- my little sis dedicated her final thesis to me, thanking her big sister for all the love and support, *melts*
- living with Bf :-) Even though we have been practically living together for almost a year, it is different to have our own place and not just crash at him, and share the kitchen with his flatmates;
- had my birthday last week, but as I'm meeting friends almost every day, we are still celebrating :-D
- organizing my kitchen and pantry - I'm in a home-y mood these days :-)
- one of my high school best friends just gave birth to a cute little girl :-D
- Bf took me on a surprise trip to a bear sanctuary, where bears, wolves and raccoons may live out their lives free and happy. There are caves and lakes for the animals to enjoy, and we saw lots of bears swimming and soaking up the sun :-)
- discovering the joys of farmers' market. I remember when I was little I hated accompanying my mom, I found it terribly boring. But now that I myself cook and have my own place I enjoy it a lot!
- organizing and looking forward to board game night with our friends!
- soaking up the still warm sunshine while out walking;
- colourful pots for my plants, that I'll pepper around in the apartment to bring some colourful whimsy to our home :-)
Friday, 29 August 2014
The past two weeks have been very eventful: we moved houses, cleaned and washed, and although we unpacked a looot of boxes there are still so many things which don't have their own place yet. But for the time being I enjoy and love organizing stuff and making our apartment home-y :-)
So here are what made me happy the past week(s):
And what are your plans for this weekend?
Resting and relaxing or plenty of programs to keep you busy? :-)
Thursday, 28 August 2014
I don't know about you, but when I was a teen, I loved all those "Are you a Match?" and "How Compatible Are You?" kind of quizzes found in magazines (who am I kidding, even these days I can't resist them). So today's guest surprise made me smile a lot: please give a warm welcome to the lovely Christine Bell, who brings us a MatchMaking Quiz and tells you about what it has to do with her latest release, Dirty Deal, book #2 in her Perfectly Matched series. :-)
Dirty Deal, book 2 in my Perfectly Matched series, I thought it might be fun to do my own little matchmaking quiz.
My characters, Bryan and Serena, are total opposites. The only thing they have in common is that, in spite of the fact that Serena is a professional matchmaker, neither one of them wants a relationship right now. But the cool thing about love is that you never know when and where you’re going to find it. Sometimes it’s when you least expect it and with someone you never actually thought you’d wind up with. Like baking, it’s just pure chemistry. Mixing ingredients that seem like they have nothing in common, but once they meld and heat up, become the perfect dessert.
Check it out to see how my characters, Bryan and Serena, match up, and then take the test with your honey and see what your answers say about YOUR relationship! (click on the pic to enlarge it)
Christine Bell is the USA Today best-selling author of adult and new adult contemporary romance novels. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns, or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, and playing Texas Hold’em.
For book release information and exclusive excerpts, sign up for Christine’s mailing list here.
For book release information and exclusive excerpts, sign up for Christine’s mailing list here.
Dirty Deal by Christine Bell
Book #2 in the Perfectly Matched series
Professional matchmaker, Serena Elliott spends her workdays helping clients find love. It’s the perfect gig. She gets to see the good part of the relationships. She leads her own love life the same way. Get in, and get out before things get too complicated. One date with sexy army doctor, Bryan Metcalf, won’t be enough to make her change her mind, no matter how hot it gets…
Bryan has had his share of crazy women and isn’t in the market for another relationship that ends by way of restraining order. When Serena Elliott gets into a bidding war for him at a charity bachelor auction, he’s a little worried. Turns out she’s just as anti-relationship as he is, and could be the solution to all his problems. If he can convince her to be his fake girlfriend, he just might be able to spend the rest of his leave in peace. Now if only he can stop thinking about that night on the beach…
But there are other forces at work that believe these two belong together, and they just might find out that happily ever afters do exist.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Where I am the weather has suddenly turned chilly, it is clear that summer will soon be over and autumn will arrive in no time. So that means a heart-warming romance to be read under the blanket is in order (along with a cup of hot cocoa)! Well we're in luck, because today's guest is celebrating a new release and stopped by to tell us about it, and introduce us to her heroine. Please give a warm welcome to Jennifer Hayward, who will tell us a bit about Izzie, the heroine of Changing Constantinou’s Game!
This is so much fun to be here interviewing one my favourite heroines I’ve written thus far! Izzie, from Changing Constantinou’s Game, is special to me because she embodies so many of the hopes and insecurities we all have as women, yet when fate puts her in the path of the man of her dreams, she doesn’t shy away from the chance encounter like many of us have done – she goes for it! She’s the heroine I’d wished I’d been at that age.
To set the scene:
Isabel Peters, a community reporter for a Manhattan television station, is on the verge of a career breakthrough. Having lost the fifteen pounds that have plagued her self-confidence since childhood, she’s on a roll, turning in great stories that have the network execs noticing. Then comes the shocking phone call from her boss while she’s on vacation with her girlfriends in Tuscany. An anchor job has opened up at NYC-TV and the network execs want her to compete. She should be over the moon. This is her chance to prove the brainy, less spectacular daughter of Hollywood actress, Dayla St. Peters, can shine in the spotlight just like her supermodel sister. But after spending her whole life trying to live up to her mother’s expectations, there’s no greater opportunity for Izzie to crash and burn than this. She heads back to New York for the interview, diverting first to London to flush out an interview target for her boss. Simple enough? Until elevator-phobe Izzie gets stuck in an out-of-control lift -- with a man straight out of her fantasy playbook.
That man, of course, is Alexios Constantinou, who becomes the subject of the big story Izzie must land to earn the anchor job. Izzie might not regret her one-night-stand, but it’s making her life a big, fat mess.
So now that you have the scoop on Alex and Izzie, I’ll turn it over to Izzie:
What was your first impression of Alex?
Well, first of all, I didn’t know Alex was Alexios when we first met. When we got stuck in that elevator together, he told me his name was Leandros. You see Alex was a famous football quarterback whose career ended in a tragic injury. He’s rebuilt his life as a gaming software mogul, even more successful in his current career than he was as a football player. But he values his privacy above all else. The Leandros I met? Quite simply the most jaw droppingly hunky man I’d ever seen. At first I thought he was a complete snob who’d never be interested in a girl like me, but after he kept me sane in that elevator for hours, and I sensed the attraction between us? Wow was I in trouble. He was charismatic, worldly and had the most delicious dry sense of humor. And I started to want the impossible…
What really happened to you two that night in London?
Well after we got through our near death experience, I wasn’t allowed to be alone in case I’d suffered a concussion from hitting my head in the fall. I didn’t know anyone in London and Alex felt responsible for flattening me in the elevator so he insisted I stay at his penthouse that night. Crazy right? I guess I realized this was my chance to have a super hot fling with the man of my dreams, something I’d never ever done. To finally have the courage to go after what I wanted. So I asked him if he wanted to kiss me. And well… he did. And that’s all I’m going to say on the matter.
Where do you two go from here?
No where. We both agreed it was one night and one night only. So as amazing as that night in London was, it’s going to be just that – a really good memory and the beginning of me not living my life on the sidelines. I am mad at how he left me though, seriously annoyed. That just wasn’t right.
Many people think you’re too inexperienced to win this anchor job. What are your thoughts on this?
I definitely am more inexperienced than most of the reporters in this race. But I’m hoping my visibility in the community will help me. I also NEED to land this interview with Alex to show I can produce a sensational feature. Unfortunately, my boss doesn’t know I know Alex, Alex thinks I set him up that night in London and he pretty much hates me. So things aren’t looking good on that front.
How are you going to convince Alex to do the interview?
I’m going to appeal to his reasonable side. We can help him save his company’s reputation if he gives us the story on what really happened with the end of his football career. But if he’s difficult then I’ll simply have to play hard ball. We do have the man who wants to ruin him ready to go on camera…
Sounds like you have your hands full… Good luck with that!
Why don’t we have some fun to close this off:
If you were a flavour of ice cream, which would it be?
I would like to be something exotic like Crème Brule but I’m afraid I’m more along the lines of French Vanilla
Favourite Movie – Crazy Stupid Love – although I have to say as cute as Ryan Gosling is, I prefer tall, dark and handsome – eg: Alex
Favourite Book – Anything Stephanie Plum
Biggest Pet Peeve – People in the subway who slam the door in your face
Biggest Guilty Pleasure – Those oozy, amazing cinnamon rolls you see in the subway that’ll put ten pounds on your hips just looking at them
If you had one wish to be granted by a Fairy Godmother – I’d feed the world. Wow wouldn’t that be awesome?
One kiss couldn't hurt, could it?Alexios Constantinou is notorious for his lethal charm, so when the exquisite Isabel Peters is—literally—dropped into his lap during a hellish elevator ride, he doesn't waste the opportunity! With tensions sky-high after their near-death experience, an insatiable desire ignites between them, and all bets are off.But when Alex discovers that reporter Isabel's next story is him, he's furious…yet determined to use it to his advantage. He's calling the shots, but the closer Isabel gets, the closer she comes to discovering his carefully concealed secret. Now, with everything at stake, he'll need a whole new game plan….
Changing Constantinou’s Game - ExcerptIzzie focused on forking the small amount of food she thought she could consume into her mouth at the small candlelit table Alex had set on the terrace. The herbed pasta was delicious, but it was hard to eat when her heart was still pounding and her hands trembling so much negotiating a fork seemed like a new and highly complex activity. And why wouldn't it when she had literally jumped into the deep end and invited the most spectacularly good looking man she'd ever met to kiss her--and he had! Not to mention the fact that the kiss had been the most incredible of her life and all she could think about was experiencing more of the bone-meltingly delicious heat that had coursed through her veins. It was like every nerve ending in her body had been switched on for the first time and she wasn't sure whether to revel in it or be completely terrified of what she was feeling.She swallowed hard, forced down the food. The fact that she'd been right--that Alex was attracted to her--made her head feel like it was going to blow off. Maybe Jo was right. Maybe it had been her defensive attitude that had turned men off in the past and not the fifteen extra pounds she'd been carrying. Which had always been her excuse.She took another sip of the rich, full Cabernet that was going a long way to mellowing her out. But the wine didn't seem to be having the same effect on Alex who'd glowered at her throughout the entire meal-as if she'd committed a crime rather than simply kissed him.She risked a quick glance at him. He was still watching her with that same, implacable frown on his face, that penetrating blue gaze of his impossible to read. And it occurred to her she hadn't fully thought through her plan. She had the mind numbing confirmation he was attracted to her...the question now was what was she going to do about it?Her heart pounding in her chest, she set her fork down with an abrupt movement, and the sound of metal clattering against fine china echoed in the still night air.He gave her half-empty plate a narrowed glance. "That's all you're going to eat?""It was delicious, thank you. I think that's about all I can handle.'"All right." He laid his fork down with a deliberate movement and pushed his plate away. "Let's talk about what happened."Gladly. She took another sip of her wine to fortify herself and set the glass down."That kiss shouldn't have happened."She was ready for that one. "Why not?"I'm much more experienced than you, Isabel. I'm not interested in relationships, in fact mine never last longer than a few months, and the women I date are well aware of that.""So?"He did a double take at the belligerent note in her voice. "You're also probably still in shock from what happened today.""I'm absolutely fine," she countered. "In fact I feel like I have more clarity right now than I've ever had in my life."He sat back in his chair, his gaze on her face. "What kind of clarity?"She twisted the stem of her wine glass on the table, watching the blood red liquid shimmer in the candlelight. "That was my worst fear today. Facing it-getting through it-" she paused, looking up at him, "--it's made me realize how much of my life I've lived in fear...how many times I've not gone after what I wanted because I was afraid I wouldn't get it or it would explode in my face."He gave a wary nod. "That's a good realization."She shook her head. "I'm not looking for a relationship, Alex." A husky laugh escaped her. "In fact, that's the last thing I need right now."His eyes narrowed. "Then what are you looking for?""I don't want to live with any more regrets."He shook his head, a wry smile curving his lips. "You're twenty-five, Isabel. How many regrets can you have?"She took a deep breath, meeting his gaze head-on. "I will regret it if I walk away from tonight without exploring the attraction that's between us."A muscle jumped in his jaw. He sat there completely silent, staring at her. "I'm not sure you know what you're doing."She shook her head. "I know exactly what I'm doing."A long moment passed, it might have been four, five seconds, she wasn't sure. All she knew was that she was holding her breath, sure at one point he was going to reject her. The warm night air pressed so heavily against her lungs she thought they would burst. And then something shifted, morphed on the air between them. And she got her answer in the darkening of his eyes.
Jennifer Hayward has been a fan of romance since filching her sister’s novels to escape her teenaged angst.
Her career in journalism and PR, including years of working alongside powerful, charismatic CEOs and traveling the world, has provided perfect fodder for the fast-paced, sexy stories she likes to write, always with a touch of humour. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books and sign up for her newsletter at her website. Or you can find her on twitter and facebook.
Jennifer has generously offered a paperback copy of Changing Constantinou’s Game to a lucky winner!
All you have to do is leave a comment and answer one of Jennifer's questions from the interview above.
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 10 September 2014!
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
You all know what a big fan of Robin Bielman's I am. I just love how heartwarming, romantic and feel-good her books are, they always make me smile and sigh with happiness. So I couldn't be happier to let you know that she has a brand new release coming out: Keeping Mr. Right Now! Already the title sounds cute and fun, and as I couldn't resist temptation and started reading it, and even though I just wanted to read the first chapter I couldn't stop and am now almost at half of the book you can bet Robin Bielman once again managed to enchant me and I got sucked into the story right along with Sophie and Zane. *sighs* So sorry, gotta go back to reading and seeing what happens with these two. So read on to get a first glimpse of the story and the chemistry between the h/H and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end! ;-)
Keeping Mr. Right Now by Robin Bielman
Book #1 in the Kisses in the Sand series
A temporary agreement neither could keep…
Brainy, organized Sophie Birch is no beach bunny. In fact, she’s totally out of her element among the sun-bronzed crowd at a film festival in beautiful White Strand Cove. When a surf lesson introduces her to Zane Hollander, suddenly she's up close and personal with the world's sexiest surf star. But what can a great-looking, experienced athlete possibly see in a klutzy out-of-towner who’s never set foot in the ocean?
Zane Hollander's playboy reputation has never been a problem…until recently. Now his management team wants him on his best behavior to entice a meaningful new sponsor. Sophie Birch is the perfect girl to help reform his image. She's genuine and respected—and their relationship is purely fictional. But the more Sophie blooms under the beachy sun, the more Zane knows he'll just break her heart. Because nothing's more important to Zane than following the tide.
“Hey. Sorry about losing you.”
“You didn’t lose me. I left.”
That she did. “Can I come in?”
She hesitated a moment. “Uh, sure.” She stepped aside and he entered the large room with an ocean view. The sliding French door was open, and the gravitational pull of the beach led him to the patio.
“Nice view,” he said over his shoulder.
“It really is. This is the nicest place I’ve ever stayed at. Not that I’ve stayed in very many places.” She came up beside him, and her cinnamon sugar scent teased him.
He wanted to taste her. Eat her up. “Is this your first time seeing the ocean, too?”
“Yes,” she whispered like she was embarrassed about it. “And I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that before our lesson the other day.”
“No apology necessary. I’m pretty impressed you did what you did.”
“Really?” Delight wiped out her shame, coaxing big-ass smiles out of them both.
“You’re a lot tougher than you look.” He turned his head toward the ocean, afraid that if he looked only at her, he’d do something stupid. Bikini-clad women dotted the beach, but not one sparked his interest like the woman next to him. Especially now that pink colored her cheeks. He wanted to take her full bottom lip between his teeth, kiss her, slip his tongue inside her mouth, and once he’d had his fill, lick his way down her body until—
“What about you?” She curled up on one of the cushioned patio chairs.
“What about me?” He took the other seat, stretching his legs out and situating himself for an easy view of the beach through the iron slats of the patio railing.
“How would people describe you?”
Her question drew his undivided attention. “Depends on who you ask.” He smirked. “Women and men have very different opinions of me.” The sun glittered off her auburn hair, casting a radiant halo. “All good, mind you.”
She rolled her eyes. “Do you ever get tired of it?”
“The fame. Being recognized everywhere you go. Having to always wear a certain image.”
His heart beat a little faster. The image he shared with the world was far from the guy his family and close friends knew. He got the feeling from Sophie’s warm, interested eyes that she really wanted to know what made him tick. In his world, women only wanted to know how to get in his board shorts, so it took him a minute to process her curiosity.
And damn if it didn’t bother him that she apparently didn’t want in his pants.
USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and one crazy-cute dog who loves to chew on everyone’s socks. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, eat cupcakes, and dip her toes in the ocean. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.
She loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://robinbielman.com.
Places to find Robin Bielman:
Robin is holding a tour wide giveaway! For a chance to win
• a Beach Lover’s Gift Bag – with a Beach Rules journal, DVD of the surf movie, Chasing Mavericks, lip balm, a beach ball, signed copy of Kissing the Maid of Honor, tiny Life's a Beach book and an I've Been Zaned t-shirt.
• a $20 Gift Card (Winner’s choice)
just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And get an extra scene!!
Purchase Keeping Mr. Right Now by Robin Bielman from August 18th - September 7th and you'll receive the full Red-Hot "Morning After" scene from the hero's point of view.
This content isn't in the book and is Robin's way of saying thanks to all you awesome readers for your support. This bonus scenes takes place in the bedroom and is steamy, so be ready to get a peek inside Zane's R-rated thoughts.
All you have to do to have this special scene delivered to your inbox on September 8th is send an email to robinbielmanextras @ gmail.com with your proof of purchase. Easy peasy! Enjoy! :-)
Friday, 15 August 2014
Sorry for the disappearing act lots of news and happenings took place behind the scenes which are the cause for my long silence and disappearance: we have been apartment hunting all my free time after work and after we finally found The One (2 days after I had a minor meltdown that after 3 months of intense flat hunting still no results)! So since then we have been packing and planning how and when to execute the move. So it's still ongoing, we'll take over the final boxes and stuffs tomorrow and we'll finally move there this weekend! :-D So once things settle down posts will be more frequent and regular and I'll get back to reading. Thanks so much for sticking around and your patience, I miss blogging and interacting with you, so fingers crossed they will install the net quickly ;-)
And here are the things I love this week:
- finally finding the apartment I can picture us living, me cooking/baking in the huge sunlit kitchen while Boyfriend is playing in the living room :-)
- moving in with Boyfriend :-D
- buying lovely homey stuff: beautiful ceramic pans and pots and bowls and dishes, can't wait to finally test out my kitchen! :-))
- browsing Ikea and home decor, kitchenware aisles at the stores ;-)
- choosing bedclothes and towels :-)
- my birthday is approaching, it will be next Wednesday;
- my lil sis handed in her final thesis, so proud of her!
- funny, my middle sister will move in her new house with her fiancé next week as well, seems it's a moving week for our family :-)
- chilly minty watermelon soup, so refreshing in the hot August days;
- having Boyfriend confess to me, that on the list he made of all his crushes/girlfriends/lovers, etc. and what they meant to him (fun, flirt, etc.) next to my name he put "Everything" in capitals. *sighs* *melts*
So what do you have planned for this weekend?
Me, I'll be hauling boxes and unpacking, yay! ;-P LOL