Eat more chocolate and bedazzle all my jeans

When the clock ticked from Dec. 31, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2014, did you make a list of resolutions or goals? If so, I hope you are well on your way to achieving them.

The talented ladies here at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses have given us lots of information and motivation this month regarding resolutions and goals. Thank you!

I, on the other hand, am not much for observing traditional resolutions or goals. Mine always fell into one of three categories anyway: weight loss, organization and productivity. As my younger sister oh, so sweetly reminded me via a cutesy Facebook e-card, “My New Year’s resolution is to write 2014 instead of 2013.” I’m hovering around 50-50 on that particular goal.

So, in keeping with my No Resolution New Year and just for fun, here is a list of ten (mostly) fake resolutions.

Eat more chocolate.

Sleep in more often.

Don’t clean the house so much.

Avoid doing the laundry.

Buy more shoes.

Cook less.

Eat more pasta.

Spend more time on social media.

Do fewer dishes.

Bedazzle all my jeans.

Did I miss any? 😉 What fake resolution would you make?

Don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered into the January giveaway…a $10 Amazon gift card from Lori Sizemore!

 

 

 

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

Warm up with a good book and a bowl of soup

Fall is my favorite season. Jeans and sweater weather. I love all the colors on the trees, from sunshine yellow to vibrant red. I love curling up with a good book (romance, of course) in front of the fire. However, autumn doesn’t seem to last too long here in the mountains. Already we have snow on the ground and ice on the roads. And wind gusts that wreak havoc on electrical and telephone lines and Internet service.
Despite the unpredictably of this time of year–or maybe because of it–November is one of my favorite months. For me, it’s a time centered around bright colors, cool temperatures and hot food.
Some of my fellow bloggers have shared a few of their family traditions and favorite autumn recipes with you. So, I’ll add one more.
Here in the Vaughn household, we love soup. There’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of goodness to help battle the dropping temperatures and any illnesses that seem to infiltrate our home this time of year. Also, we’re all busy getting ready for the holidays so time and money are at a premium. Soup is a perfect quick, easy and inexpensive dinner. One of my daughter’s favorites is Chicken Orzo Soup. Make a double-batch and you’ll have leftovers for lunches or some to freeze. This is also a great way to use turkey leftovers following Thanksgiving. Just make Turkey Orzo Soup.

8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1 cup uncooked orzo (Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta.)
2 cups chopped or shredded chicken or turkey (cooked)
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, combine broth, thyme, salt and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat.
Add carrots and celery; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until orzo and vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in chicken or turkey; cook until heated through.
Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

Do you like soup? What’s your favorite? I’m always looking for new recipes.
Don’t forget to comment. You’ll be entered into this month’s blog giveaway, a $10 Amazon gift e-card and a copy of Letters from Home, courtesy of Bethanne Strasser.

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

Small Towns, Big Stories

Setting is so important. The perfect setting can frame and showcase your characters’ strengths and weaknesses. Your setting can add deep layers and meaning to the developing romance, heighten the sense of mystery and danger or accentuate heartwarming and heart-wrenching family dynamics. For me, nothing helps me achieve my writing goals like a small-town setting.

I’m fascinated by small-town dynamics…probably because I spent more than fifteen years as a community newspaper reporter and editor.

I love the dichotomy of citizens’ public and private personas and how those differences fuel the gossip and “scandal” in communities,  influence both personal and public decisions and, most importantly, impact personal relationships. These conflicts make for great tension in your writing, especially when they involve a hot hero and strong, sassy heroine.

There are three main reasons I enjoy writing, and reading, romances with small-town settings.

The small-town setting lends itself to certain tropes and themes I enjoy. Forced proximity, conflict of interest, leaving home, returning home, reunion romances, bad boy/good girl, etc. The list is endless.

The sense of community. Friends, family, personal history, gossip…I love all the characteristics (good and bad) of small towns and communities.

Creative freedom. I create fictional towns, which means I’m not bogged down with a lot of research. I have complete control over my own little corner of the world. (The control freak in me loves this.)

So do you live in a small town? Enjoy reading or writing romances with small-town settings? I’d be interested in hearing your impressions and experiences.

Thanks so much for visiting with us today. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into our August giveaway. The blog swag this month is a FREE digital copy of the winner’s choice from the new Decadent Tease Imprint courtesy of Clarissa Yip.

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

Summertime…Music to My Ears

This month at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses, our theme is summer. We’ve talked about everything from movies to favorite vacation spots and activities. We’ve talked about romances with summertime settings and our awesome vacations and staycations.

I’m a huge fan of summer. I love hot weather and our annual beach vacation. My birthday is in July. We’re no longer bound by the “school schedule.” For me, there’s plenty to love about summertime. I even have a summer playlist featuring some of my favorite songs that remind me of warm weather, vacations and all things hot and fun. 🙂

As a writer, a playlist helps me set the right mood for my writing. For example, if it’s the middle of winter and I’m writing romance set during summer vacation, my playlist helps me forget that softly falling snow and remember, in vivid detail, the feel of hot, grainy sand between my toes. Also, during warm weather, I love rolling down the car windows and blaring some of my favorite warm-weather tunes.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorites.

Summertime, New Kids On The Block

Cruel Summer, Bananarama

Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts

Sealed with a Kiss, my version is performed by Bobby Vinton

Cruise, Florida Georgia Line

Dirt Road Anthem, Jason Aldean

Carolina Girls, General Johnson and The Chairman of the Board

So, what are some of your favorite summertime songs?

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win a $5 Amazon e-Card and a digital copy of Nina Croft’s upcoming release from Entangled , Losing Control.

 

 

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

Wedding Romances? I do

This month we’ve been talking about weddings here at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses.

While I wasn’t a June bride, I was a summer bride. My husband and I will celebrate our twelfth anniversary in August. Why August? Well, it was for a most practical reason. We chose the date because, by then, my husband had completed his college coursework and received his degree.

That’s the thing about weddings. Sure, they are romantic and full of promise, but they can also be practical. Just look at the use of weddings in romance novels and movies.

As an avid reader and author, I find that marriages of convenience and fake engagements are fabulous tropes for a romance author.

Ask yourself this question: What if true love isn’t the reason a bride or groom says “I do”? If they’re not marrying for love, why are they willing to wed?

There are an infinite number of possible answers. It’s obvious our hero and heroine need something from each other. Maybe the wedding will help seal a business deal. Maybe those nuptials are a publicity stunt. Or maybe one of our characters needs money.

The thing is, getting married isn’t going to solve all their problems. It’s going to create a whole set of new ones. Our hero and heroine aren’t interested in love, but that’s exactly what they find. And this is the type of tension and angst that, in turn, helps create the stories I love to read—and write.

Weddings in romances can also help set the tone for the entire novel. The wedding can be the happy ending. Weddings can even be the tool we use to introduce or reunite our hero and heroine. And, don’t forget this: the hero and heroine don’t necessarily have to be the bride and groom. What if their professions bring them into the wedding sphere? Think photographers, planners, florists, caterers, bakers, ministers, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Do you like to read or write wedding romances?

Please comment and share some of your favorites with us.

All comments this month are entered into a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card.

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

Those first days of summer vacation

For those in the U.S. today is Memorial Day, a time reserved for honoring all the men and women who passed away in military service. Parades, special ceremonies and cemetery decorations are often scheduled as a way to show our respect and to memorialize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedom and our nation.

For many, this is also the final day of a three-day weekend and the unofficial first day of the summer vacation season.

This month we’ve been talking about firsts here at Heart-Shaped Glasses—everything from first kisses and dates to first adventures.
As for me, I’m eager to hear all about your plans for the first days and weeks of summer vacation.

After a particularly long winter, I’m excited to finally see the sun and feel these warmer temperatures. The school year has ended so we’re no longer helping the little ones study for final exams or state standardized tests. The smells of freshly cut grass and charcoal grills and grilling meat wafts through the air. Everyone seems to be gardening, so beautiful bushes and flowers are blooming everywhere and fresh vegetable plants are just starting to peek from the red earth.

We’re making plans to visit family and friends we haven’t seen in a while and a trip to the coast to swim in the ocean and build sandcastles isn’t out of the question.

These first few weeks of summer vacation are stress-free and full of promise and excitement as we make plans for our well-deserved and long-awaited summer vacation.
So what are some of your suggestions? How do you and your loved ones spend your summer vacation?

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

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