December 08, 2013 » (Comment Now)

NOTE: This contest is now closed for entries. Thank you to those who entered. Check out Friday’s blog to see who the winner is!

I said a long time ago, when I hit 1,000 Facebook fans, I would give away a $100 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice). That time is now!

Comment on THIS blog post with your favorite book of mine that you’ve read thus far for your chance to win. Haven’t read one yet? Head over to my BOOKS page and see if one strikes your fancy, and tell me which one you would pick to read first! (Contest ends on Thursday, Dec. 12th at 11:59pm CST)

Winner will be announced on Friday the 13th…because why not make that day lucky for someone?? Check back on Friday to see if you’re the lucky one!


Written under: Contest // Tags: None
November 29, 2013 » (Comment Now)

I hope you guys managed to stay safe during the Black Friday madness. And if you’re reading this while standing in line…stay strong! You can do this! Keep going!

Of course, everyone got the answer right to the trivia question. The answer to the question “What is Bea Muldoon’s dog?” is… MILTON! Now, meet the real-life Milton. Milton is a 4 (6? 8?) year old Boston terrier my sister adopted about 18 months ago.

Many of the characteristics of Book Milton are taken straight from Real-Life Milton. They are, quite literally, the same dog. My sister is convinced Milton should come with me on a book tour. She also has major delusions of grandeur. We let her.

Now on to the winners of the contest. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who entered. If you see your name on here, please use the Contact page of the website to contact me with your mailing address. Also, please put WINNER in the subject line. (Note: No two names are the same, so if you are wondering “Am I the only Sue S.?” … you are. I used the first name and last name initial for everyone.)

Teresa L.
Emily R.
Sharon L.
Mary S.
Michelle M.
Tricia B.
Moran V.
Amy D.
Gloria
Jennifer R.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and if you weren’t Black Friday lucky this time, keep an eye out on my Facebook page for more chances to win in the near future!


Written under: Contest // Tags: None
November 25, 2013 » (Comment Now)

The time has come! Author copies are in, and I’m giving away ten (yes, 10) copies of the last book in the Roped & Wrangled trilogy, Busting Loose! Check out these beautiful babies. You know you want one.

What better way to celebrate Black Friday than to win a book with a sexy cowboy gracing the front cover??

To enter for a chance to win one of these 10 paperback copies, follow the rules below! Open to international readers as well.

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1. Make sure you EMAIL the answer using the Contact form on my website. In the subject, use “Busting Loose” so I can find it! Blog comments will not be counted for the contest.

2. Answer the following question: What is the name of the dog Bea Muldoon adopts in Bucking the Rules?

3. Winners will be announced on Black Friday (November 29th) so make sure you stop back by on Friday to see if your name is announced! (Check in between hydration breaks while you’re out shopping your feet off!)

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HINT: Having trouble remembering the answer? Check Chapter Eleven of Bucking the Rules…or glance through my Facebook pictures. There’s a hint in there from last month hiding somewhere.


Written under: Contest, Give away, Roped & Wrangled // Tags: None
April 25, 2013 » (Comment Now)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these! Not enough time in the day, it seems. But this time, I’ve got something extra-awesome. Ready for it? Not only do I have a reading recommendation, but the author stopped by to chat about her newest release!

Let’s talk books first. (Ah, books…) I discovered Kate Perry thanks to a freebie she was offering. That was Close to You. And I thought it was a fantastic blend of sweet friends, smoldering chemistry and interesting family dynamics. Then I realized it was just one of a series. So you know me…I ignored it.

HELL NO! I glommed. I gobbled up the Laurel Heights series. Which, just FYI, I didn’t know what a real place until I googled it before I interviewed Kate. You guys know I love a series, and I love ones where they are friends and are creating their own family of people they choose.

When I heard the next book was releasing soon, I knew I had to bug the heck out of politely ask Kate if she would do an interview. Lucky for me, she said yes! So let’s see what she has to say about her book, Laurel Heights, and some random singer I’ve heard of once or twice before…

Jeanette: Thanks so much for taking time to talk. I’m really excited to have you here! I didn’t realize Laurel Heights was a real place until I Googled it. What made you choose LH for a setting?

Kate: Laurel Heights has everything in four city blocks. Bookstore? Check. Lingerie shop. Check? Coffee Shop? Check that five times. Throw in restaurants, toy stores, jewelry shops, beauty salons, Pilates studios, bakeries, and even a ribbon shop, and Laurel Heights has as much going on as some small towns. It’s bustling and cute and intimate and the people in the neighborhood really know each other, so it was the perfect setting for a series about strong, independent business women and the men who fall in love with them.

Jeanette: Sounds like a fantastic spot, full of fresh inspiration.  The businesses that you create and use as settings (almost as characters themselves), are they inspired by any real-life LH businesses? Or completely, 100% original places you wish you would see there?

Kate: A little bit of both, but I’ve changed names, descriptions, and details to protect the guilty.

Jeanette:  Is there another place in the world you would love to set a new series?

Kate: Maybe… *wink*

Jeanette: Cruel! Just cruel.

Kate: Seriously though, if you read the next few books in the Laurel Heights series you’ll be introduced to a special character who’s getting a new series in a spectacular new location. Stay tuned!

Jeanette: Will do! Speaking of “next few books”…  Here With You, Book Eight of the series, released on April 25th. Do you have a plan for how many books total the series will hold?

Kate: I have two more planned, with possibly a novella thrown in the mix somewhere. But I like to listen to what my readers are clambering for, so those plans could change. Or I could decide to give it all up and become a backup dancer for Justin Timberlake. You never know. I like to keep my options open.

Jeanette: Kate’s bringing sexy back… Okay, so I will not be a backup SINGER, that’s for sure! Can you tell my readers about Here With You?

Kate: Here With You is about unrequited love, lost love, first love, and boy-next-door love.

Nicole and Grif grew up together and she was always in love with him, until he moved away and had the nerve to become a famous rock star. Now Grif’s back looking to recapture his musical muse, and he just might get true love out of the bargain.

Jeanette: Rock stars, lost love, boy next door, little bit of everything! And speaking of music stars…I have to ask. How often do you get confused for Katy Perry online? :)

Kate: We’re actually the same person.  I’m sickeningly talented.

Jeanette: I have to hate you now.

To start reading Here With You, you can find it for the Nook HERE, for your Kindle HERE, for Kobo HERE, and if I’m missing any more links, I’ll find them and get back to ya. But really, you WANT to get on that. Cause I am!

Thanks for stopping by, Kate! And readers, really. You need to get out there and check out the Laurel Heights series. It’s a wonderful respite from the heavy things in life, and you’ll love getting swept away with the LH crew!

To stalk interact with Kate Perry online, you can find her website HERE, and she resides on Facebook THIS WAY. If you do the tweet thing, she’s a-tweetin’ over YONDER.

 

Standard Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with, nor do I receive payment/compensation for, any recommendations I give on my blog or any other social media outlets. These opinions are mine alone and I receive nothing for them but the pleasure of sharing books that I’ve enjoyed with other romance readers. All books were purchased myself unless otherwise noted.

To see more recommendations I’ve made, check out past Reading Recommendations.


April 03, 2013 » (Comment Now)

Tot attends preschool five days a week. She loves her classmates and calls them all “friend.” So when I said we weren’t doing a party this year for her birthday, I decided to ask the teacher if we could send in a little something so she could celebrate with her school buddies. Her teacher said yes, but please no cupcakes with icing. It’s a disaster. No prob! I said I would send in apple sauce and juice boxes. She was thrilled with the low-added-sugar option and said the kids would be pleased to have them.

Naturally, I couldn’t just send in a box of apple sauce and juice boxes. Where’s the fun in that? So I made applesauce robots to make them a bit more fun. For a preschool class, they got a big kick out of them. I think an older elementary school child would not find them as delightful as these kids did, but hey. If you want a low-sugar option for a young child’s classroom treat, I think these provide the fun and specialness without all that extra hyper-sugar-crash.

I used pipe cleaners for the arms. Painter’s tape kept the applesauce secured “enough” to the top of the juice box but not so stuck they couldn’t easily peel them apart and it didn’t leave any tape stuck behind to make the juice hard to open. I provided spoons and napkins on the side. And if you do this, just get the stick-on googly eyes. I tried to glue on the cheap ones I had, but they wouldn’t stay so no point. Spring for the stickers.

Here’s the final result!

Oh, and of course, what was the biggest hit? The $2-for-a-pack-of-8 party hats. Yeah. “My party needs party hats, mama!” Tot said. And she was right. It was what they begged for. LOL


Written under: Real Life // Tags: None
April 01, 2013 » (Comment Now)

One of Tot’s current favorite books is this adorable book called The Night You Were Born. It’s a wonderful book, and if you have kids or grandkids, I recommend it. It’s the sort of book you write a meaningful message in for the child and they keep it in their keepsake box.

But enough of the mushy stuff! I wanted to take today, Tot’s birthday, to think back on how things went the day she was born. What’s this got to do with my life as an author? Well, follow along.

I was 9 months pregnant, and Hubs was deployed. He was due back any week now, but the return date was a bit up in the air. My mom came to visit me for her spring break (late March) and said she got permission from her principal that if I went into labor while she was there, she’d stay with me. That was a relief, because my mom would leave on Saturday, and we got word Hubs would be home that following Sunday. That’s only 8 days. And with no signs of labor, I was positive I could hold out until Hubs got home. His return date was still a week before my actual due date. No big.

Nature had other plans. One day after my mother left, the doctors told me they were inducing me on Tuesday due to pre-eclampsia. So I was either 3 days too late, or 4 days too early. Hardy har har. Apparently I went into some sort of fugue state of shock, because I remember them saying “Wow, we thought you would be a lot more upset by this, given the timing.” And I remember shrugging and saying “It happens.” Like it was no big deal. I waited until I was home before I broke into tears.

But then time to rouse the calvary…also known as: my friends. I’d been blessed to make good friends with fellow Marine Corps wives. And they stepped up like no tomorrow. I would not have made it through without them.

So I thank Misty…because she was the one who stayed with me most in the hospital, slept on the uncomfortable sofa in my room, kept me alert when I needed it and distracted me through contractions and slept overnight at my house, and for holding Tot in the middle of the night, who wouldn’t stop crying, so I could get 2 hours of sleep. And for driving me around in the days following delivery, because I couldn’t do it myself.

And I thank Hilary, who brought humor with her into the room. After 9 hours of labor, she came in exclaiming that I had NO CLUE how badly she was in pain, because she’d been gardening all day and her legs were killing her. (As another contraction wracked my body…) And made me, and the nurses, all laugh while singing the McDonald’s Give Me That Fillet-O-Fish” song. And for organizing a surprise “baby book shower.” Yes, even then they knew my love of reading well. They asked friends from all over the country who we’d known from other duty stations to mail her baby books with a note for Baby Murray, which they presented me on the sly.

And I thank Beth, who wore the Daddy bracelet in the hospital so she could be with Tot while I was in surgery recovery, who had other people watch her three year old girl so she could be with me, and who didn’t hesitate to suit up in scrubs and come into the OR with me when I had my C-section, stand with me and keep me calm when I couldn’t stop shaking. And for taking Tot with her for a quick drive when I was having a nervous breakdown my first night home with her, because I didn’t know what to do and felt so alone and scared.

Seriously. Can you ask for better friends? No. You cannot. Every year on her birthday, I think about these women and what they went through FOR me, as well as with me. Tot’s and my three angels.

Doesn’t get much better than that.

This is why I love writing military heroes and heroines. Because although there is that underlying knowledge that they might have to deploy at any given point, and face things nobody should have to face, there’s a bright spot in that military life. You can find some of the most amazing, wonderful, giving people on the planet who are ready to step up and be there for you when you need it. They know what you need, because they need it too. And they’re willing to provide it. That camaraderie between spouses is just as wonderful to me as the brotherhood and sisterhood of those who wear the uniform. It can’t be beat. And it’s just another reason why I adore military romance. I can so easily envision the friendships the spouses will encounter, because I had them.


Written under: Real Life // Tags: None
March 09, 2013 » (Comment Now)

Goodwill strikes again. I saw an old globe, and knew I had to have it. I had no clue what I would do with it at the time, but I just had a sneaking suspicion I could do something, so I snatched it up. It was full of rhinestones. One can only guess what they represented to the previous owner. Desired travel destinations? Already-traveled destinations? A classroom globe with a rhinestone for every country studied? The imagination can only ponder. (And y’all know me…my imagination needs no excuse to wander!)

First, I picked off the rhinestones, much as I was sad to see the intriguing markers go. (Tot loved this part, as it gave her many “sparklies” to hoard and play with.) Then I spray painted the base and frame. I chose hot pink, partly because it’s Tot’s favorite color. But also…I had a can of hot pink spray paint. So it was free. I’m thrifty (read: cheap) like that. After letting that dry overnight, then cure for two days, I used some leftover chalkboard paint from another project and carefully painted three coats of chalkboard paint over the globe.

Talk about an exercise in patience! Not an easy feat, but I managed to accomplish it with minimum stress. Crafting with a movie on always makes things go smoother, it seems. I let the globe dry overnight, and then in the morning conditioned the surface. (According to the chalkboard paint instructions, you rub a piece of chalk over the entire thing, then wipe it off.)

Then it was ready for a test spin with Tot!

I think she enjoys it. It’s nice for fine motor skills (the drawing with chalk) and figuring out how to concentrate on two things at once (holding the sphere steady while coloring).

It’s not perfect, that’s for sure. The inconsistencies of the surface of the globe itself makes that nearly impossible. But as a cheap, unique, one-of-a-kind toy for Tot, I think it’s imperfectly perfect. And so far, no complaints from the toddler.

I need to stop going in to Goodwill. It leads to buying things, which leads to repurposing things, which leads to more crafting time…

Okay, you’re right. I’m not gonna stop!


Written under: pictures, Real Life // Tags: None
March 06, 2013 » (Comment Now)

I’ve decided that reaching 750 Likes on Facebook is another milestone. And I do love those milestones. When we hit 750 likes, I’m going to offer up to my Facebook fans a contest for a $75 gift card to either Barnes & Noble or Amazon (winner’s choice).

But maybe, you need more information. What does my Facebook fan page offer you? Well, I’m glad you asked!

My fan page offers daily amusements such as Tot making conversation with Target clerks and making them think we are homeless, pictures of the havoc my dog has caused, tidbits from spats Hubs and I have had recently, book chatter, contests, and of course, updates on both what I’m working on now and what books are coming soon!

So what are you waiting for? Are you there yet? Go go go!

Also…yeah. This might take awhile. But when it does happen, the contest shall begin! And yes, I’ll post it on…FACEBOOK! (And my blog. And Twitter. And Pinterest…)


Written under: Give away // Tags: None
February 26, 2013 » (Comment Now)


Written under: Uncategorized // Tags: None
February 14, 2013 » (Comment Now)

Look, we’ve only been married seven years. I’m not going to claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Both my parents and my in-laws (who are both celebrating their 40th wedding anniversaries this year, about a month apart!!!) could likely tell you more about what makes a marriage “last.” But what I do know is, sometimes real love is not candy hearts and silk rose petals. Sometimes it’s messy, and ugly, and scary.

And sometimes…it’s just damn hilarious.

But it’s always unique. Which is why I can write romance after romance, couple after couple falling in love, and never be bored. Because although the end is the same (Happy Ever Afters, guaranteed!) their journey, and their relationship, should always ring true for them and them alone.

So in honor of this day, the day people insist we share how much we love our significant other with the world, I shall share a few … unique conversations Hubs and I have had over the last year or so. This basically explains why we fit together like slightly soggy, toddler-chewed puzzle pieces. If you’re a Facebook fan, you know where these came from. But hey, this is what makes us tick!

 

Me: I hope you’re awake and dressed. That guy is coming by to look at the landscape rocks.
Hubs: Whatever. I don’t need to impress him.
Me: Pants would be nice, though…
Hubs: What do you think this is, The Ritz?

___________________________

Hubs: This meeting is so boring I might actually die.
Me: Claim PMS cramps and leave.
Hubs: Tried that, didn’t work.
Me: Try labor pains.
Three minutes later…
Hubs: They didn’t buy it.
Me: Maybe you didn’t moan effectively enough.
Hubs: Yeah. I’m sure that was it.
Me: Headache?
Hubs: I’m trying to get out of a meeting, not sex.
Me: Don’t bite my head off. I’m trying to help.
Hubs: Could you think of a guy complaint next? They’re starting to wonder…

 ___________________________

Me: When you pull up tomorrow, don’t pull into the garage. I have a surprise for you!
Hubs: Is it makeshift tire spikes?
Me: Eff. Who ruined the surprise?
Hubs: I just know you too well.

 ___________________________

Hubs: What are you up to today for your super-secret project?
Me: I can’t tell you. We’ve been over this. It’s a surprise.
Hubs: Oh, come on. Just tell me.
Me: Do we have a wet saw?
Hubs: Uh…no.
Me: Darn. Do you know what it costs to rent a jackhammer?
Hubs: What do you-
Me: Never mind. I’ll just call and ask.
Hubs: What the hell?
Me: Oh! I remembered. How do you remove a toilet?
Hubs: Oh Jesus Christ.
Me: *banging on counter with spoon* Oh shit, that’s not good. Gotta go!
*click*

___________________________
Me: While you were gone, I caulked the shower.
Hubs: *panicked* Let me see.
Two minutes later…
Hubs: You actually did a nice job.
Me: *indignent* Of course I did! I know how to caulk!
Hubs: Yeah, you know your way around caulk…
Me: Exactly.
Hubs: In fact, you’re a caulk expert.
Me: Thank you.
Hubs: You handled that caulk like a master.

Me: We turned dirty all the sudden, didn’t we?
Hubs: We were never NOT dirty.
Home improvement projects…they bring a marriage together.
___________________________
Me: Give me a few examples of absolutely horrible bedroom talk.
Hubs: Give it to me, you stupid tart.
Me: *after five minutes of gasping laughter* SERIOUSLY?!
Hubs: Too lame?
Me: Too something. Try again.
Hubs: You filthy doxy.
Me: Hello, Harlequin Presents, circa 1987, meet your hero du jour.
Hubs: Fine. How about…you look dead in the eyes.
Me: Is that a joke?
Hubs: I’m about to yell.

Me: Unimpressed.
Hubs: Sometimes you make me want to leave the room.
Me: Are you still giving examples? I can’t tell anymore.
Hubs: I can never win these games with you. Why do you insist we play?
Me: I had nothing to talk about on Facebook today. Thank you!

Happy Obligated To Remind You We Are In Love Day, Hubs. You’re my favorite husband yet.