Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads

Today I'm participating in the Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads contests. My question has to do with my book below called Saddle Up. Even though there is a typo in the question, you can find the answer  in the excerpt below. I'm also going to sweeten the deal. Anyone who joins my blog followers and leaves a comment will be eligible to win a $10 gift card to Amazon. Remember to leave a comment with your current e-mail address, and join the blog. I hope you enjoy the little into to the book. Let the contest begin!!!

“Hello.” Tasha fumbled around in the dark to answer the phone, spilling a glass of water all over the floor in her haste.
“Hello. Am I speaking to Natasha Lane?”
“Do you know what time it is? Who is this?”
“I’m sorry for the lateness, ma’am. My name is Devin Grant. I own the Double Barrel Ranch. Your brother, Dave, has been working for me this past month.”
“Oh. My. God. What happened? Is David alright?” Tasha felt like her heart was going to explode out of her chest.
“He will be. His horse threw him earlier today when it was spooked by a rattler. He broke his leg in three places and had to have surgery. He is resting right now.”
She felt like she was paralyzed.  She was hearing the words that Devin was saying, but it felt like he was talking to someone else. She was numb. David had been hurt. He was the rock in the family. If something needed to be fixed, you called David.  If you were in trouble, you called David. He was always there for his family. Except for one month every summer, he flew to Colorado and worked on a ranch.  He loved it.  It was so different than working in a bank.  Last month, he decided to quit his job and move to the ranch permanently. The rest of the family didn’t understand, but Tasha did.
“How can you leave me alone with Mom and Paul?” Tasha had joked with him while choking back the tears. She would miss him so much.
“You’re just worried about how you will have to start hiring someone when things break around here. You’re not going to miss me, you’re going to miss my tool belt.”
“You know, you’re right. Just hand me those yellow pages out there. With the rate that things break in this house, I’m going to have to find someone and put them on speed dial.”
She stared at her brother as her heart was breaking. “You will be careful, won’t you? It’s a hard life you’re choosing to live.”
“Careful is my middle name. Now come and give your little brother a hug.” He enveloped her in a huge bear hug.
“You know that this is going to make me happier than I’ve ever been before, right?”
Tasha nodded, not trusting her voice. The next day he was on a plane for the ranch.
“Natasha. Natasha. Are you still there?
The voice on the phone broke her out of her revelry
“Yes, yes.  I’m still here,” she whispered in a small voice.
“I’ve arranged a plane ticket to be available for you at the USAir terminal. Do you think that you could be ready and at the airport in two hours?”
“What? What are you saying?”
“I figured that you’d want to come here and see how he is for yourself. So I bought you a plane ticket. It’s waiting for you. The only thing is that it’s in two hours. It was the only flight available. You’re really going to have to pack quickly if you want to make it.”
“I don’t know what to say. It is extremely generous of you.”
“Ma’am, you’re brother is my friend. I know that the two of you are close. He’s always talking about you. Sometimes I feel we’ve already met from the stories that he tells. He’s going to want to see you when he wakes up.”
“I can’t thank you enough. I’ll make the flight. You’re going to have to give me the hospital information. I’ll go there the minute I land.”
“I’ll be at the airport waiting to bring you to the hospital myself.”
“Ok. So I’ll see you in a few hours. Oh, and by the way, Mr. Grant, if you call me ma’am one more time, I might have to kick your ass despite your generosity.”
“Not a problem, sweetness. I’ll tussle with you anytime you want. See you at the airport.”
Tasha stared at the phone for a few minutes after he disconnected. What did he mean by that? Could he have been flirting with her over the phone? Nah! Just her mind playing tricks on her.
Two hours later, she was sitting in first class and on her way to Colorado to make sure that her brother was all right and to meet the intriguing Mr. Grant.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lofty goals

I had lofty goals for this summer. It was the first summer I didn't have to work, at all. So I thought it was going to writing, writing, writing all the time. What I didn't take into consideration was the husband factor. My husband due to a back injury does not work. While, I'm working all day, he's at home alone with only the two cats for company. Why I didn't see this coming, I do not know.

Now that I'm home, he's got someone to talk to all the time and he wants to talk to me all the time. Writing has been at a minimum at best. I have to say it's probably the best writing I've done but my normal slow writing has turned into a super slow crawl. I have great anxiety about this because I have a deadline and most recently I have a cover. What I don't have is a finished book and don't know what to do about it.

I might have to go to the library for a few uninterrupted hours of writing all day. I've explained this to my husband and he's not happy with it. He promises me he'll leave me alone but it will never happen. During the course of writing this short blog, he's called me twice already to discuss something on tv or something cute that one of the cats is doing!

Peace out,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eye of the tiger

I have to get the eye of the tiger with my writing!!! I'm extremely behind and need to write, write, write. How do you inspire yourself?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

And the winner is...

My winner of the Amazon gift certificate is Shadow! Congrats...please send me an email with your physical address, so I can send you the certificate via snail mail.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Secret Cravings Scavenger Hunt

Prizes include-
Grand Prize- Kindle Fire
First Place- $50 gift certificate to SCP's website
Second Place- $25 gift certificate to SCP's website

Find every author's summer picture and write it down. When you click on the picture it should send you to the main  site to go to the next author, and on , and on...

Please visit as many SCP authors' blogs as you can for more chances to win individual prizes as well as the Kindle Fire being offered by Secret Cravings Publishing. 
Please enter a valid email address and a comment at each blog stop. Please DO NOT leave the description of the picture in the comment section- this will eliminate you from the grand prize awards. Save all those answers and email to secretcravingspublishing@yahoo.com.
*All answers for picture description must be in ONE email to the above mentioned email address. 

Winners and main prizes will be announced on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 here and on Secret Cravings facebook fan page.

All winners will be drawn randomly through random.org. 

Leave a comment and e-mail address here for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate from me. All winners will be announced in my Tuesday July 24, 2012 post!! 

Happy Hunting!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Big weekend this weekend

Hi all,
This is a wicked big weekend in the Dufour household. First, in the writing world, I've been asked to guest blog on the Wild and Wicked Cowboys blog. I'm so excited about this because a total stranger contacted me about guest blogging. Please go over tomorrow and leave a comment.


Secondly, I'm participating in the Secret Cravings Publishing Scavenger Hunt. There will be more information about that tomorrow. There are going to be awesome prizes given away, so stop by. I'll also be running my own contest. Some lucky commenter will walk away with an Amazon gift certificate. So remember to leave a comment.

Lastly, this is THE weekend. My brother is getting married on Sunday. Tonight is the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant on the water. The food is going to be awesome. The rest, who knows???

All I can say is that there is going to be a lot of partying going on in this household this weekend!!!

Peace out,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Does the rip off have a rip off?

This morning I was in the market. Doesn't everyone go to the market when they can't sleep at six in the morning? Totally normal in my house, I do this a lot. I don't have to talk to anyone. I can zip up and down the aisles as fast as I can and basically get out of there in the least amount of time possible.

Being a reader, as well as a writer, I stopped by the book aisle to look at the books on the shelves. Of course on the top shelves were copies of Fifty Shades of Grey but underneath on the next shelf was a book that had a very similar cover. It only had two cufflinks on the cover. So of course, my first thought was did the Fifty's author come out with a new book already? No, it was a totally new author with a new series. Now, maybe this author isn't new but I can guarantee, the cover of the book is new to attract the Shade crowd.

I'm on the fence if I'm disgusted or should commend the book sellers for a sensational marketing tool that will now get this book read by a lot of people.

So when I got home, I told my husband. I used his response for the title of the blog.  He's very sweet (most of the time).

Peace out,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dufour, Marie Rose Dufour

The title is supposed to be a rip off of Bond, James Bond. If you already haven't guessed yet. Lately I feel like a secret agent. A secret agent who does home improvements in the middle of the night because she can't sleep. My target has been my bathtub!

We inherited our house from my husband's parents. When his mom died she'd been living alone for quite a few years and when something went wrong, she would hire the most obscure people to do half ass job instead of calling her son who built mansions in Newport. No, why call the guy who's work was highlighted in magazine when it's so much easier to ask the eighty-two year old man next door. Now in her defense, my husband comes from people who think duct tape is the universal "fix-it" tool. I cringe when my husband calls for me to "get the duct tape". One the opposite side of the spectrum, I come from a mother who every few years repaints her entire house to "freshen" it up. My sister basically paints every weekend (although it might be a sickness) but it sure looks beautiful.

I have always hated the bathtub since before we've moved into the house. My MIL never liked to clean it, so the grout never really looked clean. Her quick fix was to find this tape/coating that protected the grout between the tub and the wall. Once pulled off, it left a hard shell. The one thing she never did though was make sure the grout was clean before putting on this coating, so instead of it protecting it and keeping it clean, it created a gross black mildew line that ran around the seam of the tub. No matter what type of cleaning agent you would use, you couldn't get it to look clean. I'm a bath person, so this is one of those things that totally bothers me!

Since this is the first summer where I haven't had a summer job, 00Marie has been born. In the early hours of the morning, I have been sitting with a chisel in my bathtub and taking off this coating. This morning I finally finished. Is it perfect? No but damn it looks one hundred percent better.

You may ask yourself, why the secret agent routine? My husband hates change! No matter what type of change it is. I actually think it makes him nervous. So if he doesn't see it being done, he's ok with it. So I do home improvements in private.

Have a great day, I'm off to my basement to get rid of a few boxes of junk because today is trash day!

Peace out,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is it?

Today I'm meeting with the lovely Amber Skyze and Nina Pierce for a brainstorming session and some lunch. I have been looking forward to this for more days than I can count. I was even angry that the hubby's crazy aunt passed away because I thought it was going to change my plans but thankfully it didn't.

Writing is a solitary life. We compose alone, type alone, edit alone, and promo alone. So it is priceless when you can get together with some like minded people to talk about writing. In our RIRW group, there are very few erotic romance writers. So we mostly talk about mainstream topic, which is good because it only makes my writing better.

I learn a lot from these ladies. They are both a lot more successful than I am and have been in the business longer. I truly believed I would never be published without all the advice and help Amber gave me in the year leading up Fated Mates being published. She was the one who recommended Secret Cravings Publishing. So I will be forever grateful to her.

Can't wait. Only a few hours left until we meet!!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I hate when things are beyond me

I hate when I can't do something. There's a saying in my family, "Tell "Marie" she can't do something and see how quickly it gets done." My husband says it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Immediately, I will charge right into it. Much to my dismay, he's used this to his advantage from time to time. "Oh, you'll never find..." Watch me! Unfortunately, I've come across something that I really can't do.

Creating my own website is too much for me, not only do I not have the technical capability, I don't have the time either. So it has sat for almost a year without anything being done to it. It's actually so pathetic, I don't even like to announce to my "2 fans" that I actually have a website. I usually guide people towards my blog. It's only have way decent because the lovely Linda Kage made my banner, which I still love so much. So what's a girl to do? Like any good "brainiac", I've been asking friends who's done their sites and contacting the artists. This costs money, and sometimes a lot of money!! My publisher recommended a woman who they said had reasonable rates and she quoted me between $400-500. Ouch, in the empty pocket book, do they not know I have a spectacular-spectacular coming up in less than three weeks, which I still have no dress for!!! My mother hasn't been on my back about it but I KNOW the time is coming. I did find the perfect dress in a consignment shop but it doesn't zip. The saleswoman, told me to buy a good pair of Spanx and come back, and it will zip. I'm leery about them but that's a blog for another day!

Back to the website dilemma, what's a woman to do? It's come time to step things up a bit. I'm going to have some big news in the next few weeks, so the website needs to be revamped. I wonder if I can pay my hairdresser's son who is going to film school in the fall to create the site. I'm sure he must have some knowledge of these things. I'm just so cheap. I'm trying to find a way to save money and I don't think it's possible with this.

What are your thoughts?