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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

J. Rose Returns to Elodie's Wicked Wednesday


I'm back over on Elodie Parkes's blog today for Wicked Wednesday, featuring one of my favorite--and nuclear hot--scenes from my new release, NATURE'S BOUNTY.

Stop by for a peek, and be sure to have a fan handy. It's smokin'!

Elodie's Wicked Wednesday

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sticky-Good Balsamic Ribs


It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!

I stumbled across this recipe somewhere I can't recall when I was looking for something that would taste like my daddy's epic ribs. His were coated with a thick sauce that carmelized to a chewy, dark brown heaven that I had never been able to duplicate. These babies come as close as any I've found.  

STICKY-GOOD BALSAMIC RIBS

SO good I almost can't stand it! I could make this a more paleo-friendly recipe by omitting the brown sugar and subbing coconout/palm sugar for the rub and raw honey or coconut/agave/maple syrup for the glaze. Watch the boiling point of the glaze, by the way.It will seem to take forever to reduce, but then it will start boiling off rapidly near the end. If you reduce it too much, when the glaze cools it will be less like rib glaze and more crunchy, like hard candy.

Ingredients


 For ribs: 
6-8 large garlic cloves
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary (I like to whir in a coffee grinder)
tbsp packed dark brown sugar
tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili powder
8 pounds/racks baby back pork ribs 
1 cup water

For glaze:
2 cups hot water
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar


Directions

Mash garlic to a paste with 1 tsp salt. Stir together with rosemary, brown sugar, vinegar, cayenne/chili powder, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Rub this onto your ribs and let them chill out in the fridge for at least 8 and up to 24 hrs.

Roast ribs at 425 degrees in roasting pans with 1/2 cup water poured into the bottom of each pan and then covered tightly with foil. Roast 1 3/4 hrs until meat is very tender. (You'll want to rotate the pans halfway for even cooking.)

Transfer ribs to cookie sheets or a platter, but do not throw out the pan drippings! You'll need them to make the glaze. Add 1 cup hot water to each of the pans andscrape up brown bits. Skim off fat. Pour the rest into a large, deep skillet and stir in the balsamic vinegar and remaining brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for around 15 minutes until reduced to 1 cup. 

Brush glaze onto both sides of ribs (reserve some to baste during cooking). Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until ribs are hot and grill marks appear, about 6 minutes.


~~~~~
J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people.



Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Ways To Get a New and Improved Life


Looking for a way to kick off a "My New and Improved Life" season right along with the current season? I know I need a bit of a shake up every now and again. Let me share five tried and true ways I've found to kick off a better life season:

1. Shake Up Your Diet.

This or item #2 is almost always the first thing I do to start the new awesomeness rolling. I usually do a major overhaul, but even one basic change can make a huge difference. Decide you'll finally kick the caffeine habit or cut out the mid-day vending machine runs at work. Vow to desert the drive-through this summer or try that cleanse you've been reading about. (I went paleo myself, and I'm loving it.)

2. It's Called Feng Shui...Look Into It.

It's also called cleaning, but Feng Shui sounds so much more impressive and zen, doesn't it? I can't stand clutter, since it always makes me feel like my life is out of control. Yet clutter has a way of creeping up. So a ritual for me when kicking off a new and improved life involves  a supply of giant garbage bags or boxes and tackling one room (shelf/drawer/closet) at a time. Give away or pitch out what's broken or not being used. Reducing clutter gets rid of stale, blocked energy and gives such a mood boost! Plus the calories burned doesn't hurt if your diet shake-up includes shedding a few pounds.

3. Give Up Something Stressful.

We all have things in our schedule that add stress rather than value to our lives. Maybe it's a commitment someone asked that seemed doable at the time but quickly became a burden. Or maybe you're putting extra workload on yourself. Either way, take a hard look at how fast your wheels are spinning and make an effort to put on the brakes. Pick one item on your schedule and get rid of it. No ifs, ands, or buts. My Give Up this time was daily/nightly writing. I returned to my prior schedule of three days per week, and life's already smelling rosier.

4. Reclaim Something You Like To Do.

Remember when you had time to do That Thing You Like? Maybe it was taking a weekly bubble bath with candles, hot tea (or champagne), and a favorite book. Maybe it was swimming, tennis, or shopping with a friend. Go get it back. Yes, you do too have time--you just gave something up that sucked the fun out of life. Now you're putting it back with something you know you will love. I'd given up on my garden many months ago for a number of reasons, and I recently started digging in the dirt again. Hallelujah! And by the way, doing NOTHING AT ALL can count as something you like to do. If you never had the time to just sit still, take some of that newly earned time from #3 and chillax.

5. Start Something New That's All About You.

(Hey, that rhymes!) No fair launching a playgroup for the kids or signing up to run the charity banquet. I'm talking something enriching that is about you and for you. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Try your hand at sculpting? Improve your cooking skills? Now's the time. If budget or time is an issue, don't put off your New Thing because you can't take formal classes. Use library books, web sites, or YouTube videos instead. I'd been saying for years that I wanted to try Tai Chi, and I'd be saying it for several more if I hadn't finally decided to get a book and instructional DVD to get started with. If I'm still enamored with it when time and budget permits, I can enroll in classes then. But in the meantime, I don't have to deny myself something I enjoy.

I challenge you to kick off the season with me! Put these five things in place and have fun with it. A month from now, life will be very new and improved. 

~~~~
On Mondays I gab about, well, pretty much whatever I want!

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people! And if you enjoyed this post, consider sharing with friends and subscribing for updates.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stop or I'll Hogtie You -Snippet Sunday

~~This week's snippet contains brief mature themes~~

It's a NEW RELEASE week and time for Snippet Sunday! Since I'm celebrating the release of NATURE'S BOUNTY, my steamy bounty hunter romance, I'm featuring it in this week's snippet!


Lydia started wriggling in her seat, a motion that shook her full breasts back and forth until Nate had full-color memories in his head that he shouldn’t be thinking about. “You’re supposed to take me back, she said. Stop.”
He put on the brake and glared at her. “You stop fidgeting around, or else I’ll hogtie you in the back seat.”
“You wouldn’t.”
“Try me. Spare car keys aren’t the only thing I’ve got stocked in my trunk.” 



Nature's Bounty by J. Rose Allister
Ellora's Cave Moderne, On the Hunt series


When Nature Antillean, aka Nate the Crate,poses as a male stripper to arrest a beautiful and vulnerable fugitive, he discovers both of them are targets of a setup. Lydia Franklin teams up with her seductive bounty hunter captor in more ways than one, but the criminal he wants to protect her from is one she must face alone.



~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *

For more awesome snippets, check out 

~~~~


I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paleo Spinach, Strawberry, Bacon, and Avocado Salad


It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!

If you read my post about my bizarre plan to cure writer burnout with a new diet, you know that I've gone paleo. Today's recipe is paleo friendly, but it's utterly delicious for anyone! And don't worry, I'll still be posting other types of recipes for those of you who aren't embracing their inner caveman.


Spinach, Strawberry, Bacon, and Avocado Salad


If you're like me, salad is that quick, easy staple you rely on when you're watching your diet. And if you're REALLY like me, salad quickly becomes that thing you can't face one more bowl of. Here's a different type of salad I love when I'm tired of the usual lettuce and tomato thing.

You can skip the bacon, but I love the crunch it adds.  If you don't have the ingredients for the fresh dressing, a splash of balsamic mixed with olive oil is the bomb! And as with all things paleo, do try to get the freshest organic ingredients you can find. 

Ingredients

Dressing-
1 lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I like Trader Joe's organic/unfiltered)
1 tbsp raw wild honey
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad-

1 bunch (or 1 ready made package) baby spinach leaves
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (preferably organic/uncured/no nitrites/nitrates added)

2 avocados, sliced
1 lb strawberries, sliced
1 handful of chopped nuts: walnuts, cashews, almonds, or pecans. (I tend to use cashews, but that's just my preference)

Directions

First, whisk up the dressing: squeeze juice from the lemon into a bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, and honey. Whisk until well mixed.

To put together the salad, toss spinach with about 3/4 of the dressing and top with bacon, avocado, strawberries, and  nuts. Drizzle remaining dressing over the top. 


3-4 Servings


~~~
J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Why I Quit Triberr Rather Than Follow Tribal Rules

Not long ago, I blogged about how I tend to be a social networking lunatic, meaning that (among other things) I tend to try every social network I hear about. That doesn't mean I stay with all of them. But sometimes you have to throw spaghetti at the wall to see if it will stick.

The latest strand of pasta to fall off the wall is triberr. After hearing glowing recommendations from an author group, I dashed over to sign up. For the uninitiated, triberr is a blog sharing site where you join groups (called tribes) of like-minded bloggers. Tribe members promote each other's posts by sharing them with their own social media followers, increasing everyone's exposure. Sounded like a whiz bang idea, and I couldn't wait to get started.

My account on triberr lasted less than five days before I deleted it.

I could blame the numerous technical difficulties I experienced in that brief time, but the truth is, that wasn't the deal breaker. The reason I quit triberr is because of rules imposed by the leaders of every tribe I was interested in. Actually, it was one rule in particular that sent me running for the door.  

"You must approve and share all member posts without exception."

Whoa, hang on a minute. So, I had to promote all posts to everyone in my Twitter feed, whether or not I felt they were well-written or appropriate? Absolutely, positively, no way in heck can I support that sheepherder mentality, and I don't advise others on social nets do so, either.

If you read my recent post about why authors shouldn't promote books on social media, you know that I am a firm proponent of giving value rather than hype to followers. Promoting someone else's post because it's a rule rather than a worthy bit of content doesn't sit well with me, and it likely won't sit well with followers. Just because someone signs up for the same tribe doesn't mean their posts will truly be unique, relevant, and interesting. At worst, this kind of blind sharing smacks of spam, which could cost followers--especially when we're talking a volume of post approvals daily (100+ for the mere three tribes I joined).

In a perfect world, joining a tribe of similar bloggers would mean every post is relevant and worth sharing, but I simply did not find this to be the case. Well over half of the posts I was expected to shout from the rooftops were either too spammy, too naughty (yes, even erotic authors have limits), or too meh for me to feel good about promoting.

I get that tribe leaders feel the "must approve all" rule is necessary to ensure fairness, but is it really true? Why should I spend time drafting thoughtful posts and engaging on social media only to to turn around and push posts I don't feel offer equal value? It's a disservice to blog quality when everyone is required to promote equally "just because". And pumping out dozens of links to posts of little relevance may soon have followers tuning out all our updates or unfollowing us altogether.

Why not allow members to approve only worthwhile posts? What better way to challenge members to put out quality content than the discovery that dull, spambot-style posts don't get shared? When the day comes that triberr members decide to go for quality rather than quantity, maybe I'll give that pasta another trial toss at the wall. Until then, I'll keep on promoting other people's blogs individually the way I always have--based on the quality of worthwhile content.

~~~~
On Mondays I gab about, well, pretty much whatever I want!

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people! And if you enjoyed this post, consider sharing with friends and subscribing for updates.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thank God You're Awake -Snippet Sunday


It's time for Snippet Sunday! I hope you enjoy today's tidbit. 

This week's snippet is from my WIP, DISCIPLINED COWBOYS, Book 6 of the LONE WOLVES OF SHAY FALLS series.



Her eyes flicked down to the palest green eyes she’d ever seen, pale enough to completely unsettle her when he was finished forcing them open. “Thank God you’re awake,” she said.
“You all right, ma’am?” he asked, and God help her, he had the same alluring western accent.
“Me? What about you?”
“I’m fine.” Nevertheless, he winced and dabbed a palm to the back of his head when he sat up. “They need to watch where they stick these damn trees, though.”



~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *

For more awesome snippets, check out 

~~~~


I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Riley's Vampire Prince- Guest Jess Buffett!


~~Today's excerpt contains graphic adult content~~

Riley's Vampire Prince
by Jess Buffett

BUY LINK – http://www.bookstrand.com/rileys-vampire-prince

The Hunter Clan Series by Jess Buffett

First I’d like to say a big thank you to J. Rose Allister for having me back again. Today I’d like to talk about my series Hunter Clan.

In interviews I’m constantly asked about how I came up with the idea behind the series, what inspired the idea to create the world and the characters.

The series itself follows a Clan of Wolf-Shifters and their mates, as they battle an enemy the paranormal world thought had disbanded hundreds of years ago. Now the Clan must join the rest of the paranormal world in the fight of their lives as the group, who originally only targeted the powerful Mage, decides it’s open season.

The Creation Of A Series.

What most people don’t know is that I’m a history buff, and is nothing I love more than a good legend to go along with it. So when I first played with the idea of doing a paranormal series, naturally I knew I would be incorporating history into it.

Thanks to wiki, I came across of myth on how the Turkic people came to be. The legend of the she-wolf Asena and her hybrid sons caught my eye, and before I knew it, the Hunter Clan had been born.

Now, Hunter Clan has gone through many changes since its first conception.

Originally the Clan lived in America, had an Alpha, and the character Riley wasn’t anywhere near as funny as he is now.

First I moved the can to my home of Australia, even having them live on the Central Coast with me. I loved the idea of writing about places I already knew, of areas I grew up in. It made the story more personal.
Secondly, I decided if I was going to introduce mythology and legend into my story, then why not go all the way. Alpha, became Kayan, Beta turned into Yabyu, and Enforcers were called Ishads. All of them are terms from Old Turkic. Small, simple words, that took me weeks to find. Apparently researching dead languages is hard…who knew? Lol

And finally there was Riley. Riley was a character that took me completely by surprise. Originally he was supposed to be snarky and a little judgemental, he was the weaker brother who couldn’t survive without his twin, but he didn’t turn out that way. Now, I admit, Riley is my favourite out of all of them. I don’t know why, but he is. His sarcasm and quick wit, the spunky attitude and the useless facts that spurt out all combined, make him just so damn loveable. He is a combination of my own personal inner monologue and my husband’s unique humour.

The Next Book 

So now I’d like to introduce the next book in the series—Riley’s Vampire Prince—which releases next week.

BLURB –
Riley McLeod has never gotten over the loss of his family to murderous Vampires, and often hides behind his sarcasm and carefree attitude. So imagine his shock when he discovers he is not only mated to one, but his mate is the Prince of the Vaucluse Coven. 

When Caleb Vaucluse arrived at the Hunter Clan, he never expected to meet his mate. His joy soon turns to devastation when he learns that Riley fears him. Caleb struggles to get passed Riley’s defenses and prove that they are meant to be. Unfortunately just as they come together, pride and old wounds prove hard to overcome for the pair, and threaten to tear them apart for good.

As an enemy is revealed and more questions are raised, Caleb and Riley have choice to make. Do they keep their pride and stand alone, or stand together and embrace the love fate gave to them? 

ADULT EXCERPT – 

When his mate was flush up against him, Caleb wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, dragging Riley to him. At first Riley was stiff, his lips pressed together hard, and unrelenting. Caleb wasn’t put off, tracing his tongue around the edges, then pressing it against the seam. When that didn’t work, Caleb gently bit down on his mate’s bottom lip, shocking him enough that Riley gasped. With his lips parted, Caleb took the opportunity to sweep his tongue inside, taking possession of his mate’s mouth, and rolling on top of him.

Caleb groaned as the heat from his mate’s body underneath him set him on fire. Reaching down, he grabbed the hem of Riley’s shirt, tearing it from his body and tossing the remains onto the floor. Beneath him, Riley whimpered and arched his back, silently begging for more.

“Christ, you’re beautiful. I want you so bad,” he admitted as he splayed his fingers and ran them up and down Riley’s chest, plunking at his nipples with each pass.

“Yes, please,” Riley begged.

God, he wished he could, but after everything that had happened he wasn’t certain his mate was ready for this. When he voiced his concern, he was unprepared for the impassioned response he received.

“You’re mine,” Riley snarled, fisting a hand in his hair. “You’re mine, and I’m not fucking letting you go.”

The stinging sensation of his hair being pulled did not deter Caleb, if anything, it made his cock throb harder. He thrust his hips, grinding their erections together as he slammed his mouth back down, tangling their tongues. His cock was hard and leaking, so desperate to be released from its confines and be buried inside the hot, silky channel of his mate’s tight little arse. If he had to wait much longer, Caleb thought he might just explode. And wouldn’t that just be such a waste.

His hand on Riley’s jeans, Caleb quickly undid the button and zipper, peeling the tight as fuck clothing off and doing the same to his own clothes. Once they were both bare, he plastered himself against his mate again, revelling in the feel of their skin touching everywhere, their cocks sliding and rubbing. He settled between Riley’s legs, slowly moving down his mate’s body, licking and nipping as he went. Zeroing in on the beaded little nubs on his mate’s chest, Caleb gripped one peak between his teeth, biting down. When Riley moaned and clutched the back of Caleb’s head, he took it as a sign and bit harder.

Beneath him Riley trashed and mewled, crying out as Caleb continued to worry the sensitive tissue. Riley was fucking delicious. Needing more of his mate’s taste, Caleb moved lower. When he finally had Riley’s cock in front of him he didn’t even hesitate, swooping down and engulfing it, his mate’s cock throbbing and jerking in his mouth. Caleb moaned as the taste of his mate exploded on his tongue, salty yet sweet. It was addictive and Caleb didn’t think he could get enough.

“Oh... oh yes, that’s it. Fuck yes, yes, yes,” Riley babbled, his head tossing around on the pillows. Peering up from his task Caleb saw that he had thrown his arm over his eyes and his lips were parted.

“So perfect. So fucking perfect,” he growled, diving back for more.

His tongue swirled around the bulbous head, teasing the sensitive bundle of nerves, and lapping at the glistening liquid seeping out.

Pulling off, he chuckled at Riley’s murmurs of protest, trailing lower to lick at his wrinkled sac. Riley moaned, spreading his legs further apart and allowed him more access. Caleb licked a path from his sac to his puckered hole as Riley’s hips bucked, a shudder making its way through his body. He slid his arms under the smaller man, bring him closer as he nipped and sucked his perineum and balls.

“Please, please, please,” his mate squirmed.

Riley screamed out when Caleb stiffened his tongue and began jabbing it into the winking hole.

“Oh, fuck. Your tongue is in my arse. Oh, jeez... oh that’s good.”

Caleb smiled when he realised just how gone his mate was. Riley was panting and mewling, his hands on the back of Caleb’s head as if trying to force Caleb deeper.

Well, if his mate wanted deeper, who was he to argue.

Surging up, he covered Riley’s body with his own, claiming his mate’s lips again. He couldn’t get enough of this stunning creature beneath him.

Riley was panting and grabbing for Caleb. “It’s okay, baby. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Please, Caleb. I need you. Fuck me,” Riley pleaded, his eyes beseeching.

Caleb claimed his lips again, as he speared first one, then two lubed fingers into Riley’s tight arse. Riley bucked and moaned, forcing the fingers deeper, trying to fuck himself. Damn, that was hot. Caleb began pumping them slowly, twisting the digits until he found Riley’s prostate, and grazing it.

“Ah! Oh, god, yeah. Do it again!” Riley wailed, humping against his hand.

Caleb stroked over the bundle again and again, before adding another finger. When he knew his mate was ready for him, he pulled his fingers free, grabbing Riley’s legs and throwing them over his shoulders. With his mate practically bent in half, Caleb positioned his cockhead at Riley’s puckered entrance, pushing in slowly. He relished the way the tight hole stretched around him, moaning when he finally bottomed out.

The air around them seemed electrified as he paused to allow his mate time to adjust, Riley’s walls squeezing him tight. When Riley nodded, giving him permission to move, Caleb nearly sobbed with relief. Dragging himself out until just the tip remained, Caleb snapped his hips forward, burying his cock inside again. Riley’s wide eyes dominated his face as Caleb continued to lunge into his mate’s channel, taking him, claiming him.

He was heaven. Exquisite, hot, silky heaven right here inside his mate.

CONNECTED WITH JESS

WEBSITE – http://jessbuffett.wordpress.com/
FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/jessbuffett05 
BOOKSTRAND – http://www.bookstrand.com/jess-buffett 
AMAZON – https://www.amazon.com/author/jessbuffett 
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/JessBuffett 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bri's Bomb Breakfast Smoothie

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

A few weeks ago I shared my OMG Oatmeal recipe, a creamy, apples-and-cinnamon treat that takes only 5 minutes of prep time. Today I've got another 5-minute breakfast wonder that's so easy my 9-year-old daughter can make it.

Bri's Bomb Breakfast Smoothie

We adapted our oldie smoothie recipe to cut some calories and sugar. This version uses alternatives for sugar, milk, and ice cream, which was the way we used to make it. The results are still super! And Greek yogurt, while a little heavier on the calories, gives extra creaminess to the texture and boosts the protein as well.

Ingredients:

1 container light yogurt, your favorite flavor or use plain.
6 decent-sized frozen strawberries
3 Tbsp orange juice
1/4-1/2 cup almond, coconut, or soy milk (vanilla or regular)
A squirt of agave syrup or organic raw honey to taste

Directions:

Combine yogurt, berries, and juice in blender. Starting with 1/4 cup milk, whir ingredients to break down strawberries. Add sweetener to taste and blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add more milk and blend until you arrive at the consistency you want. If you find it too thin, toss in an ice cube or two and blend.

This makes 1 smoothie, perfect for your breakfast on the run.



--On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


~~~~
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between wearing one hat and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Will Going Paleo Cure Writer Burnout?



 I've done it to myself again.

One of the best things about me is that when I launch into something, I dive in full bore and rarin' to go. Consequently, one of the worst things about me is that when I launch into something, I dive in full bore and rarin' to go. 

Months ago, I went in guns blazing to become a writing machine. I wanted to write more books faster and promote a lot harder. My carefully scheduled days for writing and promo were cast to the four winds, and I ran myself ragged. Every day, I wrote when I woke up unless I was promoting, and I promoted unless I was writing. Then I'd run off to the "other job" and write/promote on meal breaks. When I got home, I wrote/promoted until I fell asleep. 
When I was promoting, I felt guilty that I wasn't writing and vice versa. And breaks for anything else, even watching a fave TV show, became infrequent and riddled with similar guilt since I wasn't writing or promoting.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I'm completely burned out and don't want to write anymore.

I saw the signs coming, of course. Despite more time for "writing", my word count started going backward. I stared at my manuscript with nothing to say and hated everything I'd already written. Hitting the delete key is pretty much all I've accomplished lately. I could blame this particular book or a generic case of writer's block, but I know better. The coup de grace is when I can't look at that manuscript at all. I rebel with mindless TV or games, all the while feeling guilty because I "should" be writing.

Why do I do this to myself? How did that starry-eyed, can't-wait-to-be-a-writer I once was  find herself dreading another day of fruitlessly pounding keys? It's ironic that one of the things I enjoy most can rob my enjoyment of many things, writing included, when it becomes too much of a focus. 

So what will I do about it?

The answer for me lies in knowing when to quit, and I don't. It's a personality flaw that has plagued several areas of my life. That's why a writing schedule calendar is essential. My calendar tells me when to write, promote, and do nothing of the sort. Of course, I can choose to ignore the darn thing, which I've just proven, so I also have to take a mental step away from the stress I heap on myself. Enter my latest guns-blazing challenge: living Paleo. 


In an effort to find ways to decrease stress and improve my overall health, I've been moving into a Paleo lifestyle. For the uninitiated, the super simple definition of Paleo is to eat, sleep, and exercise the way our bodies are designed to, the way our ancestors did long ago. It's not a fad diet any more than vegetarianism or eating Kosher. It's a belief about how to nourish our bodies optimally.

You may be wondering what on earth my diet has to do with my writing habits. For starters, when I'm on a writing "binge", among the first casualties to my schedule is cooking and nutrition.  Most of what I consume comes out of a ready-made package, a Starbucks' counter, or a drive-through. I gain weight, my health suffers, and I'm tired and lack mental alertness. Living Paleo forces me out of the stress cycle of write-promote-write. I must stop to shop, prep, and cook the right foods or else I go hungry. I have to spend time on the learning curve to merge these principles into my lifestyle too. And I'll have to take time out for relaxation and (gasp!) exercise. 

A side effect of this shift is the mental change that goes with it. No longer am I focusing on That Thing That Stresses Me Out. I'm focused on making my days and life more zen, for lack of a better word. Will it work? I believe so. By putting my health above my productivity, both will improve. I'll check in with updates on how it's going.

Are you're stressed out over writing or a busy schedule in general? If so, I'm not saying you have to go Paleo to fix it (not that I'd argue). Just take a look at the ways your diet, health, and enjoyment have been impacted by your schedule. Now think back to when you were at your absolute happiest, and what factors were present/absent. What can you add or subtract to bring you closer to your personal zen? What's your best advice for managing writer (or schedule) burnout?


~~~~
On Mondays I gab about, well, pretty much whatever I want!

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

You Feel the Connection-Snippet Sunday



~~Adult content~~
It's time for Snippet Sunday! I hope you enjoy today's tidbit.

Today's snippet is from my WIP, Book 6 of the LONE WOLVES OF SHAY FALLS series.


Holy mother, Jayson looked so damn hot standing there half undressed, his pale hair sweeping across his forehead and his glorious body hanging onto the limb of a tree he’d planted as an innocent boy. It was as if he was holding onto a part of his past, and there she was, desperately clinging to hers.


The kiss came unexpectedly, even though both men present had made their intentions quite clear. He kept it light and controlled, but that didn’t stop her entire body from shaking.

“You feel a connection to me,” he said, running his hands along her shoulders. “Admit that I fascinate you the same way wolves do.”

She couldn’t admit anything just then, because he lifted her chin with a finger and began pressing insanely delicate, intoxicating kisses along her throat. She let her head fall back farther, and when his lips found the hollow between her collarbones she felt a magic far more powerful than burying witch bottles or hugging trees.
 

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For more awesome snippets, check out 


I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blood Bound: Guest Melanie Atkins!

~Excerpt contains adult language and mature themes~

On select days I showcase books from other authors! Today I welcome Melanie Atkins during a Super Book Blast tour of her title BLOOD BOUND. And check out the end of this post for a giveaway!


Blood Bound

Fueled by grief after his fiancée is brutally murdered, Detective Sam Walker focuses on finding her killer -- a calculating predator who binds books with human skin.  Dani Barrington, the newest member of NOPD's Victim and Witness Assistance Unit and a survivor of another frightening attack, helps him discover the terrifying link between the monster's known victims.  Despite his anguish, Sam is struck by Dani's strength and determination, especially when her inquisitive  nature makes her the killer's next target.  He must find a way to protect her or risk losing the one woman who can bring his dead heart back to life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT


"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." NOPD Detective Sam Walker's low rasp echoed inside the tiny confessional within the deep recesses of St. Mary's Church. He pressed his damp palms to his thighs. "It's been nine months since my last confession."

"Continue."

"My sins are... indescribable..." He let the word trail off. Sweat pooled at the base of his spine. "I don't know if I can--"

"You must voice your transgressions, son, to get them off your chest. It's the only way to gain absolution."

"I don't deserve God's forgiveness."

"Sam, tell me the truth." Father O'Malley cleared his throat. "Is this about Kristen?"

"She died a horrible death," Sam whispered, his heart breaking all over again for his fiancée and the family he would never have with her.

The priest paused.

"It's been a long time."

"Eight fucking -- sorry, Father." Sam broke off and swallowed, doing his best to regain his composure. "Eight long months. I thought I was coping, but I can't get past it. Especially since I'm the reason she's dead."

"How did you come to that conclusion?"

Sam pressed his lips together. Every time he thought about his fiancée's brutal murder, his gut clenched. He should have taken her to dinner that night like he'd promised, instead of letting the job get in the way. The Glock riding his hip was a constant reminder he'd been a detective first, and her intended husband second.

God should damn me straight to hell.

Father O'Malley shifted inside the tiny booth, and the ornate screen between them shuddered. The too-sweet odor of funeral lilies wafted over Sam.

"You didn't murder her, my son. Some sick, depraved individual did it."

"I was supposed to protect her."

"You were doing your job."

"When I should have been with her. Keeping her safe." Agony pierced his soul. He dropped his elbows to his knees and hung his head. His voice broke. "I let her die."

"You didn't let her die, Sam. A terrible thing happened. It wasn't your fault. God doesn't hold you responsible."
"Well, He should. I'm guilty."

"Sam--"

"He... he skinned her, Father. I don't know why, but he did." Tears burned his eyes.

Clearly shaken, Father O'Malley murmured more words of condolence. "I'll say another prayer for her soul."

 "It's my fault she's gone. I can never do enough penance to make up for it." Sam shuddered. "Not in this lifetime."

"I want you to say one Our Father and one Hail Mary."

Sam barked a harsh laugh.

"That doesn't even scratch the surface. I can't even--"

"Wait. I'm not finished." Father O'Malley regained his poise, and his strong, even tone reverberated in Sam's ears. "I also want you to pray for the person responsible for Kristen's death."

"Hell, no!" Sam blurted, the idea of absolution jolting his brittle psyche. "I can't pray for that sick son of a bitch. He's killed four women, including Kristen, after brutalizing them, and we have no idea who he is. We're working day and night--"

"That's your penance, son." Father O'Malley said, gravely. "In addition, you must perform the Act of Contrition and say the Rosary. Don't let that individual's cruel soul steal yours."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio:


Melanie Atkins a multi-published author of romantic suspense, an editor for an online publishing company, and an avid reader. Writing is more than an escape for her—it’s a way of life. She grew up in the Deep South listening to tall tales and penning stories about her cats. Now she writes gripping stories of love, suspense, and mystery with the help of her furry little feline muses.

Melanie is an active member of Romance Writers of America®, the Magnolia State Romance Writers (MSRW), the Published Author Network (PAN), the Electronic and Small Press Authors' Network (ESPAN), the Electronically Published Internet Connection (EPIC), Sisters in Crime (SinC), the Red Dog Writers, the Gulf Coast Writers Association, the Southern Writers, the Mississippi Authors Guild and the Byram Writers’ Group. She currently serves as Past President of MSRW.



GIVEAWAY!
Leave a comment below for a chance to win your choice of a Melanie's eBook backlist eBook! One randomly drawn commenter will be selected during the tour. And for more chances to win, follow the tour!




~~~
About the tour host: 
J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on 

Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vanilla and White Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes with Guest Jess Buffett!


 It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


Today I welcome author Jess Buffett, who is sharing an absolutely decadent bakery recipe inspired by the hot baker in her book,
Always Been You. Welcome, Jess! Tell us about this dessert!



We all love the cupcake, and cheesecakes are popular, too. They’re traditional desserts that every generation is familiar with...but how about putting a spin on it. By combining two delicious desserts, you can come up with a unique taste and flavour all on its own. Something my character Seth from Always Been You does regularly. As a baker and a father he is always looking for new ideas to keep people (and children) happy and content.
This little treat does just that.


Vanilla and white chocolate cheesecake cupcakes

 Ingredients
       Cupcakes 115g unsalted butter
       115g caster sugar
       2 eggs
       115g self raising flour
       1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
       2 tablespoons of milk
       Topping 175g white chocolate
       175g cream cheese
       6 tablespoons of creme fraiche
       2 teaspoons vanilla extract
       6 tablespoons of icing sugar
Directions
1        Preheat the oven to 180’c (gas 4)
2        Beat 115g unsalted butter and 115g caster sugar together in a bowl. Then beat in 2 eggs and sift in 115g self raising flour. Then stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk.
3        Spoon the mixture into paper cases (only about half way) and bake for about 15-20 mins or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4        For the topping, melt 175g white chocolate (proper chocolate - no Hershey’s please!!) in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Beat together 175g cream cheese, 6 tablespoons of creme fraiche, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 6 tablespoons of icing sugar and add the melted chocolate. Smooth the mixture over the cakes and refrigerate until set. Decorate to make them look pretty (e.g hearts!)

Always Been You
Jess Buffett

Seth Hall returns to his hometown for the first time in eleven years. Now a father of two, he vows not to let his past intervene when he sets up a happy, stable life for them. That is, until Jared, the boy who had broken his heart all those years ago, turns up wanting a chance with him.

Jared Stewart thought he had lost his only chance to be with Seth. When Seth finally comes home, Jared makes it his mission to catch Seth once and for all but unfortunately not everyone wants that to happen.

Will they be finally able to make a life for themselves together? Or will they be torn apart again, by people they thought they could trust?

Author website:

Monday, May 6, 2013

J. Rose's HOT Caliente Blog Hop


~~Excerpt contains caliente mature content~~

I've preempted my Monday gab post to take part in a spicy hot blog event! I'm giving away a free eBook from my backlist, so be sure to check out the entry details below. Also, Four Seduced Muses is giving away a grand prize including ebooks, swag, and over $40 in gift cards to one lucky hop visitor. So fill out that entry as well!

My Favorite Caliente Roasted Carrots

Normally I post recipes on Too Yummy Tuesday, but I just had to share this dish in honor of today's theme! I originally ran across this on Pinterest and made a few adjustments.


 These are hands down the best carrots I've ever had, slightly sweet-spicy with just the right amount of heat to give them a nice kick. 


Ingredients


1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your caliente preference!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 regular-sized carrots, sliced crosswise (into ovals) or into coins

Directions


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure all spices into in a plastic bag (quart sized or large enough to hold your carrot slices). Shake well. Pour in olive oil and squeeze bag until mixture is combined. Add carrots and shake/squeeze until all pieces are coated. Pour out onto a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes until the edges are crispy brown. 


And speaking of caliente, how about a spicy treat from my upcoming release, Nature's Bounty?


Nature's Bounty by J. Rose Allister
http://www.ellorascave.com/nature-s-bounty.html

When Nature Antillean disguises himself as a hot male stripper to capture a dangerous fugitive, he winds up a target of the same setup that got Lydia Franklin accused of a crime she didn't commit. And while she's happy to team up with the sexy bounty hunter in more ways than one, she knows that the man he's determined to protect her from is someone she must face...alone.


Excerpt:

Nates quarry clicked off the call after kisses and thanks, and she opened the door wider. “So, do you have more for my birthday than just a ripe, round bunch of balloons?”

If she only knew what all he had. Starting with a ridiculously ill-timed boner and ending with the handcuffs in his pocket. Two things which, at the moment, didn’t necessarily strike him as mutually exclusive. This was bad. All kinds of bad.

“Oh yeah,” he said, going for a fuck-me tone while he met her gaze straight on, although the stab of heat in his stomach made him wish he hadn’t. “There’s a whole lot more to this gift than meets the eye.”

A delicate eyebrow lifted. “Good, because I definitely approve of what’s meeting my eye.”
~~~
J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

J. Rose's eBook Giveaway:


Caliente Blog Hop Grand Prize Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Visit other hop blogs here: