a cut above the rest

Sales, glorious sales

So many amazing books are up for sale at Less Than Three Press this month!

Rather than only those two chosen for Book of the Month, Less Than Three is featuring all books that went up on the poll at a generous 40% discount. How cool is that?

This includes my own A Cut Above the Rest… and it’s a great time to announce that From the Inside Out is now available in trade paper as well as ebook format!

Add your desired books from the poll roster to your cart, enter coupon BOM40, and woohoo! 40% off the featured books!

And spread the word, we can always use more love.

In other news, I’ve submitted The More Plausible Evil, and I’m finishing up my impromptu story, now titled Convergence.

Not to mention, it’s finally May and I have two awesome releases I can’t wait for people to read! More to follow.

Vote for May’s Books of the Month

Less Than Three Press will be featured as the spotlight publisher for May over on Goodreads.

As part of that awesomesauce, they’ve put up a list of books to feature for May!

Check out the May Book of the Month poll to vote for which Less Than Three books will be featured. I’m absolutely chuffed that A Cut Above the Rest and From the Inside Out have been nominated.

Note: you must be a member of the Goodreads M/M Romance group to vote.

In the meantime I’ve been working toward a deadline, and have now injured my wrist. This is such a crappy injury for a writer. We’ll see what the doctor has to say tomorrow.

Way to Your Heart Giveaways

Congratulations to Chichikao, winner of my giveaway for A Cut Above the Rest! I’ve contacted you via email.

Everyone else, thank you so much for participating, I’m going to go back through that post and answer your lovely comments. Meanwhile if you’re excited about foodie novels, I’m finishing up work on The Competitive Edge, and it’s coming out next month, May 29th.

In the meantime! If you didn’t win my giveaway, there’s still one beautiful blowout over at the Less Than Three Press blog:

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They have some truly amazing prizes, and signups can still be made through Monday April 15th. So drop by and tell them what you love!

The Way to Your Heart: Nail Polish!

First things first: today is the last day to sign up for T.T. Kove’s giveaway for her lovely seasonal romance, Sakura Kiss! She’ll be choosing a winner using the random number selector tomorrow.

Next up for my third post for the Way to Your Heart blog hop:

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Another quick and easy way to my heart is to cater to one of my current serious obsessions: nail polish.

I used to be not much of a fan, actually, because of the smell – and the way it felt on my nails, like a coat of something that smothered them. Then companies started going 3, 4, and 5-free – harmful ingredients toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde resin, and camphor. And, I saw a fantastic shade of gray nail polish on Bill Kaulitz.

Office neutrals had never really interested me, but that edgy gray was like a whole world opening up to me. I found myself at the cosmetics counter getting Chanel Black Pearl and Dior Gris Montaigne. A couple of months later, I made it a workout reward, and wow, it was a full-on slide into its own obsession from there. Nail polish became its own reward! I started maintaining a nail polish tumbler: http://effyeahnailpolish.tumblr.com/

There was so much to do with polish and simple nail art that there hadn’t been when I’d done my nails when I was younger. It was like a fascinating new universe opening up to me, and the brands that didn’t have any harmful chemicals didn’t feel like they smothered my nails at all.

So, a bottle of nail polish in just the right color is a fast path to my heart. From those edgy grays I went to finding just the right hue in every shade across the spectrum, but far and away my favorites tend to be blues, teals, and greens though I have a serious weakness for a good nude, and holographic micro-glitter is one of my favorite things ever.

To show you some of what I love, here are six of my favorite manicures from the past year. It was hard to narrow them down to six, of course.

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Illamasqua Fragile, the color I wore over Easter weekend.

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A-England St. George with a scalloped ribbon of A-England Holy Grail – one of my fun “save a chipped tip” manicures, I featured this not too long ago for Manicure Monday.

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Essie Butler Please – my perfect Tardis blue!

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Chanel Quartz and Pixel Till I’m Blue Over You/China Glaze Snowglobe checkers. My first time doing a checker manicure, and I still need to do this again! So much fun, and so pretty.

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Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper over sponged half-gradient of Brisbane Bronze over Essie Sand Tropez. This one was inspired by something I reblogged on Tumblr, though I used different colors and a bronze under the glitter. I loved the way it turned out.

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Chanel Delight, the most gorgeous finely-milled bronzy coppery gold with a micro-glitter almost holographic spark to it.

And to sign off, don’t forget to check my giveaway post, where I offer a free copy of A Cut Above the Rest (or anything from my back catalogue, if you already have that).

Have a great week, and may your polish dry quickly and smudge-free!

The Way to Your Heart: Food!

It will be no surprise to anyone who’s followed me for any length of time that food, in particular, is one of my delights and passions.

My entries for “The Way to Your Heart” Blog Hop continue with today’s topic: food!

Tip – don’t forget to check out Less Than Three Press‘s entry, because they have some smashing things to give away!

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I love to cook, to eat, and to watch many shows about cooking! I’m always looking for new recipes to try, from the Living section of the newspaper to the blogs that I frequent, or even recipes reblogged on Tumblr.

Today, I ate a clam and asparagus risotto that I made for lunch, and watched Top Chef season 9 while finishing up edits on The Competitive Edge. After work, I made a beef ribeye roast with a merlot-mushroom reduction sauce, broccoli, and oven-roasted potatoes for dinner (and watched more Top Chef).

And tomorrow, we’re going to La Capitale for lunch before I get quite the haircut.

Food was a big part of my life growing up, and it’s become even bigger now that I’m an adult. Sometimes I wonder, if things had been a little different, whether I might have become a chef! I think I have a lot of the qualities that I see in those competitive chefs that I so admire.

My relationship with food has … not exactly changed, but shifted a lot since I joined up with Weight Watchers four years ago. I like to think I’ve entered a permanently healthier relationship with food, and it’s definitely paid off – I’ve lost 55 pounds and counting. I’m still as actively interested in finding new recipes and cooking delicious food. Now, though, it’s important to find a balance within the quantity of food I’m eating in any given day, and making sure to abide by good health guidelines.

The purpose of this entry isn’t to proselytize for any lifestyle or eating habit changes – I’m also a big believer that you have to want to make a change, and be individually responsible for it yourself. Sharing this background is more meant to express how important the shift in my relationship to food has been for me personally.

To sum it up, food is definitely and incontrovertibly one of the ways to my heart!

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To celebrate my love for food, I’m offering an ebook copy of my book, A Cut Above the Rest, or your choice of a book from my back catalogue if you already have that, in the format of your choice – html, pdf, mobi, or epub.

And to sign up, all you have to do this time is comment! With a valid email address, please, so that I can contact you. And let me know what you thought about the entry, if you would! Giveaway closes next Friday, April 12th. Good luck, and may your meals be ever tasty and piping hot!

Giveaway winners, a new review, and Manicure Monday

Good evening on this marvelous Monday!

The winners of the giveaway are Hexen, Arella, and Valarie P. Expect an email from me soon, and thanks everyone for participating. If you didn’t win a copy, I hope you’re still intrigued enough to check out A Cut Above the Rest.

BIG NEWS! It’s Review Monday over at Alessandra Ebulu’s blog, so hop over and see what she says about From the Inside Out. (Hint: great things.)

I’ll lead out with a picture of yesterday’s manicure, which was for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Wishing everyone a great week! I’m going to take a wee break from posting for the next day or two. I’ve got another deadline this month and writing up all those entries for the blog hop on top of finishing another story wiped me out. 🙂

Tour de Foodie conclusion: Food, fun, and…monkeys?

The final stop on the Tour de Foodie: Chaos in the Moonlight over at K-lee Klein’s blog! Thank you, K-lee, for the fun interview! See my answers to questions such as what got me into writing, what I like to cook, the best part of writing, a little bit about A Cut Above the Rest, and whether vampires or werewolves would come out on top.

Today I did a whole lot of cooking: lamb stir-fry for lunch, then I made stuffed sweet potato with sauteed spinach, cranberry, and walnuts for my week’s lunches with a side of mushroom soup. Dinner was corned beef and garlic mash with cabbage, and Guinness draught to go with.

I’m legit half-Irish on my mom’s side, but I didn’t grow up with a whole lot of Irish influences, sadly. Still, I like to enjoy the “traditional” meal every now and then. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the tour! Time to settle in with a movie, it’s time to do my nails.

Have a great week, everyone.

The Tour de Foodie continues!

Did you catch yesterday’s Signature Dish post at Armchair Reader?

Today’s entry is Rock stars of the cooking world, over at A.F. Henley’s blog. You may remember A.F. Henley from the author spotlight earlier this month, and the lovely giveaway for a copy of Honour.

Reminder: two days left to sign up for the giveaway for A Cut Above the Rest. Though a lot of you wonderful folks have already purchased a copy, and thank you! ♥

Later this weekend I’m going to have an entry focused on St. Patrick’s Day (it’s inevitable, right?) discussing my Irish roots and, of course, the meal I’ll be cooking.

Let me know what you think of the Tour de Foodie, folks – I spent last week composing the entries, and I want to know if it’s something you enjoy. If so, I’ll be launching a second Tour de Foodie in May, to promote the release of The Competitive Edge!

Your feedback is valued, and desired.

Happy Friday, and Signature Dish challenge!

What a great day, it’s one of my favorite days of the week!

Today for the Tour de Foodie, hop over to the Armchair Reader and check out the Signature Dish – what makes one, and what it means when a chef has one.

Have you picked up your copy of A Cut Above the Rest yet? If not, there’s still a few days left in the giveaway!

In other news, that story I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks is drawing to a close and I’m starting to feel good about it. At this rate I’ll finish on time and under the word count deadline. My pre-readers love it, so this is apparently one of those stories where it fights me every step of the way but that doesn’t show for the readers. More info on that to come.

And, signed contract for The Fall Guide today! So excite!

Tour de Foodie: How your introvert can express themselves

Today the Tour de Foodie has moved on to Joyfully Jay with Emotion in Cooking! Herein lie the clues to the heart of one of our stalwart heroes.

Already, A Cut Above the Rest has a couple of lovely ratings. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you all think!

This week, I’ve been writing a new story with fairytale fantasy elements. It’s had its ups and downs, I guess I’ll see what I think of the overall story when it’s completed. Some stories are a pure pleasure to write, and everything falls into place. Others are a map of ups and downs and struggles with getting those words down.

On this one, I don’t even like the title. Argh. I’m not sure about the chemistry between the leads, though the one thing I’m having fun with is the concepts and the world-building.

Up and onward! If I keep working on it at the same rate I hope to be finished Sunday, polish it up, and submit it in time for the deadline.