Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Take Me Home, Cowboy by Krista Ames


Ally Kincaid returns to Freewill, Wyoming, to see her father after a two year absence. Anticipating a quiet family reunion, she finds herself butting heads with her father’s foreman instead. The man’s arrogance and sexy drawl push all her buttons, making her wonder what he’s hiding beneath his cowboy swagger.

Matt Gentry walked away from the past and shies from the future. No ties means no one gets hurt…until the boss’s daughter, a hot, green-eyed blonde, tempts him to break his own rules.

When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy their growing attraction or show them the way home?


"Take Me Home, Cowboy" by Krista Ames is a contemporary western romance set in Freewill Wyoming. It is a story about returning home, and a tale of two people overcoming their differences to find a lifetime of lasting love. The novella's cover immediately captured my attention for its clean lines and attractive imagery, even though western romances are not a genre that I usually read.

Ally Kincaid is a small town girl who has made it big in New York City as an editor for a publishing company. She worries about her father, Jesse, who lives in Freewill, Wyoming on the Circle K Ranch, and is definitely a daddy's girl. She has been unlucky in love and has serious trust issues when it comes to dealing with people she does not know very well. An unplanned trip home following a two year absence brings her into direct conflict with Matt Gentry.

Matt is the Circle K Ranch's foreman and trusted right-hand man of Jesse Kincaid, a fact which seems to immediately incense Ally.  As a hero, Matt is great because he is a smart-mouthed guy with plenty of attitude. He also has secrets from his past and a fair amount of emotional baggage. He also has plenty of trust issues, and has spent the last two years of his life on the run from his troubled past.

Sparks fly from the moment that Ally and Matt meet and keep flying throughout the story. Initially, the pair seems determined to dislike one another but gradually their mutual attraction overwhelms their aversion.  Sex scenes were spicy hot, and the pair share a compelling attraction that makes for fun reading.

The one thing that threw me for a loop was the inclusion of Ally's creepy boss. I was unsure as to the exact plot purpose he served, and I believe the story would have been stronger without him.

Honestly, I wanted the story to be longer and I would have enjoyed reading more about these characters.  Ames did a great job of world building and recreating that cozy small town setting. "Take Me Home, Cowboy" is a terrific quick read for readers who love western romances set in modern settings.
Buy Links:

Where to Find Krista Ames on the Web: 
Website   Facebook    Twitter   Blog   Email

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Laundry Hampers: Mass Male Confusion...

"Why is this on the floor?" Mrs. Snark asks, scooping up Mr. Snark's wadded boxer shorts and sweats off the bathroom floor.

 "I'm in the shower," Mr Snark says in a patronizing tone. "Obviously, I can't shower clothed."  

Well DUH. 

Based upon anecdotal evidence, none of the Snark men appear to understand the purpose of laundry hampers. The root of the issue may be genetic or it may be gender-related. Mrs. Snark is unsure, but what she does know is that wet towels are piled on the backs of toilets, socks and underwear are kicked under beds, pants and shirts are dropped in random piles throughout the house.

Mrs. Snark has taken measures to ensure the wide spread availability, ease of use, and understanding of laundry hampers:

  • The Snark household has FIVE separate laundry hampers, one for each bedroom and then a spare outside of the children's bathroom. 
  • Mrs. Snark empties laundry hampers daily, so they are never full. 
  • Mrs. Snark has removed all lids from laundry hampers so they are not confusing or difficult to use. 
  • Mrs. Snark has measured all containers and eliminated any that might be too tall for a prospective male to reach. Miss Bear, who is the shortest member of the Snark household, is the yardstick. Not a single laundry hamper is taller than the tot. Also, Miss Bear manages to drop dirty clothes into designated containers. (Along with shoes, toys, TV remotes and various other household items...) Thus proving that the feat is physically feasible for taller individuals to accomplish.

 Mrs. Snark conducts frequent seminars in laundry hamper use. She stands before the assembled Snark men with a white board and markers, drawing diagrams with helpful directional arrows.

Then she smiles encouragingly and performs a live demonstration, gently dropping a waded shirt into a hamper. "See! It's easy! It saves floorspace and cuts back on mold! You can do it, yes you can!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Author Spotlight: Krista Ames

Krista, please tell us about yourself and your writing.

Sure thing.   I am a wife to a fantastic and supportive husband.  I am a mom of 4 ornerier- than- ever kids, all in school and ranging from 13 to 6, 3 girls and 1 boy.  I am an author, in my spare time of course only because with a house of 6, the laundry and dishes are NEVER done and there’s never a dull or quiet moment lol.  We also have 2 cats and 2 dogs that keep us all jumping.  Somewhere within this whole mix, I am also the Review Coordinator for Still Moments Publishing.  

Currently, I have 4 short stories in anthologies published with Turquoise Morning Press and I have a contemporary western erotic romance out now with Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape line called Take Me Home, Cowboy.  I am currently working on a couple more for the same line but no information to reveal as of yet.  I will have a release with Still Moments Publishing sometime between May and July for a sensual romance. 

What inspired your current book?I just think cowboys in general inspired my current book, Take Me Home Cowboy.  I love them.  I’ve read hundreds of cowboy romances and each time I read another it only inspires me more. 


Ally Kincaid returns to Freewill, Wyoming, to see her father after a two year absence. Anticipating a quiet family reunion, she finds herself butting heads with her father’s foreman instead. The man’s arrogance and sexy drawl push all her buttons, making her wonder what he’s hiding beneath his cowboy swagger.

Matt Gentry walked away from the past and shies from the future. No ties means no one gets hurt…until the boss’s daughter, a hot, green-eyed blonde, tempts him to break his own rules.

When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy their growing attraction or show them the way home?

Buy Links:

Where to Find Krista on the Web: 
Website   Facebook    Twitter   Blog   Email

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Slowest Line

No matter what, Mrs. Snark always winds up in the slowest moving line. Location does not matter. Bank, grocery store, school's always the same. Time slows to a crawl and Mrs. Snark becomes trapped behind the world's greatest moron.

Pushing the shopping cart containing an impatient Miss Bear in the child seat, Mrs. Snark approaches two open check stands that are located side-by-side. Quickly, she eyeballs both, appraising not only the number of items on the belt, and the fullness of the carts, but also the demeanor of the shopper standing in line.

Hmm... both belts and carts are about equal, so it comes down to the little old lady with silver hair or the forty-something brunette woman. Being a forty-something housewife herself, Mrs. Snark throws her lot in behind the lady with the cart full of frozen diet meals. After all, anyone with a bunch of frozen food must be in a hurry to get them home before they melt. Right?


Not so.

Everything seems to go smoothly up until the point where the cashiers asks, "Did you find everything?"

"Actually, I forgot canned stewed tomatoes."

No problem. The checker smiles and deploys her bagger to recover the missing item. Upon his return, the customer scrunches her nose and says, "Actually, I wanted organic."

Off he goes again and eventually returns with organic canned stewed tomatoes and payment is rendered. The process appears complete, but then--

"I calculated that my total should be $85.16," the customer says, waving her receipt for $86.16.

Apparently, she couldn't be bothered to notice this BEFORE she paid.

Together, she and the checker squint at the printed receipt, which is the length of Santa's Naughty list. 

Five minutes later, the shopper points to an item mid-list. "I bought ten frozen meals that are on sale ten for ten dollars but these rang up $1.10 each."

"I'll have to call for a manager to issue a refund. We're not allowed to change anything once I process payment," says the cashier, flipping on the blinking light above her register.

Another five minutes pass. Ten.

At long last, a frazzled manager shows up and then takes five more minutes to complete the refund process. The lady collects her dollar and departs.

Of course, the little old lady has been gone for twenty minutes...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guest Spot Sunday: Reality Check by Dave Whamond

No guest blogger this weekend, so I'm featuring a really funny comic by Dave Whamond that I originally saw on Go Comics. I've linked through to it.

 I think most writers/editors can identify with this sentiment.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Rejoinder from Mr Snark

Mr. Snark here.

I would like to address the most recent of the aspersions heaped upon me daily in this space, by drawing the attention of our esteemed hostess to the conversation reproduced below:

You:  I want a Dyson vacuum for my birthday.
Me:  How dumb do you think I am? I’m not buying you a vacuum for your birthday. I’ll get in trouble.
You:  No, you don’t understand. This is more than a vacuum; it’s a status symbol, a thing that can be showed off. It makes other women jealous. It’s what I want. Buy it.
Me: Looks like a trap.
You: Nonsense.

--Several years and one vacuum clear later--

You: Your idea of romance is a new vacuum cleaner.

Me: Doh.

In fairness, it is an excellent vacuum cleaner, aside from the speed and ease with which its contents can be emptied onto the floor by Miss Bear, for which it can hardly be faulted. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

MF Author Seeks CP...

The saddest part about being an author is only being able to spend approximately 10% of my writing time doing what I love best--writing. I'm talking about those blissful hours spent with your first draft, lovingly translating the scenes playing out in your head into words.

Family life, promotion time, social networking all suck up valuable time, but the saddest facet of being an author is that the other 90% of writing time is essentially spent rewriting. 

Now some authors like to labor through that first draft alone with only a cat, a cup of coffee and the sound of keyboard clatter for company. Others turn it into a social event, sharing each chapter or even each scene with their colleagues.

Through the process of editing, one factor is nearly universal--the need for a good Critique Partner. Or at the very least, a competent beta reader. The rare author might have a spouse or a significant other who can fulfill this role, but many--like me--are met with frustration.

Oh, my husband may occasionally try to fill in the gap, but his definition of romance are a dozen roses on our anniversary and a Dyson vacuum on my birthday. He gets points for trying. He takes me out to dinner and listens to my publishing plans. He lies awake in bed while I ramble, eyelids propped open with toothpicks and a snore on his lips. But his preferred reading material consists of political blogs, and he speaks C++ and math more fluently than English.

Some authors are lucky enough to be in a monogamous relationship with a fellow writer, a supportive partner who laughs at your jokes, props up your flagging spirit, administers back pats, praise, hugs and hot chocolate. Those of you who are should take this moment to appreciate your CP! Say thanks, take her for coffee, give her a little gift. You have no idea how lucky you are!

Other authors have spent their existence bouncing through a series of short-term relationships, never really hooking up with that one true soul mate. Such relationships might last for a day or a week, a few months if one is fortunate. Most are are active swingers, swapping partners based on the genre or simply the availability of prospective CPs. Many romance authors engage exclusively in same sex relationships because A) there are so few male authors, and B) what do men really know about romance anyway?

There should be an online hookup site for authors seeking CPs. I envision a profile looking something like this:

Married Female Author Seeks Critique Partner to exchange chapters of 3,000 words once per week.

Preferred Genre: Romantic Suspense

Heat Levels: Sweet to Spicy

No Nos: Fine with most anything except M/M and bizarre foot fetishes.

Excerpt: My heroine loves shoes, yachting, and strong, sexy men. She has daddy issues. My hero is a cynical solider-of-fortune who doesn't believe in love and spends much of his time out of the country, rendering a stable relationship impossible. He is emotionally unavailable.

Apply at email address listed below.