Gratitude

Gratitude.

The contest this month is about gratitude, but not only because this is the month of the US Thanksgiving celebration. I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot. I have so much to be thankful for:

 

* Wonderful readers—I have no delusions! There are so many choices out there for fantastic books, and to know that so many readers have picked up one of my books, read it, and loved it (and often read more) is a tremendous blessing in my life.

 

* A supportive family—I’ve been blessed with a family, including my awesome sister and loving daughter, who understand the long hours of writing and marketing, the frustrating blocks, the endless loops of nerves and “I don’t think I know what I’m doing’s.” 😝

 

* Fantastic characters—They’re deep, emotional, difficult, and always riveting to me. I couldn’t create meaningful books with characters that were anything less. I’m thankful these characters choose to reveal themselves to me (or, in some cases, that they choose not to reveal themselves and I have to get angry on their asses, LOL!). They make work worth it every day.

 

So I know I’ve asked you to share the people you’re thankful for in this month’s contest, but today, I want you to share what you’re thankful for. What else has been a blessing in your life?

Come visit me on my Facebook page and tell me what you're thankful for!

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Down and Dirty Heroes Can be Politicians?

I love reading a down-and-dirty hero, but I recently delved into a series that includes heroes I never thought I’d like: politicians. Of course, these aren’t your typical politicians—they’re actually good, if powerful and ruthless, men—but still… My husband loves watching political saga movies/TV shows, either contemporary or dystopian, and I just sit on the couch and groan. I hate political drama, machinations, lies, but I LOVE THIS SERIES. (And it doesn’t hurt that they’ve mixed in some of my favorite hero types: security specialists and special agents, woot!)

 

Which series is it?

 

It’s the Perfect Gentlemen series from Lexi Blake and Shayla Black! The publisher put it on hold last year, likely because of the election and all the ensuing issues, but it’s finally back, and I can’t tell you how excited I am that book four has just come out and book five, the one that features the president of the United States, will be out next year. SQUEEE!!!!

 

Have you read any of this series? What did you think? Which book is your favorite so far?

 

If you want to check out Lexi’s and Shayla’s other books, you can find them here:

http://www.lexiblake.net

https://www.shaylablack.com

November Monthly Contest

* * * November Monthly Contest * * *

 

We don’t spend near enough time in our lives saying thank you. Feeling grateful. We miss so many wonderful opportunities to make others feel appreciated and loved because we are so focused on the busyness of our lives, the demands, the stress.

 

I want to change that this month. For our November contest, I want to say thank you. I have such wonderful readers who have blessed me beyond measure with your enthusiasm, your encouragement, your caring words, and your fun and laughter too. I want to bless you in some small way to say thank you for all you’ve given me.

 

So this month, I will be giving away two $15 Amazon gift cards—one for you, and one for someone you are thankful for. Simply tag the person who has made you feel loved and appreciated in the comments below. On November 30th, I will draw a random name, and give you AND the person you’ve tagged each a $15 gift card! (and just in time for Christmas too. 😉 )

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my wonderful readers! I wish I could spell out the ways you have enriched my life, but they are too many to number. I hope you and yours have a wonderful—and thankful—November!

Head over to my Facebook page to enter!

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends NOVEMBER 30th. ***

 

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Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration

So I’m off traveling *AGAIN* this weekend! My daughter has a long-held crush on her favorite artist, Amy Lee from Evanescence, and we are on our way right now to see her in concert tonight. As my daughter has grown up, I’ve listened with her to so many of these songs, and admired Amy’s dedication and skill, a beauty and work ethic that has inspired my daughter to work equally hard toward her own goals. I’m excited to see tonight’s concert and definitely hope they play the newer song, “Speak To Me,” as it’s become one of my favorites!

https://youtu.be/lB8ZsjMhy5M

Recharging My Batteries

At the beginning of this month, I treated myself to some time away, all alone. At first it was weird, but I found that I got a lot out of the quiet and the ability to focus just on my creativity, even if I wasn’t writing 24-7.

 

I was at one of my favorite kinds of places: woods and water! The cabin I rented sat, literally, right on the edge of a creek, with a swing on the screened-in porch where I could sit and listen to the water flowing over the rocks and write. One morning, I opened the door and walked onto the porch—and startled a blue heron fishing in the creek! When he flew off, his wingspan had to be six feet minimum. He was a beautiful sight!

 

As you can see, I spent some time dipping my feet in the water, hiking nearby trails, and walking along a lake in the town next door. This is where I wrote the Halloween short for Southern Nights (if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/xoh4op3939

), where I made connections and plotted and even wrote a little on Only for the Moment and my assassins project. And this is where I began to trust just a little more in my returning creativity and love for writing. 😊

 

What about you? Where do you go to recharge your batteries?

Do You Read Paranormal Romance?

The contest this month is all about paranormal romance. 

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the first paranormal author I remember reading, Fantasy Lover, the book that started the Dark Hunter series back then. I went on to many others: Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter, Lora Leigh, Kresley Cole, JR Ward… Currently I’m enamored of the Jeaniene Frost’s Night Prince series, which is just how I like them—lots of conflict, sex, and usually a good bit of violence thrown in. 😉

So what about you — do you read paranormal romance? What’s your favorite? (My TBR never gets too long!)

Want to check out the Night Prince books? You can, right here:

http://jeanienefrost.com/night-prince-books/once-burned/

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Publishing Anniversary!

Today marks *FOUR YEARS* since my first book was released into the wild. Four years! WOW! I can’t get over how much has happened since then. Ten books. A couple more in the wings or waiting to be released. Building a career. Changes in my family. It’s been the most incredible journey, all thanks to my readers!

Today, to say thank you, I’m doing a FLASH GIVEAWAY just for you! Comment below with the first book of mine you ever read (if you remember what it was 😉 ), and you’ll be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card (or other retailer of your choice) and a signed paperback copy of my first book ever, Dirty Little Secret.

Come on over to my Facebook page to enter!

***CONTEST ENDS OCTOBER 12TH AT NOON!!!***

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October Contest!

Halloween!

My first love in romance was paranormal. Gimme a shifter, a vampire (oh, especially vampires!), anything “otherworldly,” and I am in heaven. For me the best way to escape my own sometimes stressful world is to enter a world that is totally unlike it, right down to the inhabitants. And I admit, as a justice-loving girl, there is something about having supernatural abilities to defeat the bad guys that is particularly appealing!

Every October as Halloween approaches, I remember my first forays into paranormal romance. I still love them, and I hope you do too, because this month I have a very special giveaway: a prize pack of Sherrilyn Kenyon goodies, including:

One hardcover and two paperback books, and lots of goodies such as a door hanger, and notepad!

One lucky commenter will win. All you have to do to enter is tell me what you enjoy most about Halloween. Is it the candy? Getting to dress up in costumes? The annual viewing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” (Okay, that’s definitely mine. 😊) Why do you love that particular activity? Share your stories this month, readers!

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends OCTOBER 27th — just in time for Halloween! ***

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Inspiration!

Friday Inspiration

 

I’m thinking about a nightclub scene in the next IF ONLY book, something sexy and sensual and definitely leading to…well, you know. ;) I’ve been garnering “inspiration” from the couple in this video.

Whew! I think I need a drink!

Balance

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How do I find that balance?

In all honesty, I think that’s a never-ending journey. Every time a rock shifts, we have to realign. Every time something settles, we have to readjust. In this new stage of life, I’m still finding my way. I know I’m doing something right, though, because I’m writing. And I’m finding joy. Those are the best indicators of balance for me.

How about you? How do you find balance? How do you know when you’ve succeeded?

Balance.

It’s an easy word to say. Not so hard to live.

A lot of the parts of my life are out of balance right now. Getting my oldest settled in college. My youngest getting his driver’s license—oy! Reorganizing my work so I have more time to focus on writing. Things falling by the wayside, and new things cropping up to stuff themselves in their place. If I’ve learned anything in over four decades of life, it’s that the chaos never stops, but my body and emotions need balance.

 

 

 

 

Binge Reads!

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So what about you — series or not? What’s your favorite? (I need to add to my TBR! :P )

 

Want to check out Eden and Scarlett’s books? You can, right here:

http://www.edensummers.com

http://www.scarlettcole.com

I love reading a romance series. There’s nothing better to me than being able to visit couples from previous books again and again and again, seeing little glimpses of their lives while learning all new things about characters I’m just getting to know. The past couple of months, I’ve binged on two fantastic series that my assistant introduced me to: Eden Summers’s RECKLESS BEAT series and Scarlett Cole’s SECOND CIRCLE TATTOOS series. I’ve loved them both! And Scarlett’s series even has a followup, PRELOAD, that I now get to start on. I can’t tell you how excited I am. 😃

 

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September Contest!

* * * September Monthly Contest * * *

 

Blue Collars Vs. Billionaires

 

September, finally! Cooler weather is coming, and before then, we get Labor Day — YAY! So this month I’m celebrating the broad range of alpha heroes by asking which one you like best:

 

*Blue-collar heroes – mechanics, soldiers, fighters…

 

OR

 

*Billionaire heroes – CEOs, heirs with a cause, tech geniuses…

 

Tell me who you love! (Bonus points if you *show* me. ;) )

 

One lucky commenter will win e-book copies of TWO of my backlist books. (Already have them all? Enter anyway; I’ll give you two of another author’s backlist books instead!)

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends SEPTEMBER 29th. ***

Hop on over and check out the contest on my Facebook page!

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Field Trip: Dismals Canyon

Earlier this month my family took a trip together, something we don't get to do often with teenagers working and my husband and I so busy. We visited a place here in Alabama called Dismals Canyon. The canyon is a "pristine wilderness" you can read more about here. I've truly never seen anything this beautiful in the US.

The area is wooded, with massive sandstone chunks lying haphazardly around the canyon. One of the images below shows my husband next to an outer wall of the gorge, giving you the scale of what we were looking at. Dismals Branch, a crystal-clear creek, runs through the entire canyon with its beautiful sand-and-rock bottom. The waterfall at the entrance to Dismals Canyon is thunderous and, yes, the water is icy cold! (You can see my daughter and niece trying it out -- many squeals were heard, let me tell ya!)

At night the canyon walls reveal the reason for their name: a species of glow worms known as Dismalites that light up in the darkness. I've included an image here from the canyon's website, showing the Dismalites. It was impossible to photograph, but you can imagine the wonder of walking along the trails and realizing you'd been there just a few hours earlier and not realized such fascinating creatures were there with you until it became dark.

The entire area is peaceful, a great place for my family to reconnect and share in the wonder of nature. Have you ever visited someplace like this, a natural wonder that made you catch your breath?

Do You Reread Your Favorite Books?

I admit, between writing (and the business that goes with it) and my day job as an editor, there’s not a lot of time for reading, much less searching out new authors. I’m a rereader through and through. It saves me the time of trying to find a new book to read that I know will be good. (Guess what? I’m the same way with TV and movies. Go figure… 😜)   Some of my fave rereads are almost anything by Christine Feehan (love me some Carpathians!), Linda Howard, Lara Adrian, and Karen Rose (those dark thrillers…*shiver*). What about you? Do you reread your favorite authors over and over? Share your number one reread with us!

Some of my fave rereads are almost anything by Christine Feehan (love me some Carpathians!), Linda Howard, Lara Adrian, and Karen Rose (those dark thrillers…*shiver*). What about you? Do you reread your favorite authors over and over? Share your number one reread with us!

I admit, between writing (and the business that goes with it) and my day job as an editor, there’s not a lot of time for reading, much less searching out new authors. I’m a rereader through and through. It saves me the time of trying to find a new book to read that I know will be good. (Guess what? I’m the same way with TV and movies. Go figure… 😜)

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August Giveaway

 

I’ve still got Ireland on my mind! This month I’m giving away a gift pack I brought back from my trip specifically for one winner, including:

 

* A journal from Trinity College Library, home of the Book of Kells

* Whiskey-infused chocolate from the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, Dublin

* Seed packets from the poison gardens at Blarney Castle

* “Hot Irishman” Irish coffee mix

* A signed paperback copy of DECEIVE ME (featuring my very own Irishman, Fionn McConnough)

* A signed paperback copy of Dani Wade’s Backstage Pass Anthology, including one of my favorite Ireland-set BDSM romances — and boy, is it hawt! — STRIKING A CHORD (check this great series out here if you haven’t read them yet: http://amzn.to/2v4xbdp )

 

What do you have to do to win? Share a little secret with me…what accent do you find to be the sexiest in the world? Irish? Australian? Cajun? Inquiring minds want to know! And you get double the entries if you share a gif or video clip that includes an example. J

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends

August Giveaway

 

I’ve still got Ireland on my mind! This month I’m giving away a gift pack I brought back from my trip specifically for one winner, including:

 

* A journal from Trinity College Library, home of the Book of Kells

* Whiskey-infused chocolate from the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, Dublin

* Seed packets from the poison gardens at Blarney Castle

* “Hot Irishman” Irish coffee mix

* A signed paperback copy of DECEIVE ME (featuring my very own Irishman, Fionn McConnough)

* A signed paperback copy of Dani Wade’s Backstage Pass Anthology, including one of my favorite Ireland-set BDSM romances — and boy, is it hawt! — STRIKING A CHORD (check this great series out here if you haven’t read them yet: http://amzn.to/2v4xbdp )

 

What do you have to do to win? Share a little secret with me…what accent do you find to be the sexiest in the world? Irish? Australian? Cajun? Inquiring minds want to know! And you get double the entries if you share a gif or video clip that includes an example. J

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends

 

 

International Hotties!

International hotties are on my mind—Fionn since I've just returned from his home country, and my fave Aussie, Isaac, while I write his and Kennedy's book. I thought, while I'm thinking about them, I'd take the time and also introduce them. (You know you wanna see, right?)

Fionn is the redhead, of course, and Isaac is the one trying to get out of his clothes as fast as possible, LOL!

And don't forget, this month's contest is a giveaway for title suggestion for Isaac and Kennedy's book. Be sure to enter for a chance to win one of five ebook sets of the two IF ONLY books!

A Little Betrayal

I have this weird quirk when it comes to romance: I love betrayal.

I'm not talking cheating, but when a hero does something so wrong that it tears the couple apart—and he has to work hard to pull them back together. That's my favorite part, actually! 😉 Maybe it's because I'm drawn to a hint of the bastard hero, though only if he's redeemable (and seriously motivated). Or maybe it's that I love it when an alpha male willingly humbles himself to win back the woman he loves.

 

That probably seems odd for someone who absolutely cannot read a book without an HEA, but there it is, my confession!

Here are just a few of my favorite "betrayal" stories:

After the Night (Linda Howard)
Shades of Twilight (Linda again – she's really good at this, and OMG do I love this book!)
Coyote's Mate (Lora Leigh)
MacRieve (Kresley Cole)

What about you? Any confessions about story lines you love and why?

July Monthly Contest

It’s summer, and my brain has fried! :P

No, seriously, I need your help. I’m working on Isaac and Kennedy’s book this month (in and around trips). This is the third book in the IF ONLY series, and I am in desperate need of some title suggestions—and I want YOU to give them to me! All you have to do is comment with a title you think would be good for this book. The only requirements:

- The title has to begin with the word ONLY.

- It should be similar to the other two titles in the series (Only for the Weekend, Only for the Night).

That’s it! Comment, and at the end of the month, I’ll choose FIVE of the suggestions I like most to win e-book copies of books one and two in this series. That’s FIVE chances to win! *throws confetti* Are you ready?

Head over to my Facebook page to enter!

***Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends JULY 28th.***