That's right, folks, starting tomorrow Trapped Under Ice is going out on tour! Blog tour, that is. 

We will be visiting the following places: 

Sunday, February 24th-
Monday, February 25th-
Tuesday, February 26th-
Wednesday, February 27th-
Thursday, February 28th-
Friday, March 1st-      

On Becky Lower's blog tomorrow I'm talking about my decision to self-publish. Then click in on Monday as I follow that up on Peggy Bird's blog by discussing how I turned that decision into my rocking paperback book! On Rowena O'Sullivan's blog find out who I'd have to a dinner party (besides y'all). Carol Ritten Smith's blog will tell you about cake walks, snorkeling, and hot air ballooning! Find out about my karaoke favorites on Nancy Loyan's blog (I know you've been dying to hear that!). And then see me sweat on Friday under the grilling of Holley Trent's Five W's and Traci Douglass's 20 Questions! Hope you can stop by and spend some time with me and these great ladies. While there, check out the fabulous books they have written, too. I know you will find my hostesses as delightful as I do! See ya there!


Today I'm pleased to have Alicia Dean visiting with us, author of CUPID'S BEAU. Isn't that a great title! The perfect thing to read for Valentine's Day! Let's start by asking Alicia a few questions.  

Alicia, what would you say is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

To never give up. And that writers are a wonderful, supportive, friendly group of people. I cherish the friendships I’ve made along the way.

I agree 100 percent! To remind myself of that I have a magnet on my fridge that quotes Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up." So what are the kinds of things that might make you want to give up? What do you struggle with when you write?

Getting to the point in my stories where the writing flows. It takes a while, and a lot of frustration.

Here's the clincher, perhaps a writer's greatest dilemma how do you balance the demands of your everyday life and your writing life?

The best I can. It’s not easy, but I grab all the writing time I can and do my best to be productive in that time.

Do you have a job outside of writing? What is it and how does it mesh with your writing?

Yes, I am a legal assistant at a family law firm. I don’t know that it really meshes with my writing yet, but I have gathered a lot of material for future books. People going through divorces can do some bizarre and interesting things.

I bet! So, where do you live? And better yet, where would you love to live?

I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I lived in Kansas City for three years, and I would love to live there again. I would also love to live somewhere beautiful and cold, like Montana.

I was born in Kansas City! We're practically sisters! Share with us a little about your family. Married? Kids? Pets?

Divorced for seventeen years. I have three grown kids, two girls and a boy, who I am very close to. One of my favorite things to do is hang out with my kids cooking and watching television shows and movies.

Sounds great! Now, just for fun, when trick-or-treating as a kid, was there any kind of candy that you didn’t like to get?

Those black and orange wrapped peanut butter chewy things.

Ugg! I think that is universal! What CD is in your CD player right now?

Elvis, Prince from Another Planet

Name your favorite children's story.

The Little Match Girl

Oh, dude! That's a sad one! What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

Can I have two? 

Sure. Why not? I'm in a generous mood.

Cell phone and computer.

No blow dryer? Well, to each their own. I'd rather be out of touch and look good. ( ; Now, what are your three favorite smells?

Coffee, fireside candle, rain

Ooooh! Now those are good ones! It's funny how so many people say coffee. It's even one of my favorite smells and I'm not a coffee drinker! 

Let's find out a little bit about Alicia's Valentine's Day romance, CUPID'S BEAU. 


Ivy Pierce is a Cupid who prides herself on doing her job well. Except when it comes to a certain human male, Grant Crawford. Although she doesn’t understand why, each time she’s supposed to shoot her arrow into his heart, her stomach hurts, her chest hurts, and she feels….sad. Cupids are never sad.

Humans who are not looking for love only get three chances to find it. And after Ivy sabotages Grant’s last chance, her boss, Aphrodite, sends her to earth to right her wrong. She has until Valentine’s Day to help him find his soul mate.

But the more she’s around him, the more she wants him for herself, even though she knows that can never be. A Cupid and a human? Unheard of.

As V-Day draws closer, can she sacrifice her own happiness to help the man she loves find his?

Chapter 1

Ivy drew the arrow back, zeroing in on the elderly man’s chest. She had to make sure she shot him directly in the heart. She only had once chance to fell her target.

She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Halfway through the breath, she released the string. The arrow zipped through the air and landed dead center in the man’s heart. His eyes widened. His breath stalled. He reached a trembling hand out to Clara, the blue-haired woman sitting next to him.

“Herb? Herb, are you okay?” Clara frowned.

“I—I have something to say.” The cafeteria noises in the nursing home nearly drowned out his words. “I don’t have family to speak of. As you know, I lost one child, and my son who’s left, well, he doesn’t have much time for me. I’ve spent the last five years feeling sorry for myself. Waiting for death.”

Clara pursed her lips. “Now, Herb. That’s no way to think. You have plenty to live for.”

“I do now. Clara, I love you. I don’t know how much time I have left, but I want to spend it with you as my wife.”

Clara’s lip trembled, and tears surfaced in her pale blue eyes. “Oh, Herb. I love you too.”

Ivy sighed. So beautiful. There was nothing like bringing two people together. Especially in February. Valentine’s Day was less than two weeks away, and a Cupid’s work was never done this time of year.

“Nice,” Meg said, looking over Ivy’s shoulder through the hole in the cloud. “That’s so sweet that they found love at this time in their lives.”

“It’s never too late, you know.”

Ivy leaned back into the fluffy cloud. Taking a list from her robe, she perused the names. “I have ten more to go. Today. It’s a good thing I like what I do. I’ll be worn out by nightfall.”

Meg unrolled her scroll. “Uh oh.”

“What?” Ivy rose to a sitting position.

“Guess who’s next on my list?”


“Grant Crawford.”

A sharp sting pierced Ivy’s chest. But not the kind experienced when a Cupid’s gold-tipped arrow found its target. This one hurt in a bad way. “Grant Crawford?” she said, trying to be nonchalant.

“Yeah. And this is his last chance. That first time, the woman left him.” Meg shook her head. “So sad. Then, you were supposed to shoot him and missed. Weird. You hadn’t missed in years.”

“Huh, yeah.” Ivy shifted uncomfortably. “Total accident. That’s what it was. Did not mean to miss.”

“Well, luckily, I never miss. Mr. Grant Crawford is about to find his Mrs. Right. And live happily ever after. Come on, wanna watch?”

No, I don’t want to watch…no way. “Sure.” Ivy forced a smile.

This would serve her right. Having to watch. She’d blown the man’s second chance for love. Humans who weren’t seeking love—and Grant Crawford definitely wasn’t, he was about as anti-love as a person could get—only had three chances. Ivy didn’t know what was wrong with her, but the thought of Grant finding love made her feel…yucky. Sad. Bummed. Cupids did not feel bummed. They were the happiest creatures in the universe. She should be pleased that such a handsome man would find love. After all, with his dark hair that curled in little ringlets on the back of his neck, his strong jaw, his beautiful white-toothed smile that showed a dimple in his right cheek, his eyes the color of a gooey chocolate brownie, he should definitely be mated to a woman who appreciated his attributes.

So, why did thinking about it make her feel like a black cloud had rained on her soul?

“There he is,” Meg whispered.

Ivy moved to Meg’s side. Sure enough. There he was. So handsome. He was at his restaurant—where he was most of the time—standing at a table where a red-haired beauty smiled up at him.

“She’s perfect for him.” Meg’s golden brown eyes and short golden curls danced with excitement. She lifted the bow in her left hand and drew back the arrow with her right.

Without thinking—or, later, she would tell herself she hadn’t been thinking—Ivy lifted her own bow. As Meg released an arrow, Ivy did the same, deflecting Meg’s arrow just before it landed in Grant Crawford’s broad, muscled chest. Both arrows tumbled harmlessly to the floor.

“Ivy! What on cloud? You totally made me miss.” Tears welled in Meg’s eyes. “Now, poor Grant Crawford will never find love. He’ll go through the rest of his life, alone, sad, miserable. All because of you!”

Ivy squeezed her eyes shut. She should feel as awful as Meg did. Instead, she felt a little bit awful and a lot relieved. Why did it bother her so much to think of Grant with the red-haired woman—or any woman, for that matter—in his arms, by his side, kissing those full, firm lips…

“How can you live with yourself?”

“Wel-l-l, we don’t really ‘live’ I mean, we’re supernatural beings, who exist in the clouds, but we don’t really—”

“Ugh. It’s an expression. Sometimes you are so annoying. I’m telling Aphrodite!” Meg jumped to her feet. “You’ve had it now!” She stormed away, her feet kicking up little puffs of cloud.

“Saints and sinners,” Ivy muttered. She was most definitely in for it now.

Please be sure to say hi to Alicia below and pick up a copy of CUPID'S BEAU buy clicking here.

Buy links:

TIME, TIME TICKING... by guest blogger and author, Tracy Brogan

I tend to be a little scatter brained. I’d like to blame it on my children, or my schedule, or pre-pre-menopausal hormone fluctuations. But in reality, it’s just how I am. I’ve learned to compensate for this aspect of my personality by making copious lists. As if in retaliation for my inability to remember anything, I try to be uber-organized. I have labels on my refrigerator shelves. I store bed sheets inside the matching pillowcase so they can always be found together. The clothes in my closet are arranged in order of color, then sleeve length. And yet, even with all this, I never seem to have the right ingredients to fix a meal, the linen closet is a disaster, and my closet looks like a crime scene at T.J. Maxx. It’s not pretty.
Still, I cling to my lists and shudder to imagine what apocalyptic nightmare would occur if I didn’t at least TRY to keep track of things. And every day I ask myself why can’t I get MORE accomplished?

I have the dubious honor of having three wonderfully prolific, dedicated critique partners. I would be in the fetal position beneath my desk without them. They are always encouraging. But they are so damned productive that it makes me jealous. And it makes me feel inadequate.

They all have young children, and two of them have jobs outside the home. They all exercise, read, and cook real food. And still they crush me with their daily word counts. If I didn’t love them so much, I would be inclined to despise them. Because other than the kid thing, I’m at home with time to “spare.” I have a housekeeper. I exercise during every other solar eclipse. And meals around here usually come in a package with the word “microwaveable” on it.  But it takes me twice as long to draft a manuscript as it takes any of them. I hate always being the slow one in the group. It’s gym class all over again!

So I’m trying something new. Before I can figure out how to get more done, I need to figure out where my time is going.  Because it’s slipping away somehow while I’m not paying attention, and I want to learn to be more productive ASAP! For the next week, I’m going to write down what I’m doing and how long it took. Just like keeping a food journal makes me accountable for what I’m eating (and what a shock that is!) a time journal may just show me how it gets to be midnight before I’ve gotten my laundry folded. (I’m thinking Facebook plays a role here!) I’m also going to try a “block schedule,” which I used back in my “office” days. I’d block time for different aspects of my job, and during those periods, I pushed away thoughts and tasks that didn’t relate. It kept me focused and just might work for me again.

I’ll have a block for things like blogging, for editing, for housework (because even with a housekeeper, it’s still a daily task around here!)  I’ll block time for family, too, so I’m not shooing my kids away but rather spending focused time on them. Maybe I’ll even put my iphone away. *gasp*

I hope to find pockets of time that I am truly wasting and use those moments to get more writing done! Wish me luck. And if you want to see my progress, maybe I’ll post it on my own website. If a get around to it. 

Tracy is currently touring with her book, Highland Surrender. A review is posted below, along with an excerpt and the links to buy it, which I highly recommend doing! 

Do you struggle managing your time? I know I do! Share your thoughts with us...


Once again, Buy the Book Tours has me reviewing an awesome book! I unintentionally picked my first three books from different genres.  Autumn Piper’s Trouble Won’t Wait was a contemporary romance. Next, Nancy Gideon’s Betrayed by Shadows was paranormal romance. And today I have Tracy Brogan’s Highland Surrender, a historical romance.  I’ve read a few historical romances before, and enjoyed them, but for the most part I usually stick with contemporary. And the Scottish Highlands? They just didn’t have much of a pull for me. (Although I recently was voting in a cover contest and was surprised by how many kilt-clad heroes were gracing the covers!)

I wasn’t even sure about the general premise. A couple, betrothed as children, from warring clans, married to form a truce. That kind of thing has been done to death, right? Yeah, and I was all smug thinking I had the story all figured out in the first chapter. WRONG!  This book has more twists and turns than San Francisco’s Lombard Street! Stakes were high and the intrigue truly gripping.

Tracy Brogan is the kind of writer who makes you feel like you are right there, smelling the lamb stew, feeling the broad side of the training sword, and getting ashes in your eyes from the torches. She adds little details seamlessly. I never felt there was too much description or too little. I can’t imagine the kind of research it takes to make that happen. Her dialogue is fabulous, especially the repertoire between Myles (our hero) and Fiona (the beautiful heroine), but also with Myles and his brother, Robert, and the scandalous Vivienne (loved her!) and Fiona. Come to think of it, the King was great, the priest was great…pretty much anyone who opened their mouth in the book was captivating and authentic.

The sex scenes were very steamy, every action and reaction genuine and scintillating. In short, folks, this book was fabulous! I can’t say enough about it. So go out and read it. Without further ado, Highland Surrender...

Gorgeous cover, isn't it?


Defiant Highland beauty Fiona Sinclair is shocked by her brothers’ treachery. To seal a fragile truce, they have traded her hand in marriage to their sworn enemy, a man she has never met, a man she was raised to despise. With no choice but to wed, Fiona makes her own private vow: though she may surrender her freedom, she will never surrender her heart.

Commanded by his king, Myles Campbell is no more willing than his reluctant bride. Still, she is a rare beauty, passionate enough to warm even the coldest marriage bed. Buy Myles quickly realizes Fiona Sinclair is no common wench. She has a warrior’s spirit and a fierce pride that only a fool would try to tame. And Myles Campbell is no fool. Their marriage was meant to unite warring clans. They never imagined it would ignite a once-in-a-lifetime love…


Scottish Highlands, 1537

Fiona Sinclair could not reconcile the irony of nature’s twisted humor. For today of all wretched days the sky should be burdened with clouds as dark and dismal as her mood. But the morning dawned soft and fair, mild as a Highland calf, and she knew that God himself mocked her. At any moment, Myles Campbell and his father, the Earl of Argyll, would pass through the gates of Sinclair Hall, unwelcome, yet unhindered by her clan. Soon after that, she must stand upon the chapel steps and marry a man she had never met, and yet had hated for all of her life.

Through her narrow bedchamber window, sounds from the bailey filtered up. The smithy’s hammer tapped a mellow cadence as if this day were just like any other. Perhaps he shaped a horseshoe or a pointed pike. She smiled at the latter and imaged the heaviness of that same pike in her hand. Oh, that she had the courage to plunge it deep into the earl’s heart, if indeed he had one.

She rose from the threadbare cushion on the bench and moved without purpose toward the stone fireplace. A low fire burned, warding off the spring morning’s chill. From habit, Fiona slipped her hand into the leather pouch around her waist. She squeezed tight the silver brooch inside, its design and inscription etched as clearly in her memory as on the pin itself. A boar’s head, symbol of Clan Campbell, with words chosen by the king himself.

To Cedric Campbell, a true friend is worth a king’s ransom. James V. 

The brooch had been a gift to the Campbell chief, the man about to become her father-in-law. But he had left it behind nearly seven years earlier, pierced into the flesh of Fiona’s mother so that all the world might know he had dishonored her. The priest found Aislinn Sinclair’s lifeless body in a secluded glen outside the village, stripped bare and broken, marked by Cedric’s lust and spite. Thus a feud, long simmering at the edges, boiled over.

But today the king thought to put an end to it with this farce of a marriage between a Sinclair lass and a Campbell son. It would not work.

Fiona paced to the window, restless and melancholy. She leaned out to breathe fresh spring air, hoping it might lighten her spirits. The too-sweet scent of hyacinth clung to the breeze, along with the ever-present brine of Moray Firth. Along the west curtain wall, more hammering sounded as masons worked to bolster the steps leading to the main keep. As if precarious stairs alone might halt the Campbell men from gaining entrance. But nothing would. Her fate as a Campbell bride had been declared the very day she drew in her first breath, and sealed when her father blew out his last.

Author Bio:

Tracy Brogan is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist who writes funny contemporary stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and also stirring historical romance full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt. Her first two books, CRAZY LITTLE THING, and HIGHLAND SURRENDER both earned a 4-Star review from RT magazine and have hit the Amazon Best Selling Books list. 

Tracy lives in Michigan with her bemused husband, her perpetually exasperated children, and two dogs, who would probably behave better if they could understand sarcasm.

Thanks for joining us today! I know that Tracy would love to hear from you so please leave a comment if you could!

Media Page

Author Links:
Dashing Duchesses

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble

(Picture of Lombard Street provided by: David Yu)


On January 19th I was honored to receive the Liebster Blog Award. Thanks go out to my good friend, Cait O'Sullivan, for the award. 

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Wow! That's a lot of work for one little word! 

Here are the rules for receiving the award:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, 
    plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post. 
    Cait's did 5, I'm doing 9.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. Remember, no tag backs!

Eleven things about me:

1. I love to nap! (It's almost that time.)
2. I love rock music!
3. I've been a lunch lady for 10+ years.
4. I do P90X, but beg every morning to skip and just sleep in.
5. I'm easily distracted.
6. I'm bad at time management (see #5).
7. I like to dance, but am not very good at it.
8. I lack discipline in about every area of life: bad diet, bad sleeping habits, bad at time management (yeah. # 6)
9. I'm struggling to come up with 11 things about me.
10. I'm freakishly honest. (to an absurd degree, even I know that)
11. Yea! The last one! If I had been a boy, my name would have been Scott. I like that name.

Eleven questions about me and my answers:

1. Beach or mountain holiday? I skipped this one and saved it for last, because it is hard. Mountains, if someone else drove (I DO NOT like mountain driving. Scared of heights.) Love the beach, but have to stay out of the sun, so it's not like I would lounge there all day like some people do. I would enjoy both!
2. Where in the family do you come? Smack dab in the middle of it all, as you might expect, number 3 of 4.

3. Dog or cat person? Cat. While I think dogs are cute, for me they are too much work. Plus they have that whole drooling thing that gets on my nerves.

4. What's your favorite season and why? Fall. Maybe because the change is so easy to see. Also because I love baking,and the other foods of fall (soups, chili, and the like), going to apple orchards, pumpkins on porches... I guess I like the whole ball of wax. 

5. What's the last book you read? Highland Surrender, by Tracey Brogan.

6. What's the last movie you watched? Les Miserable, which was wonderful. Anne Hathaway is AMAZING!

7. What's your favorite weather and why? Sunny, about 70 degrees. Because it just makes you want to skip. Makes your heart lighter.

8. What would you like to be written on your tombstone? 

Here lies my wife,
Here let her lie,
Now she's at rest, 
And so am I.
Just kidding! I've always loved that one, though. Uhh...she brought sunshine to the world. Yeah. That's nice. Honestly, I have no idea, and since I'll be gone anyway, I guess it doesn't much matter what I want on it.

9. How would you like to be remembered? As someone who helped others.

10. When and why was the last time you giggled uncontrollably? It would have probably been at work when my best bud and I decided to talk like Minnie Mouse all day. (much to the consternation of our coworkers) ( ';

11. What's your favorite photo on display? Toss up. My dad in his Missouri Tiger's hat (since that is how I like to remember him), or the beach pictures from when our kids were maybe 3 and 5 (because that's how I like to think of them, too).

Here are the bloggers that I am awarding the Liebster Award to. Visit them at their blogs and congratulate them. bloggers.