Cover Reveal And Excerpt

Writing temporarily took a backseat recently due to family stuff, but I am pleased to say that I’m starting edits for the third Adventures in Blind Dating book this month, The Fix-Up Mix-Up, and it seemed like a good time to share the cover art and an excerpt with you, right?  Right.

So here goes…

Meet Jenna Owens and Ryan Caldwell:

When the two biggest self-proclaimed matchmakers in town throw down and call each other out, Jenna Owens feels obliged to step in and broker the peace any way she can. After all, one is her mother and the other is her best friend, and quite frankly all of this arguing is giving her a headache. So when they propose a three-week long “match-off” to see who can find the perfect match for the most widely-acknowledged practitioner of social ineptness in the neighborhood, Jenna is just happy that they’ve found a solution—until she realizes that they’re talking about her.

Oops.

Ryan Caldwell isn’t exactly thrilled that the two matchmakers have decided to use his bar and grill as the setting for their little social experiment and appoint him the official neutral third-party, but he has to admit that it’s certainly entertaining—especially when he gets a load of the unlikely candidates that come marching through his doors to woo the reluctant Jenna. If this is matchmaking, he wants no part of it, confirmed bachelor that he is.

Except that somehow intervening in one bad date escalates to the outright rescue of Jenna from another, and from there—well…

So much for staying neutral.

Excerpt

It was a busy night, which was good for business of course, but in some ways it was a welcome reprieve from the activity inside of the dining room and the bustling in the kitchen to step outside with a couple of hefty-sized garbage bags to toss into the dumpster. Ryan did so, pausing afterwards to breathe in the night air and appreciate the quiet for just a moment.

Well, almost quiet. A soft sound came from right around the corner of the building, something that sounded to his ears like a grunt of exertion. An oddly feminine one actually.

Curious, he poked his head around the corner to investigate only to see the top half of Jenna Owens sticking out of the window of the women’s restroom with what looked like a sparkly little purse between her teeth.

He stared at her, incredulous. “What on earth are you doing?”

The sound of his voice made her gasp and jerk in surprise, but she neither withdrew back into the restroom nor climbed the rest of the way out of it. She did, however, drop her purse from her mouth in her surprise, and it landed on the ground in the dirt below her. “Oh—” Recovering from her startle, she gave him a weak smile that had a distinctly sheepish edge to it. “Hey. Um. Fancy meeting you here.”

Frowning, he went closer and picked up her purse to brush it off for her. “Are you climbing out of that window?”

“Uh huh.”

“And are you stuck?”

“Uh huh.”

“You’re kidding me.”

She shook her head.

It didn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to guess what might have driven her to do such a thing. “Date night, huh?”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“And he’s still in there? Waiting for you to come back?”

He was really only wondering how awful this latest guy must be to have driven her to bolt this way when the others she’d met recently—disagreeable as they were—hadn’t quite pushed her so far, but maybe she thought she heard a note of disapproval in his voice, because she was quick to speak again, defensive. “I was going to text him once I was outside. I was.”

“What did this one do?”

“For starters, he wanted to frisk me.”

Ryan blinked. “Say what?”

“And check my purse for surveillance equipment. But to tell you the truth, I’m not a hundred percent sure if he’s worried more about it being planted by the government or by…” And she pointed one index finger upward toward the sky.

“He thinks he’s being bugged by God?”

“What? No.” She frowned at him as if he was crazy to suggest such a thing. “By aliens, of course.”

Ah, yes. Because that was so much less crazy an idea.

“So excuse me for running off to hide in the ladies’ room, but I guess I just thought it might be nice to get out of here before this guy tried to… ‘beam me up’ or something, I don’t know. If I were Zoe I’m sure I’d have no problem being blunt with the guy and telling him that the date is off and to please go far, far away from me now and forever, but I’m not Zoe, which is why I’m here. Stuck in this window.” She squirmed but seemed just as stuck as before. Sighing, she slumped, which was probably no easy thing to do when halfway out a window the way she was. Certainly not comfortably.

It abruptly struck him as vaguely adorable, and he felt his mouth start to turn up at the corners. She glanced at him again, though, so he headed the smile off at the pass before she could see it for fear she’d be embarrassed; self-consciousness seemed to him to be one of her hallmarks. No, she wasn’t much like her friend Zoe at all, but she seemed to say that like it was a bad thing. Jenna without her own brand of awkward charm? Now that would be a bad thing. To his mind at least.

Bumps On The Road To Love

It’s true that sometimes authors can be a tad sadistic to their characters by throwing obstacles in their paths, and I’m no exception.  But when you’re writing a romantic comedy, you’re supposed to make the road to love less than smooth for the leading man and lady, right?  So that’s what I’m doing with my current project.  And if I’m kind of enjoying that, is that really so wrong?

Mua ha ha…

I’m about 23,000 words into the first draft of my next Adventures in Blind Dating book, and I’m having a lot of fun dreaming up “bad date” ideas for my main character.  Have you ever googled “bad blind date stories”?  I have, and wow there are some doozies out there. Great fodder for the writer’s imagination.  And as I was using my imagination again today to write up my character Jenna’s latest dating disaster, I was reminded of a certain episode of Everybody Loves Raymond in which big brother Robert thinks his latest date might be “the one.”  If you haven’t seen it, check out the clip below.  Spoiler alert:  she most definitely is NOT “the one.”

At least I spared Jenna from frogs.  Well… so far, anyway.  🙂

Plugging Away On Ye Old WIP…

WIP.  That’s “work in progress” for you folks who aren’t familiar with the term.  For writers, I think that term conjures up feelings of both pleasure and dread.  Pleasure because when you’re in the writer zone and are excited about your project and writing in general and the world is a happy place, you jump to work on your WIP every chance you get and hurry back to it whenever something silly like, I don’t know, eating or sleeping or the need for basic hygiene practices pulls you away from it.

But it also can inspire dread because when you aren’t in the zone, your WIP seems to loom over you as you stare at the (sometimes) blank screen in front of you, begging your muse to quit toying with you and start musing already or whatever it is muses are supposed to do.  That’s when things like deadlines and release dates haunt your dreams, and staggering insecurities eat away at you as your level of productivity goes down the toilet.  And when kindly and supportive people ask you, “How’s the writing going?” you do your best to give a cheerfully confident thumbs-up and hope they can’t tell that you’re so tense that every single muscle in your body is contracted around the clock along with a few things in your body that aren’t even supposed to be capable of contracting.  Like your spleen, or maybe your hair.

Ah, thank goodness for chocolate…

But contracting muscles or no, I’m currently 10,000 words into my next WIP and still plugging away.  It’s a little harder to stay focused now that the weather is turning nicer and things in the yard seem to be calling out for attention.  Fortunately, I have an ace up my sleeve in the form of a serious aversion to yard work and manual labor in general, so… ha! Nice try, dandelions, but you won’t get me outside that easily!  At least until the neighbors come calling with pitchforks and torches to demand that we do something about the weeds in our front yard, at which point I will pluck up a bit of dandelion fluff on a stem and say, “These aren’t weeds, they’re wishes.”  And blow.  I foresee that plan working out great

I’ll leave you with the book blurb for my WIP, The Fix-Up Mix-Up:

When the two biggest self-proclaimed matchmakers in town throw down and call each other out, Jenna Owens feels obliged to step in and broker the peace any way she can. After all, one is her mother and the other is her best friend, and quite frankly all of this arguing is giving her a headache. So when they propose a three-week long “match-off” to see who can find the perfect match for the most widely-acknowledged practitioner of social ineptness in the neighborhood, Jenna is just happy that they’ve found a solution—until she realizes that they’re talking about her.

Oops.

Ryan Caldwell isn’t exactly thrilled that the two matchmakers have decided to use his bar and grill as the setting for their little social experiment and appoint him the official neutral third-party, but he has to admit that it’s certainly entertaining—especially when he gets a load of the unlikely candidates that come marching through his doors to woo the reluctant Jenna. If this is matchmaking, he wants no part of it, confirmed bachelor that he is.

Except that somehow intervening in one bad date escalates to the outright rescue of Jenna from another, and from there—well…

So much for staying neutral.

Release Day!

It’s officially Release Day for my new romantic comedy, Center Stage (Adventures in Blind Dating Book Two)–Yay!  There will be much celebrating around here, and possibly chocolate.  ‘Tis the season for Cadbury Cream Eggs after all…

If you’d like to check out the book–and possibly pick yourself up a copy, you can do that by clicking on the link below:

Center Stage: (Adventures in Blind Dating Book Two)

I’m also celebrating Release Day by putting the first book in the series–It Happened One Night–on sale as a Kindle Countdown Deal through April 6th:  99 cents!  So if you haven’t read that one but would like to, this week is a great chance to grab a copy at a discounted price.  Click on the link below to find the book on Amazon:

It Happened One Night: (Adventures in Blind Dating Book One)

And now I’m off to get back to work on Book Three…

Have a great day!

And We’re Up And Running

Just a short and sweet blog post today because I’ve spent so much time on my computer lately that my eyeballs literally hurt and I need to rest them.  And possibly slap an icepack on them or something, although it’s going to be kind of interesting trying to explain to the doctor how I got freezer-burn on my eyeballs.

 

Anyway, before my eyes go on strike, I just wanted to share the preorder link on Amazon for Center Stage, which now has the official release date of March 21st.

Woo hoo!  (Blink, blink…)

Now off to look for that ice pack…

Cover Reveal For New Release–And Excerpt

Hey, there!  It’s time for the official cover reveal for the second book in my Adventures in Blind Dating romantic comedy series:  Center Stage.  I’m pleased to share it with you along with this book blurb:

When financially-strapped actor J.J. McKinney responds to an unusual Help Wanted ad on the bulletin board outside his theater class, he has no idea that he’s in for an evening of improv like no other: posing as the hitherto fabricated boyfriend of one Erika Mills for the duration of a single family reunion. But hey, a job is a job, and if it will help get J.J. back in the good graces of his landlord, he’s completely on board. After all, how bad can one family reunion possibly be?

Enter Erika Mills: only child of one meddling mother, reluctant darling of several devoted yet squabbling aunts and uncles who are sure they know what’s best for her even if none of them can agree on what that is, and beloved grandchild of the tiny white-haired family matriarch who might just be more imp than invalid when it comes to managing family matters in spite of appearances to the contrary.

Throw in a suspicious cousin, an obnoxious ex-boyfriend who is determined to erase that whole “ex” thing from Erika’s vocabulary, and a rash deathbed promise that turned out to be less deathbed and more just a bad case of indigestion, and you get the reunion from hell—at least until the sparks begin to fly for real.

It ain’t Off-Broadway, but it still might turn out to be the role of a lifetime…

Is it my imagination, or does the guy on the cover look a little like Michael Bublé?  Maybe I should have made the hero a singer instead of an actor.  Or maybe I need to get my eyes checked, but anyway…

Click here to read the opening excerpt.

The book should up for sale on Amazon later this month if edits go well, and next month I should have details for you about the third book in the series.

Until then… hope your March is off to a great start.  🙂

Some Say It’s The REAL Holiday…

I saw this image on a Facebook post this morning, and I briefly toyed with the idea of hotfooting it down to the local grocery store to take advantaged of such rumored prices. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t or else instead of typing this blog post I’d be lying passed out on my couch in a chocolate-induced food coma with chocolaty evidence of my indulgence smeared all over my hands and face.

Valentine’s Day was mostly chocolate-free around here actually–hubby and I decided to stay in instead of going out, and we whipped up a roasted chicken with caramelized root vegetables that turned out to be melt-in-your-mouth delicious; who needs chocolate?  Our thanks to the Food Network, and if you’d like to try this simple yet scrumptious recipe for yourself, visit the link here.

In addition to experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve been experimenting with the written word as I work on the next book in my romantic comedy Adventures in Blind Dating series which is long overdue.  You remember the first one, right?  Here’s a picture to jog your memory:

Amazon

So yep, Book Two (Center Stage) is currently in the works and Book Three (The Fix-Up Mix-Up) isn’t far behind.  I’m happy to say that I should have cover art in a couple of weeks to show you for Book Two, and I hope to release it next month.  Fingers crossed…

In the meantime, here are pics from our Valentine’s Day featuring hubby modeling his favorite apron while he minces garlic; the finished chicken product; and the table that we set as prettily as possible but that is in reality usually covered in mail, books, and other assorted “stuff.”  So you see, I HAD to take a picture to document THAT…

Hubby acting as hand model–what a way with mincing!–GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Yum…  — GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Doesn’t look quite this pretty today, but it was fun while it lasted…  –GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day as well, and if you want to grab yourself some of that 70%-off candy, you’d better hurry before it gets switched out for the Easter sweets–

Oops, too late.  Dang, those grocery store stock boys work fast!  Well, enjoy those Cadbury cream eggs…

Cover Reveal for Upcoming Release

In between bouts of kitchen remodeling, I’ve been plugging away on another contemporary novel, and it’s finally ready!  Now if only I could say the same for the kitchen…

Release Day for The Encore is set for June 15th this year, so a little less than a month away.  Yay!  It will probably go up for preorder before then, but if you’re thinking of buying a copy, you should hold out for the special 99-cent introductory price that it will be set at for release week only.  Just a little FYI.  🙂

Without further ado, here’s the cover!

TheEncore 500x750

And the book blurb:

When Jane married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, she never dreamed she would lose him to leukemia before either of them reached forty. A year later, she’s struggling to move on and create a new life for herself, a second act that she never expected to have to follow the first. Picking up the pieces is hard enough—it’s even harder when those closest to her don’t understand or support the way she’s trying to put them back together again.

But while the curtain may have come down on the life she originally had planned, life itself certainly isn’t finished with her yet.

And neither, as it turns out, is her heart.

There you have it!  Now off to do some more formatting…

Cover Art Makeover

Just wanted to let you know that my Heavenly Bites novella series is getting a makeover of sorts with brand new covers–and I’m SO pleased with the new ones.  Hopefully you like them, too, and since I don’t want anybody to mistake them for entirely new books and buy them without realizing that–maybe–they already own them, here’s a reminder of the old:

D1t5pESyb5S._AA160_.png

And here are the new ones, starting with Pastels and Jingle Bells:

PastelsandJingleBells2016 200x300

Followed by Love Lessons:

LoveLessons2016B 200x300

And, finally, Playing Cupid:

PlayingCupid2016 200x300

There.  Whew!  If all goes well, they will be uploaded to ebook retailers soon, and if all doesn’t go well, then… I’ll probably start twitching, but never mind that.

Also wanted to share the book blurb for the newest contemporary novel I’m working on right now, tentatively titled The Encore:

When Jane married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, she never dreamed she would lose him to leukemia before either of them reached forty. A year later, she’s struggling to move on and create a new life for herself, a second act that she never expected to have to follow the first. Picking up the pieces is hard enough—it’s even harder when those closest to her don’t understand or support the way she’s trying to put them back together again.

But while the curtain may have come down on the life she originally had planned, life itself certainly isn’t finished with her yet.

And neither, as it turns out, is her heart.

And that’s all the latest news around here, at least writing related.  Hope you’re having a great February–remember, next month’s spring!  🙂

A New Year…

I hope 2016 is off to a great start for you.  It’s off to a busy one around here, and I don’t just mean where writing is concerned.  Hubby and I are up to our necks in kitchen projects, and although we are hoping for a happy outcome, right now we’re a bit sore, achy, and quite possibly high on paint fumes.  It’ll be interesting to see how the paint fumes  affect my writing…

Got a few updates for you:

  1. There’s a chance that Amazon Encore will be putting the ebook version of The Bargain on sale on January 30th, so if you’re thinking of buying the book, you might want to hold out a few more days and see what happens to the price.  Fingers crossed…
  2. I just found out that WordPress has not been alerting me to comments that folks have left on this website, so I apologize for late responses.  Any time you have a question or comment, please do feel free to send me an email at christinesfeldman@gmail.com, and if you’ve had any trouble receiving your free ebook, be sure to check your spam folder.  (Sometimes the email ends up there.)
  3. There’s new cover art on the way for my Heavenly Bites novellas!  Seemed like it was time for an update.
  4. I’m close to wrapping up a draft of The Bloodline, a novelization of one of my screenplays that placed in screenwriting contests on both coasts.  Still needs some polishing, but it’s getting there…
  5. I’m just about ready to dive into my next contemporary story.  Looking forward to some love and laughter!  🙂

Take care out there, and if you’re an East Coaster, I hope you’re bundled up nice and warm!