Authors in Bloom Blog Hop 2017 with S.J. Maylee #gardeningtips #romance

Welcome to the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015Gardening is one of my favorite things. In fact, it even inspired my tagline.

Blooming Hot Romance.

Life can be pretty stressful and I find the quiet time in the garden is just the thing to clear my mind. Not to mention, when I’m writing, I often gaze at my flower beds as my mind searches for that next word. 😀 Throughout the post I’m sharing pictures from my garden last year.

Hope you enjoy!

Keep reading for my gardening tips, news on what I’m working on this year, my giveaway, AND how to enter for your chance to win the fab GRAND PRIZE!

Here are six of my general gardening tips:

1. Now that the ground is unfreezing, it’s a great time to start thinking about what seeds you’ll plant this year. April is planning month for me. It’s when I map out my garden and pull out my seed packets. A great tip is to soak your seeds for 24 hours prior to planting. They’ll germinate so much quicker!

2. Work compost or manure into your garden several weeks before planting. All that good stuff needs time to balance out the soil.

3. If you find earth worms in your garden, it’s a huge compliment. Your soil is probably healthy and those worms are making things even better. They allow air into your soil and they leave behind good stuff. So smile when you see those little guys.

4. I’m a fan of garden fabric, you can read about that in my post from last year’s Author’s in Bloom. I should state that I do use mulch in my flower beds, but if you want to use mulch in your vegetable gardens, make sure you’re using untreated mulch. You don’t want the chemicals from the pretty colored mulch getting into your healthy veggies.

5. Late last year, I bought new pots for my front porch, found a fab sale. I also wanted something larger, but I certainly don’t want to fill the entire pot with dirt. It will be so heavy. Eek! Also, it’s important to make sure the roots in your pots have room to breathe. This is why potting soil is so different from top soil. I’ve heard of putting rocks at the bottom of pots or bits of broken clay pots, but packing peanuts are also a great option. Simply pour several inches into the bottom of your pot before adding the potting soil.

6. Herbs. Love these easy to grow plants that add freshness to everything I cook. My big tip for growing herbs: use them all summer long. Every time you cut some, they’ll grow faster to replace what you’ve taken. I’m serious. And at the end of the season, cut what you haven’t used, clean/dry them, place in a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer. Then, don’t forget to use them before spring comes around again.

Extra tips: read my post from last year

 


This year I’m concentrating on THREE things: writing the next books in my Love Projects Series and Assassins and Sweethearts Series, and co-writing a book with one of my close author friends. I’m so excited about each project. Be sure to subscribe to my >> New Release Newsletter << You don’t want to miss any of these releases. Also, one subscriber wins a $5 gift card in every issue.


 

Here’s a look inside the newest release in my Assassins and Sweethearts Series:

Unexpected Destiny

Book Description:

Elizabeth Martin thought she already had her happily ever after, that is until her husband mysteriously disappeared. Aidan Clery is a skilled assassin for hire who wants nothing more than to find the love of his life. Fate throws Liz in his path and everything is perfect, except Aidan just won the contract on her life.

The truth surrounding Liz’s estranged husband takes the pair on a dangerous journey. Nothing in their lives will ever be the same. Destiny may be unexpected but it will be up to Aidan and Liz to discover the truth and claim their real happily ever after.

Be Warned: light BDSM, bondage, anal play

Excerpt:

Aidan turned off the faucet and caught the reflection of those gorgeous brown eyes in the mirror.

“Oops. Wrong door,” said his girl as she turned around.

“I can share.” He could handle the surveillance later. This woman deserved his attention.

She stopped and turned around. “Okay then.” She took a step toward him. “You know what? I should have asked for confirmation earlier.” Her gaze was full of mischief.

“You’re right. You should have asked.” He took a hold of her hand and pulled her close. “I sure would like to see that tiny scrap of lace.” And just like that his night got infinitely better.

She stopped her forward movement when their chests were a mere inch apart. A nice rosy blush heated her cheeks. He kept hold of her hand while her other played with the lapel of his dark leather jacket. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“You need to get back to your friends?”

“Yes, but…” She licked her bottom lip. “Maybe I could stay here for a few minutes.”

“At least a few.” He tapped the bottom of her chin. “How about you start by telling me your name?”

“Liz.” Her gaze met his and he wanted time to stop. Something about the lonely look in her eyes called to him to not let her get away. She shifted closer. “Who are you?”

He pushed his finger over her waistband, rubbing her hipbone. “I’m Aidan.” He squeezed the hand he still held. Her soft body relaxed against his.

“I should probably go. I need to get my friends home.”

“I don’t think you should go anywhere.” He brushed his nose against hers.

A delicious moan slipped from her lips. “I don’t want to leave but I need to make sure they get home safely.”

“It’s nice of you to look out for them.” Damn, she smelled good. It was lilacs or roses or something.

“I’d rather stay here with you.” She leaned in and their lips almost met. “My friends are always right. I should have gone out with them months ago.”

“Stay a few more minutes.” He caressed over her hips to her round ass. Hot tension filled his thoughts. Forget a few more minutes, he’d take all night and then some to explore this beautiful woman.

“More.” She scraped her teeth over her bottom lip.

A second later, the door opened. “Lizzy, we got to go. Emily isn’t feeling well.”

She dropped her head to his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Lizzy.” The woman held the door open. “You’re right. He is cute. Bring him with you. Emily won’t mind.”

“She’ll be right out,” he said. Once the friend left the bathroom, he brushed her hair behind her shoulders and stroked her back.

“I feel like I’m cursed.”

“You and me both, sweetheart.” He didn’t let her go.

“Well.” She looked up at him from under her long, dark lashes. “It’s not what I had in mind but would you help me with my friends?” The soft tone of her voice had him imagining how she’d purr if he made her come. “I think I might be the only one sober and they can be a bit much to wrangle into a cab. They live north in Edgewater and then we could do something, maybe go back to my place.” She worried her poor bottom lip once more.

“I’d like that.” He squeezed her ass. “Sure. I’ll help, Lizzy.” He tugged on her hair. Then he’d help himself to more of her.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND BOOKS BY S.J. MAYLEE:

Evernight Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BookStrand | Smashwords | iTunes


S.J. Maylee’s Giveaway:  I’m giving away one ebook from my Love Projects Series AND one ebook from my Assassins and Sweethearts Series. To enter, leave a comment below about which of my projects you’re looking forward to the most and then click my >> Rafflecopter << for more chances to win.

GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a ereader ($200 value). Only those visitors who visit EACH and EVERY stop are eligible for the grand prize. So, keep hopping and comment at every stop. 😀

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Click here to view the list of links to the authors in the hop.

Winners will be posted on both Dianne Venetta’s blog and the BloominThyme websites.

Giveaway ends April 5th at 11:59 PM EST.


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ROW80 check-in #21

Since I joined ROW80 at the beginning of this year I’ve been working on my schedule or more succinctly, not getting distracted. There are so many distractions, some good, some necessary, and some should be warded against. I’m glad I’ve been working on this since my schedule is about to get frickin chaotic. The first thought: it will be impossible to do it all, there’s no way. But what would I cut from the schedule. There will be no more time spent going down that rabbit hole. Sometimes super busy can be a good thing. Since I don’t want to lose my mind, I will need to stay on point and keep distractions in their place. As soon as I started thinking: I can do this…the dark clouds broke up. But now I got to get busy putting my plans together or else these check-ins are going to get ugly.
It’s time to cut the fat and let priorities reign.

The Goals – week-9 results

  • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters- done
  • Write 2,000 words each week– not done, only 964 words were added, but countless words were cut. I was in editing hell this week. Plotting for the next two MS has begun, so no more excuses WEEK-10 PRIORITY
  • Spend time editing at least 2-times each week– done! I spent 5-days editing this week, but it’s still not ready to send to my friend. I want it sent by the end of next week. WEEK-10 PRIORITY
  • Finish reading current craft book and start another– spent more time here again this week, but I’m not done yet
  • Participate in Before You Hit Send Self-Editing Workshop in April– the workshop is over. I keep revisiting my notes though
  • Turn 2nd-draft chapters to my writer friend for her critique– The above says 5-days spent editing, but on each of those days I could have done more. Until yesterday, during each editing session I let ugly thoughts bog me down. How many stages of editing grief are there?
  • Workout a minimum of 200-minutes a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep and my calorie limit I got just under 200-minutes this week and everything else was good…almost done.
  • Study one of the Nia 52-moves each week (the 52-moves is like the ballet bar for Nia lovers)Fast Clock.  Begin by marching in place in the center of an imaginary clock on the floor. Use the clock like a map. Step out to a number on the clock and immediately to a new number. For example: step in the center of your clock > step forward to 12:00 >step back to 6:00 > step to the side to either 3:00 or 9:00 > step back to the center. Gradually increase your speed and keep your shoulders and arms relaxed. Benefits: improves stamina, agility, coordination, and the ability to move and breathe faster
  • Finish the. Sanjana bars and start the Opal bars (i.e. studying the song/movement structure)– My mirror notes are looking good. It’s time to finish the bars for the last couple of songs in the routine.
  • Listen to the Nia sound track for the Sanjana routine each week and add Opal when I get to their bars– done
  • Plan out and start participating in the last of my needed continuing education credits for PMP certification– Two weeks ago I made big progress here and these last two weeks nothing. However, I’m going to sacrifice this task again this week in an attempt to make a final push on the WIP

In an effort to keep my spirits up, I’m including some pictures from my gardens. Hope they brighten your Sunday.