Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reality Bites with Heather Thurmeier

Good morning Princess with a Pen Land!  I’m so excited to have Heather Thurmeier stop by to chat with you today.  She is a wonderful author, super gal, and one of the nicest people to have in your life.  I'm a lucky Jen.  Heather has little something to say about the “reality” of  Reality TV.  Enjoy!
Isn't she gorgeousness?  I need that necklace, Heather.

Thank you so much for having me today, Jen!! I’m thrilled to be here to chat with you and all your lovely blog followers and readers. Today I’m chatting about reality retakes!

Reality TV shows always make it seem like everything is 100% real. But are the shows really real?

I suspect it isn’t.

I’m sure “most” of the show is real, or at least real enough. However, no one in their right mind would ever decide to do some of the crazy things they do on these shows in real life. Can you imagine someone eating breakfast one day and thinking, “You know what my life is missing today? Jumping through flaming hoops over a pool in a mansion with 15 other people while I’m completely blitzed out of my mind. That sounds like fun!” But once the producers put the contestants into some kind of crazy competition, they really do have to complete it. They do have to get themselves through that hoop of fire swinging over the infinity pool.

I’m sure the fights are real too. Contestants often get more upset than they would under normal circumstances. But how could they not? They’re in a house with strangers, being put in situations they’d never normally be in, sleeping at odd hours, and spending a lot of time drinking. Those fights have to be at least partially real, don’t you think?

But what about the other stuff? What about the on-camera interviews? Those must get retakes, right? I can’t imagine that every interview goes perfectly the first time. Sometimes, the contestants must get a do over.

Now here’s a question for you, why can’t we get retakes in real life? Don’t you ever wish sometimes that you could just rewind your life a few minutes and make a different choice, have a different reaction, or not embarrass yourself in some way? Don’t you ever wish you could take back something you’ve said the instant it flies out of you mouth?

I do. I’d love a few choice retakes in life.

But alas, our lives are not reality TV… they’re just plain old reality.

No retakes allowed.

Happy reading!

~Heather Thurmeier

Thank you so much for stopping by Heather and spending time with us.  You can check out more below and don’t forget to pick up her book, Falling for You!  I’m off to the beach with one of my besties for the weekend.  It is some much needed R&R girl time, where no Happy Meals will be allowed.  Have a wonderful weekend!
Bless and be blessed,

"Heather Thurmeier's hunky heroes and feisty heroines will have you laughing out loud, falling in love ... and coming back for more!" ~ Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author

"Heather Thurmeier writes sweet, funny romances that capture your heart!" --NYT and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Probst

Love and Lattes, Love on Landing, Love or Luxury, Bunny Hills and Bikinis, Falling for You ~ Available now!
Stuck on You, Lost without You ~ Coming Soon!

Falling for You Blurb:

Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show The One. But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as “over him” as she thought—and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke.
After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day.
Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally), stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally), and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan, she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation.
But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real.

Buy links:

Author Bio:

Heather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas, a hater of spiders, and a reality TV junkie. Her passion is contemporary romance—writing stories filled with laugh out loud moments, uber-hunky heroes, feisty heroines, and always a happily ever after. You can find out more about Heather's books by visiting her blog:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Q & A With the Charming Tonya Kappes

It is a backflip and cartwheeling kind of day!  Today is release day for my cutie pie friend Tonya Kappes!  *Jen throws confetti because she no longer cartwheels.  Old lady problems to blame…* Her novel, A Charming Cure, is the latest edition to the Magical Cures Mystery Series.   

  Here is the book description:
     Bubble. . .Bubble. . .  Psychic June Heal's homeopathic cure shop, A Charming Cure, is the most popular shop in the unusual little town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky. 
     Cures and Trouble. . .  June is about to learn she has more than psychic abilities when she attends Hidden Hall A Spiritualist University, leaving her shop in the hands of handsome sheriff Oscar Park.  Hidden Hall has an internal war between the Good-Siders and the Dark-Siders, putting June in the middle. 
     Magic Stirs. . .  Hidden Hall is riddled with every type of spiritualist. Magic is lurking around every corner, even black-magic.  Unfortunately, the Ultimate Spell gets into the wrong hands. But it is only discovered after a few spiritualists go missing or end up poisoned to death.
      And Trouble Doubles. . .  Madam Torres, June's crystal ball, reveals that A Charming Cure is in shambles along with the rest of Whispering Falls.  Will June figure out who has the Ultimate Spell and stop them before they destroy the entire spiritualist community?

     Tonya and I had a chance to chat recently, and I had so much to ask!  So grab your favorite witches brew, settle in to your favorite comfy caldron chair, and enjoy!  

You are one of my author buddies that shares occupational history with me.  Tell me about what you love most about your day job and why it’s a nice balance with your career as an author.

OH! It gets me out of the house and refreshes my mind on the writing front. Plus I get to associate with REAL, blood-flowing, heart beating people!

Really. . .I’m passionate about helping others, especially children with disabilities. If I can help a parent not feel alone or help them believe in their child, it’s the greatest reward!

I could not agree with you more, Tonya.  For as much as families were thankful that I was in their children’s lives when I was working with preschooler’s with special needs, they were a gift to me ten times over!

You recently medaled TWICE at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  Congratulations!  What did it feel like to open the package and hold those medals in your hot little hands?

You go girl!!!

The Olympics had nothing over on me!  Well. . .it is the closest feeling I will probably ever get to the Olympics unless being a very active mom is an Olympic sport. WOW! They really should consider that an Olympic sport!

Seriously, it was great! Being self-published is hard, being validated for it is all sorts of cups of AWESOME!

Girl, parenting is an all gold medal sport!  I totally agree with you!

Okay, so you and I are going to King’s Island Amusement Park for the day.  On which coasters are we planting ourselves in the front seat, and what is your must-have snack while there?  For me, it’s Chick-Fil-A French fries and an a frozen Coke.  Don’t steal my answer! 

HA! Oh, you drive a hard bargain…The Screamin’ Demon was my fav, but since they took it down, I still have to do the RACER!!! RED RACER!! Hands in the air!!!!!!!!!!!!! Must food is still LaRosa’s even though there is one around the corner. It tastes so much better at King’s Island all cold and melty!

We can totally ride The Racer after we ride Diamondback twenty times!  NO HANDS!!!

What books are on your nightstand?

The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt! Hilarious by the way!! I read it out loud to my husband!! I crack up. You have a lot of nerve writing about your family. I admire that!

Aww…  Thank you, Tonya!  I made the nightstand!  That is so sweet!  Honestly, it’s a fine line when writing about your family and still being authentic about your life.  It isn’t easy, so thank you for the props.  I really appreciate it.

Tell me your dream dinner guests, and why you would choose each one to join you for a dinner party.  More importantly would you cook or hire a caterer?!

Christian Louboutin…I’d try to score some shoes! And…we’d have LaRosa’s pizza and Ding Dongs for dessert!

Ha!  I love the method to your madness, and your choice of meals.  Yum!

Who would you credit for helping you along the way in your writing journey?

My family first and foremost. They have been so supportive in giving me time to work, seeing me at all their games with a pen in my hand, and put up with talking to myself in public places. Jane Porter taught me how to connect with readers. She is amazing with giving back. I try to do it tenfold!

 Some of you might not know this, but Tonya recently had smash up derby in her kitchen (not really, that just sounded like fun though, didn’t it?).  How is your kitchen coming along?  Are renovations almost finished?

If I could’ve found a knife in the mess. . .well, you don’t want to know what I would’ve done. It was a LOOOOONG process. See, I don’t believe in debt (DAVE RAMSEY FAN RAISE YOUR HANDS!) and we had to do the renovations ($$$$$$$) as we paid for them. That is why it took so long. My guys are reaching six foot tall and our small kitchen was cutting it. Now we enjoy it so much better. The kitchen is where my family really gathers and I love hearing them talkJ

You are the queen of connecting with your readers, and it is one of the things I adore about you as a fellow author and reader.  Tell the story of how your Street Team was born.

Tonya holding her novel, Carpe Bead 'Em

Well…I’m still flabbergasted that someone besides my mother would pick up my books and spend five minutes in my made up world! Especially in today’s lifestyle of go-go-go. And I had no idea how to thank these readers! I was getting so much reader mail. (I can’t stand the word FAN!) So I came up with my STREET TEAM. One place for all of use to gather, hang out, and discuss whatever. PLUS it is where I can do giveaways, show them my appreciation and connect with them personally.

When I started out, writers wanted to connect with writers. I didn’t understand that! Writers are connecting with the wrong people! They need to connect with their readers. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need writer friends and I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me. I have a TON of GREAT writer friends that I hang out with on a daily basis, but THEY aren’t buying my books.

I appreciate my readers so much! And the internet has made it so easy to connect. We do a lot of fun and new things like Skype, online parties, movie premiere parties (the next one is the upcoming movie, The Good Witch!), book clubs, Kindle chats and more.

I just want them to know how honored I am that they escape into my world.

You can find a list of Tonya’s books here.  Don’t forget to check out her Street Team, Facebook page and find her on Twitter.  Tonya’s website is another place to connect with her and other readers.

Thanks for spending time with Tonya and little old me!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Exclusive! Rock Legend Dan Hunter's Issues with Dandelions and Marshmallows. Nicky Wells Hunky Lead Singer Reveals All!

Happy Monday everyone!  It’s a great day to stop by Princess with a Pen, because boy oh boy, do I have a treat for you!  My friend Nicky Wells was booked to be here today.  She is the author of the fabulous novel, Sophie’s Turn, released by Sapphire Star Publishing.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced review copy, and it did not disappoint.  My lovely Nicky is caught up in the busy world of book touring, and asked her hunky rock star character, Dan Hunter, to take her place today.  Welcome Dan to the blog!

Hello! My name is Dan Hunter.  I am the lead singer of rock band, Tuscq, and newly minted romantic heroine in Nicky Wells’ rock star romance, Sophie’s Turn.  Sophie and Nicky feel that I haven’t been pulling my weight on this promotional blog tour for Sophie’s Turn and they’ve asked me to write a guest post for the lovely Jen Tucker.

Am I the only one who just heard Dan, from Tuscq, call me lovely?! 
*Jen swoons*

Now, hold on.  I’m a rock star, not a writer.   Although I do write my own lyrics, I suppose… Hmm, anyway.  This is tricky.  Nicky said, write what you know.  So I thought I’d tell you a few things about myself.  A few things you don’t know.  A few things nobody knows, as yet.

So here goes: Ten things you didn’t know about Dan Hunter!

1. I sometimes paint my toenails.  I know, weird, right?  But I think ladies toenails look so pretty when they’re painted, it always inspires me.  So when I’m stuck on a song or a lyric and there’s no lady there to help out with her foot on display... well, what’s a rock star to do?  I have a lovely selection of purple and blue nail varnishes in my studio. After all, I wear shoes and socks when I’m out and about so nobody will see my artwork. And if it tickles my muse…

2. I’m allergic to dandelions.  Get me near one, and I shall dissolve in sneezes and hay fever tears.  I once had to cancel a show because of this!  It was an open-air gig in the countryside, we weren’t terribly famous then and it was basically a field in someone’s farmyard.  Within minutes of arriving, I was wheezing and coughing, no chance of singing.  And no, it wasn’t Glastonbury—I’d learnt my lesson by then.  I always carry hay fever meds with me now, even in the winter.

3. Marshmallows creep me out.  Seriously.  How can you eat this stuff?  It’s all squidgy and gooey and slimy and … ugh.  No, not for me.

4. I don’t work out. I hate the gym.  What, you think I look lovely and fit?  Why, thank you.  I do like walking, not that I get much chance.  I have to confess that I do have a personal trainer, but not in the traditional sense.  He teaches me Pilates to keep those muscles supple, and he also makes me do star-jumps and other basic exercises to keep me fit for the stage.  But I don’t work out, as such.  And contrary to popular myth, I don’t have a home gym.

5. I can never, ever remember if I shut the fridge door.  I’ve learnt not to care when I get that weird ‘oh my God, did I leave the fridge open’ sinking feeling.  I’ve only ever left it open once and ok, it was messy and wasteful, but hey, not the end of the world.  So I make myself ignore my worries.  It’s a useful skill, actually, works for all sorts of things.

6. I’m afraid of daddy longlegs.  I shouldn’t really admit this in public, I know, but they just terrify me.  Spiders, I can deal with.  Bugs and insects of any kind, bring them on. Gnats and midgets, I squash them ruthlessly.  Wasps and bees I can take care of.  But daddy longlegs, with their long spindly legs and brittle wings and erratic flying patterns…I have to leave the room.  Quietly, of course.

7. I love women who eat.  Oh, shall I say that one again?  I love women who like their food.  There, that’s even better.  Believe me, I have spent a lot of time spending time with lots of you ladies, and there’s nothing more annoying than sharing a meal with a girl who picks at her food or, worse, orders a salad and then picks at it.  Now Sophie, she likes her food.  It’s a joy watching her tuck into her lobster ravioli or double pepperoni pizza.  And she looks great!  And she’s happy.  There, that’s what it’s all about.  They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—but only if you share in the meal!

8. I think I would quite enjoy opera.  I don’t really know, it’s not really my thing.  But Sophie likes classical music and she’s slowly bringing me round.  One day, she wants to take me to the opera.  Mozart’s Magic Flute is what she has planned for my opera debut. She swears I’ll love it.  I trust her.

9. I love my stereo.  As in, I love my old-fashioned record player with the big amplifier and the huge speakers.  I know, I know, that makes me a hypocrite seeing as that I use all the latest digital technology in my home studio.  But there’s something about an old vinyl record and the old, analogue amplifiers that is just… warmer.  More real, somehow.  So when I want to indulge in listening to music, that’s what I use.

10. I hate having my photo taken.  That’s a bit of a handicap when you’re a rock star, right?  But I just don’t like it.  I’m never happy with the result, and I always feel silly posing for the camera.  It feels so artificial, not real, not me.   I do it, of course.  One has to.  But I hate it.

There you go.  Ten things you didn’t know about me.  Which one surprised you most?  It was lovely being here today and actually, this guest post business isn’t so difficult after all.  I hope you enjoy Sophie and my story when you get round to reading it, and thank you again to the lovely Jen for having me here today.  Rock on!

Rock on Dan!  Thanks so much for stopping by Princess with a Pen!  Dan, I have to tell you that I adore you to bits.  Even more so after learning you paint your toe nails!  Seal does that as well!  That puts you right at the top of my rock star list.

You can Find Nicky Wells on Twitter, Facebook, and purchase her book here.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Q&A With M&M Addict and Author, Cindy Roesel

I am truly honored to shine the spotlight today on my dear friend, Chick Lit Central book reviewer, and Emmy winning journalist, author Cindy Roesel.  Cindy and I met virtually when she read my first novel, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out, and reached out to me through Facebook. Little did I know then, she would quickly become not only a member of my closest friends, but also the Hello Kitty Fairy Godmother to my daughter, Gracie.  It is my privilege to welcome Cindy to Princess With a Pen!   

I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to read an advanced copy of, Viewer Discretion Advised, and I remember emailing you; telling you something along the lines of, “I need a TUMS cocktail after reading how manic the newsroom can be!”  Be honest, how many bottles of antacids did you have when you worked in television?

First of all, Miss Jen Tucker, thank you for inviting me and VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED over to visit with you and Princess with a Pen!  I can’t think of a nicer place to spend some time talking about my novel and the whole writing thing than with you my lovely BFF!

You know Jen, the newsroom can be a stressful place.  I enjoyed it because I was an adrenalin junkie at that time of my life.  In news, you’re constantly walking on a high-wire with no net below you, especially when the show is live.  There’s nothing like having the facts whispered into your earpiece and then telling the audience what is happening as it happens.  It’s truly rock ‘n roll!

Since we are friends and you did ask me to be honest, I will be honest.  I never took TUMS or any antacids.  I went to the professionals.  I did take anti-anxiety drugs, which were prescribed for me by Doctors, and I did take them as prescribed, so I didn’t abuse them.

I can only imagine the pressures and stress.  Thank you for being so honest about that, Cindy.  
People might not know that you and my daughter, Gracie, are BFF’s.  Cindy spoils her rotten and is the coolest fairy godmother ever!   If you and Gracie were to spend the day together, what would be on the “fun agenda” for the day?

Well golly, anything Miss Gracie would want to do I would want to do, too!  First thing though, we’d have to go buy up all the Miss Kitty stuff around your town.   Maybe she’d like to get her friends and go do something fun with me and them, or not!  I’m not sure!  Maybe we could hang out and play board games like Candy Land!  It’d be up to her!   I could call Gracie in advance and we could make a plan!

And then you send her back home to me spoiler rotten, right?  Oh my mercy…  It will be a massive undertaking to straighten her out!  Lucky Gracie AND lucky me!  Ha!
People that know anything about you, first and foremost know about your baby dog, Sassy, who is the light of your life.  I love that little lady!  Pet adoption is a cause close to your heart and you are very active in the Miami, Florida community raising awareness.  Tell us about your passion for dogs and animal rights.

One year ago we rescued Sassy, or more accurately, Sassy rescued us.  It was six months after we lost our Shih Tzu, Princess.  Princess had passed away after an eighteen month battle with cancer.  I truly didn’t believe I’d ever experience joy again in my life.  I’d had her for nearly thirteen years.  I’m sure there are people reading this who don’t understand and that’s fine, because there are pet owners who do understand and I’m talking to you.  Princess saw me through so many stages of my life and we did everything to help her.  Princess was/is amazing and now she’s in heaven and we have her little sister, Sassy.  Sassy was two days away from being put down and every time I look in her precious face, I’m just reminded by the joy and love she gives us and everyone she comes in contact with.  My friend, Beth has Earth Angels Rescue and she visits animal shelters.  I went with her once and realized that’s not my strong point.  I’m good at raising money for her cause and love to put my time and energy into it.

I am so glad that you found Sassy, and a purpose to help animals, through loving Princess as you do. 

Do we see glimpses of Cindy in Charley, your main character from Viewer Discretion Advised?

Yes and no.  It’s funny, because the more I answer this question the more I realize Charley is a lot like me, but not completely.  We’re both loyal and back up our staff, which is important, but she makes a decision affecting her relationship which I don’t agree with.  You’ll have to read VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED to understand what I mean, but it is a significant opposing view from what I’d do.
Both of us love plain M&Ms.

I love plain M&M’s too!  I have a “thing” where I have to eat two of the same color, at the same time.  It’s a quirk; what can I say? 
You live in the amazing city Miami, yet have lived in many cities while working in news.  Dish on your most favorite zip code, and not so favorite!

I’ve had the privilege of living all over the country and it’s truly amazing how diverse it is.  I graduated from college in NYC and my first reporting job was in Tyler, Texas.  There were more people at my subway stop than the entire city/town of Tyler.  It was quite a shock, but I learned so much. I really enjoyed the Twin Cities, in fact I still have a house which I rent in St. Paul.  People were so nice, but the weather was so incredibly cold, I wore a full length fur for survival.  I’m sorry if that offends anyone.  It was a gift.  Now I’m in Miami permanently and it seems to be working.  It is a little crazy at times.  There is a running joke that practically any big news story that happens anywhere in the world always has a Miami angle.  I love the weather for the most part, but I also appreciate the opportunity to travel and go other places.

I think you have such an amazing opportunity with Charley Thomas’ character to build a series of books  *Jen crosses fingers for more Oz scenes Is there a sequel in the works?

To sequel or not sequel, that is the question?  I’m working on a sequel, but I’m not really sure … Give me a few more months.  I’m working some storylines, but it’s not completely feeling organic.  I need to commit or move on!  I have some other ideas!  I really LOVE Oz.  I can’t imagine leaving him behind!

You and I are staying up all night and having a slumber party.  What movies are on the docket for us to fall asleep watching, because you know Jen cannot stay up all night.  You know I’m all about the snacks, so don’t leave out any details on those goodies too! 

First of all, I have a couple of questions?  Are we watching chick lit movies?  Or hot guy flicks like Daniel Craig as James Bond, Jason Statham kick butt as The Transporter and Matt Damon is Jason Bourne.  If we’re doing guy films, you’re not sleeping.

My new favorite treat is Skinny Cow chocolate fudge bars only 100-calories, plain M&Ms, Twizzlers, Peach Diet Snapple by the quart and yogurt parfaits filled with lots of fresh fruit. 

Thank you so much for having me over to Princess With a Pen!   I know you get to pick and choose who you want to have promoting their books.  I’m very grateful you let me and VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED stop by.  If anyone has any questions, please stop on Facebook, Twitter or my website.  I’d love to hear from you.  Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Thank you so much for stopping by Cindy! 

Cindy has so graciously offered ONE lucky reader, anywhere in the world, a copy of her novel, Viewer Discretion Advised!  Simply tell us about your ideal slumber party with your best gal pals for a chance to win, and be sure to leave your email address with your comment.

RULES: Only entries including email addresses will be counted.  The winner may chose a KINDLE ebook OR print copy  This contest closes on September 14, 2012 at noon EST.  Prize will be fulfilled by Cindy.  Good luck to all!