Guest Post — Michele De Winton

Thanks so much for having me over to chat. I’m pretty happy that the second of my Love on Deck titles is out now and the third will follow in the not too distant future. Yeay.

Out Now PostBack in release week my fabulous publicist asked me to find a bunch of man candy shots of my hero (you can check that whole crazy goodtime on pinterest and it got me thinking about some of the telling physical features of Mr Rick McCarthy. One thing that sprang to mind – but which didn’t sneak into my hero images, were his tattoos. For a straight up and down guy – Rick is the CEO of a major Biotech conglomerate – he has a pretty good display of ink.

I like a good dose of coloring in. Especially if it’s something original and something that means something personal and even private to the person. For Rick it’s a reminder of what he and his brother were searching to achieve – a cure for leukemia, and penned in swirling chemical formula, in my mind it’s definitely unique and distinctive.

Heroine Felicity Williams is a fan too:

“I do believe you might expire if you don’t get in that water. Best we undress for lunch don’t you think?” Without waiting for her reply, Rick dumped his small bag, stripped off his jacket and shirt, and peeled down his trousers to reveal turquoise board shorts and an array of ink Felicity would never have guessed at. He stepped into the pool and splashed the water up over his chest, making his tattoos sparkle and his muscles gleam. Oh God. If there was ever a need for a new Caped Crusader, Richard McCashin’s chest could take on Christian Bale’s any day. His tattooed torso was hairless with perfect pecs, not too buff so they looked like man-boobs, but firm and smooth and…Must. Not. Look. At. Passenger. Muscles. Say something to distract yourself. “Wouldn’t have picked you for the coloring-in kind.”

He rubbed his hand over his chest.

Duh. Now you’ll be rude if you don’t look…

What about you? Do you like a man unsullied, untouched and unmarked? Or do you like to see a little of what he’s thinking on the inside written forever on his skin? The forever part is pivotal to me and that’s where it gets more interesting – if it’s going to be there forever, what are you going to put on display? What a man choses says a lot I think. Do you agree?

Thanks again for having me! For more info drop by any time



About Michele

MDWintonMichele was born in the mid 1970’s amid a burgeoning sprawl of vineyards and new retirement homes. With two teachers as parents, her love of reading and books was cemented at an early age. Being a writer however, was not was she was supposed to do when she ‘grew up’. Despite training in law (or perhaps because of it) she has been a dancer, producer, writer, and all round arty type in various countries for most of her life.

Moving into writing full time in 2010 was like being a part of a contemporary romance – perfect! Creating new worlds for her characters, or rather letting those same characters show her their worlds is now a highlight of Michele’s daily life. And falling in love over and over as each hero and heroine allow their true feelings to surface is something very special. What a treat to do it every day! Now back home in New Zealand after travelling extensively, Michele writes from an office where the sound of the tapping keyboard is only rivalled by the whisper of wind in the trees.

Where you can find her:

Website –

Blog –

Twitter – @Micheledewinton

Goodreads –

Facebook (author page.) –

Pintrest –


Buy now links



Felicity Williams can’t remember the last five years thanks to an accident that wiped out her memory. She fled her old life in hopes of starting fresh and found refuge working on a cruise ship. But her past is coming for her…

Rick McCarthy wakes after a climbing accident to discover that his business partner and fiancée has quit her job and disappeared. He’s trying to accept that she’s run out on him, but now he needs her signature to close a deal that could literally be life or death. He’ll go to any extreme to get what he needs…even if that means becoming someone else to win her back. But a little lie becomes a large mess when they’re stranded on a deserted island together, and old misunderstandings might ruin their chance at new love…

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Lucky Charms

2014-03-17 07.08.12March hasn’t been good to me.

This month at my house my oil burner went on the fritz TWICE, my cesspool backed up and my son lost his brakes while driving a few miles from home (he’s fine!).

I guess you could say we lost our lucky charms somewhere along the way…maybe the Easter Bunny will drop a few off when he makes his rounds next month?

Then I started thinking about those lucky charms and realized I don’t really have anything I’d consider “lucky” at all. Sure, my hubby has his lucky flaming boxer shorts he wears when we go to the casino (Not that we’ve ever won big while he was wearing them, but I guess since we’ve never lost big either there’s something to be said for keeping them around. LOL) But, I don’t keep a rabbit’s foot in my bag, or have a lucky talisman sitting on my desk guiding my words.

Do you?

As I count down the last few days of March, I’m thinking about heading out to find myself a four-leaf clover. Now what to do with it if I’m lucky enough to find one, that’s the question.

May the luck of the Irish smile on you, whether you have a lucky charm or not!


About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Fiance by Fate

Hi, all!

I’m SUPER excited to finally show you the cover of my next Bliss release:

Fiancé by Fate!


Their fake relationship is a twist of fate.

Sabrina Cassidy believes in fate. So when her fiancé breaks off their engagement, she’s convinced they’ll get back together eventually. But fate was not on her side when it brought Jack Brenner into her life—and work. Frustrating, gorgeous, and cocky, Jack has an offer that Sabrina can’t refuse. Not if it means getting the life she’s always imagined.

Despite being one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, Jack has a reputation that’s working against him. He has to convince his father—and his company’s board—that he’s ready to settle down if he wants a promotion. But convincing Sabrina to be his fake girlfriend turns out to be the easiest part. What he didn’t count on was their intense attraction and how easily their lie would escalate.

Sabrina’s still hung up on her ex, and Jack will never settle down. But fate has other ideas…

Release date is April 14th so mark your calendars!

And if anyone is interested in a Free ARC, sign up HERE! or Here:

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

Luck…not writing related

Hey! Before I start, I want to give a lucky shout-out to Maureen Coughlan!! Whoot! She’s the winner of Lynn Crandall’s gift card. Thanks for being with us, Maureen.


I’ve grown up hearing phrases like “the luck of the Irish.” I’m slightly less than 75% Irish myself with 3 of my 4 grandparents being of Irish descent. So I heard all the stories, sang all the songs, and knew, growing up, that I was lucky.

And then one day a good while back, when speaking to a friend about something good that had happened to me, I told her how lucky I was…and she corrected me. Told me I was blessed. No, seriously, I think my mouth fell open. I thought that was pretty ballsy of her…to actually correct me. I remember leaving that visit with a bad taste in my mouth.

But also, having something to think about to.

When we say we’re lucky, are we discounting a higher being and any blessings He has bestowed on us? No. I don’t think so. I have said I’m lucky, and I have admitted I’m blessed. I see a fine line between them… like, lucky to get that last cream filled donut and blessed with another child. Maybe I can see some difference there. But mostly, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I have five beautiful, [somewhat] respectful children, a husband who is my best friend–and yes, i’m lucky to have him because our start wasn’t exactly traditional. I didn’t know him for years, analyze my choices, pray about being with him for the rest of my life, and then make a decision. No, I got lucky he turned out to be such a good man.

So, to that friend whose view was too narrow to understand what I meant… I hope you have been as lucky as I have in this wonderful, blessed life. 😛 And for what it’s worth, correcting people is rude. 😀


About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Are You Ready to Get Lucky?

March is a fun month. I mean really. What other time of the year are you not considered crazy for talking about four-leaf clovers, good luck and drinking green beer? Okay, I don’t drink green beer but I do admit to enjoying a pint of Guinness from time to time. It’s as close as I can afford to get to Ireland at the moment.

Fairy Dust Small

See how easily I get distracted? What I really want to talk about today is luck. I confess to being firmly in the camp of luck is when hard work meets opportunity. Doesn’t that sound easy? Just keep working hard and an opportunity will just fall into your lap. Hmmmm, I don’t think so. I believe there are a couple tricks to that statement.

First off, do you absolutely have to work hard? Yes, I believe you do. But you can’t work hard at a bunch of things, constantly shifting your expectations and goals like sand in the desert and expect spectacular results. You need to stay focused on what your ultimate goal is. It’s easy to get sidetracked by doing writing things, like editing, social media, reading, so we feel like we’re making progress, when in reality we’re just kidding ourselves because we’re not actually producing pages and doing the writing itself.

The other trick is being able to recognize opportunity when it presents itself. Usually we have an idea of what our perfect opportunity will look like. But what about those times when things happen that aren’t according to our plan? And maybe they don’t quite look like what we thought our opportunity should appear to be? What if we get rejected? How can that be lucky? And what about the opportunity of self-publishing? That’s a big one.

So in a sense flexibility is also a key to being lucky. I do believe in luck, but you have to be ready for it. I don’t believe it ‘just happens’ to very many people. Having been involved in the writing industry for nearly ten years now, I can tell you from experience and observation that some of the writers that I know that are having large success today may have had some luck with their timing. Although to some it appears that someone just sprinkled lucky fairy dust all over them.

But that being said, every one, without fail, has single-mindedly stuck to her goals, stayed the course, been writing and putting out work when others were bemoaning the ups and downs of the industry and ‘taking breaks’ from writing. Or in some cases had illnesses or other personal issues beyond their control that took them away from writing.

It’s the people who haven’t given up, who’ve kept at it year after year, stayed focused on their goal, refining their craft, managing their networking, and building a body of work who have become successful. And that to me is the best luck of all.

Have you gotten lucky lately?

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Guest Post — Lynn Crandall

Thanks to author Lynn Crandall for being on Heart-Shaped Glasses today. She’s got a giveaway, too! Read through and fill out the rafflecopter for a chance at a $20 Gift Card. Keep Dreaming all you wonderful, beautiful readers! 😀


Dream Bigger

Writers are dreamers. We’re in love with words and language and we dream a dream of creating a good story and getting it published, either by a publisher or by self-publishing. It’s quite an accomplishment, either way. We’re turning an idea into a complex telling of the hero and heroine’s journey through problems, challenges, and sometimes danger to find at the end a better self and true love. Yeah us!

Presently I have three books published by two publishers. Has achieving my goals of writing books and getting them published been the dream I envisioned? Yes and no. It’s a matter of perspective.

My dreams never included anything less than 5-star reviews and joyful readers. The possibility that readers and reviewers would not connect with my heroines was not part of my dream. To me these characters were flawed and suffering in their own way and they were beautiful. Even though we writers know in our heads that not everyone is going to like our writing, our hearts still cringe when some don’t. We may reassess the validity of our dreams.

But dreams are powerful. They can persist even in an environment lacking in support and in the face of naysayers and self-doubt. Reassessment can be fruitful if we use input to improve our writing if needed. That’s a productive perspective. Sometimes writers throw in the towel to relieve the sadness and disappointment and avoid self-doubt. But for me, there is no quitting. I’m in love with writing and I believe in myself. I’m very happy when I’m writing. I enjoy the feeling of knowing people are reading my books.

In my head reassessing what it meant to be in the place of having written books and gotten them published, I had a moment when I realized I had attained my dream. It was a “Wow!” moment and I almost missed it. In the United States we all strive to have a dream and go after them and achieve them, and I had. It was very much as I’d imagined it would be when it was still in dream form.  So why was I happy and unhappy? I wanted more.

That night I dreamed Brad Pitt was making one of my books into a movie. I woke up smiling, even though I knew it was just my imagination going wild. But a friend suggested rather than scoff at my dream, I needed to think bigger. Dream bigger and believe. Consider writing romance but with bigger, more complex stories. Soon after, an editor suggested I write a spin off book that could be the first in a new series. I allowed “dream bigger” to have a space in my brain. Why not? My brain gave me many reasons, but I rejected the reasons – over and over, since it’s not a one-time thing for me – and invested in determination.

Famed artist Michelangelo, who wrote a sonnet that ended with, “I am not a painter,” knew something about self-doubt, and yet he also wrote about the error of minimizing our potential.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

It can be hard to believe. We may give up on our dreams, thinking we can’t have what we want or we need to be more realistic, when really we need to think the opposite. Laura Pankoke at tells us why.

“We start with a dream. Then we get crazy obsessed with how much we want that dream to come true. That way, when we start to look at our reality we look at it through the glasses of “how can I make this happen.”

Crazy obsessed with a dream is another way of saying doing what you have to do to achieve it. That’s a powerful, energized perspective.


Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don’t back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.



GIVEAWAY GOODNESS! …and then read on for more from Lynn and her  latest book, Always and Forever Love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Always and Forever Love coverBook Blurb:

The presence of a ghost in her life doesn’t alarm Lacy Aegar, in fact it makes her happy. Two and a half years ago when her dead husband Nicholas reappeared in her life as a full-bodied spirit, she questioned her sanity. But with Nicholas’ explanation that there are things about life that are not as she’s always believed, she settled into a pleasant routine of working with her sister at their private investigation business and enjoying home life with her now 10-year-old son – with Nicholas never very far away.

Lacey’s complacency and sense of stability is sent topsy-turvy when she runs into Jackson Carter, the son of powerful and influential business tycoon, William Carter. Typical of the Carter reputation, Jackson’s slick new private investigating business is siphoning off clients from the Aegar sisters’ business, creating financial difficulty. It’s a recurring nightmare for Lacey, who has already seen damage done by the Carter family, and when she encounters Jackson, she wants nothing to do with him.

But things are not what they seem when it comes to Jackson Carter, either. Unbeknownst to Lacey and her sister, Jackson is fighting a battle to preserve his business, too, and his integrity. For him, it’s a fight for his soul, and he enlists Lacey’s help because of her unique investigative skills and open heart. When she uncovers a mole in his business, she also discovers that one of his clients’ drug trials has been given the green light to go to the next phase based on falsified data. As they work together to save both their businesses, Jackson and Lacey not only face death, they must come to grips with their feelings about love and life.


She couldn’t imagine what he wanted. He seemed completely composed, except for the indications that he wasn’t. She decided to dive in. “So, Jackson, what’s on your mind? Is this a meeting? Are you still going to offer me a job?”

He fumbled with his napkin, his eyes still downcast and his voice soft. “To be honest, asking you to stay with me came out kind of spur-of-the-moment.” His gaze lifted, and he

continued, almost hesitantly. “I want you to know, Lacey, that though I don’t like your opinion of me, I understand. But unlike you, I have been thinking about you.”

Parts of her drew down to complete absorption with the moment between them. It was mesmerizing to listen to his words and feel his sincere need to convey the right message. She didn’t speak, feeling if she did, something inside him would break.

Which was silly. Jackson Carter was anything but fragile. Or so she believed. The idea that she believed she knew him from his father’s works made her shoulders tighten. His gaze flicked around the room, but landed back on her face.

“I’m not going to bore you with details about my past and my family. I think what I want you to know is that I am not my father. I have things to amend for, if only because of my blindness. But the truth is, I woke up about four years ago. I chose another path, and I did it simply because I didn’t belong on the path I was on. It didn’t fit. My father is a liar and a cruel person. There’s only so far I could go with him before I had to say enough is enough.”

Lacey felt like there was no one else in the room. His words carried weight and she knew the moment was sacred. He bared his soul, with no expectation of anything but the hope of understanding. She had to ask. “Why are you telling me this?”

He chuckled. “Good question. Nothing like laying it all out there when we hardly know each other.”

She let the moment hang, waiting for a sincere answer, not knowing if he had it in him.

There is a lot of regret in me. I feel the weight of my legacy. My values have not so much changed, as I’ve come to grips with reality. That’s a hard truth that not many people can appreciate.” He sipped his coffee and again shifted his gaze around the room, but she knew he didn’t see it. “You see things. You see things people miss. I just want you to know that I know much goes before me. It sounds clichéd, but I am different. Maybe you can see that and give me a second chance.”

It was easy to pick up that he carried deep feelings, some of them tender and painful. Lacey understood how devastating—as well as completely life changing—awareness of awful truths could be. Still, she knew firsthand of the shattering that could occur at the hands of the Carter family. She couldn’t forget that.

“Speechless, huh?” He tried to shrug off the intensity of his admission, dipping his head and suddenly busying with the saltshaker. “What do you say to something like that? I’m sorry I put you in that position.”

Again with the defenses? “Jackson. Stop. Can I say something now?” She ducked her head to catch his gaze. “I see that you’re sincere. Thank you for that. And you’re right. I know all about what your family has done to people in this town and out in the world. Your father is a very powerful and influential man. He could have done much good, but he didn’t. He’s put people out of work, destroyed their reputations, ruined lives of people I care about. How do I get beyond that? Why would I want to? Your family is dangerous.” She trembled with memories of the ills caused by William Carter. How could Jackson ask anything of her?

He squared her with his eyes again. “I need your help with finding out why my business is running into so many problems…”

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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