Bull Riding, Babies and Romance.. Oh My - Check out the latest from Harlequin Romance!

As a Canadian ex-pat living in the US, I am hyper aware of finding our national symbol when I am out and about (and yes I put that in there for all of you Americans thinking that I am saying oot and aboot...) and it's even more fun when the symbolism comes in as nice a package as one of the latest releases from Harlequin Romance - one of four revived titles by one of my favorite authors, Tina Leonard.

Check out Zane Lambert, who lives in Alberta, Canada but is originally from Manitoba and is on the cover of the fourth book in the re-released series, available only at Walmart!

Harlequin Pro Bull Riders stories are heartwarming contemporary tales of everyday women finding love in the arms of the quintessential American icon, wrapped up in manliness and romance. The stories showcase the charm of small-town America and the ruggedness of Western locales and regularly feature Western characters as protagonists. 

Each book contains exclusive content, including biographies, interviews, photos, signed reader letters from the riders and $20 of value-added coupons for select PBR events, fan club membership and upcoming Harlequin titles.

You can check out the first chapter of all four titles and print coupons to save $1.00 each!
·      A Family for the Bull Rider:   http://www.harlequin.com/media/images/pdf/AFamilyfortheBullrider_chapter.pdf
·       And of course, The Bull Rider's Twins:  http://www.harlequin.com/media/images/pdf/TheBullRiderTwins_chapter.pdf

If you are as taken by Zane's photo as I am, you can also check out this video interview that he did recently:



You can also click the graphic below and enter to win a trip to Las Vegas and a VIP package to the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals:

Release Day! Exposed by Tracy Wolff (3rd book in the Ethan Frost Trilogy)

I am so pleased to let you know that Tracy Wolff's Ethan Frost series is finally complete! Check out the info below:




Title: Exposed
Series: Ethan Frost #3
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Loveswept

Release
Date: May 5, 2015

Synopsis

Ethan Frost, the irresistible leading man from the New York Times bestsellers Ruined and Addicted, returns once again in Exposed—a novel that’s perfect for fans of J. Kenner and Sylvia Day.

Will Ethan Frost go too far for the woman he loves?

The moment Chloe Girard walked into my life, she exposed secrets and emotions I always thought were best kept buried.

She wants to move on, to ignore the past. But I can’t do that. Not when she still suffers. And not when the man who hurt her remains unscathed. So when I discover the perfect opportunity to make him pay for what he did to Chloe, I can’t walk away, no matter the consequences.

But there’s a fine line between justice and obsession. As I turn up old crimes and new lies, I know that I’m playing with fire—and risking the very foundations of our relationship. My love for Chloe is absolute. I just hope it’s enough to save us both.




Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK




Also Available


AMAZON US / UK




AMAZON US / UK

Author Bio


New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff lives in Texas and teaches writing at her local community college. She is married and the mother of three young sons.

Author Links

GOODREADS

WEBSITE

Giveaway

Bon Appetit and a Book - From Fake to Forever


Romance is in the air once again and this time, I am happy to share a recipe from award-winning author Kat Cantrell that she thinks pair well with her latest Harlequin title, From Fake to Forever



FROM FAKE TO FOREVER – After an impromptu Vegas wedding that shouldn’t be valid, Meredith Chandler-Harris just discovered she's still tied to businessman Jason Lynhurst. She needs out of their marriage, but if he's to become his company's new CEO, he needs her as a bride. Meredith can have her divorce, but only after he gets what he wants—which is more than merely a promotion.

KAT CANTRELL read her first Harlequin novel in third grade and has been scribbling in notebooks since she learned to spell. What else would she write but romance? She majored in Literature, officially with the intent to teach, but somehow ended up buried in middle management at Corporate America, Inc. After three years and many thousands of words, her dream of publication finally came true. When she's not writing about characters on the journey to happily-ever-after, she can be found at a soccer game, watching Friends or dancing with her kids to Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And this is what she'd suggest you pair with this book:

Hummus and Pita Chips
This is my recipe for hummus, which I love to make fresh because store-bought generally has a high sodium content, as well as preservatives and other yucky stuff. This is easy to make and doesn't call for tahini which can be expensive.

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 drops sesame oil, or to taste (optional)

PREP
5 mins
READY IN
5 mins

Directions
Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor; stream reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved. Spoon into a serving bowl. You can let the flavors blend several hours or overnight before serving this.

To make fresh pita chips:
Cut two-three pitas into wedges (like a pizza)
Arrange on a pan and brush with olive oil
Grind or sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
Cook for 15 minutes at 375.

This is such an easy snack. I love to make it with my two boys and there are things even the little one can do. He likes to use the basting brush to "paint" the chips with oil. My older son likes to use the food processor--probably because I don't make him clean it!

You can also check out these other titles that highlight some fun I DO's this month:

·          The Billionaire's Bridal Bargain - by USA Today bestselling author Lynne Graham. To get his hands on her Mediterranean island inheritance, Cesare Sabatino must wed innocent Lizzie and ensure she's carrying his heir! Luckily the formidable Italian is legendary for his powers of persuasion. With Lizzie desperate to save her family's farm, it's only a matter of time before she gives in and discovers the many pleasurable benefits of wearing this tycoon's ring.
·          The Italian's Deal for I Do – by award-winning author Jennifer Hayward. He's conquered global markets and immeasurable hearts, but to regain control of the fashion empire that's rightfully his, Rocco Mondelli must prove his playboy days are over. His secret weapon? Supermodel-in-hiding Olivia Fitzgerald and the power to ruin her if she refuses to play his loving fiancée!

Bon Appétit and a Book: Mexican Tea Cake Cookies while you read PROTECTION DETAIL By Shirlee McCoy

For something different, I asked author Shirlee McCoy what she would want to eat while reading her latest inspirational fiction book, Protection Detail (Capitol K-9 Unit) and she suggested that it was best read with something yummy and sweet!

"There's something warm and homey about a couple of yummy cookies and a cup of hot tea. Add a good book, and it's the perfect way to spend a dreary afternoon or a cold night. My all-time favorite cookie is as easy to make as it is delicious. Even better, it's a six ingredient cookie! Quick, simple and delicious!"

Mexican Tea Cake Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp . vanilla
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups finely chopped pecans
extra powdered sugar

Mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt. Stir in pecans.
Chill dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350.
Roll dough into one inch balls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. While cookies are still warm, roll them in the extra powdered sugar.

If you can, let them cool before eating.

If you can't, grab your book, your tea or coffee, find a comfy chair and enjoy!

More about Protection Detail (Capitol K-9 Unit)


After a prominent senator’s son is murdered, Captain Gavin McCord of the Capitol K-9 Unit
wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin, and Gavin will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice in Protection Detail.
With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child at Cassie Danvers’ nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder.
He’s drawn to the determined and beautiful woman, but she doesn’t want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie becomes a target.
Protection Detail is available in paperback and e-book.

SHIRLEE MCCOY knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book.

Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

Sundays in my City: C of C Basketball

Last night, Wayne and I had a date night at the C of C Cougars last basketball game of the season.  It was a thrilling game, which unfortunately we lost... but I got a night out without kids so any outcome was a win for me.




Hooking up for the first time in a long time with Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City
Unknown Mami

Love Lessons Learned with Andrea Laurence, author of THIRTY DAYS TO WIN HIS WIFE

I am pleased to invite Andrea Laurence to share a little bit of Love Wisdom today, as part of her virtual book tour for THIRTY DAYS TO WIN HIS WIFE

Tyler and Amelia’s story is a twist on the classic friends to lovers story because they put the cart before the horse, marrying and starting a family before they’ve really even begun a relationship. It took these extenuating circumstances for them to make that leap past friendship into lovers. Part of the reason for this is that Amelia is looking for a perfect marriage—the White Buffalo. She’s idealized her grandparents’ relationship and won’t accept anything less for herself. In doing that, she’s discarded a pile of potential suitors that didn’t check all the boxes, and never even gave Tyler a second thought in the relationship department. Tyler isn’t perfect. Not even close. But he’s persistent and won’t let her use her list of requirements to drive a wedge between them. It’s in realizing that no person and no marriage is perfect—including her grandparents’ marriage—that Amelia can finally open herself up to see the beauty of what’s in front of her. As they say, it’s not about finding the perfect person, it’s about loving someone enough to see an imperfect person, perfectly. That’s the love lesson of the book.

—Andrea


More about THIRTY DAYS TO WIN HIS WIFE


Even with a baby on the way, Amelia's holding out for the perfect husband. Tyler has 30 days to prove he's the one. Best friends Tyler Dixon and Amelia Kennedy eloped to Vegas on a whim. But before they can deal with their quickie divorce, she confesses: she's pregnant. Now there's no way Tyler will agree to go their separate ways. He wants them to stay married, raise their child together, share a house—and a bed.

Yet Amelia has always dreamed of a perfect marriage and she doesn't think this self-made millionaire is lifetime material despite their friendship. She's given him just one month to prove her wrong.


ANDREA LAURENCE has been devouring books since she learned to read at the age of 3. An old portable typewriter got her started writing in her room at 8 and she's been writing ever since. Her practical nature led her to pursue a master's degree and a career that would pay the bills, but the writing bug continued to bite. She started working ferociously in her spare time to become a published author and has become an active member of her local RWA chapter, Heart of Dixie. After eight years and 11 completed manuscripts, she finally made the leap and got "the call" from Harlequin Desire on May 31, 2011.

A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, Andrea is working on her real-life "happily ever after" with her boyfriend of 10 years and their collection of animals including two cats, two mutts and a Siberian husky that sheds like nobody's business.

You can also check out the first book in the Andrea's series Brides and Belles, Snowed In with Her Ex!

3 Great "Me Time" Books from Harequin Romance this Month & If Never Trust a Cowboy Was Made Into a Movie

When I read a good book, I often fantasize about who would star in the book if it were ever made into a movie... and I thought it would be fun to ask author, Kathleen Eagle about her most recent romance, Never Trust a Cowboy:
If I were casting Never Trust a Cowboy, Del Fox would be played by Scott Eastwood, who looks great on a horse and has his father Clint’s chiseled face. I figure he’s born to play a cowboy.

Scarlett Johansson would play Lila Flynn. Scarlett started her career in a movie about a girl who loved horses, and she plays strong, sassy, vulnerable characters beautifully.
Having read the book, I can totally see those actors taking on this movie role... here's a little more about the book itself:


The last thing harried Lila Flynn needed was another cowboy to deal with, but new hire Del Fox was different than most sweet-talking wranglers. The hard worker had a gentle touch and eyes that spoke of a past he didn't share. Lila soon found her hardened heart softening, frightening her more than any other hurdles she was facing.Del's assignment in Short Straw, South Dakota, was meant to be fast and simple. Falling for Lila Flynn, however, had complicated everything. If he did his job right it would mean destroying everything Lila had worked for. He'd given her every reason never to trust him with her heart, but when all was said and done, would she trust their love enough to give them a second chance?
And about the author:
KATHLEEN EAGLE published her first book, a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award winner, with Silhouette Books in 1984. Since then she has published more than 40 books, including historical and contemporary, series and single title, earning her nearly every award in the industry.  Her books have consistently appeared on regional and national bestseller lists, including the USA Today list and the New York Times extended bestseller list.

Born in Virginia and raised "on the road" as an Air Force brat, Eagle earned degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Northern State University.  She taught at Standing Rock High School in North Dakota for 17 years.  She continues to teach writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.


Two other great reads, available in print and e-book from Harlequin, that you might want to add to your "Me Time" List are: 

FONSECA’S FURY By Abby Green, Harlequin Presents; January 15, 2015, $4.99; 192 pages, ISBN-13: 9780373133079

The last time Luca Fonseca saw Serena DePiero, he ended up in a jail cell. The Brazilian billionaire has since clawed back his reputation, but he's never forgotten her. So when Luca discovers Serena's working for his charity, his anger reignites.
Serena has changed. Finally in control of her life, she refuses to let Luca intimidate her. She'll deal with whatever her new boss throws at her—from a rain-forest trek to the social jungle of Rio. But she can't handle the passion that flares hotter than Luca's fury—especially when it threatens to consume them both.

ABBY GREEN spent her teens reading Mills & Boon romances. She then spent many years working in the film and TV industry as an assistant director. One day while standing outside an actor's trailer in the rain, she thought: there has to be more than this. So she sent off a partial to Harlequin Mills & Boon. After many rewrites, they accepted her first book and an author was born. She lives in Dublin, Ireland and you can find out more here: www.abby-green.com


SNOWED IN WITH HER EX By Andrea Laurence, Harlequin Desire; January 15, 2015, $5.25 US; 192 pages,  ISBN-13: 9780373733620


Wedding photographer Briana Harper never expected to run into her ex at an engagement shoot and when a blizzard strands them alone in a remote mountain cabin, she knows she's in trouble. She's never forgotten Ian Lawson, but none of the reasons they broke up have changed. He's still a workaholic—and now he's an engaged workaholic.  But Ian is also still a man who knows what he wants and what he wants is Briana. Untangling the lies of his current engagement leaves him free to indulge, but proving he's changed may be this music mogul's toughest negotiation yet.
  
ANDREA LAURENCE has been devouring books since she learned to read at the age of 3. An old portable typewriter got her started writing in her room at 8 and she's been writing ever since. Her practical nature led her to pursue a master's degree and a career that would pay the bills, but the writing bug continued to bite. She started working ferociously in her spare time to become a published author and has become an active member of her local RWA chapter, Heart of Dixie. After eight years and 11 completed manuscripts, she finally made the leap and got "the call" from Harlequin Desire on May 31, 2011.
A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, Andrea is working on her real-life "happily ever after" with her boyfriend of 10 years and their collection of animals including two cats, two mutts and a Siberian husky that sheds like nobody's business. 

Tracking Destination Image Across Trip Experience with Smartphone Technology.


ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine changes to tourists’ image of a destination throughout a trip experience.  Using Blackberry technology, a group of Canadian student travelers to Peru were asked to record images and experience about their trip during several key moments (pre-trip, upon arrival, half-way, departure, and post-trip).  The results of this mixed methods study indicate that tourists’ destination image is dynamic and continuously evolving throughout their trip, and various incidents during the trip could impact it. Of particular importance are the impressions made upon arrival and departure, as they are powerful determinants of post-trip images.  Affective image appear to be rather haphazard during the trip whereas most respondents’ cognitive image follows a specific pattern where the subjects go through an adjustment period at the beginning of the trip (resulting in lowered scores) but then rebound in a positive direction from that point.  Further, post-trip cognitive scores tend to continue to rise significantly while affective scores tend to return to pre-trip levels.

For those that want to cite this...

Smith, W.W., Li, R., Pan, B., Witte, M., & Doherty, S.  (2014). Tracking Destination Image Across Trip Experience with Smartphone Technology.  Tourism Management.  

WestJet Making the Nice List...

I am not big on promoting commercial entities however, I must give kudos where they are indeed due.  Congratulations to West Jet on their annual Christmas miracle promotion.



They have been doing this for several years now and it has gotten even more fabulous with each and every iteration.  I love when my industry decides to truly give back. It is important for us to remember that when we bring our guests to communities that those places are not just commodities. We need to be doing more of this as an industry in order to really create true partnerships with communities.  Tourism can be a great thing when done correctly.   Congrats once again to WestJet for demonstrating leadership in this regards!




Six Word Saturday

Being thankful for - white blood cells??? 

With three kids in three different schools and me teaching at a university, viruses come around our house often and I am guessing most of family has built up a pretty good immunity.  This week however, that immunity didn't work out so well as a cold ripped through the household.  During this week of thankfulness, add white blood cells to the list. 

So hooray for the biological sciences...