Sweet Charity

Posted at Jun 20, 2014 3:56 pm

Recently I asked my Facebook pals to tell me about their favorite charities and was thrilled to learn of several wonderful organizations. I’ve long been a fan of http://www.heifer.org/ and recently became aware of http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/. Now I have a bunch of other great sites to check out.

Whether you’re interested in fighting world hunger, supporting our soldiers, helping the homeless, or offering a little comfort to those facing illness, there’s a charity on this list you may want to consider looking in to. Every little bit helps! Thanks and have a wonderful, wonderful day!

http://www.taps.org/about/

http://www.stjude.org/about

http://www.hwhct.org/

http://childrenfoundation.com/

http://twloha.com/vision

http://www.usfirst.org/involved/donate

http://pldallas.org/about-us/

https://www.facebook.com/alexslemonade

http://onewarmcoat.org/

http://www.bdsra.org/

http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/vision

http://www.autism-society.org/

http://www.borderterrierrescue.com/

https://www.facebook.com/halfway.t.home

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Thank you, lovely readers!

Posted at May 26, 2014 3:49 pm

Thanks, lovely reader people, for all the wonderful reviews you’ve left for THE BEST MEDICINE! I’m humbled and thrilled that you’re enjoying the story of Evie and Tyler and their clumsy path toward happily ever after. Here’s what a few of you have said about the book:

  • I wish Bell Harbor existed so I could vacation there. I loved each of Tracy Brogan’s books, but I really love that she is doing a series of “Bell Harbor” sequels. Her latest, The Best Medicine, made me LOL, just as Crazy Little Thing had done. It was a nice touch to visit with some favorite characters from her first book too! I look forward to following all these “folks” into their old age!!
  • Laughed out loud in the “quiet car” of the train!!
  • I was so excited to return to Bell Harbor with all the quirky residents. This book had me hooked from the first sentence, such a fun laugh out loud read. The story of Evie, single,35, and a doctor. Has been too busy in her professional life to find a man. Now her friends, coworkers and mother asking about a husband. She meets Tyler in the Emergency Room as a patient, he is all wrong for her. Her friends have set her up and as she starts going on dates, Tyler keeps popping up to rescue her. Tyler does not fit her husband profile but her heart keeps pulling at him. I did not want to see this book end. I just love the humor the Tracy Brogan brings out in her books. This will be on my reread shelf.
  • I can never go wrong with the Bell harbor gang! This book lived up to the last and then some! I love reading about other characters I have grown to know and falling in love with new ones and couples. I’d recommend it.
  • This is a great book. A must read! I recommend it to everyone. In fact I’ve already told several people to read this book before I even finished reading it, it is that good! This book is a good book for a book club reading.
  • This is a sweet story of what is really important in life. The characters are good and its nice to have the roles reversed.

My next book, LOVE ME SWEET, is all about Tyler’s older brother, Grant. He’s an action-adventure show cameraman who reluctantly joins forces with a reality TV star on a road trip to romance! Good times!

Happy reading!!

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Love is THE BEST MEDICINE!

Posted at May 10, 2014 1:53 am

TheBestMedicineRelease day is May 13th for THE BEST MEDICINE!

Dear readers, I’m so excited to share with you the story of Tyler and Evie and their sweet and clumsy path toward happily ever after.

Everyone in Bell Harbor thinks career-minded plastic surgeon Evelyn Rhoades needs a husband. Everyone, that is, except for Evelyn…sort of. Even if she did want a husband (which she doesn’t…most of the time), she’d never let something as intangible as fate determine who she marries. No, if she’s going to find someone to spend her life with, she’ll do it scientifically: with a carefully crafted list of criteria and an Internet dating site.

But when intoxicated, law-breaking Tyler Connelly crashes into her life by way of a stolen Jet Ski, unruly emotions defy common sense. Sure, he’s sexy, charming, and determined to win Evelyn’s affection, but all evidence points to him being the worst possible choice. He’s too young . Too irresponsible. Too underemployed. And, oh yeah, he’s her patient.

But Tyler knows firsthand how the best-laid plans can crumble under the weight of destiny. Now all he needs to do is to teach Evelyn that, in matters of the heart, love often supersedes logic.

Early readers are responding to this story with praise and enthusiasm!! (Thanks!!)

  • I was lucky enough to read the uncorrected proof of this book. Tracy Brogan has been one of my favorites authors since her first book: “Crazy Little Thing”. This one is just as good. I laughed, cried and stayed up til the wee hours of the morning reading, because it’s simply THAT great. It’s a MUST read. Thank you, Tracy!
  • Once again, Tracy Brogan has made me fall in love with Bell Harbor and its inhabitants. There were so many parts that were laugh-out-loud funny and I love a book that makes me laugh while also making me fall for the characters. I would highly recommend The Best Medicine as a great summer read! 
  • This book was perfection. I really loved the character development by the author. She made each character seem like someone I wanted to meet in real life. The range of emotions I felt while reading this book was surprising.
  • I frequently laughed out loud at the witty humor of the author. My eyes filled with tears at the difficult life situations of the main characters, Evelyn Rhoades and Tyler Connelly. My stomach churned at the awkward dates Evelyn endured. The author took me on an emotional journey I was not anticipating. I highly recommend this book for lovers of any romantic genre.

I hope everyone who reads THE BEST MEDICINE enjoys a few laugh-out-loud moments, and falls in love with Bell Harbor (and with Tyler and Evie, too!)

I’ll be at the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans, May 13-18 so if you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello!!

On May 22nd, I’ll be signing books at Schuler’s Books and Music at 7pm. (28th Street location) and I sure hope to see lots of familiar faces that evening!!

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THE BEST MEDICINE

Posted at Jan 21, 2014 8:16 pm

TheBestMedicineI’m very excited to share the summerluscious cover of my next book, THE BEST MEDICINE! I wish it could come out and play right now since so many of us are shivering from this abominable polar vortex! But, alas, this book comes out in May. Like the flowers and the sunshine. You just have to wait for it. (But feel free to pre-order it!)

Here is a little taste:

Everyone in Bell Harbor thinks career-minded plastic surgeon Evelyn Rhoades needs a husband. Everyone, that is, except for Evelyn…sort of. Even if she did want a husband (which she doesn’t…most of the time), she’d never let something as intangible as fate determine who she marries. No, if she’s going to find someone to spend her life with, she’ll do it scientifically: with a carefully crafted list of criteria and an Internet dating site.

But when intoxicated, law-breaking Tyler Connelly crashes into her life by way of a stolen Jet Ski, unruly emotions defy common sense. Sure, he’s sexy, charming, and determined to win Evelyn’s affection, but all evidence points to him being the worst possible choice. He’s too young for her. Too irresponsible. Too underemployed. And, oh yeah, he’s her patient.

But Tyler knows firsthand how the best-laid plans can crumble under the weight of destiny. Now all he needs to do is to teach Evelyn that, in matters of the heart, love often supersedes logic.

So, there you have it. A little visit back in Bell Harbor, just in time for summer! Happy reading, all!

5 Comments

Elf on the Shelf – Friend or Foe

Posted at Dec 5, 2013 4:45 pm

 

***I originally posted this in 2011 on Peanut Butter on the Keyboard  (peanutbutteronthekeyboard.com/2012/12/11/guest-mom-tracy-brogan-the-elf-on-the-shelf-friend-or-foe) but it’s that time of year again and it seems like the Elf is back for many of you. Good luck with that…***

 

the_elfWhen December rolls around, most of us start thinking about the holidays. That most wonderful time of the year when we trim the tree and light the log, wrap the gifts and make that nog. We want to get our holly jolly on, and have a cup of cheer. (At our house, cheer tastes very much like Bailey’s on the rocks.)

Yet for many of us, December is also the season of house guests. Some are welcomed with glee and arms flung wide. Others are met with slightly less enthusiasm. The nit-picky mother-in-law perhaps, or the ubiquitous crazy uncle. You know the one I’m talking about – the uncle who never shuts the door all the way when he uses the bathroom. And he doesn’t refer it as “the bathroom,” either. He just calls it “The Toilet.”

But at this most glorious time of year, when beloved (and less-beloved) relatives descend upon us, many homes must also contend with that most insidious of houseguests. The one who requires daily attention. The one who can scarcely move from place to place without your assistance.

Yes.

You guessed it.

I’m talking about… the Elf on the Shelf.

I have a love/hate relationship with this guy.

Well, not hate, exactly. That’s a strong word. I hate prejudice, and world hunger, and shopping for a swim suit. When it comes to the Elf on the Shelf, let’s just say I have a love/don’t-love relationship.

To explain why, let me begin with a little history.

This fuzzy, flannel peeping Tom hit the scenes in 2005 as part of a picture book set. THE ELF ON THE SHELF: A CHRISTMAS TRADITION was written by the mother/daughter team of Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell. After being refused by several publishers, they decided to self-publish. Yay! Good for them. Mark that in the “love” column. Since then, they have sold over 2.5 million copies! More love for them on that! I’m always happy for a writer who hits it big – even if it’s not me, or someone I know well enough to borrow a million dollars from.

Now, the premise of this story is simple. Each December, the Elf shows up to spy on your children and then report back to Santa on whether they have been “naughty” or “nice.” Mark that in the “love” column, as well. I appreciate any type of big-brother-esque manipulation to ensure obedient behavior from our offspring. After all, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do to keep the kids in line. How else is she supposed to write, cook, shower, or make a martini? So I have no issue with telling my kids they’re being observed by a magical, omniscient being who holds the key to how many presents they’ll get on Christmas.

The disadvantage of this Elf is that, as the story goes, each night he flies back to the North Pole to submit his report, then he returns to your house the next morning and parks his little, red-felt backside in a brand new spot. That means I have to remember to move him. Every single night.

And I have to find approximately twenty-four unique spots since he shows up on December 1st and doesn’t vanish until Christmas Eve. Definitely a mark in the NOT-love column. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve gotten out of bed at 2:00 a.m. after realizing I’d forgotten to move the darn Elf.

Thinking myself oh-so-clever, I even tried putting a reminder my cell phone calendar – only to have my husband change our settings to the icloud so my note, “Move the Elf,” showed up on my kids’ ipods. Sometimes sharing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

A few years ago, my oldest caught on to the whole Elf scheme. You’d think this would have made things easier since she could help me trick my littler one. But, oh, no. Instead, Thing One repeatedly incited Thing Two into a search and rescue frenzy with the intensity typically reserved for victims of a burning building or a sinking ship. This, of course, led to the great “Why is the Elf hiding in Mommy’s bra drawer?” debacle of 2010.

Truth is, the Elf is a pain.

So why do I do it?

Because he is also magical. Kids don’t see him as a spy. They see him as a visiting loved one. A friend to confide in. A link directly to Santa and all their Christmas wishes. And like Santa, he represents an opportunity to step outside the constraints of reality and visit a place of happy dreams. As a writer, especially a romance writer, I’m all about the place of happy dreams. I would live there all the time if I could. So, if I can create that world for my kids, even for a few, wonderful weeks, I’ll do it. It’s the same reason we do Easter baskets, and have leprechauns visit around St. Patrick’s Day. My mother did all that silly stuff for me and it made my childhood lovely. If I can give that sense of wonder and fantasy to my own kids, it’s worth a little extra effort.

Perhaps the ultimate irony is that as I was working on this post, my littlest came into my office. She sat down in the chair and said, “I know you’re busy but I need to ask you something.”

A look at her face told me it was something serious.

“Okay. What?”

“Is Santa real?”

Dun, dun, dunnnnn….

Really? She’s asking me this just as I’m typing words like “magical” and “fantasy?”

But she’s eleven and her street smart friends have been telling stories. And her older sister has been dropping hints like atom bombs. So, just now, I told my baby girl the truth about Santa. All of it. I could see the wheels and cogs in her mind spinning.

“What about the Elf? Is that you, too? You can tell me the truth. I can take it.”

So I did tell her.

And she could take it.

She listened to the news stoically, with maturity, while I puddled up like a little girl.

Now, it looks like I don’t have to move The Elf on the Shelf anymore. But the fact is, I think I’ll miss him more than my kids will.

2 Comments

Whereintheworld is Tracy Brogan?

Posted at Nov 20, 2013 6:48 pm

BPaySxkCIAAlm7uI have been sadly remiss in blogging!  Turns out moving from one house to another is a special kind of joy/misery that takes up a lot of time. Not to mention creating frequent, extended bouts of having (*gasp!*) no internet connection!

But the good news is THE BEST MEDICINE, a Bell Harbor Novel, will be available May 13th, 2014!  I’m excited about revisiting some old friends in that story and hope readers are, too! I’ll be sharing more about that over the coming weeks.

In other news, CRAZY LITTLE THING is now available in German. It will soon be available in French. Merci!

HIGHLAND SURRENDER is being translated into German and Japanese. Can’t wait to see that!

And speaking of HIGHLAND SURRENDER, here is a picture of me winning the Booksellers Best Award in the Historical category. What an honor! I’m was also thrilled to win the Golden Quill contest for both HIGHLAND SURRENDER and CRAZY LITTLE THING.BPp6Yc9CEAEOZpy

And here I am with two of my fabulous critique partners, Kimberly Kincaid and Jennifer McQuiston at RWA nationals – where I did not win a RITA :) Ah, well. It was an amazing conference and I’m already looking forward to next year.

So, thank you, dear readers, reviewers and book buyers, for making my books part of your day!

 

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Thank You, Readers!

Posted at Jul 30, 2013 7:41 pm

HoldOnMyHeart_9781611098884_Front_Cover_FinalHOLD ON MY HEART is earning great reviews! Thanks to each of you who took the time to post a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or reviewed my books on your blog. I appreciate your effort!

And an extra big THANKS to you wonderful readers who recommend my work to a friend, a relative, or a co-worker. As long as you keep reading, I will certainly keep writing.

In fact, I’m excited to share I have two more Bell Harbor books on the way! Expect THE BEST MEDICINE in the spring of 2014.

In other news, I’m honored to report that CRAZY LITTLE THING earned 1st Place in the Golden Quill contest, and HIGHLAND SURRENDER won 1st Place in both the Golden Quill and the Book Sellers Best contest. It’s been a good summer, and it’s not over yet!

So take your lounge chair down to the shore with one of my books and enjoy the read!

Happy August!GQ Finalist logo sm150

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The RITA and the Golden Quill

Posted at May 6, 2013 6:41 pm

GQ Finalist logo sm150ritaA few weeks ago I was thrilled to hear that CRAZY LITTLE THING was nominated by Romance Writers of America for a RITA award in the Best First Book category.  (I’m still thrilled!)

Now I’m equally excited to learn that both CRAZY LITTHE THING and HIGHLAND SURRENDER have been nominated in the prestigious Golden Quill Contest sponsored by the Desert Rose Chapter of RWA.  Having read the fabulous work of most of the other nominees, I can say without hesitation it’s an honor to be among such talent! Best of luck to all the finalists!

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Latest Reviews

Posted at Apr 17, 2013 3:15 pm

HoldOnMyHeart_9781611098884_Front_Cover_FinalThat’s not a very clever title, but I’m saving up the clever for my current work in progress! My next book, HOLD ON MY HEART releases June 25th and I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’d like to share some lovely reviews that my wonderful readers have posted for CRAZY LITTLE THING and HIGHLAND SURRENDER! Thanks so much for the support and encouragment.

For HIGHLAND SURRENDER:

  • Tracy Brogan is an excellent writer who develops honest characters you can identify with, even though the story takes place in far away Scotland and centuries ago. Highland Surrender is a wonderful romance, filled with passion, action and intrigues. I enjoyed this bok very much, and look forward to more romances from this gifted author.
  • This book drew me in so quickly and I was unable to put it down. Lovely story with wonderful twists and turns. Made my heart happy :)
  • Excellent and would buy this authors work again. Read all the way through in one day.
  • Best historical romance I’ve read since the Outlander series. I look forward to more like this soon by this author.
  • The story has a lot of turns and twists to keep the reader engaged in the story. You will think you have the story figured out and you find yourself being wrong. I enjoyed the book.
  • I love historical romance novels and this was a terrific story. It was a fast read and held my interest till the end. Although this was my first read by Brogan I plan to read other books by her.

For CRAZY LITTLE THING:

  • This was a funny, sweet, emotional ride that ended too soon. I could not put this book down until I was finished. I will definitely read more of Tracy Brogan, and will probably read this book again.
  • We selected this book as our Prime Membership free book of the month. After being startled at my wife’s reaction I believe we’ll buy this one. I’ve heard her chuckle and giggle at books before but not the often laugh out loud reactions Tracy Brogan’s Crazy Little Thing did for her. Now its my turn as my wife explores more of Ms. Brogan’s works.
  • Finally, a book that I will finish reading. This book is so enjoyable. It’s not so much the story, it is the way it is written. Never have I laughed out loud so many times when reading a book. Unexpected chuckles from me cause my husband to Look over to see just what’s so funny?
  • I haven’t read a book that made me laugh out loud in a long time. The characters are real and hilarious. I would recommend this book to anyone needing a little cheering up.
  • Highly recommending this book to friends and will search out anything else written by Tracy Brogan.
  • I had so much fun reading this book! The characters are hilarious and their relationships with one another are endearing. I especially love Fontaine and his spontaneity, and gotta love Dody! She is such a unique character.. The story is light but yet lovely.. It did give me warm feelings…
  • Funny, sweet and a delightful read. Several times I found myself laughing out loud. I will be recommending this one to my girlfriends!!
  • Couldn’t stop reading it! Moments where dialogue was laugh out loud hilarious. You’ll cheer for Sadie by the end. Highly recommend.
  • A great lighthearted read, I teared up few times, and laughed out loud several times, thoroughly enjoyed to the end!
  • Really enjoyed this book. Fun read and there were several times I laughed out loud Unfortunately for my husband it was really late at night while he was trying to sleep !
  • What an amazingly, fun read! Sassy, energetic and a complete laugh out loud kind of book. Real life characters that make you want to join them on the beach!

Thanks for the warm, fuzzzy feelings!!

 

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On The Record… with Ashlyn Macnamara

Posted at Mar 29, 2013 1:05 am in , , , , , , , , ,

Macnamara-AMostScandalousProposalCoverWelcome to ON THE RECORD where I chat with romance authors about their favorite topics, which usually includes writing but almost always includes handsome men!

Welcome, Ashlyn Macnamara, debut author of the fun and sexy a MOST SCANDALOUS PROPOSAL, which released on February 26, 2013!

TB: Today, we’ll start with an easy question first. Ash, what is A MOST SCANDALOUS PROPOSAL all about?

AM: The short version is it’s Sense and Sensibility with sex–although it’s not a completely faithful retelling of Jane Austen. It can’t be. It has love scenes! It also takes place in Mayfair for the most part, rather than the country, and the characters are possibly a bit higher up the social rank than Jane wrote about. Not so much country gentry but relatives (some more distant than others) of titled people. On the other hand it does feature two romances, and the plot intertwines around both of them. I feel it’s important to mention this, because the blurb on the back of my book might lead you to believe this is your usual Regency with one main romance.

TB:  I love the duality of having two heroines. Although I know the book is primarily about one sister, it was refreshing to see an alternate viewpoint within the story. Very clever you is!

AM: Why, thank you! *Curtseys (and probably trips. Pretend you didn’t see that.)* By the way, I’ve only just noticed my initials spell out AM, and I am *so* not a morning person. Why didn’t I think of that when I chose my penname?

TB:  Typically you Beau Monde gals are hardcore with your historical accuracy, particularly with regard to social customs. What are some constraints about this time period that impact your writing?AMDRCover

AM:  What a brilliant excuse to segue into my second book! See, Isabelle, the heroine of my second book is a Regency-era single mother. As you can imagine, depending on a woman’s social rank, having an illegitimate child wasn’t exactly the done thing. And I wanted to portray realistically what might have happened to someone like that. Oh, I probably could have made things worse for her, by forcing her to sell her favors for a scrap of bread here and there and dying horrifically of some venereal disease, but then I wouldn’t have much of a HEA. But she does pay a price in her reduced circumstances, and even her neighbors in the village where she’s settled don’t give her much of a break.

TB:  It’s true. Venereally ever after does NOT have the same ring to it. So I’m glad you kept your heroine STD free. Tell me about your heroes. Do have images in your mind about what he looks like? Do you have a celebrity muse?

AM: Oh dear. I have several… Benedict from my first book bears a striking resemblance to Gerard Butler. Highgate, also from my first book (since there are two heroes), might possibly remind readers of Alan Rickman. George Upperton from my second book is more along the lines of Russell Crowe, only younger and not quite so scruffy. Muttonchop sideburns aside, they weren’t too big on facial hair during the era. Oh, and if my cover model is to be believed, he also has buns of steel. J

IRichardArmitage’m working on a new series right now, and my current hero may just look a bit like Sean Bean. But I’ve also been thinking of the book after that. See, I’ve been glomming the BBC series Robin Hood on Netflix for one reason and one reason alone: Sir Tall, Dark, and Brooding himself, Guy of Gisborne, AKA Richard Armitage. So if you notice one of my upcoming heroes has long dark hair, green eyes, and a deep, gravelly voice, you’ll know where I got it from.

TB:  Why, I declare, my dear Miss Macnamara, what lovely taste you have. Sean Bean was a favorite of mine from days past and Gerard Butler has graced MANY pages without knowing it! And ahhhh…. Richard Armitage. Perfect blend of brood, but humorous, too. Bright green eyes AND an accent? Lawd, where are my smelling salts? You’re not the first historical writer with a taste for R.A. Henry Cavill is a favorite of many, as well. I used to adore Adrian Paul from the Highlander TV series! But, alas, I heard him do an interview once where he was very ungracious and it ruined the illusion. Plus he’s cockney!!! Didn’t see that one coming!! Now, on to something else. What five things would you take to a deserted island if you were going to be there for say…. One month?

AidAnTurnerAM: Richard Armitage, Sean Bean, Gerard Butler, Aidan Turner, and Daniel Day-Lewis as he appeared in Last of the Mohicans—not that I have a thing for  men with long hair. And I want to stay more than a month. That’s not cheating is, it?

TB:  Now that’s what I call Fantasy Island!! I’d like to visit there myself! But there is AidAn Turner, and then there is AidEn Turner. I always mix them up but either is mighty fine! And I loooove the movie Last of the Mohicans. James Fenimore Cooper had it all wrong. Hollywood made that story so much better. (All the dead historical fiction writers are rolling in their graves right now!)DDL

AM: I don’t know. I think Mark Twain would agree with you… Although in true romance fashion, I would have loved for Alice and Uncas to have survived and had their HEA.

TB:  Ah, yes. Uncus! He did not hold up too well in real life! And now DDL looks like Lincoln. But they’ll be forever young and beautiful in our books and in the movies. Well, Ms. Macnamara, this has been a lovely chat. But might I add that no trip to a tropical island is complete without a great book to read. Such as…A MOST SCANDALOUS PROPOSAL! Here is wishing you loads and loads of success. I loved that book and I know everyone else will, too. Thanks for visiting with me today!

AM: Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s been fun. And I can’t wait to read HOLD ON MY HEART! I adored both HIGHLAND SURRENDER and CRAZY LITTLE THING, especially for the humor laced throughout your contemporary work.

TB:  Why thank you. Just for that, you may visit me again someday. 

Ashlyn_Macnamara_Headshot_medAshlyn Macnamara writes Regency romances with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers this writing gig her mid-life crisis, but figures it’s less dangerous than hang-gliding or sky-diving. Despite her insistence on looking toward the past, she can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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