Sunday, April 22, 2012

Homemade Cheese Crackers - Delish :)

In an effort to reduce my family's dependence on mass produced goods and processed foods I have been trying my hand at some homemade items - today's project was cheese crackers and they came out great! 

I have to give credit to Mountain Momma Cooks, I used her recipe and it was super simple!  The only thing I will change next time is that I will be able to find my rolling pin so that I can roll out my dough thinner - I had to up the baking time because mine were so thick.  Despite that change, they came out fantastic! 

Here's how it's done:

The ingredients are simple...

Here is the recipe I downloaded...I did use Mexican shredded cheese instead of regular cheddar, I needed a "kick"...

Mix all the ingredients in the food processor...

I had to add a little bit more butter than the recipe called for because my dough wasn't thick enough...

Roll it out, I didn't have a rolling pin so mine was a little too thick...

We used our cookie cutters to do all kinds of neat shapes but the majority were the regular old circles...

The boys couldn't wait for the crackers to be ready...

I put them in to back about 15-17 minutes because they were a little thick, but a thinner cracker would only need 12-15 minutes...


One for home and one for work, and boy are the good....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Author Guest Post: James LePore

Authors I Admire - In No Particular Order
 By: James LePore

Harper Lee. Her editor said that her characters walked onto the page. As a writer, I know what that means and how hard it is to do. Show, don’t tell, show, don’t tell, that’s the mantra.

Carson McCullers. She was twenty-three when The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was published. How could she have lived so much to be able to write such a great novel at so young an age? I’m not sure I want to know.

Elmore Leonard. His street dialogue is pitch perfect.

Hemingway. He changed the way Americans read, and write.

Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby may actually be the great American novel.

Kingley Amis. Brillaint and funny. Read Lucky Jim. You’ll see what I mean.

The list goes on: Jane Austin, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Flaubert. I couldn’t name them all.

Contemporary writers? I love Alan Furst, have read all of his novels. Ditto, Walter Mosely. Ditto Ian McEwan. I also like George Pelecanos and Richard Price. They know how to write bad guys and flawed good guys.

If you want my Top Fifty Favorite Novels, just email me:

James LePore is the author of Gods and Fathers.  You can learn more about James at

Gods and Fathers by James LePore

PUBLISHED BY:  The Story Plant

ISBN-10: 1611880297
ISBN-13: 978-1611880298

GENRE:  Suspense

Publication Date: 2/7/12
300 Pages

Nationally bestselling author James LePore has established a reputation as a writer whose vividly drawn characters and morally complex plots have kept readers up to all hours turning pages. His new novel promises more sleepless nights and more nonstop thrills.

Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.

Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.

GODS AND FATHERS is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore's signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.

About the Author:

James LePore is an attorney who has practiced law for more than two decades, and an accomplished photographer. He is the author of three previous novels, A WORLD I NEVER MADE, BLOOD OF MY BROTHER, and SONS AND PRINCES, as well as the story collection, ANYONE CAN DIE. He lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife, artist Karen Chandler.

Author Website:


“Why can’t you stay at your mother’s when they’re away?”

“I told you, Basil’s worried about security.”

Though this statement was challengeable on several levels, Matt let it pass. The marriage six years ago of Debra DeMarco, nee Rusillo, and Basil al-Hassan, a rich and handsome Syrian businessman, had marked the beginning of the end of Matt’s long and tortured fight for a place in his son’s heart. Armed with the ultimate weapon—-her new husband’s money—-Debra had made quick work of destroying the last vestiges of Matt’s hopes. A penthouse on Park Avenue, a beach house in Easthampton, a flat in Paris, a “cottage” in Bermuda, clothes and cars virtually on demand, Matt had no way of competing with all this, and no way of expressing his anger—-until tonight.

“What about Mina?” Matt asked.

“What about her?”

“Why aren’t you seeing her?”

“She’s studying.”


“Yes, studying. You keep repeating what I say. She’s a student. Students study.”

This statement was delivered dismissively, not sarcastically. You’re stupid, Dad. I’m tired of you. Why am I bothering with you? are what Matt heard, and it occurred to him, with a clarity that shocked him after all these muddled and painful years of effort and rejection, effort and rejection, ad nauseum, that he could not hurt Michael, that his own son was indifferent to him, and this was a blow, and strangely a release.
“Well, your friends are assholes, and you are too, Michael. You’re an arrogant, shallow asshole. Where you came from, I don’t know. But not from me.”

“That could be. Maybe Mom had an affair–like you did--and I’m not your son. Do I care? No, I don’t. Can I go upstairs now? I’ll leave in the morning.”

In the kitchen, Matt poured himself another scotch. He took the pizza out of the refrigerator and sat down to eat it, surprised to find that he actually had an appetite. Until tonight, despite the bad cards he had drawn, he had never stopped trying to break through to his son. It’s over, he said to himself, over and done. He’s not your son. He’s Debra’s son, Basil’s son. You lost him a long time ago.

He finished the pizza and was wrapping the garbage to take out in the morning when the doorbell rang. Looking out the kitchen window he saw that it was snowing heavily. Those idiots, he thought, they’re probably stuck someplace. No choice but to let them in. But when he swung open the front door, it wasn’t Adnan and Ali, but his friends Jack McCann and Clarke Goode, homicide detectives who he had worked with for many years, standing facing him. He could see their unmarked car at the curb, and behind it, blocking his driveway, a Pound Ridge patrol car, its engine running and headlights on, two uniformed officers in the front seat. McCann, a florid Irishman whose blue eyes were usually lit by some inner secret joke, looked grim; and Goode, a gnarled black man who never failed to greet Matt with a big smile, was not smiling. Far from it.

“Come in. What’s up?” Matt said. Then, nodding toward the street where the patrol car sat: “What’s with the uniforms?”

The two detectives stepped into the foyer.

“Take your coats off,” Matt said. He could see they were dressed for work, sport jackets and ties on under their trench coats.

“Matt...,” McCann said.

“Talk, Jack,” Matt said. “Is somebody dead?”

“Is Michael home?” Goode asked. He had not taken off his coat, and neither had McCann.
“That’s his car out there,” Matt said. “You know that.”

“Where is he?”

“He’s upstairs.”

Matt looked from McCann to Goode, then back to McCann; looked in the eyes of each, and did not like what he saw. “What about Michael?” he asked.

“We’re here to arrest him,” McCann replied.

“For what?” Drugs, Matt thought, good, let the kid get a taste of the pain he’s always inflicting on others. 

Him and his two Arab suppliers.

“For murder, Matt,” Goode said.


Every eBook received for review on the tours for Partners In Crime are given in exchange for an honest review. The eBooks are sole property (copyrighted) of the author and should not be sold, distributed to, or exchanged among other people not part of the tours, nor should they be listed on file sharing sites. Failure to comply with this disclaimer, will result in removal from all future tours. 

My Thoughts:

I love a good suspense mystery and this one gave me my fill!  This book was reminiscent of another I have read recently, Defending Jacob.

I wanted to share with you one aspect of this book that I found to be the most compelling - this author must specialize in building plots, as this novel really had twists and turns I never saw coming and I fancy myself pretty darn good at predicting outcomes.  I found myself engrossed by this novel and the thrilling way that the author developed the storyline.  These novels are generally not my favorite genre but this one changed my opinions!

I also really liked the characters...while they weren't always doing what I would have wanted them to be doing, they really had me invested in the story.  For lack of a better way to describe them, they were fascinating!

LePore is on my radar - he definitely is a fantastic writer and I am anxious to see what he comes up with next!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic 2012 by Bill Walker

Genre: Mystery/Romance
ISBN: 10: 0615592392
ISBN: 13: 978-0615592398 

Best-selling mystery novelist Trevor Hughes has no idea that attending his twentieth reunion at Harvard will forever change his life.

Persuaded to go by his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Dr. Julia Magnusson, he meets up with three old friends: Solly Rubens, a self-made Wall Street millionaire; Ken Faust, a successful software entrepreneur; and Harlan Astor, New York real estate tycoon and the glue that holds their circle together.

That afternoon, over drinks at the Harvard Club, Harlan drops his bombshell: He is doing what James Cameron did not -- he is rebuilding the Titanic, and sailing the ship on the hundredth anniversary to honor those who died, including his great-grandfather, John Jacob Astor IV. Only Trevor is intrigued by Harlan's audacity. Touched by his friend's interest and concern, Harlan invites him on the maiden voyage to serve as the official chronicler.

On April 10, 2012, Trevor journeys to Southampton and, along with the hundreds of handpicked passengers, boards the Titanic. He is awed by the immensity of the ship and the feelings that well up in him. His friend has made his grand dream a reality.

During the journey, armed with his iPod Touch and a miniature wireless camera hidden in his glasses, Trevor interviews both passengers and crew, eager to learn the reasons why they chose to sail on the reborn ship.

Nearly every one of them claims to have been profoundly affected by Cameron's film, wanting to recapture the magic for themselves. And some of them are dying -- their last wish to be on the maiden voyage of the new Titanic.

Trevor is touched that his friend has allowed these people to come aboard, and is unprepared when he meets Madeleine Regehr, a beautiful, free-spirited woman who resists his entreaties to be interviewed, intriguing Trevor all the more. Slowly, and inexorably, Maddy draws him out of his shell, allowing him to love deeply and completely, for the very first time in his life.

But Trevor soon discovers a darker purpose for the voyage, a purpose that threatens to destroy him and the woman he loves. In a race against time that pits friend against friend, Trevor must stop the unstoppable or risk a horrific replay of history...

Author Biography:

A graduate of Emerson College's prestigious film school, Bill wrote and directed his first feature film, Pawn, while still a student. After graduation, he co-founded Newbury Filmworks, Inc., an award-winning production company renowned for making high-quality corporate films and commercials.

In 1990, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, and began a freelance story analysis career for various studios and independent production companies, while devoting his spare time to the writing of novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is also a highly-respected graphic designer, specializing in book and dust jacket design. He has worked on books by such luminaries as: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. In addition, Bill is a member of the Authors Guild.

He has won awards for his screenwriting, his two short story collections for Mid-Graders, Five-Minute Frights and Five-Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites, and his first novel, Titanic 2012 was enthusiastically received by readers. His second novel, Camp Stalag was released in 2001. Bill lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie, and their sons, Jeffrey and Brian.

Author Website: 

Click HERE to hear an interview with Bill Walker.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

  The furor in the media had just died down when Solly’s call came that rainy midweek day. I’d been hiding from the wolves of the fourth estate for nearly three weeks, holed up in my book-filled condo/prison in Charlestown, unable even to slip outside for a breath of fresh air without some cookie-cutter reporter, with a paint-by-numbers smile, sticking a microphone in my face and asking me the same tired question: "What was it like?"

As if the whole of my experience could be quantified in a sound bite.

Truth was I was avoiding everyone, even Julia and her earnest attempts to help me sort through the miasma of doubt and pain.

Sweet Julia.

We’ve been on-and-off again for the last five years. And I hadn’t seen her for the better part of a year. I¬¬ guess she thought now was as good a time as any to mend fences. Christ, if she only knew....

And what was worse, the book I’d promised my publisher, the one that was supposed to chronicle all I’d been through, lay like a beached whale on the shore of my imagination. I was standing at the bay window overlooking the harbor, watching the rain sluice down the glass, wondering if I would ever have the courage to write again, when my gaze shifted to the pile of DVDs lying in a scattered heap on the teakwood coffee table.

My eyes filled with tears yet again.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Annabel Horton Lost Witch of Salem by Vera Jane Cook

From the Salem Witch trials through the Nineteenth Century and beyond, Annabel Horton is pursued by the devil’s disciple, Urban Grandier, the demonic priest from the incident at Loudon. She must take the bodies of those that the devil favors to protect her family. She must uncover the motive behind the illusive Ursula/Louis Bossidan, the scandalous cross-dresser who is pursuing her beautiful granddaughter, and she must learn, being one of God’s most powerful witches, how to use her power. But will it be enough to save her husband from Urbain’s fiery inferno? Will it be enough to save her children from demons greater than themselves? Read on, you will learn more…..

Book Excerpt:

When I am not in the form of flesh, I live in the confines of shadow. The psychics of your dimension have said that I can be seen floating between the kiss of dusk and the evening moon. Yes, some of you can actually see me, though you are unaware of what I am. You usually ignore me because I vanish so quickly. I simply blend into the surface of your world and disappear,  into objects, into trees, into the soft fur of a sleeping squirrel, into anything that will have me.

 Before I begin my tale, you must know this: I can also blend into a human body. I can steal your flesh if I choose. But before you judge me, you must understand my loneliness. You have no idea how desperately I desire the physical senses you so cavalierly take for granted. But please, do not fear me. I will not harm the innocent. Hear me out before you cast any stones. There are secrets in my tale worth knowing.

The snap of my neck appears to have granted me immortality as a captured soul, doomed to live over and over again in stolen flesh and blood. Therefore, I take bodies in exchange for my freedom. I want you to understand that if I were to ever choose your flesh, I would mean you no harm. I would simply borrow the luxury of your language and take comfort in the pleasure of your warm, beating heart.

The process of my abduction is painless. You see, the earth holds time. When I consume a body all I do is absorb time. It is quite simple. My soul moves out of one perception and into another. Let me reassure you that though I can take any one of you, I prefer the flesh of those whom the devil favors, and I do not have to go very far to consume the devil’s own.

About the Author:

Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women's Fiction, is the author of Dancing Backward in Paradise and Hearts Upon a Fragile Bough, both twentieth century historical fiction novels, told with humor and pathos.

Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan. An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Anne Rivers Siddons. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Color Purple, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She's Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.,

Jane worked in the professional theatre for over a decade, falling further in love with the plays of Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil, Lillian Hellmann, and Sam Shepherd. She has appeared in television, regional theatre, film and off Broadway. Some of her credits have included both classic and original plays at Playwrights Horizons, WPA Theatre, Kennedy Center, Theatre for The New City, Bucks County Playhouse and many others.

After ten years in the theatre, Jane developed a passion for art history, film theory and philosophy. To nurture her many interests, she enrolled at Hunter College through the CUNY BA/BS program from the City University of New York.

Jane received her degree in Communications and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. She went on to earn a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University and took an honorary withdrawal from Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA. For the next decade, Jane became a teacher and seminar/workshop leader. At the New Lincoln School, she taught creative writing, drama and English to middle and high school students. She also taught the craft of acting to adult professionals at various colleges and adult centers. In the mid eighties, Jane developed a seminar for artists that focused on teaching the business of being successful in the arts entitled: The Reality of the Dream. This on-going workshop received successful feedback for Jane and was presented at many artists' forums, acting schools and colleges around the tri-state area.

A bizarre mid-life crisis forced Jane into corporate life at the age of forty-five. She worked as an education territory manager for The New York Times and presented many workshops on using the newspaper in education as a tool for teaching English as a Second Language. She has worked as a Project Manager for the Education department of the New York Daily News, as well as an Education Specialist for Oxford University Press (ESL division) and as an Education Consultant for Scholastic. Jane is presently an academic consultant for Buckle Down Online, Coach Online and iCORE at Triumph Learning.

 Jane has completed nine novels. Hearts Upon a Fragile Bough is Jane's second published novel. It will be followed by a sequel, At the End of a Whisper, the culmination of three generations of women. At the End of a Whisper will be published in 2011. Dancing Backward In Paradise, Jane’s first published novel, received rave reviews from Midwest book review and Armchair Interviews. It also won the Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction, 2007. Jane has published in ESL Magazine, Christopher Street Magazine and has written several newsletters and online blogs. Jane has also written early childhood curriculum. Her published curriculum has been for Weekly Reader and McGraw Hill.

 The author lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan with her long term partner, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie and her two pussy cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hearts That Survive by Yvonne Lehman

In April 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life with a boundless hope, against all that Craven Dowd desires for her and himself. Her friendship with Caroline Chadwick deepens as they plan Lydia’s wedding on board the “grandest ship ever built.” Then both women suffer tragic losses when the “unsinkable” Titanic collides with an iceberg and there are only 20 lifeboats for 2207 passengers. They struggle to keep their families and dreams together.

Decades later, Caroline’s granddaughter, working at the museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, plans for the 50th memorial for the sinking and contacts survivors and descendants of survivors. Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed novelist who lost his life when the Titanic sank. He becomes caught up in finding his identity in the past and must come to terms with his present and the meaning of true success.

Characters struggle to answer whether love is more powerful than the pain of loss and learn what it means for a heart to survive.

Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic is Yvonne Lehman’s 50th novel. She is a best-selling, award winning author who founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years and now directs the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat held annually in October ( She lives in Black Mountain, amid the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge. She mentors students for the Christian Writers Guild. She earned her Master’s Degree in English at Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level.

You can visit Yvonne Lehman’s website at

My Thoughts:

I was attracted to this novel right from the start because of its beautiful cover AND anything about the Titanic is absolutely fascinating.  This tour was definitely one that I wanted to be a part of!  I was very happy to see it was one of the featured deals at Barnes and Noble recently, I am sure there were many who wanted to take advantage of that deal!

I love this twist on the love story aboard the Titanic...the author really does a magnificent job drawing you in and making you a part of Lydia and John's story.  Her description of the actual events (incorporated into her story of course) are spot-on and really do enhance the story.

The best way I can describe this story is REAL - in every sense of the word.  Lovers of Titanic history will be drawn right in, and will follow every page with anticipation of what is to come.  It's emotional, raw, and right in line with what readers interested will want.

I love this author...she is an amazing writer and I look forward to following her career!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shoppe of Spells by Shanon Gray

I have a dynamite book to showcase today - Shoppe of Spells by Shanon Gray.  Check it out, you won't be disappointed!  Just looking at the cover you can see that!

About the Book:

The Gatekeepers Series, Book One

When is a whole more than the sum of its parts? When it has ties to the quaint little town of Ruthorford, Georgia—as Morgan Briscoe discovers when a cryptic message threatens to change her life forever.
Morgan’s relatively normal life is turned on its ear when she learns not only that she is adopted, but her birth parents are dead and she now holds half-interest in a business with their ward, Dorian Drake, who, despite his riveting good looks, can barely conceal his hostility toward his new partner.

Morgan discovers that she is more than she seems and together she and Dorian have the ability to control a portal to another dimension. Unable to contain their growing attraction, Morgan and Dorian dance around their desires and her burgeoning abilities, until danger forces them to face their destiny.

About the Author:

Shanon Grey weaves romance and suspense with threads of the paranormal. THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS is the first in her series, THE GATEKEEPERS, about the quaint town of Ruthorford, Georgia and its very special inhabitants. PENNYROYAL CHRISTMAS ~A Ruthorford Holiday Story~ is out in e-format as well. MEADOW’S KEEP is due to be released this spring. Under contract with Crossroads Publishing House, her books are available in e-format and print at most booksellers.
Shanon spent her life on coasts, both the beautiful Atlantic and the balmy Gulf. Hurricane Katrina taught her the fragility of life and the strength of friendship, family, and starting over.

She just found out that her son salvaged notes and pages of her original novel, Capricorn’s Child, which she thought has been destroyed with everything else. (Ironically, a neighbor found her marriage certificate in a tree.) She plans to resurrect her original novel one day.

She currently lives in Coweta County, Georgia, trading the familiarity of the coast for the lush beauty and wonder of the mountains, where her husband fulfilled her lifelong dream—to live in a cottage in the woods, where inspiration abounds.

Book Excerpt:

Morgan lay motionless, listening, struggling to define what woke her. A faint hum, almost imperceptible, thrummed through her body, battling the very rhythm of her being. There was something familiar about it. Was that hum from a smoke alarm going off in the distance?
The air crackled around her.

She released the breath she’d been holding and opened her eyes. Damp curls clung to her neck as she shifted up on her elbow and scanned the room. Streaks of light spiked beneath the closed bedroom door—the only light penetrating the room’s inky blackness. 

Panic seeped into her sleep-fogged brain. Fire! She threw back the covers, felt a slight tingle as something brushed against her leg, and watched a faint violet outline disappear into the darkness. Thank God, her cat was in the room with her. Morgan swung her legs over the edge of the bed, felt the soft carpet under her toes and tried to remember all the rules about fire as she rushed closer to the spikes of light snaking toward her feet.

She reached out and patted at the door with her fingertips. The wood was cool to the touch. Her heart hammered as she watched the sparking light sizzle across her feet. Not hot, exactly…more…electric. Her mouth went dry. She forced her hand around the doorknob and, not getting a shock, turned it and pulled the door toward her.

Blinding white light, like that from a welder’s torch, filled the doorway, forcing her to shield her eyes.
“It’s okay,” a deep voice cajoled, “I’ve got you. Close your eyes and let me guide you.”

Squinting, she looked down and saw a strong hand reach through the light toward her. She eased her hand forward to meet his. As their fingers touched, a sudden flash of violet, followed by a bolt of energy exploded between them, thrusting her backward—into nothingness.

Her arms flailed, her hands grasped, seizing empty space.

Morgan screamed—a soundless howl, as her breath was sucked into the void.

She tumbled backward, plummeting into a black abyss.

With a jolt, she sat up in bed, drenched in sweat.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Emily Cale: Author Guest Post - "Bad Dates"

I am featuring Emily Cale on the blog today, author of Getting Ahead.  It's one of those books that the cover just reaches out and smacks us ladies across the face because it is so attractive :)

About the Novel:

Recovering from a bad fall during competition, Amber McDonald decides to spend her last week of training before her next rodeo at a Colorado ranch, away from any and all distractions. It'd be the perfect arrangement—if her fear wasn't stopping her from getting back on her horse. Then Colt Riley steps in. He's sexy and seems to have incredible insight into her situation. Everything she'd been trying to stay away from. 

Colt knows exactly what Amber is going through because he's been there before. Forced to give up his riding career after an accident, he sets his mind to helping her get back on track. All that's easier said than done. Especially when she discovers his hidden past. Will his efforts enough to help her get ahead?

About the Author:

Emily Cale spent the majority of her childhood as a visitor to the worlds of her favorite authors. With encouragement from her English teachers, she put pen to paper and began imagining her own stories. Preferring the fascinating lives of her characters, she majored in creative writing. When not lost in a manuscript or a good book, she enjoys crocheting, rock climbing, and playing board games. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and a very spoiled cat.

"Bad Dates"

Have you ever been on a crappy date? The biggest let down, in my opinion, isn't that I had anything invested in the guy, but that I'd built the whole experience up in my head for such a long time. So, I'm going to give you my top 3 worst  dates.

3. Junior prom. I asked one of my guy friends at school who I had a crush on. He actually took time to think about it for a few days (probably my first sign that something was wrong) and said yes. I spent the entire night listening to him go on and on about how great my friend looked and how much he thought about her. By the end of the night I wasn't speaking to him. He had the nerve to later ask me to give him a copy of the picture I had taken that night.

2. My friend set me up on a date with a friend of her boyfriend. We were supposed to double date for dinner and a movie that night. My date refused to speak to me the entire evening. We exchanged a total of two sentences. He talked to my friend and his friend, but not to me. He later asked my friend if she thought I'd go out with him again. She said no.

1. Senior year for Valentine's Day my school had a dance where the girls ask the guys. I asked a friend of mine who I'd been spending a lot of time with. We'd been on a few dates, but never really started dating. That day, I had the flu and managed to dose myself with enough medication to get ready for the night. A half hour into the date, he told me he'd asked my other friend out the previous day and she said yes. The drugs kept me happy for most of the night, but I eventually demanded to be taken home immediately.

Lucky for my characters Amber and Colt, they find each other and don't have to go on any crappy dates.

Do you have a good bad date story? Leave it in the comments and I'll pick a winner to receive a pair of cowboy hat earrings from me (shipped anywhere in the world).

Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance ebooks:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dark Is The Sky by Jessica Chambers

 I am delighted to feature Jessica Chambers on the blog today for an author guest post, check out her new book - Dark Is The Sky!

 If You Were To Lose Your Sight, What Would You Miss Most?

As a visually impaired person, there is one question I’ve been asked more than any other. What do I miss most being without my sight? Well, the list is endless: appreciating the beauty of nature, reading the body language and facial expressions of those around me, eyeing up attractive men in bars, looking at photos or browsing through magazines, being able to check in the mirror whether I’ve smudged my mascara, watching the sun set, playing tennis… There are, however, two things I miss above anything else.

The first is being able to drive. I’ll never understand the people who choose not to learn, to deliberately give up this chance of freedom. How liberating it must be simply to have the option of jumping in your car and going anywhere that takes your fancy, even just to go for a drive to have some time to yourself. Of course, there are buses and trains, and an assisted travel service for any visually impaired person needing to make an unfamiliar journey at short notice. Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that it makes being impulsive a lot more difficult!

The second concerns my passion for books. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no trouble whatsoever in feeding my addiction. I belong to a library service run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People, which keeps my appetite sated with a constant supply of books, both in Braille and on audio. Yet, there’s still a part of me that would love simply to be able to walk into a library or bookshop, peruse the shelves at my leisure, and pick out any paperback that happens to spark my interest.

Okay, so those are my biggest regrets. Now it’s your turn. Imagine for a moment waking up tomorrow morning to find yourself totally blind. What are the things you would miss most? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this!

About Jessica Chambers

Jessica Chambers has been inventing stories even before she was old enough to hold a pen. She has a passion for writing contemporary novels packed with emotion, complex relationships and often a touch of mystery.

Visually impaired from birth, Jessica currently lives with her family and Staffordshire bull terrier in the English town of Windsor. In addition to devouring fiction of all genres, she loves watching TV quiz shows and admits to being extremely competitive when it comes to a game of Trivial Pursuit.

You can visit her website at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange

Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange is the book I am featuring today on the blog, I hope you'll pick it up...the summary sounds fantastic!

About the Author:

Fascinated by broken-hearted couples and atypical families, Patricia weaves engaging tales of men and women who create cohesive families where love reigns supreme.  She sprinkles her books with intriguing characters who struggle to find balance in life after tragedy.  Whether an unwed teenager, desperate widow, abandoned father, or a couple who stray from their marital vows, her characters form relationships impacted by their desire to create a family.

Aside from writing, her favorite things to do include riding her Friesian horse, Maximus, dot-to-dot for adults, and watching Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington movies.  She spends a majority of her days writing while her two very large Chocolate Labs lounge on the couch cuddled next to her and her MacBook.

She writes a blog every Wednesday, so if you're interested, sign up to be on the mailing list and she'll notify you after she posts her blog on this website.  Or just drop by Wednesday mornings and leave a comment.

About the Novel:

Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty.  But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.

Moon Over Alcatraz can be purchased at the following links:
Musa link:
Amazon link:
Barnes & Noble link:

Twitter:  -!/PattiYager
Facebook: -


Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees.  Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to the tiny casket.

Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box.  I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on the wood.  Weston joined me and placed a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.
He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly.  I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.

Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw.  She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave.  It pecked around, chirping a little song, then flew off - as if saying goodbye.  My heart squeezed inside my chest.

I picked up a small handful of soft dirt.  “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.

Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side.  Why her?  Why my baby?  Was this supposed to make sense?  And, if so, to whom?

We drove home in silence.  No words existed to express my grief.

Author Interview:

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Patricia Heaton, the mother in The Middle, the television sitcom about a married couple and their three kids.  Every time I see her, I see myself.  She’s got a sense of humor, likes to talk, loves her kids, but their family life is manic.  Sometimes that’s how I feel.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

I think with anything in life, you have to have balance.  Writing isn’t the only thing I do.  I love to ride my Friesian horse at least twice a week -- one in a lesson and one on the trail.  I also have two teenage kids -- one boy who is 18 and a girl who’s 13.  If you’ve ever seen the movie The Bridges of Madison County, Meryl Streep explains why she cannot leave her family for Robert.  That’s how I feel about my family, i.e. I try to stay stable and not move so that my kids can feel comfortable leaving when they’re ready to fly away.  They know I’m here for them and always have been.  I grew up in such an atmosphere and when I left for college I had my family’s support and love.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge when writing?

The biggest challenge for me is discovering the idea for the book in the first place.  My first three books came easily for me but the fourth one -- I hit a wall.  I had to talk to my personal editor so she could throw out ideas and get my engine running, so to speak.  And it was the first time I wrote out a synopsis and chapter outlines beforehand.  I’m a pantser but I found that the synopsis and chapter outlines really helped me start and end the novel.  I’ll be doing it that way for my future books.  It gave me a path to follow and yet I didn’t have to stick to it 100%.  I veered off the track and added things, but kept to the main spots in the story.

Do you enjoy giving interviews?

I love doing interviews because they force me to really think about why I write.  I never thought about any of the questions I was asked before doing this blog tour.  Now I feel completely comfortable answering questions about my writing.  Initially I didn’t know what I would say but after the first few interviews, I’m enjoying them.  The other day I had a live interview with a journalist for my city’s newspaper and I was not at all intimidated because there wasn’t a question she asked that I hadn’t already been asked during my blog tour.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?

I integrate my life experiences in all my books.  I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and each of my books takes place somewhere in California which is my home state.  Also, I started reading books when I was very young and my mother bought me a subscription to a book-of-the-month club.  That alone impacted me greatly.  I loved and still love reading books and am never NOT reading a book.  And I write what I love to read.

What was the greatest thing you learned in school?

I went to Catholic grammar and high schools and the greatest thing I learned is that all people are equal.  That has impacted my entire life.

Do you admire your own work?

I write women’s fiction.  My main female characters are all strong women who have to jump through some heavy hurdles to get what they want in life.  In that sense, I admire what I write.  My main characters aren’t weak women who need to have a man in their lives in order to live.  They all have love in their lives but they also all have a personal life with struggles that only they can overcome on their own.

Who else’s work do you admire?

I love Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, anything by Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans and Jodi Picoult.  When I read their books I always feel connected to the characters and don’t want to put the books down.

What do you think is the sole purpose of books?

Books take us out of our everyday world into another, to a place where anything is possible and in transporting us away from our lives, we get the opportunity to experience the lives of others.

How would you convince a young person to pursue writing?

I would take a child at a very young age and have them write stories - any stories about any subject - and never stop.  My daughter has been writing stories for years in school and she’s only thirteen.  And some of her stories are really quite good.  It’s like anyone’s writing, I believe, i.e. the more you write, the better you write.  At least that’s what I’ve discovered is true for many writers.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Safari Moon by Ann Christine

I am delighted to share Ann Christine and her novel, Safari Moon which looks to be a dynamite read!

Be sure to follow this tour and stop by each hosting site, here are the benefits:

Ann Christine will be giving away the following prizes:

* A Safari Moon bookmark to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop.
* Ebook copy of The Gift (part of A Valentine Anthology) and Star Crossed (part of St. Patrick's Day anthology) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
* One commenter during the tour will win the right to have a character named for them in her next release--either Ghost Dance (a western historical romance) or Rebel Heart (science-fiction romance)
* Two randomly drawn commenters during the tour will each win a $25.00 giftcard to Starbucks
* The host with the most comments (excluding the author's and the host's) will win a $15 giftcard to Starbucks

About the Novel:

Solo St. John, a wildlife photographer, is preparing for a trip to Alaska.  Suddenly, Solo finds women of all sorts invading his privacy, his home and his office, all cooing nonsense words and blatantly throwing themselves at him.  Solo doesn't know why, and he has no idea how to rid himself of the persistent women.  He finally decides to beg a favor of his best buddy Nyssa Harrington.  

In love with Solo for the past ten years and knowing he doesn't return her feelings Nyssa doesn't want to talk to Solo.  She knows if she accepts his phone call, she will not be able to resist the temptation to hope again.  

About the Author:

Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master's degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance.

She sold her first book, Dakota's Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children.  Christine's newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.

Rogues Angels blog:

Book Excerpt:

Wanted: A professional wildlife photographer to take pictures in the Alaskan wilderness. Experience first hand a real safari moon. Call(555)381-1252 or send resumes to 2286 Main, Suite 2D Bend, Oregon.

Solo St. John was in the middle of an erotic dream about his buddy, Nyssa Harrington, when the click of his front door shutting brought him to instant alert mode. 

Solo looked up, caught a flashing glimpse of a good deal of naked flesh; long legs, perfectly rounded derriere, and a waist he could span with his hands. The intruder's long blond hair curled around her shoulders an inch above the ties of her bikini top.

Then he saw the skunk. He blinked twice.

This woman and the skunk were not the subject of his brief and very strange dream, a fantasy that made his mind speed along at sixty in a residential zone. This was someone he had never seen before and he resented the intrusion.

"Hello," she cooed seductively from his living room. "Will you come out and play?"

The skunk stuck a black and white head around the open door to his bedroom. A second later the animal turned and lifted his tail before disappearing into the living room.

Solo was out of bed and pulling on his jeans before the count of five. Yet in that short time, the lady in question, along with the skunk that was now exploring his fireplace hearth, had taken over his living room.

The lithe, supple blond sported an expensive camera, and all the while the lady in question babbled nonsense words.

"I'm willing, able, and eager." She posed for him, a pose meant to entice.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write your first book?

Bicycle tours! My parents started riding bicycles for exercise about twenty years ago. Their rides grew in length from about town, to bike Oregon then on to bicycling in different parts of the world. They have cycled in countries such as Greece, Bali, Tasmania, France, New Zealand and different parts of the US such as Alaska, Natchez Trace and New England. In Safari Moon, Nyssa Harrington, gives bicycle tours around the world. During the story she is researching Greece for her next tour.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is evolving and think it always will. When I wrote Safari Moon I was more of a panster than a plotter. The characters screamed at me throughout the book, telling me everything they needed me to hear. I do, however, always write in depth scene analysis. I have done this for quite a few years. I know the first and last sentence of a scene before I write it. I know the setting the pov as well as the internal, external, and emotional conflict. If there is to any foreshadowing in the scene it all down on my scene plot.

How did you come up with the title?

I really liked the way it sounded. My main characters are a wildlife photographer and a bicycle tour guide. I immediately thought of a safari. But wait, they aren't in Africa so can they go on a safari? I looked up the definition:
1. a journey or expedition, for hunting, exploration, or investigation, especially in eastern Africa.
2.the hunters, guides, vehicles, equipment, etc., forming such an expedition.
3. any long or adventurous journey or expedition.
Any long adventurous journey? Hmm... what could be more adventurous than studying and photographing wolves? The background picture had the gorgeous picture of the moon so... Safari Moon became the title of this book.

It's interesting because my daughter asked that same question yesterday when we were on Skype.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No, I don't think there is really a message other than sometimes best friends make the best couples. This book is light and humorous in places. It does have a few serious undertones but it is meant to be a fun read, escape fiction at its best.

How much of the book is realistic?

I think it is all realistic. Everything that happens is based on real career, real hopes and dreams, and real emotional expectations.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

This was addressed earlier. The bicycle tours, the photography is an unfilled dream of my own. But the characters are all fictional.

What books have most influenced your life most?

When I was in high school, I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I have always loved it. I was so thrilled when it came out in movie form. I think the fantasy part influenced me the most although I don't write fantasy. About twenty years ago I read my first romance, Pirate's Pleasure by Heather Graham. This book was a major influence. I like to think it was reading this book that got my mind turning. I started writing romance several years later.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I think Stella Cameron would hold that spot. She writes incredible villains and I do love a good antagonist. She was a speaker at a conference years ago for the midWillamette valley RWA. I love all her romances and in particular her historicals. Although Safari Moon doesn't really have a protagonist. I think one could consider the "willing eager and able women" the antagonists. While they play a negative role in the story, they also serve to help bring the couple together. These women help Solo see all of the amazing characteristics of Nyssa.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading a Feast of Crows by George R. R. Martin. It is the 4th book in his Ice and Fire series. The way this book was written definitely has my turning. I love the way he takes an entire chapter for a characters pov. Most of the major characters have a pov.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

George R. R. Martin is a new to me author. This is also a genre I have not read in a very long time. For the past twenty years I have rarely if at all read anything outside of the romance genre. Reading outside the genre helps my writing evolve.

What are your current projects?

I am working on two books right now. They are both in the edit phase. Rebel Heart will be published in June by Rogue Phoenix Press and I'm hoping to finish edits for A Marriage of Inconvenience. The first is a futuristic romance and the latter is the third book in my regency romance series.
I would like to thank Everyday is an Adventure Book Blog for hosting Safari Moon today. I would like to make sure everyone knows that AnnChristine is an AKA. I normally write as Christine Young.

I would also like to please ask everyone who stops by to leave a comment. I would so appreciate. If you don't know what to say, just say "hi" and your email address so I can't put you in this blog stop for a bookmark as well as the big drawings at the end of the tour.