Thursday, December 07, 2017

Guest Author: Joe Cosentino presents PORCELAIN DOLL in audiobook!

Good afternoon, all! Today, I welcome back author Joe Cosentino, whose mystery PORCELAIN DOLL has been newly released on audiobook! Here's Joe to tell us all about it.

Not to name drop (but what the heck), I was an actor playing opposite stars like Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night's Dream on stage), Rosie O'Donnell (AT&T Industrial), Nathan Lane (Roar of the Greasepaint on stage), Holland Taylor (My Mother Was Never a Kid ABC-TV movie), Charles Keating (Another World on NBC), and Jason Robards (Commercial Credit commercial). Those years offered me the first-hand insight into what happens on a set, how actors and actresses behave (or misbehave), and everything that goes into making high budget entertainment.

So it isn't a surprise that the heroine in my popular Jana Lane mystery series was the biggest child movie star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In PAPER DOLL, Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. I was incredibly fortunate to find Charissa Clark Howe, a gifted actress, to perform the audiobook of PAPER DOLL.

In PORCELAIN DOLL, the second Jana Lane novel, Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous romantic co-star, America's heartthrob Jason Adonis. The other suspects include Jana's James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her children's Eve Harrington type nanny, the film's gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film's production, and Jason's agent. Now with the audiobook of PORCELAIN DOLL, I hit the jackpot with Derick Snow, an actor with a great deal of murder mystery acting experience. He not only connected with the mystery, humor, and mood of the novel, but also beautifully created the multitude of captivating and entertaining characters in Jana's life in book two. His dramatic voice, crisp diction, and emotional availability bring the characters and story to life. Derick's intensity is perfect for the many plot twists and turns, dropped clues and red herrings, sweet romance, and shocking yet gratifying ending. Finally, he realistically connected with the descriptions of the music, hairstyles, clothing, and decadence of the 1980's, when the novels are set.

Hopefully the next three published novels in the series (SATIN DOLL, CHINA DOLL, and RAG DOLL) will have audiobook adaptations as well.

Many of the readers have told me the Jana Lane mysteries should be a television series. I agree! So I wrote a teleplay pilot. While waiting for television producers to make me an offer I can't refuse, enjoy these two audiobooks.

So, grab your popcorn and take your front row seat. Listen to the Jana Lane mystery, PORCELAIN DOLL, performed by the wonderful Derick Snow. Lights up! Action on mystery, humor, romance, and lots of surprises!

PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino
Published by The Wild Rose Press

Is art imitating life in 1982? Jana Lane, ex-child star, is doing a comeback film about murder. When a crew member is killed on the set, it looks like Jana could be next. Thickening the plot is Jana's breathtakingly handsome and muscular leading man, Jason Apollo, whose boyish, southern charms have aroused Jana's interest on screen and off. Will Jana and Jason stop the murderer before the final reel, or end up on the cutting room floor in this fast-paced whodunit with a shocking ending?

Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:

"Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by." ~ Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews

"Every page fills the readers with intrigue... Edge of your seat mystery that lures readers instantly… Once you read it, you can't put it down." ~ Urban Book Reviews

"Porcelain Doll hooks from the start with characters behaving badly, all of whom have life-changing secrets… The story includes a nice arc, well-developed characters, and a few unexpected surprises." ~ InD'tale Magazine

"What a delight! A fun mystery that takes place in the 1980s with a range of engaging characters and a strong heroine…. Jana is the perfect heroine for a mystery.... A must-read for mystery lovers! Porcelain Doll is charming with a great insight to the rise and fall of stardom, and with a twist at the end I honestly didn't see coming." ~ Readers' Favorite

About Joe Cosentino:

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine's awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll and Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press). As an actor, he has appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O'Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married.

Web site:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

HEAVY NETTING Coming Soon in Audiobook!

I am thrilled to share the news that HEAVY NETTING, my Lobster Cove short story, will soon be available as an audiobook! I just finished listening to the recording this evening, and it's delightful. Alexis Portner reads dialogue with terrific charm, and she has captured the sweet, fun spirit of this book exactly as I envisioned it. I can't wait to share it with you.

Stay tuned to the blog for news on the release, which should be coming very soon. In the meantime, I'd like to wish all of you in the United States a very Happy Thanksgiving! (I know mine will be!)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

House Project: Custom Kitchen Island!

I can't be the only one with this problem.

My house is a number of decades old now, and one of the things I have always liked about it is its open floor plan in the kitchen and dining area. At some point, the previous owners knocked out the wall separating the tiny galley kitchen from what was then the living room. When we moved in, it was logical for us to make that ex-living room into our dining area. My stepfather put in a chandelier to light the space, and it's been great.

Except for the lack of cupboards and counters.

The problem with knocking out that wall is that we lost all that storage and food prep space. We have been living with a tiny kitchen island which worked well when we moved into our first apartment together. We also didn't have a dishwasher, and after a big holiday dinner, we always had an overflow of dishes. Then we got a portable dishwasher, which, while adding a bit of "counter" space, just sat in our kitchen looking out of place.

For years, I have hunted the Internet for a kitchen island (or a kitchen island plan) that makes a portable dishwasher (which you can pull out and hook up to your sink tap) look like a built-in.

There is no such monster.

Not to be denied, I started sketching. After much discussion and many years of back-burnering the plan, we are finally, finally building the kitchen island I have always wanted. Lumber Liquidators had the perfect size butcher block top, already cut, to fit the island I designed. So nice of them to read my mind like that!

Hubby set to work hashing out the measurements to fit what I needed it to do. He and our son industriously sawed, drilled, painted, and stained, and this is the end result. The butcher block has to be treated several times with a food-grade mineral oil, but the nice thing about it is you can cut and prep food right on the surface, and butcher block is far less expensive than stone or granite (and weighs a lot less, too, for which I'm sure our floors are grateful).

Wanna know the best part? Some of this lumber was sitting unused in our shed. It's made with T1-11 - the same stuff we used to build our shed! It looks beautifully rustic, like shiplap. I will have to buy some taller counter stools (bar height), but I love it. What do you think? Do my boys get a gold star?

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Getting With the Times (E-Commerce)

I'm happy to announce that I will now offer the option of credit card payments at my book signings via the Square card reader (including chip cards!). This will allow readers to pay any way they like at my signings, so you can enjoy my books your way! I'll be rolling this feature out at my signing on October 21st at Baldwinsville Public Library, where I will be signing books 12:00pm-3:00pm EST with many, many local authors. It's also a great chance to grab some yummy free chocolate and enter for a shot at my giveaway:

This sweet little gift box comes packed with goodies for the writer in your life, even if it's just jotting down a quick note or items for the grocery list!

Join us October 21st for a chat on writing, then browse our books while enjoying some chocolate. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Theater Review: The Three Musketeers

I have yet to be disappointed by Syracuse Stage's performances. Of the several I have seen, I have always found something to like, and even love, about them. Theater is an ephemeral and intimate art, more so than film or books. Each performance will be slightly different, building on and reacting to the mood and response of its audience. It's a symbiotic magic where the viewer gets to help shape the play as it is being acted out.

Set Magic

No less wonderful are the set designs. As theaters go, Syracuse Stage is a smallish venue, with its largest stage, Archbold Theater, comprising some 499 seatsbut the scale of their plays is impressive. So it was with The Three Musketeers, adapted by Catherine Bush from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, and directed by Robert Hupp. The set is so intricate and beautiful that it is, itself, a character in the play. It features a gorgeous pair of staircases with a pavilion on top and two doors at the bottom. Rather than intensive set changes between scenes, the play relies on prop changes against this backdrop to instill a new sense of atmosphere for each scene. The beauty of a well-done set is its ability to help tell the story without anyone saying a word, and it's my favorite thing about theater. You have to see this set to believe it.

The Talent

I was pleased to see Matthew Greer (Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery) as Athos, and he is as excellent in his role and onstage presence in "Musketeers" as he was in playing Holmes. Travis Staton-Marrero debuts at Syracuse Stage in his performance as D'Artagnan, a young Frenchman longing to join the famed Musketeers. He does a terrific job, and he bounds around the set with such gusto that my knees hurt just watching him. Don't forget to keep an eye on Claro Austria (Planchet), who very nearly stole everyone else's thunder.

A Sneak Peek

Before the play, I was privileged to hear director Robert Hupp speak about the moving parts that go into such a big production. Each actor has to be licensed in stage combat, an important consideration when one is lunging around at another person with a sharp, pointy object. The result of such training is a fight scene in which several pairs of actors whirl around the stage, battling madly, without unintentionally hurting one another. It makes for exciting action, and the only wounds are those incurred in the fictional storyline. Take a look!

The Three Musketeers runs September 20th-October 8th.Tickets are a reasonable $20.00-$53.00, depending on show features, time, and day of performance.

REVIEW: 4 of 5 stars

Exclusive Book Signing Giveaway (10/21/17)!

It's book signing time again! This month, I'll be at Baldwinsville Public Library with many other authors for a great big party, and you're invited!

Join me and my fellow authors 12:00pm-3:00pm EST for a discussion about writing, as well as treats and giveaways for you and your friends. Come visit me at my table for a chance to win this pretty keepsake box filled with goodies for the writer in your life:

This keepsake box contains notecards, a magnetic memo pad, a notebook, pencils, and chocolates to sweeten your fall season. No purchase is necessary. Just visit me to fill out a ticket for your chance to take this pretty prize pack home. The winner will be drawn at random, and must be present at the end of the book signing. Hope you can make it, because it's going to be a great time!

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!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BOOK SIGNING: Mystery & Romance at Solvay Public Library!

Summer's coming. Can you feel it? What better way to kick off the season than to find a new favorite beach read? On June 10th, I will join authors Diane Culver and Carol Pouliot at Solvay Public Library for an afternoon discussion, Q&A, and book signing!

Diane writes contemporary romances set in the Hamptons, while Carol pens time-travel mystery stories. I write paranormal, paranormal lite, and contemporary romances. There's sure to be something to tickle your fancy, or if you're an aspiring writer, come on down and chat with us. We'd love to meet you!

We'll also offer some fantastic freebies and giveaways. I'll be bringing this pretty summer basket to give away to one lucky recipient. The basket (a $35 value) includes a Monet seashell trinket box, scented candle, and milk chocolate Hershey's kisses:

The book signing and Q&A begins at 2:00 PM Saturday, June 10th and ends at 4:00 PM. You can contact library director Dan Golden ( or call Solvay Public Library at 315-468-2441 for more information.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

BOOK SIGNING: A Night of Romance at Fulton Public Library!

I'm very excited to attend my first evening book signing, this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Fulton Public Library! Local authors including myself, Leon Archer, Regina Edwards-Drumm, Barbara Witek, and MJ Woods will be onhand to sign books, offer freebies and giveaways, and discuss our favorite subject: romance!

Psst - our second favorite subject is freebies, and we'll be offering giveaways galore, including this sweet spring basket I will be giving to one lucky recipient at the end of the signing. Make sure to enter your name to win! We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Earth Day Giveaway!

Congratulations to Cindee D., the winner of the 2017 Earth Day Giveaway!  Cindee chose a copy of THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, Book One in the Gifted Series:

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's contest. Please keep checking back with me for announcements of future contests. Congratulations again to Cindee.  Happy Reading, and Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Calendar is Filling Up!

I'll be the first to admit, I have the best writer friends. We will be visiting several libraries around the area this year, and we'd like you to be a part of the fun! I'll be joining authors Diane Culver, Regina Edwards-Drumm, Carol Pouliot, Barbara Witek, and more across Central New York in 2017, and we're bringing a slew of goodies and some great discussion with us. Check out my main page for the event calendar to see when and where you can meet up with us, learn about our books and our writing processes, get signed copies, and even win some freebies for yourself! Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 07, 2017

2017 "Earth Day Giveaway!"

My 2017 “Earth Day Giveaway” Contest is here!

** Permission To Forward Granted **

It’s April, and that means it’s time once again for the “Earth Day Giveaway” contest!  All month long, you can enter to win one PDF eBook of your choice of any of my currently released paranormal, paranormal lite, or contemporary romance books (EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE, THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, FLASHPOINT, or HEAVY NETTING)! Not sure which to choose?  For details on each book, click here. Enter for a chance to win by clicking this link:

Nicki Greenwood’s 2017 Earth Day Giveaway!

Contest ends at 5:00 PM EST on April 30th.  The winner will be announced that evening on my blog. Good luck, and Happy Earth Day!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review: The Hidden Life of Trees

[Shared from my Amazon review]

Don't go into this book expecting a scientific approach to forestry. There are some facts in here, but they are heavily interspersed with 'probablys' and conjecture, along with a somewhat anthropomorphic view of trees. You'd miss out if you let that put you off, though. Rather, this short, fast read speaks of one man's appreciation for nature, specifically, of old-growth forests and the need for them. We forget that while trees can't move or speak as we do, they are living things and should command our respect for their longevity, gratitude for their gifts of oxygen and inner peace, and perhaps even a little compassion. The author has clearly spent many an hour walking in the forest, touching this, breathing in that, listening to and living among his charges, and getting to know them as friends. It reminded me of why I enjoy forests, and while it leans heavily on the writer's experiences in Germany, the message of the book can be taken to any forest in the world.

RATING: Four of five stars

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Movie Review: Logan

If you ever wanted to know what a superhero is like in old age, this is it.

Hubby and I had a much-needed kid-free night to see something our son was definitely not going to be allowed to see (for several years yet, at least). Being an enormous fan of Hugh Jackman and Wolverine, I've been looking forward to this one. I'd heard it gave "Deadpool" a run for its money in the ratings department, but while "Deadpool" is funny and wildly inappropriate, our favorite Canucklehead takes things in a much darker direction.

"Logan" is bitter, angry, hard-bitten, and believable. Logan has lived a very, very long time and seen a lot of horrible things. I can completely buy that he'd spend his twilight years simply existing, in a detached, brooding sort of way, until forced to interact with humanity again. His scenes with Charles Xavier were some of my favorite: two mutants eking out their elder years together simply because the world refuses to understand or accept either of them. While Charles retains his compassion, Logan has all but shut his off.

Enter Laura. A child mutant on the run, she has no one and is practically feral when Logan meets her. At first, he doesn't want to help her, either, but that hero is still in there under that thick, scarred skin, and when the chips are down, he can't resist standing up for her. Their scenes together are sad, resentful, sometimes funny, and always intriguing. While this film is not my usual cup of tea, I was not bored. Just watching a mutant at the end of his character arc, and one not yet in her prime, was fascinating. It was especially thought-provoking to see the damage that could come from a child with that sort of power, who'd never been shown any kindness or constructive guidance. If only Charles had found her a few years earlier, she might have become a new X-Man. Dafne Keen is terrific, and frankly, frightening, as a mutant "little girl lost" who's finding her feet in this dangerous world. I wouldn't want to mess with her, that's for sure.

Fans of Wolverine will appreciate this rendering of Old Man Logan, but there are still some unanswered questions. What became of the other mutants? Why did they not find a way to better manage the problems that occur when an aging mutant begins to lose some of his faculties? What if the safe haven they're looking for doesn't really exist? (Perhaps that's a question that may be answered in a future film.)

I love Hugh Jackman, and always will. There will never be another Wolverine for me...but Dafne Keen just about stole the show. Moral of the story? Don't piss off the little girl in the unicorn T-shirt.

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Monday, January 23, 2017

Music, the Five-Minute Story

Today, I'm going to talk a bit about one of my favorite things to do with storytelling: music! I often write to a soundtrack, or at least compile a soundtrack that inspires me for each book and listen to it before writing. I've learned recently that it goes either way, too, and it's not predictable. Sometimes I have to have the soundtrack on while I write, and others, I need to have silence, and just let the music inspire me, pre-writing. Whatever gets words on the page!

I'm going to give you a couple examples, and I want you to listen to the songs and see if you can pick out the storytelling rhythms within them.  The first is a good one for us romance writers, because the arc is beautifully written in the song, and just as we would tell the story.

Example One: The Love Story

This is "Forbidden Friendship" from the "How to Train Your Dragon" soundtrack. By now, most of you know that this movie is the story of a friendship between a Viking boy and a dragon. Hiccup has been told his whole life that dragons are bad, and along comes Toothless the dragon. The song in this clip goes with the scene in which Hiccup and Toothless begin bonding. It is a love story, a friendship, and the song reflects that. Give it a listen.

Halfway through a romance novel is what we romance authors call "the point of no return" - the point at which the hero and heroine are actively invested in one another in spite of the odds. I'm sure that it's no coincidence that halfway through this song, the tempo picks up, and what was a tentative song becomes fuller and more melodic.  By the last fourth of the song, we have a rich, symphonic tone that shows how wonderful this relationship can be. John Powell knew what he was doing when he wrote this song, and it remains one of my favorite pieces. It's pure magic.

Example Two: The Epic Adventure

This is "Lure of Adventure" from the "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" video game soundtrack. This song is particularly exciting for me as a storyteller because it's even laid out in three acts, the way most classic stories and plays are done.

In this, we have several of the highlights. Right at the beginning, you hear the whistle indicating the Call to Adventure. Then there's that hesitant tempo, indicating Refusal of the Call. After that, it jumps right into Act II, and the tempo increases. There's a palpable give and take of call and answer, and then we move on to Act III, where the tempo increases yet again. Now, you can sense the hero's forward movement to meet whatever comes. Again, no coincidence, I'm sure. Henry Jackman has composed lots of film music, and it's obvious he's familiar with storytelling.

Using Music to Learn Arc

Music is a wonderful shorthand for getting a story arc laid out correctly. The best songs have that full arc, and even if you don't understand the exact pinpoints, you will sense the rhythm and how a story rises and falls within them. The only difference is, music uses notes and sound, and we writers use words.

If you like to listen to music while you write, pay special attention to the songs you choose and how the rhythm flows up and down to match your scenes. You'll know it matches up when you get that little "thrill" while you're writing. Until then, Happy Reading (or Writing)!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Office Redux

Remember my beautiful rolltop desk (which, strangely, I blogged about exactly two years ago)? Well, the bug has bitten me again to streamline my space and maybe get a couch in my office (or a big comfy chair) where I can kick back, so Hubby and I swapped desks. As much as I adore my rolltop, I needed some breathing space in my office if I plan to get some comfortable seating in here. This is the first of what will probably be a process for me ... but an enjoyable one! (After all, now I get to pick out new desk accessories, and what writer doesn't love that?)

Hubby is already settling in with the rolltop, and frankly, it suits him because it's a good size for him, with lots of storage. He still has a desktop PC, so the rolltop is ideal for that, too.

As for me, the new, smaller desk forces me to live minimalist, and I'm enjoying it! I've still got lots of stuff to work out, as far as what I plan to keep, what to do with my walls, and what I can live without. I want to cut down on the knick-knacks and smaller pieces of furniture in favor of just a few things: one bookshelf, my file cabinet, the desk, the couch, and fireplace. I think I need a new chair, too, 'cause this one seems a little short for the desk height now that I sit here. If that seems like a lot for a small room, you should have seen how the rolltop ate up the space. It's practically empty now!

I'll keep you posted as I continue the cleanout. Happy winter!