Monday, December 31, 2012

Memory Lane Monday- Out with the Old...

Here we are standing on the precipice of a new year yet again. I find it surreal to look back and realize that at this time last year, I was still an unpublished author. A year ago I was nervous about edits and making sure I had it all done by the end of the year in preparation of my debut novel's release.

Sure it's only been a few months (8) but it still sometimes catches me off guard and I catch my breath to think I am a real published author. That's a big change in a person's life, taking a title so long desired and wished for and dreamed about.

It's been a year of changes for my writing and I still get nervous as I look forward to the coming year and my intentions to self-publish my contemporary romances. I worry about whether others will love my characters as much as I do. Whether the stories are worthy of publication, etc. All the writerly concerns most authors usually keep to themselves.

I believe they're stories worth sharing and I love them, so it's my great hope that if I love them, others will, too. I'm actually looking forward to Wednesday, when my husband and the kids head back into the fray of work and school and leave me to the quiet peace in the house and the opportunity to finally sit down with Jasmine and Derrek, to look through the manuscript and start figuring out a few plot-line issues I need to work through, checking formatting and get everything squared away so that I can get back with my cover artist so I can give her a print page count to get the print cover finished and ready. Once I get the plot-line sorted out, typos to the best of my ability, then I need to research and find myself an editor I can afford, and make sure the formatting is good to go.

As soon as I have an idea of when I'll be ready to put this baby out there, I'll be certain to share.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a blessed New Year's Eve- Have fun, sip a little bubbly, enjoy that midnight smooch, but please be safe if you will be traveling- Have a designated driver, or be the designated driver.

Ring in the New Year on a good foot, a safe foot- so that you and others will be here to enjoy 2013.

Happy New Year 2013!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Taryn Raye's #sixSunday~ Abandoned

(click above image to read MORE Six Sentence Sunday excerpts)
(Check out more by looking up hashtag #sixsunday on Twitter)

Welcome Sixers! Can you believe this year is nearing it's end? It seems only yesterday we were just getting started. 

As always, for those who might not know here's what 6 Sentence Sunday is all about-

Pick six (6) sentences from anything you like (it can be from a Work in Progress (WiP), something you recently sold, something you hope to sell or even something already under contract and available for purchase – and don’t worry, Six Sentence Sunday is for published AND unpublished writers). Then post them on your blog on Sunday. That’s all there is to it!

You can add yours link to their official list by signing up before midnight the Saturday beforehand, but for any who are familiar with it, you probably already know they will be shutting down soon and there will be no more Six Sentence Sundays. That's not to say I won't still continue to share a little something on Sundays and I'm thinking seriously of just changing it up a little and calling it Sexy Snippit Sundays, or something like that.

Heading back into my currently unpublished contemporary romance, Love by Design which I'm going to get to work on editing and polishing as soon as life around here gets back to our normal routine after New Year, when the kids get back to school and I have a quiet house in which to work. ;) ~

Jasmine’s hand reached her lips. They still tingled from the passion of Derrek’s kisses. They felt swollen and tormented…and abandoned.

Her heartbeat pounded in her ears and her breath jagged on the exhale. Panic filled her.

What had she been thinking to let it go this far?

If you missed previous Six Sunday posts from Love by Design and would like to check them out, look at the top of the page in my pink tabs for SSS Posts where you can easily find links to each previous post.   

Saturday, December 29, 2012

SCENTsational Saturdays- New Year's Traditions

Most everyone I know has a "traditional" New Year's meal that they partake of. Much to my husband's dismay, mine is cooked cabbage and cornbread with a side of black-eyed peas. Mostly it's because he can't stand the smell of cabbage cooking in the house because it does have a gaseous odor.

For me though, it represents the idea of bringing good fortune in the coming year- as for me, my tradition is cabbage to bring "cabbage"- moo-la, green. I suppose I could do it in the form of coleslaw, but it just doesn't seem as traditional to me (and hubby still wouldn't eat it because he doesn't like cabbage in any form.)

My daughter and I though, will be eating cooked cabbage and this year I'm putting a new spin on it by cooking it with smoked sausage in it- a new favorite we tried during one of our trips up to visit my parents this past year.
Of course, cabbage wouldn't be the same without homemade cornbread and the black-eyed peas, we eat for good health, as I've always heard that you'll have 1 good day of health for every black-eyed pea you eat on New Year's. I plan to eat a large bowl, as I did last year. I had a rather good year of health in 2012- even with the "almost" sore throat I had just before Christmas. (Listerine/peroxide gargle, warm salt water gargle, a couple of Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus & a few Dill Pickle Spears fixed me right up.)

What are some of YOUR New Year's traditional foods? Do you eat certain things to ward off illness, to bring good fortune? Please share- I'd love to hear about it!

Here's to my last SCENTsational Saturday! Hope you have a wonderful day and tune in next Saturday when I start my "The Way to a Man's Heart" Recipe blog each Saturday!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Spotlight- Will Work for Love by @AmieDenman @FictionWitches #TMPress

When Hurricane Destiny sweeps across the island of St. Thomas in September, the East family isn’t worried about their vacation home. After all, a property management company handles insurance and repairs. Just to be sure, though, they send maid of honor Whitney Oliver to St. Thomas for a two-week vacation just prior to the Christmas Eve wedding of their daughter Taylor.

Instead of a tropical vacation, Whitney finds an estate heavily damaged and untouched by the contractor who cashed the checks. With only two weeks to pull the venue together for a wedding in paradise, she accepts the help of a sexy islander with an amazing skill for construction. Chris Maxwell, owner of Blue Isle Construction, is blown away by Whitney the moment she arrives on the island. Putting the East family estate together board by board is the only thing he can do to help Whitney—and himself.

Working side by side and day and night by the sparkling blue water’s edge, Whitney and Chris fall hard for each other. Hurricane Destiny brought them together, but will secrets surrounding Chris’ construction company tear them apart?

Author Bio: Amie Denman lives in a small town in her native Ohio with her husband and sons. Her two cats and large yellow Labrador are kind enough to share a sunny office where she lets her imagination run wild. Reading books was her favorite escape as a child, and growing up four houses away from the community library encouraged her addition. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys walking and running outside. The helpless victim of a lifetime of curiosity, she’s been known to chase fire trucks on her bicycle just to see what’s going on. Amie believes that everything is fun: especially roller coasters, wedding cake, and falling in love.
Please visit Amie at and say hello.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursdays with Taryn-NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author @RuthieCardello & Saving the Sheikh

"Saving the Sheikh"
Ruth Cardello

Rachid bin Amir al Hantan is fighting for the sovereignty of his small country. He needs to find some powerful allies - and fast. Attending the wedding of Dominic Corisi is as much about reconnecting with old friends as it is about celebrating nuptials. The last thing he needs right now is the distraction of a woman.

Zhang Yajun is a self-made billionaire who can’t believe she accepted her friend’s dare to kiss Sheikh Rachid before the end of the wedding. When impulsive words lead to even more impulsive actions, these two will discover that sometimes the last thing you were looking for is the one thing that can save you.

Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire (FREE on KINDLE)
Book 2: For Love or Legacy
Book 3: Bedding the Billionaire
Book 4: Saving the Sheikh
Book 5: Rise of the Billionaire (Spring, 2013)

You can find out more about Ruth on her WEBSITE
You can follow her on Twitter at @RuthieCardello

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas!

Today I wish you all the best-

Wonderful times and the companionship of Family & Friends

Delicious food that doesn't just satisfy your hunger, but also warms you through and through because of the time and love that has gone into its preparation.

The stories of loved ones past, shared around with laughter and tears.

In memories perfect, they are still celebrating this holiday season with us as we carry them with us, always.
Whether it's sunny or snowing, here's wishing you a beautiful Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve- Traditions

Good tidings this Christmas Eve morning!

Christmas as a kid always consisted of massive excitement on Christmas Eve that made it hard to go to bed. My sister and I would whisper and giggle and try so hard to go to sleep and fail miserably. The excitement and the wait made the night drag on forever so what little sleep we got, was hardly missed when 3 or 4 and 5 o'clock rolled around.

We would tiptoe into the hallway and into the living room, half holding our breath until one of us found the plug to the Christmas tree lights- there was no way we would spoil this moment by turning on the table lamp unless we had absolutely no choice. I think that was part of the magic.

When those multicolored lights illuminated the presents beneath the branches, glinting off the shiny bows and ribbons, it was enough to take your breath away, regardless of whether there were ten presents or two, whether you were four or twelve. Even when some of the magic was dispelled, there was still this sense of wonder and enjoyment.

I get that same sense now, watching my kids open presents, so that feeling never really ends and I hope that this Christmas is filled with all kinds of wonder and enjoyment for you and yours.
Have a blessed day!  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Taryn Raye's #sixsunday Don't. Go. Anywhere.

(click above image to read MORE Six Sentence Sunday excerpts)
(Check out more by looking up hashtag #sixsunday on Twitter)

Welcome Sixers!

As always, for those who might not know here's what 6 Sentence Sunday is all about-

Pick six (6) sentences from anything you like (it can be from a Work in Progress (WiP), something you recently sold, something you hope to sell or even something already under contract and available for purchase – and don’t worry, Six Sentence Sunday is for published AND unpublished writers). Then post them on your blog on Sunday. That’s all there is to it!

You can add your link to their official list by signing up before midnight the Saturday beforehand, but for any who are familiar with it, you probably already know they will be shutting down soon (I think at the end of January) and there will be no more Six Sentence Sundays. That's not to say I won't still continue to share a little something on Sundays and I'm thinking seriously of just changing it up a little and calling it Sexy Snippit Sundays, or something like that.

Heading back into my currently unpublished contemporary romance, Love by Design~

Her eyes flew open and she steadied herself on her own two feet after the support of Derrek’s embrace. She heard a low curse escape his lips.

“I’ll be right back,” he said by way of apology, as he took the stairs two at a time. “Don’t. Go. Anywhere.”

If you missed previous Six Sunday posts from Love by Design and would like to check them out, look at the top of the page in my pink tabs for SSS Posts where you can easily find links to each previous post.   

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Through the Years- "Love" Me Some Fragrance

Love's didn't just have the classic Baby Soft, which I loved (and got for my 10 year old for one of her stocking stuffers this year) but they also produced a few other scents in a variety gift set I got one year for Christmas from my parents.

My favorite of the bunch was the Gentle Musk, which I'm pretty sure they no longer sell, but you can still purchase the others. The Fresh Lemon was crisp and tangy, the Soft Jasmin, soft and sensual. It seems the Rain Scent was my least favorite, but mostly because it just wasn't "me."

All the scents in the Love's collection were soft and fun, youthful and I hope my daughter is going to enjoy the Baby Soft enough to enjoy the others in the years to come, the way I fondly remember opening them on Christmas morning.

The was something really special, almost magical, about tearing back the wrapping paper and discovering those sweet little bottles, sparkling behind the cellophane where they nestled snugly in their plastic insert bedding. Their soft pastel caps and colorful liquid, inspiring the warmth of excitement in having so many choices of fragrances to choose from. There is something romantic about it. I remember how I would slide the insert out and gingerly pop the bottles from it, taking a moment to savor each scent, still uncertain which one I would wear first.

A bottle of perfume that means something, that inspires a memory or makes you feel good about yourself, that makes you feel sensual or romantic is definitely worth cherishing, enjoying and reminiscing over.

This close to the holidays, I'll have posts going up on some days, but I may not be around much to check in, so I will leave you with this-

To your and yours from me and mine-
I hope you have a SCENTsational Saturday
and a WONDERFUL Christmas with your family and friends.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Spotlight- Taming Rowan by Suzanne Barrett #TMPress @FictionWitches

Karin Williams' devastatingly handsome project officer has a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder. Rowan Marsden expected a male engineer and he's not giving Karin an inch. Working conditions are...tense. Even...worse, she must share on-site accommodations with the sexy Brit who she fears will break her heart. What's a girl to do? If Rowan had his way, he'd never work with a woman. Yet as Karin demonstrates her expertise on the job, he cannot deny his growing respect for her—or his desire. He wants the passion she offers, but not the commitment. Until a horrendous accident at the project site threatens Karin's life, and proves that even a wounded man is destined to love....

"A totally sexy read with charming characters that will keep you glued to every page!" Night Owl Reviews

“A keeper! A winner! A deliciously sexy romance”  —Gloria Miller, The Literary

“Suzanne Barrett creates complex characters in this romance with humorous dialogue and intense scenes.” ~Shannon Short, Romantic Times

Author Bio: Married, with grown children, Suzanne Barrett and her husband live in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they share their acreage with an elderly cat, several chickens and an assortment of wildlife that includes a trio of wild turkeys. Suzanne is an avid gardener with a penchant for digging in the dirt. When she’s not devouring British mysteries, most evenings find Suzanne at her computer or jewelry bench, a cup of Earl Grey within easy reach, a sleeping cat at her feet, doing what she loves best—creating stories of warmth and passion and designing pendants, earrings and bracelets. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursdays with Taryn- Holiday Combo Rescue Me/Rescuing Riley Review @BooksbyJennifer

Rescue Me

Sitting in front of her parents’ house in a U-Haul truck at midnight, Amy Mann decides it’s time to break it to them that she’s divorced from her husband and moving back home with her seven-year-old son, Toby. As Amy settles into her hometown, she has a plan to get out of debt, get her college degree, and put her life together.

Enter Captain Riley Pennimon, local firefighter and superhero to Amy’s son. Riley is kind, brave, and civic-minded. The captain does not fit into Amy’s putting-her-life-together plan, and yet he is way too good looking without a shirt. Much to Amy’s chagrin, Toby decides that Riley is just what they need for a happily-ever-after.

Can Amy make peace with the demons of her mistakes and let the captain rescue her? And, can Riley let go of the past and grab onto the family he’s always wanted?
My Review:

I can definitively say I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rescue Me. I loved Amy and Toby and the Penny Man! And Granny Delphia! God I love her! I honestly can't count how many times I was moved to tears of heartache for Amy's situation and for Riley's past sorrows. I also can't tell you how many times I literally laughed out loud- the nutcracker, the fancy women bit Amy's father said, and the southern charm of real life and real people that Jennifer Johnson brings to life on the page. I'm honored and humbled to know such a talented author who doesn't just tell a story, but also makes me feel like I'm right there and I know these people and share in their sadness and their joy.  

Rescuing Riley

A Happily Ever After Novel

Finding time to spend with his wife, taking care of his stepson, and chasing his demented auntie around town keeps firefighter Captain Riley Pennimon pretty busy.

But it’s all good.

He’s ready to call his family done. After all, what more can he ask for, other than a bell around his aunt’s neck so he can find her each time she runs away. And maybe a little more sleep at night.

Riley’s wife, Amy, feels the tension of a husband who’s too pressed by duty to make it home most evenings. Stolen moments here and there with half an ear listening for the phone to ring isn’t cutting it for her anymore. But what can she do? His loyalty and kind heart was what made her fall in love with him in the first place.

When Riley is injured in the line of duty, Amy determines to live out her marriage vows. But Riley’s not the same man he was before the accident—before their lives were turned upside down.

And so Amy decides she needs to protect him. She’ll keep her secret as long as she can, but if Riley finds out….
My Review:

When I finished reading Rescue Me a while back, I discovered that there was a possibility of a sequel that Jennifer Johnson was thinking about writing, but it would be for the After Happily Ever Line, which are love stories, and life stories, from Turquoise Morning Press, that take us beyond the Happily Ever After. Sometimes there are struggles in life that even interrupt and inhibit that happy ending we all expect. This Line gives us an emotional glimpse into what happens to our favorite hero and heroine, AFTER they've come together.

Life has been good for Amy and Riley and Toby since we left them at the end of Rescue Me, and as soon as you start reading, you can't help but smile when you're reintroduced to these loveable characters. We pick up 2 years later, and things are hectic and, as is the case in all our lives, sometimes circumstances get out of hand, accidents happen and the best laid plans don't quite work out the way we think they will.

This sequel is packed with just as much love and emotion as the first book, making me laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy one minute and then sobbing over the ache I feel for the misunderstandings, fear and unresolved issues our couple have to face. You're instantly drawn back to what is familiar and soon long to see Riley and Amy find their way back to each other, to trust in their love and to redefine what is "normal" for them and their family.

We don't always get what we want, but we often find that, sometimes that's what we need most to help us learn and grow and then we discover it's more than we could have possibly wished for or imagined we could have. As Amy says at one point, "There's a difference between not being planned and not being wanted."

And that's true of a lot of things in life. This 2nd offering is a wonderful addition to any book lover's collection.


I think this duo would make a wonderful Christmas gift
(especially since the first book is set around the holidays) 
 and you can get both for right around $5!
You can't shake a stick at that.
 Rescue Me is available for just 99 cents & Rescuing Riley is $3.99.
(on Amazon- Both book covers above link to Kindle.)
 you can get both over in the
where Rescue Me is 99 cents & Rescuing Riley is currently ON SALE for $2.79

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesdays with Taryn- Losing my Kitchen to the Man of the House

I'm writing this on Monday, as I listen to the thunder and rain and hope that the power doesn't go out before I need to fix supper. As of tonight though (actual Tuesday) the kids will be off school for their break for two weeks. Stepson will be going to his mom's until Christmas Eve and then after that, who knows.

As a family we have a very busy week coming up. Hubby has to work nearly every day, but this coming Saturday he will be off and intends to spend his time baking Chess Cake and Lemon Drop cookies. I figure Girly-Girl and I will tackle the peppermint bark, peanut butter fudge, chocolate cookies, dipped pretzels, and spritz cookies sometime later this week, as we head into the weekend. Too many chefs spoil the soup, or well, get under each others feet and, frankly, on my last nerve. This will be round 2 of the treat making for family and friends. I did the majority of it for my family and friends before Thanksgiving, but now we're doing the 2nd batch for hubby's family's side.

Besides all that, I have a few other things I need to work on- hubby wants sausage balls (Bisquick, sausage and shredded cheese), I'm going to attempt my very first pumpkin log/roll and I've had a hankering for a chess pie. Hubby's cake tastes very similar, but it's just not chess pie, which I haven't had in years.

We need to lay out the turkey in the fridge to thaw on Thursday, the ham on Saturday. We have Christmas breakfast with hubby's dad's side and though I was going to try making homemade cinnamon rolls with bread loaves, I couldn't find any in the frozens, so I'm just going to make a pan of cinnamon pull-aparts, aka- Monkey Bread. Then I'm going to have to convince hubby to fix the turkey on Christmas Eve afternoon because I don't think he realizes how much room it will take up in the oven when we have all kinds of other dishes to fix on Christmas Day that need to put in the oven. There is also the little detail that, no matter how well prepared, I'm not a fan of hot turkey. It doesn't cut well and to me, it seems "spongy."

That brings me to the title of my post. I think I'm losing my kitchen to the man of the house. Ever since hubby's attempt at baking a whole turkey turned out really good, he believes we MUST have turkey AND ham for Christmas, that he needs to be in the kitchen like a head chef and I find myself feeling like I've been reduced to a sous chef. I think hubby forgets that the cooking used to be MY thing on Christmas Day and I fear he's on the fast track to kicking me out of my own kitchen.

Of course, I do the cooking nearly 95% of the time during the rest of the year and I don't mind taking a load off, but I'm still expected to make homemade mashed potatoes and his favorite- mac & cheese (can I honestly admit that mac & cheese is one of my LEAST favorite foods? I like it okay, but I can live without it, especially when I have to make it.). Hubby's Mom is bringing green beans and punchbowl cake and my mom is bringing a plethora of things that are "necessaries" with a turkey dinner- cranberry gel, stuffing to go with the turkey (I'm planning to make gravy from the drippings and we'll have yeast rolls); baked beans and potato salad- for those of us who'd like something a little different with ham and fruit salad, per my dad. Oh, and hubby is insistent that he must make deviled eggs, like my grandma showed him how to make last year (when I was sick and they booted me out of my kitchen- see the pattern?)

The table will be laden with plenty of food and our home will be filled with lots of love and laughter, I'm sure. I guess, if I lose my kitchen for a short time, it's all good. Maybe I won't be the one who's so exhausted at the end of the day. ::wink::

Monday, December 17, 2012

[Cover Reveal] Am I "The Next Big Thing?" #bloghop #workinprogress #authors

There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags five other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag five new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

I was tagged by Jennifer Madden. You can learn more about her book Embattled Love on her website.

This blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project and

I'm also revealing the cover!
(Cover by Tracy Stewart of All About the Cover)

1: What is the working title of your book? Love By Design, Book one in the Love By Series

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? Love By Design originally started as a single stand alone book idea in 2006 or 20007 when I was brainstorming ideas. I'm not sure where I got the idea, other than knowing that it felt like a rom-com type story with a clumsy interior designer fighting her attraction to a playboy actor who hires her to decorate his fixer-upper.

3: What genre does your book fall under? Contemporary romance with a touch of humor, but I like to believe that all my stories aren't just romance novels, but Life stories with heart. Their pasts aren't always spotless and sometimes it comes back to haunt them. Sometimes it's just a matter of the hardships they face that get them to their Happily-Ever-Afters.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? When I was writing LBD I envisioned Matthew McConaughey as Derrek Martin and Sandra Bullock as Jasmine Galloway.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Jasmine Galloway's had it up to here with wannabe actors, so when Hollywood's current blockbuster playboy seeks out her business to decorate his new home, he manages to gets under her skin and put his own designs on her heart.

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I plan to self-publish the Love By series in the next few months and follow it with the 2nd series, Pryce of Love, which centers around four of five brothers (the 5th brother is the hero in the 4th book in the Love By series)

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Approximately a month or so of self-imposed "NaNo-like" determination and reckless abandon. I didn't write this one for NaNoWriMo, but I did set myself to the standard 50K/30 days. I still have more editing to do though before I put it out there. (plot holes, grammar, etc)

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I'm honestly not sure. There are so many wonderful contemporary authors out there but I'm not sure who I could compare my own stories to. As I said before, it does, for me have a very rom-com movie feel to it though.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book? The characters themselves. As the ideas for the story (as well as the other sisters) started to take shape, Jasmine and Derrek began to really come to life for me and I just had to get their story written. Sometimes they would interrupt my sleep, or my attempts at sleep, trying to tell me about what was going to happen next. (not as bad as Jasmine's sister Juniper, who insisted her story be the 2nd one, though I'd originally planned to write Blossom's 2nd. Juni would NOT shut up.)

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I took a "virtual plane ride" because I spent a LOT of time studying airplane flights, time zone changes and what certain bookings would be like and actually "plotted" out what a trip from LAX to Indianapolis would be, including layovers, and driving distance for Derrek and Jasmine's trip to Derrek's childhood home in Smalltown, Indiana to pick up his sister and pack furniture to move to California in a U-haul while writing this. I've never actually been on a plane. Not sure I ever will, but it was fun to pretend! :)

Here is a list of authors who will be joining the hop for week 27 on December 24th. I hope you’ll visit their blogs next week and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author!
(I don't have anyone yet, but if you want to be listed, you don't have to do it during the holidays- you can pick up Week 27 afterward, if it would be more convenient! Just email or leave a comment and let me know!) 
1 Teresa Reasor is also participating in The Next Big Thing over on her blog, where she's talking about her current work-in-progress, Breaking Away, the 3rd book in her Seal Team Heartbreakers Series. Go check out her answers about what she's working on!