Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. I thought you might be interested in seeing those posts now.

photo credit: the green gables via photopin cc
A Pearl for Your Fantasy--Getting to Know You #4--originally posted December 10, 2014

You’ve won a million dollars! Ever wonder what you’d do? Would you buy a sexy negligee or a Maserati? Take an island cruise? Make a loan to a favorite relative?

One of the questions authors are asked is, "Where do you get your ideas?" Well, by asking exactly that question--what if.

That million bucks (or quid or gold bars) that's now yours--what else would happen? Every investment broker on the planet would call you. Empty hands would thrust toward you (it's all fun and games until someone's eye gets poked out). The one relative you can’t stand would demand the biggest handout (but you could flip him a finger communication. Go ahead. Hey, it’s your fantasy).

Take one thing, just one, and change it. That is the seed of world-building. The grit to the pearl. Take the world you know, plus one what if. What if I won that million? What if my job were perfect? What if people lived forever (including that annoying neighbor/coworker)?

photo credit: seasonal wanderer via photopin cc
What one thing would you change? Let’s try—what if magic existed? Imagine cleaning with the snap of a finger, everything you want free! Wouldn’t life be grand?

Well, no. Remember, we only get to change one thing in our fantasy world. Basic human nature doesn’t change. People are still good and bad and just plain silly. You and I might use magic for good, but what about that neighbor/coworker? What about magical accidents?

Should you invent language? Let’s take our magic example. Every culture has a way people get extra energy. Tea, coffee. Coke, both the legal and illegal kind. Kaffey’s been overdone (IMHO) but you’d need to name the substance people use to jolt up the magic. MagiCoke? Maybe that’s illegal too, so you’d have MagiCoke pushers. Assign a shorthand. Call them Mushers…or Pushcokers…well, maybe not. But you get the idea.

Take one thing, and change it. Like a pearl, your world will soon grow!

Let's get to know each other! In my first year as a Magical Musings blogger, I'm exploring my 10 favorite things. This is number four.

What one thing would you change, and how would it affect your hero/heroine's life?

A holiday gift for you! Aunt Aina's Swedish Coffee Bread

My husband's family recipe. Every year we enjoy kneading, braiding, and smelling the buttery baked goodness of this holiday treat! Pretty enough to give as a gift. Tasty, especially warm from the oven with butter and coffee.

Ingredients:

2 c. milk
1 c. butter
1 cake yeast or equivalent (I use just over a tsp of dry yeast)
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt (I cut this back a bit, especially with salted butter)
15-20 shelled cardamom seeds, or 1 tsp ground cardamom
7-8 c. flour

Preheat oven to 375º.

  1. Scald milk and cool to lukewarm.
  2. Make a sponge of ~2 c. flour, salt, yeast and milk. This should clean the bowl, not stick to it. Cover loosely and let double.
  3. Cream butter, egg, sugar and cardamom until fluffy.
  4. Add creamed mixture to risen sponge and work through until smooth.
  5. Add flour by ½ cupfuls until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
  6. Divide dough for loaves. Two portions make larger loaves, eight portions are good for individual loaves as small gifts.
  7. Braid loaves and put on non-stick baking pans or sheets. Cover and rise until doubled in size.
  8. Bake at 375º until nicely browned on top.

Top can be brushed with egg white and sprinkled with sugar pearls prior to baking.

This recipe comes from Sweden and is very old. Consequently, I make some changes in deference to modern ingredients. For instance, with pasteurizing, I no longer scald the milk, but use the microwave to bring it to a temperature for adding yeast. 

A note on cardamom--it’s kind of hard to find. Generally a small container, a half ounce or so, is sufficient for a year’s holiday baking. I understand, although haven’t tried, that adding some cardamom to coffee grounds prior to perking makes a nice nutty addition to the coffee.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 1T Status Update

Many of my holiday gigs are already over and I'm digging out from under the heavy practice schedule, yay! Here's what's going on in my writing world.
  • Playing with Fire: The Battle of the Bands (A Starstruck Novella) is with my editor.
  • Bad Boy Billionaire's Lady will go up for preorder later this month. 
  • Revised proposal for Night's Kiss is with my editor.
  • Huge, very big, gigantico giveaways going on now!!!! (You know it's big if there are more than two exclamation points!) If you're not a newsletter subscriber, now's the time to sign up.
  • Did you review Night's Caress? I have a very very special giveaway for my active readers. Join my MH Readers Facebook group here or the MH Readers Newsletter group here. (There's also a special holiday giveaway for active MH readers!!!!)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Santa's Little Authors Giveaway

With the passing of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I feel it's safe(ish) to dip my toe into the holiday waters.

Enter today!

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Monday, November 27, 2017

New release--Guest Tina Susedik--Plus Giveaway!

Time: 1975. Place: Bourbonville

After the death of the grandmother Ellie Farrell had lived with since she was sixteen, she is tasked with the job of cleaning out the over-packed house. When Ellie begins to find love notes and money from a Burt to Randi spanning over four decades, she sets out to find out who these people are and what they have to do with her. An unexpected check for $100,000 dollars delivered to her house, ramps up the mystery – especially when death threats begin to arrive.

Patton Trullinger, an investigative reporter, comes to Chandler County to research bootleggers for a book he’s contracted for. As a Vietnam veteran, he’s dealing with PTSD. When he meets Ellie, he finds her mystery too good to pass up.

Who are Burt and Randi? Who is sending death threats? Will Ellie and Patton’s love bloom as the mystery deepens?

Amazon | BN | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Goodreads



a Rafflecopter giveaway

As a child, Tina Susedik always had stories floating around in her head, but had no idea those stories could be put down in book form as writing stories wasn't taught in her classes. One day her brother (yes, her brother) introduced her to Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. Tina was hooked and a love of reading, and eventually writing romance, began. Besides her romances, she is also a non-fiction writer with seven history books in print. She also has written and published two children's books. She also writes under a pen name.

Tina has been married for forty-four years and lives in Northwestern Wisconsin. She has two children and five grandchildren. After careers in accounting and teaching (not necessarily at the same time), she found her career in writing is what fulfills her the most. When not writing, she loves camping, hiking, photography, reading, and playing with her five grandchildren.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Tina's online and would love to hear from you!
Newsletter: http://tinasusedik.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=874ff86e3f10f756a138fbc3a&id=1cfdf516fc
Blog: http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinasusedik
Website: www.tina-susedik.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaSusedikAuthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1754353.Tina_Susedik
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tinasusedik/



Title: Missing My Heart
Author: Tina Susedik   
Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit (+$125 giveaway)(+KINDLE giveaway)

Text that does one thing is fine. But writing abounds in opportunities to make text resonate in one, two, or three dimensions or more.

Make world-building explanations part of the character's action.

Original: Today he simply pulled his wand from inside his vest—the thing hadn’t been there a moment ago but that was how wands worked, there when you needed them—and threw a frustrated blast at the mirror.

Better: Standing inside his shield as the bolt rebounded gleefully around the room, he cursed the magic that made a wand present instantly on need, not thought, and wiped his forehead with the back of his wrist.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Want to win one of FIVE $25 Amazon GCs? Check out the Fall Festival of Books!

★★★★Happy Holiday Giveaway Win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards!★★★★
A Kindle Paperwhite, an ebook from every participating author and $200 in Amazon Gift Cards are up for grabs in the Happy Holiday Giveaway offered by our romance authors.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. I thought you might be interested in seeing those posts now.


photo credit: dezindzer via photopin cc
Hero--In or Out of the Shadows? --originally posted November 12, 2014

Who's your favorite book hero? Got him in your mind? Good. Now, what do you like about him? Is he honest, kind, caring? Brave, handsome, daring? Polite or a little rough?

Big question--would you put him in a white hat or black hat?

Do heroes always have to be good guys? I'm currently watching season one of The Blacklist, and so far, while the main hero does some pretty unnerving things, he has one redeeming quality--he always protects the heroine.

Yesterday saw the release of Assassins Bite, the eighth book in my Biting Love series of red-hot vampire romances with action and sass. It's a book I never meant to write, but my editor loved a secondary character, an assassin named Aiden, so much that she suggested--okay, twisted my arm a bit--that he have his own book.

The problem? Aiden Blackthorne was trained as an assassin by the most notorious vampire in the Midwest. He has one friend in the world and a whole lot of enemies. But he is brave, handsome, daring and kind, and most of all--he protects the heroine above all things.

Well, he tries. Police officer Sunny Ruffles doesn't think she needs protecting. But that's another story ;)

What about you? What do you like most about the hero you picked? And if you dare--is he sunshine or shadows?
AssassinsBite3x4.5_medium Assassins Bite (Biting Love, Book 8) Only her light can burn away his shadows.
 AmazonB&NSH

On her first night as a police officer, Sunny Ruffles takes down three felons…only to be attacked by a gang of vampires who are a whole new level of hurt.

Then a mysterious shadow man intervenes, saving Sunny before he disappears. She runs after him, telling herself her pursuit has nothing to do with his sharp, stubbled jaw, his powerful shoulders, or his sexy-as-hell, kissable lips.

Rescuing the humans makes Aiden Blackthorne late for a critical meeting with the vampire Nosferatu’s daughter. Yet clompy, bumbling Sunny draws him back like wild honey. He kisses her, and he’s almost got her down to her underwear when a bomb meant for him explodes.

The last thing Aiden wants is to drag Sunny into his hellish conflict with Nosferatu. But Aiden’s a loner whose only friend has mysteriously disappeared, and the woman who smells and tastes like his mate is the only backup he has left. He’ll need her, everything he is, everything he was—and everything he might have been—to defeat his evil master and claim the love he never dared hope to have.

Warning: This book contains shadowy assassins shooping off vampire heads, cops bumbling in at the worst of times, and opposites attracting, colliding, and exploding in lust—a.k.a., explicit fighting, humor, and sex.

AmazonB&NSHkigauk

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hunt Mates FREE + November 1T Status Update + Giveaway

FREE! Brand-new Pull of the Moon novella Hunt Mates is free for my readers TODAY to Friday only. Get yours now!

Her whole future is endangered by a theft. When her new boss finds out, will he condemn her or save her?

Iota wolf shifter Emma Singer has just snared a coveted job at Gabriel Light's Choice Buy store when a pricey high-tech phone is stolen—and it looks like Emma's the thief. How can she convince her new boss she’s innocent?

Wizard prince Gabriel Light has bigger problems than the fact that his store has been robbed. A chance touch of his new hire lights a bonfire of lust in him. But witch + shifter = stupidly huge taboo. If the Witches’ Council finds out, they’ll have his head. Literally.

Yet the more Gabriel uncovers about the crime, the more unsettled he is. Especially when the thief returns and seems to be deliberately targeting Emma…


Love FREE books? Here's some more, plus a great giveaway.

November FREE for All & Giveaway 11/6-10!
Our Romance Authors are offering over 35 books...

Most of them are FREE for a limited time. It's just our way of thanking our loyal readers.

Even better, we've pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media.

Here's the link to the November FREE for All & Giveaway:

http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/2017/11/03/november-free-for-all-giveaway/

What else is going on? Well...
  • Hunt Mates released this month
  • Friend Elle J Rossi invited me to be part of the Starstruck universe! When I came up with a Romeo & Juliet style story with hot bass guitarist Connor and clumsy but smokin' fiddle-player Sheevawn, I knew I had to join in.
  • Thanks to readers like you, Hot Chips and Sand hit 898 overall ranking at Amazon!
  • Working on Night's Kiss. Wow, Enkidu is coming out sexier and bigger than I planned.
  • Starting to rehearse for all the holiday concerts
  • Getting ready for Bad Boy Billionaire's Lady's December release