Sep 09

Books worth your bucks – Force of Nature by Kris Norris

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Welcome to Books Worth Your Bucks. This is an ongoing blog hop with fellow authors to introduce Indie or small pubbed authors to our readers. Each Friday we will spotlight an author’s book, give buy links along with the links to the other authors participating in the hop, and say why we think this book is worth your bucks.

While it’s no secret that I’m a total Kris Norris cover art fangirl (just check my Facebook feed), I’m also a huge Kris Norris author fangirl. She has an ability to weave a story that has you entranced from page one and writes characters you fall head over heels in love with.

Here’s the blurb to her awesome book Forces of Nature:

kris Love—an unparalleled force of nature. Conservation Officer, Finley McKay, isn’t a stranger to criticism. Taking risks to protect delicate ecosystems doesn’t impress most people—including the doctor renting the cabin beside hers. The man’s arrogant, opinionated and far too sexy in his faded jeans and tees. She already knows he’s an ass—she just wished it mattered enough to make her keep her distance. Dr. Coen Brady isn’t looking to fit in. Having recently retired from the military, he’s hoping to spend a few months hiding from the world in a small, out-of-the-way town in northern Washington. But just his luck, he has the misfortune of running into his next-door neighbor. A girl who seems determined to get herself killed before his time there is up. She’s reckless, stubborn and slowly driving him insane. When anger morphs into angry sex, Coen knows taking her to bed is a calculated risk—one he might regret when her investigation turns deadly, leaving Finley’s life hanging in the balance. Breaking a few rules to keep her in the game doesn’t seem that dangerous, until it becomes painfully obvious she won’t stop until justice is served—even if the price is her life.

Buy Links:

$4.99 Amazon || B&N || iBooks || ARe

 

Want to check out some more awesome indie books? Check the linky list below:

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Sep 09

In loving memory

It’s no secret that our family is a tight one. I was blessed to grow up physically and emotionally close to each of my aunts, learning from them and growing into the woman I am today because of their guidance and love. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think my family took that saying literally.

I learned humor from my Aunt Donna. And that you’re not supposed to feed your dog Red Hots (although I think that part was my mom and the epic lecture post-candy feast). I also learned that laughter is a wonderful cure for what ails you.

From my Aunt Ginger, I learned that we go shopping at Foleys, of course (family joke). No really, Aunt Ginger taught me there is beauty in quiet strength and you can learn –and do– anything as long as you’re willing to work for it…even be a truck driver to pay my mother’s electric bill.

And Aunt Judy… Aunt Judy taught me kindness. Generosity. Loyalty. She fiercely defended those she loved and she loved many. While she only birthed three children, she had more than could ever be counted. All the kids (and some not-so-kids) in any neighborhood they ever lived in called her “Mom.”

And she was. If you needed to eat, she fed you. If you needed clothes, she gave you the shirt off her back even if she had nothing else. If you needed shelter, she made up a bed for you in her own home. Aunt Judy gave of herself without asking for anything in return – the very definition of generous.

Every party we had, whether it be a wedding, birthday, holiday, or baby shower, Aunt Judy could always be counted on to come through the door bearing mountains of food and buckets–literally–of presents. Making people happy made her happy. And she was really good at her job. Even when she was pinching you with her toes because you did something to annoy her.

Aunt Judy Pooty (I know she’s mad at me for calling her that but let’s face it: it’s funny), you will always be missed, always be remembered, and most certainly always be loved.

Aug 24

Wednesday Blogging: Behind the scenes of my latest project

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I actually have four books in progress at the moment, most of which tie into the series I’m writing with Deelylah Mullin. We’re calling it the Mercy General series right now, but that could change before we publish the first one. I’m writing a book about a hot cardiothoracic surgeon(When I Get You Alone), a hot history professor (Stay a Little Longer), a nurse and a hot lifeguard (Summer Breeze), and a hot Radiologist (title TBD).

Go behind the scenes of the other bloggers’ latest works:

Bronwyn || Jess || Kayleigh || Gwen || Jessica || Kris || Torrance

Aug 23

The Liebster Award

Bronwyn Green nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is kind of awesome since I love, respect, and admire Bronwyn like crazy. Okay, not in a “crazy stalker” kind of way, but a “really good friend” kind of way.

I’m just digging myself into a hole here, aren’t I?

Okay, so the basics of this award are that someone nominates you for awesome blogging, they give you 11 questions to answer, and then you nominate 11 more people and give 11 of your own questions for them to answer. If you want to. Unfortunately, everyone who I’d nominate has already been nominated. Thanks, Brownyn. :p

So, here are the questions Bron asked.

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1.) What do you feel is the most criminally underrated movie or TV show? I’d say Firefly, but it’s a cult classic, despite only having one season. So, I guess I’ll say the show I’m currently binge watching–Saving Hope. It was on NBC for most of the first season, but they stopping showing it on American TV when they still had two episodes left. Really pissed me off because I had to know what happened to Charlie and Alex. Luckily, Ion is showing the series and I DVR every episode. It may or may not be because I love Daniel Gilles as De. Joel Goran (even though he’s now on The Originals full time).

2.) How do you feel about clowns? They freak me the fuck out. Stay away evil scary things. Stay away.

3.) What’s your favorite book? HA! Like I could pick one.

4.) Where is your happy place? Sitting on the back porch in the fall (because it’s too F’ing hot in the Texas summer) with my hoodie on, cup of hot tea in one hand, and a book in the other. That, or Key West, FL.

5.) Growing up, what was your favorite toy? A koala I got the same year my grandmother died, when I was 6. My daughter now sleeps with that bear, who I named “Grandma.”

6.) What was the worst job you ever had? The one where I cried every day when I woke up because I knew I had to go in. Physically and emotionally draining. Working there sent me into such a huge depression that it was difficult for me to function beyond the basics. Get up. Go to work. Eat lunch if there’s time. Come home. Think about making dinner and order out because I’m too tired. Get the kid bathed and watch TV together in my bedroom with my family. Fall asleep with the kid laying on my legs and wake up to Mr. Prince sending her to bed. Do it all again the next day.

7.) What fact about you surprises people the most? That I hate pork. The texture, the flavor, all of it. Bacon is about the only thing I can stand, and even then, it’s in small doses.

8.) What’s the one thing you wish you’d known as a freshman in college? That the Navy isn’t as exciting as it looks on TV and college isn’t actually that boring.

9.) What are two of your bucket list items? To go to London and make out with JJ Watt. And/or Dominic Sherwood. Both at the same time might be pretty fun. (KIDDING MOM!)

….not really. Shh.

10.) Do you play any instruments? If so, which one(s)? If not, are there any you wish you could play? If so, which ones? I used to play the flute when I was in middle school, but my house was robbed and it was stolen. Which hugely sucks for someone who was around 12 at the time. Now, I sing. That’s it. But Mr. Prince plays guitar, drums, bass, and keyboard. So, that’s a thing.

11.) What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever been given? This may sound funny, but a GPS. My husband and I had barely been dating two months, and he bought me one because it was before the time that everyone has GPS for free on their phones, and I get horribly, horribly lost. I mean, everywhere I go. SO LOST. So, he bought me an incredibly expensive GPS for my car so I wouldn’t get lost anymore.

Aug 18

Not everyone who smiles…

writer-605764_960_720So, a new author posted to a group I belong to about someone basically warning her about publishing and bringing this poor woman to tears with all the doom and gloom speak. She’s literally a brand new author. Her first book hasn’t even been published yet. She signed her contract, edits are coming down the pipeline, and she’s nearing first down but she hasn’t reached the end zone yet.

Sorry, I think I got excited about football season coming up there, for a minute.

Anyway, she asked, “Who the fuck does that to brand new authors?” And it got me thinking. While my journey to publication has been relatively great, I can’t say that every single person along the way has been super supportive or even positive.

Now, I’m having a bit of a horrible day, so my anxiety level is high and my filter is off. Some of this may sound very Debbie Downer or Bitchy McBitcherson, but I’ve got things floating on the brain and I actually have the guts to say them. So I’m gonna.

I wish I could say that everyone in the world was nice, that the good guys always win, love conquers all, and there really is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. We all know that’s bullshit.Mean-Girls-Phone-Santina-Muha-HelloGiggles

The bottom line is: people are horrible. Especially in a competitive business like this one. Whether we like it or not, publishing is a competition just like everything else in life. I absolutely support every single one of you and wish you the utmost success in life. But I also want success. I want to write ALL THE BOOKS and make ALL THE MONEY. I want to go rub elbows with Christopher Rice (wait, I do that already–hi Chris! I adore you) um… with Nora Roberts and be as prolific as she is. I’d kill to have her royalty checks, that’s for damn sure.

So, while I personally wouldn’t throw you under the bus–because my momma taught me better than that and I firmly believe in the Golden Rule–not everyone else is like me. Not everyone who smiles to your face is your friend. Jealous people will try to hold you down and stop you from achieving any success at all.

With that absolutely maudlin note, I’m off to edit. Tomorrow, I will be Suzy Sunshine again.

l

Aug 17

Nostalgic Notes: Movies

nostalgic notes movies

My twin brother and I were movie fanatics as kids. Okay, we still are as adults. I drive Mr. Prince absolutely insane with my random movie/TV/actors trivia. I’ll be working in my office and have to grab something from our room where he’s watching some random old movie I’ve never seen before and I’ll pause for a second–literally, a second–and ask, “Is this (name of movie)?”

At this point, he’ll roll his eyes, grab the remote, and hit the info button because of course he has no idea. Nine times out of ten, I’m right. How did I know? Usually, it’s because I caught a glimpse of the main character and I recognize the actor. The actor is wearing a certain style of clothing, or speaking a certain way, and I know from my hours and hours spent on Wikipedia and IMDB (back when I worked overnights in the military and it was the only source of entertainment I had–I’m not that much of a dork!) that this actor was in this movie and it was set during this time period or in this location. So it must be that movie. Deductive reasoning, which Mr. Prince tells Monkey to use all the time, but I get an eyeroll.

Probably because I’m showing off my smarty pants. LOL

Anyway. The point of this post is movies. And the nostalgic notes that accompany them. Hope you’re prepared for a long post, my lovelies. I’ve got quite a few on my “Comfort Movies” list. Oh, btw. This isn’t even all of them. The link to my IMDB list will be at the bottom of this post.

labyrinthOf course Lanyrinth is on my list. It’s only the first movie I really remember watching with my mother when Chris (the twin) and I were littles. Mom won’t admit it now, but she had the BIGGEST crush on David Bowie, and seeing him in those pants… well, let’s just say we watched it a lot. ;) I’ve continued the family tradition and introduced Monkey to the awesomeness that is Labyrinth. She can’t quite sing the songs with me yet, but she will. Oh yes. She will. Speaking of the songs… You remind me of the babe. What babe? The babe with the power. What power? The power of voodoo. Who do? You do! I’ll be texting that to twin tomorrow when this post goes live and he’s actually awake. Because I’m a considerate sister.

Sgt Pepper

 

 

Another movie that has to do with my mother. She was a ridiculously huge fan of Peter Frampton. Like, HUGE. Not necessarily because of his music, but because she thought he was TO DIE FOR gorgeous. I, of course, love him for his music. Anyway. This movie is really freaking silly and based on The Beatles’ music. We used to watch this one on Friday nights, singing and dancing around the house. Family time was important in our house, can you tell?

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Funny story with this one. A couple of funny stories, actually. My first memory of the trailer I grew up in is a party. I think it was sometime in the late eighties or maybe the early nineties, but my mom had a standup cardboard cutout int he shape of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the pose above. I remember it standing next to our fireplace and being scared to death because I wasn’t ready for company to arrive, and I was walking through the house in PJs or something not appropriate for public consumption. Anyway, I saw the cutout, thought it was a person, and nearly peed myself. Second funny story: Patrick Swayze was from our area. In fact, he lived about 10 minutes from my house. And my mom used to go dancing with his brother when she was in high school. Oh, and I totally didn’t understand what was going on in this movie at the time other than they were dancing and Baby’s parents were mean. I was mayyyyybe four.

ever after

 

Insert teen angst here. Okay, so. I loved this movie in high school. LOVED. I had the biggest crush on Dougray Scott on the planet and I wanted to marry him and have his babies. We moved from Crosby to Tomball my sophomore year of high school. No problem, I can totally adjust. Twin made some bad decisions and Mom pulled us from school to keep the bad “influences away.” Junior year was spent homeschooling. Senior year, I had a boyfriend and a best friend and life was awesome. Then, my parents put me in a posh tiny private high school and moved us just over an hour away. This is where you cue the teen angst. My life was over. I spent every day in my room watching Ever After over and over. Literally, sometimes two or three times a day. I only came out of my room to go to school, the bathroom, and to eat. I still quote the movie. Most people still have no idea. “You look like a girl!” “That’s what I am, half-wit!” “Yeah, but today you look it!” “Boy or girl, I can still whip you!”

the crow

 

Chris and I watched The Crow every day after school. Brandon Lee was our idol and we were so heartbroken when he died filming the movie that we were inconsolable for a while. We still quote the movie to each other, and I imagine if it were on, I could spit out every single line. Oh, and if it gives you an indication of how often we watched this movie, my middle brother Steven’s first sentence was, “Fuck you, Tin Tin.”

a knight's tale

 

My best friend Lori (formerly known as MamaChelle) and I saw this on… one of my birthdays, I can’t remember which one now, because it had just been released in theaters and we both loved Heath Ledger. Oddly enough, he wasn’t my favorite part of the movie. I LOVE Alan Tudyk’s character. LOVE. When I’m mad at someone, I promise them “Pain. Lots of pain.” Though, they rarely realize I’m quoting a movie. And this is where I fell in love with Paul Bettany. This is one that didn’t involve my blood family so much as my sister from another mister, my best friend Lori. It was our go to movie when we couldn’t decide what to watch. Which… was often.

hudson hawk

 

 

I have no idea where Chris found this movie, but he showed it to me one day when we were in our early teens and it was all over from there. Bruce Willis in a movie about a cat burglar who sings old songs to keep time, crazy AF villains, a plot to steal priceless art just to destroy it so they can turn lead into gold… Let’s face it, the plot was well over my head. But it was funny as hell and it made Chris giggle. :)

10 things

 

Lori and I originally saw this movie because we were big Andrew Keegan fans (I know, you’re like, “Who?” but I promise he was a big deal… to us) but we were quicly converted to Heath Ledger fans when we caught a glimpse of those dimples and  heard that accent. Love this retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shew. Love even more that Lori and I saw a really great (high school) production of Taming of the Shrew not too long before this movie was released.

the wedding date

 

I don’t actually have anything super nostalgic about this movie other than it’s one of my go-to comfort movies. Debra Messing is awesome as a neurotic hot mess trying to make her ex jealous and Dermot Mulroney is fantastic as the Ivy League gigolo she hires to take her to her sister’s wedding. Also one I quote a lot. And THAT SCENE BY THE CAR. The hottest non kiss ever. Annnnd I did my makeup like hers for almost my entire high school career. And college. And the Navy. What? Pink and purple look good with my eye color.

sleepless in seattle

 

The first Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie I actively remember watching (there have obviously been several others). This was my mom’s favorite movie when we were kids. If she came home in a shitty mood, we’d launch “Operation SIS,” where we’d make whatever food we were able to (something microwaved, usually) and pop in the VHS that we ended up wearing out. Actually, I think I still owe my mom another one….

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Another obvious choice. Twin and I loved this movie and spent hours and hours watching it. It was one of the films we had to study in my college film class, and our final project was to create a film of our of that encompassed everything we’d studied that semester. So, we made up this elaborate script involving every movie we’d focused on and went to a friend’s house to film “SJC Cribs” (back when MTV Cribs was a thing…or the thing. Is it still on?) and had Brian, who’s now an actor, walk through his house showing it off to the camera crew. Every room had a different movie theme. The kitchen was The Princess Bride, and I was dressed as a baseball pitcher while my best friend Lori was dressed as a princess. Brian walked into the kitchen and the camera panned to Lori saying “Hand me that pitcher,” then to me with my ball and glove, which I immediately dropped and said, “As you wish.” She pulled me in her arms, dipped me like she was going to kiss me, and Brian interrupted. “Excuse me?” Then, she dropped me on my head. Luckily, I had a pillow on the floor or I would’ve had another concussion to deal with.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I say this ALL THE TIME. Classic line.

national treasure national treasure2

 

National Treasure 1 & 2 get posted together. Because I said so. These are another set of movies that I just love watching when I’m in a shitty mood. I love Justin Bartha (Riley) with a passion, and Nicolas Cage movies tend to be my thing. A lot of them are truly horrible, but they’re still entertaining.

Powell: How do a bunch of guys with hand tools build all this?

Ben Gates: Same way they built the pyramids – and the Great Wall of China.

Riley Poole: Yeah… the aliens helped them.

Oh, Riley. I love you. And yes, that’s another thing I say a lot. “The aliens helped them.” Because, movie nerd.

lion king memo sleeping beauty sword in the stone

 

Aaaaand, Disney. Because I’m nothing if not a Disney kid. A grownup Disney kid, but still a Disney kid. I love them all (well, almost all), but there’s too many to put on this list. I think I’ve gone on long enough, don’t you? ;)

The Lion King has a special place in my heart because my first boyfriend Clint and I were watching this curled up on the couch as we were babysitting Steven. I was seventeen and we were in love and I just knew it in that moment. Young love, right?

Finding Nemo is still awesome to this day and I will seriously watch it every time it’s on TV. My youngest (on my mom’s side) brother, Andrew, was just learning to talk when it was released on DVD. He couldn’t say Finding Nemo, so when he wanted to watch it (18,000 times a day), he’d point to the TV and say, “It’s a Meemo!” And now I can’t say Nemo when referring to this movie. It will always and forever be Meemo.

Sleeping Beauty was the first thing that inspired me to write stories in my head. I wanted to be her (gorgeous skinny blonde who woke up with perfect makeup, and seriously can I find her lipstick shade?), so I’d put myself in her place. And I’m put the cute boy from down the street in Prince Phillip’s place. Because that’s how my brain has always worked. Sleeping Beauty inspired my creativity.

The Sword in the Stone. I suppose this was what launched my love for all things Arthurian, though it’s not accurate and it’s totally a cartoon. Also, the scene with the squirrel whose hear he breaks STILL kills me. I just saw that they’re doing a remake which should be released by 2018. Not happy about that.

Madame Mim: Sounds like someone’s sick. How lovely. I do hope it’s serious. Something dreadful.

Why does no one get my movie quotes?  I’m hip, I promise!

If you want to see the entire list (because there’s definitely more), then check out my IMDB profile HERE.

 

 

Check out the other bloggers’ movies that make them nostalgic by clicking the links below:

Bronwyn || Jessica || Kris || Jess || Gwen

Aug 04

Marriage

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So, I stopped doing the Love Your Spouse challenge 2 days in. Mostly because I’m forgetful and it slipped my mind that I was even participating, but also because I really don’t have a lot of pictures of us together. Most of them look like the one I’m attaching to this post. Mr. Prince HATES his picture taken, especially by me because he knows it’ll end up on Facebook (which he calls “MyFace”). I’ve learned to adapt by making mean faces at him when he refuses to smile for me. Now it looks like a cute picture of us playing around. And if I screw with him enough, he starts laughing and I can sneak in a picture with a genuine smile.

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Do I love my husband? Duh. I wouldn’t be married to him if I didn’t. Do I want to smother him with a pillow sometimes? Of course I do. We’re married. Married couples fight occasionally. That happens. Money/bills, kids, work, deciding what to have for dinner, deciding what to do during free time, what to watch on TV, changing out the goddamn toilet paper roll… These are all things couples argue over. It doesn’t mean we hate each other.
And posting pictures of us looking all happy and in love for seven days straight isn’t going to prove to the world that we love each other any more or less. Like this blog post (http://michiforniagirl.com/i-cannot-in-good-conscience-participate-in-the-love-your-spouse-challenge/) says, we only show the best 5% of our lives to FB.
You don’t see when my precious darling Monkey is screaming at us because she doesn’t want to clean her room or hang out with Mr. Prince (because he watches “stupid car shows”). You don’t see when I forget to pay a bill and Mr. Prince talks to me forever about responsibility. You don’t see when Mr. Prince works until 10pm and forgets to call me. Well, you do because I occasionally post something smartass about it, but you don’t see how worried I get. Or how angry I get BECAUSE I get so worried.
The point is, we all have high and low points in our lives. I love my husband. But I also really want to smother him with a pillow. That’s marriage.

Aug 03

GIVEAWAY: 20 free copies of Next Lifetime

next lifetime

So, I wrote this book. It’s about a vampire-witch hybrid and her reincarnated lover…who’s now a vampire hunter.

Sound interesting?

Want a chance to grab your very own FREE copy?

Awesome! Click THIS LINK and claim your copy. The giveaway will end on 8/31, so grab it while it’s hot.

Aug 03

Wednesday blogging: If I could rewrite a book

randomness

Stay CoverIf I could rewrite any book… Funny that this is the topic for this week, since I actually did rewrite one of my books. My first release was called Second Chance at Love and released on my 30th birthday through Secret Cravings Publishing. Sadly, Secret Cravings closed its doors two years later and the rights reverted to me. I opted not to buy the (gorgeous) cover because I wanted to rename the book (I always hated the title) and expand on it.

When I submitted the story, it was for their Weekend Getaway line, which were short stories up to 10,000 words. The original version of SCAL was 27,000 words. Cutting that 17k made me sob like a child.

After I got my rights back, I sat on it for a while, focusing on my other books, my other pen name, and my editing business until I had the time to devote to SCAL. My fabulous editor, Deelylah Mullin, went through and pointed out some areas where it could be expanded and some areas that were weak and should probably be left out. I love working with her so much, I can’t even tell you.

The storyline has been fleshed out and the characters made more real. To me, the original story was so short that it didn’t seem like their relationship had any depth to it. They meet, they go on a date, they have sex the first night, and he decides that he really likes her so he wants to pursue a relationship. It goes kind of along the same lines now, but there’s more exploration of how they become a couple in the new version.

My amazing cover artist came up with the most gorgeous cover in the world (I swear, I’ll never get a cover from anyone other than Kris Norris ever again), and we decided on a new name: STAY. Mostly because Charlie (the heroine) is nervous about starting a new relationship and has a habit of running away, but also because I was listening to an Emmy Rossum song of the same name while I wrote the book. I have a habit of naming my books after whatever I’m listening to while I write. I just hope I don’t end up listening to The Bad Touch while writing one of these days. That would just be… well, bad. :)

Read what the other bloggers would rewrite by clicking the links below:

Bronwyn || Gwen || Jessica

 

Jul 29

Happy birthday to my Monkey girl!!

Happy 11th birthday to the light of my life, love of my heart, most amazing little Monkey girl in the world. I can’t believe you’re getting so big. It seems like only yesterday I went to the ER thinking I had food poisoning and found out I was pregnant, instead. It’s been a wild ride, but I don’t regret a single minute of being your mommy. I love you the banana split most baby girl!

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