I had this great topic (for other writers) dreamed up this month (actually last month, but I digress), but it’s been one of those months.

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I finally finished the second book I had to revise and submitted it to my publisher. Edits for the first (which is being published June 20!) should arrive any day. We had an Open House and Formal Dance here this week with the kids and my daughter’s last day of Cosmetology school was Wednesday.

And I wasn’t there because my husband had to have surgery WAY out of town. And, so of course, we took her out Monday to celebrate. A surprise party with cake then sushi.

It’s been a hell of a month. In just ten days, my daughter and I will be making our way to Arkansas, by way of Nashville (where we will spend the night, going and coming, because I can’t drive that long in one go), to spend a week. She’s meeting up with a friend and I’m spending several days holed up with my critique partner, where I will be slaving away at the third Infamous novel.

No, you didn’t miss the second one. I just submitted it. Cross your fingers, please, that the publisher likes it.

So, here’s a gif of Princess Leia because she’s my hero.

via GIPHY

I’m going to take a deep breath and remind myself that things will eventually settle down.

Welcome to my stop on the Highway Cafe Spring Tour!

Spring is hands down my favorite time of year. I live in rural West Virginia, in the US, and Spring is incredibly, blissfully green. Even the sunlight seems to reflect the greenness of the grass and budding leaves giving the air a refreshing quality.

I wanted to share a picture of typical West Virginia beauty. We get a bad rep in the media, but I won’t go into that. What we do have in spades is mountains, trees, flowers, creeks, and rivers.

This isn’t my view but it’s pretty damn close to what I see driving from my house to town on any given day. (Click either the picture above or the one to the left to get a full size view.)

I love my mountain home, but never more than in the Spring.

More about my novel, Infamous

Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?

Sawyer has his own past and a successful career is his only goal. Seeing Justine fail would mean the promotion of a lifetime, but things get complicated when he develops feelings for her. Suddenly, the lines between work, life, sex, and love are blurry.

They will have to overcome the bitterness of a rejected ex, the controlling actions of her father, and the half-truths they’re telling one another to forge a lasting partnership both on the job and off the clock.

Buy from Amazon right now!

Win a copy, plus many more books!

You can check out the home page of the Spring Tour here. My book, Infamous, along with several others can be won by visiting that page. Mention that you spotted the Easter eggs on my site (you’ll have to look for them) in the comments there.

Win a ton of great books in the Highway Cafe Spring Tour and find out why I adore Spring in WV. Click To Tweet

I said you’d have to look for them. I never said you’d have to look hard. ;-)

 

I’m so excited! Today is the day my book goes out into the wild, into readers hands, to (hopefully) be enjoyed and give readers a respite from their stressful lives.

I received a glowing review from The Genre Minx. Here are some quotes:

“Believable, charismatic and entertaining!”

“The pages just sizzled with smoldering desire between Justine and Sawyer.”

“If you are looking for a book that will engage you from beginning to end, then I recommend this book to you!”

You can find the full review here.

I’d also like to share the full options of buy links with you because not everyone wants to buy from Amazon. For what it’s worth, new releases are 50% off on release day at The Wild Rose Press, so if you’ve been unsure and decide to buy today, I’d suggest you go there.

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
All Romance | BookStrand | Goodreads

Thank you for all your support through the years. If you do decide to try Infamous, I truly hope you enjoy it!

these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-thingsSo, it’s December and even the hardest hearts can’t deny the pull of the holidays. For me and my family, we celebrate Christmas.

Today, I’m going to share three of my favorite things about the holiday season.

Christmas Music

I like all the Christmas music. I can happily tune my Sirius Radio to Channel 17 after Halloween and rock out to whatever they choose to play.

(Note, the links above will open in Spotify.) 

Share your favorite holiday songs in the comments to make me love you forever.

Hand-crafted Gifts

catbuttI think once you’re an adult the joy of Christmas becomes giving. In that vein, I’m busy crocheting gifts. For instance, my aunt asked for 2 sets of cat butt coasters. Those do exist and here is the pattern, if you’re interested. Alternatively, you can buy them on Etsy if you’re dying for a set.

Charity

I know it’s kind of hard to make the jump here from cat-behinds, but let’s do it anyway.

One of my most favorite things about the holidays is charity. The spirit of it, sure, but the act as well. On this one, I won’t out myself, because I believe giving should be private. It doesn’t mean as much if you want a pat on the back later.

I will, however, share a few charities dear to my heart. In West Virginia, where I live, drugs are an epidemic. That leaves many children unfed and without Christmas presents (among other more terrible things). The Family Resource Network not only tirelessly works to meet every need, there’s a toy drive you can donate to. They often have to take used toys just to come close to having enough. Your donation would mean a lot.

On a bigger scale, there’s always Toys for Tots. It’s the Marines collecting toys for needy kids–doesn’t get more awesome than that.

Finally, my favorite charity is St. Judes. No child should be denied treatment that could save their lives.

Comments are open for you to list your favorite charities, as well.

I wish you all happy holidays, whichever holidays you and your loved ones celebrate.

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I’m joining with several (and I mean several) new-to-you writers to put out a newsletter every other month. This doesn’t replace my newsletter, which you should totally sign up for right now.

Each newsletter will highlight four different authors. You’ll find new excerpts, books on sale, book boyfriends (<3), and author spotlights. Each newsletter will also feature contests (plural) that you’ll automatically be entered to win by virtue of just being a subscriber.

We’re having a Sign-Up Contest now. Every subscriber will be entered to win one of three (3!) prizes: a $50 Amazon Gift Card, a $35 Amazon Gift Card, and a $20 Amazon Gift Card. In addition, we have a Facebook page which will be teeming with info about us all and you should go like it after you sign up for the newsletter below.

The winners for the prizes will be drawn on December 31. They will be announced on the Facebook page and emailed.

Sign up below to discover new stories and win contests. It’s literally win/win.

wildrosesandromance

perf5.000x8.000.inddToday, I’m revealing the cover for Infamous, my upcoming novel from The Wild Rose Press. It’ll be available on December 14, 2016.

Go ahead, click the picture so you can see the full image. I’ll wait.

Isn’t it lovely? It was designed by RJ Morris. I’ve been sitting on this thing of beauty since July, waiting for my official release date.

In exactly two months, you can read Infamous. I’ll update with pre-order links when I receive them (and include an excerpt).

Keep reading beyond the blurb and excerpt to enter my Cover Release Giveaway! Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to receive freebies and other excerpts.

Blurb:

Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?

Sawyer has his own past and a successful career is his only goal. Seeing Justine fail would mean the promotion of a lifetime, but things get complicated when he develops feelings for her. Suddenly, the lines between work, life, sex, and love are blurry.

They will have to overcome the bitterness of a rejected ex, the controlling actions of her father, and the half-truths they’re telling one another to forge a lasting partnership both on the job and off the clock.

Excerpt

She tangled her fingers through the hair that covered her face and pushed it away. Next thing he knew, she’d wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Justine? Um… what are you doing?”

“I’m hugging you. Taking emotional comfort.”

“Like a leech.”

“Haven’t you ever hugged before?”

“I’ve never hugged anyone I wasn’t going to have sex with.”

“We’re not having sex.” She squeezed him tighter and rested her head on his shoulder. “Hug me back.”

Sawyer lifted his arms and wrapped them around her, his hands cupping her shoulders, pulling her closer. He dropped his head to rest on hers, and parts of him, so deep he couldn’t name them, pulled free and demanded his attention. Her hair smelled like fruit, the kind kids eat in the summer, juice dripping down their chins. “I’m fine with the hugging, but, just saying, I’m not responsible for any physical reaction hugging may induce.”

“Okay.” The word drifted out of her on a sigh.

He wasn’t equipped for this. There hadn’t been a lot of touching growing up, at least not the kind that didn’t end in a busted lip or a cracked rib. As an adult, there’d been lots of touching. But, not like this. The tighter he held her, the closer he wanted to be.

Cover Reveal: Infamous - Coming 12.14.16 #Romance #Giveaway | Love wasn't in her job description. Click To Tweet

Giveaway:

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I’m over at Heart-Shaped Glasses today blogging about the benefits of writing groups. I’ve been part of my critique group for years and those are some seriously awesome women. Here’s a taste of that post.

Here at Heart-Shaped Glasses, we’re not just author’s who blog together, we’re family.

We started as a private online critique group which has evolved into so much more. Yes, there’s critiquing, which is invaluable. Especially when it’s from people who focus just as much with what’s right as what’s not working. I trust these ladies with my precious stories, I trust their experience, which probably (added together) is a lifetime of writing…

To read more, visit Heart-Shaped Glasses. I’d love to hear your opinion on/experience with writing groups.

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Sunrise
Click to see it bigger.

My favorite summer treats aren’t the usual ideas of summery fun. I did get to the beach this summer, and I’m adding a pic on the right of our last day there, where we caught the sunrise. You can’t see them in the picture (because I chose to enjoy the moment, rather than try to capture it and miss it), but dolphins were playing everywhere that morning.

Back to my unusual summer treats; my favorite thing about summer is that my kids are home. (Mostly, if they’d stop visiting all the grandparents.) I know that part’s not so unusual. Lots of people enjoy that.
The thing is, we’re sort of mole people. We stay inside with one of my other favorite summer treats–central air conditioning. Obviously, I’m old enough to have not had it so, believe me, I know the difference. There’s a lot to be said for low humidity and a constant temperature.

I’d think it was just me getting older, but my kids are worse than I am. “It’s so hot out there,” they used to argue when I tried to get them to go out and do things. (Don’t worry–they still exercise, just inside.)

And that brings me to my final summer treat: constant video games. Now that there’s no studying we can do anything we want. There’s reading, some TV (not as much as you’d think), and lots of video games. We play Legend of Zelda. We have several different versions of the game going now concurrently. I play Animal Crossing: New Leaf on my 2DS and the kids play different games on theirs. Fire Emblem, several incarnations, is a big one this summer for the oldest.

So, now that I’ve admitted we’re mole people who can’t leave the cool, dark rooms, what’s your guilty pleasure of summer? I’d love to hear from you or you can click on the links below to go on the Blog Hop! Many of the blogs here are offering there own contests.

Sign up for my newsletter and be entered to win a $10 Amazon GC.

Before you click through, register for your chance to win a Kindle Fire from The Wild Rose Press!

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gerbera-1250287_640I know it’s the end of May and, shockingly, I’m as disorganized as ever. Still, I’m trying to add some personal essays, along with the random picture post, and (my most popular) writing posts.

I know I mentioned a post or two ago, I’m no longer working. That’s a story I’ll share (eventually), but not today.

Today (circling back to May / Mother’s Day masterfully) I want to share about my grandmother who gave me a deep, passionate, abiding love of reading.

Growing up, my grandmother always had a Harlequin on the table beside where she sat. It was as certain as the sun rising in the morning and the way pinto beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes were without fail served together. A fact of life, in short.

Her life had never been easy, not since being widowed with five all children all under nine years old. She never complained. Instead, she devoured books. Books where love trumped everything and every one got happy endings.

When my cousins and I were little, we’d giggle about her grown-up books. When I got older, any time I was bored, all I had to do was walk the short distance to her house and pick out something from her bookshelf (which sets in my home today). It occurs to me now that, as fast as she read, she must’ve only put her favorite books on that shelf, but she never complained when I asked to borrow one. She understood that a reader needs books the way we need air to breathe.

When I was old enough to drive, I’d take her to the library once a month. There, she and the librarian worked out a deal where my grandmother could bring in a brown paper sack of 50 books and trade them for 50 donated books. The library wasn’t making any money on that deal, but it was doing what libraries do best–serving the reader. I’d pick out a couple of books, borrow a couple of more, and then we’d go have breakfast together.

Sometimes, we would just sit together, in her living room, and read our books in comfortable silence. She kept sodas in the fridge for her grandkids and coffee for her. So many of my best memories in life center around my grandmother and reading. If I could relive a moment, it wouldn’t be one of the flashy ones, like getting married (I was scared so bad I shook). It would be one of those quiet afternoons, reading together.

What experiences shaped you into the reader (or writer) that you are? Click To Tweet

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contract

Today I signed and returned my publishing contract with The Wild Rose Press. I’m super excited to work with such an amazing group.

I’ll update as I get more information but I can’t wait to share Justine and Sawyer’s story with the world. <3

(If you’ve already seen this on my Facebook, I’m sorry. I promise, this is the last time I’m going to say it. Out loud. I’m going to periodically say, “Oh my God, I actually got a publishing contract,” in my head over and over.)

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