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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What's up, Wednesdays?

This will be the last post from the Lady Scribes. We will miss all of you and didn't want to leave you without information about where else to find us on the web.

This week's question…
Where can we find the Lady Scribes after June?

I also blog over at the Superauthors  and can generally be found there once a month. I also occasionally post to the blog on my website. And, of course, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.
~Jennifer Lohmann

I've only been a Lady Scribe for a short time, but it's been a great time. You can always find me on Twitter, Facebook and my blog. I'm also trying to get into the Pinterest habit, so come find me there. And, if you're a contemporary romance fan, come hang out at the Contemporary Romance Cafe with me. Look forward to seeing you around the net!
~Kat Latham

I've loved blogging at LadyScribes, but again, am not saying goodbye! You can find more about my current books and upcoming releases on my website.  I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads! Oh, and I'm also striving to get myself more connected on Pinterest! Looking forward to keeping touch with everyone! Hugs
~Christi Caldwell

As a founding member of Lady Scribes, it's hard to say goodbye. I've had lots of happy times here at the blog. Fortunately, no place is too far away on the Internet, and you don't need a passport to come see me! You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads (where I may post a blog from time to time if I'm feeling especially longwinded). I'm also on Pinterest where I love searching for Regency gowns for inspiration and creating storyboards for my newest series, Rival Rogues.

To keep up with my latests releases, you can visit my website or sign up for my newsletter for news and free reads. Or if you're interested in joining my street team and being the first to see my newest covers, read excerpts, and possibly have access to my books before they hit the shelves, you can sign up here. Can't wait to see you at these new places!
~Samantha Grace


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Five Years....

Five years. In the grand scheme of life, it doesn't sound like very many years, and in the grand scheme of life it really isn't very many years. 

And yet, in that span of time, so much happened and didn't happen in my life. 

Five years ago, I was an aspiring romance author.

Five years ago, I was an aspiring mother. 

Five years ago, I found success in my 2nd IVF cycle and gave birth...to a beautiful baby boy with Down syndrome. 


Five years ago, I was unable to return to work, instead learning, sometimes struggling to care for a child with a disability.
 
As those days slipped by, I began to navigate through a new, uncertain world. Through all the fears and uncertainty, I found a kind of healing in the written word. I began to craft a world of imperfect heroes and heroines because I could identify with those imperfect people...because I was, and am in no way, perfect. My son, he taught me the beauty of imperfection. Life is not always perfect, it's often hard, but it has enriched my life in ways that I could never have imagined. 

My Nana Lil, she always used to say to me, 'your world is going to open up for you someday', but at the time, I carried so much bitterness that her words seemed like an impossibility. For me, I saw in my life, the things I couldn't do. I couldn't get pregnant without medical assistance. I also saw the things I wasn't able to do. My books were being rejected by editors and agents because it was "risky"; 'people didn't want to read about 'imperfect' heroes and heroines. 

Over the years, I followed Lady Scribes. And then, I was invited to be part of the Lady Scribes. 

So much of my life played out on those blog posts. I underwent eight more IVF cycles. I had several, heartbreaking pregnancy losses.

 I celebrated my son. I worried for my son. 

I despaired of ever being a mother to more children. And then I was pregnant with my twins. 

                       




When at 20 weeks 5 days I was placed on bedrest due to preterm labor complications, it was just one more thing I could not control in my life. 



What I could control, however, was what I wrote. And how much I wrote. For the 18 weeks I spent on bedrest, I wrote 3 books, 1 novella, and I decided to publish them. 


                                              

=                                                      





It's funny how very much can change in five years. I'm now a mother to three, beautiful children. I've been on Amazon's bestseller Regency and Historical Romance lists. I have my third full-length novel coming out in a few weeks. 


So I don't want to say good-bye today, because I don't believe this is good-bye. I hope to keep in touch with everyone on Facebook and Twitter, and every other social media outlet out there! 

Instead, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your kind words during some tremendously heartbreaking times in my life. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for reading. 

Just...thank you. 

Hugs and Love, 
Christi Caldwell
The Countess of Courage

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hello, Future!

A few months pre-published
This is the blog post that almost wasn’t. Between complete indecisiveness on my part over the topic, and two weeks of spotty to now no Internet service, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. (Thank goodness for coffee shops and Wi-Fi!) Being only partially connected these past two weeks reminds me there was once a time when I didn’t know the charms of the World Wide Web. It’s a distant memory, hazy and surreal.

I feel much the same about Lady Scribes. I can barely remember a time when it wasn’t part of my life. Therefore, it’s a bittersweet moment for me announcing the end of such a wonderful time. When we first started the blog, most of us were unpublished authors with high-hopes of realizing our dreams. What a joy it is to say that has come true for all the original members! It is also great to say the newer authors who’ve spent time as a Lady Scribe are busier than ever writing new books and connecting with readers in different ways. It wasn’t easy, but those of us remaining decided it was time to close the blog. What’s Up, Wednesday next week will be our last day.    

There is a saying that all good things must end. I’m not sure I agree with that sentiment. The best things I’ve gained from the blog remain long after my days of blogging are done: the wonderful friendships I’ve made with readers and my fellow Lady Scribes, and a cache of good memories. I had a lot of fun looking back through the archives to choose my favorite blog posts for today. I hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane, too.

Samantha's Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts:

The Nearly Wed game as part of the Febutant Ball with fellow authors Kristin Callihan, Mandy Collins, Anna Randol, Jillian Stone, & Heather Snow. TAKE A LOOK HERE
To view all the other authors’ characters participating in the Nearly Wed Game, hit older post until you reach Anna Randol’s post.

Stories about my neurotic dog, Dani. TAKE A LOOK HERE

The Pants Blog was fun and hilarious! TAKE A LOOK HERE 

My confession about buying Brazil Butt Lift workout DVDs. TAKE A LOOK HERE 

My favorite interview of all time with the Marronites! (Paul Marron’s biggest fans) TAKE A LOOK HERE 

Of course, none of the ladies are disappearing off the grid. You’ll still see me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinetrest, and Goodreads. And if any of you bloggers would like my characters or me to make a guest appearance on your blog, we would be thrilled with a capital T!!! (Can you tell I spent the last 24 hours with a group of tween girls?) Feel free to contact me through my email address: samantha@samanthagraceauthor.com 

Also, beginning Monday I’ll put out the call for street team members, and I’m so excited about interacting with the team like I have been with our regular Lady Scribe readers. Y’all are the best! If you are interested in joining my street team, you can send me an email, direct message through FB or Twitter, or look for a link to the sign-up sheet on FB and Twitter Monday, June 23rd.

Have you had a time in your life when you were sad to say goodbye but still excited about what the future held? 






Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's up, Wednesdays?

Peaches are just coming into my farmer's market. They're the cling ones still, but that doesn't stop me from buying two basket fulls and having one (or two) at every meal.

This week's question…
Do you have a favorite peach recipe?

I generally eat summer peaches for breakfast, with cottage cheese and the chili-lime powder you can buy at Mexican groceries. I love that for breakfast. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with a good peach cobbler.
~Jennifer Lohmann

I love peach cobbler, but I'm not a baker and I don't need the extra calories anyway. My friend turned me on to cutting up fresh peaches, placing them in a pie dish, and sprinkling them with a little sugar and cinnamon. Then you bake until the peaches are soften a bit and serve warm. Yummy taste without all the heavy dough. :)
~Samantha Grace
(coming in late, because she has no internet--JLo)

Also, Barbara E, you were the randomly chose winner from last week. We don't have your email, so please email me at jenniferlohmann (at) gmail (dot) com so you can receive your prize.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I hate goodbyes, don't you?

If there is one thing I hate it's goodbyes. It seems as if they are always hard, even if you know you will see that person again, but since I don't actually SEE most of you lovely readers I have come to know by being on Lady Scribes I am especially finding that I am sad to end the chapter of my life where I am a Lady Scribes.

I was one of the founding member of this blog, and I helped to create it with some writers that were my friends as well as critique partners and have ultimately become very good friends of mine.

In the past year, life has become incredibly hectic for me as a writer, and I have decided that to be better balanced between my writing life and my home life I have to make a concerted effort to concentrate on lessening some of my commitments. Unfortunately for me that means I no longer have the time I believe is necessary to devote to being a Lady Scribe.

Though I am saying goodbye here, I can still be found and connected with on:

Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter 

at my website www.juliejohnstoneauthor.com where you can sign up for my newsletter

Or if you want to connect with me on a  more personal level you can always be on my Street Team! We are a fun bunch of ladies named Julie Johnstone's Daring Duchesses, Debutantes and Demi-mondes! Drop me a line at juliejohnstoneauthor@gmail.com, and I will be happy to sign you up!

I can't leave you without a proper parting gift! I am a good Southern gal, after all.

Two people who comment here will be sent a code to get my new audio book for free from Audible.com! Here is the cover, the blurb and the links buy!

Purchase at: Audible  Amazon   Itunes

Lady Madelaine Aldridge might be the worst lady-in-waiting to ever grace King George III’s court. An oddball who prefers archery to embroidery and honesty to deception, she earns the dislike of the Queen, the cruelty of the other ladies-in-waiting and the advances of a lecherous fiend who wants to make her his whore. Her father demands she find a proper husband―a task that seems hopeless until Lord Grey Adlard rides into court.

Grey Adlard lives up to his reputation as a dangerously handsome rake when he proposes Madelaine meet him in the stables for a tumble. Yet when she needs a protector the most, Grey offers his services and vows he wants to court her. Wary yet intrigued by the mystery he presents, Madelaine slowly allows Grey to capture her confidence and then her heart.


Things seem perfect until her father is imprisoned for plotting against the King and Madelaine learns Grey is not who he pretends. As King George III sinks deeper into insanity, Madelaine must prove her father’s innocence in order to save his life. With the future of England hanging in the balance and a ruthless murderer hunting them Grey and Madelaine engage in a clash of wills and a battle fraught with suspicion, secrets, betrayal and two hearts that cannot deny the impossible, irresistible love between them.

I will miss you ladies but hopefully I will someday get to meet those of you I have not and see those of you I have met in person again!

Parting is such sweet sorrow!

Julie Johnstone
The once and always Marchioness of Mayhem

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What's up, Wednesday?

Apparently among it's many wonderful attributes (including African-American Music Appreciation Month and National Rose Month), June is National Candy Month.

This week's question…
Do you have a favorite candy?


I'm not generally a big candy eater, though I keep a small cup of chocolates on my desk at my day job. It's rare that I'll turn down a peanut butter cup.
~Jennifer Lohmann

Candy is my great weakness!! This topic in itself is a dangerous one! My favorite candy in the world is the Haribo Gummy bears. Oh my goodness...I'm such a nut when it comes to textures. My 'real' favorite candy, went out of business years ago...who knew candy could go out of business. : )  They were called Juicefuls and they made them in Apple, Peach, Raspberry and Cherry...and they were filled with real fruit juice. Oh dear, I'm going to need a sugar break!
~Christi Caldwell

I love chocolate, and Turtles are my absolute favorite! I'm so glad my hubby doesn't buy me boxes of them like my mom used to receive for Christmas and Valentine's Day. I can't stop until I'm sick!
~Samantha Grace

Tell us your favorite candy and Samantha will toss in a little eye candy for one commenter. :-) (Please leave your email address so we can contact you if your name is chosen.)


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sneak Peek--"Always Proper, Suddenly Scandalous"

I'm so excited to share an excerpt from "Always Proper, Suddenly Scandalous", Book 3 in my Scandalous Seasons series, which comes out July 2014! The hero, Geoffrey Winters, 5th Viscount Redbrooke was never intended as a hero for a full-length novel. In fact, he's been quite a polarizing figure for some readers. But Geoffrey, like so many of my characters, is flawed and none of his actions in any of the previous books were ever without reason. So he demanded his story be told...and it unfolded with an American heroine, Miss Abigail Stone. Someone that he obviously never imagined for himself!

I hope you enjoy the excerpt...and I'll be giving away one copy of "Always Proper, Suddenly Scandalous" to one commenter today! Winner will be posted on the comments section of today's blog! Thanks for reading!

Hugs,
Christi Caldwell


And Now the Excerpt!

Geoffrey took a step toward a liveried servant bearing a tray full of champagne. The tip of his black Hessian boot snagged upon the hem of a young lady’s skirt.

Riiiiip.

The lady gasped as he tore the fabric of her gown, and she pitched forward. Even as the glass of ratafia in her hand fell to the floor, her hip collided with the passing servant who teetered on his feet. The young man’s serving tray tilted precariously, and for an infinitesimal moment Geoffrey thought the servant had steadied his burden.

But the servant’s tray slipped from his fingers. Geoffrey made a quick grab for it, but the champagne flutes careened to the floor, and sprayed bubbling liquid onto the gowns of several nearby matrons. They cried out in shock, and scurried off with black glares for Geoffrey. 

“Pardon me,” Geoffrey murmured to the servant, and then returned his attention to the woman he’d inadvertently sent reeling. A mere five or so inches smaller than his six foot frame, she stood tall like a Spartan princess. 

She smiled up at him.

“Forgive me. Are you all…?”  Geoffrey's question died upon his lips. His eyes traveled the high planes of her cheekbones, the steel gray irises of her eyes, her full red lips.

…and then her slipper met the moisture upon the marble floor. Like one of the skaters at the Frost Fair on the River Thames, she slid forward, into the nearby pillar. “Ouch.”

Geoffrey’s arm shot out and he sought to steady her.

“Thank you,” she said. She shook out her sea foam green skirts and unlike the horror that wreathed the faces of the surrounding ladies, wry amusement fairly glittered in her gray-blue eyes.“I am not injured,” she assured him.

His eyes widened and with alacrity, he released her.

She cocked her head to the side. “Are you injured?”

Her flat accent did not possess the clipped proper tones of a proper English lady. He blinked. “Injured?”

“You appear unwell , sir.”

By God…

“You are an American,” he blurted.

A mischievous smile played at the woman’s too full, red lips. “I am.” She looked around and then back to him. “Never tell me you’re scandalized by me being an American?”

He was scandalized by the wicked direction his thoughts had wandered that involved an American woman. 
Geoffrey shook his head. If his mother was outraged at the prospect of a Scott assuming the Redbrooke title, what would she say to an American lady having ensnared Geoffrey’s attention?

“Ahh, you do smile,” the young woman said.

Geoffrey frowned. “I beg your pardon?”

“Alas, it is gone,” she said with an exaggerated sigh.

Geoffrey suddenly noted the appalled stares of Polite Society’s most respectable peers, trained upon them. 

From across the room, his mother who stood alongside Lady Tisdale glared at him with blatant disapproval. 

It was the much needed reminder of his past failings and inner weaknesses that had wrought much agony upon his family. By engaging this…this…stranger, in the midst of Lord and Lady Hughes’s ballroom, he opened himself up to public censure. His intentions were marriage to Lady Catherine Dennington, and any hint of untoward interest in another would not be countenanced by the Duke of Somerset or his daughter.

Geoffrey folded his arms across his chest. This American upstart might have a face and body to rival Helen of Troy, but possessed the uncouth manners one would expect of an American. “Miss,” he said from the corner of his mouth. “We’ve not been properly introduced; therefore, all manner of discourse between us is improper.”

Her lips twitched in what he suspected was mirth. “I would say toppling over the host’s servant and spraying his guests with champagne and glass is also improper, but you’ve done that, sir,” she said, her voice as dry as the crisp leaves in autumn. 

Geoffrey felt heat climb up his neck, and resisted the urge to tug at his suddenly tight cravat, shamed by  the accuracy of her charge. He did not create scandals. Not anymore. He was proper. And poised. And…

She arched a brow.

Well, in this instance he’d created a small scandal. Still, he needn’t raise further eyebrows by talking to the vexing miss.

Even if he wanted to.

He needed to go. Immediately. Anywhere but within mere inches of the lady who smelled like lilacs and lavender and now champagne. “Again, forgive me for causing you distress.” He bowed deeply and beat a hasty retreat.

Geoffrey had made a fool of himself once over a young lady. He’d not be so foolish again. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekends in Carolina

My fourth book, Weekends in Carolina, came out last week and I'm super excited about it! It's set in Durham, North Carolina, where I live, which gives this book a special place in my heart. Plus, I love the cover, which says so much about the book.


The Blurb: 

Wishing the weekend would never end! 
Trey Harris wants nothing to do with his late father's farm. In fact, he can't get rid of it fast enough so he can enjoy his city life. Then he meets Maxine "Max" Backstrom—the gorgeous woman leasing the land. Between her passion for his family's farm and her determination to show him its beauty…well, Trey can't stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss her! 
Still, their lives are worlds apart. If he sells, her livelihood vanishes. But his interests aren't here. And no matter how magical their weekends together are, this can't lead to anything…can it?

Excerpt:

Trey would have bet substantial amounts of money that he would never have found a woman shooting tin cans with a .22 attractive. Or, for that matter, any woman standing behind his father’s house. This woman was evidence that he would have lost both wagers.

He couldn’t see her face, but she had a ferocity to her stance, legs set apart and knees slightly bent, elbows sharp and dangerous, and he could describe the pinch in her facial features without her having to turn around. Her mass of curly, carrot-colored hair was barely contained by the knot she’d tied it in, and the baseball cap it was shoved under was doing nothing to help lash the masses together. She must be keeping it out of her eyes by sheer force of will, as the wind blew wisps of curls everywhere but in front of her face.

Trey was surprised there was enough country left in him to find a woman in work boots attractive. Another bet he would have lost.

Whoever she was, her jeans skimmed over her tight butt before disappearing into her boots and he was enjoying the way her shoulder blades poked through the white cotton of her T-shirt. And the way the surprisingly bright and unseasonably warm sun of a January day in North Carolina bounced off the freckles on her arm. Only a small amount of bare skin was visible, but what he could see was more freckle than not.
She pulled the trigger and the “P” in one of the Pepsi cans disappeared before the can toppled over. The woman herself barely flinched. Trey had just taken another breath and she shot the next can. Given the pile of fallen cans and the near-empty box of fresh targets, the woman had been out shooting for a while. He was loath to interrupt her to ask where Max was. Not only was he enjoying the view, but she was an angry woman holding a rifle. Trey knew nothing about Max and his competencies, but Trey’s father had certainly been capable of making a woman angry enough to shoot any human with a Y-chromosome, even from beyond the grave. God knows Trey had spent much of his childhood escaping his house to punch trees while his mother had practiced her bland smile.

Clip spent, the woman put the rifle on the seat of a lawn chair and stalked to the line of dead cans.

“Hey,” Trey called out as he walked to the chair. She didn’t turn around or give any other indication that she’d heard him. His mother’s lessons, always at odds with his father’s example, had been to be polite and respectful to women, but he couldn’t yell “pardon me, ma’am” with enough force to get the woman’s attention, so he reconciled himself to a rude, “Hey, you!”

The woman started, knocking over the pile of dead cans she had constructed. When she looked up at him, his spine tingled in response. Even through sunglasses, the force of her stare caught him off guard. As far as he knew, she wasn’t supposed to be on his father’s farm, much less here shooting cans. Or was it his farm now? Or maybe it was Max’s farm. It didn’t matter who owned the property at the moment. This woman wasn’t supposed to be here.

She straightened then reached up to her ears with both hands and pulled. Two small bits of orange foam bounced off her shirt, just above the rise of her breasts.

Of course she couldn’t hear him. She’d been wearing earplugs. It had been so long since Trey had stood in his backyard and shot at cans that he’d forgotten some of the basic safety precautions.

She marched up to him, her stride as direct as her stare. After they were no longer in shouting distance, she lifted her sunglasses off her face, folded them into the neck of her T-shirt and said, “You must be Trey Harris.”

The woman walked quickly. By the time she had finished speaking, she was directly in front of him. The part of Trey that had been admiring her backside also noticed the peaks of her nipples pressed against her shirt—even if it was a warm, sunny January day in North Carolina, it was still a January day. But Trey wasn’t a complete caveman; he also noticed that she had clear, mint-green eyes.

“You have the advantage of me,” he said, focusing his attention on her arresting eyes. For all that the rest of her was easy to look at, her eyes—and the straightforward way she looked at him—were mesmerizing. She was daring him to look away and he couldn’t. “You know who I am, but I don’t know who you are.”
Or what youre doing here.

Her straight, pale eyebrows crossed in confusion. “I’m Max Backstrom,” she said without offering her hand.
“You’re Max?” A couple years ago, Trey had asked Kelly if his boyfriend had known he was spending so much time with Max. His brother had choked with laughter—and now Trey knew why.


Her confusion didn’t last. She lifted one eyebrow, this time daring him to argue with her, and he didn’t accept this challenge, either. This woman was his father’s farmer.

Have you ever been mistaken for someone incorrectly, or mistaken someone else?

I'll be giving away a print copy of Weekends in Carolina. US winners only. Void where prohibited. Comment to enter. I'll run the giveaway from today until June 20th*, posting the winner on the 21th. Please include your email so I can contact you about your prize.

*edited to fix the month

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's up, Wednesday?

It's the beginning of June and the northern hemisphere has summer coming up. Kids are getting out of school, it's light long into the evening, and my neighbors are talking about how their tomato plants are coming along.

This week's question…
What is a favorite summer memory?

I grew up in a small town near Sun Valley and we often head there for around the 4th of July. The resort had a summer skating show (where I saw Brian Boitano and Brian Orser). But my favorite part was the giant antique fair at the base of the ski mountain. I loved spending hours going through all that crap.
~Jennifer Lohmann

My favorite summer memories involve playing hide-and-seek, Midnight ghost, and kick-the-can with my neighborhood friends. We would stay out after dark and hide all over the place. I can't believe the adult neighbors were so tolerant of us, but they were. I'm still close with those friends and it has been more years than I want to admit on social media. :-)
~Samantha Grace

One of my favorite summer memories is playing flashlight tag out doors with my cousins and then staying up really late with the same cousins to play cards with them and all the aunts and uncles. I loved those times!!
~Julie Johnstone

When I was a kid in Sacramento, we lived near a water park, rode our bikes to it, went swimming in the olympic-sized pools, got snowcones or taffy candy, and fed the ducks and ducklings in the pond. Best time ever being a kid. 
~Terry Spear, Jaguar Hunt

What are your favorite summer memories? 
Leave a comment (please include email) to win a digital copy of Season for Surrender by Julie Johnstone.