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?