Let’s face it. The news has not been good. I wish to be clear on my politics:

  • The news makes me cry. Just about every day now it seems.
  • I support our brave police forces. They lay their lives on the line every day. I thank them and salute them.
  • I believe black lives matter- yes, they all matter, but if I’m a mother of a black child… I’m a little more nervous. And rightly so.
  • I want to be informed, but the information I glean hurts.

This past weekend my sweetie and I went to a wedding. It was the marriage of two people I’d never met. The groom works with my boy. I like the groom. I like the bride. It was a delightful gathering with fun people. We danced. I adore dancing.

Before we go any further… I have to say… these are LOVELY people. I mean really, lovely. And I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, Heather and Brent, for reminding me of what humanity’s greatest defense against hate, intolerance, and flat-out idiocy has always been…

LOVE. KINDNESS. COMPASSION.

Every day people living every day lives… opening a door, giving a hug, smiling while making eye-contact. We survive because of a shared warmth, a community, and desire to better ourselves.

Heather and Brent- As your song, your first dance played, I immediately teared up. I had not yet met you, but I felt a profound connection with you. And that’s our shared connection… that’s humanity. And that is why we’ll get better, we’ll do better. The news has been dark before but we have survived, even thrived. We will do so again… so long as we have someone to Lava

Go… Hug someone…I mean it! Go….listen and find someone to Lava.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh4dTLJ9q9o

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

I’m thrilled to introduce you all to the fabulous Abbey MacMunn! Abbey is a fellow author at my publishing house, Tirgearr Press. Her first novel, Touched, a paranormal romance. was released July 13th, 2016. Coincidentally we both stumbled on to our publication deals the same way- through a Twitter Pitch contest!

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When inquisitive antique dealer Cami Wilson learns she’s the revered offspring of an immortal mother and a mortal father, it’s not just her hybrid status that has her all flustered. The title comes with her very own super-sexy guardian.
Jaded immortal Joseph Carlisle has only one thing on his mind; his sworn duty to protect the hybrid from those who wish her harm. Anything else would be complicated. That is until they meet.
Chemistry sizzles between them but there’s a problem—the hybrid’s curse. Cami’s touch, skin to skin, proves near fatal to her and all immortals, Joseph included.
But the fated lovers discover her curse is the least of their concerns when a friend’s deadly betrayal threatens to tear them apart forever.

 

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Abbey has been gracious enough to do an interview with me about her, her thoughts on writing, and a bit about her new release, Touched. Welcome, Abbey!!!

Thanks you, Erika, for having me on your blog today – it’s great to be here.

1.) Easy stuff first- tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you begin writing? I only began writing four years ago when I packed my last child off to school. I have four kids, so a little free time to myself was very welcome! What fills your life and lights up your days? My family.
2.) Can you tell us a bit about your publishing process? When I first started writing, I wasn’t sure what genre I wanted to write. I tried short stories and children’s books before I realized that most of my stories had romance in them – except the children’s books of course. The best thing I ever did was join the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme – they’ve been incredibly supportive.
3.) Have you published anything with other publishers than Tirgearr? One of my short stories, the first one I wrote, was runner up in a sci fi short story competition. Sadly, the promised prize of publication never materialized.
4.) What were the benefits and challenges that you found along your journey? Benefits: Learning new things every day. Challenges: Balancing family life with needing quiet time to write.
And do you have any words of advice for your fellow writers- things to do? I would say join a writing group and get you work critiqued even if you don’t think it’s ready. Develop a thick skin, take the good comments with the bad, and learn from them. Pitfalls to avoid? If you’re an aspiring writer I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but don’t make the mistake of submitting your work too soon.
5.) Where do you live? I live in Hampshire, UK.  What do you think of the area for authors? My area has a few local writers’ groups but I’ve never been brave enough to join them!
6.) Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight into the computer? When I have a new story in mind, and if I’m at home, I write the main characters’ traits, the plot outline, snippets of conversation, or scene descriptions on notepads. If I’m out, I type it into my phone, and then, by the power of modern technology, my notes appear on my laptop.
7.) Where do you find your sources of inspiration? Films, books, eavesdropping on conversations, meeting new people—inspiration comes from all sort of places, but I have a vivid imagination so most of my stories pop into my head without any help at all.
Does your muse vary from project to project or do you find the well-spring is fairly consistent? I’ve been lucky so far that it’s been consistent.
8.) Have you learned anything from your readers? Or had a response that especially touched you? My first five-star review will stay with me forever. “I flew through the pages and finished reading it in one day. The story is fast-paced with lots of twists and turns. If paranormal romance is your genre, then you should absolutely read TOUCHED.”

9.) If you could be a fairy godmother for one night- what three people would you visit and what would you bestow upon them? First, I would visit my younger self to give myself the willpower to resist chocolate! Second, I would visit my husband and tell him not to marry me – just kidding! He puts up with a lot! And thirdly, more seriously, I would visit my kids and bestow upon them a long, healthy, happy life.
10.) Can we ask what projects you have currently in the works? I’m working on the follow on to TOUCHED, the second book in the Immortal Ties series, a contemporary erotic romance, and I’d like to finish a sci fi romance that I’ve been working on for a long time.

Where can readers find you, both virtually and in the 3D world? I love to connect with readers, so you can find me on Twitter or Facebook most days, and there’s my website, too.

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Goodreads

Abbey MacMunn writes paranormal, fantasy and sci fi romance. She lives in Hampshire, UK with her husband and their four children. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
When she’s not writing, she likes to watch films and TV shows – anything from rom-coms to superheroes to science fiction movies.

To purchase Touched on any of your eReaders please see:

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

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Hi folks! This week I’ll be promoting, talking and generally sharing all things The Dragon in The Garden on my blog tour with Goddess Fish. Here’s a schedule of where I’ll be all week.

July 11: It’s Raining Books
July 12: Long and Short Reviews
July 13: Kit ‘N Kabookle
July 14: HarmonyKent
July 15: The Avid Reader
July 15: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – review only

I hope you enjoy these fun posts all about Dragon and even a bit about me. You can also enter to receive a free copy of the book! However, in honor of the Tour I’ve discounted the book on Amazon to just 0.99 ALL WEEK so you should probably just buy it! Enjoy your fun summer reading!

 

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

Dragons rock coffee’s ass. Seriously. No, really, hear me out. I’m embarking on a blog tour with the fabulous Goddess Fish Productions. So this is important. The reason being for the duration of the tour YOU can purchase my novel on Amazon for 0.99. You can’t get coffee that cheap. True story.

Please see the reviews and then purchase the adventure your summer is begging for🙂

I don’t mark my book down very often, I think that this is the third time since it was released in February. You put something on sale too often and the whole “sale” thing loses its mojo. That said, it’s on sale this whole week! And it’s sooooooo better than a cup of coffee!!!

Here’s why…

1.) Flaming dragon breath- gives everything that longed for grilled taste. Not mention, so handy on chilly evenings,

2.) Coffee gives you bad breath! According to my fellow author, Wendy Spinale, one does not need a mint after spending time with a dragon. The same cannot be said about our clever little java cups of “joy.”

3.) You always hear it, coffee makes you jittery.

4.) Okay, dragons may make you jittery, too. Fair enough. But not MY DRAGONS. They are the champions of mankind. In this book that’s all you know… but in books two and three we see WHY dragons champion mankind… could we be… related? I know… one’s a mammal, one’s a lizard, but we’re talking about more than meets the eye. Never judge a hero by their cover.

5.) Kids love Dragons. Hello? Did no one listen to Puff The Magic Dragon?

 

6.) Coffee involves child labor. Fairly certain that’s illegal in the land of Honnah Lee

http://www.foodispower.org/coffee/

That’s… icky. And I’m NOT making light of child labor- not EVER. I am just saying though. Dragons are better. No child labor. Promise.

7.) Dragons are shiny. Shiny is better. Ohh, squirrel!

8.) Now, coffee? Coffee is not shiny.

9.) You never need to “grind” a dragon.  In fact, I strenuously advocate against it. That said, you do need to grind coffee. So much work.

10.) Everyone is trying to go green. Coffee is not green. Daisy from The Dragon in The Garden IS green.  Soooo eco-friendly! See picture for proof.

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Note- GREEN Dragon.

Mic drop. BOOM!

Please check out The Dragon in The Garden

Sooooo… that happened.

 

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 This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

 

Happy Wednesday!

So, a bit by way of explanation. The prevailing internet logic regarding blogs is that one should focus subject matter, thereby establishing a stronger fan base sooner. For example one will peruse the web and find fashion blogs, book review blogs, music, sports. political, movies, you pick a topic. I get the wisdom there, I really do. It’s just not something I’ve been able to achieve, or for that matter, even aspire to. There’s too much fun stuff out there.

That’s why you’ll find this blog to be… eclectic, changeable, down right flighty at times. I am fairly consistent with the Musical Mondays and the Wine on Wednesdays, but I do author interviews, political rants, restaurant reviews, and odes to bacon or chocolate… sometimes both. The odd short story has also been published on this site.

Why do I bring all this up when, clearly, you’re waiting to hear about wine? Simple. This little column takes some of my favorite things puts them together in one fabulous evening. Sort of like one of my favorite lines from the sit-com Friends. Joey is asked, “Joey, if you had to choose between homemade jam in one hand and a naked girl in the other, what do you pick?” Joey nodded sagely. “Put your hands together, my friend,” he said. I paraphrase, of course.

So on April 2nd I went with two dear friends, Monica and Michelle, to see the band Y & T with opening act Don Dokken at San Francisco’s historic Fillmore. Back in the day when we went to concerts we’d grab a bite at some fast food place and drink a beer in the parking lot. These days our tastes have gotten a tad pricier. (I’m okay with it.)IMG_3142

On this evening we went to  Izakaya Kou at Geary and FIllmore in SF. It has the notable serendipitous combining attributes of being a half block from a well-lit parking garage, fifty yards from the Fillmore, and serves amazing Japanese small plates.  Does it get any better than that? Yes, yes, it does. They serve good wine. Many Japanese restaurants sort of skip that part of the experience in favor of beer and sake. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t light up my evening.

Seeing as we were doing Asian- a white seemed indicated. Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings both pair well with a wide variety of flavor profiles so we ordered the 2014 Domaine de la Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc out of Loire, France. While I am a California wine girl at heart, let me just say, it’s good to visit other locales. Now this lit up our evening.

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The wine has the usual citrus acidity that one expects from a Sauvignon Blanc but also brings green apple to the table. It’s crisp, layered, with a great finish, and accessible. (Followers of this blog will understand that it is a “gateway” wine- perfect for someone just becoming acquainted with wine drinking.) And it only gets better with food.

The very interesting thing about the Sancerre is a note I don’t detect very often. (I can lay claim to loving wine, but I am far from an expert.) That lack may be more due to my palate’s limitations and not the wines I’ve tried. Remember, it’s all a matter of taste. The note in question is one of minerals.

Minerals? Really?

Really. Minerality is a funny thing to define. Let’s start with what it is NOT. It is not floral, fruity, spicy, or herbal. It CAN be detected in aroma, taste or both. It takes on different forms: chalky, sandy,  even gravely. One online description I read likened the smell to wet concrete, not exactly, but approaching that sense. It’s that earthy almost intangible taste called umami. Mushrooms have, many Asian dishes have it. It’s not sweet, bitter, sour or salty. Umami is the fifth taste.

Why are mineral notes something one even wants in a wine? They provide a complexity, a rounding of flavors that is extremely pleasing. Sort of like how a back rub is lovely, but add a little oil and you’re really happy. Or the finishing salt on an exquisitely prepared meal. Everything is heightened. Fittingly, our Sancerre with mineral notes paired perfectly with the Japanese cuisine.

Of course, wine is like heavy metal- it’s not for everyone.

You can purchase your own Sancerre online- it’s around $22-25 a bottle depending upon the site. Try Wine.com, Wine-searcher, or Garyswine.com (which currently has the wine on sale for $19.99 a bottle). ENJOY!

 

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

 

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