Second Chances Series Blog Tour

Second Chances Series Blog Tour Banner

 

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StartingOver_Amazon**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual content.

Bellamy Carmichael’s finally come home after staying away for six years. There’s just one problem, Luke Carter…

Six years ago she seduced him, but a realization had him turning his back on her and became the cause of her long exodus. But with her brother’s imminent deployment Bellamy knows she’s bound to see him.

Luke Carter made the mistake of crossing a line he never should’ve crossed six years ago…

He knows he’s the reason why Bellamy avoids home, and with her coming back home he’s hoping to make things right. He just wasn’t expecting her to look so damn beautiful.

However, there’s one more problem, Bellamy’s been keeping a secret from Luke for past six years. When passion builds between them she knows that she must tell Luke the truth, but will it bring them closer together?

Or will it drive them apart for good?

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SecondChances_Amazon

Stacy Hutchins thought she’d finally met the one, until a startling realization that shatters everything…

Mark Jefferson, her undercover DEA agent boyfriend lied about one tiny little detail…his wife and kids. Stacy hates liars and cheaters so she kicks him to the curb. But Mark makes it very clear he will not go willingly.

Has his obsession with Stacy tied them together forever? Or will Mark finally walk away?

Dustin Carmichael swore off women a long time ago, until his sister reconnected with her best friend from high school, Stacy.

But after a perfect month together, a year ago, Stacy played the ‘friends’ card. Unfortunately, they’ve been good friends ever since.

When Stacy life turns to shambles, Dustin’s more then willing to be there for her. As she tries to get herself together, Stacy finds herself in another dilemma, she can no longer deny the feelings she’s always had for Dustin.

Will her failure to see that Dustin has changed stop them from having something everlasting?

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About Evan Grace

A Midwesterner and self-proclaimed nerd, Evan has been an avid reader most of her life, but five years ago got bit by the writing bug, and it quickly became her addiction, passion and therapy.  When the voices in her head give it a rest, she can always be found with her e-reader in her hand.  Some of her favorites include, Shayla Black, Jaci Burton, Madeline Sheehan and Jamie McGuire.  Evan finds a lot of her inspiration in music, so if you see her wearing her headphones you know she means business and is in the zone.

During the day Evan works for a large homecare agency and at night she’s superwoman.  She’s a wife to Jim and a mom to Ethan and Evan, a cook, a tutor, a friend and a writer.  How does she do it?  She’ll never tell.

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Free Wedding Invitation Samples

One of the first things to chose and complete for a wedding (besides picking a date and such) would be the invitations or save the dates.

Here is a list of places that will send you free samples!

That means NO  CHARGE at all- not even a processing or shipping fee (that’s where they usually get ya’).

Mine took anywhere from 4 days to almost two weeks to arrive in the mail.

David’s Bridal

Ann’s Bridal Bargains

Minted Weddings

Vistaprint

Paper Muses

Elli’s
code> 3FREE

Love vs. Design
code> SAMPLES

Wedding Paparie

I will keep adding them as I find more!

Planning Sunni’s Wedding- actually PLANNING

In the beginning of this endeavor, I saw it all as fun and games.

“I like this. This would be cute. We could totally do this. I love these colors. I love these colors even more.”

After diving into my first task of invites, I see that I need to be more strategic in my planning. That is when I did a little research and found this nifty guide:

planner

 

Using this, I made myself a clear list to begin with. These are research topics and questions for the bride:

Vendors:

  • Photographer
  • Catering
  • Flowers
  • Reception Area
  • Music
  • Decor
  • Cake

Some of these may be simple since this is a cruise wedding and they aim to make that easier. However, I cannot neglect the fact that all of these topics need tended to.

A few pieces of collateral that I need to create include the following:

  • Favors
  • Itinerary
  • “Just Married” sign
  • “Reserved Table” signs

I anticipate this to go over more successfully now that I have organized my thoughts and tasks.

I will make a phone call to the bride tomorrow to discuss a few things. I also feel emailing her will be helpful for her to respond to with our busy lives and the answers that involve more research.

Planning Sunni’s Wedding- Invitations Part 1

My dearest friend Sunni is getting married after a long three-ish year engagement. Being her maid of honor, and one and only bridesmaid, I have taken on the task of wedding coordinator.

She has made it easier for me by doing a cruise wedding, but it is still a lot more than I had prepared for. I need to be very organized. I feel bad for her wedding to be a “trial run,” but this learning experience with definitely help me in the future.

To start, we need to mail out invitations. I found many cute ones of Pinterest. That was the easy part. The hard part- actually getting them. A learning curve in this is to mold my work to someone else’s taste. When looking for invitations, I tended to favor more frilly, loopy, ribbon enhanced and delicate invitations, like these:

Screen Shot 2013-12-26 at 9.40.42 PM

Sunni, on the other hand, wanted something a little more fun and unique to her style of wedding. After a few attempts to please my bride (yes, I called her MY bride), I created this:

Sunni's Invites

This was pretty much copied from a DIY Pinterest post I had found earlier. I found a website to make it, but after seeing the pricing, I wasn’t sure it was worth it. To receive the proper WxH ratio, with the curved edges to make it look nicer, it was $2.20/invitation including a plain white envelope. The size of these were pretty big. 4.5 x 9.25. THAT’S HUGE.

I rationalized some of the invitations to determine the most cost efficient without sacrificing quality.

I know! I can get the smaller size for 50 cents less, then cut the excess from the top and bottom. Then I would be cutting the rounded corners. Making my own would be risky- G.H.E.T.T.O.

That’s when, after searching Amazon for about 30 mins, I found and ordered this:
Screen Shot 2013-12-26 at 9.49.03 PM
Problem solved.

Well, what about the plain white envelopes? That’s no fun. This needs to stand out.

I found a good deal for 100 blue envelopes on Amazon Prime, $8. So I will just replace the envelopes.

I am looking at my mock up of the invitations, with all of my fixes in mind, and I start to wonder if these have a “tear” line where the dashes are, or if it’s just paper. It would look more realistic with a tear line.

If it doesn’t, I can use a roller blade with perforated edges and make my own.

So what’s the point in ordering these to begin with??? 

I made my mock of the invite on word, grouping the text and image boxes, and saving as a PNG. I then inserted the picture three times to a page.

I visited Office Depot to get these printed nicely, but for some reason, it is all coming up very blurry. I have done nearly the exact thing for marketing and promotional material, and the color matching and clarity has never been so poor.

I have in the back of my mind a few reasons this could be.

Maybe it can’t be converted to an image. Leaving it as a .docx would produce the clear font I am looking for. Maybe it is knowledge of service. When I ask the employees for the best printing quality possible, they just don’t know what to do. Maybe it is the quality of printer. That I would have better luck elsewhere.

I attempted the print on my home computer, knowing it would be better on a better printer, but I still need to see how it’s turning out.

The letters are clear but the color is off. These are at the HP Photosmart  settings of:

  • Paper Quality/Type: Plain Paper, Best
  • Vendor Color Matching

I plan to try Office Max tomorrow to see if these will turn out. If not, I am worried we will have to resort to ordering them and not getting the extra touches like round corners, specific colors and tear lines.

Blog Tour- Consumed by Skyla Madi

As a part of my new position at Limitless Publishing, I set up blog tours for authors/books. At first, I had no idea what a blog tour was. After some research through Google, Blogger and WordPress, I got the idea. For these tours, I had to:

  • Contact Bloggers to host (contacted over 125)
  • Schedule blogs/day
  • Contact a graphic designer for banners
  • Create a “Blog Tour” page on the Limitless Publishing website
  • Insert banners into the website homepage and link to the Blog Tour page
  • Set up a page of information for blogger
  • Create and send a questionnaire to authors
  • Compile information
  • HTML code the information for bloggers
  • Send to bloggers

Here is an example of my first blog tour:

Consumed Banner

Consumed by Skyla Madi

Consumed_cover

Title: Consumed

Series: None

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC

Publication Date: September 16, 2013

Author: Skyla Madi

Synopsis:

 

Olivia James has never been one to walk on the wild side, at least not until she meets Seth Marc—a cocky, sexy fighter at her father’s gym. He’s infuriating, nauseatingly addictive and she just can’t seem to shake him. He’s only been in town a short while and his name is already on everyone’s lips. He’s the kind of guy moms’ warn their daughters about—the kind that leaves a trail of shattered hearts behind him and he has Olivia in his sights.

Olivia has never met anyone as confusing as Seth and his hot and cold attitude constantly sends her reeling. She’s never wanted anyone’s touch so badly in her life, but having recently come out of a long term relationship diving into another is something she’d prefer to avoid.

Determined for his touch, but not to let him under her skin, Olivia embarks on the most thrilling ride of her life

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17907550-consumed

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Consumed-ebook/dp/B00F3PX8PG

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Skyla Madi- Headshot

Facebookwww.facebook.com/SkylaMadi

Twitterwww.twitter.com/Skyla_Madi 

 Goodreadswww.goodreads.com/SkylaMadi 

Website: www.skylamadi.com

Skyla Madi was born in the small town of Port Maquarie, New South Wales in

1993. She spent half her life growing up in Wauchope, a thriving rural town at the heart

of the Hastings River Valley before making the leap to the busy city of Brisbane.

Whenever this young Australian writer isn’t changing diapers, watching cartoons, cooking for her husband or doing other motherly-wife things she is actively working on her writing and improving her writing skills.

Skyla loves to read just as much as she loves to write and since discovering that YA/paranormal romance/urban fantasy/ are her favourite genres, she has embarked on her own writing journey and is currently working on a YA series titled ‘Your Guardian Angel’.

 Interview

Do you see writing as a career?  – Absolutely. One day, I hope it’s all I do.

 Who or what is your inspiration?John Marsden. I will forever give his name whenever asked this question. He is the reason I started reading and eventually started writing. I like music also—all kinds of music. Usually, I can’t write unless there is music.

 Do you have any pets?  – I do, I have a very large dog named Bane. He is out of control, too excited and absolutely adorable. I also have a cat named Minnie who sleeps, eats and annoys me. When I think about it, she’s a lot like my husband.😉

 Early bird or night owl? Night owl, definitely. I refuse to get out of bed before 8 a.m. and if I’m woken before then, God help you. 

 Any tips for new writers?Just write. Write whatever comes to your head and sort out the rest later.

 If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? –  I’d be a sneaker, purely because they’re casual and comfortable. I’m a very casual/relaxed person who doesn’t really need much maintenance.

 If you could live in any movie, which would it be?Wow, this is a very difficult question… I love so many movies. I have to go with the most recent movie I’ve seen—The Great Gatsby. I love the dresses, the glamour, the parties and the cars. I love that era in general and would love to be a part of it.

 Guilty Pleasure? – Trashy romance novels, Cherry Ripes, Tom Hardy movies and any movie with Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill and James Franco. I love those guys.

 Are there scenes or people in your book that you took from your real life? Yes, I use real life people and scenes a lot. Here in Australia we have so many interesting people walking around and it’s so hard to ignore them. Most of the time, I can’t and I file it to the back of mind and use it later.

 If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to see play your characters? – I did base ‘Seth Marc’ from Consumed around Tom Hardy’s Warrior in the beginning (as everyone knows, I’m a huge Tom Hardy fan) but as the book progressed I realized Tom Hardy was too dark, not boyish enough for Seth so I changed him to Bernardo Velasco. He is a perfect Seth! And for Olivia, I had to choose Ashley Greene. I don’t know what it is about her, but I saw her and I was like YES! Perfect!

 Do you use a playlist while you write and what is on it? I always have my music on when I write. Always. I try to create playlists to the mood of the scene I’m writing. For Consumed, my playlist was: Army of Two – Olly Murs, Payphone – Maroon 5, We Own It – Wiz Khalifa, Wonderwall – Oasis, Bezerk – Eminem, Resolution – Matt Corby, Miss Jackson – Panic! At the Disco, Parachute, Timomatic, Sail, Awolnation and Fast Lane – Eminem… there’s more, but I can’t remember.

 Which character in your book would you most like to hang out with? Seth… for obvious reasons, ha! No, if I had to choose a girl from my book it’d have to be… I don’t know. It’s really difficult to choose because both Selena and Olivia represent the two sides to my personality. On one hand, I’m like Selena and I want to let loose and party and be care free, but on the other hand, I don’t like being in the spotlight or surrounded by people, and I prefer to be in the solitude of my own home… Hmm, I’m going to go with Olivia.

 Most embarrassing moment of yours and/or what would your favorite character do if they witnessed it? Most embarrassing moment for me would be when I was younger (about 14/15) I was walking to school with my best friend and she dropped behind me to tie her laces. When she was finished she started laughing so hard and I couldn’t understand why. Anyway, it turned out I had a massive rip in my pants that I hadn’t even realized. It was too late for me to turn around and go home so I went to school and a teacher had sewed it for me—the completely wrong color—and I had to spend the day with navy shorts with a bright blue patch right across the bottom.

 In a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice? That depends if they’re fast zombies or slow zombies… Slow zombies, I’d go with a common aluminum baseball bat.  Bats are easy to carry and they don’t need that much upkeep. For fast zombies? It wouldn’t matter. I’d probably shoot myself in the head before I even saw a zombie, haha!

15.  Are you working on anything new? How is it going? I’m working on a few things. Consumed #2, a new Contemporary Romance titled: Young and Reckless, a New Adult Dystopian Romance titled: The Unfortunates and the fourth book in my Guardian Angel series titled: Oblivion.

Pick your favorite:

Apple or Droid – Droid.

Chocolate or Vanilla – Chocolate.

Comedy or Drama – Comedy.

Call or Text – Text.

Public School or Home School – Public School.

Coffee or Tea – Tea.

Ebook or paperback – Paperback.

Online or in person shopping? – In person.

Honolulu Night Market

After a successful interview for an internship, I was asked to attend the monthly Honolulu Night Market to interview a performing band. It was located in the side streets of Honolulu where many businesses already stood.

Zach and I arrived at the market and took a bit of the scenery in before meeting with my editor. The market consisted of food, art, music and fashion.

Local artists were selling their paintings, bands were consistently playing, and there was a whole strip of various food trucks.

Honolulu Crepes had a little stand at the entrance. This line was always full as one single man handmade every ordered crepe right in front of the customer’s eyes.

There was a small soccer game, referees and all, going on in the nook of an apartment building.

Artists had their paintings up on display. I was checking out each one to find the perfect art that could benefit from the ad space I am selling for Revue magazine.

And two talented little boys, maybe 8 and 10, were singing cover music on stage.

Finally, my interview came. The White Jacket is a local band that was started by two men who came over from Ohio. Now, the six member band performs multiple nights a week locally. They perform monthly at Rivals, along with a few interchangeable bands. Interviewing the band was pretty fun. They are a cool group of people and were very excited to be featured in the magazine.

An event like this is something that I would love to attend more. It helps me learn the local places and mom and pop shops. I can really get a feel of the Oahu culture and have the change to compare so much at once.

Continuing our home cook habits- Red Lobster Biscuits

To kind of spice up what we are used to, we steered away from the boiled tortellini with alfredo sauce.

Tortelini

  • Toss in Pesto and oil
  • Add feta cheese
  • mix with sautéed spinach
  • Add parmesan crumbles
  • sprinkle with italian seasoning and parsley

To pair with the dinner, I decided to try a recipe I found online. Red Lobster biscuits.

Despite the fact that I will soon have access to all the Red Lobster biscuits I could want, I have wanted to make these for awhile and finally gave it a shot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup of bisquick or equivalent
  • 1/2  heaping cup of shredded cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 3/8 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Parsley

Biscuits

  • Use a whisk to mix the bisquick and cold butter- not too much. there should still be pea sized butter crumbs.
  • Add the cheese and 1/8 teaspoon of garlic- lightly mix.
  • Add the milk- lightly mix. All should be damped but it should also look thick and sticky.
  • Drop in 6 even portions on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until brown.
  • combine the melted butter, parsley, garlic and salt. Keep warm and melted. Brush this on top of the biscuits when finished.I don’t have a brush so I just sprinkled it and rubbed it around with the back of a spoon.

Note: although the restaurant’s biscuits are a little crumbly, these easily dry out. You can easily compensate for this with extra butter as you eat it. Or, add a little extra milk or cheese.

Enchiladas and mexican mac

This is a meal that Zach and I have made plenty of times. It is very time consuming but is dee-licious. The portions are huge and absolutely great for left overs. I have frozen the enchiladas and portions of mac and cheese and eaten it throughout the course of a month.

Ingredients

  • Reduced fat shredded cheese
  • Whole grain tortilla
  • Morning star vegetarian ground beef
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • jalapeños
  • Onion
  • spinach
  • elbow macaroni (I also like bows and shells)
  • 3 bell peppers
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Cream of mushroom
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 large jar of Salsa Con Queso
  • Butter
  • 2 slices of bread

Mexican Mac

  • Boil water, add pasta, strain when finished.
  • Add black beans and salsa con queso to pasta.
  • Put mix into a glass baking pan/ bowl (I use a brownie pan)
  • Use a food processor to grind the two slices of bread. Add butter to the shredded bread, mix until thick but sticky. This is for bread crumbs.
  • Top the pasta mix with shredded cheese and bread crumbs.
  • Back at 350 for abut 10 minutes. Since the meal has been cooked, this is only to melt to cheese on top and crisp the bread crumbs.

Enchiladas (makes 5 servings)

  • Slice the bell peppers and onion- sauté with spinach. The amount of onion is to taste. Sprinkle the taco seasoning every few minutes until about half of the packet has been used.
  • Combine enchilada sauce and half a can of mushroom soup in a pot. stir on a low heat until fully blended.
  • In a smaller pan, begin cookie the vegetarian ground beef on a medium heat. I use half a bag and it is enough. Add a little bit of taco seasoning to this. Adding water can help cook it but be careful. Water makes this very mushy very quickly and there is no turning back.
  • Build the enchiladas. I start with refried beans and sautéed pepper blend on the side of the tortilla shell. Add ground beef and shredded cheese. Roll like a taco.
  • Add a small amount of the enchilada sauce mix to the bottom of the baking pan. I use a large casserole dish. Line the enchiladas with the opening corner facing down. Add the rest of the enchilada sauce mix on tope of the enchiladas. Drench them. Use a spoon to be sure every bit had been covered. This prevents drying out the tortilla and veggies.
  • Top each enchilada with shredded cheese and jalapeños.
  • Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Since the ingredients have already been cooked, this is to help soak up flavoring and melt the cheese.

Revue Revue

HO’OLAUNA : introduce

 

This weekend, I attended a multi-band concert held by the local magazine Cherry Pop Revue. I was invited to this event as a prospective intern in order to meet the other workers and interns as well as the Editor in Chief.

Cherry Pop Revue covers local up and coming artists, including music, art, dance and stand-up comedy.

Revue July edition

The internship seems to focus on journalism, but I am looking toward the sales, marketing, and public relations aspects.

The concert consisted of mainly rock bands- include the Chaotic Five, a band I was most interested in. This band was featured in the magazine as the youngest band in Hawaii.

>>>>>>Chaotic Five Concert Video. <<<<<<<

It was cool to see preteens fulfill their dream and perform as a rock band.

I liked seeing a diverse work environment. I think the environment is what I liked most about this possible internship. The requirements are to attend an event once a week and the rest is from home. The events advertised by Cherry Pop Revue range anywhere from pole dancer performances, comedy shows and concerts- any day of the night.

I would like to get out and see Hawaii in this way, familiarize myself with the area. While writing for the Spinnaker at UNF, I realized how much I learned about the campus by reporting happenings on it.

Another aspect in this magazine is the social media. This organization is very active on Facebook. I have yet to find its Instagram but I feel like expending the social media content could be a fun challenge.

My interview with the Editor in Chief is Thursday at 1 pm. We will be discussing opportunities in the magazine to see if it is the right place for me and if I am the right person for them.

http://www.CherryPopRevue.com

https://www.facebook.com/cherrypoprevue