Writer.Chef.Romantic.

HOTtest thing ON ICE!

In Romantic on March 21, 2017 at 8:11 am

Hi everybody!

It’s spring! It’s spring! My yard is dappled with melting snow and shingles that blew off in the windstorm that happened right before the heavens opened up and dumped two feet of snow on us, but it’s spring!

And that means HOCKEY! Actually, I have no idea when people play hockey, but it’s probably the fall. That seems to be when they jack the parking lot prices up downtown when I’m teaching and make me beg for a discount because I’m a poor professor.

However, HOT ON ICE, an anthology of 18 hot hockey romances is out today! I considered taking part in this anthology for a hot half-second when these super-cool women asked me to join them, but I don’t sports. Like, at all. I have never, in this life of mine, taken time to understand the rules. But I’ve loved sports romance ever since Jaci Burton’s series with all those shirtless athletes. Molly O’Keefe had some great hockey players, too. I love the adrenaline, the alpha, and the sweat, but I am perfectly content not to write about it. Let’s leave that to people who love it — the authors of HOT ON ICE.

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology .99 cents. Hot hockey heroes. Some of my favorite authors AND people. I actually pre-ordered this one, folks, and I never do that. If sports romance is your thing, go get it!

And here’s the link to the Facebook Party going on all day. I’ll be there! If you have never taken part in one of these things, check it out. Authors give away tons of books and stuff. I’m giving away the bowl scrapers I ordered for Wild Wicked Weekend swag bags. (Yes, I know I promised you a re-cap of the weekend, but, as it turns out, what happens at the dungeon stays in the dungeon. Vegas rules, apparently, and I signed something to that effect. However, I’m not sure that applies to MY experience. I am the confessional sort, however, my mom reads this blog! LOL. Another day for that post!)

In order to win at the HOT ON ICE Party, you have to join the party. Like, actually click “join” or “going” or whatever on the party page. That way they can find you and tell you what you scored.

Another reason to buy the book: part of the proceeds are going to Homes for our Troops, a charity that builds specially modified homes for injured veterans. I’d love these hardworking women to make a big splash with their book, so even if hockey ain’t your thing or you hate FB parties, would you mind sharing the HOT ON ICE news with some of your sports-minded reader friends? I’d appreciate it! FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, whatever you got. (As an aside, whenever the topic comes up, my Instagram-addicted teen tells me FB is for moms. Bwahahaha! I am that mom, and I’ll be in and out of the Hot On Ice FB party all day.)

Happy spring, my friends! Here’s hoping it grabs a hockey stick and beats winter’s chilly butt into the ground.

XOXO,

Amanda

Free Book for Wild Wicked Weekend!

In Love Maker on February 21, 2017 at 6:58 pm
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Download for FREE from iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Whew! I made it through another five weeks of teaching four nights a week while working weekends and sometimes during the week day at Wegmans. I had many moments of “I’m too old for this.” However, on the whole, I got enough sleep, I remembered to pack meals, I stayed hydrated, and I even managed to make significant progress figuring out how to finish the book. (Sometimes it’s complicated to be a person who writes by the seat of her yoga pants. It got MORE complicated when I decided I wanted this book to follow a hero’s journey and that I wanted to outline the second half BEFORE I wrote it.)

ONWARD! The next big thing on my list is attending Wild Wicked Weekend in San Antonio with my friend Jennifer Kacey and her mom. I usually attend craft-based conferences because I’m a craft junkie, and there are few things I love more than listening to a writer talk about process. However, this is a just-for-fun con. I’m not signing or presenting a workshop, I’m just going to talk about sexy books with like-minded readers and writers, drink margaritas, respectfully admire the physiques of the cover models who help sponsor the weekend and…perhaps visit a dungeon. 🙂

Basically, I’m going to go play with my kinky friends!

fullsizerender-3Of course, in order to justify spending the money (and writing it off on my taxes), I had to have SOME sort of presence. So I made swag. I sent bowl scrapers for the swag bags that will be given to all attendees, and I made postcards for the paper-swag table. But that’s not all… I worked some indie magic and made BOTTOMS UP free! You can download it from iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. So if you’ve been wondering what a series centered around a sex toy boutique called Come Again might be like, please consider this my personal invitation to visit. I hope you’ll want to stay and explore the other books in the series!

I’ll see you guys on the other side of my Wild Wicked Weekend! I plan to “kiss” and tell y’all everything, especially if I have to change the names to protect the not-so-innocent! 🙂

She Doesn’t Doubt Herself

In Ass Kicker on February 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

I have a friend with serious health problems. Not only does she have lupus, she has just about every intersecting disease you can possibly have when your immune system has gone rogue and decided to destroy your home planet. AND before she got her official diagnosis, she was dicked around by doctors for YEARS. One of them even tried to tell her it was all in her head and get her to take antidepressants. Like THAT would make it all go away.

Now my friend is one seriously smart cookie. She did the research. She diagnosed herself. She suggested which tests would help narrow down the causes of all her symptoms, and she pointed out all the intersecting diseases associated with lupus. And they patted her on the head and told her she was wrong. Probably.

However, after repeated and painful testing, she proved herself right. Unfortunately. Sort of. (It’s good to FINALLY have a diagnosis to work with.)

Imagine feeling like crap all of the time. Having no energy. Having random parts of your body go numb. Not being able to eat because your stomach shrieks every time you put food in it. Having a migraine for weeks at a time. Being disoriented. Dizzy. Breaking out in rashes. Hurting EVERY TIME YOU MOVE.

Can you imagine? I honestly can’t. I’d be a mess.

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My friend is also gorgeous, so I put her on the cover of Bottoms Up! It totally delighted me to have that power. If you would like to learn more about her lupus struggles, here’s a link to her blog on the subject. If you like kinky romance, I recommend her books. She possesses an exquisitely dirty mind. 🙂

But my friend refuses to let her spirit be conquered by her body. She has published several books in the last 17 months (during a lupus flare that just won’t let go). She has started two new businesses, adding to the three she already runs. She’s a mom. She dresses like a real person and goes to work. She’s seen more movies than I have this year. She does ALL THE THINGS. She’s told me that if she has to feel like shit all the time, she’s determined to feel like shit while doing the things she wants to do. She isn’t going to let her health stop her more than absolutely necessary.

As I was driving my middle kid to her early jazz band practice this morning, I pondered where and how and what makes my friend able to keep going and doing and ass kicking while her body is shutting down. And yes, I compared myself to her because I haven’t published anything new (except the re-releases of the Come Again series) in the last 17 months. It came to me – instantly. The same epiphany I always have. No blinding burst of like, exactly, but enough illumination to make me want to share it with you.

My friend doesn’t doubt herself. Not even when DOCTORS disagree with her. She perseveres. She finds new doctors. She keeps writing and publishing what she wants, where she wants, when she wants. She doesn’t question every idea, sentence, chapter. She creates and keeps creating and doesn’t waste energy telling herself she’s wrong.

I question EVERYTHING. I wear myself out. Unnecessarily, so unnecessarily. It’s hard to stop doubting when doubt is hardwired, but it isn’t impossible. It’s a worthy practice.

(I must come to this realization every year because I wrote this: Vulnerability equals connection: on joy, pastries, passion, and not being a spirit crusher last year at about this time. And probably something similar the year before that. Consistency, for the win!)

Doubt sucks. I’d finally get this book finished if I stopped doubting myself. I’d do all kinds of other epic things. I know it.

I also wouldn’t be me, so there’s that. I can’t flip a switch and become a sunny optimist, but I can be inspired by the example my friends sets. I might never know what it is like not to doubt myself, but I DO know what it is like to continue creating despite all my inner fears. THAT I can do.

My mind opened up a little bit this morning. I felt inspired. Ready to kick a little ass myself. So I wanted to share my old/new groundbreaking, ass kicking burst of hell yes, you can, forge ahead, and use your doubts to fuel your life’s work.

You’re going to do it anyway. Do it without doubt. Go all Nike on yourself for a minute. For as many minutes as you can.

Do you have any thoughts on the subject of self-doubt and creativity? I am endlessly fascinated by that subject, and I’d love to hear from you! XOXO