Thursday, April 17, 2014

Operation Office Makeover

 Ever since I decided to quit the day job and stay home to be a writer I have been working out of my basement, which is windowless, by the way. By no stretch of the imagination can you call our basement inspiring! I love the rest of our house, but our basement has always sort of been an out of sight out of mind room. You know the room you would like to look nice, but no one ever sees it so why would you spend your money on making it look better.

Except I see my basement everyday and I have been complaining for the last year that I really need to do something to make it nicer.

Let it never be said nothing good can come out of being disorganized, because being disorganized was the instigator for Operation Office Makeover. A project I have now wholeheartedly embraced. The husband on the other hand, not so much! My sudden desire to really actually do something about the dreaded basement came about because I was writing on an old desk that had one drawer and was too short for me! So not only did I have nowhere to file any of my papers, but I would often have lower back and neck pain from being hunched over my computer all the time.

I cajoled my husband into letting me buy a desk by selling it as the glorious key to organization which would surely make me file all those paper laying in the out box! So, I got on line, found a beautiful desk and one month later I had a desk that was just my size. Now Goldilocks and I have something in common!

Do you know the problem with buying something new? No? I'll tell you. It makes all the other old stuff in the room look worse! My shiny new desk really made the rest of my furniture in the basement look terrible. Oh, and I forgot to mention that my new desk was so big there wasn't really room for my husband's old desk that he did our bills on. So one day I went to a local furniture store that I love and bought my husband a small corner desk to do our bills. This is My office after all, so naturally I get to have the biggest desk!

Once I had two pretty new desk I certainly could not keep that old metal filing cabinet that my husband had brought into our marriage fourteen years ago. Last week my beautiful new filing cabinet came and my cool metal stand that I got because I am certain I need to put Regency decor on it!

Do you see where this is going? Now I have some great furniture but the office still does not look ultra fab! I mentioned to my husband, in my sweetest voice, that I do believe this office needs to be repainted and get new floors. After all, they did not have carpet in the Regency period and since I am mainly a Regency writer I should try to create an office that reflects the period! The logic sounds good doesn't it?

The pictures I have shown you are some of the pieces I have bought.

Here is my challenge to you! I despise shopping for accessories, but I need some Regency era art for my walls and I think maybe some retro bright colored mail bins for my desk. Other than that I am stumped! I'd love to hear your ideas! Anyone who leaves me an idea today will be put in a drawing to win an e copy of my new book Dancing With The Devil!

Have a wonderful day!

The Marchioness of Mayhem

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's Up, Wednesday?

This week's question…
What's your morning pick-me-up, coffee or tea? Maybe a soda? A smoothie?

I drink a cup of coffee every morning. And, since it's just me and it's just one cup of coffee, I buy beans from a local Durham roasting company, Counter Culture Coffee, and the Clever Coffee Dripper. That one cup is going to be the best cup I can make it!
~Jennifer Lohmann

I pick myself up every morning with a cup of Starbucks Coffee! My habit got really expensive so I now make my Starbucks at home. I even have the mocha powder to make my Cafe Mocha Skinny!
~Julie Johnstone

Gotta have my coffee fix, preferably Community Coffee with Chicory, which I developed an addiction to from living in New Orleans for almost fifteen years. I'm happy dancing because they're making K-Cups for my Keurig now. I'm also addicted to Italian Sweet Cream sugar-free creamer.
~Suzanne Johnson

I drink a few cups of coffee and a few cups of tea every day. I think that's the hazard of having a toddler. After a year of being caffeine free, I practically need an IV-drip of it to help me function after Doodle Bug wakes me up at the butt-crack of dawn.
~Kat Latham

Coffee and Facebook. :)
~Samantha Grace

A nap! ; ) the twins are up all night so sleeping comes before all else! Yes, even food and drink! But my morning beverage of choice is warm water with a half packet of True Lemon!
~Christi Caldwell

So far, we're all coffee folks. What about you, readers? Coffee, tea, or something else?

Samantha is giving away a copy (ebook or print-winner's choice) of The Heart of a Duke today. If you would like to be entered into the drawing, be sure to include your email address with your comment. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who's Ben Skrewd?

Happy U.S. Tax Day from the ladies at Red Door Reads.

Last year, a number of the Red Door authors met at the RWA National Conference for a little side meeting and a chance to bond in person vs. online. This group of ladies were discussing what sort of project they could do as a group. They didn’t want to do a holiday theme or something that had been done already, but they did want something universal. Someone (who will remain anonymous) posed the loaded question -  “So who’s Ben Skrewd?” 

Anyway, after a few chuckles, we all realized that everyone has had the feeling of “Ben Skrewd” at one point or another in their life. Story ideas began to flow, and it didn’t take long for half of the Red Door authors to decide to take those story ideas and create a novella series like no other. There are 11 different novellas in the collection, and it is comprised of stories set in 19th Century England to present day Milwaukee and Ireland. Heroes who are cops and some who are aristocratic lords. Heroines who slay demons and some who see ghosts.

Each novella is as different and diverse as the authors, but each story has two things in common. ONE - A red door on each cover outside and TWO - a mysterious character named Ben Skrewd somewhere on the pages inside. 

For a short period of time, each Who’s Ben Skrewd novella is on sale for $0.99.  Also today, we are celebrating the launch with a Facebook release party beginning at 2:00 p.m. Central Time. There will be all sorts of prizes/giveaways and the opportunity to talk to your favorite Red Door authors. We do hope you’ll be able to join us -

But that isn’t all. Beginning today through April 22nd, we’re sponsoring a slightly different kind of contest. Each Ben Skrewd novella author has hidden a silhouette of “Ben” somewhere on our websites. Can YOU find all of the missing Bens? If so, submit your answers Here  - for a chance to win an iPad mini!

Without further ado…

The Red Door Reads ‘Who’s Ben Skrewd?’ Novella Series

Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (A Half Moon House Series Novella) by DEB MARLOWE

It's warring nations and the battle of the sexes as Liberty Baylis takes on Simon Lansing, Viscount Brodham in the fight for her friend's happiness. Brodham wants to retire to the peace of the country, but he'll take on the cheeky American chit if it will keep his nephew safe and happy. The war is on, but when banter, flirtation and kisses become weapons, will they wish the battle to end?

Hexed (A Deadly Sins Novella) by ANDRIS BEAR

The hero and heroine of ANGEL UNLEASHED, Jake Ryder and Liadin, return for a novella adventure. Jake and Lia fought Heaven and Hell for their happily ever after, but when Jake takes down what he thinks is a petty thief, he becomes the target of a dark and powerful force—one Liadin can’t kill.

Her Muse, Lord Patrick (A Muses Novella) by JANE CHARLES

Lord Patrick Delaney promised to deliver an important message to his best friend’s sister, but promises are hard to keep when one becomes a ghost. After Patrick is attacked in the forest and tossed into a river, he is surprised to wake at the country estate where the lovely Miss Laura Chetwey is mourning the loss of her brother. Even more surprising, she seems to be the only person who can see or hear him, which should make his mission easy to complete… if only he could remember the message he is supposed to deliver. 

Laura’s brother has been missing for four months and she has come to believe he perished at sea. Taking refuge at her uncle’s estate, she tries to escape her grief by immersing herself in the imaginary world of fiction by penning a horrid novel. But the line between reality and make-believe becomes hard to distinguish when a handsome ghost arrives at Torrington Abbey to protect her and steals her heart in the process.

Trapped between the span of life and death, Patrick fears he will vanish forever once he remembers the news of Laura's brother. Will they ever have a chance to be together, or is the opportunity for love lost to them forever?

In the Stars (A Regency Encounter Novella) by AVA STONE

Ever since a mysterious fortuneteller informed Miss Wilhelmina Throssell that she’d soon meet her true love - a one-eyed commander -Mina's thought of little else. She never imagined marriage was in the stars for her or that she had a true love out there somewhere. Anywhere.

Lieutenant-Colonel Nathaniel Carrick, Viscount Healeyfield returned home from the battlefields with nothing but his honor, his excellent eye-sight, and a crumbling abbey to his name. As luck would have it however, his wealthy mentor has a daughter of marriageable age that he’d like to see wed before he dies. Almost instantly, Nathaniel is quite smitten with the girl. She’s lovely, enchanting and the most unique female of his acquaintance. Unfortunately, the girl in question is quite adamant that her one true love, whoever he may be, has but a single eye.

Dances with Demons (A Phoenix Chronicles Novella) by LORI HANDELAND

Multiple RITA award winning author, Lori Handeland, brings you a novella set in her popular urban fantasy world, The Phoenix Chronicles . . .

When a demon comes calling Megan Murphy's bar blows sky-high, and she's suddenly on the run with her klutzy day shift bartender, the exceedingly gorgeous Quinn Fitzpatrick. 

Quinn has been in love with Megan from the moment he saw her.  Too bad he's living a lie.  He isn't as klutzy as he makes out, nor as human as she believes.  Quinn was sent to protect Megan from anything that slithers.

But there's danger afoot, and the best place for them both is one that’s far, far away.  A place Quinn Fitzpatrick once called home.  Ireland--land of fairies and gargoyles, shape-shifters, dragons and more.

There they will dance with demons, and Megan will uncover every secret Quinn has.

Firebird (A Columbyana Novella) by LINDA WINSTEAD JONES

Rori has always felt out of place in her powerful shape-shifting family. When it becomes clear to her that she has no place among them, she decides to start a new life in a seaside town. A normal life. 

Panther-shifter Kalum is drawn to the far eastern edge of Columbyana, where his mate has been hiding. He tried for years to deny her, but that is no longer possible. Like it or not, she is his. 
And secrets await...

Accidentally in Love (A More Courtesan Chronicles Novella) by CLAUDIA DAIN

  Miss Emeline Harlow had loved Christopher Culley all her life and was going to marry him. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to know that. Just because they had grown up in each other's pockets from the time they were children, just because their mothers were best friends, and just because her three younger brothers all thought of Kit Culley as a brother, did not make Emeline Kit's sister. Somehow, Kit was blind to that fact. Emeline will just have to use her London come-out to show Kit that she is not a little girl, not his sister, and not to be ignored. Emeline Harlow, with a little help from Lady Eleanor Kirkland and Sophia Dalby, is going to succeed brilliantly at all three.

The Earl’s Passionate Plot by SUSAN GEE HEINO

Falling in love was never part of the plan...
When Miss Mariah Langley inherited beautiful Renford Hall she planned to stay there forever. Now the Earl of Dovington has shown up to evict her! He's waving legal proof that the property is his and he's arranged to lease it to an eligible heiress. With nowhere to go, Mariah agrees to host his potential lessees in exchange for additional time there.

With guests arriving and tempers flaring, there seems but one obvious solution. The spinster and the earl engage in a battle of wits and wooing: they each scheme to find a partner for the other, hoping romance will give the enemy reason to relinquish the house. It's hard to focus on matchmaking, however, when they can't keep their hands off each other!

Touch of Trouble (A Blake Brothers Novella) by SUSAN SEY
He’s in hot pursuit…
Drew Blake loves women. All women. Normally, they love him right back but Meghan Wise? Not so much. To his shock, Meg is immune to charm, impervious to flattery, and just plain impatient with his attention. So what the hell is she doing knocking at his bedroom door after midnight with a smile and an invitation?

She’s hard to get...
Meg prefers to fly solo, generally speaking, but she knows when to buddy up. Like now, for example, when an annoying situation suddenly goes all law-and-order on her on the middle of the night. She’ll deal with it, of course, but she’ll need a bodyguard. Unfortunately, the only person who’s both interested in her body and handy at midnight is Drew Blake.

She’s in a touch of trouble…
Meg’s not offering quite the adventure Drew has in mind but he jumps at it anyway. Because there’s just something about this girl, something beyond the surface slick and the endless legs. Something soft, vulnerable, and precious that she really doesn’t want him to see. Which is why he desperately wants to see it. Drew’s not one to resist temptation, either. The question is, can she resist him?
…but it just might be his lucky night.

Reagan’s Revenge (A Reed Brothers Novella) by TAMMY FALKNER

Calmly, Carefully, Completely left readers with one question — would Reagan ever get justice against her attacker?  

A chance meeting, a well-deserved ass kicking and the end of Emily and Logan's engagement? Find out what happens next in Reagan's Revenge!

Cross Springs In Bloom (A Cross Springs Novella) by CAREN CRANE

Cross Springs' biggest gossip, Mindy MacPherson, goes after a mysterious rose grower's secrets and encounters her lone one-night stand, Javier Morales Nieto. Mindy had only one regret from her night with Javier: that she didn't have the courage to face the morning after and see whether their feelings would last. With the Cross Springs flower show imminent, the heat gets turned up high and fast!
A chance meeting, a well-deserved ass kicking and the end of Emily and Logan's engagement? Find out what happens next in Reagan's Revenge!

You can find them all at!