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Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Monday!  Please help me welcome guest blogger Iris Blobel author of Sweet Dreams, Miss England.  I met Iris when we both contracted with Astraea Press.  I love her work, and I think you would too.    Enjoy her post.  Iris, thanks for coming.

Funny how life turns out sometimes. One can only wonder whether it was supposed to happen like this or was it our own doing which got us where we are today.

See, I’ve always loved the English language, the people, the music (though nowadays as I understand what they’re singing it makes me wonder why) and I was fascinated by England but especially London. Yet, when I was in Year 10, my mother was confronted with the news that I really sucked at English and French and the choice was to either repeat the year or leave school. I left and did two years at a local business school. Numbers have always come easy to me!

Years and years later, I now live in Australia (I know!), have a decent job with a decent employer and as it happens, my second book “Journey to her Dreams” will be released soon – and you guessed right, yes it is in English! Though, my love for “English” might have slightly moved to anything “Irish”, it’s still burning inside.

In both my books, or in fact any stories I’m writing, I try to emphasise that if something is important to you, you need to follow that path. “The easy road is always under construction, so have an alternate route planned” is a quote by Jill Shalvis and it’s true to the core – AND something I try to live by as well. Writing doesn’t come easy to me, but I found the love for it and combined with the love for the English language, the biggest reward nowadays is for readers to give me their feedback in how much they have enjoyed reading my books! My love for both have now turned me into a storyteller – go figure!

So whatever you people do out there, whatever your dreams may be – don’t give up!

“Journey to her Dreams” will be out very soon. Check out or for details.

Iris Blobel

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

In this excerpt from Return Engagement, an old lover comes back to haunt my hero and heroine.  This scene takes place in the hospital after last week's excerpt.  Return Engagement is available at Whiskey Creek Press.

“If Elizabeth had known what she was getting herself into she’d never have even spoken to you. You’ve had her for two days, and she ends up kidnapped and shot. Who was taking better care of her? Me or you?”

“I haven’t got time for this crap,” Richard snarled. His fists clenched.

Sweet Saturday Sample

In this excerpt from A New Dream my hero gets a big surprise.  A New Dream is available at Amazon in either print or ebook.  You can also buy it from Barnes and Noble.

It started to rain just as Matt left the printer’s office. Violet had told him to pick up their wedding invitations so they could address them tonight, and she’d kill him if they got wet. By the time he got home, the bottom had dropped out of the sky, so he pulled one invitation from the box to show his mother and left the rest of them in the car. He noticed a gray car parked out front and wondered who had stopped by, but the weather quickly distracted him. Since he couldn’t run, he was getting soaked.

He hurried inside as quickly as he could. He heard voices coming from the living room, so he threw his wet coat on the coat rack that stood in the hall and went in search of his mother, still shaking drops of water from his hair.

Matt had expected company, but in his wildest dreams he wouldn’t have imagined whom his parents were entertaining. While they stiffly perched on the edge of the sofa, Stacey Thomas occupied her favorite chair, the rocker by the fireplace. A small child played in the floor at her feet.

 “You seem surprised to see me,” Stacey observed with some amusement. “You’re looking well, Matt.”

 “Thank you.” Matt couldn’t think of anything else to say.  Stacey belonged in his past; he had no desire to look back. She must be home for a visit, but why did she think he’d want to see her now? Wonder who the little boy belonged to? Aw, it didn’t matter enough for him to ask.

 “Your parents have been telling me how well you’re doing,” Stacey continued, “but I already knew. My folks send me a subscription to the Wellington Daily Press. I read about your new job and the pumpkin festival.”

“Yeah? That’s nice.”
Matt decided to make his escape before Stacey got wound up. “Mother, I’m eating out tonight. If you’ll excuse me, I need to change clothes and get going. Stacey, it was nice to see you again.”

 Stacey cleared her throat and looked him dead in the eyes.  “Actually, I came over to introduce you to somebody. I’d like to do it before you leave. It won’t take a minute.”

 Matt looked around the room, but he didn’t see anybody. Stacey leaned over and picked up the small, blonde boy playing at her feet. “Matt, this is Tyler. I thought it was time for you to meet your son.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fashiohnista Friday: Red Jeans

I love jeans.  When I was younger they probably looked better on me, but I still wear them.  They’re practical if you need to be practical, and you can dress them up if you like.  I prefer the stone-washed color, but I have capris in both dark and light blue denim.  Nice, but I recently saw something I really liked.  Why not tweak our obsession with blue denim and wear some nice red jeans. 

Yes, that’s right.  Red jeans.  What do you think about these cropped jeans? 

These are made of stretch denim.  $43.00 at ASOS. 

If you don’t like the cropped jeans, what about these full length Thompson Skinny Jeans in Picante?  The fabric does have lycra.  Only $285 at My Theresa.
If you like the look but not the money try these skinny jeans at Hot TopicThey’ll only set you back $24.50.  I like the stud grommets and the seam detailing on the front pockets although the color is very bold.

I like all of these jeans, but my time in skinny jeans has long passed.  I like these classic five pocket jeans by Jessica Londons which will fit a fuller figure.  Only $29.99-$34.99 at Amazon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The name of this blog hop intrigued me because I live in the South, and if you want sultry summer nights, the South is the place to be.  In mid-summer the scent of roses, gardenia, and mimosa perfume the night while tree frogs, cicadas, and katydids try to out sing each other.  The heat of the day is broken, but you can feel the humidity lying on your skin like a wet sheet.  Before the advent of air conditioning people built sleeping porches so they could take advantage of the coolness at night. 

I used to put my pillow at the bottom of my bed because there was a window there, and I wanted the air on my face.  During the night, it would cool off, and I’d turn around so I could get under the cover.  I was sixteen when we air conditioned our house.

Of course there are other ways of heating up the night...

Here’s an excerpt from Return Engagement which is available at  .  In this excerpt, you’ll find out what happens to my hero and heroine on a sultry, summer night.  The heat of the day is fading, but Richard and Elizabeth can heat the night with the passion they feel for each other.

“Look at the moon, Richard. Have you ever seen anything so big and beautiful? Isn’t it lovely the way it’s reflecting off the water?”

“Yes, but not as lovely as you are.” Richard made a sound of disgust. “That is so trite. You’d think I could do better, but all evening I’ve had trouble saying what I mean.”

Elizabeth laughed. “Maybe it’s because you’re trying too hard, but for the record, I think you’re doing just fine.” She shivered and hunched her shoulders as she hugged herself. “That wind is cold.”

Richard immediately removed his jacket and handed it to her. “Here, put this on.”

“Won’t you be cold?”

“I’m fine. I’ve got on long sleeves and that’s enough.” His eyes twinkled in the moonlight. “In fact, I kind of like the idea of you wearing my clothes. Sounds like high school, huh?”

 The chilly wind that blew across the moon-drenched water snatched Elizabeth’s laughter away. “Who cares? Sometimes it’s nice to be as irresponsible as a teenager.”

Richard tugged on her hand. “Let’s sit down and watch the moon awhile.”

Elizabeth willingly sank into the damp sand and cuddled close beside him. My gosh, the man had muscles she hadn’t known even existed! “Richard, about this evening…”

 “Elizabeth, about Alex…”

 “You go first,” Elizabeth urged. Her shoulders marginally relaxed. She wasn’t looking forward to telling him she couldn’t see him again.

“All right, I will.” Richard turned slightly, an almost angry look on his face. “What the hell do you think you’re doing getting yourself engaged to Alex Crawford? It’s obvious to a blind man that you don’t love him. You’ve been teasing me and flirting with me all evening.  You’ve even kissed me.” He stirred up the butterflies in her stomach when he gently caressed her shoulder. “Right now your body language makes me think if I wanted to take this snuggling any further you’d be willing.”

 “Wha…” Elizabeth sputtered.

“You don’t strike me as the type of woman who’d pick a man for a night of sex and then go back to her fiancĂ© like nothing had happened. If that’s true I don’t think you love Alex as much as you think you do. The question is: what are you going to do about it?”

 Elizabeth moaned and hid her face in her hands. Richard expected this surprise meeting to lead to something more than a hot dog on the beach, a casual meeting between two old…friends. I’ve done enough damage for one evening; I’m going home before I cause any more trouble. I’ve betrayed Alex and given Richard hope for a relationship with me when there is no hope.

 She tried to jump up, but Richard grabbed her and held her close. “The wind is cold, and you can think just as well, no better, in my arms.”

 Elizabeth gave up the effort to get away from him. There was no way she could argue with those hard, muscled arms. “Yeah, right. Being in your arms clarifies everything! I’m so confused I don’t know if I’m coming or going,” she cried. “I do love Alex. I do! That’s why I agreed to marry him, but with you I feel like a different person. 

 "I know I shouldn’t have flirted with you and kissed you, but I couldn’t help myself.” Her eyes misted with tears. “I didn’t want to help myself. It’s like it was ten years ago only better because now nobody can accuse me of corrupting a minor. You asked me what I’m going to do, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know. The only thing I’m sure of is that I don’t think I can stand it if you walk away again.” Elizabeth threw her hands over her burning face again. “What kind of woman am I? I haven’t seen you in ten years, yet here I am leading you on and encouraging you to…  What’s wrong with me!”

 Richard jerked her hands away from her face and kissed them. “From my point of view things have finally taken a turn for the better.” Satisfaction oozed from his voice. “You’re willing to admit you don’t want to lose me. It’s taken ten years, but we’re back where we belong: together. Everything I ever felt for you came back the minute you spoke to me.”  His voice lowered and became husky and persuasive. “Don’t tell me you didn’t feel it too.”

 “I…” Elizabeth fell silent. After all, what could she say?

 “Let me help you make up your mind about what you want to do.” Richard pushed her back into the sand and kissed her, a delicate brushing of lips that deepened as hearts caught fire.

To enter the contest for an ecopy of Return Engagement, help me spread the word about Return Engagement.  Tweet about it, mention it on FB, say something about it on your blog, it doesn't matter how you do it as long as you put the word out about the book.   Leave a comment telling me where you promoted.  I NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TOO.  Good luck!

This is where you can get the best price for the book.  

For more blogs go to

The last picture is re-blogged from

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

In this excerpt, my hero Richard who is an FBI agent is trying to save my heroine and his father who have been kidnapped by a man intent on revenge.  The character speaking is my villian.  Return Engagement is available at Whiskey Creek Press.

“It’s too late for talking, Agent Lovinggood. I have a new plan. You see, I won’t leave here without repaying you for what you did to me and my family.” He cocked his head. “Who would it hurt you more to lose: your lover or your father? I think maybe you could get another woman, but you only have one father, and I only have time for one shot.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fashionista Friday: Emma Watson

Have you seen the last Harry Potter movie yet?  If so, you may have noticed that Emma Watson has grown up since the movies began.  She’s developed her own personal style as well.  She wore this dress to the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 in London.

The dress is by Oscar de la Renta.  It’s made of sand tulle with an embroidered bodice and comes from the designer’s fall collection.  She also wore a pair of 16 carat Chopard diamond cluster earring set in 18 carat white gold.

She wore this gold Bottega Veneta to the New York premiere of the movie.  It has a linen bustier and cascading satin amber flamed skirt. She wore Giuseppe Zanotti chocolate brown platform peep toes and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.

What do you think of dress number 3?  It’s by Spanish designer Rafael Lopez, and she wore it to the final Harry Potter premiere.  It has lots of feathers and lace.  The back is open.

I love this last dress which she wore to an after premiere party in London.  It’s by Elie Saab Couture, and she picked Guiseppe Zanotti shoes.

By the way, did you know that Emma is the highest paid actress in Hollywood?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I Love Rhett and Scarlett

My favorite fictional couple has to be Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara.  Folks have you read Mitchell's description of the man?  He's everything I love!  He has broad schoulders, dark hair, and swarthy, bronzed skin.  Be still my heart!  And get this, he's a bad boy.  What is it about bad boys that takes a girl's breath away?  Most importantly, though, he loves Scarlett to distraction.

In some ways I don't think Scarlett deserves her reputation as a bad girl.  Come on.  Would you rather she have let a deserter burn Tara to the ground?  Would you rather she have let Jonas Wilkerson take Tara away?  Still, I must admit she did some awful things.  Taking your sister's fiance is kinda bad, and so is selling cheap lumber for good.  (I have a book coming out soon titled One Woman Man, and in that book my heroine loses her fiance to her sister.) 

My heroines don't have to be perfect though.  I like to read and write about flawed characters which is why I like Scarlett and Rhett.  After all, perfection is boring.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

This excerpt comes from Return Engagement which is available at

In this excerpt my heroine just got a message from my hero asking her to meet him in an unfamiliar place.

She took three steps into the quiet darkness before she finally realized something was wrong. Things didn’t feel right in this room. Every nerve in her body screamed danger, and she seemed to have ice water instead of blood in her veins. She was getting out of here!  With a gasp, she turned to run, but she had waited too late.  A small man stood between her and the front door.

Welcome Penny Ehrenkranz

My special guest today is Penny Ehrenkranz.  Penny, thanks for including me and my readers on your blog tour.

Hi Elaine, thank you for having me as a guest today.

1.Penny, could you tell us a little bit about you and your work?

I have been writing stories since I was a child.  In fact, my mom saved some of them and when I go to book signings, I bring them along to share...especially when I'm promoting my children's stories.  I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother.  I adore my grandchildren and hope someday to live closer to them, although they are only about three hours away from us by car, we don't see them nearly often enough.  When I'm not writing or editing, I enjoy spending time in my garden, hanging out with my friends and family, and crocheting or other craft projects.

I am a line editor for MuseItUp Publishing and Damnation Press and sometimes it seems like I spend more time working on other people's manuscripts than my own.  This is not a bad thing, though, as I have enjoyed meeting other authors and developing relationships with some of them beyond the editing process.

I write for both adults and children.  For many years, I wrote only short stories and magazine non-fiction articles.  My daughter told me (she was around ten at the time) that I wasn't a real writer because I didn't have a "book."  I decided to write a middle grade novel and my first novel, Ghost for Rent, was published.  I have a collection of short stories, A Past and A Future, which contains both fantasy and soft science fiction stories and is suitable for both young adults and adults.

I have three novelettes coming this year from MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, August 2011, Lady-In-Waiting, November 2011, and Mirror, Mirror, December 2011.

I have several children's books under contract with 4RV Publishing: Funny Dog, Boo's Bad Day and Many Colored Coats, all picture books; and Ghost for Lunch, a middle grade novel and sequel to Ghost for Rent.

Today, I'm promoting the release of my contemporary romance, Love Delivery.

2.You're a busy woman!  Where do you go when you write?

I generally work in my office which is located on the lower floor of our home.  It is a small room, but it has everything I need, including a window through my greenhouse to my garden.  I have a wrap around desk where I keep the supplies I need to access.  There are also shelves on two of the walls where my reference books and small pieces of art and family photographs are displayed.

I also have a laptop which I use when I want to be out in my garden writing or editing.  I have a lovely patio area which overlooks one of my gardens and the woods.  We have six acres, most of which is treed.

3.It sounds perfectly wonderful.  So peaceful to watch the garden when you write.  What is your favorite genre?  Have you tried to write in others?

My favorite genre is fantasy, however, I also enjoy writing soft science fiction, romance, and children's stories.  I feel comfortable switching genres and like being able to switch things up.  Variety keeps my work interesting, I think.  All of my adult fiction does tend to have a touch of romance as I think relationships are crucial to most, if not all, of my stories.

4.I enjoy soft science fiction too.  I have a manuscript just waiting for a home, and it has a romantic element as well.  Describe your hero and heroine in your latest release.

Tom is in his mid-twenties.  He's a hardworking guy and earns his living as a delivery man. He was married right out of high school, but is now divorced and ready to get back into a relationship.

Ann is also in her mid-twenties.  She waitresses and manages a small donut shop.  She meets Tom through her work, as he delivers supplies to the shop once a week.  She was also married before, and while she's attracted to Tom, she's also hesitant to take a chance on love.  

Both Ann and Tom love cats, going to movies, and eating out.  Unfortunately, they have some obstacles to overcome before love can find them.

5.Those obstacles are the fun part of writing!  What are you reading right now?

Right now, I'm reading Blue Nude.  I belong to a book group and this is our selection for the month.  I enjoy the book group as many of my long-standing friends are members and I have been introduced to several new friends.  I also like being introduced to novels I would not choose for myself.  I tend to read a lot of fantasy, so the contemporary literature is a break from my normal books.  

6.Would you share your links with us?

My website is:
My blog is:
My Facebook page is:
My Twitter is:
My author page at MuseItUp Publishing is:

Love Delivery, contemporary romance, August, 2011

Lady in Waiting, historical romance, coming November, 2011
Mirror, Mirror, time travel romance, coming December 2011

A Past and A Future, a short story collection

Dragon Sight, a YA illustrated chapbook

Funny Dog, picture book, coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, MG novel, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, picture book, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, picture book, coming June, 2015

7.We’d love to read an excerpt.  Don’t forget a buy link.  
Buy link: Love Delivery, contemporary romance, August, 2011

“Here it is,” he said, steering her to a quiet corner. Candles lit the table. A bottle of red wine stood open. Tom held the chair for her, and then sat close so their knees touched. “Would you like a glass of wine?” he asked, reaching for the bottle.
“No thanks,” Ann said. “I don’t drink.”
Tom poured a glass for himself. “Here’s the menu.” He handed it to her.
“I know what I want.”
“What’s that?”
“Fettuccini Alfredo.” Ann shook out her napkin and placed it on her lap.
“This chicken dish is good,” Tom said, pointing to an item on the menu.
Ann grimaced.  Is he a control freak? I already told him what I want. “I don’t eat meat.” Her voice sounded harsh in her own ears.
“Ah, well, okay, then. Fettuccini Alfredo it is.” Tom called the waiter and ordered the Alfredo for Ann and a spicy chicken dish for himself.
I guess we don’t agree on everything after all. He drinks and eats meat, too. I hope he doesn’t drink a lot. Maybe we weren’t made for each other. Not knowing what else to do, Ann took a sip of water and smiled.
Tom smiled back. “You’ll have to come meet my cats one of these days. Tyra, a gorgeous, long-haired black female, is my bathroom kitty. Whenever I’m sitting in there, she has to be in my lap. There’ve been times when my pants have been around my feet, and she’s curled up in my underwear.
“Then there’s BeeBee. She’s a Siamese. When I first got her, I thought she liked to cuddle, but it turned out she was just scared. It took me a long time, with lots of persuasion, to get her to come close to me. Finally, I was able to pick her up. I had her in my arms, and I put my face down to smell her fur. Suddenly, she turned and bit me on the nose.
“I think my favorite, though, is Loki. He’s the smallest of the bunch. He has allergies, and if I don’t get him to the vet for a shot in time, he loses his fur on his rear quarters, right by his tail. He loves to ride on my shoulders. Looks just like I’m wearing a fur collar.
“Then there’s the two new ones, they’re the kittens. They haven’t developed personalities yet. You should always get two kittens instead of one,” Tom said when the food arrived.
“Why?” Ann asked. Her face hurt from laughing at Tom’s cat stories. Mittens never did any of the things Tom’s cats did. 
While she ate, Tom continued to share funny stories about the cats and kittens. “Kittens play with each other so you don’t need to play with them. You can just sit back and watch them. When I have kittens in the house, I don’t even turn on my T.V. set.” Tom twirled pasta on his fork. He lifted the fork halfway to his mouth and stopped. “Looks like we have company,” he groaned.
Ann turned. Maria and a curly-haired blond child entered. Ann watched Maria’s smile turn to a frown. Maria pulled the child toward their table. Ann gulped. Now what? Can’t she leave us alone? How can Tom and I ever get to know each other if she’s always showing up? She pasted a false smile on her face and clutched her napkin tightly.
“So you decided not to listen to me,” Maria spat at Ann.
“Daddy!” the little girl cried, holding up her arms.
“Hi, Kitten,” Tom said, scooping the child into his arms. He gave her a bear hug, and she giggled. “I want you to meet my friend, Ann. Ann, this is Kitten.”
“Hi, Ann. Daddy calls me Kitten, but you can call me Catherine.” The child put her arms around Tom’s neck and hugged him.
“Hello, Catherine,” Ann said, finding her voice.
“At least you could have gone somewhere else, Tom. We always ate here,” Maria accused and pushed Tom’s shoulder.
Tom moved Catherine to his other knee and glared at Maria. “Do we have to fight in front of Kitten?”
“Hey, Mr. Nice Guy, you’re the one who left us, remember?”
Removing Catherine from his lap, Tom stood up and faced Maria. “You’re creating a scene. Why don’t you leave before things get ugly?”
“Maybe you should have thought about that a long time ago.” Maria poked Tom’s chest with her finger.
Ann watched in fear. Only moments ago, she and Tom were enjoying dinner. Maria’s face now looked hard and dark. She swore at Tom and poked him again. Then she shoved him on the shoulder.
Tom grabbed her hand. Maria spat at him and reached up, clawing his face with her other hand.
“I hate you,” she screamed, grabbed her child, and ran out crying.
Tom turned to Ann. There were bloody scratches on his face. Ann dipped her napkin in her water glass and dabbed his cheek. “I’m sorry, Ann, I guess this spoiled dinner.”
            This is never going to work for us, not as long as Maria is in the picture. Ann nodded her head. “Sure did. I’m not very hungry now. I think I’d better just go home.”

Penny, thank you so much for stopping by.  I loved your excerpt, and I enjoyed hearing about you and your writing.  Readers, don't forget to check out Penny's book. Your next stops on her tour are