Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to make a Killer Margarita!

To celebrate National Margarita Day, which is February 22nd (and celebrated all week) here is a recipe to make a fantastic drink that cools you either in winter - straight up with a salted rim - or summer -when the frozen concoction brings a smile to any beach lover's face. 

The ingredients are easy to find and easy to create. They are impressive, and delicious. 

Follow these instructions, or add crushed ice and use a blender to make the frozen treat.

Drink responsibly and enjoy while reading a good book,
such as...

One of my books HERE! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

And the Winner is...

Robbie B. has won my Scottish Dragon Pendant in my Valentine's Day Giveaway, celebrating the upcoming release of my next book, that will be released on March 13th.

The Story
Fiona, a white doe, searches for her missing friend across Skye. Shifting, she swims in a fairy pool, until a dragon and two humans arrive. Their conversation about a festival makes her wonder if her friend might also visit the village.

Dougal, tasked with the safety of his kin while they celebrate Beltane, shifts into a human form. He would rather fly high, or race through the forest as a red stag. Spying the white doe he has sought for months, he follows her, but pirates, a villain, and drunken celebrators keep him from his task. Will he ever find her, and make her his?

A dragon-shifter in pain wants nothing more than to fly, and he sure as hell kneels to no one.

Smolder is available for Pre-order:   Amazon


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 3, 2017

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Casey Hagen

Author Casey Hagen stopped by to share intimate details of her life and talk about her latest book. Falling in Angels Falls is a Romantic Comedy and was released on January 12, 2017. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Casey- First, this is the second in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Ben Marx spent fifteen years in the Army and carries some serious baggage from that time. Now he’s moving on and building his adventure company, Steel Force Adventures. They specialize in giving extreme adventurists, the barest of necessities while keeping them safe during their adventures. In this case, hiking to the tallest waterfall in the world, Angels Falls…a real place! Angels Falls is visited by thousands every year…at the bottom that is. Where is Ben taking them? To the top.

Alexa Dayne is burnt out. She’s been a slave to the building of her very own hair salon in San Francisco. Her best friend is recently married with a baby on the way and Alexa is grieving the changing of that relationship. She’s trying to find her place now. With her business finally in the black, she has time to breathe so she’s seeking an adventure. When her guide goes MIA, she convinces Ben to take the job. She’s a brazen smart-ass and as much as he wants to be irritated by it, he’s drawn to it. Sparks fly and calamity ensues!

Nancy- Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?  

Casey- This is a contemporary romance/romantic comedy. Everything I write is infused with humor. After raising three daughters…I’ve learned I had better laugh because if I don’t, I’ll be crying. My writing routine is in a state of flux. It used to be, I get up, get a drink, maybe a bit to eat, and boom…write! The words flowed. Now, not so much. I start to think about those emails just sitting there mocking me. I notice the rug under my office chair needs vacuuming. All of the demands flood me before I can even think about being creative. So now, I do most of my writing in the afternoon and evening. I spend the morning getting organized and addressing those emails and other demands. I can’t tell you the words flow as well at night as they did in the morning. I’m sure they eventually will, but right now, it’s a bit like an old man with a prostate problem trying to pee. I’ll get there!

Nancy- Ha! I am one of three daughters, but the joke was on me-I had two sons! On a more serious note, what sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

Casey- Promo, marketing, advertising…are dirty, dirty, migraine-inducing words for us authors! It’s a lot like throwing pasta at the wall and seeing what sticks. I’ve used several services like BookDaily and Shout My Book. I would love to tell you they’re great, but they aren’t. I do have a PA now and she pushes my books to several reader groups on Facebook. She’s been awesome. She can make teasers if I want and keep updates fresh on my author page, but right now, I still make my teasers and run my page. I like my readers to get me. You know what’s working for me right now? Kindle Unlimited. I did a free promo period. My sales have rocketed since I did that. I’m talking sales, not free downloads. Paid sales. You know what else is working…Facebook. Be you on Facebook. And when I say “you”, I don’t advise you be the political “you”,  or the ranting “you”. We’ve all had enough of that crap. Be the snarky “you”, or the recipe toting “you”. What are you passionate about? Show us! I just happen to be passionate about snark and smart-assery.

Nancy- Most readers don't realize marketing is a necessity in order to succeed. Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Casey- I could tell you it’s the attention, the sales, the extra money…but what it really is…when that woman who finishes your book in the middle of the night, because she can’t put it down, writes you an email or sends you a message via social media begging you to keep writing and telling you how special your story is. That’s who I write for, even if there’s only a handful of you.

Nancy- Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Casey- Oh, you asked me about my writing organizations…you’re going to wish you hadn’t! I’m a member of RWA and New Jersey Romance Writers. Outside of RWA the smaller chapters of RWA, I’m a member of the Penn Jersey Women Writers Guild. So…let’s start with PJWWG. I’m the VP, which in this group, doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot. I basically run the meeting if Vikki, our chapter president, can’t. This group used to be the Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers under RWA. We’re a group of about twenty women who meet once a month and doing a lot of laughing, brainstorming, and eating!

Now, the New Jersey Romance Writers…I can’t tell you enough about this group. Seriously, incredible women, smart women, and driven women. I’m new to RWA and am very new to NJRW. I’ve been a member for under two years. Nine months after I joined, I agreed to be their conference chair. Total insanity. However, I pulled it out and after ten months of planning, we had a successful conference. I’m continuing my position for 2017 where we have a star-studded lineup. Featured Keynote Kristan Higgins, Luncheon Keynote Nancy Herkness, Special Presentation Keynote Elizabeth Hoyt, and Pre-Con speaker Eileen Dreyer. Our PUB Retreat and PRO Retreat speaker this year is Damon Suede.

For those of you who haven’t heard of our conference, it’s been running for three decades. It’s been looked at as being a mini RWA National. It’s an economical way to get a mini version of Nationals. We have editor/agent appointments too! I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the women in these two groups and can’t thank them enough for their encouragement and support!

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Casey- Remember who you’re pitching to. I pitched 7 times at RWA Nationals in 2015. Had six requests for fulls and six rejections. All said the same thing, “We love it, but our publishing house will be afraid of it.”

Traditional publishing is not keeping up with what readers want. They are catering to dying demographic right now. I hope this changes, but I won’t hold my breath. So when you get rejected, remember, that doesn’t mean you’re no good. It means, you’re no good for them, at the moment. Even when you have something great, that they seek, you have to hit them at the right time. It’s a bit like nailing Jello to the wall. When they reject you, it could mean your writing needs work. It also may very well mean that you’re onto something awesome! This is what beta readers and critique partners are for. If there is a problem, they’ll tell you.

Do not let yourself be measured by a publisher’s yardstick.

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I’m new to coffee…I’m 39 and started my addiction a month ago. I like two kinds and I like them black, no sugar. Go figure.
2) I wanted to be a lawyer for most of my childhood, when I didn’t want to be an Air Force pilot.
3) I had a pet cow named Jigsy (yes, I know…I can’t explain the name either)

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Casey- I just released a Melody Anne Kindle World novella, The Billionaire Dame and I’m wrapping up a project for Roxanne St. Claire’s Kindle World, Unconventional Love, with a release date of February 21st. Then, I work on book 3 in the Falling in Paradise series to wrap that sucker up so I can go back to my Livingston Valley series that could end up being twelve books in total.

BOOK BLURB  
The black sheep . . .
Alexa Dayne shocked everyone by refusing to join the family bakery business. She’s worked hard to prove that owning her own salon in upscale San Francisco is more than just a dream; it’s her passion, and she’s made it a huge success, solo. After years of round-the-clock work, her finances are in the black, and Alexa craves both an escape and a new challenge. She’s determined to find both—in the wilds of Venezuela and the promise of exhilarating adventure at Angels Falls, the largest waterfall in the world.

A weary soldier . . .
Ben Marx is running from brutal memories. A career soldier turned entrepreneur, Ben has slaved to make Steel Force Adventures a reality. The business of offering thrill-seekers extreme adventures is how Ben intends to fulfill both a dream and a promise to the one person he was powerless to save. On the cusp of success, he’s approached by a long-legged vixen seeking a guide through the Venezuelan jungle to Angels Falls. Her fearless determination is proof enough she’ll make the dangerous trek alone if he refuses. Her animal print body-suit and makeup scream high maintenance, but her eyes, ice-blue and intense, promise something more.

Testing their resolve . . .
The Angels Falls journey is one of renewal for Alexa and Ben. But when passions flare and hidden motives are revealed, the flames of heart-wrenching pain forge bonds between them—bonds destined to be tested by life’s harsh realities . . . after Angels Falls.

Buy Links….
Find all of my books here… http://caseyhagenauthor.com/  

More About Casey Hagen
Visit http://caseyhagenauthor.com/ You can link with all of my social media and see my blog through this link!
Check out my Amazon Author Page!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Michele Stegman

Michele Stegman stopped by to answer some intimate details about her life and her book. Take it away, Michele!

Michele- Mr. Right’s Baby, is a contemporary romance and was released in 2007 as an ebook, and in 2016 as a paperback from Mythical Press.
  
Nancy- Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?

Michele- Mr. Right’s Baby is a contemporary romance and it is the only contemporary novel I have written. All my other romances are historical. I never had any interest in writing a contemporary. But I was driving down the road one day and the whole plot for this book just popped into my head and I didn’t have any choice. I just had to write it. Mr. Right’s Baby has more of me in it than any of my other books, maybe because it is based on so many real life things that happened to me.
  
Nancy- Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

Michele- Fortune’s Mistress is the first book I wrote that sold, but it was the fifth book I wrote. The other four are still in a desk drawer. I had so many nice rejections on those first four books, with personal notes from editors encouraging me and asking me to send them something else. At a conference, I inadvertently insulted an agent, but we cleared things up and she took me on and sold this book for me. 

Nancy- Why have you become a published author?

Michele- I have always loved stories and reading. When I realized, at a very young age, that books were actually written by people, I wanted to be one of those people. I couldn’t imagine anything better than to have a book I had written on a library shelf and in bookstores. That is still the most rewarding thing about being an author. My books are in some libraries.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Michele- When I was first starting to try to get published, I was sending out science fiction short stories. One rejection was a check off sheet. The space checked for the reason the story was rejected said, “This is not right for our magazine, but it is well written.” Whoever rejected the story had crossed out “but it is well written.” I thought how petty! Reject my story if it isn’t right for you, but do you have to add insult to injury? Were you having a bad day?

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

Michele- Read, read, read. When someone critiques your story, listen without arguing or trying to defend what you have written. Take the parts that seem right to you and disregard the rest—unless people keep telling you the same thing. Then you might want to take a harder look at your story. If you still don’t feel that criticism is right, go with your gut.

Nancy- Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

1) I have a lot of interests. Besides writing, I am an artist and a member of a local art guild. I also spin and weave and am a member of a local fiber group. And I love music. I play piano for church.
2) I have always loved math and numbers.
3) Science classes were my favorite classes in high school and college. I started out writing science fiction but switched to romance when I took a writing class from a romance writer.

Michele, what’s next for you?

Michele- I am currently working on a historical western romance. It has been slow going, but my sister has agreed to help with research, so maybe I’ll get this thing written in 2017!

BOOK BLURB 
He wants to marry her for all the wrong reasons. If she finds out what they are, she just might walk away forever...
He wants to find his child. Carly was put up for adoption without his knowledge or consent, and Adrian Wright is determined to get her back. What he doesn't count on is an unexpected attraction for her now widowed, adoptive mother, Katie Simmons. But Adrian worries that the attraction he feels is more for his daughter than for Katie. Even more worrisome is how Katie will react when she finds out that the man who has been courting her is her daughter's natural father. Will she think he only wants to marry her to get his daughter without a lengthy court battle?

Read an Excerpt HERE

Buy Links….

Amazon     NOOK     Smashwords    iBooks


MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
Michele Stegman has loved history all her life. When she was studying history in graduate school, one of her professors quipped that she put too much romance in her research papers. She decided to put in more romance and write historical romances. She lives her history every day in an 1840's log cabin where she spins, weaves, paints, and writes.

Her Fortune series is following the adventures of the Fortune family through piracy and war in the 1700's.

Conquest of the Heart takes place in England in 1067, just after the Norman Conquest. The heroine is a Norman and her people conquered his country. How can they find trust and love?

Michele was never interested in writing contemporary novels. But one day she was driving along, thinking of nothing in particular, when the entire plot for Mr. Right's Baby popped into her head. She couldn't stop thinking about it and finally decided it was a book that had to be written. Connect with Michele Stegman here:

WEBSITE     TWITTER     FACEBOOK     



Friday, January 20, 2017

AJ's Wish by Renée Filippucci-Kotz

I met author Renée Filippucci-Kotz at a meeting of my local writer's group, the  Triangle Association of Freelancers. When I heard that she had recently published her first book, I wanted to learn more.
Take it away, Renée!

I wanted to write books for children since working with foster children in the late 1980’s. In addition, I am a long-time volunteer for the Wake County Animal Center. Cassandra, the inspiration for AJ’s Wish joined my family in 2009.

Book Blurb:
AJ loves animals.  She enjoys playing with her grandma’s pets and the pets of her friends, but her greatest wish is to have a pet of her own.  After AJ and her family watch a TV program about homeless animals in shelters, AJ asks her parents for a pet.  When they say no, AJ sets out to prove she is responsible enough to care for an animal.

Note: This bird rescue excerpt from the book actually happened when Ms. Filippucci-Kotz was five years old.

Excerpt:

           AJ loved to visit her grandma’s farm. There were two cats on the farm who would not go near anyone—no one, that is, except AJ. AJ fed them, and they trusted her. They even let her pet them. AJ named one Blackie because he was black and the other Graybe because she was gray. One morning, AJ heard a bird screeching. She ran outside and found a bird between Graybe’s paws. Without thinking, AJ reached down and plucked the bird free.
“Naughty kitty!” said AJ as Graybe meowed and ran under a bush. The bird didn’t wait a second and flew away into a nearby tree.

What is next for you, Renée?
I plan to write a series of books about Amelia Jae, more commonly known as AJ. Pepper’s Misadventure is soon to be the second book in the series.
 
More about the Author:
Renée Filippucci-Kotz has loved books since she was a child. Going to the library with her parents and brother was a favorite pastime. Renée has been telling stories to children since she began babysitting around age eleven. AJ's Wish is her first children's chapter book. 

Growing up Renée and her family had a variety of animals including gold fish, dogs, turtles, a cat, and a rabbit. In 2001 she began to volunteer at her local animal shelter, the Wake County Animal Center.  Renée currently produces videos of their pets in foster homes and takes photographs of animals in the Center for their web page.  She also produces videos for various rescue organization to help with their adoption of animals into permanent homes.


Ms. Filippucci-Kotz lives in North Carolina with her husband, Art, two dogs and a cat named Cassie, the inspiration for AJ’s Wish. 

Connect with her here: 
Website       Facebook      Twitter

Book Buy Links:


Friday, January 13, 2017

Nancy Lee Badger Presents Author Betty Bolté and Undying Love


Betty Bolté  agreed to stop by to share interesting details about her book, and her future plans. Please welcome her!

Thanks to Nancy for having me on her blog today! I’ve been writing all my life, making it my profession back in the 1990s with nonfiction writing and technical editing while I learned to tell fictional stories. I write both historical fiction/romance and paranormal romance. 

Book Blurb for Undying Love (Secrets of Roseville, #1)

When architect Meredith Reed inherits her family’s plantation after the devastating loss of her own family, she must choose how to move on with her life. Keep the plantation? Not a good idea. Sell it? Better. Turn it into a memorial park? Better yet. But can she go against her family traditions and the hunky but irate lawyer?

Max Chandler needs two things to complete his life plan: become a senior partner and find his soul mate. He’s due a promotion once his legislation to protect the county’s historic properties is approved. The wife part he finds more challenging, having never met the right woman. If only the talented, attractive, aloof Meredith didn’t want to destroy the very property he cherishes.

While Meredith struggles to reconcile her past and future, will she learn a lesson from the spectral Lady in Blue in time to save both her family and home from destruction?

Excerpt
     “What is it you do again?” Max aimed mirrored sunglasses in her direction.
     “I’m an architect.” Meredith slid her purse strap more securely onto her shoulder. She snatched the manila folder off the hood of the vehicle, a file Max had handed to her at his office. Inside were copies of the legal papers he’d reviewed with her across his massive mahogany desk. “Why?”
     “Your grandmother said you were the perfect heir for this property.” He let his gaze drift away from her to scan the hundreds of acres of fields and trees, across the lake, and on to the various outbuildings surrounding the plantation house.
     A circle of trees nearly hid the old gazebo from view, but they couldn’t stop the surge of memories of afternoons spent with her sister playing under its roof. Glimpses of white painted boards and black wrought-iron trim appeared through the dense branches and limbs sprouting with new growth.
     Meredith dropped her attention to the folder, severing the thread of the past, and turned a page without reading it. Why did Max care what she did? She slanted a questioning glance his way. “I enjoy designing beautiful yet useful buildings.”
     “Listen, I hate to rush this,” Max said, his words clipped, “but I have a client to meet in an hour. Let me show you around.” He indicated for her to lead up the steps.
     Bristling at his tone, Meredith pinned him with a stare. “Look, you don’t need to. It’s been a while, true, but I have been here before. I know the layout. We can go.” Then she wouldn’t have to go inside and relive the happy, carefree days of her childhood through the weary eyes of an adult while Max watched.
     He shook his head, his dark chocolate hair touched with gray sweeping his collar, watching her. “Things have changed. You may be surprised by what you find inside.” He tapped a hand against one thigh and cocked his head to gaze at her for a long moment. “Either way, you should take stock of what you’ve inherited.”
     He didn’t appear much like a lawyer, truth be told. Didn’t lawyers wear prescription glasses and look nerdy? Not that she believed in stereotypes, but all that studying must make their eyes weak. Max was the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps her grandmother had a need for eye candy when she chose him as her estate planner.
     He was delicious to contemplate, that’s for sure. Probably a couple inches taller than a cornstalk with a soccer player’s physique, Max could double for a cover model. She appreciated his classic good looks, straight nose, and strong jaw. Dressed in khakis and a deep red polo shirt, he seemed more ready for a round of golf than a client meeting. He represented the unattainable type of man for her. The kind embodying something too smart, too handsome, too much for her taste. Even if she were in the market for a man, which she was not. None of that mattered since she would be staying in the area for a short while. Despite her hard shell of indifference to the opposite sex, she couldn’t help a moment of succumbing to the temptation of drinking her fill of his appearance. But only for an instant. If she let her guard down, her personal destruction would soon follow.

Buy Links:

Amazon     Amazon CA    


B&N     iTunes     Kobo

More About the Author 
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Connect with Betty Bolte:
Website    Blog    Newsletter    Facebook


Amazon     Author’s Den      Tumblr


Instagram     eBook Discovery     

What is next for you?


Undying Love is a re-release of my first sold novel, and after changing the storyline a bit and refreshing the title and cover is the first book in a new supernatural series I’m publishing featuring ghosts and witches. I envision at least 5 other books in the series. The next book, Haunted Melody, will release in March, with the third book planned to release in early June. I love to share my stories with readers and to hear from them, so please feel free to contact me at betty@bettybolte.com. Happy reading!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year



Many tell me they are happy 2016 has passed and are looking forward to a better 2017. I have decided to do the best I can to make my year better, and three simple words shall lead me down this path...


It kind of reminds me of Yoda. Anyway, I will soon release SMOLDER, Book #3 in my Clan of Dragons series. I am working on a prequel to the series, a novella that will add a bit of magic. 

As the newly elected president of my local RWA chapter, I have embarked on a higher path to help lead others toward their goal to succeed as writers. Wish me luck!

Nancy Lee