Craft · Disney Layouts · Scrapbooking · Vacations

Meeting Jack Sparrow at Castaway Cay

Here is one of my favorite pages, and not just because of the Jack Sparrow lookalike standing by me–I mean by me and my husband. At the Heavenly Scrapbook Retreat, they were doing a challenge using a kit a Bo Bunny line. I usually steer clear of challenges as I intimidated by it.

When I went to put a ticket into a prize basket up front, I noticed there was one kit left for the challenge. The kit looked like it was more for Fourth of July pages, and as I was doing Disney Cruise felt it wouldn’t work for me even if I wanted to try. I returned to my table where my table mate –and new friend Cyndie– encouraged me to give it a go. See, I realized the colors of the kit would work with the Jack Sparrow page. Wouldn’t it be cool to use something not pirate for the pages, something a little out of the box. And wasn’t it even more out of the box for me to compete in a challenge. Since I write about scrapbooking and book two of my series (Designed to Death) deals with designs and contests, I should give it a try.

So I did. I am so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone. I’m usually a linear, simple scrapper. But as the challenge was to showcase the product, I arranged and rearranged some of the embellishments and paper on the page until I got just the look I wanted. I also discovered I do like layering on embellishments, I just never gave myself the opportunity to give it a try.

Here it is my challenge page: Running into Jack Sparrow at Castaway CayBorder layering

This last picture is a close up of the border I made. I used Kiwi Lane Design templates (love them) to make the three pieces of the border. Actually one of the “waves” was a discard piece from another layout I made using pieces from the challenge kit. I noticed it fit great on this layout. To create more dimension and some shadows,  I used pop dots to lift the piece of the second and third layer of the borders.

Heroine Interviews · Uncategorized

Heroine Interview: Katie James from the novel To Katie With Love

tokatiewithlove1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? (book blurb)

Banker by day, romance novel addict by night…that’s me. I’d almost rather settle for a fictional boyfriend than risk my heart on a flesh-and-blood man. Besides, the only real guy I’m remotely interested in is my rich, unattainable client, the mysterious Cooper Maxwell.

Looking less like the ultra-conservative man I know and more like a drop-dead sexy character from one of my books, Cooper crashes my 29th birthday party. But one too many drinks lands me in uncharted territory… Cooper’s bedroom!

Drunk on love, I dive headfirst into the relationship only to discover Cooper is keeping secrets… dangerous ones. As if things couldn’t get worse, my meddling mother makes a surprise visit, digging up a whole new set of problems.

Who would have guessed having an assassin for a boyfriend would be the least of my worries?

2. What made you want your story to be told? (theme of your book if there is one)

Well, my story is a cautionary tale of sorts. Books are great until you start living vicariously through them to the point where you’re ignoring everything else. Silvia said I needed to share my story to the world so girls everywhere would realize we have to find balance in all things. And having a hot guy around doesn’t hurt either. 

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

My life was on the brink of imploding before the story even started. I mean, how long can a girl go on living without having a life? Woman cannot survive on fiction (or chocolate) alone, right? That’s not to say we’re defined by men…but we shouldn’t be defined by what we read either. I was hiding behind books to avoid the realities of life. That needed to change. And I guess I needed a nudge…or two.

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

I found strength within myself the minute I stopped worrying what everyone else thought. You can’t live your life by someone else’s rules. You can’t let your mother, or your friends, or even your boyfriend tell you what’s right for you. You have to find your own way…even if you have to be a little sneaky about it.

5. What are strengths and weaknesses?

I’ve discovered I’m a terrible spy. I gave it my all, but being a detective is NOT in the cards for me. However, I have discovered I have a sexy inner-strength I had no idea existed.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

Being a self-rescue princess means I can take care of myself while at the same time acknowledging it’s nice to have someone else take care of me once in a while. I’m not a doormat. I have a backbone and I’m not afraid to use it!

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

You can’t be in a successful relationship until you have faith in yourself. You’ll second guess everything until you find your own inner-strength and trust your instincts. And remember…a good book beats a bad boyfriend, every day of the week.

8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
– Charles M. Schulz –

9.  If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

Hey Katie, by Josh Kelley. That is most definitely the theme song.

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

There is a distinct possibility for more. In fact, I’m sure of it. But giving away too much would spoil the surprise.

11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?

I have no doubt Vicky would like a story all her own, but whether or not she’ll get one is entirely up to her. She is pretty pushy though…so I wouldn’t put it past her.

If you’re interested in reading Katie’s story, you can find the book at the following places:

Book Links:


Barnes & Noble:


If you’d like to know more about the author of To Katie With Love, you can find her at:





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Books · Contests · Heroine Interviews · Writing

SRP Heroine Interview: Nira Larsen from Warrior Prince: Book One in the Drift Lords Series

Welcome to The Self-Rescue Princess! Today I’m chatting with Nira Larsen from the book Warrior Prince: Book One in the Drift Lord Series.

Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

I don’t have much time to talk, so this will have to be brief. The world is on the brink of disaster. I’m on the run from the cops and the FBI, not to mention ugly brutes from another dimension. The Trolleks have invaded our planet and are taking over people’s minds, so be careful. You can’t trust anyone.

I’ve teamed up with the Drift Lords, warriors from space, who’ve come to Earth to beat back the enemy soldiers. As I’m a specialist in Norse mythology, I have to warn you that Ragnarok—the end of times—is coming again. Prophecy calls for the six sons of Thor and the six daughters of Odin to unite and chant an ancient verse. Supposedly, this will repel the invaders, but first we have to find the rune. I’m one of these six women who possess special powers. With so many forces allied against us, it won’t be easy to succeed. We can use your help!

What made you want your story to be told?

I’ve been searching for my true identity ever since I learned I was adopted. But I’m afraid of what I might discover. The old caveat holds true: Be careful what you wish for. I fear there’s darkness in my soul, and I might not like what I find.

What led you to make the changes you did in your life?

I’m going to confess something now, so don’t think ill of me. I killed someone, but it was self-defense. Zohar and I were being attacked. Zohar is leader of the Drift Lords, and we’d fallen into an ambush. I was down, and Zohar had lost his weapon. I grabbed his gun off the ground and shot one of the thugs. I’m finding new strength within myself that I hadn’t known existed, but necessity and survival instincts have brought it out. That’s not the only incident where I’ve used force, either. The next time it happened, I didn’t need a weapon.

In your life, what has empowered you?

Caring for my loved ones is what motivates me. When Grace, my mentor and family friend, was abducted by Trolleks, I vowed to bring her safely home. That’s what led me to join Zohar’s team. And I have to protect my two younger sisters. They rely on me since our mother died.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I can be too solitary in my pursuits and have to learn to put aside my own needs for the benefit of the greater good. In a similar manner, I can be very determined when I want to accomplish something.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess means to you.

You can’t rely on anyone else to accomplish your tasks or save you from trouble. Develop the means to solve your own problems. Having a network of friends and colleagues can help, but the only person you can truly count on is yourself. Being strong means setting goals, moving forward to achieve them, and learning how to seek help when you fumble. In that case, get up and keep going. You’re responsible for your own life. Look at how I had to go after Grace when Zohar begged off, citing his own mission objectives. If it weren’t for me, she’d still be stuck as a slave in a Trollek village. I didn’t wait around for someone else to save her; I did it myself.

What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Get an education, become financially independent, and then look for a relationship if you want one. You should be able to stand on your own two feet to gain self-confidence and to be able to manage life alone.

Favorite quote.

“Knowledge is power.” Even if you have special abilities, if you don’t know how to use them, you cannot wield them effectively.

If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

The theme from the Lord of the Rings films. My story is also a quest to fight evil and has elves, dwarfs, trolls, and other creatures.

Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

Warrior Rogue is coming next. That book is already in the pipeline. The third title in the Drift Lords series is Warrior Lord. I’ll show up in those stories as I continue to search for the other five women in the prophecy and then as we face a greater peril together.

Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?

Paz Hadar is a Drift Lord and communications officer for the team. He has his own story in Warrior Rogue. You’ll learn how he meets his mate and achieves his objectives in this second installment. Now I’d like to ask the audience a question: Do you like spin-off stories in a series?


All commenters during Nancy’s blog tour will be entered into a drawing for a Warrior Prince tee shirt and magnet and a pdf copy of Warrior Prince. Go to for a complete schedule of her tour stops.


Warrior Prince: Book One in the Drift Lords Series by Nancy J. Cohen

When mythologist and Florida resident Nira Larsen accepts a job as tour guide for a mysterious stranger, she’s drawn into a nightmare reality where ancient myths come alive and legendary evils seek to destroy her. To survive, she must awaken her dormant powers, but the only person who can help is the man whose touch inflames her passion.

After a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle cracks open and an ancient enemy invades Earth, Zohar—leader of the galactic warriors known as the Drift Lords—summons his troops. He doesn’t count on a redheaded spitfire getting in his way and capturing his heart. Nira has the power to defeat the enemy and to enslave Zohar’s soul. Can he trust her enough to accomplish his mission, or will she lure him to his doom?

View the Book Trailer:

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Books · Contests · Excerpt · Writing

New Outfit for Your eReader and a new ebook – Giveaway

To celebrate the new book in the New Beginnings Series, I’m doing a giveaway not only for the newest title, Led Astray, but also a new beginning –look–for your eReader with a sleeve handcrafted by Personal Bags by Patricia. Please see the photos below of my Kindle keyboard (Chris1) and Kindle Fire (also known in my house as Dragon) modeling the beautiful sleeve which is made from a lovely romantic fabric of pinks, creams and blues.

Romantic sleeve for ereader:            







My models in action:

Chris1 (I know a very original name)




















And now, a little modeling from Led Astray:

“Now, Pastor, I wouldn’t make such a hasty decision.” Mr. Kline pulled out another card and reached around Riley to place it on the desk. “Talk to the members of your church.”

“I know their feelings on destroying the beauty God created.” Riley picked up the card and started to tear it in half.

Mr. Kline gripped his wrist and squeezed, stopping Riley from completing the tearing motion. “Jobs are scarce in this community. There aren’t many other companies wanting to bring other employment opportunities to this backwoods place.”

Naomi gasped. Riley motioned for her to stay behind him.

“Pastor Coole, is something wrong?” A woman’s soft voice drifted from the doorway.

Riley turned, and his breath caught in his throat. The heart-shaped face of an angel appeared through the slight opening. Lips lined in pink stood out from a smooth complexion. She stepped into the office and a questioning expression filled the sweet, young face as large green eyes focused on him and blinked. Once. Twice.

Thomas Kline’s attention also turned toward the young woman, and the man raked a leer over her body. Riley clenched his fists. The young woman flipped strands of her unnatural colored hair, a hue resembling a brand new rising sunset, over her shoulders. Curls surrounded her neck and cascaded down her back, a cloak of multitude colors.

“Now who do we have here, Pastor.” Kline stepped toward the woman. “You sure do like to have an array of woman about.”

“And you like to ignore the word ‘no.'” The woman strode forward, confident and menacing, the angel persona vanishing.

Kline took one long step forward and stood face-to-face with the spitfire. “What makes any of this your business?”

“From what I know, I was asked to be here, and you weren’t.”

Kline reached for the woman’s arms. “I’m advising you to leave.”

She jerked away. “Or what?”

Riley stepped between them, confusion revving his heart rate and causing his thoughts to swirl. Who was this woman, and why did she show up now? This wasn’t a lost soul who stumbled onto the church and sought directions. This woman intended to be here, meant to wage war with Kline. Why?

How to enter: To enter to win the eReader sleeve and a copy of Led Astray in your preferred ebook format, please leave a comment along with your email. I’m all for readers leaving any comment they’d wish, but the Kindles would like to know with of them looks better, Chris1 or Dragon. The last day for entering will be May 17 and the winner announced May 18.

Books · Contests · Writing

Celebrating Romance Isn’t Just for February


February is usually known as the month for romance but that is no longer the case as The Romance Reviews is celebrating their 1st Anniversary Party this month. All during The Romance Reviews will be having author chats, games and prizes at their Anniversary Party Room. (link provided)

 Over 300 authors, including me, will be participating in this event. In taking a look at the author list, I see that pretty much every sub-genre and heat level of romance is represented. Something for every reader.

If you have time, stop by and register to attend. Week 1 of the event starts today March 1, 12:00 am EST and ends March 7, 11:59pm EST. Winners for Week 1 will be announced on March 8. If you’d like to see a list of the weekly and major monthly prizes offered, please go to the Contest Prize List page. (link provided)