For The Love Of Coffee (and other more important stuff)

When I was a kid, the worst thing that could possibly happen to you, was biting into a nice piece of chocolate only to discover it was coffee flavored.  Mind you, this may be a German thing since I don’t recall this happening to me past the age of ten or so. I’ve switched countries, but I certainly haven’t cut back on my chocolate intake, so I’ll assume the experience is exclusive to the latter. Point being, I thought coffee was about the most vile thing I’d ever tasted.

But, as is often the case with youthful ignorance, I grew out of it.

These days, a good cup of coffee is a one way ticket to my happy place. If I could, I would guzzle it by the gallons (some days…I probably do) but even though the thought of coffee always sounds inviting to me, I’ve learned to practice a little self-control. However, having said that, coffee is an absurd sort of constant in my life.

We joke, we writers, about our love for coffee, but for some it’s really not all that funny.

As much as we would all love to roll out of bed around noon, roam around the house in our robe and pajamas for an hour before settling down at the computer to put in a solid eight hours of quality writing, for most of us, that couldn’t be farther from reality.

We have day jobs. Children. Spouses. Friends and Family…all of which expect us to be present in the ‘REAL’ world for most of the day, the hours regular people deem important. It’s only after the work is done, the children have been put to bed, the Spouses have been sufficiently sedated with prime-time TV, and the friends and family have gone home to do the same, that we can sit down to write. Some nights (okay…pretty much EVERY night), this is well past a time of day that people would consider to be their most productive.

But…We roll with it. And often, we’re night owls anyway…actually, if people wouldn’t insist on our participating in all of that OTHER stuff, these WOULD be our most productive hours of the day. But…alas…we’ve been up already for fourteen plus hours tending to a gazillion other things and needs and our brains are fried. But we need to write. Not because we have deadlines, but because we NEED to write. It’s in us. It MUST come out.


Enter Coffee – a little something I like to call my magic writing potion. Doesn’t matter how loopy I’m feeling at ten o’clock at night. I know once I suck down that over-sized mug of super elixir I’ll be set to go come midnight. And while I may not get in a solid eight hours of writing, I can count on at least two. Maybe four or five if I’m feeling really ballsy (cuz you know this chick has to get up with the dogs and kid come seven a.m.)

And while all of this may seem like a ridiculous topic to some, the underlying message isn’t all that stupid. Because it’s not really about the coffee. It’s about the dream. And what you’re willing to do to make it happen.

I’m willing to drink coffee. A LOT of coffee.

How about you?

Have you had your cup today?




SAVE THE DATE ~ A New Contemporary Romance

Now Available on AMAZON

And also on GOODREADS

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Calista Luvalle has mixed feelings when it comes to love. On the one hand, working in the bridal business means she’s basically dedicating her life to love and the dream of happy ever after. On the other, she’s a jaded, love hating cynic who isn’t about to fall for any of that crap herself.

Except of course, she already did. When she was six.

Emerson Barrett isn’t worried about finding the right woman. After a tumultuous past, he’s happy just dedicating his life to his work. Content in knowing what to expect day in and day out, he’s thrown for a loop when he’s suddenly standing face to face with little Lissy Luvalle again.

Only now she’s not so little anymore…



I was nearly there when I became aware of the thing leading my way. It was the heavenly scent of coffee. My heart sang for joy. Stephanie.
“Good morning, Lover,” I chirped happily as I walked through the large arched doorway.
“Well, good morning to you, too, Beautiful.” Not Stephanie. Definitely not Stephanie.
“Shit. Sorry, I thought you were Steph,” I mumbled as I went back to walking with my eyes closed and my head down until I ran into the back counter housing the coffee maker.
“You call your assistant ‘Lover’?” he smirked. I could barely raise my gaze to look at him. Emerson wasn’t exactly clothed as he stood there barefoot and shirtless, wearing nothing but his very well worn and well fitted jeans that hung from his hips and ass perfectly. Not that I was looking. Oh hell, how could you not look?! Those tight shirts he’d been wearing hadn’t told the half of it. His arms and chest were chiseled perfection. His flawless skin wasn’t hurting the visual either, nor was the lack of the dreaded farmer’s tan which naturally sparked images of him working shirtless on a hot summer day, doing whatever it was that kept his body in a state I would deem worthy of being labeled underwear model-like.
I took a deep breath in and exhaled loudly with no regard to the fact that I was now obviously ogling the man. Then I remembered that he had asked me something.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” I shook my head back and forth a few times trying to jumble up the image of a half-naked Emerson I now had plastered at the forefront of my mind.
“I asked if you always call your assistant ‘Lover’.” His level of amusement was definitely on the rise.
“Oh, yeah. She makes me coffee. Most of the time it’s better than the sex I’ve been having, so ‘Lover’ seems appropriate.”
“Sounds like yet another reason to raise your standard in men,” he said smugly as he lifted his mug to those gorgeous lips.


“You know, Cal isn’t just my boss, she’s also one of my closest friends.” Steph looked like she was still focused on the file at her fingertips, but I was pretty sure we were about to discuss something that had nothing to with Savannah’s wedding. “Cal hasn’t exactly had what you might call a whole lot of success in the relationship department. She’s convinced herself that she doesn’t want one and that marriage is total bull, but look at what the woman does for a living. Obviously, the little girl who believes in fairy tales is still in there somewhere, no matter how hard she’s tried to kill her off.”
I tossed the paper I’d been holding, into my to-do pile and turned my back to the table to get a better look at Steph. “You giving me insider information?”
“Yeah, so listen up. This shit is going to make or break you. Cal is a chickenshit. She’s scared of pretty much everything and because of that, she’s also a total control freak. The two together make for a lethal combo when it comes to dating. Either something happens to make her rock that deer in the headlights look that makes her want to take control and cut the sucker from her life, or the sucker does something to screw up all the ducks she likes to keep so neatly in a row that she gets scared and bails. Either way, she’s fucked. Personally, I blame her father, but then I blame my father, too. We all have our issues.”
What she was saying was making sense. I just didn’t see how exactly it was helpful. “So, you’re saying…what are you saying?”
“I’m saying, learn from the Tyler’s she’s left in her wake. She can’t be held down or chased. So you’re going to have to find some other way to keep her put.”
I frowned. “Any suggestions? Or is pointing out all the reasons it won’t work the extent of your advice?”
“Oh, I never said it wasn’t going to work. If I thought you were just another pot hole in her path, I wouldn’t be wasting my breath, Emerson.” She broke into a smile unexpectedly. “I saw that picture Skeeter has of the two of you. The one where she’s lying on your back reading? That’s the cutest stinking thing I’ve ever seen by the way, but more importantly it speaks volumes for her relationship with you.”
“How’s that?”
Steph shrugged. “Cal hates excessive contact. Super possessive about her personal space. I’m talking, like, I’ve seen her freak out when Tyler pulled her over to sit on his lap because he thought he was being cute or something. I heard about that shit for the next three days. And I was there when it happened, so it’s not like I needed a recount of the event or anything. Anyway, her mom says she’s always been that way. Even as a kid.” She was giving me that look, the one with the raised brows and big eyes, like she had just made her point and was waiting for me to have my ‘A-ha’ moment. Only I was too busy thinking about all the times I’d crashed into Liss’s personal space since she’d shown up in Kentucky a few days ago. I’d inadvertently invaded her body countless times in countless ways, starting with taking her hand to lead the way and ending with her body pressed to mine in the kitchen that morning.
“I don’t think I’m getting the message here, Steph. I’ve been all up in her space ever since she got here.”
“That’s exactly my point. She’s comfortable with you. She trusts you. She shares her space with you.” She picked up the folders she’d been searching through and held them to her chest preparing to leave. “I’m thinking maybe that little girl she’s got locked away deep down inside hasn’t gotten very far with her fairy tale because the whole damn world’s been telling her to look for a prince, when really, all she wants is a cowboy.”


Time to Fall in LOVE with BRADY!!

Add it on Goodreads
I Call Him Brady
A New Contemporary Romance by K.S. Thomas

Born the only son to one of Hollywood’s most prominent power couples, Jack Cole’s life is damn near perfect. With women lining up to be with him, movie parts most seasoned actors would die for and the freedom to live above the rules, Jack’s life is going completely according to plan.
Until Embers…

Embers doesn’t have time to waste on any more dirt-bags. Too busy trying to take care of herself and her daughter to take any more chances on romance, she’s limiting her love life to daydreaming about one hot and sexy, Jack Cole.

Except her surefire way to keep her heart safe goes completely awry when her dream guy and her reality suddenly collide.

A master of recreating the human emotions he’s never allowed himself to feel, Jack must now deal with the consequences of offering his heart to someone who may be too scared to keep it.



 While Jack was downstairs getting himself situated in May’s apartment, she and I were upstairs totally losing our shit.

“Jack Cole is staying in our house!” she squealed as soon as the upstairs door shut behind us.

“I know! And paying us to be here! It’s fucking unreal.”

“That’s because I’m a genius.” May’s ability to sound humble while boasting was nothing if not admirable. It was all in the tone.

“Yeah well, genius, that could have totally backfired. What were the odds he was willingly going to spend five minutes, let alone two weeks, in a place that looks like a giant snowball cake exploded in it?”

May made a noise that sounded like a tire going flat and waved her hand dismissively.

“Oh, please. I saw the way he was looking at you. We could have rented him the space under the overpass and he would have set up camp without questioning it.”

I nearly dropped my keys as I went to hang them on the hook by the door.

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re kidding, right? Jack Cole is totally into you, Embers.”

“Are you fucking with me right now? ‘Cause I honestly can’t tell.” She had to be. There was no way Jack Cole was interested in me. Not when he had hot actresses and super models at his disposal. And this was not a low self-esteem thing. I’m just saying, I didn’t do pretty and primped. I was a single mom who spent her life inside of a food truck. I owned maybe one pair of heels, and I say maybe because I hadn’t actually set eyes on them since 2008 when I wore them to my cousin’s wedding.  My hair was generally styled via wind while driving with the top down and my choice of make-up tended to involve something that went beyond the smoky eye straight into inferno, and then that’s where it came to an abrupt halt. Unless you counted Chapstick as make-up, which I didn’t. You weren’t about to spot the likes of me on the cover of In Style or Cosmopolitan. Like ever.

I was still staring straight at my sister waiting for an answer while she had her eyes directed at the ceiling, twirling the end of her hawk near the nape of her neck between her fingers. A tell-tale sign she was getting annoyed with me.

“It was so obvious, Em. But if you couldn’t see what was happening right before your eyes, I can’t explain it to you. Meanwhile, what did you do to hook him anyway?”

Feeling like a scolded twelve year old who really should have learned by now not to wash her whites with reds, I wandered over to the couch and plopped down beside our cat, Coyote. We had originally named her Lucy when we brought her home from the shelter three years earlier, but had since realized that she suffered from a major identity crisis. Lucy was no cat. She was a coyote. Or at least, she thought she was.

I could hear humming coming from Jessa’s room. A good indication that she and Mermella had started their daily ritual of dressing up for tea.

“I didn’t do anything to hook him. It was more like he got trapped in my presence and I helped set him free.”


May slid down into the recliner across from me. “Care to elaborate?”

“Jessa and I were on the elevator coming up from the parking garage when Jack busted in just as the doors were closing on the middle stop – you know, the one for the rental cars. Anyway, he was on the phone talking about how he caught his girlfriend cheating on him when he came down here to surprise her.”

May was glued to every word like I was revealing the secret of life to her. “Shut up! Who cheats on Jack Cole?! Then what?”

“Then, I reached our floor and I got off. In the meantime, a ton of other people got on with Jack still standing there in the elevator. I don’t think he really knew where he was going. Anyway, I saw this guy about to talk to him and it was just so clear that he wanted to be left alone.”


“Yeah. So, basically, I saved him from being hassled by a horde of fans, hence I gave him his freedom.”

“And how did you do that?”

I shrugged. “I called him Brady.”

May fell back into the cushions, deflated by the ending. “That’s it?”

“Pretty much. I also did a German tourist routine while we were waiting for you at the gate. That was kinda fun.” I had to smile just thinking about it.

“Sorry I missed that. Jack Cole’s German is hysterical.” No doubt she was remembering the same assassin movie I had earlier.

“Yeah, I didn’t let him do any of the talking.”


I could feel the giggles start to rise again and all it took was one look at my sister for them to spill out.

Five minutes later we were still catching our breath.

“So, are you going to sleep with him?”

“He does not want to sleep with me. And even if he did, I’m not looking to be anybody’s rebound. Not even Jack Cole’s.” Even as I said the words I knew I was lying. So did May.

Humiliated, I face planted into the couch cushions, giggling yet again. After a moment I came up for air, tears in my eyes from laughing and beet red cheeks which were a combined result of embarrassment, as well as, lack of oxygen. I sucked in a deep breath and held it, forcing myself to be still. Then my inner twelve year old made yet one more appearance.

“I’d totally make out with him though. I mean it. I would kiss the crap out of the man.”

May shook her head laughing at me. “You’re ridiculous.”

“Maybe. But you still love me.”

“Like a mad woman loves her slippers and whiskey.” And that was really saying something.

Enter to win a signed paperback of I Call Him Brady HERE


Getting Lucky is LIVE

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**Getting Lucky is NOT a stand alone read. It is a quirky, sweet novella meant to compliment the novel Lucky In Love**

Now that Lucky finally has her man, will she get her happily ever after? Or will she let her fears of the past get in the way of the future she’s always wanted?

Now available on Amazon!

Catch Up With Author TONI SINNS


The Blazing Charm Series is about a group of young adults who are not only dealing with getting through their high school drama but also have multiple layers of secrets to hide, along with people to hide from. As the pack connects and grows you learn about how entangled each ones life is with the others. From illegal street races, to blowing up gang cars, all the way to going toe to toe with the mafia this adventure will keep you on your toes. Some calls are just a little to close for comfort. (The final book 4 will be available 2014)

Emotions can run deep in ones soul and poetry can let them surface to
the ears of others. This book is about the deep set emotions, the fears,
thoughts, dreams, and experiences of Toni Sinns. As she walks through
life her view and her life are formed into the collection of these soul
touching poems.

Baby Dragon’s Sound is a young child’s book. It is easy to read and follows the story of how Baby Dragon tries to find its own sound.
(Coming in 2014)

simple world is turned upside down when a car crash takes both of her
parents away and tosses the young girl in the care of her mother’s
sister. Taken out of the comforts of her country life she is expected to
fit into the busy city world of her Aunt. But when she refuses to give
up her country ways she reminds her aunt what it means to be Dixie

(Coming in 2014)

Two more books coming in 2014 are a short story romance titled Fields of Summer and a Paranormal Romance Adventure titled The Black Rose

The Black Rose – After a 50 year long battle of good verses evil the world is destroyed. And for what? Nobody really knows who won the battle. Jasilyn however is determined to stop the destruction even though she holds secrete agendas for herself on her quest. She however is taken back when a random act of kindness drops Ashton in her lap. Ashton wants to join Jasilyn in her quest and after some time she agrees. But Ashton has his own secrets. Will this adventure destroy them both or does facing deathly situations really bring people closer together? 
Fields of Summer – Daniel has always enjoyed his summers with his grandparents on the farm. And after his father’s death and his mother’s new man in the city he can’t seem to stay long enough. But this could be his last summer out to the farm. However, this summer has decided to give Daniel a whole new adventure by dropping Tiffany in his world. After Tiffany’s brothers mysterious death Tiffany’s family is struggling and Tiffany just needs to get away. So Tiffany comes to stay a time with Daniel’s grandparents on the farm. Can Daniel help Tiffany deal with her brothers lose? And can Tiffany help Daniel get the courage to tell his mother he isn’t coming home? 

About The Author

Toni Sinns was born and raised in Western North Carolina before moving
to Central Florida in 2011 with the love of her life husband and their 2
dogs. She is currently working on multiple novels in multiple genres
and has many plans for much more. When she isn’t busy having
conversations with the characters in her head she is helping others with
her promotions business Turning The Pages or she is lost in one of her
many joys and hobbies which could include: video games, movies, crochet,
cooking, crafts, reading, or something else she finds to toy with. 

Stalk Toni – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Page


Cover Reveal – DRIVE

Drive Front Cover


Jordan Hall’s shift is cut short when she takes yet another risk she shouldn’t have. Not only does it lead to a suspension, but her partner of four years decides it’s time to move on and team up with another paramedic who’s less keen on breaking all the rules. Then, when Jordan’s ambulance is high-jacked with her still in it, things quickly go from bad to even worse.

Sawyer Lazzaro, the mysterious stranger who kidnaps Jordan at gun point, is an absolute enigma. In spite of the fact that her life is in danger from the moment they meet, Jordan can’t help but be drawn to him and soon finds that beneath the dangerous exterior lies her own personal safe haven.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Jordan jumps into the driver’s seat as the two make a run for it, evading enemies on both sides of the law and searching for the road that will get them out alive.

The Fantastic Blog Hop ~ Karen H. Vaughan

Day six on The Fantastic Blog Hop is no laughing matter (Or maybe it is!) Join us for a chat with Comedic Author Karen H. Vaughan ~


Where do your ideas come from?

Mostly inside my head daring me to write them or ideas from friends

1073283_10151707685041668_1316799290_oWhat is your favorite line from one of your books?

From my w.i.p. DEAD MEN DON’T SWING –Laura: Stella, I know you consider yourself a smart woman but right now you are down to two brain cells and they are limping.

Do you have any favorite characters?

Laura Hamilton-Fitz and Dave Meecham from DAYTONA DEAD

What character from any of your books would you invite out to dinner? Why?

I would like to sit down with Shelley from DEAD COMIC STANDING. She is funny and talented and smart to boot

What are your hopes and dreams for your future in the writing world?

Entertain people with my work and make a bit of money doing it.

How do you define success as an author?

Have people asking you for more stories.

Favorite writing quote?

Not sure I have a favorite quote.

What are you working on now?

Book four of my series is front and center then there are some other romances I am working on.

Book Excerpt from DAYTONA DEAD


Prologue –Blood on the Grille

The moon was high and a thousand stars appeared in the Florida sky. The sunset had been glorious, a flaming orange glow with pink undertones.

Lou had taken up photography as a hobby since moving to the Daytona Beach area. Lou, a Canadian, had been lured to the area by a guy on the Dudes seeking Dudes website. Having broken up with his long time love, Richard, he had been itching to leave Toronto behind, along with a broken heart and ten years of bad memories. His marriage to Laura had died on Speaker’s Corner and it was time to leave the crap and the cold behind, in favour of a warmer climate and palm trees.  Ironically, Laura, the ex, had written him a glowing letter of reference for his work visa. He had applied via an online job search engine, and told his internet paramour he was heading to Florida to make a go of his career and a new life south of the Mason Dixon Line.

So today after putting in an eight hour shift, he went home and grabbed a shower and changed into beach shorts and a clean T-shirt sporting the slogan Just Grill Me. He had invested in a Digital SLR for taking some great landscape shots to post on Face book. He found that he loved photography and if his life as a chef sputtered, now he had a back-up plan.

Before meeting up with his new guy, Gary, he headed off to the beach to take some shots of the area. While Daytona was not the prettiest beach in Florida, Lou found some of the scenery to be rough, yet photo-worthy.  He was leaving the beach when he spotted what looked to be a vintage 1940’s Chevy, black as the abyss. The car looked like something out of a film noir gangster flick. Either way the car was a real beauty. He set up a few shots and started shooting. He didn’t stay long as this was encroaching on a seedier part of town where hookers plied their trade and bums wandered around with liquor bottles and another night of brown bagging their hooch and begging before passing out in an alleyway.

He was on his tenth picture when a gravelly voice yelled out behind him.

“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing, asshole?”

Lou jumped back at the sound and turned around to see the meanest looking S.O.B. he had set eyes on, since his father’s last drinking binge a few years earlier.

This guy looked huge and a tad ornery, even in the moonlight. “Well boy, what’s wrong? Cat got yer tongue? If ya don’t say something soon, I may just beat it out of you.”

“Just admiring your car man; it’s a classic.”

The big mean dude seemed to warm some at the compliment but reverted to his menacing stance quickly,  “Thanks. She is a beauty isn’t she? How long were you skulking around my car? You didn’t touch her did ya?”

Lou began to sweat.  This guy was getting way too intense over a car. He tried backing away but the bigger man was getting in his face about the whole deal. Finally Lou started to run and the guy backed off. Then he heard the engine start and looked behind him. The car was coming right at him!

Holy shit!! What did this asshole want? “It’s just a freaking’ car dude; damn”; Lou was incredulous that this guy was going ape-shit over a set of wheels as nice as they were.

He ducked down an alley, around the corner and thought he was safe. Then he heard it again. He looked to his left and the son of a bitch was still coming for him.

Lou took a deep breath, and promised himself that if he ever got out of this mess he’d start getting in better shape. ‘Dude you’re barely thirty six and you run like an old man.’ The car was catching up to him, it wasn’t stopping either. For whatever reason this shithead wanted him dead!  For the life of him, Lou could not figure out what had gone wrong. He felt the bumper hit the back of his legs sending him flying in the air. He came down with a thud on the hood of the car and his head hit the windshield before he rolled off the car, and was dragged under the front wheels of the car. The car backed up and left the body where it lay; somewhere in Lou’s pocket, a cell phone was ringing.


The cub reporter  for The Daytona Beach News journal Callie Springford sits down with convicted police officer to get the straight skinny on what went down during the Killer T. Ford Roadkill rampage.


I let my brother in-law Killer T. Ford talk me into being his eyes and ears at the police station. I was privy to a lot of info that I should have told my supervisors about with regards to his involvement in the identity theft ring and the hit and runs.


My wife Annabelle made me see that her brother Duane aka Killer T. was nothing but trouble and he could very easily drag me down the same dark path to hell that he was going on. I decided my life with her was more important than keeping that spoiled little prima donna happy. I had tremendous guilt over the whole break in thing at the Fitz hotel room, getting Rueben to nail Cronk, and getting the kid killed by that bastard.  I might be doing time here but I can stand a bit taller having down the right thing.

WHAT WAS YOUR CAREER BEFORE THAT? I was a desk clerk at the local police station as I had been demoted from my job in Forensics up in Dade County.


Unfortunately I would have to say yes. Killer T kind of bullied me into doing a lot of dirty things including trashing that nice couples room.1001915_10151707684421668_200082286_n


COUNTRY MUSIC OR ROCK?  Depends on my mood I like either

DO YOU HAVE A NICK NAME? At work they called me Barney Fife now the guys in here call me Dead Meat

FAVORITE COLOR? Definitely not orange.   Hey do you think this jumpsuit makes me look fat?

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU GET OUT?  I am taking computer courses so maybe I can get a job at Best Buy when I get out.

DO YOU HAVE REGRETS?  Yes definitely and if I could I would undo all the things I did to hurt innocent people I would do it in a minute.

IF YOU COULD GIVE A ROOKIE COP ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE? Stick with your principles and don’t let the lure of easy money make you do stupid things.



Karen Vaugan is a first-time author who enjoys reading and writing. She is a part of Class 1983 at Applewood Heights Secondary School at Mississauga, ON.

She is married with one daughter, and four stepchildren. She has two cats at home. She has a warped sense of humor and sees the lighter side of things.

You can contact Karen via Facebook or her blog.

Find Karen’s books on 


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