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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#Tuesday #Tips with @RachellNichole

Hey y'all 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Sorry I've been a bit quiet the past few weeks (AGAIN), and a big shoutout to our girl Nona who's been holding down the fort for us here in SexyTown! 

So today's tips are all about the reason I've been MIA: Moving! 

Four weeks ago, I finally moved! So the past month has been all about painting, unpacking, buying new nonsense for the new place, getting organized, putting stuff up on the walls. So now, here's 5 Tips from a recent Pro on how to move, and what to avoid! 

5. Be prepared! This was a huge step in getting ready to move. I've moved before, but nothing like this. This time, we got this stuff called mover's wrap. It was amazing! Picture green saran wrap on a wand. I wrapped tables, glass cabinets, dressers, and pretty much anything else I could think of to wrap! This stuff helped protect the furniture, was much easier than trying to tape cardboard around the glass shelves or table legs or anything like that. Plus, it was so much fun

4. Get a big truck. Now this might sound self-explanatory, but a lot of people don't get a big enough one. Remember ladies, it doesn't matter what they say, size really does matter! I got the 17-footer 'cause I got a lot of junk. We had a couch and futon and a couple beds, table and chairs, a couple end tables, a glass cabinet, and about a zillion boxes. And we packed the hell out of that big truck. It was just the right size. The junk just reached the end with an inch to spare to close the door. 

3. Have lots of (female) friends, but not too many. Again, maybe this sounds like an easy one to remember, but you have to get the number just right. Now the right number depends a lot on size. Remember number 4? Size matters! So for us, the correct number was five. The old place was relatively large, and the new place was up three mini flights of stairs. If we'd had six or seven or heavens, eight, people, we would have tripped over each other. As it was, with some good communication, we were able to work around one another and coordinate the move with very few issues. And, kick the men out. I know that may seem kind of contradictory because of all those big muscles and such, but, when it's just the ladies, there's a few extra seconds of chatting and planning, but the results are flawless. We got the truck loaded, drove to the place, and had everything off the truck, out of the cars, and up three flights of stairs in four hours. 

2. Paint First. When you can, it's always better to get into the new place before all of your junk is in it to paint. Trying to paint in a sea of boxes while you're unpacking and moving furniture and all that junk is insane. Don't do it. Just, don't

And last but not least, the number 1 thing to remember when moving...

1. Don't try to get settled in a week. (Like I did). Trust me, it just aint gonna happen, folks. Even with an army of people, it will take at least a month to get everything unpacked an in its rightful place. And doing that at breakneak speed while also working a job (or three) will make you feel like ripping your hair out. Take your time. This is your new home, and I more than anyone know what kind of hell it is to feel unsettled and not know where anything is or where it goes, but forcing this process makes you long for your old place, where everything was just so, and it's not worth it to make yourself crazy trying to get settled all at once. 

So, that's it. 
It's been a month, and that's my moving wisdom to share with you all. Now that I've rushed to get settled (I know, I know, something I advise you all against) I feel wonderful! And I promise to be around the Divas watering hole much more often in the coming months than I have been recently. 

Thanks everybody, and as soon as I can get some good shots of the new place, I'll share them all with you. Wait until you see the office! It's red. :-) 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Man-up Monday: A dose of real life romance

Hey! It's your newbie Diva, Kara here. Sorry for my recent disappearing act. Life once again got in the way. lol. Anyway, welcome to the first installment of Man-up Monday. It's a feature where I'll be talking all things male -- from sexy romance heroes to not-so-sexy cliches & tropes. Today though, I'm going to share a little dose of some real life romance with y'all.

Recently, my husband and I took our children for a day trip to Alexandria Bay, NY, which is about a two hour drive from where we live. Alex Bay is a gorgeous little town situated on the St. Lawrence River in the heart of the 1000 Islands Region. It's absolutely beautiful there, and if you haven't been, you really should go. It's worth the trip, trust me. I've honestly lost count of how many times I've been there. When my now husband and I started dating, we took a weekend trip up there. It was fantastic!

But what makes this place so worthwhile, to me anyway, is Heart Island and Boldt Castle. The history surrounding this place is truly heartbreaking while at the same time, inspiring and lovely. It is the epitome of a true life romance.

During our tour of the castle, we came upon the indoor pool area, which is currently awaiting it's turn at renovation, and it was filled with coins. Some where along the way, this pool had turned into a wishing well of sorts. Of course, my children asked if they could toss in a coin and make a wish. I let them. As we were turning to leave, I asked my 9 year old daughter what she'd wished for. Here's how the conversation played out:

DAUGHTER: If I tell you what I wished for, it won't come true.
ME: Ahh. Okay. Sorry I asked.
SON: Dad, why didn't you make a wish.
HUBBY: I didn't need to. I made one last time I was here.
DAUGHTER: Did it come true?
SON: What did you wish for?
HUBBY: Your mother.

Needless to say I was shocked and flattered. It's nice after all these years, he can still do that to me. lol. But on the drive home I thought a lot about that conversation and it was like something you'd read in a romance novel -- the hero knowing exactly the right words and exactly the right time. (And this will somehow make it into one of my books.) I also realized it's the small things like this that make all the difference. I don't need a hero to come in, guns blazing and save me from the bad guys. I simply need a hero who tells me he loves me in his own special way.

Now it's your turn. Share your real life romance moment in the comments. Using Random.org, I'll pick one lucky commentor to win an ebook from my back list of titles -- winner's choice! The winner will be notified via email (be sure to leave that with your comment) and will be announced during next week's Man-up Monday feature :-)

Friday, July 25, 2014

#Review: Summer Rain #romance #anthology @RAINN01

**Nona's Review of Summer Rain**

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I am happy to  review Summer Rain, a romance anthology edited by Sarah Frantz. The contributing authors are donating their proceeds from this volume to support RAINN (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. 

Pink Kayak Press
June 9, 2014
ISBN-10: 1941361005
ISBN-13: 978-1941361009

What happens when love gets caught in the rain?

In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning author Molly O’Keefe shows us the power of a city thunderstorm from the top of a skyscraper, while Amy Jo Cousins soaks us in a rain in Spain. New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s heroine is devastated by a winter storm, while a summer thunderstorm grants Alexandra Haughton’s hero and heroine a second chance at love. Rain sparks self-awareness in the robot in Charlotte Stein’s story and allows Mary Ann Rivers’s heroine to fall in love with her hero and her own art. Rain causes romance between the college students in Audra North’s and Shari Slade’s stories, while romance causes rain in Cecilia Tan’s myth-inspired tale of a sacrifice to a demi-god. Nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz.

In Redemption by Ruthie Knox, Jessie and Mike have a hot “no strings” affair. They both feel like “losers” in life and use sex to temporarily escape their sense of failure. This was a hot and heart wrenching story of people struggling to forgive their past mistakes in order to give hope and real intimacy a chance.

The Heart of It by Molly O’Keefe is another story about how sex can be used to create distance or bring closeness, while also touching on the after effects of abuse. Until he meets Elena, Gabe, an abuse survivor, can only have sex when he’s drunk. Though he seeks a stronger connection with her, her own past makes her hold him at arms length. This was another take that tugged the heartstrings, but was ultimately hopeful.

Sacrifice by Cecilia Tan is a historical threaded with mythological and paranormal tones and deals with the importance of consent.

Real Feelings by Charlotte Stein also addresses consent and objectification in a science fiction/fantasy themed story about a lonely woman who seeks closeness with an android.
Rainy Season by Mary Ann Rivers features a woman who knows how to give to others but isn’t sure how to help herself. This story addressed the fact that so many women are “givers” who spend so much time helping others they put their own needs last.
The Rain in Spain by Amy Jo Cousins addressed physical and emotional distance between spouses, and differences in expectations. The city of Sevilla was a charming backdrop for the story.

Fitting In by Audra North was about shame that burdens two young people who’ve been victimized by small-mindedness and bigotry. Stas spends most of his energy trying to fit in, but questions himself when he meets Leila, who refuses to let others judge her choices. Props to the author for taking on some controversial topics without backing down.

Private Study by Shari Slade took on double standards and the internet in the story of a young woman who fears being “slut shamed” by a guy she likes when he glimpses her sex vlog.

Storm Warning by Alexandra Haughton had Amy fighting feelings of failure and betrayal as she struggles with her attraction to Tom, someone she once trusted until he bitterly disappointed her.

The purpose behind this volume is wonderfully admirable, but what about the stories themselves? Some of them are very sexy, some edgy, some sweet. But all of them address some important issues and make the reader think.

Even though serious issues are addressed (trigger warnings are included) none of the stories skimped on romance. Let’s face it, we romance readers want the emotion, the angst, the sexy. These tales did not disappoint, and though thought-provoking, none of them felt didactic. The variety of stories will appeal to a broad array of tastes. Every reader will have her own favorites.

I highly recommend Summer Rain as a fantastic read and a fantastic way to help an organization that assists so many survivors of abuse.

If you would like to find out more about RAINN, please go to www.rainn.org

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Summer Rain at:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

#Cover reveal: The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick #YA #GLBT romance @BookieNookie Tours

The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick


One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.
Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.

Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.

Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.


“Hey, you guys!” Marley plunked her ass down on the chair across the table from me. As usual, Kathy followed closely behind and hovered by her shoulder when Marley sat down. “I’ve got big news!”

We all turned to her at once. Josh even put down his walnut-grape-granola-goat-cheese-chicken-salad sandwich on focaccia to give her his full attention. “What’s up?” he asked between enthusiastic chews.

“I just heard some teachers talking in the hall. And they said that Friday is Miss Libby’s thirtieth birthday.”

Kathy pursed her green lips. “We can’t let it pass without doing something for her. She’s the coolest teacher at Appleton.”

“You know what would be so funny?” It was Josh again. “It would be such a riot if we set up a flash mob for her.”

We all laughed, just imagining it in our heads.

“No, seriously,” Josh said. “We should set up a flash mob for her. Doesn’t she have lunch duty on most Fridays?”

Is this the Josh I know?

But, then, what did I have to lose? “I’m in.” It was the least I could do for Miss Libby, who’d given me a chance to redeem myself with Scotty.

“You’d do that?” Scott appeared absolutely scandalized. “What about those guys?” He again nodded toward the Superjocks. “They’ll never let you live it down.”
“Ask me if I care?”

Scott just sat there, his full spoon frozen just beneath his lips.
When Scott didn’t voice the question, David did. “D-do y-you c-care?”
I looked squarely at David. “Not even slightly. Plus, you should see me dance. It is something to behold.”

Josh rolled his eyes, because he’d seen it a time or two, but everyone else seated at the Social Justice League Table nodded and grinned.

“I’ll get together as many kids as I can and I’ll find some music. We can practice at the community center right after school on Thursday. I’ll reserve it.” Marley was always on top of those kinds of things.

That posed a problem for me, though: basketball practice. But I had new priorities. I would work it out. “I’ll be there. How about all of you?”

Everybody nodded again. Scott had turned an enticing shade of pink.

I looked right at him and said, “Then Thursday after school is a date.”

Enter to Win! 

• (2) THE RED SHEET digital copy
• (2) THE RED SHEET Swag Bag

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About the Author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five non-pedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

My themes I always write about:

Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes - only love can save them.

Author Links:  
Website  Amazon  Facebook  Goodreads 

Buy Links:

Amazon B&N Dreamspinner  

Tour Coordinator:

I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

#Review: His Girl Friday by @Ms_ellen_march #giveaway @BookieNookie Tours

His Girl Friday by Ellen March


Sally Friday is a mess. Not only is she tortured by self-doubt, but she is also clumsy and has no fashion sense. However, these qualities are exactly what her boss is counting on when she sends her to spy on reclusive millionaire playboy, Roman Daniels. Sally, normally an office clerk for the gossip magazine, Normandy, interviews for the position as Roman’s new secretary. 

His jealous PA, Antonia, immediately hires the girl, confident that her disheveled appearance will make her invisible to Roman’s wandering eye. Reliably disaster-prone, Sally makes a memorable first impression, and Roman wonders if he will survive her employment. But there is something about Sally that Roman can’t dismiss. Unlike every other woman, she is unswayed by his masculine good looks, and he keeps catching intriguing glimpses of her feminine potential. When Sally takes a midnight dip in his pool, Roman makes an eye-popping discovery: Sally is hiding a luscious hour-glass figure beneath those baggy clothes. Her hidden assets as well as her refreshing innocence have Roman hooked. 

That is, until his growing feelings and fear of commitment get in the way and he decides to back off. With the help of Roman’s best friend Paul, Sally plays to Roman’s jealousy and gives him a taste of his own medicine. But what will Roman do when Sally's deceit is revealed?

Nona’s Review of His Girl Friday by Ellen March:

As the book's blurb made clear, Sally Friday is the embodiment of Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong in her life, it will. If there’s anything to drop, break or trip over, she’s there. She’s the ultimate klutz.

But she has a good heart. She doesn't want to spy on billionaire Roman Daniels, but knows if she refuses, she'll lose her job.  And she’s barely getting by now.

Roman’s used to women throwing themselves at him, and doesn’t know what to do with this disaster of a woman who breaks his expensive items and nearly burns down his house trying to cook dinner. But when he glimpses the lovely swan beneath the ugly duckling exterior, he falls into lust with her. Can that lust turn to love? If Sally succumbs to his advances, will she be more than a one night stand?

His Girl Friday is a true Cinderella tale. Though Roman’s coolness after their first liaison crushes Sally, remember that Cinderella had to try on the glass slipper before she finally bagged her Prince. Sally’s “godmother” is none other than Roman’s best friend Paul, who takes Sally under his wing. With his help she emerges from her cocoon to become a brilliant butterfly.

The story employs an omniscient POV, which threw me a bit until I got used to it. I liked Sally a lot, though at times the author seemed to stack the cards against her a bit too much. Still, she was a fighter who bounced back every time life knocked her down. Her sweet nature and determination made her a winning character. I flip-flopped on Roman, as he came off as arrogant and less sympathetic in the beginning. As the tale developed and his feelings for Sally deepened, his better nature shone through. I wanted to kick him during the "black moment" when he cruelly turned on Sally, but happily he completely redeemed himself in the end. 

Anyone looking for a light, funny, sexy read will gobble up His Girl Friday. I really enjoyed it.

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About the Author:

Hello and welcome to my corner of the world :)
I live on top of a mountain in Wales ideal in the summer not so in the winter months or when it rains, which is a lot in Wales!
My three children have left home, however my life is still manic. I live with my husband he sadly won’t leave home but I live in hope (joke). I have one suicidal cat that really does have nine lives.
I have five Alaskan Malamutes. They own me literally as I never go anywhere without taking their hair with me, they insist! My hobbies are showing and working them.
My first love though is writing, it’s a total escape for me my selfish time :) Writing my books takes me from the mundane chores of work into another universe.
Since a child I devoured any written word and enjoy acting out my fantasies in print.

My ambition is to pack in my nine to five job and become a full time writer. Another one of my many dreams. I have stockpiled work of various genres, including my first love erotic romance, followed by psychological thrillers and supernatural so be prepared I am making my mark on the world of literature 

Social Links:  

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads  Fanny Press

Buy Links:
Amazon B&N  

Tour Coordinator:

I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews

Please check out the other stops on this tour today:

This post contains Affiliate Links.


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