Cover Reveal! The Merry-Go-Round - #Romance @DonnaFaz



The Merry-Go-Round
by Donna Fasano
Genre: Contemporary Romance





When Lauren divorces her husband, she has one thought on her mind...stepping off the merry-go-round. However, her life quickly turns into a three-ring circus: her hypochondriac father moves in, her ex is using her shower when she’s not home, and her perky assistant is pushing her out into the fearsome dating world. She also has to decide if the dilapidated barn and vintage merry-go-round she was awarded in the divorce settlement is a blessing or a bane. As if Lauren’s personal life isn't chaotic enough, this slightly jaded attorney is overrun with a cast of quirky characters who can’t stay on the right side of the law. What’s a woman to do? She can allow life to spin her in circles forever. Or she can reach out and grab the brass ring.




























What are you working on now? 

I’m currently writing two projects at once. I've never done this before, and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. I’m writing a Christmas Novella entitled Almost Perfect Christmas, the story of man who enlists the help of a woman in giving his daughter a perfect Christmas. Unbeknownst to him, his little girl has every intention of playing an angelic matchmaker. The other project is the first book of a 3-book series called Following His Heart, the story of a man who is eerily drawn to a woman, and after they fall in love, they discover what brought them together, and it just might tear them apart. Yes, the description is vague, but that’s just the way it has to be for now. I’m chuckling as I type this. Both books are contemporary romance novels and are due out this fall.



What are you reading now or what do you have in your TBR pile? 

I just finished Learning to Swim by Sara Henry. I’m currently reading Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour. On my TBR pile you’ll find A Reluctant Hero by Jackie Weger, Creatus by Carmen DeSousa, The Neighbor by Dean Koontz, Three Junes by Julia Glass, One Way or Another by Elaine Raco Chase…should I go on?



What flavor is your writing style?

I always tell people I write cotton candy for the mind. Think back to when you were a kid and you took a bite of that delectable confection. What did you do? You smiled. That’s what I’m going for in my romance novels.



Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?

No, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I met and fell in love with my husband. We married and began raising a family. It wasn't until my children started school that I started writing.



While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? 

I believe there’s a lot of me in my protagonists. I write about women who are strong, yet vulnerable. My main characters and my secondary characters have flaws and make mistakes (don’t we all?), but then most of them do all they can to learn, grow and become better people.



Do you have any advice for other writers?

One piece of advice I often give to writers is to READ. Don’t just read in the genre in which you write. Read everything. And then figure out what you liked and what you didn't…and then think about why. Reading and analyzing the writing of talented people can help you perfect your own skills.



Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

I bow down to readers! I am so appreciative that they spend their hard-earned money on my books and then take the time to read my stories. I am so blessed to have a job I love, and I wouldn't have this job if there weren't readers who love romance novels.



What inspired you to write your first book? 

I came to writing through my love of reading. I spent many a Saturday as a kid in the local library. I loved books, but I never imagined I would ever write one. My husband gets the credit for my becoming a writer. When my children started school and I decided to find a part-time job, he looked around at the piles of romance novels in our home and said, “You've read a lot of those. Why don’t you try writing one?” So, you see. It’s all his fault.



If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

Not my latest book, but one of my titles—Where’s Stanley?—features an ending that I didn't come up with. I handed in the completed manuscript, and my editor suggested a different ending. I wasn't happy, but I did as she asked. Personally, I think the book suffered for it, but readers seem to enjoy it.



What books have most influenced your life most? 

Old Yeller, Sounder, The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird…how can people read these books and not be influenced? There are so many titles that inspired me and moved me, molded and shaped me, there isn't time to name them all. The characters in these wonderful books help young readers to decide what kind of individual they want to be.



Do you ever experience writer's block? 

There was a time when I’d have said no. I have a plant-your-butt-in-the-chair-and-the-words-will-come attitude. But I did suffer writer’s block while my dad was battling cancer. It’s difficult to write feel-good happily-ever-after when your beloved father is dying.



Do you write an outline before every book you write?

I do, yes. I equate an outline with a road made; how do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a map? I might write the first chapter or two on the fly, but I always take the time to plan out where I want the story to go. Now that’s not to say that the characters are going to stay on the straight and narrow. They decide to veer off the highway every now and then, and that’s when I have to do a quick reroute.



Have you ever disliked something you wrote? 

I've never published anything that I disliked. I have started projects that haven’t seen the light of day, either because I couldn't figure out where to take the story, or I couldn't make the protagonist sympathetic or likable. It’s a rare occurrence, and when it happens, I just set the story aside and hope I can someday come up with a solution.







USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written over 30 romance and women's fiction books that have sold 4 million copies worldwide. Look for Ehefrau auf Zeit (German Edition) due out September 16th, published by Amazon Crossing, and the first novel of the brand new 3-book Ocean City Boardwalk Series called Following His Heart, due to be released at the end of October.



















10 Great Quotes on Enjoying Life


“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching” ~Gerard Way

“Do anything, but let it produce joy.” ~Walt Whitman

“Enjoy life. There's plenty of time to be dead.” ~Hans Christian Andersen

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” ~Rachel Ann Nunes

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” ~Michael Jordan

“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” ~Bernard Meltzer

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are always thinking about yesterday.” ~Author Unknown

“Life is like a roller-coaster. It has ups and downs. But it is your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.” ~Author Unknown

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ~Bill Watterson

“No man is a failure who is enjoying life.” ~William Feather


Avocado Crazy! #Recipes by @DonnaFaz


Who doesn't love avocados? Did you know that the avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable? It's also known as an alligator pear. Avocados have a distinctive yet subtle flavor and a smooth, almost creamy texture. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve them.




Excellent Guacamole

3 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
¼ cup red onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste

Mix ingredients together and serve immediately.

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Asparagus and Avocado Salad

2 pounds fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; add asparagus and cook until color just turns bright green, about 2 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water, drain, and set aside. Combine avocados and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add asparagus and lemon zest; toss gently. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Pour dressing over avocado mixture; toss gently and serve.

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Lemon Pepper Avocado Spread

2 avocados, peeled, seeded and mashed
1 teaspoon lemon pepper (or more, to your taste)

Stir the lemon pepper into the avocado until well combined. Spread on flat bread or flour tortillas, or use as a dip for fresh vegetables. This spread makes a great topper for baked potatoes.  

Get Off Your Duff! 8 Simple Ways to Kick-Start Your Motivation @DonnaFaz


Even the King of Just-Do-It, Tony Robbins, must have days where he feels unmotivated. It’s only natural to find yourself in a slump, every now and then—suffering through days where you just don’t feel like doing anything productive. If you find yourself feeling this way, take heart. You’re not alone. I’ve felt the same way. I have found that, if I allow one day to pass where I don’t write, it easily turns into two, and then three. But I have found a few ways to kick-start my motivation. I hope these suggestions help you get off your duff and get moving in the right direction.

1.     Stir Your Inspiration – The best way I have found to find inspiration as a writer is to read good books. When I get lost in a great story, I always find myself wanting to create stories and characters of my own. Reading good books is never a waste of time for writers. 
2.     Daydream – As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my head, visiting my characters, my plot, my story location. Daydreaming about your book is a wonderful way to churn up the kind of excitement you need to finish that first draft.
3.     Make Lists – I don’t know about you, but I am always more productive when I make a To-Do List and check off the items as I accomplish each goal.
4.     Find Support – Finding a group of like-minded authors that you trust is important when you’re in need of motivation. Challenge each other to reach the day’s goals and hold each other accountable. Taking a razzing from your author friends might be the push you need to get those pages written.
5.     Keep Your Duff in the Chair – I have found this is half the battle. If I force myself to sit at my desk, even if I’m not feeling motivated, I will eventually begin to write. Persistence really is key being productive.  
6.     Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time – Break any chore down into small jobs. Don’t say, “I’m going to write a chapter.” Don’t even say, “I’m going to write a scene.” Do say, “I’m going to write one page.” Once you write that one page, you can build on that small success and confidently dive into the second.
7.     Focus on the Goal, not the Difficulty – Become very aware of your thoughts. Do not allow yourself to think negatively. This is so hard! I’ll never finish this book! These thoughts will only further squash your creativity and your motivation. Instead, ponder how good you’ll feel when you finish that one page, that one scene, that one chapter. Think about how wonderful it will be when you complete that book, when you upload it for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks. Think about how great it will be to read those 5-star reviews.
8.     Celebrate Your Creativity – Writing is hard work, there’s no doubt about it. Give yourself a pat on the back when you reach a goal. You’ve earned the right to feel good about what you’ve accomplished. But don’t party too hard or too long. Remember, there are always more pages to be written.

Motivation is like the great ocean tide; it swells and ebbs. Take full advantage of those times when your excitement to work is strong. Get those pages written! But when the inclination to create seems nowhere to be found, I hope you’ll re-read the list above, get off your duff, and kick-start your motivation!

This post first appeared on Indies Unlimited

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I'm a USA Today Bestselling Author of over 30 romance and women’s fiction titles.  Learn more about me on my blog. Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I love to hear from readers. My latest project is a 10-book, multi-author bundle entitled Ten Brides for Ten Heroes available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks. It’s also available on Smashwords. Look for the Ten Brides for Ten Heroes Cookbook, offered FREE at the same venues. 

Indie Earnings via @Brenda_Hiatt Show Me The Money Survey


If you're an Indie Author, you should know about Brenda Hiatt's yearly Show Me The Money survey. Brenda gathers information on earnings from Indie Authors and publishes the results on her web site. The survey is always filled with eye-opening information that all Independent Authors need to know. 


You can read this year's survey here.


Mock Crab Cakes ~ Zucchini #Recipes @DonnaFaz

It's that time again. Zucchini and yellow squash are plentiful in the garden and we're all looking for some new recipes. (We can only eat so much zucchini bread, right?)

Here's a recipe for Mock Crab Cakes that's very tasty and easy to make. Give it a try!

2 cups coarsely grated zucchini or yellow squash, unpeeled
1 medium onion, minced or grated
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. If it seems too dry, add another egg. If is seems too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs. Add a tablespoon of oil to a frying pan and heat. Form mixture into patties and fry 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.



Ten Brides Book Tour - July 15-17 #TenBrides

Synopsis
Ten Brides for Ten Heroes spans the gamut of the ever-popular wedding romance genre—from heartwarming laughter to thrilling adventure, from sweet to steamy. This 10-book bundle features novels by New York Times, USA Today, and National bestselling authors. So get ready to toss the bouquet and say, "I do!" as ten brides risk it all to find their happy ever after. 

Ten Novels Box Set by Ten Bestselling Authors. 

Here Comes the Bride by Theresa Ragan—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author 
Return of the Runaway Bride by Donna Fasano—USA Today bestselling author 
Wedding Fever (Serendipity Falls Series) by Patrice Wilton—National bestselling author 
Destination Wedding (The Decorah Security Series) by Rebecca York—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author 
The Army Doctor's Wedding (The Army Doctor's Series) by Helen Scott Taylor—Award-winning and national bestselling author 
Single & Searching by Rita Herron—National bestselling author 
Wedding Surprise (Holiday Babies Series) by Mona Risk—Award-winning and national bestselling author 
Summer of Love by Annie Jones—Award-winning and national bestselling author 
Tomboy Bride (The Dance 'n' Luv Series) by Alicia Street—National bestselling author 
Love Me Tender (The “Elvis” Series) by Mimi Barbour—National bestselling author

Buy Now


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THEIR COOKBOOK IS FREE






MeetTheAuthor
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Theresa Ragan has garnered six Golden Heart nominations in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Competition for her work. After writing for twenty years, Theresa decided to self-publish in March, 2011, and has sold over one million books since that time. Theresa writes medieval time travels, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and thrillers under the name T.R. Ragan. 


Donna Fasano has sold nearly 4 million books worldwide. One of her proudest moments was seeing her book, Reclaim My Heart, on the USA Today Bestsellers List.


USA and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca York is known for her paranormal romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA finalist, a winner of two RT Career Achievement Awards, and a Prism winner. She hates working at a desk and takes her laptop around her house, followed by the cats who want to sit on her lap and make it difficult to type. She's currently finishing a novella in her Off World science fiction romance series.


International bestselling author Rita Herron has won numerous awards including a Career Achievement Award from RT, the National Reader's Choice Award for best romantic suspense and the Maggie Achievement of Excellence. She has written over 60 novels and is known for her dark romantic suspense stories as well as her romantic comedies. 


Mona Risk recently received an Outstanding Achiever Award at Affaire de Coeur Magazine. From Best Romance Novel of the Year at Predators & Editors Readers Poll, to Best Contemporary Romance of the Year at Reader’s Favorite with two Gold Medals, and EPPIE award finalist, Mona Risk’s name was posted on Amazon.com in the 100 most Popular Authors in Romance list for several months. 


Helen Scott Taylor, Helen's first novel, The Magic Knot, won the American Title contest in 2008, was a Golden Heart® finalist, and was chosen as one of Booklist's top ten romances of 2009. Since then, she has published other novels, novellas, and short stories in both the UK and USA. 


International Bestselling author, Annie Jones, is best known for her quirky characters who handle life with heart and humor in small town southern settings. Though she has won awards and garnered praise from reviewers her favorite writing encouragement remains the letter from a reader who said simply "I love your books but I'm a fast reader. Please writer faster."


Nationally bestselling author Alicia Street is a Daphne du Maurier Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy. She is known for her memorable characters and fun stories that tug at your heartstrings. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups. 


Bestselling author, Mimi Barbour, is the creator of five popular series – The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis and the newest, Undercover FBI. She’s an Indie author whose admiration comes from the hundreds of five-star reviews her twenty-four books have earned over the last few years. Mimi's been known to say "If I can steal my booklover's attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I've done my job."

Patrice Wilton is best known for her successful Candy Bar series, and new romantic comedy series, Serendipity Falls. She’s written more than twenty novels, spanning twenty-some-odd years, and has achieved her goal and childhood dreams of being a successful author. She has contest wins and awards to be proud of, but her greatest achievement is a three-book contract for her returning war Hero series to a major publishing house. Patrice’s biggest pleasure is reading her many wonderful reviews and knowing she’s touched her readers deeply, making them laugh and cry.







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