Thursday, July 31, 2014

An Emotional Day

I wanted to tell all my friends who have Nooks, that Ring Around the Rosie is now available on Nook!  It's $5.99 and you can click here to see it!

Today was a bit of an emotional day for me.  My son's fiancee got her bridal pictures done and invited me to come and see it. I wish I could post a picture, just so you could see how beautiful she is.  But as I stood there and watched her laugh and talk and kiss my son, I was so overwhelmed.  Just seeing how in love they are and how sweet they are with each other brought tears to my eyes.  I know, I'm a sentimental mom, but it just touched my heart.

I love seeing people in love.  I love being in love.  I love when my children are loved and love others. There's just something about love.  I even love writing about it.  As human beings love is something we crave, need, and thrive on.  I think that's why romance is the highest selling genre in books.  Those butterfly feelings that turn into something solid and real is hard to resist.  And real love is something to be treasured.

So, as I was wiping away the tears today I was grateful for love in my life and in the life of my son.  And I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to see it, and feel it, and share it.

Okay, I need a group hug.  *hugs*

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

$175 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! Don't Miss This One!

What would you do with a 
$175 Amazon Gift Card?

11 authors have come together
to give you some SUMMER FUN READING
and a $175 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Click on the image to read a summary of each book :)

GIVEAWAY ends 8/31/14 

No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was organized by I Love to Read and Review Books :) 
and sponsored by the participating authors.
A.L. Sowards
Christy Monson
Ashley Lavering
In This Together Media
J. C. Whyte
Debbie Peterson
Rebecca Belliston
Rebecca H Jamison
Rachelle J. Christensen
Alivia Anderson
Julie Coulter Bellon

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Writer's Toolbox---Exercising Your Imagination

photo credit: Nutmeg Designs via photopin cc 

I've mentioned before a game I sometimes play with my kids while we're in a line waiting.  We people-watch and try to make up stories about what they're doing and why.  We've come up with some really awesome stories that way and fun memories.

The more I think about it, though, the more I realize how much I love people watching and thinking about characters who might look like them.  For example, just this morning I went to the grocery store even though I was having a bad hair day.  (And yes, I was praying I didn't see anyone I know while I was there.)  But in the produce section there was this beautiful woman, her hair done up, she had a gorgeous dress on with five inch heels. I mean, this woman looked amazing, like she was about to go for a night on the town.  As I quickly grabbed the stuff I was there to get, ducking my head and hoping no one recognized me, I kept thinking about her. Why would someone come to the store in the morning dressed to the nines? Was she hoping to pick up a cute guy in the produce section?  Had she just come from a party? A funeral? A church activity?  Maybe she was a model heading off to a shoot and forgot her breakfast so she needed some celery or something.  My mind was going in all directions as I made a beeline for my car, crouching down in my seat, happy that no one I knew had seen me.  (Come to think of it, if someone was people-watching me, they would have probably thought I was a spy. Or a crazy lady.)

The point of the blog is, that it pays to be observant.  People watching can spark character development.  It is an exercise that can really keep your imagination healthy and working. Then, when you need it for your story, it will be ready.

So store up your people-watching skills, your ideas for characters, and all the daily exercise your imagination needs.  It's a must have in your writer's toolbox.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Heart and Soul

Today I'd like to tell you about a romantic suspense book in the Minstrel series called, Heart and Soul,  by Lee Strauss.

This book intrigued me from the start.  We meet our heroine, Gabriele, who is mourning the loss of her husband.  She goes to England to get some closure and to see the cottage he's left to her in his will, but ends up finding out how many secrets her husband was really keeping.  The author has some chapters in flashback so we can really get a sense of her husband before his death.  I didn't think I would like that at first, but it really added to the suspense and the layers of secrets that Gabriele is uncovering.

While at the cottage she meets her husband's twin brother, Callum.  He's abrupt and cold, nothing like her husband, and he wants her to leave England. Now.  He will do anything he can to get her out of the country. Of course, Gabriele doesn't want to leave until she has answers and their battle of wills begins.

I loved the suspense and I loved the romance.  Both of them kept me turning pages until way past my bedtime just so I could see how it would end.  There wasn't much I didn't like about this book, there were just two tiny things that stuck out like when a house gets a bunch of windows blown out, but when the owner stays there later, there's no mention of that, and then a safehouse door is opened without checking to see who it was first, and that was just unbelievable for the professionals that were supposed to be on guard. (See, I didn't give away hardly any spoilers! I'm proud of me.)  But other than those two small items, this book was really well done. The setting was awesome, I could totally picture the tiny English town and the cottage, but the heroine and hero, both a bit bruised by life and the lot they've been dealt, are the ones who really make this story shine.  Highly recommended.  (I know this is part of a series, and I read the first book, but missed the second one and it didn't diminish my enjoyment at all.  I think I will go back and read it now, though. I really enjoyed this author's style.

Think this is a book you'd enjoy? You can get the Kindle version for $2.99.  Just click the title below:

Heart & Soul: a contemporary romance (The Minstrel Series Book 3)

Here's the back copy:


She's heartbroken. He's heartless.

Gabriele Baumann-Smith is deliriously in love with her young husband Lennon.

Except, it turns out that Lennon Smith isn't his real name. In fact, he's full of secrets: a cottage on the southern British coast, an old girlfriend and... an identical twin brother.

Callum Jones--not his real name--can't believe his brother's widow came to England. He'd warned Mick--Lennon--that an inheritance could put the girl's life in danger, and he was right.

"Mrs. Smith" is the last thing Callum needs to worry about right now. She's beautiful, sure, takes his breath away at times. But when she looks at him, who does she see?

Gabriele's heart is battered and bruised. Can one brother fix what the other left behind? And will they live long enough to find out?

Best enjoyed read in sequence:

Sun & Moon: Katja and Micah
Flesh & Bone: Eva and Sebastian
Heart & Soul: Gabriele and Callum

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each is a complete stand-alone story with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

The books include MP3 links to original music by talented Indie Artists.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Freebie & My New Book Is OUT!

I am SO EXCITED! My new novel, Ring Around the Rosie is out!  I've even received my first review! Tamera said, "I totally enjoyed the ride," and gave her opinion on my villain. You can read the whole thing here.   Thanks Tamera!
If you'd like the final book in my Hostage Negotiation series you can buy it by clicking on the picture below.


Here's the back copy, in case you've forgotten:

Revenge is a dish best served cold . . .

As the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer, Sarah Reed has known loneliness and loss. In order to cope, she makes a life for herself that’s full of routine while building a wall of ice around her heart. Everything about her is as predictable as she can make it until a tiny detour for her ex-husband, Ron, changes her life forever. Caught in a bomb crisis, Sarah is taken hostage by a man who wants Ron and everyone around him to suffer---and his idea of suffering is more terrible than Sarah had ever dreamed.

Captain Ron Reed has seen the worst of humanity in his job with the Hostage Negotiation Team, but he never expected his past to come back with a vengeance---literally. Aaron Starks, a criminal explosives expert, has stolen next-gen bomb technology. He uses it to force Ron to bargain for the lives of his team and his ex-wife, Sarah, the woman he still loves. But the situation escalates when Ron discovers that Starks has an even bigger objective in mind---using the bomb to show how vulnerable America and her people truly are.

Ron is willing to risk everything to save his country and those he loves, but when negotiations break down, will his sacrifice be too little too late?

And our Friday Freebie today is The Rainy Season by J. Adams.  I haven't read this one yet, but it looks good!  Here's the back copy:

“Life is a fickle thing, and destiny is as unpredictable as the shifting of the wind.

When I was ten years old, I wasn't concerned about either of those things until the day my mother died. That single event changed the course of my life, pointing me towards a destiny I could never have foreseen, and a love I couldn't have forsaken even if I tried.”

This is the story of a girl who was handed a life she never expected, encountering a love she could never deny.

If you're interested in downloading your free Kindle copy, click on the picture below!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

An Overdue Book Baby

photo credit: Jason L. Parks via photopin cc

I've never been a particularly patient person.  I hate waiting rooms.  I specifically make doctor and dental appointments at times when there isn't generally a wait.  When I was expecting babies, I found out what the gender was because I couldn't wait.  (All of my children obliged my impatience as well and arrived early. I loved that.)  My husband can't even put presents under the Christmas tree for me because I can't wait and am very, very tempted to peek.

I know it's all about self-control and learning how to be patient.  I am regularly given opportunities to stretch my patience.  But it's hard.

And I've been waiting for my new book baby, Ring Around the Rosie, to be born and it's killing me that we're overdue!  The glitches for this book have seemed never-ending and just when I think we're on the smooth road to delivery, another one comes up.  It's SO HARD to wait.  Especially when I want to share it with you all so badly.

But here I sit.  Waiting.

I hope you're waiting as anxiously as I am because I think this is absolutely one of my very best books.  And as soon as I have ANY delivery news, I'll announce it here first.  (Or on my Facebook fan page. Are you on that one?)

*taps fingers on desk*

Waiting . . . . it's the worst.  But hopefully worth it when I see it in my hands (or on my Kindle) right?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

Well, you're never going to believe it.  Well, I'm sure you'll believe that my word count was zero again, but that's because my book is coming out this week! Woohoo!

But the odd thing was, I had the outline for a new book come to me.  It was so exciting!  I thought I would only do one novel this year and a novella, but this new novel is really speaking to me.  I will be interested to see where it goes.

How did you do this week?

Wicked Was Awesome!

Dangit, I just barely missed the cutoff to make this post on Tuesday.  Well, pretend it's still Tuesday, okay? :)

I just got back from seeing Wicked and it was so awesome!  I loved it.  The sets were amazing, the actors and singing were incredible.  I just can't say enough about it.  The only thing I wish was different was there were times when I couldn't quite make out each song lyric, so I'm going to have to look those up for sure.

Do you go to Broadway plays? Which one is your favorite?  Have you seen Wicked?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Double Book Review & A Contest!

Husband Maker Tour

Today I am excited to share two amazing books with you, so be sure to read all the way to the end. And there's TWO Rafflecopter contests for you to enter so don't miss either one!

The first review today is The Husband Maker by Karey White.

Most of you know I had to take an emergency trip to Arizona this past week and while I never read in the car, I couldn't put this book down.  The romance was so good! I loved the main character, Charlotte, and the men in her life were so well-rounded, quirky, and fun.  It was a page-turner for sure.

When we meet Charlotte, she is at a wedding reception for her old boyfriend.  In the ladies room, she overhears some women talking about her being there and then they discuss her nickname, "The Husband Maker" because every time she breaks up with a guy, he marries his next girlfriend.  So humiliating for her and hard to hear.  She talks about it with her best friend Angus (who I loved), but isn't sure how to break her curse.  Poor Charlotte.

Her boss has been dying to set her up on a date with Kyle Aldsworth (another guy that I loved in this book. *le sigh*) for ages, and Charlotte finally gives in, even though he's nine years older than her.  That's when the sparks really fly. The romance was so fun and seeing Charlotte deal with everything that came along with Kyle was really well done.

I loved the writing style and I really thought I knew how this romance was going to end up, but I was surprised! I love it when that happens.  The only thing I didn't love about this book was the ending.  This book is the first in a series and had I known that, (and that this book ends with a serious cliffhanger), I probably would have waited until the series was all out before I started reading.  You know me, I am not a fan of cliffhangers at all, and this one practically ends mid-sentence.  So, while I loved the book, and the characters, the next installment doesn't come out until fall, and I'm sure there will be a third which means I will probably wait until the whole series is out to finish.  Cliffhangers are the worst! (But I don't know. I really want to know what happens with Charlotte.  Sigh.  Double sigh.)

To sum up, if you want a sweet romance that will keep you up tonight to finish and don't mind waiting to find out what happens, then pick this book up today!

Here's the back copy:
The Husband Maker by Karey White

The Husband Maker by Karey White 

 Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Get your copy of The Husband Maker for just $3.99!

add to goodreads new

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Karey White

Author Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.  
Coming Fall 2014 - Charlotte's Story continues in The Match Maker

The Matchmaker final ebook cover
add to goodreads new

   $25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/15/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Becoming Lady Lockwood Tour

The second book I want to tell you about today is Becoming Lady Lockwood.  This was a regency romance, but most of it takes place on the high seas. So romantic! So daring! Really different from many regencies I've read recently.

When we meet our heroine, Amelia, she is managing her own sugar plantation in Jamaica.  Her father has coerced her into marrying an English lord by proxy, but the man passed away without ever meeting her, and she is a widow, which suits her just fine.  Until Captain William Drake arrives at her door. 

He is determined to prove that she defrauded his brother into marriage and isn't entitled to any part of their family's fortune.  He has come to take her back to England to sort everything out, but he isn't prepared for how open and genuine she is.  For how much he will come to care for her and what danger awaits them on the sea voyage back to England.  Sigh.  So, so good.  The hero was everything you want in a hero and even when you don't want to like him, you do.  The heroine was sweet and brave and unexpected.  They were both very well-written and well-rounded.  The setting also was researched well and really added to the story. The only thing that bothered me a bit was that the villain in the story was built up so much, but when we finally meet him, there's not much to him.  I guess I just expected more in that respect, but the romance and adventure were so strong and well done, it made that seem less important.  This is a story that any adventure romance fan will love, so go pick it up today!

Here's the back copy:

Becoming Lady Lockwood

Becoming Lady Lockwood 

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she'd never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother's sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man's world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . .

William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia's marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family's estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . .

Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

Praise for Becoming Lady Lockwood

"Moore does a lovely job of showcasing sizzle in this must-read for fans of regency and historical romance." ~ Foreword Reviews

Jenny Moore

Author Jennifer Moore Jennifer Moore is a Passionate reader and writer of all things romance, helping her find balance with the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. You can learn more about her at The author's first book, Becoming Lady Lockwood, is a regency romance centered on the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.  

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/7/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nearly Freebie Friday

Well, friends, I am having some blogger issues today so I can't do my usual post with the cover and all the fun stuff, but I did my best to let you know that Sarah Eden's book, Kiss of A Stranger (my favorite one of hers!) is on sale for $2.99!

That is an amazing price for her Kindle books (they're usually over ten, silly publishing company!) so head  on over to Amazon and go pick up your Kindle copy while you can!

Let's hope blogger works for me by Monday. Maybe it just took an early weekend, you know? We all need those once in a while, right?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The ARCs Have Flown the Nest!

It was an exciting day for me.  The ARCs (Advance Reading Copy) of my new book, Ring Around the Rosie, have gone out!

I honestly didn't know if this day was going to come.  This have been one of the toughest manuscripts I've ever produced because I realized that when my life has emotional turmoil in it, my creative juices dry up. Like the Sahara. And yeah, I had a lot of emotional turmoil in the last six months. Thankfully I seem to be on the other side of it now, *knock on wood* and I learned a lot of valuable lessons about my life and my writing and where my limits are.

I do have to say thank you to my critique group Jordan McCollum and Emily Clawson for being my shoulders to cry on and my cheerleading section to get this book done.  Also, Jon and Debra, you guys were amazing beta readers and I am so grateful for your patience in helping me get this manuscript off the ground! I have the best fans and friends in the world.  Seriously.

So, fans and friends, I'm glad you've all stuck with me and been so patient.  I think this is one of my best books ever and I can't wait for you all to read it.

What are you reading this summer?  Any good books?  Any ARCs?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Death Comes Soft and Cruel

I know this is Word Count Wednesday, but I have no word count. My fifteen year old nephew, Tyler Hallsey passed away Sunday night.  I want to tell you a bit about this brave young man.

In January 2013, this athletic boy started having some balance issues.  He didn't seem himself.  Sports that he loved to play were becoming harder, even playing catch was tough.  His parents decided to take him to Phoenix Children's Hospital.  On Feb. 8, 2013 Tyler was diagnosed with Pontine Glioma which is a tumor surrounding the brain stem.

It wasn't something anyone would add to a list of good things, but after he was diagnosed, he was scared. Regardless, when his dad asked him what he wanted to do to beat the disease, he said, "Whatever it takes."

He tried really hard to live with a positive outlook, to do whatever it took to beat the disease.  His life was an inspiration to thousands as they all followed his story on Facebook.  His father's posts (on the Whatever It Takes Facebook page), as the disease progressed made my heart ache.  One especially touched me and I wanted to share a portion of it.

"Tyler is unable to get out of bed, so we spend a lot of time repositioning him and trying to make him comfortable. His physical therapist told us to think about how many times we shift our body when we stand or sit. Tyler can’t shift his body, so we do it for him. He likes to have his right hand on his chest. We prop up his elbow with a pillow, so his arm is straight across his chest. Since he has no strength in his arm, it will slide down and we reposition it where he likes it. It’s constant shifting and adjusting.

The other day he had a very determined look on his face and was straining to do something. I didn't know what he was doing, but I saw the sheet just above his right arm moving slightly. I pulled it back to see his elbow being lifted off the pillow just a little, maybe a half inch (this is the only movement he hasn’t lost). He did it over and over. He was really working hard. He was determined. He was exercising and doing all he could to get stronger and fight. Talk about being a proud dad. I told him how good he was doing and how proud I was of him. He got the biggest smile on his face. He was so determined and happy with what he was doing...lifting his elbow a half-inch. He was happy about something so simple, when he could, and probably should be angry that this is all he has left, but he chooses to be happy and excited. He teaches me everyday what it means to not just endure, but endure well. He is my hero.

How can I not look in the mirror and ask myself what I am doing with my half-inch? We can't waste anything God has given us, no matter how big or small. If Tyler can find joy, happiness and a sense of accomplishment in a half-inch then what's my excuse?

What are you doing with your half-inch?

Cherish every moment.

Tyler’s Dad
Whatever It Takes

After Tyler was diagnosed and battle plans were made, there was an outpouring of love for Tyler when his favorite sports heroes came to meet him or invited him to games.  Smiles lit up his face when he had visitors of any kind and he found the strength to fight on.

There is a clothing company that sells his designs.  You can see the inspirational shirts here.  

There was a song written especially for Tyler that shows a lot of his life (I posted it below) and how much he'd been through and how far he'd come with DIPG.  

He is a hero.

He battled hard.  He persevered through countless treatments.  He inspired everyone around him to do better and be better.  

He will always be a hero.

Tyler passed away on July 13, 2014.
I'm so glad for my knowledge of God's plan.  Tyler has gone on to a beautiful place where he can run and play without any pain.  And we will see him again.  Because families are forever.

But just because we don't know when death will come to any of us, tell your loved ones how much you love them.  Hold them close.  Do "whatever it takes" to forgive, to be kind and loving.

For Tyler.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Word Crimes by Weird Al--So Funny! Don't Miss This!

Have you seen this Weird Al video? It is SO FUNNY!  Seriously. If you love words, you've got to watch this one.

Were you guilty of any of the "crimes?"  Come on, 'fess up!  Haha.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The RONE Awards!

As you all know, I went to the RONE awards ceremony on Friday night. It was quite the party! I got all glammed up and headed over to the venue.  While we were waiting for the ceremony to start, this quiet new friend came to sit by us and mock the man at the end of the row. Haha!

I was on the second row and when I turned around, guess who was sitting behind me? Anne Perry! One of the best-selling authors of all time!  I got to chat with her for a few minutes and she was so gracious. She also has a charming accent! Here's the picture I got of the two of us.

Then, I had the honor of accepting the Best Fantasy award on behalf of Amber Argyle, but on my way up the stairs I tripped and nearly fell off the stage. It was SO embarrassing! The "Casanova" who was supposed to be helping me up the stairs nearly had a heart attack trying to catch me. Poor guy.  (I didn't get a picture of it. I was too mortified!)

The entertainment for the evening was incredible.  First, we had singer David Nichols (who was wearing military-style boots with his tuxedo. Interesting wardrobe choice!) but he was a great singer and had a lot of fun with ladies in the audience.  Then we had the Kristeff brothers perform (they were on America's Got Talent).  Here's the picture I got right before they kicked one of the lights on the ceiling.

And then it was time for the Suspense category.  The nominees were announced and I won Honorable Mention this year!  So, sort of a first or second runner-up, but still pretty awesome to be in the top three Suspense books for the year.  I was excited!

So there you have it.  I'd really like to thank those at InD'Tale magazine who put on these awards every year, and everyone who has supported me on my writing journey. None of this recognition would be possible without my wonderful readers and fans.  You're awesome! Thank you!

If you want to see the full list of RONE award winners, click here

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Freebie: Heart of the Ocean

Well, I am off to the RONE awards this evening. I'm so excited to be part of it! Wish me luck! (I'll be doing some live-tweeting if you want to follow along @juliebellon)

Today's Friday Freebie is an awesome historical that has all the thrills and chills to keep you up at night turning pages.  Click here to see what I thought of the book when I reviewed it.  If this sounds like a book you'd like, click the title Heart of the Ocean to download your free Kindle copy!

Here's the back copy:

In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.

While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.

After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza's life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt's death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cover Reveal for Debra Erfert's New Novel!

I am THRILLED to be able to be part of Debra Erfert's cover reveal.  Her new novel, Relative Evil, will be released JULY 25! I can hardly wait!

....drum roll....

Isn't it gorgeous? I love it!

Here's the back copy:

When life imitates art—life gets deadly.

Claire Abney, twenty-five and single, doesn’t necessarily believe that her new stepmother deliberately causes her dad to have accidents bad enough he breaks his bones. Well, maybe she does after she sees the way Adelaide marinates in the praise she gets from being the perfect caregiver. As an author of two weak-selling romance novels, Claire turns to her writing as a coping mechanism. She loosely bases the evil villain in her new suspense on her stepmother, giving her an obscure mental illness, Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy. Not wanting her family to find out that she wrote about their lives, Claire uses a man’s pseudonym, and her publisher furnishes her the man—for book signings. How do you spell “love interest?”

After Claire’s dad has a heart attack and dies, she suspects Adelaide committed murder, but trying to find the evidence may be impossible. Being the obstinate, sometimes oddly dressed woman, Claire vows to either prove her stepmother is truly sick, or a cold-blooded murderer before another member of her family is targeted.

I am so excited for Debra and if this sounds like a book you'd like to read, (and since I got to read an advance copy I KNOW you're going to want to read it. It's so good!) then you can get all the updates on her blog here or her author's Facebook page here.  

Debra and her publishing company will be having an online release party on Saturday, July 26th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. I know I'll be there! I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

My word count today has consisted of looking for all the gesture crutches I've used in my manuscript.  My characters are all nodding, smiling idiots.  I can't believe how many times I've got them nodding and smiling!

So, I've been doing a bit of revising.  After I looked over Jordan McCollum's Fixes for Gesture Crutches and the Emotion Thesaurus, I dug in and started fixing.  Oy.  It's taken a lot longer than I thought, but so far, I've added about 500 words to the manuscript.

Do you use a lot of gesture crutches?  What's your strategy for getting rid of the grinny Gus in a manuscript who nods a lot?

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fireworks and Writing--Don't Focus on the Debris

I've talked about my city's fireworks on my blog before because every year is extremely exciting.  You see, no matter how much those in charge move the barriers back (and it seems like it's only a foot a year, not very much) the public who comes to watch is usually pelted with fireworks debris.  One year a tree caught on fire.  Another year rockets were actually fired into the crowd.  Sprinklers have gone on in the middle of the show.  I can't miss our city's fireworks because, well, it's more than a fireworks show. It's got an impact. Some of our funniest family memories have been at our city's fireworks.

This year we brought my son's soon to be in-laws.  We set up in our normal seats, about in the middle of the field.  We had warned our guests about the uniqueness of our city's show, but I don't think they believed us.

And then the fireworks began.

I always sit in a chair so I'm a smaller object to hit.  And I can hunker under a jacket or some other protection. Our guests laid out on the blanket, but soon huddled together when the debris started to rain down on us.  Some of them are still hot and can sting!

Here's a picture of the debris that hit me

Yes I keep little samples every year for our scrapbook. Don't judge! Sometimes we even compare to see who got hit by the largest one.  (Don't worry, one person is always assigned to protect my little ones.)

But what does this have to do with writing, you ask?  Well, the writing profession can sometimes feel like fireworks. I don't know about you, but whenever I score a great review or when I finish a novel or when I get fan mail, it's like firewoks. It makes me happy. But then there's times when it feels like burning debris is hitting you from every side when the critiques, bad reviews, and mean mail comes along.

I know it's going to come, just like I know I will be pelted at my city's fireworks.  I just need to make sure I'm prepared as well as I can be.  My protection from the debris of the writing profession is in the good reviews I've printed out, my critique group and beta readers who assure me my writing isn't crap, and in the joy I feel just writing and sharing my stories.  Also, a large chocolate bar is helpful on the really bad days. LOL

So, today, while I'm in the middle of some really wonderful/horrible things pertaining to writing, I want to make a commitment to concentrate more on the fireworks than on the debris.

Can you see them bursting in air? The pretty swirly ones? Yeah, let's focus on that.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things (& A Chance to Win Books!)

First of all, there is an AMAZING book giveaway going on today, and in addition, the grand prize is $100 Lindt chocolate basket.  You won't want to miss this one! It's going on all day and it's easy to win, so go enter right now!  Click here for the Facebook link.

(Oh, and my book All Fall Down is being highlighted so its only 99 cents on Kindle today only! If you have a friend who's been wanting to read it, today is the day to buy! Click the pic in the sidebar.)

All right, today I'd like to tell you about Rachelle J. Christensen's new book, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things. This is the start of her Wedding Planner Mysteries and boy, what a great start!

We meet Adri, a wedding planner, and her assistant Lorea who are trying to get their wedding planner business off the ground. They have Sylvia as a client who can make or break them.  She's a diva, B actress, someone very difficult to please and it becomes worse for everyone when one of her wedding dress selections goes missing. Adri and Lorea are running around trying to put out fires when it goes from worse to catastrophic. You see, on top of everything else, one of Adri's wedding gowns, shipped all the way from China, has a little something in the lining that shouldn't be there---and the people who put it there definitely want it back.  But who is behind it all?  Such a fun mystery with lots of twists and turns and me trying to puzzle it all out in my mind.  Really well done.

In addition to a great mystery, though, there's also a bit of a love triangle. Dallas is trying to date Adri, but there's a new divorce lawyer in town named Luke whose blue eyes and motorcycle keep her coming back for more.  I loved the sparks in the relationship with her and Luke and how gentle Dallas seemed as they started dating.  Of course by the end I had a clear favorite.  

Adri is a complex character who is well-developed. There are great secondary characters as well, right down to the jeweler next door.  The ending was left open for the next book, but it wasn't a cliff-hanger and I felt satisfied with the ends that were tied up.  

I think this is a great debut mystery for Ms. Christensen and I will be looking forward to more in the series!

Here is the back copy:

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she's especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri's world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri's impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success—that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim.

With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

If this sounds like a book you'd like to purchase click this link Diamond Rings are Deadly Things to buy!

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