Blog Archives

Are You Ready for Some Football Food?

If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I’m a bit of a football fan.  Okay, more than ‘a bit’.  It stands to reason that this is my favorite time of they year–those few weeks before the opening kick-off when we’re all still in the hunt for the NCAA championship or the Lombardi Trophy.  But there’s more to football than just watching the game or listening to the marching band.  There’s food.  Tailgate food, specifically.

Next week, the fourth book in my Out of Bounds series, Sleeping with the Enemy, will hit e-readers and bookshelves.  To publicize it, I created fun recipe cards that double as book marks.  The recipe we put on the back is a great football snack whether you’re tailgating or camping out in front of your big screen.  Since I can’t send you all a bookmark, here’s the next best thing:

Thanks to Su at Earthly Charms for the beautiful recipe cards.

Thanks to Su at Earthly Charms for the beautiful recipe cards.

Here’s the scoop on Sleeping with the Enemy:

Dot-com millionaire Jay McManus is discovering that owning a pro football team like the Baltimore Blaze isn’t easy. An anonymous blogger is out to destroy his reputation, and now his team is being sued by its own cheerleaders. If Jay’s not careful, he could lose big—and not just financially.

Bridgett Janik’s brother may play for the Baltimore Blaze, but she’s not thrilled to be defending Jay McManus, the man who broke her heart. It’s bad enough she has to mingle with Jay during games, but working beside her former lover may be too much for her body—and her heart—to resist.

Jay’s determined not to let Bridgett slip away from him a second time. But, as the two follow the mysterious blogger’s trail, secrets—both past and present—are revealed, and Jay and Bridgett must decide if their relationship can be something more than just sleeping with the enemy.

Get your copies here:

Apple iBooks
Barnes & Noble
Google Books
Powell’s Books

Best of luck to your team this season!!

The Beginning of the End

The bus stop back in the

The bus stop back in the “early days”.

Like most parents at the close of summer, I’m happy to see the yellow school buses crawling through the subdivision streets, marking the beginning of another school year.  Except this year, the beginning is actually the end for me.  Monday will mark my last ‘First Day of School’–EVER!  I’ll admit to feeling a little melancholy.  Not to mention, a lot poorer!  This year’s school supply list included extras like senior treats, grad portraits, a parking pass, and a nearly impossible to find white dress for the first day.

Where did the time go?  When she was two, my daughter announced that she wanted to go to school and go without me.  No lie. I have it on videotape.  My son was “escaping” to first grade and she wanted to go, too.  While my emotions took a hit at her strong-willed independence, I foolishly believed that it would make things much easier years later when she left the nest for good.  I’ll let you know in twelve months how that works out.senior locker

For now we’re just enjoying all the “lasts” together.   The last orientation, the last band concert, the last football games, etc. This year will speed by, I have no doubt. I still can’t get over how quickly my son’s college career went.  After that, we’ll begin again with a lot of firsts:  first dorm room, first roommate, first formal, first spring break.  As the saying goes:  When one door closes, another one opens.  I’m just going to sit back with my big box of Kleenex and enjoy the moments–firsts, lasts, and every one in between!

How about you?  Do you look forward to the first day of school?

The Keeper Shelf

rarmRomance reviewer and blogger Bobbi Dumas asked me to participate in her third annual Read a Romance Month which runs throughout the month of August.  This year’s theme is “The Joy of Romance”.  Ninety-three romance authors will share their thoughts on what brings them joy. Did I mention that there will also be lots of prizes?  You should definitely stop by the site daily.

In preparing my blog, I was going through my extensive “keeper shelf”.  You’d think that with the advent of ereaders, I wouldn’t need an actual keeper shelf.  You’d be wrong.  Part of my “joy of romance” is knowing some of my favorite books are within arms reach.  I was, however, a little surprised at the, ahem, age of some of these books.

summer rainfallOne of the books that started it all for me was this one, published by Harlequin in 1976.  It takes place in the Australian Outback and for years I dreamed of traveling to that remote part of the world and meeting my happily ever after guy.  A wealthy rancher who also happens to be a veterinarian.  Be still my teenage heart.  The pages are yellow, but that hasn’t stopped me reading it this century.  Hard to believe the book is going to be forty years old and it still resonates.

posessionsAlso among my stash is this gripping read by husband and wife novelists Judith Michael.  There’s a story behind this book.  It was my senior year in college and I lived in an on-campus apartment with three other women.  I don’t recall who bought the book (if it wasn’t me, possession is nine-tenth of the law, ladies!) but you can see who ended up with it.  I don’t remember when I read it last, but I do remember the first time.  In fact, three of us were reading it at the same time.  We’d hand it off to one another between classes, comparing notes and trying not to spoil it for the next person.  I went on to read several of the couples’ other books later on, but none of them stuck around on my keeper shelf.  I’m fairly certain that this one holds a place of honor for sentimental reasons.  I think it might be time for a reunion and re-read of the book!

Tell me about your keeper shelf?  Do any of the books have special significance?

Author Spotlight – Susan Sands

RWANYCI’ve got another author to introduce you to!  But first, a story.  The journey to publication is different for everyone and never, ever, predictable for any writer.  When I first started out in this business, I decided to find my tribe, so to speak, at the local RWA chapter in Atlanta.  As luck would have it, I met not one, but two, dear friends through those meetings. Both have walked beside me on my path to being an author.  If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you already know one of those amazing women–Christy Hayes–who blazed her path differently than I did, achieving success much more quickly.  In fact, if you’ve been following social media or the national news these past few weeks, you’ll see her name on the cover of an upcoming book that is garnering a lot of national attention.  But I’ll let her tell you about that when it’s her turn to post.  I’ll just say here that I’m so stinking proud of her!

Today, I want to introduce you to our third partner in crime, debut author Susan Sands.  Like Christy and myself, she’s a wife and mother, first and foremost, but she’s also a wonderful story teller with a strong Southern voice and great wit.  And, as an added bonus, when we go on our writing retreats, she’s the mother hen who cooks all our fabulous meals and desserts.  Susan’s first book, AGAIN,ALABAMA, will be available for digital download beginning next Friday, June 12. The print version will be released August 26.

susan sandsAbout Susan:

Susan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town in Northwest Louisiana, complete with her senior class hosting the first ever prom in the history of their tiny public school with half the town chaperoning. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance?

Susan lives in Alpharetta, Georgia surrounded by her husband, three young adult kiddos and lots of material for her next book.

Thanks for stopping by today, Susan!  We can’t wait until next week when the book is released.

Where can readers find you?
My readers can find me on my Facebook Author page
On Twitter @susannoelsands
On my blog, Sweet Home Alpharetta at

If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be and why?
Hmmm. Maybe, Country Girl Come to Town. I grew up in a tiny town in Louisiana and now I live in suburban Atlanta. But I guess I’ve been out of the country for a long time. My current lifestyle is vastly different from how I grew up.

What are 5 things readers should know about you?
1) I love to cook but hate to clean. 2) I’m shy in a big group, but love people. 3) Family dynamics of all sorts fascinate me. 4) I hate cardio. 5) I love the beach and the lake.

What is the significance of the title AGAIN, ALABAMA?
This book has taken many forms. The original title was Misery, Alabama, but my publisher rightly pointed out that it wasn’t a very romantic title. Again, Alabama is apt, as my heroine is dragged back to her small town—again.

Please share a few random facts about AGAIN, ALABAMA.
I drew upon my experiences growing up in a small town to write this story.
My heroine’s family looks like how I imagine it would be to have a gaggle of crazy siblings. I only had one brother, who is now deceased.
The secret ingredient in my heroine’s award-winning pecan pie recipe is white chocolate.
The therapy scenes came natural to me. I had my friend, a clinical therapist, look them over. I often wondered if I should have gone into the field of psychology/mental health.

What was your favorite scene to write?
Scarily, the Bean Family Reunion.

It came from a real scenario where my cousin, Ruth, and I saw a sign in a New Orleans hotel for the Bean Family Reunion. We began to wonder what sort of beans might be in attendance. We met a few. They were lovely.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?
I would always go for Matthew Mcconaughey as my leading man, Grey. It’s the drawl, y’all, oh, and his fantastic everything else. I think I would choose Jennifer Garner for the leading lady because she has such a fresh face. Her persona reminds me of Cammie.

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
Chill, y’all. Things have a way of working out.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2015?
I am writing the next two books connected with AGAIN, ALABAMA.

To celebrate Susan’s book birthday next week, I’m giving away TWO digital copies to randomly selected people who comment. Just tell me your favorite book set in a small town. Be sure and leave a comment before June 12th.  And check back here next Friday for the winning name!


Cammie Laroux is back in Alabama—again.

Dragged back to her small town to help her mother recover from surgery while rescuing the family event planning business should be a cinch. Even for a disgraced television chef, right? Wrong.

Among the many secrets Cammie’s family’s been hiding is the fact that their historic home is falling down. Oh, and the man hired to restore the house, Grey Harrison, is the same high school and college love of her life who thrashed her heart and dreams ten years ago. Yeah, that guy.

Grey, a widower with a young daughter, has never stopped loving Cammie, and when they are face to face once again, the chemistry is off the charts. Cammie may be in full-blown denial, but letting go is no longer in Grey’s vocabulary, even when winning Cammie’s forgiveness and renovating their love may seem like an impossible build even for a master architect and carpenter.

As Cammie finds herself forgetting all the reasons she can’t trust Grey or love again, he finds himself remembering all the reasons he wants her to stay with him in Alabama… forever.

This book will be released digitally on Friday, June 12.  Go to Tule Publishing for buying information. While you’re there, pick up the great Father’s Day Romance Bundle for .99!

Father's Day Bundle FRONT

Spotlight On Debut Author Jenna Sutton

I’m wrapping up book 2 in the Second Chances series, but while I was writing, I took a short break to preview a hot new book by debut author, Jenna Sutton.  The book is called ALL THE RIGHT PLACES (Berkley Sensation, June 2, 2015) and it reminds me of some early Rachel Gibson books–the ones that made me fall in love with the romance genre–with a hint of Julie James’ sophisticated banter thrown in for good measure.  I enjoyed this book so much that I wanted you all to meet Jenna Sutton, the author.  Here’s a little background on Jenna:

jsuttonauthorphotoJenna Sutton spent most of her career as an award-winning journalist covering business-related topics including healthcare, commercial real estate, retail, and technology. Nowadays she writes about hot, lovable guys and the smart, sexy women who make them crazy. It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream, and she feels so lucky to be able to do it. Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. She and her husband live in a 103-year-old house in Texas. All the Right Places is her debut novel.

Tracy: Welcome to Women Unplugged, Jenna.  First and foremost, can you tell readers where they can find you on social media?


If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be and why?

Insatiably Curious. My favorite words are actually questions: what, why, who, when, how, and where.

What are 5 things readers should know about you?

1. I’ve worked as a journalist for most of my career, so I have been writing for a long time… fact, not fiction.
2. I am blessed to have a fabulous husband, a loving, supportive family, and a great group of friends.
3. I started reading romance novels way too young. And though it may seem counterintuitive, I think reading romances actually kept me a virgin longer than other girls my age!
4. After a lifetime of hating sports, I suddenly love football. And I’m increasingly interested in hockey, although I’m sure all the new hockey romances have something to do with that.
5. Every time I go out to eat, the tines of my fork are uneven. It doesn’t matter if I’m eating at a casual restaurant or a five-star bistro, crooked forks always find their way to me. I see them as a sign that the universe is in balance.

What is the significance to the title ALL THE RIGHT PLACES?
The title has a double meaning. The perfect jeans fit in all the right places, and my characters touch each other in all the right places, both emotionally and physically.

Please share a few random facts about ALL THE RIGHT PLACES.

• It’s the first book I ever wrote
• It took me about nine weeks to write the manuscript, but it took two plus years for it to be published
• It’s the first in the Riley O’Brien & Co. series
• I got the idea for the book from a bumper sticker
• The fictional jeans company in ALL THE RIGHT PLACES is based on a real company. I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out which one.

What was your favorite scene to write? Why?

I had a lot of fun writing ALL THE RIGHT PLACES, but I think my favorite scene is the one where my hero, Quinn, sees the heroine, Amelia, wearing a piece of clothing made by his biggest competitor. Here are a couple of lines from that scene:

Aggression flooded his veins. He had the ridiculous thought that if Amelia wanted to brand herself with someone’s name, it damn well better be his name. He felt like pulling her down across his lap, jerking up that damn skirt, and spanking her sweet round cheeks right where his competitor’s logos were located.
Before his mind could even think about what to do next, his body moved toward her. When she saw him coming, she pivoted and darted toward the exit. He reached her just as she opened the door, slamming a palm against it and forcing it closed with a bang.
Her lush little body was sandwiched between him and the door, and he crowded even closer until she had to turn her head to the side to keep from smashing her nose. He put his mouth to her ear.
“Don’t ever wear another piece of denim that doesn’t have my name on it,” he growled.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?
I’ve always thought a scruffier, taller Henry Cavill would be a great Quinn, although his eyes need to be a little darker, the color of a blueprint. Or maybe a younger, taller James Marsden. He seems to get hotter as he ages. As for Amelia, it’s hard to cast her, but the closest I can think of is Isla Fischer, but with freckles and curlier hair.

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
I’d tell them to have a little faith. Both of them suffer from self-doubt, and Amelia doesn’t have faith in a lot of people.

What are you currently working on? What other released do you have planned for 2015?
Book two in the Riley O’Brien & Co. series, Coming Apart at the Seams, is scheduled for release on Dec. 1, 2015. The third book, Hanging by a Thread, is due to my editor in the fall, and it is scheduled for publication in spring 2016.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today, Jenna!  Because I loved this book so much, I’m giving away a digital copy to one random commenter.  It’s easy to win, just tell me how long you’ve had your favorite pair of jeans.  It takes me a few years to get them broken in the way I want them. 🙂

AllTheRightPlaces_hires purpleAmelia Winger is a small-town girl with big dreams of becoming a successful designer. So when she gets a gig designing accessories for denim empire Riley O’Brien & Co., it’s a dream come true. Amelia can handle the demanding job, but she isn’t quite prepared for sexy CEO Quinn O’Brien. She’s doing her best to keep things professional, but the attraction sparking between them makes it personal. And so does the secret project she’s working on behind his back…

Quinn’s not interested in the new accessories, but he is interested in the woman designing them. Amelia is smart, sexy, and talented, and he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her since they met. Mixing business and pleasure isn’t wise, but that doesn’t stop him from coming up with excuses to spend time with her. He thinks he understands the risk he’s taking when he gets involved with Amelia. But he doesn’t know he’s risking a lot more than his heart.

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