Sunday, January 31, 2016

Terri Brisbin: The Big 6-0!

So, yesterday was my birthday. And it was one of those birthdays that mark the end of a decade and the beginning of another -- I turned 60 yesterday.  I have to say that I remember when I thought that 40 was old. Then I turned 40. And I remember my father turning 49 and I thought that was old. Then I turned 50.

And now I'm 60 and I was thinking that 80 is old! But I just went to Ireland in the spring and was out-walked and out-lasted (and, dare I say, out-drank?! the spelling is bad but you get the idea!)  by a friend who celebrated her 80th birthday with us there! So, how old IS old?

Yes, it's all about your perspective in life.

I have friends and family members who make 60 look like 20. I have friends and know people who make 40 look like 70. It's amazing to me how much attitude determines your age. A life crisis doesn't hurt in changing your perspective, either.

The year I turned 50 was the best and worst in my life. I began with a celebration shared with some of my best friends. My oldest son married the love of his life. I was diagnosed with cancer. Most importantly, I was cured of cancer, too, in the same year.

But that year made me realize that nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is for certain. And the only thing you get out of life is what you choose - to do or not do.

And this last decade has been among my best -- my other two sons met the loves of their lives, two new grandbabies have been born, I spent almost a month in Scotland (on my own!), I went to Ireland for the first time, wrote more books than I even thought possible, met more readers, and have made many memories during those years.

Even more interesting to me is that I find I am making more plans for more things to do in the next decade....and trying to decide if I really am too old to dye my hair purple and turquoise.....

So, what's my age again? I'd say the body is definitely 60, the mind....somewhere around that, but emotionally I think I'm around 38.... How about you?

Happy Whatever Birthday You're Celebrating in 2016!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kate Hewitt: Reading to Escape

As a reader as well as a writer I have different moods. Sometimes I’m up for a weighty, thought-provoking read, and at other times I prefer something to simply sweep me away. Lately life’s stresses and sorrows—my father died five weeks ago—made me want to escape with a good book into a world where a happy ending is guaranteed. I ended up reading several of Lucy Diamond’s chick lit books, which are not froth-only as they deal with some weighty issues, but do so with a light hand and a happy ending, and they were definitely the balm I needed.

There sometimes is an attitude in our culture that reading to escape is wrong, a ‘guilty pleasure’ it is often called. I’ve met countless woman who dismiss their reading choices as light or unimpressive with a shrug of their shoulders and a downward gaze, as if they’re ashamed they’re not reading War and Peace or the latest nonfiction bestseller every other day. I’ve even found myself doing it—when asked what I’m reading, I’ll pick the weightiest book I’ve read recently rather than the bit of frothy fun I’ve just devoured. And even worse, I sometimes do it as a writer, especially with some of the academic-types I meet living close to Oxford and its prestigious university.

‘What kind of books do you write?’ someone will ask me, and I will shrug my shoulders and dismiss my career as ‘the kind of book you find in the supermarket’—as if that makes it a lesser thing.

One of my (many!) New Year’s resolutions is to stop this bad habit of semi-apologizing for my reading and writing choices. Reading to escape, and writing to offer that escape, is not only acceptable, it’s necessary. 2015 was one of the most difficult years of my life and if I hadn’t had the reprieve from reality offered through various novels—Harlequin Presents, chick lit, and other ‘light’ books—I  think I might have exploded with stress. I’m grateful to the writers who give me books that take me away from my current worries and leave me with a smile on my face.
And if you’re looking for a new escapist read, you can try one of my releases: The Emigrants Trilogy is the kind of historical saga that hopefully sweeps you away, and my March release, Falling Hard, kicks off a series set in small town Upstate New York.

Also if you a book you’ve read recently that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Reading,


Friday, January 29, 2016

Michelle Monkou: Not Another Billionaire Hero - Oh, Yes, Indeed

It's 2016 and already my e-reader is chock full of great reads. As I head for Florida to a writing retreat weekend, I also look forward to some reading time with the beach and ocean views to enhance the experience.

And in my TBR pile, I do have a few titles with one of my favorite hero types -- billionaires.

What's the attraction?

Think back to that moment not too long ago when the lottery winnings had zoomed within reach of a billion. Participants who played the lottery were excited at the rare what if scenario.

People fantasized about what they would do with their winnings. They also entertained scenarios of telling off their bosses or simply vanishing from their homes with no forwarding address.

The world building that occurred on social media was entertaining. With this wealth, there were imagined freedoms to be enjoyed, exotic places to visit, unique dream houses to be built, and food and parties to mingle with the Who's Who. The imagination knew no limits.

That energy to visualize their happy place is the continued motivation to write my billionaire stories. . Even if the billionaire hero isn't comfortable with his wealth, the story is bound to have scenes that delve into the champagne and diamonds lifestyle.

And instead of reading the stories with a literal expectation, billionaire romances are to be enjoyed with a touch of humor and optimism.

Book Blurb:


Take a trip to Monaco and meet the Laurent brothers—Damien, Dane, Dallon. Seducing A Billionaire is three connected stories of this powerful dynasty that thrives in the high-end real estate market. While this next generation continues the Laurent legacy, they are also Monaco's eligible and downright sexy bachelors. Falling in love may not be on the agenda. Yet, romance knows no bounds when the right women—Anna, Yasmin, Nicola—seduces her man.
 The book is soon to be released on all digital platforms. Sign up for my newsletter or my Facebook Author page to stay updated on my goings on and the book release information.

Thank you

Michelle Monkou

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Social Media Book Club

As an author, a life long dream was to be picked up by a book club and have them pick your book. I'm not talking Oprah level book club, though....that would be great. I'm talking just a girl's night out, having fun discussing books. The small town book clubs.

When I got my first novel got picked up by a book club, I was so excited. They were from Harvard and had emailed me through my website. I sent them book marks, a tote bag, and some signed book plates before they had met. A couple of weeks later, I had received a photo of the book club holding up the book and the bags. It was so exciting.

Book club requests were few and far between and I appreciated them so much.

When social media took off about six years ago, I knew this would open up a whole new world for readers. It was going to open up a whole new world for me to connect with my readers. I put it out on my website and newsletters that I'd love to Skype with their book clubs and send some goodies along.

WOW! Did that little newsletter open up the doors to more and more book clubs. It's been amazing.

What I've seen lately that has been even more fun, are groups of readers who have met on Facebook through their favorite authors or favorite genres and formed online book clubs. It's been so fun seeing my readers come together in their own club and reading.

Do you have a book club? Are you a member of an online book club? What are you reading now?

One lucky comment will be picked to win a new Tonya Kappes tote!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Eve Gaddy: The Valentine Gamble

I'm very excited to tell you that there's a new Whiskey River novella available February 3. As you can see from the title, it's a Valentine's Day novella, although Katherine and I think you'll enjoy it any time. For those of you familiar with Whiskey River, this is Johnny Gamble and Fiona Lannigan's story. Johnny and Fiona are partners in the law firm from Where There's A Will, the very first Whiskey River novella, Ryder Ford and Addison Wells' story.

What's a Valentine story without a kiss? Since the first kiss took place before the book started Katherine and I thought you might enjoy this kiss.

            “I always wear pretty lingerie, Johnny,” Fiona said. “So far nothing magical has happened.”
            “Maybe that’s because you have more no trespassing signs than an abandoned building,” he said. What was her deal? And why was he looking at Fiona and thinking of romance and not poker or business? He knew the answer. Damned wine and dinner had changed the way he saw her. Or rather reminded him very fiercely that she’d never been only a co-worker.
            From the moment she’d walked into his contracts class at the law school of the University of Texas, he’d been under her spell. Those long legs of hers and the short skirts she wore at work had kept him fully entrenched in the fantasy of someday until that night…one kiss. He had hung some mistletoe in the office and that was his downfall. He groaned.
            “Nothing,” he said. No way was he admitting that she’d tasted like the holidays that night. Eggnog and cinnamon and she smelled like home. Their lips had met and he’d forgotten to keep it casual, that they were partners; all he’d wanted was to toss her over his shoulder and carry her into his office and make love to her on his desk.
            But he’d pulled back and since then…well, things had been damned awkward for him. It was one thing to lust after a woman he was casually acquainted with, another entirely to be looking at Fiona and her cursed lingerie set and seeing her in his mind. Just that red balconette bra and those silky matching panties. Her thick blonde hair hanging around her shoulders and those pouty lips of hers beckoning him closer, calling his name…
            “Huh?” he asked, not really paying attention.
            “Snap out of it, Gamble. Carmen just buzzed to say your two o’clock is here. ”
            Johnny took a step closer to Fiona and reached around her to hit the intercom button on her phone. “Hey, Carmen, will you put them in the conference room and offer them a drink? I’ll be down in a few minutes. ”
            He disconnected the intercom but stayed where he was, close to Fiona. Her perfume was flowery and womanly. It did nothing to quell the desire he felt for her. It simply fanned the flames.
            “Are you wearing that to the dance?” he asked, motioning to the lingerie set.
            “None of your business,” she said.
            “Fair enough. I just. . .”
            “Just what? You’re the one who said that we had to work together and mistletoe kisses and wine in the office were mistakes,” she reminded him.
            He still felt that way. He’d let one woman into his life and that had been a mistake. He hadn’t been cut out for domesticity more than ten years ago and he was honest enough to admit that though he’d matured and grown as a lawyer, as a man he still didn’t feel ready for that. And he knew that dating Fiona didn’t mean marriage but there was something about her that had always made him want more. Much more.
            “I did,” Johnny said. “Your mouth has a way of making me forget. ”
            Her lips parted as she tipped her head back. “How does it do that?”
            “By making me remember how good it felt under mine,” he said.
            “Maybe it was the alcohol,” she said.
            “No, it was you,” he admitted.
            “You. ”
            He put his hand on her shoulder, caught a tendril of her silky hair between his thumb and forefinger and then lowered his head. The kiss was meant to be soft and light but a zing arched between them and he groaned as his blood started to flow heavier in his veins and his groin responded.
            Her lips parted under his and his tongue slid in to taste her. It definitely hadn’t been the alcohol that had enticed him. It was Fiona.
            Suddenly he realized the problem was that he’d been denying the both of them this. They wanted each other and he’d never been a coward about anything else.
            He lifted his head, rubbed his thumb over her bottom lip. “What do you say to a little wager?”
            “I’m game,” she said; her cheeks had a pretty pink flush on them.
            “If you don’t meet Mr. Right tomorrow night at the ball, we give it a shot,” he said.
            “A shot? Stop with the romance or I’ll melt into a puddle,” she said, stepping back to put some distance between them.
            “Do you need romance?” he asked.
            “If you have to ask then you’re not the man I thought you were,” she said.
            “I can bring the romance but I don’t really know Fiona the woman, just the hard-as-nails attorney. ”
            “If you can’t handle the challenge…”
            He threw his head back and laughed, then pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard and quick. He heard someone clearing his throat. He lifted his head and let Fiona’s hair drop from his fingers, stepping away from her to greet the intruder.
            “Damn, son, I know that we have a pretty open fraternization policy in the office, but you are meeting the Cole brothers and they aren’t patient men,” Ryder said from the doorway.
            “Mind your own business, Ford,” Fiona said. “Johnny, get back to work. ”
            Fiona moved behind her desk, all-professional now. She had tucked her lingerie back into the bag and chewed on her lower lip briefly.
            “Yes, ma’am,” he said, walking toward the door. “Oh, and Fiona?”
“Yes?” she asked one eyebrow arched at him.
            “Challenge accepted. ”

The Valentine Gamble is available for pre-order at your favorite digital outlet. Release date is February 3.

What's the most fun you ever had on Valentine's Day?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Carole Mortimer: An Exciting New Year!

Hi, and a Happy New Year to Everyone!

I have a couple of exciting things happening this month. A $0.99 book deal, for 5 days only. The release of Claimed by the Marquis, 2nd book in my bestselling Regency Unlaced Series, on January 29th. Plus the pre-order of the 3rd book in the Regency Series, Taken by the Earl, will also be available at the end January.

The book deal first!

Renegade Alpha (Alpha 5) will be available at $0.99 from January 23rd to January 27th, on Amazon only. This is the 5th book in the Amazon #1 Bestselling Alpha series, and it also happens to be one of my favorite stories in the series. I just loved writing Lijah and Callie’s story!

I’ll put the Amazon link to this limited time only book deal at the bottom of the blog.

Lee asked me what urged me to want to write the Alpha series, and the answer is I had several storylines of hot (very!) romantic suspense buzzing around in my head, and the 8 books in the Alpha series are the result. I’ve had such fun writing them that I’m doing a spin-off series, called Knight Security, featuring the four brothers of Lily, the heroine in Savage Alpha (Alpha 8). There’s also an intro novella, Alexandre (Knight Security 0.5), coming out in a boxed set with four other great authors in February 2016, titled Rogues and Royals.

The 8th book and last book in the Alpha series, Savage Alpha, will be released March 2nd, and is now available for pre-order.

First book in the spin-off to the Alpha series, Asher (Knight Security 1), will be published in June 2016, preorder available March 2016.

Sorry to give you so much information regarding future releases, but 2016 looks like being just as exciting as 2015, with a book being published almost every month throughout the year.

What can I say, I simply love writing romances!

Have a great January,

You can find Renegade Alpha (Alpha 5) on Amazon

Newsletter: www.epurl/2rfzz

Carole Mortimer has written over 200 books in the contemporary and Regency genres, most recently the bestselling contemporary Alpha, and Regency Unlaced series.
Carole is Recipient of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, a USA Today Bestselling Author, Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Romance Author, 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer or Romance, and in 2012 was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for her ‘outstanding service to literature’.
She is very happily married to Peter, they have 6 sons, and live on the beautiful Isle of Man.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Getting Organized for 2016

one of my favorite prints inspires me every day
Hi, everyone! I'm Kristina Knight, and although I have blogged here a time or two before, I'm really excited to be here as a regular! I'll be here on the 23rd of each month, talking about writing and books I've read and whatever else pops into my head. What's on my mind today?

Office space.

Since we moved into the new house (6 years ago, but I remember the boxes like it was yesterday), my office space has been a giant layout desk from my father-in-law's newspaper. It was over six feet long which gave me a ton of room to spread my mess my writing out, figure out plotting or characterization points and edit. The only problem was that desk was in our living room so any time people would come over I would have to shove everything into drawers or boxes...and things never came back the same. Add to that an inquisitive toddler-now-elementary student and you can imagine all the writing time I spent...well, not writing.

My goal for 2016 has been organization. I have a new planner (the Happy Planner from MAMBI), I needed a space that was just for my writing, not my writing and dinner parties and game nights and homework. RadioMan's office has been located in our extra bedroom since the move, but he's now working mostly outside the home, so I suggested a switch. And he bought it, bwahaha.

So the day after Christmas, we decided to start the move by just packing up some extra 'stuff' we both

had around our desks...and eight hours later his office was in mine and mine was in his. Yeah, we don't do things in small steps around here.

One of my favorite features on my new office is my new desk. Actually his old desk. I'd had plans to build a standing desk/craft table, and had we actually planned out the big switch I might have, but so far I'm liking this desk. It's a corner desk with a top shelf. It's got plenty of room for my folders and story notes...but when I want to craft (I love sewing/quilting), it's a simple thing to move everything to one side and quilt on the other.

my filing 'cabinet' is made of upside-down picture easels
My other creation is my new filing system. I don't know about you, but if I actually put things in a filing cabinet, I forget about them. And five years later find a dusty file and think - oh, yeah, that would have been a great project! So, I nixed the filing cabinet option for my business stuff (files on my WIPs, future story ideas, revision notes from my editors, etc) and created an 'open' filing system on the side of my big bookcase.

Added bonus: the files are now part of my decor and I love it! I just hung three small picture easels upside down so that the files would fit inside them. Very crisp and clean, and yet still a bit girlie and fun.

Inside the bookcase I have all my tools - a salted caramel candle, my Big Bang Theory LEGO set, various office supplies, and my 'ego' shelves - framed covers of all my books.

My office isn't perfect, but it is mine, and already I am noticing a difference in how I approach every writing day.

What about you? What organizational things are you doing this year?

Friday, January 22, 2016

My New Year’s Writing Resolution, Continued by Joanne Walsh

So January is almost done – how did I get on with my resolution to sit down every day first thing and write, with email and other distractions shut off?  Well, it hasn’t turned out to be quite that disciplined, but I am doing better and have accumulated 5,000 words more of my next novel.  And I have discovered something about myself and how I write best.

My big challenge is to balance what I do for a living—I work as a freelance book editor and writer—with my dream of writing romance. Therefore I have deadlines to meet, and also must immerse myself in other people’s novels as well as my own.  I realised I was struggling with that—becoming involved with other writers’ compelling characters, then having to tear myself away to go back into my own fictional world.  The structure of writing a little every day doesn’t work so well for me.  Instead, I have come up with a different plan, of one day writing for myself, one day doing freelance, and so on.  It seems to be rolling out okay.  I find I come back to my book feeling more energised and refreshed.

I am also talking a lot to the authors I work with and asking them for their tips about how to stay focused and produce.  I will be sharing my findings in my February blog.

You can email Joanne/Tessa about freelance editing at

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Barbara Ankrum: Five Lessons from 'The Martian'

It’s award season in Hollywood and I confess: I’m a movie geek. I love film and if I’m not reading or writing, I’m watching movies. Being an L.A. girl, I come from a family full of movie industry insiders going back a couple of generations and, continuing with my movie-geek son, who was just admitted into the Director’s Guild! As for me, I was an actress for many years when my kids were small and it’s no secret that acting was my first love. Then writing came along and handed me surprising control over my creative life. I ran with it and haven’t looked back.

Still, movies are my secret vice. I enjoy them, study them as storytelling vehicles, get lost in them emotionally and strive to write books that feel like them. So when “The Martian” hit the big screen, with (Golden Globe winner) Matt Damon, as Mark Wattney, I was all in.

Now let me just lay in here, that as I saw this movie, I was struggling with a lot of issues, including being behind on my word count on a current work in progress, recommitting to finishing an impossible difficult book– one whose first 150 pages I had already completely rewritten twice and still weren’t working—being on the brink of some major changes in my personal life (more on that in another post) and feeling generally overwhelmed and secretly hopeless about all of it.

In a nutshell, you have my prime reasons for escaping into a movie. 

And The Martian was pure escape: a thriller, sci-fi, man vs. nature blockbuster based on the amazing novel by Andy Weir. For me, it served, unexpectedly, as a much needed attitude adjustment.

So, for your consideration: here are five lessons I learned from Mark Wattney’s struggle to survive. Maybe it will inspire you, too, if you find yourself at the crux of challenges or change in 2016.

1.      Duck Tape Will Fix Anything

There is almost nothing that can’t be fixed with duct tape and a little sticky determination. While Wattney was struggling to survive on a hostile Mars, he improvised relentlessly, using both duct tape and his wit. If one thing didn’t work, he tried again.  He refused to give up. If he didn’t fix it, he died. High stakes, right? When I applied this to my own situation, especially that book that was killing my will to approach my keyboard, I realized it wasn’t the story that was the problem with my book. It was my reluctance to improvise and my willingness to give up the fight. I had quit before the duct tape miracle and I’d set the stakes too low.  After all, what if I was on Mars and fixing it was my only hope? (Hey, I’m a writer. I can trick myself this way!)

2.      Trust Your Own Instincts.
At every turn, Mark Wattney had to reinvent himself and reassess his situation and often take action against the best advice from the brainiacs of NASA. This reminded me that listening to the ‘experts’ who insist you that ‘you can’t’ might merely snuff your dreams. Or kill you, if you’re stuck on Mars. Who are all those ‘experts’ anyway and what do they know about how far I can go? Or you?

3.      Change Is Scary. And Necessary to Survival
Risk vs. Payoff.  Maybe the risks we take have a ceiling, artificially set by our circumstance. Sometimes, it’s easier and seems safer to stay put rather than to challenge ourselves or move forward with something new. Wattney was forced to push himself way past his comfort zone. His survival instinct drove him to do things he would never have risked on Earth.  But the alternative was slow death.  My avoidance/fear of the keyboard has only one certain outcome—the death of my writing career. (Well, if you put it that way!) To change is to adapt. Survival of the fittest, Baby!

4.      It’s Good To Have A Hobby.
All that gardening I did for years? Gold, if I get stuck on Mars without food. Or the apocalypse happens.  But Wattney was a botany genius who also dabbled in chemistry and electrical engineering, both of which helped him survive. That reminded me that while hard work and hyper-focus is good, a broader approach to my life is better. It’s important to feed the soul while doing the hard work. Writers call it filling the well. But many times, those things that I did for fun also fed my writing and life in unexpected ways.  Turns out, all that movie watching was not for nothing…

5.      Hang Onto Your Optimism
This might be the single most important element of survival in any situation. Staying positive can mean the difference between success and failure. Between striving and giving up. Staying optimistic about your chances means you love yourself enough to keep trying.
As director Alejandro González Iñárrutu (The Revenant) said, “You can do things with two emotions in your life. One is fear, the other is love. We choose love.”
Bravo to that.

Barbara Ankrum is the bestselling author of fourteen books, including her latest contemporary romance, CHOOSE ME, COWBOY, from Tule Publishing. Her bestselling western historical series, ‘Wild Western Hearts’ is available on all e-book platforms. Barbara has been twice nominated for RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. She’s the mom of two wonderful, grown children and she lives in Southern California with her sweet husband, two cats and her scruffy Toto-impersonator walking companion, Maggie. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Merci Beaucoup-Grazie Mille-Danke Schoen-Muchas Gracias by Jenny Gardiner

You guys totally rock!
There are so many ways to say thank you, but it's not easy to truly express how appreciative writers are that we have readers who can't wait for our next book to release, and who happily immerse themselves in the worlds we create as if they truly exist. I know that happens because it does to me as a reader too, and there are many times I've reached out to fellow writers just to thank them for giving me a great place to escape to for a little while. As a writer I know how much it means for a reader to let me know that my book has touched them somehow. And when bad things happen in the world and times get particularly uncertain, even scary, what an amazing thing it is to be able to retreat to your favorite stories, to a place of comfort and good cheer.
So I'm particularly thankful, as a reader, for the many writers whose words have entertained and informed me over the years, but even more so as a writer, for all of those readers who have enjoyed my books and better still reached out to let me know. It keeps me focused on writing more books, so I hope you'll keep those emails and social network comments and great reviews coming, and I thank you for joining my crazy world for a little while!
And if you're looking for a new author to try out, you can get a free book of mine here when you sign up for my monthly newsletter and you'll be first to hear about steals and deals...and I've got a fabulous freebie I'm going to be announcing next week, so you'll know first!
 And I've got all sorts of new books out! Check them out at
Info on upcoming books: book 5 of the It's Reigning Men series, Shame of Thrones, which comes out December 16, is available for pre-order!
iBooks                       Kindle                          Kobo
And I've got a release date for book 6, Throne for a Loop! It's going to be released March 8 and is available for pre-order
iBooks                           Kobo
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday, with plenty of time to read ;-)
     JennyGardiner_ThroneForALoop2_200   SlimtoNone200
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Maggie Marr: 5 Goals for 2016

Happy New Year! I know we're a couple weeks in but the glitter & glow of New Years still hovers about me. I don't really 'do' resolutions anymore. After 46 trips around the sun I've discovered that resolutions, for me, only stick until about February 11. Instead, the last couple of years I've made goals for myself that are both personal and professional and I've found that these goals really do help me to stay focused throughout the year.

5. Write More Books!

I mean, I am a writer so of course this is my goal. Last year I published 6 books and this year I am trying to get at least 6 perhaps 7 books into the hands of my readers. I am at my best as a human when I am writing so I know from experience that when I am deep in a story, I actually do better with all the other wonderful things in my life like my family and my community.

4. Say Yes to Adventure!

These don't have to be grand 'I'm traveling around the world' adventures this can be as small as going to the second-hand store around the corner that I've been meaning to check out for the last two years. I am an introvert by nature and I like to write alone so, if not for the kids and their activities I could go weeks, perhaps, months, without leaving the house (except for food...I'll always leave for food!) I am carving out time each week to do something exciting and fun even if it's trying the funky new coffee shop at the end of my street. 

3. Move My Body!

I started this last year and I've found this works for me. I have failed miserably with the whole resolution thing of; Run a 5 k, or kick box 3x's a week. Instead I've committed to move my body each and every day. Whether this is a walk, yoga, riding a bike....who knows but with the sedentary lifestyle of writing I know that I need to do this to stay physically and mentally healthy. 

2. Connect With Readers!

I've been working hard to build a newsletter list so that I can directly email my readers. I want to continue building that list. I like to host giveaways of gift cards, and books, and swag. So, to that end, I am giving away a Maggie Marr starter library for anyone who joins my newsletter list. These are two of my best-selling books for free! Go to to get your books!

1. Embrace Joy!

I have so much to be grateful for. My life is filled with a myriad of blessings, unfortunately I know I take these wonderful gifts that make up my world for granted. This year I am starting every day listing 5 things that I am grateful for and embracing the inherent joy that comes with that list. Also trying to live in the moment and feel the joy that comes through from embracing even the simple things like a hot shower, a safe place to live, a hot cup of coffee. I have so many things to be grateful for and the gratitude fills me with joy.

What are some of your goals for 2016? Leave a comment below and I will let pick a winner and send you one of my ebooks. Thank you for stopping by!

Happy Reading!


Maggie Marr is an author & attorney. She got her start in Hollywood pushing the mail cart where she became a motion picture literary agent. She now splits her time between her legal practice dedicated to entrepreneurs & creatives, and writing. She writes smart, sexy, men and the women that love them. She is the author of The Hollywood Girls Club Series, The Eligible Billionaires Series, The Glamour Series  and The Powder Springs Series. You can find her on, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cate Ellink on Secret Confessions: Down and Dusty

Rachael Johns couldn't make it today so she sent her friend Cate Ellink to chat with us!  

Thanks so much for joining us, Cate.  :)

Do people ever share secrets with you? When I was young, a family friend nicknamed me Mother Confessor because people always seemed to be sharing their deepest secrets with me. I didn't have to question them, for example, strangers would sit next to me on the train and share all manner of personal details. I heard about finances, love affairs, relationship problems, lies they'd told in the past and still felt guilty about, job issues, family problems, career hopes, and lots of thoughts on the world, life, pets, animals, business, politics. You name it, I've probably heard it.

Secret Confessions, especially to a stranger, must be cathartic. Secrets have a habit of swelling inside you, filling every thought, consuming you. Maybe when you tell a stranger, it's no longer a consuming secret but, because of the anonymity, it remains safe.

Escape Publishing has been putting out some Secret Confession series. The first was Sydney Housewives, then Back Stage featuring rock stars, and now Down And Dusty, set in an outback Queensland town. I've been lucky to have been involved in the first and third of these series. In both cases, I've tried to give an insight into a character that others around them may not know (a secret).

Lana, in the Housewives series, liked younger men. Those were the guidelines I was given for the story. I then pushed this so Lana not only enjoys a young man, but she enjoys a secret none of her friends know. The other housewives are unaware of this secret side of Lana.

Lucky, in Down and Dusty, is the local publican. I wanted her to be well-respected but tough. I created her and Dare, the new cop in town, and I liked them, too much not to give them a future. Lucky’s secret is about her holiday life. In a small town there aren't a lot of secrets she could have, but she keeps secrets from Dare. He knows because she's guarded, so he pokes holes in her wall. 

My friend Rachael Johns, who kicks off the Down and Dusty series wrote the story of Casey and Joel, two estranged lovers who are secretly still madly in love. And there are plenty more secrets among the rest of the stories as well.

Secrets are interesting things. Sometimes you can blurt your secret out when you don’t mean to. And maybe some people are secret magnets and drag these from unsuspecting people.

If you like secrets, you might find the Secret Confessions stories an interesting mix. Pick a series, or grab one story that catches your eye, and get ready for a steamy read…you might want to read it in secret ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Susan Stephens: Happy New Year!

Hello and a very Happy New Year to everyone!

I’m here in the fabulous Canary Islands, researching my next Presents, which will feature an impossibly sexy Spanish Grandee, and a young housekeeper who gives Xavier more than a headache when they shock the world by jointly inheriting a private island!

January 2016 began with such a thrill for me, when the fabulous Sharon Kendrick alerted me to the fact that I’d made this Harlequin list…
Thank you everyone! I can’t tell you how honored I am to be included in a list of such fabulous authors.

Next up, is my delicious Tuscan tycoon, with a young, determined gardener who works on his country estate, and a man who is as arrogant as he is sexy…and Tuscany, one of the most beautiful places on earth—so beautiful, the setting is like another character in the book…

Available next month! Bound to the Tuscan Tycoon.

Nine months to claim what's his!

For gardener Cassandra Rich, working in the foothills of Tuscany is the perfect way to escape her past. Until the man of the manor graces the villa with his presence and Cassandra with his attention.

Marco di Fivizzano can't take his eyes off the delectable Cass. So when he requires a plus one for a gala, Marco will uncover who this fiery blonde is-- over dinner, or in his bed!

In Marco's arms, Cass blossoms, finding the freedom she's always craved... until she discovers she's pregnant and bound to the billionaire forever!

I’ll be back again in February with more news. Meanwhile, my very best to you and yours,


From your friend and author,