Last year I attended the Coastal Magic Convention and met so many wonderful authors, bloggers and readers. I had such a fun time and managed to get so many amazing photos for my Instagram profile. Honestly, I got to meet so many people that I had only ever seen on social media so it was brilliant to finally meet everyone in person. I am going again in February 2016. For more information about this wonderful convention just follow the link below to their website…
Literary Escapism is also going to be there, and they are doing a fun series for the conference on their blog. I’ve been invited along with other featured authors to write an excerpt of my characters at the beach. Autumn Moon, book 3 in my Celtic Wolves series is available September 29, 2015! I thought Elen and Cormack could use a little vacation–because I did put this couple through a lot in Autumn Moon. You can read an exclusive excerpt on Literary Escapism’s website and enter a gift box giveaway that includes signed copies of Celtic Moon and Summer Moon (books 1 & 2), swag, and an Amazon gift card.
Just a minor spoiler alert: This excerpt takes place after Autumn Moon.
Just click on the following graphic and/or link to read excerpt and enter the gift box giveaway…
I will leave you with a few photos of Daytona Beach!
I took these photos to post on my Instagram page and I am so happy with them.
You see, recently, I have been trying to grow my Instagram following. As an author, your Instagram page is a fantastic way for your readers to get to know you a little bit better.
So far, I have had so many lovely conversations with readers from all over the world. It really is fantastic that social media can bring us all together. In fact, I am already planning a few Instagram live Q and A sessions over the next few months where I will be answering questions from my readers and teasing my next book so stay tuned to find out more!
I really like spending time interacting with my readers on Instagram. Some of my readers even send me photos when they are reading my book. There is such a heartwarming community of book-loving people on Instagram, I strongly recommend that you give me a follow and get involved.
From a marketing perspective, Instagram really is great for authors in that it allows us to interact with our readers in so many fun ways. Building a following is not always easy though, which is why some people use Instagram marketing tools to give their follower counts a boost. Moreover, Nitreo helps you get more instagram followers so do check out their website if you would like to learn more about this.
Anyway, Instagram to one side for now, Coastal Magic has become one of my favorite conventions. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to hit the beach, but it’s very relaxed and focuses on what we all love… books, reading, and discussions about our favorite romance and paranormal genres. Now doesn’t that sound fun?
Also, it has actually been far too long since I last went on vacation, so attending this convention was a much-needed break. Plus, I even got to attend a really cool yoga class that I had been looking forward to! Honestly, if you have not tried beachfront yoga before I cannot recommend it enough.
I have been on a big fitness journey over the past few months and although it has not been easy, I feel so much happier now that I have finally found a form of exercise that I enjoy. Yoga had always been something that I wanted to try, so when my best friend invited me to one of her classes I simply had to see what all the fuss was about.
My friend is actually training to be a yoga instructor at the moment. Apparently, if you want to complete a yoga certification chicago is the place to be so she has been teaching a few small classes.
To cut a very long story short, I have been going to yoga classes a couple of times a week for quite a while now and I already feel a difference! Not only are my muscles less achy, but I feel much more toned, and I find it easier to relax.
All of this has had a huge impact on my writing too. Quite a few writers I know like yoga as it is a fantastic way to clear your mind before working on a big project. Needless to say, my newfound love for yoga has definitely inspired me to get writing again.
I might even have to sign up for a yoga retreat in the future!
How do you like to keep fit? Would you ever give yoga a try? Let me know if so as I would love to hear from you.
Oh, and if ever you get the opportunity, please give beachfront yoga a try! You will love it and the fresh air is so good for you!
Hope to see you at the beach in February!
If you’ve read my books then you know I love to add food to the scenes. It’s such a nurturing element, plus it adds certain nostalgia. Autumn Moon is Elen and Cormack’s story. I’ve put this couple through quite a bit, and this is the story where they finally get together. Elen was the only person to offer him a welcoming home while he was trapped in wolf form, but he’s spent some time away to learn his new human form. Now he’s a man and has returned to protect the woman he loves. Elen and Cormack are learning each other for the first time with hearts that are already bound.
The first thing Elen’s bakes for Cormack upon his return is pumpkin muffins, and it was such a fun scene to write, and emotional in many ways if you know their backstory.
I’ve included an excerpt below, followed by Elen’s pumpkin muffin recipe!
Excerpt from Autumn Moon:
Cormack formed an intimidating figure as he marched beside her with graceful strides. His sword swung from his side, the belted scabbard hanging low off his hip, with his eyes sharp and searching for potential threats.
He’d left her as a gentle friend but returned to her as a warrior. And why did that make her stomach flutter as if a thousand butterflies danced to his song?
A question for a later time, Elen decided for her own peace of mind. And after inhaling a deep breath for composure, she tactfully changed the subject. “Are you hungry?” It was still late morning, so she offered, “I can whip us up some coffee and muffins.”
He sighed as if relief was a weighable substance and she’d just removed a boulder from his chest. “I would like that.”
“Apple muffins?” she asked. “Or pumpkin?” The trail opened to her grain fields, and she hurried on, anxious to cook for someone other than herself again. Ms. Hafwen didn’t count because she was too particular toward sweets and only ate crumbs she deemed worthy.
He thought about it for a moment. “The pumpkin ones with the white crunchy stuff on top.”
“Streusel,” he said, testing the word on his tongue. “Make extra.”
His smile was infectious. “I can do that.” As they made their way through rows of apple trees with low branches heavy with ripened fruit, she had a ridiculous urge to giggle. It seemed she had little control over her emotions around him; one moment she wanted to cry, and the next she acted as if she’d never been with a man.
Which, of course, she had. But not one who held her heart so firmly in his grasp.
“What’s so funny?” He kicked a fallen apple out of her path.
“Truly, it’s nothing.” Only the fact that hearing him talk back would take some getting used to, but she didn’t think he would appreciate her humor on the subject, not so soon after their last bout. “I’ve never had to answer your questions before.” She snuck a peek at his profile. “Or received answers to mine. I like it.”
A sheepish grin turned his lips. “I’m glad.”
She stubbed her toe on a jutting rock because of that grin. His mouth was made for pleasure. Thankfully, she caught herself before falling on her face in more ways than one and made it to her cottage without any further embarrassments.
Unlatching the wrought iron gate that led to her front portico, she announced, “We’re home.” The sentiment spilled naturally because she’d said it countless times over the years. However, she’d never once heard him repeat it back as he did just then.
“We’re home.” He inhaled a deep breath as if to savor its scent.
Elen’s Pumpkin Streusel Muffin Recipe
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
Dash of salt (1/4 teaspoon or less)
2 teaspoons cold water
3 tablespoons butter
Mix ingredients with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs and set aside. This streusel freezes well if you wanted to make a double batch and save for later muffins.
PUMPKIN MUFFIN BATTER
1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of all spice
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ginger
1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
½ cup buttermilk (you can substitute regular milk)
¼ cup of molasses
1 cup of pureed pumpkin
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
*All ingredients should be room temperature before mixing!
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a regular dozen muffin tin with cupcake liners. You can spray or grease the pan, but liners make cleanup easier. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside. Beat butter in a mixer until creamy. Gradually add eggs and sugar. Add buttermilk, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and molasses while continuing to mix. Finally, gradually add your dry ingredients until blended.
Scoop batter evenly into the muffin tins. Add streusel on top of each muffin. The muffin’s tops will expand so don’t be afraid to pile the streusel. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick test comes out clean. Makes twelve muffins. Enjoy!
ORDER AUTUMN MOON
- May 11
Guest Post: “More Than a Simple Romance” (The characteristic of the UF/PR and the Celtic Wolves Series)
- May 12
MOMMABEARS BOOK BLOG
- May 13
Guest Post: “The Environment of the Celtic Wolves World”
- May 13
- May 14
- May 14
SHARE MY DESTINY
- May 15
DEAL SHARING AUNT
- May 18
THE ENCHANTED WORD
Guest Post: “The Supernatural Elements of the Celtic Wolves Series and the Celtic Heritage of Its Characters”
- May 19
- May 20
Guest Post: “The Interior Art of Summer Moon”
- May 20
BOOKS THAT HOOK
Spotlight and Review
- May 21
- May 22
URBAN FANTASY INVESTIGATIONS
- May 25
Guest Post: My “Wine Time” Playlist
- May 26
FANGIRLS READ IT FIRST
- May 27
- May 28
MAMA READS HAZEL READS
Spotlight and review
- May 28
- May 29
MUSINGS IN FICTION ALLEY
- June 1
KIMBER LEIGH WRITES
Guest Post: “Nature Provides Inspiration”
- June 2
Guest Post: “When I’m Not Writing Feature”
- June 2
MARIANNE WILLIS AUTHOR
- June 3
HAPPY TAILS AND TALES
- June 3
BOOKS N PEARLS
- June 5
DIANE’S BOOK BLOG
- June 5
PARANORMAL ROMANCE AND AUTHORS THAT ROCK
- June 5
HAPPY TAILS AND TALES
- June 8
Guest Post: “Mythology of Celtic Werewolves”
- June 8
CBY BOOK CLUB