Thursday, July 02, 2015

Writers--share your thoughts at The Bernie Blog

I've taken on yet another position--I'm now the editor at The Bernie Blog. Check it out here:

We now have a "How to Submit" page. Please read it and consider sending us a piece. Here's the submissions link:

Thank you. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

To all the Canadians--I hope you had a good Canada Day yesterday. To all the Americans--have a great Fourth of July holiday weekend! To everyone--be safe and enjoy your summer (or winter)!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Good Ol' Boys & Days of Summer--My Sexy Saturday excerpt

Welcome to this week’s My Sexy Saturday blog hop. The theme is "A Good Ole Sexy Time" and it's about…well…normal people. You know, the boys next door, the good ole boys, the boys of summer and everything in between. There is nothing more sexy than a man at the beach or getting done with his chores or doing his best at any task. 

Just because a guy seems "normal" doesn't mean he can't in reality be an extremely wealthy businessman who's considered the ultimate catch according to all the celebrity magazines. When Ronnie (short for Veronica) meets Dave Darden for the first time, she doesn't realize that he's actually the owner of a chain of discount stores. He doesn't come across as a man in a suit who's afraid of getting his hands dirty. Oh, no, he's the exact opposite! And here she thought moving away from the big city to open her own arts-and-crafts shop in the Ozark country was going to keep her away from wealthy, handsome men...

Country Boy, City Girl

Veronica "Ronnie" Hawthorn has found peace at last in the Missouri Ozarks town of Green Springs, excited at the prospect of running her own arts-and-crafts store in an old farm house. But when city girl Ronnie "falls" into her handsome neighbor's arms, she is surprised to discover that country boy Dave Darden is one of the most eligible bachelors in America.

"Readers will not be disappointed...You will be rewarded with a down home love story that will long be remembered."--Bridges Magazine

An excerpt from Country Boy, City Girl...
It feels good to be up to my elbows in mud again.

Ronnie sighed. Self-imposed pressure faded away as the rhythmic thump, thump, thump of the clay hitting the table surface over and over again lulled her into a blissful state of relaxation. The overwhelming strain she had endured these last ten months was forgotten as she vigorously kneaded the firm white clay in her small, yet capable, hands.

"Small hands, big heart," her mother had told her time and time again. Mama's heart had been big, too, but not strong enough to survive her last heart attack. How Ronnie wished Mama could have live long enough to see Natalie born.

Now was not a time for regrets. The stiffness in Ronnie's shoulders, the small pain at the base of her neck which usually signaled a tension headache coming on, simply vanished as she and the clay became one. A woman alone starting a new business venture, Ronnie felt every bit as malleable as her chosen medium.

Her full, rosy lips came together in a hum as she worked the clay ball over and over until the last of the air pockets were worked out. She rolled it over one last time, then unceremoniously plopped it onto the center of the wheel. She adjusted her work apron and sat down on the low stool, tucking a few stray blue-black hairs behind her ears before wetting her fingers in the jar of slip. A moan of pleasure sprang forth from deep within her as she sank her thumbs into the clay's cool center, gently nudging and pulling it to form the sides of the bowl.

Today was the first day of her new business and she wanted to always remember it as a happy one. The pitch of her humming soon matched the whine of the electric potter's wheel, tuning out troubling doubts and painful memories. The dusty, earthen aroma of the clay transported her thoughts back in time. She could almost pretend she was still in art school, long before she met Jim, fell in love, got married, had Natalie and buried her desire to become an artisan under a "soccer mom" facade. The Green Springs Arts and Crafts Gallery opened a new chapter in life for both her and Nat. Ronnie made a silent vow--this story would have a happy ending.

The haunted-house creaking of the back screen door instantly alerted her to another's presence. A little girl's giggle gave her would-be assailant away.

She grinned. Silly, Nat! She's sneaking up on Mommy to play "Guess who?" It was nothing short of miraculous. In the few short days since they had moved from the city to Green Springs, Natalie had left the sadness of her father's recent death behind and rediscovered her childhood. Ronnie couldn't wait to spring a surprise of her own on her playful six year old daughter.

Ronnie bent further over her work, pretending not to hear Natalie's approaching footsteps as they were heralded by the squeak of the old farmhouse's pine floorboards. Squeak, squeak, squeak. . . She stifled a laugh and kept her eyes focused on the clay, her reflexes readied for her own response. She sprang into action the instant a tickle of warm breath brushed against the back of her neck.

"Got ya!" Ronnie cried, spinning around on her stool, grabbing her attacker by the collar and planting the biggest, wettest, sloppiest kiss she could manage.


A jolt of electricity raced from her lips and traveled along the nerve highways of her body, awakening places inside she had believed were dead and buried along with Jim. Her eyes instantly flew open. 

Surprise! These lips didn't belong to her daughter!

Stunned, Ronnie pushed with all her might against the stranger's wide shoulders but found herself held fast in his powerful embrace. She began to pound against him with her fists but her actions only caused him to crush her womanly curves closer to his muscular chest. His tongue entered her slightly parted portal and enticed an immediate response from within her, frightening in its intensity. Her mind was spinning so fast that she toppled off the stool and landed like a bag of clay into the newcomer's formidable arms.

It seemed an eternity before the stranger lifted his lips from hers, releasing her from his daring grasp. Ronnie melted onto the floor, her power even to protest this despicable interloper's brazen behavior vanquished.

"If this is how you greet all your male customers. . . then I'll lay odds this place turns a profit its first month..."

Country Boy, City Girl is  available from Mojocastle Press, Amazon, ARe and wherever fine ebooks are sold!

Please sign up for my monthly e-newsletter (fill out the form on the right sidebar). This month I'll be giving out links to FREE e-reads and other ideas for summer reads. Enjoy!

Have a great My Sexy Saturday blog hop!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Special Moments That Inspire Love--Read My Sexy Saturday Excerpt

Welcome to another edition of My Sexy Saturday. This week's theme is "My Sexy Love" and is about those special moments that inspire romance. Well, for every couple in the universe there's going to be the one unique special moment that sparked their love for each other, isn't there? Think of all the zillions of possibilities! That's what makes the romance genre so much fun to read and write. ;)

Love wasn't even part of their game plans, so how did single mom Cassie and out-of-work Mike know they were destined for each other? What special moment inspired them to reach out and take a chance on love? Find out in this short excerpt from The Fixer-Uppers.

The Fixer-Uppers

"An exceptional writer with a flair for humor." --Romance Reviews Today

Can a single mom find happiness on a blind date--or at least dinner with a male who can cut up his own food? Cassie and Mike believe they're "in like" not "in love." But when down-on-his-luck Mike is evicted, Cassie takes him into her home. Mike starts fixing everything from window screens to her two boys' broken hearts. Will Cassie let him fix hers?

Excerpt set up: Mike tries to stop Cassie from going on a date with another man. He finds her ironing her dress for the evening and does his best to convince her to stay home--with him.

Cassie felt warm all over. The room seemed to be swaying beneath her feet. She coughed to clear her suddenly dry throat.  “Yeah, it’s a nice robe.” The room began to spin as she breathed in deeply the masculine scent of him. “I don’t wear it around much since it has the tendency to slide off me at the most inconvenient times.” 

Mike’s lips lightly brushed against her earlobe. “Show me,” he whispered.

Cassie’s knees turned to liquid. She knew she had to get a grip on herself, turn the conversation around somehow. . . But she couldn’t. A moment later the acrid smell of burning cloth brought her back to reality.  “Mike?”
He nuzzled her earlobe again. “Hmm, yes?”

She opened one eye slowly. “I think we’ve ruined my dress.”

“I’ll get you a new one.” He took the iron from her and yanked the plug from the wall.

“What’ll I wear tonight then?” she moaned.

 He put the iron down and slowly turned her to face him.  “Remember? I like what you’ve got on now.” Pulling her closer, he gently kissed her lips. 

Find out more about Cassie and Mike's special moments in The Fixer-Uppers, available from Devine Destinies Books, Amazon, All Romance eBooks and wherever fine ebooks are sold!
 Have a great My Sexy Saturday blog hop!

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

I Pirated a Book

Sponsored by 50 Shades of Great(ness)

I Pirated a Book

Lyrics by Cindy A. Matthews (Sung to the tune of I Started a Joke by the Bee Gees)

I pirated a book
Which started the author crying
But I didn't see
That the joke was on me, oh no
Downloaded the book
Which started the hackers laughing
Oh, if I'd only seen
That the pirates had me
I looked at my files
Running my hands over my eyes
I fell out of my chair
Hitting the screen from things that I'd seen
‘Til my machine was fried
Which started the hackers laughing
Oh, if I'd only seen
That the pirates had me
I looked at my files
Running my hands over my eyes
And I started to cry
Hitting the screen from things that I'd seen
My device’s totally fried
Which started the authors writing
Oh, if I'd only seen, oh yeah
That the pirates had me, oh no
That the pirates had me, oh…

(Copyright 2015 by Cindy A. Matthews. Please do not re-post without my permission. With apologies to the incomparable Robin Gibb. Can’t you just hear him singing this in his emotion-filled falsetto?)

Why this filk of a classic Bee Gees’ song? The idea came to me one evening after a fellow author shared a link to a book pirate site where thousands of books (ebooks and print)  were being pirated. Guess what? Every single title that I had ever published (fiction, non-fiction, and children’s) was being pirated there. From my dwindling sales, I never realized how popular I was!

If you don’t know what “pirating books” (or ebooks, films, songs, etc.) means, it means that someone or some group of persons has stolen the electronic files of my books and were posting them without my permission or my publishers’ permission. Stolen books given away for free don’t make the author any royalties. This means the writer/publisher isn’t getting paid for the stolen copies. This is lost revenue that the government never gets to tax.

And before you make the argument that libraries “give away free ebooks all the time,” remember that libraries pay for their ebook copies. The library has purchased the rights to have the ebook on their electronic shelves for check out for certain number of downloads, and then they have to repurchase the ebook—like a worn out print book would need to be replaced. You can see that pirate web sites and libraries aren’t the same thing.

 To put it bluntly, pirate web sites aren’t legal and pirating books is outright theft. You wouldn’t walk into a Wal-Mart, Penney’s or a Target store and start jamming things into your coat pockets and walk out without paying for these items, would you? That sort of activity is called shoplifting, and when they catch you doing it they arrest you. The same goes with ebooks…They should be bought and paid for via legal channels, not stolen or pirated and given away without the expressed permission of the authors/publishers. (If you don’t get caught with the pirated materials, they can’t prosecute you, right? Read on and find out how you'll be punished. It’s worse.)

So, what does ebook piracy mean to me as an author? It means that people feel they can steal from me and other authors with impunity. Pirated books aren't counted as sales by my publishers, so I don't get paid for these lost copies. Authors are being robbed every minute of every day, and it's almost impossible to stop. Once you tell the pirate site to stop listing your books illegally and to remove them immediately, two more will pop up in its place and do the same. It's never ending. The only way it will stop is if readers will voluntarily stop pirating books and sharing pirated books.

Now you know why I don't write more books—I can’t afford to do so. I have to work several jobs to keep the heat on in the winter and food in the pantry. I hope you realize how hard things like this hit home to a struggling author. My books are obviously good enough to steal, but you don't want to support me in my career, huh? How would you feel if you were a carpenter or a hair stylist or painter and people came to you and wanted free products and services? You'd be upset. You wouldn't be able to support your family if people expected free things from you constantly and refused to pay you for your time. It’s no joke when people rob you, is it? 

Same here. 

Think before you pirate. Support your favorite authors—and your starving friends who are authors. Buy our books! I promise it will be worth your while. How so?

Recall what I mentioned earlier about shoplifting and punishment… When you think about it, you pay on average a couple of dollars (usually less than ten bucks) for an ebook file purchased from a legitimate web site, right? If you think that’s too expensive, think about all the wonderful viruses/trojans/and phishing scams that will be downloaded directly to your computer or computing device whenever you download an ebook from a pirate web site. 

Yes, you can receive a lot more than just a “free” stolen ebook installed onto your device! For example, the pirate site where I found my books listed recently was riddled with malicious viruses according to several knowledgeable sources. It was riddled with things that can hack into your computer and steal personal information such as your credit card numbers, address, social security numbers… Identity theft, anyone?

Pirated ebook files are far from clean or safe, and your computing device will pay the ultimately penalty when it seizes up and fries as my song says. It’s only a matter of time. “There’s no honor among thieves,” as the old saying goes. Every pirated download is like engaging in unprotected sex with a stranger, and the next virus could prove deadly. How much money will it cost you to fix your virus-riddled computing device? Hundreds of dollars or more, and in the end, you might simply have to throw it out and replace it. Talk about expensive!

And all because you wanted to steal a two dollar book instead of purchasing it through a legitimate site… The joke is on you, and the malware hackers are laughing their butts off all the way back to China, Russia, North Korea or wherever their thieves’ den may be located. You fell for their bait!

Feeling smart now?

Remember: Friends don’t let friends download or share pirated books. Not if they want to remain friends, that is. Don’t let your song become a sad one—resist ebook piracy.

You can legally pirate this book. I'm giving it away FREE.   

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