Book Release - A FALLOW HEART

Monday, December 31, 2012
January 1, 2013 marks the one-year anniversary of my dad being gone. After he died, I wrote like a maniac to finish my farm boy story in honor of him, since he was a farmer.

This Fall, I finally contracted my story to Sweet Cravings Publishing. It was scheduled to release in May 2013 but got a way-early release for December 28th, which I have to say is perfect for this upcoming anniversary.

A Fallow Heart is dedicated in memory of my dad and I'm very honored to be able to share it with the world.

In loving memory of :
Glen Criss Crumpacker
Hard-working Farmer
Devoted Husband
Dependable Dad
Honorable Man

I'd like to thank Carol Kilgore for helping me so much with my Texas research. And lots of love to Ivy Bateman for her helpful critique. Then more hugs to Megan and Renee at Secret/Sweet Cravings Publishing for their awesome editing expertise.

In other writing news, I sold a new story!!! But we'll talk more about that later. Today, I'm ending the year with a book trailer for A Fallow Heart!

Hope you all have a happy new year!

Merry Christmas 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012
From my house to yours, I wish you all a very merry Christmas tomorrow!!!

May you have lots of books in your stocking, or at least lots of gift cards to buy lots of books!

I'm off work at the day job this week, so I'll be enjoying some time with my family and probably reading, due to all the purchases I'll be making on the Kindle gift card I already know I'm getting for Christmas from my wonderful, amazing husband!!

I finally have all my Christmas shopping done and all my Christmas cards sent out! Yeah, me! This silly pose was the kiddo's favorite picture to take for our Christmas card pictures.

She's been begging for two weeks to open all her presents under the tree. It's the first year she's really been aware of Christmas, so it's a blast to watch her get so excited about all the decorating and present opening.

The hubby and I had a little too much fun buying presents for her too. Since Little Miss Personality has developed such a personality, we kept saying "She'd love this, oh, she'd love this," in just about every aisle of Toys R Us that we shopped.

But seriously, she is so going to love the things we got her!

I hope you love your Christmas holiday as well. God bless and take care.

Baby, You're Cold Inside

Friday, December 21, 2012
Today, I'm going to let Ivy Bateman take it away and chat a bit about her newest book, which, hot, hot and yet oh-so cold!


Hello Everyone

Thank-you for stopping by and thank-you to Linda who is kindly helping to promote me and my latest release from Breathless Press, Baby, You're Cold Inside, on release day!

2012 has been quite good to me. At this point last year I was eagerly awaiting the release of my first book Between the Lines and now here I am, only a year later, out and about, promoting my third book. Also, at this time last year, I didn't have a sweet clue about how to promote myself. Blog tours, blog hops—these terms were completely foreign to me! However, once I figured out what they were, I knew that they were something I was going to have to get on board with pretty quickly or I'd be stuck at the back of cyber shelves everywhere, but how?

I'll tell you how I learned the ropes: support. Through my own blog and forcing myself upon other blogs, I've met some great writers this past year, writers that I now not only consider my friends, but who have been an incredible source of friendly advice, patient guidance and when I need it, constructive criticism. Also, they are writers whom I've been able to turn to when I'm not feeling the love from other places and they are writers I can just chat with about things that have nothing to do with writing. I'm not sure where I'll be writing career wise a year from now, but I can tell with all honesty that one of the best things that has happened to me because of writing is the connections I've made both in my face to face world and on the internet.

To me, that spells success.

The main character in my book Baby, You're Cold Inside, Lily Sinclair, was incredibly fun to write. She's confident, says things out loud that no one should ever say, but she is strong and completely at ease with the person she is. Far too many of us live our lives as people who we really aren't. We are shadow figures, representations of what people around us expect us to be. In February, I'm turning 40 and it's only been in the past few years, and especially since I've taken up writing as more than a hobby,  that I've stopped my shadow charade. I am who I am and if people don't like this dramatic, very silly, a bit odd, quick to laugh at nonsense, passionate (ok, emotionally volatile) person who stands before them, that's ok. I've found people like me, supportive people, people who also want to be themselves and not  pretend to be someone else and as I hit the big 4-0, I'm happy to say that, much like Lily Sinclair, I finally know who I am.

However you celebrate the holidays, I hope you are sharing them with loved ones and friends who offer support and kindness and help you to be the person you really want to be.

--Ivy Bateman


Blurb for Baby, You're Cold Inside, By Ivy Bateman

Lily Sinclair isn't in the Christmas spirit.

Successful, sexy and headstrong; being nice is too overrated when being naughty is so much more fun. However, there are those who believe that her cool interior stands in her way of true happiness. On the night when something a little bit colder than Lily takes her on a journey to her past, she goes along for the ride, but...

Will her guide show her just what it will take to melt her icy soul?


Excerpt from Baby, You're Cold Inside By Ivy Bateman
*Erotic Bits - Beware*

"Why'd you bring me here?" I gesture to the circle of trees.

"So you assume that I arranged this?"

"Well, I don't see any other magic, frost people around," I say, trying to keep my sarcastic tone in check.

"Well, was me, but why aren't you more shocked? A lot of people freak out when this kind of thing happens to them! I thought for sure that even you would be impressed to be taken back to a point in your past. But no, you're just as full of attitude watching your past as you are in the present! The guys and I really thought we'd be able to break your hostile exterior." He genuinely seems hurt, but it doesn't faze me.

"The guys? What guys?" I put my hands on my hips and face him.

"Yes, the guys, well and some girls, my co-workers, we who work for St. Jude."

"St. Jude."

"Yes," he says, his voice filled with pride

"The saint for hopeless cases?"


Our banter is interrupted by a loud groan. We look over at Cory the rutting wonder and past Lily. I can tell Phillip assumes the noise came from Cory, but I remember it was me, expressing my sour mood. This guy had one move; put it in, pull it out and repeat. It got old fast.

I shake my head and look back at Phillip. "They can't see us, right?"

"No, they can't see us, or hear us, or anything like that. So getting back to St. Jude..."

"Yes, work for the saint of hopeless causes, Phillip. I got that. So why are you here? Oh wait!" I put my hand up to stop him from talking. "You and the guys think I am a hopeless case or cause or whatever! That's a riot! Are you here to help me?"

Frozen Phillip momentarily transitions into assistant Phillip. He looks down at his feet and scrunches his face. He appears embarrassed. I laugh loudly.

"You are! That's insane! I don't need any help!"

"Well, Lily, we disagree," he starts speaking very slowly, as if he was talking to a child. "We've been watching you for quite a few years. Your attitude toward your fellow man has been a kilter for more than a little while and we think it's time to intervene. Most people who are not very nice eventually have an epiphany, a sort of a wakeup call and change their ways, but not you. You seem to thrive on making people miserable, but in the end it's not going to help you." Phillip stops and looks into my eyes. He's probably trying to see if this is moving me at all. I stare blankly back at him, crossing my arms under my breasts.

"And?" I snap at him.

Phillip swallows before he continues. "And every Christmas season, because at this time of the year people are often at their kindest, we are all given a 'hopeless case,' a person to turn around. This year I was given you as my project. I've been sent by the powers that be to help you find your kinder side. We think that somewhere under your cold exterior lies a warm heart, a gentler person and we'd like to bring that out in you."

I howl with laughter. "Wow, Phillip, do I feel sorry for you! How'd you get stuck with me? Did you draw the short straw?" I'm laughing so hard I'm in tears, but I stop soon after. The snow suit is too tight for a lot of mirth.
"Lily, I'm quite serious."

"Oh I believe you, my dear. Don't worry. The icy get up, the trip to the past, it's all very dramatic, but come on, Phillip! Why on earth do you and your guys care about one bitchy woman? Besides, I don't think I'm a hopeless case. I think I'm fabulous. You're wasting your time. Aren't there people who have seriously hopeless cases that you could be working on?"

He smiles brightly. "See right there! The fact that you can think of people other than yourself, that you can imagine there are suffering people who need help shows that you have a bit of warmth in your soul."

I scoff at him. "No it doesn't. Phillip, I think most people are hopeless. If you helped people based on what I think, you'd never stop working. The only person I care about is me." I pat his frozen cheek and walk over to watch the action in the center of the trees.


Cover Art for "A FALLOW HEART"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Christmas came early for me this year!!!  I received the cover for A FALLOW HEART, which is coming out in 2013 from Secret Cravings Publishing!!

I particularly like the bow on top (in the form of the shirtless farm boy, of course!)

And here's a teaser:

With its bed loaded with toolboxes, the small vehicle hid under a thick layer of red dust. And behind the steering wheel sat temptation himself.

Her pulse lurched.

Unable to stop herself, she lifted the space a little wider in the window blinds and craned her head to see him better. For a moment, she lost sight of him as he drove around a corner. Then the engine of his UTV stopped and the cadence of boot heels striking against the Gerhardts’ concrete patio echoed through the front screen door, their rhythm telling her he was sauntering at a leisurely pace. Her stomach churned in anticipation.

Unexpectedly interested to catch her first glimpse of him for the day, she pressed closer to the window—the glass almost smashing her nose against the blinds—just as he stepped into her line of sight.

Even knowing how well he’d turned out, her mouth simply dropped. “Well, God bless Texas.”

In a dark t-shirt, dirty boots, a beat up straw cowboy hat, and greasy denim jeans held up by a huge belt buckle, he personified the perfect farm boy, the perfect man actually. Lust pooled warm and fluid in her limbs.

He paused, and Jo Ellen had to stand on her tiptoes and winch her neck just a little more awkwardly to continue seeing him. He took off his hat, revealing a head full of damp blond hair matted to his head. Helpless to control her eyes, she licked her lips as her gaze wandered south. My, oh my, but the man knew how to wear a pair of jeans.

With his hat off, he palmed the crown and used the back of his forearm to wipe at his sweaty face. Then he did the unthinkable. He paused at a water pump, which looked as if it might connect to an old-time, hand-dug well. Then he set his hat aside and pumped the lever a handful of times, the muscles in his arms and back bunching and shifting under his tight shirt. When water gushed from the spicket, he leaned down to stick his head under the stream.

Jo Ellen pressed her hand against her chest, hoping she didn’t have a heart attack before he was done because there was no way she wanted to miss the rest of this show.

The cool well water sluicing over his heated body made a slight steam rise around him and as wet cloth plastered itself to his torso. He drenched his hair, making it a shade darker than its usual light blond. After rinsing, he shifted his face around to the flow and opened his mouth, welcoming a nice, hearty drink.

Never in her life had Jo Ellen thought a man getting a mere drink of water could look so intoxicating. She watched his throat work as he swallowed. Then his eyes closed as he finished and he lowered his head to the spray again, obviously relishing his rinse down.

My 2012 Reading Favorite!

Friday, December 14, 2012
I read soooo many good books this year.  Actually, I read good books every year, but this year I thought I'd try to list out my absolute favorites and give them a special THANK YOU for existing so I could read their greatness!! 

So these are the stories that for-some-reason rose above the rest to stick in my mind and stay with me. They didn't all release this year, but I read them this year.  I decided to pick out twelve, one for each month!

Here goes:

Contemporary Adult Romance
-Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas
-Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn
-The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

Historical Adult Romance
-Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Contemporary New Adult Romance
-Easy by Tammara Webber
-Losing It by Cora Carmack
-Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

Contemporary Young Adult Romance
-Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
-His Kiss by Melanie Marks
-Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent

Contemporary Paranormal YA Romance
-Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout
-Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I just noticed that I read nothing buy romance books this year.  Hmm.  Strange.

Anyway, what are some of your absolute favorites that stick out in your head?

The 411 about my Next Book!

Monday, December 10, 2012
Good morning!

First of all, happy release day to Jennifer Shirk!!  Her newest story, Kissing Kendall, is out today!! It's an ebook exclusive, so don't miss out!

We finally got our tree up at home.  I wish I could've recorded Lydia's reaction when I started opening the boxes of decorations.  She oohed and awed over everything and had all the containers emptied with their contents spread across the floor within two minutes. 

Then, as she was helping me hang ornaments, she kept singing, "Oh Christmas Tree." Since those were the only three words of the song she knew, she kept saying it--"oh Christmas tree, oh Christimas tree"--over and over again.

I seriously love watching her personality develop.  And can't believe she's going to be THREE in two months from today. Sniff. It's going too fast.

Other than all that, I am still batting zero in the Christmas present buying corner AND the Christmas card sending corner.  But, hey, one out of three is better than nothing, right?

Anyway, since I've sent off edits for the next book I have releasing, I thought I'd give it a little shout out today!

A Fallow Heart
is coming in May 2013
from Secret Cravings Publishing!!

This will be a contemporary adult romance story with a couple steamy scenes.  It's a companion story to The Trouble with Tomboys.  So...if you're a Tomboys fan, this is Cooper and Jo Ellen's story (yes, it chronologically comes before Tomboys. I know, I'm strange. I don't write my books in order), and another yes, it does have some cameo appearance of B.J. and Grady from Tomboys!

Here's a blurb, if you're curious about it:

Ten years ago, an oil tycoon’s daughter and a farmer’s son shared a moment neither would ever forget. When she left town in disgrace, a piece of her stayed locked deep within his soul. And like the ground he tended, his emotions lay fallow for years. Cooper Gerhardt’s deeply buried feelings for Jo Ellen Rawlings grew more fertile over time, just waiting for the day she would return to release his deepest desires.

When she strolls back into Tommy Creek, Texas for her ten-year class reunion, Cooper shows her farmboy-style exactly what she missed by leaving. Starting a short-term affair is simply unavoidable. But when the week is over, can either of them let go of the responsibilities and apprehensions keeping them apart? Or will their fallow hearts learn to flourish together? 

My longest published book yet, it will be 93,000 words long!

I have two manuscripts sent out to publishers for submission.  Honestly, I think I'm more excited about hearing back from them than I am for Christmas!  Is that wrong? 

What are you most excited for this month?

Happy December!

Monday, December 3, 2012
Please tell me it's not December yet.  I'm not ready!!!

I don't have any Christmas shopping done.  I don't have have my Christmas cards (bluck) prepared.  I didn't reach the November NaNoWriMo goal (if I'd been in Nano). I only wrote 31,000 words. 

So, really, what HAVE I done?

Don't you just love December?! Cuddling in front of the fire place (or you know, in front of the TV). Hot apple cider. Happy holiday music (my two-year-old is learning Jingle Bells. It's so cute). Warm fuzzy sweaters. And looking back to see what you've accomplished.

I think I've finished less things than I haven't finished this year.  But that's kind of a depressing thought, so I'll list what I HAVE done to make myself feel a little better!!

--I finished writing three stories (one 93,000-word story, one 85,000-word story, and one 60,000-word story). YAY!

--I've taught my kiddo how to do the hokey pokey AND the chicken dance (she still needs work, but what she lacks in coordination, she totally makes up for in enthusiasm!)

--I reached my Goodreads reading challenge and have read 73 books so far, when I only challenged myself to read 70 this year!

--and I've...hmmm.  Well, I'm sure I've done something else that needs some kind of grand recognition, but I can't think what it is yet.  Have to get back to you on that one.

So, there's my list of 2012 accomplishments.  What have you done this year that you'd like to brag about?? 

**Oh, and hey, I also received a happy review on Clean Romance Reviews today.  Check that sweet baby out!**