#3 on The Kindle Top 100 List

His Wife for a While is having another successful run as a FREE Kindle book! Grab a copy before it's too late. There's only 4 hours left until the sale is over.

Davy Jones, Rest In Peace

As a girl, I was infatuated with Davy Jones. He had dreamy eyes, a beautiful voice, a great English accent and he was funny too. A perfect package all rolled up into one young pop star. I bought magazines with his image plastered on the front covers. I pinned up posters of him on my bedroom walls. I watched him on television (he was the only sensible Monkee). And...I bought his records. The world has lost a wonderful person.

It's Margarita Time! Happy Birthday to me!

I'm flying off to sunny Florida for a week of warm and happy relaxation and bliss!

Here's one drink I hope to be enjoying:

Strawberry Margarita

6 ounces tequila
3 ounces triple sec
1 cup frozen strawberries with syrup
4 ounces frozen limeade concentrate

Fill your blender 1/2 full of ice and pulse to crush. Add tequila, triple sec, strawberries (with syrup), and limeade concentrate. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Mmmmmm...I can feel the smile comin' on! And...


How a Big Yellow Truck Changed My Life

Today, I welcome fellow Indie Chick Christine DeMaio-Rice who shares her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. Take it away, Christine...

(for the better)
by Christine DeMaio-Rice

An orange peel grapple is a big machine. Excavator on the bottom. Long arm in the middle. And a metal grapple on the end that looks like a horror movie claw. The base spins. The arm moves up and down. The grapple grabs stuff like SUVs and big piles of metal.

You may come across one while driving, and if you have a little boy in the car, you may have to pull over to watch the thing move cars into a tractor trailer. Otherwise, nothing about this machine will rock your world.

But an orange peel grapple changed my life.

My life was a complete disaster at the time. Though I had a beautiful baby boy and a good husband, I had a job in an industry I swore I would never return to, at a company that wanted nothing more than to suck the blood directly from my heart with a curly straw. This, after I had already sold all the blood in my heart to the film industry, which after a few meetings and screenwriting awards, looked like it might want to take a sip from that straw.

A sip, because as good as things were looking, I saw a long road in front of me. My work was not “commercial enough,” and my manager had made it clear that years would pass before I would be able to convince anyone that this lack of commerciality was a quality that was, well, commercial.

But no. My husband lost his job, and I found work in the fashion industry soon after. What I rapidly discovered was that, though out-of-towners could schedule meetings back-to-back all over town, Angelenos were expected to take a meeting at the last minute, or blithely accept a rescheduling. My boss, on the other hand, had no interest in moving around my personal days, and my sick days dwindled in my first three months on the job. It took only a few months for the meetings to dry up and for me to start writing a Santa Claus script out of desperation.

So, the blood-sucking fashion job with the inflexible hours was right next to a scrap yard, which apparently opened at the crack of dawn because when I got there at seven thirty every morning, the orange peel grapple was already grabbing away. If I had a minute, I watched it go up and down as I clutched my coffee, and I thought, one day I should get a video camera and film this because my son would love it. Really love it.

My son was about eighteen months old and just learning to talk. I missed him while I was at work, adored him when he was awake and with me, and the rest of the time, I found room to resent him for taking me away from writing. He was then, and has remained, a fireball of energy. His teacher alternated between calling him a Jack Russell terrier and a buzz saw. He is also obsessive. Right now, he has a room full of Legos. Before that, it was Thomas the Tank Engine, and before that, it was trucks. Big yellow trucks. He wouldn’t fall asleep unless he gripped a toy truck in each fist. When he received a Tonka loader for Christmas, it was love at first sight. He called it “lolo.”

One morning, with the vision of that big ‘lolo’ that I would later know as an orange peel grapple dancing in my head, I dialed a friend’s number. I’d known this man from Brooklyn, and he’d come to Los Angeles a few years earlier to attend the American Film Institute. Most importantly, he had a camera. When I got his answering machine, instead of asking him for the camera, I said something else entirely, something like, “Hey, wanna produce a kid’s video together? Here’s the pitch. Trucks. Okay, bye.”

That moment may not seem pivotal, but most turning points don’t when they happen. That moment, I took control of my creative life. My friend called me back the minute he got up, and we began the journey toward becoming business owners. We did not pitch the idea around town, and we did not ask permission to bring the work to the public. We put the DVDs on Createspace, and eventually had to hold inventory to meet the demand.

Lolo Productions and the Totally Trucks series have had ups and downs, but the process taught me two things. One, my concepts need to be simple. If I can’t pitch it in five words, it’s not a concept I should develop. My second lesson is that I can be in control of my product and my creative life. If I think something is worthwhile, I can bring it to my customers. Becoming the producer and publisher of my work means I understand now what agents and studio executives meant when they said “commercial.”

Without my son, I never would have taken the life-sucking job. And without that job, there would have been no orange peel grapple. And without that scrapyard, there would have been no Totally Trucks. No eye for the commercial and no control of self-publishing. Who knows what I would have made without all the things that pissed me off for interrupting my work.
~  ~  ~

Buy Dead is the New Black in paperback or for your Kindle

Potato Soup...YUM!

It's winter here on the east coast of the US, and nothing warms a person up like a steamy bowl of delicious soup. Here's a recipe for Potato Soup that will fill your belly and make you smile. Enjoy!

1 pound bacon, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy (be careful not to burn it). Remove bacon from pan, and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.
  2. In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, saute the celery and onion until the vegetable soften. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream. Bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup, and return to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Taking Love in Stride DISCOUNTED

I just saw that Amazon has discounted Taking Love in Stride to 99 cents. Grab a copy for your Kindle before the price goes up to $2.99! I thought I'd better let readers know about this deal. (Please check the price closely before 1-clicking!)

Find this book in the US Kindle Store

This book is also available in these fine stores:

Amazon UK Kindle Store

Barnes & Noble NookBook Store

Smashwords (in various digital formats, including PDF)

Also in PAPERBACK via Amazon

Here are a few reviews:

"Cute romance read." ~Martha E. Schlegel, Amazon reviewer

"This book had me from the provocative cover! I've enjoyed all of Donna Fasano's work and look forward to reading An Accidental Family next. Keep up the great work, Donna!" ~Patricia Roque, Amazon Reviewer

"I loved everything about this book, the story, the excellent writing, it kept me glued to the screen. I loved it." ~Karin Hurt, Amazon reviewer

"Romance novels are not something I usually read, but I was quickly hooked on Taking Love in Stride. Donna Fasano kicks off the book with conflict between two strong characters who feel mutual physical attraction. " ~Holly Weiss, Nook reviewer

Drum Roll, Please...

I want to thank everyone who entered The Valentine Blog Hop! This has been very fun, and I appreciate each and every hopper who stopped by. Without further ado, I'd like to announce the winner. Congratulations go out to...

Teressa Oliver

Teressa has won the $10 Amazon gift certificate and the sterling silver frog earrings. She will also be entered in the drawing for the grand prize described at Book Luvin' Babes. Good luck, Teressa!

Romantic Sayings for Guys ♥

Okay, this post is for all the guys out there who are anxiety ridden over how to sign those perfect Valentine's Day card you bought for the woman in your life. Of course, you could go for easy ~ I love you ~ and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you want to melt her heart, how about something extraordinary?

 ~ ~ ~

Here are a few selections for women who love mushy-gushy:

~ I could search my whole life through and never find another you ~

~ Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, 
but falling in love with you was beyond my control ~

~ Falling in love with you is the easiest thing I've done in my life ~

If you looking for something a little more flirty, try:

~ The spaces between your fingers were made for mine ~

~ If nothing lasts forever...will you be my nothing? ~

~ Loving you is like breathing...I can't possibly stop ~

If none of those work for you, how about:

~ Your love is the sunshine that lights my world ~

~ Any joy, any wish, any dream can be ours...as long as we're together ~

~ You are the most delicious part of my fantasies ~

~ Some people say love makes the world go round, 
I say love is what makes the ride worthwhile ~

Whatever you choose to sign in that perfect card, I'm sure it's going to make that special woman feel loved all the more. And isn't that the whole point of this special day?

  ♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Just Me and James Dean

Today I welcome fellow Indie Author, Cheryl Bradshaw who is sharing her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. All proceeds of the sale of this book are used in the fight against breast cancer.

Just Me and James Dean
by Cheryl Bradshaw

When I was a little girl I used to make up stories at bedtime for my younger sister, Michelle.  The most vivid centered on a boy and a girl who received a piece of gum for Halloween in their trick-or-treat bag, and when they chewed it, they were transported to a magical land where they were granted unlimited wishes.  Even at such a young age, the process of concocting stories was effortless.  My mind revolved like the reel of a movie spinning inside my head.

I spent many hours daydreaming as a child.  Back then everything was as beautiful and white as a freshly painted fence.  I fantasized about the day I would get married, the children I would have, the house I would own, and the life I would live when I was all grown up. 

When I was a teenager, my mind still swirled with girlish hopes and dreams.  I remember lying on my bed in my room staring at a poster on my wall of James Dean.  He was hunkered down on the seat of a motorcycle, and Marilyn Monroe was perched behind him with her arms wrapped around his waist, and her head resting on his shoulder.  I wanted to jump into the poster like the girl in A-Ha’s Take on Me video and ride off into life’s highway, just me and James.  Together, forever.

When I became an adult and moved out on my own to attend college at the tender age of eighteen, I thought I had my whole world figured out.  I’d developed a slight obsession with Agatha Christie and knew mysteries and thrillers were the perfect genre for me as a writer.  All kinds of ideas flowed for the first novel, and I thought I was on my way.  There was just one problem: I never started writing.   


I wasn’t prepared for the events that were about to take place in my life or how they would affect my journey.  Life didn’t turn out to be the dream I thought it would be, and I struggled—a lot, and faced challenges and trials that at times seemed more than I could bear.  My relationships didn’t always work out, and all the babies I hoped to have didn’t come like I’d planned.   There were times when I felt like my life was like a shattered mirror, and I was on my hands and knees desperately searching for all the pieces of myself so I could glue them back together and feel whole again.  During those times I wondered how many other women out there in the world felt the same exact way. 

Time went on and I struggled, but eventually I picked myself back up and I healed.  With a new lease on life and a positive attitude about what I’d overcome, I thought about writing again.  In 2009 I wrote Black Diamond Death, the first novel in my Sloane Monroe series.  Sinnerman followed six months later and now I’m hard at work on the third, I Have a Secret

As I sit here and write this, I’m shocked that I am being so candid.  Normally, I safeguard my feelings.  To say I’m a private person is an understatement, but I feel compelled to get this out.  My message in all of this is to never lose sight of your hopes and dreams.  Never forget who you are, where you came from, and what you are capable of accomplishing in your life.  And if you have a passion, foster it with everything you have inside you.  Let it shine.  Let it breathe.  Let it be. 

When I pondered about the dedication I would use for Sinnerman, my direction was clear and I wrote the following: 

This book is dedicated to anyone who’s ever had a dream. We have but one life, and one opportunity to live it.  Make it last, make it count, and make it the best it can be.  Live your dreams, I know I am.

Today, I’m no longer waiting for James Dean to ride up on his shiny black motorcycle.  I’ve fallen for a different kind of boy now, one who dreams of wide open spaces and a simple life.  One who wants to be a cowboy when he grows up.  Now the poster I see in my visions is one of man hoisting me up on the back of his trusty steed while we ride away together into the Wyoming sunset.

If you asked me ten years ago if this was the life I thought I wanted, my answer might have been no, but if you asked me today I would say I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  My life isn’t perfect, the challenges are still there, and I still have a lot to learn about myself.  But no matter what the future holds for me, I know one thing for sure: I’ll never stop writing.

This is one story from Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To read all of the stories, buy your copy today.

Cheryl’s book’s on Amazon:
To learn more about Cheryl, visit her here:

Valentine's Day Fun

So Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I'm always looking for lively ways to stir up a little mayhem. (I'm married to a logical scientist who doesn't understand the whole 'let's celebrate love' thing, so I'm forced to make my own fun. I ♥ him dearly, but...come on!)

I went hunting for some quirky gifts to give and found these great items:

This Strawberry Lip Lollypop will put a little smile on your man's face.

And who wouldn't love this little guy? I couldn't resist that little heart-shaped nose of his. So cuddly!

Now this is one check anyone would like to receive!
I wouldn't mind keeping this account 'balanced'! How fun is this?

How about sayin' I love you on his toast?

And just for the heck of it: A gift that needs no explanation. If this doesn't get a smile outta him, nothing will. 

And, finally, a gift for women to give their single girlfriends. Yes, they need to celebrate Valentine's Day too! A reversible hand puppet that she can change from prince to frog and back again, depending on her mood.  

I can't wait to celebrate Love Day! How about you? I'd love to hear what mischief and naughty mayhem you have planned! Leave a comment below and...
Have a very happy Valentine's Day!

Return of the Runaway Bride #7 on Top 100 Free List

I pronounce this Free Campaign a SUCCESS!

For the past two days I've offered my book FREE in Amazon's Kindle Store. Nearly 16,000 copies of the book have been downloaded and the book has been sitting at the #7 spot on the Kindle Top 100 Free Books List since early this morning. I want to thank all the readers and authors and bloggers who have helped me get the word out about this free offer. I'd especially like to thank Greg at eReader News Today for posting my free giveaway in his newsletter and on the ENT FaceBook page. (If you own an e-reader and you don't follow this site, shame on you. You're missing some wonderful deals!)

The Free Campaign will run until midnight tonight so if you haven't downloaded your copy, go do it now. Yes! Right now! If you don't have a Kindle, but still want to read the book, no worries. Download a Kindle app for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod, Android, or Blackberry here. The apps are free! (I just love that word!)

Return of the Runaway Bride FREE Feb 8th and 9th

Get it while it's FREE!

For two days - Wednesday and Thursday - February 8th and 9th, the Kindle edition of my book will be available for FREE! I feel like celebrating Valentine's Day early, and what better way to commemorate that cute and cuddly Cupid than by giving away copies of my romance novel?

Please tell ALL of your Kindle-owning friends!

I wish all of you a Valentine's Day filled with love and romance. And if anyone sees my husband, please tell him I'd like a box of gooey, chewy, chocolaty turtles. Thanks! 

Writing From a Flour Sack

Today, I welcome fellow Indie Chick, Dani Amore, who shares her inspiring story from Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women, 25 Personal Stories. Take it away, Dani!

Dani Amore

Fact:  I was born on a bathroom floor.  Literally.  My arrival into this world was followed seconds later by an unceremonious drop onto the cold tile of St. John’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
You see, I was the fifth out of six children.  My mother knew my delivery would be fast, but the nurse at the hospital insisted she go to the bathroom before the doctor arrived.

Later, after the drama and I was pronounced healthy, my mother told the doctor that the nurse should have listened to her, that she had warned the nurse that the baby (me) was going to arrive any second.  That, having already delivered four children, she knew her body pretty well.

The doctor said, “Five kids, huh?  Maybe you should tell your husband to keep it in his pants.”

True story.


Both of my parents were born in Italy.  They emigrated to the U.S. in the 1950s.  My father always said the biggest difference between Italy and America at that time was that you could work your ass off in Italy and have nothing to show for it.  If you worked hard in America, you could eventually become wealthy.  He started a construction company and worked 6 days a week, from dawn to dusk.  Eventually, he was successful.

My mother raised six children. 

She is a strong woman.

Both she and my father share a love of aphorisms.

The one I remember most?  “A well-made flour sack stands on its own.”

It was almost like a mantra with her.

At a key point in my writing life, that phrase came in handy.


So there I am.  I’ve got a full-time job in advertising.  I’m writing about products that suck, working for people I can’t stand, and with two good friends, drinking every night after work.  At a little bar not far from the office.  I’m averaging about five or six drinks a night.  Every weeknight.  More on the weekends.

But on those weekend mornings, I’m writing fiction.  Just short stories that I try to picture in The Paris Review.

Everything gets rejected with remarkable efficiency.

One night, probably half in the bag, I come across THE DAY OF THE JACKAL on television.  The original movie is pretty campy and the remake with Bruce Willis is a pure load of crap.  But the book.  The novel by Frederick Forsyth is one of my all-time favorites. 

The scene on television is the best part of the movie:  It’s where the Jackal is sighting in his rifle.  He paints a little face on a small melon, then blows it apart from 500 yards away.

There’s no epiphany.  I go to bed.  But as I toss and turn, vodka fumes in a cloud around my pillow, I think about the narrative structure of the story.  I’ve read the book several times.  Even have a collector’s edition.  The chase.  The tension.  The violence.

When I wake up the next morning, I make an especially strong pot of coffee.  I push aside my short literary fiction, and start a new story.

It’s about a hitman and a female escort.

Later that day, during some interminable meeting where everyone is throwing out insidious phrases like “let’s get on the same page,” and “think outside the box,” I realized what I was doing.

I was writing to please others, instead of focusing on the kind of stories and books I like.

Crime fiction.  Thrillers.  Suspense.

I had forgotten one of my mother’s cardinal rules.

A well-made flour sack stands on its own.


I know it sounds melodramatic.  But the truth is, everything changed after that night.  I still despised the advertising industry, but I no longer let it bother me so much.  I begged off going to the bar with my friends, instead choosing to work out and then get some writing done in the evenings.

Eventually, I finished several crime novels.  Even landed a big New York literary agent.

But a funny thing happened.  My agent, and publishers, seemed to have endless debates about how to market me.  Should I be a hardboiled crime novelist?  A thriller writer?  A traditional mystery author?

There were suggestions to change this book and change that one.  Then change it back.  Then change it to something else.

But now I had learned.  I was smarter.

I told them thanks, but no thanks.

It was time to stand up and be the writer I wanted to be.

So I became an indie author.

And when my first book became a Top 10 Mystery on Amazon, I knew I had made the right decision.

Never underestimate the power of an Italian mother armed with an aphorism.

Dani’s Books on Amazon:

To learn more about Dani, visit her at http://www.daniamore.com