Thankful for You – Finding My Attitude of Gratitude (and a gift)

This year has been hard for everyone. No doubt. Between the Rona, quarantine, politics (which I will not be engaging in discussion about because that’s not my style and everyone’s entitled to their opinion), all the sad and strange happenings that seem to be occurring in everyone’s lives, this world could feel downright oppressive.

If you’re not ok right now, I get it, and I’d like to hear from you because I’d like to show you some love and support (and add you to my prayers–even if it’s not something you believe it it can’t hurt, right?).

But me? I need a different kind of focus…

My Pretty Purple Bling-y Glasses

The reality is most of those things are outside of our control, right?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you already know “out of my control” is not my bag…so I focused on my controllables.

Like finding pretty purple glasses that make me feel kinda sexy.

Like discovering that the silver in my hair looks hawt enough to embrace growing it out until it’s safe enough to meet with my stylist. (I’m in a state where I could go because we’re not locked down, but she’s the caregiver for her elderly mother and I don’t feel comfortable exposing her to me when I’ve been an “essential worker” and around people this whole time.)

Most of all I’m thankful for YOU–my online family. I’m grateful for the laughter from shared memes, the check-ins, the likes and comments, the messages, the encouragement and feedback.

It meant so much to me that I wanted to do something nice for you, so TODAY and TOMORROW ONLY I’ve made A Way With Words FREE!

I’m spending today at work, but tomorrow both my brother-in-law (the ER doc) and I will be off, so we’ll enjoy our family Thanksgiving then. I can’t wait for all the fabulous food and family time.

What are you thankful for? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? What about your favorite food?

It’s My Birthday!

💥ON SALE for $.99 & FREE with KINDLE UNLIMITED💥
🎁HELP CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY🎂
💥THIS WEEKEND💥
📖GRAB YOUR COPY AND ENJOY!📖

One woman. Two bandmates. Will Kalina come between them, or is between them where she’s meant to be? If love is a song, what happens when the tune of your heart sounds more like a trio? Will outside forces generate discord and sharp notes, or can three unique souls blend to create the perfect harmony? You won’t want to miss a beat of this love ballad.

Praise from Author S. H. Timmins, “Kitt Crescendo has outdone herself with this witty, heartfelt, and smoldering story of three people who find love in the most unexpected way.”

Praise from Author Natasha Blackthorne: “A sizzling hot, fun, contemporary erotic romance that is filled with wit, banter, country music, poetry and love scenes that are emotionally and psychologically satisfying.”

Kenny Rogers and the Writer in Me

I grew up around music. I’d been singing most of my life. As you can see from this picture, my piano lessons (which didn’t quite take…too impatient) started early, too.

But music was the first art I was introduced to, and it’s what soothes my soul.

My passion, however, belongs to the written word. There’s something about telling a story whether by poetry or by prose that has always captivated my attention. It’s a world in which I have the patience and perseverance to study, to practice, to re-write (you know, the dread word–edit) until you have something of worth and beauty.

Although the first album I ever purchased was Michael Jackson’s Thriller (a classic, to be sure), it was Kenny Rogers who left an indelible mark on my life through his amazing voice and incredible skill at story telling.

The first song of Kenny’s that I recall hearing was The Gambler. The tale had intriguing characters, real life lessons, and a story you could actually see come alive if you closed your eyes. I. Was. In. Love.

Kenny spoke to the writer in me. He fired my imagination. He even made me look at music a bit differently. In fact, music actually features prominently in my writing style. While I can’t listen to it while I’m actually writing (I have a tendency to type whatever words I’m hearing), finding the right music before I start to write helps me effectively convey the correct mindset or emotion for my scene or characters.

For example, if I want to portray a heartless villainess? A song like this one (I’m a military brat, so you do a vet dirty, I’m gonna have issues) will put me in the right mindset to create a real bitch.

Or if I want to convey someone who’s had rough breaks in life, but has always done the right thing, but in his current crossroads, he has to play dirty to be the hero, I’d play something like this one, a personal favorite.

Or maybe the lovers are both dumbasses (because let’s be honest, that happens) and we need them to realize they’re about to lose everything, or maybe that they were never right for each other and it’s time to let go… This one fits the bill.

Or when I need to capture the heart of the relentless soul who dreams big and will find a way to make it happen…

And when my hero is headed the wrong direction and about to eff things up with the heroine because he’s so busy with the wrong things he takes her for granted? This song does it for me…

At the end of the day, it’s his poetry and lyricism that engaged the writer in me so strongly. He made you feel his songs, and they were so relatable.

In fact, in my latest release, A Way With Words, I shared several song lyrics I’d created exclusively for this release and can’t help but feel maybe his energy influenced me. Here’s a taste of one of them…

“Did you see me
Through the haze of desire
The passion and fire
That you shared with someone else,
Did you see me?

Was I stupid?
To believe in promises made,
The foundation we laid
When I gave you my ring.
Was I stupid?

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this.

Will you realize
That my heart can be broken
I deserve more than token
Lies to make me stay, I won’t look away.
Will you realize?

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?

I deserve more than this.
Did you lose me
Or did I find my rebirth?
Discover my self-worth
In walking away, not looking back
Yeah, I found me.

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this.
Yeah, I found me.”

So I owe a huge debt of gratitude for all the joy and inspiration Kenny’s music has brought me “Through the Years.” (See what I did there?) LOL!

Who inspires you? Is it music? Movies? I’d love to know…

And to close out, I think it’s only fitting I share a song he did with one of his oldest, dearest friends… It’s like they knew. And besides, he felt like an old friend to me, too. Rest in Heaven, Kenny.

Happy Valentine’s Day! #BookSale #KUFree

It’s been an incredibly busy week. I got back from Chicago on Monday where we celebrated my amazing nephew’s birthday…

Then it was back to my daily grind…aka the day job that limits my writing time. Hubby, being the sexy, awesome romantic that he is bought me chocolate truffles and chocolate covered strawberries. He know me well…

I don’t need grand gestures. He shows me his love every day with the little things he does to let me know he loves me, supports me, and he listens.

But then I thought about you guys… My awesome loyal readers and friends… You guys deserve some Valentine’s Day appreciation, too! So I made my new book HALF OFF!

💞💞💞GO GET YOUR COPY! 💞💞💞

Putting Words Into Your Characters’ Mouths and Feeling Grateful #NewRelease #AmWritingRomance

As many of you know, I recently released my first full sized novel. So far it’s been well received and I’ve been blown away with gratitude. One of my coolest experiences came from a Facebook book club I’ve been involved with for years.

They chose to make my book their January Group Read, and as a newish author that meant everything. What was really amazing was that they decided to a thread focusing in on their favorite moments and quotes…. I was blown away and way too entertained. Seriously. Just when you start to second guess yourself, moments like these come up. Moments where someone decides to share YOUR writing and you’re both laughing hysterically because it’s both funny and you forgot you made a character say that, but also you realize…that was legitimately a great line! And it builds your confidence.

The quote at the top of this post was the “kick-off” quote coming from Drew, one of the male leads in this book.

Other honorable mentions? How about these:

“That’s what best friends do for each other.” Ty raised an eyebrow. “Did you think that would change just because you’ve smoked my pipe?”

Ty to Drew in A Way With Words

The above quote was in reference to Drew and Ty and their first intimate moment with each other.

“If you think it sounds like an uptight douche bustin’ a nut, I’d say ‘hell yeah’.”

Ty to Drew in response to overhearing someone having sex

This quote in particular had me laughing so hard my hubby asked if I was ok.

“… apparently waiting to show you her tricked out twat.”

Kalina to Drew

This quote was made by Kalina to Drew when they discovered a woman had sneaked into Drew’s bed, complete with decorated lady bits…

What has this taught me? That I’m extremely fortunate to have amazing people in my life who appreciate my snarky dialogue and that sometimes I actually am kinda witty.

What has chasing your dreams taught you? What’s something your friends/tribe done to support you that’s blown your mind?

And if you’re looking for my book link…Click the book cover on the side and it will lead you right to it. BTW, it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited and check out THIS REVIEW!

Relationships and Awkward Parentals

We all have those awkward moments when parents go rogue and get a little TMI or do something completely unexpected that leaves your jaw dragging on the floor, right?

Mine happened after my bridal shower while we were sitting around a table with one of my mom’s co-workers and her daughter (both whom I’d just met that day), my aunt, my cousin, and my sister.

It all started innocently enough with my sister telling us how she’d accidentally worn CFM pumps to church and nearly face planted when the heel stuck in the carpet and how difficult they were to walk in. She hadn’t realized when she’d bought them that they were that high or what CFM (Come Fuck Me) stood for in the first place…until her friend saved her from the disastrous fall and told her what those kinds of shoes were called.

We were all laughing when my mom, who apparently owned the same pair of shoes, decided to throw in her $.02 and tell us all that she’s never had any issues with her heels and that my step-dad loved it when she wore them to bed.

On the one hand, mom deserves a fist bump and a, “You go get you some!”

On the other? She’s my mom and I needed to scrub my imagination.

Hello! WRITER!

Then today, this Kelly Clarkson Show video caught my attention.

Although this story was hilarious, it reminded me of an old classmate of mine from early high school. You see, Paul had a HUGE crush on my mom. To the point that his 14 year old self had decided he needed to marry her.

And he took it a step further.

He, in front of me and several of our other friends, walked up to another parent who was good friends with my mom and asked, “Mr. B. do you think I’d make a good step-dad?”

The boy was serious. (And I was seriously dying because 1. my mom has NEVER been into boys. 2. that took guts. And 3. I was older than him by a year and was never gonna be calling that kid dad.)

In my new book, A Way With Words, one of our heroes, Drew, has an outrageous mom, too, so I thought I’d share a little excerpt.

“I…” Drew said between gasps and howls. “Just..realized…something! Haha!”

Ty snickered as he watched Drew wiping tears from his eyes. “What’s that?”

“My mom’s gonna be so jealous!” Drew roared. “She’s gonna think I stole her man!”

“Are you serious?” Ty was grinning.

Drew sucked in a deep breath and tried to steady his giggles. “I’d say as a heart attack, but after the last ER visit, I’d rather none of us had to be in the vicinity of that place.” He smirked at Ty, then grimaced at the cramp in his side. “She called dibs on you the day she met you, years ago. Of course, back then I’m pretty sure she had no idea that I’d be her prime competition, not that I think she’d care. Hell, she may get a little awkward. You remember her tendency to overshare, right?”

Suddenly his humor had dried up as he pictured the awkward, way-too-detailed-for-any-son’s-comfort advice the woman tended to dole out. Shit. He had no doubt she was going to be fine with everything, but if the woman started giving him lube advice or asking Ty kinky questions no mom should ask, he was going to die. Hell, he should probably warn Kalina. He just knew his mom was going to ask her if she enjoyed being the meat in a man sandwich or some such. Ugh. He loved the woman, but she had no filter. He was under no delusions that he came by that trait honestly.

Ty’s face lit up. “Relax! We can handle your mom. Hell, I love that woman.” He winked at Drew. “If I were into cougars, I might have taken her up on her teasing eons ago.”

I Got Brave and Did a Thing! #NewRelease #AmWriting

Last night I finally clicked “PUBLISH” on my manuscript I’ve been working on. Amazon said it would be up to 72 hours, so imagine my surprise when I got home from the day job this afternoon and found it live!

That’s right… A Way With Words is officially up and available for purchase HERE! I’m also in the process of finalizing the format for the paperback copy as well.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my shiny, new book!

I LOVE this Smexy Cover created by Laura Jean Designs

From A Way With Words….

She stood up with the force of her anger, causing him to shift backward, lose his balance, and lay sprawled at her feet, staring up at her in shock. Quickly, he tried to regain some semblance of dignity and get up.

“Lie?” Drew squawked as he rumbled back up to his feet, trying with no success to slap the dirt off his jeans, but only managing to spread mud stains instead. Hurt turned his eyes a honey brown. “I never lied to you.”

“Oh no?” Her eyes narrowed as she poked him hard in the center of his chest. “You said you weren’t a country star. What the hell are you if not the country star?”

His eyes warmed, remembering her and that moment fondly, even as he wrapped her delicate hand in his for self-preservation. “Now darlin’.” He was afraid if he didn’t stop her she’d poke all the way through his ribs, right into his bruised heart. “That’s not exactly how that went down. If I recall correctly, your exact words were, ‘don’t tell me you’re a country artist’. What I said was, ‘okay, I won’t’. An omission, for sure. But not a lie.”

Damn him. She could already feel herself softening. Getting pulled into the vortex that was Drew. She didn’t want to talk this out. Angry was easier. Angry hurt less. Made her less vulnerable. Because if this is how she felt now, when she barely knew him, she wasn’t sure she’d survive being invested in him.

“Semantics,” she snapped. “You knew what I thought.”

Drew put his hands up in surrender. “Okay, yeah, I did. But to be fair, it was a little white lie. I was just agreeing with you, but honestly, did you really think we were ever going to see each other again?” He raised an eyebrow. “I know I didn’t. Hell, if I had, I’d have done so many things differently.”

“Like?” She crossed her arms over her chest, curious against her will. He had a point. She was self-aware enough to admit, at least to herself, that there were a lot of things she’d have done differently, too.

“Well, I’d have at least asked for your name.” The beginnings of a grin began to spread across his face. “And maybe told you mine. Well, my first name, anyway. Honestly, part of the appeal for me was that you didn’t seem to know who I was. You treated me like I could’ve been any hot, charming stud.”

Her snort turned into a belly laugh. Damn him. He was still funny. “All that, and you sing, too? Why ever are you single?”

“I ask myself that every day.”

I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit and decide to check out my book. I had a blast writing Kalina, Drew, and everyone else. Now to work on the next story….

Thankful for Friendships and Feedback

This last year has been a challenge for me. I’ve had a sexy scene written for years, but knew it was incomplete. There was a story marinating around in my brain, but I didn’t feel up to writing it yet.

One thing I’ve learned in my writing journey as that pieces come together when you’re ready. Sometimes this is a mental thing. Sometimes it’s skill development. Either way, I’ve learned to trust my instincts.

With the love and support of my family and critique partners, I finally finished, got my edits completed, and have the book to my awesome Betas….which means….

Release day is COMING SOON! (Like December, soon.)

Several of my author and blogger friends have known what I’ve been up to and have rallied to show their support by offering to share and/or review my book, and I’m so grateful! I could use all the help I can get. So if you’re interested in helping me out, please let me know! I’d be in your debt and thrilled to do what I must in whatever capacity you’d like to help.

Can you tell I’m EXCITED? IT’S MY FIRST FULL SIZED NOVEL!

What are YOU grateful for this year?

Check Out my Sexy, Sassy #CoverReveal!

I’m so lucky as an author and a person. I am surrounded by amazing people who believe in me and encourage me to chase my dreams. One of them is the incredible woman who designed this book from Laura Jean Designs. She’s brilliant with cover design and a pretty stellar author as well.

Now check out her amazing art! Is this not absolutely beautiful?

My lovely new book!

Blurb:

Kalina Santos went to Nashville to lick her wounds and regroup. A random encounter with a stranger leads her to adventure and a new career opportunity.

Country star, Drew Kendall, was jaded and worried about losing his band. The last thing he expected was to be intrigued by a brown-eyed beauty with no idea who he was.

Drew never intended to hurt his bandmate, Ty. But carelessness has consequences and some things can’t be undone.

One woman. Two bandmates. Will Kalina come between them, or is between them where she’s meant to be? If love is a song, what happens when the tune of your heart sounds more like a trio? Will outside forces generate discord and sharp notes, or can three unique souls blend to create the perfect harmony? You won’t want to miss a beat of this love ballad.

What do you guys think? Is it not absolutely gorgeous? Are you following me on my other platforms yet? Come join the fun! All are welcome and I love getting to know fellow book lovers! This book will be available VERY SOON!