Saturday Night Serenade–A Song and a Shameless Book Plug

Where has January gone?  Before next weekend, it will be February, and that puts me in the mood for Valentine’s Day.  Which means I have all sorts of romantic songs on my mind.

Tonight’s serenade is a beautiful song by Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud.  I’m a huge fan of his anyway, and this song is so ingrained in my brain, it pops up several times in my new book.  (Shameless book plug ahead…)

CHASING ORDINARY is the contemporary adult fairy tale I’ve always wanted to write.  Here’s the official description:

Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations.  A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.

Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan.  It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.

Nik is in New York on business.  He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet-lag.  On his way to yet another business dinner, his world collides with Petey’s one rainy Manhattan night.

Their mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical.  Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?

Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary.  What will happen when she finds out the truth?

CHASING ORDINARY comes out February 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day, but I’m offering it for pre-order for just 99¢ until release day.  This weekend, I’m revealing the gorgeous cover designed by the ever-sexy and uber-talented Linzi Basset.

Chasing Ordinary 7

I hope you’re enjoying this last weekend of January, and that most of the dangerous winter weather has passed you by.  Share a love song with your special one, and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

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Small Business Saturday #ShopSmall

Did you know that the day following Black Friday is Small Business Saturday?  It’s a day to support the local economy by shopping at small, independently owned businesses.  Instead of heading to the mall in search of holiday gifts, maybe hit up a small funky boutique for something cool and unique.

And, as long as we’re talking about it, let me just point out the fact that Indie Authors are small business owners.  We’re one-man-bands, so to speak, writing, editing, and marketing our own product.  Buying your next read from an Indie Author directly supports that writer’s work rather than padding the bottom line of a big box publishing house.

So where do you start in your search for your new favorite Indie Author?  Search your go-to genre on Amazon or iBooks.  Read the reviews.  We’re all over social media, too.  Ask people what they’re reading–you’ll probably get some great recommendations.

Remember to #ShopSmall this Saturday!

Shameless Book Plug–FOR SPARROW

Thanks for understanding, friends.  Occasionally, worlds collide.  Such is the case tonight.  I’m super excited to tell you about my new book, FOR SPARROW, coming out October 3.

It’s the third book in my Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone light BDSM novels featuring strong, red-haired submissives and the sexy Alpha males they can’t resist.

FOR SPARROW may be my sexiest book yet.  Here’s the description.

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. He’s the only man she’s ever loved. Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years. Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.

But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend. But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship. With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her. At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking. But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi. She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies. In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive. But that’s simply ridiculous. He’s five years younger than she is. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom. It’s perfect for the time being. Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

FOR SPARROW is a contemporary erotic romance novel with a light BDSM theme. It’s the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.

While FOR SPARROW doesn’t come out until Oct. 3, I’m running a special pre-order deal.  You can reserve your copy for just 99¢ until release day.

Use this Universal link: books2read.com/ForSparrow

And if you aren’t already, follow my author blog: PandoraSpocksAuthor.com.

Saturday Night Serenade–Texas On My Mind

Texas has been on my mind all week.  The Cat 4 storm was unimaginable to me.

I’ve lived in south Florida for over 25 years, and I’ve been through a few hurricanes.  A couple of them left us without power for 2 weeks at a time.  But those were Cat 1 or 2.

And I thought the storm was the worst of it until they received over 50 inches of rain.  50 inches.  It boggles the mind.

Folks who thought they’d dodged a bullet found themselves under water later on, as floodgates were opened to prevent the levees from breaking.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the images of boat traffic jams in the streets, ferrying survivors from their drowned homes to someplace dry.  Or the men, women, and children plucked up in baskets by Coast Guard helicopters.

The stories of ordinary people who used what they had to help others touch my heart.  There was the owner of a furniture store who opened the shop to give folks someplace dry to go and rest.  That stands out to me.

Once the water goes down, it’s going to take a herculean effort to get things cleaned up.  Families will be displaced for months, if not years.  And many have lost everything.

If you’re of a mind to help, the Red Cross seems the way to go.  I realize there’s been some buzz about the percentage of money that actually goes to victims.  But I know that when disaster strikes, those folks with the red cross on their vests are the first ones who show up with food, blankets, a place to stay, and plenty of other things.

I hope you’re warm and dry tonight, surrounded by the ones you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.  Happy Saturday night!

P.S.  There’s another storm out in the Atlantic, slated to be Cat 4 Hurricane Irma by this time next week, and possibly headed our way.  Hopefully, it’ll just blow itself out before then.  ❤

The Next Adventure

retirement1

I’ve been counting down the days and it’s finally here.  I am no longer employed by the School District of Palm Beach County.  I finished up my duties, cleaned out my room, brought WAY too much stuff home, and said goodbye to folks who’ve been my colleagues for the last thirteen years.  Okay, maybe not ‘goodbye’, we’ll be getting together over adult beverages on a regular basis for the foreseeable future.  But we won’t be working together.

Lots of people have asked the question, “What are you going to do now?”  Having left the District, I’m finally free to answer.

Two years ago, June 7, I (accidentally) published my first novel.  How I did that accidentally is a long story.  Suffice it to say, there has been a steep learning curve. And had I understood the depth of my ignorance about marketing, promotion, SEO, graphic design, formatting, etc., I would never have had the courage to try.  Ignorance can be a huge asset, it turns out.

Let me put in a plug for self publishing.  Indie publishing is a growing industry.  In the past, the large publishing houses have been the “gatekeepers,” determining what literature the reading public has access to.  That meant little variety–they’re only interested in a return on their investment.  But like iTunes and YouTube did for Indie music, and Sundance did for Indie films, Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft2Digital are allowing authors to get their work out in front of the reading public.  Buying an Indie book is the literary equivalent of ‘buying local.’

A few years ago, under the pen name Pandora Spocks, I started writing literary steamy romance just as a hobby, really, a creative outlet.  After a while, I began publishing chapters online, and I discovered that people liked what they read.  Eventually, I published the entire book, chapter by chapter, on a blog.  Along the way, I met other writers who independently publish their work and I began to wonder about doing it myself.

My books are spicy, y’all.  I promote them as ‘Smart, Sexy Romance’.  They’re heartfelt, deeply character-driven stories punctuated by the occasional steamy love scene.  Think of them as the thinking-girl’s romance.  Like Fifty Shades, but more literary.

Today, I have seven books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and several other outlets you probably never heard of.  My goal by the end of August is to publish my next steamy novel, and to write a nonfiction book about classroom management, to be published under my own name.

I mentioned marketing.  I’m active on social media every day as Pandora.  You can find me in these places:

Website: PandoraSpocksAuthor.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2rwR5Lv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandoraSpocksAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PandoraSpocksWP
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PandoraSpocksAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14080322.Pandora_Spocks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandora.spocks.author/

Steamy romance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  But if you enjoy a nice hot love story, I hope you’ll check it out.

Saturday Night Serenade–Saturday Night in Paradise

It’s May, glorious May, and I couldn’t be happier.  We’re nearly to summer.  In a mere 25 days, I will be leaving the glamorous world of public education to become a full-time writer.  As I unexpectedly explained to my administrator this week (long story, but suffice it to say, the cat is out of the bag), with Mr. R starting his own real estate business, it’s time for a new adventure.

Having been in school in one way or another most of my life, for me summer is long lazy days spent relaxing, reading, going on vacation, hanging out at the beach…  This summer will be a little different in that I won’t quit working–my work will just be here at my computer.  Which isn’t different from the last few summers, but now there’s the added pressure of needing to see lots more sales so that this becomes a viable operation.

But I’m thrilled for the opportunity and for the support of my love, who says I should go for it.  That brings me to tonight’s serenade, Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett in a joint venture.  Don’t we all wish we were knee deep in the water somewhere, finding our own kind of paradise?

I hope you enjoy a beautiful and relaxing weekend in your own kind of paradise.  Happy Saturday night!

Adventures In Home Reno–Update

Chez R has been under construction for about the last month now, and while we’re not finished, we have significant progress.  The kitchen is nearly completed.  All it needs now is the backsplash, so I don’t want to show it to you quite yet.

Work on my bathroom (the master bath) began this week, and I’ve been told that I can expect to use the shower by the end of next week.

Which means…

Mr. R’s bathroom is complete.  And that I want to show you.  I love to compare the before and after photos.  It came out amazing!

So if you’re in Palm Beach County and you’re looking for a couple of great contractors, I know some guys…