Win a V-Day Prize Pack!

Valentine's Day Giveaway

 

Yesterday I posted a collage showing all the awesome Adult books you can win by entering the V-Day giveaway… (one of them is mine! Eep!)

What I didn’t mention is that author Melissa Petreshock — one of my Swoon Romance pub sisters — is also giving away a gorgeous bracelet to one lucky winner! Check it out: Bracelet

Pretty, no?

Here’s the rafflecopter where you can enter to win! Please remember that these are Adult and New Adult books and some of them may contain graphic content intended only for readers over the age of 18. By entering this raffle, you are stating that you are 18 or over.

The full list of books and prizes available to win:

Race to Kill by Rachel Kall

Love And Cupcakes by Susan Bishop Crispell

Men and Martinis by Delancey Stewart

Magic at Work by Sotia Lazu

Death of a Waterfall by Kara Leigh Miller (Signed paper copy, US only)

The Problem With Crazy by Lauren K. McKellar

Main Attraction by Ava O’Shay (Signed paperback, US only)

Changed by You  by Natalie S. Taylor

Yours, For Now by Siren Allen

Breaking the Rules  by Melinda Dozier

Chance by N.M. Lombardi

Operation: Cupid by Allyson Lindt

A Walk in Darkness by Jill Robi

Spiraling by Rachel Cross

Melt My Heart by Rachel Cross, Nicole Flockton, Debra Kayn and Holley Trent

Going Home Again by Abby Cavenaugh

Almost Married by Roe Valentine

At Your Service by Anais Morgan

A Late Thaw by Ana Blaze

1 $5 giftcard from AJ Mathews (Author of Goodbye to You, available from Swoon Romance Fall 2014)

1 “You are mine, and I am yours.” book quote bracelet from Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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All the things…

Today was one of those days where I felt mostly useless. I have so many things that I need to do. So many more that I want to do. And a lot of things that I have to do. And I’m not one of those people who can just say, “eff it” and let half the things go.

I did make it to the gym today…and I realized that fitness is one of the things that I’ve been seriously letting slide. And I’m at an age where I can’t afford the same kind of slips that might’ve worked out okay in my twenties, if you get my drift. When you show up at the gym and the little check in machine says loudly, “check status” and the fourteen year old boy behind the desk flags you down to announce that the computer says it’s been 39 days since your last visit…well, that’s not good, folks. (seriously, what the hell kind of tracking system is that, anyway? Why do they need to know how often I show up as long as I’m paid? I think it’s some kind of plot to embarrass lazy asshats like me.) ANYWAY, I did get there today. And that was good. And then the rest of the day was moderately crappy.

My house is a disaster. I have a half-finished (okay, that’s optimistic… 1/3 finished) book that I must complete in the next two weeks to get shined up pretty and submitted by the 31st of January… Not to mention another secret something going on that I’m super excited about but not at liberty to mention just yet… but that will require some editing, no doubt… And something new is brewing… and there’ll need to be another wine country book this spring…

And then there’s work. My “flexible” job is not super flexible lately, and I’m in the unenviable position of being the PTA board member who never goes to anything, always says “no” to helping and hardly ever volunteers at school. I can barely manage to get home for the bus to get here. Ahh, work.

And when work is done, I get to chase after my little boys who literally appear to live just to make messes for me to clean up. I know that they are learning and growing, and I do see some progress from time to time… But…shit. The laundry. The floors. The dishes. Shit.

And I’m wanking completely, and I know that. I’m not alone in this. We all have our shit to shovel. And my mom would tell me to choose the things that are most important and let the others go. And I’ve tried. But what I realize is that I cannot do that. To me, they all look important. And maybe when I’m in my last moments I might realize that less laundry wouldn’t have been a bad thing, but right now? I need to get all the things done. I just do.

So I ask you…am I the only one trying to have it all and somehow feeling that it is actually possible? Yeah, I’m pissed. And yes, I’m tired. But I don’t think it’s impossible.

How do you manage to keep the balls in the air? How do you balance what’s important to YOU with what’s important?

Redemption Red on Tour – Prizes!

Hi guys! I’m very excited to announce that Redemption Red is on tour this week, thanks to the hard work of Literary Mania Reviews!

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Please check out the various stops – there’ll be all kinds of cool stuff… my Spotify playlist, some RR excerpts, an interview or two, and some amazing prizes to win… Here’s a quick view of what you can enter to win:

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There are books and ebooks, of course… but you could also win a beautiful Pinot-Noir colored murano glass bracelet, or a fun merlot bib necklace… There’s a cool wine glass wooden puzzle, and Wine Wars — a wine trivia game! (I don’t think I can win, but I’d really like to play that game!)

Here are the stops for today:

Oct. 21st First Class Books

Oct. 21st Literary Mania Reviews

Oct. 21st Cajun Book Lover

Oct. 21st The SubClub Books

Tap Dancing

Yeah, I know. I should be talking about books and writing. And I’m doing lots of that… I’m even talking about lots of that lately… but right now I just wanted to share this… because tap dancing is so much fun and really really takes talent, and doesn’t get enough press. (that whole Happy Feet thing was good for a while…I showed my kids videos of Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, and the five year old informed me that he could already totally do that and didn’t need lessons. Right – so those fifteen years that I learned to tap were totally wasted, obviously. oh well.) So… THIS:

Redemption Red is live!

Happy book birthday to Redemption Red! The book is live today on Amazon, and A Rare Vintage is free all week to celebrate!

Here are the details on the newest Wine Country Romance:

A culinary student, a troubled ex-Marine and a winery with a delectable Pinot Noir…
When Audrey Montgomery’s carefully planned life collides with the self-destructive path Tyson Dawes is on, neither of them can predict what will happen next.
Audrey is a diligent and self-reliant culinary student at Portland’s prestigious Cordon Bleu. She has a clear picture of her future in mind, and it allows little room for the steely-eyed and tormented young man she bumps into by chance while wine tasting with friends.
Tyson Dawes had a perfect childhood, raised among the vines in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. But even the most idyllic of upbringings couldn’t have prepared him for what he would face as a Marine. He returns to his childhood home angry and haunted by the storms of what he has faced and by those he has lost.
Do opposites truly attract? Can the lure of Audrey’s apparent clarity and innocence offer Tyson hope in the face of his emptiness?

Some early praise has been fantastic:

“Redemption Red had me smiling, laughing and crying…it’s a refreshing New Adult Romance read and I highly recommend it.” – Michelle Lynn, author of Love Me Back

“…a fun read from start to finish…I definitely recommend this one!” – J.L. Fynn, author of The Long Game

“Tyson stole my heart from his first appearance.” — Alison G. Bailey, author of Present Perfect

Please go pick it up today, and if you enjoy it, please leave a review at Amazon and Goodreads!

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Early Reviews…

I’m headed back into the editing cave for a couple weeks… MEN AND MARTINIS is back on my plate, a fact that I’m both excited and terrified about. If you’ve been with me a while, you know that M&M has been a LONG process. This book is the first of a possible six (three for sure) being published by Swoon Romance. The book they initially offered on was a sloppy mass of ideas that I pitched as a novella. The awesome (and patient) editors there have helped me through one complete and total rewrite (which turned this from a 20k word idea to a 70k word novel), and now I’m headed into another round of edits. This one isn’t a total rewrite, thank goodness… but having the publishing team’s experience and professional eyes behind the comments is pretty good motivation to follow their direction. And it’s never fun to hear that your baby’s not beautiful in every way! 

So I’ve got a full two weeks to get back into the world of M&M — which is a world I actually lived in: NYC in the late 90s — and get this thing polished enough to go on to copyediting! 

In the meantime, I’m so excited for REDEMPTION RED to hit the streets on October 15th. The blog tour is shaping up nicely (Thanks to all who are participating!). Review copies are out, and initial reviews are even beginning to trickle in! Here’s the first one from Goodreads… eee!

I won’t post any spoilers, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed Redemption Red. It is a modern romance in every sense, brining together two characters that have depth in their own lives and a complexity in their relationship as a couple – romantically and otherwise. I loved how opposite yet similar Audrey and Tyson were – and that their story wasn’t an open shut case. It took time, just like a good wine, to mature into what it was supposed to be. 

LOVED! Off to read more Delancey Stewart titles, because now I have to! 🙂

There’s one coming soon from author Michelle Lynn (who wrote Love Me Back and just released Don’t Let Go — both of which are selling gangbusters on Amazon! Woot!) It is always a great feeling when an author you admire says something nice about your work! 

The Words of Others

As a writer, I spend a lot of time worrying over my own words. But what I’ve come to realize is that lots of writers (myself included) spend almost as much time worrying over the words of others. It’s hard to send your darlings out for judgment. And I will admit to spending more time than I should reading reviews of my babies on Amazon and on Goodreads. For me, because I’m just starting out, any review is a good review. Okay, well, not ANY review. I kind of feel like unless a writer is clearly a hack, we should just abide by the rule “if you don’t have something nice to say…” you know where I’m going with that. Why tear down a writer who is just trying to get her ground?

The point of this post was not to rail against bad reviews (and I’ve had a few. You’re welcome to go read them….) Instead, it’s to try to tell myself and other writers that it is okay to prefer the good ones. It’s okay to seek validation of your work and to celebrate when it comes. Writing is a lonely task at times, and having someone say, “hey, you’re doing a good job” feels good.

Tonight I spoke at the Charles County chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association, a group that I support in my local county as well. When I returned home, I sat down to see if any of the pre-read reviews on Redemption Red had been posted at Goodreads yet. Then I wandered over to Amazon because, frankly, I can’t help myself. I like to see my sales ranks. And while there, I noticed a new review for Through A Dusty Window. I cringed…that book is so different from everything else I’ve done. It’s not sexy or easy… it’s literary fiction and it’s short stories, and it’s historical fiction. But I kind of love it. And when the review turned out to be a good one — glowing even — I might’ve sniffled a bit. Here’s my favorite line:

The author writes well, extremely well. Found myself saying, “Wish I had thought of that.” The first words grab hold of you, the last leave you with a feeling of wanting more, and those in the middle put you directly into the scene. Carry on Delancey Stewart.

I’m going to bed now… but that’s going to carry me through quite a few tough days ahead. Thank you to all readers who take the time to let writers know when they’re doing things you like. Good night!