Friday, July 18, 2014

Feature Friday Block Party Blog Hop

Welcome - I'm participating in the Feature Friday Block Party Blog Hop hosted by Buy the Book Tours and this week's co-host, author MJ Schiller! Please be so kind as to #FF me on Twitter - My handle is @NancyGideon.

One of my favorite vacays ever was cruising the Virgin Islands. The sun, the warm breezes, the exotic food and music . . . can you spell r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n! So today I’m bringing a bit of the tropics to the Block with a yummy grill recipe I got off Pintrest and a tease from my next new (actually re-issued) release.

First, get your taste buds tingling with this juicy palate-pleasing delight that made my family’s 4th of July explode with favor!

Teriyaki Pina Colada Burger

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 burgers
Serving Size: 1 burger


  • 4 Brioche Buns
  • 2 pounds of ground beef (I used pre-made. I’m lazy.)
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted plus more for buns
  • 4 slices of pineapple, core intact (Holds together better on grill. Core after grilling)
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce 
  • 1/3 cup Pina Colada Sauce (1small can crushed pineapple, 2/3 cups cream of coconut, 1/3 c sour cream. Goes a looong way. Can use it as a dip for fruit before adding the mayo so I only used half for the sauce.)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 slices colby jack cheese
  • 4-8 slices of cooked bacon
  1. Butter each side of the buns, set aside, and heat the grill to high heat.
  2. Mix the meat gently with the 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce. Form into 4 burgers and brush with a little melted butter then sprinkle each side with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and grill 4-7 minutes. Using a spoon drizzle the teriyaki over the burgers. Flip the burger and using a brush or a new spoon, spread teriyaki over the burger. Allow to cook for another 4-7 minutes or until done. (Don’t overcook!) Place cheese over each burger right before it is done and close the lid to melt the cheese.
  3. Meanwhile, grill the pineapple until marks appear, about 2 minutes, flip and grill again. Remove to a plate and cut out the core. 
  4. Grill each bun, inside down until grill marks appear.
  5. Spread the pina colada mayo on each side of the bun. Place the burger, pineapple and bacon on the bottom and top with the lid. Enjoy! 
Recipe c/o

Next, let me tempt your senses with this excerpt for my July w/a Dana Ransom contemporary (which should hit in trade paperback and e-book versions from Bell Bridge Books within the next week or so!). I’ve seen the new cover (to die for!) but it’s still hush-hush. Watch for a reveal. Until then, here’s a look at the original from 1993 while you whet your appetite with just a taste . . .

Dana Ransom

When a popular self-improvement program gives Lisa Reynolds a smoking hot body, she wins an unexpected prize: a Caribbean cruise as the club’s corporate spokesmodel. Lisa, a hardworking insurance sales rep who prides herself on her brains, hesitantly accepts the siren call of being admired for her figure, too.

But suddenly this new glamour girl faces magnetic CEO Harlan Jameson, whose interest in her matches her attraction to him, except . . . the “real” Lisa isn’t this workout babe he created. And old self-doubts about being loved for herself resurface.

Harlan’s not what she thinks. A self-made success, lonely, and isolated by a busy schedule . . . he’s drawn to Lisa’s honesty and warmth. When he understands her fears, he sets out to prove there’s only one thing he wants her to change for him: her last name.



Lisa Reynolds was gorgeous. 

It wasn’t something Harlan didn’t already know, but studying the contact sheets of the morning’s shoot brought it home like a hammering punch to the solar plexus. Teddy had developed the pages of tiny photos so his employer could pick the ones he wanted blown up in the makeshift darkroom he and Moe had assembled. All of the pictures looked good. It wasn’t just because Teddy was an excellent photographer. It was Lisa. 

Harlan tried to maintain a cool objectivity as he went from shot to shot but it escaped him. He found himself admiring the sleek curve of Lisa’s throat in one, the mystery of her smile in another, the powerhouse sexuality in yet another; the Mari­lyn Monroe pose that in his own words, knocked his socks off. Everything he wanted was there, the fresh quality, the heart-yanking vulnerability, the spirit, and poise. Everything he wanted . . . and it made him irritable as all get out. 

He was being stupid. He knew it. He was a powerful man, a wealthy man. He could con­trol all those around him, but he could not control the direction Lisa’s heart chose to take. She had no way of knowing that he’d gone half-crazy over her before they’d even met. She wasn’t responsible for the fact that he had chosen her as the woman to fill the gap in his life. And he would be totally, certifiably crazy if he decided to pursue her now that he knew her affections lay elsewhere. He wasn’t used to having a rival. In busi­ness, where he was always in complete command, he competed only with himself. An outside chal­lenge unsettled him and chafed against his confi­dence. He didn’t like feeling vulnerable. He didn’t like the idea that he might lose. 

He gave the sheet of photos one more look then sighed. He’d let Maggie choose. She wouldn’t be distracted by things like softly parted lips and the tempting tip of a head. She’d see product not poten­tial passion and he was blind to the former. He glanced at the paper in his other hand—their tenta­tive shooting schedule. For this afternoon, it was the atrium Jacuzzi. He groaned inwardly, imagining what that would be like. Lisa up to her neck in the frothy water, him up to his gritted teeth with turbu­lent desire. But he had to be there to supervise. His photographers were experts, but it was his habit to have his thumb on every aspect of anything he was involved in. And right now, he wanted more than his thumb on Lisa Reynolds.

Happy summer and enjoy what my neighbors from the Block have in store for you by following the Hop links.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

20 Questions for Teresa Blue, Your Favorite (or Soon to Be Favorite) Author . . .

Man of Her Dreams, with its fresh new cover, makes me smile. I remember the first time I saw it, standing on wobbly legs in first draft form fresh off the computer of aspiring author Teresa Blue. You’ve come a long way, baby!

Teresa’s debut romance is all about family and choices made for or because of them. Leslie is a young woman desperate to break free of her smothering ties, and her fiance’s infidelity is just the push she needs to spread her wings. Jay has seen too much of the world from his jaded mother’s fortune teller’s wagon and the minute he rescues Leslie from a break down on the side of the road, he knows she’s trouble he doesn’t need . . . but he can’t stay away. What makes Man of Her Dreams a pure delight is the richness of the secondary characters. Bar-fly Sally who befriends Leslie, Les’s wacky family, and even Jay’s mother create a wonderful patchwork of emotions and laughs that aren’t to be missed.

I’m looking into my crystal ball and can see you want to know more about this talented new writer. Presto – meet Teresa Blue.

Getting to know me…

Party dress or blue jeans? I’m most comfortable in blue jeans. I love to wear dresses but because at any given moment I might have to run down a hound dog that’s gotten loose or pick up chicken feed from TSC, blue jeans work best.

Night owl or early bird? Both. I set the clock to be the first one up, start the coffee and then computer. I usually get to write a bit before I have to leave for work. Lately I’ve found that a few hours isn’t enough time to handle all the ins and outs of writing so I’ll stay up at night a little bit longer.

Five words I use to describe myself: Dependable, honest, hard-working, loyal and loving.
Other creative outlets? In my opinion there’s nothing better than reading. I love getting so involved in a story that I’ll carry the book around with me everywhere. But I also enjoy gardening and cooking the vegetables fresh out of the garden. And the last few years I’ve discovered how much I adore rummaging through thrift stores and antique malls in search of old relics from yesterday. I can’t begin to describe how exciting it is to find a Royal decorative plate or tattered Chatty-Kathy doll sitting on a shelf somewhere that resembles a piece from my childhood. It’s like finding a rewind button to my life. 

Something quirky about you that no one else knows (we won’t tell anyone!)? I love to sing in the car really loud, and laugh when I can’t hit those notes. (Imagine the karaoke scene from the movie My Best Friends Wedding. Real pitiful noise.)

Favorite books from childhood? I loved the Romona and Beezus series. Also Walter the Lazy Mouse, who never got up on time for school, was the last one home every day and his family forgot all about him and moved away. I must have read it a million times! And Pippi Longstockings, who of course, is a thingfinder, like me. I even have a blog-site named in her honor.

Three favorite movies? My favorite movie is Gone with the Wind. I’ve seen it so much I can quote the dialogue. Our hometown showed it in the theater once and it almost felt like opening night! Next would be Far and Away and Red.

Your first kiss…Was utterly romantic in the schoolyard (after school) we both lived nearby. Ours was a sixth grade crush that ended after summer vacation and entry into Jr. High. Happy to say though, the friendship continued.

Spa day or gym workout? I would love a Calgon moment! Day to day living can be grueling, but an opportunity to be pampered would be pure indulgence!

Favorite comfort food? Like my mom, I use cooking to shower my loved ones. Mom’s specialty was a homemade butter cake she’d bake in those small pot-pie tins. She’d make one for each of us, topping it with butter and sprinkled heavy with sugar and cinnamon and served warm. No matter where I am, if I come across the smell of cinnamon, I think of her.

A Writer’s Life

Favorite genre to read? (Is it what you write?) My all-time favorite genre is historical, preferably with a sea captain or pirate smuggler. It doesn’t matter if it’s the hero who’s the pirate or the heroine. I’ve read and enjoyed both! I’ve did complete one historical- a paranormal titled Dark Desire. And I’ve published one historical paranormal novella by The Wild Rose Press titled, Night Bird.

Fiction hero you would run off with? I don’t even have to think about it, it would be Captain Brandon Birmingham from The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. She did an amazing job creating strong male characters in every book she’s written.

What are you reading right now? Robbers by Christopher Cook. The southern dialogue snagged my attention, along with a great hook- they shoot a clerk over a penny. And hit the road to mayhem.

Paperback or e-book? I have a terrible time getting lost in a book when its digital. I much prefer to carry around a paperback I can dog-ear the pages or slip a bank envelope between before tucking it beneath my arm as I’m out and about.

Favorite books you can read over and over? Pen Pals by Oliva Goldsmith, and Red by Erica Spindler. Great stories!

OCD plotter or free range pantser? Free range! I prefer to peck, scratch and uncover any delectable morsel that fills my storyline. But my muse can also be seduced by soft music and fine wine.

Biggest hurdle to getting those words on the page and how do you overcome it? For me, the biggest hurdle is finding the quiet time to let my characters loose. I write slower these days and fall easily into the time-consuming habit of facebook. The best way to assure I’ll get the words on paper is to grab the spiral tablet and leave the pc behind.

First publishing rejection (and getting back on that horse)? I started writing children’s stories back when sending them out required a SASE. I could tell the piece had been turned down the moment I saw my familiar typed envelope in the mailbox. But many times the rejection came with words of encouragement scribbled across the bottom. Looks promising…I encourage you to preserver…sorry but…. The worst part of that process was the length of time in between to get those rejections. Months could go by without a word.

How do you get in the mood to write ‘those’ scenes? I have to be very close to my characters and know beyond a doubt that they’re made for each other. I prefer to be at home alone so I don’t risk anyone looking over my shoulder…jaw dropping, eyes rolling. Or yelling from the other room, “where’s the…?

When can we get your next book and what’s it about? My next book is a romantic suspense titled Letters From Inside. A convicted felon exchanging letters with a trouble teenage girl and her unsuspecting single mom who doesn’t know it’s her name signed at the bottom. Thankfully there’s a detective who’ll stop at nothing to see the dangerous con back behind bars. The book was contracted with Boroughs Publishing Groups and I hope the book will be available sometime in early 2015. 

Print Length: 205 pages
Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Leslie Stone stumbles upon her fiancé cheating with the maid of honor just days before her wedding. Determined to put distance between them, she heads to the family’s cabin in Sleeping Falls, Michigan. Unfortunately, her car barely hit the city limits before breaking down. And with no money for repairs, the scrolling marquee above the biker bar advertising a mechanical bull riding contest seems like a perfect solution.

Jay Westfield learned at an early age to avoid women who chase the limelight. After all, his mother had been the star attraction in Harvey’s Traveling show. The minute Leslie clears the door in cut-offs and skimpy tank top, things heat up. She’s on a mission and he wants no part of it. The last thing he expects is the attraction he feels seeing her on the back of Old Iron.

Add a squeezy rag doll named Mr. Jingles, the colorful antics of newfound friend, and the renowned tarot-card reader Madame Luella. Leslie’s about to discover in order to find the man of her dreams she must be willing to believe in magic.

~The Book Excerpt~

~About Teresa Blue~
Teresa grew up in an old-fashioned hometown that stretched for exactly one block. The summers were scorching. And life seemed to crawl. She discovered that reading could take her to new places and on exciting adventures. By the time she entered high school, she had sailed the high seas with Captains and rode the English countryside with highwaymen, robbed stages— well, you get the idea, she fell head over heels in love with the romance genre.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Is it just me? Am I the only one who takes offense when you have a group of friends over to catch up and stir the creative muse and you glance over to see one of them not so discretely carrying on a Text session with someone not on your guest list? Or you’re in the middle of a holiday dinner and your son is scrolling through his e-mails? Or at the sound of a ding, everyone around you grabs for their phone like well-conditioned Pavlovian dogs?

In my younger years, I delighted in Huxley, Orwell and Bradbury tales of artificial helpmates taking control of humanity. Guess what? It’s here! Welcome to the Twilight Zone of technology.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Social Media. In fact, I spend the first HOUR of my allotted two hour writing time each morning catching up on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, blog posts and e-mail. An hour I could be using to finish those edits. What’s with this obsessive need to be connected every minute of the day and night? Do I care if Darcy Dimwit is playing Candy Crush or what kind of Superhero or mythical being I might be? (well, yeah, maybe). In that 15 minutes I’m in the car driving from my desk phone to my home phone, do I need to endanger life and limb to answer my cell? (No) When I’m enjoying a meal and a conversation with friends and family, do I need to keep glancing at that mini-screen to see who else might want to interact with me? (HELL no!) So why do we feel this insatiable need tune in, turn on and turnip?

Seeking behavior – We’re a hunter/gatherer society, always in touch with our surroundings. What’s going on? Who needs me? What am I missing?

Immediate Validation- Someone wants me. Someone likes me. Someone’s listening to me. See how many friends, tweets and Pins I have!

Artificial companion – Sometimes life is a lonely place or we’re afraid to be alone with own thoughts. With social media we can always reach out and touch someone.

Control – Social medial and cells are a safe intermediary. They lessen direct confrontation, place us on top of the situation and allow us the first and last word. A Big Brother/Mom’s Watching dream come true.

Phones and tablets and Internet replace face-to-face and TV’s passive voice interactions with vibrant, immediate input to feed our minds and fill our hours. A bad thing? No, not unless it becomes the only thing, the most important thing, an interfering thing that keeps us from what we should be doing. Devices are a tool, something to aid in human communication, not something to replace it. So take time to reconnect with your friends and family, with your own thoughts and let the artificial world spin on without you for an hour or two. Or over a holiday weekend. Now there’s a challenge! Would any of you make it three whole days unplugged?

Buuuut if you do find yourself seeking and gathering, I’ve recently joined Romance Writers of America’s new books and author site called Novel Engagement. It’s free to sign up and puts your favorite romance reads and writers at your fingertips with i- and Android apps, and will soon be available for PC. Check it out . . . just not during family dinner.

Happy Holiday! Happy Reading!

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Lovin’ Giveaway Hop!

Summer vacation growing up meant one thing – traveling up north for two weeks to stay at my family’s trailer which later became a cabin in the woods. The worst thing – riding for three hours in the backseat with my two sisters and the dog with two smoking parents in front and all the windows rolled up, many years with no running water or TV and . . . the outhouse where spiders always hid until after the door was closed. The absolute best was walking to the lake and corner store every day with my cousins . . . unless it rained. Rain meant staying inside with two older sisters, wet dog and smoking parents with nothing to do unless I could talk my mom into making the three mile drive down the highway to ‘town’ where I discovered a lifelong love. The library! It was a musty old building with uneven shelves filled with tattered hardcovers of the classics and Reader’s Digest condensed books. But there was a small section for kids, just in case it rained. I’d load up my arms with those take-me-away adventures – Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series and Trixie Beldon and Hardy Boys mysteries - and read for hours, forgetting about the rain on the roof while I got lost in the pages.

Summer still means reading to me, only now I sit on my balcony soaking up some Vitamin D therapy squinting at the Kindle app on my iPad while revisiting favorites like Danny Torrance in Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep on the weekends when it doesn’t rain. When fortunate enough to take a vacation, the first thing I used to pack was a stack of books. Now I load up my tablet – much lighter! Relaxation = beach reads and mysteries and howl at the moon thrillers and that’s what I love about summer!

This year I have two summer contemporary reads available starting with LOVE’S OWN REWARD, which just came out, followed by TOTALLY YOURS in July. Here’s a look at LOVE’S OWN REWARD:

Amazon |Barnes & Noble
File Size: 451 KB
Print Length: 317 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books 

Her act of courage destroys everything . . . 

Charlene “Charley” Carter risked her life to rescue a child from a burning car. Suddenly, the quiet research assistant becomes a media darling—and a half-million dollars richer, thanks to the boy’s grateful grandparents. But big money brings big moochers and bigger betrayals. Charley retreats, wounded and suspicious about the motives of even those dearest to her.

He doesn’t trust that she’s for real . . .

Jess McMasters exposes frauds for a living, and if it means using his charms as well as his tough skills as a journalist, no problem. What’s Charlene Carter trying to gain by refusing to be interviewed by the press? Is she angling for more money—or is she hiding secrets that prove she’s nobody’s hero?

Jess goes undercover to get close to her, but the closer he gets, the less he understands. Except this: the cost for his deception could be his own heart.

Readers will find themselves mesmerized by these magical characters who symbolize hope and redemption. 4+ – Romantic Times
What’s on your summer reading list? To help you stock up for those rainy or beachy days, as part of the Summer Lovin’ Blog Hop, I’m offering a $10 Amazon gift card to help you start shopping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Hop is all about enjoying the summer in a big way and that means giveaways! Follow along the Hop and see what each stop has to offer. Then make sure you enter the Romance Blog Hops Grand Prize Drawing (one entry per person)!

Happy Summer! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

20 Questions for Constance Bretes: Getting to Know Your Favorite (or soon to be Favorite!) Writer

I’m happy to introduce Constance Bretes as she celebrates the release of her second contemporary romance, The Last Dig! I haven’t had a chance to explore the pages yet, but doesn’t it look yummy! First, let’s get up close and personal with Connie . . .

Getting to know you:

1. Party dress or blue jeans? Blue jeans, it’s not a pretty sight to see me in a dress.

2. Spa day or gym workout? Neither, I’m too self-conscious and workout/exercising hurts.

3. Night owl or early bird? Early bird, only because I have a day job.

4. TV at home or movie theatre? TV at home.

5. Things that make you want to go “EEEEEEK!” A mouse, a bat, and cats chasing them around the house.

6. If I had a free afternoon, I’d . . . Write.

7. Favorite books from childhood? Black Beauty

8. Gourmet cook or take out? Take out.

9. Favorite comfort food? Steak and potato.

The Written word:

10. Favorite genre to read? Is it what you write? Contemporary and suspense romance and yes, I write contemporary and suspense romance.

11. What would you love to write that you haven’t? Thriller suspense.

12. Paperback or e-book? I do both, but with e-book, I don’t have to worry about getting more bookshelves.

A Writer’s Life:

13. OCD plotter or free range pantser? OCD Plotter – I have to have a goal, outline of what I want to accomplish in the ms.

14. Which is easier, the synopsis or the book? The book.

15. Live to write or write to live? Day job? Live to write, I do have a day job that I hope to retire from soon.

16. How many submissions did you send out before publication? I think I sent out about 15 submissions.

17. First publishing rejection (and getting back on that horse)? Harlequin, they rejected all my ms.

18. First person you call when you get a sale? Hubby.

19. Solo muse or critique partner(s)? I have a critique partner I really depend on and she’s great about it.

20. When can we get your next book and what’s it all about? The Last Dig, release date is June 16, 2014. A paleontologist finds mystery and romance when a body is found dead at her dig site.

Bones, bodies, and a love rekindled.

Paleontologist Caroline Priest is shocked when she finds a dead body at her dig site. When she calls it in to the sheriff's department, her former boyfriend, Rand Callahan, comes out to investigate. The evidence quickly starts to point to Caroline being the killer, and Rand has no choice but to arrest her.

It's clear to Caroline that she's been set up, but by who and for what reason? While Caroline is out on bail, Rand rekindles his relationship with her as they try to solve the mystery before it's too late.

Content Warning: contains some sexual content

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She's married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. When she's not at her regular 8-to-5 job, she can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.

You can learn more about Connie and her books at:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG: Move on Down the Road

I just spent the past week moving my 9-to-5 office. In a word, moving sucks. It’s stressful, exhausting, scary, expensive . . . all the things that put my regimented OCD soul into a fight or flight mode and kept me up at night going over every detail and every possible snag. I thrive on routine and predictability. When the word spontaneous comes up, you will not find my face as an example. I will put up with just about anything so as not to rock my same ole same ole world. Case in point, those 24-years of marriage. But sometimes you just gotta move on down the road . . . even if you don’t have Mapquest to provide you with every turn and rest stop.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Release Day for LOVE’S OWN REWARD!

Today’s my birthday. Once we leave the excitement of childhood behind, a lot of us begin to take these yearly passages for granted. Anticipated milestones get farther and farther apart: Sweet 16, 18 and Out, 21 and Legal, 30 and old enough to know better, the Big 5-0, qualifying for the Senior Discount then full retirement, and the Golden Years. Having zipped by most of these landmarks (I’m not saying just HOW many!), I find numbers don’t matter to me unless they involve dress sizes and glucose levels. Age is a state of mind unless you’re a bottle of wine or stinky cheese.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday: LOVE’S OWN REWARD

They say everything old is new again. While I don’t look forward to the return of low-riding jeans, I am excited about BelleBooks/BellBridge’s reissues of my Dana Ransom contemporary romances from the early ‘90s. LOVE’S OWN REWARD is the first of four 2014 re-releases to return to print and, for the first time, e-format after a slight makeover to bring it up to date, and it’s available on 5/27/14—my birthday! Here’s a Sneak Peek . . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

20 Questions with Kristen Brockmeyer: Getting to Know Your Favorite (or soon to be Favorite!) Writer

In the case of LUCKY IN LOVE, you can judge a book by its cover. The second it caught my eye, I had to pick it up. The minute I read the back blurb, I knew I had to buy it. And Kristen Brockmeyer’s first contemporary romance delivered everything promised, from the flirty print dress to the sassy seamed stockings, to the sexy heels and delightful prose. What a fun read! Charming characters, bubbly dialogue, and engagingly over-the-top plotline whisk you along on a whirlwind road trip to adventure and heartfelt romance with the top down.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG: Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose Your Prose and . . . Cover Reveal!!

I’m a closet hoarder. I hate to throw away anything I spent time or good money on. When my daughter-in-law was a featured artist with her ReMary’d Originals reinvented jewelry at a trendy shop called RETRO, it got me thinking about all the discarded bits and pieces of story plot and characters I’d tucked away in folders, used, broken and forgotten because they didn’t fit industry standards or had outlived their shiny first run. How very un-Green of me to discard these buried treasures when, with a little polish, a few fixes, a couple of changes, I could bring them back to new life in this suddenly rejuvenated writer-centric marketplace.