Wednesday, 2 December 2015

A Contest, A Memory, A Recipe

Greetings on and all. Merry Christmas. Over on the Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog, we're running a fabulous Christmas event starting December 3, 2015.  Today, I'll tell you about the giveaway, tomorrow Fred will appear and the games begin.


I am beyond excited for this event. I sure wish I could enter; I could use an Amazon gift card to feed my reading addiction. I’m hoping you’ll find the time to play along with us. It’s going to be fun to search out Old Fred and learn about other’s holiday traditions and memories.

Christmas has always been important to me. For me it’s a time to reconnect with the people in my life. It’s a time of love and caring and giving.  It’s a time to appreciate all that I have and those I love. With the exception of shopping crowds (which is why I shop early) I love it all. I love the music, the decorations, the lights, the food, the candy, the alcohol, the food, the wrapping, the decorating. And did I mention…the food?

My favorite Christmas memory happened just this year. Hubby and I have three grandchildren. The oldest is three, the youngest is 18 months. Hubby and I have started decorating (by the time this post goes live, I’ll have at least two of four trees up and decorated.) Last week we strung up a few lights in the living room/playroom we set them up with a power bar so the kiddies could turn them on themselves. One their first visit, they flipped the switch and the smiles, the giggles, the laughing and pointing, were worth every second of effort it took to string up those lights. We’ve added a few more lights.

There are four strings up (so far). It thrills me to pieces to see their smiling faces as they point and babble. The oldest always pats her chest and says, “Grampa put up mine snowflake lights. For me.” She’s so proud that the lights are hers and so excited to turn them on and look at them. It just melts my heart. I can’t wait until the see the trees.

Such a small thing, and such a gift and blessing to be found in those sweet smiling faces.

I can’t recall, did I mention the food? 

Here’s a family favorite recipe.

Gramma K’s Awesome Apple Pie.

                Recipe makes three nine inch pies.

 Never Fail Pie Crust:

Makes 3 covered pie shells or six pie crust bottoms.
6 cups flour
1.5 Teaspoons salt
1 pound shortening or lard (I only use Tenderflake)
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
Cold Water
Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl.
Cut in shortening. Cut with a pastry cutter or two knives until a fine meal is reached.
Mix, egg and vinegar together in a measuring cup.
Add water to bring level to one cup.
Add egg/vinegar/water mixture to flour/lard mixture. Start by adding ¾ of a cup. Add more if needed to make pasty workable. Work pastry as little as possible to avoid making it tough.
Blend well. This will give you enough to make three covered pies.
Roll out on a floured board. Note: You may need to chill before rolling.

 Apple Pie Filling:

Makes enough to fill three 9 inch pies.
                2 bags of MacIntosh apples…about six pounds.
                1.5 cup brown sugar
                1 1/3 cup flour
                1.5 cup white sugar
                2-3 Tablespoons cinnamon powder
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Slice apples thinly.
Mix apples with dry ingredients. Stir well.
Put into pie shells, do not prick pie shells first.
Dot with butter if desired.
Optional: Brush ridge with mixture of egg and water to help layers stick together.
Cover with another shell with vent holes cut into it.
Press edges together with a fork or fingers and trim off excess.
Optional: To make crusts golden brown they can be brushed with a mixture of egg and water.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 for 35 minutes.

Don't forget to take part in the contest. Be sure to visit:  
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the best year ever.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Romance, What Does it Mean?

I hope you have come here from Teresa Keefer's site. If not, don't forget to pop by and visit her. 

Today's question comes from the talented Jenna Da Sie.  
Romance. There are many different meanings. What does it mean to you? 

Wow, thanks to Jenna for that extremely thought provoking question.
As a romance writer, I’ve put a lot of thought into this. Initially I was thinking of long walks together, quiet dinners. Laughing and sharing small moments. You know, dating things.

Ultimately i decided that romance isn’t just one thing. It begins with attraction, progresses through getting to know each other and carries on. Romance is a journey.

Where does it go? That too is a difficult question. It goes places you’d never think possible. It leads into doing things you never wanted to do because the person you love wants you to try them. It leads to hardship and sacrifice and loss. You learn to give up a lot for the one you love. It’s a sacrifice, but at the same time it isn’t.

But it isn’t all bad. Romance is when the one you love does little things for you without seeking approval or recognition. When they put your happiness before their own. It’s dinner and dancing and laughs and tears. Joys and sorrows. Fun and games. Small laughs and big sorrows. It's being there for one another.
It’s knowing that his smile is for you and you alone. It reaches deep inside you and touches your heart and makes you glad. It’s knowing that he’d do anything for you, and that you make his world brighter just by being there for him. It’s that soft kiss for no reason. Wanting to hold his hand and him wanting to hold yours.

But mostly it’s giving and taking and caring. Romance is a two way street.
Romance is doing things, big and small to put the happiness of your partner before your own. I don’t mean being a door mat, I mean helping and supporting. Both ways. Your for your partner. Your partner for you. Everyone giving 110%, all the time.

It isn't a profound thing, nor is romance easy to describe, but it is beautiful.

The next stop on our hop is to delve into the mind of Meggan Connors. Click her name to go there.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

FLASH FICTION: RWW Pink, Sweet Kisses


Welcome to the Romance Writer's Weekly Blog Hop.
 I hope you've come from Veronica Forand's blog at If not, stop by and pay her a visit. She's an awesome author who spins a great yarn. 

Today's blog idea comes from the lovely and talented Fiona Riplee at 

What is the topic you ask?  Why mini flash fiction of course. The challenge is to use 10 words or less to describe a kiss. Include the words pink & sweet.

I'm taking a weird tack on this one ...

Attempt One: 
Dressed  in pink my granddaughter gave me the sweetest kiss.
Attempt Two:
His hot, wet, sizzling lips pressed against my pink ones. (Crap, missed sweet.)
Attempt Three: 
Chris lowered his head and devoured her sweet pink lips.
Attempt Four:
Sultry, steamy, hot, wet, deep, flushed, aroused -- wait where was I going with this?

Now, head on over and visit J.J. Devine
Be sure to follow the hop all the way around, you might just discover yourself a new favorite writer.
PS: You can find out more about Romance Writer's Weekly here:

Hugs and kisses

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Bed Of Roses: Gemma Brocato


Bed of Roses
Book #4 - The Five Senses Series

This close to Valentine’s Day Malin Eckert’s flower shop is entering their busiest season. As if the added work isn’t enough, her father’s drinking has spiraled out of control and Mal discovers she’s been named guardian of a fifteen-year-old sibling she never knew about. To make matters worse, Mal’s crushing on a customer, a serial dater who drops by the shop with alarming regularity to send flowers to other women.

Gunnar Sims never had the best luck with women, a fact that doesn’t stop his growing attraction to his florist. His new business is losing money and he should be concentrating on that, but instead finds Mal an enticing distraction.

In spite of her best intentions to keep Gunnar firmly in the friend zone, Mal finds herself falling for the classically handsome gym owner. As her affection for Gunnar and her sister, Gabriella, grows, Mal’s heart hangs in the balance when it appears both could be taken away from her.

Content Warning: Hard bodies, spoiled princesses, and a levelheaded woman who know how to smell the roses.


         Malin squinted her eyes at him. “I beg your pardon?”
Gunnar had seen that look on his sister’s face enough times to know he’d said the wrong thing. But the way the society bitch had treated the shopkeeper rankled him. “What the hell is her problem? Who does the old broad think she is?”
“Gunnar, Mrs. Aubrey-Smith is the customer. That means she is always right. She knows it and doesn’t hold back making sure I know, too. I’m used to her ways.” Malin crossed her arms and rested her hip against the counter.
Aubrey-Smith? He knew that name. He’d had an interest in Ashleigh, the old bat’s daughter. Until he’d learned she was engaged. Ashleigh’s promise to another man apparently wasn’t enough to keep her from flirting with every other male in sight. Thankfully, he’d dodged that bullet. He shook his head, then turned his attention back to Malin.
He liked the way Malin looked at him. Even when she was angry. Her ice blue, almond-shaped eyes, fringed with thick black eyelashes, were direct and curious, as if she’d found a new specimen of flower that required closer examination. As he stared at her, she reached up and tucked her chin-length white-blond hair behind her ear. How the hell had he not realized before how pretty she was?
Malin possessed the peaches-and-cream complexion many of his female relatives shared. Her skin was flawless except for the angry red scratch just below the apple of her cheek. He’d be willing to bet if he touched her face, he’d feel satin. He tucked his hand into his pocket, a paltry effort to curb the urge. Touching someone the way he wanted to touch her went beyond being just friends. And he’d like this woman as a friend. For now. It was entirely possible that sentiment would evolve if his body’s reaction could be trusted.
Gunnar shifted his weight onto one leg, bumping his knee against the wooden panel of the cash wrap. “Being the customer is no excuse for bad manners. And she could win a gold medal in the Bad Manners Olympics. That witch owes you an apology.”
Malin’s fast grin dazzled him. “Can I tell you something? She was on her best behavior today, but you should have kept your mouth shut. I had her eating out of my hand until you butted in.”
“I suppose if your hand was her lunch maybe. It didn’t look like it was under control to me. I was trying to help.”
“You failed miserably, buttercup. But, no harm, no foul. I got what I wanted in the end. I proposed the alternative bouquet to the bride months ago, and she loved it. But Mama vetoed it because it wasn’t her original idea.”
Buttercup? Yeah, well, two could play that game. “I thought mentioning Princess Di’s wedding shoes was a stroke of genius, Daisy Mae.”
She tipped her head back and laughed. A shot of lust speared lodged just south of his belt buckle. He shifted to ease the sudden constriction in his trousers.
“I have moments of brilliance, and the shoes were just one of them.” She fiddled with the strings of her apron, but her eyes remained on his face. “What’s up? How can I help you today?”
Damn, talk about a loaded question. For the life of him, he could only think of one way she could help him. He gave a mental groan and focused. “Um…I need a dozen roses. Do you have any in orange?” 

My Review:

I have to say that I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And I am lucky that I was selected. I'm not going to go into plot details and ruin the story. I just want to say that Brocato has a gift for words. She paints a lovely, emotion filled picture that moved me. I felt the emotions of every character. She led me on a up and down ride. Her characters are real and vividly described. The story is realistic. Tons of romance, some heat and a touch of humor make this a lovely read. I will be reading it again.You're going to love the story of Gunnar and Mal. I know I did!


One (1) $25 gift card to the winners retailer of choice
Enter here ➜ ➜

Bed of Roses (Five Senses Series Book 4)

Other books in the series:

Cooking Up Love (Five Senses Series Book 1)

Hearts In Harmony (Five Senses Series Book 2)

Exposed To Passion (Five Senses Series Book 3)

A Winter Wedding (A Five Senses Short: Five Senses Series)

Meet the Author
Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue a career as a romance author.
Gemma focuses mainly on contemporary romance, with an occasional detour into science fiction romance. Her titles are available in digital and print-on-demand at all major retailers.


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Nobody's Angel: A Heavenly Read

Nobody’s Angel
Willow Park Romance # 1
By: Sarah Hegger
Releasing March 31st, 2015

In this evocative new series from author Sarah Hegger, a woman returns home after a long absence—and wonders if two wrongs really can make a right...

Nine years ago Lucy Flint ran away to Seattle, taking her friend's boyfriend and leaving her high school sweetheart without a word of explanation. Now she's back in Willow Park, Illinois, to help care for her ailing father—and it's no surprise that her ex, Dr. Richard Hunter, is still angry.

Still, she's a different Lucy now. Sober, wiser, ready to make amends to the long—make that very long—list of those she mistreated during her wild younger days. Falling for Richard all over again would mean wreaking havoc in both their lives and possibly squandering her opportunity for redemption. But here, in the place where everything went wrong, is the one person who always felt right, and a second-chance that could be the best mistake she ever made…

Goodreads Link:
Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes | ITunes | Kobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Including: (1) $20.00 Amazon Gift Card, (3) $10.00 Amazon Gift Cards, Five Print Copies of NOBODY’S ANGEL (Or Digital for Int. winners))

I received an advance reader copy of Nobody’s Angel in exchange for an honest review.
I was expecting a good book as I adore Hegger’s writing style. What I wasn’t expecting was to have my heart broken and rebuilt. Nobody’s Angel is beyond doubt the most exceptional book I have read in years.
Hegger reached inside me, ripped out my heart and shredded it. She touched all those secret vulnerable spots that we hide and made me feel things I haven’t felt for a long time. I ached for Lucy’s pain. I was crushed by her sorrow and soared with her joy.
In this heart breaking, heart-warming story, Sarah Hegger touches on revisiting your past mistakes, re-finding old love and making amends. Secret shame, hidden feelings and deep desires fill Lucy’s story.
I laughed. I cried. I moaned. I rejoiced.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but I can honestly say that you DO NOT want to miss this one.
Oh, the feels!
This is a book that will remain on my shelf forever. Can I get it in hardback? Please? I’ll need it to be durable because I’ll be reading this one over and over again.  (Yes, it was that good!)

Silence hung heavily over the phone lines. “Lucy? Lucy, are you all right?” “Um, I am.” Lucy peered into the gathering gloom nervously.
Her heart sank. Nothing outside the car had changed. The dark thing spread across the snow was definitely human shaped. The object near the human thing, wheels spinning senselessly, was the bicycle it had been riding. Riding, until someone had opened their door on it. And that someone was her. “I’ve gotta go.”
“What was that noise?”
“I doored a cyclist.”
“You what?” There was nothing dulcet or dreamy about Mads and her smoky vocal chords now.
“It seems I doored a cyclist. I’m going to have to go now.”
Is the cyclist okay?”
“It’s moving.” Lucy stepped from the car, shut her door, and took a ginger step forward.
A soft noise rode the steady sibilance of the wind. “And I think that’s it groaning.” She held the phone out nervously at the bipedal stain in the snow. “Can you hear it?”
“I can’t hear anything but this howling noise. That’s not it, is it?”
“Nope.” Lucy was reasonably sure on this point. “That’s the wind.”
“Fuck, Illinois.”
“I know, right?” Lucy took a half shuffle closer. “I think it’s a him.”
“How do you know it’s a him? Can you see its face?”
 “Nope.” Lucy blinked away a sloppy snowflake. “But it’s either a man or a very large woman, with a butt that looks like a man.” And she certainly noticed the taut, muscular lines of his thighs and ass. She tilted her head to the side to get a better look. Those were male and not too bad, current situation aside. The Thinsulate pants could not be doing much good against the cold, because they left very little to the imagination. The figure on the ground moved again and rolled carefully onto his back. Yup, that was very definitely a he and not a she.
“Uh-huh, it’s a him,” she clarified for Mads without taking her eyes off the cyclist. “Excuse me? Are you all right?”
The cyclist cursed softly.
Lucy inched a little closer, ready to launch a heroic retreat into her childhood home if the injured party got pissed at her, the front steps of which loomed tantalizingly close. Coward. Lucy tried to master her yellow streak. “Should I call nine-one-one?”
“Does he look like he needs an ambulance?” Mads asked.
“I’ll ask him.” Lucy raised her voice. “Are you hurt? Should I call nine-one-one?”
The man on the ground moaned and struggled into a sitting position.
Her victim didn’t look all that injured or dangerous, yet.
He stretched out his legs with a hiss.
“I think he’s getting up,” Lucy whispered into the phone.
“Then he can’t be too badly hurt, right?” Mads sounded hopeful. “Any blood? Exposed bones? That sort of thing?”
“I don’t see any blood.” Lucy leaned forward and peered. Now that the cyclist was moving she didn’t want to risk getting any closer. “No bones either. I think that means he might be all right.”
 “I can hear you,” he spoke.
“He can hear me,” Lucy reported to Mads. “Oh.” She stopped talking and stared.
“That’s good.” Mads kept it positive.
“I think he’s going to be okay,” Lucy whispered.
The cyclist ignored her and started unbuckling his helmet.
“It’s a good thing he wore a helmet,” Lucy reported into her phone.
“Why?” Mads whispered back.
“Because it’s sort of . . . busted up.”
“And his head?”
“Seems fine.” Lucy stood on her toes for a better look. “Are you sure you’re all right?” Her voice shook slightly as she risked speaking to the cyclist.
“No thanks to you.” The man examined his helmet. He shook his head angrily.
“I didn’t see you.” Lucy kept her tone conciliatory. “You came out of nowhere.”
“Then perhaps you should stop talking on the phone and concentrate on what you’re doing.”
Lucy froze. She knew that voice. “Ah shit.”
The cyclist whipped off his goggles and tucked them into his helmet in short, angry movements.
“This is going to get ugly.” She hadn’t realized she’d spoken out loud until Mads replied.
“Well,” Mads huffed, outraged on her behalf. “Okay, I know you hit the guy with your door. But for the love of God, what kind of dork rides a bike in a snowstorm?”
The wind dropped just then and Mad’s voice squawked out of Lucy’s phone loud and clear. The cyclist jerked his head up and Lucy swore again. All the way west in Seattle, Mads had no idea. Lucy ignored the steady stream of rationalizations coming through the phone as her stomach sped south, into her boots.
“Bye,” she whispered and hung up.
The man in the snow had gone dead still. His gaze locked on her like a heat-seeking missile. And Lucy knew he knew that she knew and he knew that she knew he knew. Or something. Her mind went blank. There must be something to say in situations like this, but she had nothing. She stared at him and he stared right back.
“What the hell are you doing here?” All things considered it was a very reasonable question.
Author Info 
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe-trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.
Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
AND I am looking forward to the next book in the series ...
Thanks for stopping by.