A Charmed Little Lie Book Tour & Giveaway

This morning, we are featuring a new contemporary romance by Sharla Lovelace in our book spotlight!  Enjoy learning about the book, the author--and be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

by Sharla Lovelace
Pub date: 4/18/2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Charmed, Texas, is everything the name implies—quaint, comfortable, and as small-town friendly as they come. And when it comes to romance, there’s no place quite as enchanting . . .

Lanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to Charmed for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.

Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described. He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .

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Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. Her novels include The Reason Is You, Before and Ever Since, Just One Day, Don’t Let Go, and Stay with Me.

Sharla writes modern day, quirky love stories with dysfunctional families, love problems, and snarky humor. Because who doesn’t love a love story? Especially one with strong women and drama and baggage and hot men that can’t get enough of them.…

Three Amazing and Surprising Ways to Commemorate Your Pregnancy

Being pregnant is a thrilling and occasionally terrifying experience, which you will never forget. Though it only lasts nine months, you will probably want to commemorate this amazing experience. Not only will you want to revisit this time of your life, your baby will someday be a child who will want to know all about the time before he or she was born. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to come up with a unique and beautiful way to mark the experience of being pregnant will your little one. Here are a few unusual ideas to help you get started.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. For years, women have been proudly showing off their ultrasound pictures. Generally, it's the first glimpse that expectant parents have of their future offspring, and most parents keep these pictures forever. Now, however, expectant parents have an even better way to photograph their future child, thanks to 3-dimentional photography. Simply look for a local provider who has the technology available to you, as most doctors' offices do not have these machines. For example, for 3d ultrasound Adelaide, look for an established and well-regarded company like Before You Were Born. You'll cherish these pictures forever, and your future child will love to see themselves.

Record Your Body's Changes. Many women don't want to be photographed when they're pregnant, which is unfortunate. Instead of focusing on your beauty, however, you may want to focus on the myriad of ways in which your body is changing. One fun and unexpected way to do that is to take a series of photographs, all from the same angle in the same clothing. You can record your body growing as the bump gets larger and larger. Then, after your baby is born, you can put all of the pictures together and make a sort of stop-motion animation of your progress. There are apps and online services that make this especially easy, even if you're not a whiz at technology. This will create a unique visual record of your amazing experience.

Keep an Online Journal or Video Diary. While many people try to write in a daily journal, it can be difficult to keep up with this task while pregnant. An easier way to keep up with a diary is to create an online blog. For many people, it's easier to type than to write by hand. Plus, you can share your blog with your friends and family. If writing a blog is too tasking, consider making a video diary. You can upload your videos to social media if you'd like, or just keep them private. This option is great because you can do it from anywhere, thanks to the convenience of smartphones with cameras. Talk to your future child and record all of the challenges and thrills of being pregnant and experiencing the miracle of childbirth. If you're at a loss for things to talk about, look online for prompts that will encourage you to keep talking.

Your pregnancy is worth remembering, even if it's a difficult experience. Technology makes it easier than ever before to record the wonderful, surprising, and exhausting experience. Take advantage of these new technologies and make a unique record of your physical, mental, and emotional changes. 

Keeping Your Kids Busy Over Summer Vacation

If you're like most parents, you want your kids to have a summer vacation that's both educational and fun, preferably at a reasonable cost. Fortunately, these days there are a number of options available to keep your kids busy and learning all summer long. Before choosing a summer camp or deciding to keep your children at home, it's important to explore all of the possible options. Only then can you make an informed decision.

Also, keep in mind your child's temperament and needs when making plans for their summer vacation. You want your child to be engaged mentally and physically, but you don't want to run them ragged. Remember that kids need a break too, and make sure they're getting plenty of free time. Kids need to be occasionally bored so that they can learn to entertain themselves and become more independent and creative. With that in mind, here are some options to consider for your summer plans.

Private Day or Overnight Camp.  The most expensive and rigorous option is a private day camp, which may or may not include overnight camping. There are many camps that are built around fun themes, as well as camps that emphasize outdoors experience or academic subjects. Although these camps provide full-time care and sometimes an educational advantage, the downside is that your child will have little time to themselves. This is often the only option for parents who need full-time childcare and is often made more affordable by applying for scholarships.

Community Camps.  For a less expensive and more flexible option, consider community camps. These are usually part-time and cost less money. You can find community camp opportunities at your local YMCA or community center. Local churches and other houses of worship also frequently offer camps for a lower cost than private options. These camps vary in their quality and affordability. Ask neighbors and friends about their experiences with the camp before you sign up.

Co-operative Camps.  If you don't need full-time childcare and are willing to put in a little work organizing, you can participate in or even start a co-operative camp within your community. Talk to your friends with kids and plan a schedule so that you take turns planning outings with your children. One day may have a parent leading a hike in their local park. A creative parent may buy some cross stitch kits online from a company like Threaded Needle and teach the children to make something awesome. While this option is not viable for everyone, parents should consider working together to make summer more enjoyable for their families.

Visiting Relatives.  In the old days, it was common for parents to send their kids away to grandma and grandpa's house for the summer. Now, your parents are probably too busy to take your kids all summer, and you shouldn't ask them to. However, spending some time visiting relatives can be an educational and character-building experience for your child. If they're old enough they can even travel on their own. Make sure you offer to pay for the expense of caring for your child while they're staying with a generous relative.

Make the most of your summer this year. And, in between the activities, make sure they have free time to play!


Within a Captain's Power Book Spotlight & Giveaway

This morning, we are pleased to share a new historical romance from author Lisa A. Olech.  Check out Within a Captain's Power, learn about the author and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

by Lisa Olech
PUB DATE: 4/4/2017
Genre: Historical Romance

Never underestimate the power of a pirate . . .

Captain James Steele is duty bound to capture the privateer Scarlet Night and bring her rebellious crew to England to hang. Then he will leave his majesty’s service, make an upstanding marriage, and join the landed gentry. But the winds of fate are blowing the straitlaced commander utterly off course.

Once aboard, James comes face to face with a pirate boy who is in reality fierce, desperate—and gorgeous—Samantha Christian, on the run from a sadistic Virginia plantation owner. With her identity unbound, the good captain dutifully takes her under his personal command, whereupon decorum goes out the porthole. But while his heart is lost to Samantha by the time they reach England, her noose still awaits. Now James’s sense of duty will be severely tested. As for Samantha, she has a plan, and a duty, of her own . . .

Lisa A. Olech is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.


More Than a Soldier Book Spotlight and Guest Post from Author D.M. Annechino

This morning, we are pleased to feature a guest post by author, D.M. Annechino, as he shares a bit about his experiences in writing and publishing over the past 15 years of his career.  Enjoy his look at "dumb luck"--although, we will all certainly argue that his writing well warrants his publishing successes--and check out his latest book, More Than a Soldier:  One Army Ranger's Daring Escape from the Nazis.  Be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post as well!

Dumb Luck or Literary Excellence?
Guest Post by D.M. Annechino

Over the last 15 years I have attended both the San Diego State University Writer’s Conference and the Southern California Writer’s Conference. If you’re a serious writer and hope to one day get published, make it a point to attend a high-profile writer’s conference. Nowhere on planet Earth will you find more aspiring writers, literary agents, editors, publishers, and writing instructors. It’s a great venue for networking, pitching your work and learning the business of writing.

Publishing deals are made at these events; agents offer representation; writers connect with influential people; workshops teach tricks of the trade. Overall, it is a worthwhile investment of time and money. And I guarantee that you’ll meet some extraordinarily talented writers.

The Fiction Read & Critique Workshops are one of my favorite events at writer’s conferences. Many writers don’t have the backbone for this slugfest, but those who endure gain some great perspectives. Picture 25 hopeful writers jammed in a small room for hours on end, reading passages from their latest work and listening to their fellow writers scrutinize every word, every character, and every syllable. Emotions flow freely and diplomacy is not in the vocabulary. Of course not all critiques are critical. But for the most part, the criticisms far outweigh the accolades.

The point of these read & critique workshops is not for the writer to be unmercifully bludgeoned or embarrassed. But for them to learn and grow as a writer by accepting the critiques in the spirit in which they were intended. Thin-skinned writers have no place in this world. Competition is ferocious. So, excuse me for saying this, but “if you want to play with the big dogs you have to step into the tall grass”.

What I found most amazing about the read & critique workshops was that once in a while an undiscovered, unpublished writer would stand up and read a passage from his or her work and absolutely blow me away. I’m talking about stunning narratives, riveting dialogue, and a use of language that was so literate it read like poetry. What amazed me most was that few of these gifted writers had ever been published. I would say to myself, “If this gal can’t get to first base, what the hell am I even doing here?” How could I ever hope to get published if these extremely talented writers were still waiting on the sidelines?

So, after attending several writer’s conferences and accepting the painful truth that my writing at best was middle-of-the road, I faced a bittersweet reality. On one hand I could save myself further pain of rejection by embracing my fate. On the other hand, it tore out my heart to accept defeat and the reality that none of my novels would ever be published. So, I did what any red-blooded Italian would do: I said, “Screw them all! They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”And I self-published.

I didn’t sell very many books; most to family and friends. But then one day the unimaginable happened. I got a call from an acquisition editor at Amazon Publishing, a newly formed company in 2010. The editor told me he stumbled upon, They Never Die Quietly, my first novel, loved it, and offered me a publishing contract. At first I thought it was a setup, that my workmates were messing with me. But then I realized that the guy on the other end of the telephone was legit.

So here I am, seven years later, and I just published, More Than a Soldier, my sixth novel. Whether or not I’m a good writer, worthy of publication, could be argued till doomsday. But one thing is certain: Lady Luck dealt me a straight flush and had I not endured the disappointments and rejection, I’d still be living in the abyss of obscure writers.

Check out D.M. Annechino's book, More Than a Soldier.

               About the Book

Feeling a patriotic duty to defend his country after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen year old, Angelo J. DiMarco, enlists in the U.S. Army. Severely short of frontline fighters, the Army rushes Angelo through Ranger training and sends him to Italy as part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Their objective: stop the German invasion.

Fighting on the front lines in Italy, the German’s teach Angelo a sobering lesson on life when they capture him during the bloody battle of Cisterna. Against insurmountable odds, Angelo miraculously escapes in a way that stretches the imagination. He survives behind enemy lines for over five months, hiding from the Germans and trying to outmaneuver them. He begs for food, sleeps in barns and suffers from many ailments, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and exposure to the elements.

More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.

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Praise for More Than a Soldier:

Annechino colorfully draws the actions scenes, and richly brings the supporting cast of characters to life. A moving tale of survival in war-torn Europe.
- Kirkus Reviews

Nuanced and eloquently written, More Than a Soldier adds to the body of WWII literature an extraordinary story of survival and a deeply affecting portrait of a soldier’s coming-of-age.
- The iRead Review

Meet the Author

Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. He has written and published five novels—all thrillers. But his latest work, More Than a Soldier, is a Historical Biography set in Italy during WWII.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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