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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday, a taste of "Now and Forever 1, a Love Story"

 Six Sentences from my latest release, Now and Forever 1, a Love Story:
The sparkle, the desire in his eyes had gone. She hurt him in some way she didn‘t understand. She had to decide, if she wanted Mac, she had to come clean about Kyle. If she didn‘t, Mac would certainly move on, which she could see by his body language.
     "Okay, what do you want to know?" she said, taking a deep breath.
     "Why is a beautiful woman like you alone?" he asked.

Click HERE to go back to Six Sentence Sunday.  

Now and Forever 1, a Love Story
Callie Richards was no stranger to heartache. Her parents were killed when she was sixteen. Left with her older sister, she fell into a romance with good-looking, Kyle Maine. They became engaged and Callie’s future was set until he was killed in Iraq. Two years later, she pulls herself together to get her Master’s degree and restart her life on her own.

Working and studying at Kensington State University, Callie meets Mac Caldwell, the handsome dean. Together they fight a deadly campus drug ring with heart-breaking results. This is an emotional story, not a cookie-cutter romance, that will make you laugh and cry as Callie struggles to make a new life, find love and her happy ending.

Buy Links:
Listed as a top ten dramatic/romantic novels in Listmania on
(See 4.5 Star review on
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Secret Cravings Publishing

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples

Here is my Sweet Saturday Sample from Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights:

She couldn’t believe Mickey Foster was the maintenance
man at The Birches. He returned with a new spigot and attached it
for her.
“So, if no one calls you Mickey, what do they call you?”
“Oh, okay.”
“What about you? Do they still call you Sunny?”
“Yes,” she lied. “Do you work here?”
“No. I live up here and like to help out from time to time. My
parents sold their place when I went to college, but I liked it, so I
decided to return.”
“Thanks for fixing the faucet,” she said.
“It should hold for a few days, until you get a new one,” he
said. “I see you’re still getting into trouble,” he said with a
mischievous grin.
“What do you mean? What have you heard?” she asked
nervously, her mouth getting dry and her stomach queasy.
“Isn’t getting stranded in the bathtub by scalding water
trouble enough?”
“Oh…of course, of course,” she agreed, relieved.
“Should I be asking about some other trouble?” he probed,
his keen eyes boring into her.
“No, no. I’m good,” she said with a smile.

Mike didn’t believe her for a minute. He remembered Sunny,
always curious, always in trouble…getting into poison ivy, cornered by a poisonous snake, climbing on the roof to see what it felt like then getting stuck up there, becoming stranded in a tall tree, teased by other kids who didn’t understand her.

Sunny was different, but different in a good way; Mike always found her interesting even when he was called on to save her time and time again. Now the skinny, gawky young teen with the tiny turned-up nose and flat chest was a beautiful woman with
amazing breasts and still interesting, he’d guess. A lethal
combination for a single guy.
“See you at six,” he said, packing up his tools and leaving.

Get "Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights"  on sale for only $2.99! at:
Astraea Press (all formats)

To return to Sweet Saturday Samples, click HERE

Curious about the free prequel, Moonlight and Roses? Here's a taste. Download it FREE at Smashwords. Go to the link at the end of the excerpt:

Chapter One

          "A dance in Central Park for single people…how romantic," Linda Davis said, clasping her hands together in front of her bosom.
           "You’re not getting any younger and I want to be a grandma."
           "I’m only 27, I'm not over the hill, yet," Caroline responded.
           "Check it out, sweetheart. Go, dance in the moonlight. Find a rich man, make me happy."
Saturday night, Caroline Davis slipped into the new print sundress her mother made for her.
 “I picked this fabric because the cornflower blue in those little flowers matches your eyes exactly.”
“You’re right. The match is uncanny.”
“I like white on blondes, too, it sets off your hair, sweetheart,” Linda put in.
Caroline had always been proud of her curvy figure, long slim legs and  bright smile. Her father said she was a work of art.
           Caroline  entered Central Park with a sigh and headed for the Sheep Meadow which was aglow with twinkly lights and live music. A warm breeze brushed her cheek on her way across the uneven lawn where she  stumbled over a rock and caught her heel twice in the tall grass. She took a glass of wine off a table covered with a white cloth and wandered through the growing crowd, looking, in vain, for a familiar face among the men and women mingling under the gaze of the full moon.
As she faced South, the breath-taking skyline of New York City dark against the light sky turning pink and purple as sunset arrived demanded her attention. No matter how long she lived there, her artist’s eye would see no two identical skyline scenes; tall gray, black and silver buildings in varying heights outlined against the ever-changing sky. Finding a man as interesting as this City would be a challenge.
 To download this novella for free click HERE

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Secrets of the Astraea Press Authors - HUGE SALE this week!

 I unearthed some little known facts about Astraea Press authors, which I am sharing here. What's not a secret is the MAJOR SALE at Astraea Press. ALL Books are going on sale this weekend for a week in honor of Labor Day! These sale prices...$1.99 for novellas and $2.99 for available at all outlets. Double or triple the number of books you can buy for the same money, all week.

Jean Joachim
She has a secret brownie recipe she may share with her readers. She listens to The Beach Boys, Brandenburg Concertos, Michael Buble, Matthew Morrison and ABBA. She's the only one in her house who loves the music of Justin Bieber. When she's alone, she blasts up the music and dances in the kitchen while making dinner or washing dishes. She studied dance as a child.

J. Gunnar Grey
"I met my husband in a Star Trek fan club, where he performed the most marvelous imitation of Scotty ever. John has this gorgeous, flexible voice that can do any accent imaginable, from a Scots brogue to pure hayseed to Tweety Bird. When he puts on his kilt and red ST uniform shirt, wears a mustache and does the accent, he can out-Scotty Jimmy Doohan himself."

Chynna Laird
She started playing piano when she was two. Her mother, like Payton's mother in 'Blackbird Flies', also lived with untreated bipolar disorder but was a brilliant musician, artist and poet. Her father is the inspiration for Liam in 'Blackbird Flies' right down to the cheesy moustache. She was a Litigation Paralegel until she had her first child.

Meg Mims
Her daughter said she is WAAAAAAAAAY too happy -- like FREAKISHLY happy -- in the morning. She wakes up after seven hours and is IMMEDIATELY awake and just wants to SING the "Good morning song" from Singing in the Rain. 

Kristine Cheney
She loves candles. Lighting a bunch of candles before she writes is relaxing, ambient, romantic, and the scents fill all her senses. She doesn’t listen to music when she writes because she finds it distracting, but a song in the car, can inspire lots of fabulous ideas. Her true muse is water. Rain. The sounds of a storm. The waves of the ocean. A babbling brook or stream.

Joselyn Vaughn
Future novel, Hauntings of the Heart, was almost titled Cluck, Cluck, Boo. This has spurred an ongoing joke with her critique group where every novel they write must have a Cluck, Cluck title associated with it.  Another favorite is Cluck, Cluck, Ow-woo.  Sadly these have never made the final cut in title selection.

"I'm not a mean, nasty, horrible and rotten as some people think. I'm worse."

Kay Springsteen
Kay Springsteen (yes, that's the name she was born with, no she's not related to Bruce as far as I'm aware) once wanted to be a teacher, and spent her first student teaching year working with Vietnamese Boat People.

Iris Blobel
I love Launceston, a little town at the north of Tasmania. I fell in love with it a few years back when visiting with my mum. We wanted to do souvenir shopping when we noticed most of the shops in the city were closed on Sundays .... as annoying it initially was, the quietness and serene atmosphere felt really good.

   Sarah Ballance
"My husband and I have six children. The first five were on purpose, and the sixth was a BIG surprise two years after I had my tubes cut, partially removed, and tied."

 Bri Clark
"I'm 29 and I have a son who is 17 and one that is 15. When people stop to do them math it seems as if I had one at 12 and the other at 14. In truth they are both my husbands whom I adopted. But often times I can't help but mess with people and say "Once my husband got out of jail for we got married." Especially those who get that judgmental you had a baby as a teen look."  

 Samantha Combs
She speak Spanish,  started her automotive career at 17 as a repossessor, is a body damage appraiser/estimator in a male- dominated industry, has run completely male-staffed body shops and never ask them to do ANYTHING she can't do right alongside them.

Therese Gilardi
She loves train travel. it's her favorite mode of transportation.

J.F. Jenkins
"My eyes are two different colors, and I married a decendant of Nathaniel Hawthorne."

                                      Brea Essex 
(New Astraea Press Author)
Brea Essex has studied a variety of fighting styles, including fencing, Eskrima (Filipino stick fighting) and Shōrin-ryū (a martial art style popular in Okinawa, Japan). Her novel FORESHADOW (a YA Paranormal Romance) is forthcoming from Astraea Press.

Sherry Gloag (New Astraea Press Author)
She finds working with selenite crystal soothing beyond words, and love it.

These books are available for the sale prices of $1.99 for novellas and $2.99 for novels. Get double the number of books for your money. Astraea Press books are available at:
Stock up while the sale lasts!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interview with Karenna Colcroft and Contest!

I would like to welcome Karenna Colcroft to the blog today. Karenna, I have a few questions for you...but first let's look at your brand-new book being released today! Contest winners will be drawn tomorrow, September 2. So don't forget to leave a comment and your email address!!

Leave a comment and win a free book from Karenna's backlist, your choice. See below. Now for the third degree! 
Jean: How old were you when you knew you wanted to become a writer?

Karenna: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was three or four, but at that point no one would show me how to make those little squiggles called “letters.” I wrote my first story when I was five.

Jean: What did you do for a living in your “previous” life?

Karenna: I worked in education; at various times I was a special education teacher, a teacher’s aide, and a substitute teacher.

Jean: Do you have a family?

Karenna: Yes, I have two daughters from my first marriage and the most wonderful husband ever, as well as my parents and members of their families.

Jean : Do your characters ever take over when you’re writing?

Karenna: All the time! Just when I think I know how a story’s going to go, one of the characters throws me a curve ball and I have to reconsider the whole thing. It usually works out pretty well, though. I think the characters know better than I do how the story should go.

Jean: Do you get inspiration from real people or places?

Karenna: Sometimes. I’ve used people I know as models for some of my characters, and I’ve gotten ideas from things I’ve seen, like couples in the mall or that sort of thing. The setting of my novel Salad on the Side was inspired by a cluster of apartment buildings, with a shared garden, that I pass on my way to work.

Jean: Do you do a lot of editing before you submit a manuscript?

Karenna: I wouldn’t say it’s a lot. I try to write fairly clean first drafts. Usually on revisions I end up filling in gaps in things like the characters’ emotional responses and sensory details. I do two revision passes, one in which I fix those things plus typos, grammar, etc., and a second in which I make sure I didn’t miss anything the first time.

Now some personal questions (please feel free to elaborate) :

Jean: Chocolate or vanilla?

Karenna: Strawberry. I like to be difficult.

Jean: Favorite minor character from your book.

Karenna: Berni, from my novel Their Home Port. She’s a wiseass, very irreverent, and very comfortable with her body and her sexuality. I keep thinking she deserves her own book, but I haven’t managed it yet.

Jean: Dog or cat?

Karenna: Cat. I have two of them, and as I was typing this one of them came over and tapped me on the shoulder. She’ll stand on her hind legs, prop herself against my chair, and tap me on the shoulder when she wants attention.

Jean: Country or city?

Karenna: City. There’s way more going on, and always something interesting to see.

Jean: Beach or mountains?

Karenna: Beach. I love the ocean, and couldn’t stand to be away from it.

Jean: Early morning or late night?

Karenna: I think I’m innately a late night person, but since I used to teach and I have two kids, I’ve become an early morning person by default. After my kids grow up, we’ll see which one I really am.

Jean: Cruise in the Caribbean or camping in Yellowstone National Park?

Karenna: Cruise, unquestionably. The idea of spending a few days on the water sounds like heaven to me.

Visit Karenna’s website at Karenna can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @KarennaColcroft.

Today’s the release day for Karenna’s newest novella Help Around the House, available from Pink Petal Books! ( To celebrate, Karenna is giving away reader’s choice of one of her backlist Pink Petal titles to one random commenter.  And here’s a taste of Help Around the House:

Back in the living room, Todd found the remote and changed the TV channel. “I don’t think we need to watch that movie anymore,” he said. He slid closer to Jodie and put his arm around her. “We don’t really need to watch anything, do we?”

“I guess not.” She wanted the TV as a distraction but couldn’t think of a good reason to ask Todd to leave it on.

He shut it off and set down the remote. In the silence, Jodie held her breath, waiting to see what would happen next. She hoped he would kiss her. She also worried about what a kiss might mean. What it might lead to.

He turned toward her and she looked up at him. The love she saw in his eyes nearly brought her to tears. No one had looked at her that way in such a long time, and she barely knew how to handle it now.

“May I kiss you, Jodie?” he asked softly.

If they kissed, everything would change between them. Kissing would make it completely real that they weren’t only friends anymore. They were a couple, and she wasn’t sure she was ready for that.

Despite herself, she nodded.

Gently, Todd touched his mouth to hers. His lips were soft and slightly chapped, and he tasted like the soda he’d had with dinner. He put his other arm around her, and in his embrace Jodie felt the warmth and comfort she hadn’t been able to find enough of in the past year. Only Todd had tried to console and care for her, and as the kiss deepened to something far too passionate to be called friendship, Jodie felt everything he had tried to give her.

Monday, August 29, 2011

TUESDAY TALES - Sexy Night at the Museum

Click HERE for Chapters One and Two

Sexy Night at the Museum
Chapter Three
After an evening of interruptions, handsome Dr. Rick Banks, professor, lecturer and curator at the Washington Natural History Museum and Liza Holmes, the beautiful intern working under him for the year retired to his bedroom in Dr. Banks’ townhouse in the tony Foggy Bottom section of Washington, D.C.
Although two more people appeared at the door and three called, Dr. Banks ignored them all, refusing to be disturbed anymore while he made passionate love to Liza. Afterward, they collapsed from exhaustion and fell asleep cuddled together. Liza awoke first as the early morning sun crept through the gauzy white curtains in the well-appointed bedroom and poked her right in the eye. Rick opened his eyes as she rolled over to face him. She felt his gaze travel slowly over her naked body, taking in every inch.
“I’m pleased to see your rep for being a stickler for details applies to making love as well as ornithology,” Liza said, arching and eyebrow and stroking his strong chest gently with her manicured nails.
He pulled her closer and placed a tender kiss on her lips.
“I am always interested in a spectacular new specimen and like to spend time getting to know it intimately,” he replied, moving the palm of his hand down from her cheek to her shoulder and down farther to rest on her breast.  
“What kind of specimen am I?” she asked, sliding closer to him.
“Hmmm. Let me see,” he said, furrowing his brow while his hand continued to caress her breast.  
Liza squirmed under his expert massage as warmth traveled down her body.
“I would say, a flightless bird, of the most exquisite blonde plumage with expressive blue eyes. Perfect size for the species with amazingly beautiful secondary sex characteristics…quite the most responsive of the species I’ve encountered yet.”
Liza laughed.
“Is that so?” She teased, slipping her hand down to squeeze his backside.
“Upon first encounter, I would say that is true. However, I believe this specimen requires further investigation…constant, long-term examination for me to be completely familiar with the species.”
At this, his mouth came down on hers and his chest rolled on top of hers. Liza wound her arms around his shoulders and dug her nails slightly into his muscles. His slid his hand down and rolled her onto her side, facing him. His hand moved down to her bottom, which he caressed and squeezed several times.
“You have the most delightful rump, Liza,” he said, sparks of fire showing in his light brown eyes.
She moved her hands to his.
“I would say the same for you, too, Professor,” she whispered in his ear.
He didn’t reply as his mouth was occupied tasting her peak while his hand caressed her thigh. Liza’s breathing became ragged and she arched her back, thrusting her body toward him in a silent plea.
“More?” he asked, his eyes dancing.
“How did you guess?” she replied, losing one hand in his dark hair while the other one closed on his bicep.
He lifted his head, bringing his gaze directly to hers. Blue eyes smoky with desire greeted his lusty look and he smiled in anticipation. His hand on her thigh began a slow move upward and she felt his arousal growing against her belly as a faint sound of drums met her ears. She jerked her head toward the window, straining to hear.
He switched his mouth to the other breast, unaware of her loss of concentration.
“What’s that?” she asked.
He raised his head up and cocked an eyebrow.
“Don’t you hear that?”
He removed his attention from the sumptuous body beneath him for a moment and listened.
“Don’t hear a thing,” he said and went back to his seduction.
 Liza eased out from under him as the clanging of cymbals became louder. She sat up.
“That. That!” she said, pointing out the window.
Now Rick heard the drums and the cymbals and he, too, sat up. He looked over at the small desk in the corner of the room, at the page-a-day calendar sitting there with the date in bold black letters and numbers. Then he put his head in his hands.
“Oh, no,” he muttered.
“What?” she asked, taking him by the shoulders.
“It’s Columbus Day,” he moaned.
“So? No work, right? So what?”
“Not just no work. There’s a parade today.”
“Okay, yeah, and?” she coaxed.
“My ex-girlfriend is a drum majorette, she does this every year,” he revealed.
And the music of the marching band got louder and louder. The sound of the cymbals crashing and the drums rat-a-tatting moved closer to the house. Within ten minutes, Liza could no longer hear Rick’s voice.
He got up and grabbed a robe from the back of the door and threw her a t shirt of his. She donned it quickly and they went downstairs. The marching band music was deafening, so loud they could not hear the doorbell sound. Rick didn’t need to, he knew who was out there.
Standing in front of the door, Rick took a deep breath. Liza was hiding behind him, peeking out over his shoulder. He yanked open the door and a tall brunette stood there. She had long curly hair, wore a skimpy red and white uniform with high-heeled white boots with tassels on them. Her large breasts were spilling out of the low cut of the tiny red-and-white striped jacket she wore and her well-rounded bottom was barely covered by red short shorts. The tall white hat with red trim and tassels made her tower over Rick. She wore a big toothy grin when she saw him.
“Hi there, Honey,” she gushed.
“Brenda, what are you doing here?”
“Just passing by with the band and thought I’d stop and see if you…”
At that moment, Liza stepped out from behind Rick and stared at Brenda as if she were an alien.
“What’s she doing here,” Brenda asked in a testy voice.
“She’s my girlfriend,” Rick stated.
“Over my dead body,” Brenda threatened.
“If that’s the way you want it, it can be arranged,” Liza said as she slammed the door in the brunette’s face and locked it.
The band continued to play even louder. Liza put her hands over her ears and ran back up the stairs. Rick followed her. After ten minutes of holding pillows over their heads, it was over. The band had moved on. Liza exhaled a big sigh.
“Where did you ever find her?” she asked Rick, her eyes wide.
“She’s a common species, actually. A member of the genus barfly and can be found at all neighborhood watering holes.” He quipped, putting his palm on her cheek.
Liza smiled at him and pulled him down on the bed on top of her.

Click HERE to go back to Tuesday Tales.