Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book events and paranormal anomalies


I had a fantastic time yesterday at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont. It was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet new people as well. I'm titling this first photo "Is that VVikki with one or two Vs"  because of my utterly embarrassing inability to remember anyone's name. I'm blaming it on too many chocolate eclairs.   




Also notice the ghostly light brightening my face in this photo. A paranormal anomaly for sure ;)  A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by, including the ghostly.  

Friday, January 4, 2019



Order signed paperbacks to be mailed or picked up at Phoenix Books HERE

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Importance of Strong Women in Romance



Whether a woman is strongor not has nothing to do with physical strength, mental prowess, or aggressive behavior. They can be a kick-ass woman, a high-powered executive, or an underworld spy. But they can also be someone who’s physically frail, introverted, frightened, or a down on their luck. What makes a woman come across as strong to readers is that they are active. It’s the feeling of strength that is created when someone strives toward a worthy goal, facing hardships and obstacles, failing and backsliding, but never giving up for long. 

Readers derive pleasure from this struggle. It drives the story forward and gives the reader a sense of hope that despite all the horrible things going on in the woman’s life, despite their weaknesses and failures, they will never surrender. Instead, they grow and change, become strongerand try harder. In the end, the strong woman deserves their happy ever after because they have earned it. And, when they finally get it, the reader can let out their breath and enjoy the feeling of success and joy with the woman. Also, when two strong characters fall in love, the innate tension is stronger than if one character passively surrenders. 

But this immediate pleasure of escaping into a novel isn’t the only reason strong women are important in romance novels. Experiencing the roller-coaster ride of a strong woman’s actions combine with their emotions can bolster a reader and help them become a stronger person in their own life. This is also a reason it’s important for romance authors to provide a diverse variety of characters and stories. Every romance reader deserves to be able to find novels that offer them strong role models and plots that can help them find the strength to deal with the issues in their individual lives. 

Have you read a novel lately where there was a particularly strong woman character? Who was it and what made them come across as strong to you? 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Win Books, Necklace, Crystal . . . and More.





Cool giveaway on The Mary Sue!
I can't enter, but you can.
Ends 1/04/19

Friday, December 21, 2018

Celebrating the Winter Solstice



Chloe’s Five Winter Solstice Wishes

Chloe Winslow is the main character in HIS DARK MAGIC, Northern Circle Coven book 1. Though she grew up in an influential family of witches, she has recently struck out on her own and joined the infamous Northern Circle coven. This is the first Winter Solstice that she’ll be spending with them instead of her family. The holiday season always been one of her favorite times of the year. She loves the smell of Yule trees and hot mulled cider, and the music from all the different celebrations. Most of all she loves lighting the solstice bonfire and calling the sun back from the land of shadows. However, since this is her first time celebrating away from her family and their traditions, she has five special wishes that she hopes comes true.  

5. Chloe’s looking forward to celebrating Solstice Night in the company of the entire Northern Circle, but she’s hoping at some point during December to spend a  quiet evening sipping some of the coven’s wine and watching Love Actually. She absolutely loves the movie and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without see it at least once. http://bit.ly/2pK9wL8

4. She’s also hoping that her new friends don’t mind if she plays Little Mix’s Love Me Like You(Christmas Mix) a bit obsessively. It’s not a traditional holiday song, but it makes her smile and feel like dancing. Besides, this year, she really feels like the luckiest girl as far as guys go. http://bit.ly/2QC6G63

3. Gift giving isn’t technically a part of the Winter Solstice tradition. However, her family always exchanged presents: homemade treats, cozy sweaters, special candles with herbs and flowers imbedded in the wax . . . She’s planning on getting Devlin a new shirt from L.L. Bean and a big snuggly toy for his Golden Retriever. She’s crossing her fingers that he’s been listening to her hints about how much she adores watermelon tourmaline and would love a new charm for her bracelet. http://bit.ly/2CwPAn5

2. As far as holiday food goes, Chloe plans on making her family’s hot cider recipe and almond moon cookies. But there’s something else she’d like to enjoy on the morning after Solstice Night. The first night she spent with Devlin, she discovered that he makes an amazing cheesy bacon frittata. Not only did the frittata taste great, watching him cook it was pretty tasty as well. http://bit.ly/2ONQUrz  

1. Top on her list—and this is actually a wish she knows will come true—she’s dying to check out all the local holiday events and see how other people in her new community celebrate the Winter Solstice.  http://bit.ly/2C2yNrc

You can see all Chloe’s wishes here, as well as Winter Solstice crafts and celebration ideas. http://bit.ly/2OGYOmH

If you’d like to learn more about the Winter Solstice in general here’s an interesting VPR broadcast. http://bit.ly/2ylHPfq

Monday, December 17, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Almond Moon Cookies: A Timeout from the Holiday Rush




The holiday season is packed with things to do and places to go. It’s easy to become overwhelmed if you don’t take time to relax and rejuvenate. One of the best ways to do this is to reserve a quite evening or even just an hour for yourself. Shut off social media and your phone, light a candle and enjoy a cup of tea while you listen to music or read a book. I suggest a tea with a gentle aroma and flavor like jasmine tea paired with a buttery-sweet cookie like almond moons. Almond moons are named after their crescent shape that honors the new moon. The new moon is a time for quiet reflection and new beginnings. It’s all about for planning how to move forward.

Almond Moons

(makes approximately 3 dozen cookies)

1 cup softened butter
8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup slivered almonds
Chocolate frosting

In large bowl cream butter and softened cream cheese together until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until well blended. 

In separate bowl combine flour and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating after each addition until thoroughly blended into soft dough. 

Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour. Dough can be chilled overnight. 

Scoop out tablespoons of dough onto lightly floured surface and form into small 2 inch logs. Bend logs into crescent moon shape and place on ungreased cookie sheet. When shaping moons remember that dough will rise and expand slightly as it cooks. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Some golden brown will show around edges of cookies. 

Cool cookies, then drizzle with your favorite chocolate glaze or spread chocolate frosting along inner edge of cookie to accent moon shape. Press slivered almonds into soft glaze or frosting. 

These cookies keep well in the freezer, so be sure to stash a few away for that much needed holiday timeout.