Guest Blogging, New Books & Recipes

Hey, so I guest blogged somewhere else this week, and figured I’d send you all over there today, instead of figure out something new to write. It’s interesting – it’s about how the book I’m releasing next week (Baby, I’m Home) came to be. And there’s a chance to win a free copy of it, too. Oh, and there’s a YUMMY recipe!

So, take a look, have a read, try the recipe, and then leave a comment to possibly get to read Baby, I’m Home for free: SCORCHING BOOK REVIEWS


Tami Lund Headshot 2014



Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, wins awards, and sometimes looks for the easy way out of her twice monthly blogging date…

Not Quite Twilight

My husband has put up with it for years.  My sister and I have a pact about it.  If I wake up in the middle of the night and it’s not done, I’ll do it.

I believe with every fiber of my being that if I go to bed without pulling the covers up to my chin, vampires are going to somehow not only be alerted but also line up for a slurp of my A positive.  Perhaps brag to their friends to my piquant taste and vintage bouquet.  Sell raffle tickets in the Vampire Gazette for a tasty drink of my blood.

I have my good buddy Stephen King to thank for this, as one of the many times I was shoved out of the house and told to go find something to do during the summer, I went to the library and picked up the book ‘Salem’s Lot.  At the tender age of 14 or so, I think that my mother probably should have been monitoring my weekly library checkouts a little more carefully.  It’s one more blame to hang on the maternal mantle.

At this point, I don’t remember if we rented the movie ‘Salem’s Lot or it was on a special TV night, but in the end, does it matter?  What matters is I became familiar with the bloodsucker material along with my brother and sister, who are four and six years younger than I, putting them at 10 and six at the time of the viewing.

silhouette of a man in window

“Come back later.” Photo by Donald Tong on

Fourteen, ten and six, people, and we’re watching ‘Salem’s Lot.  Floating vampires outside your window, using their squeaky talons to request access into the home.  Let me in, they’d say.  I’m so cold.

We probably should have flipped the channel to something more age appropriate; for instance, Little House on the Prairie?  Zoom?  Flip Wilson?  The Sonny and Cher Show or Donny and Marie?  No one flipped the channel, however, and there we all sat, glued to the TV.

After watching this movie, whichever of us kids drew the short straw to take the dog out would skreek our fingernails down the bay windows to make the exact noise of the flying Glick boys in the movie, giggling the entire time.  We said we were doing it to scare the others but I think it was more that we wanted a connection, no matter how tenuous, to the people inside while we were outside, with things unseen in the dark, and a big, stupid dog that would rather sniff 1100 things rather than pee.

It was only funny until bedtime.  At that point, lying in bed and frozen with fear, that shit got real.   Any sound, especially crickets, began to resemble the sound of those long, green, brittle, broken fingernails scraping the windows.  Looking for entrance.  Begging the children of the household to obey their trancelike urges and open the window or door to let them in.

For a quick snack, that’s all.

It was at that point, 32 years ago, that I began pulling the covers up as high as I could to cover every inch of neck that might be exposed.

I never forgot.  I never relaxed.

Fast forward to every single night after that.  When it’s time for bed, I brush my teeth; kick the 130 pound Labrador out of the way long enough to slide under the flannel sheets and…

This part is important.  Stay with me.

I AM 51 YEARS OLD. I still pull the covers right up to my chin.  Still.   And that’s where they remain, even when my icy-footed husband kicks the giant black creature fully out of our bed and climbs in.  Even when he gets into bed and I reluctantly allow him a meager portion of our covers.  Once he is settled I simply retuck the covers around my neck.  My husband is long used to this procedure.  Sometimes he even does it for me.  I think it’s husbandly concern but it’s more likely he’s just indulging me and my weirdness.

Yes, I’m afraid of vampires, folks. Not to the point where I can’t read about them or watch movies about them (hello, Lost Boys).  I’m fine during the day.  But nighttime?  Nighttime is a different story, ever since I saw that ‘Salem’s Lot movie and countless vampire movies since.  My vampire phobia strikes at night, when my mind is a little more open to those sorts of things.  When I’m a little more vulnerable.

I have a feeling–sometimes a certain resolute knowledge–that at night, a sly vampire is crouching in a corner of my room, waiting for the exact moment when I forget to pull the blankets up high enough, leaving a tiny, succulent strip of skin exposed.  The one watching me from the corner is the same one who has been assigned to watch me since I was 14.  He’s not cute.  There’s nothing sexy about him.  He’s not suave like George Hamilton was in “Love at First Bite.”  I imagine he’s got glittery eyes.   Yellow skin.  Long, sharp teeth.  Stringy hair.

He also has unholy patience, which is why I cannot let my guard down for even one minute.  He’s a vampire who means business.

My extreme vamp phobia even caused me to call my sister one time a few years ago, in a complete panic, just to make sure she knew that if I was ever in a coma, she needed to come in every night and pull my covers up to my chin so that the vampire wouldn’t be able to bite me in the middle of the night.

Without even batting an eye, she agreed and had a condition of her own; if she was ever in a coma I had to come and pluck any chin hairs.

It’s a price I’m willing to pay.

Stuff it, Miss Muffet

It’s not that I’m afraid of spiders. I’m really not. As long as I can see and squish them.

Last night before getting into bed, Joe and I were changing the sheets. I was trying to get my pillow into a pillowcase by stuffing it in then hurling it over my head and down onto the ground again and again. I was having a hard time because putting my pillow into a pillowcase is like fitting ten pounds of flour into a five-pound bag…but WORTH IT.

Mid hurl, I noticed up on the ceiling a gigantic black spider. Big enough to have a driver’s license. Big enough to qualify for a zip code. More importantly, big enough that if that sucker landed on my side of the bed while I slept, I would have felt the mattress move. And don’t even get me started on the fangs.


actual size.

Well, obviously this wouldn’t do. I would have to kill it. Meaning I’d have to have Joe kill it, once I got my stupid pillowcase on.

A couple more overhead hurls with the pillowcase and I looked back up to find that the spider was gone.


I think the puffs of air from the vigorous pillowcase action had blown him down, because he was not skittering down the wall, not moved over on the ceiling a little bit, but gone as in could be anywhere, could be under the bed, could be hiding on my side of the mattress. Obviously we’d have to get the flamethrower out.

Joe indicated he’d rather hold off on the flamethrower and instead got down on all fours to look under the bed with a flashlight. There were lots of things under the bed. A slipper I thought I’d lost. About fifteen purple earplugs that had gone missing. An earring. And about two hundred pounds of dog hair…

But no spider.

“I’ll go get the flamethrower now,” I told Joe.

“Why don’t you just get the other flashlight and help me look,” he responded patiently.

“I’m not sleeping in this room unless we find the spider,” I said, as I peered under the bed with my light. “If you want to be gobbled up in the middle of the night, that’s your business. But I won’t be in here to save you.”

It’s then I see it cavorting under the bed. It’s the size of a ping-pong ball and hairy, and it’s in a hurry because it knows when there’s a flashlight shining his way, the sole of a shoe is about to follow. The drawback is that to pull him out and squish him, I have to lure him closer to me. Closer is not a word I like to associate with spiders.

I take the aforementioned slipper and a deep breath, then scoot Gigantor out into the open, where I use Joe’s good dress shoe to pound him into oblivion.

At least I’ll be able to sleep tonight, though, as long as there isn’t any spider family who’s going to come looking for retribution.


“Looking for Chris Cacciatore. Have you seen her?”

I’m Not Gonna Blog About #Cockygate…Okay, Yes, I Am

So #cockygate exploded on Twitter before I had a chance to come up with a post for this week’s blog. And it’s still going strong now that I’m down to the wire and have to get something up for you all to read. Oh, the self-imposed deadlines!

I thought about discussing something entirely different, but I was worried it would get lost in all the drama. Okay, and I couldn’t really think of anything else.

So let’s talk #cockygate.

I’m not going to give you a recap because you already know what’s going on. And if you don’t, climb out from under your rock and check out the hashtag on Twitter. But be prepared to get sucked in for a few hours. Not exaggerating. I also recommend checking out the hashtag if you really do have time to kill because in amongst all the anger and shock and frustration are some pretty hilarious gems. The creativity of some of these tweets tells me there are lots of talented people affected by this drama.

I’m not going to bash the author because, um, that’s well and truly taken care of, and that’s not my M.O. anyway. I prefer to make fun of a situation. Actually, I prefer to stay out of bullshit like this altogether but this time, I couldn’t. Not unlike the entirety of the romance community, it appears.

I’m not going to blather on about the legality of it all, because I’m not a lawyer (although I hear a writer who is a lawyer has gotten involved, which, if it must happen at all, is pretty damn cool) and I don’t honestly know. It doesn’t seem like someone could trademark a common word and refuse to let other people use it in a country where freedom of speech is taken to some pretty crazy extremes, but hey, I don’t work at the trademark office. And if whomever does work there made a colossal mistake and accidentally gave this person the right to trademark something they shouldn’t have, well, I’m really glad I don’t work there.

What I am going to do is unabashedly promote a friend’s book because, 1) it has the word ‘cocky’ in the title. And 2) she didn’t copy her work from that other author, who I’m pretty sure she didn’t know existed until this past weekend. And 3) it’s a really good book. Not just because of the cool title, but because she’s a really good writer. I know this because I’ve read everything she’s ever put out, oh, and I happen to co-write with her, too. Heard of my Sexy Bad series?

What? You haven’t? Well, go check out the website, I’ll wait:

Hey, welcome back! So yeah, Misti Murphy is the other half of that writing duo, and she has a few books of her own and they’re all quite good. And while I think you should read every single one, I want to especially call out the cockiest one of them all:


Cocky F@#ker on Amazon

So I think that about covers it. Questions? Let me know. Recommended cocky reads? Let me know those, too!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014


Tami Lund is a writer, wine drinker, award winner, and supporter of her fellow authors. Because we all just want to read romance…

Here’s her website:

The Swamp Monster’s Skin Cancer Check-Up

Waiting for a new tire Saturday, I decided to amuse myself (and my sister) by sharing an embarrassing story with her about my visit to the dermatologist.

I had basal cell carcinoma last year (you can read about it here) so I have to be more cautious about these types of things now.

After a long day of work sitting at a desk in a warm office, I had a late afternoon appointment for a full body skin cancer check. I wasn’t able to go home and change and felt…swampy.

So I texted her, and below is an absolute exact transcript.

Me to sister: Settle in. So, yesterday…

Sister to me: *puts the tea on

Me: I had a full body skin check, which was all clear, so good for me

Me: But

Sister: Butt?

Me: I was super conscious of my naked thighs sticking together

Me: Keep in mind I had sat my ass down all day

Sister: Like fruit strips on the roll. Hoo boy this is going to get good

Me: So she checks front of thighs and all is well.

Me: Then asks me to stand up and turn around

Me: Please refer to sitting all day

Me: So I stood up and tried to turn around

Sister: *blinking.* Paper got stuck up your crack?


Sister: NEKKED


Me: The very tippy top of my fat ass thighs stuck together (I’m standing on the footstool part of the patient table)

Sister: Suction sound?

Me: So when I turned around the back of my left leg stayed turned around.

Me: I had to physically spread my legs so my other things could CATCH UP

Me: All while this doctor is seated about four inches from my crotch

Me: Refer to sitting all day and underpants were probably soaked with old lady sweat and fecundity effluvia (I have to apologize to you, dear reader, if I am offending you in any way, but I was trying to get my point across, plus I was going for maximum effect)

Sister: The word that comes to mind is…waft

Me: I know those aren’t two words that normally go together but they sure applied in this case

Me: Waft. Yes, waft.

Me: God. And she was pregnant and probably would have preferred to smell my feet again than do another upper thigh check

Me: *takes swiftest glance ever. “Yep, all good.”

Me: That is all. But I’m laughing telling you.

Sister: Probably needed a quick foot sniff to replace the lingering odor

Sister: What did her face do?

Me: Remained perfectly professional

Me: But probably wanted to do thisScreenshot_20180506-225036

Me: I had to tell someone and this surely will be my blog tomorrow.

Me: I did manage to gather much of the paper up in my underwear-wearing crack, though. Good catch there.

Me: I never felt so old and stinky in my life

Sister: Nothing like the good old butt print on the paper.

Me: I never even thought about my underwear or wiping down, changing my undies, just about putting Vicks on my feet in the morning because she checks in between each toe (Please remember that I’m just trying to provide the facts, and I did in fact say this was an actual transcript, so I’m leaving in the not so savory part.)

(The rest of the conversation, via screen shot)


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, (#5 coming in August!) and their antics keep her in stitches.