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Friday, September 28, 2012

Blogfest 2012

Welcome to Blogfest 2012!  My regular features Fashionista Friday, Sweet Saturday Sample, and Six Sentence Sunday will be back next week.  If you haven't checked them out, please visit next week and see what I have to offer. 
BlogFest is a blog run of sorts. A list of participating blogs will be provided on September 28, each offering a fantastic giveaway for readers to enter. Each blog will link to another, pulling you through the fantastic party we have set up for you!  Did I mention fantastic giveaways?  Yeah, guess so, but there are some super prizes up for grabs.
You might get lucky and win the grand prize.  Every blog that you mark on the tracking site earns you one entry. Each participating blog also gets to choose one visitor and that person earns 10 entries. One winner is chosen to win the grand prize.
What's my giveaway?  An electronic copy of Her Kind of Man and a $10 Amazon gift certificate.  To win, follow this blog and leave an email telling me that you did so.  If you're already a blog follower, leave an email saying so.  I'll have to have an email address where I can reach you if you should win.

Romance Reviews Today:
HER KIND OF MAN is a quick read, and an entertaining story which flows well. Readers are sure to enjoy this one.,%20Elaine/Her%20Kind%20of%20Man.htm

Harlequin Junkie:
 really enjoyed this book,it had a life lesson to teach me that it is not to say the world will turn against you when you "fall". The characters were well placed and the scenes were very informative. The author had a very unique manner of laying out the facts and bringing it all together for the reader.

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews:
Her Kind of Man introduced me to another new author, Elaine Cantrell. I have to say I enjoyed the heck out of this story!!

Her Kind of Man was designated a True Gem by Guilty Pleasures.

Blogfest Home:

Next Blogs To Check Out

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beyond the Book: I Like to Read

Hello.  My name is Liesel Wolf.  Elaine told my story in her book Never Trust a Pretty Wolf.  Do you like to read?  I do.  I read all the time.  One of my most memorable heroines is Tatiana Barrington, a character created by Paullina Simons for her Bronze Horseman trilogy.  I bought The Bronze Horseman in the off chance that I’d like it, but from the moment I started reading I was hooked.  I like World War II stories, and this one was fabulous.

Tatiana is a Russian girl living in Leningrad during the siege of Leningrad.  It’s there that she meets Alexander Barrington, an American whose idealist father gave up his American citizenship to become a Communist.  There’s a lot more to that story, but it isn’t relevant to why I like Tatiana.

Tatiana takes care of her family during the siege.  If it wasn’t for her they would’ve given up the struggle to stay alive.  She even hides her love for Alexander because her sister loves him and saw him first.  Fate pushes her to do things that normally she wouldn’t have done, but she gets through everything because she’s a strong person.

Her love for Alexander is the forever kind.  There comes a time when she’s called on to risk everything, including her life, for Alexander.  The odds that she can succeed are astronomical, but she does what she has to do and turns bitter defeat and certain death into victory.

Who wouldn’t want to be like Tatiana?  She’s strong yet yielding, loves passionately, and can forgive the unthinkable.  War can’t stop her, neither can Communism or Hitler’s army, but through it all she remains so feminine, so loving, so giving that you just want to help her out. 

If you’d like to read the series, start with The Bronze Horseman.  Then Tatiana and Alexander, and finally The Summer Garden.  I bet you like them as much as I do.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: She's Safe Now

This excerpt comes from my just completed and unrevised romantic comedy Fortuna.  In this excerpt, my hero is comforting my heroine who has just been through a tornado.  If you'd like to read more, check out Saturday's sample which is also from Fortuna.
“I…I hurt my knee,” she sniffed. “A tornado got my car.” Her arms tightened around him. He felt so solid, so safe.
Cade made a small sound somewhere between a groan and a moan and buried one hand in her hair. His lips pressed against hers with an abandon that sent Aimee’s temperature sky high.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: "You may call me Miss Aimee, sir."

This excerpt is from the book I just finished.  I'm taking a week or so away from it before I try to do any revision.  In this excerpt my heroine is attending a party where everyone is dressed in Civil War era clothes.  Her host who's one hot guy is showing her his gazebo.  Remember, this is a rough draft.

What would it have been like to attend this party in the year 1860? Would the threat of war have lent a spice of excitement to the festivities that made ordinary activities like visiting the gazebo seem new and romantic?

Cade indicated a built-in bench which circled the gazebo. “Would you like to sit down?”

Aimee sat and gathered her skirts around her, admiring the rustle of her long, taffeta petticoat. She patted the space beside her. “Sit beside me.”

Cade bowed. “You honor me, Miss Sherwood.”

“You may call me Miss Aimee, sir.”

“Miss Aimee, then.” He raised her hand to his lip and kissed it.

Aimee’s heart took off in a mad gallop. She felt heat rising from her chest and knew it colored her face an inconvenient shade of red. OH. MY. GOODNESS! All he’d done was kiss her hand, and she was just melting. If only she had a fan like Miss Minnie.

Cade kept hold of her hand even though she’d expected him to let go of it. His calloused fingers felt so male, so strong, so manly that another wave of heat washed over her.

“You look beautiful tonight, Miss Aimee. There’s not a woman at the party who can touch you.”

Was it her imagination or had he moved a bit closer to her?

“Your eyes sparkle like blue diamonds, and I love those curls of yours. You’ve captured the sunshine.” He bounced her curls in the palm of his hand.

Breathe. She musn’t forget to breathe.

He had moved closer. She could smell the spicy odor of his shaving cream now.


Another Fall FAshion Trend

I've always loved lace.  It can catch my eye across a store in a skinny minute.  Luckily for me, lace is another fall fashion trend.  Here are some lace fashions to admire. I don't necessarily think they are the prettiest ones I've ever seen, but they do give you an idea how lace is being used in current fashion.

Trend 3: Straight Laced

Erdem satin cocktail dress

Valentino bubble dress

Preen metallic skirt

Jimmy Choo peep toe heels

Christian louboutin handbag

Karl Lagerfeld metal jewelry

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beyond the Book: Family Traditions

Hi, I'm Kara Cochrane, Elaine's heroine in Her Kind of Man. 

When I was a little girl, we always went to my grandmother’s house for Sunday dinner.  My grandmother and grandfather had eight children, so when everyone got together we had a houseful. Nobody was ever in a hurry to leave.  After we ate, the adults sat around and talked for hours while the children ran around outside exploring or playing in the creek that ran through my grandfather’s property. 

Unfortunately, after my grandmother’s death, we discontinued those Sunday dinners.  Looking back on it, I think we made a mistake. Getting together each week helped us feel connected to our family, our heritage. It kept us grounded.

My husband’s family still has a big dinner on Sunday.  They always gather at the farmhouse where Ross and I live. Ross added a dining room to the house not long ago which gives us a lot more space.  My mother-in-law cooks most of the food. All of us have offered to help, but she won’t let us. I think it makes her feel useful and happy to cook for her boys and their families.  The picture below shows our new dining room.  The chandelier and most of the furniture are antiques.  Ross and I love them.  All of the furniture we bought for the other rooms is new, but we saw this table, chairs, and chandelier and loved them so much we bought them on the spot.  Don't you love the arched doorway?  Ross is the one who thought of that.

My mother-in-law is a great cook, so let me share the recipe for her macaroni and cheese. That’s one of the things we had for lunch last Sunday.  Do try it.  It’s totally delicious.

Macaroni and Cheese


3 cups macaroni
1 egg

12 ozs. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 cups milk.

Ritz crackers (optional)

Cook the macaroni until done, about 7 minutes. Don’t overcook it. Drain and place into a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Add the grated cheese and mix. Beat the egg and milk and pour over the noodles and cheddar. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste, but don’t skimp on the pepper. If you like, crumble some Ritz crackers on the top. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the top. Don’t overcook it.

This recipe calls for butter, but my mother-in-law doesn’t put it in. She says it makes the food too greasy.

Picture credit:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Heroes Live Forever

Hello and welcome to Chris Karlsen's blog tour.   Chrirs is sharing a blurb and excerpt from her book Heroes Live Forever.  She's also giving away gifts.  Readers, leave a comment at every place on the tour.  Chris is giving away a copy of her thriller Golden Chariot at every stop, and at the end of the tour she'll select one person to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

You can find her tour stops here:

Here's a blurb for Heroes Live Forever.

Elinor Hawthorne has inherited a house haunted by the ghosts of two medieval knights, Basil Manneville and Guy Guiscard. Basil is the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor. She falls in love with him and he with her. Basil soon realizes she needs to live a normal life, a happy life with a mortal.


A lifetime later fate intervenes. Basil, still in love with Elinor, is told her spirit lives on in a young woman and he is given another chance at life to find her.
And now for an excerpt:
He turned her around and untied the laces of her dress. His fingers lingered at each sliver of exposed skin the open laces left. The gown fell away from her shoulders and rough palms eased the sleeves down, freeing the arms. He inched the dress over hips, unwrapping her like a gift, the silk pillowing at her feet like a bronze cloud.
Chris, I loved your excerpt.  In fact, I like the sound of this book.  I think it must go to my TBR stack.  Good luck with your book.  It truly does sound wonderful.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Pink Pearls

Under the influence of those piercing chocolate eyes Madison told the truth. “The real world is cold and cruel, and fairy tales never come true. They give us high expectations that are certain to fail, and when they do we’re left with the ashes of our dreams and a bitter taste in our mouths.”
Joshua shook his head as a masculine finger stroked the side of her face, leaving a trail of molten fire everywhere he touched her. “You’re awfully young to be so cynical. What happened to you, Madison?”
This excerpt is from Pink Pearls.  If you enjoyed it, you can read the entire short story free at my web page at

Sweet Saturday Sample:

Today's excerpt is from The Sentence my only inspirational novel.  In this excerpt Rachel my heroine ponders her attraction to my hero Clint.

Maybe it was because of his looks. He had a nice body with  a pair of drop-dead gorgeous shoulders. She’d always loved nice shoulders on a man. His face was traditionally handsome, his eyes a pretty blue that always caught her attention. She suppressed a sigh. Bet he didn’t know that every single thing he thought showed in his eyes. Sometimes the emotions she read there shocked her.  Clint seemed to be far more sensitive than she had expected.

He could show unexpected consideration also, like helping Mrs. Jones off the floor and offering to paint her house for free. Still though, how could she be attracted to a man like Clint?

Attracted? Rachel Amos attracted to a……drunken…nobody? Rachel had to remind herself to breathe.  It probably wasn’t a real attraction. She didn’t know anyone like him so she was curious about him. That’s all it was.

Of course, she knew her attitude toward Clint wouldn’t please her father because he wanted to save Clint’s soul. What would he think if he knew his only daughter was attracted to such a man?

She was not attracted to him! Okay, she’d better pray tonight. Pray for the strength not to notice those nice shoulders and expressive blue eyes. She had a nice boyfriend, a guy with a future which was exactly the way she liked it.

The Sentence is available at:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fashionista Friday: Eye Candy

Welcome to Fashionista Friday. We've been looking at fall fashion trends. So far we've seen that red is big this fall as are animal prints.  The third fashion trend this fall is leather. Personally, I'm not terribly fond of this one, but I know some of you are so here's some Friday eye candy for you.

Trend 2: Tough Love

3 1 Phillip Lim zipper dress

Valentino leather dress
$5,010 -

Derek Lam cap sleeve dress

Versace quilted coat

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mystical Press Services

Greetings and Salutations!

Many thanks to Elaine Cantrell for hosting us on her blog today! We’ve got some really exciting news to share with everyone so grab that cuppa and let the blogging begin!




September 1-15th marks the official

Grand Opening of Mystical Press Services!!!

This means 50% Off all our classes

and services through September 15th!


In case you haven’t yet heard about our website, allow me to introduce you to a place where you just might find the fulfillment of your dreams. That’s right! The talented folks at Mystical Press want to help you reach your publishing goals!


How do we do that? I’m glad you asked!


Mystical Press is the culmination of an idea that came from two authors and professionally trained editors—Arial Burnz and AJ Nuest—where we help authors bridge the gap between the form rejection letter and publication. In fact, we believe in this venture so passionately, our tagline is “Helping authors achieve their dreams.”


At Mystical Press our primary goal is to help writers. As authors, we understand the frustration of not receiving constructive and useful feedback, the aggravation of navigating the murky depths of the publishing industry and that, sometimes, authors just need a place to vent. Well, we’re here to tell you, the insanity can end!


Like-minded individuals can gather online at Mystical Press to work one-on-one with professional editors who help authors prepare their manuscripts for submission. Whether you are looking for a Manuscript Evaluation, Submission Evaluation, or a full story edit, we will give you honest, encouraging feedback and work diligently with you on your story to make sure it’s ready to land on an editor’s desk. No project is too big or too small and all receive the same precise attention to detail.

Perhaps your submission is ready but you need assistance with smaller editing projects like a query letter and synopsis? Have no fear! Mystical Press is here! We offer a full edit of query letters and synopses with comments and suggestions that come directly from AN EDITOR! TAH-DAH!


And don’t worry! If your goal is to write your very own dynamite synopsis, at Mystical Press we believe in “teaching a man to fish”. Our Power Class, How to Write a WINNING Synopsis, is designed to easily guide you through the process of crafting your very own synopsis! Yes, that’s right. I used “easily” and “synopsis” in the same sentence!

The self-paced course curriculum at Mystical Press can assist in tackling those pesky problem areas as well (e.g., show vs. tell, POV shifts, realistic character and story development, etc.). If you’ve read books, articles and/or taken workshops and are still in search of that elusive contract offer, perhaps Mystical Press can help. Take one class or take a whole series—our online classes are designed to meet each writer’s individual needs.

Is your next project of the self-publishing variety? Mystical Press has a selection of pre-made covers we guarantee will only be used once! No one will have the same cover! Or, if you’d like, we can design a cover specifically tailored to your vision—you will work one-on-one with our talented cover artists! We are also happy to edit your baby and can even format the document to meet the specifications of most popular self-publishing platforms.


Remember to mention Mystical Press to all your friends and fellow writing pals – here’s why. Mystical Press offers a free Referral Program. Just register on the site and we will assign you a Referral ID. If anyone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you earn a referral fee! Whether you choose cash or a credit for products or services on the site, consider this our thank you for helping us spread the word. 

Oh! And before I forget…we offer a wide range of gift certificates designed specifically with the writer in mind. Tired of searching for the “write” present for your author pals? Maybe that next birthday calls for an eGift from Mystical Press!


So now that you know all about us, please tell us all about you! Head on over to Mystical Press and register free on the site. Everyone who does will be entered into our drawing for fabulous gifts and prizes! Join our celebration and together we will strive to get your voice heard!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012



Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated Rosemary Harris is back with her fourth Dirty Business mystery featuring amateur sleuth/master gardener Paula Holliday! Welcome to The Big Apple Flower Show where more than just the plants are dying. Paula Holliday reluctantly agrees to man the exhibit booth for a reclusive garden sculptor at a legendary northeast flower show and she expects a quiet weekend sharing garden tips. She doesn't expect to be knee-deep in jealousy, rivalry, horticultural sabotage, beheaded gnomes and something the loose communityof gardeners has started referring to as the Javits Curse! The mishaps start out small but the uneasiness intensifies when an overeager attendee is found floating in the river and Paula realizes she accidentally holds the clue to his identity and the reason for his murder. And so does the killer. That's when the garden gloves come off and this flower show turns into a real Slugfest! This time out Paula is joined in the sometimes crazy (and neurotic) subculture of conventions and the "show" circuit by a colorful cast that includes Rolanda "Fort" Knox, a no-nonsense security guard, Guy Anzalone, Brooklyn's Tumbled Stone King and his wife Connie whose fake nails and high heels don't keep her out of the garden, J.C. Kaufman, a feisty senior who never leaves home without her weapon of choice, some snooty garden club ladies who never get dirty and a slick marketing guy hawking the hottest new product at the flower show - Slugfest, a foolproof pest repellant that people and companies are dying to get their hands on. Making cameo appearances are Paula's friends from the first three books in the series, former rock and roller and owner of The Paradise Diner, Babe Chinnery, and best pal, Lucy Cavanaugh, who lends Paula a memorable red dress that keeps getting her in and out of trouble!


 Author Bio:


Rosemary Harris is a native Brooklynite, born in Fort Greene and raised in Flatbush like some of the characters in her upcoming book, The B-tches of Brooklyn.  The author of the Dirty Business mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Paula Holliday, Rosemary's debut novel, the Agatha and Anthony-nominated, Pushing Up Daisies (Minotaur), was followed by The Big Dirt Nap, Dead Head and Slugfest. She is past president of Mystery Writers of America's NY Chapter and Sisters in Crime's New England Chapter.  She blogs with seven other mystery writers at  Visit Rosemary at  and Like her on facebook at


Presented by Babs Blog Tour Bonanza

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beyond the Book: They're Back!

Hi, my name is Kara Cochrane.  I'm Elaine's heroine in Her Kind of Man.  My husband Ross is a dairy farmer.  He gets a lot of exercise, so the man can eat until the cows come home (pun intended) and not gain an ounce. One of his favorite snacks is a Little Debbie Pumpkin Delight.  They only have them in September and October, so you have to buy them when you can.

Basicly, the pumpkin delight is a filled cookie roughly in the shape of a jack-o-lantern. The filling is made of pumpkin, and the cookie part tastes like gingerbread. I like them as well as Ross, but if I eat snacks I gain weight. Luckily, each little cookie only has 150 calories. Yeah, I know that's a lot, but they only make them once a year!  To me, they taste like fall.  When I went to the grocery store today I bought ten boxes. Between Ross and his hired men, they won't last long.

Go ahead and give them a try. If you don't like them, mail them to Ross. He'll eat them for you.

You can buy our book at

It's available in electronic format or trade paperback.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: He's Dangerous

Welcome to another edition of Six Sentence Sunday. My excerpt today is from Return Engagement. In this excerpt, my hero and heroine are meeting for the first time since she got PTSD. She finds that time hasn't diminished the attraction they feel for each other.


Elizabeth Lane has it all, but an actress isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard.  Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time Elizabeth’s fighting back, a decision that leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.


Her breath left her as she admitted the truth. He was dangerous. He always had been, and nothing had changed. No wonder she got an adrenalin rush every single time they were alone together. A sudden shaft of desire kicked her in her middle when she remembered how his bare, male skin felt against her own. Her arms tightened around his shoulders.

Return Engagement is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: Wendy

Yesterday was a dreadful day for my family.  We lost our good brown dog Wendy, and we are all truly devastated. We got Wendy the same year my grandson was born, almost fifteen years ago.  I have many pictures of a little toddler followed by a devoted, loving dog. Unfortunately, the animals we love don't live as long as we do, so we have to go on without her.  I don't have much heart for a post today, but I remembered that in one of my unpublished manuscripts I have a passage where my heroine lost her cat, so I guess I'll share that today.  It fits my mood.  The manuscript is titled The Captain and the Cheerleader.  I've really got to edit it and see if it can find a home. The picture was made a few weeks before Wendy died.


Susan hated to get up on Friday morning.  The last couple of days had been so emotionally exhausting she would rather have slept in, but she didn’t think she should use her sick days now.   Once the baby came she’d probably need them more. 

She flung the covers aside and forced herself to sit up.  In spite of her fatigue, she had to smile when she saw she had covered Samson up.  Only the tip of his tail stuck out from under the blanket. 

“Kurt, you’re going to be late,” she warned.  She gave his shoulder a shake and pulled the covers off of Samson.  “Come with me, kitty,” she crooned.  “You get some tuna for breakfast.”

Samson didn’t move.  “Samson, aren’t you hungry?” Susan demanded.  She touched the old cat’s head and started to cry.  One touch had told her that her old friend was gone. 

“What’s wrong?” Kurt sleepily muttered.  “Why are you crying?”

“It’s Samson,” Susan choked.  “He…he’s dead.”

Kurt rolled over and looked at Samson.  “I’m sorry, baby,” he comforted.  He snuggled Susan against him and patted her back.  “Don’t feel bad.  He had a great life.”

Susan agreed, but it didn’t help much.  Samson had lived with her for a long time.  She couldn’t imagine what she’d do without him.

“Would you like for me to bury him?” Kurt gently asked.

Susan nodded because she couldn’t speak.  She found a pretty enamel box that her father had given her for Christmas one year and lined it with a soft, fluffy towel.  It wasn’t good enough for Samson, but of course nothing would be.

“Where do you want to put him?”

“Underneath the oak tree in the back yard.  He loved to nap there.”

They took Samson outside where Kurt dug a hole for the enamel box.  “I think it’s big enough now,” he finally said.

Susan stroked Samson for the last time; her eyes blurred with tears.  “Sleep tight,” she whispered.  She might have said more, but her throat closed up, and she couldn’t make a sound.

“I’m sorry, Susan.  He was a fine cat.”

Susan nodded and put her arms around Kurt.  Why couldn’t pets live longer?  It wasn’t fair they had to die so young.

Kurt kissed the top of her head and solemnly walked her back into the house.

Friday, September 7, 2012