Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let's Do The Twist...

You know that old saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Over the last year, life threw me more than few curve balls made of limes, lemons, and oranges. But rather than getting sour about it, I decided to make a few tequila sunrises.

Last summer I made a commitment to myself and I've been extremely focused on keeping that commitment from writing every day, to really pushing myself to find the snark, the fun and more in my stories. I've seen one publisher fold and another four pick my books up. I've received tremendous support from my fellow authors, met fantastic new readers and discovered that you know, being an author isn't all autograph signings and flowers...it's grueling, butt flattening (not the good kind btw) work that can leave you with an aching back, burning eyes and the most fierce sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

In addition to writing, I partnered up with Deborah Blake to do something else I love: teach. We're teaching classes on Wicca and on writing and I couldn't be happier about it. Yes, it's a lot of work and some days I think I over committed myself, but then we get a class going and our students are always fabulous sources of discussion, thoughtful viewpoints and engaging questions.  

Firmly on that writing path, I decided that it was time to add another accomplishment to my belt--that of losing the weight I put on when I had mini me that decade ago. It's not about the looks, it's about the health issues that came with the weight -- including back issues and sleep apnea, particularly during allergy season when I can't wear the CPAP...it's just so frustrating.  While losing the weight may not get rid of the sleep apnea totally, it could reduce it to less problematic levels and that's worth more than a lighter figure to me.

So I started Medifast. I mentioned this a week back and I'm still using these blogs to keep myself accountable. But I made it through the first ten days and I'm feeling awesome. I haven't had any coffee (which seemed ridiculous going into this, but I haven't wanted it) and I've lost as of this morning, nearly 14 pounds total.  It's coming off, I'm enjoying the eating plan and the cooking -- oh the cooking, I love the recipes.

I must add some of these to my next book!  So what gets you motivated to tackle your goals or even what goals are you working on now? I'd love to hear about it so I can cheer you on, too!

Oh and before I forget, I'm over at the fabulous Melissa Schroeder's blog today as a part of her Salute to Military Romance. If you haven't been following, go check it out -- so many great authors this week!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Friday Fireworks Winners

On behalf of Melissa Schroeder, Delilah Devlin, Lissa Matthews, Virginia Nelson, Kris Cook, Jenn Leblanc, Wendi Zwaduk, and Missy Jane I want to say thank you to everyone for coming out to support us during the Friday Fireworks Blog Hunt.

I hope you found some new authors to read or got reacquainted with an author you love already.

We had a great turn out and I hope everyone had fun. We did our best to make it an easy blog hunt. We all know that having to click a bazillion times to find an answer takes the joy out of these giveaways.

First I want to announce the winner of Heather's giveaway. As a reminder she is giving away Once Her Man, Always Her Man, Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here and the very soon to be released Tell it to the Marine.

The winner of the 3 Alwasy a Marine books is.....
Amy S.

Now for the Grand Prize!

The winner of the Kindle Fire is.....

Tony Schommer


Congratulations Amy S and Tony. Expect an email from Brandy so we can get you both your prizes.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blog Hop Reminder and Other Saturday Fun

Memorial Day weekend kicked off with a Friday Fireworks Blog Hop that will run through the weekend. You can get all the deets and some other great giveaway options here.  Don't miss out. The winner for the Blog Hop's Kindle Fire will be announced right here on this blog Tuesday!


Rangers Beat the Blue Jays 14-3

Last night's game kept me up way past my bed time, but it was such an entertaining game and it was great to see the guys bringing it after their long road tour and obvious exhaustion. See what a good night's sleep will get you? They're playing again today at 2 p.m.  Speaking of which...

10K a Day

This Memorial Day weekend I will be digging deep for 10K a day to finish up my current WIP.  It's the third in the Forbidden Legacy series and will open it up for me to write about many other characters in that world. So wish me luck, that and I need to get the lead out. I have a long list of WIPs waiting in the queue just demanding my attention!

The Love Thieves Free

The Love Thieves is a steal this weekend, if you want some sexy romantic suspense to escape with, why not run off with Max and Anya through Morocco, Switzerland and London.  It's available on Amazon only currently. I will be rolling it back out to other sites in July just in time for The Taming of the Thief.

So much to do!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to hop!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fireworks: Oorah to Military Romance!


Happy "early" Memorial Day weekend all!  To kick this weekend off, ten authors (including me) decided to host a little pre-celebration party with our Friday Fireworks giveaway. We are inviting you to join us by blog hopping and answering a question from each blog. If you get all ten correct and send them to our coordinator, you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire. Cool right?  Check out the rules at the end of the blog along with the question.

But Since You're Here

While you are here, I wanted to share with you my top picks for Memorial Day reading. May 2012 marks the 14th Annual Military Appreciation Month, so if you know someone serving in the Armed Forces or has served or is part of a military family, be sure to say thank you to them. I think we should appreciate our Armed Forces 365 days a year, but it can't hurt to make a special occasion of it.

In honor of military appreciation month (and be sure to check out Melissa Schroeder's Salute to the Military on her blog next week), I wanted to share with you some of my picks for great military romance this weekend.

I will say that with these ladies, you really can't go wrong and the second Harmless military romance Possession just came out last week and that Deke (*fans self*) oh yeah, I could take him home.  Anyway, I want to hear your recommendations for great military reads, let's get those TBRs going.  Share your top picks in a comment and I'll enter you to win a set of three (yes, three) of my Always a Marine series currently in release including Once Her Man, Always Her Man, Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here and the very soon to be released Tell It To the Marine. 

(Please note the giveaways are PDFs for your e-reader. Bet that Kindle Fire is looking pretty good, eh?)

Friday Fireworks Blog Hop Question
Which book has a black cat on the front? (Hint: Check out her 'books' at Virginianelson.webs.com )

Rules:
10 Authors. 10 Questions. 10 Easy Answers.
You will go from blog to blog gathering questions about each author. There will be a hint and a link that will lead you to the answer.
In order to be entered to win the big prize, a Kindle Fire, you will need to send your answers to Brandy at bray829@gmail.com SUBJECT: Friday Fireworks
You must include all 10 questions with answers.
Winner of the big prize will be drawn and announced on Heather Long's blog (right here!). Any prizes offered individually on the author's page will be taken care of by that author.

Who's Participating:

Don't forget to leave your military romance recommendations for a chance to win Once Her Man, Always Her Man, Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here and the very soon to be released Tell It To the Marine.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Suck It Up Thursday

I miss my Vampire Diaries. I miss counting down to it. I miss knowing that Damon is waiting for me at the end of the day. But with that whine over, I am - eek gasp - also kind of glad there is no Vampire Diaries tonight. Instead, So You Think You Can Dance returns and I along with a few thousand of my closest friends (you may know them as Chris Hemsworth watchers) are counting it down to Snow White and the Huntsman which releases on June 1st. Talk about kicking the month off right. We started May with The Avengers and we start June with SWATH.  Both feature Chris Hemsworth.

Definitely a sexy trend to stay on top of there.



Day Three, Look At Me

When you're done drooling over the beautifulness that is Mr. Hemsworth, I wanted to share with you my look at me portion of the day. It's day three of the Medifast plan and I haven't had coffee in over 80 hours. I haven't killed anyone either. It's pretty freaking amazing. Before you stare in wonder, I didn't actually "intend" to give up coffee, I just haven't wanted it (and with the water and the meals every three hours I haven't had room for it).  To boot, I've lost five pounds.

Yes. I said five.

Granted, I know it's mostly water weight to begin with, but I don't care. I am feeling pretty good. I love the lean and green dinners I'm fixing (what's more so does Mini Me) and I'm staying on target with my goals, which brings me too...

Book Nook

I'm writing like crazy while juggling some day job responsibilities. I plan to have Hels' Gauntlet turned in by the 30th which just so happens to be the day that Jacob's Trial, the second in the Forbidden Legacy series releases and just a couple of days before Tell It The Marine, my third Always a Marine 1NS releases.

So excited for all of this.  Oh and before I forget, in honor of Memorial Day as both a day to salute our troops and thank all who served (and for all you moms out there with your kids for a three day weekend), I'm putting The Love Thieves out for free Friday through Monday.  That's right, all four days, it will be free to download on Amazon, so don't miss out.

Friday Fireworks

A 10 author blog hop kicks off tomorrow and we're giving away a Kindle Fire and a whole lot more, so don't miss out on the hop. Come right back here first thing in the morning.

 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crazy Days, Random Thoughts and Tuesdays

I promised you a post mortem for the third season of Vampire Diaries and I haven't forgotten, I've just been a bit buried.  I have a couple of new releases coming out next week Tell It To The Marine (Always a Marine #3) and Jacob's Trial (Forbidden Legacy #2).  These books couldn't be more different, but it's those differences that excite me when I write.

Guest Blogging Away

I'm a little bit all over the place for the next few weeks, so be sure to check the "Blog Tours" page for links to where I am or where I will be.  Funnily enough, I have to check it, too.  Sad that I can get lost on the Internet superhighway!  Today, for example, I'm over at Ramblings from this Chick talking up Luke and Rebecca from Once Her Man, Always Her Man.

Big Summer Plans

Can you believe we're almost there? While it's been pretty warm here since February, we're counting down those final days to the end of the school year and the kick off to summer fun (and summer scheduling). Unfortunately, we had one of the worst aspects of summer crop up in the house last night: the summer cold.  My mini me is absolutely miserable. I am, however, just grateful it's not the nasty stomach flu from last month paying us a house call.

Making Some Changes

Today marks the kickoff of my new diet/lifestyle change. I signed up for Medifast because I was thinking that over a decade later, shedding the baby weight is what I want to do. It's going to be tough, I have to give up Starbuck's...sorry, I had to take a moment there.  Starbuck's is my crutch, I'm a Starbuck's addict. But I plan to do it.

The idea is to be healthier, fitter and feel better. If I get to look more svelte, well that's icing on the cake. So to make myself accountable. I'm going to post my progress here from time to time.  It's a lot like writing 10K in a day, sounds impossible, but nothing is if you put your mind to it.

Summer Plans

Outside of a couple of conferences, I'll be sticking pretty much close to home this summer. We're skipping the usual go-round of camps and planning some local exploration (how much do you know about your own city? We're going to check out every museum we can find!)  Of course, this is after the big summer is here slumber party the mini me is planning. A houseful of tweens, some Let's Dance 3, Karaoke and me...I sense adventure in the future.

Do you and your family have any summer plans or goals this year? 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

TRR Blog Hop Winner

I wanted to get on here real quick and pick a winner from The Romance Reviews Erotic Romance Blog Hop. Since I'm running a little behind on this I'll just get down to it.

The winner of an eCopy of MARSHAL OF HEL DORADO and BRAVE ARE THE LONELY is.....

Mary @SweepingMe

Make sure you send an email to Brandy at bray829@gmail.com with your preferred eBook format.

Congratulations!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Last Week to Register! Writing and Witchcraft Classes

It's the last week to register for Deborah Blake's Herbal Magick and Kitchen Witchery class that begins next Monday.  The class is for anyone interested in the use of herbs and food in magick, whether for a witchcraft practice or a witchy character in a novel—or even just for fun. Recipes included!

When is a cup of tea not just a cup of tea? When it is magick! Herbs and food have been used for centuries to augment a magickal life. Whether it was the wife who “sweetened” her husband’s temperament by adding special herbs to his dinner, or the village herbalist/wise woman who cured the ills that beset body, heart, and spirit, herbs and food as an easy, inexpensive, and unobtrusive way to work magick into your everyday life.

The class will include suggestions for the safest, easiest ways to use herbs and food for magickal purposes, as well as simple recipes, reading recommendations, and more. So fix yourself a cup of tea and come join us!

We have a wealth of other classes coming up this year including a class on vampire and werewolf archetypes taken from popular fiction and literature. Check it out and sign up today!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Departed

A very large part of me doesn't want to write the post mortem right away. I want to linger with the last episode, savoring every drop of action and emotion on my mental palate. I'm a little bit in denial, as with the previous two seasons, I love and hate this year's finale. Brace yourselves, because here we go.

Head Injuries


When we last saw Elena, she collapsed in the master bedroom of the Gilbert house, blood flowing from her nose. The episode opens with a dream sequence and Elena dancing to music as she gets ready for school. Aunt Jenna is in town and it's awesome to see her. I thought I would 'feel' more for seeing Elena's parents, but the complete lack of reaction was there.  In fact, the disconnect between the past and the present echoed rather prominently.

In the present, Elena awakes in the hospital, confused. Jeremy is filling in the brothers Salvatore. The prize goes to Damon for the best lines (as usual). Why the hell did Jeremy take Elena to the hospital? Because she was unconscious, that's what you do when you find your sister in a heap. No, Damon reminds him, not when you have vampires on speed dial.  They order Jeremy to get her out of there, now. She's a sitting duck in the hospital, particularly if Kol and Rebekah come gunning for her.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TRR Erotic Romance Blog Hop: Hot and Bothered? You Might Be Fevered...

Check It Out
Fevered Hearts is a paranormal western series of epic romances set in the 1850s where outbreaks of the fever can decimate whole towns. The people who survive the fever are forever changed. In the sultry heat, the dangers are many, but the Fevered are ready for every challenge.

Brave Are the Lonely

As part of the The Romance Reviews Erotic Blog Hop, I am showcasing my sexy wolf's tale. I loved writing this book, the second in the Fevered Hearts series for so many reasons. The chemistry between Cody and Mariska was combustible, they burned up every conversation and connection. 

Cody's tortured soul combined with Mariska's fiery independence in a wild cocktail that just kept me writing every single day (Just under 20 days from start to finish) and in every way it was because I couldn't take a step back from them until we reached the epic climax.

What Are They Saying About Brave Are the Lonely?

"Brave are the Lonely was purely an erotic, passionate, action-packed story, that to me, bordered on perfection!" - Sizzling Hot Reviews

"It's a pulse pounding, thigh clenching, heart stopping, fire racing through your veins, omg they did what now? kind of read."- Romancing the Rakes for the Love of Romance

"Brave are the Lonely is a grippingly wild and sultry romance filled with stellar characters and a cool plot." - Joyfully Reviewed

Fevered Yet?

It's just starting to get hot in Texas and one lucky commentator will win an eCopy of Brave Are the Lonely and Marshal of Hel Dorado the first book in the series just tell me what your symptoms are...

The contest will start on May 10, 12:00am EST and will end on May 14, 1159pm EST.


Be sure to click on the button to go to the next blog to visit! If you haven’t registered at The Romance Reviews and/or logged in, please direct  click on the button as well to go to the right page on TRR to do so. 




The Romance Reviews Erotic Romance Madness Hop  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Before Sunset

In the penultimate episode of season three, the stories that seemed stuck in idle hit the pedal to the metal for the residents of Mystic Falls.  While I was clear that I was not a fan of last week's episode, I knew Matt Davis' evil Rick would juice up the landscape and give this storyline the necessary pump forward. It was a hell of an episode so drop your socks and grab your crocks, we're going to get wet on this ride.

Vampire Barbie & Skipper Make a Great Team


Unbeknownst to all our heroes and heroines, Rick turned at the end of last week's episode and Before Sunset begins in the early morning with Caroline and Rebekah on post-20s-party cleanup. Rebekah is annoyed that Caroline is 'two' minutes late to clean up a party Rebekah didn't even get to attend. After an awkward moment, Caroline tells Rebekah she's sorry about her mom. She knows that Rebekah hated her, but she was still her mother. In a rare moment of connection, the Original sis apologizes about the history teacher, he seemed like a good guy.

Rebekah heads out to get more cleaning supplies when she's jumped by Rick and nearly staked with the-new-uber-impossible-to-destroy-super-white-oak stake. Thankfully, Caroline intercedes and the two make their (albeit brief for Caroline) escape. In the parking lot, the still relatively new vampire Caroline fumbles with her keys. She'd have been safer running like hell, but we often forget no matter how used to her powers and how comfortable in her skin she is, Caroline's still a baby vamp. Rick appears and knocks her out, dragging vampire Barbie back into the building as his skin blisters and smokes -- yep, still a vampire and the sun still hates him.

In the meanwhile, Rebekah watches and then flees to warn Klaus.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Cover Reveal: Taming of the Thief

Popping in here real quick to show Heather's newest cover. The photography is by the ever fabulous Author and Photographer, Jenn LeBlanc. The cover was designed by the very busy Kendra Egert.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Get The Love Thieves for a Steal

The Love Thieves
For 24 hours only, The Love Thieves is free on Amazon Kindle.  Head over to get your free copy of the book readers are calling:

"... a delicious thrill ride..."


"...adventure in their race style romance."


"...an excellent romantic thriller."


"...a rocky, wild relationship that spans over time and through many different exotic locations..."


Get your copy today!


You can read the first chapter at Heather's website.