MIXING IT UP by Tracie Banister & E-book GIVEAWAY

We’re “mixing it up” today at THOUGHTS on THIS ‘n THAT, with our very good friend and Chick-Lit writer, TRACIE BANISTER!

Tracie and I discovered we both love the Holidays and enjoy hunting down cute Christmas cards. I mean, we really search. We end up sending each other the ones we think are most darling, usually with little dogs in them. Actually, we both love to buy and send cards year-round and believe the art of letter writing is not dead. It’s alive and well.


Back to her writing novels … Tracie has published four, including, MIXING IT UP and she’s hard at work on her new novel. Readers can’t seem to gobble them up fast enough. She’s here to tell us all about her latest book, MIXING IT UP !  It’s absolutely delish!mixingBorn with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster, Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried – not too much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry – bright, gorgeous and he knows how to produce hit television shows. He’s the genius behind several generating buzz and sizzling in the ratings. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Italian chef, Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce,” makes top-chef, Gordon Ramsey seem like a nice guy. He once was Cecily’s boss and she has the PTSD burns to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s ego knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to bash him on the head with a sauté pan. They’re toxic together, but viewers love their bickering and fighting and most of all, it all attracts huge ratings!

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

Readers are just going to have to sit down with a glass of Merlot and find out what’s cooking in and out of the kitchen! It’s all soooo good!




An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the back-burner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. MIXING IT UP is her fourth Chick Lit novel, and in it, Tracie finally gets to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.


We’re lucky to have an e-book copy of her new novel, MIXING IT UP! Just tell us what is the best dish YOU can cook – bake, grill or blend! We’ll announce a winner Monday.


You can connect with Tracie and check out her other novels, BLAME IT ON THE FAME, IN NEED OF THERAPY and TWIN PIQUES on the websites listed:

She’s busy writing novel #5 and we can’t wait until it’s published!

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz http://eepurl.com/by0VAv

Blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/traciebanister

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

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/traciebanister/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5448518.Tracie_Banister


* A TWIST of the KNIFE by Becky Masterman & GIVEAWAY


“We’re all mysteries that can’t be solved.” Former FBI Agent, Brigid Quinn

 In Becky Masterman’s, third Brigid Quinn novel, A TWIST of the KNIFE (Minotaur) the 59-year old former FBI-agent, is supposed to be enjoying her retirement with loving husband Carlo and her pugs out in Tucson, Arizona. She’s spent a whole life based in South Florida trying to save the world, without knowing what it’s like to live in it, and it’s her time to kick back and enjoy a little R&R. But duty calls.

Former partner and BFF, Laura Coleman, who has saved her life a time or two and visa versa, needs help with a case. Just as Brigid learns her 83-year old, dad is in the hospital and her mother needs her. She packs up, sadly leaves Carlo behind and takes a flight to south Florida.

Laura is working to get death row inmate, Marcus Creighton, exonerated. He’s accused of killing his entire family 15-years ago. The bodies of the three children were never found. Laura believes he’s innocent, Brigid not so much, but she’ll do anything that’ll keep her mind off family dysfunctional relationships. The execution date is set and time in winding down.

This was my first Brigid Quinn novel, and I believe it may have helped had I read the first two novels, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING and FEAR THE DARKNESS first. I would have known the characters and landscape. That doesn’t mean you can’t read A TWIST of the KNIFE as a stand alone; it’ll just be a fuller read, if you read the others first. I absolutely LOVE the idea of a mature, feisty, kick-ass heroine. Brigid Quinn is 59, but she’s not ready to be put down. Her body is fit and mind is sharp as an ice pick. While reading, I appreciated how she’s still having problems with her mother. It’s a universal issue for women, we never stop having … stuff with mom, and I say that in love.



BECKY MASTERMAN, who was an acquisitions editor for a press specializing in medical textbooks for forensic examiners and law enforcement, received her M.A. in creative writing from Florida Atlantic University. Her debut thriller, Rage Against the Dying, was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of 2013, the ITV Thriller Award, as well as the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony awards. Becky lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband.

We have one copy of A TWIST of the KNIFE to giveaway. Just tell us who your favorite FBI novel character is.

We’ll announce a winner Monday.

THE CUTAWAY by Christina Kovac & GIVEAWAY


There’s nothing a person loves more than reading a  novel about his or her profession. Well, then again, maybe that’s just me. I worked in television news for over twenty years and I absolutely loved it – couldn’t get enough. I can honestly say I enjoyed going to work everyday, even when I dreaded it. We were all adrenalin junkies and worked best when all hell was breaking loose. But when I finally hit the wall, enough was enough. I left the newsroom running and haven’t looked back!

That’s why I was so excited when I heard about Christina Kovac’s novel, THE CUTAWAY(37INK/ATRIA). I read her bio and the lady has the chops to be writing about what goes on inside a television newsroom. Her novel had me tearing through the pages and so will you.

“Be careful what your eyes take in. What you see becomes a part of you.”

TV news producer, Virginia Knightly receives a “MISSING” notice on her desk about the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney. Even in the middle of the constant barrage of stories coming her way, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head and suspects this missing lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister. Her “news-dar” is on high alert – it just doesn’t add up. The woman has a nearly perfect war-hero husband, prestigious job at a top law firm, but she was last seen getting up from dinner, and leaving her husband alone in a restaurant. What gives?

Sharp, tightly wound, and highly driven, Virginia, or Ginny as her friends call her, dives deep into the underbelly of Washington DC’s, business and political world to investigate what happened to the missing woman. She finds herself caught in a web of corruption that binds the media, police and high-ranking political figures. There comes a point, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Risking her career, possibly her sanity or even her life, Virginia is committed to going where the leads take her.

What I enjoyed most about THE CUTAWAY is the strong, bright character Kovacs creates in Virginia. She’s tough on the job, doesn’t take any crap, but has a soft spot, which makes her human. She also listens to those who work for her and that’s why she’s a true professional and respected. I like the cabal of characters she creates in the newsroom and the cops were ratty like the “The Shield,” except “Detective Hollywood.” Good choice to stay away from “The Wire.” My dad’s retired NYPD. Your dad, Christina?


Christina Kovac is a former broadcast journalist turned novel writer. For seventeen years, she managed newsrooms and produced crime and political stories, beginning her career at Fox Five’s Ten O’clock News, and after that, the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC. Her last nine years in television, she worked at the Washington Bureau of NBC News, which provides news coverage for the Today show, Nightly News, and others

She lives outside of the city with her husband and children. Learn more about Christina.

Thanks to Super PR Guy, David Brown and 37INK/ATRIA, we have one copy of THE CUTAWAY to giveaway. Just tell us what you think of news coverage – television or print. You can be honest. There is no right or wrong answer.

And while Christina’s novel is a dramatic peek inside a television newsroom, there’s always my novel, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED to check out for humor, romance and quirky characters.

Viewer Discretion Advised


** HARLEQUIN ROMANCE opens up it’s heart this SPRING **


SPRING HAS SPRUNG AND ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR! To celebrate the FIRST day of this new season, HARLEQUIN PUBLISHING has come out with several novels that’ll give you chills … in a good way!


Hard Justice  by Lori Foster (pub. date 03.21)

Book #2 in her new explosive series featuring sexy bodyguards.  A sexy MMA (mixed-martial-arts) fighter, gets roped into working as a bodyguard at the elite Body Armor Agency HARD JUSTICE  blends Foster’s passion for MMA, romance and incredible suspense prose.

Justice Wallington knows how to harness his strength and intimidating size—skills he put to good use first in the MMA cage and now as a bodyguard at the Body Armor agency. But no opponent has ever left him feeling as off-balance as his new client, heiress Fallon Wade. Far from a spoiled princess, she’s sweet and intriguingly innocent. It’s a risk-free assignment, until he’s required to fake a relationship with her in order to blend in.

Sheltered from the world after a family tragedy, Fallon longs to experience life—going to bars, dancing, talking to strangers. Not easy with a huge, lethal-looking bodyguard shadowing her every move. Justice seems like her polar opposite, but pretending to be a couple stirs undeniable heat. And when danger strikes again, it’s not just her safety in jeopardy, but a passion that’s real, raw and absolutely against the rules.



After the Dark by Cynthia Eden (pub. date 03.28)

Book #1 in a gripping new series, Killer Instinct.  A disgraced FBI profiler must save her reputation by stopping a sadistic killer she knows too well. Cynthia Eden introduces intense, edgy and undeniably sexy; plenty of twists and heart-thumping moments will keep you on the edge of your seat in AFTER THE DARK.

Former FBI agent, Samantha Dark was one of the most respected profilers in the bureau, an expert on the twisted minds and dark hearts of the most depraved criminals. But when her own former lover turned out to be the serial killer she was hunting, Samantha’s career was destroyed. Blamed for the FBI’s failure on the complex case, Samantha left Washington, DC, for the quiet anonymity of Alabama.

Now an all-too-familiar killer is hunting once again. She can catch the cunning assassin, but that means putting her trust in her former partner, Blake Gamble. Ex-military, Blake is tough, protective, precise. With her entire life on the brink, she knows he wants her back in the FBI – and possibly more.

But someone else wants her, too. A threat is waiting in the dark, a killer who has set his sights on the ultimate trophy victim—Samantha.


No Getting Over A Cowboy by Delores Fossen (pub. date 03.28)

Book #2 in the new WRANGLER’S CREEK series.  The golden cowboy of Wrangler’s Creek returns home to Texas to discover that some old flames never lose their sizzle.

In Delores Fossen’s, NO GETTING OVER A COWBOY, there are plenty of things Garrett Granger hadn’t counted on losing—his child to miscarriage, his wife to another man and the family business thanks to a crooked CFO. He also hadn’t counted on moving back to the family ranch, where he’s met by another surprise—former flame Nicky Marlow, who is renting his grandmother’s old house.

Nicky’s been rebuilding her shattered life since her husband’s death two years ago. But Garrett’s timely arrival in Wrangler’s Creek doesn’t automatically make him the missing piece of the puzzle. Even if he does seem to adore her two-year-old daughter and even if seeing him again stirs up old feelings Nicky would gladly keep buried, forcing her to wonder if moving forward has to mean leaving everything behind.



Thanks to HARLEQUIN and publicist extraordinaire, LISA WRAY, we have one copy of all three novels to giveaway to a lucky winner!

Just tell us what you LOVE the most when you read a HOT romance novel. We’ll announce a winner Friday.




This is one of our favorite times of the week – announcing our winners! We love reading & reviewing books, but we also, love giving novels away to our loyal Thoughts on This ‘n That blog followers. This week…



Linda M. wins Steena Holmes’ new novel, ABBY’S JOURNEY

Lisa M. wins Steena’s previous novel, SAVING ABBY


Joanne M. wins Susan Meissner’s, A BRIDGE ACROSS the OCEAN


Cresta M. wins Amy Engel’s, THE ROANOKE GIRLS.


Suzanne W. wins Susan Sands’ newest novel in “The Alabama series,” FOREVER, ALABAMA


Denise H. wins the second, AGAIN, ALABAMA


Kayleigh W. wins the third book in Susan’s “Alabama Series,” LOVE, ALABAMA

Congratulations to all of our winners. And happy Spring! We have so many chances to win new novels coming up. Be sure to check back right her at Thoughts on This ‘n That.
















We love, love, love announcing our blog winners and giving away new novels! We hope you’ve been a winner – at least once!  There are so many new, exciting books being published by some of our favorite authors and we want YOU to get your hands on them – for FREE! Just keep coming back to our blog, THOUGHTS ON THIS ‘n THAT for your chance to win!


BETH C. wins a copy of Christine Lennon’s, THE DRIFTER




DONNA H. wins a copy of Laura Lippman’s, WILDE LAKE


KELLY M. wins a copy of Christine Nolfi’s, SWEET LAKE

one night

and Marilyn G. wins a copy of Marilyn Brant’s, One Night Love Affair.

Congratulations to all of our winners. Keep coming back for more chances to win!

We have 7 that’s 7 giveaway’s going on RIGHT now!

Have a wonderful weekend!colorful-pencils




SUSAN SANDS, “Sweet Home Alabama Series” & Signed GIVEAWAYS


We’re fortunate to have one the South’s, Sweetest Belles and authors, SUSAN SANDS with us today! Susan’s able to take readers down below the Mason-Dixon Line and hook ’em up with some yummy, delicious romantic comedies!


So, here we are. Some of the future authors of America. It’s March 29th, 2009 and it’s the first time I met Susan Sands (seated in white, on the floor on the left – that’s me, in purple, kind of squatting in the center). We’re her to PITCH ‘n SELL our novels. We’ve come to NYC from all over the USA to pitch our ideas to some of New York’s top publishing editors and agents. Our group did really well. Here’s a few from left to right. Tracy Solheim writes about hot athletes for Berkley – seated next to her is Christy Hayes who writes romantic women’s fiction – behind our one guy Rich, who took care of all of us gals, is Rachel Burke who has written a novel, about working in Rock ‘n Roll, and I’ve written a book about being TV news. The best part about writing is you can do it forever … and for the most part we’re all still in touch, eight years later!

So, Susan’s new novel FOREVER, ALABAMA will be published MONDAY.

BUT LUCKY US: We have autographed copies of all three of Susan’s novels to tell you about and giveaway, including her soon to be published book, FOREVER, ALABAMA. I guess you have a good idea where all the lovin’ in Susan’s novels takes place!


In FOREVER ALABAMA (Tule Publishing), everybody loves local attorney and favorite son, Ben Laroux. Well, at least everybody of the female persuasion. That is until he meets Sabine O’Connor. She despises and makes no secret of her feelings, even when he pours on his famous charm hoping to thank her for helping his family. Ben has never been told no, and if there’s one thing he’s never walked away from, it’s a challenge.

Sabine hopes she’s finally found peace and safety in the small town of Ministry. She’s changed her name to escape her painful past and her shameful family secrets. Ben Laroux is a gorgeous and sexy complication she can’t afford to fall for, and his charms are going to be tough to resist. However, when her past threatens to derail her present and future, Ben might be the only man she can trust.


In LOVE, ALABAMA, Emma Laroux’s a fallen Southern beauty queen whose past is barely whispered about in her small town. But the secrets and lies surrounding her scandal still haunt her, and something about Matthew Pope may hold the answers, if only she could put her finger on it.

Matthew Pope wonders what awful karmic thing he’s done to land him in Podunk, Alabama. But when he sees Emma Laroux again after all this time, he knows he’s still the only one who holds the key to unlocking the truth of her past.

Will a shared moment ten years ago threaten the best thing that’s ever happened to them?



In AGAIN, ALABAMA, Cammie’s dragged back to her small town to help mother recover from surgery, while rescuing the family event planning business. That should be a cinch, huh? Even for a disgraced television chef, right? Wrong.

Among the many secrets Cammie’s family’s been hiding is the fact that their historic home is falling down. Oh, and the guy hired to restore the house, Grey Harrison, is the same high school and college love of Cammie’s life who crushed her heart and dreams ten years ago.

Grey’s a widower now, with a young daughter, and he’s never stopped loving Cammie. When they meet up, you can feel the sizzle in the air – the chemistry is off the charts. Cammie may be saying there’s no chance she’s giving this guy any of her time, but the word “no” isn’t in Grey’s vocabulary. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but that’s just the kind of challenge a master architect and carpenter longs for.

Is it possible for this love to be reignited from the ashes? Will Cammie and Grey find themselves together in Alabama … forever?

FYI: You can get a copy of AGAIN, ALABAMA FREE on AMAZON!




Susan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance? She currently lives in suburban Atlanta surrounded by her husband, three young adult kids and lots of material for her next book.

You can connect with Susan on Facebook, her website http://www.susansands.com or on twitter @SusanNoelSands

Thanks to Susan and Tule Publishing, we have an autographed copy of each of her novels to giveaway. Yes, Maat! That means an autographed copy of FOREVER, LOVE and AGAIN ALABAMA … an autographed copy for three lucky winners.

Just tell us your thoughts of the South. Maybe you’ve been there on a vacation, live or lived there, perhaps, just use your imagination and tell us what you think it’s like. We’ll announce winners Monday to celebrate the publication of Susan’s new novel, FOREVER, ALABAMA!