Time To Introduce My Little Darling To The World–Or, Promo

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Sure, Playing Cupid went live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble last week, but I was so busy writing it that I got a late start on lining up some promo for it (oops–heh heh…), but, hey–better late than never.  Besides, it’s a Valentine’s Day story, so I figure February is a good time to get a semi-official blog tour going, right?  Right.

Thank you to the bloggers and reviewers who very kindly squeezed me into their reading and/or blog schedules!  There are spotlights, excerpts, giveaways, and even a few reviews on tap.  Here’s what’s planned–and the first stop is actually still in January, so I’m feeling more on-the-ball by the minute:

January 31:  Romance & Beyond

February 3:  Le Book Squirrel

February 4:  My Recent Favorite Books

February 6:  Musings From An Addicted Reader; Lisa Is A Bookworm

February 7:  Read Your Writes Book Reviews; Zemfirka Blogs; Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life

February 8:  Toot’s Book Reviews; Aleksandra’s Corner

February 10:  Bookworm Brandee

February 14:  Rookie Romance; Paperbacks and Pastries; Getting Your Read On

February 24:  Lusty Penguin Reviews

Plus Tome Tender and A Novel Review Blog are going to try to schedule something in February, too, but I don’t have dates yet.  And thank you to those of you who have already left reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.  It is much appreciated!  🙂

Coming Soon…

Thanks to a heads-up from a fellow Crimson Romance author, I discovered this morning that there is a link on Amazon now for a paperback version of my second novel, The Bargain.  Yay!  I’m so excited!

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At the moment there isn’t any cover art showing, and the book’s status is “Temporarily Out of Stock,” but it’s still a step in the right direction.  I’m going to hold off ordering any copies until it actually says they have them, but when they do… Look out!  I’ll be the first one in line to click on “Add to Cart.”  Multiple times.  And then I will cuddle with a copy of Coming Home AND The Bargain.  That’s normal, right?

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, here’s the link, but I wouldn’t pre-order it since I vaguely remembering having trouble doing that when the link for Coming Home first showed up.  People who waited until it actually showed as “In Stock” got their copies way before I did, and I finally ended up having to cancel the order and trying again.  I guess the early bird doesn’t ALWAYS get the worm.

Have a great day!  🙂

Guess What’s Finally Out?

And by that I mean both my third Heavenly Bites novella, Playing Cupid, and myself because I finally got to emerge from my writing cave and see the sun again!  Well, in theory.  It’s pretty foggy here.

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But anyway… Playing Cupid is finally out on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble!  Yay!  So if you feel like getting an early start on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, give it a read.  And if you don’t feel like celebrating early, you could give it a read anyway.  Maybe you’ll change your mind.  🙂

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Another Release Day On The Horizon–And An Excerpt

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Well, the third novella in my Heavenly Bites series should be up and running on Amazon and Barnes & Noble by the end of January, which is appropriate considering it’s a Valentine’s Day story, right?  While I’m getting things ready to go, I thought I’d share the first couple of scenes with you, so here’s the book blurb to give you some context:

Playing Cupid:

Much as she loves her meddling matchmaker of a grandmother, free-spirited Aimee Beasley is tired of dodging the dull and downright tiresome dates the older woman keeps trying to arrange for her.  So when she notices her beloved Gran preening in the presence of a distinguished elderly gentleman who’s been visiting their apartment building, Aimee is delighted at the prospect of turning the tables on her.

But her plans to match her grandmother up with the gentleman in time for Valentine’s Day hit a snag when Aimee realizes he’s the uncle of their downstairs neighbor, a stodgy thirty-something history professor named Doyle with whom she butts heads on a regular basis.  She’ll need to find a way to make nice and enlist his help, or her plan to see her long-widowed Gran happily matched again will never work.

For Gran’s sake, she’s determined to find a way.  In the process, she starts to realize that her cranky downstairs neighbor has a softer side she never suspected existed. 

And when it comes to romantic heroes, history professors may not have gotten a fair shake…

And here we go:

Playing Cupid: Opening Excerpt

            Aimee Beasley held the door open to their apartment building’s lobby for her beloved and bespectacled Gram 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.  It was a surprisingly long list, so either Gram had spent a great deal of time compiling it, or she had simply made half of it up.  Either way, her dedication to her cause was admirable.

“So?” said Gram, expectant and finally pausing to draw breath as she peered at her granddaughter through tortoiseshell glasses that seemed to dwarf her face.

Aimee shook her head.

“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.”  This was becoming an all too familiar conversation between them, and it was usually sparked by whatever “suitable” prospect had happened to catch Aimee’s matchmaking grandmother’s eye most recently.  Today, of course, it had been her pharmacist, a man who Aimee was quite sure had as little interest in dating her as she did in going out with him.

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

“Nice try, Gram,” Aimee said patiently, 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 Gram, 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 gave her a cheeky grin.

The older woman’s eyes narrowed, and she 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 an affectionate 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—speak to the man.  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, forcing a smile as she took it and turned 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.”

So much for shoving the mail under the door.  “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.

* * *

            The third floor was virtually identical to the fourth, and both showed their

age.  The pinstripe wallpaper must have been an update from whatever had covered the walls originally, but it was well-faded now itself, and the plain brown carpet in the hallways was worn so thin that it hardly looked like carpet anymore.  No, the Belmont was not exactly the most cutting edge when it came to apartment complexes, although it might have been fifty years ago when it was first built.  It was, however, the place where Ms. Delia Beasley had lived quite happily for the past three decades, and she had made it quite clear that she had no intention of moving.

Naturally, her son—Aimee’s father—was less than thrilled about his elderly and widowed mother living on her own, and the difference of opinion had caused no small amount of tension between the two.  Tensions had continued to rise until one day Aimee had taken matters into her own hands and simply suggested she move in with her grandmother, split the expenses down the middle, and voilà—everybody’s problems had been solved.

Well, except for the mail delivery, she thought as she approached apartment three-twelve.

Aimee raised her hand that held the envelope in order to rap on the door, and then the plate of scones wobbled in her other hand.  Reacting on impulse, she shoved the piece of mail between her teeth so she could rescue falling scones and grab the plate with both hands—which was, of course, precisely the moment when Doyle opened his front door.

Doyle Berkley always seemed to have an aura of grimness about him, and today was no exception.  True, he lightened up somewhat when speaking with Gram if they happened to pass each other in the lobby, but even then Aimee didn’t think she could exactly call him cheerful.  Only less grim.  Dark hair and shadows under his eyes did nothing to combat the somberness of his overall aspect, and he gave the impression of a man who did not care much for the company of others.

Likely as not it came from spending all his time with history books instead of

living, breathing people.  Memorizing dates and details about wars throughout the centuries—and then forcing university students to regurgitate them—couldn’t be healthy for anyone.  Which was probably why Aimee had flunked history in high school; it was on principle.

They stared at each other for a moment, Doyle’s grey eyes cool as they narrowed and took in the young woman standing on his doorstep with the envelope between her teeth.

“We got some more of your mail,” Aimee said matter-of-factly around the

edges of the item in question, the words slightly garbled because of the obstruction.

“So I see,” Doyle returned, reaching for the envelope and eyeing the faint teeth marks on it with obvious displeasure.  “And you decided to eat it?”

“In my defense,” said Aimee. “It is lunchtime.”

She got no response, not even a twitch of an eyelid.

Had this guy ever been fun?  He couldn’t be past his mid-thirties, and yet more often than not it seemed like he was channeling his inner curmudgeon.  “Oh, come on.  Lighten up.  It wouldn’t kill you, would it?”

He said nothing, but she could have sworn his eyes narrowed even further, if that was possible.

“Brr.  Did you feel that?”  She made an exaggerated shiver.  “I think the temperature in this hallway just dropped by about thirty degrees.  Happens every time I come by here.  How do you do that?”

“Thank you for my mail.  Are we done here?”

“Almost.”  Aimee thrust the plate of scones at him.  “These are from Gram.  She insisted.”

For a moment she thought his cool exterior thawed.  “Please thank her for me.”

“I will.”

“Good.”

“Okay, now we’re done here.”

Without another word, Doyle closed his door, leaving Aimee alone in the

hallway.

“Ah, there we go,” Aimee said aloud as she turned to go.  “Warmer in here

already.”

So… there you have it!  🙂  What do you think?

Time To Celebrate!

Today we’re celebrating reaching 1,000 Likes on Facebook, having a fourth book just recently released, and heck–just life in general. Plus the fact that it appears I’ve successfully gotten my first Rafflecopter giveaway up and running on Facebook!

Although I may have just jinxed it by saying that… Oops.

If you’re on Facebook, hop over and check it out–there’s a $20 Amazon gift card up for grabs. Click here to see for yourself.   🙂

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has bought one of my books, posted a review, and helped make 2013 a memorable year.

Thank you!!!

Winding Down…And Then Back Up Again

Well, the unofficial blog tour for Pastels and Jingle Bells is coming to a close, and it was lots of fun…

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Thanks again to everyone who participated!  The novella wound up with some great reviews and good coverage on the web, and I couldn’t have asked for more.  I even got one more November review yesterday that wrapped things up beautifully on The Canon. (Thanks, Ellen!)

Pastels and Jingle Bells even made it onto the Amazon Bestselling Holiday Fiction list three separate times in November, which was very exciting:

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And now the second Heavenly Bites novella, Love Lessons, is set to release tomorrow on Amazon and Barnes & Noble to tell Nadia’s story:

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Yay!  I’m pretty much glued to my computer these days, but I am feeling truly blessed to be able to have the opportunity to be so glued.  And now–I’d better get back to work on the third novella…

Have a good one!  🙂

Next Countdown Begins

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Even though it feels like Pastels and Jingle Bells only came about five minutes ago, it’s actually almost time for the next novella in the Heavenly Bites series to be released:  Love Lessons.  It’s back from beta readers, edited, proofed, edited and proofed again, and finally formatted properly for Kindles and Nooks.  At least I think it is.  Guess we’ll find out for sure on December 1st after I’ve hit that little “Publish” button, won’t we?  Heh heh…

I’m excited about the second one coming out, but I have to admit I live in fear of sending it out into the wide world only to discover AFTER it’s been made public that there’s some sort of typo that I missed despite rereading the manuscript 15 times in the last two days alone, and that most unfortunate typo will turn out to mean something grossly offensive in some foreign language, and then I’ll spark an international incident, and…and…whoa, I’m getting dizzy…

[breathes into paper bag]

There we go.  Better.

Isn’t writing fun, boys and girls?  And the Release Day countdown begins…  🙂

Giveaways Galore!

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We’re a few days into the blog tour for Pastels and Jingle Bells, and there are already several giveaways going on.  I didn’t want you to miss out on any of them because I love you all.  Deeply.  ♥♥♥

(The time change has put me in a REALLY good mood; what can I say?)

So to avoid having you miss out on any wonderful opportunities to win, here’s a current listing of giveaways going on:

Tome Tender

Read Your Writes

Romance With Flavor

Style Readers

Reading Between the Wines

Rookie Romance

Plus there will be a few more coming up later this week on Books A La Mode, My Book and My Coffee, and Hesperia Loves Books.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!  (Disclaimer:  True odds of winning are completely unknown to the author because she is unable to perform math of that type this early on a Monday morning, or on any other morning, or probably at any other time of day.)  🙂

It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s Here!!!

Release day for Pastels and Jingle Bells is finally here!  Yippee!  And it actually showed up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!  Woo hoo!  Now if I can just beat this cold I seem to have developed, I’ll be a happy camper…

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The first novella in my Heavenly Bites series is now up for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the bargain price of 99 cents!  In celebration of that lovely fact, there are a few different spotlights and giveaways happening online right now.  Check them out:

Read Your Writes Book Reviews:  Review and Giveaway

Indie Brits:  Spotlight

So Many Reads:  Review

Romance With Flavor:  Giveaway

Heroes and Heartbreakers:  Extended Excerpt

And I’m hoping a few more posts and reviews show up later in the day, too.  I’M SO EXCITED!!!

Sorry, didn’t mean to shout…  🙂

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:

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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…