Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Howdy, friends! I'm taking a mini break from my Online Dating 101 series to participate in a fun blog hop! The Next Big Thing is designed to raise awareness of authors' work, or work in progress. I was tagged by Val Clarizio and have to answer ten questions. So here goes!

What is the title of your next book?
My next book, releasing in mid January of next year, is called Cheapskates in Love.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was talking to my girlfriends one night online, discussing how I'd been perusing the eHarmony online dating website using my free membership because I was too cheap to purchase a legit one. And, as it turns out, I found a pretty interesting guy on there who had a free membership too. We met and hit it off, for the short time we actually dated, and I believe it was the fabulous Margaret Ethridge who referred to us as cheapskates in love. Then and there I knew that needed to be the title of a book, so I wrote it!

What genre does your book fall under? 
I would categorize it as an erotic/romantic comedy, if that's even a category. It is now! :D

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
Well, I directly compare my hero to Harry Connick Jr. in the story, so he's an automatic hire. As for my heroine...I'm gonna have to go with Jessica Biel. Hmmm. They'd make a great couple in real life too, wouldn't they? Then I could take Justin Timberlake. We share a birthday so it's only right.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
Is the possibility of love really worth the price of $24.95 per month?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
My Cheapskates have found a home with Turquoise Morning Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
Exactly three minutes and forty-two seconds. Actually, it took me a few weeks. It's a novelette, around 8400 words, but they are 8400 AWESOME words. ;)

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
This book is a one-of-a-kind. Totally and completely unique. Kinda like me. *nods* :P

Who or What inspired you to write this book? 
I've already touched on this a little, but it was a combination of my own personal experiences in online dating, and the dialogue exchanged with friends during one of our many chats about my love life, or lack thereof. 

What else about your book might pique the readers' interest? 
It's quirky and funny. There's nudity and sexy times. My new made-up word 'spocking' is featured. It pokes fun at online dating. My characters are hot. I'll give you cookies if you buy it....

Aaaand that's about all I have to say! Thanks for reading! If you're interested in participating in this blog hop, let me know! I need to tag five new people!! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #20!

Gooooood morning, friends, fellow authors, and readers! I can't believe I've been doing this for twenty weeks! Wowwwwy! Thank you for continuing to visit my blog and sharing in the fun of Six Sentence Sunday! Today I decided to switch things up a bit and introduce you to a novel I've been working on. Now I hear Stewie Griffin in my head. Anywayyyy, this is called Love Notes. I would give you a premise, but I'm not sure I could explain it without making your heads spin. Someday I will. ;) What I can do, however, is set up this scene. In it, we have Janelle, a dental hygienist, examining her friend's teeth. And here goes....

“You have a lot of recession going on with those gums, Teri. Haven’t you been using that electric toothbrush I gave you?”

Teri nodded enthusiastically when Janelle retracted her instruments. “Oh, I’ve been using it all right. Just for, um . . . other purposes. The mischievous glint in her eyes caused Janelle to snort out loud.

I'll leave the rest to your imaginations. :D Hope you enjoyed! Happy Sunday, everyone!! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Online Dating 101 - Love Stories

Good morning, class! Have I ever got a treat for you today! My dear, sweet almost-sis-in-law, Krista, is here to share the story of how she met my brother, Jeff, online. Krista is the sister I always wanted but never knew I truly needed. We wrestle, we make fun of each other, we goof around together, we even go shopping together (for dresses of all things *shudder*), and, best of all, we love each other. Or we try to, at least. ;) I think you'll all love her too after reading this charming story. Take it away, Krista!

The most interesting observation I've made when telling people I met my fiance on a dating website is their reaction. To call it a mixed bag would be an enormous understatement. They fall into three distinct categories: the "Oh! Good for you!" crowd…We all know them. Somehow they always have a "lonely aunt who lived on her couch for 15 years with her tuna can-eating cats and decided to try online dating too", and poof, she's married now! Then there's the "Ha Ha! Yeah right!…No?…Seriously!…Seriously???" crowd. They launch into stories about how people can't possibly be that good looking in their photos. 'Why else would they be on a dating site!' to your face. Right after telling them that you're on a dating website. But then there's the third category. My favourite. I call this crowd the "Aww!" crowd. These people get it. They're either looking for themselves, looking for someone else, or have found love. They appreciate a great love story. They understand the challenges that come with looking for your mate, and they get that it doesn't always come in the traditional way. 

I met Jeff just over a year ago on eHarmony. Our story began when the random cyber gods decided to run our photos past each other's profile. The rest was left up to us. As soon as I saw his face the night I logged in, I knew that he needed to meet me, because I needed to meet him. He had these rascal blue eyes and a smile that went on for days that just kept me coming back to look. I was hooked. 

He sent me a wink. Saweet. 

So I sent him my likes and dislikes. *eHarmony has a billion questions that you have to answer and a guided communication process that can only be likened to Victorian courting rituals*. He sent back his likes and dislikes. Mini fist pump in the air. 

So I sent him some questions about life, love, etc. He sent me some back. But gasp! I went to open what he wrote and it froze. It kept freezing on my screen for 5 days after. This was not good. All I could read from his response to "Describe three things that you bring to a relationship" was "garlic recipe for years". It cut off mid-sentence and wouldn't let me read further. What if it said "I would make you my garlic recipe for years and years, until we grow old"? It could say anything. Clearly I was not being rational. So I decided to be practical. I called eHarmony. They fixed the problem. We were good to go. 

So I wrote back this hilarious story about what had happened and tried to come off as charming and witty. And then I waited. And waited some more. Maybe I had missed the mark? Not enough cool and Rico Suave, Krista?

Little did I know that Jeff was having the same issues on his end. WTF, eHarmony! You make us believe in your magic, get us crushing on people, then you cruelly play cyber tricks where we feel emotionally straight-jacketed with no control?!? But I digress.

After two months of technical difficulties, we were taking no chances. The eHarmony chastity belt lifted and we could exchange phone numbers. Now we were in business. 

I could give you the details of our first date…the place, what we wore, the funny anecdotes we told. But what I remember most is that I found who I was meant to be with. My life changed the instant that I walked up and he wrapped me in his arms to say hello and hours later, goodbye. I fell in love and have kept falling in love everyday since. I wake up every morning with a smile on my face.

And as I close off this little tale and look down at my fiance all snuggled up in bed beside me, I think about all the people we get to tell our story to. Because love is something that should be shared. 

Awww, so true. Which is precisely the point of this blog segment. Personally, I'd rather not know why Krista wakes up with a smile on her face every morning, but I'm very happy she does. :D Hope you all enjoyed this charming and true story of online love! Stay tuned for next week's guest! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #19!

Hiiiiiiiiii! Welcome to the circus! I received such a positive response on last week's excerpt that I decided to share another six from the same story, continuing from where we left off. Here's a link to last week's excerpt: Click me! All Action, No Talk, is the charmingly quirky love story of a clown and a mime. Here's the blurb: 

Alice Moore is a clown . . . in love with a mime.

Her parents have never approved of her circus-oriented lifestyle and in effort to deter her from wasting her life clowning around, they set her up with family friend, Grant Humphrey. A practical man. A businessman. And the last man on earth she wants to marry, but here she is, marching down the aisle toward him.

Alex Holiday is a mime . . . in love with a clown.

He’s silently followed Alice from venue to venue on the circus circuit, working alongside her, worshiping her in secret. He’s never been able to tell her how he feels . . . until now. When he catches wind of the upcoming wedding, he vows to put a stop to it. But will his objection be too late?

And now, the continuing story....

She gasped but she didn’t pull away. She felt herself sinking more into his warmth, into the safety of the familiar. Tilting her head, she murmured into his ear, “Object.”
They met eyes. “I need you to object.”
“But that means I’ll have to…in front of everyone.”

Thanks for reading! Have a fabulous Sunday! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Online Dating 101 - Love Stories

Good morning, my darling pupils! Today on the blog, Krista Ames, fellow TMP author, is here to share her own personal online dating fairytale. Krista is a sweetheart of a person, so it only makes sense that she writes sweet romance too. I also hear she has a new book releasing next week. Be sure to check out her website for further details. Take it away, Krista!

Hi Evelyn :)  Thanks so much for having me on your blog today!!

I have always, ALWAYS been a Happily Ever After type of girl.  I don’t like reading anything that ends any other way, so when I lived in Florida and my marriage ended I was heartbroken.  Marriage was it for me, but apparently that particular it wasn’t meant to be.  I continued living my life-after-divorce with my 3 wonderful kids in sunny Florida and in those quiet hours I worked on my writing.

One day a friend emailed, begging me to join a social site she’d found called  It’s one of those sites where you set up your profile and then to add friends you scroll through hundreds and hundreds of people (men and women) to make selections based on what their profile says.  There are chat rooms with probably a hundred different themes, games you can play, and ‘tags’ (little pictures) you can send to your friends. Well, before I knew it I had a few hundred friends which meant I spent too much time on there, but I didn’t do anything else except work and take care of my kids.  Of course this was all just casual for me anyway; I wasn’t looking to hook up with anyone.  I’d heard way too many stories about meeting someone on the internet and it kinda creeped me out.

So, one day I sent a cute little how-ya-doin-hot-stuff tag to one of my friends that I sometimes exchanged a hi, how ya doin greeting with, and afterward I thought, oh crap!  I know his profile said single or at least I thought it did but what if he had a girlfriend or a wife? I was becoming horrified at the thought. I wanted no part in home wrecking so I sent him a private message apologizing for the tag I’d sent and told him I didn’t want to cause any trouble with his wife or girlfriend.

Surprisingly, he wrote back and said “no worries, no wife, no girlfriend, have a great day Krista.”  I was beyond relieved, and I didn’t notice at first but apparently my ‘tag’ gave way to a lot more communication. Before I knew it I had at least 1 message from him every day.  Got to the point where I lived for checking my account to see if I’d hear from him.  Then one day, he didn’t just message me, he asked for my number so maybe we could text each other.  And why would I say no? (Because my mother always said never talk to strangers)  Oh well, what kid ever listened to their mother anyway? :)  The texts burned up our phone lines until one night, after putting the kids to bed, instead of the text beep I expected, my phone was ringing and it was his number.  I froze…Was I ready for that step? 

Heck yah I was!  I’ve always been a sucker for a sweet and sexy voice and his did NOT disappoint.  That very first phone call was over 4 hours long. We never ran out of anything to say.  With the many calls after that, I was getting attached and hadn’t even met this guy in person.  I was afraid it would never happen because while I was still in Florida, he lived in Michigan. :( However, it seemed my life was taking some unexpected turns financially, and with no support from my ex, my measly job wasn’t enough to pay the bills.  I could no longer afford to stay in Florida. 

I made the difficult decision to pack up my kids, leave a job I loved, say goodbye to my mom (who still lives in Florida), and move back home to Indiana where I’m from.  Excitedly, that meant where this ‘friend’ of mine lived was only a 3 hour drive from where I would be staying, so he arranged for us to meet halfway on a weekend, the very weekend I drove in from Florida.  That was such a great weekend it changed my life forever. 

This all happened almost exactly 3 years ago and today I live in Michigan with that wonderful man that I met online and married a year ago. :)

I definitely never would have thought online dating would work but it sure changed my life!  The one thing I really think makes it work is taking the physical pressures out of the picture and enabling two people to get to know each other first.   

Thank you so much for being here, Krista! I loved your story, and I loved even more the number of emoticons you used in it. :D So there you have it, folks. Another online dating love story. Hope to see you next week! 

ETA: Here's a link to Krista's webpage for release info and cover reveal! Click me!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #18!

Hiya, folks! Hope you're all having a sensational Sunday! My brain is stuck in a circus tent on account of me teaching my Grade 11 drama class a unit on clowning, so I figured today would be the perfect day to share an excerpt from my Mime/Clown wedding story called 'All Action, No Talk'. Clever, isn't it? ;) 

Here's the blurb: 

Alice Moore is a clown . . . in love with a mime.

Her parents have never approved of her circus-oriented lifestyle and in effort to deter her from wasting her life clowning around, they set her up with family friend, Grant Humphrey. A practical man. A businessman. And the last man on earth she wants to marry, but here she is, marching down the aisle toward him.

Alex Holiday is a mime . . . in love with a clown.

He’s silently followed Alice from venue to venue on the circus circuit, working alongside her, worshiping her in secret. He’s never been able to tell her how he feels . . . until now. When he catches wind of the upcoming wedding, he vows to put a stop to it. But will his objection be too late?

And now, an excerpt!

“You can talk.” She covered her mouth when a giddy laugh escaped.

Clasping the hand that still pressed to his chest, he whispered, “Don’t blow my cover.” She nodded, hypnotized by the color of his eyes from up close—aquamarine with flecks of copper and gold. Like an ocean filled with treasures. “And don’t marry that guy.”

Who knew mimes were so sexy and demanding? Rawwrrrrr! :D Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your day! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Online Dating 101 - Love Stories

Hello, friends, and welcome back to class! Today, instead of giving lessons or tips about dating, I have my very good friend, Jennifer, here with me to share the story of how she met her true love via online dating. But first, let's talk about how Jennifer and I met each other. The year was 1997. We were in Grade 9, and we quickly became friends due to several reasons: We both loved sports, we both loved Skittles, and we were nuts about the Spice Girls. Yeah, we totally went to see Spice World when it first released. Multiple times. She's been a wonderful friend and I'm thrilled she's found happiness in her love life! 

Now, without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy Jenn's story!

Merry Christmas, Darling....

Most people are shocked when I tell them I met my husband online. Despite the fact that we live in a technology-based society, people are still amazed my husband and I are a success story. How successful? We've been married for 4 years now (coming up on Dec. 6th). It all began around Christmas, 2005. I was travelling back and forth between here and the States for school when I decided to give online dating a try. I had recently broken up with a boyfriend and the bar scene was not exactly what I call dating-friendly. So I created myself a page on LavaLife. 

I recieved lots of 'smiles' and started to get some attention from all different kinds of men. I liked that I could read their interests and it was easy to eliminate the men I had nothing in common with. After a few weeks I started chatting with a guy whom I really enjoyed getting to know. We met at a hockey rink, a public place where I felt comfortable, and hit it off right from the get-go. A few weeks of seeing one another, we began to develop a relationship. comes the baggage... “I'm sorta...married....” Argh...seriously? Yes, girls, it happens. But the way I see it, you can meet a married man in a bar or at the grocery store as well. 

After about 3 months of meeting 20 different kinds of men (including 2 married! lol), I decided to give it up for a little bit. Then, on Dec. 23rd, 2005, I got a 'smile' from a man. He messaged me saying he liked my photo and interests and asked if it would be okay to chat sometime on MSN (yes, kickin’ it old school with good ol' msn messenger). We chatted and I didn’t expect much out of it. I told him right off the bat that I wasn’t up for hidden agendas, and if he was married then GOODBYE!!! I thought he would vanish but he asked for my phone number. A persistent guy, I must say. So I eventually gave him my phone number over the holidays and that was it. We chatted on the phone for months before meeting which helped us develop a strong foundation for our relationship. I was in the States and that prevented us from meeting up sooner. 

We met the following May and instantly hit it off. In early 2007 he proposed and we got married Christmas of 2008. I guess the important lessons I learned with online dating is the communication part. Because my husband and I chatted for so long (average 4 hours a day x’s 5 months) we had that strong bond and foundation for our relationship. We are each other's best friends. I’m also a believer that your partner needs to “move mountains” for you. Here’s an example. When my husband and I were engaged, I was just finishing up school in the States. We had to do the long distance thing for a little while. He would drive down occasionally and surprise me. Twelve hours of driving just to see the one he loved. In my opinion, that’s moving mountains. As I have previously mentioned, we will be celebrating 4 years of marriage next month and 7 years since we first met. Merry Christmas, Darling. You are everything I could ever want in a life partner. -Jenn

*dreamy sigh* Oh, Jenn. You give me hope. How great was that story? Thank you so much for sharing it with us and giving us all a reason to believe in the possibility of finding love online. Happy Almost-Anniversary!! :x 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #17!

Oh my goodness! It's Sunday again! Today is an especially wonderful Sunday thanks to daylight saving time. One more hour of sleep! Wooohoooo! :D Hope you're all doing well and ready for some good times! For those who've never been around these parts, I try to share snippets every week that are fun and sexy with a hint of quirkiness. Or, as my tagline goes, a kiss of quirk with your kink. Today's excerpt is from my January 2013 release, Cheapskates in Love! Here's the blurb: 

It's couples' skating night down at the local rink and Elena Armstrong can't seem to keep her cocky jock blind date around long enough to knee him in the balls. Sadly, she was too much of a cheapskate to pay for a membership to an online dating site and based everything on Leonard's personality profile alone. Big mistake. 

At the opposite end of the rink, Ben Kessel, another cheapskate on a blind date with Iris, the ice princess, is having a similarly miserable time. Elena, a hater of all things sports-related, inches out into the skating world butt-first and collides with Ben. After sharing their hilarious and horrifying dates-gone-wrong stories, the two disappear and make everything right again on the floor in the players’ dressing room. Almost everything. They forget to exchange numbers. Now these two cheapskates need to make the ultimate sacrifice: pay for a membership to the online dating site so they can track each other down. But is the possibility of love really worth the price of $24.95 per month?  

And now, an excerpt! This is Elena sharing with Ben her opinion of online dating. 

"When you have a free account you can’t see any of their pictures, but the people with paid memberships can see yours any old time they want. Right now, I bet like forty bald men with beer guts are checking me out online.” He snorted. “We’re at a huge disadvantage. We have to be all, ‘your profile spoke to me, and I don’t really care how you look because I can’t see you anyway. It’s what’s inside that counts’…which is total bullshit.” 

Hope you enjoyed! :D Every Wednesday I have a segment on my blog called Online Dating 101, so if you appreciated this, you'll definitely get a kick out of it! See you soon!