Blog Archives

New Beginning and a Cover Reveal

The new year is a time for new beginnings. But with every new beginning comes an ending, and sometimes endings are bittersweet. That’s where we find ourselves with the Women Unplugged blog. We’ve got exciting projects taking us in different directions, and we’re redirecting our efforts.

I’m leaving Women Unplugged to focus on my personal blog and my new career as an indie women’s fiction author. My debut novel, Coronado Beach, will be released this summer. Here’s a little peek.

Book cover showing a wedding bouquet lying on a beach.

High-spirited public defender Karina Fields has found her dream job helping the indigent. Next on her agenda: romance. Trouble is, her faith in love has been shaken by the breakup of her sister’s marriage. Now, Karina’s ex-brother-in-law, Alex Kent, is moving from the cold marble world of D.C. back to the sand and blue waters of San Diego. He takes a job alongside her at the public defender’s office. Her instinct is to protect her sister from the ex-husband who bailed instead of fighting for their marriage. But Karina soon sees that he’s overwhelmed with grief over the violent crime that took the life of his unborn daughter and ended his marriage.

When a desperate client assaults Karina, Alex tackles and disarms him. Vibrating with terror, she cries in Alex’s arms, and a stolen kiss surprises them both. She doesn’t even like Alex—how can she be attracted to him? Despite her lingering desire, an entanglement with him would destroy her relationship with her sister. Karina’s following an old pattern: she’s drawn to men who need fixing. She won’t find the right man if she keeps falling for the wrong ones, and she can’t heal her family until she heals herself.

To learn about my new releases, be sure to sign up for my fan list. And if you’d like to receive free read-for-review copies before they’re released, join my ARC club.

You can also follow my Write with Personality blog, which was recently featured on BookRiot and Jami Gold‘s blog. It focuses on topics related to writing and personality type.

I’ve enjoyed my time at Women Unplugged and treasure the friends I’ve made here. I’m on Facebook almost every day, so this isn’t good-bye. See you around the Web!

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A Sweet Treat for Spring

My latest work in progress takes place in a Bed and Breakfast in coastal North Carolina.  Some days, I feel like I’m writing a cookbook, there are so many references to food.  If you follow me on Pinterest, I’ll be creating a board with all the recipes once the first draft is complete.  For now, I wanted to share a recipe for a great spring treat–just in time for Easter.

strawberry brownie heartsLast month, a good friend of mine hosted a fundraiser for TurningPoint, a Breast Cancer rehabilitation center here in Georgia.  Everything about the party was pink–including the foods.  These strawberry brownies were a huge hit!  They’re perfect cut into hearts for Valentine’s Day, for bridal or baby showers or for a little girl’s birthday party. (The boys will love them, too.)

Strawberry Browniesstrawberry brownies

Adapted from: Family Savvy
Serves: 14-16

Ingredients

Brownies:
• 1 box strawberry cake mix (any brand will do as long as it doesn’t have pudding in the mix
• 
2 large eggs
• 
1/3 cup oil
Glaze:
• 
1 cup powdered sugar
• ½ -2 TB milk (it depends on how thick you want your glaze)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line 9×13 baking pan with parchment (and spray with Pam. Make sure you get the sides).
3. Mix strawberry cake mix, eggs, and oil with hand mixer until well combined, about two minutes.
4. Pour batter into pan. Note: batter will be tacky, similar to taffy. Be sure to spread it evenly so brownies bake evenly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set; be careful not to overcook.
6. Allow brownies to cool for 10 minutes; lift carefully from pan using ends of parchment to lift.
7. Mix powdered sugar and water until smooth.
8. Pour glaze over brownies, spreading to edges with pastry brush so that glaze will drip down sides.
9. Allow brownies to cool and glaze to set before cutting into squares.

cover-for-BTBWhile you’re enjoying these great eats, check out the first book in my Second Chances series, BACK TO BEFORE.  You’ll get a first look at the Tide Me Over Inn and it’s famous cupcakes.  Happy Spring!

Because of You

Very excited to announce that I just released book #2 in my Silver Creek series, BECAUSE OF YOU, for pre-order!

Venetta, Dianne- Because of You

Animal rights activist Kinsley Fairchild has dedicated her life to the cause and is determined to prevent the Silver Creek Ski Resort from expanding because it will destroy hundreds of acres of pristine land and displace area wildlife. Grant Powell is a business owner in town who stands to benefit from the expansion. More resort equates to more business. He believes the activists have a right to protest, but when his friend’s fur store goes up in flames, it becomes personal.

And must be stopped.

Complicating matters is Sebastian Wu. As Kinsley’s right hand man, Sebastian feels entitled to make decisions in the name of the cause. Unfortunately for her, his decisions are geared toward removing Kinsley from her leadership role, a position he believes belongs to him.

Tangled up in her passion for animals and the affections of a man she never dreamed she’d care for, Kinsley must choose between them. Should she take a chance on love or fight for the cause of her life?

As an animal lover, this book is near and dear to my heart. Hope you enjoy!! Special promo price of $0.99 is available on pre-orders only.

It’s Hard Having Children & An Excerpt!

You’d think it would stop after the labor pains, or perhaps the teenage years, but I’ve discovered that no matter how old your children are, you always worry about them.

My youngest son’s hobby is restoring heavy duty equipment. Recently, while loading some caterpillar tracks to recycle at the local scrap yard, the tracks shifted and caught his index finger, tearing off the fingernail and a chunk of the end of his finger. And while it has healed nicely, I’ve still not recovered from the incident.

My Dad taking a spin on his grandson's cat.

My Dad taking a spin on his grandson’s cat.

 

I worry, probably needlessly, but I’m his mother, and all I want is for my boys to be healthy and happy and unhurt.

The hero in my contemporary romance, Always Remember, worries about his daughter, too. The single dad of a 17 year old girl, he’s raised her the best he could, and still…

(Excerpt from Always RememberAfter getting bucked off his horse, the heroine is giving Nate Coltrane a lower back massage when they’re interrupted by his daughter Sara…)

“Dad?”

Along with the sound of her boots tromping across the floor, approaching the entryway, he caught the strain in her voice.

“I—oh, excuse me. I didn’t know you were busy.”

Nate raised his head from his folded arms. “Come on in. Jess was just giving me a massage, trying to fix my sore back.”

Right, and another two minutes, you would have been fixing her.

As if she’d heard his thoughts, Jessie scrambled off him, landed on her rear end, then leapt to her feet. Nate shifted slightly, enough to notice the flush that darkened her cheeks.

“We were finished anyway,” she explained in a breathless rush. “And I was just leaving.”

Always Remember by Sheila SeabrookRight about now, Nate wished he could leave with her. As she ran from the room, the humor of the situation hit him. They’d been caught like two randy teenagers, only it was the daughter, not the parents, terminating their foreplay. Now, how did he go about hiding his aroused state from his perceptive daughter?

“So what’s up, squirt?” Other than me. Nonchalant, pretend like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Like his world hadn’t shifted and tilted for the second time since Jessie’s arrival.

Sara snatched the pile of mail from the coffee table and slid onto the floor beside him. “You didn’t tell me you hurt your back. Diablo? You know, I’ve been thinking. Maybe you need professional help.”

“You mean a shrink?” He reached out and ruffled her hair. Thanks to Jessie, his back did feel better, but now he had another ache he wished she’d stuck around to cure. Suddenly, the floor felt hard and uncomfortable. “Sara, Diablo and I have an agreement.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sometimes I think I should’ve been in charge of you instead of the other way around.” She ducked out from under his hand and looked him square in the eye. “You realize, of course, that what you two were doing in here was totally unacceptable.”

Laughter burst from his chest.

“Well, I’m not a kid anymore. I’ve been trying to tell you that for years.”

No, she wasn’t a kid. She’d grown into a beautiful young woman, as mature and self-reliant as her mother. How had he gotten so lucky? She’d never given him a lick of trouble, not the way Jessie and him had tested their parents’ patience.

Sara sorted listlessly through the envelopes, tossing the bills aside before spreading her favorite magazine on the floor between them. Nate noted the pallor of her cheeks, the bluish smudges beneath her eyes. He wanted to ask her what was wrong, but feared the question would send her running up to her bedroom like last time.

Better that he be patient and wait for her to come to him. When she was ready to talk, she’d do it in her own good time.

He bumped her on the shoulder. “What are you reading?”

(End of excerpt)

So what kind of unfun and worrisome things have your children done? And how long did it take you to recover from the incident?

Duck Shenanigans, Snow, and Reading Material…

Apr15, 2014 snowWhile some—or many…or maybe all!!!—of you are experiencing the wonderful delights of spring, we’re getting snow again. It’s beautiful, of course. Big white fluffy flakes that I hope will not accumulate overnight. I’m ready to put on my shorts, not my snow boots and winter jacket and toque.

And even though it’s chilly out there, hovering around the freezing temps, in the last week, the geese have arrived. And this morning, our ducks are on the pond, swimming along the edges where the ice has melted, picking their way across the still frozen middle—or iceberg as I joyfully refer to one of the last remnants of our winter.

Our mother duck is far braver than daddy duck, and has ventured onto the thin layer of ice which was water yesterday, but overnight has developed a thin crust of ice. We watch her fall through the paper thin ice, then she sits there and stares at her husband as though she expects him to venture out and rescue her. He doesn’t. Apparently he has more common sense than his female counterpart.

Eventually she manages to crawl back onto the ice, breaks through again, then finally finds a spot that will hold her minuscule weight long enough for her to waddle over to the open water where she spends some time swimming with her mate. But soon they wander out of the water and disappear, searching, I imagine, for a safe spot to nest.

I want to tell them there are no safe spots, except for maybe in our shop. There’s predators all around…that nasty cat who caught our mother duck last year and nearly made a meal of her, foxes and coyotes and believe it or not, a cougar, too.

So while I watch our wildlife settle back onto the acreage, and wait for the warm temps to arrive, I’ve lined up some new releases for my reading material:

The Memory Child by Steena HolmesA Numbers Game by Tracy SolheimDon't Let Go by Sharla Lovelace

The Memory Child by Steena Holmes

A Numbers Game by Tracy Solheim

Don’t Let Go by Sharla Lovelace

How about you? Is your part of the world warm or cold? What book(s) are you reading right now? Have you entered the Authors In Bloom bloghop for a chance to win some great prizes (last day is April 16, 2014!)?

Happy Easter!

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