Lose the Salt!

Lose the Salt!



I’ve written in the past about the excess sodium and sugar in the American diet. And I’ve been just as guilty as anyone with over-consuming both. But since last spring, I’ve made a concerted effort to cut back on sugar, and, with the exception of some dark chocolate every now and then, I haven’t missed it. Haven’t missed the crappy sugar-filled junk that’s on our grocery shelves. Have missed the peppermint stick ice cream at Newport Creamery.

So let’s talk about salt. It makes food taste good, and I use it, sparingly, in cooking. Mostly kosher or sea salt. The salt shaker on the table is Nu-Salt, and no one can tell the difference.

Yesterday, my husband and I went out to dinner. It was Monday, a holiday for some (Columbus Day), and I worked, so sure, I deserved it. And I had a message on my phone that Carrabba’s Italian Grill offered a special deal on Mondays – three courses for as little as $12. What a deal! Let’s go, I said.

So, you get an appetizer or a dessert, soup or a salad, and an entrée. We each ordered an appetizer (and shared), each had a side Caesar salad, and each ordered the lasagna. (Hey, it’s just the two of us, and I never make lasagna). I picked up on the “saltiness” right away, and later in the evening, checked the food’s nutrition information online. If only I’d checked it first….

Granted, we ate a lot. I only made it halfway through the lasagna, and didn’t bring it home, because I really didn’t want it. The calories? Too many. The fat grams? Way over the top.

And the sodium? This made me mad. I’d say it raised my blood pressure, but those numbers must have been sky-high after this meal.

4,201 mg of sodium. In that meal. The lasagna alone had 2,484 mg in it – more than the recommended daily allotment for a healthy adult! Look, Carrabba’s isn’t the only restaurant that does this. And the lasagna wasn’t the worst for sodium – it was something called Fettuccine Weesie with Whole-Grain Spaghetti. Of course, you think you’re choosing healthy with the whole-grain spaghetti, right?

If I can cook great-tasting meals without using so much salt, why can’t they? Food for thought.

P.S. Tonight we ate roasted vegetables. At home.

Your Book Blog Tour – Is It Worth It?

Your Book Blog Tour – Is It Worth It?

Masquerade Tours banner

Masquerade Tours banner

I’m in the middle of a blog tour for Best Seller, hosted by Masquerade Tours. First time I ever tried this type of marketing. My take so far?

First, Dee at Masquerade Tours is easy to work with, and very efficient. She provided me with plenty of time to answers bloggers’ interview questions, etc. I chose a 7-day tour with 20 stops. Of those 20 stops, 6 of them are review stops, meaning the blogger posts an honest review of my book. And I chose to include a giveaway ($25 Amazon or B&N gift card) through Rafflecopter. Here’s a list of the stops, in case you missed any of them:

October 6
The Mad Reviewer (Review)
The Book Binder’s Daughter (Review)
Yeah Books! (Interview)

October 7
Dauntless Indies (Top Ten List)

October 8
Wining Wife (Review)
Coffee Talk Writers (Top Ten List)
Dab of Darkness (Interview)

October 9
Laurie Here (Review)
The Great Reads (Guest Post)
Book Snatch (Interview)
Bookingly Yours (Guest Post)

October 10
3 Partners in Shopping (Review)
Room with Books (Interview)
Boom Baby Reviews (Top Ten List)

October 11
Hott Books (Guest Post)
Books Direct (Excerpt)

October 12
Girls That Read (Review)
The Quintessential Bibliophile (Guest Post)

October 13
Deal Sharing Aunt (Interview)
To Read or Not To Read (Promotional Post)


Now, from what I’ve picked up this week, there are very few comments on the blogs. For the blogs that featured a good review of the book, that’s too bad, although I noticed that those reviewers were great about sharing on Facebook and Twitter (and I made a new friend in Melissa (The Book Binder’s Daughter). There was a mediocre review and one that was simply mean-spirited (in my opinion), but I took comfort in the fact that her blog wasn’t well written at all.

So, how much reach is there in these book blogs? Not sure, but I’d love to hear from other authors who have an opinion.

I decided to include a $25 Amazon (or B&N) gift card as part of this tour, and THAT has garnered me a slew of new followers on Facebook (author page likes), Twitter, and Pinterest. Plenty of folks have tweeted out about the book, and I’m very appreciative of that.

Look, we all want “reach.” Sales of Best Seller have been excellent, even before this week, so it’s hard to tell whether the tour has had an impact on sales. But it was worth doing if only for the experience, most of which was very positive.

Review and Giveaway: Best Seller by Martha Reynolds

Review and Giveaway: Best Seller by Martha Reynolds.

Author Stroll

Author Stroll

photo by Bookrhythm

photo by Bookrhythm

Here’s a chance to meet the authors featured in this month’s Kindle giveaway – yes, that includes me. Having won a Kindle from Bookrhythm back in June, I wanted to offer one of my ebooks for the current Kindle giveaway. CLICK HERE to enter the drawing!

So, I’ve answered a few questions…

Q: Who is your favorite character you’ve written?

A:  Probably Bernadette Maguire, the main character in my ‘chocolate’ trilogy.

Q: What book(s) are they in? 

A:  Readers meet a 20-year-old Bernadette in Chocolate for Breakfast, and by the end of the novel, she’s in her early 40s. The sequel, Chocolate Fondue, continues where the first book ended, and in Bittersweet Chocolate, Bernadette is around 50.

Q:  What is the setting of the book(s)?

A:  Chocolate for Breakfast takes place mostly in Fribourg, Switzerland (with trips to Holland and Austria), but also in Providence, Rhode Island.

Q:  List one fun fact about the book?

A:  The tiny attic room where Bernadette lives as a student (in Switzerland) is exactly the same as the room I lived in, while a student in Switzerland. Most of the rest of the book is all made up – yes, it’s a novel :-)


A Time of Transition

A Time of Transition

photo M. Reynolds

photo M. Reynolds

You see the title of this blog, right? Martha Reynolds……writes.
Yeah, only not so much these days.

I was considered prolific after releasing five books in two years. And I agree, it was indeed an accomplishment. I wrote nearly every day, and am proud of the novels I’ve written and published.

A few months ago, I accepted a per diem position at a local agency, and have been working generally two or three days a week. I love it – not only for a little extra income (what? you mean I haven’t hit the bestseller list yet?), but because it gets me out of the house and among people – really nice people. Writing is a solitary experience, sometimes too solitary.

But working outside the house means not writing. Can’t do both, and this work is important. When I arrive back home, I’m usually not able to find the time to write. So, the holiday-themed romantic comedy that I’d hoped to have ready by November may not be ready. And that’s okay. Really. Because if I’ve learned anything over these past two years, it’s that rushing a book to publication always means disaster.

Meanwhile, we pack up summer and welcome autumn. This is my favorite time of year, even with the shorter days. Socks, fleece, the smell of wood fires burning. Soups and stews and nesting. It seems that the days fly past, don’t they? Better make each one count.

Jubilee’s Journey – $100 BookBlast Giveaway

Jubilee’s Journey – $100 BookBlast Giveaway



 When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?


Reviewer Praise:

An uplifting story of hope, love and the kindness of strangers. Rainy Day Ramblings

I was drawn in from the first page and held captive to the end. Jubilee’s Journey makes you believe in the power of the human spirit and the kindness of strangers. The Caffeinated Reviewer

Real both in circumstances and dialogue Jubilee’s Journey is a book that will have you up late to finish. It will make you believe that you can triumph over tragedy. Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

Crosby’s novels touch my heart big time, and Jubilee’s Journey is no exception. Even the Grinch would be hard-pressed to scowl at the Wyattsville Series books. They’ve got tension and suspense in their mysteries, Southern charm and lessons aplenty. Popcorn Reads


Purchase Your Copy

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpts – Popular Highlights:


” His death came as no surprise to anyone. He was one of the countless men forever lost to the mine. They were men loved and mourned by their families, but to the world they were faceless, nameless people, not worthy of mention in the Charleston Times.”


“When Jubilee said she was scared going to a place she didn’t know, I told her not to worry. I said it was a good thing ‘cause we was going to see an aunt we never even knew we had. Then she started smiling. The whole time I was telling her how good everything was gonna be, I was wishing I had someone to tell me the same thing.”


“I guess God looks past what you claim to want and gives you what you need.”


“We can plan ahead until we’re blue in the face, but regardless of what we do events will happen as they will. The truth is we don’t have a bean of say in the matter.”



BetteAuthor Bette Lee Crosby
Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win another fifteen literary awards, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, The Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.

A third book in her Wyattsville Series is scheduled for release in January 2015 and the third book in the Serendipity Series will follow in the Spring of 2015.


Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Google+



BookBlast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/3/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Click on this link (below) to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The End of Summer (and the Summer Authors)

The End of Summer (and the Summer Authors)

Just a quick thank you – to the authors who agreed to be featured on this blog each Sunday for the past couple of months – I’m so grateful to you!

And to everyone who read and commented, and entered the Rafflecopter giveaways – thank you!

For this final drawing, I used Random

to choose a number – each entrant who provided an email address was listed on an Excel spreadsheet, then I entered the total number of entries into Random and let it pick one winner. That winner is….

Joe Greeley. Congratulations, Joe! All you need to do is send me a mailing address so I can send you your Sandisk Sansa Clip mp3 player!


I’ll be back in a few days with my usual ramblings.

Meet Author Nan Reinhardt

Meet Author Nan Reinhardt

Author Nan Reinhardt

Author Nan Reinhardt

For the final installment in my summer series of (some of) My Favorite Authors, say hello to Nan Reinhardt. Nan and I connected after I read her debut novel, Rule Number One. Loved it, love her! Nan writes “grown-up love stories,” proving that we’re never too old for romance. :-)

Hey Nan, welcome to my blog, and thanks for finishing out the summer with this feature! Of course, I have a few questions for you. First off, I’m going to ask you to cast ONCE MORE FROM THE TOP, your featured novel (and the book that you’re giving away at the end of this post):

NB: I’ve always seen Kimberly Williams Paisley in the role of Carrie Halligan. Jeff Bridges, 30 years ago, has always been my Liam Reilly. Yes, I know I’m showing my age, but hey, I’m going to be 61 next month and he’s still a hunk in my opinion. Besides, these books are geared to Baby Boomers–we all know Jeff Bridges is hot, right? Cameron Monaghan would be a good choice for their son, Jack. And I think perhaps Heather Locklear would do a good job as Carrie’s best friend, Julie Miles, who gets her own story in Book 2.












I can see that! Good choices, especially Heather Locklear – she’s perfect for Julie! So, Nan, tell us about the research you do for your novels.

NB: I use the Internet a lot when I research, but I made a trip to the Traverse City area when I wrote Once More from the Top – the setting for Willow Bay. The area around Interlochen Center for the Arts, where Jack goes to school, is one of my favorite parts of the country. Lake Michigan is where my heart is and so setting the stories in an imaginary town on the coast of the big lake. For book 3, I had to contact some experts about sunken treasure and salvage, and the folks I found to consult were helpful and excited to be helping me research.

Speaking of works-in-progress, tell us what’s new with your writing.

NB: I just finished Book 3 in the series and I’m starting Book 4 – another different kind of story about Sarah Everett, whom I introduced in Book 2. Her story is a little bit more intense as she is an abuse survivor. We’ll see where she takes me!


Nan Reinhardt is giving away a copy of Once More from the Top (ebook), the fabulous first book in The Women of Willow Bay series.

Carrie Halligan never regretted the choice she made sixteen years ago to raise her son Jack by herself in Willow Bay, Michigan. A successful photographer by day, at night Carrie satisfies her musical passions by playing piano at a hotel bar, maintaining a balance that works for her and Jack. Walking away from Maestro Liam Reilly without telling him she was pregnant with his child may have been the hardest thing she’d ever done, but it was definitely the right thing.
When Liam shows up in town to perform a benefit concert with the local symphony, however, Carrie’s carefully crafted life spins out of control. After sending Jack to summer camp, she realizes she can’t keep Liam in the dark forever. Telling the truth to the man she once loved more than life itself isn’t near as hard as spending time in his presence and realizing that the years haven’t diminished his power over her heart. Will her lie be too much to get past, or will the spark of passion between them overcome everything?

Don’t forget, everyone who has entered ANY of the Rafflecopter contests for ANY or ALL of the featured authors is eligible to be (randomly) selected for one final prize, which will be announced next week, when this Rafflecopter drawing closes. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Author KC Wilder

Meet Author KC Wilder

Author kc wilder

Author KC Wilder

I really hope you’ve enjoyed meeting some of my favorite authors this summer (there’s one more after this!). No worries, next month it’ll be back to my errant posts :-) Today I’m featuring author KC Wilder, a fellow Rhode Islander and treasured friend.


Hi KC! Welcome to my blog. As you know, I have some pressing questions (!) for you….What do you think has been the most rewarding aspect of writing?

KCW: For me, the most rewarding thing about writing a book is the way it enables me to connect with people. I love when I get email from readers who found something in my stories that they could relate to, or that gave them a laugh or a break from something difficult going on in their life. It makes my day to be able to connect with people on that personal level.

Agree completely. And really, who cares about money? :-) What about writer’s block – have you ever experienced it?

KCW:  I’ve definitely dealt with writer’s block, and the trick that seems to work best is to make my characters move. Putting them into physical motion – having them get in the car and go for a drive, or go outside for a jog – really seems to get my writing moving as well. And if that fails, I get myself moving: I go for a run, get some fresh air, meet a friend for coffee. Sometimes you just have to accept that writing isn’t working right now, and stressing about it isn’t going to help. The best thing you can do is go back to it at another time, refreshed.

You’ve been writing for a while now. What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?

KCW:  I really have only one bit of advice for new and/or aspiring writers, and that’s to keep at it. It’s a practice like anything else. You have to work at it. You have to log the hours and slog away. Read ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell and you’ll understand why. Anyone who’s ever succeeded at anything has done so because they put in the time. If you get lucky and your first novel is accepted by the first agent you send it to, and then is published by the first publisher they send it to, and then it hits the NYT Bestseller list immediately, God bless you. But I think you’ve got better odds of being struck by lightning. Twice. So roll up your sleeves, get working – and don’t let anything stop you.

Absolutely! That book isn’t going to write itself! KC Wilder has graciously offered a digital copy of her sassy and sexy 50 Ways to Leave your Husband. Join in the fun at the Rafflecopter link below and remember, all entries in this series are eligible for the grand prize (at the end of next week’s feature) – good luck!

50 Ways Cover FINAL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Author Tracie Banister

Meet Author Tracie Banister

Author Tracie Banister

Author Tracie Banister

Welcome to week 5 in Some of My Favorite Authors Series! Today I’m ecstatic to introduce Tracie Banister to you. I met Tracie online, through my favorite women’s writing group, and she has been a great friend for the past few years. I hope to meet her in person one day!

Welcome, Tracie! I have some questions for you:


What new(er) authors have you recently discovered? What about them do you like in particular?

TB:   Traci Andrighetti (Limoncello Yellow) and Jennie Marts (Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Body) are two authors I’ve discovered in recent months whose work has really delighted me. They write Chick Lit/Mystery series, and I’m a big fan of that hybrid genre. What both ladies do incredibly well is blend humor and romance with lots of surprises and suspense, and their characters are unique, colorful, and highly entertaining! I look forward to reading more from these talented authors!


How did you start your writing career? (planned, by accident, when, etc.)

TB:   I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school – plays, essays, short stories, etc. Writing just came naturally, and I enjoyed sharing my work with others. I dreamed of one day publishing a novel, but I also had dreams of marrying a prince and starring on a soap opera. None of those dreams seemed very likely to happen, so I did what sensible people do when they grow up and got a real job (administrative work.) I took a stab at writing a Historical Romance in my early twenties just to see if I could do it, but got distracted by real life and never finished it. For the next decade or so, I kept my creative juices flowing by penning a lot of genre fan fiction that was well-received online.

My “Aha!” moment came when I lost my job as a personal assistant after 12 years. My friends and family encouraged me to follow my bliss and devote myself full-time to writing a novel. The thought of chasing a dream was pretty scary, and I honestly didn’t know if I had what it took to not only complete a novel, but submit it to agents and editors. Rather than spend the rest of my life wondering, “What if?” I decided to commit myself 100% to getting my work published. I’m happy to say that despite a lot of ups and downs, it’s been a really rewarding experience and I’m proud of myself for going after what I wanted.


What can you tell us about your current project?

TB:   My next novel is a Chick Lit story about two sisters (identical twins!) who are polar opposites in every possible way (their careers, their personalities, their attitudes toward men.) I can’t say anything more without getting spoilery, but I can promise plenty of comedy, romance, cute guys, and even cuter dogs. I’m planning to release this book some time in the fall, so stay tuned for announcements about the title, cover art, etc.!  (This blogger can’t wait!)


Connect with Tracie here:

Blog: http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/traciebanister

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister


Tracie is offering a gift copy of her fabulous ebook, In Need of Therapy. I loved it, so will you.


Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?


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Books Direct

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A dab of darkness in us all

Wining Wife

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Yeah Books!

Book reviews and promotion

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author & blogger

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Eliza’s interviews are done by email; all answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


Melanie Hooyenga

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"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Cicero


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