Saturday, April 30, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 26: Z is for Z End

Yeah...I'm out of ideas. :)

Here we are...the end of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. And it was tougher than I thought it would be. I did schedule 95% of these posts ahead of time. It was just easier that way for me. Some of the letters were real easy. Some were harder. I liked how some bloggers chose a theme. If I do this next year, I think that's what I'd do.

But I was so excited to connect with bloggers I had never met before! I gained a bunch of new followers!! So yeah for that!! And welcome to all my new friends!!

So now we're back to regularly scheduled programming. Hallelujah! Got all kinds of great posts planned!! Check back often!! :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 25: Y is for Youth

Is there any truer statement that "Youth is wasted on the Young?"

I never thought so until I started to get old. And now I understand it completely.

Youth is full of new experiences and I wouldn't trade any of my teen years. At times I had been frustrated and angry, embarrassed, unsure, shy....but everything had been so new and exciting. After 12 years of marriage and 2 kids, there isn't too much that is new and exciting.

Not that I'm complaining!! I adore my family and I love my husband with all my heart....but sometimes I do reminisce about a time when life was always fresh and new.

And don't even get me started on the body...eating anything I wanted with no weight gain.... No back pain, no joint pain...never tired, just go go go! No wrinkles, no gray hairs, no sagging boobs...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 24: X is for X-rated

Okay, now this challenge is getting tough. Very few words came into my head that have an x: x ray, xylophone. I'm interested to see what X-words everyone else came up with!!

I chose X-rated as my X word. Within my genre there is A LOT of x-rated stuff. There is always talk somewhere of the differences between erotic romance/erotica and porn. And there are HUGE differences.

Sex is a part of romantic fiction, whether the author chooses to hold off til the very end and hide it behind a closed door, or lace it throughout the book with completely open scenes detailing every moment. But even these incredibly detailed scenes are still not considered pornography.

The reason is the intent behind the sex. In a romantic fiction story, sex is there to progress the story forward. It always has a reason. It's an integral part of the romantic journey between the hero and heroine, filled with emotions- desire, lust, love, sometimes confusion, frustration.

Sex is a part of life and no romantic story would be complete without it. Now I'm not saying a romance novel is incomplete without a sex scene. But the story will end with the knowledge that the characters will live happily ever after and will eventually consummate the relationship.

In porn, sex is there for a completely different reason. The sex is all that's there- no emotion. It's there to excite and that's about it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 23: W is for Warm Weather

Now I am rarely one to complain about weather. I live in the Northeast, an infamously snowy area of New York. It gets pretty cold here in the winter and it can snow...a lot. But I'm used to it. When everyone else in town is complaining on Facebook because of the latest snow storm, I am replying with "Well, it's Buffalo...what did you expect?" I've lived here my entire snows...I deal with point in complaining.

But I do get to a cracking point. I won't say "breaking point" because I really don't break...I just start to get annoyed a little. This back and forth in spring gets to me. We'll have a nice warm day where Mother Nature gives us a little taste of what we're all eagerly waiting for. Then snatches it away and gives us a week of rain/snow/sleet/hail. I get sick of bundling up...I just want to wear my clothes outside, not several layers. I want to wear my cute summery outfits, I want to wear sandals, I want to go to the park and not freeze.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 22: V is for Vision

I have a vision for my future. I think most people do. Or at least, they should.

I want the typical American Dream of being able to make money doing something I love, raising my children in a safe environment with love and as stress-free as possible, and enjoying time with my family. I want to be in a place financially where we don't worry about bills. I'm not looking to be rich or buy extravagant things, I just want to be comfortable and lose the stress of existing on one income.

What's your vision for the future??

I can see your future...and it includes a guest blogging spot on my blog or an interview!!! :) Anyone interested?? I'm thinking of starting a weekly feature. Let me know by posting a comment or emailing me directly:

Monday, April 25, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 21: U is for Umbrella

I love the lyrics to Rhianna's song "Umbrella".

When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath, I'm a stick it out till the end

Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella

Is that not the perfect definition of marriage???

When it's fun and sunny and things are going great, you're together and taking it all in, enjoying it all, basking in the glow. But when the bad stuff comes, and it does, it always does, you need to be able to stick together and get through it, together.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 20: T is for Tea

I am a tea drinker. I have tried coffee, and various coffee beverages, and I just cannot get used to the taste. I suppose if I dumped a ton of sugar and creamer in it, I could probably drink it, but why do that just so I can be cool??

Instead, I drink tea.

I remember when I was a kid and summers when my mom would visit. She drank tea and let me have some too, and we always added sugar and milk. It was tasty. But when I grew up, I was drawn more to fancy flavored teas that needed no additives. Au naturale. Though I do add some honey of I need to..sometimes certain teas are just too bitter.

Usually I go for a green tea, a fun flavor. No black tea for me. Yuck! But I recently started drinking red tea at the cafe where my writers group meets. Very good!!

And the funny thing is that I do not drink iced tea. Just don't like it...tea should be hot!! Iced tea just tastes like tea that has been sitting out too long...I wanna go throw it in the microwave and warm it back up!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 19: S is for Stephanie

Yeah, that's me! This is the most recent photo I have of myself (with hubby)...I look pretty darn cute if I do say so myself! :)

So, an A-Z post all about do I narrow all the fabulosity of me into one short post??

As you can tell, I'm in a pretty good mood today. No clue as to why exactly. Life is good and I don't have anything to complain about today!!

So for my newer followers, maybe I'll just give you all some quick facts about me!!

Hometown: Buffalo, NY, born and raised and still living here (though I did move to the suburbs when I got married).

Birthday: September 8th, a true Virgo through and through.

Favorite Place to go on Vacation: Walt Disney World (I always have a trip in the works. Visit my Disney Blog here!)

Alltime Favorite Band: New Kids on the Block (Already got tiks for two shows this summer)

Hobbies: Dance (I take an adult jazz class and perform every year in the recital), Scrapbooking (nothing better than taking pictures and making them into works of art!), golf (I'm not an athletic person AT ALL, but I can golf decently)

Got any fun questions about me you'd like answered?? Post them below!!! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 18: R is for Romance Writers of America

I did it! I joined RWA!!

I had held off for a while. First of all, the price seemed steep and I wasn't sure I'd get enough value out of it. Much of it seemed online and there is a local chapter but I already have an awesome writers critique group, so why did I need another?

But then I did the Small Press Book Fair in Buffalo and felt snubbed and completely out of place. I needed to find where the romance readers hang out. And how better to find them them than by hanging out with local romance authors? So I decided to look further into RWA and the local chapter. I visited their site and they have some pretty interesting things coming up, including a meet where a Harlequin editor is coming to accept pitches. I thought that was way cool, even though I have nothing that would qualify.

The online RWA stuff seems good and I look forward to participating. I am dying to go to the national RWA conference in NYC this summer, but I would need some major cash. If I drive and stay with a friend, I would still need about $800. (And I'm already skrimping together funds for our family vaca in November.)

So, I'm giving RWA a chance and hoping I get my $110 worth!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 17: Q is for Queen

I'm not even gonna try and deny it...I am the Queen of my Kingdom (aka, my home).

The King is the one who supports our Kingdom financially, but the Queen is really the one in charge of the show. The Queen keeps the Kingdom organized and running efficiently. The Queen makes sure the Prince and Princess are cared for, though the King does his share too.

We have a lovely little Kingdom here, though it isn't without it's problems. But like any good royal pairing, we work together to keep peace in the Kingdom and make sure everyone is happy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 16: P is for Photographs

I love taking pictures! Always have! I even love being in pictures, though most times I am the one behind the camera simple because there isn't anyone around to hand it to.

I am huge on memory making and capturing those memories. I fell crazy in love with scrapbooking a while back and turning my memories and photos into works of art.

I think photography is my favorite art the way a photographer can capture a facial expression, a landscape, something simple and showcase it in a way that is pure art. I once wanted to learn all about photography and I even bought a fancy slr camera with plans of buying all kinds of fancy lenses and such. But it didn't happen. And now that 35 mm camera is pretty much obsolete.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 15: O is for Ocean

I just love the ocean!!!

My first experience with the big blue was when I was a years old. My mom had moved to the west coast when my parents divorced. The summer when I was seven was my first trip to visit her there. We drove to the beach in northern CA. My mom lived not far from San Fransisco. I remember walking in the ocean...and it was cold! I have pictures of me and my brother in jackets and shorts, the wind swirling my hair around. But there were huge smiles on our faces.

Since that first time I have visited the ocean several times, some east coast visits too, where the water was much warmer! And there is just something about standing in the sand as your feet sink, waves rushing over top, and staring out at the horizon. There's nothing...just blue that goes on forever.

My husband and I took a cruise for our honeymoon and then another with friends a few years later. We got to test the waters of tropical so beautiful! :)

And all you writers out there looking for representation...check out this contest at YAtopia!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 14: N is for Nighttime

The nighttime is the right time!! LOL!

There's just something about the changing of day into night and the the twinkling of stars. Magical.

When I was a teen, my family spent summers camping at a family campground. We were seasonal and we went every Friday after my dad got out of work and stayed til Sunday. We were pretty much allowed to come and go as we pleased. Days were spent swimming and hanging out in the camp's rec room playing ping pong and pool. Sometimes we'd get a volleyball game going or paddle out onto the lake in a canoe or paddle boat.

But nighttime...that was a whole different story. To quote Kid Rock, "We couldn't wait for night to come." (Yeah...his song All Summer Long pretty much describes my teen years.) I won't go into explicit detail, but there were many many many fun nights under those stars! ;)

And all you writers out there looking for representation...check out this contest at YAtopia! All genres accepted!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 13: M is for Mickey!

It's no secret to anyone who knows me personally, I have a semi-obsession with Disney World. I can't really describe it....we just love going there and have such a fun time. It's an effortless vacation and we can really relax and just have fun. Everything that Disney does is amazing and you really feel transported when you visit their parks. I even have a blog that chronicles my adventures and helps others plan their trips. Check it out here!

And is there any other character that symbolizes Disney World better than Mickey Mouse??

I think not. Disney goes as far as hiding his silhouette in tons of random places around the parks. They call them "Hidden Mickeys". My daughter found this one on our most recent trip, on the Swiss Family Treehouse:

And if you're looking for something short and fun and romantic to read, check out Paradise Cove!! It's the perfect length for reading on an iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, or other smartphone!!

AND if you are interested in entering this awesome contest to win some Disney-fied goodies, stop by Growing Up Disney! Click here!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 12: L is for Lemons

You always hear people say "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" So true. From a philosophical point and a literal point!!

I try to live my life by doing what I can with what I'm given. I do work hard and make my own luck, but sometimes life does deal us a crappy hand. And what else can you do?? Crying and throwing a fit isn't helping anyone. So I always try to find a way to turn life's crap into something sweet.

And I so love lemonade! I mean, really, what else are lemons for??? Yeah, I've had some tasty lemon chicken dishes, and it's good mixed into other meals as well, but you don't see anyone peeling and eating a lemon all by itself. Lemonade used to be my go-to beverage whenever we went out to eat. I never used to be a big fan of pop (or soda, as most of the world calls it). I was never very fond of the carbonation. But somehow that changed when I was pregnant with my first was one of my cravings and never went away. But anyway, I used to drink lemonade wherever we went. I adore the Kiwi Lemonade at Applebees!! And Tully's has some really great flavored concoctions too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 11: K is for Kite

This post kinda coordinates with yesterdays post. I mentioned how fun Western NY is in the summer...there is always somehting going on!!

And one of those things is the Kite Festival. I discovered it a few years back. The first time I took my daughter and went with my mom and dad. I had no clue what it was actually going to be like and it completely blew my mind. Huge kites, small kites, character name it, it was there. A. MAZ. ING.

So beautiful they were wavering in the wind. Some just flew while others did loops and tricks. I could have stood there for hours watching.

My daughter even got to color her own little mini kite and we flew it. So fun!

The next year it was even bigger, with food and other vendors. Hubby had to buy a kite for our daughter :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 10: J is for July

Summer is a great time to be in Western NY. Usually the weather is fantastic, especially by July. May is so so...we get good days and bad. June is usually nice, but not extremely hot, usually highs in the mid 70's. But July is when we can really start going to the beach and playing with the hose in the yard.

The kids here are done with school around June 24th...yeah...we go late. So July is the first full month of summer vacation. We almost never go anywhere in the summer. The weather here is too good. We have a lot of crap weather in Winter and Spring and there's no way I am wasting any of my beautiful summer in my hometown by going somewhere else!! We have festivals every weekend and activities galore!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 9: I is for Ice Cream

Yeah...if you're just tuning in now, I am participating in this year's A-Z Blogging Challenge. I decided to just blog about whatever word popped into my head first. Today it was ice cream.

I'm not a huge fan of ice cream. But I do like it...usually with lots of fun stuff in it. I'm not a plain ice cream kind of gal.

My alltime fav is cookies n cream. Gotta love ice cream and Oreos! But often times we buy some kind of chocolate, hubby's fav, with soemthing in it. Everyone at our house seems to love Chocolate Panda Paws...chocolately swirls with mini PB cups. I love a good hot fudge sundae...the more fudge, the better!

Ever go to Coldstone Creamery??? We love to go there. I have ordered fun stuff from their menu, but I love to design my own too. I love getting a simple ice cream and adding Oreos and Reese cups! Tasty!

Why are so many of my A-Z posts about food...mainly desserts????

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 8: H is for Home

Before you read today's post, please stop by Sondrae's Corner! We're giving away TWO copies of Paradise Cove, my latest release!!!! And follow her while you're at it!! She's awesome!!!

Okay, on with today's post!

They say "Home is where the Heart is". Home can be the physical place you live...home can be your family...home can refer to the city or town you live in or grew up in.

Home is all those things for me.

I consider several dwellings "home". The house I grew up in will always be home, even though my parents no longer live there. The neighborhood got pretty bad and they decided it was time to move out. My brother does live there now...just so the place isn't empty (plus he was out of work for a while, and a free home was ideal). That house is where I lived from the time we moved in in early 1980, when I was 2, going on 3, til I got married and moved out in 1998. More than 18 years that was my home. And even after that...we'd visit my parents and it still always felt like home. They moved about 2 years ago and I have to say, as inviting and homey as the new house is, it doesn't feel like home to me. It feels awkward to walk into the house without knocking.

Hubby and I bought our first house just after we got married. We closed 2 days after returning home from our honeymoon. We loved that little house and really thought we'd live there forever! But then we had a child and the house got really, really tiny! But we lived there for 9 years...and that place will always be special to us.

When we were ready for baby #2, we knew it was also time to move. We found a house that was a little bigger than our old house, but the set up was also much better. And as weird as it was at first, trying to make this house into a home, we eventually did and now there are so many things I love about it and still so many more things we want to do with it in the future.

My city is also my home, though I don't live within it's borders anymore. I live a few miles outside the city now...a suburb. I have never really living anywhere else and I love this place. I'm proud of my city, and so often it gets a bad rap and people underestimate it. There's so much here that people don't even realize.

And of course, my family is my home. I'd be nowhere without them :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 7: G is for Grammar topic.

When I first started writing seriously with the intent on finishing an entire novel, I knew nothing. I just wrote. It was kind of freeing then. No rules, no thoughts of agents or publishers, or sales or reviews.

But then I finished it and wanted to get it out there for people to read. I went through and corrected the errors I found and then I sent it out. I later realized just how awful my grammar was. I am a great speller, so that was fine, and I know the proper usage for there, their, and they're. But tenses and POV and adverbs and dialogue tags.....I could go on and on......

It had been many years since I had last taken a grammar class. Like freshman year of high school, if not before that. I couldn't remember all the rules. I had to buy myself a little grammar handbook and basically relearn it all. And it didn't sick. I had to keep referring back to that little book repeatedly. Even now, after going through the editing process three times with a professional editor, and learning a TON, I still don't remember it all.

But thank God for my editor!! She is fantastic and just keeps helping me!! My only hope is that each time it at least gets a little better!!!

And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop by the fabulous Sondrae Bennett's Blog! She interviewed me about my newest release, Paradise Cove!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 6: F is for Fudge

No, not the Ralphie Parker "Oh Fuuuuuudddddgggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Though I do love that one too!!

But I mean this kind of fudge:

It's one of my guilty indulgences!!

I admit, I have a serious sweet tooth....the more sugary, the better. I love buttercream frosting even more if I can feel the gritty texture of the sugar on my teeth! Yeah, I know I'm probably weird.

But there is just soemthing so perfect about fudge. It's just a huge leap above regular chocolate for me. Plain chocolate, I can kinda do without. I like it ti at least have nuts or something. But fudge...mmmmmmm.....yummy all on it's own. I do like some flavored fudges...the cookies n cream, or hazelnut. Not a huge fan of pb fudge, but once in a while!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge Day 5: E is for Education

E is for Education!!!

We all know how important an education is today. It's a basic necessity...and high school isn't enough...hell, in a lot of professions, a bachelor's degree isn't enough! And I'm not just talking doctors and lawyers. In New York State, teachers need a masters teach any grade...even kindergarten!

I think about my dad. He dropped out of school after 9th grade. This was the 60's, so back then I guess it wasn't so abnormal. His dad had died when he was just a baby, so he needed to get a job and help support himself and his mom. He was the youngest, and at that point, I think his two older siblings had already moved out. But back then, it really wasn't that weird. He got a job, moved on to a better one, then by age 17 I think, he was at the job he would have his entire employed life. (He's turning 60 this year and is still there. Not sure if he plans on retiring in two years when he can start collecting Social Security.) It was a decent job- put food on our plates and heat in our house... Back when he got the job, jobs were just did what they had to and many worked to live....they didn't have jobs they pursued because they enjoyed them.

But today things are different. People generally seek out jobs they enjoy. And it's super competitive. Most careers require years of schooling and even then, a job isn't guaranteed. Employment goes to those with the most education, the best grades, the most experience.

I myself hold only an associate's degree. For my field, Floriculture Merchandising, that's all that was needed back then (mid-90's). And I think it is still sufficient. Maybe a more in depth business degree would help in addition to the floral design, but what I learned in my two years of college is enough to successfully run a floral business. I did it for several years.

But even today, do all careers really need higher education???

Since my college graduation, I have changed careers and often wonder if a degree in creative writing would help me now. It may have helped earlier in my writing journey, when I was struggling with relearning grammar and learning to plot properly and avoid using adverbs! But would it help me further my writing career?? I don't know.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge- Day 4: D is for Dog

As I stated approach to this blogging challenge is to just blog about the first thing that pops into my head when I think of the letter for the day.

Today's letter is D. And Dog popped into my head first.

Do you have a dog? Are you a dog person at all???

I had a dog growing up....her name was Blondie...a mix breed that we rescued from the SPCA. I never took are of her, never cleaned up after her. I liked her but she was just kinda there. I had always wanted a cat, but my dad was allergic.

It wasn't until I got married and had my own place and my own dog, that I really fell in love with an animal. My hubby had always wanted a rottweiler his whole life. When we got married, it was the first time either of us had lived on our own. And we didn't wait long to get a dog. We brought our rottie puppy, Chaos, home not even a month after we closed on our house (which was 2 days after we returned home from our honeymoon!).

Hubby had chosen the name years before. If we had know that he would be such a chaotic dog, we might not have named him that! He was wild when he was a puppy- he never liked his crate and used to make big messes in it. He chewed through everything. We had him neutered at 7 months old and not only did he rip out his stitches, twice, he tore open his skin after it had been surgically glued shut. And yeah...he had one of those cones on the entire time. He used it as an aid in his debauchery! That was two weeks of pure hell. When he got a little older, he calmed down. Plus, after having him professional leash trained, we could actually walk him! Not easy to walk a 120 dog if he wants to go his own way!

But he was such a sweet dog! We really think he thought he was a very small animal. He had no problems with climbing right up onto our laps. He greeted us at the door every day and just loved being with us. We used to take him to the park and just drive around with him...he loved it!!

When we brought home our daughter, hubby was really nervous. He had a real hard time restraining the dog. But he just wanted to look at her and sniff her. After that first day, we never had one worry. He was so good with her....

When he was 7 years old, we started to notice he wasn't himself. He just laid around. When he stopped eating, we knew we had to take him in to the vet. The diagnosis: lymphoma. We could have done chemotherapy, but it cost about $2000 and would only give us another year, max. We were torn over what to do. We decided to do what we thought was best and made an appointment for euthanization. We could have let him go and die at home....suffering for possibly months...but we just didn't think it was right. We had plans to go away on vacation and the thought of him dying in the kennel while we were gone just broke our hearts. We made the appointment and the vet gave us a prescription for prednisone, a steroid that would help him the last few weeks of his life.

Those last few weeks were great....Chaos regained his appetite and he was back to his old self. My husband questioned whether or not we were doing the right thing. I had to remind him that Chaos wasn't really better....the meds were making him better. The day came and we got a sitter for our daughter, who was 2-1/2. The excitement in Chaos was heartbreaking...he always loved going for a ride. He jumped and spun at the door as my husband put the leash on his collar for the last time.

We sat in the room with him the entire time. I can honestly say it was one of the hardest moments in my life.

We did get another dog, only two months later, actually. I'd wanted a small dog. Our tiny house had gotten even smaller after having a child and another big dog didn't sound appealing. We got a miniature pincher and named her Scarlett. We really have to give more consideration to our pet names, cause she was fiesty as all hell!! This 10 pound dog was just too much for us and after only a year, we found her a new home....a friend of my husband's from work who already had two mini pins. It only took her a week to become alpha dog...even over an older male.

We have been dogless ever since.....4 years. It's been weird....but also kinda nice. We never have to watch out in the yard for "piles" and when we go away, we don't have to worry about paying for a kennel or finding someone to watch the dog. Our belongings are never chewed. But sometimes I so miss having a head to pet and snuggle. When Chaos was around, I always felt protected.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Release Day for Paradise Cove!!!!

God, I love this cover!!!

Skipping Movie Monday this week...but still doing A-Z Challenge!!!!! (See below!! My apologies for such a crazy long post today, though I did cut down the challenge part, significantly!!!! Bare with me!!)

Today is the day!!! This is the official release day for Paradise Cove, my first short novel published by Lyrical Press!!

"Short Novel" is defined, by Lyrical as a story between 15,000 and 20,000 words. It can be read in about an hour- an hour and a half, depending on your speed. I think it's the perfect length to read on a Blackberry, iPhone, or other Smartphone. Think about the time you wait at the doctor's office, or when you're waiting to pick the kids up from wherever they may be- dance, sports, etc... this is the perfect story for you!!

And at a bargain price of only $2.50, how can you go wrong?????

Paradise is nothing if you choose to enjoy it alone.

When Shelby Saunders jetted off for a relaxing week in Cancun, she never expected to fall in love with the quaint piece of Mexican heaven. Or make on offer to buy it.

The Paradise Cove, a run-down Cancun resort, is in desperate need of TLC. Shelby can easily envision the resort as it was in its heyday and sees its potential. She vows to do everything in her power to return it to its former glory.

Though the previous owners’ grandson, Gabriel, insists that she will destroy his family’s resort, and a neighboring resort owner doubts in her ability, Shelby’s resolve strengthens. But when she finds her lists of repairs and the stack of bills piling up around her, hope begins to fade. Will she swallow her pride and accept Gabriel’s love and financial help, or be forced to give up her dream of Paradise Cove?

Content Warning: Contains brief sexuality.

Click for purchasing info: Lyrical Press

But if you'd like to win a copy, all you need to do is post a comment below and I will draw a winner!!!!! make sure you include your email address!!!! Feel free to pass the link along...if I get more than 50 entrants, I'll give away a second copy!!

And here is my A-Z Blog Challenge post for today: C! let's see what pops into my head for C..............looking around my living room now..............................................Christmas.

I know you're wondering what I could have possibly looked at in my living room to remind me of Christmas now. Well......I kinda still have some Christmas decorations up. Okay, no "kinda" about it. There is a 3 foot faux tree on the ledge of my bow window, all lit up, with ornaments and everything. Long story short, after the daunting task of packing up my big tree after Christmas, last thing I wanted was to undecorate another tree...even a tiny one. So I left it.

It's got silk magnolias and the garland is a burgundy marabou boa. All the ornaments are from the Hallmark GWTW collection.

I may still put it away...if I think of it. Usually I forget it's there.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge- Day 2: B is for Bitch

It's day #2!! I think I'm gonna approach this blog challenge by writing about the first word that pops into my mind that starts with the designated letter. Sound like a good idea??? I guess we'll just have to see who this goes!!!

Sooooo....the first "B" word that comes to my mind is...........Bitch.

Sorry...not trying to be profane here. The word is on my mind a lot, since it's part of my debut title, A Bitch Named Karma.

The name of the book was originally Not Another Chick Lit Novel. Originally the book was spoofy, kinda like those Not Another movies. It kinda poked fun of the genre and every bad cliche of the genre happened to one chick lit author all on one day. But as the story evolved, and became an actually story with a journey and emotion, the title just didn't seem to fit. (Plus, I didn't think it a great idea to make fun of my peers...I love chick lit, reading it and writing it!) But I couldn't think of anything else.

Then one day at my writer's group meeting, I had taken my newly updated query letter for some critique. The last line of the query said something to the effect of "....this bitch named Karma...." One of my fellow writers thought it sounded like a great title for the book. And I agreed. And then my brain swirled with ways to bump up the karma aspect in the story. It was always there, but now it was worked more into the main plot line.

But as much as I loved the title, I wasn't sure about using the "B-word" on the cover of a book. How would agents and publishers...readers...respond??? For a while, the title was A B!$@& Named Karma. Until a fellow writer (love those guys!!) told me not to be just go for it...not to hide or be afraid of my title. Karma is a Bitch and I shouldn't be afraid to say so. And he was so right.

And besides, those Skinny Bitch books were doing so well, why couldn't mine??

So there is post for B!! Any thoughts on words like this in a title of a book????

Friday, April 1, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge- Day 1: A is for Apple

This year I am participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge!!!! Click here for a list of participants!! This thing is huge!!

So, here I sit to write post #1.......and maybe I am getting in over my head here....... I can't even think of one word that starts with "A" aside from apple and that's because I'm staring at the picture in my post of an apple!!

Should I fight the urge here or just go with it?

Maybe I'll just go with it and if I think of a better "A" topic, I will come back and change this before the post goes live.

A is for Apple.

Yep....I know you are super excited here. :)

I am not a huge fan of apples. I prefer other fruits like green grapes, strawberries, pineapple, especially the fresh stuff. Most red apples are way too blah for me. If I eat an apple it has to be a super sweet/tart one like a Granny Smith. Yum. Those are tasty. I practically lived on them after my son was born...apparently nursing makes you very thirsty. So I ate several a day. They're so juicy!

I do love apples in desserts though. A nice crumb-topped apple pie, warm, or an apple dumpling. I even had a pie at McDonald's the other day, apple, and those are darn tasty too!

Have you ever had apples with cheese fondue?? If you go to The Melting Pot, they give you apple chunks with your cheese course. And it is pretty darn good!

So there it is, post #1...about apples. Got a favorite apple dish???