One Year Pub-iversary!!

A lot can happen in a year….

Since becoming a mother, I’ve been hyper-aware of the passing of time. Watching my babies grow into children, developing their unique personalities, senses of humor and ways of looking at the world has been one of my greatest joys in life.

Almost eight years ago, I became a mother…and the passing of time had anything and everything to do with my babies….

But, last year, my world exploded.  I will always be a mother—I will always be aware of how quickly our lives continue to change as my children develop and grow and learn so much more about the world. But, in this past year—I became more than that.

I became an author.
Again.

Many of you don’t know this about me, but here goes—-I wrote a book a lonnnnng time ago.  It was published in 2006 and tanked.  Like really badly.  So badly that I didn’t think I’d ever write again.  So badly that I felt there was no way that I was meant to be a writer in any way, shape, or form….But, that all changed in 2012.

In 2012, I discovered Indie authors.  I was inspired, motivated, wrapped up in the characters they had created.  I admired their determination to do this on their own—to get their stories out into the hands of readers.  And the more I learned about the indie community, the more I felt my resolve strengthening….I stopped punishing myself mentally for the lack of success my first book had achieved.  In other words, I put on my big girl panties….logged into my computer…..and found the file originally called “Catching Bouquets and other Grown Up Adventures”—-I read through it and I started thinking….a lot.  I thought about my main character (originally named Jane) and the one who got away.  I thought about how I wanted her story to end….and I reflected on how different my own life had turned out than what I’d expected….but that I wouldn’t change a thing.  And the theme of the story was born. And a domino effect began, which led to my pressing publish on September 4 for Bouquet Toss.

So much happened since that day. 

I was lucky enough to assist in hosting a book signing for Indie authors—in fact, all of my favorite authors were in the same room.  It was amazing.  And I got to talk to them, celebrate them, learn from them, and enjoy each of their unique personalities.

I was able to meet other readers, bloggers and aspiring writers who have CHANGED MY WORLD.  They’ve become my best friends, my co-workers, my sounding board, my blessings.

 
 

Because of said friends in this new “book world” I felt ready to continue writing…to dive into another story and a few months later, Champagne Toast was published.  By then, the bug had bitten me in a BIG way…

I started working on Picturing Perfect and attended the RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City where this “book world” continued to widen for me—I was able to meet so many more people share this passion. I was able to spend great lengths of time with friends I’d made—-friends I wouldn’t trade for the world.

In June, I self-published “Picturing Perfect”…and about a month later, was contacted by Montlake Romance—an imprint of Amazon Publishing.  Later this month on September 24, it will be re-released under the Montlake imprint. I’m excited to see where this new development will lead.

And now, because of this past 365 days, I now know that, yes, I’ll always be a mother.  I’ll always watch the passage of time take place by watching my babies grow up.  But, in addition to that, I now have the confidence to say that I’ll always be an author.  I won’t be giving up on myself again. I won’t let the success (or lack thereof) of one book define me.

I will always be a mother.
I will always be an author.
And I will always be grateful.
And I have you to thank.

NONE of this would have been possible without readers.  You transformed my life this past year, and I can’t thank you enough! I’m so excited to see what this next year will bring!!!!

To say thank you, I’m hosting a ONE YEAR PUBIVERSARY GIVEAWAY!!!

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Thank you for reading, entering and for all of your support!!!!! 

Picturing Perfect Launch and GIVEAWAY!!

Picturing Perfect is now live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.    To celebrate, I’d like to do a giveaway!! 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Help me spread the word for Picturing Perfect and you could win one of these prizes:
 
  • $25 gift card to book vendor of your choice (Amazon, B & N, iTunes)
  • A set of signed paperbacks of all three books in the Love of my Life series:  Bouquet Toss, Champagne Toast and Picturing Perfect
 
How can you win?
  • Share the Amazon and/or B & N sales link for Picturing Perfect
  • Post a review for Picturing Perfect
  • Tweet the giveaway

  • Post the giveaway on Facebook

  • Like my author page on FB

  • Follow me on Twitter.

 
The giveaway will start Friday, June 14 and run until Friday, June 28th.  Good luck, and thank you for all of your support!!
 
 
 

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New Cover for Champagne Toast

Champagne Toast has a new cover!!!!!

I have something exciting to share. Lisa Jordan is an incredibly talented photographer who has been gracious enough to take me on as a client. She is also building a cover design business and has remade the cover of Champagne Toast. She shot the pictures with some incredible models who look JUST Like the Kate and Evan in my head. She is incredible!!!! I will hopefully be bringing the new cover to RT Convention which is in just 31 days!!!!

Isn’t it stunning???  Lisa is so talented!!!!!

February Giveaway!

I like giving things away…I can’t help it.  It’s fun to give back to readers…and as a reader myself, I love the opportunity to win books and gift cards because…let’s face it….I’m addicted to reading just as much as I love writing!!!

So, what can you win this time around?  I’m giving away four different things:

First, 1 person will win a $25 gift card to either Amazon.com  OR Barnes n Noble.com  
Second, 1 person will win a signed copy of Bouquet Toss
Third, 1 person will win a signed copy of Champagne Toast

And Finally, the prize I’m really excited for….1 person will win an Advanced Reader Copy (or ARC) of Picturing Perfect as soon as it’s available.  It will be a digital copy that can be read on an e-reader of your choice and will be sent when I send ARCs to bloggers this spring/early summer.


How can you win?  There are a few ways to get entries.  You can earn the most entries by reviewing my books.  But, you can also earn entries by following me on facebook and twitter, as well as sharing the giveaway on your facebook page.

This contest will run for two weeks, so if you haven’ tread the books, there’s still plenty of time to read and review.

Happy Reading.  Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

🙂 Melissa Brown

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Dark Chocolate &Toffee Chip Cookies

Today was a day to bake cookies.  It’s been a while since I’ve baked treats with my daughter, so we decided to bake chocolate chip cookies.  To spruce them up, I decided to combine Nestle Original Dark chocolate chips with Heath toffee pieces.  They are delicious!!!

Dark Chocolate & Toffee Chip Cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • approx 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • approx 1 cup toffee pieces

(I’m not exact with my chocolate chips—I sprinkle in a portion of the bag until the cookies look nice and packed with delicious bits of chocolate! )

Preheat oven to 375

Combine ingredients.  I always melt my butter in the microwave before combining–makes it easier for my little one to help with stirring.  Drop by large tablespoon-fulls or use a cookie scoop like I do, it makes it so easy and the cookies come out nice and round most of the time.

Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for 11 minutes.  My oven has a hot spot, so I would put the cookie sheet in for 5 1/2 minutes and then flip the sheet for another 5 1/2  (it’s not necessary unless your oven is crazy like mine!)

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.  They will look mushy while hot, but trust me, after they cool for five minutes on cookie sheet and 10 on a wire cooling rack, they will be absolute perfection.

Enjoy!!!

Champagne Toast Teaser

Thanks to everyone who reviewed on Amazon.com!  I now have 75 reviews and am happy to share a teaser from Evan’s book:

    “Evan, can you help me?” Kate asks. She’s standing on her tip-toes, her t-shirt rising up her back, exposing her midsection. I do my best not to stare as I walk towards her. She glances back at me over her shoulder before continuing her request, “Vince put the spare key to his office on the highest shelf of the bar and I can’t reach it.” Her hair smells like strawberries.

“No problem,” I say, easily reaching the key. Just for fun, I dangle it above Kate’s head. She smirks at me, narrowing her eyes as if to say, ‘okay, let’s play.’

Grinning from ear to ear, I ask, “Oh, I’m sorry, can you still not reach them?” Whenever I’m near this woman, all I want to do is tease her, tease her so badly she can hardly contain herself. But, the result is that I can hardly contain myself. Tiny beads of sweat are building along my hairline as I twist the keychain back and forth between my fingers. Kate swats at the key and gives me a fake dirty look. I know her well enough to know she’s not upset at all.

“Ev, c’mon,” Yeah, that’s another thing. She started calling me Ev. It drives me friggin wild. I can’t take it! Every time she says it, I want to throw her up against the bar and kiss her hard, really hard. I want to possess her, to make her mine, and yet when the fantasy is over I realize I can’t have her. Not yet.

“Alright,” I hand her the keychain and give her a crafty wink. She gives a satisfied smile. “What do you need it for anyway?” I ask.

“I don’t,” she raises an eyebrow at me before walking away to take orders from a large table of college students. My jaw hits the floor as she saunters away, looking back in her signature tease of a grin. This girl is going to be the end of me.

Evan, Evan, Evan

As many of you know, I am busy working on Book 2 of the “Love of my Life” series.  This book is Evan’s story and I am having a lot of fun writing it….I love getting inside Evan’s head as well as the head of Kate, the girl who broke his heart.

I have a few teasers that I would love to share, but here’s the deal:  I will share them when I reach 75 reviews on Amazon for Bouquet Toss.  I have received so many fantastic emails, posts on my Facebook Author page and even here on the blog, telling me how much they loved the book.  These messages mean the WORLD to me!  In order for more people to know about Bouquet Toss, it takes recommendations and reviews on Amazon are a great way to spread the word!

As always, thank you for reading and I can’t wait to share a tiny glimpse of the charming Evan and his book  🙂

This is my Evan.  His real name is Ryan Guzman, but to me he’ll always be Evan Maxwell!

RT Booklovers Convention

This week, I signed up to attend the R.T. Booklovers Convention in Kansas City Missouri, May 1-5.  There will be workshops for readers and writers, as well as several events:  book signings, e-book EXPOs and social events.  I can’t wait!!!!

Here is a link to learn more information on the Convention! 

http://www.rtconvention.com/

Check it out!!  I’ll be participating in the Indie Author E-book Expo on Thursday, May 2nd!! 

CASTING CONTEST!!

CASTING CONTEST!!!!! 

Tell me who you envision for the roles of the characters of Bouquet Toss!!!! I’m a junkie for casting characters in books with Hollywood actors/actresses.

For the next week, tell me who you envision for the roles of:
1-Daphne
2-Mayson
3-Morgan
4-Tanner

Next Thursday, Sept. 27th, I will choose a winner and a runner-up. The WINNER will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of Bouquet Toss. The runner up will also receive a signed copy of Bouquet Toss.

The ONLY RULES are that you can’t cast the same actors/actresses that I have selected…other than that, have fun, be creative and find some great actors! You can post them here in a comment, tag me in photos on my FB page, whatever you like—-but, you must cast ALL 4 characters to win!!!

 
Actors/Actresses who are OFF-LIMITS:
Daphne:  Allison Wiliams
Mayson:  Travis Van Winkle
Morgan:  Anna Faris
Tanner:  Zachary Levi