‘Tis the season for a holiday gift guide

With Thanksgiving later this week, many folks (including yours truly) have already started their holiday shopping. Every year, I do a holiday gift guide with books, movies, TV shows, and more that I’m hoping to give or receive, including lots of superhero stuff. You can see the full gift guide on my blog. Today, I thought I would share some of the books, graphic novels, and TV shows in my gift guide. Enjoy!


Black Widow Forever RedBlack Widow Forever Red by Margaret Stohl: Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, is one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe, so I’m always looking to read more about her. This is actually a young adult book that explores the connection between Natasha and a young girl that she saves.

If you want more Black Widow to read, check out Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto. This comics collection follows Natasha on a series of adventures, as she tries to atone for some of her past sins.

Arrow Season 2.5 by Marc Guggenheim, Joe Bennett, and Craig Yeung: If you enjoy the TV show Arrow, then check out this collection of comics, which bridges the gaps between seasons 2 and 3 of the TV show (both of which are out on DVD now). If you like superhero TV shows/movies but have never read comics/graphic novels before, this collection (along with The Flash Season Zero) might be a good way to get started reading comics.

The Flash Season Zero by Andrew Kreisberg, Phil Hester, and Marcus To: The TV show The Flash gets the same treatment as Arrow with this comics collection, which shows more adventures with Barry and the rest of the team at S.T.A.R. Labs.

Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, Reilly Brown, and Scott Koblish: The Merc with a Mouth is getting his own movie in 2016, but in the meantime, check out this collection of comics, as Deadpool encounters Dracula and a whole host of monsters. This collection has some fun riffs on classic monsters, and it showcases Deadpool at his zany, wisecracking best.

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Javier Pulido: Okay… This looks bad. That’s the opening line of this comics collection, which follows Clint Barton aka Hawkeye, who has just as many adventures in his off-hours as he does when he is out being a superhero. Plus, this series also features Kate Bishop, who is also Hawkeye.

Rocket Raccoon Volume 1: A Chasing Tale by Skottie Young and Jake Parker: If you liked the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, check out this comics collection about Rocket Raccoon, who is trying to clear his name after being accused of a crime that he didn’t commit. This collection has some really fun, interesting artwork. Again, this would be a good introduction to comics for folks who enjoy all the superhero TV shows/movies.


Agent CarterMarvel’s Agent Carter: Season 1: I really liked Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. She was just a strong, smart, interesting character, and I was really happy when she got her own spinoff show earlier this year.

Peggy is definitely one of the coolest characters in the Marvel universe (TV shows and movies alike). This show is set in the 1940s and focuses on Peggy trying to clear her friend Howard Stark’s name (aka the father of Tony Stark aka Iron Man) after Howard is accused of treason. It’s a great mix of spies and superheroes, and there are lots of Easter eggs and shout-outs to the Marvel universe for fans as well.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two Collection: This collection features all of the movies in “Phase 2” of Marvel’s universe — six movies total, including the recently released Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man (which is a really fun movie). Note: This collection is more than $200, so it’s a bit of a splurge.

Strike Back: The Complete Third Season: If you’ve got an action fan on your shopping list, you should check out this series, which focuses on Scott and Stonebridge, two special forces soldiers. In this season, the boys are trying to stop a terrorist attack, and their adventures take them to South America, the Middle East, and Russia, among other places.

Vikings: Season 1: This show follows the adventures of Ragnar, a Viking who dreams of sailing to and raiding new lands. It’s an interesting look at Viking history and culture, and there are lots of battle scenes (most of which are quite bloody). My favorite character is Lagertha, Ragnar’s wife, who is a total badass.


And that’s a wrap for this year’s gift guide. I hope I gave you some ideas for your holiday shopping. Happy holidays to all! :-)

Posted in Holiday Posts, Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 5 Comments

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

Book recommendations

511PcMdwQoL._UY250_Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook (Discworld)

by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs, Tina Hannan, with Paul Kirby, Illustrator

‘They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach which just goes to show they’re as confused about anatomy as they gen’rally are about everything else, unless they’re talking about instructions on how to stab him, in which case a better way is up and under the ribcage. Anyway, we do not live in a perfect world and it is foresighted and useful for a young woman to become proficient in those arts which will keep a weak-willed man from straying. Learning to cook is also useful.’

Nanny Ogg, one of Discworld’s most famous witches, is passing on some of her huge collection of tasty and above all interesting recipes, since everyone else is doing it. But in addition to the delights of the Strawberry Wobbler and Nobby’s Mum’s Distressed Pudding, Mrs Ogg imparts her thoughts on life, death, etiquette (‘If you go to other people’s funerals they’ll be sure to come to yours’), courtship, children and weddings, all in a refined style that should not offend the most delicate of sensibilities. Well, not much.

Most of the recipes have been tried out on people who are still alive.

Amazon | BN | iBooks


51gALm+zSuL._UY250_The Almost Wives Club: Kate

by Nancy Warren

Is the bridal gown a matchmaker?

Kate Winton-Jones is marrying one of America’s most eligible bachelors. Edward Carnarvon III is rich, handsome and hers. But at the final fitting of her wedding gown, one of the seamstresses pricks her and a tiny blood spot appears on the outrageously expensive gown. Its famous designer fires the clumsy seamstress on the spot, whereupon the girl puts a curse on the dress and storms out. Kate doesn’t believe in curses. She’s modern, American and in love with the perfect guy. What could go wrong?

But that very evening she meets a man who makes her question her future. And then she discovers that Edward has been hiding a secret or two… and before you can say, “This dress is so cursed,” she’s on the run from Edward, his family, her mother, the paparazzi and the person she thought she was.

When the man who discovers her hiding place turns out to be the last man she should trust, it’s time to throw her cautious good sense out with the satin shoes she won’t be wearing. Playing it safe hasn’t done her much good. Maybe it’s time to play by a new set of rules. Her rules.

Sometimes Prince Charming is the one who turns out to be the frog, and true love appears in the most unexpected places.


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51TGUpnWUuL._AA160_Get Well, Stay Well: Reclaim your health and get back to living

by Katherine Maslen

Have you ever wondered what the secret is to getting and staying healthy?
Do you want to be energetic and free from disease so you can get on with living your life the way that you want?
At long last there is a book that provides refreshing, up-to-date and easy-to-understand health advice that you can implement straight away.
In Get Well, Stay Well, naturopath and nutritionist Katherine Maslen shares her secrets to getting well and staying well. You’ll learn how to get back in touch with your body so you can reclaim your health and get back to living. It’s not just about drinking green smoothies and cutting out sugar – it’s about learning how to nurture your body with what it needs so you can live your life fully.
Katherine has used these tried-and-tested methods to help over 2,500 patients get well, and now it’s your turn. Filled with great health advice, tips and tricks and 20 bonus recipes, if you are serious about getting healthy, then this book is for you!

Get Well, Stay Well is broken down into three parts.

1. Getting to know your body. What’s normal and what’s not? What do common signs and symptoms mean?

2. What’s the problem? What’s making us sick? What impact does our diet, stress and toxins have on our health?

3. How to fix it. What a nutritious diet should look like, how to cope with stress, how to detoxify and more.


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51kC9j9WJyL._UY250_A Little Bit of Hot

by Elle Kennedy

Gettin’ dirty? He’s down with that.

An Out of Uniform Short Story

At twenty-eight, Jackson Ramsey is more than ready for marriage and a couple of rug rats. Instead, his SEAL teammates have all found love, while he’s still playing the field. And to be honest? The field is full of certifiable nutcases.

When his teammates offer to set him up, Jackson figures what the hell? It’s not as if he has anything to lose. Several overeager, overdone, or just plain oversexed women later, he’s almost wishing for a long deployment—maybe to Mars—to escape the parade of disasters sent his way.

That’s when the denim-clad rear end of his neighbor’s smart, sassy, green-eyed gardener catches his eye. Except she wants nothing to do with him. Little does she know a SEAL knows a thing or two about playing in the dirt…

Warning: This very short freebie does not include a happily ever after. Be prepared to commiserate with a sexy SEAL on his journey for love. But don’t worry—he’ll find it soon!



41rPZ+xme4L._UY250_Off Limits: An Aces Hockey Novella

by Kelly Jamieson

Perfect for fans of Sawyer Bennett and Toni Aleo, Kelly Jamieson’s charming holiday novella kicks off a brand-new series featuring the hunky hockey stars of the Chicago Aces.
The Christmas season always puts a smile on Jenna McFadden’s face. Even though she’s bringing a boyfriend home for the first time, inside she’s dying to see Andrew. Years ago, when the McFaddens took the troubled teen into their home, Jenna had to keep her blazing-hot crush a secret. And now that he’s playing pro hockey for the NHL’s Chicago Aces, nothing’s changed. With his wide shoulders and taut muscles, Andrew’s the most tempting package in the house . . . one that Jenna’s dying to unwrap.

Andrew Ross just can’t make a play for Jenna. Her dad and brothers wouldn’t approve, and he could never betray the trust of the wonderful people who treated him like family when he lost his own. That’s what makes the holidays so hard. Whether Jenna’s skating with Andrew on a frozen pond or sitting on his lap while he plays Santa, she’s pushing all their boundaries—and there’s only so much a man can take. Andrew knows that she’s off-limits. But something deep down tells him that Jenna’s heart is the one prize he simply has to win.

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51+xk2uwiwL._UY250_Beauty and the Boss (Modern Fairytales)

by Diane Alberts

Beauty is about to tame her beast…

Researcher Maggie Donovan has no luck with men, and it doesn’t help that she can’t keep her eyes off of her sexy boss – the one everyone else in the office calls The Beast. Relationships in the office are forbidden. So no one is more surprised than Maggie when she pretends to be his fiancée to save him during a difficult situation. Not only has she put her job on the line, but the future of the company.

Billionaire Benjamin Gale III doesn’t believe in love or romance, but the look on his mother’s face when Maggie tells her that she’s his fiancée is worth millions. Instead of firing her for her insubordination, he goes along with the ruse. In his arms–and in his bed–she’d be everything he could ever want…which is why he can’t have her.

But if he doesn’t let her go, they’ll lose everything…


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519uGHx4SBL._UY250_The Way Love Goes (Home to Green Valley Book 2)

by Virna DePaul

A middle child of five Irish brothers, Conor O’Neill always enjoyed life footloose and fancy free. Then Con’s mother dies and he’s never felt so lost. With his oldest brother, Con explores new possibilities in Green Valley, California, where his mother grew up. Finding inspiration in the great, wide Pacific, Con opens a surf shop in nearby Timber Cove where he meets the classiest lass he’s ever seen.

Madlyn Sanchez is surprised when the Irish surfer seems to take a liking to her. Older than him, a high-strung wedding planner, she couldn’t be more different than Conor. But the two have one thing in common—they’re both looking to start over. Before Madlyn knows it, they kick off an unlikely, passionate romance. But when Madlyn’s responsibilities in San Francisco can no longer be ignored, she kisses Con goodbye and wishes him well.

Missing Madlyn more than he ever thought possible, knowing he’s let one too many opportunities pass him by, Conor closes up shop to go after her. In San Francisco, however, he discovers the truth behind Madlyn’s real life—a child and an ex-husband still in residence. Con just learned to commit to one woman—can he commit to a child as well?

In no time at all, mother and son have Conor’s heart. But can an Irish rogue who once cherished his freedom convince the love of his life he’s more than ready to put down roots while still teaching her to fly?



41034LcWVNL._UY250_Hold on Tight: A Returning Home Novel

by Serena Bell

In Serena Bell’s heartwarming novel, a young mother and a battle-scarred veteran must decide if they can rekindle the sparks they once shared.
Fighting for his country gave Jake Taylor’s life shape and meaning. Now as an injured war hero he struggles to find purpose, until he runs into the gorgeous woman he dated briefly—and disastrously—before being deployed eight years ago. Turns out Jake doesn’t just need to figure out how to be a civilian . . . he also needs to learn how to be a dad.

Eighteen, pregnant, and totally lost, Mira Shipley couldn’t track down the soldier who fathered her child, so she put college on hold and focused on making a good life for her son. Now she’s determined to be something more than Sam’s mom, her parents’ daughter, or Jake’s girl—as hot as she finds her old flame’s take-charge attitude in and out of bed. Soon Mira and Jake realize that their passion didn’t disappear when Sam was conceived—and that instead of running away, sometimes it’s better to hold on tight.


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51MCBUbn5KL._UY250_Falling Fast: A Falling Fast Novel

by Tina Wainscott

Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.

When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.

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by Sawyer Bennett

**Warning: This book is a wild, sexy beast of a read. 18+**

Savage man, loner, warrior… I am dangerous at my core. I have lived amidst the untamed wild of the rainforest, in a society that reveres me and where every woman falls before me in subjugation.

Now I’ve been discovered. Forced to return to a world that I have forgotten about and to a culture that is only vaguely familiar to my senses.

Dr. Moira Reed is an anthropologist who has been hired to help me transition back into modern society. It’s her job to smooth away my rough edges… to teach me how to navigate properly through this new life of mine. She wants to tame me.

She’ll never win.

I am wild, free and raw, and the only thing I want from the beautiful Moira Reed is her submission.

She wants it, I am certain.

I will give it to her soon.

Yes, very soon, I will become the teacher and she will become my student. And when I am finished showing her body pleasure like no other, she’ll know what it feels like to be claimed by an uncivilized man.


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Interview with author Joan Swan / Skye Jordan

I hope your week is going well. I am excited to invite author Joan Swan aka Skye Jordan for a visit to the blog. Have you met Joan or Skye? Have you read her books? One thing I love about author interviews is getting to know the person behind the books.

Welcome to the blog, Joan!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Joan Author PhotoHmmm…I never really think I’m all that interesting. In fact, I sorta think I’m a little odd, though I do my best to act relatively normal in public… No promises on how well I succeed.

At my heart, I’m sort of a wonderer. Yes, a wonderer, not a wanderer. I wonder about everything. Want to know about everything. I sometimes catch myself sounding like a four year old: “Why?” “But, why?” I have a crazy curiosity about people, human nature, careers, lifestyles, hobbies, happiness, and love of all kinds.

I’m a perpetual student, always searching for new classes to take in art or crafts or history or science or criminal justice or law or wine… There is no rhyme or reason to my interests. They are bizarre and varied—whatever strikes my fancy.

For instance I am currently enrolled in cooking classes encompassing Thanksgiving dinner preparations, candy making, and pastry baking. I’m also taking art classes in both mosaics (photo of my current—and very first—project below) and start a course in forensic sculpting next month. (Yes, that’s where you take a human skull and learn to recreate the face. Is it more than a little freaky that I’m crazy-excited about this class? Probably…but that’s me.) And I’m also learning Enterloc knitting and beginning crotchet. For exercise, I’ve been loving the act of losing 10% of my body weight in sweat at hot yoga 3-4 times a week. And I look forward to April when rowing season opens and I can get out on the Potomac by myself in a teeny tiny little sliver of a scull…

Like I said…a little odd.


Have you been writing “forever” and if not, when/how did you decide to write?

I started writing when I was about 35 because I had devoured all the books by all my favorite authors, couldn’t find anything new that held my interest and had all sorts of my own stories rolling around in my head. Honestly, I sort of started to get them out of my head!

What genres do you typically write?

So far I’ve written strictly romance. As Joan Swan I write romantic suspense and as Skye Jordan I write hot contemporary romance. I hope one day to branch into romantic thrillers or mainstream thrillers.

Do you read in the same genres you write? 

I actually read very little romance. I don’t have the patience for it. The angst, all the build up of emotion and little action, it makes me rather crazy…unless I’m writing it, of course. And even then, I write what I hope is active romance, with characters who act, make decisions, go for what they want even if they make mistakes getting there.

I prefer thrillers or romantic adventure or romantic suspense where there’s a lot going on in addition to the romance.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas for your stories?

It really comes from everywhere. In the beginning there was more of a definite “source”. Newspapers, historical details, legends, parts of true crime pieced together, pieces of stories I’d heard from friends combined with a million other things…   Now, they are more systematically developed using the help of other authors, agents, and editors as sounding boards or brainstormers.

But pieces of a story still come from the ether, the subconscious, places we never really know about until they float to the surface and insert themselves into the scene.

Are you on social media? If so, which platforms do you like to use to interact with your readers most?

I am. I flip between loving Facebook and Twitter best. They both have positives and negatives. I love the continuity of FB, but I hate the way FB controls who and how many of your followers see your messages. I find that extremely frustrating.

Twitter is fun and fast and immediate, but its sometimes noisy and hard to follow and difficult to have meaningful conversations.

Instagram is something I’m using more now, and that’s pretty fun.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever said to you?

“Are your sex scenes developed from real life?”



What do you love most about the romance writing world?

I love the camaraderie of the writers—my very best friends in the world are other romance writers. And I love the real, wonderful women I’ve met and become friends with who started out as fans. I’ve met amazing people who will be part of my life forever through this career.

What do you have coming up?

AllHeWantsBoxSet550x500Dec 2nd ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS releases! This is a holiday anthology I’m in with 5 other New York Times bestselling authors—Elisabeth Naughton, Alexandra Ivy, Laura Wright, Cynthia Eden, and Katie Reus, and it’s currently sale priced at #99cents!

Here is a little blurb for my novella, HOME ADVANTAGE:

NHL super star, Meier Grant, finds himself sidelined for a bum shoulder and sentenced to three weeks recovery—in his hometown of Holly, North Carolina. But an extended family stay isn’t on his holiday wish list, especially when his parents are more interested in capitalizing on his fame than any family bonding. So when he learns the high school beauty and so out-of-his-league Faith Nicholas is suddenly single, and even sexier ten years later, home doesn’t seem so bad. Not when it includes spending some quality bonding time with Faith. Meier may have some of the best moves in the league, but will they be enough win a woman who is deserving of forever?

And I have a new series coming out with Montlake. The Wildwood series will release July 2016 with FORBIDDEN FLING, followed by WILD KISSES in January 2017.

Anything else you want to say to the Magical Musings readers?

Just that YOU are the reason we write. Know that you are always on our minds while we are writing. Also know that your opinions matter to us. Your reviews are helpful for sales, but they can also be hurtful to our hearts. We are real people who strive to craft fantasies as avenues of escape and pleasure for the people we love—our fans! You!

I feel confident I can speak for all authors when I say: Thank you for reading!

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Thank you, Joan, for visiting us today! Readers, do you like to read holiday novellas whether it is for Christmas, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, etc?

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If you would like to follow Joan on Social Media, here are the links to find her:

Joan: Facebook Profile / Facebook Page / Twitter / Instagram at ultraswan2000

Skye: Facebook Profile / Facebook Page / Twitter / Instagram at Skye_Jordan1

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged , | 3 Comments


Dark Horse 200 x 300Recently, New York Times bestselling author, Nalini Singh, asked on twitter for someone to recommend a good science fiction romance to her. A reviewer who had read and loved Dark Horse very kindly recommended it. A week or so later, also very kindly, Nalini Singh tweeted how much she had loved it, and that it kept her up until 5am.

That first recommendation led to the second, and since then, because so many people follow Nalini Singh, and obviously respect her opinion, I keep getting the most awesome tweets from people who read it because of that recommendation. It has been nearly a month since the first tweet, and just today I got the loveliest message from someone in Vancouver, telling me she loved Dark Horse, which she read on Nalini Singh’s recommendation.

The reviewer / author / reader community is so often generous and giving when it comes to sharing their love of books. I try to pay it forward myself, but this incident just reminds me of what a great community I’m a part of.

Edie and I started the Friday Finds post which goes up every Friday to help with that, and we do have a Recommendations category. We get a lot of sale and free and new release book info for Friday Finds, but the recommendations category is the least used. I’d love to see it at least on a par with the others. So please don’t be shy. If you’ve loved a book, consider submitting the info about it to our Friday Finds recommendations category.

What about you? Are you more likely to pick up a book if a friend or someone you respect recommends it?

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 2 Comments

So Many Questions with author Michelle Miles

Hello, Magical Musings Readers! I am so excited to feature another author today – Michelle Miles! If you don’t know her yet, well you need to. She is one of the friendliest authors I have met online and it shows through on Facebook. She is witty and funny and so loves her family and her friends. And she writes awesome books! Let’s get to know her!

milesTo start off, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a full time job, a 14-year-old son in high school band, a husband and a cat who has his own Facebook Page (Paws and Claws: Tales of Sir Dexter). I recently got the opportunity to purchase my dream car—a Corvette! It’s a convertible 2003 50th Anniversary edition and it is SUPER fun to drive. I love to watch hockey and baseball, read as many books as I can and watch movies. I also love to quote movies and try to incorporate them into every day conversations.

Have you been writing “forever” and if not, when/how did you decide to write?

Not forever. I developed the interest when I was in high school. I wrote and illustrated my own Indiana Jones comic books and also wrote a ton of Star Trek, Star Wars and other fan-fiction. Can you say nerd? After high school, life sort of impeded, I was an idiot during my 20s and when I finally settled down and had my son and was on maternity leave, I knew what I really wanted to do—write full time. Hard to believe that was 14 years ago! I took a novel writing workshop with Writer’s Digest and learned a lot. I wrote my first novel (still unpublished) and then found and joined RWA in 2004.

What genres do you typically write?

Contemporary romance and fantasy/paranormal romance. I couldn’t pick just one. It’s the Gemini in me.

Do you read in the same genres you write?

Yes – mostly I read paranormal, urban fantasy and fantasy, though. I also really enjoy reading my friends’ books, no matter what genre.

Butterfly over rocks and mist

Butterfly over rocks and mist

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas for your stories?

I’m fascinated by historical things—specifically the Middle Ages. So I like to incorporate that into my stories but with a fantasy spin. I went through a fairly long dry spell where I wasn’t sure I even wanted to write anymore, so I knew I needed to find the love and joy again. I signed up for Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course in February of this year and I can tell you it changed my writing life. It’s a year-long program and one of the first lessons is about learning who you are not only as a writer, but also as a person. She makes you delve deep into yourself, yank out all those deep dark secrets you buried long ago and use them in your fiction. And she does it with this thing called a Sweet Spot Map. I found renewed inspiration just by looking at my Sweet Spot Map. I cannot tell you how much I loved doing that exercise and how much it changed my perspective on writing. Her tagline is “Write with Joy” and I am a huge believer in that. Forget write what you know – WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE. I highly recommend her workshops. They’re informative and insightful and you will learn a ton of great stuff.

Are you on social media? If so, which platforms do you like to use to interact with your readers most?

Of course! I’m a Facebook-er. You can find me there daily. I also have a Facebook Page if you’re so inclined to like it.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever said to you?

I had someone ask me once when I was going to write a “real” book. *straight face*

What do you love most about the romance writing world?

Camaraderie. I’ve met some wonderful people through RWA and romance who I would not have met otherwise. They are supportive and encouraging and some have become lifelong friends.

Seduction in the office as a businessman in a suit stands holdinWhat do you have coming up?

I like to write more than one thing at the same time—again that Gemini in me. So I’m working on a contemporary romance series, rewriting my urban fantasy for the fourth time, as well as a full-length fantasy romance with wizards, fairies and secret portals.

Anything else you want to say to the Magical Musings readers?

I recently entered Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest and made it to the Top 25. I was really excited about that! The story, A Little Taste of Heaven, is a contemporary romance targeting the Blaze line. It’s still up on Wattpad and has reached just over 12k reads.

My most recent releases are the re-release of my contemporary romance series, the Coffee House Chronicles. There are five books in the series, including a box set.

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Thank you to Michelle for joining us today! Readers, what are some of your favorite genres to read? Do you stick to just one or do you like to read several?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 10 Comments

Sad & Happy

This should be a happy time for me. I have good things going on in my life, but right now, I’m  sick over what happened in France. In my books, I write about good people and evil people, but that kind of senseless evil and heartlessness isn’t anything I could conceive – or would want to conceive. My heart goes out to the people of Paris, and anyone who has been hurt by this.

This is not the best time to announce my new release, A LOVE & MURDER CHRISTMAS (Love & Murder Book 3), but I’m proud of this book. The manuscript had timeline issues, and I ended up reading it about eight times within a short time. Normally, by about the fifth time in a row that I read a book, I’m starting to hate it. But with this book, I kept on thinking, Hey, this is good! Here’s the info (and below that, there’s more news).

A Love and Murder Christmas-266x400Good will to all, and peace on Earth. Even to those trying to kill you.

Adam Donahue lives in the perfect vacation place – Door County, Wisconsin. But his life isn’t perfect. His wife was killed by a drunk driver three years ago, and his twelve-year-old daughter has type one diabetes. Now his daughter claims a mythical pooka, in the shape of a giant cat only she can see, is living in her bedroom. It scares him enough to do something he hates – ask for help from his late wife’s best friend.

Lauren Finney’s insurance agent husband disappeared four and a half years ago. Good riddance. Her Irish wolfhound is better company than he ever was. And she misses her best friend more than the missing husband, though Adam – her best friend ‘s widower – makes her heart beat faster. Now it’s time to initiate divorce proceedings against her husband, before the prenup restrictions expire and he comes back to claim half her considerable assets.

As soon as she starts the proceedings, bad things happen. Very bad things.

Then Adam asks her help with his daughter, and good things happen. Very good things.

It might be their very best Christmas … or it might be their very last.

Amazon | Amazon UKiBooks  | BN | Kobo | GP

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Price changes: I’ve lowered the price of TRUTH ABOUT LOVE & MURDER (Love & Murder book 1) to 99 cents.  Amazon | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo | BN | GP

CHRISTMAS AT ANGEL LAKE is on sale for 99 cents for two more weeks, and then I’ll raise it to its normal price. Amazon | Amazon UKiBooks | BN | GP | Kobo

* * *

When I first started writing, about twenty years ago, I wrote short stories and sold them to print mystery magazines. One of my favorites is Street Life, about a homeless teen, his guitar, and friends who might not be trustworthy. It was published in the Red Herring Mystery Magazine, Vol. 2, Mr. 3. Instead of publishing it now, I’m giving it away exclusively to my newsletter subscribers who request it through my contact form.

I’d love to hear your good news. Share, please!

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51fCaqaoEXL._UY250_Alabaster Nights (The Josie Hawk Chronicles Book 1)

by Elle J Rossi

A Vampire with a soul. A Huntress with a knife.
In Nashville, Blood equals Power.

Will one taste of Josie Hawk cost Keller everything?


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51D233iXs9L._UY250_Black Magic & Mojitos

by A.A. Chamberlynn

Zyan Star’s latest job is turning into a real Nightmare.

When supernatural bounty hunter Zyan Star jets down to Rio to meet a prospective client, everything goes as planned initially. That is, until she finds out the person hiring her is Raoul Cabrera, the half demon/half faery supernatural overlord of Brazil, who rubs elbows with Lucifer himself. And that he’s hired another bounty hunter, Donovan McGregor, to work with her.

Their target is a herd of Nightmares, horse spirits that torment people with visions of their worst fears before devouring their flesh. Zy and Donovan head out on the hunt, but it quickly becomes apparent that their client hasn’t given them all the facts. There’s a pissed-off, powerful witch summoning the Nightmares, and she’s out to exact some serious revenge on Raoul. Zy soon realizes she’s caught in the middle of a lover’s spat between two immensely powerful supernaturals, and it’s not clear whose side she should stand on. As if that weren’t enough, pulling off this job is going to require her to relive her worst fears and summon her own long-suppressed magical powers.

Let the supernatural Carnival begin.

Link/s to book: Free through 11/27



511Ska3rJ3L._UY250_Christmas at Angel Lake

by Edie Ramer


A kitten saved her…

Broke, pregnant and deserted by her boyfriend, Maddie Barrymore swerves to avoid a kitten while driving in a Wisconsin blizzard—and her life takes another turn. Like Puss in Boots, she stays in an empty house. She has the baby, the kitten, gets a job and a degree…yet every day she’s ready to flee if the real owner shows up.

Five years later, he does…

Dumped by the woman he loves, film producer Logan MacLeesh’s heart is as dark as one of his movies. He plans to hole up in his grandmother’s old mansion and throw himself into his work…until he discovers the sexy squatter and her four-year-old son. Before he can call the sheriff, Maddie’s tale of how she ended up there entertains him. They make a deal that as long as she tells him a story every night, she and her son can stay. Even the cat, though Logan’s always been a dog person.

A dog in need of saving…

Far away in another state, a homeless dog lifts his head, sniffs…and smells him. The human who’s meant for him. As he heads through the snow toward the scent, his journey seems impossible, even though it’s Christmas, a time when miracles happen.

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes&Noble | Google Play | Kobo

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51aqHSCdrSL._UY250_Hunks, Hammers, and Happily Ever Afters

Book author:  Box set

Book blurb: An anthology of novellas about hunky blue collar, hammer wielding heroes and the women who tame them. Stories are by USA Today Bestselling Authors Cari Quinn, Cathy Clamp, Anna J. Stewart, and featuring authors Jodi Redford, Amie Stuart, Leah Braemel, and Chudney Thomas.

Get down and dirty with this sexy blue collar bundle featuring seven original contemporary romance novellas that range from sweet to sizzling.

*Note: This anthology contains approximately 200K words (550 pages) for your reading pleasure.*

KNOCKOUT – Cari Quinn

All Emerson Knapp wants…is everything he shouldn’t have. When all his secrets come to a head, the only question left is how much he’s willing to lose.


Sophie Greene is smart, gorgeous, and good with her hands. Can Gabe convince her to make her stay at the Starlight Motel a permanent one?

MARKED FOR LOVE – Anna J. Stewart

Overworked pub manager Regan Murphy is about to have her hands full with Lantano Valley newcomer and tattoo artist Brodie Crawford: a sexy single father who is far too distracting.
*this version of MARKED FOR LOVE is a spiced-up version of the original sweet novella of the same title. Includes a never before published epilogue, available ONLY in this boxed set.

KNOTTY MAGIC – Jodi Redford

Hormones be damned, Tully Eastwood won’t succumb to her attraction for a sexy lumberjack—until she finds herself trapped overnight with him in the woods.


Construction Supervisor Lexi Kimball is the one person everyone loves to hate. Everyone except a sexy foreman with an adventurous streak, that is.

UNASHAMED — Leah Braemel

Two sexy construction workers double Hayley O’Connell’s fun. But can they convince her the fun should last forever?

LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR – Chudney Thomas

Mica Lawson is a failure and a flake; at least according to her family. Then one stalled elevator, and a sexy repairman, change her life.



A Love and Murder Christmas-266x400A Love & Christmas Murder

by Edie Ramer

Good will to all, and peace on Earth. Even to those trying to kill you.

Adam Donahue lives in the perfect vacation place – Door County, Wisconsin. But his life isn’t perfect. His wife was killed by a drunk driver three years ago, and his twelve-year-old daughter has type one diabetes. Now his daughter claims a mythical pooka, in the shape of a giant cat only she can see, is living in her bedroom. It scares him enough to do something he hates – ask for help from his late wife’s best friend.

Lauren Finney’s insurance agent husband disappeared four and a half years ago. Good riddance. Her Irish wolfhound is better company than he ever was. And she misses her best friend more than the missing husband, though Adam – her best friend ‘s widower – makes her heart beat faster. Now it’s time to initiate divorce proceedings against her husband, before the prenup restrictions expire and he comes back to claim half her considerable assets.

As soon as she starts the proceedings, bad things happen. Very bad things.

Then Adam asks her help with his daughter, and good things happen. Very good things.

It might be their very best Christmas … or it might be their very last.

Amazon | AmazonUKBN | iBooks | Kobo | GP

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4-Ever+Theirs4-Ever Theirs

by Jayne Raylon

NY Times Bestselling author with the first in a new series!

One woman. Three dudes. No regrets.

College was supposed to be Andi Miller’s training ground for the real world. Instead, it’s her finalSaturday night in her college-grade apartment, and she’s still sheltered as hell. Why? Because of her three adorable roommates—Reed, Cooper and Simon.

Determined to have one date where the overprotective trio doesn’t scare the guy off, Andi sneaks out for the night. And almost lives to regret it.

When Reed, Cooper and Simon rescue Andi from a bad situation in the basement of a sex club, they decide it’s time for the kid gloves to come off. Since their early college days, they’ve been not-so-secretly fighting amongst themselves to spark her next smile, her next laugh.

They’ve already done a lot of surviving together, and now it’s time to thrive. At the risk of ruining a beautiful friendship, the men set out to turn their hands-off live-in arrangement into a weeklong learning experience where they become Andi’s sex education teachers.

Except none of them realize their newfound intimacy will make it impossible to say goodbye on graduation day.

Warning: When a woman and three very different men all come together, there’s a chain reaction of epic proportions. Please keep a cold shower on standby. Contains a very brief scene of attempted assault.

Amazon | Samhain (30% off to November 16) | Amazon UK | Kobo

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Overcoming fear–Guest Cheryl Yeko, Author & Acquiring Editor

Cheryl is a wonderful inspiration with a great sense of humor. I’m thrilled to have her as my guest today. Please welcome her to Magical Musings!

Hi, Mary. Thank you for inviting me to visit with you at Magical Musings. I thought it’d be fun to talk about my editor experiences with Soul Mate Publishing, and how it led me to join Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking.

pic0I signed my debut novel with Soul Mate, Protecting Rose, in 2011 and it went on to win the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romantic Suspense.

Shortly after, Debby Gilbert, Senior Editor and founding member of Soul Mate, approached me and asked me to come onboard as an editor, which I agreed to. I started out as a copyeditor, but moved quickly to an acquiring editor.

Today, I’m a senior acquiring editor, and still occasionally take on a copyedit here and there, depending on my workload. I also have my hands in the administration side of Soul Mate, including Newsletter creation and Cover Art Coordinator. It all keeps me very busy!

I love what I do!

pic1As an acquiring editor, I have attended conferences and taken pitches. Although I was at first very nervous, it became easier and I signed some really good authors from these pitch sessions. Here’s a photo of me at my first editor panel. I was so not prepared for this, and had no idea I was even on the editor panel until I walked into the room. Let’s just say I was scared shitless. But everyone told me I did okay. LOL. I’m taking them at their word.  {Mary says: She did great!}

I also routinely conduct pitch sessions on blogs and at Savvy Authors online pitching. Recently, Debby asked me and Senior Editor Char Chaffin to attend RT, to not only take pitches, but also hold a Soul Mate Spotlight. I decided it was time to perfect my public speaking skills (or lack thereof) and overcome my stage fright. So, I joined up. My first six months I just sorta sat there, too nervous to do any speeches. But I was learning nevertheless just listening to the wonderful speakers.

I felt totally out of my element in this setting with these highly trained business professionals who were looking to become more proficient in their careers. Before I quit my job to write and work full time with Soul Mate Publishing, I was a legal assistant. A great job, yes, but it required no public speaking. So, this was quite a change for me.

After a good, long while, my fellow members began to gently nudge me to step forward and take a chance. Although I’d completed some member rolls, such as vote counter or word master, small things that didn’t require me to stand in front of the group and talk, I hadn’t done any speaking per se. Unless you counted Table Topics. That’s where they ask you to stand, giving you a question you’re supposed to answer in a story format, lasting between 2-3 minutes. Well, let’s just say I did not excel in this role. LOL. I hated it, and was always nervous.

I continued to attend the meetings, determined to succeed. I even managed to walk away with the best Table Topics ribbon once. But, of course, the question was, “You’ve been given an award. Roleplay your acceptance speech for this award.”

This was easy. I just pretended I’d won the RITA. It was great!

After about eight months of sitting on the sidelines, learning, I finally gave my Ice Breaker Speech and walked away with my first Best Speaker Ribbon. I was super thrilled. It took a while before I worked up the courage to do another speech. But right before I went to the Romantic Times convention, I practiced the Soul Mate Spotlight presentation on them, with PowerPoint visuals, and it went very well. I received a lot of great feedback that helped me perfect the presentation for RT.

Then, just last month, I gave two more speeches, and again walked away with a Best Speaker Ribbon on one of them. Seems everyone loved my speech on Sentence Structure and Punctuation. Who knew English grammar could be so entertaining!

I’m feeling more comfortable now, and have actually begun to look forward to attending the meetings, instead of dreading it. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to prepare the speeches. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Since I’m a writer they asked me to write the introduction for their website, and somehow that escalated, and now I’m Vice President of Public Relations for my club. They recently approached me and asked if I was interested in considering this position on a national level…I’m thinking about it.

So, I’ve gone from knee-knocking afraid of public speaking, to taking Best Speaker awards, and holding a leadership role with the club. How’d that happen? Crazy! But, I’m having fun…and isn’t that what life is really about.

pic2When I’m not working for Soul Mate, I’m writing. I have two new releases coming up. A steamy short story, Christmas Eve Surprise, is due for release in November, along with seven other stories from outstanding Soul Mate authors titled, Sizzle In The Snow.

I created a fun little book trailer for this anthology and would love to share it with you.

pic3I just completed my ninth novel, Between Midnight and Dawn, and it’s due for release in early 2016. So look for it! 

Where Love Always Wins: http://www.cherylyeko.com/
Soul Mate Publishing
About Me
My Book Trailer Playlist
My Audible Playlist

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Something for you this holidays

photo credit: Thanksgiving via photopin (license)

photo credit: Thanksgiving via photopin (license)

If you’re like me, this is an insanely busy season. Those hams and turkeys don’t baste themselves. The gifts don’t magically wrap each other, and it is a sad truth that the Decorator Elves exist only in fairy tales.

You do all that. You work hard during the holidays, making November and December a magical, fun, spiritual and warm family time.

But who makes the holidays magical for you?

We’d like to help. Starting the end of November, a dozen authors are banding together to give away 60 ebooks. Then from December 1 we’re hosting a bash with 12 Days of 99c Ebooks–with a grand prize $50 Amazon/BN egift cerificate! Treat yourself right this holidays.

Making the holidays heartwarming are USA Today bestselling author Edie Ramer, USA Today bestselling author Dale Mayer, and Amazon bestselling author Leigh Morgan.

Making the holidays magical are international bestselling author Michelle Diener, and the wonderful Elle J Rossi and S.C. Mitchell.

Making the holidays romantic are New York Times bestselling author Jayne Rylon, New York Times bestselling author Izzy Szyn, bestselling author Jodi Redford, and the awesome Roxy Mews.

Making the holidays fun are bestselling author Zoe Dawson, me, and the always-hilarious SL Carpenter.

Hope you’ll join us to get your gift of a little extra warmth and sparkle this holiday!


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It’s almost time – Now You See Her… coming November 17th!

This series has been a wonderful ride for me. From the first book, Tuesday’s Child that was a final four entry in the Kensington / RT Reviews a few years ago to book 7, Eyes to hte Soul being a top finalist in the 2015 Digital awards in Horror/suspense, the series continues to attract new readers.

Now it’s time for book 8 in the series. Now You See Her… releases on November 17th!!!

I only publish these books every 6-9 months apart as they are deep and twisted with convoluted plots. They are also a lot of fun to write. :)

Now You See Her R0.0


Energy. The life force of good … and evil
And sometimes evil is stronger.

Tia spent years imprisoned in a ‘special’ program. When she finally escaped, she ran as far away as she could. But it wouldn’t leave her alone.

Only one person can help her. Stefan. But when she contacts him for help, she gets more than she bargained for. Six weeks later, she awakens from a coma to find more problems than ever – and she’s still being hunted.

Dean, moonlighting as a guard at the hospital, finds himself in an impossible situation. His belief system is stretched out of control by someone whom he can’t forget … and can’t believe. Until he has no choice.

With everything on the line, Tia and Dean must work together to solve the problem that has somehow – in a very unique way – entwined them both.

Available on November 17th at

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