Easter's Lilly

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Memoirs of a Mobster’ by Judy Serrano will leave you breathless

I am proud to announce that the 4th book of the Easter’s Lilly series, 'Memoirs of a Mobster', has been released. As the author of this series, I would just like to say that writing Lilly has been a thrilling experience for me. Here is a little taste to wet your appetite:

Diego Montiago Jr. was groomed to run the largest criminal organization in both the United States and Mexico by the kingpin of the syndicate himself, who also happens to be his uncle. With no conscience or remorse he becomes a true killer with a reputation that keeps most people at a distance. The betrayal of his high school sweetheart sends Diego into a tailspin, which causes him never to expect love to be a feasible addition to his world.

During a lavish birthday party for his mother, his best friend and cousin decides to collect on an overdue debt. Little does he know that this exchange will change him forever. In book four of the series Diego Jr. continues to protect his family and fill the shoes of the former Mexican Godfather, Diego Montiago Sr. His real father, who is the kingpin of the rival organization, begins his deceitful attack, causing Diego to choose his allegiance. The organization engulfs his life and the lives of those around him as the siblings begin to realize that things are not even close to what they appear to be. Will love find Diego Montiago after all? Only time will tell.

‘Memoirs of a Mobster’ is available on Amazon.com as well as the other books in the series. You can also find it on Barnesandnoble.com, my website, blog and most other places you can buy books online. So if you like a little “love in the afternoon” this book is for you. Even though there are no vampires here, if you loved Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and maybe a little soapy TV, this series will keep you riveted. Check it out and enter today for your chance to win free books from the series. Those Montiago men will drive you wild!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today we are lucky enough to spend a little time chatting with Lindsay Avalon, successful, paranormal romance author. Lindsay’s new novel, Breaking the Nexus, is scheduled for release 12/12/12. Thank you, Lindsay for stopping by.

1) What is the title of your new book and what is it about?
My book is a paranormal romance called Breaking the Nexus. It’s the first in a trilogy set in the Mythrian realm, and I plan to try to release the next book sometime in the spring of 2013. Here’s the blurb for it:
Throughout history, myths and legends of extraordinary creatures have been told and retold. Fantastic tales of demons and banshees, gryphons and dragons, and of course, magic. Stories that every child grows to learn, are nothing more than fantasy … or are they?

 Beyond the world you see lies a hidden realm, the Mythrian Realm, inhabited by all of the creatures you’ve been told are mere fiction. Only one thing lies between humans and the truth: The Nexus. A magical barrier erected millennia ago to separate the two realms; it has stood the test of time. Until now.

For Mythrian Sha Phoenix, magic is nothing new. But when she stumbles upon a portal on the verge of collapse, her fate will forever change. Pulled through the portal into the Human Realm, she lands in the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s brutal murder scene. Soon it is obvious someone is using blood magic to try to bring down the Nexus. Together, Connor and Sha must work to unravel the secrets before the barrier falls and the realms collide.

The Nexus is breaking and all hell is about to unleash … literally.

2) What inspired you to write it? How long did it take you to finish it?
I’ve always had a fascination with mythology and magic, and paranormal romance is one of my favorite genres. After failing miserably to complete NaNoWriMo in 2010, my sister convinced me to try it again in 2011. My husband told me to write what I know, so I decided to give paranormal romance a shot and Breaking the Nexus was born.
As for how long it took to finish, that’s a hard one to answer. I won NaNoWriMo in 2011, then shelved it for a few months before coming back to it in the summer months. I joined Facebook to start networking with other authors and brought my word count up to 68k. I showed it to a few people who were brutally honest (exactly what I needed!) and they pointed out some areas that I needed to work on. The general consensus was everyone loved the premise but it was clunky and I’d done some odd things to help pad my word count in NaNoWriMo.

I made the tough decision to rewrite it and after hitting my stride with my first novella, Song of the Abyss, I started rewriting Breaking the Nexus at the end of October. Due to issues with my hands/joints, it took about 6 weeks to rewrite. The final product was a million times better than the original and morphed its way into a trilogy instead of a single, standalone book.
3) Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a wife, a programmer, and now an author. I have an adorable mini Schnauzer and more books than I have room for. I love reading romance because no matter what may be happening in my life, I can always count on my books to end happily ever after. The day I met my husband was the day I truly began believing in happily ever after. After hearing me complain a few too many times that I had “nothing” to read despite the hundreds of paperbacks scattered around the house, my husband began suggesting I write my own stories. When I finally took his advice I discovered that although I enjoy my day job as a software engineer, my true calling is to be an author.

When I’m not writing, I’ve found a passion for blogging and interviewing fellow authors. I also love reading (of course!), baking, crochet, sewing sock monkeys, playing video games, and all sorts of random crafts. I have an incurable love of rubber duckies and stuffed animals, and I believe nobody should have to grow up if they don’t want.

4) Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. To get into the zone, I crank up epic music and just go for it. I can write anywhere and have become adept at what I like to call “covert writing,” otherwise known as, writing whenever I can fit in the time.
5) What type of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
I love most kinds of romance, in particular paranormal and romantic suspense as well as some erotica. I can’t pinpoint a single author as my favorite, but among them are Nalini Singh, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole. Marjorie M. Liu, J.D. Robb, and far too many indie authors than I can list here.
6) Are you working on your next book? Is there a sequel to this one?
I hope to take a break for at least a week to give my hands a chance to recover. I’ve been having issues and have definitely overworked them. After my mini-hiatus, I plan to start work on the next book of the trilogy, Waking the Phoenix. This is tentatively scheduled for spring of 2013
7) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Be prepared to take criticism and work your butt off. Writing is the easy part compared to the countless hours you’ll need to spend marketing yourself, networking, meeting new people, and polishing your work. If you can’t take criticism, you’ll never grow as a writer. It’s not personal; these people genuinely want to help you succeed. Connect with authors in your genre for even more guidance, but don’t be afraid to make friends with authors of other genres too. You’d be amazed at how much you can learn from others.
9) How can we get more information on you and your books?
My current release, a novella in the anthology, Once Upon A Twisted Time, is available for purchase on: Amazon.com

Breaking the Nexus will be released on eBook on 12/12/12, and paperback shortly thereafter. Here are my social links. I love meeting new people!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Scott T. Gill signs books at Roma’s in Rockwall

This past Saturday, September 8th, 2012, Scott T. Gill was signing books at Roma's Bookstore in Rockwall, Texas. His debut novel, Goliath Catfish, is a big hit with the Rockwall youth. Here’s a blurb about his book.

Albert McClune is bigger than most kids in his neighborhood. He dreams of being his family’s hero, to turn their fortunes, and return the happiness lost with his brother Pete. But Albert is crippled by fear and shame. Fleeing home, he meets Elijah Amos Fortune Jones, an odd boy who takes him on a treasure hunt deep into the city sewers and uncharted caves. They face a voodoo priest, swim in rat-infested tunnels, and engage in a deadly race for the lost ransom of Machine Gun Kelly. Albert is forced to be courageous or lose everything he loves as he faces the guilt that has cut him down to size. ...but beware the man-sized catfish! A boy's Youth Adventure story, reminiscent of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, but a thrill to read for adults, girls, and boys alike. You'll feel you're under the murkish water with Albert, in danger of being eaten alive.

I took some time to interview Scott, in between visits from anxious teens showing up to get his much desired signature on their personal copy of 'Goliath Catfish.'

Q: I understand that you’re a teacher here in Rockwall. Do you ever see yourself as a full time writer?

A: No. I love to write but could never leave teaching behind.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A:  10 to 12 years. As a matter of fact, about 7 or 8 years ago I wrote a few articles for “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

Q:  What are your favorite genres? Do you have any favorite authors?

A:  Everything. I love all genres. Some of my favorite authors include C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and Twain.

Q:  Do you have any writing rituals?

A:  5 a.m. every morning, without fail.

Q:  Are you a panster or a plotter?  Do you always need to have a plan?

A:  Certainly a plotter. I like everything planned out before I start to write.

Q:  How can people find out more about your book?

A: ‘Goliath Catfish’ is available on amazon.com or from my website.
After serving as a minister for nearly 15 years, Scott left the ministry to pursue teaching. He is currently an English teacher and coach at J.W. Williams Middle School in Rockwall. He currently resides in Rockwall with his wife and four children.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turkey enchiladas and Thanksgiving leftovers

The holidays can be lots of fun. You get to see your family and friends and everyone has a great excuse to eat way too much.  Now your fridge is full of turkey, and the leftover pecans are flooding your kitchen counters. What is a mom to do?  I highly recommend taking those pecans and making some more pecan pies. Make them today and freeze them for future use. Pies freeze well and it will certainly save you some time as Christmas approaches. Of course there are other delectable things you can make with pecans like, pecan clusters, glazed pecans or you can just keep them around for a healthy snack. But when it comes to the big stuff, let’s talk turkey.
There are so many great things you can do with turkey today to feed your family without making another grueling trip to the grocery store. You can make turkey soup, turkey enchiladas, and even turkey tetrazzini. I am going to share with you my very special recipe for turkey enchiladas.

All you need are a few basic ingredients: Corn tortillas, shredded cheese, enchilada sauce and, of course, turkey.  Get yourself a baking dish, glass is best, and pour one small can of enchilada sauce inside. Get another can and pour it into a small frying pan so you can heat it up. Dip the tortillas into the frying pan, one by one, using tongs so you don’t burn yourself, and put them on a plate. Roll up some turkey inside it and place it in the baking dish. When the baking dish is full, it will hold approximately 12 tortillas, cover it with grated cheese. Any cheese that you like should due. Cook at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly on the sides when it is done.

So don’t sigh at the thought of the same old same old, just to get rid of those pesky leftovers. Do something new today, and watch the smiles on those kiddos grow with delight.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Family exercise: Top 3 ways to stay in shape

One day you wake up and you’re a parent. Finding time to remain youthful may become a new challenge. In between taking the kids to school, sporting events, extra curricular activities and other miscellaneous affairs, finding time to stay fit may become less and less important. Why is this a bad thing? We want to live long, prosperous lives, and one of the ways to make that most likely, is to take care of our minds and bodies. There are ways to incorporate exercise into your busy routine. Here are a few basic tips that will help you, help your body stay young.

1)   Find an exercise that the whole family enjoys so that you can do it together- If you notice that your kiddos like jogging then get a running start, mom and dad. If they play basketball, grab a rulebook and jump on board. Find a common goal and spend time together while working on your health and wellness.
2)   Exercise before your day begins- Get up a half hour early and begin an exercise routine. Whether it’s an elliptical machine, a treadmill or even an early morning run, get an early start and then begin your day. This is a fast way to get it out of the way early, and it won’t interfere with your other activities. Your body and mind will be jump started, refreshed and ready for action.
3)   Move around during your lunch- If you’re a working parent, then you get some time to eat your lunch and perhaps an extra 15 minutes here and there. Exercise during your lunch break. Depending on how much time you have, and the kind of facilities you have available to you, this can be an easy break in the day to refresh and renew. If you don’t have enough time to do a full workout, walk around the grounds. Just keep moving until it’s time to go back to work. A little activity during the day, especially if you have a sedentary job, will certainly get your heart pumping and your blood moving, waking up your brain and filling you with heightened energy.

Time is of the essence and you can get a handle on it. Keep up with those kiddos and live long enough to see your great-grandchildren. Find the time and don’t be left behind. Run circles around those kiddos and encourage them to stay healthy as well. Remember that they will imitate what they see so always be aware of the image you are projecting. Always make sure love is what they see.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 3 ways to keep your kiddos out of trouble

Is your child giving you grief? The good news is that you are not the first parent to be searching through your things for the childrearing handbook. Everyone is ready and willing to give you free advice but the truth of the matter is that you get what you pay for. So, what’s a parent to do? Here are 3 tips on how to keep your teenagers out of trouble.
  • Know where they are- If your child is getting into trouble at school or with his friends, it’s time to keep a closer watch on what your child is doing. If you are accountable for their time, there is a much better chance that they will stay on the straight and narrow.
  • Educate yourself- Know the signs of troubled teens. If you are suspicious that your child might be using drugs, there are signals that you should be aware of. If your child is failing his or her classes, keep in touch with the teachers and know what is happening. Is your child sexually active? There are some signs that you should know. Make sure you don’t miss a thing.
  • Listen- Learning how to get your child to talk to you is a very important skill. Be there for him or her when they are in need of some comfort or if they just feel like spilling the day’s events on your shoulders. Often, a parent can learn so much from their children, just by being available for some simple conversation.
So, don’t worry about being able to locate that handbook. Pay attention to what is going on in the lives of your children and you should have a pretty easy walk along life’s bumpy dirt roads. There are many counseling opportunities available in the Dallas area if you need additional reinforcement. Also don’t forget to turn to your school counselor for more information.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Family Frenzy: The importance of Driver's Education No matter ho...

The importance of Driver's Education

No matter how much education you give your children, winding up on the wrong side of a semi is never a comforting thought. So how do you best protect your child and those poor unsuspecting drivers on the road? Driver’s education.
It is a little more expensive and time consuming to get this taken care of through your child’s school but it is totally worth the struggle. There is no question about it, long classes and extra time at the school will be required of your eager youngster and you may have to put in some extra hours at work to be able to afford the tuition, but your child will be soaked with information. He or she will be randomly shouting out facts, while behind the wheel, about the new rules and regulations that you have probably forgotten.
Although the amount of information provided will probably rattle your child’s head, the teacher goes much deeper that some on-line course. In addition, you get a more personable approach with a real person to teach the class. So all in all, driver’s education is a safe and reliable option for your child’s driving experience. The ten percent discount you get on insurance when the class has been completed doesn’t hurt either.
For a convenient way to find a near by DMV go to http://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/dmv-office-finder.php

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Healthy eating for the kids made easy

Today I have the opportunity to interview Laura De Simone, author of ‘Serve It Up’ and owner of De Simone Health and Fitness in the D.C. area. Laura’s new book can be helpful to parents who have trouble balancing healthy meals for their family. She has agreed to stop by and answer some questions for us.
1) Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with us today. Please, Laura, tell us a little about yourself.
First off, I’d like to thank you Judy for giving me this opportunity to share about myself and my book. I am the owner of a fitness company in the D.C. area named De Simone Health and Fitness LLC that I founded in 2007. For the last 5 years, I have focused primarily on in-home personal training and group exercise classes for teachers and staff members in the local public schools. I have a team of 30 wonderful certified personal trainers, yoga instructors and zumba instructors who work with me every day to improve the health and wellbeing of the people we serve.
2) What is the title of your book and what qualifies you to write it.
The title of my book is Serve It Up, A Parent’s Guide to Kid-Friendly Portions. I have a B.S. in Exercise Science, I am a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, and started a health and fitness company five years ago. My company works with kids, teenagers, and adults on improving their exercise and lifestyle habits and we have had the pleasure of teaching more than 1,000 individuals since 2007. My passion has always been finding simple yet effective solutions to guide people towards a healthier lifestyle. My hope is that my new book can do just that.
3) Tell us how this book will benefit my readers?
This book teaches parents that portion control is important. For example, does your 7 year old sedentary daughter need the same amount of calories as your 12 year old active son? The reality is no, but how much more food does your son need? Many people do not know the answer to this question, or for that matter, where to even begin in making sure children are receiving the calories they need. Every five years, the USDA releases recommended calorie count that every child should aim to eat daily. These calorie counts are determined by the child's age, gender and activity level. Serve It Up, uses the USDA Nutritional Guidelines and gives you 50 popular, kid-friendly meals in the appropriate serving sizes.
As you know, today many homes have two working parents and it is harder to provide healthy, home-cooked meals than in the past. Children are often busy with school, sports and after-school activities and because of this schedules are busy and it is easier for parents to feed their children prepared foods. In addition, some children are reluctant to try new foods and many parents feel guilty giving into fast and processed foods. This book will help alleviate some of that guilt! Many fast and processed foods items, if served in the proper portions, can still help children maintain a normal body weight and body mass index (BMI).
4) What inspired you to write this kind of book?
I want people to recognize there is no one-way to approach childhood obesity. Just because you don’t cook or can’t afford fresh produce at every meal, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to keep your children healthy. Childhood obesity is a growing problem in our country, and it’s scary to see the numbers of juvenile diabetes and child-related health issues rise. I wanted my book to find a way to help parents learn about portion control and caloric needs based on their child’s needs and activity level. I know if I can help one parent control their child’s weight, it will be worth it.
5) Do you have any other projects in the works?
I am working on creating a kindle version of the book and a second edition that will include even more foods and meals. I am open to suggestions on new foods so please use my contact information below to send ideas my way!
6) What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I am training clients, running fitness classes and working full
time running my health and fitness business.
7) Where can people find your books?
You can find my book at Amazon.com
Please feel free to send Laura an email or visit her website for more information.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Easter's Lilly" is free this weekend only, August 11th and August 12th, on Kindle. Get your copy today at http://www.amazon.com/Easters-Lilly-ebook/dp/B004KZPINU/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344715402&sr=1-1&keywords=Judy+Serrano

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Reviews

Check out the latest book reviews at
Including 50 Shades of Gray and The Hunger Games. Don't miss out on some of summer's hottest reads.