Five Stars for Never Been Kissed

As a reader, I hope to find a book that either A) draws me into the story to the point that I feel like I am actually in the middle of it, experiencing it with the characters. Or B) creates a character (or characters) that you can relate to, and when you do, the emotions the author evokes are, well, wow.

I downloaded Never Been Kissed by Mari Carr this week, and immediately began devouring it. The thing is, I had to set it aside early on because she did it, Mari created a heroine, Shelly, who had so much of me in her that I had to set it aside for a bit because it is difficult to read through tears. And every woman, no matter her size, shape, or anything, deserves to be loved and treated well for everything she is.

Of course I knew that there would be a happy ending for Shelly, but I had to know the rest of the story.

never been kissed

Book Blurb:

Shelly MacIsaac has pretty much given up all hope. Hope that she’ll lose weight, that she’ll find any excitement in life, that there will ever be any man in her bed besides Barney, her cat.

When her friend Zoey suggests the wine girls come up with resolutions for the New Year, Shelly latches onto the one everyone expects her to choose—the tried-and-true commitment to go on a diet and get into shape. Deep inside, however, Shelly knows she needs to change a lot more than just her physical appearance.

After a year licking his wounds over a broken romance, Christian is through. He’s been quietly lusting after Shelly at work, and he’s not wasting any more time. There’s something about her that makes him believe she’s the one. Unfortunately, Shelly’s kickboxing instructor, Lance—Christian’s best friend—has set his sights on the sweet blonde as well.

Instead of pistols at dawn, the two friends come up with a deliciously erotic answer to their shared dilemma—if the shy beauty will accept their racy proposal.

Warning: There is a chance this story will encourage you to go on a diet and begin an intense exercise regime. After all, flavored body lube is low cal, right? And sex is a great way to burn calories.

I think the Shelly who breaks free in the end, and her men, would like this song…


Time is Flying By

Wow! How is it we are already near the end of August? Labor Day is a mere ten days away? We won’t even get into the autumn and winter holidays that are steadily creeping up on us. *shudders*

Here in Texas, it is the last day of classroom preparations before the public school bells ring on Monday morning, signaling the start of a new school year. Am I upset that for the first time in ten years teaching I am not participating in all of the back to school workshops, trainings, and stress? The answer is a resounding “NO!” Do I miss my colleagues? My friends? Will I miss seeing how my former students have grown? Yes. But I know in my heart that I need this year away from the classroom to focus on myself. I need to be certain that the classroom is really where I want to be.

I have spent my summer transitioning into a new department at the Home Depot store I have been working part time at, and beginning Monday, I will switch to a full time employee. Many people have asked if I am happy in retail and my answer is, again, YES! I am happier when I go to, and come home from, work. My stress level is considerably less, and oddly, I have more time for myself, and my family, and doing things I want to do.

I completed my first manuscript this month, a contemporary romanic fiction that I hope will become the first in a series of four novels. Time will tell how that goes. Life, living life, is about taking risks, doing things that frighten you. I am a self admitted wimp, but this year has forced me to start changing the way I live, and challenging myself with goals. This is one of them.

The other thing I am looking at (again. I know.) is the outer me. I hate it. I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I loathe getting dressed because I am so dissatisfied with all of the excess me. Can I blame anyone? Nope. I’ve done it to myself, for the nth time in my 43 years. I need to, and have to, change everything about myself for so many reasons. *sigh* I hope the Sadist (my trainer, if you’re new to my blog) is ready for this. He may need to channel his inner Ghostbuster gamma-ray gun and get ready to blast the Stay Puft marshmallow woman I have become.



It’s so revealing! A Cover Revealed

Images Eternal is the first book in The Shoalman Chronicles by Toni Decker. It will be available for purchase September 15th.

The Blurb:

The blood of a Guardian, the heart of an artist, no one can hide the truth from Amanda Hayworth. Focusing her visions through her camera lens, she reveals secrets no one plans to expose, even her own. To protect herself, Mandy hides her ability in plain sight, photographing local bands and showcasing the dramatic images on her website. Most bands beg for a feature article. But the new lead singer of one particular up and coming band isn’t like anyone she’s ever met. Lucien entangles her with his mystery and makes Mandy want things she’s never wanted before -strings.

Lucien Slovak has to impress an influential music blogger whose promotion could skyrocket his new band to stardom or flush them straight into the gutters. But the moment Mandy aims her camera in his direction, he fears the images will expose his ties to the immortal he’s sworn to protect and destroy his one chance to live out his musical dream.  Hiding from her camera is tough enough. Denying his growing feelings becomes an impossible feat, forcing Lucien to choose between his oaths as a Guardian, his rock-star dreams, and the girl he wants.

Secrets define them. Lucien’s bind him to silence; Mandy’s bring her nothing but pain and disappointment. Only when they focus on what’s behind the images can they embrace their secrets for what they are – truth.

Look for it where ebooks are sold on September 15.

Without further ado,  HERE IT IS!!!



Did I mention that Images Eternal by Toni Decker will be available for purchase on September 15? That’s September 15, mark your calendars. AND you can look for Shoalman Immortal, book two in The Shoalman Chronicles in January 2015.

Special behind-the-image exclusive: The cover was designed by an incredibly talented graphic artist, Sharon Carpenter. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to work with her and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with for the next cover in the series. Want to see how she works her magic?? Check it out here.

Author Bios:

Who is Toni Decker?

ToniDecker pic copy

Two authors telling one sizzling story after another about twenty-somethings getting along together in their own crazy, fantastical worlds. Both women are wives and mothers, sharing brain cells and characters as if they only exist with the other.

Toni, one half of the Toni Decker brain, is an avid reader of all things Young and New Adult, while Kira, the Decker half of the Toni Decker brain, devours fantasy for midnight snacks.

Co-writing together, we will leave it up to the readers to guess who writes which character *grin*

Contact Info:

You can chat with both Toni and Kira on a variety of social media. We love talking books, writing, and life in general!

Twitter:  @ToniPicker and @KiraDecker, and stay tuned to @ToniDeckerBooks for more updates and teasers for the upcoming release.

Facebook:  Toni Picker and Kira Decker

Tumblr:  Toni Decker Books


I’ll admit that I am not normally a night owl, and right now its 10:30 pm, late by my standards, but it’s for  good reasons.

I just realized that I have had this blog up and running for a tad over a year now. The objectives I had have been shuffled around because life, and death, happens. The world is always shaking things up for us humans; we become complacent then WHAM! life happens. I’m the first to admit that my attention on things has wavered, its like I keep finding the “new and shiny” to distract myself with.


Here it is August 1 and there is still no teaching job for me for the new school year. Yes, I am still okay with this. I’ve decided to call it a “mental health sabbatical” until I find a new school that finds me as important as I find the students.

What am I celebrating? Myself. There’s not nearly enough of that anymore. So tonight after I typed in the last two words of my first manuscript, “The End,” I realized that I worked hard for this. I followed my heart toward  a dream that I’ve  had ,  but one that I lacked the courage to reach for. I have a book that will make its way to publishing over the next few months, and I would never have gotten this far if it weren’t for my family and my friends believing in me. So yes, tonight I’ll celebrate myself and following a dream that was once so far away.