Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Exclusive Book Signing Giveaway (9/27/17)!

The fall book signings are here! For my September 27th book signing at Mexico Public Library, I'm giving away the scent of autumn. Come visit me 6:30pm-8:30pm EST and enter to win a 3.7-oz jar of Yankee Candle's Spiced Pumpkin scent!

The giveaway is absolutely free. Just come in, fill out a ticket, and be present at the end of the signing to take your candle home. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Notes From the Garden

It's mid-August, and I can already feel autumn on the horizon. Central New York got a lot of rain this spring and summer. My vegetable garden is thriving (tomatoes galore and zucchini for days!), and my plants and flowers are showing me just what a wildlife habitat is all about.

I have never tried growing zucchini before, but with our family's discovery that we love zucchini noodles ("zoodles"), we decided to give it a try. They do like lots of water. Make no mistake: if you let them get away from you, as we did, you will find yourself with zucchini that are a foot and a half long, and they will keep on going if you don't cut them (or until the squash borers find them). The one on the far right is the size they are supposed to be at harvest, a nice, tender inch and a half in diameter. Meanwhile, my grape tomatoes have exploded, and are still cheerfully producing as many as we can eat. We have planted our beefsteak tomato plants too close together, so they aren't getting as large as I'd like, but they are producing some delicious, meaty snack-size tomatoes. As I harvested, a bumblebee visited the new flowers. (I made sure to thank him. 😉) Next year, we plan to expand our garden, space out our plants more, and maybe install some new vegetable varieties. This year was for fun and practice! Tomatoes are so good right off the plant, still warm from the sun.


Meanwhile, my butterfly garden has been playing host to all sorts of insects. The crickets serenade us each evening. Honeybees are enjoying my purple coneflower. I never use pesticides on my property, so I'm thrilled to have them visit in the hope that someone, somewhere, is benefiting from the delicious honey they provide (even if it's just the bees themselves!).


This evening, to my delight, I found a Cherry-Faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly resting on my tall phlox. He was hard to miss, being 2-1/2" to 3" in length. Most dragonflies seem to be rather skittish, but this fellow was clearly not bothered when I got right up close to him to snap a photograph on my phone.

I had thought my swamp milkweed was a goner, but it has managed to surprise me with a couple of hardy plants, one of which is now in bloom. It has been a great spring and summer for the gardens. My sedum is beginning to bud in preparation for fall bloom, and I'll be back with more pictures. See you soon!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Guest Author: Leanna Sain!

Welcome back, readers. Today, I'm hosting Leanna Sain, author of romantic suspense and, I suspect, a kindred spirit. Leanna's newest book, HALF-MOON LAKE, is out today! Let's take a peek inside Leanna's writing life.

1) How did you get started in writing?

I'd never written more than short stories until the Fall of 2005. We were at a friend's house for a Halloween party and after dinner, we all grabbed flashlights for a moonlit hike to a spooky graveyard on a gravel road behind their house. It was when we were walking back that my flashlight landed on a gate to the right of the trail. This was a farm, so a gate wasn't an unusual sight, but this gate had no fence. It was just the gate, sitting all by itself at the edge of a pasture, and it struck me as odd.

"What's up with your gate?" I asked my friend, Lisa.

She shrugged. "Dunno. It was here when we bought the farm."

"Dum, dum, duuuummmm." I mimicked scary music, then spoke in my most mysterious voice. "The gate to nowhere..."

"Sounds like the name of a book. Why don't you write it?"

"Hmmm. Maybe I will."

That's how it started. My mind took off with the idea and when it was complete, I had my first novel, GATE TO NOWHERE, a time-travel story where the protagonist, Emma Franklin, steps through a rusty iron gate on a farm she'd just inherited from her grandmother, and winds up in 1827, where she changes history around.  And the stories just keep coming….

2) What interests/excites you most about your genre?

I love romantic suspense with a bit of magical realism. I love the fact that I can take something that isn't real, can't possibly happen, and make it believable. Add in a love story, sprinkle liberally with mystery and suspense, and it can't get any better than that!

3) Who or what is your favorite inspiration when writing?

My latest "inspiration" is my new series: GRITS (Girls-Raised-In-The-South). It's not your typical series with the same characters showing up in subsequent books. No, each of these books are "stand-alone stories," but each one is set somewhere in the South and features strong, creative GRITS in some sort of suspenseful situation. I like to try to somehow tie the books together with one or more of the characters from others I've written, intriguing readers rather than confusing them. And for those who have read the previous books, it creates a nice little "remember?" touch.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

New from Leanna Sain

When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father's will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can't remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate's deaf-mute gardener and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so opens the proverbial Pandora's box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

5) Please share with us the first paragraph of your latest work.

I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.

About Leanna Sain

North Carolina native Leanna Sain earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit the links below.

Buy HALF-MOON LAKE at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, or The Wild Rose Press

Find Leanna on the Web:

Website and Blog:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guest Author: MJ Woods!


Welcome to the dog days of summer, friends (finally)! Today, I welcome author M.J. Woods, who writes steamy contemporary romances. Her first book, BALANCE, debuted in 2016, and she is here to share with us her newest book, SWAY!

1) How did you get started writing?

I started writing on a typewriter when I was a kid, then graduated to the home computer for my first story. The keyboard connected magically to our old television set. My dad still quotes a line from that story – my first attempt at becoming a writer. My dilemma was always being able to see how a story should end. As an adult, I merged knowledge from working in my family's law firm for over twenty years with writing, and my first series was born. This time, I could see how the story would end. I'm still shocked that I'm completing my first trilogy and have ideas for more characters beyond these books.

2) What interests or excites you most about your genre(s)?

My chosen genre is romance. My first series also has an air of mystery and suspense, but that came unintentionally. For me, it was the characters that brought this about. At its core, The Amped Series is a love story. Most interesting to me are the diehard fans of this genre. They are amazing, supportive people that enjoy happily-ever-afters. They look for the good in all things, despite hardships - and I love this!

What fascinates me is how easily the romance genre crosses boundaries. I've witnessed fellow authors engage readers all over the world with one story. In my experience as a writer, the boundary crossed has been age. My readers range from age 20 to 75. The younger generation has come of age dating in a digital world, while elders remember mailing their sweetie a hand-written letter with stamps and waiting weeks (gasp!) for it to be received. That each of these readers enjoy my books and the romance genre in general speaks volumes.

3) Who or what is your favorite inspiration when writing?

Music is my favorite inspiration. All of my books have playlists referencing music within scenes of the book. Listening sets the mood for various scenes and settings, or just drives me to keep going after a twelve-hour marathon at the keys. Oh, and COFFEE.

4) Tell me about your latest book or work in progress.

I am currently finishing Book Three, the final book of The Amped Series. I released Book One (BALANCE) last November. Book Two of the series releases this month (!!!!). As with the first novel, Book Two is written in dual point-of-view, alternating between the hero and heroine by chapter, and is a full-length novel...with a cliffhanger. It is a continuation of Book One. I cannot wait to get the third book finished! It has surprised me, and has been a lot of fun to write. The title of Book Two is SWAY.

5) Please share with us the first paragraph of your latest work.

SWAY - The Amped Series: Book Two
New from M.J. Woods

Aidan – June 1, 2016

I know I'm lost in a nightmare, but I can't find my way out. As hard as I fight and as fast as I run, the darkness engulfs me that much faster. I'm running after Alexis, chasing her as she heads into shadows. I almost reach her when I'm pulled from behind by something painful, something stronger than me.

About SWAY

Aidan Pierce remains committed to one thing – making his childhood home a better place no matter the cost.

Yet nothing can prepare him for the complications he faces now that he wants Alexis Greene in his life.

To move forward with his charitable ambitions, he must fend offenemies while navigating the uncharted waters of falling hard and fast for the kind of woman he once believed did not exist.

As Alexis learns more about Aidan’s past and comes face to face with his demons, she must decide if she can jump headfirst into the most intense risk she’s ever taken – loving a man that ignites an insatiable craving, even as he throws her world completely off balance.

Book Two of The Amped Series takes you on one hell of a ride and will leave you amped indeed – and begging to learn the conclusion of Alexis and Aidan’s story.

Higher stakes. More danger.

And way more heat.

Get caught up in the Sway.

About M.J. Woods

M.J. Woods lives in Central New York with her husband, two daughters, and her beautiful but not-so-bright Bernese Mountain Dog. For over twenty years, her 9-to-5 days have been spent working in the legal field of a small town. She often draws from these experiences and re-imagines them to get her characters into trouble while they find love. She is a member of the Central New York Romance Writers and the Romance Writers of America.

Buy SWAY on Amazon:

Find M.J. Woods on:


Sunday, July 02, 2017

EARTH Coming Soon in Audiobook!

I have exciting news for you all! EARTH has been optioned for audiobook by the extremely talented Robin Rowan, narrator of over sixty titles from publishers such as Harper Audio,, and others. Robin's narration is wonderful, and she captures just the right voice for EARTH and its characters. I can hardly describe the thrill of hearing my characters come to life in audio. It's almost as good as a movie!

Keep watching my blog for a sound sample. I can't wait to share EARTH with you in audiobook format. Thanks, and Happy Reading (and Listening)!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Confessions of a Home Decor Junkie

I admit it: I'm a decorating fanatic. One look at my Pinterest page ought to confirm that, in case there were any doubts. Today, I had the pleasure of a look inside Inspired, a vintage home design shop located in Liverpool, New York. This refurbished barn is chock full of goodies that echo a simpler time. I'm thrilled to see a local business not only thriving, but doing so while using and improving an existing property (and a barn, at that! Swoon.).

Owner Judi Burrows became the helm of Inspired through a gradual karma of her childhood years learning sewing and frugality, through art classes in high school, a degree in fashion and retail, and then work with a builder and designer in Central New York's Parade of Homes. Four years ago, she and her husband purchased the property that would become Inspired, lovingly restoring and updating it to the shop that stands there today. (Look at the restoration of those ceiling beams!) The overall effect is like walking into a magazine I would love to read.

If you find yourself in Liverpool (after a tasty treat at Wegmans, just across the road), and you love vintage home decor as much as I do, take a look inside this store. I nearly came home with that typewriter sign, myself. Happy hunting! 💖

Monday, June 05, 2017

Exciting News: Contracts Signed for Audiobooks!

Hey, Gang! I'm super-excited to announce that I've signed contracts to offer all of my current releases as audiobooks! My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has just begun offering this option for its authors, and many of us have decided to take the leap.

What does this mean for you?

Audiobook recording is a waiting game. I have signed the contracts, but that doesn't guarantee audiobook releases anytime soon (or at all). It simply means that I have signed over the rights to this format, and my publisher will put out a call for narrators for each book. If one of my books is picked up, we then decide on the narrator, and the book will go to audio. I really, really hope they get picked up. Audiobooks would almost be as cool as having them turned into movies! 😄

What's so great about audiobooks?

If you've ever been on a long trip, you already know how great they are! An audiobook provides hours of entertainment, and playing an audiobook through your car stereo is terrific on those long vacation rides. My family travels a fair bit in the summer, and we've listened to some new authors this way. There are audiobooks for every fan of stories, so you're sure to find one you like. (And if you, like me, are a fan of your local library, Overdrive offers audiobooks as well as e-format books and periodicals to borrow for free, as long as it's in their catalog. How can you go wrong when it's free? We listened to Tui T. Sutherland's Wings of Fire, Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy on our way to Letchworth State Park this spring! My son is a fan of dragons, and we all really enjoyed it!)

I'm thrilled to be offering my books in audio, and I hope to have further news for you soon. Until then, Happy Reading!