Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Lauren's Top Five Traveling Tips

In How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie, Lauren Hauser has to do a great deal of traveling back and forth to see her new fiancĂ© Jack. Here she gives you her Top Five Traveling Tips. 

Tip Number One:  Less is More.

Really figure out what you’re going to be doing on your trip and travel light. Who wants to lug around a big suitcase through the airport and hotels? Not I, said the fly. My brother-in-law Brian might have come up with alternate hauling devices to deal with my sister Megan’s overflowing suitcases, but not me.


Tip Number Two: Roll it Up

This is one of my best tips. Rolling your clothes helps to avoid wrinkles that folds create and the tighter you roll the more you can fit.

Tip Number Three: Shoes 

Wear easy slip on shoes. This makes for a fast trip through security and keeps the line moving, which makes the TSA folks happy.


Tip Number Four: Small Packages 

Stock up on mini toiletries of your favorite products prior to your trip. They make sample sizes and these are perfect for easy packing and can pass through security.

Tip Number Five: Charge It 

Remember to charge all your devices before you leave and to pack your chargers in your carry on. Can you imagine sitting in an airport with no phone or eReader while your flight is delayed? Talk about a waste of time!

Be safe and happy travels!


Book Blurb

A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.

Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancĂ© by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?

Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!

But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!

Purchase How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Author Bio

Gina Henning currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea. Above the ocean's surface Gina likes to dance with her three boys and travel to exotic places like the grocery store with her husband. Her pooch Schatzi is a mix between German Shepherd and possibly pig. One of Gina's favorite pastimes is running. She recently completed her one-and-done marathon. At the end of the day her glass of wine is always half-full.

Connect With Gina Henning

Check out the other stops on Gina's blog tour for How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie:

And enter her fabulous giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 15, 2015


Hello to all you Books by Banister fans. I’m Gail Olmsted, and it’s a pleasure to be here on Tracie’s blog. I loved Twin Piques, Blame it on the Fame, and In Need of Therapy, so I’m really excited! Today, I get to interview Jill Griffin Sheridan, the main character of my 2nd novel, Guessing at Normal, for a cover story in People magazine.

I’m here today with Jill Griffin Sheridan, Grammy winning songwriter and wife of this year’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’- rockstar and music legend Jamie Sheridan. 
Q: So Jill, our readers want to know what it’s like to be married to a sexy rockstar!

A: Well, um, it’s great I guess. No, I mean, it is great. James is sweet and thoughtful. When it’s just the two of us, we like to stay in, cook dinner. You know, just normal stuff. He puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else. laughs nervously

Q: How did you two meet?

A: His former band Nomad was touring in support of their first album and they stayed at the motel where I worked. James asked me for change for cigarettes, then he asked me out. Soon after that, I joined Nomad on the road. It was love at first sight!

Q: Where do you get inspiration for the love songs you write?

A: I’ve kept a journal for years where I write down my thoughts and feelings. James was the first person I ever shared them with. His love gave me the confidence I needed to share them with the world.

Q: Awww. How sweet! So what type of music do you listen to? 

A: I love rock and roll and pop music, especially the 80’s.

Q: And your husband’s music too, of course? 

A: Oh, yeah, of course. <defensive>

Q: Speaking of your husband, Jamie has quite the reputation as a ladies man who likes to party while on the road. Do you wish to comment? I’m sorry, you seem really uncomfortable.

A: Sex, drugs and rock ‘roll, am I right? Its all made up by the press, just lies to sell more magazines. Whoops, sorry. No offense. <laughs nervously>

Q: None taken. And what about Amber Leigh, Jamies opening act?

A: What about her? Shes a lovely girl, very talented. <really defensive>

Q: So theres no truth to the rumor that she and your husband are making ‘beautiful music’ together while on tour?

A: Oh my God, of course not. Where did you hear . . . ? Can I get some water please?

Q: And what about Jamie’s twin brother Alex? He cofounded Nomad with Jamie back in the day. What’s he up to these days?

A: Well, um, I’m not exactly sure. You would have to ask Alex.

Q: Do I detect a little tension between you and Alex?

A: Well, Alex and I have always had an awkward relationship. He calls me Yoko, he blames me for breaking up the band. Wait, can that be off the record?

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

A: Well, still with James, of course. Still writing songs. You know, livin’ the dream.

Q: How do you deal with stressful situations?

A: You mean, like these interviews? <more nervous laughter> A couple of Ativan can really take the edge off. Wait, can that be off the record? So are we done here or what?

Q: Just one more question. Guessing at Normal is the title of James first solo record. It went platinum recently. Do you think your life is normal?

A: ‘Normal’ is just a setting on a washing machine. I mean, what the hell is ‘normal’ anyway? <getting a bit hostile>

Q: Well Jill, I can see youre in a bit of a rush, so I just want to say a quick thank you. Are you going to try to join Jamie on the road?

A: No comment. <hurries off>

<Blogger's note: Ooooo, sounds like there's going to be a lot of juicy scandal and drama in this book. I can't wait to read it!>

Book Blurb

Jill Griffin has mastered the art of being invisible, so when she falls in love with sexy rocker James Sheridan, at first she is content to live in his larger than life shadow. Building a ‘normal’ life together under the glare of the media is challenging and further complicated by constant touring, James’ partying and the mixed signals she gets from James’ twin brother Alex. 

When her poems and journal ramblings become the songs on James’ best-selling album, Jill has to step out of her comfort zone and figure out how to live her life in a spotlight all her own. With no road map to follow, she struggles to navigate her way in her search for happiness.  As her professional success threatens her relationship with James, Jill questions whether she can make a living writing love songs without the love of her life.

Buy Guessing at Normal

Author Bio

My first visit to Sedona, AZ prompted me to start writing Jeep Tour, my first novel. I fell in love with the red rocks and blue skies. My second novel is Guessing at Normal, a rock and roll romance. I am currently working on a sequel to Jeep Tour, which will be based in Ireland. A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. I am mom to two young adults and three cats, and I enjoy reading, boating, music and travel. 

I am a professor in the School of Business & Information Technology at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA.  I was the recipient of the Deliso Endowed Chair Award and was recently recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Higher Education as one of “29 Who Shine”.

Connect with Gail Ward Olmsted 

Monday, June 8, 2015


Has #Droughtlander got you down? Don't despair, my friends! Engy Albasel Neville's time travel romance, A Leap in Time, can fill the void, and it's on sale for 99 cents now through June 15th. Grab yourself a copy and see what happens when Lexi Carter touches a painting and gets transported back in time to ancient Pompeii, where she comes face-to-face with gorgeous Roman studmuffin, Marcus. ROWR

Lexi's dropping by Books by Banister today to share her thoughts on love, romance, and her first meeting with the ever elusive "One."

When Love Finds You
by Lexi Carter, A Leap in Time

Nina Dobrev, the actress Engy envisions as her heroine, Lexi.

I’m a romantic. I believe in true love and happily ever after.

About a year ago, I nearly lost faith in love and I was prepared to turn my back on Cupid forever. Well, maybe not forever but for a really long time.

Break-ups will do that to you.

So here I was, barely over a shattered heart when the most unexpected thing happened.

I met him. 

I actually saw him across the room at a summer party long before we were introduced. Something about his smoldering green eyes captivated me. The animated way he motioned with his hands when speaking had me in a trance.

I think I fell in love with the dark haired Adonis at first sight.

And then we locked eyes from across the room and within seconds, he was standing within an arm’s reach of me. Latin never sounded more romantic tumbling from his lips. And this was only the beginning of the most proper and flirtatious courtship I’ve ever experienced. I was crazy about him.  Within a short time, he understood me better than anyone in my modern world had ever understood me. I had met my soul mate, only he lived thousands of years before my world even existed.

Martin Henderson as Marcus. <Tracie> I'd be captivated if I saw him across a crowded room, too! </Tracie>

Leaving him every weekend to go back to modern day Los Angeles was torture. My world seemed bleak in comparison to Marcus’s world and to Marcus.

I wouldn’t tell you how our story ends. You’ll need to read that for yourself in A Leap in Time. But I will tell you this … love comes uninvited, unscheduled and often in the most unexpected places. The only way to experience love is to embrace it and cherish it and hold on to it. So go out there and love unconditionally and don’t forget to thank the Universe for working its magic on your behalf.  

Lexi xx

Book Blurb

The morning after hanging an antique painting, Lexi Carter notices strange noises in her living room. Scared beyond words, she confronts the sounds only to discover that the landscape itself has come alive. Did Roman soldiers on horseback just gallop across the thing? 

She impulsively touches the painting and is sucked into the world of ancient Pompeii. Lexi meets Marcus, a Roman Adonis, who occupies her every thought, and sends her senses into a tailspin. 

The year is 59AD and Pompeii is at its peak of glory and prosperity. Lexi is faced with the decision of choosing between two worlds, her modern day Los Angeles or ancient Pompeii...with the man who captured her heart and soul.

Buy A Leap in Time

Author Bio

I'm Engy. I'm a mom, a wife, an amateur chef, yogini, bookworm, a nature lover and a hopeless romantic.
Prior to writing full time, I worked in the entertainment industry and later in brand consulting. Some of the interesting personalities I met along the way have inspired the characters in my books.

I currently reside on Long Island, New York with my husband, two toddlers and dog.

Connect with Engy Albasel Neville