August 26, 2014


SPOILER ALERT! Do NOT read the next couple of paragraphs if haven’t caught up with this season of TRUE BLOOD!
Ok, are they gone now? Whew! I almost titled this blog Alcide might be dead, but Long Live Joe. Then I realized some people might not have watched this season yet. Now I’m going to cry. And rant. CRY! Alcide, oh Alcide! Say it ain’t so! I’ve always been on TEAM Bill, because I always go with first love=True love in a Romance, but, still… That doesn’t mean you had to DIE!
WHY?? Why did you have to die? As Sookie said, you were so big and strong. And SO sweet! You deserved a happy ending!
Okay, okay, you’re right. He’s not a real person. And at least we still have the beautiful Joe Manganiello to soothe our mourning souls.
I hear Joe’s making a Magic Mike 2, ladies! And he is the real reason for this blog post. He’s my inspiration-in every sense of the word- for my latest Blaze hero, Joe Tedesco. MY Joe is a New York firefighter and the winner of a Sexiest Average Joe contest run by fashion blogger Carly in my September Wrong Bed Blaze CABIN FEVER. And in honor of my new release and in honor of the very sexy Joe Manganiello, I’m giving away a copy of CABIN FEVER to the first 3 commenters who can correctly answer all these fun questions.

1. In which sitcom did Joe play a guy named Brad Morris? (Hint: It just had its series finale this year)
2. What funny “Baby” movie was Joe in just before Magic Mike?
3. What is the name of the documentary Joe directed about male strippers?
4. In which TV series did Joe have a part with the equally sexy Josh Duhamel? (also an inspiration for a hero in one of my Blazes)
5. Other than True Blood, in what TV series did Joe have a large role? (Hint: he played a pro Slamball player)
6. Joe is also an author. Last December, he released a fitness book. What was the title? (just the first word will do for the answer)
7. To support himself before he got his first part in Spiderman, Joe worked as a bodyguard and a bouncer. What occupation would you like to see him play if you could write a movie for him?

And now for an excerpt from CABIN FEVER.

Joe narrowed his eyes at his accuser, brought the can of root beer to his lips and took a long sip. “You’ll have to play to find out, Wakowski.”
Wakowski snarled and studied his dwindling pile of chips on the table in the fire station’s kitchen.
Joe tapped his fingers on his thigh. With his luck they’d get a call before he could lay down his cards.
“Come on, Wakowski,” Everman urged. “In this century.” Everman had already folded, as had Miller and Stockton. Joe maintained his poker face.
Wakowski narrowed his eyes. “You’re bluffing.” He shoved all his remaining chips into the center of the table.
Joe grinned and revealed his Queen-high heart flush. “Read `em and weep.”
The guys whooped and hollered and thudded Joe on the back. Wakowski cursed and pitched his cards down. “You’re a real scootch, you know dat?”
Joe grinned and began gathering up his winnings. His cell buzzed and he grabbed it off the table. At two on a Saturday afternoon it was probably his mother calling to make sure he was coming to the family dinner tomorrow. He checked the caller ID, but he didn’t recognize the number. He hesitated answering. If one of his sisters had set him up with one of their friends again…
Knowing he’d regret it, he punched the answer button. “Tedesco.”
“Mr. Joe Tedesco, of Brooklyn, New York?”
Great. Were telemarketers allowed to call cell phones now? “Uh…yeah?”
“This is Carly’s Couture calling about your entry in The Sexiest Average Joe contest and I’m thrilled to tell you that you are our winner!”
Joe blinked. Contest? Sexiest what? Wait a minute…he grinned at his fellow firemen sitting around the station house table. “Good one, guys.” He spoke into the phone. “So, I won, huh? What’d I win? A hot and heavy night with you, sweetheart?”
“Excuse me?”
Joe winced. The sleet falling outside was no match for the ice in this woman’s voice. If this was a prank, she was really good. “Uh, hold on a sec.” He held the phone to his chest. “Okay, you guys, you might as well fess up. I’m not falling for it.”
All four of his buddies gave him a confused look. Not good. He put the phone back to his ear. “Who’d you say you were again?”
“Carly Pendleton, with Carly’s Couture. I have a fashion blog for the average man and woman, and Modiste magazine cosponsored the national contest searching for the Sexiest Average Joe.”
Fashion blog? Wait. Modiste? Wasn’t that the fancy magazine his sisters were always reading, with all the makeover contests and quizzes on how to please a guy in bed? Alarm bells clanged and they weren’t coming from the firehouse. Joe stood and paced from the kitchen into the common area.
“Mr. Tedesco? Are you there?”
He barely heard her voice. Her previous words kept echoing in his mind. Contest. Modiste magazine. What had his sisters done now?
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, I’m here.” Maybe he should think positive. Maybe he’d won a big screen TV or a year’s supply of beer.
“—and the cruise leaves on Monday. I’ll have your boarding pass and a car will pick you up at your residence at 7:00 a.m.. The flight to Miami departs at 10:00. The ship sails at 4:00. Now, your entry form said you already have a passport?”
“Wait a minute. I won a cruise?” That could be fun.
“Five days and four nights to the Caribbean. Of course, that’s where we’ll be doing the photo shoot.”
“Photo shoot?”
The woman mumbled a request to save her from idiots. “You did read all the details of the contest before entering, didn’t you, Mr. Tedesco?”
He clenched his teeth. “It’s Joe. Mr. Tedesco is my father.”
“Okay. In case you need reminding, Joe. The photo shoot is the reason for the cruise. My blog will feature the Sexiest Average Joe wearing Carly’s Couture clothing choices and posing with a beautiful supermodel in exotic locales. You could end up with a lucrative modeling career, Mr. Tedesco. Maybe even become famous.”
Famous? If he’d wanted money and fame he would’ve signed the contract offer his sophomore year. He sure as hell wasn’t posing for some magazine like one of those pretty boys strutting around in their underwear. No, thanks. “Look, lady, I can’t just take off work at a moment’s notice.”
“Mr. Te—Joe. I promise the shoot won’t take all your time. There’ll be excursions and nightlife and we even provide you fifty dollars’ worth of chips at the ship’s casino.”
“You could offer me a thousand dollars in chips and I still wouldn’t be posing for some women’s magazine, especially not for some sexiest man photos.”
“Oh, ho! Sexiest Man?” called Everman.
Joe swiveled to find his fellow firemen gathered around him.
“Whoa, Mr. Sexy, huh?” Miller mocked.
Wakowski locked his hands behind his head and wiggled his hips. “Oooh, Sexy Joey.”
Joe shut them down with a scowl and an obscene hand gesture.
A split second of silence on the other end of the line suggested that the lady had heard the background commotion. “Look, Mr. Tedesco. When you signed the entry form you agreed to all the terms and conditions of the contest.”
Joe balled his free hand into a fist. “I didn’t sign anything. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“Really? Then, whoever did sign your name on the entry forms could be prosecuted for forgery.”
“Now hold on a minute.” His sisters were going to pay for this. The entry had to be their doing. He couldn’t see any of the guys here at the station risking his wrath. Or ever reading Modiste magazine for that matter. But he couldn’t let Donna-Marie and Rosalie be brought up on charges. He sighed. The chief had been nagging him to take some of his vacation…
“I’ll talk to my boss about the time off. If I’m able, I’ll be ready at 7:00 Monday.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful, Mr.—Joe. I promise you’re going to have a wonderful week in the Caribbean.”
Joe clicked off, ignored his buddies’ questions and stalked toward the chief’s office. A wonderful week? He seriously doubted that.

August 21, 2014

#PlottingPrincesses have all the answers: What would a guy give a girl? #MFRWog #RLFblog

I have been working on a second book and was trying to come up with ideas of what a guy would give the new girl he had been dating. So I posed this question to The Princesses:

What would a guy give a girl? And here are some delightful answers:

Karilyn Bentley: My hubby isn't romantic but he's a great guy.  He usually gets me a plant for Valentine’s Day b/c he knows I don't like cut flowers. He manages my website and offers a lot of opinions on what I write and how a scene can be improved.  I appreciate his insights!  He's bought me a lot of techie stuff but has avoided the jewelry since the first year we were hitched. 

Michelle Miles: My hubby bought me a pair of Christian Louboutin's as a wedding present. Sometimes, he'll send flowers for no reason. Other times, it's when I make a sale. He almost always sends me fall flowers because he knows that's my favorite time of year. I love the little things. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture to make me swoon. :)

Alisha Paige Wilson: So after the birth of my baby, I was really, really dreading going back to work for this clown but it paid the bills. My husband woke me up one day and told me he had a surprise. He took my hand and led me into the living room where he had bought me a brand new desk and a shiny new computer and said, "Sit down. Now write your books. You never have to go back to work again." He is my hero. 

August 19, 2014

Michelle Miles: How to Behave in Public

This past weekend, the husband and I went to see the Dallas performance of Phantom of the Opera at the very beautiful Winspear Opera House. It’s a newer venue here in the area and I’d been wanting to check it out. I bought the tickets way back in May and had been looking forward to it since then. Plus, it was a great cultural date with the husband.

It was an afternoon performance. We dressed business casual for the event. I actually wore heels.

We arrived about an hour early. We weren’t the only ones hanging around there. It was already starting to fill in with people. Our seats were on the third level, so we headed up there to hang out and people watch, an activity we both enjoy.

What amazes me about people in general is when they go to these types of events, they wear everything. There was a lady in a lacy, very low cut dress. Her boobs were so big, they were about to pop right out. I don’t know. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but this was just inappropriate to me.

There were people dressed in jeans—inappropriate. If you’re going to spend that much money for an event, have the decency to wear nicer clothes, at least. Jeans don’t belong there. I don’t care how comfy you want to be.

August 14, 2014

#PlottingPrincesses are pleased as punch with special author Tina Donahue and Make Me Surrender #MFRWorg

The Plotting Princesses welcome a special guest, author Tina Donahue, to the blog. 

Let's get to know Tina: She is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. 

August 12, 2014

Is guest author Laura Strickland a Mary Ann or Ginger? An interview at #PlottingPrincesses #MFRWorg #historical

Hi, Laura, and welcome to the Plotting Princesses where we pride ourselves in asking funny questions! 

Let's get to know Laura better: Laura Strickland is the author of Scottish romance Devil Black as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood, and Lord of Sherwood. She is currently working on the second book of a new Steampunk romance series.

Is she a Mary Ann or Ginger?

Speed Round:

August 7, 2014

Where do YOU Read?

What’s your favorite place to read? 

Fess up... 
Are you a book snuggler, like me? Do you take one to bed with you? Do you read under the covers? At the Park? 

Are you a sunny porch with a cup of tea reader? Do you have book tucked in your purse and whip it out whenever the opportunity to read arises? 

Do you read in the carpool lane? Are you a beach reader? Do you prefer the quiet of the library for your reading adventures? What about the easy chair in the living room, is that where you curl up with a good book?

Take our survey and let’s see where readers enjoy their books the most:

August 5, 2014

School Supplies -- Office Supplies -- My Addiction

Yes, August is upon us and soon it will be back to school time. Time to start thinking about new clothes, new shoes and school supplies. Getting my new school supplies was always the highlight of getting ready to go back to school.
Even now I seem to have this fetish thing with office supply stores. You walk in and automatically I start getting excited and thinking what do I need. There’s a smell that just says spend money now. Automatically, I grab a basket and start to fill it up and this stuff ain’t cheap.
On my desk at home, you will see an electric pencil sharpener. An electric stapler – love it. A cute little posted note purse, a timer and a beautiful paperweight given to me by an old friend.
Inside the desk drawers are organized with my trays and I have one whole drawer of posted notes. Yes, that’s right. Love the posted notes. A writers must have.