Is this your family at holiday gatherings? Ha-ha, mine either. But some families don't get along too well and it turns into a big old hairy mess when you put everyone together, add alcohol and the tension that holidays bring. We're busy people anyway and when you pile more items on the to-do list, it often creates mental turmoil which equals stress. We feel like we're not doing enough, not doing it as well as the neighbors (OMG, they added another inflatable on their lawn. Quick, run to Walmart and get us one), or we're doing things we really don't want to out of obligation.
As Dillon and Lily visit his sister and niece, he remembers all the good and bad from their family's past. Trouble is, he's letting his parents' failed marriage ruin his chance at a relationship with Lily. Is Christmas a good time to work that out? While he and Lily are hunting for a bomber? Yeah, no pressure here.
HOLIDAY WISHES ROMANCE GIVEAWAY
A Sleighful of Prizes! Dec 5-25
Some of your favorite romance authors are giving you their best wishes for the holiday in a special video. To celebrate the season, we’re also giving away a grand prize package that includes a Kindle Fire, 6-months of Kindle Unlimited, and a $20 Amazon gift card. Santa even has a bag full of runners-up prizes, including gift cards and ebook prize packs.
Still want more? Check out the heart-melting (and some pantie-melting) romance reads in the Holiday Wishes All Romance Genres Book Fair, and play the Scavenger Hunt Game for your chance at a $50 Amazon gift card!
The excellent photo at the top is by Photo by King Lip on Unsplash
Now on Kindle Unlimited, book 3 in the Agents of Dart series. Good Season for Justice is a Christmas Novella and can be read as a stand-alone
If you like the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods and want to take a trip down an interesting rabbit hole, check out the Society for Creative Anachronism. Fascinating! The SCA is devoted to the research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills. They take their activities seriously, like the Pennsic War, a ginormous event that will make all you festival-lovers go bat-shit crazy. I want to attend! I don't necessarily want to fight in the war, but would love to be a merchant or an entertainer. One year, maybe I'll make it there.
In my WIP, Dillon's niece Jenna wants to join with a group of guys who sword fight in the SCA, even though they don't welcome Jenna with open arms. Lily, who never puts up with crap, tells Jenna, she doesn't have to put up with their crap to get into the SCA. But Jenna wants to belong to this squad and she's no quitter so she sticks it out.
My trip down the research rabbit hole led me to two posts by women who sword-fight in the SCA. I greatly admire these women for hanging in there and overcoming obstacles to do what they enjoy. Links to their posts are below.
So, I need a name for this group of hot-shot SCA guys that Jenna wants to join. Please visit the Survey Monkey and tell me what you think.
Two excellent posts about women in the SCA
Cool image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay
I sit at my computer and look for creative ways to kill people. When you write romantic suspense, you have to. I'm waiting for that knock on my door any day now and a visit from the men in black, wanting to know why I'm so interested in pipe bombs. Good thing I have a few books published to back up my "doing it for research" claim.
Book three in my current series is coming along nicely, and yes, there is a pipe bomb involved. I learned a lot about those, the Irish Republican Army, and the Society for Creative Anachronism while writing this book. Research is fun!
If you'd like to know when my next book will be available, check out this contest and sign up for my newsletter or my BookBub page. And maybe you'll even win one of the cool prizes that are being given away. Good luck to you!
Book one in the Agents of Dart series is on sale for .99 until the end of August, so grab your copy today!
What are you doing? Pull your pants up! It's a drink recipe, silly. That's right, Shit on the Grass is the name of a shot, made with melon liqueur and Irish cream. I'm participating in a fun event, and needed a cocktail. Since Lily, the heroine in my new series cusses a lot, I came up with this in her honor. Scroll down to find the recipe.
Join me at the Online Cocktail Party Romance Giveaway, and enter to win a delightful prize or two. Thirteen Fab Prize Packs! Thirteen Chances to Win! You need to stock up on your summer reading material, right? I'm under door number 11, so check it out and good luck! Oh, and if you're not familiar with BookBub, it's a great way to get notifications when your favorite authors have a book released, and to find new authors at discount prices. Many authors at this event use BookBub, so give it a whirl.
As promised, here's the recipe. I had to test a few and ended up freezing the melon liqueur, because I couldn't find Midori, and the substitute I used was too thin to hold the shit, I mean the Irish cream, on the top. I had to test quite a few, actually. The things I do for you guys! Here's a picture of mine. Make your own, and let's have a toast to lots of summer reading. Cheers!
Shit on the Grass
• 1/2 shot Midori or Creme de Menthe
• 1/2 shot Irish Cream
In a shot glass, chill Midori or Creme de Menthe on bottom of glass and then add Irish Cream on top. You can also use Midori and Kahlua.
Very cool top photo by Praveen Gupta on Unsplash
I freaking love Etsy! I love that they support artists from all over the world, and I love the creativity of using art for everyday items. Any time I need something that can possibly be handmade, I search for it on Etsy, so I grabbed a few awesome stickers from there to add to this Romance basket. Sometimes I drink wine while I shop on Etsy. Scroll down a bit. Can you guess which stickers I bought while I sucked down that wine? Ha-ha, bet you can! I love them all and I can't wait to share with you.
What else is in the basket? Eight gift cards, 20 paperback books, a T-shirt, three mugs, five pieces of jewelry, chocolate from Ireland, a teacup and saucer, book tote, romance calendar, bath bomb, swag galore, and loads of other goodie. That’s what one lucky winner will be awarded as a grand prize. Enter now, good luck, and I hope you win!
Book Fair page with bonus giveaway. Visit here, too!
Lily is the heroine in my new series, and she's a lot like this bonsai bougainvillea plant. Short, pretty, but tough as hell.
I'm reading a bunch of books I normally wouldn't, that's what. I entered the RITA contest this year for the first time, and that means, since I can't judge romantic suspense, my own category, I read and judge a variety of books in different sub-genres of romance. So far, I'm delighted with the excellent books I've been assigned! It's good to step out of our normal reading patterns and dip our toes into something different now and then. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that I final in this contest, or even win! But if I don't, I will have enjoyed exploring new worlds.
Have you tried a great program called BookBub? It's an easy way to find new authors to sample at great introductory prices. If you, too, like romantic suspense, head over to this contest page and join in our giveaway. I'd be honored if you would follow me on BookBub and help me reach my goal of 1,000 followers. I'm almost there!
Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/romsuspense-feb2019
Thank you, and I hope you win!
1. Live workshops give us a feeling of community. Writing is lonely work, and I often feel like I'm the only one facing challenges. Workshops give us the chance to schmooze with our fellow authors, and realize, we're all in this together, and together, we can find solutions to problems.
2. Florida. Yes, this class is in Florida. In February. Is it cold where you are? Not so much here, though I did have to wear socks the other day. Brrrr!
3. Great value. You will not find this caliber of speakers for this price anywhere else this year, betcha. We wanted to give indie authors a great deal, and I think we have. Visit the website and check out our line-up.
4. It's in Florida. I have to say that twice.
5. You can ask questions at workshops, and have them answered in real time. Sure, you can do this at online classes to some extent, but nothing beats getting a personalized answer to your questions, and receiving face-time with professionals.
Here's a word from our group's president, that sums up why you should come to this workshop. Please join me if you're in the area. I'd love to connect with you in person!
There's a fantastic master class coming to Cocoa Feb. 9 that writers of all genres will NOT want to miss. Whether you’re about to publish your first novel or are a seasoned indie, traditional or hybrid author, this all-day conference will give you tools to help you find more fans, elevate your books, and adopt effective marketing strategies to power up your writing career. Nationally known experts including Damon Suede, Eliza Knight, Maria Connor and Rachel Hauck are among the presenters. More info: http://authorsofromance.com/masterclass/
I wrote 4004 words for December. I still might have time to get in a few more, but my goal was 4000 this month. Woo-hoo for me! Whoa, damn. Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day. So let's see, tapping on my calculator shows about 129 words per day for me. Man, I suck. I'm way worse than Stephen King. Wait a second. Here's a Facebook post from someone who didn't write at all during December. I rock! I'm way better than them.
This cycle could go on forever, and it's incredibly damaging. I'm always going to be doing more than others, and I'm always going to be doing less than others. We're all living under different circumstances. My life doesn't look like anyone else's, and their life doesn't look like mine. My mind doesn't work like Stephen King's, so I can't write as well and as fast as him. But I'll bet he can't give a fabulous massage like me, or whip up healthy meals four times a week, take care of a feral cat colony, or do many of the other awesome things I do, as well as me. And he doesn't have to! That's not his life, so it's ridiculous to compare myself to him, like it's ridiculous to compare myself to anyone else.
Defeating the ugly Comparison Monster is my big goal for 2019. I'd like to crank out three or four books a year, but if I can only do one or two, so be it. My real goal is to be happy, so I'm going to do what it takes to stay in that place. I enjoy challenges and pushing myself, and patting myself on the back when I do well, but I'm not going to make any plans because I feel the need to keep up with the latest trend or another author. If life changes, I'm going to adjust and not drive myself to exhaustion to reach an unrealistic goal, but I will recognize the difference between lame-ass excuses and good reasons.
Another goal, goodbye time wasters (sorry, Facebook and Netflix, we'll have to keep our moments together brief), hello BrainFM and Gaia.com (you guys keep me on track. Luv ya!).
I'm sure I'll backslide now and then, but if I keep my eye on what's important, which is living every day the best I can, life will be good in 2019. I wish you peace, hope, prosperity, and a joyous start to the New Year!
I went into Books A Million to buy calendars (I only got one because, well, see the picture and story below), and at the checkout, the young clerk asked me if I wanted to... I figured he'd say "become a member" or "buy a bookmark or batteries", or some other sales pitch, which annoys the hell out of me, because I never do. I'm tired, I just want to buy my item and go home and take off my bra and put on sweatpants. But he asked me if I'd like to donate to the Florida Hospital for Children, and then he showed me a pile of books and toys that were going to the hospital if customers bought them. He said they'd pass them out to the kids who were there over Christmas.
Of course I said yes! It's crappy to be in the hospital when you're a kid, and double crappy to be there at Christmas. The clerk then told me that he was once in the hospital during the holidays when he was a teen, up North. Triple crappy, because it's cold and yuck outside. He said he was so happy when the book cart came around. I picked out at short YA paperback book about Aquaman to donate, with a picture of Jason Momoa on the cover, because I figured that would make some teen very happy. I know I'm happy whenever I see that big, handsome dude! Scroll down to see him in a delightful skit on Saturday Night Live.
The Giveaway I'm in this month is called Christmas Is Where You Find It. My last eighteen Christmases have been subtropical, and I've learned to adjust. Being in a hospital would be a tough place to be; lots of adjustments. I hope I made someone's life brighter with a book, and that they find Christmas cheer, even there. And I hope wherever you are, love, peace, and joy come to you.
Me waving to you from the beach on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Yes, it was that warm. Don't hate me. ;-) Remember, we have hurricanes!
I simply can't pay full price for calendars, but I'm super picky about them, so I have to look at each one. Which I did, at BAM, and took a picture so I'd remember which ones I want and can get them when they go on sale. Am I Scroogy-cheap or incredibly smart? You decide. ;-) If you look close, you can see my red and green painted toenails peeking in the picture. Me, getting all festive for the holidays.
Romantic suspense or horror? I'm trying out a new logo and I say suspense, but my friend says it looks too much like I write horror. Check out these two different versions, then go to the Survey Monkey and tell me what you think.
I’ve teamed up with 40+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Romantic Suspense novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!
Oh, and did I mention you'll receive a collection of FREE reads just for entering? 😁
You can win my novel, She's a Good Girl, plus books from authors like Ann Major, Christie Craig, and Jacki Delecki.
Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 http://bit.ly/romsuspense-oct18
I hope you win!
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I would love to hear from you! Drop me a line at naomibellina AT live.com