It’s Time to Party and Give Stuff Away!

There are TWO huge multiple day Facebook parties going on this week


I’ll be at both of them sharing secrets, playing games, and giving stuff away


You are invited to both parties!


Evernight’s party starts on Thursday.

In fact, the first author will be taking over at 9am Eastern this Thursday.

The party continues on until Friday night. Over 40 Evernight authors!!


My time slot is 7:30pm – 8:00pm Eastern


The Get Your Jingle on party starts on Friday afternoon and goes through Sunday night!

There will be over 50 authors at this event.


My time slot is 7:00pm – 7:30pm Eastern

Notice anything familiar about my time slots?

Ask me a question about one of my books at both parties and I’ll send you any one of my ebooks. Your Choice!

Click to see my books page

A New Year Brings Several Writing Goals – Come see what I have planned #amwriting

Happy New Year!Hello 2016! I’m so glad you’re here.

I reached several goals in 2015, including publishing my 10th book. Woot! My first published book turned 2 and had my first experience with self-publishing. I saw three of my stories go into print and I signed lots of books at my first book conference.

All in all, I consider the year a success. I mean, I’m still here. I’m still writing. My readership may be no where close to where I’d hoped it would be, but I know I have loyal readers. Your emails and messages keep me going. I’ve been able to connect with many of you on social media and that has been pure awesome. Thank you!

Before I look forward to 2016, I’d like to take a look back.

2012: I hid my first book under my bed and started writing what would eventually be my debut, Taking Chances. This year was full of growth in my writing and in my research. I also hit send for the first time and received a fabulous rejection. I say fabulous because that email gave me the best advice. It told me exactly what my story needed. What a gift! Then another awesome thing happened, I connected with my first real crit partner.

2013: The year started with lots of hard work and, when the next piece of fabulous advice came my way, I was ready. I hit send for the 2nd time in June and Taking Chances was accepted! I kept writing and shortly after my debut was released, my 2nd story, Untangle Me, was accepted. By the time 2013 ended, I had two of my stories published.

2014: I struggled a bit with increasing my production. Back in 2012, I’d struggled with finding time to write. Now in 2014, I still had to fight for that precious writing time but now I had two books to promote. It’s true what they say, it really does get harder. I was able to complete three stories and all of them were accepted. Taking Courage added to my Love Projects world started by Taking Chances. Unravel Me put me in my first anthology. I can’t say enough about the anthology experience. Publishing can be lonely business at times and anthologies shed that in the best way. This is the year I published one of my favorites stories, In the Blind. It’s the story that struggles to find readers but I’m really proud of it anyway. It’s different.

2015: I started the year at a crazy fast pace. By spring, I was published in my 2nd anthology with Unshakable Me and I’d finished three additional stories. One of them started another series with Assassins and Sweethearts but it was a story line I couldn’t stop thinking about. Within days of the initial inspiration, I knew the path of all 4 assassins and several ideas for spin-offs. Desire Unexpected, Assassins and Sweethearts 1 released in April and is one of my best sellers. In June I had two releases. Taking Over is the third book in my Love Projects Series and with the Just Desserts Collection I jumped into self-publishing. By the fall, I’d self-published my story, Common Grounds, the 1st of my Destiny Romances. It was my story in the no longer available Just Desserts Collection and I released the 2nd story in my Club Blind Series, Far from Blind.

At times, I’ll be honest, I feel like I’m not moving forward. But check it out. Each year, I increased my production. 2 books (2013) + 3 books (2014) + 5 books (2015) = 10!

Click on the covers on my Books page for more information.

Okay. So, now what?


  1. I’m currently polishing the 2nd book in my Assassins and Sweethearts Series and hope to have it release before spring.
  2. I have an idea for a couple free reads. The first is Assassins and Sweethearts 1.5. That’s right. I have more to tell in Ethan/Nadia’s story.
  3. Then, I’ll finish Anne/Keller’s story, the 4th book in my Love Projects Series.
  4. Assassins and Sweethearts 3. This will be Max’s story.
  5. Destiny Romance .5 <- this is my 2nd free read idea. I just flushed out the story and I love it! When it’s done, I’ll be making it available for my New Release Newsletter subscribers ONLY. Subscriber here.
  6. Destiny Romance 2. This will be Josie’s story.

That’s what I have planned. 4 longer novellas and two free novelettes. 6 different stories. It would be a new record for me. Eek!

So, what do you think? I hope you’re excited. Here’s to a great 2016!!

10 covers

A Holiday Hop AND A Look at What’s Coming Next from S.J. Maylee

12 Days Holiday Hop2Today through December 27th I’ll have a giveaway going on over on my Facebook page for the Holiday Hop.

You can see it here:

The graphic is correct, there are 190 authors participating. Over ten new authors join in the fun each day of the hop. There’s something to win at each stop. Plus, there is a huge grand prize. One winner will win free ebooks for life from some of the authors and 100 winners will receive a signed paperback.

Way cool!

Holiday Hop Grand Prize Graphic

At my stop, you’ll find that I’m giving away the first ebook in my Love Projects Series, Taking Chances AND the first ebook in my Assassins and Sweethearts Series, Desire Unexpected. If the winner is a U.S. resident, they’ll also receive one of my fabulous swag packs filled with a book charm, pin, zipper pull, pen and much more!

Holiday Hop giveaway

So, why did I choose these two books for the giveaway? Well, I’m currently polishing the 2nd book in my Assassins and Sweethearts Series and my very next project is the 4th book in the Love Projects Series. Come and enter my giveaway and grab your chance to read these first books.

Don’t delay. Do it today. Hop on over to this Facebook post and enter for your chance to win:

Happy Holidays!!

Real Neat Blog Award :)

I was nominated by the amazing Cara Bristol for the Real Neat Blogging Award. Thank you, Cara! The rules of the meme are:

  • Post the logo
  • Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  • Nominate any number of bloggers and link to their blogs
  • Let them know you nominated them

The questions asked of me:

  1. What is your idea of a dream vacation?
    • I hope one day to get back to Italy. There’s so much I haven’t seen. I’d love to spend a couple weeks relaxing at one of their beautiful coastal towns like Portofino. Besides staring at the beautiful views, I’d read and write the day away between eating pizza, drinking coffee, and treating myself to gelato.
  2. If you had one piece of advice to give to other spanking romance authors, what would it be?
    • Read widely and learn about domestic discipline. You’ll notice my answer to question #3 sneaking its way in here. Learn from those that are writing the genre. Soaking up that knowledge will make your writing richer.
  3. Are you a rule follower or rule breaker? And why? What is the payoff for that choice?
    • I’m definitely a rule follower at my core. I respect those that have set the ground work before me and I want to learn from them. However, once I learn the lesson, I may become the rule breaker. I tend to take what I’ve learned and make it work for me.
  4. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
    • Don’t play everything so safe. You have big dreams and you should go after them. That’s actually my advice for me today, too.
  5. What blog post or story are you most proud of?
    • That’s a hard one. I could pick Taking Chances, my debut, because I know what it took for me to put myself out there. I also could pick the book I just finished. It was a hard book for me to write. It took a lot of me, emotionally. I put a bit of a very difficult time in my life on the page. I’m quite proud of the way it turned out.
  6. Do you have a current goal you are working towards? What is it? If not, where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now in April 2020?
    • I have several goals. First, I want each book I write to be better than the last. I want to have releases in the double digits too. I’m getting close. Book #7 just released and #8 and #9 will release soon. I’m starting to write #10 this week.
    • In April 2020, I want to still be writing and loving it. 😀

My nominations:

I nominate Kacey HammellElyzabeth M VaLey, Elodie Parkes, and Carlene Love Flores

Here are your questions:

  • What’s your favorite thing to eat that you haven’t eaten in a long time?
  • Is there a book that you’ve read over and over again or a book that you’d like to read again?
  • Are you a rule follower or rule breaker? And why? What is the payoff for that choice?
  • What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
  • What blog post or story are you most proud of?
  • Do you have a current goal you are working towards? What is it? If not, where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now in April 2020?

Happy International Read-An-eBook Day!

Whenever I leave home, I always have at least one book with me. I’m that girl. Now a days, I don’t leave home without my ereader. No longer do I have just one book with me. I now have hundreds of ebooks with me. That’s a beautiful thing. You should also know, I refer to my ereader as my precious. Please tell me your voice changed when you read that. No? Okay, please try again. My precious. 😉

Here she is. *blows kisses*

My Precious

Happy 1st International Read-An-eBook Day!

My fabulous publisher, Evernight Publishing, is doing a couple of things to make today grand. First. all ebooks are 25% off at their site.

click the pic to visit the Evernight Publishing site

Plus, they’re throwing an amazing party today over on Facebook. Click this pic to jump over to the party.

click the pic to see the party on Facebook

Evernight Publishing will be randomly giving away gift certificates throughout the day. I’ll be sharing from a couple of my books and my coming soon title, In the Blind. I may have a few other surprises. 🙂 Come on over, have fun, and get to know these fabulous authors. The party starts at noon, Eastern.

Here’s a list of participating authors:

J. J. Lore
Nikka Michaels
Carlene Flores
Donina Lynn
Erin Leaf
Nicola Cameron
Beth D. Carter
Jenika Snow
Doris O’Connor
Elodie Parkes

6:00PM – 7:00PM
S.J. Maylee
Elyzabeth M. VaLey
We have a fun game planned. 😀

London Saint James
Jewel Quinlan
Michelle Monkou
Khloe Wren
Moira Callahan
April Zyon
Lila Shaw
Sandra Bunino

Party Cinco de Mayo style with SJ’s Naked Guacamole

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. My ancestors may not be from Mexico, but I definitely enjoy celebrating their heritage, especially their food. Outside of my family’s Italian recipes, probably my next favorite recipes to learn are Mexican.

Just a few weeks ago I shared my Taco Soup recipe over at Romance Cooks. This post also included my magic recipe for Taco seasoning. It’s good on anything. I’m serious, lol.

I also regularly make salsa, tortillas, Mexican rice, and burritos, but today I want to talk about one of my all time favorite things, Guacamole. The avocado is high in fat, but it’s mostly the monounsaturated kind. Score!

Today’s recipe is my Naked Guacamole. From this state, you can add anything you want, cilantro, lime, tomatoes, peppers and even shredded chicken, fish, your shell fish of choice… Pretty much anything added to this simple recipe will be good, especially a tortilla chip. However, naked guacamole is kind of perfect just as it is. Aw. 🙂

SJs Naked Guac

The key to great Guacamole is perfectly ripe avocados that yield to moderate pressure when squeezed. Here are several tips to help you make this happen:

Tip: I suggest buying firm avocados days before you plan on using them. Letting them finish ripening on your counter is the best way to know you don’t have over ripe fruit.

Tip: The key is under the little brown stem on the end of the avocado, peel it away and if the fruit is green you’ve got a winner. If it’s turned dark, it’s overripe.

Tip: If your avocado is still firm the night before you intend use it, put it in a brown paper bag or next to a bunch of bananas. Both options will speed up the ripening process. If your avocado yields to moderate pressure the day before you intend to use it, stick it in the frig. This can buy you an extra day and stop the fruit from getting overripe.

Tip: Here’s a great video that shows several different ways to peal an avocado

SJ’s Naked Guacamole:

  • 2 perfectly ripe avocados, pealed, de-seeded, and mashed
  • 1/4 cup finally diced onions (red onions are the sweetest option I’d recommend, next is white, and finally yellow- any of these will be great)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt

Mix it all together and eat it. This naked version does not go brown quickly, but I still encourage you to make sure it’s all eaten the day you make it.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Twice the Fun – TRR’s Year End Splash and Readers’ Choice Awards

click to go to the TRR's Year End Splash pageThe Romance Review sure knows how to throw a party. Their Year End Splash is underway and with over 400 authors the prize list is long. The Grand prize is a $100 Gift Certificate! Plus, there are more than 400 prizes up for grabs during the whole month of November. You can enter to win the grand prize and all the others by playing games, like a cover matching game, multiple choice, and hangman games.

Before you play, all you need to do is register and login. It’s easy to do and it’s free. TRR is a great place to hang and find new books. They have over 10,000 books in the database and over 3,000 reviews!

Check them out:
Romance | Erotic Romance | GLBT

I have a question of my own up today at the Year End Splash. You can play it anytime on November 8th, from 12:00am EST to 11:59pm EST. Wahoo! 🙂

The fun starts here:

click to see the EP Blog: Join us for the First Annual EVERNIGHT READERS' CHOICE AWARDS!Also going on right now is the First Annual Evernight Publishing Reader’s Choice Awards! it’s a really great way to show your favorite EP author some love. There are 36 categories to nominate such as your favorite book, author, hero, cover, etc. You may skip categories, however nominations are limited to one per category per person.

I’m hoping you’ll consider nominating my book, Taking Chances. Lydia’s the relateable heroine and Jake’s the hero that can’t resist her. Together they make sparks fly and have one heck of a HEA. Plus, that cover. Yes, I love my cover. 🙂

See Taking Chances on My Books pageThere are a lot of great choices to nominate. I sure do have several favorites of my own. Love that publisher of mine. 🙂 Simply enter your name and email address at the end of the nomination form for a chance to win a $25 Evernight Gift Certificate!

You have until November 15th to enter your nomination. Semi-finalists will be announced and voting begins on November 17th!

Enter your favorites here:

The Trifecta: Liebster, Sunshine, and Versatility

The writing journey is a hard one. Got it. But the friends you make along the way have the best timing. Right when you need them they throw a Sunshine award (thank you Siobhan Muir and Lorraine Patton), the Versatile blogger (thank you Jamaiquina), and the Liebster (thank you Claire Gillian) your way. You guys are the best. 😀

Below you’ll find all kinds of random things about me and the newest nominations for these memes.

Questions from Siobhan’s and Lorraine’s Sunshine award post:SunshineAward

Favorite Color: depends on what’s blooming in my garden. Right now, red
Favorite Animal: dolphins are pretty amazing and I adore penguins.
Favorite Number: 6 <~ my number from my first audition. I got the gig, cheerleading in 4th grade 🙂
Favorite Non-alcoholic Drink: Coffee. I love coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee
Facebook or Twitter: I enjoy them both, but I hang on twitter much more often.
Your Passion: I’m passionate about my writing and reading, that’s a given. Outside of the written word, my passion is movement. Dance was my first love. As a kid, I spent hours in my room dancing/acting out the songs on the radio and this is where my love of story telling started. I’ve studied dance since a young age, through college and even danced on scholarship with a famous company in Chicago.
Giving or getting presents: Giving.
poppyFavorite Day: I do love fall and Siobhan’s answer to this question. My favorite day is any day my husband and two sons are with me.
Favorite Flowers: Last November (in my 1st Trifecta post) I listed Ranunculus and in that post you’ll see the pretty flowers. They’re gorgeous. Since my red Poppies are blooming, they’re getting my vote this time.

The Versatile BloggerSeven things about me for Jamaiquina’s Versatile award

  1. I’m more Polish than Italian, but you wouldn’t know it by the way I cook. My dad makes fabulous horseradish, but my specialty is more with meatballs and tomato sauce, “the gravy.”
  2. I don’t like scary movies, although I saw Scream I in the theater with my Grandpa. I saw Scream II in the theater with my husband, then boyfriend. At one point I screamed so loud that the lady in front of us said, “That lady scared me.”
  3. I do enjoy sweets, but I prefer salty.
  4. I root for all the Detroit sports teams, including the Lions and any team that has a player from the 2004 Pistons team (the year we beat the Lakers in the NBA finals).
  5. Love Star Wars, I’m definitely a Browncoat, and although I enjoy the new Star Trek movies, I’m not a Treky.
  6. My husband is a musician and he supports the family by teaching lessons, recording, a little producing, but mostly by playing music in Chicago pretty much every weekend. He plays all the hits for weddings, festivals, clubs, and several times a year he gets to travel for corporate events. He just got back from Orlando.
  7. I asked my mom to give me some help with number seven and she said I’m sweet, warm-hearted, and kind. Aw, thanks, mom.

Questions from Claire’s Liebster Awardthe-liebster-award

  • Which family member influenced you the most? My Grandpa. He’s amazing.
  • If you could read only one genre for the rest of your life, which would it be? Romance.
  • Name your favorite alcoholic drink. beer
  • Would rather see America (or any country of your choice) by auto / RV or by biking / hiking / walking or by mass transit (airplane, train, bus)? My husband would say the tricked out RV. I’d like a little of all, but you can leave out the bus.
  • Name your favorite television show. SYTYCD
  • If you could change one aspect of yourself, what would it be? I’d be taller
  • What’s your zodiac sign? Pisces
  • What’s your shoe size? 6
  • What’s your “day” job? Project Manager
  • What kind of car do you drive? Rav4
  • What, if any, sports did you play when in school? soccer

Time to share the love. You have your pick of Liebster, Sunshine, the Versatile blogger award, or all three. Link back to this post, answer the questions, give us some random stuff, and find some new victims. Have fun. 😀

Kimmy Donn ~ Julie Glover ~ Alberta Ross ~ D.C. McMillen

Angelica Dawson ~ Gemma Parkes ~ Naomi Shaw ~ Doris O’Conner

New Year Resolutions 2013

Fireworks by Melissa Bowersock

Fireworks by Melissa Bowersock

Today we start a new year. As Anne would say, “…isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Yes, it is a beautiful thought, Anne, one that I hope to remember this year as I keep working towards my goals.

Wikipedia lists several origins in New Year Resolutions and the knights “peacock vow” has got to be my favorite: In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. What a thought, all those swoon worthy knights making their commitments, very nice.

Okay, yes, getting off track. Where was I? Oh!

This year has no mistakes in it yet and that’s romantic too, but I’m not searching for perfection here. Nope, I don’t want to set impossible goals. I want to do what I can to keep my feet moving forward, forward towards my goals. I want my eyes to stay open and not shadowed by negative thinking.

My Grandpa has a motto: work hard and play later. I try to live by his pledge and I do pretty well. It’s important to remember the play is just as important as the work, you need both to keep moving forward. Last January I joined ROW80 and I will continue with them this year, fabulous group. The pattern and routine works for me. Wiki Answers says it can take 21 times before something becomes a habit and I believe it, something to ponder in the weeks ahead. But, what do I want my goals for the year to be?

I want to do more with my writing, I want to do more with Nia, I want to be healthy, I want to live life to its fullest and I want to be happy. <– That’s a mountain of a list. I’ll break it down in my ROW80 posts, but I’ll make my main goals here.

SJ’s 2013 New Year Resolutions:

  • Participate in ROW80 and work EVERY day on plotting, word count, editing, or craft.
  • Recommit to my healthy journey and lose that last 5-pounds, after the holidays it’s probably more like 10-pounds.
  • Recommit to my Nia training and spend time with my studies EVERY week.
  • Read more. I read 53 books in 2012, I’d like to blow that number up in 2013.
  • Find time for the things I enjoy outside of books and Nia, like downhill skiiing, biking, walking on the beach, gardening, and visiting with friends. Take time each week to make sure one of these things is on my calendar.
  • Stop and smell the roses, literally and figuratively.
  • Get a tattoo 🙂

It may be a short list, but it’s packed with all the things that will make 2013 my best year ever. I’ll remember it takes 21 repetitions before my new normal becomes habit and each day is fresh and new waiting for me to try again. I will keep trying. I will move forward.

Are you making a list this year? How are you going to keep yourself moving forward? Regardless, I hope this is your best year ever.

Happy New Year!!!

HELP THE ELF: I Found Santa’s Missing Nice List!

Hi everyone! As you may remember, a few weeks ago PETE the Elf had a touch too much Eggnog at the Holiday Christmas Party and as he stumbled home, he lost Santa’s NICE LIST.

The North Wind scattered the papers to all four corners of the world, and The Bookshelf Muse put out a call to help find them in order to SAVE CHRISTMAS.

Ever since I read about it, I’ve been on the lookout. And then today, EUREKA!

Yes that’s right…I found part of Santa’s missing NICE LIST. There it was, fluttering in the wind, half caught under the corner of my welcome mat. And shock of all shocks, I recognized the name, and I bet you will too.

Here it is below:

NAME: Angelica Dawson @AngelicaDawson

LOCATION: Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Goodreads



OBSERVATIONS: Angelica is a great critique partner, is very generous with her time and never fails to make her partner work harder, find better words and it works everytime, EVERYTIME! Could eat more vegetables. Especially Broccoli.

RECOMMENDATION:     a) Coal                   b) Gift

~ ~ * ~ ~

Because poor Pete is dashing all over the place trying to hunt down the rest of Santa’s missing Nice List, I decided to take care of this one myself. Angelica, I feel so blessed to know you! Enjoy the gift I sent to your inbox this morning and have a wonderful Christmas!

How about you, Readers? Is there someone you’d like to say Happy Holidays to, or tell them how much they mean to you? JOIN US! There’s plenty of days left until Christmas, and sometimes a kind word can lift people up in a way that they really need. It’s as easy as sending a free ecard or email note, posting on a Facebook wall or sending out a tweet. So go ahead and spread some kindness and cheer!

Photo credit:

assorted gold baubles ( / CC BY 3.0