Monday, January 27, 2014

Love is in the Air...and Hilary's Doing Another Book Giveaway!

Wow...I'm really behind on blogging! But I do have a valid excuse. I've been working on Sam's Story, which is turning out to be a longer book than I expected. So much for making that February 17th deadline. But I should have it ready to go by the end of February. In the meantime, my friend, fellow blogger and author Hilary Grosman is having another great book giveaway for Valentine's Day, and I'm participating again. Be sure you check out the contest at her blog, Feeling Beachie. If you see anything you like, my book included, be sure to enter!
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HERE ARE THE BOOKS!
Book Name: DANGLED CARAT Author Name: HILARY GROSSMAN #pages: 281
goodreads Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc. They had a great relationship—why rush into things? But after four years together, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready—and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to a turning point. In this relatable, playful memoir, Hilary reminisces about her life before Marc—from the awkward teenage years to her early relationships and, finally, to the day she met Marc and realized that she really wanted to see him again. Through the ease of their early time together up until that fateful New Year’s Eve, Hilary shares the details and considers how Marc’s inability to commit led her to find an inner strength and confidence she didn’t know she possessed. For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the picture of patience and grace, Hilary's humorous and honest story will hit home. Available on Amazon, Ebook $2.99, paperback $9.43
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Book Name: OUT TO LUNCH
Author Name: STACEY BALLIS
#pages 417

out to lunchJenna has lost her best friend. With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.

And gained her best friend’s husband… But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking? The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble , Kobo Ebook $7.99, Paperback $10.74
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Book Name: A WOMAN LOST
Author Name: T.B. MARKINSON
# pages 241
womanlostElizabeth “Lizzie” Petrie has it all. She’s rich, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. None of this matters to her mom. Les-Bi-An. That’s all her mom sees. Even though Lizzie insists her mom’s antagonism does not bother her, Lizzie distances herself from her entire family. When her brother, Peter, calls her out of the blue to announce he’s getting married, Lizzie’s entire life changes drastically. Peter’s fiancée wants to bring the lesbian outcast back into the family. Will this desire cause Lizzie to lose everything dear to her? Sarah, Lizzie’s girlfriend, is ecstatic about this change in Lizzie’s personal life. Sarah, the hopeless romantic, wants it all, including settling down with the fiercely independent Lizzie. Can Lizzie be tamed? And can she survive her family and all of their secrets?
Available Amazon. Amazon UK ebook: $2.99, Paperback $8.99
Book Name: CHASE
Author Name: JILL KNAPP-ZITRON
#pages 205
ChaseThe question that 23-year old Amalia Hastings wants the answer to is: What happens to men when they move to Manhattan? Life in the city gives Amalia a ride she is not expecting. As she tries to find her way on the little island that never sleeps, she discovers she has a harder time navigating through life then she does the streets of Greenwich Village and finds herself truly lost in the complex world of men, graduate school, money, family, and friendship. She thought she had everything she wanted – a new apartment in Manhattan, a first-rate education at NYU, a group of trusted friends and Nicholas, a boyfriend who she once believed was her soul-mate. But somehow, it isn’t enough. Stumbling through her relationships, Amalia encounters Michael. An attractive classmate who quickly moves from being one of her close friends, to an inconsistent friend-with-benefits. After all, the only thing consistent about New York is its beauty. After getting terribly lost searching for love in all the wrong places, Amalia finds herself torn between the possibility of a relationship, and an adventure she's been planning all along. She eventually realizes that solely chasing love closes her off to all of the other good things life has to offer. Now she must decide – what is worth the chase? Chase is the debut novel from author Jill Knapp-Zitron and the first in the Chase series of novels
Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble ebook $7.99, paperback $14.99
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Book Name: THE GUARDIAN
Author Name: SARA MACK
#pages 326
Guardian final_coverTrue love never dies. Emma Donohue begs to differ. When a late night accident claims the love of her life, Emma secludes herself in memories of James.  In his sandy brown hair and clear blue eyes.  In their innocent first kiss and declarations of love.  In their plans for a life together after college.  But happy dreams can’t rid her of the guilt she carries.  She can’t erase her actions the night he died.  She can’t erase her reaction at his funeral.  And she can’t erase the hollow void that fills her chest and consumes her heart. The first time Emma hears James’ voice, she’s astounded.  It sounds as if he’s standing right beside her, and she fears her shattered heart is trying to drive her mad.  But, as she continues to hear the voice, she finds comfort in it.  With the help of her best friend Shel and handsome newcomer Dane, she tries to move forward and start living again. Until the voice in her head turns out to be more.  So much more. You know what they say.True love never dies. Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble Ebook $0.99, paperback $9.99
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Book Name: GOOD INTENTIONS Author Name: KATHRYN R. BIEL #pages 307 GOOD INTENTIONS Option A6 Maggie Miller is about to start her life in Boston. She's done with grad school and has a good job as a pediatric physical therapist. Maggie sees herself as plain and ordinary, nothing remarkable. She doesn't see that surviving a horrific car accident that killed her mother and brother as anything special. She's had bad taste in men and is jaded, and has decided to lay low while she focuses on her career. Matt Slavin is Maggie's best friend from college. He has an atrocious girlfriend, who hates Maggie for no reason. But he also has this good friend from home. Ryan Milan is a drop-dead gorgeous young attorney who, despite significant reservations, has relocated to Boston to start his career as a prosecutor. He is good at reading the people he's prosecuting, but cannot read women. Maggie and Ryan dance around each other, never sure of where the other stands. After months of push and pull, they finally realize that the other is actually interested. After finally getting together, they are pulled apart by Ryan's family tragedy, and he is unable to return to Maggie. Just when Maggie thinks she does not have the strength to rebuild again, she finds she no longer has that choice. And when they're finally reunited seven years later, Maggie's life is barely recognizable... Available on Amazon Barnes & Noble, Kobo & Smashwords Ebook $2.99, Paperback $12.99
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Book Name: DROWNED SORROW Author Name: VANESSA MORGAN #pages 191 Drowned Sorrow cover       Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in an accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter, Jenna, hoping that a change of scenery might help to put their lives back together. But something odd is happening in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the village, its inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the village deserted again with the first rays of sunshine. Beneath the lake's surface, something watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors. By the time Megan realizes that her daughter's life is in danger, it might already be too late.
Available Amazon Ebook $3.89
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Book Name: UNBREAKABLE Author Name: JOANN LEE Genre: lesbian romance, #pages 251
Unbreakable_400x600
Sequel to Broken Star
After finding happiness, Lynn Feoras was convinced life with Alexis and Calista would be perfect. But when she and Alexis begin the tedious journey of expanding their family, she soon comes to learn that money doesn’t buy everything. In the midst of doctor’s visits, a move to New York, and a whirlwind tour, life remains chaotic for the Feoras family. New friends emerge, old ones return, and an unexpected reappearance of someone from Lynn’s past leaves her questioning her ability to be a parent. Will Lynn and Alexis be able to overcome the obstacles placed before them? Will their relationship crumble under the strain or will they come out on top, stronger than before?
Available Amazon $6.99
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Title: MURDER IN MOSCOW
Author Name: STORM CHASE #pages 222
Murder in Moscow By Storm Chase
When burned out ex-copper Cassidy Stone moves to Moscow, a favour for a friend leads her into a lethal ambush, and into the orbit of Dmitri Milyukov, a fun loving millionaire. Cassidy slowly learns to love again – until she stumbles on proof that Dmitri is a Red Mafia agent bent on robbing her employer. Worse, there is a gruesome murder, and everyone is convinced Cassidy is the killer…
.Available Amazon & Smashwords Ebook $3.99
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Tittle: THE BAD GIRL'S CLUB Author: Kathryn O'Halloran Chick Lit 240 pages
kathrynohalloran_badgirlsclub_ebook_finalThe Bad Girls' Club: it's about sex, it's about dares, but most of all, it's about friendship! Imogen, Juliette and Beth have had a gutful of the manipulative Poppy so, when they are seated together at her wedding, their resentment not only unites them but pushes them into a risqué prank Their problems go much deeper though. Imogen has major body issues and a lousy track record with men, Juliette is stuck in a dead-end relationship with her dead beat boyfriend and Beth is so busy trying to impress everyone else, she's got no idea what she really wants. It's time to take drastic action.  It's time to rebel.  It's time to become Bad Girls. They band together to form the Bad Girls Club and, through a series of brazen dares, push the limits of their sexuality.
But are the girls ready to finally take the final leap that will have them branded as bad girls for real? To save the club, and each other, they each have to publicly acknowledge their darkest secrets. Join the bad girls in this steamy yet snort-laughingly funny chick lit adventure. Available Amazon Ebook $3.54
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Title - BAD BOY ROCK STAR Author - CANDY J STARR 196 pages bad boy rock starHannah Sorrento never planned to be a band manager. She’s a princess and the toughest obstacle she's had in life is finding shoes to match her outfit.Then her father disappears leaves her with only the money in her purse and a management contract for hot, indie band, STORM. She plans to sell the contract, one way or another, then pack up her designer wardrobe and head back to law school.But lead singer, Jack Colt, has other ideas. She's never met a man like him before. His raw sexuality messes with her head and her heart... and a lot of other body parts too.With the help of crazy rock chick, Angie, Hannah sets the band on their first steps to the big time and learns to survive on her own.But this isn’t some game - soon the threat that Hannah fears most becomes reality.
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Jack Colt - he’s arrogant and infuriating but he’s the one that’s there for Hannah when her world comes crashing down. With secrets of his own, will Jack Colt save Hannah or destroy her?
Bad Boy Rock Star is book 1 in this series. Available:Amazon Ebook $3.50
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Book Name: THE UNICORN'S DAUGHTER
Author Name: NORMA BEISHIR
Genre:Thriller #pages 353
unico
Codename: Unicorn. Jaime Lynde adored her father. She was devastated when she was told he was dead--but she refused to believe he was a traitor to his country. Her determination to prove his innocence sent her on a journey from Washington DC to Paris to Libya and put her on a collision course with a double agent in Tripoli at the time of the 1986 air strike...
Available Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble price $2.99
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Book Name: “NO LONGER A BRIDESMAID!”
Author Name: TERRY CATO
Genre: memoir #pages 166
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For years, Terry Cato was always the bridesmaid, but never the bride. In this poignant memoir, this first-time author tells the story of her seven years of preparation, finally becoming a Lady-in-Waiting (engaged) and then a bride. During her years of being single, Terry observed seven personality types--her own included--that can get in the way of progress toward the altar. In this book, learn: The seven types of single women and how they could be harming their chances of getting married; why dating is just practicing for divorce; how to deal with and heal old emotional wounds; the seven steps the author used to successfully prepare for her husband; how to live a happy, celibate life as you prepare for your husband and more.
Ebook $2.99, Print $9.86
Book Name: OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING
Author Name:JENNIFER THERIOT
Genre: Romance
awakening
.Olivia is a good woman, a good mother, a good wife. She’s got it made. She doesn’t want anything to change. Of course, it does...Swept from her perfect paper-doll life in Houston, Olivia finds herself in Chicago, alone, betrayed, and far from home. Soon everything she thought she knew about herself and her life will be challenged. She has only courage, love, and her passion for music to carry her through the maelstrom—or draw her further in. Ash is the man who has everything—everything except healing from the losses of a lifetime. His only peace lies in the sweet flow of music pouring from his guitar. What happens when the married woman and the sexy handsome widower are thrown together by fate? Out of the Box Awakening is a story of shared passion and shared joy. Jennifer Theriot has written a compelling book about what happens when two people find new life and new love for themselves and for those around them.
Available Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords & Ibook  Ebook $2.99, paperback $8.02
Book Title: EARLY ONE MORNING
Author name: AUBREE LANE
#pages 312
 early one morning1 redoneHe was the dark haired deity with a salacious smile... he was the one the girls gossiped and giggled about for months... 2,600 miles away Terence Javier didn't have a clue his high school yearbook was being passed around an all girl choir and that he had been voted, as the more experienced girl put it, the one she would 'most likely do.' Thirteen years later Marissa Crandall while on a romantic island vacation, celebrating her ten year wedding anniversary, is shocked and surprised to find their dive master was none other than her old high school crush. Seeing the chance to fulfill a dream, Marissa sets out to kiss Terence. Stuck in San Diego dealing with unreasonable clients and babysitting Marissa's kids, a jealous Annie Harper catches the red-eye out of LAX wanting to intercept Terence and foil her best friend's plans. This envious act uncovers a scandalous affair and in that one pivotal moment none of their lives would ever be the same.
Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords Ebook $2.99, print $7.78
 Book Name: Minutes Before Sunset (book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy) Author Name: Shannon A. Thompson
#pages 287
MBS_CoverTwo destinies. One death.
"Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates..."
Eric has less than a year left before his fated battle when he meets her. She's a shade like him, but separated from the Dark - and with more power than she should have. And he can't stay away.Jessica is new to town and desperate to figure out who, or what, her birth parents were. But she can't find them without overcoming Eric, and she won't let him stop her. Minutes Before Sunset happens through the minds of two young adults as they struggle to survive their paranormal realities and find balance in their human lives.
Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  Ebook $3.89, Print $12.79
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Book Name: The 13th Floor Complete Collection Author Name: Christine Rains # of pages  439 Backstairs - 5 - in an apartment building.Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.Six novellas telling their tales.A retired demon acquires a price on his head.
A werewolf is hunted by her pack. A modern day dragonslayer misses his target. A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves. A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find. A banshee falls in love with someone whose death she has seen in a vision. And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.
Available:Amazon Ebook $4.99
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Book Title: UNFORGETTABLE KISS
Author: Angela Ford
#Pages 112
UnforgettableKiss 500x750 (1)
Meghan Eden swore she would never love again. The tragic death of her son, at the hands of her husband, destroyed her emotionally. She believed her successful Spa would fulfill her life until a business seminar takes her to a golf resort in Arizona.
Meghan’s love of golf gets her paired up with a man she doesn't know. The rest of the world does. Eric Nolan is the most sought after actor in Hollywood and the most eligible bachelor in the hearts of many women. Eric draws out hidden desires Meghan never imagined and leaves an unforgettable kiss etched in her memory. One kiss from Eric leaves her questioning her decision to never love again. An emotional struggle to love again cannot stop the passion that unravels. But perhaps Meghan’s ex can. Released on early parole without her knowledge, he’s had the time to develop an obsession. Will Eric be able to keep her safe?
Available:Amazon, Ebook $2.99 (but sales prices - February 7th - 10th $0.99, Feb 10th-13th $1.99)
Book Title: THIRTY-TWO GOING ON SPINSTER
Author: Becky Monson
#pages 347
Spinster Cover - Ebook
Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her career, and lives in her parent's basement with her cat, Charlie.
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With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia's mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.
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But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?
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Available Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble $2.99 (ebook) $10.28 (paperback)
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Book Name: CLOAKED IN FUR
Author Name: T.F. WALSH
#Pages 234
As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.
A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature. She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.
Available: Amazon,Barnes & Noble, All Romance, Itunes, Kobo, Sony Reader - $3.50 but $1.99 for Feb (Amazon US)
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Book Title: AFTER WIMBLEDON
Author Name:JENNIFER GILBY ROBERTS
#pages 264
After-Wimbledon_Kindle-cover     After 12 years on the pro. tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough.  She wants real life... and real love. Her life, her decision.  Right?  Well, no one else seems to think so.  With opinions on all sides, Lucy's head is spinning.  And she's stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam.  Shame her boyfriend - his arch-rival - would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners. As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts.  The question is: what will she be left with after Wimbledon?
Available Amazon $0.99 (but not for long)
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Un-Civil War: The Epic Battle of Genoa City

I've written about soap operas before. I've watched The Young and the Restless off and on since I was a college student back in the 70s and the show was just beginning. I've loved it at times, but at other times I've found some of the characters and storylines so bad, they were too painful to watch. But now, the drama behind the scenes at the soap is far more interesting than anything their writers have dreamed up.



Recently, actor Michael Muhney, who plays Adam Newman, was fired. On the surface, the firing seemed abrupt--and fans were outraged. Petitions have been circulated. Angry comments have sprouted up on the show's Facebook page, indicating the show stands to lose a multitude of viewers if Adam does indeed exit as scheduled on January 30th.

But I suspect the problem goes deeper than Muhney's firing. I feel--and if the Facebook comments are any indication, I'm not the only one--that the characters and storylines have been declining in quality for while now. Many, myself included, attribute this to the show's current executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, who's got a bit of a reputation as a soap killer. She's worked on several--and all but one, General Hospital, have been cancelled. (GH fired her in 2012, when their ratings plummeted, according to numerous online reports.) Why CBS handed her the reins of the #1 Daytime Drama, I'll never understand--unless they're anxious to kill the genre to make room for more game shows. Y&R's sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, has already jumped the shark in the eyes of most fans, who are bored with the endless love triangles involving trampy Brooke and her chronically indecisive daughter, Hope. I predict it will be gone within five years...but that's probably just optimism on my part.



As the demands by fans for Muhney's rehiring and Phelps' firing reached fever pitch, TMZ exposed the "real" reason for Muhney's dismissal. They say an "insider" at Y&R revealed that he was fired because he supposedly groped the breasts of 20-year-old Hunter King, his onscreen niece. This had, again, supposedly been kept quiet by Phelps, who reportedly fired Muhney to placate King--though not immediately. Maybe it's just me, but I find the timing of this "leak" by an "insider" who just happens to be married to someone at TMZ more than a little suspicious.

Did it really happen, or is it just a story cooked up to gain sympathy for King (and the show) and turn fans against Muhney? Only two people know the truth--and while King has been quiet, Muhney has been put under a gag order. Gag order? What are they going to do to him if he talks? Fire him? Oh, wait a minute--they already did that!

Few of us would condone such treatment of any woman if it did indeed happen--but while fans are quick to abandon a show to protest the firing of a favorite actor, not many will continue to watch a program they no longer find entertaining out of sympathy. So while the leak to TMZ may have changed a few minds about support for Muhney the actor, many still find Y&R without Adam the character not worth their time.

There have also been reports of issues between Muhney and his onscreen father, Victor Newman, played by veteran actor Eric Braeden. A cause for firing? Braeden says no--and I'm inclined to believe him. It's not as if actors never have conflicts but manage to continue working together. Years ago, there were rumors of flare-ups between Braeden and Peter Bergman, who portrays Jack Abbott. Both have remained with the show quite successfully.

Muhney is not the first to exit under Jill Farren Phelps' dubious leadership, and I doubt he'll be the last. Fan favorites Michelle Stafford and Billy Miller are rumored to have been tired of the backstage drama. Genie Francis, once half of the soap world's most celebrated supercouple, General Hospital's legendary Luke and Laura, was hired with much fanfare--then let go due to alleged budget cuts. Sharon Case, whose once likeable character, Sharon Newman, has turned into the resident nutjob, is said to be unhappy with her character's multiple breakdowns. (Sharon is one character with an interesting backstory that could make for a truly good story arc--much better than simply repeating the same old bullshit over and over.) Instead of giving us more front-burner storylines with characters who have a long history with the show, Phelps gives us a dull romance between Abby Newman and the eternally boring Tyler (he's so boring, I can't even remember his last name) and Noah Newman's inexplicable romance with Courtney what's-her-name (I can't remember her last name, either). And then there's Hunter King's weepy, mopey Summer Newman (Abbott?), who could be a fun character if she were more like her onscreen mother Phyllis. Currently, Summer is unconscious--but if she weren't in a hospital bed, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The actor who plays Tyler must be related to Twilight's Kristen Stewart--they have the same "one facial expression fits all" look. But Phelps must think he's hot stuff--when fans objected loudly to his character breaking up the marriage of happily-wed Cane and Lily Ashby, another budding love story, between heiress Abby and tough ex-New York cop Alex Chavez, was abruptly ended so that Tyler could be shoehorned into Abby's storyline.

Will Michael Muhney get his job back? If not, will fans make good on their threat to stop watching? Will CBS wise up and fire Jill Farren Phelps? Tune in tomorrow....

Photo credits: Y&R logo - www.tvlistings.zap2it.com; Eric Braeden and Michael Muhney - www.tvline.com

PS - Be sure you check out the photobloggers today: Ottawa Daily Photo, Perth Daily Photo, Princeton Daily Photo, St. Louis Daily Photo, Tamarindo Daily Photo....



Friday, January 17, 2014

Believe It Or Not, It Really Is A Big Deal!

Wednesday, I finished revising my 2008 novel Chasing the Wind. Last night, Collin uploaded it--with a new cover--to Amazon and Smashwords. That may not sound like a big deal, and it won't be to anyone else--but for me, it marks the first time in five years I've been able to complete a project. It's the first time in almost twenty years I've been able to make a deadline, contractual or self-imposed. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty good right now.



A fellow writer asked me (via Facebook) how the sequel, An Army of Angels, is going. My response: "Like traffic on the George Washington Bridge." Unless you've spent the last few weeks on Mars, you know what that means.

It ain't moving at all.



I would love to finish it--but first, I have to figure out what's wrong with it. I know something's missing--I just haven't figured out what. Not yet. I did publish part of it as a short story a while back--which is why my collaborator's name isn't on the cover--yet. He'll make that addition if and when it gets finished.



In the meantime, I'm planning--if all goes according to plan--to publish Sam's Story next month, which will mark the third anniversary of his passing. If I make that deadline, I'll feel I'm finally getting back on track....

For a free copy of Chasing the Wind, go to Smashwords and enter the coupon code LE88H.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Not My Brother's Keeper?

A while back, Collin had an idea. The Motel 6 at South County closed. Collin wanted to go on Kickstarter and try to raise funds to buy the old motel and turn it into transitional housing for homeless families. I was proud of him for wanting to do something to make a difference--but almost everyone I told responded with, "It'll never happen."



Before Collin could even post his proposal at Kickstarter, the old motel was torn down.

Why didn't anyone believe it could work? Because it's no secret that area residents aren't exactly thrilled at the idea of homeless people living among them. Everyone thinks something should be done, but nobody wants it in their backyard. There's currently a battle being waged in a residential area not far from the former Motel 6 site. Residents have discovered that a  low-income seniors residence is being built there by HUD, and they're angry. They don't want "those people" in their neighborhood.

Is it that they think all low-income and/or homeless people are drug addicts and/or mentally ill--or is it just that they don't want homeless people nearby? Do they think homelessness is a contagious disease? Or do they expect to have people knocking at their door, begging? They say they're afraid, concerned for the safety of their children. Right. That, I suspect, is how they convince themselves that this plan has to be stopped.

Sometimes it's easier to turn the proverbial blind eye and act as if the problem doesn't exist. Out of sight, out of mind. Hearing about the troubles of people who are struggling makes many--too many--uncomfortable. If they're face-to-face with it, they can't ignore it.

"It's not my problem." I can't tell you how many times I've heard that. If you're struggling, nobody wants to hear about it. They want you to smile, act like everything's fine, and keep your problems to yourself. If you're living in a cardboard box, they don't want to hear about it as they're going home to their warm, cozy homes, their big-screen TVs and financial security.



Now, the Ponderosa restaurant next to the former motel site is vacant. We had another idea: raise the money to start a pay-what-you-can-afford restaurant. Donate the profits to a food bank or shelter.

I wonder...would that project be deemed acceptable by the area residents?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Three's a Charm...I Think....

Next week, I'll be uploading a new edition of my 2008 novel, Chasing the Wind. It was originally written in the third-person point-of-view. In 2011, I re-issued it revised to multiple first-person POVs, and got some very favorable responses...but it was suggested by a fellow author (thanks, Lisa Clark!) that it might have worked better if it had been limited to a smaller number of first-person POVs.



I decided to give it a shot. I cut it to four: Connor Mackenzie, Lynne Raven, Caitlin Hammond and Philip Darcy. And it has a new cover--designed, of course, by Collin. What do you think?

For the first day of the re-release, I'll be posting a coupon code for a free copy. Anyone who already got the previous edition through Amazon, they will allow free updates once they've verified the extent of the changes.

Monday, January 6, 2014

When Snowzilla Trampled St. Louis....

Winter just got started, and I'm already sick of it!



I have a very low tolerance for cold. I was born in summer to avoid it (okay, maybe not). I've never wanted a white Christmas, and the only time in my life I ever wanted snow was when I was a kid and didn't want to go to school.

Is this payback for that wonderful mild winter we had last year?



Our first snowfall of 2014 is a doozy! For a week before, we were warned. I lost track of how many times the word "Snowmageddon" was used (yes, I know it sounds like the title of a cheesy Syfy Channel movie--though not nearly as cheesy as "Sharknado"). It was coming, and we'd better be ready for it...a foot of snow, maybe even more...dangerous cold (-37 degrees Fahrenheit or worse). It could be the worst winter storm to hit St. Louis since the notorious Blizzard of '82 that brought the area to a standstill.
If the meteorologist had to get it right for once, why did it have to be this time?

Collin went to work yesterday, but he wasn't there very long. Churches cancelled their services. Businesses closed. Wehrenberg Theaters closed all their cinemas in the area. The malls closed. The Fox Theater cancelled its scheduled performance of West Side Story. The zoo, Science Center and History Museum closed. He was off by noon. (Here's a photo I took while the storm was, uh, still in progress....)



I didn't think there was any way the restaurant would be open today--but it is, and Collin is at work. He got a call from one of his bosses this morning, offering to drive him to work. The poor guy picked him up...and got stuck in the snow on the street here! (Take a look at the drifts outside our door....)



I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday. Why do I have the feeling it ain't gonna happen?

Friday, January 3, 2014

RED ALERT: Bragging Mom On The Loose!

I get to show a bit of motherly pride today! It's a bit after the fact, but my super-talented son Collin  (who does ALL of my covers) has had two of his cover designs make the semi-finals of the Authors Database 2013 Book Cover Contest! One of them is the cover for my re-released novel The Unicorn's Daughter. The other is the cover he designed for my friend and fellow author Eve Gaal's delightful romance, Penniless Hearts.