Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Yuletide!

Wishing Everyone A Merry Yuletide!

Brightest Blessings this holiday season 
and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving and Best Friends: Happy Birthday Wishes to a much loved friend

Well, here we are, November is almost through and soon it'll be December. This has been a rough year for my little family and to be honest, I'll be glad to see it go bye bye. But before I rush into New Year celebrations, I wanna talk turkey. Thanksgiving turkey that is, and say how grateful I am to everyone who has helped me get through this tumultuous year. All ya'll are added to my Thanksgiving prayers. I seriously love each and every one of you and you know who you are. Blessings.  Wishing all my friends and readers a very happy Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones. ((hugs))
(Scroll down for turkey leftover recipes you'll enjoy).

I want to give a shout out to one of my long time best friends N.J. Walters.

Today is N.J.'s birthday and try as I might, I couldn't get this pic to upload onto Facebook. So here it is, girl—Happy Birthday, N.J. You are an incredibly sweet, wonderful person and a damn awesome writer! Wishing you the very best and all the rest of good things life has to offer.

Dear readers, if you love romance on the paranormal side, you need to check out N.J.'s upcoming book. It releases December 5th! (I seriously cannot wait. Weee! Dragon hawtness, ya'll!)

Darius Varkas is a drakon. He's neither human nor dragon.

He's both.
He's also the target of an ancient order who want to capture all drakons for their blood. When fresh, a drakon's blood can cure any illness and prolong a human's life, and the Knights will stop at nothing to get it.

When librarian Sarah Anderson stumbles across a rare book belonging to the Knights of the Dragon, she's quickly thrust into a dangerous world of secrets and shifters and things she never would have believed possible. When the Knights realize Sarah has a secret of her own, she becomes just as much a target as Darius. Her scary dragon shifter just might be her best chance at survival.

Catch it December 5th from Entangled Publishing, and on Amazon and All Romance eBooks.

Ever wonder what to do with all your leftover turkey? Well, I got ya covered. Try out some of these yummy dishes that are sure to please!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Beauty and The Beast Trope in Romance


Anyone who hasn’t read Beauty and the Beast or a rendition of it, raise your hand.  Anyone?  I thought so.  If you’re hanging out here at my blog or on my FB author page, it’s probably a good guess you like this tale in its many forms as much as I do. 

Basic premise of the story—hot girl falls for an anger management reject, ugly monster of a guy who isn’t really ugly. He’s just in disguise via a curse.  Love him enough and he changes back to his handsome self.  We end up with hot girl in love with hot prince of a guy. Happy ending for everyone.

Now let’s get to the blood and guts of the idea.  I have a bit of a problem with that short summation.  Why?  Well, let’s look at the origin of the curse. 

The story as told by Villeneuve and de Beaumont vary in some details from each other, but I think most of us remember it as the Prince basically being an asshole to a poor old lady and not offering her shelter in story when she begged him.  If the idea of loving the beast who was actually a man didn’t hammer home the idea that looks can be deceiving, then you weren’t paying attention to this first volley.  The old lady isn’t just the average crone in rags.  A few choice words from her, some bad juju, and the prince is no longer God’s gift to the fairer (and ~cough~ superior  ~cough~) sex.  Lesson? Be careful who you piss off.

I’m good with this part.  It’s the not so subtle part of the story that says “Don’t be a dick.”  Now let’s get into the more tangled bit of it.  With time, maturity and bucket-loads of angst (love this stuff) the Beast/prince becomes a gentler, more empathetic being, possessing an internal beauty matched by the outer handsomeness he once had and lost due his cruelty and narcissism.  The reward for his redemption—and for Beauty’s exceptional discernment—is to change back to his handsome self.

Hey, I’d be the last person to say I can’t appreciate the physical beauty of anyone, man or woman.  I’d love to be a hot babe myself.  Still, after years of torment, of isolation and soul-searching, doesn’t being turned back into your hard body self seem a shallow reward for all that effort?  Or…is this really the prince’s reward?  Maybe it’s Beauty’s reward for seeing beyond the grotesque to the beauty within?  Personally, I think she gets the short end of the stick with this.  I’d be a little freaked out myself at having fallen in love with the ugly guy and suddenly be presented with some stranger before me, no matter how much of a babe he might be. I have more ideas about this, but I’m curious as to yours.  Care to share?

What if the Beast doesn’t change at the end (a la Shrek)?  Does the story lose its essence?  Its redemptive quality?  If so, how?  If not, why? 

Last but not least, why do you think this tale has such huge appeal?  Its romanticism?  Its morality?  Its hope and acknowledgement that we can all find it within ourselves to be the Beast redeemed or Beauty with her gracious, far-seeing soul? 
If you like the Beauty and the Beast romantic trope and have some book suggestions for me, please leave them in the comments. I’m going to be shoring up my TBR pile next week. 
As always, In love and light...


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Midnight Readers: New Releases in Anthologies

Hey ya'll, I have some really awesome new releases to talk about. I personally love anthologies. Each story is a nice sized bite, just enough to see if you like the writing style and voice of each author. I have personally found a bunch of "new to me" authors I love this way. So I hope you'll give these nifty anthologies a chance and maybe you'll find your newest auto-buy author.

First up is Teeth, Long and Sharp: A Collection of Tales Sharp And Pointed.

IVORIES by Aria M. Jones - Eleanor resents the afternoons sacrificed to piano lessons and a disagreeable teacher who gloats over her failures and humiliations. Today, it’s Mrs. Lundemann’s turn for a sacrifice of a very different nature…

NIGHT TIDE by Grace Draven - Something hunts the surf at night, luring villagers to their deaths with a lullaby of sorrow and the torture of nightmares. Blessed with the gift of water-sight, Zigana Imre senses the presence of an ancient predator possessing a taste for human flesh sweetened by grief. With the help of a child of earth, she will battle a spawn of the sea to protect a loved one and save a man who will one day save a world. 

THE NOISE OF FUR by Jeffe Kennedy - The first time, it came at night…

In the forest, a Thing prowls, picking off members of young Raven’s tribe. If they flee their home, they face starvation. If only Raven can answer the question of what kind of fur makes that noise.

VENETRIX by Antioch Grey - A merchant and a poet come to the City, seeking justice for the murder of a relative, and if justice cannot be found, they will have revenge. They collude with vampires, negotiate with mermaids, share ale and meat pies with gargoyles and navigate the prisons, waterways and court system of a city ruled by a Master possessing long life and even longer teeth.

The City will make you a fortune, or it will kill you, but it will always change you.

THE VAMPIRES OF MULBERRY STREET by Aria M. Jones - Living the simple life in small town Indiana, Mrs. H has everything she could possibly ever want: a cozy house, peace and quiet, and a garden that is the envy of Mulberry Street. But when sinister outsiders disrupt the tranquility of her neighborhood, it might be time for her to come out of retirement and take up tools more deadly than pruning shears and a trowel.

VOICE OF THE KNIFE by Mel Sterling - Biologist Charles Napier doesn’t mind getting lost in a Florida swamp—it’s part of a scientist’s job. Logic and training will get him out safely. Except lurking in this swamp, there’s a monster Napier’s science can’t explain...a lonely, exquisite, desperate monster.

~Foreword by Ilona Andrews~ 


Next I have this delectable offering for all ya'll LOLCatz lovers... Meow wow!

The Crazy Cat Lady boxed set lets 9 new purr-fectly wild romance stories out of the bag. We hope you enjoy these paw-some tails from New York Times, USA Today, & other authors.

The Vet & the Geek, Sidney Bristol
When veterinarian Raul is reunited with his long lost cat he gets a lot more than he bargained for in Miranda, the curvy, sassy woman who can wipe the floor with his subpar gaming skills. But Miranda doesn’t know if Raul is flirting with her, or if he’s the stalker she’s lived in fear of for years. Is he the crazy cat guy of her dreams, or is he the man who wants her—dead or alive?

Mr. November, Melanie Ting
Marty Devonshire is the feared tough guy of the Vancouver Vice hockey team, yet he’s afraid to make a move on petite Elaine Salang. It will be up to the entire team—& Knightley the cat—to convince Marty to take a chance on love.

Cat Scratch Fever, L.C. Alleyne
Inspector Rafael Montigue detects the scent of a potential mate during a delegate meeting. Kristin Wallin is working undercover to bring down the Brazilian Minister’s drug ring. When terrorists attack, Rafe exposes his panther shifter identity in order to protect Kristin, but she surprises him with secrets of her own that make him look like an innocent kitty cat.

Decker & Joy: A North Pole Unlimited Romance, Elle Rush
Jaded P.I. Decker Harkness must track down a missing Christmas prototype if he wants a shot at a corporate security contract. Sexy cat shelter manager Joy McCall needs help figuring out who broke into Kitten Caboodle and made off with her foster kittens. If they work together, everyone may get a happily-ever-after.

Cats in the Cradle, Jerri Drennen
Being accused of murder by red-haired beauty Beatrice Dailey, a woman known to be the crazy cat lady in the neighborhood, somehow kick-starts Sam Littman's floundering career. Soon he finds himself writing her as the main character in his novel—but as fact & fiction start to blur, Sam & Beatrice tumble headfirst into something most unexpected.

Forgive Me, Lori Whyte
When a neighbor's cat deposits a severed finger on Rachel Connor's doorstep, the last thing she expects is that it'll bring Grady Randall back into her life. He shattered her heart when they were teenagers, but she finds herself turning to him when a menacing stranger shows up at her door. Can their reunion & reignited attraction survive the night or will the murderer strike again?

Sanctuary, Sukie Chapin
When Indiana finds her life is in shambles & her exotic cat sanctuary on the verge of bankruptcy, her only hope rests in the capable hands of a tall, dark, & bearded stranger. Jake’s on the hunt for the only good thing left in his life, his lost lion Loki, but he never expected his search to lead him to beautiful, anguished Indy & her dilapidated refuge. As their attraction grows fiercer than the lions they love, Indy & Jake must decide if they can overcome old wounds & fears to find sanctuary in each other’s arms.

Mr. Hot Stuff, Abby Cheshire
After eight awful & all too memorable blind dates in a row, all Lily wants is to stay home with a good book & her five cats. But when her latest rescue cat Captain Kitt goes klepto & steals a set of keys that belong to the hunky fireman in the neighborhood - Lily may be closer to a perfect match than she ever imagined.

Dress Blues, Lisa Carlisle
When Vivi Parker volunteers at a fundraiser for a cat shelter, she’s stunned to run into Jack Conroy, the one man she couldn’t have, but never forgot. While they served in the Marines, any relationship between them was off-limits. Years later in Boston, the rules have changed. But so have they.

iBooks -
Nook -
Kobo -


Monday, September 26, 2016

Midnight Reads: Choose Me by Natasha Moore Releases Today!

Eve Corcoran hates being a cliché, but after her husband leaves her for a younger woman, she’s surprised how much she enjoys being on her own. When the empty nester hires the contractor next door to renovate her new apartment, her surprising feelings for him threaten to turn her new life upside down.

After Rick Best lost his wife, he never expected to fall in love again, especially not with the mother of his daughter’s best friend. He’s gone on enough rescue calls with the volunteer fire department to know life can change forever in an instant, and he can’t understand why Eve resists grabbing a second chance at happiness.  

Rick wants her to choose a life with him, but Eve is holding on tight to her newly-found independence. As she keeps pushing Rick away, however, being on her own starts to feel a whole lot like being lonely.

Time to grab a second chance at love. Book #1 in a new series Choose Me by @natashamoore

Friday, September 23, 2016

Midnight Reading New Release: Silver Wolf Rising by Sela Carsen

Fate couldn't have picked a worse moment to bring two lonely souls together.

Berserker warrior and drill sergeant Niall is being forced to retire from the Fenrir Army he's faithfully served for most of his life. Miserable and bitter, he's on the pack ship, waiting for a transport back to his home planet to be a farmer. Until trouble steps right on his prosthetic foot just as all Hel breaks loose. 

Widowed Dagny is on the pack ship waiting for a transport down to Earth, searching for a new purpose in this next phase of her life -- one that isn't centered around her grown children. But her new plans definitely don't involve following a cranky old soldier into the dark to survive.

When enemy Axis powers invade the ship, blasting up the heat on a cold war, Niall and Dagny have to team up to save themselves and their shipmates, and to explore the lifescent that is drawing them together. 

Together for now, but will fate be enough to keep them that way after the battle is over?

ONLY .99¢

Friday, August 12, 2016

Midnight Spotlight: The Honesty Of Tigers by David Bridger

Living his life again. Same person, same fishing village, same years. But this time the world shows him a different face.

Ken Jackson builds traditional boats in a small Cornish fishing town, where everyone might not have heard everything about everyone else, but if they haven’t, it isn’t for the want of listening. Which complicates matters for Ken, because he has a secret: he’s living his life all over again.

It sounds like a dream come true. He’s got the chance to make things right for his loved ones, and to avoid all his old regrets. But the past is never that simple. Ken’s second life opens his eyes to different sides of people and places, and what’s a man to do when his hopes and dreams and carefully laid plans are ripped apart?

THE HONESTY OF TIGERS is available from, Amazon UK, KoboiBooks and B&N.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A much needed update...

For those unaware or who don't follow me on Facebook, I've been undergoing several life changes and have had to readjust my writing schedule to fit my new circumstances. Both my health and my husband Bear's health have had setbacks this year, but in true CeCe fashion, I am taking it in stride and dealing with whatever comes my way, both the bad and the good. 

But I am officially shouting out to the universe, good is better and I want more of that, please! :)

Also, with the closing of my former publisher, I've been doing rewrites and edits, trying to get those books back out on the shelves as it is my biggest backlist. I hope to add to that backlist with new stories coming out as well. BTW, Thank you to my readers for being so kind and patient with me as life progresses. ((hugs))

Until next time,

*photo is of the lovely hand blown glass flowers in one of Bear's doctor's office. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cassandra's 2016 Birthday Party Winner

The winner of my birthday party contest is...

Sarah Glenn!

Congratulations, Sarah! 
Bear picked your name out of the magical birthday hat as my winner. 

Check your messages for more on how to collect your prize!

Thanks to everyone for dropping by and wishing me a happy birthday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cassandra's Birthday Party Fun!

Hi ya'll. Celebrating another year and hoping ya'll will bring the margaritas. lol I'll be checking in a bit later, but wanted to let you know about my birthday contest.

Leave a comment on this or another of my birthday posts today and you're automatically entered for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Friends will be dropping by to offer up free ebooks for readers and fans, plus other neat stuff, so scroll around and find all the birthday posts for today.

All contests* end today at midnight, so enter now and enter often!

*Must be 18+ to enter. The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. Contest void where prohibited by law. It is the participant’s responsibility to check the blog to see if their name is announced as a winner, and contact Cassandra in order to claim the prize. Prizes must be claimed within 30 days of contest winning announcement. If not claimed within 30 days, the prize will either be added to another contest, or a second chance drawing at my discretion. Not responsible for lost/stolen mail.

Cassandra's Birthday Celebration - Guest Author Christa Maurice

Hey ya'll! Welcome to my birthday party! My friends and I will be posting more later today, so check back and see what new fun we've got going.

Friend and author Christa Maurice is here now to share a little music with everyone and a free ebook! Read more to find out how you can get her book VICTIM OF LOVE for free today!

~ ~ ~

Christa in Venice
Everybody’s life has a sound track. (Doesn’t it? Tell me it’s not just me.)

I have this amazing ability to get lost. Seriously, wildly, awkwardly lost. When I went to Venice, I didn’t stay in Venice (my first mistake) I stayed in a town called Mestre, just a short bus ride from Venice.

Should you ever plan to go to Venice, I suggest three things. One, stay in Venice. Two, condition for the trip because you will be doing a lot of walking and a lot of stairs. Three, waterproof shoes.

On the first day I got on the bus no problem and when I arrived in Venice I noted the bus number and parking spot and then went off to enjoy Venice. I walked and walked and walked in inadequate shoes. At one point I was headed down a sidewalk and either didn’t notice the water or didn’t think it was a big deal. It was the tide. I ended up wet to the knees in my inadequate shoes. Did I mention it was March? Cold, wet, inadequate shoes.

At the end of the day I went to catch my bus. Which bus was it? Bus two in space six! I hopped on the bus and rode back toward Mestre. Except nothing looked at all familiar. The longer I was on the bus, the less familiar the scenery got. I asked people on the bus, showing them the post card the hotel had given me with the address and a map of the neighborhood, but I was in an Italian city and the only language I speak fluently is English. The other riders were able to communicate that I was on the wrong bus and nowhere near where I needed to be. The bus driver had enough English to tell me which bus to catch after he left me off. When I got on the second bus, the driver had even less English, but he looked at my map and pointed to a spot on the floor right next to him. Then, when we got to the stop nearest my hotel on his route, he used hand gestures and the map to explain to me how to make my way back to my hotel. I was never so happy to see a hotel in my life.

And what song do you supposed was running through my head that long day as I walked around Venice and Mestre on my numb, wet feet wearing jeans that were still wet and stiff to the knees with sea water? The Proclaimers, “I Could Walk 500 Miles” because, what else would be stuck in my head? (Want to sing along? Check it out:

What song is the story of your life?

Want to read the first book in the Rock And Roll State Of Mind series, VICTIM OF LOVE, for free? Sign up for my newsletter at and receive a free copy of VICTIM OF LOVE.

Twitter: @christamaurice

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Feeling very blessed this Valentine's Day, because the one man I love more than life is still alive. He's a grumbly, grouchy bear, but he's my Bear and I almost lost him. It's still difficult to believe, I meant the year just started, and already 2016 is shaping up as a very scary time. The last few weeks have been such a blur, I can't even recall when it happened, but it was one of the last handful of days this recent January. I was happily munching on a cheeseburger and doing edits on one of my stories, when I heard a loud thump coming from the short hallway that connects the kitchen and living room.

I poked my head out of my room and looked down the hallway, only to see Bear on the floor, slumped to one side and unable to get up. It was the beginning of a nightmare, but at the time I thought he'd maybe slipped or tripped and fallen. So I went to him and tried to help him up.

After much convincing, I finally got him to go to the Immediate Care Center, where they determined his blood pressure was dangerously high and they said he needed to go to the E.R. We were both very shaken at the news and went to the hospital. Some ten hours later, after numerous tests, we had a diagnosis—Bear had a stroke.  He was admitted for observation and more tests.

I pretty much lived up at the hospital the entire week, going home only once for a change of clothes and to check snail mail, then drove right back. I kept watch, listened to the doctors and nurses, slept beside Bear (in one of the most uncomfortable chairs imaginable), and saw every painful movement he made as he tried to regain what was lost in a blink of an eye. It hurt to see my strong, proud man struggle to stand, to walk, to hold a cup, or sign his name.

When they finally released him, I got him home, put him to bed, and once I knew he was asleep, I went into my writing room and sat here feeling the rush of all that had happened hit me in the chest and I sobbed.

I've spent the last week and a half changing his diet, (super low sodium, few carbs, limiting fats, and no sugar added foods) and taking him to doctor appointments.

I know we are looking down a long road, he still has to have a heart cath (they found he had an enlarged heart with limited capacity during one of his tests), and there may be other problems to face, but we'll face them together.

So I don't need chocolates, a heart shaped card, or a fancy dinner out to celebrate today.

All I need and want for St. Valentine's Day is right here in front of me. My very own teddy bear of a man. Fates willing, I will get to keep him for a long, long time.

In love, eternally.

Hug your man tight and show him how special he is to you. Because we are not guaranteed anything in this life, and when the fates are kind, wipe your tears away and embrace love.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super Bowl - That's football right?

I admit it. I'm not into the whole Super Bowl thing. I'd rather go out to a movie or curl up with a book. But some of my friends are crazy when it comes to Super Bowl, even if their team isn't one of the teams playing. 

And when it comes to romance books, these same friends have a passion for the game—and hot gridiron heroes. ;)

If your passions run to sexy heroes on or off the playing field, check out the Santa Fe Bobcats series by Jeanette Murray for a touchdown!

One Night with a Quarterback (Santa Fe Bobcats #1)
Jeanette Murray

A one-night stand shouldn’t go into overtime…

She’s daddy’s little girl…or she would have been, had he known she existed. Cassie Wainwright thought her father—head coach of the Santa Fe Bobcats—ignored her purposefully. Come to find out, he had no clue she’d ever been born.

Now Cassie is determined to meet the man who’s always been missing from her life. Her mother warns her, being the long-lost daughter of a well-known NFL coach won’t be easy, but Cassie’s determined to stick it out. And before her life turns upside down, she wants one more night of fun.

Starting quarterback for the Santa Fe Bobcats, Trey Owens is tired of being in the limelight. Lucky for him, the beautiful brunette he meets at the club isn’t a local. She has no idea who he is…and she’s down to party.

Tomorrow, Cassie will think about her father. Tomorrow, she’ll think about her future. But tonight is for herself and the hottie she found on dance floor. It’s a matchup made in heaven—if only for a night…


Loving Him Off the Field (Santa Fe Bobcats #2)
Jeanette Murray

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense…

Aileen is a sports reporter trying to make a name for herself without relying on her looks, and what better way to do that than to break a scandal about one of the fastest rising stars on the Santa Fe Bobcats? Killian seems too good to be true, so she knows he must be hiding something…

It’s hard enough breaking into the NFL—even more so when you’re a single dad. Killian isn’t proud that he’s keeping his son a secret, but his ex has a reputation that could tarnish his squeaky clean image for good. So when Aileen starts sniffing around, Killian decides to distract her by any means necessary.

But Aileen is more than capable of giving as good as she gets…


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Barely Snow...

The winds are howling outside and even though it's barely snowing, I'm already sick of winter. I want the promise of spring, of fresh buds on the trees, and rabbits cavorting on my back lawn. The allergies that come with the change in season aren't welcome, but it's a small price to pay for the renewal of life, of all things green and growing, and filled with joy and wonder.

But some things cannot be rushed and I suppose we shouldn't try...and yet I've already started the countdown. 69 Days Until Spring. ::burrows deeper into
writing rabbit hole::