Authors Should Be Readers Too

So I wrote this blog on my own website this past weekend, and I planned to “press” it, a.k.a. reblog it over here today, because I thought it was worth sharing … twice.

Except I upgraded my website and now the reblog option is conspicuously absent. So, instead of a reblog, you’re getting a copy/paste.

So here it is, my blog post about why I think authors should be readers too, and a few recommendations based on the last few books I’ve read. Because, you know, authors ARE readers too … or at least, they should be.

Enjoy!

https://tamilund.com/2018/12/02/authors-should-be-readers-too/

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Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, blogger, and sometimes she gives away free books as holiday presents. Like this one, which is only available for download until December 31st. Cheers!

GIFT OF THE GODS

 

Instacart, my new best friend.

So, I did a thing.

Last week, I found an Aldi Instacart order that I had abandoned a while back and peeked through it. Wow, I thought. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I actually do need, plus, I need milk for tonight. I started planning and scheming. I could order this stuff to come between 6 and 7, I thought, and by that point, I will have been home for an hour and able to clean the house while waiting for my groceries.

woman carrying basket of fruits and vegetables

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Friends, this isn’t like giving your husband a list to go to the store. No. I don’t know about your husband, but if I send him to the store for butter, I can guarantee you that he’s going to come back with unsalted and WHY WOULD YOU EVER BUY UNSALTED BUTTER to use on toast. (Not that it’s ever happened, of course.)

No, not like sending your husband or adult kids to the store at all because I order ahead of time, exactly what I want. You just click on the product, verify the quantity, and move on.  I did notice that some things were a little more than they’d be in the store, but not terribly more. Certainly not enough to dissuade me.

I chose carefully. Two boxes of slim jims. Popcorn. Half and half. Some avocados. All in all, it was about an $80 order.

I’ll admit to some trepidation here because I’m pretty finicky when it comes to picking out my produce. Was my anonymous shopper going to be as careful as I am? We would shortly find out. Spoiler alert: she did fine.

I had a $5 coupon which mitigated the approximately $8 charge. You might quail at an $8 charge. However, I am going to point out to you that the night I ordered Aldi groceries delivered to my house it was about 20 degrees and windy outside and that whole $8 was so well worth it. I wasn’t the one wheeling the cart to the car and unloading the groceries. I wasn’t the one schlepping the cart back to the corral to get my quarter back (in the cold) and I didn’t have to sit in traffic, either.

Was it worth the $8 to have this service?

YOU BET YOUR ASS IT WAS.

Also, the Instacart app keeps you updated on how many items your shopper has already gotten. If they’re out of a certain thing, the shopper texts you to find out if they can make a replacement. For instance, I wanted the peppermint ice cream that’s only out at the holidays but the shopper sent me a text that they were out, and did I wish her to make a substitution? Sure, my PMS said. Pick me up some chocolate.

I was notified when she finished and paid; I knew when she left the store to drive to my house, and I was notified when she pulled up. She was a very friendly young woman. I knew it was her because like Uber, Instacart sends you a picture of your shopper beforehand. I tipped her via the app.

Was it a little nerve wracking to relinquish control to someone else to shop for me? Yes.

Will I do it again?

HELLS to the yes.

Only the next time I probably won’t be cleaning the house, I’ll be wrapping presents.

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.

Need a Distraction From Football?

Or really just don’t care about it? I feel ya.

Despite my ambivalence over football, I do love a fantastic sports hero. I’m talking in romance books, of course!

And my friend Christa Maurice put together a nice list of sports romance, including my own book, Sexy Bad Daddy, which is about a golf pro and his nanny and all the naughty things that occur, despite their best intentions. (Also, in this book, you’ll find an adorable three-year-old daughter, a trouble-causing goat, and possibly a duck… yeah, you’re gonna have to read it to believe it.)

Here’s a teaser:

“So anyway, Paynt here thinks I’m not nearly as good at picking up the ladies as I am,” Garrett says.

“Actually, what I said was, you shouldn’t be,” his brother corrects him. “He sleeps around too damn much,” he explains for my benefit.

I bite my lip to keep from laughing. I’m guessing they’re drunk, or at least Garrett is.

“So tell me,” Garrett says, glancing up at me with puppy dog eyes that no doubt are at least partially to blame for the whole sleeping-around-too-damn-much issue. That muscle tone under his shirt certainly wouldn’t be a deterrent, either.

“I have a boyfriend,” I blurt. Danny’s not remotely my boyfriend—he’s more like my sibling, or maybe the perfect just friend to tag along when you want to hang out at a sports bar—but I need an out here. I know my own shortcomings when it comes to good-looking, older guys who smell like money. Best to put up that wall before this conversation goes any further.

“Too bad,” Garrett says. “But for the sake of argument, pretend you don’t. If I hit on you, would you go home with me?”

Before I decided to try to grow the hell up and get my life on track, the answer might have been yes, but for all the wrong reasons. Not anymore, though. I’m a new woman. A better woman.

“She’s hesitating.” Garrett stabs his finger at Paynter. “Told you. They can’t resist me.”

“You’re such an ass,” Paynter says.

“Nah, I’m living the dream. Just because you’re tied down to a goat and a hot executive doesn’t mean you gotta beat up on my perfectly satisfying lifestyle.”

A goat and a hot executive? I can’t decide if I want to stay and learn more or run away.

***

Here’s the link to SEXY BAD DADDYhttps://www.amazon.com/Sexy-Bad-Daddy-Book-ebook/dp/B071J2K6PH

And here’s the link to a whole bunch of sports romance, for your reading pleasure: https://christamaurice.com/2018/09/30/sports-romance/

 

Happy reading!

b6f96-sexy2bbad2bdaddy2bfinal

Tami Lund writes romance, including, on occasion, sports romance. And baby daddy romance. And funny romance. And FBI romance. And dragon romance. And vampire romance. Okay, Tami writes a lot of romance. Check out her website for the rather extensive list: https://sexybadbooks.com/books-by-tami-lund/

 

Sexy Bad Halloween Freebie – Only ‘Til 10/11

Guess what? Guess what? Guess what? I just released another book! This one’s contemporary — another in the Sexy Bad series, for those keeping track — and it’s a Halloween read. And it’s F*R*E*E* until Thursday, 10/11. So grab it, read it, leave a review and tell me what you think. Gooooooo!

SEXY BAD HALLOWEEN – What’s it about?

Alex

I stepped into the costume shop looking for something to wear to a Halloween party. What I got was a chance meeting with my childhood best friend, Victoria Ruben. We haven’t spoken since her mom and my dad had an affair and took her and moved across the country, twelve years ago.

Despite a less-than-stellar shared past, I want to get to know my friend again. Maybe as more than friends. But she’s hesitant.

So I suggest a game with only one rule: Let’s go on ten dates… without sex.

Victoria

My life is complicated enough without Alex Darling stepping back into it. So I definitely should not have taken him up on his challenge of ten dates without sex. Because, yeah, the more reacquainted we become, the more I want to get to know him better, a lot better. Like maybe forever better.

Which can’t happen. Because I have a secret, and it involves Alex, and when he finds out, he’ll want nothing to do with me ever again.

 

Chapter One

ALEX

“I’m not usually such a procrastinator,” I say as I burst through the door of the costume shoppe—so the sign hanging from the eaves proclaims—and bustle inside, determined to get this annoying task over with.

The single occupant of the store pauses in the process of doing who knows what to a silver and blue dress with a billowing, floor-length skirt, and glances over her shoulder. “Welcome to Victoria’s Vintage Costumes.”

“Are you Victoria?” I move away from the door, glancing at a grouping of mannequins dressed in suits with frilly cuffs and dresses with skirts as wide as they are long. There are other statues dressed in flapper dresses and some in zoot suits and still others in—are those animals? They look frighteningly real. Although ridiculously large. Like, nightmare-inducing large.

“Technically, yes. But I go by Tori, even though I’m not.”

There might be a political joke in her statement, but I’m too focused on my task to try to work it out, so I say nothing.

“Well, anyway, I take it you have to attend a party tonight?” She climbs down from a stepladder and whips a tape measure out of the pocket in her capris as she strides toward me. Her hair is a rainbow—pink and blue and green and purple, twisted into a braid that drapes over her shoulder and topped with one of those fake flower wreath-like decorations sold at county fairs and German festivals. And here, apparently, as I note a tarnished silver rack perched on a nearby glass case is dripping with them.

She’s wearing a simple white tank top, and there’s a tattoo on her shoulder that disappears down her back. I’ve never really cared one way or the other about tattoos, but I want to get closer to inspect this one. Maybe it’s the smooth, satin-looking skin on her neck.

Or maybe it’s the braless boobs staring me in the face.

Shaking my head, I say, “No. I need a Halloween costume.”

She freezes mid-step and stares at me like I’ve said something insanely ridiculous. “Did you say Halloween?”

“Yes.”

“The holiday that falls on October thirty-first each year?”

I frown. “Yes, that’s the one.”

“The one that’s two months away?”

Yes, this is the Halloween I’m speaking of. Not sure why she needs so much clarification. Last time I checked, that particular holiday hasn’t changed in, well, not in my lifetime at least. And considering we look to be about the same age, I’d say not in hers either.

“That’s two months away,” she repeats, still staring at me like I’ve lost my marbles. “I haven’t even begun to set up my Halloween displays. My costumes left over from last year are still in storage, and the new ones I ordered won’t be here for at least two weeks. It’s still summer, for Christ’s sake.”

My gaze bounces around the shop again. “There are a ton of costumes here.”

“Yes, but they aren’t Halloween costumes.”

Something about this exchange feels a lot like dèjá vu. As if someone snapped their fingers and took me back to my childhood. There was this girl who lived next door to me. Her name was Victoria, and we were polar opposites. I said tomahto, she said tomato, and we’d argue until I got sick of it and let her have her way. She’d never let me have the last word…ever.

“Wait—Victoria Ruben?”

She looks up sharply.

“Vicks?” I give the rainbow hair a cursory glance and then dismiss it. Hair could easily be altered. But eyes…those vivid green eyes had always felt as though they were staring into my soul whenever they looked at me. Considering we lived next door to each other for ten years, that happened a lot.

“Ugh. No one has called me Vicks VapoRub in a decade, at least. Not since middle school.” She narrows her eyes and studies me until the light pops on over her head. Not literally, of course, but her face brightens with recognition after a few moments.

“Alex? Holy cripes, Alex Darling? Well, aren’t you a blast from my past. How the hell are you?” She grasps my bicep and gives it a squeeze, then leaves her hand there while staring at my shirtsleeve. “Wow.”

“Wow what?” I glance down at her hand now roaming my arm and shoulder, almost like she’s giving me a massage. It feels kind of good. Must to her, too, if the state of her nipples is any indication.

“You’ve filled out. I mean, you’re still on the skinny side and, not surprisingly, tall as all get out, but damn.”

While Victoria, er, Tori’s childhood nickname had been based around her name, mine were all about my stature. Bean Pole, Daddy Long Legs, Gandalf, Q-Tip. I’ve heard them all—and I’m pretty sure Victoria came up with every single one of them.

“So have you,” I retort, and then snap my mouth shut because where the hell did my filter run off to?

She glances down at her perky nips and chuckles. “Yeah, they tend to do that when I rub buff guys’ arms.”

Unlike me, Vicks never had a filter. I clear my throat and avert my gaze like the polite guy my mother raised me to be. “So, you’ve moved back to Chicago?”

“Yep. Your mom may have run mine off, but she can’t keep me away.”

“She didn’t run her off,” I protest, but it’s weak. Because we both know what happened that summer after eighth grade.

“Well, technically, your mom caught my mom and your dad fooling around in a department store dressing room.”

Yeah, I remember. I was with my mother that day. We were at Macy’s, shopping for shorts because I’d grown another few inches since the summer before. My dad was supposed to be at work, and who the hell knew what Vicks’s mom should have been doing. Certainly not bending over and begging my dad to give it to her from behind while in a public place. Or any place, really.

“And after she went home and stewed on it for a few hours, your mom came over to my house and threatened mine with a cleaver. It was the first time I’d ever seen a cleaver. After your mom calmly walked back out the door, I had to ask mine what it was.”

I grimace. “You guys moved out the next day.”

“Actually, we went to a hotel while my mom regrouped and figured out what the hell to do.”

“Which turned out to be stealing my dad and moving to Washington.”

“I wouldn’t say it was stealing, per se. He went quite willingly.”

Yeah, I remember that part, too. My mom was a wreck. I’d had to push aside my grieving over losing my father—which was okay because it wasn’t really much of a loss anyway—to help her figure out how to get along as a single parent.

“So.” I clear my throat. “How is my dad anyway?” I haven’t talked to him since the day he chose her mom over mine. Her kids over me.

Vicks lifts one shoulder. “No idea. Haven’t seen him in, I don’t know, ten years or so. I think he moved to LA. Haven’t heard from him since.”

“Oh man, that sucks. I’m sorry.” Sure, her mother shouldn’t have hooked up with my dad, a married man at the time, but neither did she deserve for him to treat her the same way he treated me.

She flaps her hand. “Trust me, he wasn’t worth keeping.”

I agree with her, despite the nights I laid awake, listening to my mother cry herself to sleep for months after he left. Or maybe I agree because of that.

After a moment, I ask, “So, how is the rest of your family? Your mom, your brother? Did they move back too?”

“Two brothers now.” She lifts her pointer and middle finger. “And no, Mom and Jace didn’t come back to Chicago. Mom’s still in Washington, and I’m not really sure where Jace is at the moment.”

“Your mom had another kid?” I know I shouldn’t judge—glass houses and all—but that means unless Ms. Ruben, or whatever her last name is now, got back together with either Vicks’s or Jaces’s dad, she now has three kids from three different men.

Vicks toys with her tape measure, tugging the strip out of the small plastic holder and then letting it snap back in, over and over, until my arm lifts of its own accord, ready to grab the thing from her hand.

Finally, she stops and stuffs the contraption into her pocket. “Yeah, well, she’s not very good at using protection when she’s mad, and apparently she’s a big fan of angry sex.”

Not something I ever needed to know about her mother. Or anyone’s mother, really.

“She’s way better at producing children than she is at taking care of them,” she adds. “Hence the reason I’m back here.”

Poor Vicks. I can’t imagine what her life has been like since they left Chicago twelve years ago. I mean, sure, my mom had to go back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent for my entire life up to that point, had to fight for every pitiful penny my dad coughed up for child support, but not once did I ever feel like she did not love me, did not want me, did not have every intention of taking care of me to the best of her ability.

And if Vicks is still anything like she was when we hung out in elementary and middle school, I cannot tell her I feel sorry for her. Even at a young age, she had pride by the bucket full.

She shakes her head and chuckles humorlessly as she steps behind the glass-encased counter positioned to the left of the entrance. “I think we could both use a stiff one, huh?”

“A stiff one?” I glance over my shoulder at the glowing ‘open’ sign. “Now?”

She snorts out a laugh as she reaches underneath an ancient cash register, pulling out a bottle of golden liquid with a cork stopper and no label.

“What is that?” I ask, giving her offering a dubious look.

“Honey mead. I make my own. It’s quite good, actually.”

“No thanks. I don’t usually drink before five.” And I’ve never had homemade booze in my life. Even though I’m salivating, despite my words. Not sure if that’s because I want to forget the stuff Vicks just told me or if it’s to help process it.

She pulls two lowball glasses from under the counter and pours a hefty amount into both of them. Either she can read minds or she ignored me when I declined her offer. She pushes one of them across the glass surface toward my hand, and I grab it before it tips over the edge and races to shatter on the floor.

“If I didn’t know your mother, I’d find that statement very strange. I still do, but at least I understand where it comes from.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Your mom is pretty damn neurotic. So it’s not surprising some of her issues rubbed off on you.”

Hey, that’s my mom she’s talking about. And me, for that matter. “Your mom isn’t exactly a saint, either.”

“Never said she was. In fact, her very obvious lack of sainthood is probably what lured your dad away from your mom. I bet your mom was just as high-strung in bed as she was in the rest of her life.”

An unbidden image of my parents having sex pops into my head. Ugh. I lift the glass of mead to my lips and take a shaky sip. It’s spicy and sweet, like honey laced with jalapeño, and it helps push the idea of my mother having sex—any sex, high-strung or not—out of my head.

“This feels like it’s turning into a mother bashing contest,” I say, taking another drink. This one goes down far more smoothly. Which is saying something, because that first swallow wasn’t bad at all.

“Okay, let’s stop,” Vicks says easily enough. She lifts her glass. “How is it?”

“Surprisingly good.”

She gives her drink a dubious look. “Surprisingly?”

“Nothing personal,” I assure her while continuing to sip away. “It’s just I’ve never had honey mead before, and certainly not homemade. But I like it.”

“Oh. Okay.” She touches the rim of her glass to mine. “To rekindled friendships.”

I like that. As much as she teased me and I harassed her when we were kids, Vicks had been the calming influence in my life before my dad and her mom managed to turn our worlds upside down with their stupid affair. I haven’t felt that same sense of relaxation since. I didn’t even realize I missed it until this moment.

“It’s so good to have you back, Vicks.”

She lifts her glass, touches the rim to mine. “It’s surprisingly good to be here, although I returned to Chicago eight years ago.”

“What the hell took you so long to come back into my life?” I ask, my filter giving out again. Or maybe it’s the mead, because my glass is empty.

“Can I have a refill?”

KEEP READING FOR FREE IF YOU GRAB IT BY 10/11/18: https://www.amazon.com/Sexy-Bad-Halloween-Tami-Lund-ebook/dp/B07J3PBC8L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539042683&sr=8-1&keywords=tami+lund+sexy+bad+halloween

While each book in the Sexy Bad Series contains a stand-alone happily ever after, this is the suggested reading order:

Sexy Bad Neighbor
Sexy Bad Daddy
Sexy Bad Boss
Sexy Bad Valentine
Sexy Bad Escort
Sexy Bad Halloween

And here’s the Sexy Bad website, if you want more, more, more: https://sexybadbooks.com/

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes Sexy Bad contemporary and paranormal books. A whole lot of them. You should check out the Sexy Bad website above to see all of them….

 

 

In which Joe runs out of clean underwear.

This year, when the kiddies were all getting their new folders and crayons for the start of school, I was right along with them. I’m taking some courses to complete my Bachelor’s degree. All online, of course, because that’s the world we live in.

However, I still did treat myself to some new crayons. I huff them every chance I get and put them up very high so the grandies have to use the Rose Art ones.

close up of crayons

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My first class went pretty well for about a month, at which point I realized that I had signed up for a second session that started midway through the first class. Now I would have two classes to work on, both requiring large PowerPoint presentations and multiple page papers all formatted APA style.

Enough whining, though. Suffice it to say that nights around the Cacciatore household were a tiny bit busier. A lot busier. Like, a LOT plus I was doing homework on the weekends, writing paper after paper and wrestling with Word to figure out all the stupid fancy indentions. I made leftovers more. I haven’t dusted. I have my kids’ baby pictures still to put in their baby books.

What this meant for my long-suffering husband Joe was that I may have slacked off a tiny bit in the housework department. Now, it’s just the two of us anyway, so aside from the errant pair of socks on the living room floor and two coffee cups in the morning, it’s a breeze to keep clean. (Oh, and the black lab dog hair that clouds up and wafts all over the house but that’s a story for another time.)

person adjusting control on front load clothes washer

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

One thing that suffered mightily was the laundry—obviously—and one morning my husband came running up to me where I was applying makeup in the bathroom. “I can’t seem to find any clean underwear in my drawer. Am I missing it somewhere?”

Yeah, I thought to myself. You’re missing it because it’s still in the bottom of the hamper, where it’s been for a week, because although I have enough underwear for four women, you have only ten pairs and OH MY GOSH has it been ten days since I did the laundry?

It had. I followed him to the laundry folding table where I make a big show of looking for his underwear that I know are damn well in the hamper.

“Why don’t you just go commando? Wear Ballfree underwear?” I snicker. I mean, I wouldn’t (personal choice) but Joe’s a dude.

Dear Reader, you would think that I asked Joe to go to work naked. His mouth dropped open. He was scandalized. Years of Catholic training bubbled up and over the top. He looked trapped, like I backed him into a corner. Go without underwear? GO WITHOUT UNDERWEAR?

tenor

courtesy of angrydooting

“I guess—I guess I’ll just rewear the ones from yesterday.” He dejectedly pulled them out of the hamper and pulled them back on, all the while making a face like he was changing a dirty diaper.

I had to look away from his histrionics and smother a laugh, but I took pity on him. “Darling, I promise I’ll do some laundry tonight and get your skivvies all clean. Don’t worry.”

And I did. (But the ones he wore twice went through two washes, just fyi.)

 

A List of Spicy Firsts

Every author has a first. Published book, that is. And my friend, Christa Maurice, has compiled a list of author firsts for you. How about we go back to our beginnings, shall we?

Click below and enjoy!

SPICY FIRSTS

The Bartender

Tami Lund’s first published book is called The Bartender. It’s a coming of age love story about love lost and found again, and a hero and heroine who may be too scared to give love the second shot it deserves… THE BARTENDER