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  • Blog

    Today we welcome Louise Reynolds author of Miss Valentine’s Love Emporium for a Taste of Tuesday blog post

    2/4/2019

    Taste of Tuesday

    Miss Valentine's Love Emporium - CoverThanks for your welcome, Monique. It’s lovely to be here.

    When my thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day the first thing I think of is roses. But food always figures highly. Magazines are full of what to cook, more pink recipes than you can shake a stick at, and suggestions for the most romantic restaurants to dine at.

    There’s no doubt that food and sex, and by extension love, are inextricably linked. The experience of falling in love is tactile, using all the senses. Our scent receptors are as open to pheromones as to the aroma of beautifully cooked food. Both make our mouths water. And it’s unsurprising that we describe desirable physical characteristics in terms of food: peach or strawberry coloured lips, chestnut coloured hair, almond shaped eyes and cheeks like apples.

    On Valentine’s Day I enjoy cooking something special at home rather than dining out. I’ll push beyond my usual efforts, choose a special recipe or two and use the best ingredients I can find. I’ll pull out my best china and linen, light candles and make sure the table looks pretty. All of this shows care and love.

    Food abounds in my sweet Valentine’s Day novella, Miss Valentine’s Love Emporium. Lexie Valentine has been taken in and protected by the small town of Carter’s Crossing and on this special day each year she expresses her love for the townspeople by throwing a huge party in the vacant emporium she rents as a pop-up. In doing this she demonstrates her belief in love in the face of a traumatic past experience.
    Ethan Taylor is a world-weary big city divorce lawyer with a jaded view of love but he has been roped into taking his elderly grandmother to Lexie’s party. He arrives at the party, carrying his grandmother’s contribution:

    “At one end of the counter two tall stacks of mismatched floral plates were flanked by small buckets of cutlery, the old fashioned kind with bone handles buffed shiny with age. Piles of old linen napkins in cream and pastel shades, carefully starched and ironed, sat beside them. He placed the pavlova on the counter together with the other offerings. He’d forgotten the largesse of a country gathering. Not for them the large white platters holding wispy herbal fronds and miniscule pieces of food that he was served at smart city functions. The counter groaned with plates loaded with cakes and sandwiches, fruit platters and cheese boards.”

    May Valentine’s Day bring you flowers and delicious food but most of all love and happiness!
    You can follow Lexie and Ethan on their journey by selecting your favourite retailer here: https://books2read.com/u/49P6gM

    Louise ReynoldsAuthor bio
    Louise Reynolds is an author of contemporary romantic fiction.
    On receiving her library card at the age of six she borrowed her first book, an illustrated story about onions. Over the years she progressed from vegetables to romance. It was a logical step to take her love of romance novels to the next stage and tell her own stories.
    Set in both the city and Australia’s outback, her books have been described as warm and witty feel-good reads.

    Let’s connect on social media:
    https://www.facebook.com/LouiseReynoldsRomanceAuthor/
    https://www.instagram.com/louisereynoldswriter/
    www.louisereynolds.net


  • Blog

    Joanne Dannon joins us for this week’s Musical Monday blog post

    1/27/2019

    Musical Monday
    Musical Monday with Australian author Joanne Dannon
    Thanks to Monique for inviting me to her Musical Monday blog.

    I love music and dancing but my favourite music is jazz and swing. I’ve always had a thing for songs by Gershwin and Berlin. It must be the romantic in me.

    As an author, I’ve always written the books I want to read, rather than “writing to market”. I don’t write a book and use a trope simply because it’s popular and everyone else is doing it.

    I love the “opposites attract” tropes for my books, because it happens with love. When you fall for the person you don’t expect to. Often we have preconceived notions of who we want to be with, and sometimes the person that makes us believe in love is the person we least expect it to be.

    At the time of writing Kissing under the Spotlight, Michael Bublé was in Melbourne and I went to his concert (of course!!) and it made me think…what would happen if I met him? I’d probably dissolve in to a pool of giggles and act like a complete tosser around him because I’m a huge fan.

    I used that as the basis for my book. What would my heroine do if she came face to face with the world famous singer she has a major crush on? And ta-da, I wrote the book which has a fairy-tale ending.

    And because all awesome women need a fab BFF, I gave my heroine a friend. But at the end of the book, I couldn’t let my characters go…so I wrote another book, and then more after.

    I have book one of my Kissing Down Under series for free, and I hope you download and enjoy this romance between a superstar and an ordinary gal (like you and me).

    If you like handsome crooners, then Kissing under the Spotlight is for you. Here’s an excerpt –

    “Yes. We agreed our kiss was a mistake—”
    He snorted. “I never said it was a mistake.”
    The speech continued, with rapid vagueness. “Well, whatever. You’re Alex Jackson and I’m Violet McKenzie. You’re a somebody and I’m a nobody. You’ve got gazillions of women falling over themselves to be with you.” She paused. “Which I get, who wouldn’t? Plus you’re a great kisser. But we come from different worlds and we should keep it that way.”
    His brow arched. “You think I’m a great kisser?”
    Her eyes widened to the size of a small planet. “Um.” She cleared her throat a couple of times. “Well, yes.”

    Kissing under the Spotlight is free for a limited time, and the second book in the series, Kissing like she means it, is on sale at $0.99 (instead of $3.99).
    Note – these books are not sweet and have a 3/5 heat rating.

    Joanne Dannon
    ​About Joanne Dannon

    Best selling, award-winning Australian author, Joanne Dannon, writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savor–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.

    Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.

     

  • Blog

    Musical Monday with Australian Author Cheryl Wright

    1/21/2019

    Musical Monday
    My name is Cheryl Wright, and I write mostly contemporary and historical western romance, but also write contemporary small-town romance.
    My books sometimes feature singers in them, and the reason for that is easy – as a teenager, I was a singer.
    It all started when I was about eight years old. I used to sing around the house all the time, and one day, while visiting my grandmother, she mentioned to my mother that I should be on Brian and the Juniors – a popular television show in Australia at the time.
    It featured young children, and Brian was the host.
    My mother organised for me to audition. And I was accepted but we were told all potential Juniors had to do lessons first.
    For months we trudged down to the studio using two different trams, as well as a long walk. I felt as though nothing was happening except my parents were paying for lessons for no reason.
    We stopped going there and instead looked for a local singing teacher. She was brilliant.
    After several lessons, she arranged for me to appear on the radio – a boon at the time (1960’s) – and was asked back several times. I also appeared on talent shows on the television.
    But best of all, my wonderful teacher was able to get me into stage shows as well as bistros where live entertainment was featured.
    I had a spot most Saturday nights for some years, mixed in with stage show work.
    I was even partnered up with a young man for awhile, but that didn’t go anywhere because he wasn’t particularly interested in being part of a duo.
    In addition to all this, I did quite a bit of charity work, entertaining at centres for people with disabilities once a month. I was told it was the highlight of the month for many of them.
    I took dancing lessons for a while – because my teacher wanted me to learn how to move better on the stage. It definitely helped.
    I loved the life, loved the people.
    It was such a buzz, and something I’ve never forgotten, even after all these years. (I’m now 62.)
    I learned to play piano, as well as guitar. The piano lessons sadly died away, but I still play guitar.
    All of this was great fodder for my books, and when I began a new contemporary western romance series, The Callahan Brothers, I needed a cover story for my heroine who was running for her life.
    Being a singer was perfect. She could move from town to town without arousing suspicion. I totally understood all the things that went on in that world, so was able to portray them in a very realistic way.
    You can read Missy’s story in The Cowboy’s Sweetheart.
    Missy O’Reilly isn’t the trusting type. After being almost killed, she’s been on the run for several months. Moving from town to town was the only thing she could do to keep safe.

    She has the evidence, and her stalker wants to destroy it along with her…

    Rory Callahan is fascinated by the newcomer to River Valley, Montana. The moment he clapped eyes on her he was smitten. Little did he know she was hiding a deep dark secret. One that might get her killed. Or if he hung around long enough, he might also be in the firing line.

    Convinced he’s met his soul-mate, will Rory be able to convince her to stay? And exactly what is the mysterious secret she’s been hiding?
    I also featured a singer in one of my romantic suspense novellas, Deadly Debt.
    Felicity Montgomery couldn’t be happier. Her music career is starting to take off and because of her new way-too-sexy manager, her love life is too. But she’s being watched. Every second of every day.

    Derek St James knows Felicity is meant for the stage. She has the kind of charisma that captures people’s attention, and his heart. But a man he can’t control is after Felicity and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

    Felicity’s stalker sees her every move. He’s listening to every word. He is obsessed to the point of breaking into her apartment – even when she’s there. Felicity must find a way to get out from under the evil force that threatens to ruin everything before it’s too late.
    This book lends itself to far more behind the scenes situations. The sorts of things that really happen in the music industry, but most people know nothing about.
    I get a real buzz from writing stories for readers to enjoy, and love when I can put my own personal experiences into my books.
    Thanks for spending some time with me today. I really appreciate it.

    Cheryl Wright
    Find Cheryl on Social Media
    Links:
    The Cowboy’s Sweetheart: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07786G9R7/
    Deadly Debt: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N7QR21B/
    Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/cherylwright
    Cheryl’s Website: http://cheryl-wright.com/
    Cheryl’s Blog: http://romance-authors.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherylwrightauthor/

     

    Deadly Debt - CoverCowboy's Sweetheart - Cover

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Comment

    Cheryl Wright
    1/23/2019 01:55:00 am

    Thanks so much for having me, Monique!

  • Blog

    Cover Reveal for The Lucky Dress by Aimee Brown

    6/21/2018

    The Lucky Dress - Promo Banner
    Oh. Em. Gee. You’ve no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this.
    When my publisher decided to give the option to part ways I was excited but nervous. I knew Little Gray Dress deserved a real chance to make it in the world after a semi-rough start in the publishing industry. When I contact Aria Fiction I was nervous but my edit (Melanie) was (IS) so awesome! I can’t tell you what it means to an author who didn’t have the best first publishing experience to finally find a publisher that is as excited about my debut novel as I was. Aria gave me faith in publishing again. Thank you guys for that.
    So… here it is, The Lucky Dress. Yes, this is a rebranded 2nd edition version of Little Gray Dress with a brand new title, gorgeous new cover, and a 20k word addition. If you loved Little Gray Dress, I really think you’ll love this version of the book even more! When I got ready to do the addition, I read through all my reviews and I’ll be honest, an author doesn’t get the chance to improve a book that’s been previously published very often, there was some great advice in some of those reviews that I did take. So, I thank you reviewers (some of you anyway) for giving me some great advice that I think might have just helped me improve my writing and definitely helped improve this story.
    Thank you for checking out my new gorgeous cover (and sharing it!) and I hope you’ll pre-order the book and tell your friends, leave a review, and chat with me over on social media! And before you ask, YES… I’ve got more books coming. My next release is on its way in April 2018 and my third release in the winter of 2018/early 2019 is the Liam story. So, stay tuned for lots of exciting things coming from me. (I’ve got so many secrets I’ve been holding onto it’s not even funny anymore!)

    The Lucky Dress
    By author: Aimee Brown
    Publisher: Aria Fiction
    Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
    Release Date: eBook – August 07, 2018
    PreOrder NOW: (international Amazon link) mybook.to/TheLuckyDress

    Blurb:
    We all have our lucky dress… an irresistibly hilarious rom-com: perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Jo Watson and Sophie Kinsella.
    Emi Harrison hasn’t been feeling particularly lucky lately. Ever since her ex-fiancée, Jack Cabot, successfully shattered her heart into a million pieces. She’s managed to avoid him for a whole year, but all that’s about to change at her brother Evan’s wedding…
    She will have to face Jack, Jack’s sister, Jack’s parents, and Jack’s new girlfriend: a mean girl that just won’t quit. What could possibly go wrong?
    But with her lucky dress on, she might just find new love, life, and maybe even happiness at last!
    *This book was previously published as Little Gray Dress (now has a 20k word addition)

    About the Author: Aimee Brown

    Aimee BrownBio: Aimee Brown is a writer of romantic comedies set in Portland, Oregon, and an avid reader. She spends much of her time writing, raising three teenagers, binge-watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.
    Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets. She is a lot older than she looks and yes, that is a tattoo across her chest. Aimee is very active on social media and would love to see you stop by and say hello.

     

    Social Media:
    Facebook | Twitter Instagram | Pinterest | Website/Blog | Amazon Page | Newsletter

    What do you think of this beautiful cover? Tell me in the comments below!

    Thank you to the below bloggers for helping me reveal this cover and for being the most supportive bloggers I know! I appreciate you all more than I could tell you.
    Emily Rabitoy
    Extreme Damage
    Rae Reads
    KDReads
    Ali – The Dragon Slayer
    Monique McDonell
    Pretty Little Book Reviews
    Avid Reader Diary
    ItaPixie’s Book Corner
    Life at 17
    Tale Out Loud
    Camilla Isley
    These Words A Blog
    Book Lover in Florida
    Books & Wine Are Lovely

  • Blog

    An interview with Holly Cortelyou, author of new release Two Reckless Hearts

    3/4/2018

    Holly CortelyouHello My Lovelies!
    I’m Holly Cortelyou, and I write small town, contemporary romances with sassy heroines and swoon-worthy heroes. I love it sweet, and I love it steamy…but at the end of the day, I just gotta have my happy-ever-after!
    My latest book, Two Reckless Hearts, just released on March 1st — it’s the first in my Barrett Ridge series with the seven Barrett siblings and their crazy, heart-melting journeys to love.
    Two Reckless Hearts starts off with a family wedding at a luxurious beach resort – and it has all the quirky family dynamics that we adore in small town romances. Jami and Beck star in Two Reckless Hearts, and it was a blast writing an enemies-to-lovers story set on a lush tropical paradise, deep in the Caribbean. I dreamed of silky, blue waters and the hot, rhythmic beat of steel drums the whole time I was writing Jami and Beck’s battle to love.
    On my average writing day, you will find me in my little office with the white French doors, with a silver lab puppy napping on her giant Costco bed, and my Maine Coon kitty sprawled on my keyboard. Between fighting for my chair with the cat and fluffballs floating through the air, I sip on black coffee all morning and type away (or play on Facebook).
    My favorite quotation and writing inspiration is from C. Ara Campbell — “Here’s to the girl who read the compass written on the walls of her heart and follows the North Star etched upon her Spirit.” Following my writing dream has been scary and liberating, challenging and exciting…and I love it 99.99% of the time.
    But…that’s enough about me! Keep scrolling down and check out the snippet from Two Reckless Hearts – Beck and Jami are neck deep in the jungle on a wacky wedding scavenger hunt…
    Luv ‘n hugs,
    Holly Cortelyou
    …Dare to Love!

    Links:
    https://www.facebook.com/HollyCortelyouAuthor/
    https://www.hollycortelyou.com/hollygram (Free Novel and newsletter)
    https://twitter.com/HollyCortelyou

    Two Reckless Hearts - Cover
    TWO RECKLESS HEARTS (Barrett Ridge #1) by Holly Cortelyou

    She’s a temptation he can’t risk…
    One beach resort. Two arch rivals. Will hot island nights turn enemies to lovers? If you love heart-melting heroes, claim your new book-boyfriend today…
    Clickity-Click-It:
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/2GTGUFQ
    Nook: https://goo.gl/Qtixx2
    iBooks: https://goo.gl/yVnnJN
    Kobo: https://goo.gl/vTxvab
    Google Play: https://goo.gl/nH3Uoq
    Universal: https://www.books2read.com/u/mZ5Oj5

    Teaser from TWO RECKLESS HEARTS:
    Jami surveyed the list, and Beck peered over her shoulder. Her breath caught in her throat and a dart of tension shot between her thighs. He smelled of cedar and something tropical. It was divine. No, she was not going to let her knees buckle under her.
    “What is a red ginger lily? And how are we supposed to know if we find one?” Beck’s bicep brushed hers as he leaned over and pointed at the second item on the list.
    She was not going to break into a sweat. She steeled herself. She needed to remember she hated Beck Kavanagh. He was her competition, and she never lost her focus during a fight. Calm. She needed to find her Zen spot. Hell. Why did that make her think of a G-spot?
    Jami pivoted and stepped away from Beck as she handed the hunt instructions to him, but Beck grabbed her wrist.
    “Let go.”
    “Hang on. Hold still.”
    “No.”
    “There’s something small, brown and very crawly, right in the middle of your back.”
    Jami stiffened like a flag pole. “Get it off me.”
    Beck rolled up the map and brushed at her back. “It’s stuck.”
    Panic welled in Jami’s belly, but she dragged in a deep breath and exhaled in a low whistle. “You’ve got one job, mister. Now remove it.”
    “Maybe you should drop, roll, and squish it?”
    “Is that a joke?”
    “Yes, but you don’t seem amused.” Beck studied a spot right between her shoulder blades. “Hmm. It seems to have quite a few sticky-looking legs. Very wriggly.”
    “If you don’t get it off in the next five seconds, I’m going to rip this shirt right off my body and set it on fire.”
    Beck grinned. “Do you want me to flick it off or not? I like your idea better.”
    “Do it. Now.” Jami ground her teeth together as a whisper of wind tickled a wisp of hair against her neck. Her knees wobbled.
    Beck wound up as if ready to smack the crap out of the bug, but at the last second, he slid the map under the crawler and flicked it away, deep into the ferny undergrowth next to the pathway. “You’re good to go.”
    Jami jumped three feet to the side and shivered. “What the hell was it?”
    “It was a BDB.”
    “What?”
    “A big damn bug.”
    “Aren’t you the comedian?”
    “I’m an engineer, not an entomologist.”
    Jami scowled, but Beck grinned. She scrunched her eyebrows as if to convince him she was not amused, but he pointed at her and laughed. A burble of laughter escaped from between her lips.
    “Fine. You win. I won’t take this so seriously.”
    Beck threw back his head and laughed with ease. “I find that hard to believe.”
    As one, they bent over the map and the list and plotted their next move together. Beck’s shoulder brushed hers, and Jami’s pulse jumped. She threw him a side-eye. His nose was straight, and that chin of his was square, determined, and utterly sexy. His thick black eyelashes swept low, and her heart lurched.
    Jami leaned in, and her breasts brushed his arm as she delivered a fleeting kiss on the hard angle of his cheekbone. She sprang back before he could react.
    “Thanks for rescuing me.”
    *******************

    Comment

    Jessica Jones
    3/15/2018 06:44:02 pm

    Great interview! I’m excited to read the book.

  • Blog

    Musical Monday with author Amy Rivers

    4/10/2017

    Musical Monday
    Amy Rivers
    Good Music #MusicalMonday By Amy Rivers

    I’m going to go ahead and disclaim this post by saying that my writing soundtrack is often re-runs of the Golden Girls playing in the background. As long as there is noise around me, I can set about my tasks and get my work done. That being said, I listen to music a lot when I am writing and even more when I am brainstorming / plotting. I listen to music when I need to strike the proper emotion, because, for me, the best music is the kind that makes you feel something deep down in your stomach (and sometimes in other places, but that’s another post).

    Here’s my go-to list of mood music when I need inspiration:

    #1: Leonard Cohen: Ain’t No Cure for Love

    There is literally nothing on earth that gets me in a more romantic mood than Leonard Cohen’s gravelly voice. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. I love Mr. Darcy. And I love me a good love story. BUT, there is something about Cohen’s voice that reaches straight down into my heart and makes me all warm and fuzzy.

    #2: Bad Religion: Los Angeles is Burning

    Actually, anything from The Empire Strikes First album is likely to get me all politically indignant. And sometimes, you need a good dose of indignation, especially when you’re writing about women in politics.

    #3: Ani DiFranco: Little Plastic Castle

    Girl power. Enough said.

    #4: Cyndi Lauper: True Colors album

    Because Cyndi Lauper is AMAZING! This album takes me back to my childhood, under the headphones with my Walkman, belting out Boy Blue or The Faraway Nearby in the backseat of the car. Her version of What’s Going On is one of my favorites. Listening to Cyndi Lauper makes me feel nostalgic and sassy.

    #5: Rent: Soundtack (either Broadway or movie)

    When I want to reconnect with humanity, I listen to Rent. It reminds me that people can be kind to one another, can love with their whole hearts, and will stand up for what they believe in.

    And last but not least #6: Tracy Chapman: self-titled album

    I grew up on Tracy Chapman. This album is full of ballads about social injustice and the complexities of human life, relationships and family. I could (and often do) listen to this album on repeat. It’s just that good.

    Whether you’re a big fan of light jazz, you like to rock out to death metal, or anything up, down or in between, my suggestion when building a soundtrack for writing is to pick something that makes you FEEL whatever it is you want to feel at the time. It’s the best medicine for what ails you.
    Best Laid Plans and Other Disasters - Cover
    Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters by Amy Rivers
    ABOUT THE BOOK: A year after she is elected mayor of a prosperous Colorado city, Gwen’s career and life are fully on track, all according to plan. So why is she in such a slump emotionally and physically? New conflicts keep boiling over in city government, and her earlier allies no longer support her. She and her boyfriend have an ideal relationship, which she finds inexplicably dissatisfying. Without telling her, he decides to take a new job that has him traveling out of state every week. Suddenly unexpected developments turn everything topsy-turvy, and Gwen is forced to re-examine her carefully-planned life.

    Available at:
    Amazon
    Kobo
    Visit Amy’s Website here.

  • Blog

    Today’s Musical Monday features Joanne Dannon, Author of Kisses Under The Spotlight

    3/24/2017

    Musical Monday
    Kisses Under the Spotlight - Cover
    ​Thanks to Monique for inviting me to her Musical Monday blog.

    I love music and I love dancing but my favourite music is jazz and swing. I’ve always had a thing for songs by Gershwin and Berlin. It must be the romantic in me.

    I started writing in 2005 and aspired to write for Mills and Boon, but my books weren’t good enough. First, I was still learning my craft and second, I was trying to fit my “voice” into a line that really didn’t suit me. Just because I loved reading it, didn’t mean I could write for it.

    After years of writing and rejections, I decided to write what I wanted, not what I thought the publishers wanted. And so I created a sexy crooner who sang all the songs I love, and could tap dance. Ta da! Meet Alex Jackson who has millions of fans, is hugely talented, handsome (of course!) but is broken inside.

    All my love for handsome and talented singers/artists – Michael Bublé, Harry Connick Jnr and Michael Feinstein, has been poured in to my hero Alex.

    Most of the books featuring musicians feature bad boy rockers but Alex is clean cut, no tattoos and can tap dance upside down.

    I wrote from the heart and so far, my readers have loved Kisses under the Spotlight with Alex. Hooray! They’ve told me they like the book because it’s different.

    I never intended to write a series, the book was supposed to be a standalone but when I wrote the final scene, I couldn’t let my characters go and wrote more, so now I have a 4-book series.

    If you like handsome crooners, then Kisses under the Spotlight is for you. Here’s an excerpt –

    In her twenty-eight years, Violet McKenzie had been presented with a few surreal moments. The most recent seeing a naked photo of herself plastered all over the Internet. But nothing, seriously nothing, could compare to meeting Alex Jackson.
    The Alex Jackson.
    The unassuming, jazz singing, jazz dancing, jazz superstar.
    All six foot plus of virile, extraordinarily handsome, muscle-bound him.
    And she was a fan.
    Okay, a big fan. She’d been to his concerts and had all his albums on her iPod and his calendar hanging on the kitchen wall.
    Yeah, she was a big fan.
    He looked up, his aquamarine eyes noticing her standing there. “You’re the physio?” Alex Jackson’s gaze met hers.
    Oh God. Even his voice was divine in real life as she imagined it would be. Its smoothness floated across her skin making the tiny hairs sway like palm trees in a gentle breeze.
    His arm waved in front of her face. “Hello?” His divine voice interrupted visions of her and him sipping fruity cocktails under the shade of coconut trees.
    Her skin warmed or perhaps the heating had been cranked up? The room was as hot as the desert during the day. Wiping her damp palms against the dark cargo pants she favoured for work gave her an excuse to hide any awkwardness. Clearing her throat she said, “Yes.”
    “My physio is…unavailable, so I had the hotel doctor look at my ankle, he thinks it’s fractured. But he seems used to dealing with sniffles, tummy bugs, and other traveller’s misfortunes. Not this.” His teeth gritted as he pointed to his foot. He blew out air from his lungs in exasperation. His usually impeccably straight hair was tussled and a lock of dark hair flopped over his forehead. He pushed it to the side before it fell back again. “You need to look at it.”

    I’ve currently got Kisses under the Spotlight on sale for US $0.99. Amazon, other e-retailers.
    And if you read and love it, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

  • Blog

    Guest Post by Author Ce Ce Osgood – author of Murder & Margaritas – including a great recipe

    10/14/2016

    Austin TexasAuthor CeCe Osgood Shares the Secrets of a Scrumptious Margarita
    Thank you Monique for letting me post a little ditty to celebrate my new chick lit cozy mystery series. The first book in the series is MARGARITAS & MURDER: A Sunny Truly Mystery.

    The main character, Sunny, is an apprentice private investigator in Austin, Texas. I chose Austin for the setting of the book because I lived there for many years, and it’s where I tasted my first margarita.

    When I was in college in Austin, my pals and I always enjoyed Friday night gatherings at a Tex-Mex restaurant that served okay food, but fantastic margaritas. They were super limey, ice-cold and refreshingly delicious when served with spicy tamales, sour cream enchiladas or cheesy nachos. But as good as those margaritas were, the best I’ve ever had was just recently at a friend’s house. She often vacations in a lovely town in Central Mexico and brought back a terrific recipe for margaritas.

    The first thing she told me was to get a top-notch (expensive) tequila because then you wouldn’t get a headache if you over imbibed. (FYI: I was staying at her house that night so no drinking and driving as that is never a good idea.)

    Here is my friend’s recommendation for a great tequila: Gran Centenario Plata. I had never of it before, so the writer in me wanted to do a little research.

    Gran Centenario Plata (owned by Jose Cuervo) is 100% blue agave silver tequila. Growing up in Texas, I’d heard of blue agave, but I couldn’t really tell you what it is.
    Agave
    A digression: Agave is also the name of a character in Greek mythology and means “illustrious.” She was the daughter of Cadmus, the founder and king of the city Thebes – the major rival of ancient Athens. Agave was a follower of Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, wine and intoxication.

    Returning to the subject of tequila, I found another factoid. Unlike other plata (silver) tequilas, the Gran Centenario Plata rests for 28 days in French Limousin oak barrels. Intrigued, I looked it up and it turns out that the oak trees come from a region in France called Limousi. Duh. I had imagined something more flamboyant.

    Still, I wondered why the Limousi oak barrel was so important. Then I read that the storage in these oak barrels softens the tang of the alcohol giving it a smooth finish, and it is the smooth finish that makes this tequila so superior. And expensive. I have had my share of cheap tequila burning like a slice of hot pizza in my mouth, so yeah, smooth is better.

    Now, how about that recipe?
    First, of course, is to fill your blender with ice.
    Then pour in:
    6 oz. tequila
    2 oz. triple sec
    The juice of six limes
    Then add Simple Syrup to taste.
    (To make simple syrup: add one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan. Heat until dissolved.)

    I’ve gotten to where I don’t care much for salt on the rim of my glass, but if you do, sprinkle the salt, kosher for a lighter taste, into a shallow plate.

    Moisten the rim of your glass with a cut lime (or lemon) wedge. Notch the wedge for it to slip easily around the rim. Then turn the glass upside down and dip it into the salt. Sssh, here’s a secret. If you prefer a less salty taste, mix sugar into the plate of salt, say 50-50, and then dip the moistened rim into it.

    This recipe is for lime margaritas. For fruity drinks, simply blend the fruit first, then add the ice and other ingredients and blend until smooth.

    For this Texan, enjoying a scrumptious margarita with spicy cheese nachos topped with thin slices of avocado is divine.
    (There’s a legend in Texas that if you drink too much tequila you might see God. That’s never happened to me, but then I don’t drink more than one or two margaritas. If it does happen to you, do let me know, and please say “howdy” for me.)

    Margaritas & Murder - Cover
    Margaritas & Murder: A Sunny Truly Mystery is FREE on Amazon – Friday Oct. 14 thru Tues. Oct. 18. (Pacific Standard Time USA)

    AMAZON
    AMAZON UK

     

     

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    CeCe Osgood’s debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, was awarded a Crowned Heart for Excellence by InD’tale magazine. It’s a chick lit romantic comedy about a dating workshop during a cruise to Cabo. www.myBook.to/TDNDW

    Her new work is the Sunny Truly Mystery series. The first book is MARGARITAS & MURDER, which is FREE on Amazon from Friday Oct. 14 thru Tuesday Oct. 18, 2016. (Pacific Standard Time USA).
    The second book in the series, MERLOT & MURDER, is also available on Amazon. www.myBook.to/MerlotCozy
    Find CeCe Osgood here: WEBSITE    FACEBOOK….TWITTER

  • Blog

    Launch day for Catch a Falling Star by Geralyn Corcillo and a guest post about spin-offs in TV and books

    8/26/2016

    Spin Off into Fictional Worlds of Wonder! by Geralyn Corcillo
    Catch a Falling Star - Cover
    Hey, Monique! Thanks for featuring me today on your delightful blog! This is a big day for me, and I am so happy to be here.

    Spin Off into Fictional Worlds of Wonder!
    by Geralyn Corcillo

    When the boys you used to hate you date
    I guess you best investigate
    The facts of life
    The facts of life

     

     

     

     

     

     

    -From the theme song to The Facts of Life by Al Burton, Gloria Loring, and Alan Thicke
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDVpP7fWurA

    The TV show The Facts of Life was a anchor in my childhood – I watched with devotion from the first season when I was in 3rd grade and Molly Ringwald was on the show to the later seasons when I was in high school and George Clooney was on the show and I was crushin’ on him as hard as Mindy Cohn’s character Natalie was.

    And it was a spin-off.

    The character Edna Garrett, played by Charlotte Rae, was the housekeeper on the show Diff’rent Strokes. She got her own show after the first season and became the house mother at the all-girl boarding school in The Facts of Life. And thus, one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1980’s launched into my childhood and adolescence.

    Throughout my life, some of my most beloved television shows have been spin-offs. The hilarious Laverne & Shirley, a spin-off of Happy Days. Frasier, a spin-off of Cheers. Angel, a spin-off of another love of mine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My favorite British detective show (and yes, I like it even better than Sherlock) is Lewis, a spin-off of the incomparable Inspector Morse.

    As a fan and a viewer, I adore stretching into the individual worlds of characters I’ve come to cherish. And these new realities are fashioned by the talented people who created the original shows, so we all get to enjoy more genius entertainment coming from the same brains. Yay!

    Recently, as an author, I’ve come to realize the wonder of the spin-off from the creative side. My third romantic comedy novel released today is called Catch a Falling Star and it’s a spin-off of my second romantic comedy novel Queen of the Universe. Many reader reviews of Queen mention how they would love to read more about its lead characters, TV writer Lola and handyman-turned-leading man Arlen. But Lola and Arlen have their arc in Queen, so I’m just not inspired to write a sequel with them. Sure, as the one who created them, I think about Lola and Arlen all the time and about their life together after the end of Queen. But as much as I love fantasizing about it all, none of it whips up into a compelling story. But I do so love the world I created around Lola and Arlen.

    So … not a sequel, but a spin-off. Catch a Falling Star is the story of TV superstar Wendy Hunter and Lola’s brother, southern high school football coach Colin Scott. So, now I’ve got a new, compelling story that can be read entirely on its own, but in a wonderfully familiar world. And yes, we get to see a lot of Lola and Arlen in Catch, this time as supporting characters. We get to catch up with them, in fact. And not just them …

    I am having so much fun crossing the stars and the paths of my different characters. And I hope that readers and fans love the spinning off as much as I’ve enjoyed my favorite TV spin-offs throughout my life.

    What spin-offs do you adore? TV? Books? Cartoons, even? I’d love to hear what spin-offs, what fictional worlds, have brought you joy. When it comes to fiction, I am all about bringing on the joy!

    Thank you for featuring me today on your delightful blog, Monique! I look forward to comments from your fans so we can talk about some of our favorite spin-offs!

    Book Blurb:
    When TV star Wendy Hunter is about to have her most closely guarded secret viciously exposed by the paparazzi, she desperately tosses out a juicy bone to distract them: she announces her engagement to southern high school football coach Colin Scott. One problem. She’s not really engaged to him. In fact, she barely knows him. Um … barely. But will one unforgettable night last year be enough to get him to go along with her charade?

    Wendy goes to Louisiana to see him and discovers that Colin is not so thrilled to be suddenly “engaged” to her. He’s got some secrets of his own that his famous “fiancée” is putting in serious jeopardy. Still, he agrees to her fake engagement … as long as she agrees to play by his rules. And with the whole world watching, she’s got no choice. His demands? That Wendy stay in town for three weeks to play the part of Colin’s one true love, all without wrecking his life.

    Let the games begin. But when their time together is up, will either of them be able to—or want to—go back to the way things were?

    Queen of the Universe - Cover

    Miss Adventure - Cover

    Geralyn CorcilloAuthor Bio
    When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to rescue animals and constantly pick up litter. At home, she loves to kick back by watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the New York Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband TV writer Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

    Find Geralyn online
    Website: geralyncorcillo.com
    Universal Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/GeralynCorcillo
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/geralyncorcillothewriter/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/geralyncorcillo

    Book links:
    Miss Adventure Universal link: http://getBook.at/MissAdventure
    Queen of the Universe universal link: http://myBook.to/QueenUniverse
    Catch a Falling Star universal link: http://getBook.at/CatchStarQueen

     

    Comments

    Geralyn Corcillo
    8/26/2016 04:20:26 am

    Monique! Gorgeous post! Thanks! I had such fun being in the box set Have Chick Lit, Will Travel with you a few years ago, and I really appreciate your hosting me on Release Day for my third RomCom novel! And what a bizarre connection we have! I surprised you with a post about spin-offs and Facts of Life, and you were a unique little part of Facts of Life when it aired! Even back in the eighties, we were connected across the globe!!!!! I’d love to hear what spin-offs your fans have enjoyed … come on, everyone, let’s dish!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
    Monique
    8/26/2016 04:24:39 pm

    Congrats on your new book Geralyn. So exciting! Yes the connection is deep with us. I did help the Australian author who wrote the character with background on the Pippa character who appeared in Facts of Life late in it’s run. There was a little bit of me in Pippa. I think Private Practice which spun off from Grey’s Anatomy was a great spin off. And I was a huge Buffy fan and loved Angel when it spun off…

    Geralyn Corcillo
    8/26/2016 09:46:34 pm

    I googled Pippa and it turns out she’s had a pretty successful country music career over here in the States. Yes…Buffy and /angel. I loved the episode where the Buffy folks come to Angel’s place – I forget why. But Willow has a conversation with Wesley (they’re married in real life) and they are talking about people they have killed and terrible things they have done. almost as if they are trying to one up one another. And the chemistry between them is just so hot! I remember Wesley says how he chained a woman in his closet and tortured her for information, but Willow one ups him by saying how she killed a guy by ripping all his skin off. Good stuff!

  • Blog

    Release Day for Gamer Girl and a guest post by Glynis Astie (who has indeed got game)

    6/2/2016

    Got Game? A guest post by Glynis Astie
    Glynis Astie and Game ControlsI love video games. LOVE them! The catchy music, gorgeous graphics, engaging characters and exciting journeys—what’s not to like? Every time I turn on my console, I have countless choices in front of me. (I live with three boys who crave variety, so our library is rather extensive.) Am I in the mood for military strategy, martial arts or traveling through a fantasy world? Do I want to put the pedal to the metal or ski down a beautiful mountain? Or is it time to kick it old school with Pitfall or Donkey Kong? Simply asking these hypothetical questions makes me giddy. My fingers are itching to grab hold of my trusty controller!
    There’s just one tiny problem. I have no skills. I’m completely devoid of game, if you will. It’s sad, but true. I used to be able to fake it when I was younger, when the most I had to do was weave a small square through a maze in Adventure or shoot a few targets in Duck Hunt. I could even handle that crazy Centipede! But as technology advanced and video games became more complex, it was clear that I didn’t have what it took to keep up. This, however, did nothing to quell my fascination with all things gaming.
    For a number of years, I took the role of observer, living vicariously through my friends and family as they tackled the latest offerings from Nintendo, Capcom and Konami. Then I met my husband and he opened up a whole new world to me with games like Manhunt, God of War and Halo. To him, a new game meant spending the weekend lounging on the living room floor, glued to the TV, until his new adventure had been finished. While his games had way more violence than I was used to, I admired his dedication. Since I had no desire to shut myself off from the world, I spent those days sitting by the pool with a good book, waiting for the onslaught to be over.
    Then I became a mother and was forced to give gaming another try. When your three-year-old son hands you a controller and asks you to help him, you can’t really say no. I did my best, but it didn’t take long for his abilities to surpass mine. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the disappointment in your little one’s eyes when you can’t bring Mario through his latest world unscathed. He has since developed quite the sense of humor about it, chuckling and saying, “silly Mommy” when I try to follow him on one of his video game adventures. (Until I fall too far behind and he asks me to exit. D’oh!)

    Glynis Astie and toysEver the astute child, he introduced me to The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Finally! A game I could play! All I had to do was tap the screen with my finger. The characters did all kinds of funny things and I earned money to buy tons of imaginary stuff. Woohoo! After a few months, my confidence grew and I tackled more challenging offerings like Candy Crush and Juice Cubes. Next stop: Plants vs. Zombies. Watch out world!
    Unfortunately, it’s doubtful I will ever be a true gamer, but this won’t stop me from obsessing over the gaming world. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it was watching a documentary about the history of video games which gave me the idea for my latest book, Gamer Girl. Why not create a character who had the mad skills I craved? Brilliant!
    I started by designing a game I would want to play. I knew it would be an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) because I wanted the ability to create a second storyline for my heroine—the escapades of her online alter ego. Since I’m the only girl in my house, I may have gone to town with my love of magic, fairies and dragons. (I live in a world ruled by Lego, Transformers, army guys and toy guns.) Then I picked the brain of my favorite gamer–who also happens to write fantasy novels–and voila, my main character’s sacred gaming world of SpellBound was born.
    It was such a blast to write Gamer Girl! I sincerely hope it will be just as much fun to read. It’s a completely unique creation—part chick lit, part fantasy, with a dash of gaming and a whole lot of fun! And at least in the world of writing, I’ve got loads of game.
    Gamer Girl - Cover
    Gamer Girl
    Struck by tragedy at an early age, Meri Palmer escaped into the only world she understood. Within the virtual realm of online gaming, she lived a life filled with mythical creatures and thrilling adventures, where she was strong, powerful, clever, and beautiful—everything she believed she wasn’t in real life. As the years went by, her desire to cling to her cherished fantasyland only grew stronger.

    But when Meri meets Morgan, equal parts gorgeous and goofball, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to rejoin the so-called real world. Channeling the bravery of her fairy warrior alter ego, Meri slowly lets Morgan beyond the protective walls she’s built around her heart. Just as she finds a comfortable groove in an uncertain world, Morgan succumbs to insecurities of his own, leaving her lost and confused. Through her battle to regain her equilibrium, Meri will discover that even in reality, things aren’t always what they seem.
    Will Meri win the battle raging in her heart and summon the will to rescue her knight in shining armor? Or will she give in to the fear and find her game over?

     

     

     

    Glynis AstieGlynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how, in only six short months, she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast, and the final installment in the series, French Fry. After she finished milking her life story for all it was worth, she decided to write straight-up fiction with Gamer Girl, which infuses her beloved chick lit with a hint of fantasy.
    When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

    Links to find Glynis on the web.

    Website: www.glynisastie.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/glynisastieauthor/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlynisAstie
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/glynisastie/
    Global buy link for Gamer Girl: mybook.to/amazongamergirl

    Comment

    Glynis Astie
    5/31/2016 03:24:48 am

    Thanks for having me to visit, Monique! 🙂