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Showing posts from March, 2016

Celebrate Spring with a Free Book!

by Cheryl Brooks I went out with my camera on Easter Sunday to take a few pictures of one of the prettiest displays of flowering trees in my back yard in recent years. In the foreground is a tulip magnolia, which is a purple, later-blooming variety than the pink ones that get really big, but also tend to get blasted by a late freeze. On the right is my only surviving nectarine tree. No matter how much I spray it,  the fruit always rots, but the blossoms are gorgeous! I picked a few flowers for the table for our Easter dinner and took a picture of them before bringing them inside. This next picture represents my 2016 springtime success story. For the past two years, the weeping cherry that I planted about 25 years ago has been suffering from a fungal infection that causes brown spots on the leaves in late summer, after which the leaves turn yellow and fall prematurely. Needless to say, when springtime rolled around, I hardly saw any blooms at all. Summer before las

Irish Dragons? Leprechauns? Perfect for light paranormal romance!

On my Facebook fan page, I joked that I should go to Ireland (for research, of course,) because I was writing a series about Irish Dragons.  Thanks to all the positive peer pressure, I mentioned it to my dear daughter and she exclaimed, "That's next on my bucket list!" Our last mother-daughter trip was to Colorado when she was 12. We were long past due for another, and it wasn't long before we had picked dates, booked airline tickets, and started working with the Irish Tourism Board to plan the perfect self-tour. We began our adventure in Dublin. This is a picture of the library at Trinity College. (Do you think they have enough books?) I hadn't expected to like Dublin, because this former city girl really loves the fresh air and elbow room of the country now. Well, what a surprise...I LOVE DUBLIN! We went everywhere...including an Irish pub, even though neither of us drinks alcohol. We chose the Boar's Head...oldest pub in the country, dating back to

Spring has Sprung!

I'm in my new house, spring has sprung, and I have a blank backyard. So I'm having a blast with turning it into a whimsical fairy garden. And for the first time ever, I'm growing chives, curly parsley, bell peppers, and for the first time in a very long time, tomatoes. :) I already have 3! Added some wind chimes with glass baubles and a blue glass bottle for some interest. A sparrow jumped on the wind chimes, scared himself and jumped on the feeder while a house finch watched him. The fairy wind chimes didn’t scare them off. And then goldfinches arrived. These are the copper ones on the other bird feeder. The frog is protecting the 3 little tomatoes. And the fairies are watching over the chives. While Max is watching over the rose and lavender garden fairy. I’d forgotten all about my fairies, still waiting to be unpacked and find a home here too. I couldn’t decide, have everything blend in or be bright and colorful and whimsical? The fairy garden

From Slush Pile to Double RITA Finalist! by Asa Maria Bradley

Once upon a time a young writer started querying her finished novel to publishers and agents. She finished two more novels, and queried those projects too. Although she got many full requests and very helpful feedback, all the rewrites in the world didn’t what she she so wanted—someone who loved her stories as much as she did. Someone who would help her make it shine bright and deliver it to the world's readers. And then one day, her dream came true! Okay so she wasn’t all that young, but the rest of the story is totally true! ;-) The person who loved my book as much as I did is fabulous editor Cat Clyne. She picked me out of the slush pile and saw something in my immortal Vikings that made her want to shape my story into a proper novel. The book had been rejected 47 times by then. I had rewritten it several times using the feedback I’d gotten from some of those rejections, but that input was very limited compared to what Cat sent me. She included a broad overview of how

Bucket List or Bust!

So for as long as I've known my husband, the only place he ever talks about wanting to see is the Grand Canyon.  Seriously, every time we try to plan a vacation, that's where he wants to go.  And for 27 years, we haven't.  It's not that I don't WANT to see it, I just don't want to see it the way that HE wants to see it. Bad wife.  I know. Next month we are going to the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas.  That's right...we.  I'm bringing my husband with me - it's sort of close to our 25th wedding anniversary - and while we're there we are going to cross the number one thing off of his bucket list and go to the Grand Canyon.  Did I cave on riding a donkey down into the canyon?  No.  Am I camping in the canyon?  No.  Am I standing on that clear bridge that just the thought of makes me queasy?  No.  I decided to go big or go home and we are taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon! Kid. You. Not. Neither of us is big on flying.  We&

Vegans in the Old West? by Linda Broday

With difficult times and food as scarce as it was on the American frontier, being a vegan probably was pretty rare. Still…given people’s phobias, I have a hard time believing they suddenly developed in the 1900s. People are people no matter what century in which they live. Carnophobia is the fear of meat. And it’s not limited to vegans. It can apply to anyone who stopped eating meat because it wasn’t prepared well and made them sick. Rayna Harper in my new book—FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE—is a carnophobic. She stopped eating meat for a very horrific reason and it makes perfect sense. The only thing is, Brett Liberty has a hard time understanding at first. He’s definitely a meat eater. Game is plentiful and provides critical protein that gives a man energy so it seems odd to him that someone stops eating it. I’m not going to say what Rayna’s reason is because it’ll give away too much of the story, buy she finds a true champion in Brett. Once he learns of


In our imaginary world of Regency romance novels, there appears to be a rake and a duke on every street corner. Our affection for dukes seems obvious, but why do we love rakes so? Below, I’ve listed a few possible reasons and then added a quote from George, the hero of my latest release,  TO CATCH A RAKE. Rakes are usually handsome and arrogant. Needless to say, that arrogance will be brought to heel by the love of a good woman. “Forgive me, Mrs. Russell, but you are obviously not acquainted with all of womankind. Most ladies are not affronted in the least.” “Do you mean to tell me that you have taken a survey of all of womankind about their feelings in regard to your field guide?” The wicked smile beamed from his handsome, lean face. “Indeed, I have made some effort to…survey all of womankind.” Rakes instinctively know how to charm a lady and sweep her off her feet. “You see, the secret to pleasuring a woman requires many traits unique to engineers.” His who

Test Drive--An #Excerpt

Since I'm posting this the night before my trip to Las Vegas, my mind is on flashy, shiny things. Thus...Johnny. *smile*  Johnny Devlin is the hero in Test Drive , book one of the Body Shop Bad Boys series coming to you in less than three more months!  June 7th, to be precise. GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster's Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it's the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat. Here's a teaser for you... Johnny and Lara accidentally meeting up for a run in the rain. Enjoy! *** They ran in silence for a while, until Lara saw the end in sight. Then she put on a burst of speed and left Johnny behind. When he caught up to her, he had a smug grin on his face. “What are you smiling at? I won.” She bent over to catch her breath. “I’m thinking I’m the real winner here. I got to watch you from behind.” He

Queen of the Road

The double-decker buses in London are among my favorite English things. The front seats on the top level offer a panoramic view. I don't even mind traffic jams much, there's so much to see. I've taken the 38 to Victoria Station to catch the train to Brighton. The 24 carried me up to Hampstead Heath, starting to flower at this time of year. On the 73 I cruised through Islington, past Angel Station and quirky shops. I confess that I've ridden London buses to the end of their routes, and then come right back again, just for the pleasure of moving along high above the streets and observing. Sometimes the end of the line is a nice surprise, sometimes a prosaic spot with an exotic name. But the fun is in the journey. Happy spring!

I Got Box of Style (so you don't have to)

You've seen them, those monthly subscription boxes. They have them for everything now. Makeup, Clothes, International Foods, Dog Toys, Snacks, Wine... My daughter got me a six month subscription to Birchbox, and I enjoyed it. Every month, I got 4-6 cool samples of new hair, perfume, or makeup products. And it was fairly affordable. But it ran out. Instead of renewing mine, I returned the favor and got six months of Birchbox for her. And then I moved on to the big guns. I saw that Celebrity Stylist Rachel Zoe had a Box of Style and I wanted in. At her webpage , you can see that past Boxes of Style contained some high end cosmetics plus designer label accessories. Each Box of Style, Zoe boasts, contains over $300 worth of merchandise. Box of Style costs $100 a shipment or $350 for four boxes. They are seasonal. I bought the whole year's worth. My first box, the spring box, came a few weeks ago. And according to Rachel Zoe, the spring box has already sold out! Let's exam