Showing posts from 2013

11 Fun Facts about Trini Christmas + Giveaway!

I'd like to welcome author Roxy Wilson (my first guest blogger) on my blog today! She'll be talking to us about "Trini Christmas" and her latest release, The Right Kind of Love. Happy Boxing Day! ~~~ Hi, Lena.  It’s such a pleasure visiting with you today, especially during this festive season. Christmas. 

My debut novel, The Right Kind of Love, ends with a beautiful wedding in which, “orange mums were clustered together and arranged creatively in the pews, aisles, doors and altar of the church... The bridesmaids were adorned in oranges and browns, while each groomsman’s tie and vest complemented those cheery November colors.”
But, let’s suppose, for one minute, Blake and Sloane decided to spend their first Christmas, as a couple, in the Caribbean.  Would that be a surprise?  No.  After all, even though Sloane is a New Yorker, Blake is always enthralled by the scent of her hair, which usually smells like “vanilla and coconuts, reminiscent of her mother’s tropical island…

"Are You Happy?"

My girl friends and I have this inside joke. We're major foodies and when we come across a delicious meal or dessert, we wait until everyone's gotten a bite before asking with sincerity and delight: "Are you happy?"

It started innocently enough over savory garlic shrimp and has now morphed into our signature dining-out tagline. But aside from appreciating a great meal and realizing how food can in many ways be balm for the soul, I realized that I have a lot to be happy about this year.

The start of the year began dismally when I lost my uncle and aunt to cancer within months of each other. It wasn't the best start of the new year and though the year was filled with many other challenges, it helped me put a lot of myself and my goals into prospective. I realized it was okay to take risks, to follow your dreams. This life we have is not only fleeting but it's also unpredictable so do what makes you happy.

I managed to do a lot of that this year, and have met a …

Character Q&A: Nate McArthur

I'd like to introduce Nate McArthur, my hero from BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER. I recently participated in a Facebook event that garnered some interesting questions--and responses--from my rather blunt hero and I thought it would be fun to share with those who missed the event. I got to learn a lot about my hero and I hope after this, you do too!

1. Football or basketball? Basketball

2. Good at? Kissing

3. Bad at? Cooking

4. Boxers or briefs? Boxers

5. Top or bottom? Top AND bottom ;)

**Now these fun questions below came from readers during the event.**

6. What would Nate do to make me feel better? I'd do what I always do to distract and make my lady smile: Talk (dirty) to her ;)

7. What does he like to read? Thrillers

8. Favorite way to unwind? Read with my son

9. Favorite band? Nickleback

10. What's your favorite pastime? Family, traveling... and other things

11. Nate today is a cold raining day. What do you like to do on a day like today?
Make love

12. Jazz or rock? Rock

13. …

Book Tour: Tia Kelly's Playing for Love + Giveaway!

Today I have the lovely Tia Kelly on my blog and her new release, Playing for Love. And she has generously offered to give a FREE copy to a lucky commenter so be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the excerpt!

Playing for Love
By Tia Kelly

Kenneth Wilkerson, baseball's MVP of breaking hearts isn't in Craymont looking for complications. With an injury that has him sidelined from the game he loves, and the latest scandal in his wake involving a woman who is very much engaged to someone else, the last thing he needs is to get mixed up with Paige Scott.
Paige Scott, a former party-girl, has a very murky past and even murkier relationship with Kenneth's best friend Carlos Ortiz. Paige knows Carlos watched her go from it girl to broken and when she finally healed, he made it clear to her that he would not step aside to let another man in just to do it again.
But Kenneth lets nothing stand between him and what he loves. Love for the game… his family… and her.

Winners of Secret Prizes!

Thanks everyone for making my first virtual book tour such a success! It was a great tour made so by all your support and participation. Below are the winners of the 5 secret prizes. Each person will be contacted individually later today.

Winners of the 5 secret prizes
My Devotional Thoughts: Belinda G | Copy of Because This Is Forever + author swag
Coffee Time Romance: Nikki | Copy of Because This Is Forever & Finding Divine
Romance Books 4 Us: Erika Messer | Copy of any one of my books
Kwana Writes: Roxy Wilson | Copy of Because This Is Forever
Black Lion Tours: Zita Martin | Tote bag, t-shirt, + author swag

Congratulations all!

Winner of the Scavenger Hunt will be announced at the end of this week, 12/6/13.

Virtual Book Tour: Deleted Scene from "Because This Is Forever"

Happy Friday! It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I want to say how thankful I am of the support I've received on this tour. Now that we're on the final stretch, I wanted to offer an excerpt of the story. But this one is different in that it has never been published. 

The scene below was deleted during the editing process to keep the story going. It was a short scene of Mia and Mikey getting ready to surprise Nate with new photos in his home office. Though it was a cute scene, it added no real significance to the story. But then I thought this was the best to share.

[Deleted Scene]

They were in his office now, putting up a few pictures. She was having a hard time deciding where to put the large, black-and-white close-up shot of her and a one-year-old Mikey, where he was placing an innocent kiss on her lips. It was one of her favorite photos of them.
Mia finally decided on a spot, which faced his desk. Except there was an elegant panoramic photo of the Chicago skyline at nig…

Color of Love ♥ Blog Hop

I'm excited to be participating and co-sponsoring in the Color of Love blog hop! In this hop, we are celebrating romance books featuring characters of color and the authors who write them.

Though my romance stories feature interracial characters, my main goal is to write a love story that resonates with everyone, despite their color. My heroines tend to be black because I can closely relate and it's fun to write characters that I can imagine me being. But we all come in lovely shades and colors and I enjoy reading a good romance no matter what color the heroine is.

Giveaway: There are some great prizes being offered (like gift cards and tons of books) so be sure to check the other blogs and join the fun!

About Because This Is Forever:
A call for help, a secret baby, and a compromise... What starts off as a temporary arrangement soon becomes a chance at rediscovery and becoming a family.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Going on Tour!

My latest release, Because This Is Forever, is going on tour! This is my first virtual book tour and I'm excited with the schedule and the stops we have planned.

There will be a good mix of guest posts, where I talk IR romance and "happily ever afters", there will be interviews and excerpts, recipe posts, music playlist, and another Coffee Time Romance Thursday 13 where I give you my list of Top 13 multicultural/interracial books to read in 2013.

Of course a tour isn't complete without a giveaway. There will be 5 secret prizes given away throughout the tour and a Scavenger Hunt for the grand prize: "Forever Care Package". The package will include a $25 Visa gift card, a tote, t-shirt, a mug, recipe cards, Mikey's favorite snack, and some fun author swag!

For more on the tour schedule and giveaway, check out my website!

RESURRECTED: My Famous Sweet & Spicy Chili Recipe

I've resurrected an old blog post from this past April as part of Mina's Blogfest II.
Like my stories, I like my chili sweet and spicy. Here's a recipe of my famous (at least famous with my family and friends :) Sweet & Spicy Chili. It's super easy and very delicious so give it try and let me know what you think!

**Disclaimer: measurements are my best estimations since I don't usually use measurements when I make my chili so feel free to adjust depending on your tastes!

1 lb - lean ground beef (or turkey)2.5 tbsp - chili powder (separated)1/2 tsp - salt and pepper1 tbsp - olive oil1tbsp - chopped garlic1 - 15oz can of red kidney beans1 - medium can of diced tomatoes1 - small can of tomato sauce1 tbsp - brown sugar (I use Splenda blend)1 - onion, diced1 - green, red, or yellow bell pepper (I use a half of all three!), dicedPreparation:
Season the ground meat with 1/2 tbsp of chili powder and salt and pepperHeat oil in a dutch pot on medium and ad…

Disney Villians Sexified

"Gaston, you are positively primeval."
"Why, thank you Belle."
What's a fairy tale without a [sexy] villain to run from? I love a great fairytale and that includes the Disney classics. They had villains that I grew to love to hate and this Halloween I pay tribute to the evildoers that made these tales classics by showing their sexy sides. ;)

 "We all know the real power in this world isn't magic. It's money!"
-Shadow Man, The Princess & the Frog

"And don't forget the power of BODY language!"
-Ursula the Sea Witch, The Little Mermaid
 So tell me, who's your favorite Disney villain?

Happy Halloween!

Anything Goes: Mia runs a Blog Hop!

This month, anything goes! And I have a surprise guest, Mia. She's a mother and the heroine from my latest release, Because This Is Forever, and she will be running this month's blog hop.

I have to tell you, it's nice to seat back and let someone else take over for a change...
Hi! I'm Mia, mother to an energetic four-year-old. My son, Mikey, keeps me busy and keeps me on my toes so it's nice to take a break and do something different--like run this month's giveaway hop. As a mother to a young, easily excitable little boy, I thrive on convenience and comfort, which is why you'll usually find me in camis and long, cotton skirts with my hair pulled back in a ponytail. During the summer we spent with Nate that was go-to style, but you'll have to read more about that eventful summer from my story,Because This Is Forever...

For this giveaway, I've partnered with Ms. Lena Hart to give away some of my favorite items, including a cool t-shirt, a tote, a…

It's finally here!

My debut novel, Because This Is Forever, is finally here! It's been a long but memorable journey and I'm excited to be sharing Mia and Nate's story with the world.

Read the excerpt ♥  Watch the trailer

Heartbroken… Lost… Alone…
Mia’s dreams of love, family, and “happily ever after” are crushed when the love of her life, Nate, reveals he doesn’t want marriage or children. So she makes a decision that forces them apart. Five years later, Mia needs Nate’s help to save her home for the sake of the son he never knew he had. Determined to change that, Nate proposes a compromise that soon turns into a chance at rediscovery and becoming a family. Only, Nate must convince Mia that his love for her is true and will last now and forever.

Get it now at Secret Cravings Publishing!

Available at all retail sites October 14, 2013.
Amazon  ♥  Barnes & Noble  ♥  All Romance eBooks

"Sunset On Summer Fun" Giveaway Hop + Video Book Trailer

The chilly weather outside has made it official. Summer is at an end. Though I'll miss it, I'm excited to welcome in the fall! This season promises to be an exciting one, especially with my upcoming debut novel, Because This Is Forever. Check out the trailer!

To celebrate the premiere of my very first book trailer, I'll be giving away 2 movie theater tickets (choice of AMC or Regal) plus some fun author swag! Just leave a comment and let me know what you think of the trailer.

Also, I'm co-sponsoring BTS eMag and Decadent Publishing's grand prize, which is a Kindle Fire or Nook HD. Click on the "Sunset" banner for more details on how to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop over to the next three bloggers!
Cat Johnson
Anne Lange
Colette Saucier

"Fall Into Romance" Hop + Cover Reveal!

The wait is finally over! I'm super excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming release, Because This Is Forever. I fell in love with this family and their story and I'm so excited to be sharing it with the world this fall!

Now that we're heading into fall, I just wanted to share some of the amazing stories I fell in ♥ with this summer. _______________________________________
It's no big secret that I'm a huge Linda Howard fan. I have a shelf dedicated to just her books. This summer I added another, Shadow Woman. Though this book was heavy on the Romantic Suspense elements, taking away some of the chemistry from the hero and heroine for me, it still had all the core elements of a Linda Howard story that I enjoy! ♥♥♥

I got a chance to read a fellow author-friend of mine's latest release and it was a joy! From our time as critique partners, I got a chance to know Callia and Grayson from the start and it was a treat to read Sweet Secrets and see their story unfold…


Fall is Finally Here!

Happy early Labor Day! We're finally into fall and already there are so much planned this month. I have to admit, I love the fall season. I think it may have something to do with me being a fall baby but there's something about a the cool air and dry leaves that makes me feel warm and toasty. =)

This month I'll be participating in a few major blog hops--one with The Romance Reviews, another with BTS eMag. I'm excited about both but I'm especially excited for the TRR "Fall Into Love" blog hop where I'll reveal my new cover art for Because This Is Forever, which is slated for release this fall. I'm excited for it's release and you can about the story on my site.

As for the BTS eMag "Sunset on Summer Fun" hop starts on September 17th and lasts through the end of the month. It's one of the longest running hops I've been a part of and I have something special planned for that one so stay tuned!

And last, I'll be sponsoring an ex…

What D'ya Know #2: Hemingway Cats

Happy hump day! Today I introduce a second installment of the "What D'ya Know" segment and what I wanted to discuss Polydactyl cats, or better known as "Hemingway Cats". These are basically cats that have more then the typical 18 digits (5 on each front paw and 4 on the back) and they get the nickname because the famous writer was such a fan of them. He was given one as a gift and after his death, his home in Key West, FL was turned into a home and museum for the decedents of his polys. His home is now occupied by 40-50 of them.

Mine apartment happen to be occupied by one: my kitty Duchess! If you can't tell from the pictures on my site, she has 6 digits on each front paw. When I adopted her from the ASCPA, they told me polys like her were considered lucky so I was sold!

Though I've always been a cat lover, I never heard about these "Hemingway Cats" until I adopted Duchess. One of the other rumors I've also heard about these cats, aside f…

"50 Shades of Sexy" Tour!

Drum roll pleassseee....Sneak peak of my upcoming release is here! An excerpt from BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER, is up on the RWA/NYC blog for the "50 Shades of Sexy" tour! Please check it out, comment, and share!

BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER is slated for release this Fall 2013.

Affaire de Coeur's Cover Art Contest: Results Are In!

Thanks everyone for your votes and support!

Check out the sneak peek here...

Hot Summer Heroes Here! (Blog Hop)

No, not this...

I'm talking about these...
 and these...  I hope you enjoyed the eye-candy =). But more then a sexy, sweaty alpha man, I love a hero that's a natural leader, possess strong values, composed, and goes after what he wants... you know a natural born hunter. Those to me are sexy and what makes for a hot, irresistible hero. What do you think makes a hero HOT? What do you think of my eye-candy? Leave a comment and share! Two lucky winners (US only) will get a chance to win this: A pdf copy of my novella, Because You Love Me, some of my fun swag, and a 2013-2014 calendar from The Killion Group. Winners will be announced on August 19th. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lovestruck Giveaway Blog Hop!

Thanks for stopping by my blog for the Lovestruck Giveaway hop! I love lovewhich is why I write romanceand I think this hop is the perfect opportunity to reveal my upcoming release, Because This Is Forever. I loved writing this story because like myself, my heroine is a hopeless romantic...or at lease she was...
Former hopeless romantic, Mia Trent, is crushed when the love of her life, Nate McArthur, reveals that he doesn’t want to get married—or have children. But it’s too late. Mia is already pregnant and her dream of “happily ever after” is sharply put to an end when she decides she’d rather keep her pregnancy a secret then to force Nate into a life he obviously doesn’t want.

Five years later, Mia must reach out to Nate for help or risk losing her home and shelter for their child. Stunned and outraged by the sudden news of his child, Nate proposes a compromise: give him the summer to get to know their son and he’ll give Mia the money to save her home. But Nate finds he isn&#…