Coincidences and Happenstance....

The stars align every once in a while and I think back to the time when I was blogging regularly and enjoying every minute of it.  Life has taken several twists and turns since then - two more regularly paying gigs have overtaken some of my time, along with having three active kids at varying stages of their busy lives... and finally having Wayne in a position where he is actually working two and a half jobs in less time than he had to work one just 18 months ago... and you are left with a dirth of time and mental resources to blog regularly...

but I didn't deactivate the blog - and I didn't stop paying for my domain, simply because I wasn't ready to let my passion for reading, writing and everything but arithmetic fall by the wayside...

and today, in a series of several coincidences (that are never really coincidences of course), a path was laid wherein I have the time, the drive and something that I want to say -- all at the same time :)

So what is it that I wanted to tell all one or two of you who may still receive this in their newsfeed or via email?

No, I won't be blogging regularly - heck I may never blog again after the posts I get scheduled tonight, but for now, I want to let you know that I will have a book/author review, some yummy holiday homemade whipped cream recipes and potentially a few other things to say over the next few hours - which will post as the next few day!

In closing, so far - I want to wish you all a happy belated Thanksgiving and get the jump on saying Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza to all those who will be celebrating!



Blog what you love...

I still remember the day when I got my first email from a PR rep saying that they'd found my blog and thought it would be a great fit for their authors... would I be willing to do a review if they sent me a review book?  

Wow - someone thought that I was an influencer... they thought that my readers might be interested in what I had to say about their book... and I got a freebie in exchange... heck yes!  No downside... free stuff and a reason/focus for a blog post that I didn't have to come up with on my own... so I got the book, read it and reviewed it here: http://www.actingbalanced.com/2010/02/book-review-clouds-roll-away.html and that started me on a path that had me scouring sites to find other PR companies, more places to get freebies and more reviews...

It was also the beginning of the end for a lot of the reasons I went into blogging in the first place... to have a place to record memories, share family stories and carve out a little of me...

I still love reading, so I will still be posting book reviews and book teasers once a week, but I am going to try to get back to blogging for me, not the freebies...

With that said, watch for my top three reads for this week, coming Friday!

H.

It's been a while...

Hi everyone;

I don't know why the mood is striking now, but I am sitting in Starbucks recovering from two weeks at home with the kids, the holidays and more and the thought struck me that I should be writing down a few things....

Like when I started this blog originally, Facebook doesn't seem to be the place to share this much, so for those of you who are still subscribed in some way, or just the blogiverse in general, I am adding a potential overshare warning here since it's been quite some time since I typed out a blog post...

The first thing I guess I should do is apologize ... like many others before me, my blog just up and stopped one day with little rhyme, reason or warning... it wasn't that any major catastrophe happened, it actually crept up slowly - going from posting multiple times a day, down to once a day, then slowing to a few times a week... and finally one day I didn't open the laptop to write anything - and it stayed closed for a week... then two ... and life took over and I only felt small twinges of regret at missed opportunities and lost friendships when my blogging friends posted new and wonderful things about where their blogs were going...

May and June were incredibly busy months - Wayne was gone for several weeks to China - first with his MBA students and then with a group of undergrads he met up with and toured around all over - that left me single-parenting until we headed for our annual pilgrimage to Canada... but now that I write, I think my love of blogging died before that... when one of my heroes, my grandmother passed away in January of last year.

She was the one who always told me I should be a writer... and when she wasn't there to read and encourage me anymore, some of the light went out of blogging... sure, I kept going for a while, but it was mostly book reviews and shared content - it was as if my personal voice was silenced...

I threw my energy into organizing a tea party in her honor, and hugging my family more... and writing slipped further and further into the background...

Other things have filled some of the void- I started selling Pampered Chef,  and Wayne and I are trying to find more date nights (and date lunches), the kids are busier than ever too... but I'll save some of that for future posts...

because slowly, surely, as the anniversary of her death approaches I am finding that my fingers are itching to share and whether anyone else is out there reading, I know that she'll find a way to see every word.

H.

Check out the latest from Tawdra Kandle - The Path!

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Summer's almost over, but there's still time for #OneLastBeachRead. And you're in luck because the perfect way to end the summer is now live and available everywhere!

THE PATH

Abby Donavan came to the small beach community of Crystal Cove to start over. After a painful affair broke her heart and derailed her burgeoning career, taking over management for the just-opened bed-and-breakfast was the safe choice. In this sleepy town, Abby figured she could bury her memories and forget the pain.

ipadrt_823x978When the chance to have her own hotel falls into her lap, though, she can’t resist the temptation. Making the old Riverside Inn into the showplace she’s always dreamed of running offers the second chance she never expected.

Abby didn’t expect another kind of second chance to land on her doorstep at the same time. Ryland Kent wants to help her bring the Riverside back to life, and his passion for restoration is irresistible. But as much as she wants to ignore it, she can’t help seeing another spark in his eyes . . . one that offers to reignite her own flame.

Sometimes the path to a happily-ever-after is anything but smooth.

Buy it now!

iBooks/Amazon/All Romance Ebooks/Nook/Google Play/Kobo/Smashwords

And join us here today at the HUGE release party, featuring both Tawdra and author Olivia Hardin!



[playlist type="video" ids="2758"]

If you haven't read the first two Crystal Cove Romances . . . now is the perfect time.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]THE POSSE is free for a limited time only!

iBooks/Amazon/Google Play/Nook/Kobo

"It is rare for characters to stay with me for weeks or months, but these are etched in my mind and heart." Amazon review




Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]And don't miss THE PLAN. Emmy and Cooper's story has both sizzle and heart.

iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Google Play/Kobo

"Real. That's all I can feel for this story. Real. Real life. Real love. Real emotion. Real characters. They stick with you from the first book, to this second one in the series." Amazon review





TK03Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include YA paranormal romance, NA paranormal and contemporary romance, and adult contemporary and paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

Follow Tawdra: Facebook/Twitter/Tsu/Pinterest/Instagram/Website/Newsletter/Amazon

Book Spotlight and Exerpt: No Better Man by Sara Richardson

Summer is the time to chill out and grab a great romance to read by the pool and I thought that some of you might just get a kick out of No Better Man by Sara Richardson -  I know that I did when I had a chance to read an ARC sneak peek!  For me, this was a quick read that brought a freshness to the storyline and fun characters to the forefront.  Not only do you have a strong heroine in Avery King, and a sexy, strong cowboy in Bryce Walker, you also have Moose!  Moose stole many scenes for me and helped bring the characters true nature to the forefront!  Please check out the excerpt below and find the appropriate buy link!


About NO BETTER MAN
A Daring Proposition 
When it comes to business, Avery King always comes out on top. So after a very public breakup, work is the perfect excuse to flee the Windy City for the gentle breezes of Aspen, Colorado. Her mission: acquire the land of a rundown mountain ranch. Avery expects an easy win . . . until she meets the rugged and irresistible rancher who won't give up his property without a fight. Bryce Walker is stunned by the stubborn beauty determined to get what she wants. But what she wants is his last connection to the life he used to have. Bryce has plans to return the ranch to its former glory and no way will he sell his family home. Yet the more time he spends with Avery, the more her sweet touch makes him forget his painful memories. Now Bryce must decide whether living in the past is worth losing his future . . .


Excerpt:

Ah, hell. Not this. What was it with women, anyway? Why’d they have this burning desire to get to the bottom of absolutely every feeling they had? Why couldn’t they sit in silence, enjoy the scenery? “I don’t know you well enough to be upset with you,” he finally said, increasing his pressure on the gas pedal. The cops were notorious for pulling over speeders on this section through town, but tonight he was willing to risk it.
“Look.” Avery’s hands sliced the air in front of her. “I understand why you don’t want to sell. Trust me. I get it.”
Ha. Trust her. He didn’t trust her any more than he trusted her father. At the end of the day, she worked for the infamous Edward King. She might be smokin’ hot and nice, and, like she insisted, a good person, but she still had a job to do. He wouldn’t forget that.
Instead of answering, he leaned over and flicked on the radio. Nothing like a little Brad Paisley to tune out a woman.
Avery shot him a fiery look, topaz eyes blazing, lips thinned into a warning that tempted him to test her.
That didn’t help things. She looked even better when she got mad. His grip on the wheel tightened until his knuckles ached. Mom was right. He had to get out more. Start dating again. Any woman besides Avery King…
She hunched forward and fiddled with the radio until he could hardly hear Paisley. Fine. That was fine. Five more minutes and they’d be back at the ranch anyway. He’d be free of her.
“You need to listen to me, Bryce. Please.” She launched into yet another impassioned monologue about how selling the ranch could change his life.
Yeah, well. He’d had enough changes in his life over the last few years. So sue him if he wasn’t interested. She didn’t seem to pick up on his lack of concentration, though. She went on and on until he pulled the truck into the driveway and parked in front of the office.
“Are you listening to me?” She leaned over the console between them and got in his face, close enough that he could smell oranges, that he could trace the sexy curve of her upper lip with his tongue if he’d wanted to.
“Have you heard anything I’ve said?”
The throb started again, deep in his chest, invading his body until it occupied all of him.
“Seriously, Bryce this is—”
Screw it. He cupped his hand around the back of her head and roughly brought her lips to his, totally unprepared for the impact it would have. Shock waves coursed through him, unleashing a craving stronger than he’d ever felt.
Avery squeaked in surprise but he didn’t let up. Need thundered through him and it was a helluva lot louder than the logic he’d spent the last several hours beating into his thick skull. Her lips were soft and moist and everything he’d hungered for during the last three lonely years. He gentled a hand up into her hair. It felt like silk against his skin.
A small moan purred in her throat and her upper body relaxed, lips melding to his in a pulsating heat. She ran her hands up his chest, and that was all he needed. He bent forward, halfway over the console, gathering her closer, kissing her harder, deeper. If it wasn’t for that console, he’d pull her right into his lap…
“Wow. Just…wow,” she whispered against his lips.
He answered by parting her lips with his tongue. There. That’d take care of her chatting problem.
Avery gasped a sharp intake of air, her chest rising against his.
Taking it as an invitation, he commanded her with his lips, opening and closing them in a sensual rhythm. A dull ache resounded in his chest. God, he’d forgotten the depth of a kiss…
He shifted to get a better angle, more access, but that console…
She pulled back with a small smile, lips grazing his in a tease, then she pressed in again and proved that she could make out as well as she could talk.
A scratching sound scraped the window. Moose whined, then barked.
Great timing, as usual.



About Sara Richardson
Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado's rugged mountains. She's climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders. 
Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After a brief stint in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons.

Sara’s SM
Buy links
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1FQhyVB 
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1IPsfbJ 

You can also enter this great rafflecopter giveaway of paperback copies of No Better Man (not hosted by Acting Balanced)
Rafflecopter giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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