Lemons and Lemonade

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There’s an old saying that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

Sometimes, there isn’t enough sugar in the world to make those lemons palatable. Lately, life has handed me a bushel of lemons and I’ve been struggling to find enough sugar to sweeten them. But you know the funny thing about sweetness? It often comes in forms we don’t recognize.

Just like in the kitchen, there are many forms of sweeteners for our lives. Though I know the usual ones, I often forget about the different ones. The ones that sit there on the shelves waiting for us to notice them and pull them out and use them.

In the case of my sweeteners, these happen to be my friends. Okay, yes, I know friends are always there. They are the plain white sugar in life. But… sometimes those friends go above and beyond and turn something sour into something a lot more drinkable. Maybe even with a new twist that you like even better.

What’s interesting to me is that these friends who are there supporting me right now are ones I would have never met had I not been a new writer looking for a local group to help me learn the ins and outs of the publishing game. Because of Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers, I have a group of friends who are amazing. They are the sugar in my lemonade. They are the ones who give me a shoulder when I need it, or a kick when that is called for. It’s not the old friends I’ve known all my life, but the newer ones who have my back.

So when you have lemons, remember that sometimes sweetener comes in different forms.

Vicky

Books! Madelyn Hill

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5 Characteristics of a Highlander

madelyn-promo-photo            Ahhh, the Highlander! Just seeing the word Highlander conjures an image of a strong, muscle-bound man wrapped in a kilt and holding a sword. Think of all of the hubba-hubba Highlanders in movies and television – Mel Gibson’s William Wallace (Braveheart), Liam Neeson’s Rob Roy (Rob Roy), Christopher Lambert’s Connor for the movie Highlander or Adrian Paul’s Duncan from the Highlander TV series. And let’s not forget Sam Heughan as Jamie in Outlander. These actors/character evoke the perfect image of what a Highlander should be!

Here are the TOP 5 Characteristics I feel each Highlander should possess:

  1. Looks good in a kilt! Let’s face it, a kilt is a skirt and you have to have enough self-confidence to pull that off. A true Highlander has a certain swagger—cocksure stride when wearing a kilt.
  2. He’s a Man’s Man!What I mean by this is men follow him, he’s a leader, with commanding tendencies. Men just naturally follow him because he’s concise and can make a life or death decision in an instant.
  3. Romantic! We’re talking about Highlanders here – they need to be romantic, know how to woo a woman and make her feel like a part of his heart. And by woo, I mean he seduces her with sweet words, soft kisses, and a passionate heart.
  4. Handsome! Really, this goes without saying, but those chiseled features are a must. Hard jaw, broad mouth, intense eyes – I’m swooning just thinking about it.
  5. Character! He has to be loyal and brave, ready to protect what is his to the death. When his heroine is in danger – the Highlander will pull his sword and defend her honor. When his clan is in danger, he’ll lead the attack. BUT, he also needs to be kind and have a sense of humor even if he’s dark, a flash of humor is great.

highlandshope1-400Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

Social Networking Info

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2919194.Madelyn_Hill

Super Release Day – For Love and Cheesecake!

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Wow, I almost missed my Super Release Day with new contract signing. Yikes! But I’m making it just in time and it’s on sale if you love eBooks!

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4509-for-love-and-cheesecake.html

ForLoveandCheesecake.jpg

It’s a recipe for disaster…
Take one incurable womanizer
Mix in one pregnant mistress and one delusional fiancée
Add a dash of chef gone haywire
Stir in one newly assertive shop assistant
Toss with an amateur sleuth who doesn’t want to get involved and the love of her life who is in up to the tips of his spiky hair
And garnish with a couple of detectives who are not amused.
Serves one crazy, homicidal maniac.

Ivy is back and she’s stellar, except for trying to kick a nagging cold and the bad habit of being in the middle of every Martha’s Point murder. Unfortunately, they’re both kicking her as she is harangued by her favorite chef to find out who torched his restaurant and one of his waiters along with it. Ivy knows what she should do, but when has that ever stopped her from wading in? Only this time she could very well sacrifice everything…for love and cheesecake.

New Book: What the Carpenter Saw (M/M)

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WhatTheCarpenterSawMy name is Jake Cramer and this is my story.
I grew up in the small town of Robinwood, Pennsylvania. Like most small towns, it’s one where everyone knows everyone, especially my family. Oh, not ‘cause we’re rich or important or anything, but my mom runs the local diner – and her food is amazing, if I do say so myself – and my dad is one of the best building contractors around. I grew up knowing I was going to be a carpenter for my dad. From the time I was a kid, I helped out around the sites or at home, building furniture and cabinets. I love working with wood and building things. That’s kind of how I ended up as an engineer for the Army. And that’s how I got hurt. Wrong place, wrong time. Though in war, there’s no such thing as right place, right time. I lost part of one leg and my arm was hurt, though not lost, but it made things hard when I got home. I couldn’t work well at the sites anymore. And I had trouble building cabinets and furniture…. So Dad turned me into an estimator for jobs. Not my favorite position, but he thought it best at the time.

So even though I’m not huge on the estimating part of the job, it is what led me to meet Alex… and I will forever be grateful for that. Because of him, I learned that I’m not useless. That I can still do things. That I’m still useful. I might not be able to do things the way I used to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do them. When I saved Alex’s life, I didn’t realize I was also saving my own. My advice to you if you’re having problems? If one way isn’t working, figure out a different way. As my dad says, “Different doesn’t mean can’t.”

I hope you enjoy Alex’s and my story, “What the Carpenter Saw”. It’s available now from these places:

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon,