May
18
2014

Meadow Ridge Romances are ON SALE!

The entire Meadow Ridge Romance series is on sale for only $0.99 each!! Available on both Nook and Kindle!

Julia’s just a normal girl trying—and failing—to fit in. In Meadow Ridge, an upper-crust society where designer labels rule, the only thing that matters more than money, is status. Julia’s got neither.

Chase has it all—born and bred in The Meadow, he’s the most eligible bachelor and the object of every woman’s attention. And he wants nothing to do with any of them… until he meets Julia.

Struggling just to make ends meet long enough to finish her degree, Julia needs her new job as a stock girl at Bloom’s Books. When her new boss turns out to be her steamy fling from the bar a few nights before, Julia’s not sure she’ll be able to stick around to collect her first check. Now Julia’s stuck in a tough spot—stay and resist her feelings for Chase so she can get the paycheck she desperately needs, or give into desire and risk her job, future and probably her heart.

AMAZON                        NOOK

 

 

Tali’s always had everything a girl from The Meadow could want: fancy cars, designer labels, and a last name that carries some serious clout. Too bad it’s not enough to keep her boyfriend—ex-boyfriend!—from cheating on her. Now Tali’s on a mission to make herself feel better, starting with a spontaneous trip to Paris for some much needed retail therapy.

Gavin could think of a million things he’d rather do than fly a rich girl from The Meadow to Paris. Now he’s stuck with her for a week, acting like her personal assistant, and it just might be the most frustrating time of his life… and strangely the most enjoyable too. There’s just something about Tali he can’t ignore.

When Tali’s forced to choose between her family’s expectations and Gavin’s belief that she should stand up for herself and what she really wants, she’s not sure she’s strong enough for either option. If she chooses wrong, does she risk losing the other forever?

AMAZON                     NOOK

 

Rebecca’s never been a “normal” Meadow Ridge girl. The daughter of a chauffeur and transplant into the gated community, she’s always felt like an outsider. Now her father’s retired, she’s been forced into an over-priced apartment she can’t afford, and she’s running out of things to sell to pay her rent. If something doesn’t change soon, Rebecca stands to lose everything.

Finn can’t stand the girls from The Meadow. Materialistic, lazy and self-centered, he wants nothing to do with them. Until he almost hits Rebecca with his motorcycle. Now he can’t stop thinking about her or how different she seems to be from everyone else.

Rebecca’s last hope to save the life she’s always known is Reid, her high school sweetheart and the man she hoped to marry one day, but that was before she met Finn. Now she must choose between the life of luxury she’s always wanted in The Meadow and the man she fears she can’t live without—Finn.

AMAZON                    NOOK

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May
08
2014

Brenda Novak’s Auction for Diabetes Research

This year I’ve had an offering in the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research and I’m so excited! The auction is for WRITERS AND READERS of all varieties! There’s so many book bundles, gift baskets, ereaders and one-time experiences, that I just can’t list them all. So head over and check it out!

While you’re there, check out the book bundle that FALLING FOR YOU is a part of. You get 5 contemporary romances and a $10 gift card too!!! The current highest bid is only $8.00!!! Now come on! We can do better than that!! $8 for all these great books is just, well, sad. It’s made me sad. (Have I guilted you sufficiently yet?)

“But I’ve already read Falling for You.” :) Well, thanks! I appreciate that! But if you go bid on my auction bundle, you’ll still get to enjoy 4 other books from really awesome authors. And you’ll get a gift card to buy even more books! So really, it’s still winning for you.

5 awesome contemporary romances!!

$10 gift card. 

Need I say more?!?!

Go bid. For me. Because you love me. Or at least because you are bored and looking for new reading material. Make me proud and do something awesome for diabetes research! Ok, go on. What are you waiting for?! ;)

Check out the auction and bid HERE!!

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May
07
2014

Deadline Dishes — Aubergine Curry with Zanna Mackenzie

Zanna Mackenzie is here to share one of her amazing recipes today! So without further ado, let’s meet Zanna!

Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.

Find out more about Zanna on her blog www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk, on Twitter via @ZannaMacKenzie or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

First up, I’d like to say thanks to Heather for letting me take part in the Deadlines, Dishes & Drinks feature on her blog!

The recipe I have chosen to share with you is aubergine (eggplant) curry and it’s something of a family favourite. We usually make this dish once a week – on a weekday as it’s pretty quick and easy to pull together and full of stock cupboard type items.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do if you decide to give it a go!

Aubergine Curry

This quantity serves 2 approx.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 aubergine (eggplant in the USA). If you don’t have this to hand you could substitute a tin of chickpeas.
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Turmeric
  • Curry powder (medium)
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes (finely chopped)

 

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a little vegetable oil until soft and just starting to colour.
  2. Add finely chopped aubergine (eggplant) to the onions in the pan and fry for a few minutes until the aubergine softens and browns.
  3. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves to the pan and cook through for a minute or two.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of medium curry powder to the rest of the ingredients in the pan.
  5. Mix 1 generous teaspoon of vegetable stock powder in a little hot water and stir to dissolve then add to the pan and stir all the ingredients for a few moments.
  6. Add the finely chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir through, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently until the tomatoes reduce down to a thick sauce consistency.
  7. Serve with rice, poppadum or bhajis – or all three!

Would you have the courage to feel the fear and fall in love anyway…?

Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she has been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.

Then Zane and Matt arrive on the scene as the new owners of the Carrdale Adventure Sports Centre.

Dating Zane, she soon discovers he’s not the Mr Perfect she thought he was; and why is he so reluctant to talk about his past?

As for Matt – well, to Faith he isn’t Matt at all because he was a completely different person when he broke her heart all those years ago.

With her new boyfriend and her first love running Carrdale as business partners – Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets – Faith struggles to keep the peace between them whilst trying to figure out how she feels about the two men in her life…

Grab your copy today at:

AMAZON USA

AMAZON UK

CROOKED CAT PUBLISHING

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Apr
30
2014

Sold!

The news went out yesterday and I’ve shared it on my FB page so it’s time to share it here too! I’ve contracted another book to Entangled Publishing!!! THE HOOKUP HOAX is due to release in 2015! This will be my second Entangled book. The first is THE WEDDING HOAX and it’s coming soon this Fall!!! Squeee! Here’s the announcement that ran in Publishers Marketplace!

Heather Thurmeier’s THE HOOKUP HOAX, in which a determined bachelor must temporarily date his best friend’s little sister in order to earn the deed to his family’s cabin, but when his fake relationship leads to real feelings, he’s willing to risk it all to keep her forever, to Alethea Spiridon Hopson at Entangled Indulgence, by Jill Marsal at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (World).

 

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Apr
25
2014

Friday Reads — 2/25/14

I’m reading a couple of books this week.

1. Seal of Awakening by Traci Douglass. This is the third installment of her Seven Seals series. I loved the first two so I had to get this one too! Each can be read on its own so feel free to grab a copy of any of them and jump right in. I love the heroes in each book! And the premise of the series as a whole is really cool. So far, this book is just a good as the others!!

2. The Guard by Kiera Cass. This is actually a novella in the world of a bigger series. Currently I’m waiting for the last book in the series to be release and the wait is slowly killing me. LOL. So this little novella is scratching the itch nicely. Not much longer now and I can dive into that last book. *taps fingers impatiently*

Our family reads this week are:

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. My girls loved the first book. Then the first movie. Now we’re halfway through the second book and they can’t wait to read as a family each night! We try to do a chapter a night. I love this series to read on my own and to watch the movies. But I have to say, reading it out loud as a family to my kids has been the best!! I love answering their questions about the world and sometimes telling them that we know the answer but won’t tell them because we don’t want to spoil the books. I love their enthusiasm and excitement for reading each night! Awesome.

2. Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox. I LOVE this picture book. We read it again last night and even though it’s our 100th time reading it, it still makes us all laugh! Highly recommend. And now that I just went to Amazon to grab the link, I see she’s written another book! Waking Beauty! I may have just one-clicked that sucker. :)

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Apr
22
2014

Deadline Dishes — Orange Honey Zabaglione with Julie Shackman

Today’s Deadline Dishes is courtesy of Julie Shackman! I’m excited to try this recipe sometime since it sounds so delicious! And different. I can’t wait. But first, let’s find out a little bit about Julie!

I trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of mine. When I’ve not got my head in a book or drafting one, I write verses and captions for greetings card companies. Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me – I usually require coffee, music and noise.

“Rock My World”  is my first contemporary romance novel . I have just finished writing my second novel and am polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for my third. These are also contemporary romances with a good dose of humour (hopefully!). I’m married, have two sons and live in Scotland.

 

Facebook

Twitter

Julie’s website

Deadlines. Blogs. Editing! Aaargh!

It’s great but hectic at times for all writers, so what better than Orange Honey Zabaglione for a quick and tasty pudding? (Thank you to the fab book Paul Gayler’s Great Value Gourmet)

  • You will need 2 large eggs, separated
  • 225g (8 oz) clear honey
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 4 tablespoons orange liqueur (this is an optional luxury!)

Mix egg yolks with honey in a large bowl, add the orange juice and zest (and liqueur?) and place over simmering saucepan of water. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens like custard and increases 3-4 times in volume.

Remove mixture from the heat and whisk occasionally until cool. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are forming. Fold them into the honey mixture until thoroughly blended.  Pour into four serving glass bowls and chill for up to four hours before serving. Enjoy!

I could imagine my protagonist, Ruby Cameron, savouring this on a spring day.  In my debut contemp romance “Rock My World”, reporter Ruby’s life is upturned by the arrival of a ghostly 80s rock singer, Stevie Vee.

Add her dashing and arrogant new boss, Matt Jardine into the mix and Ruby’s life will never be the same again!

Trying to juggle writing, deadlines and all other manner of “authoring” is not easy at the best of times, especially when you have a family – so recipes like this one are great to rustle up.

Would I have things any other way? No!

Hope you enjoy trying out this recipe and thanks to the great Deadline Dishes!

~Julie Shackman

Ruby Cameron is an ambitious reporter for a local paper where she is fed scraps of news, and lives with a man whose “idea of living dangerously is to leave the heating on when we pop out to the shops”. But after catching her squeaky clean boyfriend in flagrante delicto she ups sticks and moves into her own small home, only to discover the ghostly presence of a cheeky rock star who becomes her confidant as the dynamics of her small town, and her feelings about her dashing new boss, begin to throw up more questions than she can answer. Will Ruby discover who she really is, and perhaps more importantly, who she wants to be? 

Grab your copy at:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON USA

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Apr
20
2014

Reality TV Romances mentioned in The Guardian!!

 

What?!?! How crazy is that? I happened upon this article in The Guardian and imagine my surprise to find my own name and mention of my Reality TV Romance series!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes. But it gets better…

My name was used in the same sentence as THE HUNGER GAMES! Holy moly. I can’t even go there in my head. So, so cool. Check it out! I’m still in shock that someone would include my books in an article like this. Absolutely super cool moment for me. :)

“Apart from the print and screen phenomena of The Hunger Games, the American author Heather Thurmeier has written an entire series of romances based around talent and reality shows, utilising such scanarios as a heart-broken girl who goes on a dating show and finds her hated ex among the competitors.”

THE GUARDIAN ARTICLE (in full) — Click Here!!

Want to know what he’s talking about? Check out the Reality TV Romance series on Amazon, Nook, and iTunes!!

 

 

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Apr
18
2014

Cover Reveal — SURVIVE FOR MY LOVE

Yay!!! I’m so excited to finally see a cover for SURVIVE FOR MY LOVE! Without further ado, here it is!

Good, right? This is the continuation of Sara and Dane’s story in Escape to My Love, and I’m so, so happy with how it all turned out for them. Here’s the blurb for the book!

Sara and Dane have been living in a hidden bunker together for two weeks after fleeing for safety when cruise ships came into port carrying a virus along with their passengers. Her family should have reached the bunker within the first seventy-two hours and since they haven’t, Sara’s convinced they are at their plan B location. Now she’s willing to risk it all to find her family before it’s too late.

Dane isn’t convinced leaving the bunker is a good idea when the world outside is falling to crisis and chaos, but he’ll do whatever it takes to protect the woman who saved his life and stole his heart. The virus isn’t the only thing to fear outside the bunker. When roaming scavengers threaten to take more than just their supplies, Sara and Dane are forced to fight for their lives if they want to survive long enough to find her family and a future together in a new and unpredictable world.

Can’t wait to find out what happens? Check out the start of Sara and Dane’s story in ESCAPE TO MY ARMS.

Sara’s been preparing for this moment her whole life—she just never believed it would actually happen. With her bug-out bag and emergency food already in her truck, her only goal is to get to her family’s hidden bunker and wait out the pandemic that’s hit every major cruise ship port in the US. But her plan quickly falls apart. She’s out of gas, her route to the bunker is now a two-lane parking lot with no alternative in sight, and her only weapon is a pocketknife. For an experienced prepper, she’s made every rookie mistake.

Dane believes he’s safe in his cabin, off the beaten path and in the woods with his own source for water, electricity and an endless supply of food to hunt. After finding Sara stranded and alone, he’s suddenly not only providing for and protecting himself, but also the girl who wandered out of the woods and into his life. When looters come looking to take what he has, Sara and Dane’s only option is to make a run for their last hope—the bunker.

Can Sara and Dane find safety in each other’s arms and will they survive long enough to escape to a future together?

Get started on the story today and grab your copy at:      AMAZON         NOOK           DECADENT

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Apr
08
2014

Deadline Dishes — Skillet Lasagna with Tara Andrews

I live in upstate New York with my, supportive husband and two children – who make everything worthwhile, and at times challenging. J  My dream job is to write full time, but until then you’ll find me managing the business office of a community hospital.  In addition to work and family, I serve on the auxiliary of our local fire department – my husband is a volunteer firefighter (lucky me!).  I’m also a procrastinator (advanced-level) and recently discovered Pinterest, which could be dangerous.

Author Links:

Website:  www.taraandrews.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tara.andrews.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tara_andrews1

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/taraandrews1/

I’m not big fan of pasta – at least not served up with plain ole’ marinara.  Add a cream sauce and grilled chicken and that’s a different story.  I think it goes back to those days growing up when money was tight and spaghetti became a staple.  I’ve had enough to last a lifetime.  LOL.

Years later, I’m a mom in need of fast and financially friendly meals and pasta still fits the bill.  Not only that, but my kids Love (with a capital L) pasta—they’re still young yet.  They’d eat it every day if I let them.  So I’m always on the lookout for creative recipes to make things interesting.

Enter skillet lasagna.  I found this particular recipe on Pinterest recently and gave it a shot.  Kids loved it and it was super easy to make since it calls for a jarred sauce which cuts down on prep.  This is important because I work full time during the day and I need meals that come together 1-2-3 in order to have more time to write in the evenings.

Bowtie Skillet Lasagna (from: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Bow-tie-skillet-lasgna-351107)

Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Mini Farfalle/Bow Tie Pasta (mini cooks faster!)
  • 24 oz Jar of Spaghetti Sauce  (my kids don’t like sauces with tomato pieces)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I usually add a little more)
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • Parmesan Cheese, if desired

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, brown the ground beef until fully cooked; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.
  3. After pasta is cooked, drain. Return to pot and toss with the olive oil.
  4. Add the spaghetti sauce to the pasta and stir.
  5. Next, add the cooked ground beef, seasonings, mozzarella cheese and sour cream to the pasta. Fold together and cook over low heat until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Blurb:

Jill Malone has been looking for love for all the wrong reasons. A reality check has her signing up for a no-strings attached night to simply forget about forever after. The last thing she expected was to know her blind date.

Blake Anders doesn’t need help finding a date, but he’s tempted by 1Night Stand’s reputation of arranging exactly what a person needs. And he needs more. Though doubtful, he agrees to one night and hopes to discover his perfect match. He didn’t count on Madame Eve reaching deep into his past to give him a night with the woman he never forgot.

Fearing another broken heart, Jill works to keep herself from becoming attached, but Blake goes all in to convince her that he wants their long-overdue love to be more than a one-night stand…

 

Grab your copy at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I4C9AYI/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_ask_ENPuG.0CKKN7G

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/long-overdue-tara-andrews/1118414253?ean=2940148301806

Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=900&osCsid=0260br2srhmg72gn6v0il4lvp2

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-longoverdue-1409270-149.html

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Mar
28
2014

Editing Tips

So you just got your first set of edits on your manuscript. Congratulations!!! You’re officially in the trenches with the rest of us. :) Currently, I’m knee deep in edits on 1 novella, awaiting edits on a second novella as well as 1 novel, and I’m writing my 13th book. The To-Do list of a writer is always long!

Anyway, back to editing. Yay! One of my favorite parts of the writing process. I love this stage because now is when I really make a book shine, with the help of an excellent editor, of course. The end product is *always* better than it started out. That’s why having a good editor—one who sees your work, really gets your style and voice—is so important. (If you’ve gotten an editor that you don’t click with, don’t panic, there are tips for dealing with that too, but that’s a topic for another day. Rest assured, you will survive and so will your book! For now, let’s just assume all is well in editor/author world, since it usually is.)

You’ve gotten an email and it’s from your new editor. Yay! But also holy shit! Excitement, nervousness, self-doubt, nausea ;) — It’s all normal! You swallow your nerves and open the file. And then you want to faint.

Maybe you see a mountain of track changes on the righthand side of your page. Maybe you see a bunch of colored and underlined words. Maybe the first sentence after your Chapter One heading used to be the first sentences under your Chapter Two heading.

Holy edit monster!

Breathe. It will be okay. I promise.

Here are a few easy steps I use to tackle edits, even the really difficult ones:

  • Breathe. No really. Take a breath. This is all a part of the process. Every single writer in the history of writing will have to deal with edits at some point or another and they all lived to tell the tale after. You will too. Okay. Moving on.
  • Read any big picture notes you were given from your editor. Maybe your hero has moved past alpha and into asshole territory. Maybe a secondary story line just clutters up the book and doesn’t add anything worth keeping it. Maybe there’s a gap in the plot you didn’t realize or continuity problems. There are any number of big picture issues that could come up. Take a few minutes to read the notes,  more than once if you have to.
  • Walk away. You might be upset. You might think your editor has popcorn for brains. You might think the changes are too big and you can’t possible do them! Just walk away for a bit. Let that big picture stuff sink in. Those notes are going to marinate in your brain while you do other things. In an hour, or a day, you might even see that your editor is right. Holy shit! LOL. It happens. :)
  • Move on to line edits. That’s all the track changes bubbles you see on the right side of your once-beautiful document. Work through those changes as you’ve been told to by the editor. Every publisher has a slightly different way they like to work through edits so if you’re not sure, ask. Your editor would rather take the 2 seconds to answer your questions then have to redo the document because it’s not how it’s supposed to be. In most cases, you’ll accept or reject the editor’s suggested changes. Simple, easy, and strangely satisfying.
  • “But I don’t want to!” It’s your book. Your work. Your words. And you have to be proud of it when it goes into a reader’s hands with your name on the cover. Sometimes, an editor will suggest a change you really don’t want to make. Maybe it changes the meaning you intended. Maybe it changes the essence of who the character is. Maybe you just really like the word scrumptious and feel justified using it 5 times in one paragraph. If you really can’t get on board with a change, then leave it alone and include a comment about why. Don’t just ignore suggested revisions! If you’re going to fight for scrumptious to stay, your editor needs to know why. But you might just find that if you think about it for a minute, your editor is right and maybe they saw a flaw that you didn’t. This is why we have editors! They see the things our tired eyes have missed. They see the things that we love but that readers will say, “What the hell?” to.
  • Go back and read your big picture notes again. Depending on the notes, you may have been able to work on these at the same time as your line edits. But if not, go back now, read the notes again, and get to work. Often a change I was dead set against now seems completely logical and I wonder how I didn’t see it myself. If not, now is the time to discuss it with your editor. Talk it out. It doesn’t mean they’re going to change their minds about the edits you need to do, but talking to your editor can help you work through any lingering questions or reasons why something needs to be changed or fixed.
  • Send that baby back! You’ve done it. You’ve survive your edits without the world crumbling around you. Treat yourself to something nice, an evening out, a delicious dessert, a couple of hours to read a book for fun that you didn’t write yourself! Go on, you deserve it.

Rest up! You’re going to need all your strength back for when the second edits come in. Just sayin’…

Are you an experienced writer with editing tips of your own? Leave your tips in the comments! 

 

 

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