Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Year Pub-iversary!!

A lot can happen in a year....

Since becoming a mother, I've been hyper-aware of the passing of time. Watching my babies grow into children, developing their unique personalities, senses of humor and ways of looking at the world has been one of my greatest joys in life.

Almost eight years ago, I became a mother...and the passing of time had anything and everything to do with my babies....

But, last year, my world exploded.  I will always be a mother---I will always be aware of how quickly our lives continue to change as my children develop and grow and learn so much more about the world. But, in this past year---I became more than that.

I became an author.

Many of you don't know this about me, but here goes----I wrote a book a lonnnnng time ago.  It was published in 2006 and tanked.  Like really badly.  So badly that I didn't think I'd ever write again.  So badly that I felt there was no way that I was meant to be a writer in any way, shape, or form....But, that all changed in 2012.

In 2012, I discovered Indie authors.  I was inspired, motivated, wrapped up in the characters they had created.  I admired their determination to do this on their own---to get their stories out into the hands of readers.  And the more I learned about the indie community, the more I felt my resolve strengthening....I stopped punishing myself mentally for the lack of success my first book had achieved.  In other words, I put on my big girl panties....logged into my computer.....and found the file originally called "Catching Bouquets and other Grown Up Adventures"----I read through it and I started thinking....a lot.  I thought about my main character (originally named Jane) and the one who got away.  I thought about how I wanted her story to end....and I reflected on how different my own life had turned out than what I'd expected....but that I wouldn't change a thing.  And the theme of the story was born. And a domino effect began, which led to my pressing publish on September 4 for Bouquet Toss.

So much happened since that day. 

I was lucky enough to assist in hosting a book signing for Indie authors---in fact, all of my favorite authors were in the same room.  It was amazing.  And I got to talk to them, celebrate them, learn from them, and enjoy each of their unique personalities.

I was able to meet other readers, bloggers and aspiring writers who have CHANGED MY WORLD.  They've become my best friends, my co-workers, my sounding board, my blessings.

Because of said friends in this new "book world" I felt ready to continue writing...to dive into another story and a few months later, Champagne Toast was published.  By then, the bug had bitten me in a BIG way...

I started working on Picturing Perfect and attended the RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City where this "book world" continued to widen for me---I was able to meet so many more people share this passion. I was able to spend great lengths of time with friends I'd made----friends I wouldn't trade for the world.

In June, I self-published "Picturing Perfect"...and about a month later, was contacted by Montlake Romance---an imprint of Amazon Publishing.  Later this month on September 24, it will be re-released under the Montlake imprint. I'm excited to see where this new development will lead.

And now, because of this past 365 days, I now know that, yes, I'll always be a mother.  I'll always watch the passage of time take place by watching my babies grow up.  But, in addition to that, I now have the confidence to say that I'll always be an author.  I won't be giving up on myself again. I won't let the success (or lack thereof) of one book define me.

I will always be a mother.
I will always be an author.
And I will always be grateful.
And I have you to thank.

NONE of this would have been possible without readers.  You transformed my life this past year, and I can't thank you enough! I'm so excited to see what this next year will bring!!!!

To say thank you, I'm hosting a ONE YEAR PUBIVERSARY GIVEAWAY!!!

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Thank you for reading, entering and for all of your support!!!!! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Picturing Perfect Launch and GIVEAWAY!!

Picturing Perfect is now live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.    To celebrate, I'd like to do a giveaway!! 

Help me spread the word for Picturing Perfect and you could win one of these prizes:
  • $25 gift card to book vendor of your choice (Amazon, B & N, iTunes)
  • A set of signed paperbacks of all three books in the Love of my Life series:  Bouquet Toss, Champagne Toast and Picturing Perfect
How can you win?
  • Share the Amazon and/or B & N sales link for Picturing Perfect
  • Post a review for Picturing Perfect
  • Tweet the giveaway
  • Post the giveaway on Facebook
  • Like my author page on FB
  • Follow me on Twitter.
The giveaway will start Friday, June 14 and run until Friday, June 28th.  Good luck, and thank you for all of your support!!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paleo Baking for Brownie 101

Recently, I made the decision to follow the "Paleo" Diet---which basically means avoiding processed food and ALL grains.  It also means avoiding dairy, but I haven't quite made that transition yet.

As a baker, I have to have baked goods....it's in my DNA.  And thanks to lovely ingredients such as almond flour and coconut oil, there are so many things you can bake and still follow the Paleo lifestyle.

My friend, Kate, sent me this chocolate chip cookie recipe and I couldn't wait to get started.  Thanks, Kate!! 

Ingredients (Listed below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


3 1/4 cups of almond flour (Clark uses Trader Joe's)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda 
3 tablespoons coconut flour  (reduce to 2 tbsp if you're not crazy for coconut)

In large bowl, combine:

2 eggs
1 teaspoonful vanilla
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey, pure maple syrup, or agave nectar (I used honey.)

1 tsp stevia extract powder (Increase to 1/2 cup honey if skipping the stevia)

Combine wet and dry ingredients, then stir in 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks. The darker the more Paleo they are.   I used 85% cacao and it was delicious!!

Spoon on to cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and put into oven.   I used a cookie scoop and then flattened each cookie with my palm.  Recipe makes 24 cookies. Bake 8-10 minutes.  The tops will start to get golden brown.  If they go longer than that the bottoms burn because of the sugar in the honey.  Cool completely.  

They aren't the prettiest cookies you've ever seen, but you'll NEVER miss the wheat and sugar.  They are absolutely delicious.  And the chocolate is so rich, you only need one to satisfy your craving.

Happy Baking!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Cover for Champagne Toast

Champagne Toast has a new cover!!!!!

I have something exciting to share. Lisa Jordan is an incredibly talented photographer who has been gracious enough to take me on as a client. She is also building a cover design business and has remade the cover of Champagne Toast. She shot the pictures with some incredible models who look JUST Like the Kate and Evan in my head. She is incredible!!!! I will hopefully be bringing the new cover to RT Convention which is in just 31 days!!!!

Isn't it stunning???  Lisa is so talented!!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February Giveaway!

I like giving things away...I can't help it.  It's fun to give back to readers...and as a reader myself, I love the opportunity to win books and gift cards because...let's face it....I'm addicted to reading just as much as I love writing!!!

So, what can you win this time around?  I'm giving away four different things:

First, 1 person will win a $25 gift card to either Amazon.com  OR Barnes n Noble.com  
Second, 1 person will win a signed copy of Bouquet Toss
Third, 1 person will win a signed copy of Champagne Toast

And Finally, the prize I'm really excited for....1 person will win an Advanced Reader Copy (or ARC) of Picturing Perfect as soon as it's available.  It will be a digital copy that can be read on an e-reader of your choice and will be sent when I send ARCs to bloggers this spring/early summer.

How can you win?  There are a few ways to get entries.  You can earn the most entries by reviewing my books.  But, you can also earn entries by following me on facebook and twitter, as well as sharing the giveaway on your facebook page.

This contest will run for two weeks, so if you haven' tread the books, there's still plenty of time to read and review.

Happy Reading.  Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

:) Melissa Brown

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Champagne Toast is now available!!!

Champagne Toast is now available on Amazon.com!!  And I am giving away a signed copy of Bouquet Toss and a signed copy of Champagne Toast, as well as one $25 Amazon gift card!!!!

Help spread the word that Champagne Toast is available!  If you read and enjoyed, please write a review on Amazon and Goodreads and you'll get entries in the Rafflecopter!!!

Purchase Champagne Toast

And to celebrate the Champagne Toast blog tour, Bouquet Toss is only 99 cents on Amazon!!!!

Bouquet Toss on Amazon

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dark Chocolate &Toffee Chip Cookies

Today was a day to bake cookies.  It's been a while since I've baked treats with my daughter, so we decided to bake chocolate chip cookies.  To spruce them up, I decided to combine Nestle Original Dark chocolate chips with Heath toffee pieces.  They are delicious!!!

Dark Chocolate & Toffee Chip Cookies:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • approx 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • approx 1 cup toffee pieces
(I'm not exact with my chocolate chips---I sprinkle in a portion of the bag until the cookies look nice and packed with delicious bits of chocolate! )

Preheat oven to 375

Combine ingredients.  I always melt my butter in the microwave before combining--makes it easier for my little one to help with stirring.  Drop by large tablespoon-fulls or use a cookie scoop like I do, it makes it so easy and the cookies come out nice and round most of the time.

Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for 11 minutes.  My oven has a hot spot, so I would put the cookie sheet in for 5 1/2 minutes and then flip the sheet for another 5 1/2  (it's not necessary unless your oven is crazy like mine!)

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.  They will look mushy while hot, but trust me, after they cool for five minutes on cookie sheet and 10 on a wire cooling rack, they will be absolute perfection.