Archive for the blogging Category

Empty Shelf Challenge

Dec 29th, 2013 Posted in blogging, Life and Family | one comment »

I’ve become an insomniac Pinterest user. So, phone in hand, Earl in arms, (For those of you who don’t know, that’s my darling cat!) I scrolled through Pinterest. That’s when I saw it! I almost cried at the sight. An empty bookshelf. How in God’s name could anyone have an empty bookshelf? So I had to click on it to see what was wrong with this person mentally that they would have one. That’s when I found The Empty Shelf Challenge. John Acuff was challenging me to read books and put them on the shelf to fill in the year 2014. I could do that, right? RIGHT! So, I did it, I cleared off a shelf for The Empty Shelf Challenge.


 Please don’t note that my empty shelf happens to have an inch of dust on it though, it’s in the spare bedroom and….aw hell, I don’t dust. No excuses.  :)

So, if you’d like to join me in the Empty Shelf Challenge I’d love to see your pics. Leave a comment and I’ll stop on by your blog, or Facebook to see the empty shelf. I can’t wait to finish my first book. (Coming to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske)

Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

Jul 3rd, 2013 Posted in authors, blogging, Excerpt | one comment »

MelaineShawn (2)

The Unconventional Writing Process of the Sister-Duo Writing Team That Make Up Melanie Shawn

I know. The idea of a “writing team” doesn’t seem to make much sense at first blush. After all, everyone always talks about what a solitary pursuit writing is. In fact, after the old, “If you want to be a writer, then write,” trope, the solitary existence of a writer is probably the most oft-referenced part of the writing life.

So what made us decide to tackle this traditionally solitary pursuit in tandem?

Well, much like Aretha and Annie in that catchy 80s anthem from the title, it sprang from a decision to take our future into our own hands. We wanted to define what our lives would look like moving forward, and we knew that – no matter what – we wanted to approach it together. When we took a look at our strength and talents, we realized that we’d actually been “writing together” as part of the business we own for quite some time – articles, proposals, emails…and blog posts, much like this one!

Once we realized that we already had a natural writing rhythm together, it was a short leap to deciding that we wanted to tackle fiction writing together, as well.

We have always passionately loved stories. We saw Good Will Hunting together 14 times, for Heaven’s sake…and that was just in the theater! We love to examine the motivations behind various characters’ words and actions. We can discuss one scene in a book or movie for hours on end.

It wasn’t a difficult transition, then, for us to move on to creating our OWN worlds, along with the people who live in them.

Many people wonder what the process of “writing together” looks like. Do we actually open up a blank document together and craft every sentence collaboratively, while sitting there side by side?

Good GOD, No! Not only would that be far too slow, it would probably be pretty frustrating, as well.

Rather, we do the work in “passes” – Shawna takes a pass, Melanie takes a pass, Shawna takes another pass, and so on. With each subsequent pass at the manuscript, the plot becomes tightened and the language more refined. By the final pass, we both love it!

Writing collaboratively is great for us because we both bring strengths to the table. For instance, Shawna is the “romantic gesture” nut and thinks of all the beautiful and highly romantic scenarios in the books. Pretty much anything in any of the stories that has made you go, “Awwww….I love it!” came straight from Shawna’s brain!

Melanie, on the other hand, is the “word nerd” and comes up with the lion’s share of the descriptions, metaphors, similes…all of the linguistic ornamentation that makes the book sparkle. Also, she’s the sarcastic and sassy one, so the majority of the quips and jokes come from her snarky sensibilities.

By working together, we wind up with an end product that is far better than anything either of us could have produced on her own – and we have a HELL of a lot of fun getting there!

Writing as part of a team may not be for everybody. But it is definitely for us!

Melanie Shawn Bio

Melanie Shawn is the writing team of sister duo Melanie and Shawna. Originally from Northern California, they both migrated south and now call So Cal their home.

Growing up, Melanie constantly had her head in a book and was always working on short stories, manuscripts, plays and poetry. After graduating magna cum laude from Pepperdine University, she went on to teach grades 2nd through 8th for five years. She now spends her days writing and taking care of her furry baby, a Lhasa Apso named Hercules. In her free time, her favorite activity is to curl up on the couch with that stubborn, funny mutt and binge-watch cable TV shows on DVD (preferably of at least eight seasons in length – a girl’s gotta have her standards!).

Shawna always loved romance in any form – movie, song or literary. If it was a love story with a happy ending, Shawna was all about it! She proudly acknowledges that she is a romanceaholic. Her days are jam-packed with writing, being a wife, mom aka referee of two teens, and indulging in her second passion (dance!) as a Zumba instructor. In the little free time she has, she joins Melanie in marathon-watching DVDs of their favorite TV programs.

They have joined forces to create a world where True Love and Happily Ever After always has a Sexy Twist!

Book Description:

Jason Sloan is known as Harper’s Crossing’s resident Romeo, and he’s never had to work too hard to live up to that nickname. With his easygoing charm, whiskey-colored brown eyes, and sinfully sexy half smile, women just seem to fall all over themselves when he’s around.

Well…most women, anyway. Katie Lawson’s the one woman who isn’t putty in his hands, and she’s the only one he’s ever wanted in his arms.

Katie Lawson left Harper’s Crossing in the middle of the night ten years ago, immediately after her high school boyfriend Nick’s funeral. She left behind all memories of Nick, and she left behind her life-long best friend, Jason Sloan.

Now she’s on the fast track to junior partner at one of San Francisco’s top law firms. She’s made a life for herself that’s all about maintaining order and sticking to the rules. Rule #1 is keeping herself WAY too busy to think about all that she ran away from. If she can do that, after all, she can keep everything under control.

But that rule is about to be broken. She’s headed back home to be the maid of honor in Nick’s little sister’s wedding. It’s time to face the truth she’s been avoiding all these years, the same one that sent her running ten years ago – that maybe she didn’t lose her first love the summer after high school. Maybe her first love has been waiting for her all this time, at home in Harper’s Crossing.


My First Excerpt

Katie opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. She snapped it shut. She tried again. Same result. She imagined she looked like a trout on the banks of a river, flapping her mouth open and shut for no apparent reason.
The realization of how silly she must look gave her just the extra edge of courage she needed to jump off the cliff.
“Jason, I…I wanted to…I wanted to tell you that…” she steeled herself for what she knew her physical reaction would be as she forced herself to look up into those gorgeous brown eyes, which resembled nothing so much as pools of warm and melty milk chocolate…
The expression on Jason’s face when she raised her eyes brought her up short. She narrowed her eyes.
“Why do you look so smug?” she asked suspiciously.
Rather than answering, he smirked and bent down, putting his mouth right next to her ear. His hot breath assailed her neck and she began to feel light-headed again.
Wait…was this….OH NO! Panic attack #2 might be on the horizon.
Not in front of Jason, PLEASE, not in front of Jason, Katie begged the Universe. It seemed like the Universe must have more important things on its mind, however because – oh, lord. Now the shallow breathing was starting.
Jason’s breath on her neck, however, was anything but shallow. It was deep. And heavy. And warm. And full of desire. And…oh, man, that lightheadedness was just getting worse and worse.
Jason had her pinned up against the trunk of her car. Her mind was screaming at her to push him away and RUN as fast and as far as she could. Hey, it had worked in the past. Her body, however, was sending her some very different signals.
“I’m not smug, Kit Kat,” Jason informed her, his deep voice rumbling in his chest.
“Wha…huh…?” Katie mumbled.
Jason laughed lightly, “I was just saying that I’m not smug. Just happy to know that I still get under your skin.”
Katie didn’t respond. She didn’t even really hear what he said, she’d stopped trying to pay attention to the words. Stupid words. They just got in the way of listening to his voice…that silky, deep voice.
Jason traced his thumb down the back of Katie’s neck slowly, sensuously, and then continued across her shoulder and down her arm. When he reached her waist, he slipped his hand around her easily, spreading his fingers slowly and firmly, grasping her back with a familiarity that felt as dangerous as it did comforting.
His thumb began to gently massage the small of her back, sending sharp zings of electricity ping-ponging off of her nerve endings. She wanted to stop those little zings of pleasure in their tracks. She wanted to ignore, suppress, deny…anything!
She needed to push him away and get some distance is what she needed to do. Her knees began to buckle. Any time now, a little voice in the back of her head whispered. Any time you want to get a jump on creating that distance would be perfect.
That was, however, not what Katie did. No matter how hard her lizard brain screamed at her to push him away…step away…jump away…DANCE away, even…all Katie found herself doing was looking up into his chocolate brown eyes as she melted into his embrace.
Katie heard a low moan escape from Jason’s throat and was suddenly hyper-aware of how close their lips were to each other. A shiver ran through her as she contemplated the nearness of those delicious, sexy lips.
Katie’s breathing became more labored, but not in an out-of-control, panic-attacky kind of way. No, it was more of a body-coming-alive-for-the-first-time-in-years kind of way.
She vaguely wondered what was going to happen next, but couldn’t make herself focus too much on the future. Not when the present was this flipping interesting!
Her brain might be telling her to get out of this situation, to think about the consequences – but her body was perfectly content to ride this little scene out and see where it went thankyouverymuch.
Why did it seem that she was utterly incapable of listening to her brain in any situation where Jason Sloan was involved?

Buy Links:

I like free and so does my family!

Sep 1st, 2012 Posted in blogging, Frugal, Life and Family | one comment »

My family thinks I’m a little odd sometimes. Packages show up in the mail and the kids are like, “What did you get THIS time!?” They are shocked and happy when it’s something that they get to play with too. With the book releasing at the end of June, I’ve been hoarding Amazon gift cards.

My favorite way to get the Amazon cards? Superpoints. There really isn’t a ton that is unique and different about this site except they remind me and send me points in my inbox. If I sign up for something 9 chances out of 10 I will forget what I signed up for and why. But if you remind me (nicely and infrequently) I will keep coming back to your site.

I know there is more that I could do on Superpoints to get more points to get more cards, but…I’m lazy. I’ll admit it. If I have to work too hard for something, chances are that I won’t do it.

If you’re interested in joining me in my point collecting agenda, I’ll give you a invite code. That way, when you earn points they thank me and give me a few too. So, who’s up for a little fun?

All you have to do is click on this link:

Sign up and either do the Tami lazy way, or work your way. Good thing about Superpoints, there is no wrong way.

I just got an email from Superpoints and if you join and become my friend there we both get 25 points! I’m excited!  :)

Fairytale Brownies – review revision

Jun 24th, 2012 Posted in blogging, Product Review | 3 comments »

You all know me by now, I’m pretty hard on a company. If they say XYZ is going to happen, then by god, XYZ is what I expect.

On November 29th, 2011 I tore Fairytale Brownies a new one. This was totally uncalled for! I would like to apologize to Fairytale Brownies for any disservice my previous review did to them. Right after my post went live Fairytale Brownies contacted me, sent me more than I would have won on the contest, and ROCKED MY WORLD! They sent me a million different flavors and I gained about 50 pounds.


Do not eat all the brownies in the box by yourself and complain that you gained weight.

I think you all need to take some time, go over to and check out all the wonderful flavors they have to offer. I will tell you, one brownie will last you quite a while. They are rich, gooey, and yummy and OMG good!

Since my birthday is on July 5th, I expect all my wonderful readers to send me a wonderful box of cookies. Who am I kidding – I need another box like I need a hole in the head. But for your own good you should check them out:







Moving from #Blogger to #WordPress can be a pain

Nov 8th, 2011 Posted in aj best, blogging, Life and Family | 12 comments »

I had issues with Blogger one day and decided that I was going to just switch to WordPress (and here I am). My author site ( is there and I knew how to get things moving with the personal site. Right? Wrong! It’s been rather crazy trying to get all the badges moved from one blog to the other. Getting my header has been a nightmare, I can’t seem to be able to find the one that I had before in my files, so I have to have another one made. Trying to find a three column theme was a bear, and trying to get all of the tags and such that the designer put on there out…pain! So I may have quite a bit of fiddling to do before I can figure out how to get this blog looking like I want it to look. I picked this one specifically because it is SEO optimized and I hoped that would help kick start my blog. I’m not sure how well that is working out for me.

I just figured out how to put the GFC button on the side, and I hope that you will all take a quick second and follow me there. I miss all my folks.

Things I’m thankful for #7: My animals. Especially Thor (cat). I have been feeling horrible for quite some time now and Thor makes sure that I have company and I’m am watched over very carefully. Shadow (cat) makes sure that I get to the bathroom on my own. Boomer (dog) has decided that it’s her goal in life to turn me into a lesbian beastiality specialist. She will jump up on you and try to stick her tongue in your mouth. Pretty gross if I do say so myself. Belle (cat) makes sure that my hips and Rob’s back are nice and warm in the middle of the night. Zoe (dog) is my little baby, she’s getting hard of hearing and it breaks my heart. She can no longer fetch ball because she can’t hear where it drops. And last but certainly not least my Jacky (cat). He’s working on getting the world’s record for number of times sprayed in a day. He likes to lay right on your feet while you sleep and won’t move no matter what.

My baby Thor!

Not sure if you can see it, but from Left to right, Zoe, Jack, Shadow, and Thor.

The Boomer!


Jun 16th, 2011 Posted in blogging | 3 comments »

Blog To Me Baby by Savannah Chase

Apr 4th, 2011 Posted in blogging | 18 comments »

I remember when I first started to pursue my career in publishing I never knew what a blog really was.
They weren’t very popular back then and people were just starting to discover the blog world.

Till I came out as an author and decided to get a web site I’d never written a blog post nor did I know where to start. All I could think was, what does one talk about when they blog?

The advice I got from people is to blog about things that matter to you. Blog about your writing or about your struggle as a brand new writer trying to get your work published. Write about anything that will get people talking. So that is what I did. Post after post I found comfort in posting about the things that matter to me and what might matter to the world.
Skip ahead a few years and I’ve now posted nearly 1500 posts on my official blog and countless other posts as a guest.

For many published and unpublished authors blogging has become a way of life. We blog to stay in touch with the world, post our thoughts, opinions and express ourselves about issues we find important. It is our own little footprint in the cyber world.

Blogs are now used as forums to communicate anything and everything. People no longer hide their true opinions. They say it how it is, even if one might find it offensive. They see the internet as an open forum of expression, and discussion.

Being an author I blog about everything that goes on around my world. It’s not just a form to promote myself and my work. I want to share a little piece of me. Take readers along with me on adventures. I adore blogging about events I’ve been fortunate to attend or places I’ve visited.
Someone once said to me don’t you think that’s showing off? No…I want to take the reader along with me even if they can’t be there in person. Personally I love reading posts about places people have been or things that they’ve done. You get to experience something new, even if it is through a story someone posted.

This year I’ve started to keep up with many different blogs. Sites that range from self published authors, indie writers, artists and musicians, and just bloggers who talk about the things they love. It has given me the chance to connect with some truly amazing people who I would probably have never had the chance to meet since they live all over the world.

If you follow my web site and my blog you probably have seen my new weekly feature called Watch Out where I interview different guests each week. This was my own way of trying to give the world a glimpse into the life of someone else. Not just authors but all kinds of professionals. I want you the readers to meet some new people that you might have never had the chance to meet.
So next time you stumble on a blog stay a while and check out what the author has to say. You never know who you might just meet along the way. That blog post might even change your life.
I want to thank AJ for inviting me over to her blog as a guest. It has been a pleasure to be here and to be able to share this post with all of you.
I also want to thank all of you who have ever taken the time to stop by and read one of my blogs or posted a comment.

I’m not saying to stop reading my blog…..

Jun 14th, 2010 Posted in blogging | 5 comments »

Hey, check me out….I’m a guest blogger. :)

Dec 16th, 2009 Posted in blogging | 5 comments »

It’s not often that I am a famous guest blogger, but lookie here:


Books this week……

May 20th, 2009 Posted in blogging | one comment »

It’s been a fairly decent week with books. I was certainly hoping that I would have gotten more (no I’m not greedy, well maybe) because of the HUGE dry spell I was under there for a while. :( But I digress. Let’s see what my book fairy brought me:

Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg – this book will be fore review
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead – this book was a gift from my future mil for my birthday, signed by the author herself.
20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – I think this one was for just being me….LOL! But really, think it was a throw in by the publisher, but I think I will review this one as well.
A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore – this is for a blog tour on You Gotta Read Reviews and must be reviewed. I would love to have you all stop by on June 6, 2009
Heroes Die Young by TM Hunter – this was a win for being a commenter on my own blog. How cool is that. And then it gets even better because he is one of the authors for the company I work for. (

So, this is what I got in the past week, what did you get?