Friday, July 31, 2015

#FridayFavorites Christina Perri-The Words

It's only week two of this #FridayFavorites series and I warned that the topics would be varied because I had a million ideas last week. Yet, I've already found myself struggling with what to write about.

I didn't want this week's post to be too similar to the one from last week, since that would risk giving the impression that these will always feature that kind of topic. I didn't want to write two posts in a row that encouraged people to buy something. I didn't want this post to be book-related since I could do a book post on any day and I'd set Fridays aside to do something else.

Perhaps I should write a series of posts about being an over-worrier.

In the end, I decided to keep it simple. My goal for this series is to share something that I'm enjoying and feel like chatting about. This week, I'm obsessed with a music video.

This one:

It's been out for months, six or maybe seven months actually, but somehow it has escaped my notice until this week,

I don't tend to watch a lot of music videos so it's not a huge surprise for me to be unfamiliar with one, even if it's from an artist I quite like. Christina Perri is an artist I quite like. I have the album. I've seen her perform live. She's fantastic.

I've been enjoying this song in particular for months. So imagine my surprise when I discovered Colin O' Donoghue starred in the video.

I suppose I should mention here, in case you don't know me at all, that I am huge fan of Once Upon a Time and especially of Captain Hook. He's about ten times as charming as, well, Charming. Am I right?

I've since watched this video a dozen times. It's lovely. Truthfully, it would be hard to not enjoy watching the handsome Mr. O'Donoghue whilst hearing the pretty song. But as a romance writer, the thing that gets me is the character development.

In four minutes, and without any dialogue, I fall for the man in this video. He is full of contradictions and endearing quirks.

He lives, apparently alone, in this big, old country house with old fashioned floral wallpaper. Who picked the wallpaper? Was it just there when he moved in? The front porch could use some paint, so maybe he just hasn't gotten around to fixing things up. Or maybe a woman chose that wallpaper. A wife? He carries himself with an air of sadness and he's always working his jaw like he's seconds from an emotional display, maybe he's a widower. Or did she leave him? Is that why he looks so wistfully at the passing train?

He works with orchids in a too-charming-to-be real attic room. We see him carefully tying stems together, replanting and slowly pouring precisely the right amount if water into the new pot. It's delicate, detail-oriented, nurturing work that makes us think about his fingers just a little more than nice girls should.

Then he chops wood. He's got the plaid shirt and the ax and we just want to bring him out a thermos filled with hot coffee. He's a provider.

Oh, but with all that wood chopping he worked up a sweat. A normal guy would take a quick shower and make use of a bar of blue-tinted soap. This is no ordinary man. He takes a soak in a big, old claw-footed tub. It's not practical, but it is hot. Really hot.

And then there's the books. We see them casually stacked here and there. We see him reading while eating soup and bread off of delightfully-mismatched china. We see him reading in bed. They're all vintage hardcovers of course; orchid man doesn't have paperbacks.

Two seconds of eye contact with a pretty girl makes him stumble. This guy is not a player. He has no idea how good-looking he is. For me, that reinforces the widower theory. I think he married his high school sweetheart and worked hard to buy the house because she loved the wall paper, only to lose her before they had a chance to fix anything up. Now he doesn't change anything because he can't let go of the past.

He hasn't even installed a shower.

Friday, July 24, 2015

#FridayFavorites Aromaleigh Cosmetics: This is My Design collection.

Hi friends,

So, as discussed in my last post, this will be the first of my new Friday series in which I share something I love with you all. I will be oh-so-cleverly calling these posts my #FridayFavorites series. 

Today, I'm going to talk about eye shadow. I'm in my thirties. I'm not feeling any need to be more precise than that since the point is just that I'm an adult and have been for a while. I mention this because I have only recently started figuring out how to use eye shadow. I was in my late teens before any make up-wearing was allowed and, when that time came, no one showed me how to use any of it. 

I used foundation to hide acne and lined my eyes with thick black eyeliner and felt pretty glamorous. It was the late nineties and I was wearing a flannel shirt and cargo pants purchased at the army-navy surplus store. Any more make-up would probably have been silly anyway.

My senior year of college I started trying for a more feminine look, but I went to school in rural Vermont; it was all wool sweaters, hiking boots and warm hats.

So I made it to my mid-twenties before I realized that I had no idea what I was doing with most make-up, but eye shadow especially, and have mostly stuck with barely-there nudes ever since. I'd swipe one shade across my entire lid and be done with it.

Only last year, I found this small, I think it's run by one talented woman, company that makes mineral eye shadows. It's called Aromaleigh Cosmetics.  There's tons of gorgeous colors, but the thing that drew me in: she has collections inspired by cool nerdy things like Greek Mythology, the BBC Sherlock series and the television show Hannibal.

Hannibal inspired eye shadow. I needed some. I was just too delighted by the very idea of wearing Hannibal eye shadow to resist. So, I've been learning. I watched those tutorials on Youtube and I have actually purchased make up brushes. It's a work in progress, but a fun one.

So my #FridayFavorite this week is the This is My Design collection from Aromaleigh Cosmetics.

Look! I did swatches on my arm like the beauty bloggers do. 

You can use mineral eye shadow dry for a more sheer look or wet for a thicker or more defined look, so I put on three of my favorites wet and then dry. Starting from the top-- wet Sublime, dry Sublime, wet Chrysalis, dry Chrysalis, wet Craquelure, dry Craquelure.

Apologies for the picture quality, but I think you can see that the colors are really rich and beautiful. They are also cruelty-free!!

This is Sublime, a color inspired by a dress worn by Alana Bloom, in the little pot it comes in.

 While we are on the subject, can I just say that if you haven't checked out Hannibal you are missing out? It's remarkable. The acting, costumes, sets, cinematography and writing are all top-notch. Yes, if you're the type who gets nightmares, this will do it for you. I'm that type, but it is worth it. Check out some reviews on Rotten Tomatoes; Hannibal's Second Season has a perfect 100% fresh score. That's almost impossible.

The third season is currently airing on Saturday evenings and the first two seasons are available on Amazon. They are free to stream if you have Amazon Prime!

It has been officially canceled, but there is still some hope that it will find a new home for new home for a fourth season.

So, do I have any Hannibal fans out there? How about eye shadow? Anybody else still learning how to put on make up?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Confession or Introducing A Few Of My Favorite Things.

Hi friends,

I have a confession.

I don't know what to do with this blog. It's purpose, truly, is to discuss book-related news. But sometimes, I just don't have anything to report. Sometimes, I don't have anything to report for long periods of time. (I am working on things, but nothing is ready to be chatted about.)

So what do I do the rest of the time?

For a long time I just posted about other writers' books. That's cool for a bunch of reasons. I like supporting my fellow writers and there are often contests that I think my readers might like to participate in. However, those posts are basically just advertising and they are often identical to posts that can be found on many other blogs. That presents some problems. In fact, some blog-hosting sites will not allow blogs that contain too much material that is identical to other blogs. There are tons of fantastic book blogs that review and participate in blog tours and they do a much better job than I can...because they are not writers. They can review in a more subjective manner, because that's their role in the book world. Where as I am always going to feel a need to maintain friendly relationships with my fellow writers. Seriously, there's nothing like putting a book out into the world to soften your criticism of all other books.

So, if I post about a book, it's going to be something I feel strongly about--something I read and loved and feel the need to shout about from this figurative roof-top. That will happen from time to time, because I do love books. It won't happen enough to maintain a blog.

Which leaves me with the big question of what I will post. It's a question I have been struggling with for quite awhile and clearly I've been over-thinking it. So I'm going to try something new. I'm simply going to write about things I like. Once a week, on Fridays because I like alliteration, I'm going to share a post about a favorite something. It won't necessarily be book-related; expect posts about make-up, recipes, television programs and whatever else catches my fancy that week. I'm going to call the posts #FridayFavorites and hopefully they will lead to some fun conversations.

You can expect the first of such posts tomorrow, when I'll be chatting about eye shadow and a television program about a cannibalistic serial killer. I hope to see you then.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Book Recommendations.

It has been far too long since a wrote a personal post. To remedy that, I've decided to share a list of books that would make great presents.

For kids:

Mo Willems is my favorite modern writer of kid's books. His stories and characters are charming and funny and kids love them.

Check out the pigeon books! This one, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late is quite charming.

For Middle Grade Readers:

My niece has been reading the Fairyland series and loves it. It looks fantastic (I mean I'm tempted to get copies for myself.) Start with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

I'm going to throw in a classic here too: The Phantom Tollbooth. I love wordplay!

Of course most of my recommendations will be romance.

For Upper YA/NA:

I've only read the first two books in Keira Cass's Selection Series so far, but I'll be reading the rest soon. 

Got a teen who like's a supernatural twist? I love Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy.

For Lovers of Sweet Paranormal Romance:

I think this series is categorized as NA, but it is absolutely appropriate for teens and adults alike. The Elsker Saga by S.T. Bende

For Someone Who Loves Holiday-Themed Romantic Comedies: 

Gina Henning's Home for the Holidays series.

For The Paranormal Fan Looking for Something Different:
The Darkness Saga by Kat Daemon--you'll be charmed by the devil himself.

The Phasms series by Barbara Garren--like nothing else you've read.

For The Romance Reader Looking for The Next Nora Roberts:

Anything by Sophie Moss. She's a wonderful storyteller.

For Someone Who Likes Their Romance Hot:

Hot vampires: Cherry Stem by Sotia Lazu
Contemporary Sexy: Firsts by Rosalie Stanton

For Someone Looking For Something Other Than Romance:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler- I especially recommend the audio version.

For Someone Who Wants to Read One Of My Books: 

Okay-this is not a real category, but if you're looking for a romance with comedy and just a splash of steam, my stuff might fit the bill.

Here is my Amazon Page, but my books (and most if not all of the others here) are also available from Barnes & Noble and other book retailers.

The Books on my Christmas Wish List:

Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Not Quite Darcy by Terri Meeker

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean

Time Out Valentine by Melinda Dozier

Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Happy reading and happy shopping!

Copyright: konstanttin / 123RF Stock Photo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

French Kissed by Chanel Cleeton

FRENCH KISSED by Chanel Cleeton

December 1, 2014
International School Book 3
New Adult Contemporary Romance


On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all. If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her. 

There’s a social hierarchy at the International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride. 

The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?

Don’t miss the final book in the International School series. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 17 and up.


FRENCH KISSED (International School Book #3)
Barnes & Noble:

I SEE LONDON (International School Book #1)
Barnes & Noble:

LONDON FALLING (International School Book #2):
Barnes & Noble:


Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in Asia.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her fighter pilot husband. 

She is the author of I SEE LONDON and LONDON FALLING, published by Harlequin HQN, the upcoming FRENCH KISSED, and FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL, the first book in a new three-book series to be released by Penguin/Berkley in 2015. 



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cloven by Georgeann Swiger

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Cloven (The Trinity of Souls #2) by Georgeann Swiger


Hi all, I am so excited to share this release with you all!  Georgeann is super sweet and an extremely talented writer, you are definitely going to want to check out this series!



What would you do if the only things standing between you and the angel you love were another angel and the fiery pits of Hell?

When Anya and Micah declare their love for each other, the battle for the souls of the star-crossed angels stretches across the heavens. With Heaven forbidding their love, Micah vows to protect Anya by sentencing himself to Hell.

But Anya won’t let him go without a fight. She goes into Hell after him, only to discover an angel from Micah’s past is willing to do anything to keep Micah in Hell.

With love and lies blinding Micah, Anya fights to get him to face his demons and return to Heaven, even if it means hearts will be broken.

The battle for the angels begins where it left off. Between Heaven and Hell is forbidden love.

Information about the book
Author: Georgeann Swiger
Title: Cloven
Series: The Trinity of Souls (#2)
Category: NA
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace (Self-Published)
Format: Ebook
Published: 21st October 2014
Goodreads. Amazon. Barnes & Noble.


“What are you two doing?” The deep voice coming from the hallway sends a happy tremor through my body. I jump to my feet to run to Micah, but I’m stopped by the piercing pain of glass going through my foot. I look down to see blood trickling on the floor. When I sit on the couch to pull out the shard, Kieran and Emory hover around me.

“Why are you in my room?” Micah asks, angrily.

Kieran and Emory move to the side to give Micah a direct line to me. I look up and his gaze grabs mine. We stare at one another, caught in a wordless hello. Small expressions run over his face, telling me he’s relieved, happy, confused.

“Leave us,” he says quietly without looking away from me.

Kieran and Emory hurry out of the room, shutting the door behind them. Micah closes his eyes. He takes a deep breath, bows his head and mutters something under his breath. When he looks up, he stares at me in disbelief. He doesn’t seem to notice the glass crunching under his feet as he steps toward me. His lips quiver, trying to form words that won’t come.

The fire crackles and pops behind him. Micah’s eyes glisten while he studies my shaking hand, reaching for him. My hand finds his, linking our fingers together. The strong beat of his pulse thumps in his trembling fingers. I step cautiously to the floor, avoiding the glass. When I’m eye level with him, his pupils flicker. As soon as I open my mouth to tell him how much I missed him, he pulls me to his body and covers my mouth with his. Every pent up emotion is released the second he kisses me. I don’t know where this Micah came from. His mouth claims mine without reservation or fear of repercussions. I fall into his embrace, enjoying every bit of the intensity of the kiss that tells me he missed me as much as I missed him. The tension in his body falls away as his hands travel through my hair and down my back, over my hips and up my sides like he’s making sure I’m real. I’m real, Micah, I want to say but I don’t want to stop kissing him. The taste of his lips brings to life the forbidden feelings I’m done hiding. I can’t get enough of him.

Georgeann Pic Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting character and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.

Website. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest.

There’s a tour-wide giveaway during the tour too.
Participants can win:

Digital Copy of Adorned
Digital Copy of Cloven
$10 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Rest of the Tour!

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Click here for the tour schedule links.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Billionaires In Love by Carly Phillips.

Billionaires in Love
Two classic Carly Phillips stories about love, loss and second chances ...

The Playboy’s Second Chance
This story was formerly titled Kismet. Since the title was confusing to readers, I changed the name and now bring you The Playboy’s Second Chance. I hope you enjoy my sexy, stand-alone novella.

Trevor Dane, Wall Street Hot Shot and billionaire, has everything — money, power and any woman he could possibly want yet he isn’t happy. When his latest interviewer turns out to be the one woman he’s never forgotten, Trevor sees a second chance and he won’t let Lissa Gardelli’s wariness or old hurts stop him from getting back into her bed... and her heart.

Midnight Angel

Hollywood superstar, Dylan North, revisits his home town with the express intent of seeing his first love once more, to see if they can reignite the love he stupidly threw away ten years before. The last thing Dr. Holly Evans needs in her life is her high school sweetheart returning and stirring up old feelings. But Dylan is determined to convince Holly that happily ever doesn't only happen in the movies.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.