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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Book Deals

Today is the first Black Friday I haven’t been scheduled to work in… oh, I don’t know. FIFTEEN YEARS?!? (For those of you not familiar with Black Friday, it’s the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year when you can get the best deals, but it’s crowded and some people can get aggressive when they are at the store to buy the same item.)

I've made one Black Friday shopping trip in the last fifteen years, and it may have been my only. My husband was completing his fellowship in another town. We had to maintain separate households, so our Christmas budget was sparse. I remember buying an iron, a Christmas tree, and a few toys for our toddler boy. The iron wasn't a gift. We just needed one. 

Even though my experience with shopping on Black Friday is limited, I know how crazy it can get. We live in a big shopping area. When I leave my house on Black Friday, I have to strategize on the quickest way to get out of the chaos of bumper-to- bumper traffic. But not this year! This year I get to stay home with my family. I’m looking forward to sleeping late, relaxing with a cup of coffee, and READING. Fortunately, I can still get great deals without leaving my cozy home. If that sounds good to you too, and you would like to check out any of the Lady Scribes' stories, here are some of the best deals on electronic books you can find today.  

Samantha Grace ~ Regency:
Twice Upon a Time (Danby Novella) is only .99 and Lady Vivian Defies a Duke (Beau Monde Bachelor Novel) is only 1.99 (2.99 Nook).

Ava Stone ~ Regency:
Heroes Returned Trilogy - Three novels for .99! (Limited time only! Sale ends Monday.) 

Andris Bear ~ Urban Fantasy and Paranormal:
Angel Unleashed for .99!

 Amazon  B&N

Jennifer Lohmann ~ Harlequin Super Romance:
Super Romance novels The First Move and Reservations for Two are only 3.82 for Kindle (4.99 Nook). 

Amazon   B&N 

Julie Johnstone ~ Regency:
Bargaining with a Rake novel is on sale for .99!

Amazon  B&N

Christi Caldwell ~ Regency:
Danby Christmas Novellas only .99!

Amazon  B&N

Jerrica Knight-Catania ~ Romantic Comedy: 
The Matchbaker (novel) is only .99! 

Amazon  B&N

Deb Marlowe ~ Regency: 
An Unexpected Encounter is just .99!

Amazon  B&N

Terry Spear ~ Historical: 
Winning the Highlander's Heart is only 1.99!

Amazon  B&N

Jane Charles ~ Regency:
Tenacious Trent Christmas novellas for .99 each!

Amazon  B&N

Suzanne Johnson ~ Urban Fantasy & Paranormal:
Christmas in Dogtown is on sale for 2.99!

Amazon  B&N

Suzie Grant ~ Historical:
For the Sake of Sin (novella) and Summons From Abroad (Danby novella) are FREE for Kindle!

Amazon  B&N

Sara Humphreys ~ Paranormal:
Undenied (Amoveo short story) is FREE and Untouched (Amoveo novel) is only .99!

Judi Fennel ~ Contemporary:
Be Mine (short story) is only .99!

Do you have plans to shop on Black Friday? What are you planning to read this weekend? 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just Say NO to Shopping on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope you're all surrounded by loved ones on this chilly Thanksgiving Day. I cherish the holiday season because there's a heightened focus on family and friends. It's a warm and fuzzy time of year when we stop to take stock of the many blessings we have in our lives. But if you watch any television at all...things seem to have changed. Lately, almost every store has been touting their "Thanksgiving Day Shopping Hours."

A Facebook friend posted that he'd heard there was an actual name for it now...Brown Thursday.

Really? Come on, people.

I realize that many Americans have to work on Thanksgiving day at one point or another because society does need to function.  Nurses, doctors, fireman, and policeman...just to name a few...these folks spend much of their Thanksgiving Day working to help other Americans.

But Macy's? Wal-Mart? Best Buy?

Is this what our society has come to? Turning Thanksgiving Day into a bargain shopping opportunity.
Ew. Just ew.

I realize money is tight. Believe me, I do. But is a great deal worth stuffing oneself into a line on Thanksgiving Day to jostle with other desperate shoppers to get a nine thousand inch television set?

I'm sorry but, for me, it goes against the very spirit of the holiday. Thanksgiving should be a time to stop and give thanks for all of the lovely gifts we're given.

And I don't mean perfume or a car or an obnoxiously large television.

I'm talking about family, friends, good health, or a warm bed to sleep in.

I realize that this post might offend some people. Sorry. I'm simply stating my feelings on the subject and shopping on Thanksgiving day just feels wrong. A little shopping online, well that's one thing, but leaving your family to stand in a line for hours on end....no thanks.

I will be taking stock of the many blessings I have and the biggest blessing of all is my family.

I wish you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nothing Says Love Like Pies by Suzan Butler

First off, I want to say thank you to the lovely ladies of Lady Scribes for having me on their blog. It’s always a blast coming here and getting to talk to people.

Second… I have confession to make… Hi there. I’m Suzan Butler, and I have an addiction to pies.

Now I’m not a huge cooking aficionado. I’m not a chef. But I do love me some pie.  And I always have this thing about assigning a favorite pie to a character. It gives me insight into their personality. I assign them certain types of underwear too, but that’s a completely different post and possibly not the most appropriate, so today let’s stick with pies, okay?

With Thanksgiving in the US tomorrow, I thought it might be a good topic to do the pies. So here we go… in no particular order… My top three favorite pies, and the heroes they make me think of.

Chocolate Pie
This one is kinda like a mousse. It’s smooth, and creamy. This is my oldest’s favorite. He’s still under the crazy impression that pies are awful and horrible things.

Chocolate pie reminds me of one of the secondary characters in Heart and Snow, Gavin Ferrara because he’s a smooth talking Italian.  Maybe I’ll have to indulge in some chocolate pie when I start writing his book. You know, for research… of course.

Pumpkin Pie
This pie has been a staple in my house for many years. My youngest, my spunky red-head, adores this one, and it’s been mandatory for us to have one practically since he was born. I used to have this pie. Actually, when I was a kid, I hated all pies, because they were called pies. It wasn’t until I was much older than my kids that I finally tried pies, and the pumpkin pie landed in my top five.

I’d say Darren, from Off Her Game, is probably the hero most like a pumpkin pie. He’s sweet, but he’s not without a little spice. Not too much that it ruins the taste, but just enough to warm you up.

Pecan Pie
Since both my kids decided that they hated nuts (crazy kids!), I get to have this one all to myself… Well, almost. I still have to share with the other adults at the table.


Anyway, this pie is special in a lot of ways for me. It’s the first pie I ever made by myself, and it wasn’t completely inedible. Anyone who knows me well knows I’m not a cook. I’m not even close to being a good cook. It just wasn’t a skill that I ever could do. I think that’s why this pie stays special to me. Because I actually managed an edible version.

Pecan pie makes me think of Cody, the hero in my new release, Heart and Snow.  Because he was absolutely the sweetest guy I ever wrote. So sickeningly sweet, but I couldn’t get enough of him. He’s got that crispy outside, which keeps the sweet inside protected.

My hockey players always have that rough exterior. It’s part of the game, but they always find the right women that are able to pull out that sweet center. I live for that, love it, actually.  That’s the part that is always the most fun to write, and the tastiest.

I might need to start getting someone to make these pies for me. I’m making myself hungry here. So I’m stop here, and leave this awesomely tasty pecan pie recipe from my friend Hailey Edwards, who was nice enough to let me share it.

1 Unbaked Single Pie Crust

4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cup pecan halves

Prepare crust as directed. Do not bake. Heat oven to 350.

For filling, combine eggs, 1/4 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, corn syrup, 2 Tbs. butter, bourbon, vanilla, and nuts. Mix well. Spoon into unbaked pie shell with high fluted edge. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover edge of pastry with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven. 

For topping, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3 Tbs. butter, and honey in medium saucepan. Cook 2-3 minutes on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from heat. Add nuts. Stir until coated. Spoon evenly over pie. Cover edge of pastry with foil. Bake 10-20 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden brown. Cool to room temperature before serving. refrigerate leftovers.

Do you have a favorite pie? If you don't like pie, what dessert do you prefer?

Blurb for Heart and Snow:

Star goalie Cody Baker has the life he’s always dreamed of since he was a child. Not only does he get to play hockey in the national league, he managed to marry the perfect woman to support his dream. But now his wife is pregnant, his long-absent father wants to reconnect, and just like that, Cody loses control of the game.

Babies are the furthest thing from Josephina Baker’s mind. Thanks to failed birth control, Jo’s perfect life is in tatters. Bye-bye overseas vacations. So long, wild, sheet-scorching nights after road trips. Adieu lovely evenings out with the girls. Hello, morning sickness, long sleepless nights, and dirty diapers.

Spending the holidays with family only strains their already stressed relationship. Their red-hot marriage is as cold as snow lately and only the fire in their hearts can thaw it out.

Author Bio:

Suzan Butler is a contemporary romantic fiction author with a penchant for Dr. Pepper, ice hockey, and world domination.

She lives in Texas under a not-so-secret identity with two monsters, writing books and planning the next step in her evil plans into the twilight hours of the night because that’s when it’s quiet in the house.  If you’d like to receive news in your email about what Suzan’s got going on, sign up for her mailing list.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's All About Love

love (306x800)

What do you do if the male of your desires is a little… shy? Corner him!!!

love at first sight

And if that doesn’t work out very well, get your girlfriend to help you out. :)

females interested (800x628)

Hope everyone who celebrates is looking forward to Thanksgiving with family and friends. I'm at my son and DIL and had fun visiting their zoo yesterday.

Are you feeling the love???
Happy Thanksgiving!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best-Laid Plans...

Write what you know and know what you write.  As an author, I’ve heard that my entire life.  But some things, the things that are the hardest to write about, are the things you know the best. They’re also the hardest things to share with the world because they’re so personal. You have to go to a place in your heart you don’t like to visit and tap into something you’d rather forget.

I encountered that very thing this past year as I was writing my Christmas-set novella A Bit of Mistletoe (which can be found in the recently released A PACT BETWEEN GENTLEMEN). I had every intention of writing a happy, fluffy Christmas story, until I realized my heroine wasn’t one who could ever be free enough from her past to be as light-hearted as all that – Christmas or not.

I could have scrapped that idea and started over with someone else; but in my heart I really, REALLY wanted Miss Theresa Birkin to have a happy-ever-after. Tessie deserved a happy-ever-after. She deserved so much more than she’d received up to that point. She isn’t so much my most flawed heroine as she is my most careful. She’s had no choice but to be so, however. You see, she made the mistake of falling for a rake and ruined her life in the process. 

I know what that feels like. To make decisions based on promises and then have the rug and my carefully planned life ripped out from beneath me.  And I’m intimately familiar with silver-tongued liars.  Don’t get me started!

The catalyst for the Christmas Pact Anthology collection (A PACT BETWEEN GENTLEMEN and A GENTLEMEN’S PACT) is that 6 gentlemen make a pact to remain bachelors after the death of their friend. You see, Lord Arrington, their friend (of the philandering silver-tongued variety) was caught cheating by his wife and then promptly murdered by her with the help of her fire poker. The 6 gentlemen in question feel the best way to avoid the same end to their lives is to simply to avoid marriage in the first place.  But you know what they say about the best-laid plans (or pacts, as the case may be)…

I posted the dedication to this book on my Facebook page the day the book was released, but I’d like to share it here as well…

For every woman out there who has been cheated on or abandoned ~ A few years ago, my husband of 12 years told me he was leaving me for another woman. I know I’m not a novelty in that regard, but when you’re going through a situation like that, you certainly feel like you are. So as unseemly as it is to admit, I do feel a little kinship for Lady Arrington and her fire iron. While I could never harm anyone myself, I certainly understand the emotions that could lead one to that place.
At the time, I had some wonderful friends who promised to help me hide the body should I decide to “knock him off” (in jest, of course). But their friendship, their commiseration, their support helped me through the most difficult time in my life, and I will always love them for it. Every woman should be as lucky to have such wonderful, devoted, and loyal friends.  Had Lady Arrington had friends like mine, I’m certain she wouldn’t have ended up in Newgate Prison.
I am here to say, however, that as hard as it is to believe when you’re recovering from that sort of betrayal, there really are some decent and truly good men out there. I am honored to know a number of them. And after rising from my ashes, I am very fortunate to have found an honorable hero of my own.  
Though Lord Berkswell isn’t the soft, cuddly sort – and flawed, though he is - Berks is decent and a truly good man who cares for and loves his family with all his heart. I hope you’ll love him as much as I do.
  ~ Ava

I am a baby, in that every time I read that dedication I cry. I hate to admit that, but it's true. Try as I might, I can never forget the betrayal and utter shock that went through me when my then-husband told me he was leaving me and for whom - a woman I knew, a woman I'd had at my house for holidays and graduations, a woman I never would have suspected was that sort of woman.

Because I had been through that particular situation, it made me anxious to give Tessie Birkin a well-deserved happy ever after, but it also hurt a little to write, getting into her head, feeling her emotions. She'd been betrayed and I knew exactly what that felt like. Tapping into that emotion can be painful, but also a bit cathartic too. Still, it had to be done. Good people don't always get happy endings in real life, but as an author of fiction, I can certainly make sure that good characters get the ending they deserve. (Bad ones too for that matter, though that's cathartic in a different way.)

Have you ever REALLY identified with a character in a book?