Wednesday, April 24, 2013

About Face by Amy Lee Burgess Bookshelf Tour

It's my pleasure to have Amy Lee Burgess here today for her Bookshelf Tour and her new release About Face. Another great Stanzie book, in my humble opinion :) And she has graciously answered some questions for me. But, before we get to her interview, she is doing a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $15 gift card and a copy of About Face. You'll find the link at the bottom of the post!

And now, please welcome Amy Lee Burgess!

What is the most romantic thing your significant other or anyone has done for you?
Once I was accused of murdering this guy and this other guy who I thought I didn’t even like stepped up and protected me and ended up bonding with me to keep me from becoming a Councilor’s indentured servant. The guy didn’t even like me and he did this!   Of course I fell in love with him!  No, wait, that didn’t happen to me, that’s the plot of my first Wolf Within novel, Beneath the Skin!

Lol....Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Of course! Generally, my pajamas are a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt because at any moment one of my dogs might need to be walked. With that being said, I probably write in my pajamas 98% of the time!

What are your pet peeves?
People who constantly clear their throat instead of drinking water or sucking on a cough drop.
People who sniff constantly instead of blowing their damn noses like grown-ups.
People who talk loudly on their phones about their weird personal business so I can’t concentrate.
People who make repetitive noises like tapping their fingers or humming or bouncing a ball against the wall.
Can you tell I work in a cubicle farm?

Absolutely. Those would drive me crazy too. Cats or dogs?
Right now I live with two awesome dachshunds, but before they came to me, I had cats.  So I can’t choose.  I don’t miss the litter box but sometimes having to go out for a walk at 9:30 at night when I’m right in the middle of a great scene in my novel or the goriest part of the latest Walking Dead episode gets a bit old. But that’s a small price to pay for the companionship, I suppose.  

White wine or red?
Usually red, but I love drinking pinot grigio in the summer.  But my drink of choice is champagne and that’s white, isn’t it? 

Works for me. Coffee or tea?
Tea.  Hands down.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Vanilla for sure. 

What are the 4 things you never leave home without?
My Kindle, my keys, my wallet and my purse to hold them all.

Laptop or desktop for writing?
Desktop.  It sounds so romantic to bring a laptop to a coffee house to write, but I’d get too distracted and the music might bother me and the people, oh my gods, what if they were sniffing or clearing their throats?  Yeah, I’m like Greta Garbo and want to be alone – at least when I write.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I’d prefer to write all day and night long, but the day job and the dogs interfere with that strategy.  So at the moment I write between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m. on weekdays and then usually Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.  I’m in my living room at my desk.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Stuart Townsend. OH. MY. GOD. He’d be the romantic lead.
Wait? I need two other people?  Okay, hold on, I’m thinking.
William Shatner.  I think he’s so damn funny.  He’d be fascinating to talk and laugh with over the campfire at night. Plus, you know, he’s Captain Kirk!
Oh, and Misha Collins.  He makes me laugh too, plus he’s adorable.

An actor you have a crush on?
Stuart Townsend.  See above.  I base almost all my heroes on him.  He’s Murphy in the Wolf Within series – at least in my head.  My readers may want to envision somebody else and that’s the beauty of reading!

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I am currently obsessed with The Walking Dead.  I love that show.  I remember at first I thought, “How the hell can a series about zombies hold anybody’s interest?” I envisioned every episode as just one long escape from the clutches of the zombie horde.  But it’s so much more than that. It’s been fascinating watching how an outside event like a zombie apocalypse can bring out either the best or the worst in the people who are trying to survive it. I often wonder if I were a character, would be a raving, power hungry bitch? A charismatic leader?  A faithful team player?  I’d be in perpetual mourning for the loss of electricity, I know that much. I couldn’t write anymore because I have the worst handwriting in the world and my hand cramps after half a page. 

What made you decide to be an author?
I don’t know if it was a decision so much as a need.  I’ve always written since I was ten.  My favorite present that year at Christmas was a little kiddie typewriter because even back then my hand couldn’t keep up with the words in my head that wanted writing down.
I did make the decision to try to be a published author. That was a very clear choice I made. For several years I was happily churning out an epic vampire series that I shared on my blog with only a few people until more and more I started becoming attracted to (and terrified of) the idea of submitting an actual publishable novel to a small press.
So I put aside my vampires and started writing about a wolf shifter named Stanzie.  Luckily for me, Lyrical Press liked that first novel and each one in the series since. 

I love Stanzie :) How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always been attracted to the supernatural and paranormal.  The first story I wrote was a supernatural ghost story when I was ten. The only time I ever wrote anything that wasn’t paranormal-related was in the eighties and nineties when I was obsessed with music and bands and wrote some very long and highly dramatic novels about a woman in an all-male band and how she ended up in a relationship with each one of them at some point until she found the one who was It for her.  Gods, how embarrassing to even remember this! 
Then I saw Interview with the Vampire when the movie version came out and thought, OHMYGOD, I can write VAMPIRE NOVELS.  And that’s what I did for a year until I got divorced, fell in love with someone new, moved to New Orleans and only wrote short stories until the year after Katrina when I started writing the vampire novels again.  And got divorced again.  I often wonder if writing about vampires causes my divorces or maybe I’m just writing out the fact my relationship is ending?  But I’m way off topic now, aren’t I?

Are you a panster or a plotter and why?
I am a bit of both at this point.  I used to be a panster extraordinaire, but the more I write, the more I need to plot. Or maybe the easier it gets now that I semi know what the hell I’m doing.  But by “plot” I mean I know the overarching main plot and the theme, but then I let the characters direct how I get there.

Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
I don’t know. I read so much and I’m inspired by so many authors.  There are also several I don’t want to be like at all and that’s influence too, right? 

Sure is. What is your all time favorite book?
Gods, I don’t think I have one. That’s so hard to narrow down.  I do reread Bram Stoker’s Dracula every autumn, but I’m not sure I would say it was my favorite all time book.

What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
“Yes, I believe in you. Yes, I belong to you.”
At the beginning of the book, Stanzie’s cousin Faith has a dream where Stanzie says these words to a man with curly black hair and different-colored eyes. She thinks Stanzie is speaking to her estranged bond mate, Murphy, but when she tells Stanzie about this dream, Stanzie knows it isn’t Murphy. It’s her Alpha, Paddy O’Reily. In book three, Hidden in Plain Sight, Stanzie had to stand in front of a tribunal and during it was disowned by her father.  Paddy took her aside and told her she didn’t need Paul Benedict anyway, that she had family in him and Mac Tire.  He told her he was her Alpha and she belonged to him. Stanzie took real comfort from his words and believed in him. Then a week later, Paddy leaves with Murphy, stranding Stanzie in Boston alone and she is bitterly disillusioned.
These words are the catalyst that propel Stanzie to Dublin in her effort to get Murphy back.  Faith’s dreams have a habit of coming true, so Stanzie spends the whole novel waiting for the moment where she gets to say these words. She’s convinced she will never say them because she’s so angry at Paddy. 
Well, she does get to say them, but it’s not how she ever expected.

How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release? Which one?
Councilor Jason Allerton is so damn stubborn. He never tells Stanzie the whole story and throughout this novel he kept dropping bombshells on her that if he’d just shared earlier and without such drama, she might not have reacted the way she did. Jason has always been a mysterious character. Beneficent, generous, father-like, but damn it, he doles out information sparingly. He lives by the maxim “Only give people information they can handle.” But sometimes I think he underestimates Stanzie. Or he’s been burned too many times to not be so cautious.  He changes in this book, comes to realize that he doesn’t always have to be The Councilor to everybody, but it’s a difficult concept for him and he struggles.

Where do you get your ideas from?
All over.  Dreams are a big source of inspiration.  And music.

How did you choose your title?
Every title in the series encapsulates the main theme/plot of the book.  This one, About Face, stands for a couple of things. One is that Stanzie has to do a complete about face in how she views the conspiracy that brought her and Liam together in the first book.  Her ideas have been way off base and she needs to get them realigned.  Also, this book is about face literally. How to hold your head up when you’re lost or sad or if you’ve really screwed up and you don’t want anyone to know. 

How do you cure writer’s block?
I light candles and incense, pour some champagne and put on music.  If that doesn’t do the trick, a bubble bath with dark chocolate and more champagne will hopefully work.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Don’t sweat all the rules you may hear about. Don’t read submission guidelines and despair.  You’ve got to write what you love, what you know, get it out, and then if you want to actually publish your work, you can revise to fit the guidelines.  Don’t put the cart before the horse. Get yourself a finished novel before you think about what you are going to do with it. 

That's so true. What sacred advice have you been given by another writer?
Don’t give up.  Getting rejected is hard not to take personally, but when I cried on the shoulder of one of my writer friends all she said was, “So where are you submitting next?”  And I went home and resubmitted to another publishing house two hours after getting rejected by the first. Cross your fingers for me because I’m still being considered at this second publishing house!  

Where can your readers stalk you?
A couple places. is my mail address and I love to get letters.  I promise I will answer.  Let me know what you think about Stanzie and Murphy.  I’m also found on Twitter @amyleeburgess  and Facebook at  Send me a friend request!

Stanzie’s job as Advisor to the Great Council is discovering other people’s secrets. When those secrets are being kept by the ones she loves most, can she find the courage to expose them?

Under orders from a Councilor, Stanzie journeys to Dublin and the MacTire pack. Her mission: warn her estranged bond mate, Liam Murphy, to abandon his overzealous search for the man responsible for the death of his first bond mate. Not only is he endangering himself, but also disrupting the delicate balance between opposing factions in the conspiracy threatening to tear the Great Pack apart.

Liam needs Stanzie’s help to protect their Alpha, who has entangled himself in the conspiracy’s deadly web. But he also desperately wants her back. In a race against time, Stanzie and Liam discover enemies often wear the faces of friends.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, sexual situations, some violence
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance

Our fingers were still linked when I opened my eyes hours later. The bedroom smelled of sex--of us--and while he wasn't snoring, Murphy’s breath was slow and heavy, the way I remembered from the nights we’d spent together in America.
For a moment I was filled with such aching happiness I almost expected to levitate off the bed. But then I remembered everything, and black despair bit into me so hard I wondered I didn't bleed.

He’d rolled off me at some point, but we were still on top of the covers. I let go of his hand and slid off the bed. I found his t-shirt and my panties, put them on and fled to the living room.

The remains of our dinner had congealed on our plates on the table. The lights were still on, and I got as far as the sofas before my legs went out from beneath me and I couldn't breathe.

Murphy appeared like a ghost in the bedroom doorway. His eyes were very dark.

“Can we talk about it, Stanzie?”

“What’s to talk about?” I drew one of the throw pillows defensively close to my stomach.

I loved him but he didn't love me. I’d tried so hard not to let that overwhelm me and make peace with it. Of all the people in his life he protected, I was the last on the list and that’s not where I wanted to be. “You chose Paddy and Mac Tire over me, and I guess I get that, but it hurts.”

“I had no idea you loved me.” His tone was raw and desperate. “I thought I was doing the right thing. You didn't need to be put at risk in this, and I thought I could--”

“What? Don’t lie to me, Liam. You didn't want me involved because you’re going to do something stupid to save Paddy and your father. Why should you martyr yourself for them?”

“Paddy came to me for help,” Murphy shouted and the muscles in his face strained as he struggled to regain control. “He had nowhere else to turn, don’t you see? It’s not like I could tell him to go screw himself. He’s my best mate.”

“But it’s okay to tell me to go screw myself, I guess. I’m your bond mate. You wouldn't come to my tribunal. You threw me out like so much garbage when Paddy told you his problems. And you couldn't even tell me why. You’re so hell-bent on saving everybody, but it’s always on your terms and you have to be the one to give help--you never want it in return. I would have helped you. I would have done anything for Paddy--he’s my Alpha--but you decided what was best for me in your typical high-handed Liam Murphy fashion, and to hell with what I thought, what I wanted.

“And then tonight you take advantage of the fact I love you so you can, what? Have sex?
Haven’t you screwed anyone in four months, or have you just screwed people over?”

His face blanched of all color, and he stared at me, his dark eyes bottomless.
“That wasn't just sex. Did that feel like just sex to you?”

“No, not to me. I love you. But that’s what it was to you. Will you please leave me alone? I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”

“Stanzie, I know you’re tired, but we've got to talk about this.”

“In the morning. Maybe.” I turned away from him because I couldn't stand to look at the entreaty in his eyes. In a heartbeat I’d be across the floor to him, and screw that.

He abruptly gave in. “Look, you take the bed, I’ll sleep out here.”

“No, I’ll stay out here.” I was ten seconds from tears, and I wanted him gone so he wouldn't see.

“Stanzie, take the bed.”

“No,” I shouted, and the damn tears poured down my cheeks. “It smells like us in there, don’t you get it? And us is a lie. Just let me do what I want, goddamn it.”

He opened his mouth to argue, but then, defeated, retreated and did as I asked.

 Amy Lee Burgess is a transplanted New Englander living in Houston, Texas with two dogs and lots of DVDs. In an attempt to bond with the city after being forced out of New Orleans post-Katrina, she turned to her writing. Determined to finally finish that novel she'd been hacking away at since high school, Amy managed to come up with a wolf shifter character named Stanzie Newcastle. She and Stanzie have been BFFs ever since.

In addition to Stanzie, Amy has also forged a relationship with several vampires, a witch or two, and other assorted supernatural creatures she hopes will entertain her readers. But she will always have room for coffee and butterscotch squares with Stanzie.

 Click here for her Rafflecopter Giveaway, which will be for a $15 gift certificate and a copy of About Face;

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bowing Out

Sorry guys. I fell so far behind, I don't believe I have the time to catch up.

However, you'll be happy to know my grandbaby is finally here!!

Meet Alexander James born last Thursday at 2:01pm.....8 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 3/4 inches long.

Isn't he just so darn cuddly?

And still going on is my April Giveaway....all you have to do is sign up for my monthly newsletter and you'll be automatically entered :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Moment of Silence for those affected by the Boston Marathon Yesterday.

Sorry, I"m falling behind again.

My M is dedicated to all of Boston = Moment of Silence.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Playing catch up

Sorry that I haven't been keeping up with the A-Z challenge. In the last three days, my life has been a rushing blur. One of our daughters is due today. No, no baby yet. But we are certainly trying various natural things. She's been sent home twice now and to say the least she's frustrated. Baby Boy Shields has some serious stage fright I believe. She's been 3-4 mins apart and as soon as we get to the hospital, it stops....completely.

So, I need to catch up on J, K, and L I believe. And I'm going to do it all right here, and of course will involve crazy stop and go.

J= Just come already!! I want to meet your cute, wrinkly face.

K= Kelli, who is the Mommy to be (whenever he makes his grand entrance). It's just amazing to watch her (and our other daughter Jessica) to go through this, just simply amazed how nature takes hold. And neither scream, bite, or want to really maim their significant others, lol. She's carrying on like a great trooper.

L= Well, this one's pretty simple too. LOVE. Need I say more?

Now, I can't make any promises that I'll be back on track, but I'll certainly make the effort (unless we are in the delivery room...then all bets are off.) And when he's FINALLY here, I'll post pics!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Incredible Characters: Some Like It In Handcuffs by Christine Warner Bookmark Tour

I'm very pleased to welcome back Christine Warner today for her Bookmark Blog Tour for Some Like It In Handcuffs. Now, before you think this is an erotica, let's clear this up: it's not. It's an incredible and funny romance. My review will be posted toward the bottom of this post.

Without further ado, here's Christine. Take it away.....

Today I want to have a little SOME LIKE IT IN HANDCUFFS character dictionary fun. That’s right, I’m going lay out the main characters that appear in Some Like it in Handcuffs and give you a little bit of info about them.  This isn’t all of the cast, but a wonderful mix  Are you ready?

Judson Blackwolf:  Hot, sexy, seasoned Native American detective Judson Blackwolf stands several inches over six feet and possesses thick, black hair. He’s a bit jaded after losing his long-time female partner during an undercover investigation and now believes women in law enforcement should work behind the scenes. Will Sunny be able to show him that a woman can take care of herself just as well as a man?

Sunny Kennedy:  Is a blonde, blue-eyed spunky heroine who speaks before she thinks—most of the time. Her well-meaning family of testosterone filled detectives are a bit over-protective. When they force her to work with Judson Blackwolf in order to solve a cold case, she’s confused by her attraction. The last thing she wants or needs is another man telling her what to do. Will she be able to control her feelings and solve a cold case—and how much will she let Judson help?

Derek Kennedy:  Sunny’s oldest brother can’t see her any older than thirteen. What will it take for him to realize Sunny is all grown up and capable of owning a career—and falling in love?

Benny:  He’s the reserved owner of Benny’s Backyard Playhouse, as well as being the prime suspect in the cold case murder of his lover Karina DeVito. For well over two decades he’s weathered suspicions. Will Sunny and Judson be able to prove his guilt—or innocence?

Slater:  Benny’s long-time friend who is teetering on the fence between good and bad. He might have knowledge of Karina’s death, but he’s not talking. Will Sunny and Judson be able to get him to crack before it’s too late?

Maggie Slater:  Slater’s elderly mother has lived a hard life amid many secrets. Will her oddly formed friendship with Sunny help reveal those secrets?

Craig Kennedy:  Craig is the brother Sunny is the closest. They are close in age and have a strong bond. A patrol police officer with a sense of humor, he only wants what is best for his sister and what will ultimately make her happy. How can he convince her that love with Judson is in her future?

Which one of the characters listed above perks your interest and makes you want to learn more? Please share .

Some Like It In Handcuffs Blurb:

Sunny Kennedy, the only female in a family of blue blood male detectives, is determined to prove testosterone isn’t the only qualification required to solve a cold case. Handcuffed while undercover then taken to the precinct by an attractive detective, her domineering family demands she work with Detective Judson Blackwolf, or she’s off the case.

Judson Blackwolf thinks women in law enforcement should work behind the scenes. The prospect of working with his Captain’s sexy daughter doesn’t thrill him. He only agrees in hopes of solving the murder of his one time mentor’s daughter. Once the case is over, he’s moving to Montana to heal his wounds from the loss of his last partner.


“This isn’t how I wanted it between us.” Judson grabbed the neckline of her sweater, dragging her body to meet his with a solid thump. Sunny licked her lips in answer to the question in his eyes. He lowered his head to move his mouth over hers.

Sunny closed her eyes, a small whimper escaping her lips. She didn’t want it like this either, but that wasn’t possible. Unable to resist her attraction she accepted it wasn’t an affair, or a long distance romance she craved, but for him to love her back. It was all or nothing for her. Her heart sank. She accepted this as their goodbye kiss.

With no thought to what was happening upstairs, Sunny rose up on her toes demanding more. Her lips pulsated against Judson’s. When his hand trembled against her cheek in a soft caress she lost touch with reality.

“Judson.” Sunny’s weakened body drifted farther into Judson’s as his fingers glided down her arms, pulling them to her sides where their fingers intertwined. He forced them behind her before his tongue thrust into her mouth.

Their bodies molded together, she heard her own heartbeat and his as well when he curved his fingers around her rear and squeezed.

That’s when the click of the handcuffs against her wrist connected her to the handle of the locked cupboard.
“What the hell…Judson?” She looked up at him, her knees shook, her body still inflamed with fever.

“Like I was saying, you wait here and I’ll go upstairs to check it out. Backup’s already been called, so you’re safe until your brothers arrive.” Judson winked before walking toward the steps to the third level. Once he reached them he turned toward her and smiled. “Gotcha,” he whispered with his notorious grin.

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

My review:

Private Investigator Sunny Kennedy has been trying to prove to her overprotective brothers and father that she can handle working undercover to solve a twenty-six year old murder. But the males in her life has other plans when they assign Judson Blackwolf to watch over her and assist with the case. When Sunny lets them she's none too pleased, she's thrown an ultimatum. If she wants access to the case records, she will have to allow Judson to help out.

Sunny and Judson have an explosive attraction to one another, yet each fight their own inner battles. Sunny doesn't want any relationship involving another male with a badge, and she very much likes her independence. Judson's dealing with his former partner's death, and Sunny reminds him of her too much. But alas, they can't fight the magnet pulling them together.

This was such a fun read. Sunny is spunky and a spitfire, taking it as well as she can dish it right back out. Judson has a heart of gold, even he believes she has no right being out on the front lines in the investigation. Christine Warner has created such wonderful, memorable characters and live long after reading their story.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Who doesn't like a hug? It's warm, reassuring, offers comfort, and gives you that "ahhhh" feeling.

Some students at Clemson University here in South Carolina posted a video on YouTube that began as a Advertising Class project, but quickly turned into a "hug challenge". They went out and hugged random strangers, but in the process learned that the simple touch and human interaction were well rewarding.

If anyone is interested, here's the article

I just found it interesting watching the strangers faces lighting up with great big smiles toward these students and thought I'd share.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Heck, it's Saturday. How about just enjoying a fun loving, can't-help-but-get-off-your-bum-and-dance song?

The original video for Footloose....ah to be a kid again!

Friday, April 5, 2013


When you're out doing blog tours, interviews, and guest posts, it's great to have your newest book cover, your blurb and of course your author bio. But I think an excerpt of your book is just as important. Yes, your blurb should catch their interest. Your excerpt will reel them in.

But, what part should you pick? Something that'll give a good sense of your writing voice, your story, and that little hook that'll make them wanting more.

Short or long? Really I think that will depend on you. I like to keep it relatively short (because quite frankly, if they want to read the first chapter (if it's offered on Amazon) they can. I wouldn't make it so short, as in only a paragraph either (unless, of course, it's one heck of a paragraph!) And really, it depends on who's blog your on also.

For example, I'll post an excerpt of Boneknapper for you. This is where we first meet Kiyana Montreuil, the mother who has placed the Black Curse of Death upon my hero:

Kiyana Montreuil rocked in her chair out on the tiny balcony in the early morning dawn, huddled in her winter coat with her son’s favorite blue and yellow striped blanket lying over her legs. She didn’t care if anyone saw her these days. Her unkempt, dull hair used to shine, and she’d kept it in one long braid. Now what was left after radiation treatment hung limp matted from a lack of brushing. The wrinkles around her eyes and mouth confirmed she’d not been taking care of herself properly. Her clothing these days practically fell off her thinning frame. At one time not too long ago, she’d been healthy with beautiful curves and glowing skin. Now, her skin was ashen. She’d been feeling sixty instead than her true age of forty three.
She gripped the warm mug of Pepper Mint Tea, her hands shaking. She wanted to believe the cold caused it, but she knew better. Karma was hellish on those using Obeah, black magic, for evil or revenge.
She had set things in motion, and the cancer eating her insides was the steep price to pay. But, it would be worth it in the end. When first diagnosed six months earlier, she’d amused her husband with the radiation treatments. The tumor had been removed, but her doctor insisted on the treatments. Which hadn’t done her any good. The cancer had a mind of its own and spread like a wild fire. The radiation did no good. The doctor accessed her condition a couple of weeks into the treatment and found the cancer in her lymph system and bones. He’d given her four months. She fought for the last six to stay alive long enough to ensure each person had been cursed and died.
And her own suffering was all because the Gods had known what she’d been planning. And she of course had to pay to balance things out. This wasn’t revenge. The curse she’d placed on each of the four men had been the final justice for her precious son’s death. Her sweet baby.

Now, I don't know how interesting that was to you. Some may want to read more, others may not. If interested, I'm working on it, I promise!!

And for anyone who signs up for my newsletter during the month of April will be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card good for B&N or Amazon (winner's choice) and a special prize package including my two ebooks, The Swan Cove Murders and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Delightful Day

How about just a simple delightful day yesterday! I spent some time with my youngest son (13 year old). Just me and him in Barnes and Noble. It's so funny cause we have the near exact same taste in books. (No, he absolutely is not into romance, and he hasn't become hooked on Stephen King...yet.)

I just enjoy the little time we get alone. So, what did we buy? Of course, I bought Stephen King's 11.22.63. I've been wanting this since its release.

Then, we bought Patricia Cornwell's Portrait of A Killer: Jack The Ripper Case Closed. I've always been strangely fascinated with the Jack the Ripper case. Just one of those 'who really done it?' mysteries we'll truly never know. I'm a sucker for a good mystery. And he likes to read some good mysteries too.

He was looking for books on King Arthur, but alas, they didn't have anything nonfiction in the store, so I will have to look online. He did, however, buy a Steampunk book explaining what it is and everything involved with it.

Happy Thursday!!

 And for anyone who signs up for my newsletter during the month of April will be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card good for B&N or Amazon (winner's choice) and a special prize package including my two ebooks, The Swan Cove Murders and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Christine Warner: Two Timing The Boss Bookshelf Blog Tour

 I am pleased to be a part of Christine Warner's Blog Tour this week. And she has graciously agreed to come here for an interview. And it works perfect with the A-Z challenge as today's letter is C.

Thanks Christine for taking a little time out to join me today. What is the most romantic thing your significant other or anyone has done for you?

This was something that actually started off my relationship with my husband. We met on a blind date through two friends who were getting their marriage back together after a short split. Anyway, we all went out for an evening of fun, food, and drinks and rented a limo to keep the drive safe. As we bar hopped we were constantly asked why the limo? After a few drinks I was a bit playful and started telling people that we were celebrating a double wedding. Don’t ask me why, I guess I was talking through a sea of alcohol. Lol  At one of the stops, my now husband asked me “What would it take for you to marry me?”
Now mind you, we were having a great time and this was all in good fun. We had no intentions at that time of marriage, kids, bills and more.
I told him it’d take a carat for me to answer yes and we had a good laugh over it. He wanted to know why and I basically told him it runs in my family…the women in my family won’t marry for less.  Now don’t think awful thoughts of me, remember, I was having fun—nothing serious that night.
Jump ahead a few weeks, after we’d begun dating. We met for lunch while at work and he presented me with a gold necklace, fashioned into a carrot.
Loved his creativity…it was very romantic and humorous at the same time.
And did I get the carat on my finger…you betcha! Lmbo
Hmm…I might have to work that little romantical moment into a storyline

I agree. A carrot...that's too sweet. Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
LOL…a better question would be if I ever wore anything else but my pajamas to write. I actually wear scrubs quite a bit at home with a t-shirt. Very comfortable. Yep, I’m a total comfort girl and believe you should embrace it as often as you can.
What are your pet peeves?
Hmm…I don’t like the toilet paper under, it must be over and I get more annoyed than I can express when someone uses something and doesn’t put it away. Grrr…lol
Cats or dogs?
That’d be a definite tie for me. I have 2 cats and 2 dogs and I love them all

White wine or red?

Coffee or tea?
I used to love coffee but gave it up several months ago…trying to avoid all that caffeine and drinking decaf just doesn’t do it for me. I love tea, even when I did drink coffee. I love it hot and cold and all the flavors. So, as it stands now, I’m going with tea….but really my drink of choice is water.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
I like vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. YUM!
Perfect choice! What are the 4 things you never leave home without?
My purse, my cell, my shoes and my rocking attitude! lmbo
Yes, don't ever leave home with the rocking attitude...we all love it! Laptop or desktop for writing?
Definitely laptop. I have 2….one larger screen one I use at home and one netbook that I love when I’m traveling. (Another romantic gift—in my book anyway—from my hubs this past Christmas).

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I like to write in the morning. My mind is clear and ideas seem to flow. I have an office at home, but don’t seem to have many creative moments amid those 4 walls and 1 tiny window. I prefer to write in the living room. There are a lot of windows and gorgeous scenery and it’s all very relaxing.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Hmm, they have to be famous eh? How about Gerard Butler, Johnny Depp and Bradley Cooper. lmbo
An actor you have a crush on?
Um…see above!

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I always enjoy Law and Order SVU.

What made you decide to be an author?
I’ve always loved to write and share stories. When I was in elementary school I won an essay contest and then shortly afterward and Young Authors Award…and the addiction began.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I started out reading contemporary romance and I just gravitated to writing what I enjoyed reading.

Are you a panster or a plotter and why?
I used to be what I called a plottster. I had one leg in as a punster and one leg out as a plotter. I find the longer I write the more I tend to plot.
Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
There are so many out there that have influenced my love of reading and writing I couldn’t even begin to name them all. There are certain elements every author I’ve read has given.

What is your all time favorite book?
I only wish I could name just one. My favorite book tends to be the current one I’m reading. And if I truly love the story, characters, plot and—well, just everything—it gets a special place on my bookshelf. Yep, even if I have it on my ereader, I’ll generally buy the print if it’s available so I can gaze upon it lovingly. lol
What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
I have several snippets that I really enjoyed. Some made me chuckle, some had me laughing out loud, and some were more serious and reflective. One little snippet I really liked is in the excerpt I’m sharing…but here it is again.
These damn shoes would be the death of
her. She could read the headlines now:
Penniless P.A. Falls to her Death while on Job

That is my favorite one, too. I laughed so hard. How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release? Which one?
This is a boring answer, but I actually didn’t have any issues with either Farah or Keller. This was one of those stories that just seemed to flow.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas are all around us. I can come up with a story idea or a scene just from a sentence I overhear from a co-worker, something on television, a conversation I’m having with a friend or family member—or something will strike me as I’m reading an article in a magazine, a billboard I pass on the expressway, a song on the radio. The possibilities are endless.
How did you choose your title?
Originally the title for this book was Fakin’ it with Farah, but my editor wasn’t fond of it. So we did a little brainstorming and came up with Two-Timing the Boss.
Which is such a great title! How do you cure writer’s block?
I really don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe that you have some days where the words flow and days where you have to pull out each one.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Probably the same advice so many other authors give. Write, write, write and read, read, read. You’ll learn so much from both of those
What sacred advice have you been given by another writer?
Lol…see above

Where can your readers stalk you?
My blog/website:
Twitter under ChristinesWords:!/ChristinesWords
My Facebook page…stop by and give it a LIKE to stay informed of what I have in the works:

Thanks so much for interviewing me Donna…I had a great time 

  Thank you Christine! Great interview

Farah Smith is on a mission: secure the funds for her twin sister’s surgery. She’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. Even if that means putting her values aside to work for a man she finds morally bankrupt. But when the real Farah meets her new boss, she wonders if she’ll be able to resist his sexy advances long enough to help her sister. 

From the blonde wig, to the stilettos strapped around her ankles, Farah’s a clone of Keller Donovan’s harem of past assistants. She can’t believe she’s let herself be talked into the disguise, let alone working for the man planning to demolish the hospital her sister so desperately needs, but the salary he offers is the only way she’ll be able to afford her sister’s surgery. The moment Farah meets Keller she realizes her most daunting task isn’t typing, spreadsheets or organizing travel arrangements, but fighting the growing attraction toward a man whose ruthlessness is legendary in the boardroom as well as the bedroom. 

Determined not to end up in a disastrous marriage like his divorced parents, Keller believes all relationships should have a shelf life of sixth months or less. But when he meets Farah, all bets are off. He not only wants her to continue as his personal assistant, but his own private bed warmer. Unfortunately, his offer of an affair doesn’t sit well with her fairytale dreams or the strangled hold gripping his heart.

 You can find Two Timing The Boss at:
 Amazon Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press

 An excerpt of Two Timing The Boss:
These damn shoes would be the death of her. She could read the headlines now: Penniless P.A. Falls to her Death while on Job Interview.

Almost to her destination, with no more mishaps, her confidence surfaced. Okay, maybe mastering this heel thing wouldn’t be such a big deal. Her steps became light, almost bouncy. Although she sensed Keller Donovan behind her, she didn’t let it deter her feeling of success. She stepped onto the large black and red area rug, less than ten feet from her target. The leather chairs. 

“Oh!” Farah’s spiky heel caught on the edge of the expensive rug. Her legs shook and she shot her arms out from her sides, circling them like a bird about to take flight. She fought to regain balance inside the ridiculous stilts strapped to her feet. A brawl to the death. Over when she looked down to see the rug coming up to kiss her face. She threw out her hands, sucked in a breath and closed her eyes, scrunching her face as she prepared for impact.

But nothing happened. There were stars all right, and a blazing jolt of electricity shot from her toes, up her legs, through her body and exited with the small gasp which escaped her lips. Somehow Keller Donovan had grabbed her around the waist before she met the floor. 

Heat burned her cheeks. He may have saved her body from bruises, but her ego, and whatever confidence she’d walked in with had shattered.

“Let’s not have an accident before your health benefits kick in.” His breath tickled her ear from behind. Chills hugged her backbone.

His touch released an unsettling flutter in her abdomen. She sucked in her stomach from the pressure of his strong arms wrapped around her middle, afraid to breathe.

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

My review: This one's a feel-good, heart warming romance must read.

Farah Smith's plan to deceive Keller Donovan, her boss, seems to be working, but the plan didn't include falling head over heels in love with him. Farah's love for her sister is apparent every day that she hides her true identity with a blond wig and a body suit, playing the personal assistant in order to save up enough money for her sister's much needed surgery.

Keller senses there's more than meets the eye when it comes to his new secretary, even though she resembles all his past assistants. Something about her draws him in.

Christine Warner spins this warm, humorous tale with great characterization and fast paced tension. I couldn't put this one down until I read the very last page.

And for anyone who signs up for my (Donna) newsletter during the month of April will be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card good for B&N or Amazon (winner's choice) and a special prize package including my two ebooks, The Swan Cove Murders and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Baking? Yes, baking. I've recently come across a couple yummy recipes I'd like to pass along to everyone. If these don't make your mouth water, your taste buds are long gone :)

Individual Mini Upside Down Pineapple Cakes

Diana's Kitchen Korner

2 cans (20 oz. each) pineapple slices
⅓ cup margarine, melted
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
9 maraschino cherries, cut in half
1 package yellow or pineapple flavored cake mix

Drain pineapple; reserve juice. Reserve 2 pineapple slices for another use.

Stir together melted margarine and brown sugar. Evenly divide sugar mixture into 18 (⅔ cup size) muffin cups, sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly press well drained pineapple slices into sugar mixture inside the muffin cups.

Place cherries in center of pineapple, slice side up.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, replacing amount of water called for with reserved juice. Pour ⅓ cup batter into each muffin cup.

Bake at 350°F 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes. Loosen edges and invert onto cookie sheets.

Taco Casserole

1 7oz. bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed
1 lb. hamburger, browned
1 pkg. taco seasoning, mixed according to directions
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded Mozzarella cheese
Shredded Lettuce
Sliced tomato

Layer ingredients in 9 x 13 pan as listed - crushed chips, meat and seasonings, 2/3 of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Alternative: substitute: rice tortilla chips, quinoa and black beans mixed with seasoning and salsa, shredded lettuce and tomato with no cheese for vegan and gluten free!

And this one was soooo easy to make!

 And for anyone who signs up for my newsletter during the month of April will be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card good for B&N or Amazon (winner's choice) and a special prize package including my two ebooks, The Swan Cove Murders and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Arlee Bird: Tossing It Out

I'll be starting my A-Z challenge with Arlee over at Tossing It Out, the founder of this challenge. I'm sure he didn't expect this to morph into something so huge and so important to us fellow bloggers. At the time I'm writing this, there are 1643 bloggers signed up, and there's still another day left for more to sign up.

I couldn't imagine making my rounds and not stopping at Tossing It Out. Arlee writes thought provoking blogs on various subjects. And I've never come across a boring one. He's absolutely fabulous.

Cheers to you, Arlee!

And for anyone who signs up for my newsletter during the month of April will be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card good for B&N or Amazon (winner's choice) and a special prize package including my two ebooks, The Swan Cove Murders and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.