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Better Than Chocolate!

Today I have a little treat for you–a guest review from my sister, Sandy Smith! This is her first so, please be kind.

New York Times  bestselling author Sheila Roberts’s upcoming book BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE  goes on sale on October 1st!

Few women know romance, and chocolate, like Sheila and with BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE, she’s concocted a story (sprinkled with a few chocolate recipes!) that have you dreaming of  everything from milk to dark.

Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they’re about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of  Icicle Falls, Washington. Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, is determined to save it and comes up with the idea to  host a chocolate festival! But fate seems to be conspiring  against Samantha, and her mother’s attempts to help aren’t helping. To make matters worse, the future of the company is in the hands of her  archenemy, bank manager Blake Preston. Samantha is pretty sure Blake couldn’t care less about Sweet Dreams, but he’s determined to prove to  her that there’s something even better  than chocolate.

Sandy’s Thoughts:

I fell in love with Icicle Falls.  It is a place I would love to visit, mostly for the townspeople who know how to stick together.  Growing up in small town Arkansas, it’s something I can relate to.  The main character had many admirable qualities, especially her never-quit attitude.  The multiple dreams in the story were a little different. Overall, I would describe it as a sweet story, played out much like a Lifetime movie.

 

For more On Sheila, check out her PAGES HERE

Better Than Chocolate is now available from

Amazon | B&N | Kindle | Nook |

Why this post is late.

Okay, it’s late because I forgot about it last night.

But the reason it’s really late is because of this guy:

You know what this is? This is parenting. Sort of. This is what parents become. People who refuse to do anything that might have this:

Become this:

This guy who looks so calm and sweet (It’s really just because he’s buckled in) but don’t let the calmness fool you. He’s only playing you. When you release him from his cage he turns into a yelling, fighting THING. There is kicking. And jumping. and smashing of toys. I hear some people refer to as a “boy”.

So if that means avoiding the computer even though there are emails waiting to be sent (sorry editor!) or ignoring the blog (sorry yall!) you do that. So that you can keep having this:

And did I mention I have a new release? I don’t think I did! Rough Play, Book 2 in The Roughnecks is now available!

Jacob Iverson has plans. Distant plans, but they do exist. Find the right woman, eventually settle down and do the whole “white picket fence” routine. But until eventually comes, he’s having fun with right now. Then he meets Flora, who blows him back a step. Or two. Suddenly his distant plans are rushing up to meet him…only not quite the way he imagined.

Abandoned at seventeen, Flora Simms has made her way through the world, found life and family in the form of two best friends. Everything is just the way she likes it. From life to love to relationships, she knows what she wants, how she wants it, and doesn’t care if anyone agrees or not. And what she doesn’t want is someone trying to tie her down with long-term plans. But Jacob Iverson brings images of the future to her mind, and heart. Jacob somehow knows what she needs and he’s hitting all the right spots. But can Flora give up her idea of independence to let him in?

$2.99 at Amazon Kindle | B&N Nook | Kobo | AllRomanceEbooks | TMP | Smashwords | Bookstrand

Coming soon in print from Amazon | B&N | TMP

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

This week I put my heroes on a game show! Stop by Deep In The Heart Romance and leave me a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance at Ella Drake’s Desert Blade! It’s a Near-Future, Science Fiction Romance, Post-Apocalyptic — Novella!

Nicknames With Lanielove!

Helllloooo all! I have a guest with us today and please be good to her. This is her first guest post—as in EVER! Lanie Jordan’s a doll I love her and you will to. She’s been having some power outages off and on when she sent me this post. Hopefully they’ll be cleared up by the time this posts goes up so she can chat with you all!
Here’s Lanie!

When Keri Ford asked me to take over a guest blog, my initial thought was, ‘Oh, sure!’ followed by a brief moment (okay, 20 minutes) of ‘Oh, crap! What’ve I gotten myself into?’. That left me only a week to come up with a post. And not just any post, but something at least semi-amusing, informative, or cool. Unfortunately…I’m not really any of those things.
So, she suggested I write about wrestling. But who would want to hear me talking about half-naked men throwing each other around in a 15×15 ring? Okay, maybe some people. But I’m a really bad commentator, so the majority (read: all) of my post would have been John Cena-centric.
Then I had another brief moment of panic, followed by the decision to blog about nicknames. Almost everyone has one, right? Right.

Well, some nicknames are good, some are bad, some are just really weird that no one in their right mind can figure out (which is often part of their charm). For our very own Keri Ford, I’ve nicknamed her Kerpie. Why? Because of someone else’s nickname. One of our mutual friends calls her Keripie. In one of my moments of non-readeryness, I read it as Kerpie, and thus, the nickname was born. (Sorry, Keri—blame Sasha!)

My latest release, Breed of Innocence (an Urban Fantasy YA), was originally written as an adult novel. When I first wrote it as such, a few of the characters already had nicknames. I had no idea why or how they’d earned them, but there they were. It wasn’t until I rewrote Breed in YA form that I learned how these characters earned their nicknames (and believe me, they’re well deserved!).
I also have some new characters who, unfortunately, have garnered themselves nicknames. Jade, my heroess (I don’t like calling them heroines), calls a woman she knows Fishface. This nickname is two-fold: the woman’s last name is Gill, and the character makes faces like a fish. (This is one of those nicknames that is totally deserved, by the way.)
Nicknames are great (just not the one I’ve listed). There are almost always stories behind them. Sometimes they’re given out of meanness (only for a few characters), sometimes out of affection (I’m still working on this, I swear), and sometimes out of sheer mockery (sorry, Linc—hero dude—but you kinda set yourself up for this one, even if you don’t know the nickname yet!).
Nicknames can help set us apart. They can, when given out of affection or said mockery, make us feel special and show that we’re a part of something. And when they’re given out of meanness or deserved-ness (new word), they…do something too, I’m sure, and it’s probably helpful to someone. Somewhere.
So, tell us readers, what are some of your nicknames, either given or received? (I would share some of the nicknames I’ve earned over the years, but unfortunately, they’re therapy-seeking nicknames, and just the thought of them brings me to tears. Or chocolate eating. Mmm. Chocolate.)

I’m going to give away copies of Breed of Innocence to 2 people who comment. I’ll be mean and let Keri pick, so if you don’t win, blame her! 😀 Don’t forget to leave your email addy with your comment so we can contact you!! Winner picked Saturday, August 4th at some point.

Find out more on Lanie at her website or by following her on Twitter, Facebook. Be sure to check out her new YA Urban Fantasy, Breed Of Innocence:

Six hours ago, men in dark suits and sunglasses came looking for me.
Four hours ago, they offered me training to hunt the things that killed my family: demons.
Two hours ago, I joined their secret organization–the CGE.

Now… All I have to do is survive demon-hunting school.
The classes won’t kill me, but the finals might.

$3.99 in ebook at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Smashwords

Read an excerpt here
Book Trailer: YouTube or Amazon

Go Away!

I’ll admit, I don’t keep up with a lot of celebrity business. The way they’re hounded bothers me. It looks rude to be following people around hoping for a money shot of their kids. (Seriously? In EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD, a celeb’s toddler picking its nose is the best we got to show for ourselves?)

But the celebs that seem to crave the camera? They’re free for the pickings and I really wish they’d take a little “alone” time. This famous for being famous….? What? Doesn’t compute.

When I brought up the internet, lo and behold, yahoo had a list of women men were sick of hearing about.

Gotta tell ya, this woman is stick of them too.

Kim Kardashian was at the top of the list. She’s at the top of mine too.

Oh look, Lindsey Lohan is back in jail. Or out again. Or has she just pissed off her judge again? I can’t keep up.

Snookie’s baby kicked her belly. And she’s craving something. I don’t know. Much like the Kardashian, I don’t understand this person or why most of the country is fascinated with her. (I’m really surprised she wasn’t in the top five!)

One woman on list did surprise. Princess Kate. (I know that likely isn’t proper but I’ll be run over before I call her by her maiden name. Media. Geez. Wake up.). Sure she’s everywhere, but she’s doing her job. This isn’t her out there hogging the camera. This is the cameras who won’t leave the gal alone.

So those are my top 3 list and my one surprise. Who’s on your list that you wish you could banish from the news roll?

(ps, I’ll be away from my computer most of the day, but I’ll read all your comments when I’m back!)

The Cover Art Form

For the non-writers out there, the cover art form is the thing we fill out, describing what kind of cover we’d like. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’d say 90% of the time, authors don’t get anything remotely like what they picked out. Them’s the brakes, part of the business.
Me though? My publisher is pretty freaking FANTASTIC in that she really looks at my art form, takes into consideration of why I want something and often delivers on it!
The reason Cover Art Forms is on my mind is because I’m filling one out for a 2013 book. I thought I’d poll yall for what you liked.
Head? No head?
Back? Chest?
Cartoon-like? Real people?
Gun and a blood pile? Stack of flowers?
What is it about a cover that catches your attention—and just as important, what turns you off?
Colors you like best?
There are SO MANY options to add on the art form, it’s pretty crazy. My 2013 book is a Mystery Romance. It’s southern. There’s fun parts, but there’s also some dark sections too. What do you think? I have an image I adore at the moment and unless I find something else that screams Taken By Trouble, that’s the image I’ll be sending to my publisher.
If you think I’ll spill the details on the picture I have picked out, you’re crazy. I want to know what YOU like!

Happy 4th Of July!

Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans. Today is well–hot dogs, homemade ice cream, fun with family, maybe some swimming and more than likely a few sunburns.

But I thought in the midst of all that, it’d be fun to reflect back a little. (scroll over/highlight to see the answers!)

1.  What is the last line of the last verse of our National Anthem?

A:   O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave (it’s the last line of each verse).

2. How many stars were on the first United States flag?

A: 13 stripes and 13 stars

3. Where was the first national capital located?

A: 1774 Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4: Who do historians believe sewed the first official American flag?

A: Betsy Ross

5: Which two patriots died on July 4, 1826?

A: Thomas Jefferson & John Adams

6: In July 1776, how many people were living in the colonies?

A: 2.5 Million

7: Who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence?

A: John Hancock.

8: The first Independence Day was July 4, 1776 but in what year was Fourth of July officially declared a national holiday by Congress?

A: 1941.

9: How were fireworks invented?

A: The Chinese invented them much the same way they constructed rockets for war.

10: Finish this phrase from the Declaration: Life, liberty, and _________________________________________?

A: The pursuit of happiness

How did you all do?

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

*Sources if you want more!:

RiverSongs
Home.Families

Not what I imagined at 29

HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY TO MY HUSBAND!!

AND!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!!

*ahem*…back to the blog…

You grow up hearing about the year you’re 29. Unmarried, drinking cocktails with your best friends, middle fingers off to men. Or being 29, sipping fruity drinks while hoping to catch that man before the dreaded 30.

Since I got married at 20, I knew the above wouldn’t be my fate (9years of marriage this fall!). I also don’t put much stock in my age number as far as what I can do or my thought process. Hard to when at 19 and working, people were routinely asking me why I wasn’t in school because I looked at the most of 16.

I expected to be full on soccer mom, complete with that Bugs Bunny version mini-van. Cause if I was driving a mini-van, by golly that baby was going to be DECKED OUT COOL STYLE with Bugs Bunny. What’s Up, Doc?

Anyway, here I am. I’m in a mid-sized SUV, the kiddo is about to school and he is all boy, all into sports. He has completely begged to play tennis. The wii has carried him this far, but in the last 6 or so months, he’s really upped the begging.

So he started in tennis lessons. My husband was taught to play as a kiddo and he’s always enjoyed it. Now that son is getting into, the husband is just itching play. Yours truly is most convenient to play. Only I don’t know how to play and the husband has got to be the worst teacher on the planet.

Now I’m in tennis lessons too. Learning to play a new sport was the absolute last thing I ever expected to be doing at this age. (for the record I told the husband “get some pictures of me playing so if all else fails, I’ll get a blog post out of this. Yeah.  … Lesson nearly over and he’d taken none.)

It was fun. Thank God I’ve been in the gym the last year and half or I never would have survived past 10minutes. 90-something degrees outside plus you add about 30* on top of that because of the heat absorbed in the courts. I expected to be so sore I could barely move, but I’m a good, slightly achy feeling and ready for my next lesson this Saturday!

Anything you picked up or started doing at an age you never in your life thought you would be doing?

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