Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A sneak peek at "Al Dente," a sexy short from @LeoRosanna.

Those of you who follow my blog will have heard I have some book news. My short story “Al Dente” was recently accepted to be part of the sexy anthology, Craving: One Night, coming to Crave Publishing this spring.
I couldn’t resist giving you a sneak peek. My hero is a famous Italian chef by the name of Matteo Rinaldi and my heroine is a Toronto food blogger named Ruby Zhang. The story begins with Ruby winning tickets to be part of a private couple’s cooking class with Chef Matteo.
Only she loses the other half of her couple right before the event.
I'm pleased to offer you this sneak peek at the story. I hope you enjoy this excerpt!
“Al Dente”
It wasn’t so much that her boyfriend had taken dick pics.
It was more the fact he’d sent them to the entire internet.
Not the entire internet, of course, Ruby Zhang corrected herself. Just about half of it. The female half.
At least she assumed Steve hadn’t sent photos of “Moose” to the male half. If he had, that opened up a whole can of worms she wasn’t prepared to confront. It was bad enough knowing he’d cheated.
“I didn’t cheat, babe, I swear.” Steve had tried to justify his actions once discovered. “You went away for the weekend with your sisters and I drank too much. I was just bored one night. Those women meant nothing to me.”
“Wow,” she’d countered. “You actually think that qualifies as an excuse.”
He might as well have cheated and probably had. It was the only reasonable assumption, although she hadn’t stuck around long enough to ascertain the particulars.
Either way, he’d unleashed Moose. That was his pet name for his dick, given to him by an ex because of its admirable dimensions. He’d liked it so much he’d kept it and used it as much as possible. At first, Ruby had thought it was cute. Now, it made her want to vomit.
Eighteen months with a man who likened himself to a huge mammal known for its annoying moans and inability to sustain its energy after rutting.
Yup, that was Steve in a nutshell.
Still, they’d talked marriage … that is, they’d talked about it being a possibility one day. Those plans were over. Less than two weeks later, Ruby was still reeling.
However, life would have to go on.
That was why she now stood in front of Toronto’s Ristorante Al Dente. Although it was Valentine’s Day evening, the restaurant was closed to the public for a special event. And not just any special event.
Months ago, Ruby had entered a draw to win a private couple’s cooking class with famed Italian chef Matteo Rinaldi. As a food blogger, Ruby had followed Rinaldi’s career and tried many of the recipes featured in his popular cookbooks. In fact, she owned the entire collection of books and most of the pages were dog-eared and covered in splotches of sauce because they were such a treasured feature in her kitchen. The handsome chef wasn’t just an author, though. He’d hosted numerous cooking specials on TV and Ruby had been glued to every single one.
Matteo Rinaldi might possess some incredible knife skills but he was also so gorgeous most soap opera actors would hurl themselves over the nearest cliff out of insecurity.
Meeting the chef would be a dream come true.
Learning to cook with his instruction would be heaven.
When she won the tickets, she’d been over the moon, despite Steve’s indifference. When she broke up with Steve, she’d contemplated giving the tickets to some friends. After all, it was supposed to be a couple’s cooking class and she was no longer part of a couple.
Ruby had waffled for all of five minutes. After a short period of wallowing, she’d cuddled her aging pet rabbit Shania and said, “Fuck that shit.”
Shania always helped her channel her inner badass. The rabbit was the equivalent of one hundred human years old and had that effect on people.
Only now, standing in front of Al Dente on a cold February night, Ruby was losing her courage. What would Chef Matteo say? On TV, he seemed like a nice man but what if he was haughty and disparaging in real life? Ruby had met a lot of chefs in her line of work. They weren’t always known for their humility.
The wind whipped through her, compelling her to make a decision. She took a deep breath.
Resolved, she grabbed the door handle and walked inside.
***
For more on "Al Dente" and the rest of my books, please stay in touch at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Are those resolutions on track by @elle_rush


I read a statistic at some point that said sixty percent of all New Year resolutions were abandoned by the end of the January. We're almost at the end of the third week. How are you doing?

Personally, I'm barely scraping by. I made three real resolutions at the beginning of the year. And I made them on a weekly basis. I know myself. If I tried to do a daily goal I'd be two days behind by the fourth, throw up my hands in frustration and abandon the whole project.

1. Exercise.  This is the one I've been best at! I'm right on track to exercise three times a week. I'd like to do longer sessions, but at the moment I do half-mile walks three times (minimum) a day on the treadmill in my office. I do this at least three, sometimes four, days a week. It averages to walking a mile a day. It's not a lot, but it gets me out of my desk chair three times a day.

2. Work. I gave myself a weekly word count. I made the first week. I caught up for the second week on Monday of week two. Now we're in the second half of week three and I'm horribly behind. I'll be lucky to hit half the goal I set. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and say that I'm still making progress, but it's difficult. (The good news is I'm really enjoying the new book I'm working on. I'm inspired to catch up. More news on this in March).

3. Languages. I studied French, Spanish, and German in university. And haven't used them since I left. I planned to crack open my old text books for an hour a week. I could find an hour. I'm 2 hours behind (it'll be 3 hours on Sunday.) I may catch up, or I may just decide this is not a good plan for me. However, I'm heading to Mexico in March, and would like to remember at least the basics of Spanish. I can catch up three hours right? (Tell me I'm right.)

But the very best part of resolutions, aside from you making the decision to improve your life somehow, is that you can do it any time. Have you messed up your new year's goals? You can restart them at any time. When I was on Weight Watchers, if I had a bad week, I reset myself every Wednesday (the day I weighed in). Mondays are another great time. New week, fresh slate.

Are you keep your resolutions?
Do you want to do a reset like me?
Whatever you decide, I'm here for you, cheering you on!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Back home in Canada, Love, Advice for a friend, Kindle Unlimited Release. @tdanielsauthor

Hey! I'm finally back on Canadian soil and so glad to be home. I missed my last post with my busy corporate career and a current work project that has kept me out of the country for 8 of the last 12 weeks. I have to tell you, if you have to work out of the country, the Philippines is a fantastic place to be. It was my first time there and I have to tell you that I LOVED Manila.  The people there are the kindest people I have ever met. We managed to spend some weekend time on some of the smaller islands and enjoy their beauty. I would definitely go back again just to vacation. Now that I'm back, I can start to concentrate more on my stories and future releases. I can't wait to get them to you. 

 


I'm happy to report that romance has found its way back into my life after a brief time of… let’s call it ‘settling in’. I was scared for a little while that it was lost, but it was still there. I just needed to stop my girl brain from over thinking. In talking with friends and family members, I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who was feeling a little ‘lost’. With that ‘special day’ quickly approaching… you know the one. The one that every man would like to avoid and every woman dreams about. Nobody wants to be alone on Valentine’s Day. A friend messaged me the other day confessing that she can’t get her ex-boyfriend out of her head. They had a very tough relationship year. She was miserable after he moved out, at her request. Recently, he dropped in at the house a few times and offered to help her out with some chores. She admitted that it was tough to see him leave again and that she was extremely lonely. She's having a hard time moving on.

She said she needed some girl talk and asked me for my opinion. I’m not sure I’m the best to give advice on relationships. I’m the girl who proposed to my man and sent our relationship into a downward tailspin from which I wasn’t sure we’d recover. But this I know… Love is complicated and worth fighting for until the bitter end.  No matter how hard you try, you can’t change people. You can’t fix them or make them do things your way. Your partner in life must be able to fulfill your most important needs in life, whatever that may be; financial security; intellectual stimulation; stability; emotional & intimate support. Everything else is a compromise. You shouldn’t feel angry or anxious all the time when you’re together, nor should you feel like you don’t want to go home to that person at the end of every day. If you volunteer for overtime every night so you don’t have to deal with them, there’s a problem.

I know that he loves her; I could see it in the way he looked at her. Sadly, sometimes love is not enough. There has to be an equal effort to meet in the middle on the important things and a willingness to let go of the things that aren’t. If your partner can’t meet you in the middle of the road, then maybe you need to take a different road all together. Do you walk away because the going gets tough? Absolutely not. But only she knows for sure if she any fight left in her. I want her to be happy, but if he’s not the right one, then I don’t want her to settle for comfort and convenience.
Every woman deserves to find a partner who lifts her up, and makes her feel excited. Second, third or fourth chances shouldn’t be needed.

Sometimes relationships are easy. Sometimes they are a lot of hard work. They are ALWAYS complicated and confusing. I was so afraid that I was going to fall for the same kind of guy as my ex that I rejected all men for over 18 years. I know what she means when she says she’s lonely for companionship and intimacy. I do know that eventually the ‘right’ guy will come along. I’m not the most patient girl, but I’m really glad that I waited. The love of my life finally found me and although there are some twists and turns on our happily ever after journey, we are equal partners in life. Best friends. Lovers.


I guess to make a long story short my advice, to her and any of you who who need to hear it... Don’t settle. You deserve to be loved. 



Intractable Souls is now on Kindle Unlimited!

If you're looking for something different then this is the series for you. Award winning with almost 100 5 star reviews, reviewers say this is the series you don't want to miss. Ethan O’Connell, alpha with an Irish accent, arrives from Ireland and is drawn to a woman he feels a strong connection with. When he starts having flashbacks, dreams and déjà vu moments, he’s convinced that they were lovers in a past life. She too begins to share those memories and dreams, but this lifetime throws them twists and turns that makes it difficult to believe that they can find that love once again. Ethan O’Connell is not the type of man to give up so easily, and he will find a way to prove to her that Love is the only true magic; for only true love transcends all time. This is the first book in the Bound4Ireland Series. #bound4ireland #triciadaniels #intractablesouls #freebook #bookseries #kindleunlimited
http://tinyurl.com/IntractableKindle


Thursday, January 11, 2018

New year, new stories & a shiny new plan @susanhayes


I ended 2017 on a high note. I finished the rough draft of my newest book, Operation Phoenix, on Christmas Eve, which meant I got to take a few days to relax over the holidays. Of course, I didn’t stay in holiday mode for long. My muse gets very cranky if I don’t write every day, so before the New Year, I’d started working on another story. (I’m also working on sorting out my corporate taxes, which is a lot less fun than writing!)

Being the start of a new year, I’ve spent some time working out what I’m going to be writing, when I’ll be releasing it, and how I’m going to fit all the stories I want to tell into the next twelve months. (Short answer, that’s not going to happen unless I invent time travel.) I’m also starting to plan my travel for the year. Booking flights, pondering swag, all the work that comes before the fun of being at an event full of readers and fellow authors.

The plan right now looks ambitious, but doable. I’m sharing it here to hold myself accountable and see if I can actually fit this all in without losing more than a few nights sleep and a couple of marbles.

The Plan 

January: Release Operation Phoenix (Nova Force #1)

March: Release Super Sekrit Surprise

May: Release No Limit (The Drift #5)

May 31-June 3: Head to Florida! (my first visit…not all Canadians migrate south for the winter 😉 ) I’ll be attending Space Coast Book Lovers convention in Cocoa Beach

July: Travel to Denver for RWA Nationals (I hope. Gotta get a ticket!)

August: Head to Ottawa for my favourite reader convention, Romancing the Capital!

Sometimes during the summer: Re-release the titles I’ve reclaimed from a former publisher

September: Release book one of the next round of Interstellar Dating Agency series

October: Release book one of the next round of Interstellar Dating Agency series

November: Release book one of the next round of Interstellar Dating Agency series

December: Release Operation Cobalt (Nova Force #2)


I suspect I'm in for a busy, wonderful year, and I hope you are, too.



First release of 2018 - Operation Phoenix



http://susanhayes.ca/book/operation-phoenix/

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hello 2018! Happy New Year from @LDBlakeley


Do you make New Year's resolutions?

As a general rule, I don't. I mean, I get why people do. But it's never been a thing that's worked for me. The few times I decided to make any big changes in my world that stuck, it was a random thing at various times of the year.



Having said that, I decided back in October that I needed to get more organized and implement some better time management skills. So I guess that sort of counts as a New Year's resolution, right?

How about you? What's on the horizon for your year ahead?

Whatever you do with your 2018, I hope it's spectacular!



Until next time,

L.D. Blakeley - visit me online!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Happy holidays from @LeoRosanna!

Hi everyone! As 2017 comes to a close, I'd like to take a moment and wish you a merry Christmas and all the best in the new year.

It's been a tumultuous year for many and for a number of reasons. However, one thing I have seen over and over in 2017 is the way the romance community helps its own. We have rallied around each other and it's so nice to know this community is "home" for many of us.



As we head into 2018, I know I will definitely be bulking up my to-be-read list. With a few new releases this past year, I haven't been able to devote as much time to reading as I would have liked.

What do I have in store for you for the coming year? Well, I am currently writing the second books in both my Vegas Sins series and my Handymen series and I hope to get those out as soon as possible.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, I hope you get lots of time with the people you love and a few nice treats along the way.

I wish you peace and love ... and romance, always.
Rosanna Leo

Monday, December 18, 2017

Poinsettias and Mistletoe by @elle_rush

I really hope Santa brings me a poinsettia this year. I don't always have the best of luck with live plants, but I'd do my best to keep it alive. I really would. I could keep it alive till New Year's Day at the very least. I prefer the red to the white, but I've seen some variated ones that look pretty cool.


I used to think mistletoe was the coolest Christmas plant, because YAY KISSING! Then I learned it was a type of fungus. Its appeal dimmed after that.

That's all that's missing from my Christmas decorations. The tree is up, the presents are wrapped, the cookies are baked (I have a list of easy Christmas cookie recipes on my blog) and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Okay, they're on top of the book case by the television, but they're out. I'm ready.

With a week to go, how are you doing with your plans?  Can I help? I know this can be an expensive month, so let me stuff your stocking with a bunch of FREE stuff.  I have a free recipe book full of holiday favourites. I also have a free book for you to read between batches of cookies (SCREEN IDOL will be back to regular prices in the new year.)

However  you are spending this holiday season - with family, friends, or on your own - I wish you a very merry Christmas, joyful holidays, and a wonderful new year. See you in 2018.

Elle

***


Do you know who else has poinsettias? Lots and lots of them? The heroine in my sweet Christmas novella, HOLLIS AND IVY.

Unlucky Ivy Teague can’t win against her competition’s dirty tactics, and she will have to close her flower shop unless a Christmas miracle arrives at her door.

Hollis Dash has been sent to finalize a business deal with Ivy’s rival, but meeting Ivy upsets all his plans. Can they both get what they want for Christmas?

Only Santa knows.


AmazonKobo:  iBooks:  B&N:  Google Play:  

If you like sweet holiday romances, you can also check out the first book in the North Pole Unlimited series - DECKER AND JOY, which is on sale for $0.99 until January. It also makes a great gift :)