Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Birthday Gift from ME! :)

This weekend is my birthday. *sigh* Fun, but also...suck. Because I HATE getting older. I'll be 34!

Soooo, for the weekends celebrations (my aging and Easter), I'm going to make THE BEST DESSERT EVER! Really, truly, the best. And I was never really a fan of this particular dessert in it's general form, I'll still pass it up in a restaurant usually. But this particular recipe has a certain addition that makes it awesome, and if there is one thing I can do's bake something yummy! If I make this cake for my husband, he is the happiest person on earth.

Sooo, if you're looking for the perfect Easter you go! :)


1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups cake flour OR 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups finely grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
6 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of coconut

Cream the sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, soda and cinnamon. (I never sift! I just add) Fold in carrotsw, nuts, chocolate chips and coconut. Bake in greased and floured pan @350 for 20-25 minutes. (Depending on type of pan, you can use a 9x13 or a couple of 8 or 9' rounds.) It does get somewhat dark and will pull away from the sides. Test with knife etc.

1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup of butter softened
One 1 pound box of powdered sugar...OR half of a bag.
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter, mix in vanilla and sugar. Frost cake when cooled. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The fabulous CARRIE BUTLER- probing questions! :)

The other day I gave a little insight to the book STRENGTH, which was just released this month.

Get yours now...

The lovely Carrie
Hi Carrie, I’m so excited to be the final pit stop for your blog tour.
Thank you for having me over, Nicole! I'm excited to be here. :)

Speaking of blog tour…can I ask you a couple of marketing questions before we get to the juicy stuff, because you really seem to be good at that kind of thing? Do you have any pointers for a writer that may be (hopefully) launching a debut book soon?

Absolutely! Here are a few launch tips:

1. Stay organized, and write everything down—even if you think you'll remember it. Once the madness sets in, your brain will turn to mush.

2. I'm not exaggerating about the first point. Your brain really will turn to mush.

3. Post your schedule and create an early buzz. Try to incorporate branded graphics, if possible.

4. Incentivize. What's in it for the people who follow and participate in your launch and/or tour? It's nice to have some kind of giveaway going on.

5. Thank everyone who helps out, even if it takes a while to get to them all. You know you're grateful, but it's important they feel acknowledged and appreciated.

6. Have fun and try to enjoy the moment! :)

Those are GREAT tips! You have a fantastic website. Do you think an online presence is critical in the success of a debut book? What forms of social media do you enjoy, or think give you the most bang for your buck marketing wise?

Thank you! I wouldn't say an online presence is critical to the success of a debut novel, but I do believe it helps. We live in a world that revolves around instant gratification. Readers turn to the Internet to find new books, share their opinions, connect with other readers, etc. It's important that we adapt and stay accessible.

Some of my favorite virtual haunts are: Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and Pinterest. Oh, and of course the blogosphere!

I know you’re currently working on STRENGTH’S sequel. Will the paranormal aspect get stronger/heavier? Do we still have Rena and Wallace as our protag’s?

Absolutely. I started this series with the concept of three supernatural races, and we've only discovered one. *grins* Yes, Rena and Wallace will be the protagonists. I have a couple of novellas planned to give the secondary characters their fifteen minutes of fame, though.

(Like Cole.)

YAY for more Cole. :) What are your favorite genres to read?

Ah! That's so hard. I'd probably have to go with paranormal romance, suspense, contemporary romance, science fiction, and fantasy.

I thought it was great that Wallace was open about his faith. So often in fiction it’s the good girl dragging the bad boy to church, so this was refreshing. Was it important to you to include the religious aspect, or does it play a roll later on?
Wallace is one of the most complex characters I've ever written. I never planned for him to be religious, and I certainly don't write preachy novels, but I felt like he would seek a means of atonement for what happened seven years ago. Campus Fellowship became a safe place for him—a place where he could take refuge in something greater than himself (and his bloodline). When he shared that with Rena, he opened himself up to her for the first time.

That, and I love to mess with people's preconceived notions. ;)

Moving forward, Wallace's faith will be more subtle. I mean, we'll see some characters from Campus Fellowship again, but I don't anticipate any scenes involving a church service. The tie-ins will involve questions of morality, especially as the war escalates...

I love this answer because so often if religion or faith is added, we think it needs to be a 'thing'. If someone goes to soccer doesn't have to be a 'thing' but people go to church just like everything else in their life. I think it's healthy for young people to see it in normal settings without it being a lesson, so to speak. Is that making sense? I loved that it was just part of his life, and the "needing something bigger than  himself/atonment" makes perfect sense to me. 


Tell me about the guy on the cover. *swoon* Have you met him? Dish please…

I wish, Nicole! LOL Here are the three things I know about him:

1. He modeled for some of Yuri Arcurs' photos—which is how I came to license the image.

2. His name is Rodrigo.

3. He is a sexy beast of a man.  YES HE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where do you hope you will be as an author in 5 years?

I really, really want to make some type of bestselling list in the next five years. I think that's a great indicator of whether or not people are connecting with stories and telling their friends.

Of course, if that doesn't happen, I won't be too disappointed. It's not the most realistic goal. ;)

My guilty pleasures are historical romance novels and chocolate…preferably simultaneously. Can you share one or two of your favorite guilty pleasures?

1. Firefly. If someone makes the mistake of bringing it up in front of me, the DVDs magically appear in my hands, and I sprint toward the TV. Don't hate me Carrie, I've never even HEARD of this till now!!! *ducks*

2. Guild Wars 2. Whenever I get stuck on a scene, I indulge in a little dragon slaying.

(I just realized both of my guilty pleasures are super geeky. Haha!) Totally acceptable! :)

And finally, since I am near the end of the tour, let’s reflect for a moment. Anything you would do different next time? What was the best part of releasing your debut! ;)

Next time, I probably won't hold an open call for tour stops. I stretched myself a little too thin, and some people didn't even bother to post after they signed up. (Yikes!) I think asking/scheduling one or two bloggers per day will be more than enough. :)

Oh, the best part was definitely celebrating with family, friends, and readers. Writing can be such an isolated, solitary endeavor. It's nice to finally have something to share with everyone!

Make sure you get your copy of strength soon! :) And find more about Carrie below. :)

About the Author:

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A long time...and a Review of STRENGTH! :)'s been quite some time. When it comes to blogging, it seems the longer I go, the harder it is to come back. I lose my blogging voice, I fear. Trying to get it back, and this is the first step! :)

So, I finished up a long revision (eek!) and have been reading like a fiend. I have a lot of books to share, and I'll start with this one!

STRENGTH Mark of Nexus Book 1 by Carrie Butler

First, can we have a moment of silence for this cover.............................................................................

Ok, moving on. I was super lucky to receive an ARC of this book back in February and I zoomed through it. Here's what it's about...

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Exciting right? I was hooked at the beginning with the "mysterious" Wallace. And what is it with those boys that we should ABSOLUTELY STAY AWAY FROM? *sigh*

True to form with my reviews...I don't give a lot away, but I'll tell you what I loved about both characters.

Rena: There are a lot of passive, "I don't want things to happen to me, but they do, so I deal with them and I happen to do it awesomely" female heroines in action/paranormal novels. That's fine, and I LOVE some of them, but Rena is different. She's not interested in waiting, she's aggressive and knows what she wants and I liked that about her immensely. It was refreshing, and despite Wallace's strength, he was no match for Rena! :)

Wallace: Uhhhh, super hot guy that is so strong he shouldn't touch you? Yeah, I shouldn't have to say too much. Wallace is like the Lion with the thorn in his paw. You should stay away, he's a LION!! But he needs you, right? Yep...he does, and that's exactly why loving Wallace's character was a no brainer for me. I also liked that Wallace was a nice guy, not your common brooding/strong bad boy. (Although, *clears throat* she may have that in the works...just guessing *wink*)

Lastly, I'll admit, I don't read a lot of paranormal, and I liked that this one wasn't heavy on a paranormal world. However, I think that will probably change with subsequent books. But I'm already hooked, so no biggie. I'm in, because guess what...Wallace has a brother!!!!!! Yeah...I'll be reading his book too.

Be sure to come back Friday, because the amazing Carrie Butler will be answering some questions about STRENGTH, what's coming up, and her amazing marketing skills. (She's got that down to a science!!)

Also, this is a new adult book because it is set in college, but I totally feel like it would be appropriate for a teenage reader. :)

Purchase it for your KINDLE, or Kindle App. (right now!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Faking It by Cora Cormack

Have you read LOSING IT, by Cora Carmack? If not, you need to remedy that pronto. It is such a fun read. I'm a romance junkie, so it was right up my alley. She excels at the awkward, yet wonderful time of meeting someone new and falling in love. Her characters are likeable and the boys are super duper swoon worthy.

The best part? LOSING IT releases in paper back soon, FEBRUARY 26 to be exact. So be sure to pick it up, and that way you'll be ready when the next installment FAKING IT comes out on June 4!

Here is a little blurb:

FAKING IT by Cora Carmack
releases 06/04/2013 from William Morrow Paperbacks

Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they're expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he's kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they're forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

And without further is the super hot cover!! 

 RIGHT????? Now you MUST plan on reading LOSING IT, and putting in your preorder for FAKING IT. Get on with it! :) Image Map
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