Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1st Review!

*****Talent Tuesday is postponed today.
The woman who was supposed to be my guest is in an area of the US that is badly flooded. I told her not to worry about the blog post and to take care of herself and her surroundings. Please keep her and those others in similar situations in your thoughts and prayers.*****

Instead, I'm happy to share with you my very first review for my next book, Carry Me Home! The book will be released on June 5th. Here's the blurb for it:

After six months in the city, Mary MacDougall returns to the Scottish Highlands to finalize her divorce. Because of a past tragedy, she doubts her husband Jamie can possibly love her with the same unbridled passion as before and insists ending the marriage is best for both of them. But Jamie has other ideas….

Jamie MacDougall has no intention of letting his bonnie lass go. At least not without a fight. Aye, they’ve suffered heartache, and she may be ready to call it quits, but he refuses to throw away the partnership they’ve built since they were children. Instead, he’ll remind her they were meant to be together, forever.

Can this marriage survive pride and grief to allow love to carry them home?
And now, here's the review from Cheryl Rae, a web developer and promotional item designer for authors. You can learn more about her and her work here
I started reading Alexa's books last year. I like that they are all set
in the UK - and yet they are contemporary. Which tends to be rare in
romance. This book was a short - sweet - happy ending type of book that
was just perfect to read before bedtime! The thing that I liked most

about the book was that the author did not make the characters daft to
other's feelings or situations. She threw them together and had them
work it out. I like smart books with smart characters that don't run
around 50 pages making stupid mistakes or being oblivious. These are
cool characters, in a cool setting and all I can say is - I could have
kept reading.....:)
Thanks SOOOOOO much, Cheryl! I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my next book!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday!

Hello! Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday, where authors bring you six paragraphs of their work. To find out more about the participants, visit here. As for me and the work I'm bringing you, this is a snippet from my 2nd Honor Guard book, Fractured Paradise. I love this story, set in northern England with an American heroine trying to fulfill her grandmother's wishes and "fighting" with a run-down home...and a local lad......
Rachel had come to the United Kingdom years ago to accept the job of a lifetime. She’d come to this city, if you could call it that, today at Nan’s request. Tonight, she came to the Thrush and Hound Pub because she seriously needed a drink.
Hopefully, the pint of lager sitting in front of her would help ease the panic that had settled into her bones after an afternoon in the cottage. She was beginning to think she’d bitten off more than she could chew here. How the hell had she let Nana talk her into this?
She should be in her element, searching through digitized documents for the bodyguards of the IPN, instead of carrying out this ill-fated secret mission for her grandmother.
She sipped her lager, took a deep breath, and scanned the pub. The building was twice the size of that dilapidated cottage, and with a much cozier atmosphere. It sported wooden tables and pictures of when Sunderland shipyards were in full swing. An area with darts and a big screen TV lay on one side separated by an ornately carved wooden railing. A sense of warmth welcomed her from the moment she’d stepped inside.
Then again, maybe that was just what she’d hoped to find after the strange encounter with Aidan Camden. She set her pint back on the bar and traced lines along the glass with her finger. Clearly, he didn’t want her around now that he knew she didn’t intend to sell the cottage, and yet she couldn’t stop her hormones from reacting to him.
The bell on the front door of the pub chimed. The bartender looked up from loading glasses in a dishwasher and waved. "Hello, Aidan. What can I get you?"

Well? Did you like it? Are you intrigued? Check out more of the story for free here!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Non-Fiction Friday!

Welcome back to another peek at my Non-Fiction Friday! Today I just thought I'd give you a breakdown of my "real world" as it is at the moment. I don't have a family, but I still manage to keep pretty busy. Is it any wonder why I'm so tired??? Judge for yourself:

40 hours a week as an English Reading/Writing tutor at a school
5-10 hours a week as a tutor for a different company
Teaching 2 online classes at the moment
2 hours a week tutoring a high school student (& Monday I start a 2nd student at the same time)
Trying to hit the gym 3-5 hours a week
Promoting my books
Writing at least 4 blog posts a week
Visiting with family
Visiting other sites/promoting other authors
Reading and studying one other book a week
Writing the next Honor Guard book


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Way Back Wednesday

Welcome to Way Back Wednesday!
Between 1993 and 1995, I lived and worked on the South rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. There, I did the partying I was supposed to do in college. During that partying, I met a woman who didn't like me (and I didn't like her much), but we ended up becoming really good friends.
One day this friend came rushing to my dorm room. She knew I was working on my very first novel. In her hands she had The Chieftain by Arnette Lamb. I wasn't a big fan of romance novels at this point, and I didn't realize what I was writing would turn out to be a romance. I remember my friend telling me I had to read this book. She knew I'd started reading more about Scotland and liked it, and she was sure I'd love this book. And I did.
Once I finished that book, I was hooked on Lamb's writing. I gathered whatever books of hers I could find. I ended up reading 9 of her 13 novels and I was scrambling for more when I heard she had passed away.
Ms. Lamb and The Chieftain (& my Grand Canyon friend), have a warm corner of my heart. That encouragement from my friend and those books pushed me on my route to writing romance and falling in love with Scotland. Granted, both things didn't happen until much later, but those two women helped me find my way.
Thank you, Arnette Lamb and Jennie. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Talent Tuesday!

Welcome to Talent Tuesday! Today we're learning more about Phyllis Humphrey. Take it away, Phyllis....

     I’ve been writing seriously for thirty years, and although I’m no Nora Roberts or support myself on my earnings, they do pay expenses and I’m in the black. The only other thing I do is sing in musicals produced by the local Performing Arts Club.
     That began seven years ago when my husband accused me of spending all day at the computer. I realized I needed to get out and meet people, so I went to an audition, hoping to get a part in the chorus of the show, or, if lucky, part of a duet or trio. Instead I was given two solos and, although there was no pay, I enjoyed the thrill of audience applause and compliments in the lobby after a performance.
     When I was a child, my sister took piano lessons, and I took singing lessons until high school occupied all my time. But I continued to love singing, bought Broadway show albums and sang all the songs for myself. Also for my husband, who, when we took long trips in the car, would ask me to sing.
     Nevertheless I was surprised to find that strangers liked my voice. Not only that, the PAC had many talented, formerly professional singers among its members, so I felt honored to join. One lady was the fifth Laurie in OKLAHOMA on Broadway and Richard Rodgers played piano at her audition.
     My latest (7th) appearance occurred earlier this month when I sang in a group number, and then a solo of “It’s the Little Things” from Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY. This is a long song, and difficult, because it consists of a series of 27 “little things” that bear no relationship to one another, and must be memorized (and sung at a fast tempo). Here’s a sample of one verse:

“It’s the little things you do together that make perfect relationships.

     The hobbies you pursue together,

     Savings you accrue together

     Looks you misconstrue together

     That make marriage a joy.”

Or, my favorite:

     “The concerts you enjoy together,

     Neighbors you annoy together

     Children you destroy together

     That keep marriage intact.”

Now I need to write some more, finish the novella I started and revise my long mystery novel. I guess I’ll go back to singing to my husband in the car. You can check out my Book List on my website: www.phyllishumphrey .com.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday!

Welcome! Today's blog post has a new name. Instead of Section Sunday, this day's posts will now be called Sneak Peek Sunday! Several authors are joining together each Sunday to bring you six paragraphs of one of their works. Find out more about it here.

Today I'm bringing you six paragraphs from the Tease Entice book I'm editing right now, Silent Surrender. I don't have a release date for it yet, but it's soooooooo coming along and I LOVE these characters! Meggie and Quinn had a fling in his hometown of Dublin eight months ago. Now he's come to her Highland village of Glenhalish (From Her Highland Champion and the June Tease book Carry Me Home) to find her and explore the connection they have. She is worried about her reputation in her tiny village. In this scene, they've just been making sandwiches for a group of people watching football at her house when he starts this conversation. Let me know what you think!

Meg, I wanted to explain about the picture. I’m sorry I seemed insensitive to it, but try seeing it from my point of view. People recognize me all the time. Some ask for autographs, others want pictures. Some take what they want without me even knowing it. When I first started coaching and people recognized me, it drove me mad. But the reality is I can’t control everyone’s movements. Unless it’s something that’s truly offensive, I don’t get angry about it anymore.” He pulled her knuckles to his lips and kissed them. “And I really did love that picture. I went to the store and bought more copies of it.”

Why did warmth coil in her belly at those words?

Quinn invaded her space and cupped her cheek. “It’s a wonderful picture of you with your ginger curls, that purple shirt molding to your lovely curves.”

Don’t.” But she didn’t push him away.

His thumb swirled along her skin and the scent of him invaded her nostrils. “Why do you fight it? Us?” His lips brushed over the shell of her ear. Dizziness swirled inside her brain. So much she wanted to give in, to fall back into his strong arms, to feel the muscles in his chest, his back, to surrender to the beautiful experience she could have with him. But she had too much to lose.

She raised her hands, planted her palms on his chest. To ward him off, aye?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Non-Fiction Friday!

Welcome to Non-Fiction Friday!
The school year is winding down and we're all feeling it. Even those of us who just started working at this school in January are ready for summer break. The administrators are plotting and planning for next year and yesterday I met with the principal to discuss...me.
After we made sure all my "paperwork" was up to date, he asked what my intentions were. I told him I would like to stay for next year because I like the school and the people I work with. I said if a classroom job was available, I'd like that, but if they just wanted to keep me as a writing tutor and all around helper I'd be okay with that. Basically, I just want to stay there.
He told me they were happy with me and my work for them. They see me working with the kids and like the job I'm doing. He double-checked my teaching certifications and asked if I'd be okay with being a middle school English teacher since we'll be adding kids and English hours. I reminded him that I taught middle school English before. He explained that the admin is working and meeting and working to make their plans and I would know by the end of the school year (which is the end of May for us).
I was thrilled with the possibilities. There are aspects of teaching I do miss. I feel I would have a good support there with some friends. I've grown a lot in the 2 1/2 years since I last had my own classroom. But another aspect I'd love is the fact I'd be making enough money to support me going to writing/reading conferences, to invest in different promotional opportunities for my books and to plan vacations again.
No, it's not definite that I'll end up with a salaried position for the 2013-2014 school year, but it's so nice to have a chance to dream again.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Way Back Wednesday!

Welcome to Way Back Wednesday! Today I'm bringing you a look at the year I was born, 1971.

US Leaders

President: Richard Nixon

Vice President: Spiro Agnew

Cost of Living

Average Cost of new house $25,250.00  
Average Income per year $10,600.00
Average Monthly Rent $150.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 40 cents   
United States postage Stamp 8 cents 
Movie Ticket $1.50

Popular Culture

  • Led Zeppelin releases their untitled fourth album
  • Jim Morrison of The Doors found dead in bath tub in Paris
Popular Films
  • Love Story  
  • The Andromeda Strain
  • The French Connection
Popular Musicians and songs
  • The Doors
  • Bob Dylan
  • Tony Orlando and Dawn with " Knock Three Times "
  • Janis Joplin with " Me and Bobby Mcgee "
  • The Who
  • John Lennon
  • The Jackson 5
  • Ike and Tina Turner
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Rod Stewart with " Maggie Mae "
  • The Osmonds
 Popular TV Programs
  • All My Children
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • McCloud
  • The Odd Couple
  • The Partridge Family

Technology 1971 

  • Intel releases world's first microprocessor, the 4004.
  • Texas Instruments releases the first pocket calculator
  • The First Internet Chat rooms appear
  • The First Cat Scanner Produced by EMI  
  • Apollo 14 lands on the Moon.   
  • First Soft Contact Lens became available commercially in the USA

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Talent Tuesday!

Welcome back for another Talent Tuesday!

Today I'm bringing you Kelley Heckart. Kelley makes decorative wall crosses from driftwood, shells, stones, crystals and from pretty much anything she find either in nature or at swap meets.
And now, in Kelley's own words......

How I started making crosses

About 10 years ago my mother was seriously ill. I wanted to make her something to put on her nightstand. Over the years I had collected driftwood, shells and stones so I decided to make a small cross for my mom. She recovered and she still has that cross. I decided to keep making the crosses.

I have always loved the cross and how it has symbolized faith from very early times. Over the years I have added new designs like burning different symbols into the wood. I have three different styles that I work with—Native American, Rune and Neolithic/Goddess. Each piece of wood is different and calls to me. I try to highlight the natural shapes and designs in the wood and each cross is unique. They come with an attached leather strip so the crosses can easily hang on the wall.

I sell my crosses in my Etsy store called Kels Cool Crosses.

Wow, how awesome, Kelley! Thanks for sharing these with us. Folks, if you want to find out more about Kelley or her crosses, visit her.....

Store Website Page
Kelley The Author

Monday, April 15, 2013

Alexa's New Book Cover!

Today marks the official, public beginning for an exciting time in Decadent Publishing’s history, and I’m so excited to be a part of it. We are unveiling a brand new series of books for you. The new Tease series is smart, sassy and short, and includes historical, paranormal and contemporary romances. All the stories are meant to be short reads for those times when a reader might want a quick, satisfying pick me up. You are promised a solid story with a happy ending, but the rest is up to the author.
I’m one of those authors and this is the cover to my first Tease, Carry Me Home.

Carry Me Home Book Blurb:
After six months in the city, Mary MacDougall returns to the Scottish Highlands to finalize her divorce. Because of a past tragedy, she doubts her husband Jamie can possibly love her with the same unbridled passion as before and insists ending the marriage is best for both of them. But Jamie has other ideas….
Jamie MacDougall has no intention of letting his bonnie lass go. At least not without a fight. Aye, they’ve suffered heartache, and she may be ready to call it quits, but he refuses to throw away the partnership they’ve built since they were children. Instead, he’ll remind her they were meant to be together, forever.
Can this marriage survive pride and grief to allow love to carry them home?

This cover fits Mary and Jamie perfectly and I absolutely love it. Isn’t it gorgeous? My book will be released June 5th, but you have plenty of Tease stories before then. To find out more, visit http://www.decadenttease.com/tease-affairs/ today! There you will be able to see more of the gorgeous Tease covers, be introduced to the people “behind the scenes” (including the 1st Tease authors), and find out more about the new series. AND you can be in the running for some GREAT prizes. So come join the party!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Section Sunday!

Welcome back to Section Sunday!
Today's story is a bit of my next Honor Guard submission, Don't Say a Word. I'm hoping to have it ready to submit by June.
The story is about an American woman, Brynne, who is in Mexico to learn Spanish and the culture. She "overhears" something she shouldn't, but she doesn't know what it is because....she doesn't speak Spanish. Her bodyguard, Jas, is a member of the International Protective Network (IPN), but he's got other plans for his visit to Mexico. It's REALLY rough, but maybe you can see why I'm having so much fun with this couple. To set the scene, someone just took a shot at them.
Are you all right?” Jas pushed himself up. She continued to shake. Without invitation, he swiped his hand over her backside to brush away the pieces of glass from her ass. She didn't move. Okay, now he was officially worried. The Brynne he'd been with would have smacked him for that innocent touch.
Hey.” Had she been hit? A lead weight thudded in his gut.
Faint whispers accompanied tiny shivers coasting through her body. No blood around her or on her clothes. Maybe she was just in shock.
He crouched close to her and bit back the command forming in his mouth. She wasn't used to this lifestyle. He couldn't take it out on her.
Brynne.” He reached for her hair and tucked it behind her ear.  The soft strands reminded him she was fragile, gentle, vulnerable. “Are you hurt?” Easing his hand on her back, a tiny bit of him was relieved to feel her steady breaths through his fingers.
Her voice broke with that one word and Jas had an unbelievable urge to tear the shooter limb from limb.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Non-Fiction Friday!

Welcome back for another installment of Non-Fiction Friday!

This week I received the honor of being named the teacher for a 10th grade English Enrichment class from now until the end of the school year. I get to prep lesson plans, assign and read essays, give grades. In short, I get to do everything a "real teacher" does, except I'm not officially a teacher. I'm still the Writing Tutor who just now has more responsibility.

At first I was a bit nervous because I haven't taught 10th grade since student teaching back in 2000, but 3 days in and it's okay at the moment. There are some tough kids in there, but my attitude is pretty laid back so they seem to appreciate that. Of course I told the assistant principal I'd do it. I told her I'd go wherever they needed me.

Part of the reason for that is to show them how flexible I am and how much of an asset I am so they plot and plan to keep me next year. I'm not in danger of losing my job, but I had mentioned I wouldn't mind going back into a classroom if it came up. I also offered to teach the creative writing class they're planning. Hey, it couldn't hurt to mention what I'm qualified in!

I received a compliment from that same assistant principal yesterday, about how I see something that needs to be done and I just do it. She appreciates that and said more of the staff needs to be like that. So, now I'm pretty sure they like me. I just hope they work out a great plan for me for next year!

And my mind is spinning.....

Why? In addition to this full time job, I'm teaching an online class, doing some promo, doing A LOT of promo next week for the new Decadent Publishing Tease line, starting to teach another online class next week, and....I'm supposed to be writing.

So I'm going to get off the computer and write.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Forgetful Lexi

Yikes! I totally forgot to post a Way Back Wednesday post yesterday! I kept thinking it was a different day in the week. They're just whizzing by!

Tomorrow I promise to have a Non-Fiction Friday post, then a Section Sunday post AND....

Monday marks the launch of Decadent Publishing's Tease line! You'll be able to see my next cover and be in the running for some GREAT prizes! So plan to join our party!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Talent Tuesday!

Welcome to another edition of Talent Tuesday! Today, please help me welcome Eleanor Sawyer! Read on to find out about her talent! Here is Eleanor in her own words.....

While I am completely inspired by writing these days, I've also found that my stories have influenced another fun and time-consuming craft: creating shadowboxes. Each box is a snapshot, capturing an idea or relationship between texture and subject matter. To me, the containers become an inventory of segments: found or collected objects, old photographs, prints, and cards. Some shadowboxes are inspired solely by a keepsake having been stored safely since childhood. Or, an idea originates from the loose pages of an out-of-print book. Here are some examples:

1) Just Out Of Reach

2) Peace Chain

3) Divinity

4) Lock & Keys

Thank you for the opportunity to share with you all!

~ Eleanor Sawyer
For more samples, visit http://www.eleanorsawyer.com/gallery/.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Section Sunday!

Welcome back for another Section Sunday! Today's snippet is from my Work-In-Progress (WIP), Broken Road. It's set in my favorite fictional Scottish Highland village of Glenhalish. The story is a contemporary romance between Catriona MacGregor and Ewan MacDougall. Catriona, or Cat as she prefers, is the best friend of Ewan's sister. They've all grown up together and she's loved him for as long as she can remember. Of course, he doesn't have a clue. I hope you enjoy!
Cat drifted out the back door of the Kierlain House and wandered through the path to  Glenhalish proper. The sunrays warmed her skin and the fleeting breeze brushed her hair over her shoulders. At the start of her day, when she first decided to bake him a cake, it had sounded like a grand idea. Now, though, her nerves tightened a bit more with each footstep toward his door.
“Don’t be daft,” she mumbled to herself. “It’s only a cake.” It wasn’t like she’d barge into his home and strip down to the black silk bra and panties covering the very parts of her she wished he’d….
Cat jerked to a halt. For the first time in ages, she worried. Should she keep walking and bring the cake home? If she followed through with her plan would she say something or do something daft?
What if….what if he rejected her?
“Nonsense.” She shook her head and started her feet again. “I’m smarter than that. I’ve been doing this sort of thing for years. It’s perfectly natural.”
“What’s perfectly natural?” A deep voice reached out from behind her. Pebbles crunched under his feet as the man in question joined her at her side.

Her body tingled as the scent of him enveloped her. "Nothing. I’m just talking to myself.” Casual, Catriona. She steered her gaze to him and drank in the sight of him. Dark clothes, knapsack easily dangling from one shoulder and that crooked smile.

“That’s not a good sign, Cat.”
“Well, it hasn’t been a problem yet. And besides, sometimes I get the best answers that way. Where are you coming from?”
“Work. Where are you going?”
To tempt you into a kiss. “I was heading to your house.”
“Aye? And why is that?”
She held up the plate. “I brought you a cake.”
Outside his fence, Ewan stopped. “A cake.”
One eye narrowed. “What do you want?”

Friday, April 5, 2013

Non-Fiction Friday

Welcome to Non-Fiction Friday!

Most of you, by now, know I'm a teacher in my real world. I taught in my own classroom for 9 years before I'd had enough and needed to get out. Since January I've been a Writing tutor for a charter school. I love what I do now and I love some of my coworkers and kids. (Not all of them. It's just like every other workplace. Some good, some not so good. No place is perfect.)

Although I've only been here for the last 3 months, I'm feeling the "senioritis" everyone else is. I'm ready for the summer. Which is REALLY odd because once the last day of school comes, I won't be getting paid again until school starts up in August.

But I still look forward to the summer as if I were a full-time teacher.

I'm hoping I can land some extra hours at my part-time job and maybe some summer school hours too. I'm also looking forward to the chance of spending countless hours on my writing. (I think about that often, but it doesn't always work out that way. Odd, huh?) So yeah, it's been great where I am, being a part of the same community and being able to share good writing news with people who actually care.

But I do long for the opportunities to sleep in a few mornings, to stay in my PJs all day or to hit the gym for 2 or 3 classes instead of 1.

OOOOHHHHH....speaking of gym....I've only been once this week, BUT I have been following my diet all week! Yesterday alone I managed to avoid the donuts, the jelly beans and the ice cream sandwiches my coworkers offered me. Success! (Hey, I'll take it. Dieting is all about one meal at a time!)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Way Back Wednesday!

Welcome to Way Back Wednesday! I'm a busy lady, so today's post will be short.
In 1998 and 1999, I began blindly submitting my first romantic suspense book to agents and editors. The book was a 400 page contemporary story set in the Highlands of Scotland with 2 heroes and a heroine who couldn't really decide which one she wanted. (I knew who she ended up with, but I didn't make it clear in the story.) I had a lot of "telling" and not enough showing. One of the editors I sent it to was an editor for Harlequin American....which works with romances set in America.
Obviously that editor and the many other editors and agents I blindly submitted queries to rejected my story. Obviously I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned...sometimes the hard way. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Talent Tuesday!

Welcome back for another edition of Talent Tuesday! Today's guest is a lady from my Celtic Hearts RWA writing group, Paisley Kirkpatrick! Take it away, Paisley!

My hobby has opened a door I never anticipated. I started sewing in the ninth grade. The craft came easy for me and over the years I have sewn many items, including my own wedding dress and also my younger daughter's. But, it was after we lost our older daughter to cancer just before her 32nd birthday, that I started using my skills to overcome the terrible loss my child. One of my friends asked me to join her and a friend learning how to make quilts. She stressed that in the olden days women made quilts to help mourn a death in their family. At that time, I realized the importance of accepting we no longer had Kellie and decided I would make quilts filled with my love for her and give them away. This new aspect of my life exploded, and took off with a life of its own.
In the past ten years I have made and given away 41 quilts. Maybe keeping busy with these brightly colored squares pushed the sadness into manageable mode simply because I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself any longer. I know Kellie is smiling down on me saying, ''Way to go Mom."
The first year I made ten baby quilts, most were Kellie's friends. These crib size quilts are made of flannel in bright solid colors and appropriate prints depending on whether the quilt is for a baby boy or girl.
Since that first year I've made a lot more, including seven for Brenda Novak's Childhood Diabetes Auction. I love receiving photos of the children enjoying these quilts and just this past week I got a photo from my nephew's wife with their two little girls sitting on the baby's quilt. It's the first time I've been told the quilts wash well and the girls wrap up in them every day, especially while watching television. Along with the crib-size quilts, I have started making small pillows -- like we used to get on airplanes. I use leftover fabric and batting to make them. When a little one is hurt or sick, I shoot one of these pillows off and they give the little ones something special to help make them feel better.
I learned how to put photos onto fabric and have made quilts with book covers, photos of favorite movie stars, family photos, and am thinking of one that has photos from our vacation in Scotland someday, if I ever have spare time. One very special wedding quilt that I made for Kellie's friend who gave us so much help during her illness, turned out so beautiful that I am thinking maybe she had her hand on mine while I made it.
If I didn't tell you that my hubby helps pick out the fabrics, he'd be very disappointed. We head down the hill to our favorite fabric store and I tell him the colors and/or theme I want to use. He has a nose for finding them and comes back in a few moments with just what I had in mind. One very special quilt needed to have music notes, bright colors and some kind of peace and love on the fabric for the backside.
He was back in five minutes with everything perfect for the quilt. I'm thinking he's a keeper.
Along with the quilts and pillows, I also make and give away tote bags. Anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to Gerard Butler. He helped me with the healing as well as the quilts did so it was only natural I'd want to say thank you in a way I that I could make personal. I've made tote bags with his photos on both sides and send them to his fan club to raffle off at his birthday bash. The fan club officers send the money they raise to the Cancer Society, and a couple more of Gerry's favorite charities in his name. It's great. The first year one tote bag raised $2000 and the money went for Kids Kicking Cancer.
I was stunned at the amount they raised, but am so please to be helping with the cause. I will admit I did make one quilt with 24 photos of Gerry on it
and gave it to my daughter-of-my-heart, Carla. It's the only gift I have ever given away that has a string attached - I get visiting rights. :)

Folks, Paisley is giving you a SPECIAL treat! One commenter will win this pillow! (Prize will be mailed to North America addresses only.)
Thanks so much, Paisley!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Stuff's A-Happenin'

Today is April 1st. I've got lots of things going on.

Today starts my new diet. Yep. I ate too much Easter candy, fell into sugar shock, and decided I needed to take action. Well, I also want to lose some weight between now and my June vacation. I'm not telling you where I'm starting out, but I will check in with you and let you know how much I'm losing.

In the next 9 weeks (between now and my vacation), I intend to write 2 more books for my epublisher. I'll be writing Don't Say a Word, which is a romantic suspense for the Honor Guard line, and Broken Road, which is a contemporary romance for the new Tease line. I expect to submit one of them before I get on vacation and the other will be ready as well.

I ordered 4 books from Harlequin.com yesterday. I'm thinking of writing a new genre in the summer and I need to research it.

I also entered a writing contest earlier this year with the opening of that new genre manuscript. The finalists will be announced in a couple weeks. Wish me luck and send good vibes!

I'm searching for some blogs to visit when my new book comes out. Any takers?

I'm trying to come up with some new (cheap) promotional items for my new books (and the old ones). Any suggestions? Or online promotional activities? My book coming out June 5th and the one that just got contracted are both contemporary romances set in the Highlands of Scotland. I'd like to try to find something special that revolves around that. Thoughts? Come on! Put your thinking caps on and help a girl out!