Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday's Wench is Celebrating!!

Dusty Crabtree is celebrating the First Anniversary of Shadow Eyes with a Blog Tour and the chance to win a Kindle Fire.  You need to check this out!  And if you haven’t read Shadow Eyes, make sure to get this one on your TBR list...or better yet, but now!
Iris thought she could ignore the shadows...until they went after everyone she loved.
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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Travel Wednesday - Do's and Don'ts -Let the Fun Begin

With plans for summer vacations in the works, I thought it would be a good idea for a refresher on the Do's and Don'ts of traveling, especially international. Putting the right foot forward can make for a wonderful experience, whereas going with a lot of preconceived ideas and attitude can lead to misery

DO – Go With the Flow
You can come up against differences when traveling in the U.S., but when you travel overseas the differences are huge, especially in some countries.  Adjust to their culture and don’t expect them to adjust to yours.

DO – Learn a Few Words
You don’t have to be fluent in the language, but learning a few words like, hello and thank you, goes a long way when you’re in another country. 

DO – Be Polite
Some of my most embarrassing moments have been watching Americans be jerks.  Remember, you are not in America and things are done differently.  There is no need to be rude when things aren’t done like back home.  Example:  On a tour of Zimbabwe the luggage didn’t arrive with us, one of the ladies went off on our tour guide. The poor man was doing his best to find out where our bags were and constantly on the phone with his office.  She wouldn’t let up on badgering him.  I tried to diffuse the situation, but then she snarled…”you’d be upset too if your bags were missing.  This doesn’t happen at home.”  My response, “do you see any luggage around me? And yes, to do lose luggage on flights at home too.” 

Remember, you are an Ambassador for your country, no matter where you come from.  Your actions reflect on how the people of the country you’re visting view others from your location.
Do – Know What Baggage is Allowed

A number of international flights allow for one checked bag, but make sure your airline does. Also, know what you can have in your carry-on and that large bag you need to check.

Liquids and creams: Check the restrictions. See Airport Security Update: TSA Adjusts Liquid Ban.
Unsure on other items: If you are not sure if something is allowed in carry-on, check the TSA web site. You get current information as to what can be put in carry-ons and checked bags.

DON'T – Over Plan and Schedule
Make sure to allow space in your plans to be flexible.  If you’re rigid in your plans you’ll miss out on a lot of fun and interesting happenings.  You may want to spend extra time chatting with people you meet.  Sometimes you learn more about a country by those casual conversations than sticking to that strict schedule.

DON'T – Over Pack Your Bags
So guilty on this one, but I learned the hard way.  Humping a couple of pieces of luggage (even with wheels) and a carry-on through the Tube Stations of London was not a fun lesson.  Plan on doing laundry (hand washing works too) if you’re gone for an extended period.  Google packing tips or what to pack on long trips, for ideas on what to include.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wenchy Tuesday Brings Heated Negotations

Sloane Taylor writes hot, sexy romance set in exotic places.  My lust for travel translates into loving Sloane’s books.  In addition to being an excellent author that keeps you turning the pages (or scrolling the screen), she incorporates her travels into her stories…did I mention she used to be a travel agent?  Do you see the connection…*g*.
In addition to the need to have a glass of ice water (or my husband) handy when I read a Sloane Taylor book, I get to revisit some of the cities I’ve been and relive wandering through streets as I listen to Italian, French, Swedish or whatever the natives are speaking in setting location.
So join me in welcoming the Wenchy Sloane Taylor and take glimpse into her world of heat, lust and travel with today’s spotlight on HEATED NEGOTIGATIONS, Book 1 in the Magnificent Men of Munich series.
By Sloane Taylor

 Mergers and negotiations are not just for the boardroom, especially when things heat up high over the Atlantic.

Travel agency owner Teddi Howard is Hell in high heels when she jumps a plane to Munich. Her goal—strangle the German tour operator who reneged on their exclusive contract.
German businessman David Stiefel well knows the feeling of being screwed over and is resolved to avoid emotional attachments. This strategy has served him well, until his chance encounter with the enticing Ms. Howard.

And most online retail sites

Read an excerpt on Sloane's website
Follow Sloane's Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Tidbits - Limited Computer Time

Roads around here are icy and a mess of the Honey decided to work from home.  That translates into...Lizzie, I need the computer.  Good thing I have stuff that I can do off line and if I get really desperate I can clean house...*snort*...not if I can avoid!

Anyway, here's a little tidbit from Beyond Magic. 

Damn, she was good. She’d just brought a very brawny man to his knees in the middle of a Scottish moor.

And next week I may have news to share!  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Given the distractions of yesterday I forgot to post the winner for the NOOK Reader in my blog.  So I'm using today's space for that.

The winner is Paige P.  I've sent Paige a message with the news and once I have her contact info, I'll get her prize in the mail.

Congratilations!!!  Hope you enjoy lots of hours reading, Paige!!!!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Musings - A Glimpse into Banshee Magic

Banshee Magic is the third book in the Magical Love series and is underway.  Goal.  Turn in the manuscript by the end of April.  Keep your fingers crossed.

So what’s a gal to do when she overhears the office gossip that she’s been passed over for a promised promotion to junior partner in a law firm?  If you’re Sara, you march into your mentor’s office for a showdown.  Of course, if you have Banshee blood in your genetics, he hears you coming.

John fidgeted again.  Yeah, he knows my habits too.  I do get quiet before an explosion.  He’s seen it often enough and always says he never want to be on the receiving end.  Too damn bad. Sara crossed her ankles and continued to wait.
He opened his mouth several times and no sound came out.  Sara decided to encourage him.  Keeping her voice low she asked, “What do you propose now John?” 
                “Sara, you will definitely make partner next year.  Frank…”  He took a deep breath…”Frank had no choice on this.  You see, his daughter is pregnant.”
“Really!”  Sara’s black eyebrows shot up into the hairline of her white tangle of curls.  “Let me guess on this one.  James Terry promised to marry her if he made partner.  How convenient.”
A smirk twisted John’s thin lips.  “You could say that.  But, the important thing is next year, the partnership will be yours.”
                Sara held up a hand to halt him from saying more.  “No wait, give me a minute.  Let me have another guess.  Frank has a son and I’ll be engaged to him by the next partnership vote.  Oh, what was I thinking---?” Sara hit her forehead with the palm of her hand.  “Silly me.  Frank doesn’t have a son so that won’t work.”
                “Sara, I think---“
                “No John, I’m the one thinking here.  To me, my option is pretty clear.  Quit now instead of next year when I’m screwed again because some young stud just out of law school has the hots for Frank’s youngest daughter.”
                “Sara, you can’t quit!  You carry the largest case load in the office.”
                “Ironic isn’t it John.  I carry the largest case load, but I’m not good enough to even make junior partner because I don’t have a set of ---”
                “Sara, I know where you’re going with that but you have to understand—“
                Sara cut him off.  “So, I don’t have a set of balls which disqualifies me from knocking up and then marrying the boss’ daughter in order to be named a junior partner.”  She stood and smoothed her skirt.
“Yet I can’t quit because I have the largest case load in the firm.  All I have to say is---,” Sara stood and leaned across the desk, “---watch me. You don’t have to worry—the door won’t hit me in the ass because I’ll go through it too fast.”  She stomped across the room and glanced over her shoulder to appreciate the stunned expression on John’s face before she kept her promise.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Travel Wednesday - My Love Affair with Rome

When we did our Mediterranean cruise, Rome was the city of origin that we needed to fly into.  Being adventurous souls my husband and I decided to go early and spend a few days in Rome.  Am I glad we did!  I went expecting to find an interesting (yes, it was) big city with lots of ruins and statues, but ended up falling in love with the food, the people and the energy of the city, as well as the art.
Our hotel perched high up on a hill.  Exercise wasn’t an issue during the three days we spent exploring Rome.  We never took the subway and the only buses were the ones used on our two tours.

A shot of the Coliseum from the Forum
The first tour out to the Coliseum and the Forum was…okay at best.  The tour guides weren’t impressive and we could have learned as much (or more) from reading a guide book, taking a bus across town and paying admission…plus it would have been less expensive.
The animals and their food (people) were kept here under the Coliseum

Our other tour…well worth the cost!  The Angels & Demons tour focused around the locations in the Dan Brown novel.  This was a small tour and the guides were terrific.  The church…not so happy with the tour idea.  In fact, one of the locations we stopped our guides couldn’t go in.  They told us which location to find the statue in the book and then we came back out to ask our questions.  At another location, the referenced statue was covered up…hmmm, wonder why?

The meetup location for the Angels and Demons Tour

After the tour ended by the fountain in St. Peter’s square, husband and I decided a walk back to the hotel would be faster (did I mention there was a transportation strike that day) and headed out.  Lots of footsteps later, and a few breaks, we were happy to see the entrance to our home away from home.
One of the many you believe 'hot & tired'
One of the delights in our stay was the food.  Breakfast at the hotel started us off and no matter where we decided to grab a bit, our meal was never disappointing.  All of the walking gave me a good excuse to devour so much of the food...after all, a gal has to keep her energy up...right?
The Spanish Steps...walking up and down these will burn lots of calories...and we did numerous times.
Even though we don’t speak Italian, the people we interacted with from those geared toward tourists to the small out-of- the-way shops that didn’t speak a lot of English, we enjoyed our interaction.  I think laughter is an international language and we always managed to communicate enough to find something to laugh over.
Would I go back to Roma…only if given the opportunity!  Call Rome what you wish as far as nicknames…the Eternal City, the City of the Seven Hills, the City of Love, but for me, it will always be a City of My Heart.

NOOK READER CONTEST…In Monday’s blog (Feb. 11th) what caused me to lose track of time on Sunday?  Email your answer to lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net to enter the drawing.  The winner will be announced in the Monday, February 18th blog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wenching Tuesday - Romance with Sara Daniel!

If you haven't tried Sara Daniel's romances, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.  Also, check out her other books, available at the bookseller's site, Amazon, B&N, ARe & Bookstrand.  Then get a glass of wine and curl up for enjoyable reading.
Now for the free reads in time for Valentine's Day:

Free read story involving a character from a “for sale” book: In December 2011, I did a free story that followed two secondary characters from Mr. Forever that followed up with them after Mr. Forever ended, an epilogue essentially. This was available from my publisher’s website for a couple months, and then I used it on blog hops last spring. (If you want a copy of Penelope’s Pleasure’s, email me or leave a comment with your email address and file format preference and I’ll shoot it out to you.)

Free read stand-alone story: Last Valentine’s Day, I wrote a short story entitled Second Chance Valentine. This is still available for free from Musa Publishing, All Romance eBooks, and Bookstrand. Anyone searching for free reads on these sites can download it. Hopefully, they’ll read it and love it and want to check out other books I've written…or at least remember my name.

Free read stand-alone story: Last Valentine’s Day, I wrote a short story entitled Second Chance Valentine. This is still available for free from Musa Publishing, All Romance eBooks, and Bookstrand. Anyone searching for free reads on these sites can download it. Hopefully, they’ll read it and love it and want to check out other books I've written…or at least remember my name.

Both of my free reads were done through and edited by my publisher. I highly recommend that if you give away free reads, make sure they are professionally edited and of the same caliber as your “for sale” books. You don’t want your free reads to be so riddled with errors that they turn off potential readers!

Second Chance Valentine

What would you do if you got a second chance at love…with your husband's best friend?

Rick has always been a shoulder for his best friend's widow to lean on, but to him she will always belong to his friend. Gianna is ready to move on with her life, and no other man affects her like Rick. To give them both a second chance at love and life, Gianna must convince him that her husband would have wanted him to be the man she moves on with.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Tidbits and I Love Kristen Lamb!

Finished the first round of revisions for Nordic Heat, but still have at least one more scene to add.  I’m really enjoying revisiting this book and making changes/corrections in places that need (and needed them in the original release), but time, and hopefully experience has improved by editing eye (I hope!).
It was nice to discover a fun spotlight on my books Friday morning before I had to leave on a day of adventure with my husband.  Author Island did an excellent feature.  Check it out here
Saturday had me packing up the swag I wanted to take for a book signing at a new Barnes and Noble (not new store, just new to myself and my author friends for signing).  Had a fun time with Melissa Mayhue, Lynda Hilburn and ML Guida and I’m kicking myself for not getting pictures.  The people at the Barnes & Noble location on 120th Avenue were delightful.  The staff made us feel very welcome (in fact, set more signings) and the customers who stopped to talk (and some did buy) were great!

Sunday involved family time.  We celebrated my husband’s birthday and what was going to be a short dinner and then ice cream cake, turned into a much later event.  When there’s so much laughter and conversation it’s easy to lose track of time…and we did.  Needless to say, 4:00 a.m. wasn’t greeted with love this morning.

Speaking of love…I love Kristen Lamb’s WANA Tribe, a place that understands We Are Not Alone, though as a writer there are times when you feel you are.  So, I signed up.  Yep, now I’m a WANA!  If you want to check out the Tribe here’s the link   And if you want great tips on blogging, definitely check out Kristen’s blog….

NOOK READER CONTEST QUESTION...Where did I dance with the Penguins last Wednesday?  Email the answer to lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Wenchy Delight - Holley Trent

I love Holley Trent’s books.  Maybe it’s because she sets a lot of them in North Carolina, her home state (and mine), the way her books also have humor and snark, or could it be because they are excellent books?  Needless to say, Her Resident Jester waits for me on my Kindle.  This gal definitely needs to take a reading day to enjoy some of the books crying to be read and this is the one I plan to open first!

A little about Holley:
Holley Trent is a Carolina girl gone West. Raised in rural coastal North Carolina, she has Southern sensibilities but her adventurous spirit drove her to Colorado for new experiences.
Holley writes sassy contemporary romances threaded with oodles of conversational humor, and fantasy/paranormal romances set in her home state.
Her protagonists regularly fall victim to her odd sense of humor and find themselves in improbable situations (with happily-every-after outcomes). Holley's cast of characters tends to swear, drink and do a fair amount of carousing, but they're generally well-intentioned and obey all laws and ordinances. Usually.

Her Resident Jester
By Holley Trent
Published by Musa Publishing

 Marketing executive Shane Andrews’s reluctant participation in a research study leads to the stunning discovery she needs immediate surgery.

Out of sorts, and in a moment of spectacular tactlessness, she insults a man wearing a red rubber nose and big floppy shoes. He turns out to be Derek Palmer: Edenton’s hottest young surgeon…and the resident observing her operation.

With her body and pride both on the mend, Shane hides out to prevent further humiliation. She can’t avoid the gorgeous clown too long, however. Edenton is a small town, and Derek isn’t content with letting her wallow. What kind of clown would he be if he did?

Her Resident Jester is available for purchase in most major eBook formats at the Musa store and also at third-party retailers like Amazon and All Romance eBooks.

To learn more about Holley Trent, visit her website or watch her navel gaze on Twitter

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Travel Wednesday - Dancing with Penguins

Before I get into today's trip, I want to apologize for Monday getting away from me and no blog.  Some days are like that! 
But if you’re following the questions of the NOOK READER entry, go to the prior Wednesday and email me what my favorite part of that trip experience to enter.  Remember, drawing is Feb. 18th.

Now for today’s destination!  A penguin reserve in Argentina…penguins everywhere you look!  And with all the great food consumed the prior couple weeks on the cruise ship, I had their walk down too.
When you first enter the nature reserve you get the lecture on “do not touch the penguins,” along with firm instructions not to venture off the marked paths.  As with all tourists there are those who think the rules don’t apply to them.  Safe to say a few got yelled at.

The amazing thing is how brave the little inhabitants are.  They walk right up to you (someone forget to tell them to stay off the path and not touch the tourists) and stop in front of you.  This leads to a stare down. and once they decide you’re not interesting enough to spend more time with, they waddle off to talk about you among their buddies. 
Or if your shoes appeal, they may peck at the laces, but for the most part they are only checking out the weird creatures that have invaded their territory.
Here are a few pictures of my friends, or at least several seem to think we were friends.  My travel companion missed the best bonding pictures like the one almost on my feet.  But here are some that turned out cute.
Told you they missed the don't approach the tourist instrucions
Trust me, that chick was a real bore!

Nice to meet you too.

It's hot & I'm tired.  You got a problem with that?

A convention...nobody told me!
Won't they ever leave!!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday's Wench--Arley Cole on Fan Fiction, the Why

Check out Arley's post on why writing fan fiction helps.

And also check out Arley's book The Blacksmith's Daughter.

Acwellen Lex'Magen rules as liege lord of a small country bounded by forbidding mountains and powerful neighbors. When the neighboring baron, allied with a powerful wizard, attempts to take over his land, first by political, then by covert means, Acwellen finds an ally of his own in Enith Roweson, an unassuming blacksmith who possesses powers he's only known of in legends. As he attempts to unravel both the plots against him----including the nature of the monsters sent to assassinate him----and the mysterious powers Enith is only beginning to understand she has, he also finds himself falling in love with the blacksmith's daughter.

Published by Musa Publishing

Get a sneak-peek read at Amazon too!