On the menu~~ Healthier eating #letsgethealthy

 

Hi, y’all. I hope  ya had a great  New year. Now that all of the celebrating is behind us some of us are trying to loose that weight we added during the holidays or to begin a resolution. I did not make that resolution this year. I am working on getting healthier. I will also admit that after all the heavy foods, and treats, I am ready for something lighter. I always say I am going to go on this diet or that for a new years resolution, or lose so many pounds. I did neither this year. However. I do plan to lose what I can exercise  and become a better me.

A few of my friends, my daughter included, has begun yoga. I think I could benefit from the relaxation of it and some flexibility. In December, I began seeing a personal trainer twice a week. It is a lot like physical therapy since he had studied that in college.  I can already feel improvement after only  a few workouts. we  have begun with balance on a balance ball and use a  resistance band and suspension band a lot.  If I can recommend one  piece of equipment to buy this year it’s a resistance band. Get one with foam handles, begin light. They are only about 8 dollars at Walmart depending on  brand and resistance. The balance balls are fun too and inexpensive as well.  Start with a few stretches. pick a couple exercise that come with the equipment and do only three daily  and do like three to five sets of  five or ten reps if that’s all you can.  Switch it up and do different ones each day.

If I can recommend one  piece of equipment to buy this year it’s a resistance band. Get one with foam handles, begin light. They are only about  16 dollars at Walmart for a full set depending on  brand and resistance. Google them and you can find many kinds this link is golds gym which is a very good quality and the ones I am ordering. The one i have now I got at Freds dollar store for 8 dollars. It’s great but I want the set to switch out.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gold-s-Gym-Long-Series-Resistance-Tube-Kit-with-DVD/12167849

 

The balance balls are fun too and inexpensive as well.  Start with a few stretches. pick a couple exercise that come with the equipment and do only three daily  and do like three to five sets of  five or ten reps if that’s all you can.  Switch it up and do different ones each day.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/CAP-Fitness-55cm-Stability-Ball-Blue/12517114

 

 

This is the one I have  it’s only $5. 88 right now on Walmart .com

I am not affiliated with any of this so I am not making money. These are just some cool Items I like and easy for us beginners.

The balance balls are fun too and inexpensive as well.  Start with a few stretches. pick a couple exercise that come with the equipment and do only three daily  and do like three to five sets of  five or ten reps if that’s all you can.  Switch it up and do different ones each day.

here are two to start you off. On the exercise ball sit with feet apart and roll your hips round and round rolling the ball first one way then the other. next sit holding the ball still and march… lift one leg up  then the other.. this sounds easy but I’m telling you it’s not LOL.. Find something about 10 or 15 pounds hold in one hand and walk back and forth across your house switching hands at the starting point this is a farmers walk. after  a little warm up you can begin an exercise.  With your resistance band, stand in the center… pull up over your shoulders then spread your legs to hip-width.  squat up and down do 10 or 15 take a minute break repeat three times.

Now for eating healthier.  My trainer  has talked to me bout Paleo. I don’t plan to start a diet like that but will use elements. I am going right now with cutting out most breads, sweets and using portion control. I will be staying with a friend all of next week so I am not sure I can say cut out starches as they like potatoes and pasta. I do like meat  so I have been looking up some yummy recipes to try. Here is a chicken one that looks  good.

Blackened Chicken.  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8571/blackened-chicken/photos/364458/

 

I would serve with quinoa  and black beans instead of rice or potatoes. There are some good quinoa blends out there in boxes that make it easy. Next week I will share some Quinoa recipes.

Did you make a resolution to lose weight or get fit? What are your plans or goals?

On Tour with~~ Joe Cosentino~~Drama Muscle

Ride the Rainbow Tour Bus

Hi, ya’ll! Are you ready to go on a tour? Hope on the bus, and let’s go! Today’s visit is with one of my favorite M/M  award—winning authors…Joe Cosentino!

 Hello, Joe. Thank you for stopping by to chat with us today.

My pleasure. I love answering your questions!

Great. Here’s the first. When did you start writing?

 My mother says I was telling stories in the womb. Actually, she tells me I took forever to come out (of her womb)—and she says it still hurts! As kids my sister, neighborhood friends, and I created full theatrical, costumed and choreographed musical productions in the garage. After majoring in theatre in college I became a professional actor, working in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T industrial), Nathan Lane (Roar of the Greasepaint onstage), Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream onstage), Charles Keating (NBC’s Another World), Jason Robards (Commercial Credit computer commercial), and Holland Taylor (ABC’s My Mother Was Never a Kid TV movie). Moving on to playwriting and ultimately writing novels came next. Along the way, I received two master’s degrees and became a college professor/department head (like Martin Anderson in the Nicky and Noah mystery series).

Wow! What was it like acting with all those celebrities?

In each case, I worked with them before they became famous, and in each case they were gracious, hard-working, kind, and very funny. I can see Rosie O’Donnell playing Noah’s mother in a TV version of Drama Muscle!

First things first. How did Lethe Press come to publish the Nicky and Noah mystery series?

I noticed Lethe Press publishes many humorous, theatrically-styled gay books, and the company has been successful for fifteen years. After I submitted the manuscripts, Steve Berman offered to publish them, saying he had great fun reading them.

Any plans for them to become a television series?

I have plenty of plans. I need a TV network to have them too. Can’t you see Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as Noah, and me as Martin Anderson? Come on, TV producers, make your offers!

I definitely can see that and would love to watch it! Why did you write a gay mystery/comedy/romance series?

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are the kind of books I like reading: funny, theatrical, sexy, wild, and wacky with a solid mystery full of plot twists and turns at its center—and a surprise ending!

What does the term, cozy mystery, mean?

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. It is a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. Along the way, Nicky and Noah fall in love, as I’ve heard the readers fall in love with them. For most of my life I’ve read cozy mystery novels. Though full of murder and mayhem, they always made me smile, challenged my brain, and relaxed me. What could be better than a brain-teasing puzzle taking place in a comfortable environment with lots of gay people? Like an Agatha Christie novel, the mystery is the central focus with red herrings and inversions leading to a satisfying conclusion. As in an Armistead Maupin novel, the characters are wacky, surprising, and endearing. In the first novel, it is winter, so white snow, cherry wood mantels surrounding blazing fireplaces, and hot chocolate are in abundance. In the second book, it is fall, so gorgeous leaves of amber, violet, and scarlet blanket the campus. The third book (Drama Cruise not yet published) takes us on cruise to Alaska for sights of glaciers and whales while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.

Why did you set the series in a college university?

As a college professor/department head, I have always been aware that colleges are rife with mystery, romance, and humor. In each book Nicky and Noah eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book.

Was Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, well received?

Reviewers called RDrama Queen hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. Who am I to argue? Drama Queen also won four Divine Magazine Reader Poll Awards for favorite books of 2015: Best Mystery, Best Crime, Best Humorous, and Best Contemporary. In Drama Queen college theatre professors were dropping like stage curtains and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah had to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. When the ebook reached eighteen on the Amazon bestsellers list in its category and the paperback and audiobook (with all twenty-four roles played by Michael Gilboe) sold like tickets to Les Mis after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery.

What is the storyline of Drama Muscle, the current Nicky and Noah mystery?

In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out who is murdering musclemen in the Bodybuilding Department In the novel Nicky is directing bodybuilding students in Treemeadow College’s annual Bodybuilding competition on campus. Bodybuilding students and faculty drop faster than barbells until Nicky figures out the identity of the murderer, as well as Noah’s secret revolving around Van Granite, one of the bodybuilding professors. Noah’s hysterically funny parents visit from Wisconsin and are drawn into the action, and Nicky and Noah reach a milestone by the end of the novel.

Why did you set the second novel in the Bodybuilding Department?

I  have always been fascinated with bodybuilders. The concept of eating protein every two hours, lifting weights for three hours a day, shaving every body part, spray tanning, and posing in tiny gold trunks is amazing to me. What dedication! I quickly noticed the link between bodybuilding and theatre. So I realized the second Nicky and Noah mystery would take place in the Bodybuilding Department at Treemeadow College.

Since I work out every day (yet see very little results!) and am enamored of the real bodybuilders who are so big they don’t even need to iron their shirts, Drama Muscle holds a special place in my heart.

Since you are a college theatre professor, is the series based on you, your colleagues, and students?

My colleagues kid me that if anybody at my college ticks me off, I kill him/her in the series? Hah. To be honest, I like my colleagues and students too much to murder them in my books. Martin Anderson, Nicky and Noah’s department head, is based on me. He’s a loyal, hardworking department head and professor who fully supports his faculty colleagues, office assistant, and the students in his department. Like me, he is also a little bit, well quite a bit, of a gossip. My knowledge of theatre is also very evident in the series. The other characters and the location came from my head. As my mother says, “How do you think up all these crazy things? Well, you always were a bit crazy as a kid.”

Nicky is described as having an enormous manhood. Does that help him solve the murders?

It doesn’t hurt. Well, maybe it does. Hah. Nicky has to flirt his way into some places to get certain information, so his handsome face, muscular body, and huge penis are definitely assets. Even more, however, Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues. Most of all, Nicky uses his smarts, always a fine asset in an amateur detective.

Nicky is of Italian-American decent, like you. Is that a coincidence?

Not at all. I come from a very funny Italian family. I use that in a great deal of my writing, though my mother swears nothing I write about actually ever happened.

Noah is eight years younger than Nicky. Does that present a conflict in their relationship?

People who say age is only a number are lying. Age always comes up. Thankfully, Nicky and Noah handle it, like everything else, with great humor, style, and love.

Your Dreamspinner Press novellas (An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland) were so well received. What do you say to people who loved them and might be surprised that the Nicky and Noah mysteries are quite different? 

I love salmon but I also love chicken. It’s the same thing. I’d ask them to give Drama Queen and Drama Muscle a try. Like I found eating pea soup as a kid, they may acquire a different taste.

What’s next for you as a writer?

Nine Star Press is publishing my two novels that place at a gay summer resort on the Jersey Shore: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward.

Tell us about your other mystery series, the Jana Lane mystery series.

I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press), Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll (The Wild Rose Press), Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.

 Thank you for stopping by and Congratulations for winning Best Contemporary Novel, Best Mystery Novel, Best Crime Novel, and Best Humorous Novel of 2015 for DRAMAQUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery published by Lethe Press, in the Divine Magazine Readers’ Poll Awardshttp://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p303/Drama_Queen%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html

Laugh the winter weather away this January! DRAMA MUSCLE, the second Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino, published by Lethe Press is available Now!

DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery made today’s list of Favorite LGBT Books of 2015 on Elisa Rainbow’s blog (thank you, Lorraine Lesar!).

DRAMA MUSCLE (a Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO from Lethe Press

DramaMusclecover

Paperback: 60,000 words

Publisher: Lethe Press

Language: English

Cover Design: Denny Minonne

ISBN-10: 1590215664

ISBN-13: 978-1590215661:

Release date: January, 2, 2016

 

 

It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use theirdrama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

You can buy it at:

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p353/Drama_Muscle%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html

http://www.amazon.com/Drama-Muscle-Nick-Noah-Mystery/dp/1590215664/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449696136&sr=1-4

Amazon myBook.to/DramaMuscle

My Review

5 meows 3 purrs (moderate sexual content)

This is book two in the Nicky and Noah mysteries but stands alone quite well.

In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah are helping to make the bodybuilding competition more creative. Nicky is the producer and Noah helping with each one’s posing. They have chosen a Greek gods theme. Then the students and supervisors start dying one after another. Nicky begins investigating to help find the murder.

Once again Joe Cosentino delivers an intriguing story with lots of fun characters. I never tire of Joe’s stories. He has such a clean yet humorous style and though the mystery seems a bit predictable at first it twists and turns. I admit I suspected the killer but never could figure out a motive so I was unsure of what the outcome would be.

I love Nicky and Noah. They are quirky, very much in love and also sexy. I like the way the sex is handled in the store. It’s hot, sensual and yet tasteful.  The descriptions add a lot to the story. I could visualize their Victorian home as if I was there.

There was another storyline as well as the murders that really had me worried. Noahs parent comes to visit and keep pressing marriage. Nick keeps bringing it up, but Noah seems to brush him off, and then he begins cozies up to one of the bodybuilding teachers. What’s the outcome here? It was another surprise!

If you like a fast-paced, humorous mystery with some quirky characters, lots of twists and the hot, sensual, man-sex, this is definitely for you.

I promise you a laugh a minute!
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

 Here is a little more Drama Muscle

As Mack drank, Jimmy Saline, a theatre major working as a student aide in the gym, said hello to me, then approached Mack shyly. At about a hundred pounds, Jimmy’s whole body could have fit into one of Mack’s muscular legs.

“Excuse me?” said Jimmy hoarsely.

Mack looked at Jimmy like a fly buzzing around his head. “Yeah?”

Jimmy swallowed hard. After clearing his throat, he wiped the perspiration off his freckled forehead, and croaked out, “You looked really up there good.” Jimmy’s face turned the shade of his fire-engine-red hair. “I mean you looked good up there. You should win.”

Mack smiled. “Thanks.”

I pretended to focus and refocus some lighting equipment near them as Jimmy handed Mack a fluffy white towel, then started to walk away.

Mack wiped the sweat off his handsome face. “What’s your name?”

“Me?”

Mack nodded.

Jimmy looked like a shock victim. “James…Jim…Jimmy.”

“Hi James Jim Jimmy. I’m Mack.” Mack offered his thick hand.

Jimmy’s face lit up like a torch as he stared at Mack’s hand in wonder. Finally his sweaty hand connected with Mack’s.

As they shook hands, Jimmy said, “I didn’t mean to take you away from your rehearsal.”

“You didn’t take me away,” Mack responded. “I’m on a break.”

“I’m glad. I mean, it’s good to have a break once in a while, because you might get tired, and then you’ll need…a break.” Jimmy raised his brown eyes to his mop of red hair. “I’m babbling.”

As Jimmy started to leave, Mack said, “Are you a phys. ed. major?”

Laughing, Jimmy responded, “What gave me away? My skinny arms or skinnier legs?”

Mack put his strong hand on Jimmy’s minuscule shoulder. “Jimmy, you shouldn’t put yourself down.”

“I’ve learned to do it before someone else beats me to it.” Realizing he was still holding Mack’s hand, Jimmy moved away nervously. “I’m a theatre major, working here as a student aide.”

“Why do you want to work in the Phys. Ed. building if you’re a theatre major?”

I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

“You don’t want to know.” Jimmy picked up a broom resting against the gym wall and began sweeping the floor.

Mack held the broom still. “I don’t ask a question unless I want to know the answer.”

Jimmy looked down at his sunken chest. “I took a weightlifting class last semester. Obviously I failed. When I was leaving class one day, I saw you coming into the weight room.”

“That’s why you applied to be a student aide here?” Mack asked in astonishment.

Jimmy nodded. “I hoped I could meet you.”

“Why?”

Jimmy took a step backward. “Please don’t get freaked out.”

Mack raised Jimmy’s chin from his chest. “I’m not freaked out.”

“I’m not a stalker or anything. I know that someone like you would never be friends with someone like me. I just want you to know that I really admire what you’ve accomplished as an athlete. And I’ve watched the way you interact with people, how you listen to them and respect them. I think that’s a really good thing. And I think you’re a really good guy.”

Jillian Flowers tapped Mack’s perfect back, then flicked back her blonde hair. “Mack, you um want to go over our like poses together?” She pressed her strong shoulder against his. “I, you know, promise to go like easy on you.”

Jimmy looked like a squirrel at a demolition site. “I’m sorry I bothered you. Good luck with the competition.” He scurried off to the supply room.

“Wait!” Mack shouted, but Jimmy was gone.

 

Meet Amazon Bestselling Author Joe Cosentino:

Joe Cosentino

Joe Cosentino wrote Drama Queen and Drama Muscle  Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An InfatuationA Shooting StarA Home for the HolidaysThe Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Nine Star Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels areDrama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press).

You can Stalk oops Follow Joe:

Websitehttp://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press:

 

“Without doubt, the funniest book I have read this year, maybe ever” “brilliant” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“I cannot stop laughing. Drama Queen is Hardy Boys-meets-Murder She Wrote-meets-Midsummer Murders, with a side of parodic, farcical, satire.” “Whodunits don’t come more whodunnit than this.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

 

“I’m hoping that this is just the start for Nicky and Noah. If Jessica Fletcher could have so many murderers in Cabot Cove, why shouldn’t the same hold true for Treemeadow College?” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews

 

“This fast-paced, hilariously funny, entertaining novel will have you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who-dun-it!” Joyfully Jay

 

“a murder mystery, a comedic romp, an investigative caper, and a love story all rolled up into one nifty little novel” The Novel Approach

 

“The tangled weave of murder mystery and other mysteries comes to a startling conclusion that is both satisfying and mind-boggling.” MultitaskingMomma

 

“I am not used to reading books that make me snigger out loud, but in Drama Queen Joe Cosentino has struck a great balance between his use of tongue in cheek humour and a compelling mystery which we want to see solved.” Divine Magazine

 

“Nicky and Noah are two sexy leading characters who conduct the investigation in this comedic caper with wit and style.” Vance Bastian Reviews

“Cosentino does a wonderful job of writing a mystery that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end.” Barron Owens Reviews

“I love this story, just the right mix, of fun, hilarity and mystery in the mix. The storyline is fresh and well thought out, and the dynamic of the characters is through the roof! Bike Book Reviews

 

“The author clearly knows of what he speaks on all matters theater, and the kind of authentic details he brings to the table in terms of characters and staging makes this immensely entertaining.” Love’s Last Refuge Reviews

What are you waiting for? go grab a copy and get ready for some fun and laughs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat’s Meow ~~Reviews that Purr~~ A Christmas Stray

Hi,  Y’all and welcome back for another holiday special. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Christmas specials I decided to make this a monthly theme. This month I chose Snow. (I haven’t gotten any yet, and chances are I won’t get much so I will enjoy it in books! ( no shoveling this way either).

snow_from_glossy_cloud

I am kicking the Month off with A Christmas Stray by  Rachelle Ayala.Everyone can get a copy of A Christmas Stray [ebook] free if they sign up for her Newsletter. Thanks, Rachelle! That’s Awesome!

I asked Rachelle her Top 10 things to do in the snow!

Make a snowman and snowdog!

  1. Snow angels
  2. Snowball fight
  3. Lick Snowcones? brrr…
  4. Sledding down a snowy hill
  5. Skiing and not falling too badly
  6. Shoving Snow down your boyfriend’s pants
  7. Kissing in a snowstorm
  8. Waking up to a winter wonderland
  9. The Silence while the snow is falling

14-ChristmasStray

A Christmas Stray

Length 106 pages

Publisher February 11th 2015 by Amiga Books

Heat: Moderate

Meows: 5

Juliette Martin does not ever want to celebrate Christmas again, not when it means reliving the last one after her six-year-old son, Jeremiah, passed away on Christmas Eve.

She and husband, Gabe, find themselves snowed in at a mountain cabin with a pair of strays. Juliette desperately needs a miracle to save her marriage and restore her faith in God. Can a stray dog and an orphan boy help her believe in the magic of Christmas and the power of love?

MY REVIEW

A Christmas Stray is a bittersweet story of loss and love. It makes us face reality in the fact that life isn’t always sweet. We have death and the pain of our marriages falling apart. I loved the twist of what happens when they are stranded. My heart went out to both Juliette and Gabe in different ways.  I absolutely adored the magic of Peter and Puppy. If there is ever a story that embodies Christmas magic its this one.

If you love a bittersweet romance, orphans, elves, puppies and an allover fabulous holiday romance, you will love this one.

 

Christmas Stray

 

Here is a sneak peek at A Christmas stray

Chapter One

The little cabin was almost perfect. Remote, tucked beneath fir and pine trees, rustic, and private. Snowdrifts were piled on each side of the plowed driveway, and the snow-covered tin roof was sloped at a steep angle just like in the Alps.

As soon as her husband, Gabe, shut off the ignition, Juliette Martin pounced out the door of their Mercedes Benz. She hadn’t spoken to him the last two hours of the drive, not since he mentioned the Christmas tree.

Sure enough, there was a tree twinkling with lights in the window of the cabin. Juliette pulled out her cell phone to call the management company.

“Ah, it looks quite lovely, don’t you think?” Her husband massaged her shoulders.

“Lovely or not, I specified no Christmas decorations. They need to remove the tree.”

She spoke to the management company while Gabe retrieved the key from the lockbox.

“Let’s go in and warm up,” he said. “I still don’t see why you don’t want the tree. It’s not as if it has any of our own ornaments on it.”

A pang of grief caught in her throat. Gabe really didn’t understand. Either that, or he was tired of her being an emotional wreck. This getaway was supposed to revive their marriage. From the looks of it, it was more like the last gasp of a beached whale.

“I don’t want a tree. No decorations. Nothing.” She followed Gabe into the cabin. “I thought you told them.”

Which was why she was so angry with him. He’d meant for them to have a tree. He knew about it when he mentioned it two hours back, and darn it all, he knew exactly how she felt.

He feathered his fingers down the side of her neck and peered into her eyes. “Hey, I thought it would cheer you up. Us coming here to create new memories.”

Juliette melted, a little. Her husband was a kind man, a tad insensitive, but his forehead was creased with concern, and face it, he was as gorgeous as they came. Except nothing, but nothing would take away Jeremiah’s death. Nothing.

“No memories will replace Miah.” She lowered her face before he could see the sprinkling of tears in her eyes.

Last Christmas Eve had been Jeremiah’s last one—spent in the children’s hospital. He’d been so weak with leukemia he couldn’t lift his head when they trimmed the spindly little tree in his room. But he’d still smiled at the ornaments she’d made for him. And she’d been stupid and thought God would grant her prayers and give them a miracle.

She well remembered the star she’d placed on the top. One that she’d named the miracle star. It was a silly little thing, of course. One made of cardboard painted white and sprinkled with silver glitter.

“You’re thinking about the miracle star, aren’t you?” Gabe caressed her cheek, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

She tore away from him. She didn’t deserve his attention and care. Not when her heart was crushed under the weight of guilt. She hadn’t wanted Jeremiah when she first discovered she was pregnant. The time hadn’t been right. She’d actually hoped for a miscarriage. But by the time he was born, she was head over heels in love with her little Miah. Too bad God had other plans for him, plans that included striking him with leukemia when he was four and letting him linger two years before his body gave out the day before Christmas.

“Just get this crap out of here.” She attacked the Christmas tree, knocking the star from the top. “I will never, ever celebrate Christmas again.”

“Whoa, whoa, don’t break anything.” Gabe pulled her from the tree and into his arms. “We won’t celebrate Christmas, but you need to get control of yourself.”

“Let me hibernate all December and wake up after the New Year when all the trees have been composted and people are thinking income taxes instead of eggnog.”

Juliette couldn’t help the sobs of another impending breakdown. The last few days of Jeremiah’s life had been full of fake holiday cheer. He’d made his Christmas wish list, been greeted by Santa and his elves, all of them wearing face masks, and was even allowed to pick one gift to open.

He’d chosen a stuffed dog, a black and brown wiry one with pointy ears and large sad eyes.

Meet Rachelle

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Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.

Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.

She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.

You can stalk—oops—follow Rachelle

Download a FREE surprise ebook by subscribing to her newsletter: http://bit.ly/RachAyala and find her books at online retailers Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Google Play, and Smashwords. Borrow her books at Scribd.

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/rachelleayala

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/RachAyala [get free copy of Christmas Stray]

My Sales Links: http://rachelleayala.me/books/christmas-stray/

Facebook Reader’s Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClubRachelleAyala/

Reader’s Guide: http://rachelleayala.me/reading-guide/

Website: http://rachelleayala.me

Blog: http://rachelleayala.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelleAyalaWriter/posts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelleAyalaWriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AyalaRachelle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/rachelleayala

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ayalarachelle/

Books by Rachelle Ayala 

Michal’s Window

Sports Romances

Played by Love

Playing the Rookie

Roaring Hot!

Playing Without Rules

The Remingtons: Leap, Laugh, Love

Intercepted by Love [Parts 1 – 6]

Playing Catch

Christmas Romances

A Father for Christmas

Christmas Flirt

Christmas Stray

A Pet for Christmas

Christmas Lovebirds

Santa’s Pet 

Jewells in Love

Whole Latte Love

Chance for Love

Broken Build

Hidden Under Her Heart

Knowing Vera

Sánchez Sisters

Taming Romeo

Claiming Carlos

 

Snippet Sunday

Snippet Sunday

 Hi, Ya’ll! Welcome to the first Snippet Sunday of the New Year. Sadly I don’t have a snippet to share this week. It’s one of those out like a lion things and this past week hit us with a vengeance.  I didn’t get much writing done this week. I worried with trying to come up with a new writing goal until I nearly cried. Finally, when I gave up a friend of mine and I was talking about the what’s next phase of Nano. We had been excited to find it was t like Nano at all. I don’t do forums and wanted something more personal and day to day. We decided to edit a chapter a day. I decided to keep with the writing and also do at least a chapter a day These are goals. If I am on a roll, i can always do more. I am hoping by keeping it small it is more attainable and by writing and editing, I’ll always have a book in the fire and more chances of finishing and publishing one this year.

Which brings me to the next dilemma. Did I want to pub or sub? I am still out on that. I have found two new publishers that look interesting that Both Dark Magick and Love Bites would fit.  I have not ruled out self-publishing at all. My decision was until I had a book completely through my self-editing and beta process not to worry about it. That gives me, at least, two months to figure that out.

I am also rethinking my blog temporarily to give me more time to write, work on my house, enjoy a hobby and exercise. I have made the decision to cut back to 4 times a week.  Untill March I will be doing Sunday Monday Tuesday and Friday. If u don’t change it, I will eventually have it Sunday Monday Wednesday and Friday.

This is what my goals look like at this point.

Writing: I am pulling out a book I started at the end of 2014. I will l simply call it Rose as a working title.

Editing: I am cleaning up and having My Nano story Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats ready to beta read.

I will do this Monday through Friday and Sat is my blog scheduling and planning day. Sunday will be plotting on my series such as Dark Magick and Love Bites. This way I should be able to focus on the task at hand and not be so overwhelmed.

I should be back next week with a Snippet from Rose. I can’t share any more Baseball Bats without spoilers.

If you’re in the mood for a sexy snippet skate on over to my friend Vicki’s blog( I love her catch-phrase) and see what she has for us. I don’t now what it is this week …but I can promise it will be good. Her stuff always is. V.L. Locey

Getting Lucky Cover reveal

Getting Lucky Banner_preorder

Title: Getting Lucky Anthology

Authors: J.L. Beck, RD Berg, L.B. Dunbar, Rebecca Elise, Ashley Hampton, Kelly Moran, K. Renee, Mayra Statham, & Shantel Tessier

Release Date: March 15, 2016

Publisher/Cover Designer: Underdog Photography & Publishing, LLC

All proceeds donated to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

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anthology_label_novellas included

Worth the Chase by J.L. Beck

Unlucky in Love by RD Berg

Chance Encounter by LB Dunbar

Lucky Stud by Rebecca Elise

Love at Lucky Stables by Ashley Hampton

Lucky Me by Kelly Moran

Right Kind of Wrong by K. Renee

Lucky for You by Mayra Statham

Wish Me Luck by Shantel Tessier

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anthology_label_blurbs

Worth the Chase by J.L. Beck

Gia King and Chase Winchester come together in an explosive romance with one chance encounter at love. College, romance, and two families who were hell bent on being enemies. Can love between these two really transpire or will everyone else have the last say?

Sometimes you have to chase what you want.

Unlucky in Love by RD Berg

Two days ago Chloe James considered herself the luckiest woman alive, as she excitedly did the final preparations for her dream wedding. How did she end up in the back of an ambulance in her wedding dress with the brazen paramedic, Braden Dean, on her wedding night? Chloe soon discovers her luck well has run dry, and she just might have become Unlucky In Love.

Chance Encounter by LB Dunbar 

Liars and cheats, that’s what Americans were to me, Chance Fitzgerald. My first impression was a bit skewed then of Keli Donagel. She was breathtakingly beautiful, until I heard that damn accent. Nothing good ever came from the Americans I encountered, most of all those who possessed something I want returned. What a corker that Fate is, though? She had other plans for me.

Lucky Stud by Rebecca Elise

When Kurt Davis let Briony Jensen move in as a favor to his cousin, it was only supposed to be temporary. He never expected to fall for her, but he is determined to make her his.

Just when he thinks he is getting close, Briony drops a bomb on him, forcing him to make a a difficult decision. Does he let her go or beg her to stay?

Love at Lucky Stables by Ashley Hampton

Mystery surrounds Lucky Stables. Many, like Emily Lane’s parents, fell in love there. After tragedy struck, Emily ran far away,believing the stables were cursed. In Emily’s absence, Shane Patterson has stepped in to help Emily’s aging father. When Emily returns home, will Shane help her believe in love and luck

Lucky Me by Kelly Moran

Declan O’Leary’s family is cursed. For the past one-hundred years, bad things happen if they fall in love. So Declan lives his life onewoman at a time. Until he meets Lily Durand and he finds himself wishing for a forever that can never be. Yet their fate encounter and one week of sexual, intimate bliss just might be enough to turn his luck around.

Right Kind of Wrong by K. Renee

Dannicka Grady has no idea she’s in trouble. When her sister Sage sends in a friend to protect her, the sparks fly. Sawyer “Saw” O’Brien is a dirty talking biker, and Dannicka never expected to be drawn to a man like him, especially since their worlds are so different. Can Sawyer protect her and win her heart at the same time?

Lucky for You by Mayra Statham

Ready for a fresh start, single mom Keira Jennings has discovered a slice of in heaven in the mountain town of Whispering Springs,California. Police chief Rex Malone is smitten at first sight for the charming new resident of his hometown. After a routine stop sparks fly. Has Keira’s luck changed for the better? Or is Rex just like every man she’s ever met?

Wish Me Luck by Shantel Tessier

I’ve always considered myself a lucky man. Women and money both come easily. That is until I meet Ashlyn. What was supposed to be fun and simple turns hard and complicated. I’m Ryder O’Kane, and I have fallen for a woman who made one night more memorable than any woman before her. It’s funny how luck runs out when you need it the most.

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CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE RELEASE PARTY

anthology_label_anthology trailer

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anthology_label_meet the authors

J.L. BECK

J.L. Beck is the best selling author of numerous books including Indebted, Inevitable, Invincible, and The Bittersweet Series. She’s best known for weaving a tale, that ends with your mouth hanging open, and your hands gripping the edge of your seat.

She’s a no holds bar author who enjoys spending time with her husband of eight years, three year old hellion, and soon to be newborn son Kolden, as well as Hatchi & Halo her two fur babies. She calls Wisconsin home, but loves to travel. In her free time you can catch her watching bad reality tv, cooking, reading books, or spending time outdoors.

 

RD BERG

RD Berg lives in the great state of Texas with her three boys who drive her to the brink of insanity most days. She loves to read, write and watch her two favorite shows, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. When she isn’t enthralled with a novel or a gory show, you can find her in the stands loudly cheering on her boys at their basketball and football games. She has three strong beliefs in life; Vanilla cake and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream should be a major food group, Halloween should be celebrated every month, and Harry Potter’s birthday should be a national holiday.

L.B. DUNBAR

I’d love to say I’ve written for 10,000 hours, and that makes me a pro. But I can’t say that. What I can say is I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I thought typing it in my computer would be the end of things, but it only led to another story and another. I love reading, so characters in my head isn’t something new. What is new is my creation of them. Hope you enjoy my favorites as much as I do. Happy reading!

Facebook Groups: 

http://www.facebook.com/groups/737318906359166/

http://www.facebook.com/groups/485611674920743/

REBECCA ELISE

Rebecca lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her daughter. She has a degree in Communications and Journalism with a focus in Corporate Communications and Public Relations.

Three things Rebecca loves are Coldplay, a bowl of half melted ice cream (any flavor!) and a glass of red wine. When she is not writing, Rebecca can be found with her nose in a variety of dirty romance novels, playing with her daughter or hanging out with friends and family.

While Rebecca has been writing for years, The Subzero Series is her first published work.

ASHLEY HAMPTON

Ashley Hampton works as a Licensed Psychologist in private practice during the day. When she leaves work, she puts on her writer and photographer hats and enjoys living in the worlds created in her mind. She lives near her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama with her cat, Gemma. Ashley wanted to find a creative way to meld her love for music and psychology with writing, and the Southern Rock Lyrics series was born. With other series planned, Ashley wants to write in the romance, erotica, and psychological thriller genres.

 

 

KELLY MORAN

Kelly’s been known to say that she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her and there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself.

Kelly is a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, and earned one of the 10 Best Reads of 2013 by USA TODAY’s HEA. She is a proud Romance Writers of America member.

Kelly’s interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and her black lab. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.

 

Join Kelly’s Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/moransmoxies/

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K. RENEE

K. Renee is from sunny, California. Creative by nature, she decided to put her imagination to paper. K. Renee is an avid reader. During the day she works in an office and at night she writes. These stories have been in her head for years and are finally coming out on paper.

MAYRA STATHAM

I have always had an addiction to books. Once upon a time I wrote one, but was easily discouraged.

 

Today is a new day and have decided to put my work out there.

 

My first series is called 6 degrees of separation… basing it on the theory where we are all connected, even if at the moment we might now know it, later down the road we see it.

The first book of the series is Crown’s Chance at Love.

 

This is Sabrina Miller & Michael Crown’s story. A story about second and sometimes even third chances, because everyone deserves love. 

 

Join Mayra’s Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/950235454992239/

SHANTEL TESSIER

Shantel is a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, who is a wonderful, supportive husband and their three year old little princess. She loves to spend time cuddled up on the couch with a good book.

 

She considers herself extremely lucky to get to be a stay at home wife and mother. Going to concerts and the movies are just a few of her favorite things to do. She hates coffee, but loves wine. She and her husband are both huge football fans, college and NFL. And she has to feed her high heel addiction by shopping for shoes weekly.

 

Although she has a passion to write, her family is most important to her. She loves spending evenings at home with her husband and daughter, along with their cat and dog.

Join Shantel’s Fan Page:

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