Wednesday, December 25, 2013

In Winnipeg at Christmas

This poem was written by a British lady named Rose Fyleman who was visiting Winnipeg in the 1930s. A friend took her around town to see the sights; the Fort Garry Hotel for tea, the statue of Queen Victoria in the park, the policemen wearing their buffalo hide coats. And she was enchanted with it all. This poem always reminds me to quit complaining about the snow and the cold and the shoveling and to just enjoy the beauty of the season. Merry Christmas everyone!

In Winnipeg at Christmas

In Winnipeg at Christmas there's lots and lots of snow,
Very clean, and crisp and hard
And glittering like a Christmas card
Everywhere you go;
Snow upon the housetops, snow along the street,
And Queen Victoria in her chair
Has snow upon her stony hair
And snow upon her feet.
In Winnipeg at Christmas they line the streets with trees-
Christmas trees lit up at night
With little balls of coloured light
As pretty as you please.
The people hurry past you in furry boots and wraps;
The sleighs are like a picture book,
And all the big policemen look
Like Teddy Bears in caps.
And oh! The smiling ladies and jolly girls and boys;
And oh! The parties and the fun
With lovely things for everyone-
Books and sweets and toys.
So, if someday at Christmas you don't know where to go,
Just pack your boxes up I beg,
And start at once for Winnipeg;
You'll like it there I know.

- Rose Fyleman

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Naughty and Nice Blog Hop!

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by and participating in the Naughty and Nice Blog Hop! The Grand Prize Is A Kindle Fire HDX 7” plus books to go on the winner's new Kindle! In addition, there will be prizes of ebooks at various participating blogs. Winners of items that need to be shipped (such as the Kindle) must reside in the US or Canada to be eligible, but anyone anywhere can win an ebook. Check it out here:

There are four ways to enter the grand prize giveaway: Leaving a comment on this post, following my blog, liking me on Facebook, or following on Twitter. You don't have to do all four, but they increase your chances of winning. Once you have followed or liked, let us know in the comment box below so you are eligible to win!
Here's an example:
Name: Carey Abbott
Comment: Great Post
Twitter: Followed
FaceBook: Followed
Blog: Followed
Country You Live In: United States

I'm in the nice category with a trio of spicy novels about getting left at the altar, living through the humiliation and learning to trust in love again. I want to tell you about my three heroines from this series and their feelings about the holiday season.

Just like me, my characters from my Left at the Altar series love Christmas. Sarah Stevens, from HER BEST MAN, decorates her tree by December 1 every year. Every year she visits craft fairs to buy unique, handcrafted ornaments and decorations. Each ornament on her tree means something to her. There’s the little lady dressed in a ball gown made with pink and white beads that reminds her how much she loved to dance as a child, how much she still loves to dance. She loves the Christmas ornaments made from egg cartons, pipe cleaners and glitter that her grandmother made when she lived in the nursing home. They may be tacky but she'll never throw them out. Then there there’s shepherd she made in a long ago ceramics class that makes her smile every Christmas when she unwraps it. Luckily for her, she meets someone who understands how important traditions are to her. 
Olivia Taylor from THERE GOES THE GROOM was an only child and her parents’ marriage was strained. So Christmas at her house was often a quiet, tense day when she was a little girl. When she met Tony at the age of eighteen, everything in her life changed, including the way she felt about the holidays. She was introduced to his large, boisterous, loving family, and Christmas became a time of family and food and fun. She loved it. She loved shopping for gifts, baking Christmas cookies, and going to Christmas mass with Tony’s parents, brothers and his sister Dani. But when Tony left Olivia at the altar, she not only lost the love of her life, she lost a loving family, and a beautiful Christmas celebration. She became determined to create her own happy Christmases, even if Tony was no longer in her life. During the eight years she was separated from him, she made new traditions for herself, like volunteering at a soup kitchen and delivering Christmas hampers to needy families. The memory of those wonderful Christmases with the Dipietros inspired her to be a better person.

Dani Dipietro from ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID was raised in a large Italian family with six older brothers. Christmas was a big deal in her family. When she was a child, her mother baked and cooked for weeks before Christmas for the endless stream of guests – extended family, friends and neighbors – who visited over the holidays. Dani loved it. She loved getting together with family, and being with friends. Christmas was perfect, except for one thing – the eating. Dani loved to eat as much as she loved Christmas. By the time she was eighteen, she was fifty pounds overweight. The only boys she seemed to attract were ones who wanted to take advantage of her in some way. She was afraid she’d never find the kind of loving relationship her parents had. Fast forward ten years. Tired of the way she looks, she decides some drastic action is in order. And when she least expects it,
love walks into her life.

Before you go on your merry way to the next blog, I hope you'll take time to enter my contest. For your chance to win an e-copy of the second book in the series, THERE GOES THE GROOM, answer at least one of the questions here, based on the blurbs and excerpts on my website - just click the title to go there. You'll get one entry for each answer. Email your answers to me at  BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! I'll choose one winner at random on December 17. Here are the questions:

1. In the excerpt from ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, what does Zach do when Dani arrives at the house?

2. In HER BEST MAN, where does Sarah go after she gets dumped at the altar?

3. What is Olivia's fiance's name in THERE GOES THE GROOM?

You can also enter my contest by leaving a comment and telling me your favorite thing to do over the holidays. Email me with your answer at  but be sure to leave an email address! Happy Holidays!

To continue hopping, go back to the Blog Hop List

Monday, December 9, 2013

25 Days of Christmas at The Wild Rose Press

My family's Christmas food traditions are featured today at The Wild Rose Press Blog. "Christmas Eats" is about my food memories of Christmas, and happy childhood memories. I hope you'll join me!

And while you're there, enter the draw to win a $25 TWRP gift certificate. Every day from December 1 to Christmas Day, December 25, someone will win a $25 TWRP gift certificate in a Rafflecopter draw. Enter often for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Specials at Untreed Reads!

Today is Cyber Monday, the day of sales on the Internet! Uncial Press will be offering all of our titles for 50% off in the Untreed Reads Store (and only there) from midnight Pacific Standard Time Sunday (12 am PST) until 11:59 pm PST on Monday.

During those 24 hours, there will also be timed specials:

- 12 am - 4 am: EARLYBIRD coupon special (extra 10% off) all Uncial Press titles

- 4 am - 10 am: Additional 10% off selected Uncial Press romances (listed on their site - including my contemporary romance, "A Long Way from Eden")

- 10 am - 12 pm: Selected Uncial Press fantasy titles for $1.99 each (listed on their site)

- 12 pm - 2 pm: A Strange Little Band FREE!

- 2 pm - 4 pm: Additional 10% off selected Uncial Press mystery & suspense titles (listed on their site)

- 4 pm - 6 pm: Selected Uncial Press western & thriller titles $1 each (listed on their site)

- 6
pm - midnight: any holiday themed title (including Halloween) for $1.99

Untreed Reads' timed specials are listed below:

- 12am PST - 4am PST: Save an extra 10% off with coupon code EARLYBIRD.

- 11am PST - 12pm PST: Grab a free copy of Caught Dead in Philadelphia by Gillian Roberts

- 12pm PST - 1pm PST: Each story in Season 1 and Season 2 of Space: 1889 & Beyond will be $1.00 each.

- 1pm PST - 2pm PST: Buy Rose of the MIsts and A Rose in Splendor by Laura Parker and get The Secret Rose by Laura Parker free.

- 2pm PST - 3pm PST: Buy Blood Money by K.J. Janssen and get Fatal Dose by K.J. Janssen for free.

- 3pm PST - 4pm PST: Save an additional 10% off all Childrens and Young Adult titles published by Untreed Reads.

4pm PST - 5pm PST: Get Barbara Metzger's Father Christmas for $1.50.

Uncial Press titles don't go on sale often, so take advantage of this great opportunity! Again, the link to the Untreed Reads Store is

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Blog Tour Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my contest, liked me on Facebook and tweeted about my contest. I was thrilled to have so many people follow along on my tour.

But there can be only one winner of the prize - a $25 Amazon gift card. The winner was picked at random by Bewitching Tours. And the winner is ...

Sienna Snow. Congratulations Sienna!

The gift card has been sent to Sienna. I hope she buys lots of my books with it!

And now I'm hard at work on my next blog tour, which will take place in January 2014. The third book in the Left at the Altar series, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, releases January 17. Watch this blog for more information about contests and prizes.

P.S. Isn't this a great cover?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Day of Virtual Blog Tour for FIRST AND AGAIN!

It's the last day of my virtual blog tour and it's been a blast! Thank you to Bewitching Tours for their wonderful organization of this tour. And thank you to everyone who's entered my contest so far. If you haven't entered, or you'd like to enter again, today is your last chance! A $25 Amazon Gift Certificate is up for grabs!

Mythical Books - I've written a blog about love in a small town. What happens if you don't want to see that guy you've just broken up with?

Ramblings of a Book Lunatic - One last blurb and excerpt from FIRST AND AGAIN.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The First and Again Tour continues!

Three stops today for two Spotlights and two reviews. It's going to be a very busy day!

Theresa Stillwagon - Stop by for a look at the blurb and a excerpt from FIRST AND AGAIN.

Booker Like a Hooker - My book is being reviewed again. I can hardly wait for the results!

Belinda Williams Books - FIRST AND AGAIN is in the spotlight with a look at an excerpt as well as a new review!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Join me for Two Interviews and a Review today!

Two more interviews today! Very busy! Even if you've already entered my contest to win a $25 Gift Certificate, you're welcome to enter again. Enter now and enter often!

Manga Maniac Cafe - A great interview for you today.

Storm Goddess Book Reviews - Another fun interview.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Virtual Book/Blog Tour Continues!

Remember to enter my contest for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

Reviewing in Chaos - FIRST AND AGAIN  is in the Spotlight at this blog today.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day Five of my Virtual Blog Tour!

Happy Monday! Please join me on today's stop. Remember to enter my contest for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

3 partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, Sissy too! - Stop by for a look at an excerpt and blurb from FIRST AND AGAIN.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

FIRST AND AGAIN Blog Tour continues!

I'm making three stops today on my virtual blog tour to celebrate the release of FIRST AND AGAIN:

Official Blog of A.C. James - My character Jack Davison is being interviewed today. Stop by and get to know the rancher from Paradise!

Indy Book Fairy - I'm getting my first review for FIRST AND AGAIN. Stop by and read a blurb and excerpt along with the review.

I've dropped in at The Romance Studio for a Release Party, today only. Read excerpts, profiles and even a recipe, all celebrating the release of FIRST AND AGAIN.  Go to and click on my name, Jana Richards, on the left sidebar to read my posts. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 3 of my FIRST AND AGAIN Blog Tour!

I'll be at Leah DW's blog today for a Spotlight look at FIRST AND AGAIN. Take a look a blurb and an excerpt and enter my contest for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. See you there!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day Two of FIRST AND AGAIN Virtual Blog Tour

Another day on the virtual highway! I'm making three more stops today:

Carina Press Blog - I'm at my publisher's blog talking about the story behind the story of "First and Again".

Merissa McCain's Blog - Merissa is featuring me in her Book Spotlight section today. Stop by and say hello!

Pembroke Sinclair's Blog - As part of my Bewitching Tours Virtual Blog Tour, I'm being interviewed at Pembroke Sinclair's blog. To win a $25 Amazon gift certificate, enter my contest at any participating blog on my tour.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Release Day! FIRST AND AGAIN available today!

I'm thrilled that FIRST AND AGAIN is being released by Carina Press today! I'm at a number of places today, spreading the news:

Contemporary Romance Cafe - It's Excerpt Monday at the Cafe. Come on by and say hello and read an excerpt from FIRST AND AGAIN.

Romance Lives Forever - Character Interview with Bridget Grant from FIRST AND AGAIN. Learn what makes her tick. You can comment on this blog for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate. Winner will be picked randomly Wednesday, October 9 by 12 noon, CST from all comments received.

Lis Les Livres - Part of my Bewitching Tours Virtual Blog Tour. You can enter my contest for a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate at any of the stops on the tour.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Romance Studio's 10th Anniversary Party!

I'm participating in TRS's 10th Anniversary Party from September 15 to 21. I'm posting excerpts from my books all week, and on September 21 I'm holding a contest. Find the answers to my questions in the excerpt for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate. There are a ton of other prizes to be won, so I hope you'll drop by and say hello!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Sexy Saturday - Always a Bridesmaid

Happy Sexy Saturday! I'm back with another 7 paragraph snippet from "Always a Bridesmaid", Book 3 of my Left at the Altar series. "Always a Bridesmaid" releases from Uncial Press on January 17, 2014. 

In this scene, Zach comes to Dani's room to tell her she's the one he wants:

He cupped her cheek, his eyes searching hers. "Why do you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Make a joke or accuse me of being patronizing when I try to compliment you?"

Because I can't believe you mean it. "I know I'm not perfect, not in looks, not like Chantal. Far from it."

"Maybe I don't want perfect." His thumb traced lazy circles over the delicate skin under her eye. "Maybe I want sweet and kind and funny. Maybe I want someone who makes me laugh, and makes me believe happiness is possible."

She stared at him, his gaze rendering her immobile. She wanted to tell him not to say things like that to her, not unless he was very, very sure he meant them. Because if he didn't really mean it, she might not survive. But her heart lodged in her throat, making speech impossible. All she could do was pray that when he left her, her heart would still be in one piece.

Zach lowered his mouth to hers. His lips touched hers, softly, sweetly. She wanted more, so much more. She stepped closer to him, stretching on tiptoes to wrap her arms around his neck and press herself against him. His kiss changed in a heartbeat, consuming her, devouring her in a vortex of sensation and need. Nothing mattered except this moment with Zach in her arms.

Thanks for stopping by. Check out more sexy snippets at  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My New Cover & and an Excerpt!

I'm thrilled to show off the new cover of my next release, FIRST AND AGAIN, coming October 7, 2013 from Carina Press. Here's a blurb:

Bridget Grant is back in Paradise. Paradise, North Dakota, that is.

She’s swallowed her pride and moved back to her hometown with her daughter after her divorce and the loss of her catering company. Now she’s trying to navigate the strained relationships she’d left behind – including her first love, Jack Davison.

Jack never forgot Bridget, or the day she left town – and him. When Bridget caters a lunch at Jack’s tourist ranch, old flames reignite. They have more in common than ever – Jack’s also a single parent. Though they both try to keep things casual, Bridget, Jack and their girls are starting to look a lot like a family.

But Bridget’s only planning to stay in Paradise until she’s saved enough to relaunch her business. Jack’s invested too much in his ranch to leave. And with their daughters involved both have a lot more at stake than heartbreak. How can they risk falling in love?

I was in a baking mood today, so I wanted to share a scene from FIRST AND AGAIN where Bridget learns to bake a flaky, mouth-watering pie crust:

Martha hummed as she used a knife to cut the block of shortening into dice-sized bits. A moment later she switched to a pastry blender and began to mix the flour and shortening with surprising strength. She attacked the mixture with enthusiasm, working her way around and to the bottom of the bowl in a fast chopping motion.

“My mother used to say you had to be quick and fierce to bake a good pie.”

“I see what you mean,” Bridget said. “I never thought of baking pies as an aerobic activity before.”

Martha laughed. “You can mix the next batch. I’m nearly worn-out already.”

“I’m sorry. Are you all right? You’ve been standing for too long. I’ll get your wheelchair.”

“No, no, don’t fuss,” she said. “I can rest later. Right now we have work to do. Get me a glass of ice water.

“Now, watch carefully,” Martha commanded, after Bridget handed her the glass. Her hands shook slightly as she added the ice water to the flour and shortening mixture, a tablespoon at a time, in different spots in the bowl. She handed Bridget a fork.

“Here, you try it. Stir as hard and fast as you can.”

She stirred vigorously as Martha supervised.

“If you have enough water the dough will start to form a ball,” she said. She added another tablespoon and nodded her head in satisfaction.

“That should do it.”

She was right. By some miracle, the mixture now resembled something approximating pie dough. Martha took the dough into her hands and shaped it into a more uniform ball before cutting it in half and placing half on a plastic pastry sheet sprinkled generously with flour.
“The fewer strokes you use to work the dough, the flakier it will be.”

After flattening the dough a little with her hand, Martha covered it with a piece of waxed paper and began vigorously rolling with a wooden rolling pin. Bridget marveled once again at her stamina as she worked quickly and with some strength, starting from the middle and pushing the dough out in all directions. She soon formed a thin circle of pastry.

“Now the moment of truth,” Martha said. She peeled off the waxed paper, then gently folded the circle of pastry in half. Lifting the folded half over a pie plate, she carefully unfolded the pastry over the plate.

“Beautiful.” She gently worked the dough to the bottom and sides of the pie plate and then took a sharp knife to trim the excess.

Gladys brought a bowl of filling to the table. “This is my mother’s recipe for apple pie filling. She always made wonderful pies.” She spooned the filling into the empty pie shell while Martha began rolling the top.
When she finished rolling, Martha placed the top over the filling, crimped the edges together with her fingers, and then cut small vents in the top in the shape of bird tracks. Bridget took the pie to the preheated oven. She’d taken meticulous notes and was anxious to sample their creation and see if it passed the taste test.

Rebecca and Leslie breezed into the kitchen, holding hands and giggling. Bridget had made arrangements for Rebecca to hitch a ride on the school bus with Leslie after school. Martha chuckled and pointed a bony finger at the girls.

“There’s two more strong pie makers. Wash your hands and come help us with the next batch.”

Leslie cheered while Rebecca’s eyes widened in disbelief. “But I don’t like cooking.”

Martha waved away her objections. “You like to eat, don’t you?”

“Well, yeah but—”

“Then if you plan on feeding yourself, you need to learn to cook.” She sat ramrod straight in her wheelchair and gave Rebecca an imperious wave. “Now go wash up.”

The look of horror on her daughter’s face made Bridget laugh. “You heard the lady. Go wash your hands.”

Gladys took Leslie by the hand. “Come with me. We’ll soon get you cleaned up and turned into little kitchen helpers.”

Rebecca followed them to the washroom, throwing her mother a doleful glance as she left. Bridget chuckled when she disappeared around the corner. “Now if I’d said that to her she’d likely stomp off and spend the rest of the afternoon sulking.”

“That’s one good thing about being as old as I am,” Martha said with a wheezing laugh. “No one will dare argue with you.”

The girls soon emerged from the washroom and Gladys found each of them a bibbed apron. Bridget hid her smile at the picture they made. Leslie pranced excitedly in the apron that covered her from her chin to her ankles, while Rebecca looked as if she’d rather be mucking out stalls.

“There now, you look like you’re ready to go.” Martha wheeled her chair next to the table. “Bring your ingredients over here. The counter’s too high for me.”

The girls obediently did as they were told. As Bridget made her next batch of pastry at the counter following the directions Martha had given her, she listened and watched with amazement as both girls followed instructions. She wasn’t surprised at Leslie’s enthusiasm but Rebecca’s transformation was nothing short of remarkable.

“Work it harder, girl! The faster you mix it, the flakier it will be.”

“Like this, Mrs. Kowalchuk?” She could see Rebecca’s arm energetically working the dough.

“Just like that, dear. We’re going to make pie makers out of you girls yet. And call me Martha. Everybody does.”

An hour and a half later they sampled the fruits of their labor. Bridget closed her eyes and sighed as the pastry melted in her mouth. The filling was sweet without being cloying and was just the right texture.


She smiled at the two older women and the two young girls. Apparently it took a village not only to raise a child, but to teach her how to bake a pie.

FIRST AND AGAIN is available for Pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Sexy Saturday - Funny Snippet from "Always a Bridesmaid"

Happy Saturday! Here's 7 paragraphs from my soon to be released (Uncial Press, January 17, 2014) contemporary romantic comedy "Always a Bridesmaid". Zach and Dani are pretending to be boyfriend/girlfriend to fend off the unwanted attentions of Zach's former fiance Chantal. In this snippet which takes place in front of everyone at the breakfast table, Chantal is making it clear she wants Zach back, or at least wants him back in her bed. But Zach has other ideas:

He felt her hand on his knee. What game was Chantal playing? "Modern art's not my thing."
"I guess that's true. You always liked the works of the old masters better. All those Rubenesque women. But I really think you should give this exhibit a try. Perhaps you'll come to a new appreciation of the art form."
Her hand inched up his thigh. Sweat broke out on his forehead. "I don't think so. I have other interests."
"There's no reason you can't appreciate two art forms at the same time."
Her hand drifted to the top of his thigh. For the first time she looked at him, giving him a triumphant smile. Then her hand moved to his crotch.
He shot to his feet, his chair scraping against the wood floor and nearly tipping. Just at that moment, Dani entered the dining room with a bowl, and after setting it on the sideboard, turned to smile at him. He reached her in three strides, enveloping her tightly in his arms and covering her mouth with his before she had a chance to protest or even say good morning. He wanted to make sure Chantal understood in no uncertain terms that he was with Dani now.
For several heart beats, she held herself rigid. And then something remarkable happened. He felt her sigh against his mouth as her arms wound around his neck and she pressed herself against him. His own response was swift and totally unexpected. He held her close, running one hand over the lush curves of her bottom, her softness speaking to a primordial part of his being. The taste of berries on her tongue made him want to strip off her clothing to taste every inch of her naked skin. Though he was vaguely aware of people entering the room, he ignored them. Urgency built inside him, demanding to be released.

Hope you enjoyed my snippet. For more sexy bits, go to

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Sexy Saturday - Sweet scene from "Always a Bridesmaid"

Welcome to another Sexy Saturday at a my blog! Today I've got a sweet and sexy seven paragraph snippet from "Always a Bridesmaid", the third novel in my Left at the Altar series. "Always a Bridesmaid" will be released January 17, 2014 from Uncial Press. For information on the other books in this series, please check them out on my website.
This snippet comes from the first chapter of "Always a Bridesmaid". Zach Morrison was standing at the altar, ready to say 'I do' when his fiance's ex-husband bursts into the church and informs everyone assembled that he and the bride-to-be have been sleeping together. Zach is devastated. But Dani, who is an old friend, helps him through the worst day of his life:

Wanting nothing more than to comfort, she wrapped her arms around his waist in a hug. He held her tightly, pulling her against him and burying his face in her neck. Dani inhaled the intoxicating scent of spicy aftershave laced with underlying notes of warm, clean male. How could Chantal treat a wonderful man like Zach this way? She gently pulled away, keeping him at arm's length. "You're going to get past this, Zach."
"It doesn't feel like it right now."
"I know, but someday, when you're old and grey, you'll be sitting on the front porch with your wonderful wife of fifty years, and you'll say 'Thank Heaven Chantal cheated on me or I never would have met you.'"

He made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob. "Fifty years, eh?"
"Trust me."
Some lucky girl would snap Zach up in a minute, and if she was smart, she'd shower him with the love and consideration he deserved. Some lucky girl, but not me.
Reluctantly, she took a step back. He squeezed her fingers before letting her go. With her heart pounding in her chest, and regret nipping at her heels, she hurried from the church. Before she did something stupid, like kiss the jilted groom.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak. For more great sexy snippets this Saturday, please go to Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If J.K. Rowling can't do it, how am I supposed to?

Recently, it came to light that J.K. Rowling had published a crime novel called The Cuckoo's Calling under the pen name Robert Galbraith. I'm sure Ms. Rowling is pleased that her new book received critical acclaim when everyone thought it was written by an author no one had heard of; no one was influenced by her well-known name to give the book either a glowing or a bad review. However, until it was discovered that Rowling was the actual author, no more than 1,500 copies had been sold. Of course now that everyone knows who the real author is, the book has become a commercial success.

This story begs the question: if quality determines success, shouldn't every well-written book be commercially successfully?

In his article in Bloomberg News, Duncan J. Watts challenges that theory. He collaborated with colleagues Matthew Salganik and Peter Dodds several years ago at Columbia University to prove that "market success is driven less by intrinsic talent than by "cumulative advantage," a rich-get-richer process in which early, possibly even random events are amplified by social feedback and produce large differences in future outcomes."

In other words, Watts believes that if an author becomes popular with one book, that popularity will continue with subsequent books. He and his colleagues devised an experiment in which almost 30,000 participants were recruited to listen, rate and download songs by bands they had never heard of. These participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups; an independent group, which saw only the names of the bands and the songs, and a social influence group, whose participants could see how many times songs had already been downloaded by others in the group. They found that success was driven disproportionately by a few early downloads. "When people could see what other people like, the inequality of success increased, meaning popular songs became more popular and unpopular songs became less so."

Watts says that it's "clear that being good, or even excellent, isn't enough. As one of the hapless editors who turned down the Galbraith manuscript put it, "when the book came in, I thought it was perfectly good--it was certainly well-written--but it didn't stand out."

Are you depressed yet?

I think most writers are aware that readers tend to buy books from authors they already know. Many authors' new books become an auto-buy for some readers. It makes sense; if a reader has enjoyed an author's work in the past, they trust them to provide a good read in the future. Readers only have so much time and money, so they must choose well.

So how does a lesser known writer like me get on that auto-buy list?

Joanna Penn, who recently attended the Bookseller Marketing and Publicity conference, points out these statistics: "23% of buyers surveyed bought a book based on an author they had previously read, by far the largest percentage. A further 6% followed/were a fan of the author and 5% bought from an author interview/event."

For an author, this means that once we have entertained a reader, we have a better chance of having them come back to read more of our books. Keeping in touch with readers through a newsletter is important in order to touch base with them on what you're working on, on contests and new releases coming up, and to generally let them know you still exist.

She encourages authors to persist with small, cumulative marketing strategies. It usually takes a multitude of marketing efforts to sell a book. Penn quotes Simon Scott from Push Entertainment: “it’s the little things that have a cumulative effect over time...the things that go viral are just little things that go big.” Penn says "The only way to aim for that kind of success is to keep plugging away at the little things, because no one really knows what tips a book or a song or a video over the edge into virality (or we’d all be doing it!)"

So I think there's hope. I'll keep plugging away and trying to connect with readers through social media and blog tours. I'll also investigate different ways of reaching an audience. At the same time, I'll keep working on my craft. Who knows? Perhaps one day I'll be the writer on everyone's auto-buy list. I can only hope!

If you're a writer, what methods do you use to connect with readers? If you're a reader, what criteria do you use when buying a book? Do you ever buy books by writers new to you?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Sexy Saturday - First and Again

Here's seven more sexy paragraphs from my October 7 Carina Press release, First and Again. I'm excited that First and Again is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Yay! Here's a sample:

It took only a few seconds for him to sheath himself, but it seemed ages to Bridget. She sighed in relief when he returned to her. Placing his hands under her buttocks, he lifted her. With two fingers, she guided him inside.  He filled her completely, pushing at all her boundaries. It felt almost as if he could break right through her. The thought was frightening and exhilarating. Instinct made her wrap her legs tightly around his waist.

He braced himself, pushing her against the wall. With each thrust, he seemed to go deeper inside her. She madly pushed back, their frenzied coupling building to a crescendo. A moment later he cried out his release. She followed him into the abyss, descending into a vortex of sensation where only he existed. She clung blindly to him as wave after wave of ecstasy washed over her.

Finally the spasms ended and he carried her to the bed, laying her down and collapsing next to her. He flung one arm over his eyes.

“Next time you go to the city, buy some more of that underwear. Damn fine investment.”

She chuckled. “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. I’m looking to build my portfolio.”

He made a noise that sounded like something between a grunt and a laugh. “You keep building your portfolio like that and you’ll put me in an early grave. But I’d least I’d die with a smile on my face.”

“Always happy to oblige.”

I hope you enjoyed today's sexy snippet! For more fun and sexy bits, please go to

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Sexy Saturday!

Happy Sexy Saturday! Here's another seven paragraph snippet from my next release, "First and Again". Enjoy!

Though he desperately wanted to touch her, he forced himself to wait. For all her bravado, he knew he needed to go slow, no matter how much it killed him. A part of him wanted to throw Bridget onto the bed and sink himself into her, pumping harder, faster, deeper until they both flew to pieces. But as satisfying as that might be for him, it wasn’t what he wanted for their first time together in twenty years.

He took a ragged breath. Their first time. Again. After all these years.

He contented himself by exploring her with his eyes. He estimated he could span her small waist with his two hands, and his palms itched to test his theory. From her narrow waist her hips flared, giving her generous curves for one so slender. Her legs went on forever. Long, slim and shapely, he’d dreamed about those legs wrapped around him and holding him tight. A moan escaped from his lips as he fought for control. How embarrassing would it be to come in his underwear like a randy fourteen-year-old?

Bridget stepped toward him, sliding her warm hands under his T-shirt once more. She ran her hands over his sides, her light touch scorching his skin. She caught the bottom of his shirt between her fingers and pulled it up and over his head, tossing it to the floor.

She kissed his chest. “You’re beautiful, Jack. I dreamed about you too.”

He tipped her chin to look into her face and saw that tears pooled at the corner of her eyes. He kissed each eye in turn.
“No tears, sweetheart. Not tonight.”

"First and Again" releases October 7, 2013 from Carina Press. For more Sexy Saturday snippets, please check out Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Sexy Saturday!

It's My Sexy Saturday again! I've got another 7 paragraph snippet from my October 7 Carina Press release, "First and Again". Bridget and Jack are about to make love for the first time in twenty years:

She pushed her jeans down her hips, slowly, languidly. They fell to the floor, pooling at her feet. She stepped gracefully away from them, and for a moment she stared at them, her hands splayed over her abdomen as if she was trying to cover herself. At last she lifted her gaze to his, all traces of playfulness gone. Was she afraid he wouldn’t want her?  

“So what do you think?” she whispered.

He stepped forward and took her hand, kissing it tenderly. “I think that’s the sexiest bit of white cotton I’ve ever seen.”

She smiled tremulously. “Oh yeah?”


She took a step back, mischief evident once more in her eyes. Her thumbs found the elastic of her panties and teased them lower. “As much as you love these panties, I think it’s time for them to go.”

He swallowed. “I’m all for that.”

For more great sexy Saturday snippets, please go to

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's Sexy Saturday Again!

I've got seven sexy paragraphs from my soon to be released (October 7, 2013, Carina Press) contemporary romance First and Again. And since First and Again takes place in North Dakota, I thought I'd show you a prairie sunset. In this scene, Jack and Bridget are about to make love for the first time in twenty years. Jack confesses that he used to fantasize about her doing a little striptease for him, and Bridget decides to turn his fantasies into reality:

She opened the top button of her jeans and slowly slid the zipper down, her gaze never
leaving his. “Did I do this in your fantasy?”
“Yes, I believe you did.”
“What was I wearing underneath my jeans?”
He licked his lips. “Red panties. Silk.”
“Sorry to disappoint.” She ran two fingers along the inside of the waistband of her jeans. “No red silk panties. Just good old, serviceable white cotton.”
“Oh yeah?” His blood pressure spiked. His erection demanded freedom, pushing against his zipper and testing his endurance.
“Afraid so. Wanna see?”  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hot and Deadly Blog Hop, June 20 -23

What a great subject for a blog hop! Hot and deadly heroes. Yum! If you’re like me, you love romantic suspense heroes. They’re tough, take-charge, alpha heroes with a take-no-prisoners attitude. Not to mention they’re sexy as hell. But underneath that tough guy exterior, a heart of pure marshmallow beats. Okay, maybe not marshmallow. But these hot and deadly heroes are transformed by the love of a good woman.

I have two titles with heroes that qualify for the ‘hot and deadly’ label. Hunter Smith, my hero in Flawless, is a jewel thief. Actually, an ex-jewel thief, because when the novel opens he’s in the slammer in London. It’s 1942 and the world is at war. The head of the Special Operations Executive, Britain’s wartime spy department, comes to his cell with an offer: go to occupied France and steal back the famous Coeur Bleu, the Blue Heart diamond, from the Nazis, and he’ll bust him out of jail. Time is of the essence. They must retrieve the Blue Heart before the Nazis barter it for weapons of war that may destroy the Allies.

Hunter accepts the deal, not only because he wants to get out of jail, but also because he wants to avenge the death of his childhood friend Jean-Philippe, the last person to have the diamond before the Nazis took it from him.

He’s dropped into France where he’s met by Madeleine, a French resistance fighter, who seems to
hate him at first sight. What he doesn’t know is that Madeleine is the widow of his friend Jean-Philippe and she blames him for his death. But despite her distrust, they must work together, posing as husband and wife in order to accomplish their mission.

Hunter was a fun character to write. On the surface, he’s exceptionally suave and charming, not to mention hot. He’s got a talent for picking locks and opening safes that has landed him in a heap of trouble on occasion. But underneath it all is a man extremely loyal to the people he loves, a man who still bears the scars from the neglect of his parents. You can read an excerpt from Flawless here.

In Seeing Things, David Logan is another man who is completely loyal to the people he loves. His five year old nephew Jeremy is kidnapped while in his care. When Leah McKenna comes forward, professing to have “seen” the abduction, he dismisses her and her psychic abilities. But when she tells him things about Jeremy that only someone who’s seen him recently would know, he’s convinced she’s working with the kidnapper. Thinking she’ll lead him to his nephew and his kidnappers, he decides to stay close to her.

But he’s a tough cookie. He rides roughshod over Leah. He doesn’t believe anything she says, even as the proof of her abilities is mounting. Not until she reveals a secret from his past, something he’s never told anyone, is David forced to accept that Leah’s psychic abilities are real. He also starts to believe that his feelings for her are real as well.

I really made this poor guy suffer. When Jeremy is kidnapped on his watch, he’s wracked with guilt. He’s the kind of person who needs to protect his family, and when he can’t, he feels like a failure. Poor baby! If you’d like to read an excerpt from Seeing Things, click here.

As a special offer on my blog, tell me in the comments about one of your favorite hot and deadly heroes, whether from books, TV, movies, or even real life. I’ll randomly pick two commenters and award them each a CD copy (PDF text only) of Seeing Things. So comment away!

And don't forget that the grand prize for the hop is a $50 Gift Certificate to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon (winner's choice). Hop on over to another blog!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Sexy Saturday Snippet from First and Again

It's Sexy Saturday! I have seven paragraphs from my upcoming release, First and Again, to be released October 7, 2013 by Carina Press. I don't have a cover yet, but the woman in the above picture looks so much like the heroine I imagined it's almost spooky. Today's snippet is sexy and sweet. Jack and Bridget were teenage lovers. This is their first kiss in twenty years:

He ran his hands up and down her bare arms. “Are you okay? God, you’re freezing.” He shrugged out his jacket and wrapped it around her.
“I’m fine, really,” she said, her voice sounding tired. She lifted her gaze to his, her eyes luminous. “But thanks for the jacket. It is kind of chilly out here.”
“Christ, Bridget.”
He simply couldn’t resist her any longer. He pulled her into his arms. At first she felt stiff with resistance but gradually her body softened against his, and she wound her arms loosely around his waist. 
“You’re nice and warm,” she said, her voice muffled against his chest. 
He held her closer and murmured reassurances to her. She felt soft and pliant in his arms, her curves melding perfectly against him. Jack breathed in her scent, a light floral fragrance that he remembered and had always associated with her. His memory assaulted him with vignettes of the past. He remembered the sweetness of those first inexperienced kisses. He remembered the softness of her skin, the incredible feel of her body pressed against his. His body began to stir, his arousal pushing against the zipper of his jeans.

Damn. He hadn’t meant for that to happen.

I hope you enjoyed this peek at First and Again. Stay tuned for more sexy scenes in the future!
Please check back with for more Sexy Saturday sneak peeks!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday! Today I'm sharing a snippet from my upcoming Carina Press novel "First and Again", which releases October 7, 2013. Here's the blurb:

Bridget Grant is back in Paradise. Paradise, North Dakota, that is.

She’s swallowed her pride and moved back to her hometown with her daughter after her divorce and the loss of her catering company. Now she’s trying to navigate the strained relationships she’d left behind – including her first love, Jack Davison.

Jack never forgot Bridget, or the day she left town – and him. When Bridget caters a lunch at Jack’s tourist ranch, old flames reignite. They have more in common than ever – Jack’s also a single parent. Though they both try to keep things casual, Bridget, Jack and their girls are starting to look a lot like a family.

But Bridget’s only planning to stay in Paradise until she’s saved enough to relaunch her business. Jack’s invested too much in his ranch to leave. And with their daughters involved both have a lot more at stake than heartbreak. How can they risk falling in love?

 Here's my six paragraph snippet:

Bridget glanced at the horrified expression on her sister’s face. In a moment of weakness, she’d phoned and confided the circumstances of her divorce to Celia. How could Tina have known Ben had left her for a woman fifteen years younger unless Celia had told her? Was this how sisters treated each other? Did one betray confidences and then sit back and watch while the other was publicly humiliated and ridiculed? 
She could never trust her again. 
Gavin coughed self-consciously. He and the others at the table appeared uncomfortable, but she was past caring about anyone else’s discomfort. Anger welled up inside her, anger at Tina, at Celia, at Ben, at the world in general. 
“It’s okay, Jack. Tina’s right. My husband did dump me for a younger woman. But hey, my life’s an open book. Maybe there are other details of my personal life you’d like to discuss.  Perhaps you want to know my bra size or maybe my bank account balance, though I’ve got to warn you, neither is very big. Go ahead, ask me anything.”
They stared at each other for what seemed like ages until Tina shook her head, looking chastised.

“You’re right, it’s none of my business,” she said, sounding remorseful. “I just wondered what brought you back to Paradise after all these years.”  

For more great sneak peeks, go to 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sexy Saturday!

I want to share a sexy tidbit from my latest release "There Goes the Groom". Here's seven hot little paragraphs:

Tony stood behind her and pressed a kiss to her neck, just under her ear, in a spot he knew drove her wild. He felt a tremble ripple through her body, and it was all he could do to keep from ripping off her clothes and taking her right now.
Patience, he told himself.
“Do you remember Olivia, how I put my mouth here?” He cupped her breasts and gently massaged. “I remember how you moaned as I suckled you, how you arched your back and offered yourself to me. How you begged me for more.”
He let his hand drift down her stomach. “And then I kissed you everywhere. Your skin was hot and tasted like honey. So sweet.” Tony cupped her at the apex of her thighs and a moan escaped her lips. Olivia’s head fell back against Tony’s shoulder. “I kissed you here. Do you remember? It was the first time and as soon as put my tongue inside you, you exploded. You cried out my name, over and over, and your body just kept writhing beneath me. It was the first time I’d brought you to orgasm like that. But I wasn’t finished with you? Do you remember?”
Olivia’s moan told him she did.
“I made you come again, didn’t I? Do you remember how I sucked you, licked you, until your body began to tense beneath me once more. You screamed my name again and came in my mouth. I’ve never tasted anything so sweet.
“And then I had to have you. We were both slick with sweat and the smell of our love was all around us. You were so wet, Olivia. You wanted me too. You told me how much you wanted me inside you. I drove myself into you, like an animal. I couldn’t control myself, but you were with me all the way, telling me you loved me, telling me not to stop. I felt you start to shudder once more and it sent me completely over the edge. I’d never had an orgasm like it before.”

For more sexy Saturday snippets, please go to  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Winner of Blog Tour Gift Certificate!

I have just chosen the winner of the $20 Amazon gift certificate from all the comments received on my blog tour promoting "There Goes the Groom". I used to pick the winner. And the lucky winner is....(drum roll please!)

Andra Lynn. Congratulations!

Thank you to Andra Lynn and to everyone else who followed my tour and commented on my blogs. It was lovely to talk with you!

I just got word that the release date for the third book in my Left at the Altar series, "Always a Bridesmaid", is being pushed up to January 17, 2014. Here's a blurb:

Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She's always the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.

When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiancé, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. They both play their roles a little too well, and make-believe turns into reality. Their invented relationship comes crashing down when Zach's trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means that Dani will betray a friend, something she will never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever.    
All the best,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Day of the "There Goes the Groom" Blog Tour

I'm at Welcome to My World of Dreams today on my last day of my virtual blog tour. I was asked to talk about my writing space, and as it happens, I'm currently trying to spiff up the joint. Come see the before and after pictures!

Did you know that "There Goes the Groom" is part of a series? Indeed it is! In my Left at the Altar series, every novel opens with someone being, well, left at the altar. The fun part is finding out how they learn to trust, and learn to love again.

Book One: "Her Best Man":

Sarah Stevens experiences a bride's worst nightmare; being dumped at the altar.  When she goes on the Caribbean cruise meant to be her honeymoon in order to lick her wounds, she discovers her ex-fiancé has sent his brother, Will Marshall, the former best man, on the cruise as well.  Everyone on board thinks they're newlyweds, and Sarah is too embarrassed to set them straight.  How is she supposed to share a tiny cabin with a man she barely knows?  Even worse, how is she supposed to pretend that she and Will are on their honeymoon?  Sarah discovers the best man for her really is the best man.

Book Two: "There Goes the Groom": released May 17, 2013

Eight years ago Tony left Olivia at the altar. He was sure she didn't really want to marry him. Now he's back, and they're forced to work together.

Coming home isn't easy for Tony, because his father wanted him to work at a trade instead of going off to college. Their relationship is still unsteady. Even before Tony's return, Olivia began questioning the depth of her love for her fiancé, a man she chose because he was safe and reliable. The last thing she wants is a loveless, faithless marriage like the one her parents suffered through.

When Tony, who never stopped loving her, insists her fiancé is the wrong man for her, Olivia sets out to prove him wrong. But the sexual chemistry between them is still strong, and so are her feelings for him. Even so, how can she break her engagement, hurt her fiancé as she was once hurt? And how can she trust Tony not to abandon her like he did before?
If anyone does the jilting this time, she will.

Book Three: "Always a Bridesmaid"  Coming Spring 2014

Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She's always the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.

When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiance, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. Unfortunately, they both play their roles a little too well, and pretend turns into reality. But their pretend relationship comes crashing down around them when Zach's trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means that Dani will betray a friend, something she would never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever.     

Thanks for following me this week. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF copy of "Rescue Me". All the best!