Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cookie in the Tree

I just had to post this. My tailless cat Cookie (She was born that way, being half Manx) climbed our Christmas tree. Her little face peeked out, and we got the picture! A real live kitty ornament.

Monday, December 27, 2010

CSN

Hello, I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Here in Colorado, it was in the forties, but even without snow, it was enjoyable. Also, we had an incident or two with the cats and our Christmas tree. Does anyone else ever have an issue with that, or is it just us? :)


Well, it's that time again, and I've been asked by the nice people at the CSN stores to post here at my blog. They have a lot of good things at their stores ranging from tv stands

and shoes to art to furniture.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, and many blessings to you all. :) I wish you much happiness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A warm welcome to author Tonya Callihan

Residing in Morehead, Kentucky, Tonya Renee Callihan is currently a 24-year-old college student seeking a degree in Nursing. She loves helping others and putting a smile on your face. Tonya has been writing all of her life. At the age of 13, on Christmas break, she snuck one of her mom’s romances from a box brought over by her grandma. The novel she read was ‘Montana Sky’ by Nora Roberts. Once she finished reading that book, she knew someday she would to be a published romance author.  She has been writing ever since.

Even though busy with college life, Tonya still makes time for her writing. She is very active in yahoo groups as well as reviewing for The Long and Short of It, Whipped Cream Reviews, You Gotta Read, Siren Reviews, Rites of Romance and Fresh Fiction. She also writes a bi-monthly column for Fresh Fiction, which focuses on books and authors of Harlequin.

When she’s not in school, reading, or writing you can find her cheering on UK college basketball or the Pittsburgh Steelers.  She loves spending time with her family and is very active in their lives. She also loves to people watch where she draws inspiration from the people and things that surround her. She is also a fan of Stephanie Bond, NYT Bestselling Romance Author, who is from around the same area as Tonya.

And now some blurbs...


Kelly O’Keefe first met a vampire when she was twelve. Now the pair are best friends and have opened Night Pleasures, an underground club that caters to vampires and their needs. When Kelly’s sister is murdered, she finds herself working with Connor, a vampire she's been in love with for months. Unable to trust men, let alone a vampire, can she let him help her solve her sister’s murder?

Connor has been watching after Kelly for seven months with the help of his sire and best friend Micah. Connor has kept himself at a distance even though he knows they are life mates. He's afraid of losing control and turning Kelly against her will. When he learns Kelly plans on investigating her sister’s death, he steps in and allows himself to get close to her.

But how close is too close?

Blurb for Free Christmas Read


 “A Cowboy’s Christmas Wish” by Tonya Renee Callihan
Free Read offered by Secret Cravings Publishing (http://secretcravingspublishing.com/TonyaReneeCallihanFreeRead.html)

Payton Williams ran from her ex and a life of abuse, her entire existence has
come down to her running from every fear. Now that she has finally settled in
the dreamy hills of Montana, she no longer wants to run, even when cowboy
Derek pushes boundaries that haven't been pushed in a long time. She's
prepared to stay and fight for the only home she's ever had...even if that
means she's only fighting against what her heart and her head are saying.

Derek Green is a true cowboy, heart and soul, born and raised on a ranch in
Montana by his grandparents.  After his grandfather passed away, he took
over "Greene Stables". The only thing missing is a woman to love and kids
running around the yard. At thirty-five he's more than ready to settle down.

After a defining moment in Derek’s kitchen, can Payton finally drop her guard
and allow herself to embrace the feelings for Derek she's been fighting against
for months? Can Derek convince her that she is the only woman he'll ever love?

For each download of this free read, Secret Cravings Publishing is donating $1 to the charity of my choice in my name.

My publisher is also offering an awesome contest for any reader who pre-orders a copy of my book, “Night Promises” or any book from the site. Go here for more info about their contest (http://secretcravingspublishing.com/Contests.html)

Excerpt: Night Pleasures (adult)

Connor knew she was coming, he could smell her before she opened the door. He was sitting on the couch, legs stretched out, arms spread across the back of the couch. Kelly caught her breath as she stepped into the room. His eyes were back to light brown; she had never seen them darker than they had been just a moment ago. Did that mean he was hungry for her blood? Did he want sex? One would think that working in this environment she would know. But truth be told, she had never been alone with or this close to a male vampire before.

“Sit down Kelly.” He looked amused. “I’m not going to do anything you don’t want me to do.” That was the safest line he could use.

“Okay.” Kelly sat beside him on the couch and slipped her sandals off. Being on her feet all night, she appreciated the break. “You said we had to talk about my sister.”

“I know what you’re up to.” He wanted to touch her but restrained himself for now.

Kelly looked at him, “You can read minds then?”

“No, thankfully.”

“Then how do you know what I am up to?”

“Micah can read minds. He was here earlier tonight, heard what you were planning to do, and informed me.”

“Why would he inform you?”

He was amazed she wasn’t upset about Micah interrupting her thoughts but wanted to know why Connor needed this info.

“It came up,” he shrugged. “You are stepping into some very dangerous territory. You could get yourself killed.”

“I know that!” she exclaimed, crossing her arms. “But I owe Tammy. She never would have known that vamps existed if it weren’t for me.” Kelly stood and began to pace the small room. “I got my sister killed. Don’t you understand?” She turned to him. “She would still be alive and working if it weren’t for me, Connor.”

He stood. “You cannot blame yourself.” He again resisted the urge to touch her. “It could have happened if she knew about us and it could have happened if she didn’t know,” he tried to assure her.

“I have a strong feeling that a vampire I know, one who comes to my club, is responsible for this. Besides, I don’t need you to babysit me.” She turned for the door, but he beat her to it. “Get out of my way,” she said between gritted teeth.

“No!” This time he did touch her cheek, slightly. “You smell like sunshine.” He leaned closer to her.

“Give me a break. I have guys trying those lines on me every night.” She tried to push him away, but he only grinned.

“I’m stronger than you, Kelly. You can fight me all you want, but I’m not moving.” This time, he placed his thumb on her pulse. “It’s racing,” he whispered. “I can hear it racing every time I’m near you.”

“What’s it like?” Kelly asked, “Being a vampire?”

“Not much difference really, but I can hear sounds miles away, see past the stars, fly above the clouds, and taste every flavor in ones blood, kiss, and body.” He gave her body a glance, down then up again.

“I’ve never been with a vampire,” she blurted.

“Never?” he asked, half-shocked and half-relieved.

“No, never even kissed one.” She laughed at herself.

“Can I ask why?” Connor rubbed his hand down her neck and across the swell of her breasts. He asked the question, but he felt he already knew the answer. He needed to hear her say it.

“Because I only want you,” she confessed taking a step back. “I’m sorry, that was really forward.” She crossed her arms again.

“That’s okay.” He stepped closer to her. “Being forward is a good thing, especially when I don’t have Micah here telling me what you are thinking.”

“Oh,” she laughed a little shakily. “I should probably get back out there.”

“Don’t.” He placed a hand on her stomach to stop her. Connor knew better; he knew he should just let her go. She was better off if he didn’t take from her. Being his mate and being a full moon he could lose control and turn her against her will. He couldn’t do that, not to her.

“Does it hurt?”

“No, it’s very pleasurable for both.” He reached over and dimmed the lights. “Let me pleasure you, Kelly,” he whispered before placing his lips over hers and sucking her bottom lip into his mouth. Then his tongue was dancing with hers. Connor cupped her right breast and felt her nipple come to life under his thumb.

“Oh, wow.” Kelly murmured against his mouth.

“This is just the start,” he promised, pushing her back against the wall. “Just relax,” he soothed, giving her neck an open-mouthed kiss. “I would never do anything to harm you,” he promised.

“I trust you.” She gripped his hips and forced her body to relax when she spotted his fangs.

My Author Contest

I have 14 people who currently like my author Facebook page, see link below. When I have 100 people who like my page I will have a drawing. The winner will win a free download of Night Promises and a gift basket. Hurry this contest will last until December 31st, tell your friends. For every friend you recommend, they have to send me an email to tonyacallihan@hotmail.com stating that you were the one to tell them about this contest you will get 2 additional entries into the contest.  For every social network you post this contest up on you will receive another entry into the contest. Send me the links so I can see the posts. Also follow my blog and twitter to get 2 more entries.

Author Links
Website: http://www.tonyacallihan.weebly.com
Blog: http://www.tonyasramblings.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Author-Tonya-Renee-Callihan/132997596749498
Facebook Night Promises Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Tonya-Renee-Callihans-Night-Promises/155567004477447
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tonyacallihan
Contact: tonyacallihan@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish everyone a happy, blessed, safe Thanksgiving, and all those things on this day and beyond. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some random things

Hello, a new week is upon us, and Thanksgiving approaches. I love this time of year, the decorations, the yummy recipes, the cheer, and so much more. It's so lovely when someone wishes me a Thanksgiving. That doesn't go unappreciated, such a little thing, but really thoughtful.

I'm no cook but will be enjoying the holiday with relatives this year. I also look forward to seeing my daughter who's in college now. And time to put the tree up. It seems like after Thanksgiving, Christmas comes so quickly. I wish that period in between would slow down because I enjoy it so much.

Keeping busy is never a problem. I work in a school during the day but write or research novels at night, edit for a small publisher, and do book reviews for a popular online site. Once in a while, I do reviews for CSN too. They've contacted me with another opportunity, and I was happy to accept. Their selection is vast, from shoes to art and fitness supplies or even a nice barstool or two.
I've tried a few of their items and wasn't disappointed. Besides nice products, their customer service was good, and that's one thing I don't take for granted nowadays.

Well, to wrap it up, I want to wish you all a blessed, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Please welcome author Lea Ryan

Welcome, Lea!
Now for a little bit about your book:
Anna Montgomery inherits her grandmother’s mansion and discovers there’s more to her new life than just a change of residence.  She quickly falls in league with the town’s wealthiest family, the MacDowells. They offer her everything from power to social status and even romance. But there are consequences when you ally yourself with those who practice witchcraft. AnnaBeth will risk losing everything to protect the town of Fosters Branch and the people she loves.


----------------------------------------------
excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter 1. AnnaBeth dreams about Justin MacDowell.

When I look into his face in my dream, he looks like he always did, light hair, tan skin, deep, darkly serene eyes, so good looking. The coolness is there, too. He is beauty without soul.

He calls me AnnaBeth and tells me we're not in high school anymore. He tells me we don't have to pretend to fit into any category or have certain types of friends. Justin holds my gaze. I couldn't look away if I tried. And then all of a sudden, I smell him with an intensity that drowns out the bleach and old books smell. First it's a soap scent but as he leans down to press his rough face against mine, the smell morphs into something intoxicatingly masculine, like cologne but more sophisticated.

He's warm, his hand, his lips, maybe even hot. I feel my face go red as he nuzzles down to my neck and whispers what I will do. I will be what he wants me to be. I will do what his family tells me, and I will give him whatever he asks and I will do it because it’s my destiny. I have no choices, only what I’m supposed to do. It’s mapped in the stars, he says in a soft voice. I can't let go, even as my mind struggles against him. He holds me by my waist fiercely but with this terrifying ease. Justin pulls me closer to him.

I fell awake in Nanna's room, almost rolling from the bed but catching myself on a handful of quilt. My heart pounded hard in my chest. I was out of breath like I'd jogged into town from Dad's house.
--------------------------------------
Bio

Lea Ryan is the author of two novels and several short stories. She is an Indiana native and currently lives there. When she isn’t immersed in a sea of corporate gray, she writes novels about the supernatural.
------------------------------------------
link
http://www.amazon.com/MacDowell-Sisters-AnnaBeth-Lea-Ryan/dp/1453787399/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289778175&sr=1-1


I love the supernatural and like the sound of your book. I wish you well with it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Please welcome author Dr. Laina Turner

Laina Turner-Molaski is a business woman, mom, author, Professor, and a major supporter of shopping. She has an undying love for shoes and coffee, which is why she created her main character and alter-ego Presley Thurman.

With a lot of letters after her name and a ton of student loan debt, she is always working to pay the bills. While she enjoys her day job, her passion is writing, and she uses a lot of company time writing her fiction or working on her social website for women, Chiczofrenic.com. She is hoping to sell her book before she gets fired from her day job for goofing off.

Laina is currently living in Indiana, with her family, and is always writing something, whether it’s blogs, articles, business journals and books or ideas for her next novel. She is continuously doing what she loves which is writing or drinking coffee.

You can check out her ramblings at www.lainaturner.com.


Chiczofrenic is the term for the woman who is purposeful and intentional in how crazy their life may be. The goal with this book is to recognize many women drive themselves crazy, intentionally, by trying to be all they can. I firmly believe we can have it all. A great relationship, be a great mom, keep a good house (if that’s important to you), be a career woman, follow our dreams, work out, eat right, and many more. Women seem to have the knack of how to manage it all and not go crazy. Women seem to always take on more and more…and are successful at it.

Women have tried forever to pretend they fit in the norm even when the norm wasn’t what they wanted. I want women to embrace that more - without caring what anyone thinks. Learn to laugh at your own craziness and be cool at the same time. Be the strong individual you want to be while looking like a million bucks.

Being a woman is difficult and is a constant journey and evolution of self discovery. It’s not always an easy journey and through the process you realize everyone has her own issues. Her own brand of crazy which is my own kind of normal. Crazy but embracing it.

AVAILABLE at www.lainaturner.com/store and get a FREE copy of Stilettos & Scoundrels with purchase through November 15th, 2010


Introduction
“There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me - or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good, and bad - you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.”
Stacey Charter

Chiczofrenic = intentionally crazy and loving it
Chiczofrenic is my coined term for the woman who is purposeful and intentional in how crazy their life may be. I came upon this shift on a plane ride back from a conference and thought how even though I enjoyed the conference, I wasn’t as passionate as maybe I should’ve been about business. That led me to think about what I was passionate about. After much brainstorming- I realized this was it.

The goal with this book is to recognize that so many of us women drive ourselves crazy, intentionally, by trying to be all we can be. I firmly believe we can have it all. A great relationship, marriage, be a great friend, a great mom, keep a good house (if that’s important to you, it’s not one of my top five), be a career woman, follow our dreams, work out, eat right, and many other things. However, somewhere while trying to accomplish all this, we can tend to go a little nuts. Some more than others, and some longer than others. I used to think I was normal. HA! What a reality check I’ve had. Normal is relative. I’m sure Howard Hughes and Andy Warhol thought they were normal.

Know it’s ok to feel overwhelmed with all you have to do to have it all. Life isn’t easy. However, we all deserve to have what we want. Women seem to have the knack of how to manage it all and not go too crazy. Women seem to always take on more and more…and dammit, we’re successful at it.
Being a woman is difficult and a constant evolution of self-discovery. It’s not an easy journey and through the process you realize every woman has her own issues, her own brand of crazy, which is my favorite kind of normal. Crazy is fine. Embrace it.

Women have tried forever to pretend they fit in the norm even when the norm wasn’t what they wanted. I want women to embrace what it is they truly want - without caring what anyone thinks. Learn to laugh at your own craziness and be cool at the same time. Be the strong individuals we all want to be while looking like a million bucks.

Introspect:
What’s your mission statement as a woman?
    
“Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)    
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)”
“Who are you?”
by The Who


CHAPTER 1 – opening stuff

Shhhh…mommy’s crazy but don’t tell.
“Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love

My daughter started saying that phrase when she was about three. Now to be fair, she used it interchangeably with her father and me, so it’s not as if she singled me out to be the crazy one. She would go to her dad and whisper in his ear “Shhhh…mommy’s crazy but don’t tell,” and then giggle. She would say the same to me “Shhhh…daddy’s crazy but don’t tell,” but would then tell him she only said he was handsome (yes, she was manipulative even at three) and giggle in her adorable way making it very difficult to stay mad at her. She never tried to fool me…hmmm? Out of the mouth of babes they say.

The textbook definition of crazy can be insane, fantastic, strange, ridiculous, extremely fond of, or very good or excellent. I think most of us can be any one or more of those things at any given time. When someone calls you crazy it may mean they think you’re a bit off balance. I say embrace it. If someone calls you crazy say ‘thank you’. It takes a lot of skill and talent to be crazy. Crazy is an art form and we all have an artist within us wanting to get out, if it’s not already.

I used to have a rainbows and marshmallow life. Well, I thought I did. I think now, looking back, that I just wanted it to be that way, and I was in denial of reality because life is never rainbows and marshmallows. I had high expectations of what I felt my life should be and didn’t allow any thoughts that didn’t coincide with those expectations to surface, thinking I could control all outcomes. Now that worked pretty well for thirty-six years and then my perfect world started to crumble. I realized I couldn’t control everything. How could that be? Silly as it seems, I was somewhat shocked at my fallibility. I hadn’t ever really experienced something beyond my control.

My life didn’t start to change in one huge Hiroshima type bang, which would’ve probably been easier, but rather it was like termites working on eating away the wood structures at your house. Where you know there’s damage and there’s going to be ruin at some point but because it’s gradual, you’re able to keep yourself positive on the outcome (denial) until one day your house falls over. And you’re like “Oh, Shit! Now what do I do?” Regardless of the cheesy analogy, the point I’m trying to make is that the realization that your life is a fucking mess and you have no idea how to fix it doesn’t happen overnight. Most of us have been there at one time or another.

I’ve been asked by friends if writing this book was therapy for me and I guess it probably has been in a way. But, when I started writing, that wasn’t my intent. I was thinking more along the lines of being able to share my story, my version of crazy, with people who might be encouraged by knowing that they aren’t the only ones going through this. I know for a long time I thought I was the only one who was losing it and didn’t know where to turn. I’ve learned everyone has baggage, and issues, and their own brand of crazy. No one is perfect, even if they appear to be. I think life is about identifying your brand of crazy and embracing who you are, knowing none of us have it all together all the time. Which when you think about it isn’t all that unusual. Life is ever-changing and you must roll with it.

How did this all start you’re wondering? This realization of my craziness? Well, much like the opening chapter in a fiction book, I woke up one day and realized I was afraid. It was a dark and stormy night. Afraid my life was going to be a series of days much like yesterday and the day before that. The way today would be and probably tomorrow. I realized I was coasting because it was relatively easy but it wasn’t making me happy. I just hadn’t realized for a long time that my life wasn’t making me happy, because it was supposed to right? I had everything I should want. I was doing what people wanted me to do, what I thought I was supposed to be doing as a working mother and wife, and I was doing a pretty good job at it. However, I wasn’t happy in the truly fulfilled sort of way. Looking back I would have handled things much differently when I came to this realization, knowing what I know now, it’s easy to know what to do after the fact and sure would be nice to have do-over’s in life. Fear is what compelled me to make some bad decisions. Fear can be a bastard.

As a normally confident person who went through life up to this point believing I could do anything, and being successful at it, I was, for the first time, afraid, unsure, and not confident with what my heart wanted me to do. All the insecurities I had been repressing for years and years, unbeknownst to me under the guise of my confident business self came crashing to the forefront. I went from being a stoic bitch- who didn’t ever get emotional or weak, to crying at the drop of a hat and not wanting to do anything. I went from working eighty hours a week to barely being able to work the minimum. For me the minimum was still pretty good, but I knew it wasn’t what people expected, it wasn’t what I expected out of myself, and it made me feel even worse. I resisted for a long time acknowledging that I was depressed and anxious. Why? Because I needed to be perfect. I had to have my shit together. People came to me for help and advice. I would think, are they nuts to seek my opinion? I have no idea what I’m doing.

I was supposed to be strong, not weak. I didn’t need anyone, and I took care of everyone (it’s how I felt most comfortable). I got married at twenty-six. I buried my mother at twenty-nine, had a child, got my MBA and PhD. Quit talking to my dad, and had another child. Made a lot of money, lost a lot of money. Lost my husband (well, to be honest I sent him away), met my best friend, who is also my soul mate, and yes, it’s complicated beyond words. All of this in the span of three years (and counting). I went days where I wouldn’t leave my bed unless I had to and wondered when the shitstorm that was my life would end or when the reality television I was sucked into watching would cease to be entertaining and the boredom would force me to be motivated. What made it worse is that I was still able to maintain, barely, and I knew what I needed to do to get myself out of the financial, emotional, and mental rut I was in.

However, I couldn’t do it. I sometimes wished I would really have a breakdown so I could not have to face trying to make it all work again. I would’ve almost preferred not knowing what I needed to do to make things better. Then I could’ve at least lived in a true state of ignorance. Ignorance is bliss and it’s true, as cliché as it is. But, as is life, it’s never that easy. I would make deals with myself to make it seem better, like I was taking action. I would allow myself to wallow and stay in bed all day watching TV and eating Smart Ones (those are Weight Watchers microwavable food for those who don’t know; at least I was eating somewhat healthy). Then when it was late enough to drink wine (a whole bottle or more) I would tell myself that I’d allow myself one more day of self pity and then the next day I’d bounce back and do what I needed to do. What I was capable of. What needed to happen in order to make my dreams come true? I’d even get somewhat excited about my plan. But then I wouldn’t follow through. Doubt, sadness, and anxiety would take over and the cycle would start all over with the bargaining. How did I stop it? I’m sure I haven’t completely, but I’m hoping by the time I finish this book I will have. Hey, maybe it’ll be therapy after all. At the very least, I know it’s somewhat entertaining and people can laugh at my craziness and stupidity at times.

This isn’t meant to be an autobiography, although it may seem like it, but rather a snapshot of the roughest times in my life so far. I sure hope it stays that way. I also hope by sharing, it might help someone else not feel alone.

Purchase here http://www.lainaturner.com/store

Contest Prize – weekly drawing on Monday for the previous Monday-Friday -  all 3 places

1st place – The books Chiczofrenia – crazy is an art form, Stilettos & Scoundrels, and But It’s my Business – FREE (choice of e-book or paperback)…PLUS a $20 Visa giftcard

2nd place – The books Chiczofrenia – crazy is an art form, Stilettos & Scoundrels, and But It’s my Business – FREE (choice of e-book or paperback)

3rd place – The book Chiczofrenia – crazy is an art form FREE (choice of e-book or paperback)

Contest Rules – each activity below will gain you one contest entry. The person with the highest number of entries will win each week and in the event of a tie, a winner will be randomly drawn.

Go here for links and other blogs on tour:
http://www.lainaturner.com/author-promotion/blog-tours/


http://www.lainamolaski.com

a.      Become a fan on facebook

                                                    i.     L. Turner the author: http://www.facebook.com/pages/L-Turnerauthor/268875255467?v=wall
                                                        
                                                   ii.     Chiczofrenic: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chiczofrenic/161310525981

b.      Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/lturnermolaski

                                                    i.     @lturnermolaski

                                                   ii.     @chiczofrenic

c.      Follow me on networked blogs

d.      Become a member of Chiczofrenic (worth 3 entries)

e.      Subscribe to my feed (worth 5 entries)

f.       Post a comment to any blog post

g.      Post your contact info and all places you entered in comments section on the blog tour page

Friday, October 29, 2010

Descent into Darkness review

Hello, my historical romance novel Descent into Darkness got its first review. :)
Snapdragon at Long and Short of It Reviews gave it a four out of five.












Here's a snippet from the review:
At the start, it is easy to believe her love will cause her descent into darkness…that this is all a carefully woven romance, but it is more. There is more waiting for young Clarissa; from a dangerous journey to a kidnapping, and before her is a darkness we could not have predicted. What seems a subtle romance actually involves a tangled tale of mystery and intrigues around the war. Shared sorrows unite some – but loyalties and family have a huge role to play here. The unpredictable nature of this story combines with the well-maintained tone and believable characters to keep the interest building throughout.

For the full review, go here...


















It's available as an ebook here...http://www.moongypsypress.com/hogg.php
and soon the print version will be out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello, happy Tuesday

Hello, just wishing everyone a nice Tuesday and the rest of the week. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A warm welcome to Dr. Tiffany Brown

Dr. Tiffany Brown is a new Atlanta author. She gives her secrets for success with her book entitled “The Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious” released October 23, 2010. There will be a drawing for a prize for those who comment on this post.


1) If people could take away one thing from your book, what would you want it to be?

Never give up on your goals in life but allow God to revise or tweak them into being aligned with his Will. Every failure is not a nightmare and every opportunity is not a blessing. Some failures can be blessings; some opportunities can be nightmares.

Allow God completely into your heart and watch your life begin to expand in the most amazing ways. I trust God in completely different ways than before because I now have a testimony that I never had before. There is nothing like a spectacular fall to truly give you a new relationship with God.

2) I love how you have included your life stories onto the pages, and you are so relatable; what has been one of your biggest challenges in life and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was bouncing back from my failed mayoral bid that was a disappointment on a professional and emotional level. It was completely humiliating because I was marginalized and misunderstood throughout the campaign. I felt like people didn’t get me; they just stereotyped me.
There were many people that I had supported in the past that didn’t return the favor and that added to the humiliation. I was very disappointed in people that I had respected and loved in every facet of my life. It definitely changed the way I see the world.

I was able to overcome it all through forgiveness. God forgives us for all our transgressions, and I was forced to do the same. All the inspirational stories I wrote are from the perspective of a reader; I wrote what I needed to hear at those desperate, heart wrenching times in my life. I wrote to encourage myself and now decided to share it with others.

3) What have you learned about yourself throughout the process of writing your book?

I learned not to take things so personally. Most decisions are based on individual personal ambition. Ambition is never right or wrong; it is the inner drive to have something more in your life. But sometimes your ambition can clash with others. You must not take it personally.

I also learned that having just me is enough because of God’s love. I now feel comfortable in my own skin; imperfections and all. I may not be perfect, but I am attempting to be a best that I can. And that is enough as long as I try to stay aligned with God.

That's quite inspirational, Dr. Brown. Thanks for sharing this, and good luck with your book!

Find Dr. Tiffany Brown on Twitter
Find her book here
The E-Book will be offered for the low price for $9.95.
For more information on Tiffany, please go to her website www.tiffanycbrown.com

Please leave a comment here for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book or smart phone app.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CSN stores review

Hello, when CSN stores contacted me about doing another review, I was quite happy because I've done one for them before and had a great experience working with them. This time, I had $65 to work with. I was able to get two useful things! I was not paid to do this review and offer my honest opinion on the matter. The products were sent to me for free for the purpose of reviewing.

For starters, I chose Goodhope Bags Travelwell Big Bear Backpack in Grey. One reason I picked this product is because I just have an old, worn-out, lumpy bag that I carry my stuff in. (I don't use a purse and stick my wallet and other items in that bag-stacks of library books because I'm a writer and am constantly researching.)

I take the bus and was looking for something comfortable that held items in separate sections for my trek home each evening from my day job.

First the stats:
*It's made of sturdy canvas.
*It's natural and biodegradable.
*The dimensions are: 15"H x 11"W x 6"D (Which can hold a big stack of library books in the main compartment!) It's lined and has a drawstring closure and a flap over the top with a buckle.
*There are twin zip pockets (great place to put my house keys-no more digging blindly into the bottom of my bag), dual side pockets, one for a water bottle, or in my case, a coffee cup, and the other for a phone. Yeah, I can now easily find my stuff!
*The padded straps are adjustable, and in Colorado's constantly changing weather, that's a good thing. We have to layer our clothing in this beautiful state, so this backpack will fit over a tee shirt or a coat.

My impressions: I like the neutral color and the size, not too big, and not too small for someone like me who goes nowhere without her research books. Also, it looks pretty cool, a.k.a. attractive, with a symmetrical design.

I put it on, hoping to find it comfortable because I don't want it digging into my shoulders or anything. Discomfort would be a major reason not to use it. I was relieved to find that it sat over my shoulders okay, and with the adjustable straps, I can have a nice, snug fit.

It seems pretty durable, and I'll put that to the test, dragging it around for months and months, stuffed full, as I walk in all kinds of weather and set it next to me on the city bus. My guess is that it will last.

It's lightweight, which is good, because I intend to load it up and don't need unnecessary heaviness inherent in the design.

I would recommend this product.

Now, on to the next thing I was able to get:
I wanted to try the Lamo Ladies 9" Fleece Boots in Chestnut because I live in Colorado, and even though we have 300 days a year of sunshine here, it can get pretty cold in the winter.

Here are the stats for this product:
*It's a mid-length boot, 9" tall, coming to the middle of the calf. (This is handy here. Our snow melts so fast here, but I'll find myself walking to the bus stop in small piles of it. At this height, the boots will keep my feet dry and won't slip inside at the ankle, giving me wet socks.)
*The upper part is soft suede. (I'll need to treat them with some weather-proofing spray to protect it from moisture, but they'll definitely keep my feet warm.)
*It has a lightly padded collar and raised stitching seams, not exactly making them fashion boots, but adding some interest just the same.
*The cushioned insole works for me.
*I enjoy the fluffy sheepskin lining. Walking around in them is quite comfortable. (Comfort is important to me with all that walking I do, and these are wide enough to give my feet breathing space and allow for thick, winter socks. I went to beauty school when I was in my twenties and know what uncomfortable footwear does to the feet-no thank you!)
*The boots come in several colors. I chose the chestnut because I don't have chestnut. It's a neutral color and won't look funny with my coat.

The boots come in whole sizes. I'm an 8 1/2, so I went up instead of down. The wiggle room will allow for the thick socks I wear in the winter. I expected them to be a little loose, having ordered size 9 instead of size 8, and when I tried them on, they were just what I expected. They'd be too loose without thick socks though.

They are wide, which works for me personally. They might be too wide if you have narrow feet.

These things seem durable and should last a while. The cushioning is great and appreciated from someone who values comfort (and remembers her days doing pedicures in a salon.)

They're flexible in the ankle area and not exactly stylish, but they're practical and will do what they're meant to do.

I'd recommend these boots for cold weather that isn't too wet, unless you treat them first with weatherproofing spray. The nice suede might stain otherwise, but the thickness is sure to keep feet toasty warm while comforting them in the springy inner lining.

They're not meant to complement an attractive outfit and are rather plain, but that's not their point. I can put my work shoes in that great backpack I reviewed and change out of these boots into my other shoes. It's so convenient.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Please welcome author Joanna Aislinn

Joanna Aislinn is an avid reader whose writing roots stretch back to her early teenage days. Life got in the way until ten years ago, when the story playing out in her head insisted she put it down on virtual paper. She's been writing and honing her craft ever since. No Matter Why (The Wild Rose Press), Joanna's debut novel, hit the virtual shelves on January 15, 2010. At present, she’s busy revising its sequel, learning all she can about promo, building her web presence and finding time to work a day job and manage a home along with everything else!

Blurb for No Matter Why:
Trust and stability became empty words the day motherless, sixteen-year-old Carrie Norwell came home to find her brothers murdered. Within moments, her father arrived and his heart gave out at the scene. Five years later, is it any wonder the walls with which she's barricaded her heart are virtually impenetrable to anyone looking to get close and offer what she wants more than anything? The security only a loving family can give? Or someone with whom to build her own?

Billy Jay Eldridge wants to offer exactly that to the right girl. Operating on a heart and spirit rivaled only by his looks, he’s two years out of college and where he thought he wanted to be, managing a store at the assistant level and on his way up PharmSmart’s chain of command. He never counted on not synching with the corporate/retail atmosphere—enough to toy daily with the idea of a major career move that promises to make nobler use of his God-given talents. Neither did he think he’d blur the fine line between supervisor and peer to the young ladies in his charge—that is, until shy, quiet Carrie joins his crew. Intrigued and charmed by the girl’s haunted eyes and withdrawn ways he sets out to know her better, clueless that his life’s calling will be the biggest setback to getting her to accept from him what she wants and needs most.


Excerpt:
Carrie couldn’t drive home fast enough. She shifted into park and was barely through the door when the phone rang. She quickly spread her saturated coat across the hooks and ran for the nearest handset. “Hello?”

“You’re out of breath. I should have waited another five minutes.”

“Who…?” Carrie recognized Billy Jay’s voice. The guy was resourceful. “Why are you calling me?”

“Just wanted to say hi. Talk a little. You know, get to know each other.”

“Didn’t you say I had time to think?”

“Thirty minutes wasn’t enough?” He gave her no time to answer. “Don’t shake your head like that. It might fall off.”

She stopped short. Billy Jay had already shown up at work. Why wouldn’t he stop by her home?

He kept talking. “Could you imagine all that wavy hair and those big green eyes of yours sticking out of the ground without the rest of you attached?”

She found her bearings. “You’re crazy.”

“Only about you, Angel-girl.”

The sweet words warmed Carrie. “Will you not call me that, please?” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Better yet, don’t call me.”

“Obviously, I’m past that point.”

Obviously, Carrie was getting nowhere. She remembered Jessica’s comment about Monica. “Since you insist on talking, explain how you excuse this behavior to your girlfriend.” Carrie’s hands shook, but she kept her voice steady.

“What girlfriend?”

Behind gritted teeth Carrie stifled a not so nice response. Had Billy Jay been there in person, she might have mustered just enough nerve to reach up, grab his oversized shoulders and give him a good hard shake. “Would Monica approve of you following
another girl around and calling her at home?”

“Monica?” Billy Jay’s surprise sounded genuine. “What makes you think I’d even look at someone other than the girl I’m dating?”

Carrie struck a nerve. His persistence had already dug through her last one. “What else am I supposed to think? You were with her at the diner.”

A short silence prefaced Billy Jay’s whistle. “Amazing. Jess kept something to herself.”

His unexpected change in attitude threw Carrie off guard. “What are you talking about?”

“I broke things off with Monica the next day. I’m free to pursue any girl I choose.”

Carrie chewed her inner lip. “Lucky you. Choose somebody else.”


Buy: http://joannaaislinn.wordpress.com/buy/

Sounds wonderful, Joanna, and I wish you well with it! Thanks for being my guest here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Follow my blog Friday

Hello, happy Friday!



Join the fun while making new blogger friends with Follow my Book Blog Friday.

Review for The 12th Kiss

Hello, my novel set in 1820 London, The 12th Kiss, was reviewed at the blog, 
Here is a tiny little snippet from the review done by Marcie:
"This book is full of mystery, romance and action. Laura Hogg takes us on an exciting adventure that I think you will enjoy."
It's available at Wings ePress.
The story behind it's publication still gives me goose bumps to think about. I think a bit of the supernatural was involved. Here's a snippet from my author's interview on the Wings ePress site:

"I said a prayer and thought of the Archangel Raphael. Very shortly afterwards, the words to this novel flew out of my fingertips. It came to me in an inspired rush. Then I put the novel up on a critique board for nearly a year to tighten it up. I submitted it. After only one rejection, the novel was accepted with Wings...the [first] publisher that turned it down said they liked it but, months after the rejection, they went out of business." 

This was the first book contract I ever signed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CSN Stores review time

Hello, I've done a giveaway and a review for this company in the past, and they're great to work with! CSN has over 200 stores with products ranging from a nice ottoman coffee table
to shoes, art, cookware, and lots of different things.
Soon, I'll be doing a review on one of their fun products. The choice will be difficult though...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Unique, An Authors By Authors Promotional Anthology

Hello, here is an interesting opportunity for authors, a call for submissions, presented by author Kiki Howell:

This anthology is a unique promotional opportunity being offered by the Authors By Authors Blog http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com  

For the author, not only will you get all the advertising/promo that will go along with this anthology and a chance to introduce your work to new readers, but the giveaways and lottery will gather many opportunities for reviews.  No royalties will be made from this anthology, it is for promotional purposes only.  All money made minus costs will go into the final lottery for the readers to win.  Please read through the timetable below to see how this unique project falls together and to see all the chances for promo the authors whose stories are chosen will have. My goal is to pick a wide range of genres to be represented from paranormal, horror, chick lit, romance, suspense and all the mixes you can create!  I do want to limit the contest to those over the age of 18. 

Time Table For Unique:

Submissions Accepted - until November 1st, 2010
  **To Submit - Send the following in One Attached as RTF or Doc – using the naming convention of “Unique_Title_Author Name” to authorsbyauthors@gmail.com with  the Subject Line of “Unique Submission”:
1.    Author Name
2.   Author Email
3.   Author Website (opt.)
4.   Story Title
5.   Story Genre(s)
6.    Story Blurb
7.    Story (Never before published because I think that would defeat the unique theme I have going on here! LOL)

Word Count: Generally 1K – 5K, but flexible within reason
Theme: Unique – However you want to interpret that! That includes a unique storyline.
8.   Individual Story Giveaway – More info below
9.    Lottery Donation (opt.) – More info below

Final Decisions  of Stories to be Included – No later than November 10th, 2010
 ** I have gathered help in reading through submissions and deciding which are chosen to fill the spaces available.
**Contracts will go out to the authors of the stories selected just giving me rights to use the story once in the ebook and possibly print.  Not getting complicated here, this is a promo opportunity.

Edits/Beginning Promo – November & December, 2010
  **General Promo Information will be emailed to authors to give them a place to start.

Book Release – January 1st, 2011
  **Will be released on Amazon & Smashwords, as well as hopefully a few others I am looking into.  Suggestions welcome.  Ebook will be available at an inexpensive price - thinking like $0.99  Again, all the money made after costs are covered will go into the final Lottery.   If  I decide to go with Print, the price will be $1 over cost to print through CreateSpace.  I have considered the idea of doing print after with authors best reviews from the contest in it, and make it available at cost if authors wanted to use it later as a giveaway themselves. Open to thoughts and ideas.

Sales/Giveaways/Promo – January and February 2011
  **Through these months the following things will happen:

1. First few days of sales each story will be featured on the blog (short blurb/tagline, genres, author name, author links, other works). Giveaway for that individual story will be announced.  Depending on amount of stories accepted, I may end up grouping these to get them all out in the first days.

2. Readers will purchase the book, read it and submit one line minimum reviews of a single story to be entered into any story giveaways plus the final lottery.  The more reviews entered for individual stories – the more entries into the final jackpot giveaway. These reviews will be posted on the blog daily.  Info about the reviewer can be anything from anonymous, a name, an author name with website link, a blog owner with blog link, a publisher with pub link, etc.  So, lots of chances to win, plus a little free advertising for those who want it – more enticement to enter.

3. Authors By Authors as well as the authors in the Anthology will continue to promote the book.  I (as Authors By Authors) plan on purchasing a banner and buying some cover ads as well as getting a book tour going on other blogs to advertise the anthology and giveaways.  I will encourage authors to do all the promo they wish/can on blogs, yahoo groups, Facebook pages, etc. as well trying to get reviews/entries for their story.

4. Story Giveaways and Final Lottery Winners Announced and Contacted – February 28th, 2011
  **Number of winners for Lottery will be determined by amount of entries. Prizes will be a $25 gift cards, plus division of any donations of items (books, booksmarks, etc) by authors, or anyone else involved in making of the book. 
      NOTE: How many gift cards to be won in the lottery will be determined by total sales minus costs to produce book -- costs will be editing provided by Gateway Editorial Services (gatewayeditorialservices.com), cover costs, banner and ads, etc. The donations I get from authors for the lottery will be divided up as evenly as I can between the prizes.

If this goes well, response wise, I will be planning on doing additional anthologies.

Any questions please send to authorsbyauthors@gmail.com
Permission to forward or repost granted!

Thanks,
Kiki

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A warm welcome to author Rae Summers

Welcome Rae!
Dear Lara,

Thanks so much for hosting me here today.

Let’s Misbehave is my first historical novella. I had so much fun writing this story, and I hope my readers have fun reading it.

The story came to me as I was driving home from work one day, listening to the foot-tapping tune of the same name on the De-Lovely soundtrack (the Cole Porter bio pic), and the characters sprang into my head fully-formed. In one mad week this story poured out of my hands and onto the page, practically writing itself.

Cole Porter wrote the song ‘Let’s Misbehave’ in 1927, for his new musical ‘Paris’. The song was dropped from the show at the last minute for being too risqué, but it would have been well known by 1928, when my story is set.

I adore the 1920s. It was a time of adventure, when people let go of the restrictions of the past, experimented and had fun. It was the time of youth, with society dominated by young writers like Scott Fitzgerald, and by young Hollywood icons or by celebrities like the dashing Charles Lindbergh. At lavish parties, jazz was in the air, and party-goers danced the Charleston and drank exotic cocktails or bubbling champagne.

Best of all for me, was that the 20s were really the time when women came into their own. They bobbed their hair, wore short skirts, drove cars and drank alcohol. Women poets and writers, sportswomen and actresses, made names for themselves, and everywhere women were getting the vote, getting jobs and gaining their freedom. We modern women owe a great deal to those pioneers of the 20s. At the very least we can thank them for originating compact mirrors and metal lipstick containers.


Blurb

Gabrielle is the quintessential Flapper, a wild child who turns her back on home and a resentful and unloving mother to become a nightclub singer. She wants nothing more from life than freedom and pleasure.

Sebastian is a dutiful son, following in his father’s footsteps and on the verge of marrying a suitable bride. But as the Twenties roar to their conclusion, he finds himself torn between duty and the urge to indulge his adventurous streak.

From the moment Gabrielle and Sebastian meet, the tension between them simmers. When he rescues her from a boorish suitor, Gabrielle discovers a kindred spirit beneath Sebastian's serious demeanour, and she sets out to seduce him into one last passionate fling before he settles for a loveless marriage.

But the fire that burns between them threatens to consume her. Will Gabrielle survive falling in love with the one man she cannot have?

Rae Summers Bio


Rae's first grade teacher was so seriously concerned by her day dreaming that she called her parents in for a conference. Fortunately, her parents staunchly defended Rae's right to daydream and these days she's able to prove their faith right by turning those day dreams into novels. She hopes her stories bring as much pleasure to her readers as they bring to her.

Rae Summers lives in South Africa where she works in television advertising, a line of work that is only glamorous on very rare occasions. When she isn't working or being mom to two young daughters, Rae can be found with her nose in a book.


The buy link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lets-misbehave-p-4119.html 

And for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Misbehave-ebook/dp/B003V4B6AK/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&m=A7B2F8DUJ88VZ&s=digital-text&qid=1279057490&sr=8-7

My blog address: http://raesummers.wordpress.com <http://raesummers.wordpress.com/



Thanks so much for being my guest here today, Rae. I love that era and have your story on my reading list. I'm sure it will be great!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Halloween is coming up. Did you know...

Hello, I have a guest today. I'd like to welcome and thank Margo Smith for her information about Halloween.

Trivia In Time For Halloween

Do you know all about the holiday where we dress up and get candy just for the asking? There are all kinds of myths about how the holiday got started. Clear away the cobwebs and get straight down to the facts about this day that has been a spooky tradition for so long: Halloween.

Q. Why do we use orange and black as colors for this holiday?
A. Autumn is a time of change, and orange represents the harvest of crops during this season, while black stands for death.

Q. Do you know why black cats are synonymous with Halloween?
A. Once they were thought to be a witch’s familiar, or assistant, and so they came to be associated with this day of ghosts, ghouls and black magic.

Q. Did you know that nearly half of Americans believe in real-life ghosts? It’s true!
A. The exact percentage is 48.

Q. Who is the Halloween-type character more filmed than any other?
A. Dracula

Q. What is the biggest pumpkin ever grown?
A. It is a whopping 1,469 pound gourd grown in Pennsylvania in 2005.

Q. How much water is in a pumpkin?
A. 90%
Q. What is the most money ever granted for having the largest pumpkin?
A. $25,000

Q. How many Americans decorate for this holiday?
A. 86%

Q. How much do Americans spend on Halloween candy every year?
A. 2 billion or more

Q. Do you know the very first penny candy to come pre-wrapped in the U.S.?
A. Tootsie Rolls

By total number of sales, do you know which Halloween treats are most popular?
1.    Tootsie Rolls
2.    Hershey's Milk Chocolate
3.    Nestle Crunch
4.    Nerds
5.    Hot Tamales
6.    Candy Corn
7.    Snickers
8.    Baby Ruth
9.    Reese's Pieces
10.    Almond Joy
11.    Milky Way
12.    Razzles
13.    Life Savers
14.    M & M's
15.    Sour Patch

Non-foods or Non-sugar items:
1.    Halloween-themed stickers
2.    Temporary tattoos
3.    Pencils
4.    Bubbles in tiny bottles
5.    Individual-sized containers of playdoh
6.    Noisemakers
7.    Pretzels
8.    Sugar-free gum

Today the #1 seller is Snickers, but Tootsie Rolls are number 1 because they have been around longer.

Now you know more about this tasty and ghostly holiday. Did any of them surprise you?
Enjoy these facts as you share them with friends and family as Halloween approaches this year.

About the Author
Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. Working through college and being in the corporate world give her a great deal to say about subjects as diverse as small business, online classes and jogging.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another list

Examples of books published or written 100 years ago, 200 years ago, and so forth...

1910: Arnold Bennett's novel Clayhanger
1810: Walter Scott publishes The Lady of the Lake
1710: Cotton Mather publishes his Essays to do Good
1610: (1610-1611) William Shakespeare's play The Tempest
1510:1510–1514: Illustrations de Gaule et singularitez de Troye (Jean Lemaire de Belges)
c.1410: Manuale di arte del combattimento del XV secolo (Fiore dei Liberi) Discusses instructions of the knight's fighting skills and techniques
1310: Isaac Israeli's Yesod Olam (Analysis of the astronomical and historical questions connected with the Jewish calendar)
1210: Gottfried Von Strassburg writes his version of Tristan and Isolde
c.110 Roman historian Tacitus writes his Annals and Histories
c.10 Ovid's poetry collection Tristia is dated to 9-12 AD.

Do you know of others written during these years, or what do you know of these?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A warm welcome to author Clare Dargin

Clare Dargin is an author of science fiction and science fiction romance books.  Her newest work “Speculative Sky” is available from Red Rose Publishing.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well, ever since I was a child I always wanted to be a writer.  It was a dream of mine to be published and to write stories that everyone could enjoy.  Speculative Sky was created because I’ve always had a fascination with stories about Extra-Terrestrial Life and S.E.T.I. and I wanted to integrate such a story with a female character as a strong and intelligent lead.  

Do you have a specific writing style? 
Yes I do but I am not sure what to call it.  When people read my work I want them to feel as if they are right there in the midst of it all.  I want them to be able to hear, taste, smell and see the action as if it is happening all around them.  I also tend to write tight stories with quick pacing.  It's what I like to read and consequently how I write. 

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?
To be honest I’ve always been attracted and fascinated by the abstract and the symbolic.  I wanted the title to be symbolic of what April Mullen, the main character, has to deal with as an Astronomer and all that came with her assignment. 

What is Speculative Sky about?
It is about a woman who takes a chance and leaves for an assignment on a science colony far away from Earth.  As an astronomer it is her job to monitor the stars at night and to record her findings.  Nothing more than that.  But when she arrives, she notices that her new home is a bit odd, and that though there is evidence of life out there… they don’t want her to either acknowledge it or do anything about it.  She of course finds this troubling.

What books have most influenced your life most?

To be honest, in fiction category, it would have to be the old star wars books that came out in the eighties after Return of the Jedi.  The expanded universe books taught me more about atmospheric and expanded universe development then any book I know!  I read them over and over again and learned about non-human creature development, planetary science fiction and description of space travel and not to mention how to write a cool leading man.  I still read them! 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Douglas Preston and/or Lincoln Child.  They write incredibly compelling books of which I generally can't put down.

What book are you reading now? 
To be honest and I am almost finished with “Book of the Dead” with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  I'll be going through their back list very soon in order to get caught up.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Last night I was thinking about the Friday House about D. K. Gaston and how it's a compelling story about assassins who have no memory of their being programmed and stuff.  I think it's cool.   And several books on the military scifi romance front that I have recently heard about.  I write in a tiny subgenre so it's nice to see what other authors are doing in it.  That way I don't get lonely! 

What are your current projects?
Presently I am finishing up the final editing for “Ice and Peace” the sequel to Cold Warriors.  As well as having another expanded universe book in the works.  Not to mention, two futuristic romances that are completely different from my military fiction.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Motown Creative Writers Group-- they helped get on the road to being published.  And not to mention the many groups in the Romance community.  They really pointed me in the right direction.  I'm grateful for that.

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes!  One day I hope to do it full time.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yeah that's why I have to hurry up and get it out of my hands cause I keep changing it!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a child my father use to encourage it.  I use to write stories for my family and give it to them and they would say “Maybe one day you could get this published!”  I was like five.... and then when I was in middle school I found out that S. E. Hinton had been published at sixteen-- I became truly determined then.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yea, getting through the first draft!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Just get the first draft down on paper and don't be afraid to make stupid mistakes and have dumb lines on paper cause it's the first draft and you are allowing the characters to come alive.  Later on you can fix and micro manage but don't try to do it the first time through cause it will stifle your creativity.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don't give up on being published!  Try every avenue!  There is away for you!




*Wonderful advice, Clare! Thanks so much for being my guest here. I like the sound of your work and wish you well with it! Sci-fi is such a great genre.



Here's an excerpt from Speculative Sky:






“I’m sure that’s the case but how can I not be excited over this? It’s the find of a lifetime,” she said reveling in the thought of making contact with extra-terrestrial life.

“You don‘t have to try to impress us. Just do you your work and you‘ll be fine.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means you don’t worry about it. There is plenty of research to be done. You could spend your entire lifetime studying the Jugis Star Cluster alone.”

“Haven’t you ever looked up in the sky and wondered if there was anyone else out there?”

“Of course I have. And if anyone back home asks, tell them it’s just us,” he said finishing off his drink.


 Buy it here

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blogfest 2010 winner

Thanks so much, everyone who entered the contest! You all left the loveliest comments, and I wished I could give a prize to everyone who dropped by. I drew a name randomly and would like to congratulate Shellie, the winner of my paranormal short story collection, "Deadly Karma."

Also, thanks again to Cinnamon, who arranged this fun blog fest. Take care, everyone! -warm regards, Laura

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blogfest 2010


I'm happy to participate in this big event, Blogfest 2010. Thanks to its host, Cinnamon Brown, at A Journey of Books. There are so many great giveaways at the various participating blogs, and you can find them all there! You'll also find a link to a website where you can keep track of your progress and be entered to win a huge giveaway.

For my giveaway, I have an electronic copy (pdf) of my paranormal short story collection, "Deadly Karma."

Here's a blurb:
Deadly Karma: Three Speculative Tales (three short paranormal stories, electronic format)

Available with Midnight Showcase:
http://www.midnightshowcase.com/midnight/Karma.htm

By Laura Hogg

Karma: Karma’s Time Machine: A mean college girl learns a lesson she’ll never forget when she stumbles upon another dimension.

The Deadly 50/50: She is neither good enough for heaven, nor bad enough for hell. Now it’s time to take a stand. Given a task that sends her to the gates of hell, success seems possible; then she sees who the gatekeeper is.

Karma: The Blue Dress: One woman must make a sacrifice to insure the future. Another must give up something to save the past. What happens when the 21st century meets the 19th for a dual tale across time?



















To enter, become a blog follower and leave a comment saying so. If you're already a follower, leave a comment letting me know! I will use random.org to draw a winner among those who commented on this blog post. Please be sure to leave your email so I have a way to contact you if you're the winner.

I will announce the winner after Blogfest is over. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email. If I don't hear back from the winner, I'll draw another name.

Thank you very much for dropping by! Good luck. :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Please welcome author Amber Leigh Williams

Hello, Amber, I'm so glad to have you as my guest here!

Hi Laura! Thanks for the invitation to share my book on your site today! I’m pleased to announce that my western romance trilogy, the Ridges of Wayback, TX, will launch this month at AudioLark.com!     Here’s a peak into the first book in the trilogy, 1st Place More Than Magic Novella 
BLACKEST HEART….


America's Sweetheart, Stella Ridge has been away from Wayback for fifteen years paving her way to the top of the acting business. When a car accident leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, the only place she wants to go is home to Texas and her family’s ranch.

The changes that have taken place since her departure are enough to rock her world again. She uncovers a buried tragedy, struggles with the penetrating stares and questions from townsfolk, and comes up against an intriguing and unexpected spark with the silent cowboy and champion bull rider, Judd Black. Their wounded souls draw them together and Stella begins to realize that only in him can she find the solace she sought by leaving the bright lights of Hollywood.

Excerpt…
“I love the way the air feels here,” she murmured, watching the fire in the sky take its sweet time burning out. “I love how it tastes.”

Her companion didn’t speak. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a tall figure leaning against the fence. She turned her head when he didn’t reply. A stunning zap of electricity surged through her.
Judd had taken his hat off, revealing his thick crop of black hair, and was holding it between his hands draped over the fence line, elbows braced on the rail. His boot was propped on the lowest. His eyes squinted against the bright display, trained on the sun’s showcase. Beside him, sitting dutifully was an adorable mutt.

The man was an enigma. It got to her. That pleasant burning sensation began to swell within her again.
He straightened, catching her stare. She didn’t look away. Remembering how he’d raced with her over the field that afternoon, how he’d ridden that mean bull at the rodeo, she thought he must like challenges. Her admiration for him peaked.

She liked a challenge, too.

His brows rose as she stepped to him. Interest instead of astonishment filled his complex eyes. She came to a halt with the dog between them. “What’s with you, Judd?” she asked, punching just enough challenge into the question. “Didn’t Apache Jim ever teach you any manners? Didn’t anyone ever tell you how rude it is to stare?”

Something welled beneath the interest.

Amusement.

A sharp breath escaped her as she watched his eyes smile at her, crinkling up at the corners. She was the astonished one. Her body froze up when he reached out with one of those hard, wide-palmed hands. If she could’ve moved, she wouldn’t have stepped back.

His fingertips brushed over her damp hair, from her brow back over her crown. She fought against the urge to close her eyes, sigh and melt. Her scalp tickled under his light touch. His fingers combed through the ends of her tresses and repeated the motion, slower the second time through. She gripped the rail next to her, afraid she’d sway.

The amusement in his eyes had faded. They’d lifted to the scars she’d left exposed by combing her hair back from her face. His thumb traced the smooth, jagged line, tracing it to the corner of her eye.
She tried to read his face. The tender moment between them intensified. The tingles deepened. Though she wanted to turn his attention away from those imperfections on her face, she drew comfort from his whispering touch. His eyes darkened. There was anger there now. He was angry she’d been hurt. Her heart picked up pace, welcoming his fury.

She allowed her eyes to close. Her blood was singing, warming skin chilled by the nightly breeze. She could hear him breathing, just barely. Edging closer, she reached up to touch him. Her fingers found the chords of his upper arm. They wrapped around them, gripping them for support.

His fingertips found the scar by her mouth and began to trail down the angled mark. Her eyes popped open, fixed on his and her breath seized when he touched the very corner of her mouth. His fingers lingered, eyes tracing the line of her lips. She wanted his mouth to do the same. She waited breathlessly, heart thudding hard between them.

Praise…

“This story is absolute perfection! From the beautiful setting to the well thought out plot to one of the sexiest heroes I've had the pleasure to read in a long time. Sexy, funny, and wonderfully heartwarming, Blackest Heart is a definite keeper. And the best part? There's two more stories in this incredible series featuring Stella's yummy brothers!” — Donna Marie Rogers, author of Meant to Be and Golden Opportunity

“I’m not a great Western/ cowboy fan myself but this story went a long way towards converting me. Ms Williams has a good writing style; polished and confident, and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. Definitely recommended.” —Writers & Readers of Distinctive Fiction

“In this touching contemporary story, when a young actress returns home following a car accident that has left her scarred she finds healing and love in the arms of a quiet cowboy… "Blackest Heart" is a wonderful story with characters that will touch the heart and I for one am glad I got the chance to read it.” —Long and Short Reviews

“The tensions and conflicts with others made the couple seem even more real. The sensuality was super charged and dynamic. I could not put this book down. It was mesmerizing to read. I truly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to everyone." —The Romance Studio

“Stella Ridge discovers that home sweet home and the arms of a strong, quiet cowboy are just what she needs to get her life and heart going again in Amber Leigh Williams’s fantastic Wayback tale- Blackest Heart. With a wonderful cast of supporting characters, including Stella’s adorable brothers, Stella and Judd will warm your heart and make you believe in the wonder of sweet homecomings.”—Marguerite Arotin, author of One Enchanted Summer and Return of the Prodigal Daughter

BLACKEST HEART is now available in ebook editions at The Wild Rose Press, along with Books II and III of the award-winning Wayback Ridge Trilogy:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/amber-leigh-williams-m-352.html. It is also now available in the trade paperback anthology THE WAY BACK HOME:  http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-way-back-home-p-3548.html.

Look for BLACKEST HEART audio book debut at
http://www.audiolark.com on September 7!





Congratulations on your book release, and I wish you many sales! Your book sounds great. :)
-warm regards, Laura

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book review for The Macgregor's Daughter by Dee Julian

The Macgregor’s Daughter by Dee Julian is a delightful read. A sweet, historical romance, it's set during the era of the American Revolution and is filled with historical intrigue. I enjoyed the escapades of spies and romance, adventure and humor.

The Scottish castle setting is alluring and makes for a great backdrop. Rich, accurate details color the story, and I could practically hear the Scottish brogues from the well-written dialogue, heavy, but understandable, unless a reader is not used to anything Scottish, then it might be hard to maneuver.

This story contains much witty conversation between the hero, Lucien, and the heroine, Dreya. It is a delight.

Lucien has an accident and temporarily loses his sight and memory. He ends up on her Scottish island, in her family castle. She’s the Laird’s daughter, and a spunky one at that. She handles disputes well in her father’s absence and is quite clever.  She also takes care of Lucien while he recovers.

Interesting secondary characters come onto the scene. Edwina the healer is great and adds charm to the story. She has a wise way of seeing things. I also liked Dreya’s cousin, but I wished he would have told Lucien who he really was to her earlier (he’s family, not her romantic love). The love of the Macgregor for his daughter is touching and comes across well.

Lucien and Dreya get to know each other a bit, and the sexual tension sizzles. There’s a scene where Lucien shows his brave nature in a daring rescue. He’s a hero, so why does Dreya then have him thrown into the dungeon? Sudden terror overcomes her when she realizes a certain truth.

It’s lovely how Lucian likes her so much even though he’s temporarily blinded and has no idea what she looks like. Theirs is a complicated relationship in the making: they often treat each other poorly, yet they show signs of caring about each other very much. 

The novel ends in an exciting, dramatic way, and it kept me turning pages. The ending is quite satisfying. I was entertained by the story itself, the endearing characters, and the setting and would recommend this book to fans of historical romance.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A warm welcome to author Dawn Chartier

Hello, Dawn, and welcome! Congratulations on the release of your spicy vampire romance, "Not an Angel" out with The Wild Rose Press.

BLURB:
Kira McCoy wants to die. Losing her husband and daughter tragically left her without hope. Now her disturbed brother-in-law will stop at nothing to have her for himself.  All she wants is to find peace, but instead finds herself on top of a bridge ready to end her suffering.

Protector of the Poryria, Trace Stuart is called to defend his race or embrace death. Defending humans is not part of the plan, but he cannot stop himself from saving Kira.
 
Realizing that he shares a special bond with Kira, Trace defies his Queen and rushes into the heart of darkness in order to rescue the woman he loves. Will Kira be able to reach past her own pain to pull them both into the light?


EXCERPT:
As he measured her, his gaze warmed the consuming chill that had invaded her body. She glanced down, holding the material out. Nothing she could ever afford. Standing next to him in his stunning black suit, gave her more confidence than if she wore plain clothing.

“I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself, but you have good taste.”

“I know.” Trace’s gaze traveled down her torso, to her exposed toes and slowly up to her face. “And you take my breath away.” He kissed the inside of her wrist.

Heat shot up her inner arm overpowering any nervousness she may have felt earlier. She leaned into him and whispered, “You breathe?”

Trace half smiled. “Sometimes.”

She blinked. “Oh.” That meant sometimes he didn’t breathe either.

Trace stiffened, then glanced toward the entrance flanked with four massive columns. It took a moment before she heard footsteps in the foyer. Five men entered the parlor. All dressed similar to Trace, except their cold penetrating eyes made her worry. Scared was more like it. One man strode toward her, eyes narrowed, mouth pulled down in a frown. She swallowed, then took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. They will not get to me. I will be strong.

“He won’t hurt you. Will you, Dev?” Trace stepped forward and crossed his arms.

Dev smirked and stared through his long dark lashes. “Depends.”

An eerie rumble vibrated the room. Kira advanced toward Trace. The sound of a wild cat drifted in the air. She tilted her head, glanced at Trace and realized the noise came from him.

“Boys. Boys. Boys. Dev won’t touch her, but I might.” A slender brunette appeared out of thin air and stood directly in front of the other men. Oh hell.


Thanks for the being my guest here, Dawn. Not an Angel sounds like a great read and your characters irresistible!


www.dawnchartier.com
www.thewildrosepress.com
www.dawntheauthor.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/dawnchartier
www.twitter.com/dawnchartier

Buy link

Reviews:

The characters were beautifully developed. There were many conflicts, external and internal, and all of them difficult to overcome. The reader is pulled into these unique characters’ lives from the first sentence: “Death was her only savior.” I couldn’t stop reading, even though I knew being a romance how it had to end.
- Starla Kaye – Got Romance!

Ms. Chartier creates an intense read that keeps the reader totally engrossed. I could feel for Kira and Trace with all their conflicts they each endured. Kira was deeply grounded in her love for her family and that definitely shined through in the story. I love the way Trace fights all obstacles to protect her. Not An Angel is a captivating read. The dialogue is wonderfully penned, the emotions mind-blowing; so incredibly sincere that the reader cannot help but have their heart pierced by the way Kira and Trace always make contact in this stirring read.
- Cherokee  - Coffee Time Romance & More

Friday, August 20, 2010

CSN Stores shoe review

Hello, I'm a busy writer who works in a school during the day and takes the bus and the train home at night. I do quite a bit of walking as well, so when presented with the opportunity to review a pair of shoes, I chose something I could wear often, the Gram Central Mary-Jane by Aerosoles; though I was tempted by the nice dress shoes offered at CSN Stores. There was no financial compensation offered for this review. The company sent them to me for free, and the opinions here are strictly my own.

Wanting to go with something different, I chose the dark green pair.  The green metallic leather appeals to the artist/musician in me. They are versatile enough to wear to work, (being nice enough for that) or out and about on casual excursions. The shoes would go well with corduroys or jeans, or other things as well.

They are made of leather and suede, and have a mesh upper section. The sole is rubber and the lining fabric. There is a suede sock lining and Velcro straps with side silver grommets. The heel is one inch tall.

I ordered them online, and they arrived in less than a week. The ordering process was quick and efficient. I appreciated that. When they arrived, I was not disappointed in how they looked. They weren't misrepresented at the store's Web site. Ever have that happen? ;)

Slightly nervous that they wouldn't fit right because I hadn't had the chance to try them on in person when I ordered them, I slipped them on. They fit perfectly! And that Velcro strap, being adjustable as it is, allows for tightening or loosening. If I wear socks, for example, or my feet swell a bit from all that walking I do, no problem; I'll loosen the strap. If I go without socks, I can tighten it. I like how trouble-free these shoes are.

I walked around in them and couldn't believe how comfortable
they were! They feel better on my feet than my tennis shoes do, pure comfort, cushiony. These shoes are so cozy, in fact, I'll probably wear them often, and over time, I hope to get those other colors (the black, brown, purple, and silver combos).

They're well-made, attractive, a combination of classy but casual, and feel so good on my feet, that I'd like to own them in every color they come in eventually. :) Highly recommended.