Posts Tagged ‘Melissa McClone’

BEST WORST VALENTINE’S DAY ADVICE from Judy Uncensored by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

 

Be our Valentine

Judy Banger’s Best “Worst Valentine’s Day Advice”

A couple of years ago, I decided to ask one of my characters–Judy Banger from my dark, naughty comedy Judy Uncensored–to share her advice on how to survive a less-than-romantic Valentine’s Day.

Did you miss it? Click here: BUY

1. Don’t believe everything you read on a Hallmark card.

1960s valentine

JUDY: “Two months before I filed for divorce, my hubby bought me a dozen red roses, a heart-shaped box of chocolate and a beautiful card that said some smarmy sentiment like: “Honey, I’m so lucky to have you in my life. I love you. Yadda, yadda.” Pretty words that lost their meaning when I got the credit card bill the next month and discovered the charge was double what it should have been. Yep. You guessed it. He sent the exact same thing to his girlfriend, too.”

 

2. Snails, duck liver and fish eggs are even less sexy than they sound when they come back up after swallowing them.

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Judy: “My first Valentine’s Day date after my divorce was with a really terrific guy who considered himself a gourmet cook and possessed strong convictions about what constituted a romantic meal. I’m the kind of girl who will try anything once. His pate de foie gras was rather tasty. In hindsight, I may have let my need to impress him with my worldliness get the better of me. I’m pretty sure I ate too much of the rich delicacy because my tummy was already tad…unsettled…when I tried the next course: a tiny shriveled object (day-old chewed gum, perhaps?) swimming in butter and garlic. Or maybe it was the disconcerting visual of fishing said object out of a shell that looked very much like the ones I stomped on in my garden. Either way, I stopped at two and drank an extra flute of champagne hoping the carbonation would work like Alka-Seltzer. It didn’t. A bead of sweat broke out on my upper lip when he delivered the piece de resistance: Smoked Salmon and Caviar pizza.

Did I mention he had white carpet?

Such a shame. I really liked him, too.”

 

3. Good hair does not a good guy (or Valentine) make.

barbra-streisand-robert-redford-the-way-we-were-zoom-c5f555ad-a13d-4efe-8932-7d35e4cdea4e

 

Judy: “Remember Barbra’s leather gloved hand lovingly touching Robert Redford’s gorgeous locks in The Way We Were? Of course, you do. You’re a woman. Unrequited love gets us every time…because we all have that one-who-wasn’t-meant-to-be.

Mine was Richie Mason. Sixth-grade heartthrob. The guy I wasted my hard-earned babysitting money on buying my first-ever special friend Valentine. I had such a crush on Richie. His sandy brown hair was forever falling in his eyes. I probably lost a thousand hours daydreaming about brushing that dog-tongue of bangs off his charmingly freckled forehead…until that fateful V-day when he opened his cache of cards and discovered one that was not your standard-issue type. His brows arched under his shaggy curtain of locks as he ripped open the well-glued V (maybe I included a dozen or so stickers for affect).

As I waited for his reaction, my cheeks burned, palms dripped and heart thumped so loud I was certain it could be heard outside our classroom walls. His gaze bounced over the sentiment too quickly to have read the words and went straight for the signature. Mine. His chin angled a tiny bit to the left so he could sorta see me at my desk two rows over. Our gaze met–for a millisecond. Then he shoved the card to the bottom of his decorated shoebox and opened the next card. Not a smile. No acknowledgement of any kind. Not so much as a bleeping hesitation. I was crushed.

A week later, during a group art project–the last time our class ever did collages, I believe–my scissors slipped. Somehow a hunk of Richie’s hair wound up in my collage. I got an F on the project, but I learned something interesting: Richie wasn’t all that cute bald.

4. A heart-shaped pizza is flour, oil, tomato sauce and toppings–it’s not a sign he’ll love you forever.

heart shape pizza

Judy: “Some relationships are meant to last. Others…not so much. Figuring out the difference between the two is tricky. Don’t let pizza get in the way of those tough decisions. I’m pretty sure my ex extracted two additional years of marital servitude from me simply by showing up on February 14th with a heart-shaped pizza, a six-pack of beer and the aforementioned sappy greeting card. Listen to your head, Peeps, not your heartburn.”

~~~

Deb here: Hopefully, none of you have V-Day memories as bleak as Judy Banger’s. Luckily, Judy finally met Mr. Right. In fact, I asked her for an update, and here’s what she said:

Age is a matter of opinion, and in my opinion, age doesn’t matter. If you find someone who makes you laugh when the world expects you to cry, then grab hold with both hands and have fun.” 

A sentiment I totally agree with since I’ve been celebrating Valentine’s Day with my Mr. Right for 4+ decades:

Deb's favorite Valentine from her sweetheart of 40+ years.

Deb’s favorite Valentine from her sweetheart of 40+ years.

HAVE A GREAT ONE, MY FRIENDS!

And don’t forget, we have a wonderful new Valentine’s Day book in the Love at the Chocolate Shop series now available. Sit back with a little chocolate and enjoy THE VALENTINE QUEST!

VDay Quest Melissa McClone

For the special price of just $2.99 this month only: AMAZON      IBOOKs    BN    KOBO

Happy reading,

DEB

 

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from Cherish Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen & Kiss Me, Cowboy by Melissa McClone

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

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Available for a limited time ONLY at  BN


 Last week I shared a snippet from my book, MONTANA COWGIRL. Today, you’ll be happy to see snippets from my co-authors, Melissa McClone and Alissa Callen. If you’re a NOOK reader, here’s your chance to grab three heart-warming stories for under a buck apiece! If you don’t have a Nook, you can still buy these books individually from the vendor of your choice (just not in a bundle). See below.

From CHERISH ME, COWBOY:

“Come on, who says I don’t ever have any fun?”

Payton’s eyes shone with such golden life, her smile contained such uninhibited joy, all Cordell could do was nod and follow. Getting wet was a small price to pay for stealing a few brief minutes with the cowgirl in a swirling and surreal world. When the clouds parted and the rain stopped, reality would return. He’d have a promise to keep and a city existence to return to.

Within seconds, he was saturated. Water seeped through his cotton T-shirt and ran down the back of his neck. But as cold as the water was, the feel of Patyon’s fingers entwined with his, heated his blood. Thunder boomed followed by an almost instantaneous lightning flash. The storm was almost directly overhead. Knowing the wind would steal his words, he tugged her toward the porch. Again, she shook her head. Baxter, his tail between his legs, fled to the safety of his dry kennel.

Thunder again roared. Cordell snagged Payton’s slender waist and slung her over his shoulder. He reached the porch just before a jagged bolt splintered the sky.

Chest heaving, he firmed his hold on the back of her knees as he readied himself to return her to the ground. Cool air brushed his lower back and stomach. Payton must have gripped the bottom of his T-shirt to balance herself and had pulled it midway up his torso. He carefully took her weight and lowered her to the porch floorboards. But as he did so her full breasts pressed against his chest and her bare skin slid against his. He bit back a groan. The wet friction between the cotton of his shirt and her tank top had caused her own shirt hem to ride upward. There was now nothing between their naked midriffs but the wet lick of water.

His hands moved to her waist to steady her as her feet touched the ground. Beneath the pads of his fingers, he could feel the jut of her hips and the ripple of goosebumps over her soft skin. He fought for control. She’d be mad at being slung over his shoulder like a sack of grain. It would be okay. She’d tell him off and step away before he did something they’d both regret.

She didn’t move.

The soundtrack of the storm’s fury dulled to a whisper.

Every breath she took pushed her chest closer to his. Every breath he took threatened to shatter his self-control. When had she laced her hands around his neck? Another three seconds, and he’d be finishing what they’d started in his parked truck.

He didn’t even make it to two.

His mouth covered hers. She tasted of rain and sweetness and smelt of summer and mountain wildflowers. As she stood on tip-toe to match his hunger, the sky could have caved in over him and he wouldn’t have cared.

As much as she took, he gave. And as much as he asked for, she granted.

Her hands unclasped from behind his neck and slid over his water-slicked abs and under his T-shirt. He shuddered, knowing he was exposed but powerless to hide how she moved him and what she made him feel.

“Payton,” he groaned as they came up for air. “I can’t hurt you. I can’t stay.”

“I know,” she said, before again fusing her mouth with his.

His hands found the neat curve of her butt and pulled her even closer. This time she was the one who spoke as they drew apart to breathe.

“Please, tell me you’re feeling.”

“Oh, I’m feeling all right,” he growled as he plundered the delicate line of her soft throat.

“Good, because if you’re feeling, as per our talk the other night, that means I need to learn to accept help.” He’d never seen her eyes so luminous or heard her voice so breathless. She jumped and he caught her as she wrapped her slim legs around his waist. “And I think I’ll start by you helping me get out of these wet clothes.”

CherishMeCowboy-300dpi

From KISS ME, COWBOY:

The sun disappeared beneath the horizon. Darkness surrounded them. Zack didn’t care. Charlie didn’t seem to either.

A good thing. She was his lifeline, his way back to the civilian world, a place he felt disconnected from at the moment. He talked, and she held his hand. He cried, and she comforted him.

She wiped away his tears with her fingertips.

Embarrassed, he looked away.

“It’s okay,” she whispered.

No, it wasn’t, but if she could pretend, so could he.

Charlie sighed. “I wish…”

Her compassionate tone made Zack look up. The lantern glowed softly, giving off enough light so he could see her face.

She leaned forward, toward him. The connection between them intensified. He came closer, driven by an urge he shouldn’t be feeling. Not with Charlie.

Zack stared into blue eyes filled with empathy, wanted to know what she wished and was about to ask…

She kissed him.

A kiss so tender and sweet, Zack knew she’d been heaven-sent to get him through this night. He didn’t plan on kissing her back—that would be against his rule—but she wasn’t stopping.

 Why not kiss her? It was only one kiss…

McClone-Rodeo14-300dpi

Happy reading, my friends. My next BLACK HILLS RENDEZVOUS book will be featured next week…

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from MOTHER’S DAY IN MONTANA by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

 

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Available for a limited time ONLY at  BN


 I’m so excited to be part of this great Mother’s Day Bundle from Tule Publishing.  If you–or MOM–is a NOOK reader, here’s your chance to grab three heart-warming stories for under a buck apiece!

I’m a big fan of forgiveness and second chances. Most people would give Paul and Bailey ZERO chance of making up for past hurts and heartbreak, but, sometimes, love can beat the odds.

From MONTANA COWGIRL:

She opened the door and carefully lowered her good foot to the ground. The ache in her ankle was back, but she’d be damned if she’d play the cripple in front of Paul.

“I can take one of those,” she said, meeting him at the tailgate of the truck.

He pulled the bigger of the two out first, setting it on the sidewalk. His muscles really were quite impressive, she realized. Wishing she had some reason to touch him.

The idea unnerved her. When he suggested she let him make two trips, she didn’t argue. She needed some distance, a little down time. Right now.

“Do you have the key?” Paul called out as he dashed up the ramp, the first of her giant suitcases in tow.

“I don’t think Mom’s ever locked the door in my entire life.”

He tested the handle. Sure enough, it swung inward. He wrestled the ungainly, soft-sided suitcase across the threshold then dashed past her for its mate.

She’d barely stepped inside when her phone rang. Mom.

“Hi. We just got here.”

“Wonderful. I have more good news. Oscar’s doctor is letting him go home today. The discharge papers will probably take an hour or two, we’ll be there in time to have dinner together.”

Today?

“Great.”

“You should invite Paul to join us. To thank him for picking you up.”

“Really, Mom? Do you think that’s a good idea? Dad’s first night out of the hospital? He and I haven’t seen each other in a couple of years. Maybe we should keep it family for awhile.”

“Oh, of course. You’re right. What was I thinking? We’ll do something nice for Paul later on. I have to go. The nurse wants Oscar to shower before he leaves since we don’t have that kind of equipment at home yet. See you soon, honey. I’m so glad you’re here.”

A few seconds later, Paul lugged her other ridiculously over-weight bag across the threshold.

“We have rocks in Montana, Bailey. You didn’t have to bring your own from California.”

She tried to smile, but the erratic thudding of her heart interfered with normal reactions.

Paul cocked his head. “What’s up?”

She shoved her phone in her bag. “OC is being released today. They’ll be here soon.”

She took a step, planning to make some effort to appear the gracious hostess. Unfortunately, her ankle locked and she lunged off balance, grazing her hip on the side of her father’s worn leather recliner.

Paul pivoted as precisely as Daz “heeling” in the arena. He caught her elbow and stepped in to help her regain her balance.

Close enough to smell his cologne and see the tiny strips of facial hair his razor missed. Close enough to kiss the lips that looked more familiar than they should have.

What the hell was wrong with her? This man hated her, cursed her, and she dropped into his arms like some stupid damsel in distress?

No. Good grief, no.

~~~

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Deb

 

First Kiss Tuesday: A Christmas Homecoming by Melissa McClone

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

McClone cover

I’m thrilled to be part of Debra’s First Kiss Tuesday! My new Christmas release, A Christmas Homecoming, is an “opposites attract story.” The heroine, Ellie, is a Christmas-loving housekeeper at the Bar V5. The hero, Josiah, is a Christmas hating billionaire who’s back in his hometown to recover from a blood infection. The two don’t seem to have anything in common, but both are hard-working and caring. The two make a deal to help each other out. Ellie has agreed to take walks with a recovering Josiah, who will help her with a group she runs at a local hospital. That’s how this scene comes about…


She kissed the horse’s nose. “Enjoyed visiting with you, handsome boy, but we need to keep walking. Next time, I’ll bring you an apple.”

“What about me?” Josiah asked.

“I can bring you an apple, too.”

He was thinking of a kiss. Though he didn’t want one on his nose or forehead or cheek. Now the lips…

This would be the perfect setting, the two of them surrounded by cool, crisp air and clear skies. Sunshine, smiles, and smooches. He grinned.

“Ready to head back to the house or keep going?” she asked.

Stopping to visit the horse had given him a break. He wasn’t out of breath, and his legs didn’t ache. “Let’s keep walking.”

She pointed at Josiah’s feet. “Your pant legs are wet. Let’s get back on the path where the snow isn’t as deep.”

She took a step, jerked backwards. Her scarf had caught on the fence post and pulled against her. Her arms flew out.

Her feet slipped. Down, she was going down.

He reached out, but his hand found only air.

She hit the snow with a thud. “Ouch.”

Josiah kneeled at her side, touched her arm. “Are you okay?”

“Yes. Okay.” Her voice sounded shaky, quiet as if she was trying to catch her breath.

“Your head?” he asked.

“Fine. I landed on my butt where there’s extra padding. My ego’s a little bruised, but that won’t leave a mark.” She pointed to where a piece of her scarf hung off a nail. “Could have been worse.”

Josiah liked how she made the best out of a situation. He held out his arm. “Here.”

She clasped his hand.

As he pulled her up, his muscles trembled. Shook.

Crap. He wasn’t going to be able to hold on, but he couldn’t let go. As she fell back, he tumbled forward. He hit the ground.

“Ugh.” Josiah was on top of Ellie, his hands on either side of her. He stared into her blue eyes, only inches from his. Her lips seemed closer. “So much for chivalry. I’m sorry.”

“I appreciate the help, but we both forgot you’re recovering.”

That was no excuse. He didn’t know what to say.

She pulled her other hand from her pocket. Something green flashed against her mitten, but he couldn’t focus on anything except how useless he was.

Less than a man. A weak, worthless…

“Oh, look. Mistletoe is stuck on my mitten,” she said. “We shouldn’t let this go to waste.”

Holding her hand over his head, she kissed him on the lips.

Whoa.

Elle continued pressing her mouth against his with an eagerness that surprised him.

She was kissing him. And he wasn’t kissing her. He’d fix that.

He kissed her back.

Heat pulsed through his veins. He liked the way Ellie moved her lips over his. She tasted warm and sweet and a little like coffee.

Hell, this was awesome.

He hadn’t been kissed since he’d gotten sick, but his memory wasn’t that bad. He’d never been kissed like this. She made him feel strong and healthy and desirable.

Desire surged, spreading throughout him.

Being with her like this felt natural and right and…

She arched toward him.

Josiah leaned into her, wanting to be closer. His body sprang to life as it had with her hug, but soon she’d see how turned on he was. He didn’t want to stop, but he’d embarrassed himself enough. He stopped kissing her.

Wide, blue eyes stared up at him. Surprise and curiosity filled her gaze. Her flushed cheeks, once pink, burned red. Her ragged breathing matched his.

But his wasn’t from being winded, talking, walking or falling on top of her. His heavy breathing was a result of her kiss. Make that kisses.

All his parts were in working order. He was grateful to know that. He wanted to kiss her again. “Never thought about carrying mistletoe wherever I go. Brilliant idea.”

“I-I…” she moistened her lips.

The horse neighed.

Josiah kept his gaze on Ellie. “Tracer wants another kiss or the apple you promised him. I’d take either myself. Though I know which I’d prefer.”

 


Purchase at these fine retailers:

Kindle US

iBooks

Kindle UK

Kobo

  Nook

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over thirty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.

I hang out at my Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MelissaMcCloneBooks) page during the week. I do giveaways, share recipes and videos that appeal to me, and on occasion pics of my dogs and cats!

Also, A Christmas Homecoming is book #5 in my Bar V5 Ranch series.

Book #1 – Home For Christmas – http://www.amazon.com/Home-Christmas-Copper-Mountain-Book-ebook/dp/B00GEHN8ZW/

Book #2 – Mistletoe Magic – Free short story – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GUZ195O/

Book #3 – Kiss Me, Cowboy – http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Cowboy-Montana-Born-Rodeo-ebook/dp/B00NF0LNFI/

Book #4 – Mistletoe Wedding – http://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Wedding-Montana-Born-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00NPMPNE8/

Merry Christmas,

XOXO!

Deb

Deb’s summer fun: contest, music & cover REVEAL!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Summer has arrived!

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Let there be BOOKS, MUSIC and FUN!

BREAKING Book NEWS: Cowgirl, Come Home” (my first new, full-length romance from Tule Press) will be released on July 18. Here’s a sneak peek at my cover.

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I am sooo excited. My editor loved this story! I can’t wait for you all-my loyal readers and friends–to read it.

And I have more exciting news. There will be three spin-offs from this book. My “Big Sky Mavericks” trilogy is tentatively set to release in August, October and December.

Color me giddy!

BREAKING Contest NEWS: my June “Sounds of Summer” contest prize is a Bem (pronounced Beam) Music Cube.  

71XoVMf9clL._SL1500_-1(Bem wireless bluetooth speakers for your MP3 player, iPad, phone, etc. — a $100 value!)

I bought this little guy and loved it so much, I decided to offer one as a prize on my website contest. Click HERE to sign up.

~~~

So…what are you doing for FUN this summer?

* Traveling? (I’ll be at RWA in San Antonio in July 22-26.)

* Reading? Check out these great pool-side reads from Tule’s new Holiday imprint, which is launching on  Tuesday, June 17, with a party on Facebook. There will be great prizes to win, and you can hang out with some of the Tule authors. I’ll be there at 7:30 p.m. Pacific.

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* Shopping? It’s never too early to be thinking about Christmas, right? To get you in the mood, here’s a great Christmas bundle currently on sale (99¢ thru 6/8):

“The Cowboys of Copper Mountain”

coppermtchristmascollection

This 4-book bundle is filled with extras, including GREAT recipes and my sweet short story, A Hundred Years or More. I’m so proud! If you hurry, you can register to win one of these excellent prize packages, including a $50 gift card at Amazon.

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* Listening to music? Maybe if you win the Bem, you’ll download some of the tunes from my “Cowgirl, Come Home” playlist. I hope to post this on my website in the very near future.

What are you listening to? I’d love to know. Maybe it’s something my next hero, Austen Zabrinski, will be playing on his iPod.

Deb

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Deb Salonen’s Christmas Pudding + A Bundle of Cowboys!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

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Food=love in my books.

To celebrate the release of The Cowboys of Copper Mountain bundle, I’m reprising my Warm Chocolate Pudding recipe. Who can resist something this yummy, rich, delicious…and the pudding’s good, too. 😉

Check out this great party and contest. (Book goes on sale sometime today–Tuesday–for six days – ONLY.)

ChristmasInJune-promo

Did I mention this bundle is packed full of great stories AND recipes–some of them are mine. I’m hoping this one made the cut. It’s really delicious!

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4.3 from 3 reviews
Warm Chocolate Puddings
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Get the prep work done ahead of time then pop the tray into the oven shorty before you're ready for the grand finale. Guaranteed to impress.
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Ice cream for each serving (optional) (any flavor) or whipped cream!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four 6- to 8-ounce ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in 2 tablespoons sugar, then egg yolks and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Still beating, gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until mixture is stiff and glossy.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, mix about ⅓ egg-white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture just until combined. Divide among bowls. (Puddings can be prepared in advance up to this point; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
  5. Bake until tops are puffed and cracked but insides are still quite soft (a toothpick inserted in center will come out gooey), 20 to 25 minutes, or 25 to 30 minutes if puddings were previously refrigerated. Serve, warm or at room temperature (puddings may sink as they cool), topped with ice cream, if desired.

Check out the cute cover of The Cowboys of Copper Mountain. Don’t miss the most excellent sale price of 99¢ (six days only), but even at the regular price of $4.99, it’s a great deal. Four complete books AND tons of other goodies–it is Christmas in June, after all!

coppermtchristmascollection

AMAZON

Enjoy and happy reading, my friends!

Deb