Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kick Off The New Year Right!

Upcoming Blog Hop.  

It's the second annual New Year's Blog Hop!!! Come and celebrate the new year with brand new books, friends, authors, bloggers and more!! It's a season for change and we're ready to live it up with our favorite romance heroes and heroines!

More Information To Come

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Balancing Our Time

Like many of you I wear many hats.  Before anything else I am a mother (to three beautiful daughters and 2 crazy dogs) and a wife.  After that I am a maid, taxi cab driver, Daisy Troop Leader, and MOMS Club President.  Once I finish all those jobs I am a romance writer. 

Lately, I feel overwhelmed with all that I need to do. My day typically starts around 6:30 when I get my 5 year old up for school. During the day while she is gone, I bring my 3 year old twins to their activities or attempt to get housework done.  Although I must admit I am a terrible housekeeper.  Once 3:00 rolls around and my oldest daughter gets off the bus it is time for homework (both what the school sends home and then extra practice), unless of course it is a Tuesday night which means gymnastics or every other Monday because then it is time for girl scouts.  Around 6:30 or so the hubby comes home, and it is time for dinner.  Most nights the girls have already eaten by this time.  Around 7:00 we put the girls up to bed and my husband reads them a story.  Since I want to spend a little time with my husband we usually sit and watch television till about 9:00 together then he goes to bed and I start my other job, romance author and occasional critique partner.

To some this may sound like an easy schedule, but right now I am struggling to find some kind of balance.  I am curious how do other people manage to balance their families and their other obligations with their careers?  Is it possible to find balance without sacrificing something?  I would love to hear every one's thoughts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Feature of the Day and Giveaway: The Christmas Dare

The Christmas Dare

Self-professed Christmas addict Gia Dixon, and by-the-book Ethan Castle have been best friends all their lives. When tragedy strikes Ethan’s family, Gia’s the rock he depends on to pull him through the darkest days. Then, a shared, long-forgotten memory leads to an unexpected yet tender kiss. Can a simple Christmas dare help them find true love?
Funny how times had changed, Gia thought to herself. How was it possible to have gone all these years and not have thought of him romantically? Yet now all she wanted to do was steal a minute alone to kiss him again. Or more.

She saw headlights coming down the road and opened the door, preparing to walk out to meet him.

No, ma’am,” she heard Ethan call out. He was already getting out of his Jeep and motioned for her to turn around and go back inside.

She was unsure what to make of it, but did as he asked. Then she heard the doorbell ring. Slowly she opened the door, and saw his smiling face. She backed up a step to allow him to walk inside.

We may be taking things slow, but I’m still going to do it the right way. When I ask you out on a date, I’ll park and come to your door. If this were seven years ago and you were living at home, your dad would have kicked my ass if he ever caught me letting you just walk out to the curb to get in my car.”

Gia could easily recall the many times her father had complained about that when other boys had done it to her.

How right you are. My mistake.” She laughed. “From now on I’ll expect to be courted properly according to the Henry Dixon Dating Manual.”

Besides, stealing a quick moment alone behind closed doors gives me the opportunity to do this.” He pulled her into his embrace to softly kiss her.

When their lips parted, she commented, “I don’t think Daddy had that in mind when he made up that particular rule. But you score extra points for showing initiative.”
About The Author
Joan Chandler is a Florida native who has lived in the Deep South all of her life. She is married with two children who are her pride and joy. She lives a double life of sorts, holding down a nine-to-five job during the day, and writing steamy romance at night—often with her black cat curled up in her arms as she types.

When she’s not spending her spare time working on her next novel, she loves to go camping, sharing girls’ night out with her friends, walking her two dogs, and watching football.
Joan can be found:
Twitter account: @joanchandler1

Find me on facebook: Joan Chandler
Previously published works are Perfectly Imperfect, and No Regrets. Both are available at:
Be sure to leave a comment and your email address to be entered into Joan's giveaway.  She is awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card, winner's choice, to a randomly drawn commenter and a $10 gift card to Bath and Body Works to a randomly drawn host. 
Follow Joan's tour and increase your chances of winning.  The tour dates can be found here:


Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for stopping by.  For many this time of year is crazy as we run around looking for the perfect gifts for our family and loved ones so why not take a minute to catch your breath. 

Family and traditions are a big part of the holidays for many.  I know growing up my family always had 2 traditions that we followed every year.  The first was on Christmas Eve we always had a dinner consisting of 7 fishes.  The second was that my sister and I also got to new PJs on Christmas Eve.

In my husband's family the Christmas traditions always consisted of his grandparents spending Christmas Eve at his house so they were there in the morning to see him and his sister open presents from Santa and getting a new ornament for the tree each year.

Today my husband and I have our own children and we are passing on our own family traditions to them.  Every year our 3 daughters (ages 5 and 3, yes my youngest are twins) get a new holiday ornament, a pair of PJs on Christmas Eve and not only do my daughters' Nana and Grandfather spend the night at my house on Christmas Eve but so do their Great-Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle, and their 2 cousins (ages 6 and 4).  Yes, it gets a little crowded but it's a lot of fun and the whole family is together.  Everyone comes over around 3 o'clock, we have a buffet style dinner, open presents etc and then on Christmas morning Santa leaves presents for all the children.

Now that I have told you a little about my traditions, I would love to hear about yours.  Please leave me a comment telling me about the traditions you have for your holidays.  Please leave a email address to be entered into the giveaways.  And what are the prizes? 

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
In addition to these prizes I am giving away a Amazon Gift Card.
Now Please Visit My Other Blogger Friends and Enter Their Contests

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Little Christmas Love With Janice Lane Palko

Why Do Readers Like Ebenezer Scrooge and Tom Shepherd?

My newly released Christmas novel, A Shepherd’s Song, was inspired by the Tickle Me Elmo craze that took place back in the 1990s. If you may remember, that toy retailed for $28.99, but when the collective mindset deemed it to be the hottest toy of that Christmas shopping season, the frenzy to acquire one of the coveted toys drove the prices up to $1,500 a piece. My six-month-old niece received one that year, and many people urged my sister to sell the toy for a greatly inflated sum. She didn’t, but the whole phenomenon of people going mad for a certain toy fascinated me, and I began to wonder what type of person would “scalp” toys? And why would a person be willing to spend so much for one toy? Thus A Shepherd’s Song was born.

Tom Shepherd is the hero of our story, and I use the term hero loosely. In the beginning of the book, he is anything but a hero. He is cynical, cowardly, and a bit scruffy. But I knew if I created him to be too unappealing, readers would not embrace him. Since this is a Christmas story, I examined one of the most famous characters in all of fiction, not just Christmas fiction—Ebenezer Scrooge. Miserly and miserable, Scrooge, like Tom Shepherd, is not likeable when we first meet him, but Charles Dickens masterfully gives us a window into Scrooge’s soul by taking him on a trip through his past. There we see that he is a deeply wounded man. Likewise, I knew that I had to give Tom a past like Ebenezer’s. I will not spoil the story for you, but Tom’s soul is scarred too, and your heart can’t help but ache for this young man and what he’s gone through.

When we learn the reasons why our protagonists are the way they are, we begin to identify and sympathize with them because we all bear bruises. No one’s past is pristine or perfect. But more importantly, we begin to root for Ebenezer and Tom, that they overcome their past, that they find happiness and love, and that they become the person they were truly meant to be.

Scrooge’s and Tom’s story is our story, and that is why we love them because we all hope to overcome and triumph.

I invite you read A Shepherd’s Song this Christmas. God bless us, every one!

Tom Shepherd is anything but a hero. A senior physics major at Three Rivers University in Pittsburgh, he just wants to make some easy cash for a spring break vacation. On the last Sunday in November, he arrives to sell the Christmas season’s hottest toy, So Big Sammy, for three times its retail price to a buyer, but a snafu lands him in the middle of a bone marrow drive benefiting four-year-old Christo Davidson, who has leukemia. When everyone there—including the media covering the event--assumes that Tom has come to give the toy to the sick boy, Tom has no choice but to give it away.

Lauded by the media as a hero and bestowed with the nickname “The Good Shepherd,” Tom finds himself an overnight celebrity. As a toy scalper and liar, he knows he’s unworthy of the honor, but when Gloria Davidson, a fellow student and Christo’s relative, seeks out Tom to thank him for being kind so kind to her little cousin, Tom, bewitched by her beauty, embellishes his character and lies to further impress Gloria. Tom asks Gloria out, beginning a relationship that will lead him to examine everything he believes. On Christmas Eve, Tom finds himself facing choices that will affect not only himself but also Gloria and Christo. Tom must choose between sacrifice and honor, love and loneliness, life and death.

A Christmas romance with the charm of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and the spirit of It’s a Wonderful Life, A Shepherd’s Song, will make you believe in the magic of Christmas. 
Where To Find A Shepherd's Song
About The Author
Janice Lane Palko
Janice Lane Palko is the author of the romantic comedy St. Anne’s Day and the Christmas romance, A Shepherd’s Song. A writer for more than 15 years, she is currently the executive editor of Northern Connection and Pittsburgh 55+ magazines, where she also pens a column and contributes regularly to the magazines’ content.
Her work has also appeared in publications such as The Reader’s Digest, Guideposts for Teens, Woman’s World, The Christian Science Monitor, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In addition, her articles have been featured in the books A Cup of Comfort for Inspiration, A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers, and Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul. 
Janice has won several awards for her writing including the prestigious Amy Foundation Award of Merit, and she has a bachelor’s degree in Writing & Literature from Union Institute& University. 
Her third novel, a romantic suspense entitled Cape Cursed, will be released in the spring 2013.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Upcoming Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

It's a Happy Holiday from your favorite Authors and Bloggers. While we know everyone celebrates a different way, we wanted to make sure that you guys knew how much we treasure you all. So from Dec 14th to Dec 17th, all 200 or so of us will be blogging about the holidays and what they mean to us. We may talk about our favorite holiday traditions, recipes, gifts, reads, heroes, and so much more. We want to hear about what you do for the holidays, what you read, and who you'll spend it with. We hope to see you here and happy hopping!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Visiting Today Elaine Raco Chase

Today I got to interview Romance Author Elaine Raco Chase, so pull up a chair and enjoy.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In my teens – we were very poor so my source of vacations and fantasy life came from books. I loved the way authors would transport me out of Schenectady, NY and into places far far away. And I wanted to do that! Not sure if I could but I gave it a try writing advertising copy – you can certainly send people many places in under sixty seconds & have them buy!

How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends on the book – probably at least 6 months and that’s with a lot of research up front, laying out, character constructions, plot points, etc. Longer, if I'm working on a thriller and using forensics.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I'm a dialogue writer, it is difficult for me to write description, so I'm talking away while I write. And using many voices!

What do you think is the best way of publishing a book these days?

Coming from a long-time, very successful print published background in both fiction & non-fiction, I love 'indie!' I can write the story and not worry about word count, my characters can say what fits them and not have to worry if they say the 'wrong' word. In other words – freedom!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I've gotten lots of ideas for romance characters from pairing horoscope descriptions – so much fun! Like many other writers, I use 'what if.' I also take newspaper stories and twist and turn them around.

When did you write your first book?

My first published novel, the original of Rules of the Game was written in 1978, bought by Dell for its Candlelight Line and landed on the shelves in 1980. I just updated, enhanced, added to it and it's quite an erotic romantic comedy in ebook. Received a lot of reviews from men as it highlights the Wounded Warrior Project. My only complaint about updating – when it was first written Adam was a Vietnam War Vet…now he served as a marine in Fallujah.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I teach creative writing – when I'm writing or not! I just finished up 2 years at Miami-Dade College but my students wouldn't let me go. So I'm teaching them on line. Free time? Hmmmm…days are filling up with grandkids' assorted plays, choir, etc.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I love the fact I can make characters say and do all the 'right' things at the right time. "Power to the delete key!"

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I've written: 12 romantic comedies, 1 woman's mainstream fiction, two mystery novels, and a non-fiction book: "How to write the amateur detective novel" which is part of Writer's Digest HowDunit Series and is actually in the FBI Forensic Library in Quantico. Favorite…I love them all!

Can you tell me and your readers something about your main characters?

All my heroines are: sassy, forthright, LOL funny, BBW, who aren't intimidated or submissive. They aren't desperate for a man – until the right one comes along. My 'heroes' – are usually tough alpha-males, who are stunned when a woman doesn't drop to their feet. Well, actually highly intrigued. Usually it's the men who are hit by love at first sight – okay, maybe lust! But that's actually a take-off on my dad, who claimed it was 'love at first sight' when he just watched my mom chasing her dog down the street! Honest! They were married, soul-mates, for 56 years!

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

When I was first print-published, my readers were so vocal – Dell didn't know what to do with them. When Video Vixen hit #1 on the bestsellers lists – people thought she was a real soap opera actress and Dell received for her: Vixen Perfume (gorgeous bottle and not a bad scent), Vixen lingerie (OMG someone sent her/me – the tiniest lace bikini's in scarlet and black – still have those ) and an entire prison cell-block in Florida sent a demand for a full-length autographed photo of her naked!

When my mystery series debuted (it was on the bestseller's list) Bantam forwarded me fan letters with complaints of a sort. It seems quite a few readers actually took vacations in Ft. Lauderdale, went looking for Roman & Nikki's house, but 'why didn't I say it was surrounded by a large metal locked fence.'

Ebooks –have garnered very nice reviews especially about the characters and the dialogue. Of course, there's always some critic who hates every word you wrote, like all authors I slide into my armored vest. But it does hurt, it's like someone insulting your child.

What do you think makes a good story?

Compelling characters with a problem.

What are your favorite book genres in writing and reading? Why?

I read what I write: romance and mystery-thrillers. Love writing romances because from the first I thought women were more funny and sassy than crying and unhappy; more 'normal sized' rather than those tiny, thin, boney women who looked like they'd break a leg in a stiletto. And I created sexy men who'd love them that way!

Who are you favorite authors to read?

So many names…but I love the 'classic' mystery novels, the hard-boiled detectives. Probably the thrill of my life was meeting and talking with Mickey Spillane at an MWA meeting in NYC. I had been reading his books since I was 12, under the covers with a flashlight! What can I tell you!

Thanks so much Christina for having me on your blog! And I hope your readers will give my romantic comedies a try or a listen! Six are on audiobooks!
Want to learn more about Elaine and her books?
To purchase Elaine's books:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Interview With Heather Peters

My special guest today is author Heather Peters.  So pull up a chair and check out the interview. 
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I first read, 'See, Dick and Jane' in the first grade; I love words on a page, love language; all through school couldn’t get enough of the written word.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Oh, I'm a lazy writer, with absolutely no set rules on how long it should take me. When ideas strike me, I start making notes on thousands of index cards I keep around the house. Could take weeks, maybe months. I really need to work on that.

What do you think is the best way of publishing a book these days?

Self pubbing, no question. Since 2008, I've pubbed six books with traditional e-book publishers and barely earned enough to buy a burger at Wendys. I've only been an indie publisher since June, and already surpassed all my expectations a hundred times over. I'll never go the traditional route again, much less giving my work over to any e-book publisher. I'm also involved with an e-book publisher who at the moment is in serious financial trouble and refuses to communicate with its authors. It's been a nightmare, and our books have been held hostage.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Everywhere, but mostly films, tv or something that’s happened in my life.

When did you write your first book?

I wrote my first book, SECRET DREAMS, in the mid-eighties while watching my favorite music videos. I've always loved music, and thought, how fun would it be to write about an eighties musician, with the heroine a kick-ass music producer? Of course, it was my wildest fantasy come to life, as I fashioned Annie after myself, down to the neighborhood I grew up in, the color of my hair, and….well, you get the idea. In the happy ever after, I got the hero, guitar, long hair, sexy voice and all.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I read (my Kindle is awesome!), watch classic romance movies, love my tiny garden, and I adore time spent with my two gorgeous grandchildren.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I've written (and co-authored) five novellas and four full length stories. My favorite is my full length contemporary Beauty and the Beast erotic romance, SURRENDER. I adore scarred heroes, both inside and out.

Can you tell me and your readers something about your main characters?

My heroes are basically alpha, with tender sides and a sense of humor. They admire strong, independent women who they love to distraction, and once my hero has found his soul mate, he never lets go. My heroines can have a bit of a temper, and cannot be fooled easily. They are successful and work hard and most of them usually suffer a heartbreak before they meet my hero. They are vulnerable, but know what they want in a man: tenderness, humor, and a good heart filled with love.

What do you think makes a good story?

No secret there; a strong heroine is the most important aspect in creating a good story. Next, if the hero doesn’t have a sense of humor and doesn’t adore my heroine to distraction, he's not for me. A good story pulls you in and refuses to let go; a good story makes you turn the pages as fast as your fingers let you; a good story makes you smile, laugh, cry or simply….think.

What are your favorite book genres in writing and reading? Why?

I write erotic romance and read contemporary romance and romantic suspense. But I also enjoy YA and BDSM. Just my personal preference, I guess.

Who are you favorite authors to read?

Too many to name, but I will tell you who my all-time writing idol is: the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss. The first time I read The Flame and the Flower, I fell in love with the romance genre, and with Miss Woodiwiss. In my opinion, she IS romance and my inspiration. My favorite book is A Rose in Winter, a Beauty and the Beast romance.

Thanks so much, Christina! This has been a blast!

Want to lean more about Heather?  Check out her website or visit her blog

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Next Big Thing

First, I would like to thank Lily Silver for tagging me to do a post on The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Lily is a writer of both contemporary romance as well as historical romance. I have her two books Dark Hero and The Rock Star Next Door. In Lily's post last week on her blog she told us all about her next release Bright Scoundrel which comes out this month. I know when it does I will be picking it up.

Now onto some information about my next release, Book 3 in The Sherbrookes of Newport Series.

What is the title of your next book?

My next release will be Book 3 in my series titled The Sherbrookes of Newport. As of yet I do not have a set title for this book. With the 2nd book in the series I asked for readers to help me settle on a title, I will most likely do that again.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I first introduced Sara Sherbrooke to readers in book 1, The Teacher's Billionaire. After I finished that book, I realized that I wanted to know more about her. Why did she act the way she did. Had someone hurt her in the past? The hero in my next book Christopher Hall was introduced to readers in book 2 The Billionaire Playboy. Almost as soon as I wrote him, I knew that he was the man for Sara and hence a new idea was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

My book is a contemporary romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If a movie was ever made of Book 3,Sara Sherbrooke would be played by Rosamund Pike and Christopher Hall would be played by Bradley Cooper.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Burned by love before Sara Sherbrooke must learn to overcome her fears and open her heart again.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This book like the first two in the series will be self-published. I started the first draft of the story in September of 2012 and then at the beginning of October I decided I did not like where it was going so I started over. As of today I am a few chapters short of finishing the first draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I can not think of one specific book, but I would compare it to some of the other contemporary romance series out there.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I can not say that one thing inspired me to write this book, however, the gorgeous mansions in Newport Rhode Island provided me with inspiration for this series. I grew up in Rhode Island and actually got married inside one of these mansions. I have always adored them. They are simply breathtaking. 
What else about your book might pique the reader interest?

In this book readers get to visit with Dylan, Callie, Jake, and Charlotte again, however even if one does not read the first two books the third should still make sense to them.  But for those that did read books 1 and 2, they will be able to see how Callie and Sara's relationship finally ends up.

Now it's time to pass the torch to some deserving authors so they can tell you about their amazing work. There posts will be live on or around December 9th. Please be sure to visit: