Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Setting the Mood (the HOLIDAY Mood)

Writing books is weird.

My newest release was written over a year and half ago. The project I’m working on right now won’t see the light of day until 2019. I’m looking ahead to 2020 to see what kind of openings I have for my next series.


With so much advance planning, it’s no wonder that my internal clock is sometimes way off kilter. Take, for example, the holiday novella I’m polishing up and getting ready to format. Inside my head, the world is full of hot cocoa, snowball fights, and Yeti sightings. Outside my house, it’s a hundred degrees and the air is filled with forest fire smoke. I can get away with pretending the forest fire smoke is a Yuletide log for a few hours, but reality comes crashing back when I step outside and all thoughts of crisp winter mornings evaporate off my skin. Literally.


As a general rule, I don’t have to be in the right “zone” to write a particular book or scene. I don’t need candlelight and wine to write a love scene (more often than not, there’s a parcel of screaming children and burnt macaroni and cheese in the distance). I don’t need to blast ominous music as the bad guy creeps in (in reality, he’s probably shooting the heroine to the tune of Selena Gomez). However, because summer is my least favorite season, I find it difficult to go full Christmas without some kind of concession.



That’s why I’ve been spending the last few weeks celebrating the holiday season in August. I blast up the air conditioning, pull out my cashmere socks, and drink mulled wine. (It’s a hardship, I know.) Other ways I’ve found to bring on the holiday spirit include:

·       Drinking hot buttered rum
·       Shopping for Christmas presents online
·       Buying winter weather gear that we’ve outgrown/outworn
·       Drinking peppermint schnapps
·       Watching The Ref, which is unquestionably the greatest holiday movie of all time
·       Eagerly awaiting all things pumpkin spice
·       Gazing longingly at the cozy sweaters it’s not cold enough to wear yet



I know it’s early, and I know some people are holding on to the last vestiges of summer with everything they have, but these are the sacrifices I must make for my art. (And by sacrifices, I mean bring on the pumpkin spice. Seriously. My body is ready.)


♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Tamara Morgan is the author of thirteen contemporary comedy romances and the new Penelope Blue series. Her books combine fast-paced antics and humor with heartfelt sentiment, and have been described as both “utterly unconventional and wonderfully smart.” Her debut novel was chosen as the Smart Bitches Trashy Books book club pick in April of 2012, and her books have since gone on to receive two starred reviews from Library Journal and three Romantic Times Magazine Top Picks, one of which was nominated in the 2014 RT Reviewers' Choice Awards in the Contemporary Love & Laughter category. 


Visit Tamara online at:


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Stress... Good or bad?

Hi, everyone,
I'm thinking about stress today. Not just the usual day to day stuff...although that can be a pain in the butt too... No, I'm thinking more about the extra stuff we heap on ourselves.

Is there good stress? I think so. The stress of a new release, for instance! Yes, there are blog tours and giveaways, and fortunately Sourcebooks has a wonderful publicist that takes care of a lot of that. (Thank you, Beth!) This brings up one of my latest discoveries for alleviating stress... Delegating!
I'm the woman behind the Fall in Love with New England Romance Reader/Author conference. Yup. I invented it.
www.fallinlovewithnewengland.com That was back when I was between contracts and had all kinds of time to arrange everything. Enter a new 5 book contract a few months before the conference! Eek! Talk about stress! But you know what? That's all good stress too.

Fortunately, I have friends. Lots of author friends who wanted this to succeed stepped up and volunteered to help--I didn't even have to ask! Bless you, Dalton Diaz, Ana E. Ross, Nora LeDuc, Marianne Rice, Robin Stone, and Christina Tetrault!

Last year at about this time, I was a mess. So many details! So little time. This year, I feel fairly serene, because--you guessed it--I'm delegating!

My husband is going through something similar... He has always wanted to be a helicopter pilot. He saved up for lessons and probably expected to be all trained and ready to solo in a few weeks. Nope.
Weather cancellations and a much harder learning curve than expected have dragged it out several months.

As you might expect, we're commiserating and complaining, but we wouldn't think of giving up!
Is there something in your life that is causing good stress? Some labor of love? Please share so we can all commiserate together!

One lucky commenter will win a signed book! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Coming Sept 5th: On the Chase (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit Book 2) by Katie Ruggle


On the Chase, Book 2 in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series, is out on September 5th!

Injured in the line of duty,
His orders are simple:
Stay alive.
But when a frightened woman bursts into his life, Hugh and his K9 companion have no choice but to risk everything to keep her safe.

The sole witness to a horrific crime, Kaylee Ramay flees to the Colorado Rockies to start a new life. There she becomes Grace, a dog kennel employee desperately trying to avoid attention—especially from dangerously attractive K9 Officer Hugh Murdoch.

Because Hugh is tall, dark…and nothing but trouble.

Hugh is anxious to get back in the field after an act of heroism left him warming the bench.
Until then, he and his K9 partner Lexi spend their hours teasing the town’s mysterious newcomer. But when their simmering attraction is nearly cut short by a sniper’s bullet, Hugh’s mystery woman must come clean about the secrets she keeps…

Or both of them will pay the price.

“I love Ruggle’s characters. They’re sharply drawn, and vividly alive. These are wonderful escapist books.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series


Read on for a sneak peek of On the Chase:

The floor in the entry creaked, reminding Grace of her most urgent issue at the moment: someone was in the house. As quietly as possible, she started backing up. This was not a good room to be trapped in. The only door was the one into the hallway—where the intruder was. The large, central window was solid. The two smaller panes of glass beside it would reluctantly crank out a few inches, but definitely not wide enough to fit her entire body through.

Why had she hesitated when she first heard the knock? If she’d immediately headed for the back door, she’d already be far, far away. Now she was stuck.

Her gaze ran over the room, searching for hiding spots, but there weren’t any good ones. The closet was too obvious, but it would have to do. Maybe they wouldn’t bother searching. As she hurried toward the small closet door, her heart thumped painfully against her ribs. It beat so loudly that it felt as if everyone still left in Monroe could hear the pounding.

“What are you doing?”

She whipped around, grabbing the first thing within reach to use as a weapon.

Hugh looked from her face to her hand with his usual expression of barely contained amusement—a look that aggravated Grace more every time she encountered him. Even the dog standing next to him looked entertained. “The mute button doesn’t work on me. Trust me. Others have tried.”

There was still so much residual fear flooding through her body that Grace had a hard time understanding what he meant. She followed his gaze to the improvised weapon in her hand and realized that she was pointing the television remote at him. As her panic started to abate, anger took its place, along with a healthy dose of embarrassment.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded, allowing her arm to drop back to her side.

“I could ask you the same thing,” he said.

“What?” It was almost a screech. Grace blamed residual nerves…and the fact that Hugh was truly aggravating. “I live here!”

“Jules said you were job hunting today.” She opened her mouth, but he spoke again before she could ask how that justified him breaking into her house. “Why didn’t you open the door when I knocked?”

Her eyes narrowed. “You came in because you thought I wasn’t here? What were you going to do? Go through my stuff?” The guilty look that flashed over his face disappeared quickly, but she still caught it. “You were!” Another thought occurred to her, and she almost growled. “How did you get in?”

His expression of pure innocence just made her suspicions double. “What do you mean? The door was unlocked.”

“No, it wasn’t. I definitely remember locking—”

“Hey!” he interrupted, his attention on the TV screen. “Is this the Tattered Hearts where Tatiana realizes that Natasha and Jorge are scheming against her?”

“What? I don’t know. I’ve never watched this show.”

“You’ve never seen Tattered Hearts?” He grabbed her hand and pulled her to the couch. Bemused by the sudden topic shift, she sat. “You are missing out. It’s the best show ever.”

Hugh plopped his oversized self on the couch right next to Grace, jostling her. He was so big, a wall of heat and muscle and sexiness—whoa. She shut down that thought abruptly. His dog stretched out in front of them, her furry head resting on Grace’s foot, which was comforting and kind of nice. She scowled and briefly considered telling Hugh to leave—although the dog could stay—but Grace was curious why he was so obsessed with this soap. Besides, as annoying as Hugh could be, arguing with him kept her mind off Martin Jovanovic. She honestly didn’t want to be in this big, creaky house alone anymore, especially after having the snot scared out of her, so she settled in to watch.

“Wait,” she said after a few minutes. “So the guy with the waxed chest—”

“Jorge.”

“So Jorge is cheating on the woman with the scary eyebrows—”

“Tatiana.”

“Jorge is cheating on Tatiana with the lizard-faced woman?”

“Natasha.”

“Why?” Keeping her gaze locked on the television, Grace made a face. “Tatiana is so much hotter, and Natasha is all about the drama. That gets so tiring.”

“I know.” Hugh sighed. “Jorge’s an idiot.”



Want to read more about Grace and Hugh? Pre-order your copy of On the Chase today!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Made Landfall, Bracing for Flooding

This is last night before Hurricane Harvey, at category 4, made landfall.



We've had 3" of rain so far and it's continuing to pour rain, with wind gusts up to 25 mph. It will rain for several more days, which will cause flooding for us. We're hoping we don't lose electricity. We're under flood warning and several other warnings right now, including tornado watch.



Hope everyone left the area who needed to due to mandatory evacuations. Stay safe! 

I'm back to working on edits for All's Fair in Love and Wolf, Billionaire Wolf Christmas, and the last promo blog for Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas (Oct release). Unless the electricity goes out.


Be safe!!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears http://www.celticbears

Friday, August 25, 2017

Kim Redford Shares Little Free Library

On my most recent visit to California, the small town of San Juan Capistrano captured my imagination in so many ways—from the famous timeless mission to a Victorian tea parlor to the small library nestled beside a comfy bench on a dusty side street.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the tiny libraries springing up outside businesses or in front of homes or near schools. Books are nestled behind the front glass of a brightly painted birdhouse or more elaborate structure. Of course, there’s a fascinating story (and group) behind Little Free Library.

In 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a tiny replica of a red schoolhouse in his mother’s honor, a former teacher and booklover. Not long after he made free books available, folks from around town were stopping by, chatting, and picking up novels or nonfiction to take home. A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor saw the little library and recognized a golden opportunity to spread the love of books.

They partnered to promote literacy and reading through free book exchanges worldwide. As a model, they looked to Andrew Carnegie's support of public libraries and the popular "take a book, leave a book" found in cafes and hotels. Andrew Carnegie funded 2,510 libraries, and they hoped to reach that number.

Once their idea caught the interest of readers everywhere, they quickly met their goal and went way beyond it. Now Little Free Library (map) is available in countries as far away as Australia, France, and China. Plus, stewards of these book exchanges are busy maintaining and creating communities of literacy every day.




Kim Redford is an acclaimed, bestselling author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at Kim Redford.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wanted and Wired: The "Good Parts" Version


My all-time favorite movie is The Princess Bride, and one of the many things I love about it (and the book by William Goldman) is the idea of calling it the “good parts version” of a less exciting story. Because, erm, who hasn’t skimmed once or twice? More than twice? All books? It’s okay to confess; we’re all friends here.

As a writer of science fiction romance, I totally understand that readers are coming at my stories with very different needs at the fore. Some folks are looking for action or emotion, some for sciencey bits. Some readers would like to skip the intimate scenes (though I’ll caution the story might not make complete sense if you do), and some…well, some of you cuties page through a book looking for the sexytimes. (I might love you guys most. Though you sciencers are pretty cute, too.)

So anyway, to help all y’all out, here’s the cheat-sheet “good parts” version of how to read Wanted and Wired:

<<<Spoiler Alert! This book is a romance.
It contains character smooching and a happily ever after.>>>

Page in paperback
% in ebook
Beginning with the line…
What you’ll find there…
72
19%

Loc 964of 4995
He knew he ought to put some more space between them.
Kissing. Quietly. In the dark, in a cramped space. Generally clothed, in a bathrobe kind of way.
121
32%

Loc 1619 of 4995
Okay, there were other things she wanted to do to this man, no use lying to herself.
More kissing. Still mostly clothed.
194
52%

Loc 2566 of 4995
A hitch on just one side of her mouth warned him she was thinking something salacious.
A whole lotta naked.
218
58%

Loc 2884 of 4995
“Or, you know, if you’re all set on being my plaything, you could offer a product demonstration.”
The morning after the big naked. Sort of…naked redux.
343
92%

Loc 4546 of 4995
He took a shallow breath. “You have one hook left.”
Victory, reunion, ever-after, I-love-you nookie.

Click for the complete,
unabridged all-parts version. 

Now, if you, like the snuffly kiddo in Princess Bride, used that cheat sheet to skip past the kissing scenes, you probably also missed some important character revelations and plot points. (This is an SFR, after all, so the intimate scenes are part of the story, not superfluous.) Give me a holler if you have questions, and I’ll do my best to clear up any confusion.

And if you feel like sharing, leave a comment: do you tend to skip over or skip to the “good parts” in a book?


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Loving An Old Cemetery and a Giveaway by Abbie Roads


Enter to win a signed copy of Saving Mercy HERE



I have a confession...

I love old cemeteries.

On Sunday I found this cemetery. I've driven by it a hundred times, but never noticed it before. Probably because there were only a few scattered graves tucked way in the back--hard to spot from the road.





I find cemeteries to be serene places. The headstones, even the decayed ones, are oddly beautiful. They remind of being a child and going with my grandma to visit the graves of all the relatives who'd died decades and decades before I'd been born.








It's sad when the headstones are broken and illegible. To me it feels like that person is well and truly forgotten.










And there's always curiosity when a name is completely legible. Who was Joseph Prettyman? I don't live far from this area, and my father grew up down the road from this cemetery, but I've never heard the last name Prettyman. Did all the Prettyman's die out? Move? Where were they from? What's Jospeh's story? If I had extra time I'd look him up. 



Sometimes nature leaves beautiful things in the cemetery. The picture doesn't show the scale, but this feather was about a foot long!



Do you love old cemeteries as much as I do?





Enter to win a signed copy of Saving Mercy HERE



Abbie Roads writes dark, emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending... After torturing them for 350 pages. 



Join Abbie's Dangerously Dark Darlings Facebook Group for exclusive excerpts, access to secret giveaways, and lots of fun!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Day!

The last eclipse I remember was when I was in fourth grade, so it must have been in the 1980s. I don't think it was a total eclipse because it didn't get very dark. I do remember that we went out to see it with our teachers and were warned within an inch of our lives not to look at the sun. I was afraid to even look up.

Now there's another solar eclipse. Here in Texas we only get to see a partial eclipse, but some of you will probably see the full thing. Here are a few cool links to help you get the most out of the eclipse.

This is NASA's Eyes. It's a web application, where you can put any location in and see what time the eclipse will occur in that place and what it will look like.

https://eyes.jpl.nasa/gov/eyes-on-eclipse-web-detail.html



NASA also has a fun activity guide with information and directions for making viewers.

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/NASA_Eclipse_Activity_Guide.pdf



Are you going to watch the eclipse? Will you be able to see it where you are? How much of it?


Friday, August 18, 2017

Weddings, Dogs & Growing Up

Twenty-six years ago, I was a bride.  It seems like a lifetime ago and let me tell you, I didn't spend a lot of time planning my wedding, I didn't spend a lot of time being part of many bridal parties and overall, I haven't gone to a lot of weddings. 

However...I love to write about things that are wedding related.

I have a series - The Enchanted Bridal Series - which is really more about friendships (a little more women's fiction with romantic sub-plots) but the stories are all related to a bridal shop.  And really, I just love the thought of having an excuse to dress up in pretty dresses!  Crazy, right?  Did you used to watch the TV show Friends?  Remember the one with all the wedding dresses?  HUGE inspiration for me!
So the latest book in that series - THE BRIDAL SQUAD - came out in May and we were trying to come up with a fun promo idea for it and ended up having my sassy pug Maylene play the part of the bride!  Because really, what's funnier than a dog wedding??  Um...almost nothing!  Every week we've been posting different aspects of the wedding planning - who she should decide to marry, what kind of dress she should wear, which flowers should she choose...and we are having so much fun with it, it's crazy!
Who knew combining my love of weddings and my sassy little pug would draw in so many readers?  If you're interested in voting and entering to win some Enchanted Bridal swag, you can enter here:
http://maylenesbridalsquad.pagedemo.co/

And as I look at weddings as a chance of beginnings, as a parent right now, we're facing an end of a season.  My youngest will be starting his senior year of high school in two weeks.  We're doing all of the graduation planning - he's graduating early - and yearbook portraits and as I sat there and watched him get his picture taken while wearing a tuxedo, I pretty much lost it.  This is my baby.  He's not supposed to be grown up like this!  Not yet!  It's going to be a rough year for me, I can feel it already.

I think this is why I write romance - so that I can write about all of the beginnings and not have to deal with the ends.  Any other moms of seniors out there??  Is there a support group??

If you want to catch up on the Enchanted Bridal series, you can find all of the books here:
http://bridalsquad.enchanted.pagedemo.co/

Happy Reading, my friends!!  See you next month when we start to kick off my new release, HOLIDAY SPICE!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's Never Too Early For Halloween--Win A Treat!





For a chance to win a print ARC* of ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN, comment below: What's the best costume you ever wore for Halloween?



Yes, I said it. It's never too early for Halloween. At least, not for me. It's my favorite holiday, followed closely by Christmas and my birthday (because yeah, that's a holiday too.)

I'm a huge fan of candy, scares, and fun. And Halloween has it all. This is the one holiday I'm okay with the big stores putting out decorations months early. Just last night I was talking to a friend about the Halloween party she went to last year, and it sounded amazing.

Normally I get my thrills giving out candy since my kids are old enough to trick or treat themselves. And yes, I'm always in costume. And not the slinky, sexy lady costumes. Oh no. I'm the demon under the mask, the hairy werewolf with huge teeth, or the zombie nun who'll make you eat those prayer beads.

When the opportunity to write a contemporary romance set around Halloween was proposed, I jumped all over it. So take a look at Sadie and Gear, two funny, stubborn, and rough-around-the-edges type characters who meet at a Halloween party, then fall scarily in love...


EXCERPT:



Sadie continued to watch the crowd, but as more drunken sailors, cops, robbers, and monsters continued to approach, asking about touching her sword, and other body parts, she gradually left the open area. She found a shadowed area off to the side that afforded privacy as well as a tall table gone unnoticed by the masses. Perfect for her to set her plate and drink on while she ate and watched the party.

As far as costume parties went, Joaquin had scored. The dance floor remained packed, and the DJ was top-notch. Dance and dub-step vibes competed for most heavily populated track. The plethora of mini-bars meant no one had to wait long for a drink, and the amazing catering company—ahem—made sure to keep the tables fully stocked on goodies.

While continuing to snack on high-calorie goodness, Sadie felt no guilt whatsoever. Tonight was her night to enjoy fat foods and with any luck, a talented boytoy for some mindless pleasure. She’d seen a bunch of contenders. Men with muscular builds engaging in guy behavior. Smack-talking with friends, checking out scantily clad women, and acting not all that bright.

Perfect.

Sadie didn’t want a date with Einstein. She wanted some quick nookie to end her dry spell. With any luck she’d enjoy herself before kissing her nameless hookup goodbye. Maybe Elliot had been right to insist she attend.

“Hey, Xena. Be my Valentine.” A drunk guy smelling of B.O., Axe body spray and cheap beer leered close.

Crap. She’d been found out. “Hey, um, what are you supposed to be?”

“Hercules.” He flexed, and she had to admit his arms impressed her. Too bad she’d have to hold her nose while praying she couldn’t taste his breath during a kiss. Gross.

“Nice to meet you, Hercules.” She took the hand he held out and tried to contain a grimace while he gave the back of it a sloppy kiss.

“Hey pretty thing, you want to go screw in the corner?” He nodded over her shoulder to the discreet alcove behind a wall of potted bamboo behind her.

Though Sadie loved frank talk, the whole “let’s screw in the corner” was a bit much even for her. Could she be that desperate? He smelled like Elliot’s dirty socks. As much as she wanted to be that kind of girl, the one who felt no guilt for a shameless hookup, she just couldn’t. Not with Hercules.

“Sorry. I’m waiting for a friend. And he already called dibs on the corner.”

“Well, shit. Can’t blame a guy for tryin’.” He stumbled back, gave her a salute that nearly had him tripping over his own feet, then turned and hit on the next woman he ran into.

Sadie sighed and returned to people watching, sipping from her cosmopolitan now and again. To her amusement, she spotted one hell of a hot devil getting accosted by a drunk and giggly genie very close to falling out of her bikini top. The devil wore a half mask hiding his face, a dark red cape over broad shoulders, and black from head to toe. He held a plate of food in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other as he tried to gently nudge the woman back, but her hands were everywhere.

Oh boy. Talk about grabby. He swore when lady fingers grabbed at what appeared to be a generous package.

Sadie felt for the guy, even as she had to laugh at his desperation. He had his hands full, for sure. It was like looking at a picture of herself as she’d stood on the dance floor. Minus the crotch grabbing of course. She’d have skewered any jackass who tried. Devil glanced around, and she felt the heat of his gaze when it landed on her. Despite the half mask which covered the upper half of his face, his stare penetrated. 

His lips curled into a dark smile before he turned to the genie and said something. She pouted, took a good look at Sadie, then flounced back into the crowd. The devil took his time walking toward Sadie, now striding as if he owned the place.

She nodded at the vanished genie. “Problem?”

“Yeah. I’m not a fan of being molested while trying to save my food and beer. I mean, at least let me eat before you knock me down and mount me.” His voice sounded like gravel licked with fire.

She laughed. “You have a way with words.”

He stared at her, then slowly grinned. And man, the sight of that square jaw and those full lips grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go. “So I’ve been told.” He paused. “You mind if I share your table? I’m dying to sink into these crab thingies.”

This close, she could see that his eyes had been darkened by black makeup but were actually hazel in color. Wow. Talk about a handsome…devil.






*RE: Contest--print ARC U.S. only