Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Conversation with Robyn Carr

Posted by Susan J Berger on 12:00:00 AM with 16 comments
 I am delighted to welcome Robyn Carr. Robyn builds towns, character by character. Her writing is a wonderful blend of women's fiction and romance. I discovered Robyn's Grace Valley series in 2005. I went back and searched out every book she'd written to that point. I caught up on the Virgin River series; then pre-ordered each new title.

Her first book Chelynne, a historical romance was published in 1978. In 2011 she became an "overnight sensation" when a Virgin River Christmas hit the New York Times Best Seller list. Robyn's made a home on the list ever since. Her latest book, The Homecoming, the sixth book in her Thunder Point series, came out in September, And yes, you have a chance to will a copy here. 
 
Thank you for being here, Robyn. I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.

We had just moved to CA and, as usual, my husband had to leave town so it was me with two little kids in a house filled with boxes. I didn't know anyone, didn't even know my neighbors. There was no RWA but I had a critique group back in TX. We didn't have cell phones or computers, I had no way to reach my husband and long distance was a per minute charge, something like ten cents a minute which, back in '78, was a lot of money. I didn't even have a bottle of wine in the house. I made a couple of long distance calls and then I think I unpacked boxes. But I unpacked boxes with a smile on my face. The next morning I excitedly told the pre school teacher, the only person I knew. The next day when I took my son to pre school, she gave me a cake she'd made for me in the shape of an open book. It said, "Chelynne by Robyn Carr" Her name is Janet and we're still friends to this day.

How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?
As inspiration—yes. But as actual characters, no. Real people don’t usually come off well in fiction. I take traits and experiences and emotional reactions from people I’ve met or read about and blend them into composite characters. But experiences and bits of dialogue from my life sneak in—happily.

What’s the most interesting comment you’ve ever gotten from a reader? 

Oh, you can’t print it! My readers never get my titles right—they write and ask me if I’m going to write any more of those “Virginia River” books. Or they want to know where Virgin River really is—they plan to move there and get a big, studly marine. But the funniest one ever was probably a typo: “Are you going to write anymore of those ‘Vagina River’ books.” Typo or Freudian slip.  

 Yes! I love these kinds of slips. I worked for The Theatre Guild in New York while Tom Stoppard's play,Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was on Broadway. I got some very odd requests.. Someone called asking for tickets to LiederKrantz and Camembert. Another called for tickets for the play about the Jewish butchers.
I did get an email from a reader who was furious about my bigotry against Cubans. I was stunned and confused—I’d never written about Cubans. I suggested she had me mixed up with someone else. She wrote back with the direct quote, complete with page numbers—something about Jack being unable to shower off the stench of stinky Cubans. It was cigars! Cuban cigars! I pointed that out to her, but she was absolutely determined I had been bigoted in my remarks.
On a more serious side, a man who lost a leg in the war wrote me that he was changed by Paradise Valley, the story in which Rick Sudder lost a leg in the war and came home a messed up kid. My reader said that he realized from the book that he was an ass, thought it was a miracle his wife stayed with him through it, and finally understood how badly he needed counseling, which he was going to accomplish. I wrote back and asked him how he came across the book and he said his sister gave it to him—and his sainted wife was most grateful! Bless his heart!!
That's wonderful!
Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

Undoubtedly I’ve both matured and relaxed. I’ve gained experience both in life and writing and I’ve relaxed into telling stories my way, the way that is natural to me. Both things help.

As a writer, what kinds of books inspire you? Do you ever find time to read when you aren't writing your own novels?

I read every day. I work long hours, but in the evening after dinner I read—and I am inspired by everything I read, whether it’s mainstream or non-fiction or some other genre. I have a particular taste for contemporary romance and women’s fiction. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Susan Andersen to name a few. For my reading pleasure I enjoy intelligent, romantic, humorous, sexy novels with strong heroines. 

Your characters have issues. All of them. And in that sense, sometimes your books feel more like women’s fiction than romance. Is that something you do purposefully?

This is what I love about women’s fiction! Every living woman has either faced those issues in her own life or she has a sister, neighbor, friend, co-worker—someone she knows or knows of—who has grappled with women’s issues. The range of women’s issues is so wide, it’s infinitesimal. Women’s issues are those issues that challenge a woman’s happiness because they’re women—everything from salaries to mothering to friendship to the more dramatic and frightening issues of domestic violence, death, assault. We've seen people who make positive changes in their lives because of these challenges just as we've seen people really blow it, make such bad choices it nearly (or even absolutely) ruins their lives.
Of course men face all the same issues/problems. But men and women think so differently about things. Men are better at compartmentalizing—they have the job compartment, the husband compartment, the father compartment and so on. They don’t think about how their home lives affect their relationship on their bowling team or their success or problems on the job. With women, everything is connected to everything else—their jobs are connected to their relationships connected to their goals and to their fears, et cetera. And while men want a solution to one particular issue in one specific compartment, women tend to examine everything that’s going on within them and around them.
It must be hard to come up with characters and string their life stories through multiple novels. How do you keep everyone straight when you go from book to book?
Notebook! Very LARGE notebook! By now, I live in Virgin River in my mind – everyday is like going home.
Have there been any books, romance or other genres, that have greatly influenced you as a writer? What are they?
Too many to count, really. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy was an amazing adventure; The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher was like falling in love with a family; The Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was the most fun I've had in a romance series in forever. 

Me too! 
Robyn's latest series, Thunder Point, is set in a small town on the Oregon Coast. I love these people and the setting. I would happily have them as neighbors. Her latest book is The Homecoming
At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been. 
Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he's been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he's become a better, humbler version of his former self. 
Winning over his father isn't the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he's finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?
AND I have a copy to give away.
Robyn, thank you so much for being here. 
I hope lots of people are going to read this post and I have only one copy of The Homecoming. So as second and third prizes I am offering Time and Forever  - the eBook and the Audio book. Please tell me in the comments if you only want to be entered for The Homecoming.If you are already a Robyn reader, who's your favorite hero? Mine is Jack, but it's a really tough call.
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You can find Robyn at her Website
Please also like her Thunder Point series on Facebook
Happy readings, friends.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Conversation with Christine Ashworth

Posted by Susan J Berger on 12:00:00 AM with 13 comments

I met Christine when I went to my first LARA (Los Angeles chapter of RWA. Christine is a wonderful friendly human who made me feel very welcome. I didn't realize till later that she was President of our chapter. 
Christine and her dad, Chet Cunningham. Chet's written over 300 books.
I got to read Christine's latest release, Christmas Star before it was published. I loved the story so I asked if I could interview her for the blog.Thank you for agreeing, Christine. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been been a ballet dancer, a musical theater dancer, an actress, an assistant theater director, and a desk jockey. I’m now writing romance novels for Boroughs Publishing Group, as well as holding down a Day Job doing Important Stuff. For some reason, I decided I wasn't busy enough, and four years ago started writing a play because dialog is easier than description. I have one husband and two sons and a cat.


I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.
I was in Colorado, spending time with my best friend, waiting for my appointment with a neurologist to start the ball rolling on this brain surgery I needed (benign tumor on the auditory nerve). So having a publisher tell me during that very emotional time that she wanted to publish two of my novels was amazing. 
Pretty amazing story. Thank you.

Another first, please: How about the first time you kissed your true love?
It was a very long time ago now. I remember our first date. We went walking along the beach in La Jolla and held hands. I was seventeen, and yet I knew this guy I was with was a keeper. Tom and I have been married for 34 years now.

Yes! I love long happy ever afters.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?

I have a lot of favorite writers that aren’t necessarily in my genre - Stephanie Laurens for historical, Nora Roberts for contemporary, Kendall Grey because there is no one like her ever. 
I've never heard of Kendall Grey. Now I have to read her.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
This one, right now.
Oooh  Nice.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
Reading. After that, I’d have to say gardening or camping.

What’s your snack of choice while writing?
If I’m at home, anything is fair game. If I’m at a coffee shop, I gravitate to an onion bagel, toasted, with cream cheese and a big cup of coffee. That habit got started in 2001 and I haven’t kicked it yet.

Got a recipe you want to share?
Easiest Hollandaise Sauce Ever:
1/4 c butter
1/4 c heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground (powdered) mustard
In microwave, melt butter in a 2-cup glass bowl - 15 to 20 seconds. Mix egg yolks with heavy cream, and add to butter. Add lemon juice, salt and mustard, stir well. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after every 15 seconds, until mixture is thickened. Voila! Vou are done. Easy Peasy.
Love it. Can’t wait to try it.
Any advice for new writers just starting out?
1. Don’t expect to make a fast buck. 2. If you can do something else, do. 3. If you must write, then write every day and never, ever, ever give up.
What genre or genres do you write?
I write contemporary and paranormal romance, both adult and YA.
Tell us about your latest release.

CHRISTMAS STAR came out Friday, October 17th from Boroughs Publishing Group. It’s a short story, and launches my StarTide Agency series.

Blurb: After a whirlwind courtship and surprise proposal, makeup artist Elle Houston is in a fairytale setting, awaiting her Christmas Eve wedding to a movie star. But when the resort’s chef starts cooking, Elle finds that more than her appetite is being tempted, and she realizes just how wrong fairytales can be…

I had so much fun reading this novella. I heartily recommend it.

What’s your current WIP?
I’m working on SHINING STAR, Book 2 of the StarTide Agency series. It’s set here in Los Angeles, and is a reunion story. Book 1, GUARDED STAR, comes out on February 5th, 2015.
And I will be first in line to buy it.

And finally, where can we find you?
http://christine-ashworth.com is my online presence - I blog about wine and books and gardens.
Links to my
FB Author Page
Twitter: @CCAshworth
Pinterest: ccashworth
Amazon Author Page: 

I loved Christmas Star and I am offering one lucky reader a chance to win a copy. Thank you for being here, Christine.
Thanks so much for having me, Sue!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meet Australian Author, Maggie Mundy

Posted by Susan J Berger on 12:00:00 AM with 8 comments

I am delighted to welcome Maggie Mundy, an author from Down Under who specializes in romance involving mythical creatures. Maggie, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, two cats, two dogs and a snake. I have a motorbike that I would like to ride more than I do, and I love walking at the beach and listening to the waves crashing on the shore.
This is a picture of me and my husband on our motorbikes. We have pink bras on our bikes because it was the pink ribbon ride to raise money for breast cancer
 I've always loved reading all forms of speculative fiction from high fantasy and paranormal to horror and decided the stories in my head needed to be written down. It was either that or start on medication.
So glad you opted for writing rather than medication. 
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Unlike many who have been writing since childhood, I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until a few years back. I started doing a degree in drama but soon realized my love was in writing, though there is a play lurking somewhere on my computer. My day job is as a nurse in the operating room which helps with research for my gory scenes. I believe romance can be fun to read and write but it’s exciting to spice it up with the uncertainty that comes with the worlds of mythical creatures where the rules can be broken.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale. 
I was away on a trip on the River Murray in Australia, on a houseboat. We had very poor reception and managed to get some emails for a short time. I had to wait a few more days before I could reply to them. When I received the email for my first full length book I squeaked so loudly I woke my daughter up. It still feels great when I get an offer. I still find it amazing someone loves my books. I hope the thrill never goes away.

If it isn’t too nosy . . . (well of course it is!) How about the first time you kissed your true love? 
I was young and had been in a long relationship and it had ended badly. I then met someone and we both were attracted to each other. He had been jilted at the altar. We went on a date out to a country pub and when he dropped me home I was just about to get out of the car when he said.” Can I have a kiss before you go?” He got one and it was wonderful. Unfortunately it was a case of right people wrong time. I still wonder sometimes what happened to him.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre? 
My heroine is easy. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, and I don’t care if that is clichĂ©d. I love the fact that she believed in herself at a time when woman had a difficult role in society without any power.
My favorite hero would be Frodo Baggins. I think I fell in love with magical worlds and incredible things after reading Lord of the Rings. Just needed a little bit of romance in there.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Getting an email with my first cover. I think it even beat getting the contract. I have been so lucky with all of my covers.
Yes you have! What a gorgeous cover! Blood Scent is available on Amazon for a mere 99cents.
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing? 
Walking on the beach with my dogs. I need to walk lots because of the chips and chocolate.

What’s your snack of choice while writing? 
Chips and chocolate. Not so good for the waistline.

Got a recipe you want to share?
Dingle Delight as mentioned in Hidden Mortality by Maggie Mundy
Bailey’s Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake
Ingredients:
2 packets of Light Philadelphia cream cheese. 250grm packets
2 100 grm packets Lindt Orange chocolate intense bars
1 packet dark chocolate biscuits.
100grms margarine or butter.
2 eggs
½ cup or 50 grms castor sugar.
1 teaspoon orange essence
30mls Bailey’s Irish Cream
Method
1 Crush to crumbs. Melt butter and pour on to crumbs and mix well.
2 Grease flan tin and then push crumb mixture into base.
3 In a mixing bowl put cream cheese, eggs, sugar orange essence and Bailey’s Irish Cream
4 Melt the Lindt orange chocolate and add to mixture.
5 Beat well with an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined.
6 Pour mixture into flan tin and palace in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for one hour.
7 Turn oven off and let cheesecake cool in the oven. This prevents the top from cracking.
8 Place in fridge and cool for three hours prior to serving.
9 Grate Lindt white chocolate on the top and serve with a dollop of cream.
Serves 8 large pieces or 16 smaller. Is a very rich desert.
Wow! Sounds beyond decadent.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Bum Glue. Sit down and write. Get a critique partner and join RWA.
What genre or genres do you write? 
Paranormal, Fantasy, I am also trying my hand at a rom com and a contemporary with a bit of suspense. I can’t keep the dead bodies out of my stories

Tell us about your latest release.
Unknown Protector was published in September by Soul Mate Publishing


Blurb:Two things have helped Nicole cope since the murder of her husband. One is running her detective agency, and the other is her guardian angel, Mira. When Mira is killed by a demon, Nicole accepts the help of a Ridge, a long haired, cigar smoking diamond in the rough with wings. Things go from bad to worse when a replacement guardian cannot be found. She has to trust Ridge, which is tricky when she realizes there are no demons or angels, just parasitic aliens that humans have built the myths of these celestial beings around. Ridge isn’t an angel or a devil, but an alien half breed known as a Midworlder. He is also way too sexy for his own good, or is it her own good.

Here's an excerpt:

“Please don’t drop me, please don’t drop me,” Nicole repeated as she closed her eyes. She didn’t like flying in planes, let alone being dragged through the night sky by an oversexed scruffy angel who was too hot for his own good. Or was it her own good.

“I won’t let you fall. Look around before we go over. I reckon you’ve guessed the events of tonight aren’t the way we normally do things. Humans aren’t meant to be aware of our flying through the night sky which means I can’t let you remember any of this.”

She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. His face was close to hers as he gripped her tight around her waist. It was too dark to read what he might be thinking from his expression. His lips were so close and her own were parting at the thought he might kiss her. She trembled, but not from fear anymore and hoped he couldn’t read her mind. They were being hunted and she wanted a kiss, no she longed for it. He had to be putting the thoughts in her head.

She needed to get her mind off him so she gazed down at San Francisco. Her adopted city stretched out below with steep streets reaching down to the harbor, while the lights on the Golden Gate Bridge shone in the distance, reflecting on the water below. She smiled as a tear flowed down her cheek. She had never seen it this way before. For a moment she forgot others were after them or after her in particular. She peeked over Ridge’s shoulder and glanced back over his wings as they glided through the sky. Three dark, winged shapes were following and could be seen against the light of the full moon. Maybe the full moon could explain why strange things were happening, because this was like staring at a scene from a horror movie, except it was real.

The shapes of their pursuer’s bodies blurred. She turned back to the city but the lights of San Francisco were disappearing. In the moonlight she focused on the face next to her. Ridge smiled and touched her cheek with his.

“It’s okay. I’m gonna get you a new guardian and all of this will go away. I won’t let anyone hurt you.”

She didn’t want a new guardian, she wanted Mira back. It went dark and reminded her of when she went adventure-caving in Australia. The absolute darkness of underground where not even a trickle of light breaks through, no matter how hard you look. She couldn’t see Ridge anymore, but the closeness of him and the darkness amplified the sound of his wings. For a moment they were all that existed in the universe. His lips touched hers and her mouth opened to him only to have him pull away. Did he mean to do that?

“I suggest you close your eyes and give your mind over to me,” he whispered.

Nicole shook her head and tried to get herself back to reality, whatever that was. “I’m not going anywhere with my eyes shut after tonight, and from what I’m picking up at times your mind seems a bit murky to let you in again.”

“Suit yourself darling, but don’t blame me if you pass out.”

Pain sliced through her temple. She squeezed her eyes shut and instinctively hugged Ridge tighter. His thoughts were in her head again telling her to relax, but this time it wasn’t working. She tried to hold down the rising alarm of what would happen next. Somehow she had an inkling it wasn’t going to be good.

What’s your current WIP?
I am working on three things. Yes I am one of those crazy people who do that. I am working on Scarred Protector, the second in the Midworlder series. It will be the story of Heath and Evie. Heath is mentioned in book one and is a bit of a present day Darcy type. Yes, I love Mr. Darcy. I am also working on a rom com with a friend. I have never co-written before so it will be fun. Last but not least I am writing a contemporary novel called Healing Boots. It’s the journey of a woman after her husband has died and left a lot of money to another woman. It involves boots because I have a problem with too many boots, or at least my husband says I do.
His bad. Some people don't understand the value of multiple footwear options.

And finally, where can we find you?

Thanks for stopping by, Maggie. 
Maggie is offering eBook copies of Unknown Protector to two lucky winners.
And I am offering an audiobook my book, Time and Forever.  Nothing wrong with an extra prize. Maggie and I welcome your comments.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In Conversation with Kristan Higgins

Posted by Susan J Berger on 12:15:00 AM with 18 comments
I’m delighted to welcome two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award and New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Kristan Higgins.

Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her two children graced her life with simultaneous afternoon naps. Writing, she found, was infinitely more satisfying than folding laundry, and so began her first novel. Kristan holds a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross, which means she can identify dangling participles, quote many great novels and play a mean game of Scrabble.


This October Kristan returns to her wonderfully popular Blue Heron series with a delightfully smart and appealing contemporary romance in IN YOUR DREAMS.

Kristan
Hi! Thanks so much for having me here today! I was reading my bio above and got kind of goofy-feeling, like, “Holy heck, that’s me! I sound pretty fabulous!” Right now, in reality, I’m nursing a cold with Hershey Nuggets and extra-soft tissues, and every time I sneeze, the dog bolts down the stairs. And my lap is a little sweaty, because my computer is getting hot. Is that too much information? Anyway, I’m not really the fabulous type. So thanks for that lovely welcome!

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.

Okay! I was home alone; Dearest Son was at nursery school, the Princess Daughter was in first grade, and my agent called with the news. At the time, I didn’t know her terribly well, so I tried to be very dignified and said things like, “Oh, how wonderful! Thank you so much!” When I hung up the phone, I started jumping around and squeaking, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I sold a book!”

And then I took a moment to be quiet… My dad died a long time ago, and I wanted so much to tell him the news. So I did. I said, “Hey, Dad. My book’s going to be published.” I like to think he knew. For a second, I swear I could smell his nice Dad-smell.

Then McIrish came home, and we jumped up and down together, and when my Princess came off the bus, I said, “Guess what? Mommy’s book sold, which means it will be in bookstores and everything!” and she said, “That’s nice. What’s for snack?”

So it was a perfect representation of just about every one of my days—joy and surprise and a little melancholy and very happy normalcy.

I love your answer. As a family, we had a lot of days like that.
If it isn’t too nosy . . . (well of course it is!) How about the first time you kissed your true love?

It was on our first date. McIrish lived in Brooklyn at the time, and he took me to a little coffee house. Held the door for me, listened like I was the most fascinating person in the world. Told me how he had a kitten he’d rescued during a fierce rainstorm (I started naming our babies at that moment). And then as we were walking back to the subway station so I could go home, he kissed me. We were engaged six weeks later. Draw your own conclusions. ; )


Oh wow. You had me at the kitten.

When they make a movie of In your Dreams, who would be your first choice for Jack? Emmaline?

Hmm. How about Chris Hemsworth? Yes. Call Chris immediately! As for Emmaline, maybe Jennifer Lawrence? She’s got that bad-ass attitude down to a T.
Yes!

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?

Oh, wow! There have been so many! The first three that leap to mind are the two times I won the RITA Award, which just gobsmacked me. I completely babbled through the first speech; if it hadn’t been filmed, I still wouldn’t remember what I said. The second time, I at least had notes, but I’m fairly sure there was babbling then, too. Last summer, I gave a speech in front of 2300 romance writers as the keynoter at Romance Writers of America’s national conference. That was such an incredible privilege. They gave me a standing ovation, and I was crying like a baby.

But there are other moments, too. The first fan letter I ever got (Alana Weaver from Montana, I remember you!). The first time I saw someone reading my book in public. In a few weeks, I’m going to Europe on a book tour. Just typing those words is incredibly surreal.

And then there are the exciting moments in writing, when all of a sudden, a sentence appears on the computer monitor, and I think, “Oh! So that’s what’s going on! Now I get it!” Those are little moments of grace, and they never fail to thrill.

What is your favorite pastime, when you aren’t writing or kid wrangling?

I do love torturing my teenagers. The four of us always have so many laughs together (when the kids aren’t bickering about whose turn it is to clean the litter box and such). I love stories, so I love to read, of course, and also watch movies and binge-watch television shows. I take boxing lessons (don’t laugh!). I love to ride my bike on flat paths that end at restaurants or ice cream stands. And I love my family. I have a lot of aunts and uncles and cousins, and it’s always great to see them.

I’ve read that you are a master baker and your husband is a fireman/fantastic cook. Have you got a recipe you want to share?

Sure! Since chocolate cake plays a role in IN YOUR DREAMS, here’s my grandmother’s recipe:

Gram’s Hershey Bar Cake

1 7-ounce Hershey bar (milk chocolate, no nuts) broken into pieces
¼ cup butter
1 2/3 cups boiling water
2 1/3 cups unsifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups light brown sugar

Combine chocolate, butter and boiling water in medium bowl; stir till smooth. In large bowl, combine flour, soda and salt, Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating well. Blend in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Beat till smooth, for about a minute. Pour into 10 x 14 baking pan or two 9” rounds. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Perfect Chocolate Frosting (Hershey’s recipe)
1 stick butter
2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
That s going on the recipe page right now. Click on the Recipes Tab and you'll see it.

In Your Dreams made my MUST READ list the minute I read this blurb:
Everyone in town loves Jack Holland, but police officer Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancĂ© is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone.

In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.

The timing is perfect because Jack needs an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy—especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back and angling for a reunion…a year after sleeping with another guy. He’s always liked Emmaline, an ice-mate in their town hockey league. She needs a weekend date, he needs to get away? No problem—two birds with one stone.

As often happens when having too good a time at weddings, the two friends wind up in bed. This brings its own set of problems. Em chalks the incident up to red wine and chocolate cake—just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more. The worry here is, if Em lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.

I can't wait to read this. If it wasn't my blog, I would try to win the copy.
Thank you so much for visiting, Kristan. You are such a funny, lovely, talented woman.
Kristan is giving away a copy of In Your Dreams on this blog to one lucky commenter.
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You can find Kristan on Facebook 
Twitter 
And on her website  kristanhiggins.com
But please leave her some love here. I know many of you have read her books. And  if by some chance you haven't, now,s the time to start.