Fall Into Romance – Heroine Meets Hero + $5 Amazon Gift Card giveaway

Blog Hop Button.3With the first day of fall zipping up fast–it’ll be Monday!!–I’m participating, along with other romance authors, in a blog hop to celebrate love and fall. I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card, but there’s also a $75 Amazon gift Card up for grabs, so stay with me until the end for details.

And since I have a new release out, I thought I’d share a scene when the heroine first meets the hero, since that first meet is when you get that first inkling the character is going to fall in love. But first, a little background. This is a time travel romance, title Must Love Breeches, and the heroine is at a reenactment ball and doesn’t realize she’s been zapped back to 1834–she thinks everyone’s just really good at the whole reenacting bit. She’s just met Ada Byron (the future Ada Lovelace), when she’s interrupted:

Before Ada could reply, a frisson of awareness streaked down Isabelle’s spine. A dark shape filled her vision. Sandalwood and a hint of something else, something elemental, wafted over her. Isabelle gazed up. And up. And—Holy Pete. She clenched her teeth to hold her chin in place.

My God, what gorgeous hair! Long, black, and wavy, it caressed the guy’s shirt collar, making her want to plunge her fingers through it. Frolic in it. Twine her fingers around and sniff it.

He’d grown sideburns for the event, and his prominent chin had that sexy little indentation. Could she nibble on it? The high cheekbones and hooded eyes made her insides all squirmy. Gorgeous men always made her uncomfortable, and this one was one notch shy of being too, too perfect. Which left her trying to remember where she was, and why.

Oh, yes. Ball. At a ball in London.

A reenactment of a ball held in 1834, London, England.

Would this man look equally exquisite on the streets in blue jeans and T-shirt, or were his kind of looks enhanced by the period clothing? She’d seen that phenomenon before: someone who looked absolutely yummy in a historical flick and, when wearing modern clothes, appeared positively humdrum.

But never mind that. Right smack in front of her stood a man at noble ease in form-fitting pantaloons and coattails. The black coat molded to his frame, and the starched white collar poked just high enough to accentuate his jaw. With a hand-tied cravat to boot. Hoo! Which brought her to his deliciously sculpted lips, one side cocked up a smidge.

Above those lips and proud nose, his eyes stared right at her. Oh, oops. A fuzzy warmth spread across her chest. This was awkward. His gaze shifted to Ada. Isabelle tried not to look like, well, like a cartoon character knocked on the head, with big X’s for eyes.

“Miss Byron. Always a pleasure.” He gave a perfect bow, not at all cheesy, as though he practiced bowing. Definitely not his first reenactment ball. “May I have the honor of an introduction?” He raised a brow at Ada.

May I have the honor? Really? She was starting to enjoy the whole reenactment thing, but this was a tad over the top. So, he was handsome. Well, okay, drool-worthy. Maybe she would cut him some slack on the over-acting bit.

“Miss Isabelle Rochon, may I present Lord Montagu,” Ada went right with the flow. “Cousin, Miss Rochon.”

Isabelle stuck her hand out to shake his. Lord? Okay, cool. Lord Drool-Worthy’s penetrating eyes held hers. He lightly grasped her hand, the warmth permeating her glove. Without losing eye contact, he slowly raised it to his lips and feathered a kiss across her knuckles.

Electricity spiked up her arm, stealing her breath. Her knees telegraphed: Yep, can’t handle this, checking out now.

Isabelle managed to turn the knee-buckle into an awkward curtsy, but who cared since this was all pretend, right? Must have worked, because His Hunkiness smiled, the corner of his mouth quirking, as if he sensed her distress.

And that mouth had been moving only a moment ago. Damn, he’d been talking this whole time? Something about dancing?

“D-dance?” Her stomach back flipped. Other couples headed for the center, and the quartet, back from their break, took up their instruments.

He held out his hand, open, waiting.

Oh, God. Her palms were sweating. Was that why ladies wore gloves?

Smart ladies.

She placed her hand in his, and he led her onto the dance floor. If she could focus. Tune out her surroundings. Detach. Not grab the moment too hard, or she’d get so nervous, so flustered, she’d be a pile of goo. A slippery hazard on the marble floor.

The first notes from the musicians floated through the air. A waltz.

Lord Montagu bowed.

Isabelle curtseyed and stifled a giggle. Oooh, boy, she could get used to this treatment.

He swept her into a dizzying swirl of sound and color. His confident fingers on the small of her back shot warmth up her spine. Subtle pressures guided her through the music and crowd in a way she’d never experienced, so very aware of his body, of him. She’d thought the waltz quaint, but she was stunned.

Well, not stunned, but… aroused. Who knew this dance could be sexy?

This––her heart pounded, pounded, pounded––this was what she’d pictured. All the preparation, the diligent work on the dress and hair and shoes, had led to this moment. Because, yep, as usual, she’d built an expectation for this ball.

Until this moment, she’d wanted to curse her imagination. It was wonderful to finally have an experience at an event match up.

She let the moment etch into her memory, a rare, sparkling gift to savor. The soft, mellow glow of nearby candles, the glint of jewels, the murmuring voices—the occasional titter of laughter—her partner’s intoxicating scent, and the notes from the violins intertwining through all, through them, while they rode its rhythm. She grinned like an idiot but didn’t care.

He wasn’t much for small talk. Amazing, and a smidge intimidating. He stared at her while he whirled her around the floor, mesmerizing her with those eyes. They strayed from hers to linger on her neck and slowly travel to her chest and waist.

Each area of her body tingled as if he’d touched her, and her heart thumped against her chest as if seeking his notice too. Damn heart. Something was different about his eyes, and she couldn’t figure out what it was in the dim lighting. Someone must have finally doused the electric bulbs.

She couldn’t look away. Weird. Her stomach did another flippin’ flip. Not for the first time, she wondered where her confidence traipsed off to around attractive men.

The last guy who’d hit all her lust buttons had derailed her life back in the States. She’d never let that happen again. So, she fought against the too-strong-to-be-safe attraction by doing what she sensed would most likely break the spell, and perhaps turn Lord Laconic from her: talking. Anything to deflect, protect.

“So, is this your first time at one of these shindigs?” She hoped her voice didn’t sound quite so shaky to his ears.

She tore her gaze from his to see if she could spot Andrew. Or Jocelyn, to give her the lookee-what-I-have-here face. Or her boss. She must stay focused on her goal. A flash of bright red hair in the corner. Jocelyn? But the next turn whipped the red hair from view.

“Shindigs?” He pronounced it carefully, drawing her attention back to him. His eyebrows swooped closer together, the inside edges slanting up.

Okay, that was adorable, dammit. “Yeah, you know, these reenactments? You seem quite a natural.” The words sucked up what air was left in her lungs. She concentrated on breathing through her nose. Stay calm.

And––he was still staring at her.

Oh great, did she have something in her teeth? Did she have stinky breath? Did he think she was some uncouth American and regret asking her to dance? She ducked her head and checked her teeth with her tongue and nearly stumbled. She swung her gaze back to his face to regain her rhythm.

He cocked his head to the side. “I am not at all sure what you believe we are reenacting, but unfortunately, I find I am expected to be at these balls with an appalling regularity.”

He had the period syntax and cadence down pat. “Wow, you’re quite good at this. Don’t worry, I’ll try to play along.”

Her partner did the eyebrow-slanting-up-in-the-middle thing and looked away. She could have sworn he muttered ‘Colonials’ under his breath.

Huh? Wait, he was referring to her. “Hey, no need to be rude, and I’m not a Colonial. We soundly beat your hides and settled that score, like, two hundred years ago.” She gave him a playful swat on his shoulder. “Man, you British can sure hold a grudge.”

His head whipped back, and he gawked at her. “Two hundred years ago? Are you daft, woman?”

Surely, she looked like a candidate for the poster child of dumbfoundedness: mouth agape, brow creased. Oh. She chuckled. “I get it. Man, you are good. You don’t break character, do you?”

He continued to stare at her as if she were the one who was nuts. Her smile slipped. She looked away and muttered, “Reenactors.”

Available at the following e-retailers:

btn_kobo_48btn_ibooks_48btn_google_48btn_bnnook_48btn_are_48

$5 Amazon Gift Card

I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to commenters who tell me what time period they’d like to go back to and why.

$75 Grand prize Giveaway

To enter the Grand Prize Giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter box and press enter! (One entry per person!) You do not get extra entries for visiting more blogs. Every blog has their own giveaway, however, so be sure to visit the hop link for a list of participating authors! The Grand Prize winner will be chosen by the hop coordinator on Tuesday, September 23 using Random.org and the winner emailed.

GRAND PRIZE: 1 $75 Amazon Gift Card – to enter, visit: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3ad276f818/

Blog Hop participants

To visit the other participating authors and win more prizes, go to: www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com

the gods at random.org have spoken and the winner of the $5 Amazon gift card is nancygoldberglevine!  

Swept Away Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

0ValentinesBH300x200Welcome to the Swept Away Valentine’s Day Blog Hop! I’m geek girl romance author Angela Quarles. What makes my romances geeky? Oh, in a myriad of ways! Whether it’s fan girling over Ada Lovelace by having her as a secondary character in my time travel romance, Must Love Breechesor outright geek references with geek types in my romantic comedy with paranormal elements, Beer and Groping in Las Vegasor going all Southern steampunk in Steam Me Up, Rawley, I like to have fun with my romances and hope my readers do too.

And I have some fun for you–First, one lucky commenter will win a $5 Amazon gift Card!

Since Valentine’s Day is about romance, I thought I’d include a snippet from my current release BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS that has a romantic setting at a fictional Vegas hotel, plus he seems like he gets a bit swept away at the end, like the theme of our hop!

He glanced at his palm—”Mirjam” inked across in blue. The only information the follow-up note from the bellhop had told him after accepting the invitation, a first name and where and when to meet. Oh, and the cryptic last sentence: “Be in the moment and you will find the answer.” What answer? He didn’t feel like he knew the damn question, though he was questioning his own sanity for agreeing to this weird-ass date. Somehow, he’d felt certain, in his gut, he needed to answer ‘Yes’ to the crazy invitation he’d received from a guy named ‘Jim.’ A night with the ‘woman of his dreams.’ He rubbed the name away. No sense looking like a complete dufus.

“Here’s the gentleman requesting to meet you,” the concierge said, interrupting his thoughts.

Shit, no time to rethink this. Or take a breather. He took a calming breath. Keep your head in the game, Riley. A chance for a date with a decent girl, see what that is like. Nothing more.

“I’m Stefan,” said the man who approached him wearing a pink bow tie. “Your date is waiting for you by the pool. This way, sir.” Stefan escorted him through the lobby and out to a terrace. They wended their way around the glittering pool to a darker section. Torches lit the area every few feet, highlighting potted plants somehow kept alive in the desert heat. Gentle lapping from the pool blended with other guests’ murmurs. He followed Stefan up a short flight of stone steps set against a wall.

At the top, his guide swept back a leafy frond, revealing a granite table surrounded by lush foliage and a high stone wall. More torches blazed in each corner, casting enough light to see but adding a ton of atmosphere. A little hideaway for two, the elevation affording an extra layer of exclusivity.

His date faced the far wall, head tilted to the full moon looming above. Torchlight flickered across the ash-blonde hair tumbling down her back. He swallowed hard. Shit, if he were the romantic type, he’d be in hog heaven with this setting.

She slowly turned and faced him.

His breath caught. Dear God, he was in heaven.

Want to know more? Here’s the blurb:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Fore more information you can visit my book page, or view the trailer. It’s also available at these outlets:

Amazon | Amazon CA |  Amazon UK |  Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | BookStrand

Visit the other participants on the host website to learn about more books and chances to win more prizes !

Cruising with Secret Cravings Bloghop Giveaway!

406653_2599040071675_401551199_nI and 29 fellow authors at Secret Cravings Publishing are celebrating the two year anniversary of Secret Cravings with a blog hop and giveaway! Entry for the awesome grand prizes is easy, collect the cruise stop locations of 25 of the 30 participants by matching the location to the participant! More below…

The book I’m highlighting for the hop is my new release BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, a quick little read at 42 pages. It’s an erotic geek romantic comedy with a touch of paranormal. Wanna know more?

Official Blurb

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Amazon Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | BookStrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

My Location is…. Virginia Beach, VA

BEER cover smallBeer and Groping in Las Vegas
Contemporary Romantic Comedy w/paranormal elements
by Angela Quarles
Secret Cravings Publishing
ISBN: 9781618854612
Release Date: December 19, 2012
Length: Novelette (13,500 words)
Price: 3.99
Content advisory: Adult language, explicit sex

Amazon Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | BookStrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

Early Buzz and Reviews!

“It really is just truly a fun read. It’s written really well. It’s short, but the author gives you snippets about these characters so you feel like you really know them and can connect to them.” –Smitten With Reading

“Ok so this book is sooo fun. It is a quick 46 page ecopy book but it is filled with sarcasm, wit, sexiness and a lot of humor…The sexual tension in the story is great. I was laughing in the beginning and then saying “Hawt” towards the middle. When they finally *cough cough* well you know, it was gooood reading” – Angie J, Twinsie Talk Book Reviews

And on Jan 3, the book trailer was reviewed/featured in Robin Covington’s USAToday’s HEA column!

And if you’ve read it and don’t already have a favorite, I’d love your Vote for BEER in the preditor & editor’s poll!

And now onto the prizes!

You have a chance to win:

  • Grand Prize- iPad2
  • First place- Kindle Fire
  • Second Place- $50 SCP giftcard
  • Third place- $25 SCP giftcard

Cruise on over to the other participating authors and collect their locations to enter to win! Once you have 25 of the locations paired to their author, email the answers to: reviewcoordinator@secretcravingspublishing.com

New Year’s Blog Hop

Happy New Year - champagne and party decorationHappy New Year! One of the ways I’m celebrating the New Year is by participating in the New Year’s Blog Hop wherein other authors and bloggers are sharing memories, books and giving away tons of prizes. Each stop on the hop has a chance to win a prize (including me) and there’s an overall grand prize.

I thought I’d share one of my more memorable ‘goofs’–I’m a reasonably intelligent person but I can also be ditzy at times (that is possible). It usually has to do with me saying something without completely being aware of my surroundings or who I’m with.

This particular instance was when I was an exchange student in Finland. I’m a senior in high school, and my host father is a member of the Finnish government, so he brings me along with his family to the New Year’s Eve party at the British Embassy which he’d been invited to.

So here I am, completely out of my element at this fancy New Year’s Eve party at a freaking embassy (LOL) and lo and behold, the son of the ambassador is around my age and cute. We start talking and I’m thinking how cool and romantic this is and what a great story this would make (you know, how you do when you’re a teenager) etc, etc. We’re staring out of these huge windows out into the embassy grounds and there’s fireworks going off. Back where I grew up, we didn’t do fireworks on New Year’s Eve, so this was new to me. Anyway, all quite atmospheric and I’m probably nervous as hell talking to this guy.

So what do I say to this cute son of the British ambassador to Finland? “Doesn’t this remind you of The Fourth of July?”

Yep.

In my memory, and mind you this is almost thirty years ago, he looks at me, doesn’t say anything, and walks away. I’m sure it wasn’t quite that abrupt, but the reality is, he took me for an idiot and left shortly after I said that. And if he didn’t take me for an idiot, then he was assuming I was a smartass. Whatever it was, cool moment. Blown by me.

This might be why I like to write romantic comedies with intelligent women being goofy sometimes. My new release is an erotic geek romantic comedy called BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS.

Here’s the scoop:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Buy it now on:

Amazon | B&N | ARe

More ways to interact:

trailer | goodreads | shelfari

Prizes!!

So, I’m giving away a $5 Amazon Gift card to one commenter drawn at random. Just make sure to leave your email address in the comment box (not just in the box that asks for email) so that you’ll also be eligible for the grand prizes as well! 

Make sure to visit everyone else in the hop, as we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

  • 1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet (US & International)
  • 2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (US & International)
  • 3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! (US only)

To visit the other participants, visit the blog hop host and start hopping!

Blog hop winners will be picked on January 7th. 

Do you also have a memorable New Year’s Eve story you’d like to share?

Secret Santa Blog Hop

tabiysnocturnanightsWelcome to my stop on the Secret Santa Blog Hop! We have lots of fabulous prizes for you, with several chances to win. I thought I’d share a true Christmas story from my life.

Have You Ever Been Desperate for a Christmas Tree?

We are notorious procrastinators in my family and we’ve been known to wait until the last minute to get a tree for Christmas. One year in particular was quite interesting. My parents were living in Brooklyn at the time (they moved up there from Florida–we also do everything backwards) and my brother and I arrived Christmas Eve I think. Anyway, it was pretty dang late to be getting a tree. We set out from their brownstone in Greenpoint and couldn’t find a single lot still selling trees. And remember, this is Brooklyn, so we were walking and I’m sure it was cold too!

We’d quite despaired of finding a tree until we were walking back home and, I kid you not, found one in a dumpster! We looked up and down the street and rustled that sucker out of the bin! It wasn’t in too bad shape, and still had some tinsel clinging to it–we figured someone had left to go out of town and disposed of it before they left.

We took our Charlie Brown tree home, put the squished side against the wall, and decorated it. It was beautiful! You couldn’t tell it had been in a dumpster… I swear!

Now, onto the prizes!

From me, you could win a PDF copy of my upcoming release BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS. You have three ways to get more entries. One for following my blog. One for leaving a comment and another for answering the question at the end.

Our Grand prize will be a Kindle Fire HD 7″, plus books to put on your Kindle. Here is a list of the books you will get:

Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage By Missy Martine
Anna Doubles Down By Missy Martine
Bait By Annie Nicholas
BB Dalton By Cat Johnson
A Cowboy For Christmas By Cat Johnson
Starved For Love By Annie Nicholas
Thoroughbreds and Tailer Trash By Bev Pettersen
Wolf’s Haven By Ambrielle Kirk
Lights Camera…Monsters By Lila Dubois
Logan’s Redemption By Cara Marsi
Samason’s Lovely Mortal By Tina Folsom
Eternity Embraced By Larissa Ione
Snow Bound By Larissa Ione
Deceptive Nights By Sylvia Hubbard
Parallel Visions By Cheryl Rainfield
Stones Revenge By Sylvia Hubbard
A Hidden Magic By Angela Benedetti
Big Trouble In China By CC MacKenzie
Dancing In Circles By Victoria Adams
Love’s Prophecy By Brenda Dyer
All In The Mind By Jenny Twist
Away With The Fairies By Jenny Twist
The Big Bad…Riding Hood Tale By Nina S. Gooden
Warm Christmas Wishes By Jenny Twist
Betrayed By The Incubus By Nicole Graysen
How to Woo A Reluctant Bride By Lyndi Lamont
Whisper Privileges By Dianne Venetta
Kill A Painted Pony By Kelsy George
Rapture Of The Deep By Kelsy George
Holiday Jinx By Abbey MacInnis

For instructions and more chances to win the grand prize, visit the hop host and keep hopping! For each stop, you increase your chances of winning the grand prize!

Here’s my question: Have you ever gotten your tree from a dumpster?

bigstock-Romantic-Santa-10536773

^^^
I think I know his answer ;)

_______________

Upcoming release, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas:

BEER cover smallContemporary Romantic Comedy
Secret Cravings Publishing
Release Date: December 19, 2012
Length: Novelette (13,500 words)
Price: 3.99
Content advisory: Adult language, explicit sex

Official blurb:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Available for pre-order

Five Favorite Things Giveaway

14674_2541024421320_759478737_aDo you sometimes catch yourself naming your own favorite things to the tune of the well-known Sound of Music song?

My fellow authors at Secret Cravings Publishing and I are sharing some of ours, and giving you a chance to win one of them (wink, wink, nudge, nudge–for most of us it’s our new release).

So, here’s a list of my five favorite things…

  1. Curling up with a delightfully wonderful book. If it’s raining outside, even better
  2. Getting excited about something new I’m learning
  3. Hanging out with my family (immediate and extended) and friends (wait, I’m realizing these aren’t things and I’m supposed to name things. *grumping*)
  4. A smooth-writing pen (There!)
  5. My first release, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, because this is the first time I’ve experienced that thrill!

And of those five favorite things that make my life complete and happy, I am giving one of them away. A copy of Beer and Groping in Las Vegas to one lucky commenter.

Be sure to visit other SCP authors participating in the blog event

Head over to the SCP facebook fan page and the SCP Readers’ Group page for more authors’ contests.

BEER cover smallMy upcoming release:

Contemporary Romantic Comedy w/paranormal elements
Secret Cravings Publishing
Release Date: December 19, 2012
Length: Novelette (13,500 words)
Format: eBook
Content advisory: Adult language, explicit sex

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

pre-order – goodreads – shelfari

What about you? What are your 5 fave things?

Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

Floral Background in Black and Gold ColorsWelcome to the Holiday Gifts of Love blog hop sponsored by Carrie Ann Ryan Blog Hops!

What is it about the holidays that makes us so giddy? Why is it that so many romances are set around the holidays? What’s your favorite holiday book? Your fave holiday romance? Tell us! We’re blog hopping to celebrate the holidays and our love of romance!

I thought I’d share what makes it special for me. I live in an historic house in Mobile, and I’m the 5th generation to live here. But before I moved here, I came for Christmas along with all my other kith and kin to celebrate. Of course food and drink were a big part of it. I learned how to make Old-Fashioneds from my uncle. Cousins Night was Christmas Eve, when my cousins and I would gather in one of the bedrooms and party and catch up on what we’d been up to the past year.

But of course, coming from an old Southern family, we have some traditional foods, and I’m going to give you the recipes!  My great grandmother (whom I knew as she lived until 96) we called Grandy, and this is her Charlotte Russe recipe, which we have two gorgeous bowls designated specifically and only for this dish:

Grandy’s Charlotte Russe

2 pints cream
1 pkg lady fingers
6 tbsp sugar
2 envelopes gelatin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups milk

Separate eggs. Heat milk in double boiler. Beat egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar. Add to milk when hot. Wet gelatin, then dissolve in boiling water. Add some of egg  mixture then add gelatin to milk and cook until mixture begins to thicken, cool. Whip cream in bowl set in ice, use cold beaters. When stiff add 2 tbsp sugar. Add cool egg mixture to this. Beat egg whites, when stiff add 2 tbsp sugar. Fold into cream, add vanilla and almond. Pour into bowl lined with lady fingers. Chill.

Whew! This is our traditional Christmas dessert and Grandy made it this way unless she ran out of time, then she made it the following way. No one knew the difference until she later told my aunts and shared the recipe. Of course, this is how we make it now:

Grandy’s Easy Charlotte Russe

1 pint whipping cream
1 envelope gelatin
6 tbsp sugar
3 egg whites
2 tbsp sherry, amaretto or vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water
1 pkg lady fingers

Whip cream, when stiff, add 3 tbsp of sugar. Moisten gelatin in cold water, add 1/2 cup boiling water, stir to dissolve. Stir constantly to avoid lumps. Whip eggs, when stiff add rest of sugar. gently fold egg whites into cream. Strain cooled gelatin into mixture gradually, stirring constantly. Add sherry. Pour in bowl lined with lady fingers and decorate with cherries. Chill until set.

Another traditional Southern Christmas dessert is rum balls, and this is my other great grandmother’s recipe (whom I also knew because she lived into her 90s!). We called her Grandmère (this is in Mobile, original capital of French Louisiana and we’re from some old Creole families)

Grandmère’s Rum Balls

1 cup crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 cup rum

Crush wafers, finely chop nuts, mix all together well and form into balls. Store btween wax paper in a jar and let sit for several days.

Inspired? Hope you enjoy them!

As part of the hop, we’re giving away prizes!

I’m giving a $5 Amazon gift card to one commenter, just make sure you include your email address in your comment.

By commenting you also get a chance at THREE grand prizes. You can go to EACH blog in the hop and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

  • 1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
  • 2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
  • 3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

Be sure to visit the main host site to hop over to other participants and win more goodies!

BEER cover smallMy upcoming release:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

pre-order – trailer – goodreads – shelfari

What about you?  What’s your favorite holiday book? Your fave holiday romance? Do you have some traditions that make it special?

EDIT: Clarification on commenting. If you only leave your email in the space provided for comments, you’ll only be eligible for my prize, as I’m the only one who can see it. If you want to win one of the grand prizes, you need to put your email address in the comment box too, so that the hop organizers that visit each stop can tally up and pick winners….

Christmas Wishes Giveaway Hop

Christmas Wishes

Welcome to the Christmas Wishes Blog Hop, sponsored by Book and Trailer Showcase (BTS), Coffee Beans and Love Scenes and Full Moon Bites. Many thanks to our sponsors who are offering the following awesome GRAND PRIZES:

Kindle Paperwhite with book bundle
Nook Glow-Light with book bundle
or a $90 giftcard for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Just in time for the holidays!

Be Careful What You Wish For!

I must have a thing for wishes because my first novel to go on submission, MUST LOVE BREECHES, is about a modern woman who accidentally wishes herself to 1834 London, England. Ooops! And my first release is about an over-worked software engineer who makes a sarcastic comment to a stranger, and that stranger happens to be a djinn and interprets it as a wish and grants it! It’s a novelette called BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, and releases on December 19th. If you’re interested, comment below and I will give away one free ebook when it becomes available!

Here’s the opening, up to when her wish is stated:

Mirjam rubbed the tiredness from her eyes, but the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland still occupied the Rivenbark Hotel & Casino elevator with her. She blinked and squinted. Yep. And life-size. Complete with hookah.

Plastic squeaked against glass as the caterpillar shifted to make more room. It made eye contact.

“Er, nice costume,” Mirjam ventured.

“Thanks,” came the muffled reply.

The elevator swooped to a stop on the mezzanine level. A pirate and a Ghostbuster stepped on and pushed the lobby button. Mirjam angled back to avoid being knocked over by the guy’s Proton Pack.

“Convention?” Mirjam asked the caterpillar and it rewarded her with a nod.

Mirjam groaned inwardly. She’d attended her share, but now, they reminded her too much of The Turd, otherwise known as Brian. Great. She wanted to go home but apparently, that was asking too much—a blizzard in Ann Arbor nixed her flight this morning. Next chance to get out—tomorrow.

The elevator dinged at the lobby, and she headed to the hotel bar. Maybe she could salvage the day by squeezing in some work.

“What can I get you?” The bartender sported a headband with gold, sparkly antennae in her pink, cropped hair.

Mirjam pulled out her laptop. “Sprite, please.” Only a few others populated the bar, too early for drinking. Though this was Vegas. Pink Hair Lady plopped down Mirjam’s drink, the stir stick topped by a wiggling green rubber alien.

“So, which convention is this?” Mirjam motioned to a couple of Spartans walking by, though they probably shouldn’t have chosen that look.

“It’s ConVegas—sci-fi, fantasy, pop culture, that kind of thing. Doesn’t start until tomorrow, but we always get some folks early. What brings you here?”

“AppExpo that ended last night.” Mirjam connected to the hotel’s free WiFi. Time to figure out what caused her new app to choke while compiling.

Pink Hair Lady cocked her hip, fist resting on the bone. “Lemme guess. You’re always working, aren’t you?” She slid a glass bowl of pistachios over. “This is Vegas. You should be out having fun.”

Fun. Pfft. No time for that. “My flight got canceled and the timing blows. Too much to do. I didn’t want to come, but my partner thought it might be good for business.”

“Was it?”

Mirjam shrugged and pulled up and scanned her code, hoping her fixed focus on the laptop would clue Chatty One to leave her alone.

“I’m Jenn, by the way.”

Mirjam peeked up and pasted on a smile. “Nice to meet you.” She tracked back to the code.

The bartender left to help another customer but returned her inquisitive butt a few minutes later. “So, Vegas at your feet and your nose is to the grindstone. This is truly what you wish to do with your unexpected free night?”

Mirjam gritted her teeth. If Jenn would stop pestering her, she might be able to figure out the rendering bug. “No. If I had my wish, I’d spend it having hot sex with the man of my dreams, but since that’s not going to happen…” she snapped.

The bartender’s eyes flashed for a second. Or had they literally flashed?

BEER cover small

About the book:

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-8aed1006260a5092a7ebb2a64fe3968c

Giveaways

We have a ton of great giveaways for you to help make your Christmas wishes come true! You can win a Kindle Paperwhite, A Nook Glow, and a $90 gift card for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Both Tablets will come with a book bundle!!  A big thank you to all of our sponsors and it’s not too late to donate a book if you would like to!!

To win any of the above, enter via Rafflecopter on the hop host Book & Trailer Showcase. But that’s not all, I will also give away a free copy of my novelette, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, to one lucky commenter as soon as it’s available!

And be sure to visit all the other participants, as each one is giving away something on their blog: