Wednesday, April 1, 2015

$250 Spring Cash Giveaway!


Easter Money 2015
An Amazing Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!
Short on cash? Here is your chance to spring into $250 in Paypal Cash.
1 lucky winner will receive $250 in Paypal Cash!

And check out some spring time reading from yours truly:



#1 Amazon Bestselling Time-Travel Romance Author 

Three couples find unexpected romance when fiddle music and fairy dust are in the air. 


Buy the whole set,  or check out the first book for just 99 cents!
Giveaway Details
$250 Paypal Cash
Ends 4/15/15
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mid-Century Modern Homes, Patterns, Menus...and Books!

http://www.nopatternrequired.com/

If you love Mid-Century...everything...this is the blog to visit. 
No Pattern Required features Mid-Mod culture, styles, fashions, crafts...and even books. My book Mid-Century Mayhem was featured there, but there's something here for everyone.


http://www.midcenturymenu.com/

There's also a sister site called Mid-Century Menu and features the best (and worst) of recipes from a time when convenience foods were just coming on the market. 


Blogger Retro Ruth uses her husband as a guinea pig when she whips up the vintage recipes. *gulp*. And if you can't quite stomach all that aspic with green olives, Ruth has several retro adult beverage recipes that will settle your mid-century nerves. 

http://www.midcenturymenu.com/2015/03/pompano-1971-vintage-cocktail-friday/

So get your mid-mod on and visit these fabulous sites. I've spent many happy hours here, and I'm glad Mid-Century Mayhem has been a part!

http://ow.ly/L2Rwr

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Luck O' the Irish $250 Giveaway!



Luck of the Irish – $250 Cash Giveaway
An Amazing Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!
Need a little extra luck this year?  Here is your chance to win some cash!
1 lucky winner will receive $250 in Paypal Cash!
Sponsor List
I Am A Reader
Laurie Here – Cont Fiction and MORE
Read Now Sleep Later
Leisure Reads
TMBA Corbett Tries to Write
Lori’s Reading Corner
Simple Wyrdings
J.L. Weil
Here We Go Again…Ready?
{A Leisure Moment} A Casual Conversation About Our Love For Literature
Author Deb Atwood
YA Author Fabio Bueno
Stacy Claflin, Author
Kim’s Cozy Book Nook
Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through The Ages
Taylor Dean Books
MK McClintock
Melissa M. Frye
Unshelfish
Amiabooklover
The Discerning Reader
My Book Self
A Tattered Copy
Craves the Angst Book Blog
Joyce DiPastena
MyLadyWeb: Women Authors, Women’s History
Lise McClendon – Author
Danielle Thorne
Author Ednah Walters
Raven Haired Girl
Dianne Venetta ~ Romantic Adventure
Kary Rader
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Helena @ Book Nerd Addict
Ann Swann – Suspense
Books R Us
Bella Street Time Travel Romance
More Than A Review
Danielle Annett
Pauline Creeden, Author
Diana’s Book Reviews
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
InspiredBooksGuide
Author Georgina Young-Ellis
Giveaway Details
$250 Paypal Cash
Ends 3/31/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Romance Is In The Air Blog Hop!



WINNERS!

Congrats to:

Debby 236 (also winner of the $10 Amazon card)
Zed K
Jaime L

Thanks so much to all who participated. Sign up for my email list so you never miss a giveaway :)

Ah, romance. Is there ever too much in the world? I think not. But I would say that--being a romance writer and all :)

To that end, let's celebrate the stuff of love. I'm giving away Kindle copies of my latest title to 3 randomly-selected entrants:

Time Travel Goes Retro
Modern day Nashville and 1950s Detroit clash worse than an IKEA futon and a plaid Barcalounger when a free-spirited interior designer and a strait-laced automotive engineer find themselves in another time. TOMS-wearing Olivia Haugen and Madras-shirted Kyle Daniels have no idea why they've ended up in 1954 Michigan, but it's probably not because of all the swank mid-century furnishings. Discovering the reason might have something to do with a wily salvage warehouse owner and her not-so-little shop of secrets.

Of the three book winners, one will be selected to win a $10 Amazon gift card, too. That's in case your significant other forgets to get you candy on V-Day
So leave a comment with your email (to contact you if you're selected--that's all, I promise) and you'll be entered to win either a fun time-travel adventure romance or a fun time-travel adventure romance PLUS $10. Winners will be selected on 2/15 via Random.org and notified by email. I will update the post with the winners' names as soon as I have heard back from everyone. 

In the mean time, hop to the next blog for more chances to win. And to make sure you don't miss my giveaways (about one a month) sign up for my blog on the right. Happy hopping!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Free Mid-Mod Read Plus a Chance To Win $50!


My latest release, Mid-Century Mayhem is free for Kindle for a limited time. Head over to Amazon and grab a copy quick. 

Then head to I Am A Reader blog and enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win $50 Paypal cash or Amazon card. 


What better way to spend Hump Day? 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Mid-Century Mayhem Sunburst Clock Contest (And A New Cover!)


UPDATE:
Congrats to Felicia R. for being randomly chosen to win the sunburst clock! Thanks to everyone else who participated, and if you haven't yet, sign up for my email list so you never miss another chance to win fun stuff.

You know when something seemed like a good idea at the time? Well, readers of my blog know that the cover above is different from the original of this book's release a couple of weeks ago. To wit:


Coming up with a book cover is always a tricky proposition, and while I liked the original at the time, I didn't LOVE it. So I had a new one made. And I didn't even need to go back in time to do it. 

What do you think? Terrible mistake? Huge improvement? Love/hate 'em both?

Leave a comment below (and sign up for my email list if you haven't already), and if you include your email address with your comment (for notification), I'll enter you in a fun contest for a chance to win this swank mid-century modern sunburst clock (Mid-Century Mayhem is a time travel romance, after all). 

You know you want this:

(subject to inventory--a substitution will be made if necessary)

The clock will be coming directly from Amazon, so if your name is randomly selected, I'll need your snail mail address for shipping purposes. Contest ends January 3rd. Winner will be notified Jan. 4.

And if you like contests--but not clocks so much--stay tuned for another contest in a few days with a $50 Amazon card up for grabs (another good reason to join my mailing list--never miss another of my contests and giveaways!). 

Oh, and if you haven't read Mid-Century Mayhem, but would like to for free, send me an email request and I'll shoot you a Kindle copy. Have your friends hit me up, too. And it's already free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription (on your new Christmas Kindle perhaps?)

So tell me what you think about the new cover--and tell time the mid-mod way!

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Release Equals A Free Read!


Mid-Century Mayhem is now out! It's the start of a 4 book series that will take the reader from 1950s Detroit to Gothic backwoods in the 1970s to a Regency ballroom in the 1810s ...and beyond:

Modern day Nashville and 1950s Detroit clash worse than an IKEA futon and a plaid Barcalounger when a free-spirited interior designer and a strait-laced automotive engineer find themselves in another time. TOMS-wearing Olivia Haugen and Madras-shirted Kyle Daniels have no idea why they've ended up in 1954 Michigan, but it's probably not because of all the swank mid-century furnishings. Discovering the reason might have something to do with a wily salvage warehouse owner and her not-so-little shop of secrets.

If you'd like to read this Kindle book for free (and pretty please leave an honest review when you're done), shoot me an email and I'll send you a Kindle copy. Below is an excerpt from the first chapter to see if you're a 'mid-mod' fan. :)

excerpt by Bella Street
All Rights Reserved

Oh, my dear, this is beyond anything I could ever imagine!”
Olivia Haugen smiled, ignoring the wistful tightening in her chest. She watched as her latest client, Mrs. Prescott, moved about the renovated room, be-ringed hands clasped in delight.
The colors, the tones, the accessories...” The woman motioned toward a massive starburst mirror positioned on the brick expanse above the fireplace. “How did you ever find such a piece? It ties the whole space together!”
Olivia deepened her smile until her face ached. “Oh, I have my connections.”
It was always the same. After pouring herself into an interior design project for weeks—sometimes months—she experienced a letdown at what should've been the biggest moment of the job.
The Reveal.
And yet here she stood with another satisfied customer, fighting a feeling of dissatisfaction.
It was all very silly. Olivia didn't know of another person as fortunate as she'd been. She'd had a prosperous and cultured upbringing, and now her new business was humming along without the growth plateaus most other entrepreneurs experienced.
She had a growing list of customers.
She had a great apartment in Franklin—a jeweled hamlet just outside Nashville.
She had...Troy.
Her eye twitched as she thought of her boyfriend.
Olivia remembered seeing him just that morning, splayed out on the couch. He must've come in late from his gig and didn't want to disturb her. The light filtering through the kitchen shades had lit up the bangles on his arm draped across his eyes.
She touched the bracelets on her wrist. He really was terribly good looking.
You know,” Mrs. Prescott said, smoothing a wayward hair back into her updo, “I have a friend who is really into this whole mid-century trend. She'll want a lot more than a retro mirror or lamp. She's a huge Mad Men fan, and has been talking about redoing her entire house in the fifties style. She could really use someone with your connections. Can I give her your number?”
Absolutely,” Olivia said, extracting a fresh business card from her many-pocketed binder. “Shows like Mad Men have been great for business.”
I bet!” Mrs. Prescott said, taking the card. “But I'll stick with the modern day, thank you very much. A fifties touch here and there is one thing, but I'm not hoping for a return of machismo, suburban sprawl, and girdles any time soon!”
Olivia bit her lip. The Prescotts lived in an Inglewood bungalow—that had started out as a post-war suburban tract home.
How time changed perspectives.
“I draw the line at girdles,” Olivia said. “However, Spanx are another thing entirely.”
Mrs. Prescott giggled. “How right you are.”
After another turn around the renovated living room—and a bank check for the balance of the job—Olivia left the Prescott home. Instead of returning to her apartment, she headed to Connie's Collectibles & Salvage on Third Avenue South—an odds and ends salvage warehouse where she found the bulk of her conversation piece items—including starburst mirrors.
Olivia didn't dwell on her unsettled feelings as she drove. She knew the shop's proprietor, Constance Presley, would cheer her up with an amusing insult or two—and want to hear all about the client's response to the mirror. The older woman (who disavowed any relation to her famous namesake) had become less of a materials contact and more of a friend over the last few years. Olivia tried to purchase the bulk of her items from Constance, rather than shop all the other salvage shops and yards in the area. Loyalty was combined with the fact that Constance simply had the most outstanding inventory she'd ever seen in one place. And when Olivia needed a special piece, somehow Constance was able to come up with something perfect every time.
Squat brick buildings—some crumbling and some renovated—lined the narrow streets as Olivia wended her way toward the warehouse. Yellow sunshine washed the eclectic scene with a mellow glow, even as dark thunderclouds piled up over the Cumberland River.
Olivia parked on a side street and left the air-conditioned chill of her car for the heavy humidity of a Tennessee summer day. By the time she opened the beat-up wood and leaded glass door of Connie's Collectibles & Salvage, she was dabbing at sweat above her lip with the back of her hand and wondering if her Scandinavian blood would ever acclimate to the near-tropical heat of the South.
Probably not, if the natives complain as much as I do about the weather.
The door alarm—an electronic version of Elvis' “Hard Headed Woman”—heralded her arrival as she stepped into the dim gloom of the shop, along with a brief sneezing fit due to years of accumulated dust coating the space.
Bless you,” came a gravelly voice from the back room.
Olivia squinted as the bulk of the proprietor came into view. Constance shuffled toward her, a stray ray of dusty light gilding her sallow, wrinkled face and grumpy smile.
Cleaning lady didn't show again?” Olivia asked, after another sneeze.
It's your allergies,” Constance said, leaning her arms on the front counter that had once been a tavern bar. She peered at Olivia over the rims of her smudged bifocals.
They both knew a cleaning lady was fictional, but Olivia hoped she might take the hint one of these years. How Constance could survive in the musty old building was a mystery. Then again, Olivia could admit she felt as at home here as anywhere else.
Hey, Miss Olivia.”
Olivia waved at Henry, the nineteen-year-old sole employee, before he returned to the back of the warehouse—his red hair lit from the skylight overhead.
She leaned on the other end of the counter and eased out a sigh. “The client loved the mirror. Said it tied the whole design together.”
“Of course it did,” Constance said dryly. “That's why you get paid to find such treasures.”
“Well, if I get this next job, I'm going to need a whole lot more of those treasures.”
“Hope it's Victorian this time. I got a ton of the frou-frou stuff takin' up space in the back that I need to move.”
“Mid-century. A total house redo.”
Constance groaned. “Everyone wants mid-century. It's partly due to that damn Mad Men show. I wonder if people realize it's set in the sixties, not the fifties.”
“Really? I didn't know that.” Olivia pulled a stick of tangerine-flavored lip balm from her front pocket and applied it with relish.
Constance rolled her eyes. “How can you do period design and not know your history?”
Olivia smacked her lips together—knowing it probably annoyed her friend. “I know all the period designers. I know the right look and how to achieve it. Besides, I let the house tell me what it wants.”
“You do not,” Constance said, sounding scandalized.
“Yes, I do. I close my eyes and ask the house to give me inspiration.”
“I thought your business name was just some silliness to get attention.”
It was Olivia's turn to be scandalized. “Nice.”
“You know what I mean,” Constance grumbled. “Anyway, you do whatever the client wants.”
“But I also get guidance from the house.”
Constance grunted. “What if the house tells you it wants Parisian bordello?”
“It's not like that. The style of the house is a big part of inspiration, but I get the vibe of the family—”
“And how much they can afford.”
Olivia sent her friend a dark look. “But when it comes to colors, tones, themes... that's what I get from the house.”
“So the walls actually talk and tell you their favorite colors?”
“Well, sometimes I do get a sense of what the history of the house is.”
“History,” Constance said sounding unconvinced. “You mean when it was built—or the secrets that happened inside?”
Olivia considered her answer. “Not secrets, per se, but I can often tell if something sad happened there. Or if the house is full of peace.”
You sound full of something, all right.”
“Classy,” Olivia said with a sniff.
“Admit it, you primarily go by whatever the homeowner wants.”
“Of course, Miss No Romance In Your Soul.”
Naturally, Constance smiled at that. “I bet people who have ranch homes often want Victoriana, and people in trailers want Hollywood Glam.”
Olivia tucked the lip balm in the front pocket of her jeans. “I may have had a few of those jobs in the past. What can I say? I had to pay the bills.”
Constance nodded. “People want what they want, and I have a theory that says it has more to do with emotion than something they saw on Pinterest.”
“Sounds like you're coming around to my way of thinking.”
Constance waved the notion away as if it were a bothersome fly. “Do you ever ask yourself why design themes and motifs are attached to eras?”
“Sounds like a college class I once took,” Olivia said. “An era can define the design, right? Like the Arts and Crafts movement was a protest to the Industrial Age...or something like that.” She wrinkled her nose. “Actually, I'm not sure I passed that class.”
“Cute. But you need context. Design can't be disconnected from history. Ask yourself why Mid-Century Modern is defined by starbursts and clean lines and chrome.”
Olivia figured it was a trick question, and at the same time wondered why her friend was badgering her with a random history lesson. Constance usually complained about politics and the weather. “Um, the space-age thing happening at the time?”
“That's part of it. There's also the desire for a clean slate after a hard-fought war. Plus, technology was happening at an unheard-of pace. Plastics and insecticides were prolonging life for millions—”
“Plastic and pesticides? Are you serious?”
“They helped bring about the longevity and prosperity that allows us to indulge in organics and all that natural nonsense today.”
Olivia grimaced. “You're not making sense.”
“What I'm saying is that for you—for everyone born—history starts at the moment they become aware of their own perceptions. The past is discounted. Everything is about today.”
“I thought we were talking about the past.”
Constance raised a brow. “The past as you see it—not so much as it really was. Take it a step further. Why do certain era's styles trend decades later? Why is the stuff I once couldn't give away worth hundreds or thousands now?”
“TV shows?”
“That show just capitalized on what was going to happen, trend-wise, anyway.”
“Then you must mean nostalgia.”
“I mean nostalgia,” Constance said, “which is based on emotion. Sometimes it's a timing thing. People in their forties and fifties start remembering the 'good old days' of their youth and want the comfort of that style surrounding them. The world is changing so fast and even if the good old days weren't so good, they are still more bearable than the unknown.”
“But it's not like clockwork.”
“Naw, it's a bit more free-form than that. Plus there are the skipped eras. I mean, no one wants a redo of the eighties.”
Olivia laughed. “I think there was some flirtation, but it didn't last.”
“That just proves my point. Sometimes trends are psychological. The eighties were a time of transition, fortunes rose and fell, there was a cold war, and it all felt very uncohesive. Makes sense—aside from its overblown style—that there's not a huge demand to return to those days. But in the 1950s, the country was booming. We'd just won a world war, and there was a new opportunity for prosperity. Everyone was thinking positive. There was a can-do spirit. Look at economic times now and you can see why there's a longing for times when things were lookin' up.”
“Huh.”
Constance peered over the rim of her glasses. “Are you listening to anything I'm saying?”
“Of course.”
The shop owner snorted.
Olivia clapped her hands together. “Regardless of the reason behind the trends, I know you won't let me down when it comes to period pieces.”
I'm tellin' you, you're not the only one after those pieces. Buyers been cleaning me out all year. Prices are up, too, due to demand. And, frankly, I'm gettin' too old to go traipsing around after the stuff.
“Well, I don't have the redecorating job yet,” Olivia said. “Just a lead.”
Constance went around to the other side of the counter and pulled out a large black binder. “Give me a list of everything you might need and I'll see what I can do.”
Like I said, I don't have the job.” Olivia picked up a pen and approached the pages of the binder. Constance often kept a wish list for her regular customers, and Olivia had a whole section devoted to her personal requests. Spinning the binder around, she wrote: Mid-Mod inventoryall of it.
Constance grunted when she read the flourish-y writing. “Very droll.” Slapping the binder closed, she said, “You might need to start trolling Craigslist and eBay, and see if you can supplement your needs from online inventory. And you know there are other shops in Nashville.
“You haven't let me down yet, Constance.”
Another grunt. “You should start thinking about what you want for yourself one of these days—”
Olivia put up a hand. “Let's not spoil a lovely afternoon by going down that rabbit hole.”
It's about to storm,” Constance said, dutifully changing the subject. As if manifested by her words, the sunlight disappeared and a rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance. She pursed her lips. “So I guess you're heading home to that feckless man-friend of yours. Clayton, wasn't it?”
“It's Troy.” Olivia tilted her head. “Clayton was last month.”
Constance rolled her eyes. “I'm going to start making a list so I can keep track.”
“It's not that bad,” Olivia protested. “Don't be dramatic.”
If it's a lack of drama you want, you should lay off artists and musicians.” The shop owner sniffed. “You should be looking into more mature men like—”
Your nephew Kyle—that pinnacle of malehood and maturity, or so I've heard.
“It wouldn't kill you to at least meet the man one of these times.”
“And disappoint you when he fails to pique my interest?”
“You can't know that,” Constance said, exasperation in her tone.
Olivia arched a brow. “You said he's an engineer. And thirty years old. Could he sound any more exciting?”
“He's level-headed, has a great career—”
And is such a catch that he's still single at his advanced age.”
“Don't get smart with me.”
Smirking, Olivia shrugged. “I've heard this before. It's all a retread.”
“That's what you get here in spades. Retro retread.”
Olivia patted her lightly on her head. “Let's keep the retro to home d├ęcor, shall we?”
Constance crossed her ample arms over her chest, her expression mulish. “I'm not kidding about the demand of mid-century inventory. You're going to have to find another access point if you want the good stuff. And grab one of those umbrellas by the door or you'll get yourself soaked to the skin.

***
Kyle Daniels pressed himself against the brick storefront behind him, his body just inches out of the sudden downpour. The slight overhang of the building, however, failed to stop the rain from splashing onto his shoes. He frowned. The shoes were new—as were his pressed trousers, which were becoming speckled with moisture.
That ridiculous door jingle sounded and he peered through the sheet of rain to see a customer leaving the salvage shop, umbrella poised high over her head.
Not just any customer. He'd seen that white-blond hair and lithe figure before.
Olivia Haugen—the answer to all his dreams, according to Great Aunt Constance.
Kyle had caught a glimpse of her a few times—usually leaving the shop—and every time he saw her, his impression was the same. She was artsy, high-strung, and flighty.
And he hadn't even met the woman.
Just the way her pale hair floated around her face vexed him. How could she stand it getting in her eyes all the time? She drifted down the sidewalk in a vague, dreamy wayeven in the rain. Didn't she realize she could trip on the broken sidewalk? Or get mugged by a stray criminal? She seemed completely unaware of her surroundings.
And when he saw her climb into a yellow and blue Mini Cooper, painted with the bold lettering of House Whisperer Inc., he had all the information he needed to come to a reasoned, logical conclusion.
She was a nonstarter.
A pointless pursuit.
Besides that, he knew in his gut that she'd never give him the time of day. He'd come in contact with females of her ilk before, and knew a meeting with her would be accompanied by an amused yet dismissive look coupled with the usual disdain for his attire. Madras shirts and Dockers apparently provoked rolled eyes and barely suppressed snickers. Kyle figured she'd go for the type of guy in skinny jeans and V-neck T-shirts that revealed a bony sternum.
And there would be hair gel. Lots of it.
Sorry, Aunt Constance. This dream of yours will just have to crawl into a corner somewhere and die.
It wasn't as if he were looking for a female. His job kept him too busy, and none of the women he'd ever met had interest in a mature, stable relationship. At least not the three women who worked in the automotive safety engineering department at the Nissan plant in Smyrna.
His mind flinched from the memory of the office lady who'd asked him out to a John Mayer concert because her favorite song was “Your Body Is A Wonderland.”
Talk about a nonstarter.
Right now he needed to perform his bimonthly check-in of his remaining next of kin.
Whether she liked it or not.

If you'd like to read more, click the email link in the earlier part of the post and let me know. I'll send Mid-Century Mayhem to your Kindle.