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Day 3 – Bad is the New Good

Posted at Jan 28, 2015 6:58 am in , , ,

Welcome back to the Bad is the New Good giveaway week!

Every day this week, I’ll be giving away books, books, and more books. It’s my way of celebrating the release of Bringing Home the Bad Boy. 

Today’s giveaway…


And…it’s autographed.

I love a good Lori Foster book. Even better, I was able to get her to sign this one for you guys. Yay! And just for fun, I’m throwing in a copy of my millionaire ad-exec who eats potato chips in bed, THE MILLIONAIRE AFFAIR! To enter, all you have to do is find the graphic below on my Facebook Author page and comment.*

BitNG 1.28.15

Good luck!

Have you brought home your Bad Boy yet? If so, I want to see! Put a photo on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram using the hastag #BadBoy and tell me where you found Evan! :)

BHtBB e-version

Order today! Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Everywhere else

~Jess :)

*Winner will be drawn at 9 PM EST the night of the contest. Winner will be announced both on Facebook and my website Please check back! Each winner has 48 hours to contact me to claim their prize.

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Day 2 – Bad is the New Good

Posted at Jan 27, 2015 6:58 am in , , , , , ,

Welcome back to the Bad is the New Good giveaway week!

Every day this week, I’ll be giving away books, books, and more books. It’s my way of celebrating the release of Bringing Home the Bad Boy.

WHICH IS TODAY!!! (yay!)

BHtBB e-version

Bring Evan Home: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Everywhere else


FB Party Prizes 1.27.15

Today is the Facebook PAR-TAY…

BHtBB Release Party

…where you will get to hang out with TWELVE romance authors and enter to win books, books, and more books! PLUS, I’ll be giving away a GRAND PRIZE (pictured below), as well prizes from a few authors who could not make it out tonight.

Here’s a complete rundown of who will be there LIVE:

  •  Megan Mulry
  • Jen McLaughlin (Diane Alberts)
  • Jennifer Probst
  • Mira Lyn Kelly
  • Kate Meader
  • Violet Duke
  • Katee Robert
  • Jules Bennett 
  • Jennifer Chance (Jenn McGowan)
  • Shannon Richard
  • Rachel Lacey
  • Jeannie Moon
  • Maisey Yates

And sending presents in their absence:

  • Lori Foster
  • Lauren Layne


*You MUST comment on the event on Facebook to win.

 Can’t wait to “see” you!

~Jess :)

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Day 1 – Bad is the New Good

Posted at Jan 26, 2015 6:58 am in , , , , , ,

Welcome to the Bad is the New Good giveaway week!

Every day this week, I’ll be giving away books, books, and more books. It’s my way of celebrating the release of Bringing Home the Bad Boy. He’s going to be available TOMORROW!!! (yay!)

BHtBB e-version

Pre-order: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Everywhere else


Congratulations to CASIE BOLAND! Casie, contact me via Facebook or this website with your snail mail address. 

The rest of you–try again tomorrow! :)

First up!

The fabulous Kristen Ashley.

If you don’t know KA, you are in for a treat. Her bad boys are baaaaaad, but oh-so-good! And just for fun, I’m going to throw in a copy of my motorcycle-riding hero, Aiden in Hard to Handle!

To enter, all you have to do is find the graphic below on my Facebook Author page and comment.*


BitNG 1.26.15Good luck!

~Jess :)

*Winner will be drawn at 9 PM EST the night of the contest. Winner will be announced both on Facebook and my website Please check back! Each winner has 48 hours to contact me to claim their prize.

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Cheater G-Nut Stew

Posted at Jan 23, 2015 7:00 am in , ,

What the heck is a G-nut?

It’s short for one of your favorite things, and you didn’t even know it. G-nut=Ground Nuts. Peanut butter!

IMG_4653 2

This recipe comes from Lindsay Nixon’s Everyday Happy Herbivore, and let me tell you, this soup sounds weird, but tastes amazing! Also, soup in 15 minutes with ingredients you have sitting in the pantry? Sign me up. :mrgreen:

I’ve altered her recipe to make it my own–gotta have my seasoning. :)

Cheater G-Nut StewIMG_4650 2

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter 
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg
  1.  Whisk broth, tomato sauce, and peanut butter over medium heat until combined.
  2. Add seasonings and chickpeas.
  3. Add fresh spinach and gently stir over medium until spinach wilts. (5-10 minutes)
  4. Lindsay suggests removing from the heat and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the soup to thicken.

You get 3-4 bowls of soup out of this recipe, and it is fast, inexpensive, and completely nutritious. If you try it, let me know!

Happy cooking!

~Jess :)

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1 Week Left!

Posted at Jan 20, 2015 2:14 pm in , , ,

Let the Bad Boy countdown begin!Bad Boy Promo 1 week

One week until…

  • Evan’s book is released worldwide
  • The Bad Boy blog tour begins
  • The best-selling-author-packed Facebook party commences
  • Bad is the New Good giveaway week

AND, one week until I send a newsletter with subscriber exclusive content.

Have you signed up yet?

~Jess :)


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Easy Peasy Meal Planning in 5 Steps

Posted at Jan 19, 2015 7:14 pm in , , , , , , , ,

Easy Peasy Meal Planning for blog

I prompted a question when I posted this on Twitter this afternoon:

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 2.14.06 PM

Elle asks: 

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I responded via Twitter in three or four short burst tweets before I realized this would make a great post. Because who among us (author Elle Asher included) couldn’t use a trick up our sleeves when it comes to planning meals?

I’m no stranger to planning. I bought a new Erin Condren planner this year, and let me tell you, this little bugger is a LIFELINE. Seriously. If you want to to stay organized and look fashionable doing it, Erin is your gal. She even gives first-time buyers a $10 coupon. Here’s my referral code if you are interested: CLICK HERE.

But, you don’t need a fancy-pants planner to meal plan. I tried it in my 

IMG_4646planner, but found myself needing it on the fridge. In fact, the easiest way I’ve found to do it is this extremely boring Excel spreadsheet here. Or, if you prefer, there are about a ZILLION printable meal plans sheets on Pinterest here.

Also, pick a time that’s best for you to do your meal planning. When are the kids quiet? (NEVER! I hear you wailing. I know, I know, I don’t have kids. Gimme some leeway here. :lol: ) When is the husband home to help? When do you have an hour where you can relax and take the time you need to do this? Mr. Lemmony and I do meal planning on Sunday at the same time I pull out my planner to suss out my week. 

Okay, let’s begin.

  1. PLAN TO PLAN. First, I sit down with my planner in hand and the husband across from me, and we look at our schedules. Are we going to a party one night during the week? What days is he going to be dining out for lunch? Am I on deadline or have a few daytime appointments?
  2. OYO. Now that I know when one or both of us will be eating elsewhere, I know not to plan braised lamb with mint sauce and sautéed micro greens for that night. (j/k, I don’t eat lamb. But you get the idea. :-P)  If it’s a day when Mr. Lemmony is out, and I’m on my own, I write OYO or “On Your Own” and this lets me have some flexibility. Face it, when it’s just me, lunch might consist of peanut butter and crackers, a few olives, and maybe a cookie. I graze.
  3. COOKBOOKS. I don’t know about you, but I have about a million cookbooks. I try and meal plan for the week from no more than TWO. IMG_4308
    This is very important. You don’t want 12 books stacked up on the kitchen table all week. I decide whether I feel like fancying things up (Chloe Coscarelli and Giada DeLaurentis) or if I want to cook down and dirty from the pantry in small portions (Happy Herbivore to the rescue) or if I feel like using my slow cooker (Vegan Slow Cooker for the win). Once I have chosen which cookbooks to use, I mark the recipes with post it notes.
  4. THE FORM. Now I pull out my laptop and start plugging things in. Here is my form for this week. As you can see, breakfast rotates from eggs & toast to oatmeal or cold cereal. Scrambled, fried, omelet? Who cares. We just do what we feel like that morning. IMG_4720
  5. PLAN TO PLAN AHEAD. Once you have plugged in your recipe, look for opportunities to prep ahead. For example, on Monday, we are having burrito bowls, so I wrote all in caps on the breakfast box “PREP 1 CUP BROWN RICE”. That way it’s done for dinner and I’ve saved myself a 45-minute step.

Other helpful notes:

  • List the recipe book and page number right on your meal plan, keeping those Post-its in place for easy reference.
  • Jot down helpful notes like I did on Thursday’s Chickpea Tenders recipe. “REQUIRES 40 MINUTES BAKING TIME” lets me know not to rush into the kitchen last minute and try and whip up dinner.
  • Make your grocery list at the same time. The hubs does this, which is SO helpful. He will also check on pantry staples as I read off recipe. If you’re doing this on your own, it’ll take a little longer, but making sure you have the ingredients you need is essential to things running smoothly.
  • Be flexible. Don’t feel like a 40 minute prep time on Thursday? Bump it to Friday or, if nothing is going to spoil in the fridge, bump it to the next week.
  • Have emergency quick food on hand. We keep a frozen pizza in the freezer at all times. We also keep 1 or 2 bags of fried rice and veggie egg rolls in the freezer for a quick-fix dinner.
  • Wing it. I like to make Saturday or Sunday a “wing it” day. That’s the day we either eat out or eat leftovers in prep for meal planning on Sunday.
  • Cook the items that will spoil FIRST. If you stocked up on produce, be sure you are having that stir-fry with lots and lots of fresh veggies in the beginning of the week rather than letting them languish until Friday.

If all else fails, and you’re calling the pizza guy, go easy on yourself. Sometimes, the week just eats your brain and there’s nothing you can do about it. This system has saved me lately especially since I got into a BAD habit of fast food last year. Now with a plan on the fridge, and food inside the fridge (very important), I find myself eating at home more, which is a relief to both my wallet and my waistline.

Happy planning!

~Jess :)


Letting Go of Perfect

Posted at Jan 18, 2015 7:15 am in , ,

A Lesson in Life

I learn something every year I live on this planet, and darn it if each of those life lessons don’t have some sort of pain attached to them. Growth, my friends, is painful. After 39 (and, God willing, counting) years on this big blue marble, I’ve finally learned a lesson I wish I would have learned earlier.

Perfection ain’t happening.

But it doesn’t work that way, does it?  No, no. You have to learn lessons the hard way. The slow way. God knows what he’s doing. He knows you yourself have to grow before the lesson means anything to you. At this point, I’ve accepted He is right all of the time, and frankly, feel a little like He’s rubbing it in at this point. 

But it’s all good. Because he is the Almighty, and I’m wrong a good half of the time.

giphyLove. Set. Match.

I am a first born, type A extrovert who nearly cried when my 4.0 GPA in college was encroached upon. Who pointed out rule breakers with the zest of a spoiled teacher’s pet when I was 7 years old. Who knew there was a right way to do everything and was sure as soon as I figured it out, I could cross things off my running to-do list and stop making mistakes for good.

For me, success meant strangling life’s circumstances into submission, and coming out the other side, arms lifted into the air a la Rocky Balboa. (Rocky Balboa at the end, not when he’s getting the beatdown of his life.) Those of you who have spent any respectable amount of minutes here with me on planet Earth will join me in my hindsight LOLs.


There are two stages in life. We are either growing or we are dying. There’s no in between. There is no perfectly level, linear plane on which we reside where things stay the same forever and ever, Amen. Sometimes, the things we loved more than life itself years ago aren’t even a blip on our radar screen. Think of a hobby you used to spend an embarrassing amount of hours doing. Or a person you would have jumped off a bridge with if he or she asked. Or a job you swore you’d have until you retired.

You may be looking back thinking, “Whatever happened to those Garbage Pail Kid trading cards? Wonder where so-and-so is since she and I lost touch? Hey, I said I’d be in PartyLite until the day I die, yet here I am, alive and well.”

(I’ve never been happier to be wrong about that last one.)

Letting go of perfection has meant a lot of things in a lot of ways. I’ll never be the writer who plots out her books in a beautifully symmetrical spreadsheet and color codes the story into three acts. (Heaven forbid.) I did make a spreadsheet. It’s for my characters’ ages as they progress through the series. I have no idea if I’ll use it in the future or if it’s only useful now. And I know better than to say that I will. (Come to think of it, that sentence up there that starts with “I’ll never be…” is a dangerous statement. I have no authority over never.)

Letting go of perfection meant there is no perfect book. There are well-edited books. There are well-written books. But no book is perfect. Moreover, if you are the special unicorn who write’s the “perfect” book, someone will still complain about it. Because: people, man. That’s the other thing you learn while on this planet. People have opinions and they are not the same as yours. Nor should they be. (But you learn that later. At first, all you know is people are disagreeing with you and it ticks you off.)


My hodgepodge Smashbook

Letting go of perfection means I have a scrapbook with movie tickets, clothing tags, and fortunes from the inside of stale cookies glued to the pages in no particular order. They’re there in a hodgepodge order on random pages rather than me using one after the next. But in the middle of that melee is something else: my life.

 Life, with its rhythm: the seasons, trees blooming, and leaves falling, people being born and others taking their final breaths, is in a constant state of controlled chaos. Our job, while we’re here, is to be adaptable. Because nothing stays the same for long.

Letting go of perfect also means that instead of beating everything into pulpy submission, I need to adapt to my environment. On the flip side of that coin, is the fact that we can also sometimes adapt our environments and stay the same. Ahh, don’t you love when things are contradictory?

Life, man.

Professional organizer and author Julie Morganstern says in her book Organizing from the Inside Out, that she finds it easier to adapt her client’s home around her client’s habits. When one of her clients wanted a solution to shoes, coat, and keys getting thrown down by the front door, she did not tell her client, “Just put your shoes, coat, and keys away when you come in like your mother taught you.”

Instead, she built a hanger and bin to hold the coat, shoes, and keys, so that the client could come in and continue tossing their goods right by the door. Hmm. That means maybe your habits aren’t “bad” but your methods are. Chew on that one for a few minutes.

I read that book years ago, and still keep it on-hand for reference. That scenario sticks so solidly in my mind–the notion that, rather than waste time, energy, and effort trying to retrain myself to be “perfect,” I could simply adapt my environment to my needs.

Word of warning to those of you who are like, “Peachy keen! I’ll just climb into the lifeboat and let the tide carry me away!” I tried that approach for a few years. While, yes, you do end up with a lot of movement in any number of directions, you don’t winkexactly end up closer to your goal. And if you wake up and have no idea where you are, it’s kind of like starting over. Which sucks. So instead, in the process of pushing and challenging yourself, make a plan. At least know where you’re going. Especially if it’s in an area that is your passion.

Because passion, my friend, is what this whole thing is about.

~Jess :)




Posted at Jan 16, 2015 5:28 pm

BitNG Teaser

Stay tuned…

~Jess :)

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What I’m Reading Wednesday: UNLEASHED

Posted at Jan 14, 2015 6:54 am in , , , , , ,

Unleashed (Love to the Rescue, #1)Unleashed by Rachel Lacey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the next book you need in your life!


Not only is it as charming and sweet as the cover implies, but the hero is also deliciously HOT (and not in the I CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM YOU BECAUSE I MAY OR MAY NOT BE UNSTABLE way). Yet, there are plenty of elements of danger to keep you turning the pages. From neglected dogs to trespassing to Matt’s PI job. But the elements of the story never overshadow the hero and heroine’s lives. They are real, they are grounded, and Matt’s cool confidence makes for one of the sexiest heroes I’ve ever read.

It’s a small-town contemporary that will tug your heartstrings until you unravel, then make you want to charge out into the world and adopt a dog…and maybe a man to go with it.

~Jess :)

View all my reviews

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Sneak Peek & a Giveaway

Posted at Jan 13, 2015 6:16 am in , , , , , , ,

Do I have a treat for you!

Two treats, to be precise…


To celebrate Evan’s book coming out in just TWO WEEKS, I’m giving you a sneaky peek at a teaser! Here you go:

Bad Boy Promo Lake 2 weeks

Yummy, right? 

I’m also celebrating my author friend Shannon Richard’s latest release, Unforgettable with an Undeniable giveaway! …no, really. I’m giving away Undeniable, book 2 in her Country Roads series.  ;-) 

To enter, all you have to do is meander over to my Facebook page and comment on the post. And if you’re interested in checking out sexy Shep in Unforgettable, lucky you, it’s available for your e-readers everywhere today. Here is the link to Shep’s book!

Go! Enter to win Undeniable before it’s too late! Giveaway ends tonight at 9 p.m. EST.

~Jess :)


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