Friday, October 31, 2014

Freebie Friday & Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you're having a safe and spoooky holiday!

Today's Friday Freebies are two short and sweet clean romances (just over a hundred pages each.)  I haven't read them yet, but I downloaded them and put them in my TBR pile.

Here's the a small back description of the first one And Something Blue:

Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends her days helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Will true love ever come her way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after?

If this one looks interesting to you, click hereto download your free Kindle copy.

Here's the small back description of the second one, Hearts in Harmony:

Elahna Nezario gave up her musical dreams to help run the Queen of Hearts, her mother’s chocolate shop, after her sister’s sudden death. After an unfortunate run-in with Elahna’s childhood crush, owner of the Dolce Theater, not only do her dreams surge back to life, but so does her heart.

If this one looks interesting to you, click hereto download your free Kindle copy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Writer's Retreat Report

I was so nervous and excited for my first writer's retreat.  We got into beautiful Bear Lake right around dinner time and went to a Chilean restaurant (I got a sweet pork dish that was really good!) Then we headed over to the condo where we would be staying.

We chatted for a bit, then did some work. I was surprised at how well I was doing in concentrating. I let myself cruise Facebook for every chapter I finished writing.  That was good for me and kept me going.  We finished up with writing around midnight, chatted a bit more, then went to bed.

The first night I froze my hiney off because I couldn't figure out how to turn the heat up.  I huddled in my bed, thinking about putting on every piece of clothing I'd brought in my suitcase. I felt like I was camping in a drafty tent or something!

Needless to say, I was tired the next morning.  After a good breakfast, some more laughing and chatting with the crew, I got down to work.  Finished my novella and started a new book.  It was an amazing feeling.  I don't think I've ever really finished any piece so quickly and felt so happy with it. I wanted to celebrate and was so glad I was with ladies who understood that need. I broke out the chocolate and some caramel apple dip and just reveled in the feeling of finishing.

The heat was turned up that next night and I slept like a baby.  This was also the day that I wrote four new chapters to my new book.  I am SO EXCITED about this new book and the strong beginning it's got.  I showed it to the ladies up there and they were laughing in all the right places.  The characters are so awesome and coming together so nicely.  I was even COMEDIC which rarely happens.  A very productive day.  We did come up for air, though, and go to the shore of the lake and look around. It is gorgeous there!

Here are some pics I took:

I can't even describe how much fun I had there.  The only strange thing was how quiet it was. I'm not used to that at my house!  It was so quiet, I felt self-conscious chewing.  Yeah. I'm weird.  There was tons of keyboard tapping, though, and so many words were written. Wonderful, beautiful words that were meant to be shared. And will be!

So, my first writer's retreat was a success and I am sold on them now.  Especially if I can go with those same three women writers again. They are hilarious! And they liked me.  :)

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to go, to my family who stepped up to make it possible and took care of everything at home, and to my fans, who give me a reason to keep writing. Love you all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Word Count Wednesday & A Winner!

With the writer's retreat last weekend (which I can't wait to tell you all about tomorrow!) I failed to post the winner of Saints and Soldiers: The Void DVD.  So, I'm going to remedy that today . . .

*drum roll*

And the winner is, Jeni Pugh Roberts! I will be emailing you shortly.  Thank you to everyone who entered.

Don't forget the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop ends this Friday.  You can click on the link in the sidebar to enter.

With the retreat, I actually got nearly 11,000 words written this week.  Isn't it great? I'm so proud of myself and what I got done.  It feels wonderful.

How did you do this week?  Have you ever been on a retreat or had a weekend where you got a ton of writing done? It's a great feeling, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Castle Review: The Netslayer

This Castle episode was more gruesome to me than normal. We usually watch this show with our older children, and have been including our twelve year old.  Last night, I was wishing we hadn't let him watch it without us previewing it.

We start off with a young woman getting ready to go out to a club and talking on the phone.  Then, as she's taking a selfie, she gets a picture texted to her from another angle---inside her house.  Then we see the back of someone as she's attacked.

Cut to Castle filming a web commercial and messing up, but still looking good.  Martha was there "helping" him and I have to say I love the scenes with those two together. They just have such a great vibe together and this one made me laugh.  But Castle has been assured that he and this web commercial will be going viral and letting social media make him sales.  Which coincides with the case because the murder victim was a queen of social media.  She posts pictures and "reviews" on a site called Snapomatic. Which the killer also uses to post pictures of the victim before she was found. Ew.  Caskett heads over to the company, but they have privacy policies in place so there's not really a way to track down where the killer is posting pictures from.

The team does manage to get a tag off one of the photos the "Netslayer" posted, though, and it leads them to a furniture store.  A retired cop owns it, and he used to work in cyber crime so he fits the profile.  He has awls which would match the murder weapon, a threatening note to the victim had wood varnish on it.  This guy looks good for it.  They bring him in, but his alibi checks out so back to the drawing board.

The killer sends the NYPD a pictogram of three pictures of body parts, sausages, and a date.  Castle figures it out that the killer is after a social media "spoiled brat" and the team goes to put the woman in protective custody. She won't go, but as she opens the car door, she finds her boyfriend's body. Gruesome. Murdered.

But the killer isn't done. He posts pictures of Castle and Beckett tapping coffee cups and makes them look bad in the public eye.  The head honchos over at 1PP aren't happy, but Gates keeps Beckett on the case.  Caskett goes home to clear their heads and Castle starts thinking out loud that most bullies start out as victims.  That gives them some new ideas, and they go back to the former cop who was framed.  He remembers a kid and a case of cyber-bullying where he couldn't help the kid get justice against his bullies. The kid's life was ruined over the incident.  The team manages to get some footage of the guy getting the murder victim's house key, they have a face of the killer to finally go off of.  They go to arrest him, and he's there in a dark little basement, but unfortunately, as they take him into custody, they get pictures of the owners of Snapomatic, abducted and taped to chairs and electrodes, with a countdown clock.  Whomever has the least "likes" will die.  Netslayer strikes again while in custody, which he is proud of.

Ryan and Espo are sent over to Snapomatic's offices to try and figure out the men's location through the streaming pictures, but all the staff is able to do is crash the system.  It's all up to Beckett now. She questions the killer who taunts her until she talks about how his kidnap victims were probably laughing at him and he's a joke. He snaps and gives them clues as to where the men are being held. The old locker room where the murderer's bullying took place. (I totally called that up front).

Ryan and Espo rush over there and save the men just as the clock gets down to one second. And those men looked extremely relieved.

The episode ends with the debut of Castle's web commercial and it's not what Castle is expecting.  It's more of a bumbling music video of all his mistakes while making the video, like mispronouncing his name Hi, I'm Critchard Rassle.  And him knocking over a display of his books. It's sort of a catchy tune and it made me laugh. (Every writer's nightmare, though, probably! haha)  I was glad the episode ended on a lighter note.

But the best part of all, was the previews of Caskett's WEDDING and HONEYMOON.  Woohoo! I can't wait for those episodes in November.

Did you watch last night? What did you think?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Freebie Friday on Monday! (Because I Was Gone)

So, as you all know, I was at a writing retreat this past weekend. I'm excited to tell you all about it on Thursday.  But I missed Freebie Friday and couldn't access my blog, so my beautiful daughter posted for me.  (Apparently, my favorite child.  Definitely one of my most amazing and talented children, that's for sure.)

But I missed posting Freebie Friday, so I thought I'd do it today.  Your freebies today are The Love List Collection, (it was recommended to me for anyone who loves sweet romance) and Witch Rising, a novelette from Amber Argyle.

First, The Love List Collection

 Here's the back copy:

Four sweet, short stories about small town romance... and wine!

The Love List Series

Love on the Airwaves - Jennifer Conner

After being on a big-city network news station, the last thing Tessa Sheldon wants to do is return to the small town of Mercy Ridge to work at the local radio station. But, she doesn’t have many choices.

Police Officer, Dolan Nash, wants to feel something other than the pain and death that’s surrounded him the past few years. If he keeps his head down and focuses on the peaceful quiet of the small town, the memories will stay quiet as well.

Sometimes we keep secrets inside. It’s easier than bringing out the darkness of our pasts. Will Mercy Ridge be the place where Dolan and Tessa find peace… and possibly love?

Love Found Me - Sharon Kleve

When it’s Chloe Miles turn to pick a name out of The Love List she didn’t expect to find true love. She just wanted to go on a date with a nice, available guy. Not one who drank too much, or was unemployed and wanted to stay that way. Or especially one who didn’t know what monogamy means.

Mitch Brodin didn’t know his heart was in the hands of The Love List. His Fate was set the moment he set foot into Roy’s Pet Rescues looking for advice on how to care for new born kittens.

Chloe is vivacious, unpredictable, and tons of fun, while he is methodical, predictable, and well… cynical. He surely hadn’t planned on falling in love. But that’s what you get when you’re not looking for love.

Blind Tasting - Angela Ford

Dr. Rebecca Miller is devastated over her fiancĂ©’s affair...with her best friend. Country charm is the best medicine. Along with a good friend and a bottle of wine.
In the heart of wine country, four friends spice up their book club and create The Love List. Love is the last thing on Becca’s mind until she’s matched with Chase Tanner.

Chase discovers the love list and believes to be fooled. Can Becca convince him she really does love him?

Building up to Love - Joanne Jaytanie

A small town can be a friendly place to call home and an impossible place to find a date. A shop owner starts a singles-mingle but only has three attendees—not a single man in sight. The women continue to meet, and change their name to The Love List. Each write names of single men and drop them into a basket. The Love List seems a success as each of the women finds their true love, except Laura. She is certain the basket is cursed.

Travis Jerome is new to town. He jumps at the chance to work on Laura’s B&B remodel, to once again have the feel of a hammer in his hand. For something to last a lifetime it must start with a strong foundation and build up from there.

If this collection looks like something you're interested in, you can download your free Kindle copy here

The second freebie is Witch Rising.

Here's the back copy:

*A novelette*

A ship burns, sinking into the dark sea. There is only one survivor—a child hunted for the power of her song. Hidden away on an isolated island, Lilette buries her power deep, convinced it caused the deaths of those she loves.

But she can’t run from who she is. And when her secret is revealed, the only thing that can save her is her song. It’s time to rise up and become what she was always meant to be: the most powerful witch ever born.

If this looks like something you're interested in, you can download your free Kindle copy here

Friday, October 24, 2014

Talk To You Later

This weekend I am on a writing retreat, but the blog will be back upon my return! Happy Friday. Here is a picture of my favorite child. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Zucchini Bread Recipe

With a chill in the air, it feels like time to make some zucchini bread (your house will smell amazing) and settle in with a good book.

Here's my favorite Zucchini Bread recipe:

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 c. oil
2 c. sugar
2 c. zucchini, grated
3 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. milk

Combine eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini.  Mix.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.  Makes two bread loaves.

What's your favorite snack to make while you curl up with a good book?