Sara Daniel Romance Author: March 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Marci Boudreaux's Easter Bunny Butt

by Marci Boudreaux

Easter has always been a time in my family for big meals and family gatherings. Now that I live far from where I grew up, our family consists of two ever-growing girls, my husband, and me. Big feasts don’t go over well with just four people. I still like to make a ham and way more side dishes and desserts than we will ever eat, but with four of us, the tradition has gone out the window and our holiday meals tend to go more toward the fun side.

This year, we’ve added Easter Bunny Butt to the menu.

Yes, you read that right. We’re eating the Easter Bunny’s Butt. Why? Because it’s so darn cute!

I actually found this recipe on the Box Tops for Education website (yes, I’m that mom). When it came time to offer up a holiday recipe to the girls, I just knew they’d love making this and they did.

It was relatively easy (although we used carrot cake and I don’t recommend that, it crumbled like crazy! I had to freeze it before frosting) and the girls, ages 7 and 11, did most of the work.

It was delicious too!

So, if you are still looking for the perfect dessert to take to your Easter gathering. Consider taking a little slice of Easter Bunny Butt heaven.

Easter Bunny Butt Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 container vanilla frosting
Red food coloring
3-4 cups shredded coconut
Green food coloring

Pre-heat oven to 325°F.

Grease 1 ½ quart ovenproof bowl with shortening (do not use cooking spray) then dust with flour. Lightly grease 3 muffin cups in regular-size muffin pan.

Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour cake batter in 3 muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Pour remaining batter into pre-greased bowl.

Bake cupcakes 15 to 20 minutes, bowl 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool enough to handle. Remove cakes from muffin cups and bowl. Place pieces on cooling racks. Cool completely—about 1 hour.

Cut off rounded tops of cakes.

Cut two cupcakes into triangle shapes for the feet.

Place bowl cake on tray cut side down and cover with 1/3 cup frosting over cake. Use toothpicks to adhere cupcakes to bowl cake for feet and bunny tail.

Spread thin layer of frosting over side and top of cake to seal in crumbs. Freeze cake 30 to 45 minutes to set frosting.

Spread remaining frosting over cake. Sprinkle with coconut; press gently to adhere.

Mix 1 cup coconut and 3 drops green food color until evenly tinted. Surround bunny with tinted coconut.

Mix a small amount of red food coloring and icing. Add to the bottom of the bunny feet.

Here's a little from Unforgettable You for your reading pleasure while you wait for the Easter Bunny Butt Cake to cool.

Is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law Doreen in the family home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a few of Hollywood’s elite actors. Despite her resentment of their demands, she can’t stop her attraction to actor Will Walker.

Will, out to save his failing career, agrees to a project that bores him. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to their hostess. Long nights talking with Carrie make him realize he wants a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. refuse to let him go.

The temptation to regain stardom pulls Will in one direction while the obligation to family tugs Carrie in another. Against all odds, the couple struggles for a solution to save their new found happiness.

To read an excerpt from Unforgettable You, please click HERE.

Check out the trailer for Unforgettable You HERE.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Friends - Sam Cheever's "Esther" Egg Hunt

by Sam Cheever
Erotic Paranormal Novella

This Easter, Esther’s gonna resurrect some serious feelings in her sexy perdition guide.

Esther Mills is caught in Hell’s version of Groundhog Day. Every year she’s resurrected on Easter and relives her death, only to be escorted to Hell again. The one thing that makes her life tolerable is being escorted back to Hell each time by Lucifer, her sexy perdition guide. Esther and Luc share a hot crush. But for some reason he won’t act on his feelings. So this Easter, Esther’s going to make sure Luc can’t ignore her any longer. She’s going to take her life back… and when she’s done with her sexy devil, he’s not gonna know what hit him!

Esther glanced at the clock again. Sixty seconds had passed since the last time she’d looked. Only three minutes until her past ended and her future began. Again.
She stood up and started to pace, her stomach twisting with nerves.

Any minute now.

Someone shrieked outside and she jumped, realizing too late they were just laughing. Esther tried to remember the last time she’d laughed like that. It had been at least three years. She started to pace again.

The clock ticked down another minute. Only one more min –

Esther opened her eyes, blinking as a big, black truck roared past. Two drunk guys screamed propositions out the window. She felt muzzy, her limbs heavy. Something niggled.

The smell of blood had her turning her head. She made a small sound of despair. It was the deer she’d hit with her car. Poor thing. She’d stopped to see if she could save it.

A low rumble sounded in the distance. A storm must be coming. No. That wasn’t right. Esther realized she was supposed to do something. But she couldn’t quite… A horn blared and she jumped. Adrenaline surged and her mind cleared. She remembered. A small blue car was going to fly past.

There it was. The driver scowling at her.


Another rumble in the distance; this time the ground shook.


Praying she wasn’t too late, Esther dug in and started running toward her car.

Another rumble, followed by the crash and crackle of falling rock. Esther tripped on a fracture in the asphalt and started to fall. Hard hands grabbed her and she screamed, trying to shake off Luc’s grip. “No!” She sobbed as he dragged her sideways. But he didn’t take her through the portal. Instead he opened the passenger side door of her car and tried to push her inside.

“Get in!”

Esther sniffled. “What?”

He ran around to the driver’s side. “Hurry, Esther. Get in the car.”

A large rock pinged off the hood, and she was startled into moving. As soon as her feet left the pavement, Luc had the car moving forward, tires screeching against the asphalt as rocks rained from the sky around them. Esther almost fell out of the car, but Luc reached over and grabbed her arm. “Close the door.”

She dragged at it, but the heavy door didn’t want to close. The car swerved as a huge boulder slammed into the asphalt ahead and Esther screamed, falling sideways. She grabbed for the seatbelt and managed to keep from tumbling all the way out, but her head and shoulders were hanging out the door, and the road spun past at a dizzying rate. Luc’s grip on her arm tightened.

A huge rock hit the windshield. The glass shattered, spraying her.

Esther screamed, and Luc yanked her backward as the door hit a guardrail and was torn away.

“Hold on, Esther!” He slammed his foot to the floorboards and the engine of the battered car roared, the tires skidded for a second on the buckling asphalt, and the car shot forward, leaving the falling rocks behind.


Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 40+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

Learn more about Sam Cheever on her website, blog, and on Goodreads.
Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Dialogue Basics

Dialogue has always been my favorite part of a book to write. That’s when the story truly flows for me. But dialogue is not intuitive for everyone, and some of the rules for commercial fictions are directly opposite from what we’re taught as school children.

My children’s teachers drum into my kids to come up with more descriptive words than “said” for their dialogue tag. Replied, retorted, shouted, screamed, hollered, demanded. Nope, forget it. Just use “said.” Said ends up being a placeholder that allows the reader to focus on the words that are actually being said, the content of the story. Fancy words break up the action and force the reader to notice the writing instead of the story.
  • Don’t use “said angrily” or “said sadly.” Replace the –ly word with a action, a stomp of a foot, a sigh, a tear trickling down the cheek that will show her anger/defeat/sadness instead.
  • Double quotation marks go around spoken dialogue.
  • Single quotes go around dialogue within dialogue.
  • Each person speaking gets a new paragraph.
       “What did John tell you?” Myrna asked.
       “He said, ‘go away.’ I thought he loved me,” Olga said, a tear trickling down her cheek.

In the above example, Myrna and Ogla speak in their own separate paragraphs. John’s words are in single quotes because they’re a quote within a quote, and we know that Olga is feeling sad.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reading Romances Challenge - March

The theme for March's reading challenge is The Avengers or Let the Games Begin. Let me say that Kate Richards manages to combine both these themes into a punishment that is, oh yes, a very erotic game in the first book in her Play at Work series.

Spanking Ms. Whitman by Kate Richards

Mona Whitman is in for it. Her boss has promised severe punishment the very next time she arrives late for work and the hour she spent fantasizing about him has put her job in jeopardy. If only she could come up with an alternative to firing…a punishment they might both enjoy…

Randolph Marks, business tycoon by day, dungeon Dom by night, is in a quandary. His favorite employee is late for work again and he must go through with his threat of retribution. But how to go about it without crossing a line and violating good business practices? He couldn’t possibly get away with spanking Miss Mona.

This is a BDSM erotic romance, and I'm personally not sold on the concept that spanking someone until they cry is sexy. But I adore a good office romance, and Kate Richards delivers a fun, naughty one. For those who like some pain with their pleasure, at least in fiction, this is a very sexy novella that is sure to leave you hot and panting!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Friends - Vanessa North and her Wiccan Haus Bear Shifters

The Wiccan Haus is a paranormal shared world series, where the book are written by a handful of different authors. The newest book in the series is a male-male romance, Shifter's Song by Vanessa North.

When his brother goes missing en route to the Wiccan Haus, Edouard discovers an unexpected ally--and more.

Edouard Bonsaint has a bear-sized problem. He hasn't shifted in ten years, and isn't sure he even can anymore. Chaperoned by his youngest brother, Bruno, he heads to the Wiccan Haus to ask Rekkus for help. But when Bruno doesn't show up on the other side of the portal, Edouard's inability to shift is no longer his biggest problem.

Lincoln Tucker has it all: money, fame, and a golden voice. But he's in the closet twice over--few people know he's gay, and even fewer know he can shift into a songbird at will. Downtime at the Wiccan Haus between tours allows him to be himself. Throw a big toppy bear-shifter into the mix, and Lincoln might just have all he's ever wanted--if he can trust himself to hold on to Edouard.

With passions and tempers burning hot, can Lincoln help Edouard bring forth the bear and save his brother

The Wiccan Haus books are each stand alone and can be read in any order, but it is encouraged to read Shifting Hearts first as it will introduce the readers to the world of the Wiccan Haus and its residents. The cast of continuing characters are quirky and well-loved that I feel like I am visiting an old friend every time I write a new book, and I get to see each character in a new light when I read Wiccan Haus books by other authors.

1. Shifting Hearts by Dominique Eastwick
2. A Man Worth Fighting For by Sara Daniel
3. An Apple Away by Kate Richards
4. Siren's Serenade by Dominique Eastwick
5. Psychic Lies by Sara Daniel
6. Shifter's Dance by Vanessa North
7. Unveil my Heart by Nya Rayne

8. Shifter's Song by Vanessa North

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rites of Spring Blog Hop

For my "first" I am showcasing Zane and Julianne's first kiss in fifteen years from their reunion story, Zane's Art.

A high school art teacher must choose between her students and the artist she never stopped loving.

High school art teacher Julianne Truman's last chance to save her beloved art department from budget cuts is to sell the old sketches that her former boyfriend—and now famous artist—Zane DeMonde drew for her. But is she prepared to let go of his artwork and the last traces of him in her life?

Desperate to save his artistic reputation from the exposure of his early works, Zane returns to the home town he wanted to forget. He accuses Julianne of profiting from his success and demands she take his art off the market and cancel the auction.

Their high school attraction flares back to life, forcing Julianne to choose between the students who count on her and the man she never stopped loving.

First Kiss Excerpt:
Julianne sank into the driver’s seat of her car, hoping for a quick second alone before he sat down next to her and looked at her again. She was an idiot. She was still hot for him after all these years, but he was completely out of her league now. It wasn’t enough that she knew it. He made sure she knew that he knew it too.

“Julianne.” His voice compelled her to turn to him as he took his seat in the car. No one said her name quite like Zane did. “We’re both wondering. Let’s find out and put it behind us.”

He caressed his hand over her cheek, as he leaned across the seat toward her, leaving no question about his intention. His lips touched hers, sweetly, the merest brush of warm soft lips, like she was a canvas he was going to paint.

His mouth was a wonder she couldn’t back away from. She leaned into him, needing more, needing to show him she was his partner in this masterpiece he was creating. She bit lightly on his lip.

His hand slid up her cheek, his fingers combing through her hair and massaging her scalp. He delved his tongue into her mouth. She shifted, desperately wanting to move closer to him.

A car horn blared, and she straightened immediately. She looked around, but the parking lot was empty.

“I believe that was you,” Zane said, with a pointed look at her elbow resting against the steering wheel. His damp, flushed lips curved in amusement.

“Oh.” She turned to face forward and pulled her seatbelt, hoping he wouldn’t notice how much her hands were shaking. Putting that kiss behind her was absolutely impossible as long as he sat next to her.

I will be giving away a copy of Zane's Art to one random person who leaves a comment sharing a favorite "first" of their own and subscribes to my newsletter by entering their email address on the right side of this blog. For extra Brownie points, like my page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and follow my blog here. Make sure to include your email address and your preferred file type (Kindle, Nook or pdf) in your comments. Contest is open internationally.

Below is the Rafflecopter entry for the Blog Hop Grand Prize Kindle Fire and Amazon gift card giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Six Sales Points for Authors by Sharon Ledwith

For today's Tuesday Toolbox, I have promo queen Sharon Ledwith on the blog to share with us her "Six Sales Points for Authors." Take it away, Sharon!

There are a lot of authors out there today competing for readers’ attention—readers that you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Some do a very good job, make a lot of money, and stick around. They build satisfying publishing careers that last for decades. Other authors try to wing it and burn out. What’s the difference between a successful author and a wannabe author who just dawdles on the borders of success? Owning a great website? Having a damn good marketing plan? Creating a social media plan for each book release? Good luck? Whatever the answer, often the key to a successful career in the publishing field can be attributed to one or all of these time-tested sales points:

If it doesn’t work, fix it. Let’s face it—some sales strategies work better than others. The trick is to reassess what you’ve been doing. If you’re not producing the sales you’d like to see for a certain book, then chances are you need to correct and fine-tune your methods. For some authors this may mean retooling their blurb or tagline or change the cover. For others, it could be giving their website or blog a fresh new look.

Listen and learn. A number of things factor into book sales. One of the most important is your target audience—who you are writing for. Ask yourself, how are you fulfilling your readers’ needs? What must you do to continually hook their attention? For starters, you have to be willing to walk that extra mile by getting to know and understand your readers. You do this through social networks (Facebook, Twitter), workshops, book signings, school and library visits, book clubs, and online communities such as Goodreads or LibraryThing.

Show enthusiasm. Enthusiasm builds bridges. Panic tears them down. One thing an author has going for them is their unique voice. You use it in your books, so use it to sell them. Readers know when an author resonates with them. Be invested enough in yourself, as an author, to give your readers a fantastic story they’ll never want to end. Then write another one.

Sell yourself, on yourself. The power of positive thinking works wonders. Motivation builders such as podcasts, CDs or self-help books can help reinforce the super salesperson in you. Be specific with your goals and rewards, such as if you send out ten review requests in a day, book a pedicure or lunch with a friend. Write notes reminding yourself that you are a ‘Bestselling Author’ and ‘You can do it’, then leave them around your desk. After all, seeing is believing.

Create a sales plan to suit each book. Every book you write is one of a kind. Sales tactics for one book may not work for the second book. That’s when you get creative and take chances. Giveaways are always a fan favorite. Experiment with each book until you get a sales formula that works for you. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps, so if you can afford it, hire a publicist or a marketing consultant. The bigger the investment, the bigger the payoff.

You give, you receive. “What goes around, comes around” is a hard adage for a lot of authors to relate to, but it is nevertheless a vitally important point. And it’s a no-brainer. I tend to share a lot of useful information that could help my author peeps with their sales or marketing strategies. This comes naturally to me. Pass along opportunity when you can. It’s a wise investment—one that any author will never regret making.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

To read an excerpt of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, please click HERE.

Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.

Musa Publishing
Amazon Link
Barnes & Noble

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shadow Eyes Blog Tour and Kindle Fire Giveaway - Character Interview with Patrick

For my special Sunday guest I am welcoming Dusty Crabtree on her Shadow Eyes blog tour, AND she has brought a very special guest with her. Take it away, Dusty!

Thanks for having me, Sara!  I’m excited to be here and to let you all meet…wait for it…Patrick Morris! (Cheers everywhere)  By the way, in my Casting of Shadow Eyes post from yesterday (see full hypothetical cast at, I mentioned that I think Alex Pettyfer would make a wonderful Patrick.  So feel free to picture Alex during this interview! (More cheers everywhere)

Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes, your full name in the sequel, and a KINDLE FIRE!
(Note: This is pre-ending Patrick, since he does change somewhat…)

So, Patrick, why do you think Dusty Crabtree chose you for this interview?

Well, don’t tell anyone, but I think she has a small crush on me.  It’s embarrassing, really.  I can’t say that I blame her, though.  It’s her fault anyway for making me so smooth and desirable.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Patrick Morris.  I live in Indiana.  Dusty describes me as a blond-haired, green-eyed James Dean, so uh… (sniff) …I guess you could say I’m a ladies man.

Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh, Dusty won’t be getting rid of me any time soon.  I’m kind of a big deal.  At least to Iris I am, and she’s an even bigger deal.  So, yeah, I think I’ll be sticking around for the long haul.  At least until this series is over.

What is your perfect evening?

With Iris, just relaxing.  No distractions.  Nobody and no-thing getting in the way.

What really pushes your buttons?

When people try to ask me about my father losing his job or anything else I’m uncomfortable with.  Basically anything about my past.

What are your biggest turn ons?

One word…Iris.

What are your biggest turn offs?

Kyra.  People getting in my business.  Doing things I really don’t want to do.

What do you like most about Iris?
Well, I would say “everything,” but I’m assuming that’s too corny and cliché and that you’re looking for a more specific answer, so…let me try again.  I love her innocence and naivety.  There’s just something so sweet about that quality in her.  It kind of melts me heart, to be honest.  But if anyone asks, I didn’t say that.

What do you like least about Iris?

I know this will sound weird, but the same quality I love, kind of gets annoying too.  Sometimes I wish she would just open up her eyes and see what’s truly going on around her.  It would make my life a whole lot easier.  Well, more difficult at first probably, but in the end, a lot easier.

What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?

A decision I made about a year ago.  It was probably the worst decision of my life, and now I’m paying for it. 

What is your biggest fear?

That Iris will find out my secret.  But also, that she won’t.

Why should readers be interested in your story?

There is way more to me (not to mention Iris and some of the other characters) than meets the eye.  If you want to know my whole story, complete with my dark and brooding past, you’re going to have to read about it.

Shadow Eyes Synopsis:
Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil.  But she is the only one who can see them.  She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier. 

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters.  First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

Check out Dusty’s blog at
Follow her on twitter at
(also available at all major online bookstores)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Friends - Eleni Konstantine

Reading Feeds the Soul
by Eleni Konstantine

For the last year, I had been part of conference committee and I also began studying. So much of my spare time was tied up with those activities that I noticed that my reading had gone downhill. My current reads are at 25 for 2012 whereas in 2011 I had read 74 books. That’s quite a difference. Please check out my reading list at Eleni’s Library.

The other thing I noticed was I felt down that I couldn’t get more reading done. Gone were the days when I used to read all night. With chronic fatigue syndrome, if I’m tired, I can’t read past a few pages.

That is very sad. Don’t you think?

I’m of the belief that reading feeds the soul, especially the writer’s soul. Nothing is like escaping into a book, reading about events and characters as if it were happening right in front of you. And when that isn’t happening - it’s like losing a piece of yourself.

I was finding that my own writing and creativity suffered because of this. I couldn’t really get settled into my work. Editing was fine (thank goodness because I had releases to work on), but writing something new felt stifled. No new idea grabbed hold or felt right.

However for the first time in months, I wrote something new the other day. It’s different, and still forming, but I like the basic idea.

Why the change?

Conference is over for 2012, I dropped a couple of subjects at school and I’ve started reading more again. In the last month, I have read six stories. Not all of them were novel length, but it’s still more reading than I’ve done for ages. I feel so much better for it.

My muse is rubbing her hands together and saying, “Yes, we can work on this and this, and that. Oh, and this one as well.”

It’s a good feeling to have choices for writing after a year where it really didn’t seem to.

How about you - does reading feed your soul?


Zeta will protect the one she loves, even if it means living in Hell.

Mastering a unique power was much safer for Zeta Kosmos with a mentor to help her along. Now that he’s disappeared, Zeta must continue alone with her calling—closing Gateways to Hell.

Daniel Richards is in the family business—Warding supernatural evil from causing havoc on humans. As such, he’s only interested in the safety of one-night stands. Until Zeta. This bad boy now wants a long, lasting relationship.

But Zeta can’t let go of her past, nor can she ignore the secret demonic threats against Daniel’s life. She’d rather fight demonic spawn and be dragged into Hell than allow anything happen to him. Can Daniel convince her to stay? Will she have to pay the ultimate price?

To read an excerpt from Gateway to Hell, please click HERE.

Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Learn more about Eleni Konstantine on her website and blog.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Personalizing the Author & One Lovely Blog Award

Of course people read your books for the story on the page. But who you are as a person can affect whether readers will pick up one of your books or stop reading your books altogether. I've heard stories of authors who were rude, unkind, and even politically outspoken whose actions turned off readers who had previously loved their books. No author wants to build that kind of reputation.

You want to be an author who sounds so interesting and delightful in real life that readers just have to pick up her book because they're sure it will be as wonderful as the real person. (And then the book has to live up to the reader's expectations, but that's a blog post for another day!)

So, I'm going to illustrate this by pointing to the generous, wonderful and all-around awesome middle grade and YA author Sharon Ledwith who tagged me as a recipient of the One Lovely Blog Award. See, she's so wonderful you want to read her books just because she's great. No, seriously, you must, must, MUST head over and check out her amazing book The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis.

Now with my Lovely Blog Award comes the duty to reveal seven random facts about myself, and hopefully, one of these awesome facts will strike a chord with you and make you feel just a little more connected to me. Okay, here goes:

1. I save my dryer lint. I know--that's about as exciting as, well, lint. But I'm a good Boy Scout mom. Boy Scouts build great campfires. Dryer lint makes a great fire starter. So, there you go.

2. I write middle grade and children's chapter books under the name Sara Shafer. Who doesn't love to read about squirrels?

3. I love NASCAR, especially the team and competitor relationship drama. (Oh yes, NASCAR had plenty of relationship drama even before Danica and Stenhouse Jr. started dating!) I love the bad boys whose cocky mouths and breathtaking driving get them in tight spots, and I love talking smack with the people who don't agree with me. The only thing I don't like: drivers, crew members and fans getting hurt. Stay safe, ladies and gentlemen.

4. I currently write for three publishers: Contemporary small-town romance for Entangled Publishing, erotic romance for Decadent Publishing, and contemporary & paranormal (Wiccan Haus series) romance for Musa Publishing.

5. My favorite vacation spot is the beach. I can't get enough of the waves lapping against the shore.

6. Since beach trips are few and far between for me, long walks through the neighborhood (or, even better, through the woods) really help me clear my head, brainstorm story problems, and dream up new story ideas.

7. I'll be reading from my contemporary small-town romance Construction Beauty Queen at Lady Jane's Salon in Naperville, IL on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 7 P.M. Come meet me in real life, listen to a book sample, and let me know if you're sold on my books yet!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Friends - Marci Boudreaux

"Romance as it's meant to be" is the buzz about Marci Boudreaux's new release Unforgettable You. Here's a little for your reading pleasure.

When life throws a widowed innkeeper and a world-famous movie star together they share an unexpected romance. But is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law, Doreen, in the woman’s home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a handful of Hollywood’s most elite actors at the manor. Despite her resentment of the demands being placed upon her, she can’t help but be taken in by actor Will Walker.

Will, in a last-ditch effort to save his career, has agreed to a project he has no interest in. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to Carrie. Long nights spent talking about the paths their lives have taken make him realize he’d rather have a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. aren’t as willing to let him go.

With the temptation of stardom pulling Will in one direction and the need to care for Doreen tugging Carrie in another, the couple struggle to hold onto the happiness they were missing until finding each other.

“It must be heart-wrenching to see Doreen fading away like that,” Will said.

Carrie’s face sagged. “It isn’t easy.”

“It’s a lot of work trying to keep up with her.”

“Sometimes,” she said dismissively as she looked at the menu. She glanced at the clock again. “Well, I won’t be slow roasting chicken tonight, will I?”

“I’m worried about you.”

“About me?” she asked lightly. “Why?”

“This is a lot for one person to handle.”

“I’m fine.”

“You keep saying that.”

“Because I am.”

“Carrie.” He coaxed gently.

Turning from the menu, she seemed to plea with her eyes. “What do you want me to say, Will?”

“You can start by telling me how you are doing.”

“How the hell do you think I’m doing?”

He took in the deep creases on her forehead and the puffiness of her eyes. “Not nearly as well as you’d like everyone to believe.”

“Falling apart is not an option right now.”

“Well, burying it isn’t either.”

Carrie opened her mouth as if to argue with him but, after a moment, she stepped back, putting space between them. He watched her pull out a Dutch oven and carry it to the sink to fill with water.

Moving to her side, he looked down at her. “Can you just talk to me? Tell me what you’re thinking.”

“What I’m thinking?” she asked. “I’ve spent the last two years pretending that my dead husband is at the grocery store,” she sat the pot on a burner, “returning insane purchases, picking her up from all over the county after she’s driven off to some place that no longer exists, if it ever did exist, but somehow it didn’t seem real until today.”

“The disease—”

“I know,” she said turning to look at him. “I know what it does. But I never really felt it. Pretending Mike is running errands, taking away her access to money, hiding the car keys, it all seemed so ordinary. Laundry? Check. Dishes? Check. Lie to Mama? Check.”

He saw fresh tears shimmering in her eyes before she turned toward the drawer where she’d hidden the knobs for the stove to prevent Mama from turning on the heat.

She tried several times to get the knob in place but it resisted her push, refused to fit. Cursing under her breath, Carrie slammed it down and turned to face him. “I’ve read the books, I’ve done the research, I’ve talked to support groups and doctors, but nothing they said could have possibly prepared me for that,” she said as the tears that had made her eyes shine fell down her cheeks.

“Nothing could have prepared me for her not knowing who I am.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered as he reached out to her. When he wrapped her in his arms, she leaned into him and buried her face in his chest. A sob escaped her causing her shoulders to shake and he soothed her by whispering softly and running his hand over her back.


Check out the trailer for Unforgettable You HERE.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Lose the Filter!

I’m not talking about letting your inner potty mouth loose. I’m talking about the filtering words that distance the reader from your character.

For readers to connect with the point-of-view character, they need to experience what that character is feeling in the moment, essentially be inside that character’s head. But words like “she thought” or “she wondered” add automatic distance because instead of wondering along with the character, the reader is watching the character do her wondering.

This overlaps with the “show, don’t tell” point of writing. Telling filters the experience through the author. Showing takes out filter of the author middleman and allows the reader to experience the store directly with the character.


With filters: I can’t believe he forgot our date, she thought. She slammed the door furiously.

Without filters: I can’t believe he forgot our date. She slammed the door.

The italic is enough to signify this is a thought. The act of slamming the door is enough to show the reader she’s furious that he forgot their date. Telling the reader how they should be feeling distances the reader from experiencing the emotion along with our character.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Friends - Lizzie T. Leaf

Lizzie T. Leaf brings the dead to life with DEAD Hot, a new book in her best selling DEAD series.

Will family secrets let her find love with a guy that cats around?

Sharla Gomez’s dream encounter with the man she’s lusted over for months turned into rain-soaked nightmare. Her hopes of love and passion have gone to the dogs. Being a shifter is hell, especially when you’re a Pug/Chihuahua mix, or as some call the breed, a Chug. Even dogs don’t want to be told they’re so ugly they’re cute?

Dorsey Smith wants to get to know the exotic number-cruncher in charge of the strip club’s books. Just his luck she disappeared before he could ask her out for coffee. Instead of taking home the woman he lusts for, he takes home the small, drenched dog shivering in the rain. When he discovers the animal missing the next morning and he senses magic in the air. Has his safe haven been discovered and will his secrets be revealed?

Can two people with deep secrets discover the truth about each other and still find love. Or will the secrets and the evil lurking drive them apart?

Damn, he’s hot!

Sharla Gomez clamped her lips tighter to stop the drool pooling in her mouth from running down her chin as Dorsey Smith lowered the case of beer off his shoulder. The sweat drenched tee-shirt clung across his back and the muscles under it rippled. She clinched her thighs together. In her dreams of the hunk nothing obscured the bare skin of this chocolaty delight and she could lick every inch.

"Oh Dorsey, I need a refill." One of the model type chicks clustered around the other end of the bar waved her glass and blew a wet kiss from her injected lips.

Dumb bitch thinks she looks sexy, but that puffed up mouth makes her look more like she kissed an offended beehive. Sharla swallowed hard to force back the bile. Hell yes I’m jealous! What wouldn’t I give to be one of the beauties that muscular bartender rushes to accommodate.

Instead, she had been blessed by the gods with her Mexican grandmother’s love of enchiladas, which also led to inheriting Grandma Gomez’s ass. From her German grandmother, Sharla got her large boobs that helped balance her ass. Those genetics also passed along her big blue eyes, but thanks to Oma Chen being an open-minded kind of gal who married a Chinese, they slanted. Yep, her life had been one big joyful event of teasing when she was a kid.

The combination of mixed genetics led to dreams of finding a male who appreciated unique, if not downright weird.

Weird is exactly where I fall when I start trying to explain I’m a shifter. Any normal guy will run like hell.

The only guys she’d come across outside her community who would appreciate the shifting detail were the really kinky ones. And kinky didn’t appeal to her.

But the guys back home didn’t appreciate her either. Most seem to think the teasing that had followed her through her school years needed to continue. That was the top reason she decided to try a big city once she had her accounting certification in hand.

She rested her chin in her palm and watched Dorsey’s interaction with the women. The sigh that escaped held all the longing she tried not to show.

"Girl, if the lust on your face could be bottled I’d make us both wealthy." Dovey slid onto the barstool beside Sharla, her gaze glued to the other end of the bar. "He is a yummy delight. If he were a chocolate milkshake, I could slurp him up in nothing fast."

"For being the club’s owner, you’re a dirty old woman. Comments like that can get you slapped with sexual harassment if the wrong person overhears."

Buy Links:
MUSA Publishing
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.