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Boo! Welcome Halloween Book Hoppers!

*´¨✫)¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)✮ (¸.•´✶ Hello scary hoppers! I’m so thrilled you’ve stopped on my page today. As your TREAT I’m giving away an ebook copy of WHERE  THE HEART IS to every single one of you.

Anyone can get their copy. All you have to do to collect my prize is LIKE my page and subscribe to my newsletter. The book will arrive in your inbox shortly after. My prize is available during each day of the hop!

So now that you’ve gotten your treat, comment below with your favorite Halloween candy. I really love Baby Ruths. Can’t get enough!

Thanks again for visiting me, and if you’re new to the Halloween Book Hop you can start over on the event page and hop to all of the 130 authors giving out treats and tricks.

Happy Halloween! 


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Categories: News

La Bella Vita

We were blogging on a group blog recently about locations: writing locations, settings in books, etc. As luck would have it I’d just returned from an amazing month away on a working vacation in Italy and Morocco. 

Below is my post about working vacations. Keep scrolling for some fun pictures of my work venues for that month, and even further down, squeee!!!, you get a first peek at my latest book cover for book 4 in my IT’S REIGNING MEN series, LOVE IS IN THE HEIR, available for pre-order and set to release in late September.

Oh! And book three, BAD TO THE THRONE, releases on June 29. It is my favorite so far in this series, complete with a Harry-esque bad boy prince who I think you’ll fall for…

 And lastly, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter–which will be going out next week. There’ll be a little special something in there for your efforts ;-) .

I recently returned from a lovely working vacation in Italy and Morocco. And the hard part of a working vacation is the work part.

I departed for our trip with a deadline pending for the third book in my It’s Reigning Men series. I had a lot of fun writing this book–the hero in it is a rakish Prince Harry-esque black sheep, and I just loved his attitude. So I didn’t want to rush to end the book, plus I was scrambling to get ready to leave, so I left the final third of the book dangling…

Which meant I had a few days during my trip in which I had to just hunker down, abandon the idea of being a tourist, and focus on writing. Of course this was a bit of a bummer, because I would have far rather wandered the streets of ancient Italian cities and settled in for a leisurely lunch of pappardelle al sugo di anatra (fat strips of homemade pasta with amazingly delicious duck confit cooked in a red sauce) and a glass of Chianti. Which would have led to the need for a nap which would have meant no writing.

So instead, I savored my “rooms” with a view, and hunkered down to finish my novel with some of the most spectacular scenery going.

We writers are so blessed that we can do our work pretty much anywhere. And over the years I have, by default, done that: in pick-up line at the kids’ schools, on the sidelines at soccer practices, with ear plugs in while the kids watched the television that is mere feet from my “desk” which is in the kitchen and basically means hardly a quiet zone.

So my designated work stations while away this time were pretty much unbeatable: at our B&B with a spectacular view of the Duomo di Siena, which is a breathtaking work of architecture; while sitting on the ponte di Santa Trinita in Florence, with a view of the famed Ponte Vecchio in front of me and the world’s most amazing gelato just steps away (Gelateria Santa Trinita—if you’re in Florence, go there and try the sesamo nero, which sounds weird, black sesame seed gelato, but is incredible).

I wrote at an outdoor bar in the delightfully colorful Piazza Santo Spirito (full of great people-watching, which sort of causes problems when trying to focus on writing!), in the Oltrarno, the section of Florence across the Arno River that is more residential and relatively less touristy.

Not for the first time I enjoyed writing in the Giardino di Boboli, the spectacular gardens that are part of the imposing Palazzo Pitti (hoarding headquarters for the Medici family), with a splendid view of all of Florence.

I regretted missing a fascinating tour of the city of Matera in the Basilicata region of Italy, down by the boot heel. My husband got to take that tour while I hunkered down on the deadline-iest of deadline days: I absolutely had to get my book to my editor on that day or it would screw up my publication date, which would make me an enemy of Amazon ;-) . Far be it from me to get on the bad side of Amazon…

Anyhow, the “Sassi” in Matera are a United Nations World Heritage site—originally a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, considered to be among the first human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are caves dug into the rocks, from which an ancient town sprung, one cave atop the other, until a warren of many thousands of caves piled atop and next to one another existed. Until the mid-20th century these caves were inhabited by the poorest of the poor, who were ultimately relocated to housing with plumbing and other modern comforts. Since then the area has been rebuilt to house apartments, hotels, restaurants and shops. It’s an amazing place, extraordinarily beautiful at night when lit up, too.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such an phenomenal opportunity to travel and experience the world and various cultures and incorporate it into my writing (and am grateful that my husband has afforded me these opportunities because trust me, writing isn’t paying these bills). On this trip also, we visited Morocco, and immersed ourselves in an entirely different culture there (and, um, learned the hard way that the closest place to the Sahara desert in which to find a tampon would be a rugged 10-hour drive through the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech…)

Along the way I also worked on my book while waiting for a grocery store to open in Siena as I needed to buy laundry detergent and was in a hurry to get it done before we traveled to Florence.

I love to incorporate things I experience while traveling into my books, and have used quite a bit of my extensive Italian travels in my current series, the It’s Reigning Men series, especially with the third book of the series, Bad to the Throne, which is available for pre-order now here and will be released June 29.

I hope you can enjoy a little bit of my journeys as you read my books! And please, do enjoy the view!


Gallery

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Categories: Bad to the Throne, Bite Me: a Parrot A Family and a Whole Lot of Flesh Wounds, Books, Chick Lit, Heir Today Gone Tomorrow, humor, It's Reigning Men, italy, Jenny Gardiner, morocco, road trip, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, travel, Via Francigena, women, women's fiction, writing venues

Find Your Next Chick Lit Read / #ChickLitMay Giveaway!

May is International Chick Lit Month. Let’s be honest—it’s the best month of the year! Every year, chick lit readers and writers get together to celebrate, share, discuss and gush about their favorite book genre. Not familiar with chick lit or Chick Lit Month? Visit the official website for more information.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of ICLM. To celebrate, a bunch of enthusiastic authors got together and made an infographic to help readers find their next chick lit read.

We’re giving away 19 ebooks to 19 lucky readers. Just enter to win the books you’d like to read!

To enter, comment on the blog post below, listing which books from the graphic you’d like to read and WHY you would like to read them. (Make sure to include your email address so we can contact you.) Entrants can only enter once per blog, but can check out other blogs with this same post and comment there for extra entries! All those links are down below.

Entries close on midnight Friday, May 22 (Pacific Daylight Time), and winners will be contacted directly on May 31.

Good luck everyone—and happy reading!

(Even if you missed this giveaway, feel free to share this graphic on your blog and spread the chick lit love!)

Find the authors and books here, and enter again!

Deeper Themes 30 First Dates by Stacey Wiedower
At the Edge of the Sea by Karen M. Cox
Cheating to Survive by Christine Ardigo
The Postcard by Lily Graham
The Same But Different by Serena Clarke
The Trouble with Dying by Maggie Le Page

* * *

A Little Magic A Leap In Time by Engy Albasel Neville
Scary Modsters…and Creepy Freaks by Diane Rinella

* * *

Laughs Guaranteed Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr
French Twist by Glynis Astie
Miss Adventure by Geralyn Corcillo
Molly Miranda, Thief for Hire by Jillianne Hamilton
Thirty-Two Going On Spinster by Becky Monson
Twin Piques by Tracie Banister

* * *

Light & Bright Caching In by Tracy Krimmer
Something in the Heir by Jenny Gardiner
Wedding Haters by Melissa Baldwin

* * *

On Distant Shores Mr Right and Other Mongrels by Monique McDonell
Set Me Free by Jennifer Collin

* * *

Enter one more time at these great chick lit blogs!

Chick Lit Plus
Chick Lit Central
Living Life With Joy
Chicks 
That Read
Bookaholic Confessions
Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
Book Mama Blog
Every Free Chance

Categories: News