which device, Kindle was the top answer. 73% said they do not read books on their smartphone.
  • 36% said they read for more than 10 hours a week. Second was 4-6 hours a week with 23%.
  • When asked how they choose what books to read, (and asked to check all that apply) 28% said friend recommendations. 23% chose reviews and 20% said browsing the bookstore/library. The "other" answers included book clubs and bloggers.
  • 86% said they do seek out new authors to read. 

Now let's talk money and purchasing habits:

  • Surprisingly, 35% said they buy more than 24 books a year! 25% said they buy 3-6 books a year. 21% said they purchased 100% of the books they read, as opposed to borrowing.
  • The number one place to buy books is online (Amazon and B&N) with 27%, and 23% buying from brick and mortar bookstores. Used bookstores accounted for 16% and yard sales 8%.
  • When asked who/what influences their purchases, (and they could select all that applied) the number one answer was friends with 32%. Reviews counted for 23%. Newspapers, online forums, bookstore displays, and bestseller lists ranged between 9% and 12% of the votes. "Other" answers were blogs, covers, book clubs, favorite authors.
  • 83% said their friend's opinions on books matter to them.
  • 68% said online reviews (Amazon, B&N, etc..) influenced their purchases.
  • 82% said Facebook ads do not catch their attention.
Lastly, I asked about reader's social activity:

  • Only 22% said they frequent Yahoo groups and other forums dedicated to readers. 
  •  But 69% said they visit author blogs, websites, Twitter, etc..
  • Only 20% belonged to a book club.
  • 51% said they belonged to Goodreads or other online reading site. 
  • 40% do write reviews of the books they read. And when asked why the other 60% did not, some of the answers were:  too busy, no time, never thought to do it. 
  • Lastly, 53% said they have sent an author fan mail, including Fb and twitter messages. seems as if friends and reviews play a big role in what people read and buy. I think a Street Team is the right way to go! So glad I got that going!! :) And when it comes to advertising and deciding where to spend my time online, it seems as if readers don't really look at ads or spend their time in reader forums.  But the blog, website, FB, Twitter seem important. And one result that surprised me...paper versus digital was pretty neck and neck. If I'd asked this question a year or two ago...I think the results would have been way different. And who knows what the same question will get me a year from now!

Here is the link for the entire survey so you can see the results for yourself!

HUGE thanks to all those who participated!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spoooooooooooktacular Giveaway!!!!

It's almost Halloween!!!! I personally love Halloween....who doesn't love candy??? But I really adore coming up with creative costumes and donning them! I've been Like a Virgin Madonna, a package of Smarties, Monopoly, a Dancing with the Stars Champion, Mother Nature, The Leg lamp...just to name a few! :) Hubby's been Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Fartman,'s been really fun! We jump at any chance to wear a costume, actually! We've donned many 80's outfits and most recently went disco for a party!

Now for my giveaway!! First of all, I am giving away a tshirt! It's got my book cover for A Bitch Named Karma and my tagline! Very cool!!!! (It's a size Large.)

Plus, a digital copy of any one of my books! Winner's choice!! Please make sure to read my Prize Rules!

(T-shirt will only be shipped to US address :( Sorry! But the book is good internationally!)

Entering is simple! First, you must be a follower! Second, just leave a comment with your favorite costume of all time! Please leave me your email address so I can contact you...if not it could be real hard to try and track you down! You can get extra entries by Tweeting or FBing my post! (Both of which can be done with the linky box at the bottom of my post!) Let me know if you've Tweeted or Fb'd with a separate comment for each! :)

Please stop by I am a Reader, Not a Writer for a list of all the participants...they're ALL giving away prizes!!!!!! And there are over 400 participants!!!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

When I grow up...

Adults always ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. I wonder how many actually do become what they'd wanted to be when they were 4 or 5 years old? I think there'd be a surplus firemen and ballerinas. :)

As far as I can remember, the first thing I ever wanted to be was a teacher, probably 6-7 years old. And that is COMPLETELY hysterical to me now. I am not good at teaching anyone anything. There have been times I've been asked to teach and in dance class, or crafting and scrapbooking, even in writing, and I just do not possess the ability to explain how I do things. I just do them. My daughter is only in 3rd grade and already I am having a real hard time trying to teach her and help her with homework. And I have very little patience. I could never ever home school. I think I would go completely insane. IMHO, teachers go through a lot of NY state all teachers need a masters degree...and I just can't see how I would ever be able to do as good a job as the professionals. But huge kudos to those that do home school, though!


I remember later on, like 11-12, when I was just starting to play with makeup and stuff. I'd wanted to be a cosmetologist. I'd wanted to do everything: hair, nails, makeup, the works. Years later, after I was in high school, I found out there was a high school in my city with a cosmetology vocational program. I'd wished I'd known about it before choosing my high school. But knowing what I know now about myself, I'm not sure I would have been happy doing that either. I have no patience for my own hair now. But I do enjoy putting on makeup.

When I was in 8th grade, I had to choose which high school to go to. In my city, each area has it's district school...the one you went to if you didn't get into one of the good schools. But no one really wanted to go to them. You had to apply to the better schools and hope you got in. I knew which school I wanted to go to....but it was a vocational school and I had to pick what vocation to apply to. I remember going to Open House and touring the greenhouses. It seemed like fun. So I applied for Horticulture. And got in. I really did enjoy it, but it wasn't until my junior year that I decided I did want a career in horticulture. I wanted to be a floral designer.

But then my senior year came and I became the reporter for our FFA chapter. (I lived in a city, so there wasn't any actual farming going on, but we did many of the other FFA things like floriculture and such.) I wrote articles for local newspapers and I liked seeing my name and words in print. I applied to two colleges, one for Floriculture Merchandising (a program designed for those who wanted to own and operate a flower shop) and Journalism.  I got into both programs. I chose floriculture, probably because it was more familiar. I worked in the floral industry for almost 14 years before leaving it to pursue my dreams of publication in novel-length fiction.

Funny what you used to want and where you actually turn out and the different paths you take to get there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Anyone got a Street Team?? I do!!

I am so super excited about this!!!!!!

I heard about a Street Team a while back and thought it sounded like something cool to do. Something new....a different way to reach readers. So I gave it some thought, and through the wonderful Facebook, I knew I had an easy way to contact friends who lived all over the country. So I set to work contacting them! And I put together a small group of friends- 6 women- representing CA, MA, FL, TX, MO, and OK. So excited to get started!!

I ordered a bunch of promotional materials- postcards, rack cards, magnets, stickers- all inexpensive or free (LOVE Vistaprint!). Waiting for those to arrive and then I will send them off to my friends to distribute to their friends and family, hand out to coworkers, tack up on community boards and at the library. I put together a press release too, so they'll be getting those to take into book stores.

And in exchange for their help, each will get a signed copy of my book and in the future, if they would like to continue helping me out, will receive advance copies of my books and other fun stuff.

Has anyone else done a Street Team?? What are you doing? Any advice???

And before you click away....DEFINITELY go check out Shannon Messenger's AWESOME giveaway to celebrate her book deal!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pretty please with sugar on top!

Hello!! I told you all a while back that I had put together this reader survey...all kinds of great questions about reading and purchasing habits. I've gotten great response so far, but haven't quite gotten the number of volunteers as I'd hoped. I was hoping for 100 and I'm at 79.

The results are so so interesting and I really can't wait to share them with you!

But if you could, please email the link to friends and family that may be interested in participating. It's short, only 30 multiple choice questions..takes maybe 2 minutes to complete. I'm hoping for purely reader opinions, not writers. I think we as writers have far different reading and purchasing habits than those who do not also write.

Thanks so much!! Here is the link!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Six!!!!! Paradise Cove!

This is from Paradise Cove!

“I think you need to go.”

The wide-eyed expression showed his shock and hurt. Gabriel’s lips started to form words, abandoning them in favor of narrowed eyes and a jaw clenched tight. “Maybe I was right all along,” he snarled as he walked toward the sliding glass door, then stared directly into her eyes. “You will run this place into the ground.” He stepped into the rain, still completely naked, without a look back.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I wanna read it, but I also don't.....

I'm about 75 pages into a book right now...but I haven't picked it up in over a week....maybe even two weeks. I started this book with such high's one of my favorite authors and the most recent in a series. I won't mention it cause I really do not want to give anything away. The opening was great...she sucked me right back into the lives of the characters I have loved for years.

And then she went and did something that made me so incredibly sad. I laid in bed reading and bawling my eyes out, wondering how she could do this to me.

I haven't picked it up since. I know there's more sadness to come and I'm just not ready to deal with it. That night she had me so upset I couldn't sleep.

This experience just proves how deeply we as readers can care about the characters we read about. Especially something like this. I've read about these characters for years...4 other books. They are a part of my life...a part of me...even a part of my writing.

Has anything ever affected you like this????

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday- Karma Kameleon!

Here are the opening 6 lines to Karma Kameleon, the sequel to A Bitch Named Karma!

“Rich, I’m pregnant.”

The last time I’d said those exact words to him, it had led to our breakup and my entrance
to a dark and dreary pit of misery. This time, instead of a dumbfounded, confused expression, a
huge grin formed on Rich’s face and he kissed me. We laughed and he told me how happy he
was and how much he loved me.

“This is perfect.” He lay next to me on our bed and combed his hand through my hair.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The unlikeable protagonist????

Sometimes the main character in a story starts out a bit unlikeable.....unreleatable.....

When I first searched for an agent and publisher for A Bitch Named Karma...I had a real hard time. I didn't realize my character was unrelatable and unlikable until I was told so by an editor who judged a contest I entered the story in. And at first I couldn't see it. (What? They are COMPLETELY crazy!) But then I did start to see what they meant. And it angered me a bit. Yes, Lexi is self-centered and materialistic and just a the beginning.... Did all these agents and publishers really think I wrote an entire story with a main character like that who did not learn and grow throughout??? I thought they should have had a little faith that the character would not stay the same. That she would turn into a character the reader would love and admire and really feel connected to. Don't all main characters in any movie or book develop throughout the story? Become different people, or at least better versions of what they were in the beginning.

I have two prime examples of stories where the protagonist starts out really mean and nasty and unlikeable.

Let's first take Lightning McQueen from Cars.

This has long been one of my kid's favorite moves, and in my top 3 Disney films. I really just love it. But Lightning starts out very unlikeable- he's mean to his crew, he has no respect for his fans, he pushes his driver to go all night, promising to stay awake with him...then falls asleep on him. He's plopped in a new town where he insults the residents and does a crappy job fixing their road- his penance for destroying it. But as the movie goes on, he slowly learns what life is all about and what really matters. In the end, you can't help but root for him to win the big race...and even when he doesn't, he's still the winner. I get teary every single time I watch it.

And something a bit more adult, the character of Darcy in Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed.

I adored the main charter in the book, Rachel. Like most women, I identified with her on so many levels. And even though she did a bad thing, I wanted her to do it because she deserved to and her supposed BFF, Darcy, was such a colossal bitch. But in that story, Darcy was not the main forward to book two- Something Blue.

I did not expect Darcy to be the protagonist and I did not like her AT ALL. She was the bitch who made my "friend" so miserable in the first book. Several times I wanted to put the book down and not continue. But I did because I had faith in the writer and the character. And in the end I did like Darcy and enjoyed her story. I liked watching her mature and become a different person.

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where the main character was not likeable in the beginning?? What did you do?? Did you put it down, or did you push on...having faith that the character would grow and develop??

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Survey is up and running!!

I got my survey together and it's been live for a few days now. I am getting some really great feedback on it!! I really cannot wait to share this facts with you all!!

So please please please.....share the link with anyone who would be willing to help me and fill it out. I really only want readers--non writers--to fill it out. I think writers have completely different habits when it comes to reading and purchasing books. I just want the answers from pure readers!!

Thank you!!!! Click here for the survey!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Did you know I have another blog?????

Yes...I try to keep up two blogs. Tried it once before....a cooking blog I did with another writer...but that kinda failed. Went well for a while but both of us just got too busy to keep it up. It's kind of a pain to post a recipe and review and all that...takes a lot of time.

I've always had my other blog in the back of my one day I just decided to do it. Not sure if many of you know, but I am a HUGE Disney World fan. I  love the planning process that goes into a trip and all my friend know I am the one to come to with Disney-related questions. And everyone always seems to have the same questions. So I decided to start this blog as a place for them to go...with all of my advice already there and waiting. 

It is mainly an informational blog, so daily posts are not completely necessary. But I do try to post once or twice a week to keep it updated.

So if you're a Disney World fan like me, please stop by!! Disney Dreaming

Friday, September 23, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation....

Today I am participating in a blogfest, hosted by Michael Di Gesu at In Time!! Who doesn't want to hold onto summer just a tad bit longer??? This sounded like a fun way to relive my own vacation and share in everyone else's!

Click here for the list of participants!

So here's my entry:

My summer vacation this year was very close to not happening.

Most years we don't even take a trip during the summer. The weather is so nice here and there is so much going on all summer long that there really isn't a need. We tend to travel in the fall and winter, when we really need a getaway. Our yearly trek to our favorite vacation destination, Walt Disney World, was all planned for November. But then we had to postpone the trip. And this only made me completely desperate to go somewhere, anywhere. But that wasn't exactly easy.

My husband was due for a job transfer this summer and we couldn't make any plans in case the transfer went through. Months we sat around waiting and waiting and finally we just booked a trip. Nothing fancy. Few days at the beach. His bosses had been dragging their feet and it wasn't looking like anyone was going anywhere.

And then, of course, the transfer came through.

Somehow he managed to pull some strings and get the vacation days he needed. We packed up our car, with not a single square inch of room left, and were on the road by 4 am, as planned. We sunned, played in the sand, jumped over waves. We rode thrill rides and coasters of all kinds, and even some awesome water slides. It was fun and exactly what we'd needed!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy medium between Modest and Whore?

Maybe "whore" is a little much..but I was hoping to grab some attention here!! LOL!! This kinda is a continuation of yesterdays post.

I am a very modest person...or at least I try to be. It's just not in my nature to brag about myself, my accomplishments. I mean there are some people I my mom. She always wants to know everything that happens to me, my kids, etc... But it's my mom. Of course she wants to know.

Part of why I keep most things to myself is because I think of others and if I think certain news will possibly hurt someone's feelings or make them sad, I would rather just keep it to myself. Like a while back. We were getting close to our Disney trip. We were excited. I love talking about all things Disney World. But one of my friends was going through a rough time financially. So I felt it wrong to talk about my upcoming vacation. I've also been going to the gym for almost 2 years, so I've lost weight, toned, etc... But I won't brag to my friends about it. I know they're all struggling. And I'm not I don't feel like I can brag even if I wanted to.

It's the same with my writing successes. I know so many writers who are struggling and just can't catch a break. I know how I felt every time I read about someone's newest achievement when I was struggling. (And there are many days now where other people's good news still hurts because I am not as far in my journey as I'd like to be right now...but that's a whole 'nother post.)

BUT then there is the other side of me that needs to be the "whore" and put myself all out there for the world. I NEED to get my name out there, my books, my blurbs...I need to generate traffic to my website so people will read the excerpts I posted that will hopefully entice them to want to read my books. Being quiet and reserved will not sell books.

So how about you??? Are you a bragger?? Or do you keep quiet?? Are you somewhere in the middle?? Got any pointers for me?? :)

And PLEASE share the link for my survey....Readers writers!! Survey

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Is it best to be everywhere??

As everyone knows....or if you don't know....pull up a seat and listen close....authors need to do about 99% of their own promotion these days. Unless you're Stephen king or JK Rowling....

But the rest of us need to put our names and books out there...entice readers to spend their hard-earned dollars on our book. Social media has made this relatively easy. There are so many places to put your face and books: Facebook groups and author pages, Twitter, blogs, Goodreads, Yahoo groups, LinkedIn, and a million other places.

But what is best?? Where should you spend your time? Is more better?

I am lucky enough to stay home and not work outside of my home. I have one child home with me and another who is in school full day. I get a decent amount of time each day to work and network. But I still have many interruptions and responsibilities. So it's not always all that great. I do what I can. But that means I have to limit the time I spend doing Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, etc... I could spend hours and hours each day doing that. But that means I get little or no time to actually write.

And what about the working writer who has to do the 9-5 all day and only has a couple hours each evening to do all their writing related things???? They can't spend all of their little time networking and promoting. Or they'd never have anything new to promote.

So my question today is...does it really pay to have your face and hand in EVERYTHING out there???

I do what I can...I think I'd rather do a couple things, and really do them right, than try and visit a million places each day. But I have days where I feel like I'm not doing enough. that I should be doing more. But then my work in progress suffers. There's only so many hours in the day and I can't neglect my family (and I don't want to). And as much as I would loooooove it...I cannot survive on an hour of sleep.

Lastly today, if you can help me out...I have gotten my survey up and running!!! Yay!! It is for readers ONLY, not writers, so please please please send the link to anyone you think may help be willing to help me out!! I will be posting the results here on my blog in a few weeks!! I think the info will be very valuable for all authors!! Survey

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lucky 13

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary! My how time flies! LOL! But really does. Can't believe how far we've come. 13 years ago hubby was making far less money...I was working full time at my first career, making far less than him. We were almost ready to close on our first house.

Now hubby is making lots more, (me lots less, but I am in a different career, just starting out), we have two kids, a bigger house, more responsibilities.

We have a great life. We work hard to have what we have, and enjoy everything we do. We try to make the best of each day and just have fun.

Not much of a celebration this year. It's Monday, so we can't really go out or anything. We might go out to dinner and take the kids. We'll get them in bed and relax with some of our favorite shows that start brand new tonight (How I Met Your Mother!!) We don't have money to buy each other presents but we don't really care.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My first Sunday Six!

I think I'll start out with something from A Bitch Named Karma.

A strange woman stood nearby wearing a long patchwork dress fusing together hideous mismatched fabrics, one appearing to be burlap or something else equally coarse. Her long reddishorange hair flowed past her behind and she ranted about something. I ignored her screeches as I walked by until her pale hand shoved a photocopied paper in front of my face.

“Change your destiny!” she screamed. “Karma will destroy your life if you don’t change your ways!”

“Yeah, okay lady.” I pushed the Karma Kronicle back at her.

“You’ll be sorry…” I faintly heard as I continued on.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Survey says......

I've decided to do a reader survey to try and find out what entices a reader to buy certain books, where they find out about the books they choose to read, and their favorite ways to read them. I would like the survey to be completed only by readers who do not also write. I think there is a huge difference in how writers choose what they read versus how purely readers do. I know many of the books I read are because they are friends of mine and I want to support them. Readers don't really do that.

How can you help? Why thank you for asking! There are a few ways!!

First of all, if you have a question you are interested in knowing, please share it below!

Second, if you would be willing to pass the survey out to friends, family, colleagues of yours who are purely readers and not writers, that would be awesome! Comment below and let me know!

And lastly...all readers who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for all kinds of goodies. So...if you have any author swag or fun stuff you'd like to donate for the cause, please let me know!!!

Thank you thank you thank you!! And, of course, after it's all said and done, I will compile the info and share it with all of you!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The eternal question: Treebook vs. Ebook??

I make absolutely no attempt at hiding the fact that I ADORE ebooks and ereaders. For me, it made reading easier and more convenient. I love the size of the device and what it gives me. But I also love paperback and hardcover books. Reminds me of being a kid and snuggling up in my hot pink vinyl beanbag chair and reading.

I just love matter how I read them.

Hubby bought me a hardcover for my birthday. It is the fifth book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I am a huge huge fan of Ann Brashares, so when I heard this book was out, I had to have it. But digital wasn't good enough. I know I will read this book again. I just need to have a physical copy.

But part of me really wants the entire series in digital format's just so much easier to read than holding the heavy hard cover.

Do you own any books in both formats???

And don't forget to sign up for my Blog Event!! Button is on the right hand side!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Call me naive, call me ingorant, call me stupid.....

Ever have one of those days where you sit back and wonder why you're really here...what are you supposed to be doing...are you living your life in the best possible way???

One of my biggest flaws is that I let what other people say bother me. And it's not that someone judges me directly....but I hear other people talk about what they do, or don't do, and it makes me wonder if they think I am naive, ignorant and stupid for doing the things I do and making the decisions I make. Their statements make me feel I'm a bad person, a bad parent, for doing the things I do. I tell myself not to care what others think....but I can't help it sometimes. I tell myself not to let what other people say make me feel like less of a person, but again, I just can't help it sometimes.

I was at a picnic the other day, and conversation turned political. I immediately withdraw when any conversation turns too political or religious. I have my views and I prefer not to share them. I know not many share them and I prefer not to get into heated debates over these topics. I don't see the point. No one's minds will be changed, and no one will change mine. So why get all worked up??

But just listening to the conversation had me questioning myself and what I do and why I do it and I hated that. I have my own mind and I hate that I let other people's opinions affect me.

My husband and I have built a life for ourselves. We try our best. We want to raise happy healthy kids who are caring and considerate. We want to live happy lives, enjoying each other and making the most of what we have. I know there are times we put too much emphasis on material things and spend our money frivolously. I know all the bad that is going on in the world, but I sometimes tend to tune it out. Call me ignorant...but sometimes I prefer to just live in a happy bubble. If I focus on the bad it makes me so depressed and sad....anxious and scared. I don't want to live my life like that. I can't control anything outside my own life.

So I do what I can to make our life happy and I do what I can for our community. I know I'm not doing as much as other people do, but I like to think I am helping at least a little bit.

So...on that note....if you haven't already, please sign up for my Lucky in Love Blog Event!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blog focus???

 When I started this blog, it had no real focus. I didn't know much about blogging then. I just did it because it was something I thought I needed to do to help build my platform. It sounded something I could get into. I wanted to share myself and my journey. But once I started, it really became something I hadn't expected. I found an amazing community of writers and readers. So so supportive!! And I did my best to support them in return. I blogged mainly about writing related things. I couldn't really teach anyone anything, but I did my best to share my experiences on my journey. But everyone seemd to enjoy my posts and appreciate them.

But now I just don't know what to write about. I guess I can keep writing about the same topics. But I still am not a teacher...I don't think I will ever feel like I can come on this blog and teach people. I still have days where I feel like I know absolutely nothing.

My readership has dropped CONSIDERABLY. I am not happy about this at all. Makes me think that I have lost everyone...I am not interesting one cares what I have to say. I tried chalking it up to summer...but summer's over. I posted my new cover last week and I only got 4 comments. :( I'm trying to do a Blog Event in a couple weeks to kick start my promotion for the fall. Only two participants beside myself (and I know them in real life! LOL!) I know I haven't been around much posting on other's blogs...this summer really pulled me away from the computer unlike any other summer has. But I promise...I am jumping back in!!!!

I struggle with topics to write about...many of my current followers are also writers, so I know they are interested in informational blogs. But as I said, I can't teach. And I want to attract non-writers too.

So here I sit, wondering what the heck to do!!!

Please please please sign up for my Blog Event on the 19th! Click here!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's my birthday!! But I have a surprise for all of you!!!

I know birthdays are not special to many people...but for me...even as I step into my mid-thirties today...I still feel special on this day. I think everyone should feel special on their birthday! It's the only day of the year that is just for you.

I have long sine abandoned parties on my birthday, but in our family, we still celebrate. The birthday person gets to choose where we go for dinner and we enjoy a nice meal together. I don't get as many presents as I used to...and I'd be lying if I didn't say I missed it! Can't help it...I'm a girl who likes to be spoiled!!! But my parents and my mother in law always treat me to something and hubby too...but usually I pick out my own present and say "This will be my birthday present!) LOL!

So anyway...without further ado..I have a present for all of you on my birthday!!! It's sultry and sexy and I can't wait to hear what you think! It's my new covert art!!!!! Karma Kameleon will release in January 2012 and here is the cover!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If you've got it, FLAUNT IT!!!!

Content Warning!!!
Today's post is for 18 and over only!

Today I have interviewed a fabulous friend of mine, fellow romance author Natasha Moore!! Her latest release is Flaunt It! Learn a little about her and what she did to celebrate her book releases

Hello Natasha! I have the standard first question for you! :) Have you always wanted to be a writer? What made you decide to write romance? 

I’ve been writing my own stories since I learned how to read and write. I used to pass around my own version of fan-fic back in 6th grade to my classmates, stories written on lined notebook paper.
As I grew up, I realized I liked books with romances in them, and always wished there was more romance in the books that didn’t have them. So making sure there was enough romance was a no-brainer when I began to write seriously. I read all across the board, but still long for more romance in the stories that aren’t romances. Hopeless, I guess.

I see you are published with three houses, Samhain, Ellora's Cave, and Red Sage. Why go with different houses? Pros and cons to doing so?

After writing and submitting and getting soooo close, but still getting rejected, I decided to tweak five different manuscripts for five different markets and submit them all at the same time. I told my husband that if I threw enough stuff against the wall, something was bound to stick LOL. Within a six month period, I sold three of those projects to these three publishers. There are many pros as far as I’m concerned. I like being able to write different types of stories. I like the experience of working with different editors. I like not having all my eggs in one basket. The only con I’ve seen is when I had releases at the same time with more than one publisher, and then it’s just the fact that life got a little crazy then.

When did you join Romance Writers of America? And how has it helped your career? 

I joined RWA when I first started writing romance, and that was a LOT of years ago. LOL. The resources and the people I have met while being part of this organization have been instrumental in my career, from the support from my fellow members, to the contests that brought me in front of editors, to the education and information I’ve gleaned from the workshops and loops. I doubt I would have continued to write for publication if it wasn’t for the people I met through RWA.

You've had lots of releases! A little birdie told me you have done something special for each of those releases? Care to share with my readers? ;)

You mean my ink? After I signed my fifteenth contract, I celebrated by getting a tattoo with fifteen hearts. I’ve signed four more contracts since then, so I may have to add some more hearts soon. 

Now let's chat about your new release, Flaunt It! Fab cover!! Tell us about it- blurb, inspiration, etc...

 I’d love to talk about Flaunt It, and Paolo’s Playhouse, the series that launches with its release. Actually, the idea for the series came first. I wanted to write a series of stories, each focusing on a different fantasy, and thought that an exclusive fantasy playhouse, and its sexy owner, Paolo, would be a good way to anchor the series.

The first two stories play with exhibitionism and voyeurism, and take place in adjoining playrooms, on opposite sides of a two-way mirror. Here’s the blurb for Flaunt It:

When it comes to sexy and sassy, Piper, the most popular waitress at Ben’s bar, has it all going on. Now that they’re dating, though, Ben wishes she’d dial down the skimpy clothes and flirty attitude, and her habit of dancing and flashing to her favorite song. Every teasing peek at her body, every a laugh at some customer’s lousy joke, is certainly good for business—but it sends his jealousy meter into the red zone.

Sure, they’re dating, but he’s no muscled, tattooed stud with diamonds in his ears. How can he compete, especially when she refuses to even spend the night at his place?

Desperate, Ben books a room at his friend Paolo’s fantasy club, hoping an erotic night in front of a two-way mirror will get her exhibitionist streak out of her system. Praying it won’t prove his greatest fear—that she lives only to show off. And he’s not that special to her at all…

The second story in the series, Risk It, will be released Nov 15th. The other two stories in the series will be released in February and May and play with ménage and bondage fantasies.

Can we have an excerpt? 

Of course!

“Did I ever tell you that you’re a great kisser?” she asked.

“No.” He was a little surprised. He’d never put a whole lot of thought into kissing. As far as he was concerned, it was just a prelude of things to come.

“Well, you are,” she said, threading her fingers through his hair. “Kiss me again.”

Ben ran his tongue across her slick pink lips. She tasted so sweet. But a taste wasn’t enough. Never enough. He pressed against the seam of her lips and she opened to him. When he plunged his tongue into her mouth, Piper moaned and leaned into him. She started to suck greedily on his tongue, and each pull caused his cock to throb in a matching rhythm.

His heart raced; his breathing kicked up too. There wasn’t anything better than the feel of her body stretched along his, her softness cradling his hardness. Except when his cock was buried deep inside her. And if they didn’t slow things down just a bit, this evening was going to be over real quick. She didn’t need another quickie. He let up his grip on her shoulders and they broke apart. Her breathing was just as ragged as his.

Whatever made him think a quickie in her apartment would make any difference in the way he wanted her now?

“Off,” she demanded and tugged his shirttails out of his trousers. He helped her with the buttons and shrugged out of the shirt.

“So are we just going to screw around or what?” she asked. “’Cuz I’m getting that itch between my toes again if you know what I mean.”

Yeah, he knew. She reached for his belt and Ben stopped her hands with his own. They were usually equals when it came to controlling their sex play, but tonight he was going to direct the action.

“Wait,” he said.

She looked up at him, her eyes wide and curious. He led her over to the deep gold curtains that covered one entire wall. He placed his hands on her shoulders and moved her to the center of the space, facing the curtain. “You wanted to know what this room is for? What fantasy you can live out in here?”

Piper nodded and without a sound watched as he walked to the corner of the room and pulled on the cord. The curtains parted smoothly, silently, revealing a mirror that covered the entire wall from floor to ceiling, from one corner to the other. He met Piper’s confused gaze in the mirror.

“Some people like to watch. Some people like to be watched.” He came up behind her and slid his arms around her, pulling her against him so that her ass rubbed against his aching cock. “And I know you like it, babe. You like to be watched.”

Her eyes widened and she might have tried to back up, but he was pressed up against her and she couldn’t move. “This is a two-way mirror?” She stared into the mirror as if she was trying to see through to the other side. “There’s someone on the other side watching us?”

“Your fantasy, right? I know you like to be looked at.” He slid his hands up to her breasts and squeezed. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

Spicy...I like it!!!!

Any secrets to success you can share with me and my readers?

There are no secrets, I’m afraid. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Be open to new ideas. Don’t give up.

And just for fun:

Favorite restaurant: A little restaurant in our village called Hungry Hannah’s, where we meet friends for breakfast every Sunday morning.

Favorite store to shop at: Clothes shop? Christopher and Banks.

Favorite vacation destination: Outer Banks. We’ve stayed there almost every year for nearly 10 years.

Favorite sweet snack: Chocolate.

Favorite TV show: Bones. I could care less who the murderer is. I love the interaction of the characters.

Thanks for having me as your guest today!

 Check out Flaunt It and Natasha's website!