My Books!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Elizabeth Lane's Rules For Lovers


Elizabeth: Hello, Nikki, today is our last day hosting Elaine's blog.

Nikki: Oh, I know, and I'm going to miss coming here.

Elizabeth: You can still come by and visit.

Nikki: Yeah, I know.

Elizabeth: Let's leave the readers with a list of the ten most important rules to follow to have a great relationship with your sweetie.

Nikki: More lists! Is that all you ever do? Still, I like the sound of this one. Let me go first.

Elizabeth: Okay, what do you think is the number one rule?

Nikki: Easy. Laugh together. Tommy and I laugh all the time.

Elizabeth: (giggling) That's because you're so funny. My number one rule is don't be afraid to forgive.

Nikki: That's a good one. How about this? Be kind to each other.

Elizabeth: Oh, I love that one. And you should say I love you every day.

Nikki: Tommy does that too. Say, did you know I got a new cover for The Best Selling Toy Of The Season? The publisher Midnight Showcase closed its doors, so the book will now be published by Melange Books.

Elizabeth: No, I didn't know about your book. Where can people go to find it?

Nikki: www.melange-books.com. The grand opening is tomorrow.

Elizabeth: Okay, let's finish our list of rules. How about treat each other's relatives with courtesy?

Nikki: (snickers) Yeah, with your in-laws that's a good one. They're all awfully high strung. I think it's important to encourage each other.

Elizabeth: Sure is! Also,show respect to each other.

Nikki: Good one! And really listen to what the other person is saying.

Elizabeth: You should accept each other's differences too.

Nikki: You said a mouthful there! Tommy and I are as different as night from day. I don't know how in the world he ever brought himself to go out with me in the first place. Do you remember what happened on our first date? Michael...

Elizabeth: Nikki, we did an excerpt with that in it.

Nikki: Oh, yeah. Are we to the last rule yet? I think it doesn't hurt to say a little prayer for each other.

Elizabeth: I think you're right. Okay, readers, there you have it. Nikki and Elizabeth's ten most important rules for lovers. We've enjoyed spending the month of December with you. Elaine will be back next week, and I know she'll have something good lined up.

Nikki: Don't forget about our books. Mine is with Melange now, and you can get Return Engagement at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com

Elizabeth: Bye now. I hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous 2011.

Nikki: And that goes double for me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Purple Heart


Elizabeth: The month of December is almost over, Nikki, so our time at Elaine's blog is limited.

Nikki: That's right, so what should we do today?

Elizabeth: I think maybe we should share an excerpt from one of Elaine's books.

Nikki: Which one?

Elizabeth: Let's do Purple Heart. Everyone loved that book.

Nikki: What did the reviewers say about it?

Elizabeth: Fallen Angel Reviews gave it 5 out of 5 angels.

Nikki: Wow, that's impressive!

Elizabeth: I think so. Here's what the review said: Elaine Cantrell writes stories that consume me. I am always moved by her storytelling and Purple Heart is no exception. This is one poignant story I could read again and again. The plot is ingenuous, with Jenna being from a country where Mike has been fighting. When Ms. Cantrell throws in the secondary characters, where some wish to create a little tension, the read is more of a page-turner. As I read the story of Jenna and Mike, I must admit it makes me think about accepting another person’s lifestyle and culture. Even though I haven’t been in a fighting zone, I can see how believable Mike’s actions are; he truly shows how someone could not wish to be around a person of a different culture. This story is amazing in every way and one that I will not forget.

Nikki: Can we read an excerpt?

Elizabeth: Sure can! Purple Heart is available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/purple-heart-p-404.html

Excerpt: In this excerpt, Mike Hightower has returned from fighting in Iraq where his best friend was killed. He has rented an apartment that is owned by a woman from Lebanon. He isn't too fond of her.

Mike moved in the next day. His mother had given
him her old sofa, the one stored in the basement, and his
brother, David, had given him a bedroom suite. He went
to Super Mart, the local discount store, to buy some
lamps, a TV, some dishes, and a few towels, and he was
ready to start housekeeping. He needed a few more
things, but they’d have to wait until he got paid.

David had volunteered to help with the move into the
duplex, and he liked the apartment. “It’s plenty big
enough, and everything looks new.”

“Yeah, it’s close to work too. The only problem is the
landlady.”

“What’s wrong with her? Did she hit on you?” Both
Mike and David got that a lot. They’d been told it was
because their blond hair and beautiful blue eyes were
irresistible. Whatever it was, they drew women like flies
to honey.

Mike just snorted. “She’s one of the people who killed
Ramirez.”

“What?”

“You know; Middle Eastern.”

David looked shocked. “Mike, she’s probably a nice
woman. I know that Ramirez was your friend, but you
can’t blame an entire race of people for what happened
over there. If you don’t let go of this anger it’s going to eat
you up.”

Mike didn’t argue because David had willingly given
up his Saturday to help, but he’d blame anyone he wanted
to, and that included Jenna West.

They finished their work around lunchtime, and after
David went home, Mike made a grocery list. He had
almost finished when someone knocked on the door. That
surprised him. He hadn’t expected company so soon.

He opened the door, and frowned when he saw Jenna
West. “Can I help you?” He hoped she wouldn’t make a
habit of bothering him. If she did he’d have to move to the
Botany Arms, and he didn’t like that at all.

The woman gave him a big, sunny smile. “I know you
probably haven’t had time to go to the grocery store, so I
thought I’d offer you some lunch.” She held out a casserole
dish. “I hope you enjoy it.”

How dare she try to be nice to him. He didn’t want or
need her charity, but if he didn’t take it, he’d seem like a
jerk. “Thank you. I’ll return your dish,” he grumbled.
“You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.”

Mike watched her sprint back to her own half of the
duplex, and tried to decide what to do with the casserole.
He was starving, and it smelled great, but he didn’t really
want to eat something that she had cooked. She might be
dirty.

His stomach growled, and he actually took a plate out
of the cabinet before he decided that he wouldn’t risk it.
He dumped the whole thing into the garbage and ran
some water into the dish. Boy, it had smelled good.

With an exclamation of disgust, he grabbed his
grocery list and pulled on his coat. He didn’t have a bite to
eat in the whole house.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Like Free Stuff?


Hello, readers. The month of December is almost over, so I'll soon get my blog back. Until then, I hope my characters are keeping you entertained.

Nikki: Hey, Elizabeth, what did you get for Christmas?

Elizabeth: A blue diamond ring.

Nikki: Let me look. Say, that's pretty.

Elizabeth: Richard's always had good taste in jewelry. What did Tommy give you?

Nikki: A trip to Hawaii. That's where we went on our honeymoon, remember?

Elizabeth: Yes, I do remember. You'll have loads of fun.

Nikki: (snickering) I'm counting on it. Now, tell me what's going on at Elaine's blog?

Elizabeth: Elaine decided to give her readers a gift. For the next twenty four hours, anyone who'd like a free copy of her novel Grandfather's Legacy can have it. All they have to do is leave their email in the comment section of the blog, or they can email her at elainecsc@aol.com

Nikki: I haven't read that one yet.

Elizabeth: Well, it was the second book Elaine wrote. It isn't quite as polished as her writing is now, but it's a really good story and got great reviews. The Romance Studio gave it 4 and 1/2 hearts.

Nikki: That's good enough for me. 4 1/2 hearts is a great review. I'm going right now to email Elaine.

Elizabeth: This is a nice opportunity, readers. I hope you'll take advantage of it and enjoy the book. Don't forget; you have 24 hours to request your book.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Retro Christmas






During the month of December my blog has been taken over by my characters. Elizabeth Lane is the heroine of Return Engagement, and Nikki Lane is the heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Elizabeth: Welcome to Elaine’s blog, readers! Are you ready for Christmas?

Nikki: My Christmas shopping is finally done!

Elizabeth: What did you get Tommy? You were having a hard time deciding.

Nikki: Oh, I found him a leather bag for his computer. He’ll just love it! Now, tell me what we’re doing today.

Elizabeth: Today we’re talking about decorating a themed Christmas tree.

Nikki: I don’t ever do a theme tree. The kids make most of our ornaments.

Elizabeth: Elaine always has two trees. This year she put her theme tree in the dining room, and the family tree is in the living room.

Nikki: I guess her theme trees are pretty. What’s the theme this year?

Elizabeth: A Retro Christmas.

Nikki: Wow, that’s cool! Where’d she find the retro ornaments?

Elizabeth: Estate sales are a good source for retro ornaments. So are little junk and antique stores.

Nikki: What about Ebay? I just love Ebay. Yesterday I was bidding on an antique pie safe, and I thought I had the winning bid, but at the last minute I lost it. Those last minute bids ought to be outlawed! I had already picked out the place for the pie safe, and I was even going to put a pie in it. Tommy likes pumpkin pie, but I don’t know if that….

Elizabeth: Yes, Ebay is a wonderful source for retro ornaments. That’s where Elaine bought most of hers.

Nikki: What keywords did she use?

Elizabeth: Vintage Christmas ornaments.

Nikki: So how old are the ones she bought?

Elizabeth: She has some from the 1930’s, some from the 1940’s, and a couple from the 1970’s, but most of them are from the fifties or sixties.

Nikki: You should show the readers a few pictures.

Elizabeth: I intend to.

Nikki: What kind of tree did she use? Before I married Tommy I always had an artificial tree, but it couldn’t be too big because our trailer was only a single wide. Tommy always wants a live tree though. Of course, people with allergies might not want a real tree. I’m having one this year I think, but…

Elizabeth: Elaine used an artifical tree because she wanted to put it up so early, but if she really wanted to be authentic she would have put up a cedar tree. They were very popular in the South.

Nikki: Better be careful with her lights if they’re old too.

Elizabeth: Elaine has authentic lights from the 1950's, but they gave out so much heat she decided to buy some LCD lights that are the same size as the real, retro lights. she said they looked okay.

Nikki: Since Elaine's tree is in the dining room she should find a retro tablecloth.

Elizabeth: She looked at the retro tablecloths but decided to buy a new one made in a vintage design.

Nikki: I didn’t know you could find those. Not that I want one, but someday I might.

Elizabeth: They’re easy to find. A lot of people love the retro look now.

Nikki: Okay, you’ve convinced me. Next year I’m doing a theme tree too. I know! I’ll do a tropical theme. Wouldn’t it be cute to put Santa hats on flamingos?

Elizabeth: Yes, I really think it would.

Nikki: Do we have a contest today?

Elizabeth: Of course. All the readers have to do is leave a comment suggesting themes for Elaine to do next year. The winner gets an electronic copy of my story, Return Engagement.

Nikki: Merry Christmas, raders, er.. I mean readers. Hope Santa is good to you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Elizabeth Lane's Last Minute Shopping Ideas



My characters have taken over my blog during the month of December. I hope everything goes okay. Drop me an email if they get too far out of control.

Elizabeth: Are you finished with your Christmas shopping, Nikki?

Nikki: All excerpt for a couple of things I want to get for Rachel's kids. Who knows what to buy a teenage girl?

Elizabeth: I do.

Nikki: (rolling her eyes) Oh, yeah? What do you recommend?

Elizabeth: Several things actually. First, I saw a little pendant at Kmart in the shape of a cat. Would you like to see the picture of it?

Nikki: (laughing) Right. You're a Hollywood actress, and you're married to one of the richest men in the country and you're shopping at Kmart. Really, where did it come from?

Elizabeth: It came from Kmart. Nikki, it doesn't matter where you find things that you like.

Nikki: Oh, I get it. Kmart's paying you to promote their product.

Elizabeth: Nope. I just saw it and liked it.

Nikki: We'll post a picture of it. What else do you like?

Elizbeth: A bling hangit.

Nikki: Bling, I get, but what's a hangit?

Elizabeth: You can hang a tremendous amount of jewelry on it and hang it almost anywhere, even in a closet. I found it when I was buying a book at Amazon.

Nikki: Post a picture of it. Anything else?

Elizabeth: Those are my two favorites, although personalizing a calendar with family photos would be a close third.

Nikki: They do that online at lots of places. Not a bad idea really.

Elizabeth: Thank you! Now who won that last contest, the one for the recipes?

Nikki: I don't know her name, but I have her email, and I've already asked her for her address.

Elizabeth: Good. Readers we'll see you next time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Welcome Sandy Nicks


During the month of December my blog has been taken over by my characters. I have no idea what they're going to do next! Your hostess is Elizabeth Lane heroine of Return Engagement. Her assistant is her cousin Nikki Lane who is the heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Elizabeth: Nikki, we have another guest today. This is Sandy Nicks.

Nikki: Hi, Sandy. Are you an author too?

Sandy: I sure am. I've got a book I'd like to tell you about too.

Nikki: Sounds good to me! I'm giving people books for Christmas, and I need one more.

Elizabeth: Sandy, could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your writing?

Sandy: Thank you for having me, Elaine, Elizabeth, and Nikki! I write romantic comedy and time travel romance for Vanilla Heart Publishing. My first novel, Falling for Autumn, was published in 2009. It’s the first book in the series Sisters for All Seasons. Book two, Crazy Days of Summer, will be released in early 2011. My time travel romance, Circle of Eternity, was released in February 2010.

I live near the Jersey Shore with my husband, four kids and nine spoiled pets. When I’m not writing, I like to read, go to the beach in Belmar, and hang out with my family.

Elizabeth: I love romantic comedy! My new movie that's coming out next summer is a romantic comedy.

Nikki: Sandy, Elizabeth is an actress, but I guess you knew that. Everyone knows her especially after Elaine told her story in Return Engagement.

Sandy: Everyone's heard of Elizabeth Lane!

Elizabeth: Can you tell us about your latest release, Sandy?

Sandy: The release date for Crazy Days of Summer has changed to early 2011. It’s about the middle sister, Summer. I had a lot of fun writing it and look forward to its release. It takes place in Hollywood and Belmar, NJ. Autumn makes an appearance as well as their beloved and fun mother Daisy. Spring, the youngest sister, whose book will be out late next year, also makes an appearance. Summer works for a movie star and things get hot and crazy…that’s all I’ll say for now : -)

Elizabeth: Wow, working for a movie star! I hope it's a nice star. Where did you get your idea for the book?

Sandy: The idea started with Falling for Autumn. Her family plays an important part in her life and in the story. I fell in love with all of them and wanted each sister to have her own story. I admit there are always pieces from real life woven into my stories. However, ideas can and do strike randomly and I always keep a notebook with me to write them down.

Nikki: Which is your favorite of all your books? Why?

Sandy: I honestly can’t pick one because I love all of my characters and their adventures. It’s also hard to choose because I write both contemporary and time travel romance. I love writing about the present day just as much as I do writing about the twelfth century. They also have a common theme that love and a sense of humor going hand-in-hand. I want my readers to laugh just as much as I want them to be sent on an adventure and fall in love.

Nikki: Elaine says shehas a hard time picking favorites too, but I bet my book is really her favorite. What are your plans for Christmas?

Sandy: We’ll be spending Christmas Eve at my sister-in-law’s house. In addition to my five year old nephew, we have a new nephew who’s just six months old so I’m really looking forward to being with them. When we get home that night, it’s a tradition for me, my husband and our children to watch the movie Christmas Vacation! On Christmas Day, we’ll be home opening presents, hanging out and eating lots of goodies!

Elizabeth: That sounds lovely to me, Sandy. We’d love to have a blurb and excerpt from your latest book. Be sure to include a buy link.

Sandy: Since the release for Crazy Days of Summer has been changed, I’ll just give you the blurb. If readers would like to read excerpts from Falling for Autumn and Circle of Eternity, they can be found on my web site: www.sandynicks.com.


Crazy Days of Summer blurb:
Crazy Happens.
Summer Winters is used to having a hectic life. She has no choice. She works long hours for a famous movie star, she’s planning her beach wedding in New Jersey from her office in California, and her mother calls ten times a day to discuss ideas for the ceremony that include mermaid ice sculptures, fish bowl centerpieces and having the bridal party jump in the ocean.

Bret Hartford is handsome, wealthy and famous. With a recent string of box office successes, he’s rocketing to A-list status. He throws lavish parties, attends red carpet events and is always flocked by a bevy of beauties hoping to win his heart.
Like violent waves stirred by a coastal storm, Summer and Bret are suddenly hit with lies and betrayal. Summer’s wedding plans quickly unravel when her fiancĂ© becomes distant and her mother falls ill. Bret’s future takes a hit when he becomes embroiled in a scandal that threatens his career. While Summer tries to mend her broken heart and care for her mother, Bret is relying on her to help him uncover the truth.

When Summer and Bret join forces to get their lives back in order, their working relationship turns like the tide. From low to high, they soon find their friendship is changing to something more intense.
Can this heated passion endure the crazy days of summer?

All my books are available in print and a variety of e-book formats – including Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad and more. They can be purchased at Amazon and B&N. To learn more about me and my books, please visit: www.sandynicks.com.

Thanks again, ladies, for having me!

Elizabeth: Thanks for coming, Sandy. And I do know Bret Hartford.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Red in the Flower Bed



During the month of December my characters have taken over my blog. Elizabeth Lane heroine of Return Engagement is in charge, and her cousin, Nikki Lane, the heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season is her helper.

Nikki: What are you reading, Elizabeth? I’ve spoken to you twice now.

Elizabeth: Oh, sorry. Look at this little book, Nikki.

Nikki: (Looking at the book cover) Red In The Flower Bed. What’s it about?

Elizabeth: It’s so cool! The book is written by Andrea Nepa who adopted a Vietnamese girl called Leah. In 2001, Adoptions from the Heart assisted with the international adoption. Andrea dedicated her book to her daughter: "For my dear Leah, whose journey in her young life has already taken her to far away and unexpected places." In 2006, Leah was diagnosed with cancer, but she is currently in remission. Andrea lives with Leah and her husband, David, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She’s a registered dietitian for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Nikki: Oh thank goodness the little girl is okay!

Elizabeth: You’re right! The book is lovely. Ms. Nepa compares adoption to a poppy seed which is sent away by the poppy flower so that it can grow and thrive in a new garden, and in that new garden the red poppy completes the garden and becomes the red centerpiece.

Nikki: It would make a nice gift for anyone who’s adopted or ever considered adoption. Can we read an excerpt for it?

Elizabeth: Yes, you can read that at http://www.tribute-books.com/redfirst10.pdf
Nikki: Maybe she has a book video we can watch.

Elizabeth: Your wish is my command. Here it is.


Nikki: That’s awesome! Do you have a link where we can buy the book?

Elizabeth: Sure do. Go to http://tribute-books.com/shop.html#children4

Nikki: Do you have other links for the book?

Elizabeth: Yes, here they are.


Book web site:
http://www.redintheflowerbed.com

Andrea Nepa Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1664060822

Tribute Books website:
http://www.tribute-books.com

Tribute Books Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/ Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/ 171628704176

Tribute Books Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/ TributeBooks

Nikki: Thanks for sharing the book with me, Elizabeth. It’s really very heartwarming.

Elizabeth: Any time, Nikki. Readers, do check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Contest Winners and a Recipe. And a Contest.



During the month of December my blog has been taken over by my characters. I have no idea what they'll get into, but if they get too wild please send me an email.

Elaine

Hey, Readers, Nikki Lane here. Remember me? Elaine told my story in The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. You really ought to get my book. It's a great story. If you read it though, you have to promise not to fall for my hunky Tommy. I admit that's hard because he's so wonderful, but back off, ladies. He's mine.

Elizabeth isn't coming today. She had some party she had to go to in Washington. She's an actress, but she's married to Senator Henry Lovinggood's son, Richard. They do a lot of networking in Washington because Senator Lovinggood wants Richard to be the president one day.

So, I'm here to announce some contest winners. Sherry Gloag, you won a copy of the my wonderful book. I'll be sending it to you shortly. Judy, you won those earrings. Better send Elaine your address at elainecsc@aol.com. If she doesn't hear from you in a week she's going to pick a new winner.

Elizabeth didn't say I could do anything but announce the contest winners, but since she isn't here... Okay, here's the deal. Let's have another contest. I'm gonna share one of my favorite Christmas recipes with the group. I make it every year, and everyone just loves it. Leave a comment and share one of your favorite recipes, and I'll get Elaine to draw one name out of a hat to win... er, what would be a good prize? I know! An ornament for your Christmas tree. I'd show a picture of it, but I just thought it up and haven't bought the ornament yet. Don't worry. It'll be great. Now, here's one of my favorite recipes.


White Delight

1 8oz. pack cream cheese
½ cup lemon juice
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 large can fruit cocktail (about 20oz. well drained)
1 cup pecans
8 oz. cool whip
shredded coconut

Mix everything together and sprinkle the coconut on top


Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you about the picture. Elaine likes the retro look so I found a picture of a 1950's Christmas card for you to look at. It is kinda cool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elizabeth and Richard's Favorite Christmas Quotes


Elizabeth: Welcome to Elaine’s blog, readers. I'm Elizabeth Lane, Elaine's heroine in Return Engagement, and my assistant is Nikki Lane, heroine of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. We've taken over Elaine's blog for the month of December. Elaine, I hope you're having a nice vacation. Christmas is so exciting, isn’t it?

Nikki: Exciting, yes, but I’m frazzled. So much to do, and I don’t have Tommy’s present yet.

Elizabeth: You’ll think of something. Would you like to read my Christmas quotes?

Nikki: You made up quotes about Christmas?

Elizabeth: No, Richard and I made a list of our favorite Christmas quotes.

Nikki: You and Richard do some weird things. Tommy and I don’t sit around doing stuff like that. Are you going to share the list with the readers?

Elizabeth: Yes, I am, and it wouldn’t hurt you and Tommy to think a little more about Christmas and what it means to you.

Nikki: Well, I don't guess I need to write down quotes to...

Elizabeth: Readers, here are Richard and my favorite Christmas quotes. Leave a comment telling me which one you like best and why. Or, you can list your own favorite quote. If I draw your name from the hat Elaine will send you a cute pair of hand made Christmas earrings. Don’t forget to leave your email address so she can contact the winner.

Nikki: Goody, another contest. Which earrings are you giving away?

Elizabeth: Turquoise beads trimmed in black. Okay, here we go.

1.I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. - Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

2.I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
- Longfellow

3.Jennifer Bofinger, media spokeswoman for the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said despite the shabby treatment of deer in general, her organization has not received any complaints about how Santa Claus treats his reindeer. - Los Angeles (LA) Times

4.Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. - Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

5.Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. - Laura Ingalls Wilder

6.The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis (Better Homes and Gardens)

7.And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, Which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12

8.Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.
- Lenore Hershey

9.Love came down at Christmas; love all lovely, love divine; love was born at Christmas, stars and angels gave the sign. Christina G. Rossetti

10."At Christmas, all roads lead home." ~ Marjorie Holmes

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Elizabeth: Welcome to Elaine's blog readers! My name is Elizabeth Lane, and my assistant is my cousin Nikki Lane. Elaine told my story in her novel Return Engagement, and...

Nikki: Hold on a minute! You're not the only one whose story Elaine told. She talked about me in The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Elizabeth: I know that, Nikki. I was about to say so when you interrupted me.

Nikki: Oh.

Elizabeth: We have a nice surprise for you, readers. Today I'm interviewing Joselyn Vaughn.

Nikki: Who's that?

Elizabeth: Oh, she's an author.

Nikki: Yeah? Where is she?

Elizabeth: Um, she's right behind you.

Nikki: Oh, hey, Joselyn.

Joselyn: Hey, Nikki. Elizabeth, it's so nice to meet you! I've never talked to an A list Hollywood actress. For that matter, you're the first actress of any kind that I ever met.

Nikki: See, readers? It's always like that! She gets all the attention because she's an actress.

Elizabeth: (giggling) Nikki, you're so funny. I offered to put you in one of my movies, and you turned me down flat. Now, be quiet and let me talk to Joselyn.
Joselyn, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?


Joselyn: I'd love to, Elizabeth. I’m a stay at home mom to three kids with two and a half in diapers. We are in the midst of potty training the twins; my son is catching on, my daughter is not. When not busy with the kids, I like to sleep. Occasionally I’m not busy with them during waking hours, then I like to go thrift store shopping or running. Once someone told me I looked like I was running really fast. I told them I was fleeing.

Nikki: Fleeing? That is so funny! That's how I feel sometimes with my kids. Michael and Teddy are a handful to say the least.

Elizabeth: Go on Joselyn. What else?

Joselyn: Before being a stay at home mom, I was a librarian at our local library and got to order books for the collection. Spending other people’s money on books you will get to use is an awesome perk.

Nikki: On the average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Joselyn: CEOs Don’t Cry and Courting Sparks each took about a year from rough draft to a version I felt comfortable sending out. My last work in progress took over a year and a half, probably because I was pregnant while writing it and didn’t have the energy to work on it. I wish I could write faster, but I can’t seem to find more hours for the day. I wish there was an iPhone app for that. Maybe the iPad will have something.

Elizabeth: That's so funny!

Nikki: Yeah, but I know what she means. Think, Elizabeth! She has twins to look after as well as her other child. She needs 25 hours a day at least!

Elizabeth: Do heroes and heroines always have to be good looking, Joselyn? Why or why not?

Joselyn: Not at all. No one is ever going to agree on who is good looking and who is not. A lot of my friends think Johnny Depp is hot and I think he looks like he could bathe more often. Of course, they may not agree with me that Hugh Jackman should be the lifetime winner of People’s Sexiest Man Alive Award. To me, it’s more important that the hero or heroine be attractive to each other and have qualities that the reader can identify with and care about.

Nikki: Well said! Still though, my hunky Tommy is every woman's dream man.

Elizabeth: He isn't mine. Richard is my dream man.

Nikki: I don't like blondes, and Richard is blonde.

Elizabeth: Joselyn, you are a hundred percent correct. Every woman has her own criteria to define sexy. Which author would you most like to meet and why?

Joselyn: I would love to meet Jane Austen, but I’m not really into sĂ©ances, so for a living author, I think would be cool to chat with Julia Quinn. I love her characters and their dialogue. They crack me up. I’ve heard she’s as much fun in person.

Nikki: I went to a seance one time and...

Elizabeth: Hush, Nikki. She doesn't have all day to chat with us. Joselyn, what are you most passionate about outside of writing?

Joselyn: Probably my family. Outside of writing, they are what I’m busy with most and while they exhaust me in every way possible, I find it very hard to give up time with them. My twins are old enough to really communicate what they are thinking and it’s fun to see their thought processes. My son recently told me he couldn’t play with the pee in his potty because “it was decoration” – their label for anything they aren’t allowed to play with.

Elizabeth: LOL. Would you share your links with us?

Joselyn: I'd love to.
http://joselynvaughn.com
http://joselynvaughn.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000088818448

Nikki: Hey, Joselyn, we’d love to read an excerpt. Be sure to give us a buy link so I can order it.

Joselyn: Thanks, Nikki. Here's that link http://www.amazon.com/Joselyn-Vaughn/e/B002I28GUO/ref=sr_tc_img_2_0?qid=1283449922&sr=1-2-ent


Sandalwood and a touch of wood smoke.
The scents drifted from behind her and Daphne knew the man was sexy. She closed her eyes as she stood on the corner of the dance floor and breathed deeply. Maybe passing out candy bars for the Dollar Dance wasn’t such a bad thing. Her Magic Eight Ball could be right. For once.

She tried to adjust the neckline of her fuchsia bridesmaid dress to enhance her cleavage, but the double-sided tape holding the mermaid-style dress in place wouldn’t budge.

Sure, when you want the dress to come off, it sticks firmly in place. She sighed. She spun on her bare feet to greet the dream date behind her and stopped so abruptly her basket of candy bars tipped over, spilling chocolate at his feet.
“Noah?” she gasped.

A light blue madras shirt covered his broad shoulders. His dark hair still damp from his shower. She looked at him like she’d never seen him before.
And she saw him almost every day. He was the athletic director and she was an English teacher and the cross-country coach. She was in and out of his office with student eligibility reports and questions about the team schedule. Besides all that, they’d been friends since second grade. She’d never had this reaction to him before. What was different?

Noah bent to pick up the candy. His shirt pulled across his muscular shoulders as he reached for the scattered bars. Daphne continued to stare at him. Water droplets clung to the hair on the back of his neck and she itched to brush them away. She extended the basket for him to dump the bars.

“Fire call?” she said, trying to cover her stunned silence and hoping he didn’t notice her blushed skin.

“Yeah. Out at The Willows. Could have been really bad, but we were able to contain it. Do I still smell smoky?”

Daphne leaned closer and breathed deeply. His sandalwood cologne flooded her nose again. A touch of smoke lingered behind it. She forgot to breathe out.
This was Noah, she told herself. Not George Clooney. Get a grip.

“Your cologne covers it. How much burned?” she asked, stepping away to put some fresh air between them.

Noah shrugged. “The flames kept smoldering in this heat. Hot spots were flaring up all afternoon. Most of the trees are singed. I’m not sure they’ll come back.” He tugged at the front of his shirt as if he still felt the high temperatures.

“I can’t believe The Willows is gone. No more hidden trysts out there. Where will the teens go to make out now?”

“They’ll find some place. They always do. There’s that place by the river, but the landowner is pretty adamant about kicking them out once a month.”

She hugged the candy basket to her chest. Bittersweet memories of The Willows haunted her, now that Aaron was no longer in her life. They’d gone there to do all the things teens do in the shaded alcoves of the draping willow trees. The fire was a relief in a way, another reminder of him gone.

“Was Miranda angry I wasn’t here?” Noah asked.

She glanced at the bride twirling on the dance floor and pushed away the gloomy thoughts. Good ol’ Noah. He could always divert her depressing thoughts. “I think she’ll forgive you.” Daphne bumped him with her basket of chocolate. “Not to dash your ego, but she didn’t notice. She was so nervous before the ceremony, she peed every fifteen minutes. I’m glad I didn’t pull bathroom duty this time.”

Noah laughed, the tone soft and deep. “I don’t want to know. Anything else happen?

“If you’re asking if Max fainted, you owe me ten bucks. He turned green during the solo, but his knees never buckled.”

Elizabeth: Joselyn, it sounds wonderful. I'm going to order a copy too. I hope you and your beautiful family have a safe and merry holiday season.

Joselyn: Thanks Elizabeth. Uh, would you mind if I got your autograph?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blog For Your Book


During the month of December my blog has been taken over by the characters in my books. Elizabeth Lane the heroine of Return Engagement is in charge so check back often to see what she and her cousin Nikki have planned for you.

Nikki: Pstt. Elizabeth!

Elizabeth: What is it, Nikki?

Nikki: There's a guy over there who said that Elaine told him he could guest blog today.

Elizabeth: Yes, that's right. She did line up a guest blogger.

Nikki: What's he going to blog about?

Elizabeth: Blogging.

Nikki: Huh?

Elizabeth: (giggling) Never mind, Nikki. Let's let Mr. Stern talk to us about blogging.

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online degrees for the Guide to Online Schools.

Many authors look down upon blogging. The blogosphere is a new creation, whereas literature has a storied history; anybody can blog and say anything they want, while only the best authors get published; and publishing a work takes time, even years, but bloggers can bang out posts in a matter of minutes without the care or precision of a skilled writer working for a living.

All these things are true, but published authors should still blog. Why? Because blogging is the ultimate promotional tool -- and it's free, or costs very little compared to any other kind of PR campaign. Blogs keep fans updated on news, and can allow them even greater insight into an author. Here are some reasons why you should -- actually, why you need to -- blog for your book.

• One-stop shop for updates: Keep fans informed on all your latest news through quick, concise, informative blog posts. For book tours, new projects, radio or television appearances, etc. advertise them on your blog. It will help get the word out, and hopefully boost attendance at your events.

• Show your talents: For those writers looking for agents or publishers, a blog can be a great way to show off your writing talents. Create thoughtful, well-written posts, and people will take notice -- because really, in the blogosphere, good writing is rare.

• Build an audience: Publishers only want to invest in projects they know are going to sell. Prove you have an audience by building one through your blog. Having a substantial following proves people are connecting with your words, and coming back for more of them regularly. That's really what the publishing industry is all about: promoting authors who people will follow, and keep spending their money on.

• Prove your expertise: If working on a research novel or theoretical work of some kind, it is essential that you prove you are an expert in the field you are writing about. Well written, thoughtful, and informed blog posts can be a great way to do so. Write on current events in your field, discuss past projects, or critique someone else's work.

• Get readers involved in the creation of a text: Use your blog to supplement your project. People love to see "making of's" of their favorite films; why not do one for your book? Don't give everything away, but talk about maybe interviews conducted for your work, how you found inspiration for a particular scene, anything to give your readership more insight into the creative process. Doing so helps build a stronger connection with your audience, and will help pique interest in your work.

• Demonstrate your promotional skills: In this day and age, having an author who can help promote the book independently is essential for publishers operating under tight publicity budgets. Help yourself out by proving you understand social media. Use your blog to build a following, and incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and similar services to further make connections and prove your expertise. Show that you are personable and more than willing to talk with fans -- publishers will like this for in-store signings or interviews on television or radio.

Elizabeth: Thanks for your good advice, Mr. Stern. Do come back and see us again.

Nikki: Pstt. Readers! Did you notice that Christmas tree Elizabeth put on the blog? She's already got her house decorated too! I tell you that woman does love Christmas.

Blog For Your Book

During the month of December my blog has been taken over by the characters in my books. Elizabeth Lane the heroine of Return Engagement is in charge so check back often to see what she and her cousin Nikki have planned for you.

Nikki: Pstt. Elizabeth!

Elizabeth: What is it, Nikki?

Nikki: There's a guy over there who said that Elaine told him he could guest blog today.

Elizabeth: Yes, that's right. She did line up a guest blogger.

Nikki: What's he going to blog about?

Elizabeth: Blogging.

Nikki: Huh?

Elizabeth: (giggling) Never mind, Nikki. Let's let Mr. Stern talk to us about blogging.

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online degrees for the Guide to Online Schools.

Many authors look down upon blogging. The blogosphere is a new creation, whereas literature has a storied history; anybody can blog and say anything they want, while only the best authors get published; and publishing a work takes time, even years, but bloggers can bang out posts in a matter of minutes without the care or precision of a skilled writer working for a living.

All these things are true, but published authors should still blog. Why? Because blogging is the ultimate promotional tool -- and it's free, or costs very little compared to any other kind of PR campaign. Blogs keep fans updated on news, and can allow them even greater insight into an author. Here are some reasons why you should -- actually, why you need to -- blog for your book.

• One-stop shop for updates: Keep fans informed on all your latest news through quick, concise, informative blog posts. For book tours, new projects, radio or television appearances, etc. advertise them on your blog. It will help get the word out, and hopefully boost attendance at your events.

• Show your talents: For those writers looking for agents or publishers, a blog can be a great way to show off your writing talents. Create thoughtful, well-written posts, and people will take notice -- because really, in the blogosphere, good writing is rare.

• Build an audience: Publishers only want to invest in projects they know are going to sell. Prove you have an audience by building one through your blog. Having a substantial following proves people are connecting with your words, and coming back for more of them regularly. That's really what the publishing industry is all about: promoting authors who people will follow, and keep spending their money on.

• Prove your expertise: If working on a research novel or theoretical work of some kind, it is essential that you prove you are an expert in the field you are writing about. Well written, thoughtful, and informed blog posts can be a great way to do so. Write on current events in your field, discuss past projects, or critique someone else's work.

• Get readers involved in the creation of a text: Use your blog to supplement your project. People love to see "making of's" of their favorite films; why not do one for your book? Don't give everything away, but talk about maybe interviews conducted for your work, how you found inspiration for a particular scene, anything to give your readership more insight into the creative process. Doing so helps build a stronger connection with your audience, and will help pique interest in your work.

• Demonstrate your promotional skills: In this day and age, having an author who can help promote the book independently is essential for publishers operating under tight publicity budgets. Help yourself out by proving you understand social media. Use your blog to build a following, and incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and similar services to further make connections and prove your expertise. Show that you are personable and more than willing to talk with fans -- publishers will like this for in-store signings or interviews on television or radio.

Elizabeth: Thanks for your good advice, Mr. Stern. Do come back and see us again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Blog's Been Hijacked!


I knew I'd regret creating such strong characters in my books! They told me in no uncertain terms that the blog belonged to them during the month of December, and that I should go away and not worry about it until the new year. I tried to talk them out of it, but I just wasted my breath. I finally agreed to let Elizabeth Lane, my heroine in Return Engagement, be in charge of organizing everything. She agreed and asked her cousin Nikki Lane (The Best Selling Toy OF The Season) to help her. I don't know what all they have planned, but Elizabeth said it'll be good so check back often to see what they are up to. See you in January, I guess.

Elizabeth: You have fun, Elaine. We’ll take care of things for you. It’ll be so much fun to share my Christmas with all of your readers. Nikki, say hello to the readers.

Nikki: Hello.

Elizabeth: You’ll have to excuse Nikki. She’s a little overwhelmed right now because she’s never been on a blog before.

Nikki: That’s right! I don’t know why I agreed to this.

Elizabeth: Because I asked you to, of course. Buck up. We’ll have fun.

Nikki: That’s easy for you to say! You’re an actress. You’re always in the public eye. I don’t know how you can stand it either. I mean, you never have any privacy. Why, just the other day you told me that Richard threw a fit when you went out to eat and the paparazzi wouldn’t leave you alone. I’m not surprised because you’re a major star, but he probably overreacted. He has a bad temper, and …

Elizabeth: Nikki does tend to run on when she gets wound up.

Nikki: I do not! How can you even say such a thing on a blog? I’ve a good mind to go home and …

Elizabeth: Yes, you do run on. Be quiet now, and let me tell the folks what we’re doing today.

Nikki: What are we doing today? You never told me either.

Elizabeth: Today we’re going to share something from the book Elaine wrote about you. Then we’re offering a contest.

Nikki: A contest! I just love contests! What do we have to do? Can I enter it?

Elizabeth: No, of course you can’t enter it. All the readers have to do is read the excerpt and then answer this question: What did Tommy break?

Nikki: Oh, okay. What’s the prize?

Elizabeth: An electronic copy of The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.

Nikki: Oh, wow, that’s so cool!

Elizabeth: I thought so. Readers, don’t forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon. We have a lot planned for the month of December.

Excerpt: In this excerpt, Tommy, Elaine's hero in the Best Selling Toy, stops by a discount store to buy a gag gift to take to a Christmas party. That’s where he and Nikki met.

Tommy glanced at his watch; he was going to be late. He hurried to the checkout line, and there time stood still. Every register had an enormous line, and it took forever to check out even one customer.

Finally, his turn came. He thankfully paid for his gag gift and joined the throngs of people either going out or coming in. He saw Bill English and lifted his hand to wave goodbye, but he didn’t see the woman in front of him until he plowed into her. Both he and the young woman who had helped him find his gift went sprawling to the floor. Something in her bag broke with a loud crash when Tommy’s knee smashed into it.

All the Super Mart employees in the vicinity came running, including Bill English. “Are you guys okay?”

“I’m fine,” Tommy assured him as visions of lawsuits danced in his head. “Ma’am, are you okay?”

To his horror, the young woman burst into tears. “You’ve ruined everything! Teddy and Michael are going to be so disappointed, and I guess they’ll stop believing in Santa Claus, but you don’t care.”

She jerked her bag toward her and held out two broken toys for Tommy to see. “These robots are all that my boys asked for this year. I put them on layaway back in September, and I finished paying for them today. They’re the best selling toy of the season. You can’t find them anywhere, and now you’ve broken mine.”

She shot Tommy a look of bitter enmity. Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she scrambled to her feet and stalked out of the store.

“Be ashamed,” lectured one of the customers. “You ruined her boys’ Christmas.”

“Yeah,” a man in the crowd contributed. “You could at least have offered to pay for it.”

The Super Mart employee nodded their agreement. “Look at the way he’s dressed. He’s got money to burn. He won’t even pay for Nikki’s loss, and it was all his fault.”

The crowd drifted away, and Bill picked up Tommy’s bag and handed it to him. “It was an accident, Tommy. I know you didn’t mean to do it.”

“Who was that woman? I’ll go back to the toy department and buy two more robots to replace the ones I broke. Give me her name and address, and I’ll have them sent to her tonight.”

Bill shook his head. “She told you the truth. Everybody’s sold out of those little robots. You can’t buy them anywhere.”

A look of determination came to rest on Tommy’s face. If Bill had ever seen Tommy in court, he would have recognized it immediately. Many of Tommy’s legal opponents shivered when this expression crossed his face, for as one of them put it, ‘A Rottweiller would turn a steak loose quicker than he’d give up when he looks like that.’

“You let me worry about finding the toys. What’s her name and address?”

“Her name is Nikki Lane, and she lives in trailer number five in Higgins Court.”