So Here’s The Plan…

While I’m not doing an official blog tour for the release of Pastels and Jingle Bells, I do have several visits lined up on different blogs throughout the month of November that include guest posts, giveaways, reviews, and excerpts.  But now it’s become a little more official, thanks in large part to Sandy at The Reading Cafe, who provided this wonderful banner:

Pastels and Jingle Bells Banner 2-2-2

Thank you so much, Sandy!  🙂

Not all of the upcoming blog visits are written in stone, but here’s the tentative schedule:

Nov. 1:  Read Your Writes Book Reviews; Romance With Flavor; Two Sassy Chicks; Lusty Penguin Reviews; Indie Brits; Brooke Blogs; Heroes and Heartbreakers

Nov. 2:  Musings From An Addicted Reader; The Pen & The Muse; Style Reader

Nov. 3:  Reading Between The Wines

Nov. 4:  Forget the Housework, I’m Reading; Zemfirka Blogs; Rosanna Leo’s Room

Nov. 5:  Books A La Mode

Nov. 6:  Books-n-Kisses; My Book and My Coffee

Nov. 7:  The Reading Cafe

Nov. 8:    Hesperia Loves Books

Nov. 9:  Tina’s Book Reviews

Nov. 11:  Toot’s Book Reviews; Robyn Neeley (fellow Crimson author!)

Nov. 12:  Andrea R. Cooper (another fellow Crimson author!)

Nov. 13:  What’s On Your Bookshelf; The Book Pushers (tentative)

Nov. 14:  The Suburban Eclectic

Nov. 15:  Sarah Aisling

Nov. 16:  Mary’s Cup of Tea

Nov. 17:  Just Contemporary Romance

Nov. 18:  Ex Libris

Nov. 20:  Lisa Is A Bookworm

Nov. 21:  Bookfever

Nov. 22:  A Little Bit of R & R

Nov. 25:  The Book Cellar

Nov. 30:  Christine S. Feldman (just to wrap things up…)

Some of these were arranged quite a while ago, so it’s possible unforeseen circumstances could arise and alter things a wee bit, and there are a couple of others that haven’t confirmed dates–but this is a pretty good starting point!

And it all gets underway in just a few more days…

Blog Tour For New Release! (Sort Of…)

I have never done a blog tour before; in fact, I’m not one hundred percent sure I know what one is, but I believe it’s what you have when somebody–like an author (me–ta da!)–arranges “stops” on lots of bloggers’ sites in order to promote something.  Like, say, a book.

Well, I’ve got a book coming out next week (nice little plug there, don’t you think?), and in preparation I’ve emailed about 150 bloggers/reviewers to see if some of them would be interested/willing/open-to-bribes when it comes to my Christmas novella, Pastels and Jingle Bells.  I’m happy to report no bribes were necessary–which is good, because I’m poor–and several bloggers were kind enough to not only respond to my emails but agree to have me “stop by” their blogs.

(Thank you, you guys!)

So I’m going on tour for the month of November!  Woo hoo!  And all without leaving the comfort of my living room or needing to worry about airfare, groupies, or trashing hotel rooms–because we all know how wild authors can get…  There will be book spotlights, reviews, excerpts, guest posts, and giveaways galore!

PastelsandJingleBells 200x300-1

And the countdown to release day (November 1st) begins…  🙂

Valentine’s Day Sampling

Happy Monday!  Today I’m working on my Valentine’s Day novella, Playing Cupid, and I thought I’d share the opening excerpt with you even if it is a few months early.  🙂

PlayingCupid 200x300

Aimee Beasley held the door open to their apartment building’s lobby for her beloved and bespectacled Gram and shook her head cheerfully as the older woman listed the many wonderful qualities possessed by her pharmacist, starting with his full head of hair and ending with his detailed knowledge of the common side effects of every medication known to humankind.

“But he’s such a nice young man—“ her grandmother protested.

“Nope.”

“I’m sure the two of you would have a lovely time getting to know each other.”

“Nope.”

Gram held a quivering hand to her heart and sighed dramatically.

“Knock it off, Gram,” Aimee said, unperturbed and shifting the bag of groceries she carried to one hand so she could dig in her pocket for her keys with the other.  “You know that won’t work on me.”

The older woman scowled, but the quiver in her hand abruptly disappeared.  “I don’t know why you insist upon turning down every young man I find for you.  I’d appreciate it if you’d keep an open mind about this sort of thing, Aimee.”

“And I’d appreciate it if you’d stop trying to pimp me out.”  Aimee finally

found her keys and pulled them out to shove the right one into their mailbox.

Pulling out the handful of envelopes and flyers inside, she closed it again and led the way to the elevator.

“But, dear, my pharmacist is really very charming.”

“Then you go out with him.”

Gram frowned at Aimee again and took the mail from her so Aimee could better balance the groceries.  “He’s barely thirty.”

Aimee let out a wolf whistle.  “My grandma, the cougar!”

“The what?”

The elevator opened, and both women stepped inside.  “It’s an older woman who likes to play with young boy-toys, Gram.  But if you do decide to bring your pharmacist home with you one day, do me a favor and put a sock on the door or something so I know not to go barging in, okay?”

“Young lady—“ Gram began, sputtering at her granddaughter as the elevator carried them up to the fourth floor.

Aimee grinned at her.

The older woman recovered her composure.  “Don’t think I’ll give up that easily.  I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and little else to do besides think about these kinds of things, you know.”

“Bring it, lady,” Aimee returned, and then planted a kiss on top of the other woman’s headful of white curls as the elevator doors opened.  “So, turkey or tuna today?” she asked as they reached their apartment door and she juggled keys and groceries again.

“Tuna.”

“Melt or mayo?”

“Melt, I think,” Gram decided, following Aimee into the apartment.  “With the cheddar, if you don’t mind.”

“Cheddar it is.  Give me five minutes to put this stuff away, and I’ll fix it.”

“Oh, dear…”

“Okay, three minutes.”  Aimee pulled open the refrigerator door and began stuffing groceries inside.  “Are you really that hungry?”

“What?  Oh no, it’s not that.”  Gram waved an envelope.  “It appears we’ve gotten another piece of Mr. Berkley’s mail mixed in with ours again.  Fifth time this month, I think.”

Aimee twitched at the sound of his name.  Actually, it was the sixth time this month.  Not all that shocking considering D. Berkley lived in apartment three-twelve and D. Beasley lived in four-twelve, but it was unfortunate all the same, because each time it meant Aimee had to go downstairs, knock on Doyle Berkley’s door, and then—she grimaced—actually speak to him.  Judging by the expression on his face every time he opened the door and saw her standing there, he enjoyed these little mail exchanges about as much as she did.

But this particular piece of mail didn’t look all that thick.  Maybe she could shove it under the door and make a break for it.  Sort of like pulling the pin from a grenade and then running.

“Dear, would you mind…?”  Gram held the letter out to her.

“Sure, Gram,” Aimee agreed, taking it and turning to go.

“Wait—here, take some scones,” her grandma said, hastily reaching into the

grocery bag for the pastries they’d picked up at the bakery minutes earlier and arranging some on a small plate.  “It’s the polite thing to do when calling on a neighbor.”

“I’m not calling on him—“

“Manners, Aimee.  You can’t go empty-handed.”

“I’m not empty-handed.  I’ve got his mail.”

But her grandma thrust the plate of scones at her anyway.  “Good neighbors are hard to come by, and Mr. Berkley is a good neighbor.”

Aimee snorted.

“He is!  He’s been very helpful to me in the past.  I don’t know why you dislike him so.”

“Because he walks around like he’s got a stick up his—“
“Aimee Elizabeth Beasley!”

“I was going to say backside,” Aimee returned piously.

“No, you were not.”

No, she wasn’t, but all Aimee said in response was, “Be back in a minute,” and then she slipped back out the door…

* * *

It’s still a work-in-progress, but…what do you think?

Another First

Whenever the mail has arrived during the past several days, I’ve joined my dog in peering over the back of the couch and out the window to watch the mail carrier slip the mail into our mailbox, and then I’d hop down and scurry outside to see what was waiting.  And today what I was waiting for finally arrived.

My first royalty check ever!

Is it considered unprofessional to squeal over something like that?  Or to take a picture of said royalty check and ponder what sort of picture frame will best bring out the pink and blue highlights in the background of the Pay To The Order Of area that has my name printed on it?  I’m thinking something in pewter would be nice; it’s just so classic.  Plus it will look great once I’m finished bedazzling it.  There ain’t another royalty check in the world that will be so gloriously memorialized.

Too much, you say?  Hey, it’s a lot less grand than my original idea, which I backed off from because it turns out billboards are very expensive to rent…

Anyhoo, it’s been a pretty exciting day in the life of this particular author.  Hope yours is going well, too!  🙂

Do You Know What’s Just Around The Corner?

Christmas is coming…

I know this because the local stores have had Christmas displays up since September.  They used to wait until Halloween was over to do that, and then they started putting decorations out for both holidays simultaneously in early October, but this is the first year I’ve noticed them doing it in September.  I’m betting it won’t be too many more years until we see red-nosed reindeer next to chocolate bunnies, or even Cupids flitting above candy canes.

You know what else is coming?  Release day for my Christmas novella…

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November 1st!  That is, assuming I formatted everything correctly for KDP on Amazon and Nook Press for Barnes & Noble.  Heh heh.  Formatting…software…erk.  Is anyone else finding it hard to breathe, or is that just me?

On the plus side, I came across a kind of preliminary review of Pastels and Jingle Bells on Rookie Romance, and although the actual review hasn’t been written up yet, the blogger reviewing it (Hi, Cerian!) said it was, “…very sweet and just what I was in the mood for.”

Yay!

Now hurry up and finish putting up those Christmas decorations before Trick-or-Treaters start showing up…

3rd Novella Cover Art Reveal

Today I got the cover art for the third of my three holiday novellas, the Heavenly Bites series.  This one is called Playing Cupid, and–naturally–it’s a Ground Hog Day romance.  Okay, it’s actually a Valentine’s Day romance, but you have to admit there aren’t nearly enough Ground Hog Day romances out there!

So…here are all three covers together:

PastelsandJingleBells 200x300-1     LoveLessons 200x300     PlayingCupid 200x300

What do you think?