Little Touches – A Valentine’s Gift for You

ValentineHopGraphic-300x296*** Update: The winner of the signed copy of  THE BROKEN is Brooke Bumgardner. The grand prize winner of the $50 Amazon or B&N gift card is Laticia Vargas. Congratulations! ***

Welcome to the final stop of the #RomanticReadsHop where you can win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card and a copy of THE BROKEN, the first book in my romantic suspense series, The Apostles. Just leave a comment using the “Leave a Comment” link above!

In my latest romantic suspense, THE BURIED, hero Hatch Hatcher, a smooth talkin’ FBI crisis negotiator, is a touchy-feely kind of guy. My heroine says he has “magic hands”, and he gives amazing massages. Like Hatch, my husband’s love language is physical touch, and through twenty-five years of marriage, we’ve discovered the gift of “little touches” – moments of intimate but not necessarily sexual touch that do wonders for the mind, body, and heart.

Book Cover for The Buried

This Valentine’s Day consider giving the gift of “little touch” to your beloved. Some fun ideas:

* Foot Massage – Start with a warm foot soak…perhaps with lemon slices and scrubbing salts. Heavenly! Dry. Start by stroking top and bottom of foot with long, slow strokes to get the circulation going. Rotate the ankle to loosen the joint. Pull and squeeze each toe. Slide fingers between toes. Massage arch. Finish up with more long, slow stokes. Peppermint oil/lotion is a nice finishing touch. My personal favorite!

* Face Massage – This one is surprisingly relaxing and provides a very intimate connection. First warm your hands by rubbing them together with a light oil or lotion. Get circulation going with big circular strokes, upward and outward all over face. Then use small, deep strokes to work flesh from chin to forehead. Using a light touch, circle eyes from inner edge of eyebrow to eye duct. Apply rotating pressure to cheeks and to center of forehead. End with long, feathery strokes from chin to forehead.

* Hand Massage – Consider using a fragrant massage oil. Begin by stroking fingers, massaging knuckles and “pulling” tension out the fingertips. Rotate wrists. Stretch the fingers and palms. Use steady, even pressure with thumb on palms and backs of hands. End by pressing hand between the two of yours. Wonderfully intimate, huh?

Now your turn. To be eligible to win the $50 Amazon/B&N gift card and copy of THE BROKEN, comment using the Leave a Comment link at the top of this post. Dish on your favorite type of massage or what aching body part needs a massage. For more chances, use the RaffleCopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Buried – Grace & Hatch’s Story

The Buried, book #2 in the Apostles Series, is now available!

rtawardsnominees_final1_14.5 Stars! “One thrilling read.” – RT Book Reviews 2014 Reviewers Choice Nominee

“…spine-tingling, nerve-jangling romantic suspense…just the ticket for fans of Allison Brennan, Lisa Gardner, and Karen Rose.” – Booklist

“A frightening thriller…the perfect blend of mystery and romance.” – Romance at Random

Book Cover for The Buried

Released Oct. 28, 2014 from Grand Central Forever

Secrets from the past.
Voices from the grave.
Because nothing stays buried forever…

Cypress Bend, Florida, is a small southern bayou town filled with long-buried secrets. It’s also the home of successful, fiercely independent state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche who’s pulled into a world of terror and self-doubt when she receives a phone call from a young woman buried alive. In a race to stop a revenge-seeking killer, Grace unearths skeletons from her past along with feelings for the one man she swore she’d never need again, Hatch Hatcher, a rootless, smooth-talking FBI crisis negotiator who’s back in Cypress Bend to deal with a secret of his own.



Big Birthday Bash & Book Giveaway!

*** UPDATE — According to the good folks at, the winner of my BIG BROKEN BIRTHDAY BASH BOOK GIVEAWAY is Heidi! Congratulations, Heidi! ***

Happy book birthday to my new romantic thriller, (Apostles #1, April 29, 2014, Grand Central Forever). To celebrate I’m throwing a party. The great news? YOU get the presents. One lucky reader will win TEN SIGNED BOOKS from my all-time favorite romantic suspense/thriller authors and a handful of up-and-coming romantic suspense authors who I’m honored to call friends.

I had a fantastic time gathering these books for you, attending book signings at my local indie, The Poisoned Pen, and fangirling over Lisa Gardner and Allison Brennan. And of course there was the stalking of Sandra Brown, Laura Griffin, and CJ Lyons. (For you, readers, I did it for you.) These are my auto-buy authors who pen my comfort reads. I know…kind of creepy considering they write about murder and criminal mayhem. But they are part of my happy, and I am forever thankful for the stories they create.

And here they are – their new releases SIGNED for one lucky reader.


With equal joy, I offer books from five author friends who have traveled the looooong journey with me. If you like dark and twisty love stories like THE BROKEN, you’ll probably love books from Carey Baldwin, Anne Marie Becker, Donnell Ann BellRachel Grant, and Elizabeth Heiter. Here’s some of their best, which the winner will receive!


To enter, simply leave a comment below. And since we’re celebrating THE BROKEN’s book birthday, why don’t you tell us what’s on YOUR birthday list? For me, I’d love to have season tickets to the Broadway Series at ASU Gammage.

Contest stuff: ONE winner will be chosen from the comments section below via Open only in the U.S. and Canada. Winner will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Contest ends May 11, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. Good luck!

Remember, to enter, just leave a comment below telling us what you want for YOUR birthday. And since I write fiction, ANYTHING goes. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Joy & Peace!



The YA Scavenger Hunt with Goodbye, Rebel Blue!

***The WINNER of the BONUS contest is Sharrice, who would be a tattoo artist or a potter. Congrats, Sharrice!!!***

It’s the Spring 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt, your place for book giveaways and exclusive bonus material from your favorite young adult authors. For details about the hunt, check out the YA Scavenger Hunt page. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both. I am a part of the BLUE TEAM, quite nice, as my latest young adult book is called GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE. It’s the story of an artistic rebel who completes the bucket list of a dead, do-gooder classmate and finds her world upended. You can win a Rebel Blue deluxe swag pack–including a leather bucket list journal, pen, and sea glass key chain–in my BONUS CONTEST. See notes at end of this post.Blue Team


Directions: Somewhere in this post you’ll find my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the BLUE TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize and book giveaways. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April. 6, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


RitaArensBlueCropTypepad[1]I’m thrilled to host Rita Arens, the author of THE OBVIOUS GAME. She edited SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK and co-edited ROOTS: WHERE FOOD COMES FROM AND WHERE IT TAKES US. She writes at Surrender, Dorothy and is the deputy editor of Rita is at work on her second novel. She’d love to Skype with your book club! Contact Rita at for more information.

In this leg of the YA Scavenger Hunt, Rita is offering a copy of her latest book,  THE OBVIOUS GAME. Check out the blurb: “Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.” THE OBVIOUS GAME is a journey into anorexia. Diana starts out normal enough, but soon the spiraling reality of her mother’s health and her growing relationship with a high school wrestler cutting weight find her helpless against the new rules taking shape in her mind. Read on to finally understand the psychology of anorexia … and how Diana found her way back. An important read on a complex and confusing mental illness. Get your copy of THE OBVIOUS GAMETheObviousGame.v8.1-Finalsm[1]

Now the fun part. Exclusive content. Check out this deleted scene from THE OBVIOUS GAME.

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by Rita and other YA authors, including me. To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 3. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Blue Team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize book giveaway.


Rebel_Blue_Deluxe_SwagNow here’s your chance to win a *deluxe* swag pack featuring my new YA book, GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE. You can win a beautiful leather bucket list journal and pen along with a custom-made sea glass key chain. Why sea glass? The main character in my book is Rebecca “Rebel” Blue, and she’s an artist. She makes picture frames out of sea glass. Not a traditional type of art, huh? But Reb is NOT a traditional girl. In your wildest dreams, if you could be an artist–ANY kind–what kind would you be? Painter? Tattoo artist? Knitter? Jazz singer? Pianist? Tell me in the comment section, and you are automatically entered for the swag and book giveaway!


Finally, for the next leg of the YA Scavenger Hunt, check out author, Kristen Lippert-Martin. Onward!

YA Scavenger Hunt – Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Thanks for participating! The Fall 2013 Scavenger Hunt is now over. just informed me that the winner of a hardcover copy of GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE is *** Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia. *** Stephanie, I’ll shoot you an e-mail to get your mailing address. And a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to share something as intensely personal as a bucket list item. I feel like I got a wonderfully little peek into each of your hearts. Joy and peace on your respective journeys, my friends!

scavenger huntWelcome to the Fall YA Scavenger Hunt, your place for bookish prizes and exclusive bonus material from your favorite young adult authors. For details about the hunt, check out the YA Scavenger Hunt page. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red team and a gold team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!Blue Team


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Oct. 6, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


JessShirvingtonToday, I am hosting Jessica Shirvington for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Jessica is the author of the EMBRACE SERIES, a young-adult paranormal romance series that debuted with the novel Embrace, followed by Entice, Emblaze and now Endless. The final book in the series, Empower, will be released in early 2014. The series has now been published in many international markets. Jessica lives in Sydney with her husband and their two daughters and combines her writing career with juggling the demands of motherhood.

EndlessDuring the Hunt Jessica is offering a copy of her latest release, Endless! Here’s the blurb: LOVE WILL KILL US ALL. Angels are real. They aren’t always kind. And now Hell is about to unleash its worst. In the highly anticipated fourth book of the series Entertainment Weekly calls “”addictive”” and a “”must read,”” Violet thinks she is finally getting her life under control. Then all hell breaks loose – literally. Now Violet must embrace every facet of her angel self to save the people she cares about the most and the world as she knows it. But death is not the worst thing Violet will face. For her, the endless question: “”Can love conquer all?”” will finally be answered.


Here it is, readers! The Endless_Excerpt Chap 1 & 2. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

And because I couldn’t resist, I’m throwing in the Endless book trailer.

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jessica, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 25. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


Now for a chance to win a copy of my new YA, Goodbye, Rebel Blue–the story of a loner rebel who reluctantly completes the bucket list of a recently deceased do-gooder classmate, all you need to do is list one item in the comments section below from your bucket list. In other words, list one thing you want to do before you die. I send good thoughts and positive energy to all who share, and to one lucky poster chosen randomly, I’ll mail a copy of Goodbye, Rebel Blue.

Finally, to keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Ann Aguirre!

Goodbye, Rebel Blue ARC & SWAG Giveaway

Climbing out of the deep, dark writing cave to announce I’m joining forces with YA Books Central to do my first-ever giveaway for GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE, which releases Oct. 1 from Amulet Books/Abrams. The grand-prize winner receives an arc of GOODBYE,REBEL BLUE; a bucket list journal (because this is a story about a girl who completes someone else’s bucket list); and a custom made sea-glass key chain (because Rebel is an artist who works with sea glass). See all the pretties!

Grand prize SWAG!

Grand prize SWAG!


Three more winners receive a copy of my first young adult contemporary, WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE. To enter, check out the YA Books Central giveaway page.  Good luck to everyone!


New Book Coming in 2013!

Welcome Amazing Racers! You’ve reached the Smashing Pumpkin leg of the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes, a week-long blog hop featuring 50+ young adult and middle grade authors giving out spectacular prizes. No tricks, just treats, including a $20 Amazon gift card from yours truly because I have great news!

Books are all about words, right? But publishing is all about numbers. An author needs enough people to buy enough books in order to keep publishing. And my great news? Enough of you bought my YA contemporary debut, WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE, so I’m writing the follow up book, GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE. This is another stand-alone YA contemp, and it’s the story of Rebecca (Rebel) Blue, a snarky rebel who reluctantly completes the bucket list of a dead, do-gooder classmate. On this life-changing journey, bad girl Rebel butts heads with a nice guy, a gimpy dolphin, and pains from her past. WARNING: There will be a few laughs, a little kissy-kissy, and some serious moments as Rebel struggles with BIG issues. Stuff like death and destiny.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my great news! Your next pit stop on the YAmazing Race is the wonderful web home of Author Heather Anastasiu.

Bonus Contest: GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE will release Fall of 2013. Celebrate with me and enter the Rafflecopter below to win a $20 Amazon gift certificate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Making Flower Hair Clips

Yesterday made 100+ hair clips for the Young Adult Romance Writers of America’s annual retreat  coming up July 25 in Anaheim, California. Can’t you see a bunch of writers strolling about RWA Nationals all week with these in their hair or on their lanyards? The clips were soooo easy and inexpensive — about thirty cents a piece. And pretty, oui?











Here’s how to make them.


Silk Flowers (cheapies by the bunch are fine)
Alligator Hair Clips (available at beauty supply stores)
Ribbon (Grosgrain works best as it’s pretty sturdy)
Buttons/Jewels (optional)
Hot Glue Gun




Pull flowers off the plastic stems.









Remove hard plastic centers and plastic between flower petal layers.









Using a dab of glue between layers, re-stack flower petals. For a fuller look, add more layers.  Glue a pretty button or jewel to the center.









Cut ribbon long enough to cover both the inside and outside of one prong section of the alligator clip. Glue ribbon to the inside of the angled prong section, wrap around point, and glue to the outside of the angled prong section. Make a nice crease at the point.


Assemble hair clip by gluing the ribbon-covered prong to the bottom of the flower. That’s it!


And if you’re really bored, you can make a hundred or so.









Hugs and happy reading!

Welcome to Chloe’s Radio World! Win a $50 Gift Certificate or CHLOE SWAG Pack

WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE – my young adult novel about a big-hearted girl trying to save her high school’s struggling radio station – is finally here! Right now. On bookstore shelves. You can touch it. Smell it. Kiss it (I did…but I’m the geeky author). And buy it.  Or ask your local library or school library to buy it. To celebrate, I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to your favorite electronics or radio store and ten CHLOE swag packs.

Hands down, my favorite CHLOE scenes are those at the radio station, and I absolutely fell in love with the radio staff. They’re a fun, quirky bunch of outsiders desperately trying to keep KDRS 88.8 The Edge on the air. (Think GLEE in a high school radio station.) Each of the radio staffers plays an important role in running the station and in helping Chloe deal with problems with her best friends, ailing grandmother, and school service project. Meet the staff:

  • Talk Show Host – Chloe
  • Chief Engineer – Duncan
  • General Manager and News Director – Clementine
  • Music Director – Taysom
  • Arts & Entertainment Reporter – Haley
  • Sports Reporter – Frick
  • Public Service Announcements – Frack

To win the $50 electronics/radio store gift certificate or one of ten CHLOE swag packs, use the rafflecopter below. You’ll need to answer an EASY question about KDRS Radio 88.8 The Edge. For bonus entries, you can tweet news of CHLOE’s release, like on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Feel free to leave a comment below about what type of position you would have if you were on the staff of a high school radio station. The giveaway ends Friday, May 18. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CHLOE Pit Stop of the YAmazing Race

*** Update Feb. 1 ***

And the winners* of this leg of the YAmazing Race are:

Hannah (Jan. 16 12:42 pm) *** CHLOE ARC and bottle cap necklace! ***
Cassie *** CHLOE ARC and bottle cap necklace! ***
Heather Rosdol
Emily Voss
Petra @ Safari Poet
Kiara Marie
Katy Bauml
Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez

*Yep, I doubled the number of winners because of your enthusiasm for my niece, Samantha, and her Little Goody 2 Shoes project. So glad to know this world is full of people with big hearts. More hugs!

*** End Update ***

Welcome Racers! You’ve reached the pit stop for WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes, hosted by 50 2012 Apocalypses Debut Authors. I’ll make this easy on you dear, wonderful racing readers.  CHLOE is the story of a big-hearted, vintage-shoe-wearing girl who is ostracized by her best friends and forced to join her high school’s struggling radio station where she starts her own radio call-in show and falls for radio techie Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe and Duncan learn lessons about love, listening, and loneliness.

Chloe loves vintage shoes.

BONUS CONTEST: Have a few extra minutes and a big heart? Good. Because you can win an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of CHLOE and one of five blingy bottle cap necklaces, AND you can help raise money to buy shoes for kids who don’t have any. WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE seems like a light, funny book, right? It is, but it also has some tender and unexpectedly serious moments as Chloe deals with her ailing grandmother, Duncan’s past, and a community service project she must complete in order to pass her junior year. Since she loves vintage shoes, Chloe decides to collect shoes for impoverished children. However, her school counselor signs her up to do after-school promo work at her school’s struggling radio station.

Chloe doesn’t get to send shoes to kids in need, but YOU can. Here’s how it works. Simply leave a comment on this blog and you will be entered in a contest to win one of five bottle cap necklaces from Little Goody 2 Shoes, which means I’ll make a $5 donation in YOUR NAME to this program which raises money to buy shoes for kids in Ethiopia. Little Goody 2 Shoes is run by Samantha, a middle-schooler  in St. Louis, Missouri, who is my niece and the inspiration behind Chloe’s shoe addiction. 100 percent of the donation I make for you goes for shoes. Cool, huh?

Bottle Cap Bling from Little Goody 2 Shoes

So…you leave a comment on this blog…perhaps about your favorite shoe. I select FIVE random winners. I make a donation to Little Goody 2 Shoes in the winners’ names and they get some bling. I’ll also throw in a CHLOE ARC to one of the FIVE winners.

BONUS POINTS: If you pre-ordrer CHLOE, like on Facebook, add to your shelf on Goodreads, follow me on Twitter, or acknowledge Chloe’s greatness on the glittery social media outlet of your choice, I’ll enter you for each shout out. Just note it in your blog comment. I trust you. :-) CHLOE’s Bonus Contest ends January 31. Good luck!

Your next pit stop: Marissa Burt and her April 2012 Middle Grade fantasy debut, STORYBOUND!

Hugs and happy racing!