Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Happy Hopping Everyone!
I love to participate in these blog hops, because even though I'm a writer, I'm also a reader and get to learn about new books I haven't heard about before. I also get to know some of you readers better too. Win/Win

The giveaway for visiting my blog is two lucky commenters will get their choice of any one of my ebooks.  Just say which one you'd want in the comments.
Snippets of each can be found on the Kindle Preview page of this blog.
Don't feel like commenting? You can also enter by simply Liking my Facebook Author page at 

My recipe comes from the cafeteria at Cook Childrens Medical Center in Fort Worth. The Crazy Reid. Have no idea where the name comes from. It was my favorite dish they had on their menu so I started making it at home.

The Crazy Reid

Boil some penne pasta or rice and set aside.

In a fry pan add garlic salt to a few Tablespoons of butter and heat.
Add cubed or sliced chicken pieces and cook. (I like to precook my chicken, but you don't have to).
When it's done, lower the heat and add fresh tomatoes, cut up
And a few handfuls of fresh spinach on top and cover with a lid or another fry pan upside down to let the tomatoes and spinach steam a bit.
Meanwhile heat up either Mariano or Alfredo sauce. (I get mine from a jar, but you can make it from scratch if you prefer. I prefer the Alfredo.)

Pour the chicken/spinach mixture and the sauce over the top of the penne or rice and top it all off with fresh Parmesan cheese.  It's delicious. I have leftovers from when I took this picture last night. My mouth is watering so think I'll go get me some. Bon appetit.

Please remember to leave a comment. Good luck and have fun hopping around this week!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

🍀 Little Things Blog Hop 🍀

🍀 Little Things Blog Hop 🍀

Because it’s the little things that make life everything.
For me, getting out to the movies or staying in and having quiet time are my favorite little things. 

Little Things Blog Hop picture

Hi everyone. My name is Clover Autrey and I am one of more than 100 authors/bloggers on the Little Things Blog Hop! Make sure you visit each stop and enter the posted giveaway and be sure to enter the amazing rafflecopter too, which has a ton of prizes to be won!

For those of you don’t know me, I'm the author of the bestselling Highland Sorcery series and Viking Mine which can be found at Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Stay for a while and look around my page to find something you will love!

Highland Sorcery Boxed Set picture
🍀 Giveaway for this stop is an Ebook copy my Highland Sorcery Boxed Set. That's the original four books that started it all valued at $9.99. The winner gets her/his choice of downloading it to iTunes, Nook, Kindle, or from Kobo. Best of St. Patrick's luck be on you.

🍀 To Enter

➜ Be a follower of my page

➜ Like and Share this post

🍀 Visit Alan Joshua next at

🍀 Rafflecopter Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

🍀 Join the Little Things Blog Hop Event for more fun

🍀 Link to all the Blog Hop spots:

Thank you for hopping by!

Winner(s) will be chosen by random and announced on this page and on the Little Things Event Page by April 6th.

FB is not in any way responsible or affiliated with this giveaway or the Little Things Blog Hop

Thursday, March 03, 2016

if we were a movie

if we were a movie
If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram (Power of the Matchmaker #3)
Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder  and Ella.
NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get.
Enter his new roommate Jordan–a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.
* Content – Please note this is a New Adult title – I consider this book to be clean but there is implied content (not on the pages of the book but sex is implied), mild innuendo and mild language.


What readers are saying about If We Were a Movie:

"WOW! This book is great! The concept is so inventive, and the writing is brilliant."

"I thought Cinder & Ella jerked with my emotions too much but this one might have
it beat."

"I finished reading If We Were a Movie yesterday. I loved it! I fell hard for Nate. Jordan was amazing! And Pearl's timing was perfect! "

"Amazing concept with movies as chapters, and fantastic storyline." 

"I loved this story and was humming along to the songs from the book whilst reading. I can see this book becoming the movie it was written to be."

"If We Were a Movie made me want to binge watch movies, listen to old playlists, and re-read it all at once."

Kelly Oram picture
Displaying Kelly Oram.jpgDisplaying Kelly Oram.jpgDisplaying Kelly Oram.jpgAbout Kelly  
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.

Connect with Kelly on social media:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cowtown Critiquers Christmas

I love my critique partners. They have literally rescued my characters out of plotting wells I let them fall into...or helped me shovel crap onto ones that needed it. I so admire these ladies and their intelligence and creativity. And they are so fun to be around. When I can't make it to one of our monthly plotting sessions at The Cotton Patch (we're the noisy laughing ones at the long table in the back who never leave--our poor waitress) I really miss them and can't wait for the next month when I can be with them. 

Seriously. Even when my personal life feels as bleak as wading through a quagmire with leeches in a dark jungle with vines slapping my face, a few hours laughing with the cowtown critiquers strengthens my lungs to get back at it and keep swinging that machete.  

We usually exchange small gifts at Christmas time. This year I wanted to add a personal touch and thanks to Pinterest (Best ideas ever. I want to do everything and I don't even like crafts.) I saw these personalized frames that would be perfect. So I had each of my critique partners write down what they love about writing or reading. Printed it off, and voilà! 

personalized picture frames

Turned out pretty nice if I say so myself. Below are the quotes they each gave me.

"I write because it's who I am. I've been writing so long, I can't imagine not putting words to the page. It would be like a chunk of me is missing. Writing is just me. Besides, it's the only way to keep the voices in my head subdued."  C.A. Szarek

"I write because there are too many stories floating around in my head. Sending a story out into the world makes room for the next book and the next, and the next…"  Michele Welsh

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
― Mark TwainThe Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

"I read to escape, to ride the roller coaster, to marvel at the journey. I write to humble myself, to embrace the challenge, to throw caution to the wind and soar."                    Gina Lee Nelson 

"I love to read because I love to learn new things, not just facts and figures, but words and ideas. I love to feel the highest highs and the lowest lows and to be moved to tears, laughter, or breathlessness. I love to be able to experience other times or other worlds through the eyes of characters that I have come to love and who resonate with me." 
Jen FitzGerald

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

It Happens Sometimes

I ran into an old friend I haven't seen in at least a decade, if not more. We had kids close in age. We each had kids with health issues, but you know how it goes, you just push on, keep them healthy and happy and do whatever needs to be done. Live life the best you can.

We moved out of the area first and then they moved. So it was an unexpected surprise and pleasure to run into them.

We hug. We exchange pleasantries. So good to see you. You look great. How is everyone? Then she asks, "Is everyone healthy?"

And that tiny part of my heart that is still hiding, still whimpering, tucks farther away and I hear myself answer, "No, we lost Chase five years ago."  Even as I say it, my mind is reeling. How can it be five years? It still hurts so bad.

She nods gravely. Her expression is different than the usual wince of sympathy. It's calm. "I'm sorry. I had no idea. It's not a club we wanted to be in."

It takes a few seconds for that to sink past the focus of trying to push it all down and keep my emotions from bubbling out "What?"

"We lost Spencer two years ago. Tumor in the brain. They gave him eight months. I'm sorry, I thought you knew. His wife was pregnant. He wanted to live long enough to see the baby born."

"Did he?" I ask with a little hesitation.

"Yes." She smiles and I look past her shoulder at her family, at her daughter-in-law, sitting behind her. And I understand her expression now. The calmness, the understanding. It's the difference of having gone down to all the depths of hurt and loss that would take lifetimes to express them all unless you've been through it. Funny how all that hurt can be conveyed in one look. That club no one wants to belong to.

I remember Spencer well. He was a light. A smart funny kind kid who took every obstacle by the horns and rode it through. I'm glad he had a child, that they have a little piece of him in another person.

Our exchange was brief. I was already tearing up, even though I knew I could get it under control in a few minutes. Even though there was so much I wanted to say, most of it wouldn't have gotten past the lump in my throat anyway. But there really wasn't anymore we needed to say anyway. We get it. We're members of the same club.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Book Cave

Here's a cool new site that lists books according to violence and/or heat level. So if you like certain things and don't want to read about other things, this is a good list to sign up for and find the promotions on books you like reading. 
My Book Cave - Free & Discounted Ebooks
MBC Blast ad 1
Movie-like Book Ratings for Books?
Have you ever started reading a book, only to be shocked at the content? Or have you ever read a book that bored you to tears with its lack of heat or action? Well, someone has finally created a site for you, taking the guesswork out of finding a good read that hits your comfort level. The best thing is that the books are always discounted and there is no cost to subscribe.
My Book Cave is the company behind this ingenious idea. The concept is simple.
Just sign up for the genres and ratings you want to see, choose your heat, violence, and swearing comfort level, then My Book Cave delivers ebook deals to your inbox. Rating include All Audiences, Mild, Mild+, Moderate, Moderate+, and Adult.
And right now, My Book Cave is having a huge giveaway with two ereaders and three cash gift cards. Just for signing up, you’re entered to win one of the ereaders. Visit My Book Cave to sign up or check out their blog for the rest of the prizes.
Happy reading!

Happy reading!
MBC Blast ad 2

P.S. If you’re an author and have a fantastic book you’d like to feature for free on My Book Cave, go on over.  I did. They’re always looking for great books.


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/18/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Traditions of the Wedding Ring

wedding ring
My daughter and SIL

Rings as body adornment have been around for quite some time. Close to 5 thousand years ago, we get our first written hit of a circular band for finger wear from the Egyptians. All those thin reeds growing along the river? Not just for weaving baskets, girlfriends. Some ancient enterprising young lass or laddie braided the sedge into jewelry (minus the jewels) and the first known rings became a trend. 

According to their writings on papyrus scrolls, the betrothed couple exchanged these braided rings as a circular symbol of eternal love without end. They placed the rings on the left hand due to the belief that the vein that led to the heart ran from that finger. 

Caveat: I'm sure the cavewomen in their day had their own rockin' styles of body wear, but since they didn't write it down, they get no credit. Document people, document.

Moving on. As can be imagined, the reed rings of the Egyptians weren't exactly made to last. Not to worry. There was plenty of leather around. Rings were also made out of ivory or bone and just like today the more costly the material was apparent proof of how deep the love. 

The Romans put their own spin on ring giving. Maybe "giving" isn't the right word because for them, it was a stamp of ownership, instead of undying love. Ouch. "if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh."  These betrothal rings were often made of silver and often engraved. They did sport a romantic side with also wearing the ring on the heart vein finger. They termed it vena amoris (vein of love).

It actually beats some of the traditions of the wedding garter. 

It was the Christians around 800 years A.D. that started using rings in the actual wedding ceremonies. The rings were at first very ornate but somewhere along the line some uptight priest decided that was unholy so the rings became more simple, closer to what we have today.

Then when the colonists shipped out to America, the bride was given a thimble by her groom. Yeah, about as exciting as getting a vacuum on your anniversary. But they were puritans so excitement wasn't exactly what they were after. Still wanting a little frivolity or more likely an outward sign that they were a respectable married woman, some of the women took the top of the thimble off and wore them as marriage bands. 

Many cultures throughout the world have their own symbolism, myths, and practices associated with the marital ring. At its core, the circle is a symbol of no endings or  beginnings. One eternal round.  Even the hole symbolized more than dead space, but more of a gateway that led to unknown events. Which, pretty much sums up marriage.  


Why my sudden interest in bridal traditions? I'm researching for my up-and-coming Chantry Inn series, which will feature several weddings and one long-lost wedding gown. To be notified when these books will be released follow me on Facebook or my newsletter

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Morning Pages

Last night I read an article in the RWR (Romance Writers Report) about a writer, Sheila Athens, who attended a recent workshop with Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way. Apparently this book is a must-read for authors, painters, singers, actors, pretty much anybody who yearns to delve deep into their artist spirit. Okay, I just made that description of the book up because I have no idea what the book is really about other than hearing other writers talk about it. I've never read it.  
The Artist's Way article
Article from July 2015 RWR (trademarked)

But the article was only a little over two pages long... so I've got time to see if everything worthwhile in the book is cramped in there.

Anyway, the writer (Sheila) summed up a few things she learned from the other writer (Julia).
What caught my attention was the tool of "morning pages".

 Basically an artist will write 3 handwritten pages every morning to connect on a spiritual level with her creativity. Just write. And for writers, we aren't supposed to use those 3 pages as part of our WIP (Work In Progress). I admit I winced at that one because if I'm writing I want it to count as something substantial. But no, WIPs are to be set aside and this is free forming. Julia claims that will make our WIPs more productive later when we let everything on our mind flow out.

So bright and early before I had to head out, prepared to sweat while helping out with my son's band's parade. And yes I did get wet and sticky. Not because I did anything strenuous, but because I was outside in Texas in July. Don't know why I bothered with showering.
Keller Central High Band 

Where was I? Oh yes, bright and early I pulled out one of my notebooks, grabbed a pen and wrote. Oh my gosh, I am shocked, simply shocked, at the spew of mucky roadkill that flowed onto my
3 pages. From "I am an introvert and would rather stay home from this parade" with a side helping of "I miss my son." and all sorts of random resentments on top of things I'm grateful for and plain old things that don't really matter at all. It was strange, I'm telling you. And those pages need to be shredded. Anyone who came across them would think I've lost my mind.

Did it clear my mind well enough that my WIP flowed better? Well, I don't know yet. I haven't gotten to it yet. Have to take a second shower first after the parade.

Maybe I better read that book.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tradition of the Wedding Garter

garter from ExclusivelyWeddings

Tossing the garter used to be a custom called Fingering the Stocking back in the old days (Fourteenth Century thereabouts) in England.

Back then, especially among families that were bent on getting the next heir as quickly as possible, making sure the marriage was properly consummated was a big deal. Big enough to have the entire wedding party come into the room (hopefully afterwards, but in some cases not) and take a good look at the stocking for, um, I guess some sort of evidence because apparently it was too easy to spill wine on the sheets.

If that wasn't bad enough, the guests would then fling stockings at the couple for good luck.  Because what is more lucky than stinky socks being thrown at you? Bonus points if you're the guest that gets a sock on top of the bride's or groom's head because you were then the next to get married. Has to be true, the socking said so.

But in France, the socks didn't even make it to the wedding bed. Once the bride uttered "I do" (Or rather a form of ‘I receive you as mine, so that you become my husband and I your wife'--only in French', the guests thronged her, tearing bits and pieces off her marital gown because what's more lucky than leaving your loved one in tatters at the altar? Kim Kardashian's idea of having three wedding gowns for the occasion gains a little more merit here. One gown for being torn apart and at least one other for the reception.
Kim Kardashian Wedding Dress

At some point, I'm sure in desperation, some brides decided to start throwing pieces of their attire out, hoping to avoid most of the rampaging at her and her clothing. Which went to finally the groom started taking the garter off and tossing that out. In my romantic nature I like to think of it as the protective groom stepping in to stop the mob in this manner, but who knows, it could have been the brides' idea for self-preservation. Either way, this new less-aggressive, less-invasive tradition began. Thankfully.

At this point the tradition of tossing the bouquet also arouse arose. Ha! Totally didn't mean to type arouse, but I kept it in there because I thought it was a funny Freudian slip.

There are also traditions that state that the garter represents the bride's virginal girdle so when the groom takes that off it's symbolic of what the bride is giving up to him. Who knows who connected the dots on that one but I guess it fits.

But for our modern times, there is little sock throwing and the wedding guests don't go into a frenzy to ruin that $5000 wedding dress.

Many brides will wear two garters both on the right leg above the knee, one for the toss and the other to keep.

The bouquet will be tossed first, followed by the groom removing the garter and tossing it out.

I read that the single male guest who catches the garter then places it on the leg of the single gal who caught the bouquet and superstition states that they will be the next to marry...and to each other. I've personally never heard of that part of it or seen it done, but, hey, they say going to weddings is a great way to meet people. Why not?


Why my sudden interest in bridal traditions? I'm researching for my up-and-coming Chantry Inn series, which will feature several weddings and one long-lost wedding gown. To be notified when these books will be released follow me on Facebook or my newsletter.  See my post on the Traditions of the Wedding Ring.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


So I've been trying to learn more about myself as a person, be more positive, that kind of stuff. I've never ever meditated, but I found this on Mindvalley Academy and thought it was a good way to start going about it. At any rate, I'll have a few moments of quiet during the day and if it can help me sleep, win/win.

12 Steps to Thrive

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