Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sizzling Hot Review for Spring Break

I had to share a fabulous review for SPRING BREAK by Sizzling Hot Book Reviews. 4 Hearts

Mariko Maguire isn't in Fort Lauderdale to experience spring break or so she tells herself after she meets the charming Justin Watkins. Justin is on spring break but he is only in town to keep an eye out for his college students. Spring break can make a young adult do thing that they wouldn't normal do and most of those cases involve something dangerous. Justin knows this only too well. A chance meeting brings them together and when an adult club called TropiX is mentioned, Mariko can only hope to have the spring break she missed out on.

Spring break beyond your wildest fantasies? If Justin Watkins can stop watching over his college students like Big Brother, he might convince the prim-and-proper Mariko Maguire to be his sex partner at the invitation-only adult club called TropiX. Mariko is in Fort Lauderdale on business, trying to secure new clients for her PR firm. Abandoning prior commitments for one wickedly lustful evening—a one-night stand of kinky sex—was not on her agenda. Carter Bosworth is looking for an evening of sex games during his layover in the tropical playground. He’s a regular at TropiX and always open for a new thrill. His plans are sidetracked, but it may be to his benefit after all when he meets the beautiful Mariko. The potent heat developing between Justin and Mariko tempts her into shedding her inhibitions, and an exploration in eroticism beyond her imagination develops at the fetish club
Mariko is in town for a conference and not only does she skip out on the spring break actives taking place she also takes her drinks virgin. She notices a card with the name TropiX on it that sparks her interest and wonders what exactly it is. After a few interesting events brings Justin Watkins to sit next to her, he and his friends bring up the same club she was just thinking about. Apparently, Justin would be interested in escorting her only to party the night away. Mariko thinks about the spring break that she never had and thinks that this is her second chance but Mariko will almost always put business before pleasure.

Justin Watkins is a professor and only comes to Fort Lauderdale during spring break to watch over his students and all the other college aged kids that come looking for fun and find a nightmare. When he sees Mariko Maguire through all the college goers, Justin can only think about getting her to go to TropiX with him and his friends. After he finally get permission to sit next to her at the bar, he extends an invite to the exclusive club. Marko tells him she has a business dinner but if she can get away she will try to make it. Justin can only hope that Mariko is true to her word.

Carter Bosworth is looking forward to an evening with his girlfriend at TropiX during a layover in Fort Lauderdale. Unfortunately, a pilot’s unpredictable schedule can ruin a relaxing weekend and his girlfriend is called back into work. Even though Carter's plans have been, for the most part, cancelled, he goes to TropiX alone. There he meets the intriguing, naive, and beautiful Mariko.

Spring Break is deliciously sweet and steamy. After all, there should never be a dull moment at spring break and Kathy Kulig doesn't disappoint. Even before Mariko is introduced to TropiX, Carter provides a few heated scenes with his girlfriend. If you are looking for more of an emotional bond, Justin and Markio provide a connection with each other that seems to mean more than just a great night at TropiX. Spring break is known for its heat, spontaneous adventures and showing skin and you will get all of this in Kathy Kulig's Spring Break as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ONE Tip for Looking HOT in a Bathing Suit this Summer

When people hear diet and exercise they usually think—been there, done that, why bother? They feel overwhelmed, discouraged, frustrated. That it’s a race they’ll never finish. Maybe they think it’s a commitment they don’t have time for, or they’ll never see results, or the results won’t last, or it’ll cost too much, or someone is trying to sell them the latest gimmick, etc.

I just watched a short video by Tony Horton, a fitness and nutritionist expert from Beachbody. And someone asked him, what is the ONE food we should avoid?

He thought a moment and said, processed meats like hotdogs or sausages. Or packaged cakes and high sugar snacks. Then he said, forget that. Focus on eating ONE GOOD SALAD A DAY. Not just a little lettuce with a couple pieces of tomato and loaded with fatty/sugary dressing, but a salad with a variety of ingredients and go light on the dressing. Try adding different things so you don’t get bored.

*Sliced avocado, strawberries, dried cranberries, mushrooms, red peppers, cucumbers, mango, garbanzo beans, carrots, Greek olives, Feta cheese, onions, fennel, fresh basil and/or other herbs, cubed mozzarella, mandarin oranges, kiwi slices, chopped walnuts, bean sprouts, etc. What do you like to add to your salad?

That made me think. ONE good salad a day. ONE change a day toward good health and looking better. That's not too overwhelming.

Make ONE change in your eating habits. Cut back on the unhealthy stuff—you know what they are, and replace them with something healthy. Instead of a donut or giant bagel, try Greek yogurt with fresh fruit for breakfast for mid-morning break. Try water with lemon instead of soda. Instead of an huge, fatting lunch, try a healthy salad. Or add a salad at every dinner and omit ONE unhealthy item french fries, soda (even diet), pastries, etc. Not that you'll never have them ever again, just not every day.

Exercise ONE more day a week. Take a walk during your lunch break or after dinner or go to the gym. No gym membership? Use a workout DVD at home. Beachbody has a number of excellent choices with nutritional meal suggestions that come with each set. I also drink ONE Shakeology shake a day and I have since August. I’m down to the weight I was in my 20s and feel great. Not into shakes? That’s fine, then try to make ONE other healthy change in your lifestyle NOW. Find what works for you. Small consistent changes will give results. Results don't happen over night. One change will eventually turn into a new healthy habit.
Here’s a salad recipe to try. We have this one for dinner. The peanut dressing does have some calories. Don't need a lot for the flavor. But if you opt for a lower cal. dressing, try a lite vinaigrette instead.

Recipe: Thai Steak Salad w/ Peanut Dressing (serves 4)

Peanut Dressing (to follow)

6 cups washed mixed greens

2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, sliced

2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed/drained

2 med. Tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 med. Cucumber, sliced

Shredded carrots

½ lb. thin-cut sirloin tip steak (sandwich steak)

½ tsp. ground red pepper or curry powder

Cilantro leaves

1.    Prepare Peanut dressing, set aside.

2.    Arrange greens, mango slices, bean sprouts, tomatoes and cucumbers on four plates.

3.    Season steak with red pepper. Grill or broil 4-6 minutes, until desired doneness, turning halfway through grilling time. Cut steak into thin strips on cutting board.

4.    Arrange steak on top of salad. Serve with dressing, garnish with cilantro.

Peanut Dressing

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water

3 T. rice vinegar

2 T. light soy sauce

2 T. molasses

1 T. anchovy paste (optional)

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped green onion

½ tsp. ground red pepper.

Combine peanut butter, water, vinegar, soy sauce, molasses in medium bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Stir in cilantro, green onion and red pepper. (makes 2 cups)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Indie Publishing, The Shelfless Book

This weekend Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers were fortunate to have Jen Talty as their workshop speaker. The topic—Self-Publishing: What Really Are Your Options. Jen is an author and runs the technical side of Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer, and she teaches Creative Writing at various conferences. She also is a marketing expert. Her talk went over the three hours planned and she was very generous sharing much valuable information on self-publishing, author branding, social networking and marketing. The workshop was well worth going to even if you aren’t planning to self-publish anytime soon. The same holds true for the book she and Bob Mayer wrote: The Shelfless Book. It’s a must read for all writers. There is a ton of valuable information about an author’s career path, author branding, defining goals, social media, marketing, the digital process and numerous tips for success.

In a world of instant gratification, I’ve noticed how writers seem to be in such a hurry to get their book up on Amazon/Barnes & Noble/etc., then expect to see the money roll in. As Bob would say: Forgetaboutit. Writers spend a lot of time writing a book, usually months, even years, but then many writers are in too much of a hurry to send it out to an agent/editor, OR slap a cover on it, format it haphazardly and throw it up on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. Then they complain because they get a rejection or aren’t selling thousands or hundreds of self-pubbed copies.

For Indie publishing: What about beta readers, editors, copy editors, a really good cover, correct formatting that will be tested and read on ALL devices not just the one or two the author owns. The digital formating might look okay on your Kindle, but hidden code might screw up the formatting on other devices. And you’ll get nasty emails from your readers. There are also different programs offered by Amazon and Barnes and Noble for selling the book. Are you going to put the book up for Free? How long? If not, how much are you going to charge? Etc., Etc…

Thorough planning and organizing are necessary for success in Indie, traditional or small press publishing—or if you plan a career in any combination of these.

Success isn’t an escalator. It’s a stairway—a LOOONG stairway and you have to make the effort to climb it. Persistence and patience.

Who you are as a writer (your brand) and what your goals are, are important for success. This is something that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately and also struggling with. Wandering aimlessly from writing project to writing project won’t make you a successful author. I haven’t done that exactly, I do have several books planned and set career goals. But as I’m growing and learning as a writer, I noticed my career path and goals have to be reassessed. I need to adjust my brand, change my focus. All writers should continue to learn and grow and not remain stagnant even if they are very successful.

Reading The Shelfless Book, gave me some great ideas about my brand and picking Jen’s brain (poor Jen) helped me immensely! I now have a plan, and a focus, and will be making some changes.

One point hits home in the book: “…you are going to have to [take] chances. If you play it safe, you might not have a large failure but you also won’t have any great successes.”

I have to highly recommend TheShelfless Book. I also bought Write It Forward: From Writer To SuccessfulAuthor. That one is worth reading too. Check out their blog for regular posts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Meet Tracey H. Kitts Guest Author

Tracey H. Kitts
Welcome and thanks for joining us Tracey to talk about your latest release and other fun stuff. Thanks for doing the interview.

-Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.

The idea for Frank and The Werewolf Tamer started pretty simply. I had never read anything sexy about Frankenstein before. Now, don’t get me wrong, my character Frank Eastwick, isn’t your traditional Frankenstein monster. In fact, I don’t consider him a monster at all. However, there are enough similarities that the name fits. I thought of this character and then asked myself, “Why should Dracula and The Wolfman get to have all the fun?” By the way, I’ve had more readers tell me this character (Frank) is drop-dead-sexy than any other character I’ve ever written. Now that’s encouraging.

Frank and The WerewolfTamer is available in ebook and print.


Katherine has had a hard time finding work, mostly because she’s a vampire. Turns out, people aren’t clamoring to work with the undead. She goes to the massive theme park, Notte Oscura, as a last resort. What Katherine doesn’t realize is, there’s a lot more waiting for her than just a job.


- What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?

The best part of being a writer is getting to share your thoughts and feelings with the world. The worst part is figuring out how to get the world to read it. Ha. Ha.

- What is your writing schedule like?

This is probably going to make a lot of people cringe, but I don’t have a schedule. The more I limit myself, the more my creativity is strangled. When I’m working on a new book, I try to work on it each day for as much time as I can. For example, when I wake up, I turn on the computer. I’ll then take short breaks to eat, a longer break to workout, and a few breaks to do laundry. Once my son gets home from school, I usually stop for the day. If a story is really flowing, I might work on it some more after everyone is asleep. The middle of the night is a great time when nothing else has to be done. When you stay home and write, much of the housework (if not all) falls on you. That’s something a lot of people don’t realize. I also take days off in between when I’m at a good stopping point. If not, my family gets really upset and complains that they are ignored. When I’m really into a project, I average between 6-10 pages a day.

- How did you get started writing novels?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer, the length of the work never entered into the equation at first. Writing novels was always one of those things, “I’ll do someday.” So, one day in 2007, I decided it was about time. In three months I wrote books one and two of my Lilith Mercury series. Four months after that I had a publishing contract. I’ve never looked back.

- If you could turn any of your books into a movie which book or series would it be?

I’ve always thought my Lilith Mercury: Werewolf Hunter series would make an excellent choice for HBO.

- Do you have any favorite movies?

It may be surprising, since I write romance. (And love it.) But, I do not like most movies labeled “romance.” I also have a special hatred for romantic comedies. Ha. Ha. Ha. My idea of a romantic comedy is The Princess Bride. Most movies that get labeled as romance are very depressing to me. I’m not into tragedy. I get that it may be closer to reality. But whoever said you go to the movies for reality? I go to escape reality and expand my imagination for a few hours. Personally, I love horror movies. It’s become my favorite genre as there hasn’t been any decent fantasy since Lord of the Rings. Be still my heart! I just remembered that the new Lord of The Rings movie, The Hobbit comes out this December AH! Okay, I’ve got a grip now. I promise.

-Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?

It is slightly different every time. There have been several books I wrote straight through in the beginning. Now, almost 5 years later, I tend to pause and take a couple of weeks off right in the middle. I do this to be sure the ending is clear in my mind. It helps me avoid plot holes. Ha. Ha. Okay, so that’s funny when you say it out loud. Oh, and I always revise as I go. I’ll write a chapter and then read it over the next day before I move forward. It helps make editing at the end move faster.

As for planning a series, I knew in the middle of book one that the Lilith Mercury story would become a series. There was just too much to tell in one book.

- Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write?

There are several books that come to mind for this. Once I get into a story, I mean really into it, I always have a blast. Only one was ever hard to write and that was a novella, Three Days of Night. It was so different (in my mind at least) from what I normally write, that I kept pausing and asking my writing partner, “Is this too out there?”

- What’s next?

Well, I just had a new release with Ellora’s Cave also, Constant Cravings. I am currently making notes on two new book ideas. Plus, as contracts are expiring on some of my backlist, I’m re-vising, re-editing, and in some cases adding lots of content before re-releasing those on my own. I’m very excited about this as I’ve also been doing the cover art for my indie books myself. Did I mention I did the cover for Frank and The Werewolf Tamer also? It was my very first.

- Do your books have a particular theme or premise?

At first, I didn’t think they did. I simply write paranormal romance. But then I realized (very recently) that all of my books tell the story of Beauty and The Beast. They just tell it very differently. But if you’re looking for a theme, it’s there. I think that’s kind of sweet and not entirely surprising. It has always been my favorite fairy tale.

-Would you like to share something surprising about you that not many people know?

I’m not sure how many people know it. Maybe my Facebook friends. (LOL) But, I’m a big video game nerd. I have a particular fondness for epic RPG games. I’m so into Dragon Age right now, I feel like I know the characters personally.

I also collect Batman comics, though I’m very selective. I don’t go for value, but rather my favorites.

I also stay pretty physically active, despite all these lovely “sit on your butt” activities I love. Right now, I’m training for my very first 5k.

- For fun. What is your favorite kind of chocolate or chocolate dessert? (I love chocolate covered cherries)

I love really gooey chocolate brownies when they’re hot out of the oven.

Here’s where people can find me: