How to Photograph a Book Flatlay in Six Steps (Part 1)

Friends! I’m trying something new. And awkward. And it makes me super nervous (hello vulnerability!), to put myself out there in a series of videos like this, but ultimately, I think it’s something a LOT of us want to know and see! So stick with me if you want to learn how to take Social Media Worthy Photographs!

You know that feeling? The one where you’re standing with your phone in one hand and your book in the other, totally at a loss for how to take a decent picture of it? You know you need to. You need a decent photograph to post to social media with your review/book launch/etc. And you want to make it look pretty. But you just don’t know where to begin?
You are NOT alone!

You may or may not know that in my previous life (well, let’s be honest, it’s still my current life, too!) I was a professional photographer. I received my BFA in photography. Owned my own portrait studio. Photographed food for a This Not That diet book. And worked for companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon, and Animal Fair Magazine.

I want to share what I know with you. If you’re a reader, blogger, or author who is craving to know how to take better flatlays (or how to photograph them at all!), then this 3-Part Video Series on How to Photograph A Book Flatlay in Six Simple Steps is for YOU.

I’m here to tell you how! With my Six Simple Steps to Photograph a Book Flatlay, you’ll get that nudge in the right direction and learn how to style and photograph your books for social media.

Here’s Part One: Styling! And join me next week for Part Two: Photography Fundamentals.
And I’ll be doing a Q&A on my Facebook page, so pop over there to follow the fun and chime in with questions of your own!

Interview with the Wonderful Cake-Loving Daisy Prescott

I’m not sure if you all know of the amazing, talented, lovely Daisy Prescott Author, but she is FABULOUS. And if you don’t know her, you should! To help you get familiar with her, she graciously agreed to stop in today and answer some questions!

Hey Daisy! Thanks for popping in today, especially with the craziness of a new release! I’ve just got a few questions for ya…
Thanks for having me stop by, Katana! Releases are always crazy, aren’t they? I’m happy to take a break from the madness and chat with you.

We all love a good, ugly sob fest. What was the first book that made you cry?
Where the Red Fern Grows. We read it as a class in fourth grade and I remember sobbing my eyes out at the end. I’ll never get over Big Dan and Little Ann. Still scarred.

UM, that’s a fantastic answer. I too am stilled scarred from that dang book! (I blame Mr. Weaver from 5th grade!) So, next question. When you write, do you sit at a desk? A comfy chair? Or do you go out to a coffee shop?
It’s weird, but I can’t write while sitting at a desk. Reminds me too much of being at a job.
Most days I sit on the couch in the living room or if I’m stuck, in a comfy chair by the windows in our dining room. Maybe once a week I go to a local cafe to write, especially if I’m on deadline and can’t be trusted with WiFi access.

Okay, it’s official. We are writing spirit animals because I cannot write at a desk either! So, Wild for You is the third book in your Love with Altitude series and features rodeo-star, Justin Garrison and city girl, Zoe Saragossa. Have your ever been to a rodeo? (Or a honky-Tonk and ridden a mechanical bull?)
I’ve never ridden a mechanical bull. I think I’d last 1.2 seconds! I have been to a rodeo. My husband and I went to rodeo in Spokane when we were dating. I’d love to go to the Snowmass Rodeo someday after using it as inspiration for Wild for You.

Last question! If you could only eat one type of food the rest of your life, what would it be?
My first answer would be cake. Channeling cake lover Zoe, there are so many types of cake it would never get boring. Although, I’m not sure if living on cake would be the healthiest lifestyle choice. If we’re talking a broader type of food, Mexican. I grew up eating Mexican food in San Diego multiple times a week and could happily eat it forever.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE CAKE!?? I have an obsession with wedding cake specifically (the flavor of love and happily ever after, I think!)

Thank you again for stopping in and taking time out of your busy schedule! For anyone interested in checking out Daisy’s incredibly awesome book, Wild for You (a standalone cowboy romance and book 3 in her Love with Altitude series), you can get it here on Amazon:

Other books in the series:
Next to You (Book 1):
Crazy Over You (Book 2):

Clinging to those last days of Summer…

I don’t know about you, but even though I LOVE Autumn, I am clinging to these last days of summer (even if they’ve been rainy and chilly). Usually by this time of year, I’m ready for the change of leaves. Sweater weather. Maple lattes. But this year? It just didn’t feel long enough. So, tonight after work, I am whipping up my favorite summer cocktail, this Strawberry Pineapple Punch, and sitting out on my porch as the sun sets.

Anyone feel like joining me???

Strawberry Pineapple Punch
(This recipe makes a WHOLE bunch. Like… for a party!)


  • 4 cups pineapple juice, chilled
  • 1/2 cup white rum (or coconut rum)
  • 1 bottle (750mL) Prosecco, chilled
  • Frozen pineapple (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup frozen, pureed strawberries


~Puree 1 cup of diced strawberries into the chilled pineapple juice
~Run through a strainer to remove most of the seeds
~ Pour pineapple juice, rum, and prosecco into a pitcher
~ Add frozen pineapple to keep it chilled. Serve the same day it’s made.
~Garnish with strawberry and pineapple slices

What Makes A Man Sexy Blog Tour

☆  ☆ ★The .99 PENNIES What Makes A Man Sexy Blog Tour & Giveaway!★ ☆ ☆ 
It may be a look. A smile. A whole lotta taut, drool-worthy abs. A sexy vibe that fills a boardroom or bedroom whenever he steps inside it. What makes a man sexy? Well, in celebration of the huge .99 cent sale happening over at St. Martin’s Press (Omg, so many hot bad boys!), myself along with Michele Mannon, Michele de Winton, and Violetta Rand are blog hopping around and talking about What Makes a Man Sexy! In my opinion, it’s a smile that won’t quit. Dimples that you could hide loose change in. And a sense of humor that will have you laughing together for the rest of your lives. Add to that, piercing blue eyes, curly dark hair, and an ass you can sink your teeth into (not literally… okay, maybe literally) and you’ve got Patrick Flanagan.
AND you can read more about Patrick in Outlaw (#2 of the Harrison Street Crew) for only .99 CENTS for a limited time Here, here, and here!

Patrick Flanagan lives outside the law. The cops don’t like him. The law doesn’t trust him. He may come at you with a charm and a handsome smile, but make no mistake—he’s as reckless and bad as they come. But when a total bombshell with stilettos and a power suit comes blazing into his life, this bad boy is about to be so, so good…

Ambitious lawyer Michelle Chiccarini vowed like hell she is going to do her best to prosecute as many criminals as she could. Even if that means trying to put away Patrick Flanagan, a man who can make her pulse quicken and fill her head with dirty, wicked thoughts just by looking at him. She’s got to put him behind bars. But how can she do that, when she can’t even resist his touch?

Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. Meet the other hot, sexy men of the Harrison Crew in Ex-Con and Enforcer (#3)!

Enter to win one of THREE Amazon Giftcards (1 $10 Giftcard and 2 $5 giftcards) by going starting over on my Facebook Page and liking and commenting on each four posts of the blog tour! 
Next up…

National Dog Day

As my fellow dog lovers know, this past weekend was National Dog Day! And to celebrate, I wasn’t on social media at all… I was out with my dogs. We got up early and took the beasts for a small hike. Granted, Bebop, our chihuahua usually tires out around the 3 mile mark and Sean had to carry her in his backpack the rest of the way (true story!). She’s getting older, but if I let myself focus on that, I’ll get entirely too sad. For now, she’s still playful and active and we will continue hiking/carrying her until the day she doesn’t show excitement to hop in the car!

What did you all do with your dogs this weekend?

And finally, I just wanted to post a few photos of our dogs when they were just babies… look at their little faces!

Yvonne’s Morning Watermelon Matcha Shake

Yvonne’s Morning Matcha Shake

Hey everyone! And happy National Watermelon Day! To celebrate, I have Yvonne (whose Happily Ever After you can find in my book HEALING YOU) here on my blog and she’s sharing her morning watermelon matcha shake. It’s one of my personal favorites!


From Yvonne:

I hate to admit this to everyone… but I’m actually very lazy in the kitchen. When I set my mind to it, I can be a pretty good cook. But I’m just so busy—with running the Maple Grove Animal Shelter, I barely have time to feed all the dogs and cats, let alone remember to cook something for myself! And let’s face it—for the longest time, it was hard to convince myself to cook a whole meal for just one person. But now that Steve and I are engaged, I’m enjoying our time in the kitchen more and more!

This recipe was one of my favorites from my single days and it still is! It’s quick to make (I usually prep the ingredients for it on Sunday for the whole whole week and I have this shake every morning before I go for my run. The prep is pretty simple as well. You just cut up the fruit and portion them into sandwich bags into the freezer. Then, just grab the ingredients and toss them in the blender!). When I have this for breakfast, I find myself able to focus for longer! Something about the matcha and chia seeds. It’s a superfood!

Hope you like it!


1 large banana, frozen
1 1/4 cups watermelon, frozen
1/2 cup almond milk

½ cup of greek yogurt
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
1/2 – 1 tsp matcha powder*

*the matcha is actually optional, even though I love it. The watermelon-almond-banana shake on its own is quite fantastic.

This is a thick blend so you maybe have to add a few more splashes of almond milk to keep things moving!

3 Tips to Make the BEST Pina Colada EVER!

Do you like Pina Coladas???? And getting songs stuck in your head???

It’s July. Officially beach weather. And nothing completes a beach day more than a pina colada in hand! Yes, of course you can buy the pre-made mixes and blend them at home but the fresh made stuff is SOOOO much better and honestly, not that hard!

I use this recipe from the Food Network along with just a couple of tips I’ve learned along the way to make it even better!


Happy National Wine Day!… (and a Giveaway!)

Happy National Wine Day!
Or as I like to call it… Thursday! 😉
















To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway of Helen McGinn’s book, A Very Nice Glass of Wine: A Guided Journal and a box of wine wipes!

I found Helen’s book when I was shopping at TJMax and I knew it was the perfect giveaway for my wine-loving readers out there! I mean… seriously, raise your hand if you read with a glass of wine at night… *raises hand*
Anyway, I ALSO found this box of wine wipes! After you’re done with your wine, you can slip into the bathroom and wipe your teeth to prevent stains! I’m in love with these! Of course, if I’m home, I can just brush my teeth, but out and about? They’re perfect for just tossing into my purse on the go!

For details on how to win a copy of A Very Nice Glass of Wine and a box of Wine Wipes, pop on over to my Facebook page! You’ll have to be a fan of my page and while there, LIKE & COMMENT on the post on my Facebook page and tell me what your favorite wine is and what you’re currently reading!
Bonus Entries: SHARE this post and TAG a wine loving friend on Facebook!

Open internationally until May 29, 2017.


ARCs Available for ENFORCER!

Anyone want an ARC of Enforcer (Harrison Street Crew #3)???





It is my FAVORITE in the series so far and I cannot wait for you all to read it!

You can either sign up for the blog tour blitz (link below) OR if you prefer to send me your netgalley email, St. Martin’s will send you the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Thanks guys!

Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. They take what they want. And what they want is you.

Ryan Gallagher is the one who does the dirty work. The brute force in the Harrison Street Crew, he lives to have the club all for his own one day. But the one thing he can’t have is Megan Mahoney—the one woman he’s loved since she was a teenager who needed saving.

Megan never forgot the all-consuming passion she felt for Ryan, her larger-than-life, wild teenage love. But coming from a hard, shocking past has left her broken and scared—and untrusting of the Harrison Street Crew. Ten years later, she’s back in Ryan’s world to claim a promise he made to her years ago. And even though she knows she shouldn’t fall for him, Ryan still has an explosive, sensual pull on her that she can’t ignore.

Ryan’s powerful love for Megan is the only thing that could ever soothe the tempestuous beast that roars in his soul. And when she comes back to him to aid her in a dangerous quest—a deadly revenge plot he swore he would be a part of years ago—Ryan can’t say no. He lives to protect this woman. He will die loving this woman. And as the stakes get higher, the love that they have kept hidden all these years explodes and goes further and deeper than either of them expected. But with a dark threat from Megan’s past thrust headlong into their lives, can their love win out?

Sweet Pea Hummus

Hey bookworms!!

I just turned in my latest Harrison Street Crew book to my editor and PHEW. Has it been a crazy couple of weeks! With moving to the new house (we’re STILL unpacking, y’all) and my deadline (did you see Simcoe’s note? hehe) along with our sad little trip to London that was canceled AND Sean signing at Free Comic Book Day… it’s just been a whirlwind. And I am exhausted. Amidst all this craziness, I always have a hard time eating healthy and finding the time to cook.

While on deadline, I made this sweet pea hummus which I swear I lived off of for a good couple of days! I ate it with fresh cut veggies–carrots and peppers for lunch. I used it as a side dish on my chicken for dinner. And I even spread some on my sandwiches for lunch.

It’s healthy, simple, and EASY to make! So, naturally, dear readers, I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy!








  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (spearmint)
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (optional; I left this out because I was trying to limit my dairy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes (for spice, to taste)

    1) Sauté onions and garlic: (Do I really need to describe this? If you don’t know how to saute onions and garlic, I recommend you go check out Youtube real quick 😉  Anyway, add the chopped onion and sauté until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

    2) Add peas and water, boil: (Again, pretty sure y’all know how to boil peas, but just in case!…) Add the peas and the water, cover and bring to a boil. Let this cook 5 minutes.

    3) Drain the Peas, Garlic, and Onions: I’m really not explaining this one.

    4) Purée in food processor: Put the peas and onions into the bowl of a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients. Pulse until you have a rough purée. Serve chilled.