2015 in bullet form.

I’ve always been a sucker for those ‘Year in Review’ blog posts or magazine articles. I thought I’d share my 2015 year in review as my first post for 2016. Feel free to share highlights of your year in the comments below.

*2015 marked my second year as a Girl Scout leader, and my first year as ‘Cookie Manager’. That was an experience.

*I was published in Lurking in the Deep anthology put out by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly.

*I participated in #OTSPsecretsister and met a lot of really amazing bloggers and people.

*Spent the weekend at the ocean with a great group of girlfriends and had a blast exploring a new to us beach.

*I went to Emerald City Comicon with a great group of friends, and had a ‘true’ con experience complete with cosplay for the first time and having way too much fun at panels.

*I lost 27lbs

*Went apple picking with some friends on the other side of the state and brought back nearly two hundred pounds of apples. We were still using them up until Christmas Eve.

*2015 was my third year as a ML for Pierce County during November for NaNoWriMo.

*I completed three 5k fun runs with friends.

*Went on two road trips to two amazing concerts. Garth Brooks in Portland, and Papa Roach/Fiver Finger Death Punch in Everett.

2015 was a lot of fun and full of adventures. I’m really looking forward to 2016.

Swapoween!

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A Halloween swap hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swaps!

Sign-ups Open: Monday, September 21st.
Sign-ups Close: Monday, September 28th.
Partners Assigned by: Wednesday, September 30th.
Packages Ship: on or by Saturday, October 17th.
Show-Off Linky Opens: Wednesday, October 21st.

Sign up here: http://cgswaps.com/2015/09/swapoween-sign-ups

Chaotic Goddess Books and Bloggers Swap!

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It’s that time again when the lovely ladies over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps put together their Books and Bloggers swap. I’ve done this swap a few times now and it’s always a ton of fun. I even put the sign up start date in my planner, because I wanted to remember to get in on this one. The book swap and the Halloween swap are by far my favorite.

If you haven’t done this swap before, it is simple. You sign up, and when you get your partner assignment you purchase a book on their wishlist, a book that you’ve read and a book that looks interesting (either on their wishlist or not). So, it really is a ton of fun.

Dates to remember:

Sign-Ups Close on August 24th, 2015

Partners Assigned by August 26th, 2015

Sign up here: Challenge is hosted by Books and Bloggers swap sign up

Feature: No More Hiding by Renee Stevens.

***Available for Pre-Order***
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Dreamspinner Press – ebook
Dreamspinner Press – paperback

Blurb
Phillip Jorgensen tried to live the straight life and ended up divorced. But he wouldn’t trade his two kids, Jacob and Samantha, for the world. His ex-wife has kidnapped them and he’s been searching for them for six long years. But he’s not giving up—never, not for anything. His twin brother has encouraged him to start living again, but how is he going to find romance with all his baggage?

When he meets Vance Pierce at the new gym, Phillip sees a chance to find some happiness.

Phillip has to explain the whole sordid mess to Vance and pray that he understands that he’ll never stop looking for his children. That’s easier said than done. Telling Vance might be risky. Is their connection strong enough to convince Vance to stay? Or will he think that Phillip is too damaged to love? This is Phillip’s chance at the life he never thought he could have. But is it possible?

Excerpt

“JUST TELL me the goddamn truth.” Janice stomped her foot and glared at him as their two kids sat wide-eyed on the couch, watching the scene unfold.

“Please, Janice, don’t do this in front of the kids.” He’d known when they divorced it could come down to this, but he’d hoped to put it off as long as possible. If it hadn’t been for Janice’s busybody mother, they wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

“Were you or were you not walking down the street, holding hands with another guy?”

Phillip flinched at the fury in her voice and walked over to crouch down in front of his three-year-old son.
“Jacob, why don’t you go outside with Sam and play with your trucks.”

“Okay, Daddy.” Jacob’s gaze, glistening with unshed tears, shifted to his mother before sliding back to Phillip’s.
Phillip’s heart was nearly bursting with love as he watched Jacob take Samantha’s hand and lead her outside. Only once they were gone did Phillip turn his attention back to Janice.

“Answer me, damn it.”

“You want an answer? Fine. Yes, your mother saw me walking hand in hand with another man. You happy now?” Phillip had gone over the conversation dozens of times in his mind, but Janice had him so rattled, it was impossible to try to follow any type of a script.

“How dare you.” Janice slapped him across the face. “We were married, Phillip. You promised to love me until death do us part, and all the time you were lying to me?”

“I thought it would be okay. That I would be able to keep that part of me buried deep inside.” Phillip sighed, unable to meet her eyes. “I didn’t lie to you. I lied to myself. I tried to be something I’m not, and it blew up in my face. Robert warned me when we first got married that something like this could happen, but I didn’t listen to him.”

Author Bio
Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of admin and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works. When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts.
When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.
Twitter * Blog * Facebook * Goodreads

Heart’s Song by Charity Parkerson

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Heart’s Song
SERIES – Ugly Eternity
AUTHOR – Charity Parkerson
GENRE – M/M Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 3/2/15
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 35,000 words
PUBLISHER – Punk & Sissy Publications
COVER ARTIST – Charity Parkerson
PHOTOGRAPHER—Taria Reed/The Reed Files

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Hawke swore one day he’d hate Maddox for using him…

Maddox, lead singer of the band, Ugly Eternity, is a man of many secrets. Unfortunately, Hawke isn’t one of them. He’s been openly using Hawke for his delicious body for over a year, taunting him with a half-life, and always giving him just enough hope to keep him hanging on.

When three tiny and heartless words finally break Hawke, the day of reckoning arrives…

Even though Maddox knew Hawke would one day grow tired of his games, Maddox never expected how thoroughly the other man would cut him from his life. Left with no other recourse, Maddox is forced to live on Hawke’s terms to have any chance of reclaiming Hawke’s heart.

But in Hawke’s determination to rid himself of the sexy singer, he failed to consider one major detail—he belongs to Maddox.

Hearts Song - Cover

 

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE US

 

EXCERPT

He’d had enough. This constant weight sitting on his chest was choking the life from Hawke. The price of Maddox was Hawke’s sanity. It wasn’t one he could afford to pay any longer. Anger carried Hawke’s feet outside, intent on settling things now. Waiting hadn’t gained him shit. He found Maddox at his car, shirtless and digging around in the trunk.

“What was that all about?”

Maddox glanced up. The closed expression on his face let Hawke know this was going to be a useless conversation. Maddox shrugged.

“You were horny. I helped you out. No big deal.”

No big deal. Hawke’s brain latched onto those three tiny words and began repeating them like a mantra. Anger grew with each pass. As usual, he was no big deal. “I’ve got some of your clothes in my backseat.” Hawke couldn’t believe how calm he sounded. Surely that wasn’t his voice.

Maddox didn’t seem to notice anything off. “You should throw them out.”

Hawke ran his hands through his hair, beyond frustrated. The guy couldn’t give him inch. Not ever. “At least take my shirt so you’ll have something. It’s my fault you’re without, and I can go home whereas you still have to work.” Maddox still wouldn’t look at him. He slammed the trunk closed. “Nah. It’s cool.” He flashed a fake smile, not meeting Hawke’s gaze. “Everyone likes me better this way anyhow.” He smoothed his palm across his bare chest, emphasizing his point. “They’ll never even notice when I’m off-key.”

Hawke wanted to punch him in the throat. Maybe then Maddox would understand what it was like to be incapable of drawing a single breath. The way Hawke couldn’t whenever he was around.

AUTHORS PLAYLIST

Hearts Song - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Indie Publishing House LLC, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards
*2015 Golden Flogger BDSM Award Finalist
*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

Amazon Author Page Website/Blog Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Tumblr Networked Blogs Goodreads Shelfari Others Elloras Cave Passionate Ink

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

$5.00 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: The Fixer Upper by Anne Conley


Title: The Fixer Upper
Author: Anne Conley
Published: February 23, 2015
Publisher: Kindle

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book to review by My Family’s Heart. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis:
James, a UK based chef, has tried to make a career with EAT-TV, but his womanizing ways aren’t what they’re looking for with their wholesome family style image. However, the producers of a new reality show about single life, The Fixer Upper, think he’s perfect. Against his wishes his agent convinces him to give it a shot. His overpriced bachelor pad is needing a mortgage payment, and he needs a job to support the tween-aged daughter that’s recently been dumped in his lap.

Margaret Dumas is control freak who has micromanaged her marriage to shambles. When she makes a deal with her mother to quit fixing her up if she’ll do this new reality show, she thinks she’s won. No more blind dates, no more friendly advice, no more “chance meetings” with her Mother’s friends’ sons. The only catch is she’s got to go on detestable reality television and expose her dating habits to a total stranger who is supposed to “fix” her and make her a dating machine. As if.

When Margaret meets James, they clash on the surface, but deep down they recognize something in the other that they want. Redemption.

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Apparently couples finding love in reality based tv show settings is something that I really like. This is the second book I’ve read recently that has that set up and I’m really falling for it. The premise of the Fixer Upper is a reality television show that finds singles, and teaches them how to really get out there and date, showing them the way to dress, act, and getting advice for when the dates actually start to happen. The romance here though is between Margaret and James who when they first meet clash in the best of ways.

The romance here is great, and real. It’s sweet and a bit wicked, a great build up to the happily ever after ending that this book delivers on. What I love most of all however, is the transformation that Margaret goes through. Not the superficial one with the makeover and less than subtle advice, but the way that she changes, grows and comes to love herself. It’s refreshing to see that change in a heroine and I was so happy to see her happy. I didn’t care for James at first, but he also undergoes his own personal transformation, and there’s really no one else out there for him other than Margaret.

Overall: pink4 a great story with a well deserved happy ending.