Friday, June 28, 2013

Fabulous Weekend

News Coming Next Week.....
And for the cat people: Here's Cats 101: The Bengal.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

SBB: Spring's Surprise

Sara Michaels is single again. And she’s celebrating her thirtieth birthday with a complete spa makeover and a day of boutique shopping with her two best friends. After a ten-month battle for freedom, a long weekend in Nashville, Tennessee is just what she needs to erase the memories of a broken heart.

Jack Tanner is the soon-to-be new partner at Chester & Dorsey Development Firm. Jack’s love life has been on the back burner for years as he’s built a successful career. But the moment he meets Sara, he takes a hard look at his life and his priorities.

Sara steps out of her comfort zone and spends an unforgettable weekend with Jack. She’s never felt so carefree. Until she realizes too late that three days can change everything.
“So, were you surprised?”

“I don’t think surprised is the right word. I was speechless. What did he tell Nick?”

“Not much. Just that you had called and the two of you were talking again. He didn’t give any details. He was in his car, on the way to the airport. He wasn’t sure if you would be mad or glad to see him this morning, but he said he had to take a chance.” Beth paused. “So I guess you were glad?”

“Yeah. When we talked last night, I told him all of the reasons why this wouldn’t work and, of course, he had an answer for every one of them. I finally wore down and told him that I’d try.”

“And . . . how do you feel today?”

“Is it possible to be terrified and excited at the same time?” Her hands shook as they held the phone to her ear. Her eyes were beginning to burn again. “I don’t know what to do.”

“There’s nothing to do. Just enjoy spending time with him. Give it a few weeks to settle in and see if you still feel the same. I know you care about him or you wouldn’t have been so upset when you left here two weeks ago and you wouldn’t be stringing him along with your pitiful text messages.”

“That’s the problem. I think I care too much.”

“Don’t you think he’s just as afraid? But he’s not going to let fear stop him. You shouldn’t either. You’re a stronger person than that. Nothing worth having is easy, Sara. Give him a chance and some honest time.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and three dogs. When I’m not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Each one touches on modern day issues, fears, and challenges that women face every day. And each one illustrates that love is within reach if you let down those walls and allow your heart to open. Our lives and experiences are so much more meaningful when we have someone to share them with.

Cynthia will award one $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter and a $15 Starbucks GC to another randomly drawn commenter.
 The tour dates can be found here:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weak In The Knees

Doesn't this picture just make you go weak in the knees? grin. The brownie bites are my current inducement to go to Applebee's. If you haven't tried them they're awesome. Just the right size and only a dollar.
I've also discovered lettuce wedges.
A lettuce wedge and iced tea, followed by a brownie bite and coffee. Ah...It's a perfect summer meal.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

VBT: Ennara and the Fallen Druid and SBB:The Esposito Series

Eleven year-old Ennara Gaern has a serious grudge against the dragon on her right hand.
Born with a caul—a mask that foretold magical powers—she was immediately inked with the fiendish, fire-breathing tattoo that forces her to study boring texts, cover her hand continuously, and worst of all, keeps her from visiting the beautiful capital city, Dordonne. But her quiet life changes when one night she is attacked by a shadowy demon.
Tork, an old friend and wizard, is enlisted to help. But when he arrives, he informs Ennara’s parents that she is her world’s only hope of finding the legendary Sword of Gisilfrid, which is needed to destroy the curse that is creating the demons. Ennara doesn’t want to leave on the dangerous quest, but when she learns the curse threatens her world, she reluctantly agrees.
Ennara and the wizard begin a perilous journey to the Sunken City, pitting them against dangerous oceans and pirates intent on claiming Ennara’s magic as their own. With only her friends at her side, including the intelligent, aquatic cat Smoos, Ennara must defeat monsters guarding the sword and servants of the Fallen Druid. When her world is covered in darkness, will she know how to dispel the curse?
“Is it true she is….” Gevin blushed. “I mean, you are… magic?”
Ennara fumbled the wand as she turned it in her fingers. She scooped it off the floor. Her stomach knotted and her cheeks burned. “Oh, um, I guess.”
She nervously twirled the wand again, this time accidentally tapping the case of trinkets. A lavender light shimmered across the panes, and behind them the objects began to twitch.
“Eeep!” Ennara jumped as the severed hand crawled toward her and tapped on the glass. A long finger uncurled and poked the case open. The appendage leapt from the shelf to the chest, then the floor, and scurried to the door.
Smoos crouched on the lower bunk, wiggled her haunches, and pounced on the hand. She shook it back and forth in the air. It grabbed the cat’s snout and flicked her hard on the nose. She dropped the hand and snorted, rubbing her muzzle with her paw. The hand scampered away and hid behind the girl’s legs.
“You seem to have a penchant for necromancy, young lady.” Tork flicked his curvy black wand at the case. “Merta perape.”
The hand and other charms returned to their lifeless state.
Smoos, the Marine Cat
Early on while drafting Ennara and the Fallen Druid I started looking at online catalogs of monsters from Dungeons and Dragons that might fit with the environment where most of the story took place: the ocean. I compiled a long list of strange creatures in my notes, and happened upon the marine cat (shown here).
In D&D lore, marine cats are slightly larger than a housecat and behave in every way similar to your average feline. They protect the ship by sounding the alarm when intruders come aboard or by batting the earrings of a sleeping watchman, breathe water, and can magically pass through locked or barricaded cabins. I kept the cat in my notes and as I wrote, I wondered how she might fit in to the story.
Ennara and her friends secured a voyage to the Sunken City with Captain Anaru, a merchant shipper who was an avid collector of magical trinkets for safe voyages. In the world of Lan, the seas were especially dangerous. The world was made up of islands and oceans with huge tidal waves and storms.  A rare species of marine cat seemed like an ideal pet for Anaru. She could protect the ship and his merchandise.
As I wrote more scenes with Smoos, it became apparent how active and important she was to the story. Smoos transformed from the lucky cat described by Dungeons and Dragons. She became an equal member of the team, yet kept her cat-like individuality. Highly intelligent, she understood every situation Ennara found herself in, and in some cases had her own ideas about how they should be remedied. Extremely loyal, brave, and strong, she saved the group more than once.
Smoos became larger, too. From being slightly larger than a housecat, she grew to the size of a full-grown lion. She looked less like a kitty and more like a panther. She gained powerful muscles and sharp claws with which she could fight and pull large objects.
As a marine cat, she also gained a couple traits that distinguished her further from regular cats. She became able to speak with marine mammals, using that ability to convince porpoises to help the stranded group to the shores of Creagh Island. Her long tail grew thick and her paws webbed, helping her to swim powerfully and quickly. With her ability to breathe under water, she was no longer a simple cat with a luck charm.
Soon after being introduced to the story, Smoos quickly became a critical ally. She brought strength, wit, comfort, and comedy to many scenes. Smoos started out as one of Captain Anaru’s many luck charms and ended up a major character of the novel. And isn’t that just like a cat?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Like many writers, I have a full life in which I juggle many duties and joys. I love to cook, garden, and play with my twins. As a mother to toddlers, I write whenever I am not helping them navigate
their day--which typically means in the early mornings and early afternoons when they sleep, and sometimes when Grandma comes to visit.

I was twenty-two when writing became a passion of mine. I've been doing it in one form or another ever since. But it took me a very long time to follow my heart's desire to tell stories.

For years, I simply journaled. I delved into writing articles for newsletters and grant proposals. I settled into technical writing, often finding myself a one-person writing, editing, design, app development, and publication team. I learned the basics of journalism, and finally, when on maternity leave with my twins, I turned to writing fiction.

I am grateful for every reader I have. Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but it can also be a dialog, a meeting of the minds. I invite you to connect with me:
Join my street team! Email me at to subscribe to my newsletters.

Angela will be awarding to a randomly drawn commenter during each week on the tour, a wall calendar print from (Items can be exchanged for other equal or lesser value items from Ennara Swag on Cafepress.), and will award a t-shirt from to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).
The tour dates can be found here: 
Angela will be awarding to a randomly drawn commenter during each week on the tour, a wall calendar print from (Items can be exchanged for other equal or lesser value items from Ennara Swag on Cafepress.), and will award a t-shirt from to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).
The tour dates can be found here:

The Esposito Series Box Set:

Now you can own the first three books in the sassy and suspenseful Vinnie Esposito Series by J.M. Griffin!

By day, Lavinia (Vinnie) Esposito is a criminal justice instructor at a college in Rhode Island. By night Vinnie is an amateur sleuth, solving murders while trying to avoid getting yelled at by her Italian father, her hunky protective boyfriend Marcus Richmond, and her sexy upstairs tenant, the mysterious Aaron Grant.
For Love of Livvy (Book 1)
Vinnie investigates the death of her beloved aunt, and a mysterious box is left on her doorstep.
Dirty Trouble (Book 2)
Someone is stalking Vinnie and that’s just the beginning of her troubles.
Dead Wrong (Book 3)
Vinnie is out to save her brother from being framed after a valuable painting is stolen.
The front door knocker rapped twice after the door bell rang. I hustled from the rear deck of the gargantuan house to answer the summons. Someone seemed impatient, and I was curious as to who it was. My watch read just after eight o’ clock. I swung the heavy door open to find my prospective visitor absent.

It was so quiet, the town ghostly in its seemingly deserted state. Sundays were always lazy days in Scituate, once church was over. With a glance up and down the street of the small historic Rhode Island village, neat colonial homes stretched along the sides of the road in both directions. No one came into view.

On the doorstep, a package addressed to my recently deceased Aunt Livvy sat wrapped in brown paper. Again, I gawked up and down the street, but only empty sidewalks and barren roadway appeared in the waning light. The idea of a jaunt along the main drag entered my mind. I figured it would be senseless since the street was visible for about two hundred yards in either direction. Whoever had left the package was gone, long gone.

An eternity passed, or so it seemed, while my gaze locked onto the square, little box. Reluctant to touch it, I decided to call the local fire company to come take a gander. Call me paranoid, but as a criminal justice instructor, a recent audit of a class on bomb components remained fresh in my mind.

J.M. lives in rural New England with her husband and two very mysterious cats
Twitter: mycozymystery
Buy Link:
J.M. will be awarding Tea and Chip Nuts to three randomly drawn commenters (US/CANADA ONLY) during this tour and her Reviews Tour.  The tour dates can be found here: