Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Writer's Life (on Social Media)

If you follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook, you'll hopefully hear from me often next month. In an effort to ramp up my social media presence, I'm participating in a daily challenge in which I'll post a picture each day that relates to a given theme. This one was put together by my author friend Bronwyn Green and her friend Jessica Jarman. They've come up with thirty-one things Each day I'll post a photo on Instagram and share it to Facebook. I'd love it if you'd follow along! 

Here's where you'll be able to find my pictures: 

Hope to see you!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Release: Healing Seas by Christina Lorenzen

In the years since my first book was published, I’ve met so many awesome authors who write clean romances, just like me. New York native Christina Lorenzen is one such author. She recently announced the release of Healing Seas by Forget Me Not Romances, and I invited her to come and share the inspiration for the book.

When my publisher announced that she was looking for authors to write novellas for state collections, I knew I wanted to write something about my state, New York. Even more so, I wanted to write a story set on Long Island where I live. I was also very excited because I had never written a historical story before.

My intention was to write a story set in the early 1700s, specifically a pirate story. I did a lot of research and I wrote the first chapter, when I began to worry about things like dialogue and using accurate terminology. I was so frustrated I decided to stop writing early one day and watch television. My daughter was also having some tough times as she was putting together her senior thesis project for her film degree. Graduation is in May. The clock was ticking for us both. We decided to watch The Titanic.

We’ve watched the movie at least a dozen times. It never fails to keep me glued to the screen. The costumes alone just leave me in awe. As we watched it this time, we talked about my husband’s grandmother, her great grandmother. We were blessed that my daughter got to know Grandma Dorothea. She was in her late teens when she passed away, so we have some wonderful memories of her, but as the movie played we talked about how much grandma loved the movie too.

The Titanic sank in April of 1912. Grandma was born March 3, 1912. She had been fascinated with the Titanic and had listened to stories about it as a young child. So in 1997 when the movie came out my mother-in-law took her to see it. Honestly, I think it was one of the best days of grandma’s life. She couldn’t stop talking about it. It was that night when I realized that I was going to change my time period from the 1700s to 1912. It was that night Addie Mayfield came to me.

Healing Seas is the story of two people, Addie Mayfield and Frank Shea, who each suffer a tragedy at sea. It’s the story of how they struggle to get past disappointment and sadness and find love and hope for a future. And I couldn’t have written it without Grandma Dorothea, whose excited face came to mind with every word I put on the page.
Thanks for having me here today, Patty. I enjoyed sharing my story for the inspiration behind Healing Seas.

Thanks for being here and sharing your book Christina! Here’s the blurb and lovely cover for Healing Seas.
In just a matter of days, Addie Mayfield’s life is upended. Through an arrangement her father makes, she sets sail on the RMS Titanic as governess to the two young Fairchild children. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself rescued alongside strangers on the RMS Carpathia, headed for New York City. Far from home, she is taken in by the O’Reilly family to wait for her family to send for her. With no money for her passage home, she’s brought to the small hamlet of Montauk to become a caretaker for a great aunt she has never met.
Captain Frank Shea is a man without a ship. Removed from duty as captain of the RMS Morrow, he’s come to Montauk to recover from a leg injury. More painful than the injury is his fall from grace after spending his entire life at sea. The ocean was his home and he has never needed anyone. Now faced with an uncertain future, he’s desperate for a way back to the sea. Until he meets Addie Mayfield, a woman who is just as lost as he is.
Can these two people find hope for the future after all they’ve lost? Can an unexpected love heal two broken souls?

Healing Seas can be purchased at Amazon

You can find Christina at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, and Goodreads.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Autumn's Kiss Blog Hop

Welcome to Creative Hodgepodge!


Last year, I wrote a short story called Autumn Vows, and it was part of a lovely anthology called Autumn's Kiss. Seven other sweet romance authors collaborated on the project, and the result is a lovely collection of stories based on an autumn theme. We celebrated the release with a blog hop during autumn 2016, but then we realized that not everyone experiences the season at the same time - so we decided to recognize fall in the southern hemisphere by having another blog hop!

We decided that this time, we'd share our favorite autumn recipes. Since Autumn Vows takes place in my native West Michigan I decided to post instructions for making Spiced Apple Cider. In this part of the country we have lots of apple orchards, so apple cider fills the grocery store shelves all season. I love the smell of apples and cinnamon as it's simmering on the stove. There are lots of great recipes, but my favorite is quite simple: Take a gallon of cider, heat it in a large pan, add a little brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Let it simmer for a half hour (or until you can't wait any longer) and enjoy!

I like to sip on the cider as I'm writing, crafting, or watching TV. I keep lots of coasters around to protect my furniture! A friend showed me how to make these cute fabric coasters and since I've always got scraps of fabric around from recent projects, I made some four out of various colors of gingham to give away to a random commenter. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me about your favorite cool-weather treat! I'll choose a winner on Monday morning, April 24.

But before you go, be sure to enter the Gift Card giveaway (one $100 prize and one $20 Gift Card) by entering your name, email addy and my favorite fall treat (see two paragraphs above) in the form below:


 Be sure to visit the blogs of all six participating Autumn's Kiss authors and follow instructions at each one in order to qualify for the Gift Cards, as well as the individual author giveaways. Here are the participating blog links:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Hop

I'm participating in the to the Easter Facebook Hop, hosted by Love Kissed Suspense!

With tons of prizes from over 100 authors and bloggers, including Amazon gift cards, it’s a great way to spend your Easter Weekend!

My prize is this set of butterfly note cards, with envelopes. In order to qualify for this prize, you need to do these things:
1. Like my Facebook page

2. Subscribe to this blog by clicking "Follow this Blog" in the white Networked Blogs box to the right
3. Comment with the words "Happy Easter" on the pinned post on my Facebook page (It's the post with the above picture on it).

Don’t miss out! Visit one, or all to participate. Easy entries.

Meet some new authors! Discover some awesome blogs.

Most of all…have fun!

A.J. Norris
Ali Parker's Author Page
Alpha Book Club
Amy L Gale
Annie Anderson
Aubrey Kendall
Author A. M. Willard
Author Amy L Gale
Author Elaina Jadin
Author Jamie Summer
Author Kimi Flores - K.A. Hunter
Author Miranda Lynn
Author Shelique Lize
Author Susan Renee
Avery Price
Boxed Romance Bargains
Bree Berri
C.E. Wilson Author
C.E. Wilson Author
Christine Hart, YA, NA & MG Author
CJ Pinard, Author
Colleen Charles Romance Author
D.D. Lorenzo, Author
D.M. Earl
Emma Nichols
Empress Author Solutions
Erin Bedford
Evie Meadows
Happily Ever Chapter
Heather C. Myers
Helen Smith Alpha Book club
Isadora Brown
Jane Matisse
Jane Reynolds
Jeanne St. James, Romance Author

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: Mann Cakes by Mysti Parker

Lately, most of the books I read are those written by people I know – either in person or online. And when I find an author who writes well and is entertaining, well, I’m eager for more. After I read Mysti Parker’s historical novel A Time for Everything I purchased some of her light comedies and a spicy story or two. Her latest project really sounds great, and I’ve already pre-ordered my copy! I asked Mysti to give us some information on Mann Cakes, and she graciously complied. Read on!

What's tastier than savory bacon and cheese cupcakes? The men who make them, of course! 

If you're a fan of romantic comedy in the same vein as Janet Evanovich, Lauren Blakely, Kylie Gilmore & Louisa Edwards, you'll enjoy this! Plus, you'll get REAL bonus Mann Cakes recipes. 

Release date: May 11 
Preorder now on Kindle for just $0.99

Love makes men do desperate things, if desperate things means opening a rival cupcake shop to drive your ex-girlfriend crazy. 

Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over. 

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter –gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes. 
There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They'll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd. Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school. 

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war? 

Contact Links: Mysti Parker can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and at her website
Sign up for her Newsletter!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Need a Title!

Welcome to the new blog subscribers! I haven’t been very active here for several months, but I’m going to try to post more regularly.

Right now I’m hoping some of you can help me with a dilemma. I’m in the finishing stages of a book and I need a title. For me, this has to be the most difficult part of writing a book! So I’m asking you for help. I need some ideas. I’ll give you the details on the story and if you have a title, leave it in the comments below. If I use your idea, I’ll send you a copy of the book as soon as it becomes available, PLUS a $5 Amazon gift card. If I use part of your idea, I’ll give you a choice of gift card or a print copy of one of my books.

So here are the specifics:

Tom Cooper left his high-pressure law practice in Indianapolis for life on an alpaca farm in the tiny northwest Indiana town of Escape. Though he continued to practice law, the farm provided a good life for him, his wife, and their five children. Now widowed, he tends the farm alone, since all his children have left. The alpaca business has begun to wane, and he’s just received the news that his balance problems and other aches he’d chalked up to getting older are actually symptoms of multiple sclerosis. He goes to the local diner to mull this over. There's a pretty lady there who's always kind to him, but he'd best not get involved. He's never gotten over the death of his wife - because he blames himself.

Laurie Matthews owns the diner in Escape. She’s a former nurse, but had to leave her job when a co-worker blamed her for something she didn’t do. She’s attracted to the handsome widower who often comes in for coffee and a hot meal, but keeps her distance, because everyone she’s ever loved has died – her grandparents, her parents, her husband, and one other.

Despite the fact that neither wants to enter a romantic relationship, they end up needing each other. And Laurie helps Tom see that he needs to rebuild ties with his children. When he decides to sell the farm, she talks him into inviting all the kids home for one last gathering before the land leaves the family.

This book is the first in a series called The Reunion. Four other authors are writing books about the children.

So… knowing all these details, what is your title suggestion? I'll pick a winner at the end of the week. Thanks in advance!


Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Facebook Hop

Welcome to the St. Patrick’s Day Facebook Hop, hosted by @Boxed Romance Bargains!

With tons of prizes from over 100 authors and bloggers, including Amazon gift cards, it's a great way to spend Thanksgiving Weekend!

In case of a broken link, visit the website for a complete list of participants:

Today I'm giving away this deck of playing cards with the cover to my sweet romance novella Searching for Lady Luck. Please read the instructions below carefully so you’re not disqualified!!!

1. Like my Facebook page (if you haven't already done so):

2. Follow this blog: (Look for the white rectangle labeled "Networked Blogs" and click "follow this blog"

3. Comment on my Facebook page saying Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Winners will be chosen at random. Giveaway is open from 12pm EST on 3/17 until 12pm EST on 3/19.

The next stop on the hop is Piper Rayne To enter to win his/her prize, please visit his/her page here

Don't forget to visit:

Enter the Grand Prize Giveaway! Win a Kindle or Amazon Gift Cards!
Good luck and I hope everyone has a Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Facebook giveaways are in NO way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Information collected is NOT collected by Facebook. In signing up for this promotion, participants release and indemnify Facebook from all liability.