Wednesday, October 29, 2014

50 Quick Breads - No. 27: Vanilla

I am bread's bitch. I won't apologize for it. I love carby foods: pasta, flaky pastry, potatoes. They may kill me in the end, but I'll die with a smile. I don't buy magazines anymore, but I saw the cover of the October Food Network and went - Come to mama. I can't say no to one quick bread, much less fifty.

I don't know about you, but I'm the person who collects all the awesome food porn on Pinterest then eats a tuna sandwich. I am cooking more, though, but I still haven't unlocked the lasagna achievement. For now, I have decided to try some of these quick breads. They don't require the work and time of lasagna, and I might get little one to eat something I've made once in a while.

Tonight, I thought to go with a less complicated bread - Vanilla. I don't have a mixer, so I bake old school - spoons and a strong arm. I still get the batter smooth, though I worry about the occasional butter or dry flour pocket. Didn't happen this time.

The ends came out more golden than it probably should be. The flavor, though...oh, gluten! It's a smooth texture and clean taste, something that would pair great with any jam, or that jar of salted caramel JIF in my private stash.

Little One asked for a chocolate bread next time, so that will be the next recipe.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Muddle: Blue Morning, Blue Day

In an effort to be more conversational, I have resolved to blog once a week about my glamorous life. Or else just bitch until something goes viral.

So about that fall bucket list...yeh. Well, I confess I let my attention wander to all the ROMANCE DRAMA happening on Twitter. Publishers gone wild, authors gone wild, authors supporting authors going wild...it's a mess. This weekend another school shooting happened, with speculation that it was about a boy feeling rejected by a girl, and that piled onto my brain. It's not all about me, but I see news like this and don't want to send my little one out into the world. What if one day she politely declines the wrong person? Is it silly for me to think that way? I should note that no boy asked me out in high school. Not one. Never occurred that somebody would throttle me for saying to a date. No rejection that I know of escalated to a shooting at my school, either.

I'm not saying it was the case here, but I've read the speculation. We'll know when we're told, I suppose.

Not quite floor-dragging length.
Anyway, I'm a mess and the change in weather hasn't helped. I have a half-finished 4th Doctor scarf that won't be ready for Halloween, so the new goal is a Who Con coming up next year. There's no money to travel because reasons and bills. I'm on the fence about NaNoWriMo because frankly, I'm thinking of pursuing a different genre. I would still write as Leigh, just less frequently and when calls for submission catch my eye. Even then, it will likely be an M/M story.

It sounds like an odd thing to do when you have several stories coming out to promote, but I've never gone with the flow. In fact, I've done a lot of dumb things and followed some bad advice in the past, and that hasn't helped.

I had a good run as Leigh Ellwood, especially five years ago. That might be where I peaked, but who knows? I may try to publish under a different name altogether, aside from my real one. If it works I'll let you know.

Bear in mind, too, I'm not blogging this to gain sympathy. I'm not pulling a pouty "Y'all don't like me anymore so I'm leaving, Interwebz" flounce. I'm not leaving, just looking at other paths.

In the future, you'll see more reviewing than writing. Yeah, with BlogGate or whatever you want to call it going on, you'd think the opposite. I was considering this before the Guardian article, though. My day job involves staying on the pulse of the romance industry, and that means reading. I love to talk books, so it seems natural. It's funny, too, when you think of all the authors who started out as book bloggers, and I'm doing the reverse. 

Why not? Discovery is suffering right now. When you think you have bookstore algorithms figured out, they fuck up again and your Amazon rank is in the seven figures. I feel like a tiny Whovillian, shouting I AM HERE from a dandelion puff. I wouldn't want another author to feel that way.

So, for the weekly roundup:

Writing: I just heard that the pre-order links for Hot Holiday Treats are going up today. I'm excited about that. I participated in the box set for kicks, and had a lot of fun planning it with the other Silken Sheets authors. 

"Simon," along with the other Spank or Treat stories are in the format stage for a release as well, and on November 7 A Class Act drops. I will plug away at a third story for that series. At first I thought of another 1Night Stand, but maybe it's time for a story outside those confines. I like the characters and brewery setting and want to do more with them.

Reading: I am halfway into Kathleen O'Brien's Reclaiming Her Cowboy, which I presume is the last book in her Sisters of Bell River Ranch series. All the sisters had their stories, and this one closes a subplot that streamed through the other four books. I'm liking it so far, and I'm thinking I'll relaunch the blog with a group review of the whole series.

Also, I haven't forgotten the Sideboob Hour list. As I said, I read as part of my job and I spend a lot of time with recent releases. Although, I did read Outlander, so I'm thinking of adding it to the list. If this will become a review blog then the Sideboob should be a regular feature.

Miscellany: If I accomplish anything on my Fall Bucket List, it's the 100 miles. I'm up to 25 now on my trusty Townie. Haven't lost any weight because I still eat like a horse, but at least my blood is pumping.

~

Let's see if I survive the week.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Spank or Treat 2014!

ETA 10/28/14 - My story is redacted so it will appear in the Spank or Treat anthology. The contest winners will be announced on October 31.

My story and giveaway for Spank or Treat follow the rules and regulations. Good luck!

Spank or Treat 2014 is finally here! Visit Governing Ana for the prize list, sign-up sheet, and full instructions. You can win from a prize pool valued at over $1,000, including a Kindle Fire or Nook HD donated by Blushing Books!

Many authors will also offer a contest on their individual blogs.  Your comment on their blogs enters you in both contests! 
How do you play?

1.Visit each blog between Friday, October 24th and Sunday, October 26th to read the stories.

2. Leave a comment on each blog. You must demonstrate that you have read the entire story. Copy-and-paste or inappropriate comments will be disqualified. You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing. Note: You must have a minimum of five entries in order to win a grand prize.

3.If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.

4.Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on Sunday, October 26th!

5. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Sci Spanks 2014, Love Spanks 2014, Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012), you may add “VIP” to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Spank or Treat 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!) 

6. If you are a writer of fiction (any kind), add “W” to your comments to be entered in the special author prize drawings.

7. If you are a Spank or Treat 2014 Ambassador, please add “Amb” to your comments to receive your extra prize drawing.

8.Visit Governing Ana or any of the participating blogs on Friday, October 31st to find out the lucky winners. Will it be you? We will also announce prizes on the Spank or Treat Facebook page.

Like these events? Want to support your favorite authors? Become a Spank or Treat Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes! To find out the details, sign up on the Ambassador page.

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog.

Like Spank or Treat on Facebook!

Tweet #SpankOrTreat on Twitter!

Join the exclusive chat with Spank or Treat authors! Message Anastasia Vitsky on Facebook or any of the authors to receive an invitation

For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.




~

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cover Reveal: A CLASS ACT by Leigh Ellwood

I am thrilled to finally show off the cover for my upcoming 1Night Stand story with Decadent Publishing. Say hello to Paul and Barry of A CLASS ACT:



Barry Kellam receives a mysterious invitation from 1Night Stand and can’t imagine who would arrange a night of sexual passion with him...except perhaps a former student who’s gone on to greater things.

Paul Merrill is the toast of Broadway. While the awards and fame are nice, he wants to  share his success—and his body—with the man who inspired him. But Dr. Kellam isn’t  one to date fellow faculty or alumni. Will he answer Madame Eve’s call?

~

A CLASS ACT is my second 1Night Stand story, and while it's part of the "Class in Session" series, the story stands alone. You don't have to read A DIFFERENT CLASS (All Romance ~ Kindle ~ NOOK ~ Decadent ) first, but you are welcome to do so. :)

Meanwhile, I am also pleased to announce that Coming Together has accepted my M/M short, FOX'S HOLIDAY for the upcoming COMING TOGETHER: FOR THE HOLIDAYS collection. I don't think I've had a busier Fall, with four releases due out! Will have to plan an awesome giveaway for the multi-book launch.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cover Reveal: Hot Holiday Treats Box Set

Onward and upward! I am participating in a few projects due out later this year. First up, a hot holiday box set - out November 3rd for only 99 cents!



Cozy up with eight complete novellas full of love, lust, and winter magic by award winners and the ladies of Silken Sheets & Seduction. From Cowboys to demons, we’ve got hot holiday treats to warm you up.

A Cowboy’s Christmas Wish by Sorcha Mowbray
When rancher Ford Grayson saunters out of Melissa Adams’ past and into her bar, she’s determined to take him for a ride and kick him to the curb. Payback’s a bitch.
But, the cowboy is determined to make his very own Christmas wish come true.

Just’s Desserts by Rachel Kenley
Dessert as foreplay? Justine saves her passion for the desserts she creates. Adam pours his focus into work. Together, something is going to melt.

A Demon’s Gift by Jocelyn Dex
Cordelia, a demon hunter trainee who daydreams of Christmas, fights to resist Argoth, the sex demon, who inflames her desire and reveals a truth that turns her world upside down.

Furry Christmas by Sotia Lazu
Alice's lonely holidays take an interesting turn when a stray dog walks into her life. Little does she know he could be her Prince Charming, if only she believed in magic.

Holiday Bliss by Leigh Ellwood
Two years after Hurricane Sandy, panther shifter Sheila Houlihan has finally rebuilt her home in the shore town of Bliss, New Jersey. She looks forward to her first Christmas there, if only Jonah will finish with the interior painting. Jonah, however, is interested in being more than Sheila's handyman.

To Capture a Yeti by Eva Lefoy
An ambitious reporter is determined to prove to the world Yetis exist, even at the cost of her life. But when she’s confronted with the truth, will she choose fame and fortune or keep the secret and the man she desires all to herself?

Longest Night Loving by Daisy Banks
Cursed elf Miles has waited for centuries in the hope a woman will free him from the curse binding him to this house. Will his beautiful visitor pass the test and prove she is the one who he can love?

Caging the Wolf by Sofia Grey
Jessie has fallen in love with the perfect guy, Levi, but there’s one tiny problem. The blue-eyed hunk only exists in her dreams.

~

Holiday Bliss, of course, is part of my Love is Bliss series and has never before been published. It will be available exclusively in this box set for a limited time. It may also be my last M/F romance for a while, but definitely not my last shifter story. If all goes well, I could have another shifter short (M/M) in another collection.

Hot Holiday Treats will be distributed through Excessica Publishing, which means it will be available at ARe, Amazon, BN, Kobo and iTunes. I'm excited to have a new story out before year's end, and I hope you'll pick it up on November 3rd!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blog Tour Sale

I have hosted a few tours done by Bridging the Gap Promotions. They are great fun, so when they asked for help I definitely stepped in. They are having a Fall sale and a giveaway.


Click the link for more information. Maybe your blog tour will stop here.

~
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 6, 2014

Write Hard, Read Harder

Tonight I'll complete edits for A CLASS ACT. I'm excited for the release of that story, and I'm waiting anxiously to hear about two submissions and two box sets. In the meantime, I'm 1,000+ words into a third Class story and 1,000 into something new for the other pen name. Over the last week I've wavered between retiring Leigh Ellwood and doing something else, or staying to climb. I still haven't made a final decision, but I do know I will always write. If I never make another cent, I'll write. They'll pose me in a coffin with my fingers positioned on the laptop.

So I mentioned on Twitter that I planned to blog more about authors to read. If you're following the #NotChilled tag, things have taken an interesting turn. I see an amazing outpouring of support not only for Dear Author, but book blogging in general. Regardless of what you think of how books are reviewed, these are the readers who share works they enjoy. You silence people who talk books, you cut off the heart of your marketing strategy. I believe there is no such thing as a bad review - the worst kind is NO review. Silence = no word of mouth = no sales. Trust me, I've purchased books despite negative reviews. Read for yourself and decide what you like.

Some may argue silence can hurt in this case. I'm not here to condone or condemn authors' decisions. I wish to support the authors affected. Easiest way to do that is visit the EC authors page, search what books are available from the authors on your favorite retail site, and buy.

In a previous post I listed non-EC books by EC authors I've read. I'll re-paste here, but first here are EC authors I've read exclusively within that house:

  • L.E. Chamberlin
  • Cheryl Dragon
  • Jennifer Kacey
  • Mandy Harbin
  • Dena Garson
  • Jan Springer
  • Danica Avet
  • L.J. Slocombe
  • Avery Aster
  • Ashley Ladd
  • Jina Bacarr
  • Titania Ladley
  • Denise A. Agnew
  • Cheyenne McCray

Can you recommend a book I should read? Comment below.

Recommended Books I Have Read

Hot Georgia Winds by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Cravings by Dee Carney
Every Waking Hour by Paisley Smith
Coming Together: Arm in Arm in Arm... (features a story by Annabeth Leong - this is a charity anthology, so check out Annabeth's other titles, too)
Branded by Tilly Greene
Sci Spanks 2014 has a story by Olivia Starke, but check out her Decadent titles, too!
A New Orleans Threesome by Louisa Bacio
Fat by Saranna DeWylde
The Millionaire's Mistake by Sean Michael
The Fighter's Secretary by Ann Mayburn
Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout (writes at EC under another name)
Brick Dust & Bedsprings by Lucy Felthouse