Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sensational Secondary Characters Giveaway

In honor of this blog hop, I will share a scene from  my newest WIP, Frequent Flyer. Colin and Hope cannot have a relationship, since she's his son's principal and he's her doctor. However, they seem to have a problem staying away from each other. In this scene, they face their friends who just found out they kissed.

Read the excerpt below and tell me what you think:

     Taking a deep breath, Colin followed Hope out the laundry room door. He knew Tim would have a lot to say, but he had to deal with Hope first. Although she wanted him to forget the kiss, he couldn’t. No way. No how. It was too damn good and it had been way too long since he felt the sparks fly. Sure, he’d dated a little since Beth, but he never felt that connection.  And of course it had to be with someone who didn’t want it. 
     They walked to the table and all eyes ogled them. 
     Tim beamed, wiggling his eyebrows at them both . “There’s the two lovebirds.”  
     Hope turned around and walked to Kelly in the kitchen, ignoring her friend’s questioning eyes. 
     With a shrug, Colin sat and knocked back his 1/2 cup of Coke. “Sure could use a beer about now.”
     “So -” Scott leaned forward and whispered. “What’s going on, bro?”
     Colin shook his head. “Nothing. Can it.” From the corner of his eye, he saw Kelly and Hope make their way to the table, whispering to each other. Kelly carried a loaded platter of nachos. He didn’t have much of an appetite anymore. He tried to eye Hope, to see if she would talk to him, but she stood behind Kelly wiping the chair off with the Coke-drenched towel from earlier. 
     Before he could say anything, Tim butted in with his non-chalant self. “So, how long have you two been sucking face?”
      Hope stood with her mouth open. She held the rag up as if she was going to throw it at him. “Now wait just a minute, Mister. You’re going on like a twelve year old reading Playboys in the dugout. You don’t even know what we were doing. If I were you, I’d keep my mouth shut and my head out of the gutter.” Hope threw the rag, and stormed out to the back patio. 
     Kelly held up her hands and slapped them back down on her legs. “Now you’ve done it. She’s furious. Tim, really.” She stomped off to the kitchen.
     Holding his arms up, Tim asked, “What?”
     Scott shook his head. “You done blown it this time, Tim-O. Now everyone’s pissed at you. When’s the last time you saw Colin kiss anyone? Geez.” Scott leaned forward and started in on the nachos. 
     Colin stood and faced his friend. He didn’t know what to do. It had been a while since he had to deal with an angry woman, plus his best friend being a jerk.
    Tim quirked his head to the side. “I was just having a little fun.”
     “You’re being a  prick.” He headed toward the patio. First, he had to face the woman who he needed to convince that they had something. Later, he’d deal with Tim.

In honor of secondary characters, I will be giving away an Ebook copy Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey. Shannon's characters are hilarious and real. Her secondary characters are so loved, that she often creates new stories about them. Exclusively Yours starts the whole Kowalski series off! Enter with the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs participating in this blog hop! You could win other great prizes! Follow the linky below:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Author Interview: Chantel Rhondeau, Always and Forever

WELCOME to Chantel Rhondeau! Her new novel, Always and Forever, has been released this month and she took her time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed by me. Hope you enjoy!

1.  What sparked your interest in becoming a writer?

I started out as a reader. That’s always been my great passion. However, I’m also a BIG daydreamer - LOL. I used to lie awake for hours at bedtime, just coming up with imaginary stories in my head and then getting so excited about the story, I wouldn’t go to sleep until really late!

I don’t even know why I decided I might be able to write a novel. Mostly, I was looking for more books about dragons portrayed in a certain manner, and I couldn’t find any. The idea for that story took a hold of me, and thus a writer was born. Well, almost. Honestly, that was probably the biggest piece of junk ever written, but it got me started. When I found out about romantic suspense, there was no turning back and no stopping me from writing Always & Forever.
2.  How did you come up with your ideas for Always & Forever?

I was reading a romance novel, and the hero said something sweet and romantic to the heroine. I set the book aside, and the phrase, “I’ll love you always and forever,” went through my mind. Immediately following that, I wondered what would happen if that wasn’t really used as a term of endearment. Lilly’s life and horrible past flooded my thoughts, demanding hers was a story I tell.

3. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Oddly enough, what I learned wasn’t from the book itself, but from the people associated with helping me make my dream a reality. I have met so many amazing people. Critique partners, beta readers, other authors from Facebook groups. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful, and I’ve been amazed. I’ve been called gullible and too trusting in the past, because I generally think most people are basically good. Being involved in the writing community has help prove I’ve been right all along about that. There are a tremendous amount of wonderful people out there!

4. Any advice for indie authors?

Wow - so much advice. My first piece would be to join a critique group like Get honest opinions about your work so you can improve your craft. After that, you must hire an editor before publishing if you want to build a brand and make a good name for yourself.

Also, never give up.  No matter what your skill level is at now, I believe writing is teachable, something anyone can learn. It takes years to master the craft, and even then you will keep learning more. The important thing is to always follow your dreams. Surround yourself with people who support you and want you to reach your goals.

5. What are your future plans as an author?

Right now, I’m working on my second novel. It’s still in the genre of romantic suspense, but this one is a murder mystery. My characters are more sarcastic than Zach and Lilly and I’m having a great time writing them. Donovan has been quite the ladies’ man in his life, and that is not okay with Madeline. Lots of misunderstandings going on, and it is a joy to write.  

Thank you so much for inviting me over for a chat, Melinda. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule, and also that you’re reading Always & Forever. I hope you truly enjoy it.  Oh, and congratulations on getting signed with a publisher! I cannot wait for your book to be released! 

Thank you, Chantel, for stopping by!


More information about Always and Forever can be found at these links:

Please continue on Chantel's blog tour by visiting J.A. Beard on September 27. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sexy Celebrity Couples - Hump Day Hunks

Nothing is sexier than a man standing by his woman! With this in mind, I've decided to focus Hump Day Hunks on sexy famous couples!

Beyonce and Jay Z

Ian and Nina

David and the possesive hand!

Tom Brady and Giselle
John Krasinski (love The Office) and Emily Blunt
Josh Duhamel and Fergie

Who am I missing?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Marriage and Romance?

Monday Funny, September 24, 2012

I've been married for 16 years. It's hard to believe really. I met my husband when I was 19 years old. NINETEEN! I was just a baby. We dated throughout college and then I moved to his home country when we graduated. We married and have lived a wonderful life so far. Rafael is my best friend, my go-to person, my funny-man, my dreamer, my soul mate.

Why am I sharing this? I think the cartoon says it all. Many people think that as a marriage moves on, the romance dies. I have to say that our marriage is stronger than it was 16 years ago. I feel so lucky!

I'm going to sound even more corny now. Being a romance writer and reader has a lot to do with why my marriage is even better.  Romance is always alive in me! Always. When I am reading a sweet romance, I feel all squishy inside. It makes me appreciate all that I have. When I am writing romance, I feel the same. The butterflies form in my belly as if I am really living through my scene. Then I look over and see my husband.... Wow! I'm so lucky. I actually have that!

So, today's funny is dedicated to marriage and romance. We romance writers have to keep it alive. If we can help a couple feel and dream about romance, then I think we've done part of our job.

Here's to romance in our lives! 

And since this is a Monday funny, I will share some cute cartoons related to Romance and Marriage. Enjoy!


Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm in the Spotlight - Visit Chantel Rhondeau's Website!

Take a look at Chantel Rhondeau's blog. I'm in the author spotlight! Learn a little about my upcoming novel, Time Changes Everything.

Thanks, Chantel, for the love!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Football Hotties - Hump Day Hunks

Football has started again! Woop Woop! Actually, I've never been a die-hard football fan, but last year the football bug hit. I couldn't help it. My New Orlean Saints went to the Superbowl and LSU made it to the final top two. Hey! What can I say?

So, in honor of football season, I'd like to share some of my favorite players. Happy Hunk Day!

Geaux Drew Brees from New Orleans Saints!

Sexy little papa!
Next up..... Tim Tebow! 

Joke all you want, but I find this sexy! A praying man!

A few others who I don't really follow, but I think they are pretty hot! 

Tom Brady

Sam Anderson, Houston Texans
Tony Gonzalez, 
Which football stars do you think are the sexiest? Please share!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Best Movie Kisses

I think it's a given since I write and read romances that I love romantic movies. My favorite parts, of course, are the romantic kisses. Since I'm in the middle of writing my "first kiss" scene between two new MCs,  I thought I'd share my favorite movie kisses.

Sixteen Candles
The Notebook

Dear John
Pride and Prejudice
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Bridget Jones Diary
The Last Song
I could go on forever! What kiss is your favorite? Which movie has the best kiss scene?

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Spotlight & Giveaway - Always and Forever

Now available! 

I am happy to present Chantel Rhondeau's new release, Always and Forever. If you like romance and suspense, this is the book for you!

Always & Forever Book Blurb
A suspected murderess flees her former life in search of tranquility, but ghosts she left behind refuse to die, threatening to destroy her happiness.

Lilly Price is desperate to escape public scrutiny once released from her incarceration. She moves to a lakeside community in hopes of remaining anonymous while rebuilding her tattered life.

Widowed Zach Woodbridge is in no hurry to find a new bride. He longs for a peaceful summer, writing at his lakeside cottage. Things change after an introduction to his grandmother’s new assistant, Lilly.

When Lilly’s secrets are revealed, can their fragile relationship weather the storm?  And when a man from the past returns to reclaim Lilly, using any force necessary, can she and Zach protect the people they love?

CONTENT WARNING: Violence, language, sizzling love scenes

Enter for a chance to win a free Ebook copy of Always and Forever!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find Chantel Rhondeau at the following links:

Find information about Always and Forever at:

Please follow Chantel Rhondeau's blog hop by visiting  Jennifer Donohoe on September 18th.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Adopted Home - Guatemala

Happy Independence Day to my adopted country, Guatemala!
Find some favorite pictures and a 40-second clip below and ENJOY!

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Typical clothing - love all the colors

Monterrico Beach, Pacific Coast

Volcan de Fuego, currently erupting

The city I live - Guatemala City

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sex and Interviews!

Aha! Got your attention, did I?

Check out my author interview over on the Entranced Publishing blog!

You can also find me on Rachelle's Window blog. I participated in her author chat regarding the best question ever! 
Do you have to have great sex to write great sex scenes?

Thanks for checking me out! Tell me what you think,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Road to Publishing: Author Bio

Difficult Task #2: Writing a short bio about myself.

Write about ME? BORING! I mean, that's why I write fiction, so I can get away from my boring self. :) But, since I have to do it, the essential question is: What do I want my readers to know about me?

I looked back at my favorite author's bios and saw that they weren't too fact laden.... member of RWA, loves to read and write (duh) or has a degree in English. The bios that I enjoyed the most were the ones that showed their writing voice. The funny, witty.... "this is the real me"... information. What do readers want to know the most? That they will read your book and enjoy it.

So, I hopefully wrote a mixture of the two. Since I am not an established author yet, I do have to build some background about who I am. here is my boring list:

  • I am middle-aged woman (Yuck! Middle aged!)
  • Teacher for 16 years
  • Bachelors Degree in Communication and Political Science
  • Masters Degree in Education 
  • Mom to three boys (ages 6, 12 and 14)
  • Married to college sweetheart
I could go on and on with the boring facts. Now, the wierdo list:
  • I love reality tv
  • I secretly love to read Dr. Seuss to my six year old. 
  • My oldest and I have a secret "dork" handshake
  • Playing Words with Friends, Draw Something, and Song Pop take up too much of my time, but I love it.
  • Blogging has become a fun past-time.
  • I could stay in bed all day and not feel bad about it.

So, where do I go from there? I mix up the two lists. Hopefully, it's not too boring and hopefully it's not too weird and it makes my readers interested in who I am. 

With all that in mind, here is my true bio:

I am a writer.
I love to read and write romance. 
I believe in Happily Ever After.

The end,

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Books that Shape Our Lives

I love being a reader and a writer! It is who I am. But, I also love being a teacher and helping students learn that they can be readers and writers, too. This past week, I had my students create several sections in their readers notebooks. As their teacher, I like to DO what I ask, so I have put examples of MY work. After doing this assignment, I thought it would be fun to share with you all and to hear back from you.

First, I created a READING TIMELINE. Starting from grade 1 until my senior year in college, I created a timeline represetenting the books that have shaped me, are important to me, or just made me love reading. some of my favorites on my timeline include:

The Outsiders - I think I've mentioned this before, but this is what got me reading in the first place. Stay Gold, Ponyboy!

Any and ALL Lois Duncan books - She was the ultimate suspense and mystery author. Remember the movie, "I Know What You Did Last Summer?" Well, the book is SO much better and I read it years before the movie was made. The first book I read was Locked in Time and it took place in Louisiana (where I was born). Then I found out that Lois Duncan lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico (where I grew up). So, that made an even tighter connection. 

Harry Potter Series - Although I read these books (and re-read so many times) in my adult years, they are favorites and I love them. 

Second, I created a page about the LAST 5 BOOKS I'VE READ. If I were completely honest with my students, I would have had 5 contemporary romance books, and I wasn't about to put the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Since I'm a pre-teen teacher, I kindof felt compelled to have a variety of books, so I added 5 I read over the summer. The list should show a lot about a person. What does your list show about you?

So, my dear readers, what are the books that shaped you? What book woke you up to reading? What book  can you read and reread (It's ok if it's Harry Potter!)? Please comment below. I'd love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Why Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog"

Monday Funny for Romance Writers
Some of you may notice that I love the poet, educator and teacher advocate, Taylor Mali. Here is a perfect poem reading by him about "Why Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog."

Do you agree? Is falling in love like owning a dog? What would you compare love to?

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Road to Publishing: First Steps

As an aspiring published author, I loved to read other's blogs about their "trips" into the published world. Since I have signed my contract with Entranced Publishing, I have been on a whirlwind of excitement. So, as promised, I will share my experiences of becoming a published writer as all the steps unfold. 

After signing the contract, I received a lot of information from my publisher. Below I will discuss a few of the fun steps I've been through.

1. Online Author Group - A wonderful asset of Entranced Publishing is the camaraderie between the soon-to-be published authors. We have an online group where we can post questions, find information from our editor, or just say hi. I have to tell you that Entranced Publishing has a great team of fun, chatty, uplifting authors. I suggest you visit their blogs or find them on twitter. Their links are below:

ST Bende
Elsker Series
Twitter: @stbende

Nicole Camp
Shadow Bled
Twitter: @NicolShadowbled

Ashley Christman 
(Publisher/Executive Editor)
Twitter: @AMChristman

Krystalyn Drown
Spirit World
Twitter: @KrysteyBelle

Rachel Kall
Legally Undercover
Twitter: @RachelKall

Lorna Peel
Only You
Twitter: @PeelLorna

Eden Plantz
Pride Goeth Before
Managing Editor at Entranced Publishing
Twitter: @EdenPlantz

2. Art Design for Book Cover - Receiving the art design form regarding my future book cover gave me the heebee jeebees. Every new author dreams of their new cover, and I couldn't wait to see mine. However, I had visions in my head of how it would look already. Knowing that someone else was really in charge shook me a little, because you never know if they have the same thoughts as the author. I didn't need to worry. Little did I know, my own publisher/editor, Ashley Christman, worked my cover herself, and she had the exact vision as I did! In fact, we both had the same couple idea without telling each other. I've already decided that Ashley is a superwoman! She worked my cover in less than a week and now the product is a fabulous cover. In fact, I want to stare at it non-stop, like a love-sick teenager. I think I will print it out and frame it for my office. 

What now? Actually a lot! I am working on a prequel novella to Time Changes Everything, currently titled Boy Next Door. I actually had it written up before, but never shared it with anyone but a few loyal critters (you know who you are!) It'll be sent to Entranced and hopefully released before the Time Changes Everything launch date of June 3, 2013.

Also, waiting on my first round of edits and then I know I will be super busy! Am I crazy in saying I can't wait? Remind me that I said that in about a month's time.

Thanks for stopping by. Check back next week for more about my Road to Publishing.


Friday, September 7, 2012

My September TBR List

My September TBR list...

It keeps growing and growing. I wish I had all the time in the world to read all the books I want to read. I thought I'd share what is sitting on my kindle at the moment. Nothing better than books waiting to be opened.

When We Touch by Brenda Novak (Free at Amazon!)

A Baby of Her Own by Brenda Novak 

Cupcakes and Killer Heels by Heidi Rice (won in a contest)

Ride with Me by Ruthie Knox (Loved her other book so can't wait to read!)

Best for last:

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Have you read any of these books? Which one should I start with this weekend?

Find my new author page on Goodreads so I can find more books to add to my TBR list.

Thanks for stopping by,