Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What did you get for Valentine's Day?

It's not the cost of the gift that counts, it's the thought. And my dear husband knocked it out of the ball park this year. I have some favorite things: most anything sparkly, or sweet (especially chocolate) pink roses, peacocks, hummingbirds, velvet, lace and fairies. My passion for pink roses even made it onto my Christmas tree this year:
And I'm working on a light garden right outside my sliding glass door in my bedroom, which includes a hummingbird and fairy:
I have a ridiculous amount of peacocks decorating my vanity, and roses are starting to bloom all over my house (although I keep them mostly limited to the bedroom, and just a few other places around the house. I live with two other males, and try not to inundate them with my girlie stuff. I. Really. Do. Try.)

I'll do another blog post later about my favorite things, with some more photos of my decorating. But in the meantime, given that you now know my tastes, can you guess what my husband gave me for Valentine's Day this year? It didn't cost much, and it was absolutely perfect:
That's right. A chocolate cupcake with an enormous pink rose on top! Am I a lucky girl, or what? And although it was almost too beautiful to eat...well, it was delicious. So what did you get for Valentine's Day this year? Or what was your most favorite gift, and who did you receive it from?

Hoping your day was as special as mine,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tackling Big Projects

This past week, I needed to clean our bedroom. That involved going through drawers and an overcrowded bookshelf. Between my day job and writing schedule, I don't have much time left over for luxuries, like cleaning. I tackled the job one corner at a time. Thursday evening, I cleaned and dusted the end table. Friday evening, I dusted the television area. Saturday morning, I went through drawers and dusted the large dresser. Finally, today, I sorted through books and dusted the bookshelf. Afterwards, I felt like I had accomplished a huge task and still found time to write.

I realized later, that the idea of tackling huge jobs one step at a time can be applied to any task that seems overwhelming. If a writer sits down and writes one paragraph a day, the book will take shape. Hopefully, once you sit down to write that paragraph, you'll write more.

Once I accomplished my task, I felt so good I treated myself. No, not to a sundae, but to a small candy bar.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, February 21, 2014

Introducing Mary Maxie

It is my pleasure to introduce Mary Maxie and her book, Sophie's Calgary Stampede.

A Washington DC corporate lawyer arrives in Calgary Alberta just in time for the annual ten days of madness called the Calgary Stampede. Feeling like a brown shoe with a tuxedo or a Manolo high heel with a cowgirl outfit, Sophie is about to find out what the new wild west is all about.

You can learn more about Mary and her books at


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Single Awareness Day

My husband calls February 14th "Single Awareness Day." He heard it on the radio about ten years ago and it stuck. A single friend of mine wears black every Valentine's Day. It makes you wonder how many people emotionally suffer on this day. Even if you are in a relationship, that doesn't mean the day will be full of chocolates and roses. I remember crying one Valentines, back in my twenties, when my significant other failed to acknowledge the day. After hearing some stories, I've decided they might as well call it, "Prove You Love Me Day."

Valentines is not going away anytime soon, so what can be done to make the day less painful? It really is a matter of perception. I am in a point in my life where most holidays, other than Christmas, are not that important unless I get the day off work. My husband and I bought our gifts and cards together, except for a CD I found for him. We received exactly what we wanted, and in this case, needed. We tell each other every day, in many ways, that we love each other so there is no need to prove anything. Communication is the key. Tell each other what Valentines means to you and what you would like to receive. There is no law that says a gift has to be a surprise. If money becomes an issue, you may have to compromise.

Keeping in mind that the candy and flower companies have blown the holiday out of proportion, you can accept that you don't need a significant other to be happy and treat yourself to the gift of your choice. When I was single, my sister, mother and I bought each other small boxes of chocolates. Who said sugar has to come from a man to be good?

Remember, you are the only person who can make you happy.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make the Most of your business Cards

I had the good fortune to sit next to Sharon A Moore at the Chocolate Affaire this past weekend. She was a hoot and a half and had a unique idea on how to make the most of that white space on the back of business cards.

On her cooking themed murder mystery book, Mission Impastable, she posted a recipe. It was fun to watch her call folks over to her from across the crowd with the offer of a free and easy recipe for lasagne rolls.

And if they didn't like to cook, well, she had that covered too.

The talented Ms. Moore also writes naughty books and her character offered ten sex tips on the back of that card.

Folks came over in droves.

If you want to read Ms. Moore's other tips, here is the blog post: http://otpblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/make-that-business-card-work-for-you.html

Since her adventures extend from the pages of a book to the kitchen, she's also posting a month of appetizers on her personal blog: http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/

Some of them are downright yummy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


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5 Interesting Facts about smiling

1.  Smiling makes you not only appear to be successful, but it can actually contribute to making you more successful because people treat you differently. yep - IT'S TRUE!
2.Improves your health. When you grin, your body manufactures larger quantities of antibodies and T-cells -your immune system becomes more effective.
3. Smiling boosts our moods since it releases endorphins- feel good hormones.
4. Babies are born with the ability to smile – it’s a natural phenomenon!
5. Smiling makes you beautiful. In tests, subjects were more likely to point out someone who was smiling as attractive over those who didn’t smile. In similar studies, nearly three quarters of those surveyed claimed that women tend to look younger and more beautiful if they smile...

So what are you waiting for? 


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Next Romance Author's Booksigning

As the Glendale Chocolate Affair wraps up, I'm sure many of you are wondering when the next large booksigning will be held in the greater Phoenix area. The good news is you only have two months to wait.
The Desert Drams Writer's Conference will be holding a romance author's booksigning.

April 5, 2014 @ 7pm-8:30pm
Tempe Mission Palms Ballroom
60 East Fifth Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281

General Information:
You are invited to attend one of the largest book signings in the Valley.  New York Time’s Bestsellers Christie Craig, Sylvia Day, Allison Brennan, Karin Tabke, Jennifer Ashley and many more favorites, will be available to meet and greet their fans while they sign their books.

Authors scheduled to appear:

  • Jennifer Ashley
  • Allison Brennan
  • Mary Buckham
  • Patricia Burrough
  • Laurie Schnebly Campbell
  • Toni McGee Causey
  • Shelley Coriell
  • Christie Craig
  • Sylvia Day
  • Connie Flynn
  • Cynthia Garner
  • Jami Gold
  • Donna Hatch
  • Morgan Kearns
  • Annette Mahon
  • Cheyene McCray
  • Cathy McDavid
  • Jess Michaels
  • Debra Mullens
  • Erin Quinn
  • Vijaya Schartz
  • Linda Style
  • Karen Tabke
  • Pamela Tracy
  • Kris Tualla
  • Carol Webb

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Romance and Chocolate

Romance and Chocolate
The Mayans came later.  Mayans loved chocolate so much they wrote about the cacao on their stone tablets referred to as "the food of the gods".

photo by Cerreta Chocolate Company

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and with it comes the time to celebrate romance. Although it's unknown where the exact origin of where the first Valentine festivity began, it's still a favorite holiday for many people. Especially for those who look forward to the gifts from a loved one. Say...a beautiful bouquet of flowers and large delicious box of chocolates.

Chocolates....yum.  When you bite into that scrumptious melt in the mouth chocolate do you ever think about where it came from? Probably not, but before Nestles, Hershey, See's and all those that followed you can thank the Olmecs from the Mexico area. They were the first who discovered the cacao bean to be a delicious treat.

The Aztecs, 1420-1520 used cacao as currency. It is written they fed chocolate to their human sacrifices before killing them. A last treat. Not exactly romantic.

Then when Conquistador Cortez was served a cacao drink by Aztec Montezuma in 1519, he loved it so much he took it home to Europe and the love of chocolate quickly spread through Europe.

If your mouth is now watering for a yummy piece of chocolate, or maybe a chocolate covered strawberry, you can get all the chocolate you want this weekend at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire.

The event runs Friday through Sunday, February 7-9, 2014.  While you're there, join us at the Romance Writers booth where we will be signing along with many other local authors who all love to talk about books and answer any questions you might have about the writing process.

Tia Dani

P.S. We will be sharing a secret when you stop to see us. It has something to do with awesome bargains.