Now Available

There is nothing quite like release day! All the love, hard work, and hair-pulling stress finally comes to fruition! It’s a huge sigh of relief, but not even close to the end of the journey.

Even so, I’m happy to sit back and take a big breath today, as I release my latest book baby upon the world.

California Can WaitReporter Andrea Davidson isn’t running from her mistakes. There’s no escaping the career-ending mess she fell into back home. But she is moving forward, and is halfway to a new life in California when someone breaks into her motel room. She’s lost her computer and her dignity, but that’s only the beginning of her newest problem: local news editor Graham Bradley.

Graham Bradley doesn’t know a thing about the newspaper business. A widower with a promise to keep, he’s got more than just his own personal welfare riding on this small-town paper. The last thing he needs is a pushy woman with a secret in her past and a vicious red pen throwing all his mistakes and insecurities front and center on his desk. Faced with an impossible choice, Graham hires Andi, but hopes she’s not just the last-and maybe worst-in a long line of bad decisions. Saving the small-town Gazette is the second chance both Andi and Graham need.

But with bill collectors calling, Andi’s past catching up fast, and the chemistry between them making work next to impossible, will Andi and Graham get the second chance they both desperately need? Or will their demise be the next big headline?

Buy now:

Amazon

B&N

itunes

 

 

 

The Do’s and Don’ts (all Don’ts) of Texting and Driving

pexels-photo-230557.jpegWhich of these things don’t go together? A) Peanut butter and jelly. B) Cereal and milk. C) Bat and ball. D) Texting and driving.

Unless you have been living under a large cellular rock, the correct answer is D) Texting and driving. The weather is turning warm and sunny and people of all ages are making plans. You out? You out? You up? You out? Sup? Who dis? The problem is too many of those people can’t wait til they get home to make those plans…they’re texting while driving.

Here’s a thought…Don’t.

It might be my advanced age, but it infuriates me when I see people texting while driving. I’m livid when I’m behind a car and when the red light turns green, they’re paying no attention, resulting in a seven-car length gap between the first car and the texter. I only have a 13-mile commute back and forth to work every day, but during that time I still see tons of people pecking away at their tiny keyboards, not paying the slightest bit of attention to the road. Or the fact that I am having a fabulous hair day.

Your full attention must be on the road. Two years ago, I mistakenly thought I was the only person on the face of the earth who was talented enough to text and drive safely. I was “knee” driving while texting, and while I was looking down, my knee slipped, and I went into the other (empty, thank God) lane. God only knows what was so important it couldn’t wait. It scared me so bad that to this day there are gray hairs no Clairol will cover. It was enough to teach me a big lesson.

You should not text even while sitting still. Last winter, I was waiting to turn left into my work. There’s a wide turn lane in the middle of the four-lane road where everyone waits to turn left into the office building. A woman (not a teen, but an older woman) in her white SUV was traveling toward me, and she was paying no attention to anything but her not-so-smart phone. I was a sitting duck. To my horror, her car drifted out of her lane and veered directly into mine. I laid on the horn, and she looked up just in time to swerve over. The speed limit on that road is 45 and she would have hit me head on. I guarantee she didn’t need any coffee the rest of the day (maybe an ekg for her heart, though) as the adrenaline pulsing through her body at the near miss was enough to keep her up for several nights.

You should not text and drive, even if you’re stopped. If I had been looking down at my phone and not paying attention to traffic, even though I wasn’t moving, I would not have seen the White SUV of Death barreling toward me. I was watching and able to alert her to the impending crash, thereby saving my favorite shirt.

Mind your own business. This morning I was heading to work and a teen in a white car ahead of me was texting up a storm. She was weaving slightly from one lane to another while looking down. I figured if I could get up next to her, I would have her roll down her window and self-righteously tell her off. I’m old and crabby like that. As luck would have it, traffic halted for a red light and I was almost even with her when I noticed several things simultaneously. First, it was not a teen, it was a senior citizen. Second, she was not texting, she was drinking coffee, and third, I was so intent on busting her for texting that I failed to notice the car ahead of me was stopped for the red light. Only by the grace of God was I able to slam on the brakes and avoid an accident. I avoided humiliating eye contact with others around me. It was the longest red light of my life.

Texting and driving is extremely dangerous. Please don’t do it. No message is ever, ever that important that you should risk your life or the lives of others to check your phone. Not even if you think you’re skilled at doing both at the same time.

You’re not.

***

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world…with one on the way…and their antics keep her in stitches.

Marketing woes

 

Marketing can be an author’s worst nightmare. We’re creative types which doesn’t always gel with strong business sense. One of my favorite ways to lure people into my web…I mean, expand my reading audience, is offering free reads on my blog.

I’ve done short stories for Halloween in the past, and I’m currently posting a contemporary romance chapter by chapter.

In Dreams Collide, I’m having a little fun mixing romance and reality television.

Here’s the blurb:

Dreams Collide FINAL

Kendra Michaels has landed a much coveted spot on Music Star Dreams–the Reality TV show that has made past winners musical sensations. She never expected to make the cut, but now that she’s there, she’s trying to make the best of it. The last thing she needs is Jax, her team coach and country superstar, distracting her.

Jax Landry’s shining star was tarnished in his divorce and he’s just trying to get back what he lost. Somehow that doesn’t seem nearly as important when he realizes that Kendra has what it takes to make it big–if only she believed it. He doesn’t intend to pick favorites, but he can’t seem to stop himself.

When the producers and fans see the spark between them, any chance of playing it cool goes out the window.

I’d love for you to stop by and check it out. Not only do you get a free chapter each month, but you get to respond to the posts and offer feedback on what you’d like to see happen. When this wraps up, I’ll release the ebook for free online so readers can download the final product and know they had a part in its production. I think that’s a nice way to thank everyone for participating as well as saying, “hey…come see what I have to offer…”

But maybe in a slightly less creepy way.

You can find my “slightly less creepy” offer by clicking here.

As a reader, what types of freebies do you enjoy from authors?

 

Blue Collar Heroes are the Best!

Do you agree?

It is my humble opinion there are not enough of them. Blue collar heroes, that is. There are a trillion billionaires out there, but give me someone who works with his hands any day. A guy who gets a little greasy. Isn’t afraid to get dirty. Works really, really hard for that paycheck. And then comes home to treat his lady like a queen. Yep, those are the heroes you’ll find in these books.

My contribution to the blue collar romance genre, by the way, is a chef. Connor Rikeland. He’s always had big dreams of being a world famous chef, but extenuating circumstances have forced him to hide out in a little bayou town in east Texas, where he takes a job as a cook in a small Cajun restaurant. Lucky for him the owner is hot, single, and more than willing to share her bed.

Until things get complicated, that is. Eventually Connor’s going to have to choose: Emily Kate or fame and fortune.

Delicious Deception

 

 

Check out this list of awesome blue collar heroes for your reading pleasure:

I LOVE BLUE COLLAR HEROES

 

 

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, and award winner. She writes all sorts of heroes, from blue collar to millionaire to vampires and shapeshifters, too. Check out her website. You’ll probably find a few you like: http://tamilund.com

Fun female field trip. (Not really.)

IMG_wkavozFor those of you who are squeamish, please, for the love of God, look away now. Don’t read any more.

For those of you who yearn to live vicariously through me…please, pull up a chair. Let me tell you about my day.

At 51-almost-52, my baby factory has been shut down for quite some time, due to the fact that I had my tubes tied after I had my youngest daughter almost 25 years ago.

I am now 300 months postpartum; I guess I should work on getting the baby weight off. (#tryharder)

A while back, despite having my tubes tied, I exhibited every single symptom of pregnancy. Sore boobs, lack of period, bloating, mood swings, nausea. In short, I was really, really fun to be around.   When I say really, really fun to be around, I am lying through my teeth.

Just when the symptoms made me think I should go buy a pregnancy test, (despite the slim odds) or a priest for my exorcism, what should happen?

Aunt Flo came to town.

And the flipping bitch didn’t want to leave.

I asked her nicely to leave. When that didn’t work, I pouted. I threw fits. I threatened.  I drank.  I bribed.

My family wisely hid the knives behind the furniture.

I finally said Uncle. I went to the doctor, explained everything, was examined, had blood drawn, levels tested, and a negative pregnancy test. All tests normal. (Praise God.) So far, so good. She then started me on something to help staunch the…well…you know. Besides the referral to an actual gynecologist, I thought that was the end of that.

Except that I had to get an ultrasound today.  And not just any ultrasound, mind you.

(*here’s where I would normally insert a picture.  However, I don’t have any pictures from the events of today that would be appropriate here.  After all, I don’t know you that well.)

The medical test from hell started when I had to drink 48 oz of water from 12:30 until 1:00 pm. I’m quite the water drinker. I drink water all day long. However, drinking this much water in ½ hour was enough to make even me gag.

I parked the car at the hospital and despite having my legs crossed tightly the entire time was able to get to the ultrasound department. It was approximately 7.5 miles from where I parked.  I was afraid I was going to be late.  The panicked staccato taps of my high heels on the tile floor took my mind off how badly I had to go to the bathroom.

Chris has a bad day

The first part of the test was uneventful. I greatly enjoyed the warmth of the ultrasound gel on my lower belly. It was very soothing. The room was quiet and the light was dim and I would have fallen asleep except for the excruciating pressure on my straining bladder.

When the test was over, I was led to the bathroom and told to take my time. I peed as if I hadn’t seen a toilet in a month. The relief was immediate and immense.

The ultrasound tech was hiding in the hallway and sprang out at me when I exited in the bathroom.

Her: “Are you ready for the second part of your test?”

Me: “Do you mean the part where I walk down the hall and find the exit?”

Her: (chuckling expansively) “Silly you. The second part, the internal exam.”

Me: (smile fades, face pales.) “No.  No, I’m not ready for that.”

Despite the elfin size, her iron grip lead me directly back into the room, where I am forced to “take off everything below the waist, but if you want to leave your shoes on you can.”

Leave my shoes on? Really?  And take everything else off?  I have on black high heels, no pantyhose. The thought of being nekked below the waist except for black high heels was a bit…pornographic to me. The shoes came off with all the other below the waist things, and I was grateful that I had a cute pedicure.

Funny what you think of, grooming wise, when you’re having an internal ultrasound. My toesies were not the only thing I had groomed, and I was glad.

“You’ll feel a slight pressure.” It was the only warning I got before the “wand” was “inserted” by Vlad the Impaler.

She apologized for the “pressure” over and over while applying said pressure and also for the fact that a couple of times I choked on it as it was coming up my throat.

Finally she finished up and withdrew the entire 3 feet of wand. I am thrown several dry washcloths to absorb all of the gel. I feel like the guy in the shower in “The Crying Game.”

She escorted me down the hall. I noticed that she kept looking to the right and left.

Me:   “Did you lose something?”

Her: “No. I’m just looking for the right sized broomstick. You’re not my only ultrasound today.”

***

(ps: everything turned out ok.)

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

*I went home and told my friend Lambrusco all about it.
**originally posted on The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Swiffer Shenanigans

pexels-photo-733555.jpeg“The dog had a seizure.” My husband is standing in the doorway of our bedroom. The hall light is shining in my bleary eyes. We have both had approximately four hours of sleep. I heave myself out of bed because when our dog has a seizure, it always involves a messy letting go of both bladder and bowel, with a side order of a touchy gag reflex thrown in for shits and giggles. (see what I did there?)

Our dog Cooper is an eight year old lab. His vet is clueless as to why he’s had a couple of seizures in the past four years, and they are just far enough apart that we almost forget how awful they are in between. Plus, once they’re over, he’s completely unaware of what happened and goes back to his normal self. We, however, are left to pick up the pieces and by that I mean clean up after him.

I pull on some clothes and walk into the hallway and realize Coop has pooped in so many places it looks like there’s been a pack of un-pottytrained dogs running loose and wild in the house. He’s peed, too, and thrashed around in it. He’s knocked over a TV tray with a loose, lengthy manuscript on it which I have to toss immediately into the garbage because it’s soaked in pee. Same with my new laptop case. LOVELY.

Aside from the messes when this occurs, Cooper never has an accident in the house but when one occurs, I’m very glad that we don’t have carpeting because it makes it so much easier to clean up. Coop, in the meantime, is ecstatic that we got up early to spend some quality time with him. So happy, in fact, that he insists on threading himself through our legs despite the fact that his coat is wet with urine. Ugh. I let him outside while we clean up.

Because my husband and I work so well together, even in the middle of the night cleaning up dog crap, I take the kitchen and darling hubby gets the living room. I pick up what I can pick up, then steam the kitchen floor clean.

Joe, on the other hand, has the Swiffer and he’s Swiffering the hallway and living room floor.

Wow, I think, as I steam the floor. I’m so lucky to have a guy who can mop so fast. Why, I never even heard him come into the kitchen for a Swiffer pad!

I surveyed the clean, disinfected kitchen with satisfaction. I let the dog back in and scrub him down with hot soapy towels while Joe finishes up. Funny, even with all the cleaning, it still smells rather…earthy in here.

I look down the hallway where my honeybear is just finishing up his floor washing.

“I got the kitchen done,” I say. “The dog’s all cleaned up, too.”

“Oh, great,” he says. He looks up and puts a hand on his hip and surveys the wet hallway. “I’m done here,” he sighs. “Let’s get to bed.” We’re both relieved at the prospect of climbing back into our warm bed and getting a few more hours of shut-eye.

I hold my hand out. “Honey, peel the Swiffer pad off and I’ll throw it in the garbage before I wash my hands. How many pads did you end up using?”

My cheerful helper looks at me with a questioning glance. “Pads? What pads?”

I realize the hallway and living room floors have just been mopped with a padless Swiffer. A lot of liquid cleaner pushed around by a empty Swiffer mophead.

Looks like we’re going to be up a little longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Goat’s Fault

I’m the one who got Chloe and Paynter together. It’s my fault. I’m responsible.

And don’t give me any of that happy coincidence bull crap. Or it was an accident. Or karma or fate or—eye roll—whatever.

It was me. I did it.

You see, I didn’t really enjoy my life out on that farm. It was boring. Nothing but animals bouncing around, acting crazy, getting in my face and stealing my hay when I was looking the other way, usually scoping out somebody else’s hay to steal. One time those crazy ass farmers even had the nerve to dress me in pajamas.

I can assure you, that was the last time. Some scars don’t ever go away. Like the scar from when I caught a glimpse of myself as I trotted past the freshly-washed car parked outside the barn—it’s just as bad as the permanent bite marks indented in the farmer’s hand.

So anyway, I needed to get away from those animals. They weren’t my style. I needed freedom…or something. So I left. A cattle guard ain’t a goat guard, after all.

I trotted right down that driveway and wobbled over those really, really uncomfortable-to-walk-on metal things the farm laid across the ditch at the fence line. Then I bounced along next to the road—getting more than my fair share of horn honks, I might add. Once I reached the end of the fence line, I veered left and headed across the field next to the farm. Honks or no, it’s a little intimidating and maybe a tad scary to walk next to a road where giant metal contraptions on four—and sometimes two—rubber wheels zoom along at speeds I can’t even really fathom.

Okay, I admit I may have bounced a little at that point. Maybe a lot. But bouncing is so much fun, and that field was so wide open and…and irresistible. It’s possible I didn’t really mean to run away. It’s possible I only wanted to see if the grass really was greener on the other side of the fence. (It is.) It’s possible I was having so much fun leaping and jumping and vaulting that I didn’t realize I’d left the farm behind until, well, I did.

Well, it only made sense to forge ahead. Besides, there was a lake ahead of me and I was thirsty. And, well, I like splashing in the water. Which I did, a lot. Until I noticed something shiny on the other side. Well, not exactly shiny, but certainly interesting. Big, two-story brick buildings, surrounded by bright, colorful flowers.

Yummy flowers. I particularly enjoy hydrangeas, FYI.

So I trotted along the lake’s edge until I reached the yard belonging to one of those red brick structures, and then I headed straight for the pink and blue flowers.

That’s when the lady saw me, the one with the dark hair, big blue eyes, and red lips. The guy who lives next door says she looks like Liz Taylor, but I don’t actually know what that means, so… shrug.

Anyway, next thing I know, she’s wrapped a rope around my neck and is stalking toward the guy, who, by the way, is staring at her like he wants to eat her. It’s the same way I stare at the hydrangeas. And then she hands the rope to him and says the joke’s on him, and the next thing I know, my name is Dog.

But then she says that’s a lousy name for a goat.

Wait, you didn’t know you were reading a blog post written by a goat? You don’t think we can write blogs? We do it all the time!

In between eating the hydrangeas, anyway.

***

If you’re curious as to what the hell the goat is talking about (and whether he got stuck with the name ‘Dog’), check out Chloe and Paynter’s book, Sexy Bad Neighbor:

Sexy couple

Tami Lund co-writes the Sexy Bad Series with Misti Murphy. Yes, there are other books in the series (Sexy Bad Daddy, Sexy Bad Boss, Sexy Bad Valentine). Yes, they are working on yet another book in the series. Join the Sexy Bad Lounge so you can stay up to date with what, when, where, how: https://www.facebook.com/groups/333091113758333/

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