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Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: Oh, Poor Clint!

Even though Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for most of us, there are a lot of people who don't have good Christmas memories.  My hero in The Sentence Clint Hayes is thinking about his boyhood Christmases as he opens presents with Reverend Amos and his family.

Somehow, he hated to open his gifts in front of everyone.

Being included in a real family Christmas made him feel all mushy

inside, a distinctly unpleasant sensation. Even before his stepfather

threw him out his family didn’t have celebrations like this one. On

their last Christmas together, his mother had bought him a pair of

shoes and a new basketball. She let him open the presents the

minute he woke up. But she’d spent most of her money and time

on his stepfather who had at least ten different boxes under the


He didn’t begrudge his stepfather the gifts. He’d begrudged

him his mother’s affection.

Fashionista Friday

black and neutral

Dorothy Perkins trench coat

Ted baker

Lace heels

Monday, November 26, 2012

Beyond the Book: Oh Christmas Tree


Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Beyond the Book.  I’m Violet Emerson, Elaine’s heroine in A New Dream.  Did you put up your Christmas tree yet?  Matt and I always put ours up on the day after Thanksgiving.  This year we went all out with our decorating.  I have a Christmas village, nativity set, two trees, and various other little things here and there.  I thought I’d show you a picture of one of my trees.  The picture quality isn’t great, but the tree is super pretty in person.  It sparkles in the sunshine, and when you turn the white lights on it’s spectacular. 

Matt and I got married a couple of days before Christmas, but our wedding was challenging to say the least.  Would you like to read a short excerpt about the wedding?  This isn't in A New Dream.  Elaine wrote a short story titled It All Started With Cinders Malone's Dress to tell everyone about the ceremony.  If you leave a comment and an email address, Elaine might let you read it.

Chapter 1
“I’m home.”
Violet Emerson and her sister Jessie raced down the stairs to meet their father. From the kitchen Beth Emerson, the girls’ mother, called, “I’m coming!”

“Did you get it?” Violet demanded as she joined her father in the small foyer of the Emerson home. She clapped her hands together and literally jumped up and down, her dark curls swirling around her face.

Fred scowled at her. “Of course I did. Do I usually walk in the door carrying huge garment bags?”

Violet giggled. “Daddy, I’m getting married tomorrow. Lighten up.”

Fred’s mouth turned down into a sour grimace. “Don’t remind me.”

Beth who’d arrived in time to hear the exchange laughed with her daughters. “Now, Fred, Matt’s going to be your son-in-law. You’ve got to be nice.”

Fred’s lip poked out, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. Everyone knew he was having a hard time giving Violet up.

“Let’s look at your dress,” Jessie cried.

Everyone trooped to the living room to look at the wedding dress. Violet’s hands almost shook in her eagerness to remove the garment bag. The bag hit the floor with a small noise that was obscured by Violet’s quick gasp. “This isn’t my dress!”

“Oh my goodness,” Beth exclaimed.

Everyone stared at the dress. Violet had picked a tailored dress with a form fitting bodice and skirt that showed off her curves to perfection. There were no sequins and lace to detract from her unusual violet-blue eyes. Matt her fiancé loved her eyes.

Violet clutched her throat. “It’s…it’s poufy!”

The dress had short sleeves and a fitted bodice studded with seed pearls on every available inch. The neckline plunged into a sharp v shape that went almost to the waist. A thin piece of net joined the two sides and kept them together. The skirt consisted of layer upon layer of fluffy white tulle that spread out like a cloud from the pearl bodice.

Fred’s eyes bulged as he stared at the plunging neckline. “That’s a disgrace,” he snapped.

And readers, that was just the beginning. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Wow, that's a surprise!

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday.  Today's six come from Her Kind of Man.  Her Kind of Man is 50% off now through Sunday at  This excerpt takes place on Christmas morning when my hero and heroine are exchanging presents.

Kara took the lid off the box and saw a card lying there on the tissue paper. She took it out of the envelope and read, Brittany, you make me red hot for you.

Kara almost cried, but she didn’t. Her eyes flashed as anger came to her rescue. She tossed the box to Ross who still sat on the floor beside the Christmas tree. “Next time be sure to have them wrap the presents in different paper.”

Sweet Saturday Sample: Oh. My. Goodness

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample.  Today's sample comes from Her Kind of Man.  In this excerpt, my heroine Kara goes in search of her husband Ross.  Her Kind of Man is 50% off now through Sunday at

Ross wasn’t in the living room or the kitchen, so she decided to check the bedrooms. People had spread out all over the house; that’s where he must have gone. She paused outside the master bedroom door when she heard Brittany’s voice.

“Does Kara suspect anything?”

“No,” Ross answered. “I told her you wanted to buy some sausage.”

“It’s a good thing you told me. I might have made a boo-boo if you hadn’t.”

“For obvious reasons I don’t want her to know anything about this, Brittany,” Ross warned.

“She won’t hear about it from me.”

“Do you think things are going to work out?”

Now what could they be talking about?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fashionista Friday: Ebay Holiday Collective

Welcome to Fashionista Friday.  I promised I'd announce the winners of the Thanksgiving blog hop today, so here goes.  Petula, your name came out of the hat.  I'll be sending that book today.  Thanks so much to everyone who participated and left a comment for me.

Okay, let's talk fashion.  Do you know about the ebay holiday collective? 

The Holiday Trend Report with Tibi and Ruffian

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Blog Hop

Things to be Thankful For

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don't have,
you will never, ever have enough."

Oprah Winfrey

Don't you just love that quote?  It's one of my favorites because it reminds me that there's always something to be thankful for even if you're going through hard times.  What am I thankful for this year?  Here's my top five.

1.I have a wonderful husband.  He keeps telling me to change my profile and tell everyone we've been married for thirty nine years, not thirty four.  He supports me in my writing as well as in other ways.

2.I've very grateful for my family and the fact that they all live near me.  I don't want my sweet grandchildren to go too far away from Grandma.

3.I'm a writer.  I always wanted to be, and now I am, and I have published books to prove it!

4.I'm thankful for falling snow, a crackling fire, the breeze blowing across the ocean, mountains stacked one behind the other as far as the eye can see, autumn leaves reflected in a crystal blue lake, a good book, chocolate, flying over Los Angeles at night, the internet where I’ve met some people I would never otherwise have known, my job, blue diamonds, my new ceiling fan, nice china, white Christmas trees, holiday music, crinkly packages, bird watching, the smell of baking bread, and so much more!

5.Last but not least I'm thankful for all of you fans and readers out there.  It warms my heart to get an email from someone who liked my work.  It's also a joy to hear that something I wrote warmed someone else's heart. 

I don't have a Thanksgiving story, but would you like an excerpt from a Christmas story?  Hope so because I've got one.  This excerpt is from The Table in the Window, a short novella.  First a blurb, then an excerpt.

Being dumped by your gorgeous fiance is bad enough no matter when it happens, but he did it at Christmas time!  Marley thinks she'll never get over it, but Rob Travers disagrees.  He sents out to win Maryley's heart, well aware that when she finds out about his past, she may turn her back on him forever.

In this excerpt, my hero's car hit black ice and slid off the road. 

In the end, they decided to walk. “Walking will warm us up,” Marley argued, “and I really don’t want to stay here all night.  It’s too much like a horror movie to suit me.”

“Are you afraid I am ze vampire in disguise?” He showed her his teeth. “Or perhaps you fear ze werewolf?” This time he howled at her.

Marley laughed. “Your accent is awful, and you forgot about zombies. I’m scared of zombies.”

“What about mummies?”

“No, not so much.”

He stuck his hands out in front of him and lurched toward her. Marley screamed and gave him a push that caused him to laugh until his sides hurt. “That’s one reason why I like you, Marley. You always make me laugh.”
The book is available at and most retail outlets.
Want to win a copy of the book?  Leave a comment telling me one thing you're thankful for, and I'll draw a name out of the hat.  I'll announce the winner on Friday.   Happy Thanksgiving!  Eat plenty of turkey and pumpkin pie for me.
Hey, we aren't done!  The next blog is at  See you there.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Retribution

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday.  Today's excerpt comes from an unpublished manuscript titled Blue 52.  In this excerpt, my hero and his grandfather have just viewed the bodies of his mother and father.  The history books say that his mother murdered his father who was the president of the US, but neither Hank nor his grandfather believes it.  Hank's grandfather, Senator Lovinggood speaks first.

“The trail’s pretty cold, but even after thirty years you never know what you might turn up if you shake the bushes a little.”

A cool little grin played along Hank’s lips.  “Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking.” 

They exchanged a look which visibly startled Senator Lovinggood.  If he hadn’t known that Richard still lay in his coffin at Sinclair’s, he would have sworn that his son rode beside him again after all these years.  Maybe it was a trick of the light, but just maybe it was a new look in Hank’s eyes, a look that promised justice for his mother and retribution for his father.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: I'd Like to Slap Her Silly

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample.  My sample today is from a manuscript called The Captain and the Cheerleader.  In this excerpt, my heroine Susan is shopping when she runs into her sister-in-law, Sheila, who's a teenage brat.

“Shopping for your baby?” a familiar voice acidly inquired.

Susan turned around and held out the little robe for Sheila to see.  “Isn’t it precious?  I thought I might buy it because either a girl or boy could use it.”

Sheila rolled her eyes.  “Oh, it’s precious all right.  You’re pretty smart, aren’t you?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You trapped Kurt into marrying you, and now you’re buying cute little things to remind him of his obligation to you.  What’s wrong?  Is he getting restless?”

The picture is from Wikimedia Commons.

Fashionista Friday: Perfectly Peplum

Before we do Fashionista Friday, I'd like to announce the winner of Tuesday's Beyond the Book contest.  Janice Seagraves' name came out of the hat, so Janice I'll be sending you a copy of Return Engagement.   The purple dress got the most votes. 

Peplum skirts and dresses have been all the rage ever since the Duchess of Cambridge began wearing them, but now the trend is moving far beyond receptions and fancy nights out. For fall, peplums on coats and jackets are a key outerwear trend, giving even the most structured pieces a literal ruffle of femininity.

Victoria Beckham Two-Tone Body Con Dress

Victoria beckham


Burberry high heels

Burberry tote handbag


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beyond the Book:Such Pretty Dresses

Hello, and welcome to Beyond the Book.  My name is Elizabeth Lane.  I was the heroine in Elaine's story Return Engagement.  If you remember, I'm an actress.  My best friend Cathy whom you also met in Return Engagement is giving a Marie Antoinette inspired ball.  Yep, an old-fashioned ball complete with either period costume or dresses inspired by Marie.  I've decided to wear a dress inspired by Marie Antoinette, not a period costume.  I've narrowed my search to four gowns, but I love them all!  Please help me pick one.  Just leave a comment telling me which dress you like best.  I'll pick a comment from a hat, and if I pick your name I'll give you an electronic copy of Return Engagement. 

About those dresses. They're all wedding dresses by Stella De Libro.  I got the pictures at and the last dress at


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Help!

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday.  Today's excerpt is from The Welcome Inn, a novel of romantic suspense.  In this excerpt, my heroine went grocery shopping late at night.  The Welcome Inn is available at and most retail outlets.

She needed to get out of here. Something didn’t feel right, a realization that made the hair on her neck stand up in fright. She quickly paid the cashier for her groceries, but she didn’t try to leave the store until she saw some other people heading toward the parking lot. She went with them and took out her keys. She’d use the remote to unlock her car so she could jump in the minute she got there.

She had almost made it to her car when a hand with a grip of steel clamped down on her arm.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: Sure, have a seat.

Hello, and welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample.  Since the holidays are right around the corner, my sample today is from The Table in the Window which is available at and most other retail outlets.  In this excerpt, my hero Rob finally has his chance to let my heroine Marley know that he's interested in her.  Rob is a waiter at her favorite restaurant.  Michael is her ex-fiance.

She thought he’d go away, but he remained standing beside the table. “Uh, is there anything else?” she asked.

He smiled at her. “My shift’s over. If I’m not bothering you, I wondered if you’d like some company for lunch.” His eyes twinkled. “In case you’d like to know, you’re the first customer I’ve made that offer to.”

How strange. She’d seen this guy in Barton’s for over a year now, yet she couldn’t have described him to save her life. She paused for a quick inspection. He wore black trousers and a long-sleeved white shirt with a red and black striped tie. A green bib apron covered his shirt and tied around his neck and waist. He had spiked his short, blonde hair ever so slightly in front. He had blue eyes and a square jaw and definitely wasn’t as buff as Michael who spent a lot of time in a gym. Michael was taller too. The sparkle in his blue eyes decided her. “Sure. Have a seat.”

Fashionista Friday: Gucci Forever

Gucci Forever

Gucci turtle neck sweater

Gucci distressed jeans
$860 -

Gucci flat shoes

Gucci tote handbag


Gucci brown shawl
$190 -

Gucci eyewear

Gucci leather cashmere glove

Gucci beauty product
$51 -

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kira: Daughter of the Moon

Welcome to Beth Trissel's blog tour.  If you came for Beyond the Book scroll on down, but first take a look at this post. Beth is going on tour to tell everyone about her book Kira: Daughter of the Moon. Let's look at a blurb and excerpt, and then we'll talk prizes.


Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.


Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay––and anyone else from getting too close.  Now that he's back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft.  And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.





 “My secret in exchange for yours.”


Tantalizing.  He was drawing her into his snare, but she couldn’t resist asking, “How do you know I’ve a secret?”


“To begin with, you’re hiding in a tree.  What from, a wild beast?”


“Near enough.  You.”


He smiled.  “Was I to think you a large red bird, or overlook you entirely?”


Drawing her remaining shreds of dignity around her like a mantle, she said, “This isn’t one of my best hiding places.”


“Indeed?  Where are the others?” 


 “That would be telling.” 


The strengthening breeze tossed the branches around them as he considered.  “You never could keep secrets from me, Cricket.  I’ll discover them and you.”


An assertion she found both disturbing and oddly heartening.


His lips curved as if the deed were already done.  “Why were you hiding?  Am I so very frightening?”


“Oh––I feared you were some sort of warrior.”


The humor faded from his eyes.  “I am.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.
Historical Romance novel Kira, Daughter of the Moon is available in print and eBook from:
The Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble
and from other online booksellers.
Catch me on my:
Beth will award a digital copy of "Through the Fire" to one commenter, a digital copy of "Red Bird's Song" to one commenter and a grand prize of a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour so follow her and comment often.  Find her schedule at

Beyond the Book: Way Down South

Hello and welcome to today's edition of Beyond the Book.  My name is Liesel Wolf.  I'm Elaine's heroine in Never Trust a Pretty Wolf.  Not long ago my husband Andy and I went to Charleston, SC on business.  Charleston is a beautiful town.  If you've never visited there you should put it on your list of places to see.  Charleston is a wonderful blend of the modern and the old, and there's so much to see and do that I don't think you'll ever have time to do it all.

Andy and I live in a mid century modern home, so while we were in Charleston we decided to find a few antique stores to see if we could find anything for our house.  We ended up at Page's Thieves Market in Mt. Pleasant, SC.  Mt. Pleasant and Charleston are back to back with each other.  You wouldn't believe what fun we had!  We meandered our way through their old building exclaiming over each and every thing we saw.  One of the items that intrigued me most was a real wood stove.  Before electricity people cooked on wood stoves, and this one was beautiful.  We saw a few mid century pieces, but not anything we could use. 

They had one room filled with china, jewelry, and knick knacks.  This was where I found the rabbit.  I paid the princely sum of a quarter for him.  He isn't valuable, obviously, but I love the shape which fits so nicely in my hand.  He'll be a great souvenir for me.  Every time I look at him I'll be reminded of my and Andy's trip. 

Here's a picture of the market and my blue rabbit.  If you're down Charleston way, don't forget to stop by Page's Thieves Attic.