Romantic Fiction – dig into my fertile plots and romance novels

Ladd Springs

Ladd Springs_Book1-LGLADD SPRINGS

“Ladd Springs was one of those books that I couldn’t put down – at first because it drew me in with a ton of questions to be answered about the pasts of the characters, and a great story. Second because of how heart pounding it gets towards the ending!” ~~ Debbie Jean’s Blog

A deathbed promise and a mysterious find in the Tennessee forest bring Delaney Wilkins and Nick Harris together in a dramatic fight for the rights to Ladd Springs.

Delaney Wilkins finds herself at odds with hotel developer Nick Harris over a deathbed promise and a mysterious find in the forest.  Both are after title to Ladd Springs, a mecca of natural springs, streams and trails in the eastern Tennessee mountains, a tract of land worth millions.  But Ernie Ladd, current owner of the property and uncle to Delaney, is adamantly opposed to them both.

Felicity Wilkins, Delaney’s daughter, deserves to inherit her family’s legacy, but neighbor Clem Sweeney is working against her, ingratiating himself with Ernie Ladd.  Clem is also harboring a secret that will make him a very wealthy man—unless the others stop him before he can bring it to fruition.

Complicating matters is Annie Owens.  Ex-girlfriend to Jeremiah Ladd, Ernie’s estranged son living in Atlanta, she declares her daughter Casey is Jeremiah’s, making Casey every bit as entitled to the property as Felicity—only Annie hasn’t proven this claim.  Yet.

All are fighting to get the property, but only one will walk away with the gold.  Which will it be?  Find out in the first installment of Ladd Springs…

pan-frying cornbread

While reading this novel, don’t be surprised if you get a hankering for some good old-fashioned southern cooking.  Take my cornbread, for instance.  Delaney Wilkins makes some of the best and her hero agrees.  Try it and see what YOU think! 😉  Check out my recipe section for full details!

***This is book #1 in a series of 5

Visit my website for a complete listing of my books.

Sydney’s Sangría

To celebrate the release of my new novel, WHISPER PRIVILEGES, I’ve decided to share this recipe for Sangría.  Why?  Number one, Sangría makes for a great celebration tool and number two, it’s one of my character’s favorite drinks. 

 Miami is hosting the Special Olympics and Clay Rutledge’s son is competing in the games.  He’s a sure bet to win the gold—until an unexpected turn of events jeopardizes everything. Lured by Clay’s sexy confidence, event planner Sydney Flores is tempted to mix business with pleasure, but is he worth risking her job?  Read full blurb here.

It’s the assignment of a lifetime, only not the one she’s expecting.  Part romance, part women’s fiction, this book is a passionate chase and part of the fun? 

Yep.  Sangría.  And I have the perfect recipe for this Spanish punch, but let me forewarn you:  it’s potent stuff.  Delicious, but powerful, especially if you get a little liberal with the brandy.  You probably don’t want your husband coming home for lunch the day you whip up a batch, either.  I can hear it now

Hubby walks in the door and spies you whisking fruit through a pitcher of Sangría and checks his watch.  “Everything okay?”

“Yes, honey, why would you ask?”  When his eyes drop to the pitcher, you realize the misunderstanding.   “I’m making Sangría for my blog.” 

He raises a wary brow.  “You have a garden blog.  I don’t see the connection.”

“Yes, but this is for my novel.”

He holds up a quick hand.  “Never mind.  Forget I asked.”


But I know what—it  was the same reaction my daughter gave me when she discovered dumping a bottle of soda into a pitcher full of wine.  “Are you getting drunk?” the teeny-bopper asked in disbelief.

I laughed.  While I do like my wine, I don’t like it before 5:00pm.  After reassuring her I was okay, I returned to my concoction.  And this recipe is easy.  All you need is some leftover red wine (if you have that at your house), or maybe that wine gift you received from your non-wine-drinking friend.  Yes, you get the picture.  Any red wine will do.

Next up becomes a matter of preference.  For basic Sangría, you add fruit juice and whole fruit.  For mine, I use orange juice.  For added pizzazz, I like to add a splash of brandy, too.  One of my most memorable experiences with this drink was during a trip to Spain with my brother.  It was years ago, but memorable for so many reasons.  One of the most noted was his claim to a mastery of the language to which I replied, “Just because you live in Miami, doesn’t mean you speak Spanish.”

“Don’t worry (dude), I speak Spanish.  I’ll get us around.”

Or lost, forcing us to walk miles out of our way, our sole human sighting an elderly couple walking along the winding country road with a basket on their heads.  They didn’t speak his Spanish, either.

But I digress.  Once we arrived at our intended destination, the restaurant served a Sangría that was absolutely wonderful.  Ever since, I’ve compared Sangrías and come to realize that I prefer the brandy version.  And to sweeten the mix, many folks add sugar, but I use a can of ginger-ale soda, instead.  Bubbles make for a nice addition, too. 🙂

And that’s it.  Red wine, orange juice, soda and brandy.  Some of the variations I’ve seen include rum instead of brandy, club soda instead of ginger-ale.  Same goes for the chopped fruit.  I used orange and apple, but you can use lemon, limes, mango, peaches—you name it!  Let your taste buds be your guide.

Above all, enjoy.  Sangría is a sumptuous indulgence.  Check my recipe section for full details.

Visit my author website for a complete listing of my books.

Celebrating Spring with my Author Friends

Today begins a 10 day blog hop, Authors in Bloom.  The tour includes 100 authors from all walks of fiction who have come together to share their favorite gardening tips and/or recipes (phew, that’s a lot of gardening goods!) and includes prizes and giveaways at each stop.  For those willing to stop at every site over the entire 10 days, you’ll be entered to win a grand prize ereader and gift card from the vendor of your choice:  Amazon kindle or Barnes & Noble nook.

Wow.  There will also be a second and third prize of …

Interested?  Then hop on over to my author website, Dianne Venetta and begin this minute!  I’m giving away a goodie garden basket that includes….

Happy Hopping!

Lust on the Rocks


She has what he needs, and he won’t stop until he gets it.  Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.

One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize.  In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy.  Turns out, a little too far…

Victor Marin has ulterior motives.  The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice.  But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman, one he wants to possess for himself.  But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.

Until Vic walks away.

And since this one is a bit “spicy,” how about something sweet to go with it?  This carrot cake is sinfully light and fluffy–unlike any you’ve ever tasted.  Add the traditional cream cheese frosting and it’s sinfully divine. 

light and fluffy carrot cake

It’s easy to make and since you’re already growing your own carrots (you are, aren’t you ;)), this is the perfect way to put them to good use. Recipe can be found right here on my blog!

For full details on this novel and others, visit my author website.

Jennifer’s Garden

When I’m not in the garden or busy with my kids, I write women’s fiction with strong romantic elements.

It started years ago, characters popping into my brain, clamoring for attention until finally demanding to be set free onto the page!  What’s a gal to do but oblige? (Besides all that, it’s just plain fun.)

My first release is Jennifer’s Garden which epitomizes the showdown between a career woman’s criteria for the perfect husband and what true love means. 

In a race against time, cardiologist Jennifer Hamilton is caught between her mother’s dying wish and taking the risk of a lifetime with Jackson Montgomery. He’s the man hired to complete the landscaping for her new home; the venue for her upcoming wedding. He’s everything she never wanted in a man, but as the job progresses, his lure pulls strong. It’s an attraction she cannot deny.

And one that puts her career on the line. Does she choose the man who proves compatible with her lifestyle, or the one that fits her true nature? It’s a question more and more women must answer as they assume the role of chief breadwinner. Which will it be?

Which would you choose?

rosemary lemonade

While you’re out in the garden reading, how about a glass of Rosemary Lemonade?  Not only delightfully refreshing, this fresh twist on an old favorite will surprise you.  It’s really good!

And best of all, it’s easy to make.  The recipe can be found right here on blog.  All you need are a few sprigs of rosemary and a gallon of pre-sweetened lemonade.   For you industrious types, I know you’ll prefer to make your own gallon of homemade lemonade.  (It’s a gift!)

Either way you slice it, I hope you’ll enjoy both. 🙂  For a complete list of my novels, visit my author website.

Out of the Garden

Yes, I’ve been gone.  Doing exciting things, mind you, but not in the garden.  No.  Where have I been?

First, I was chasing scallops with my family off the west coast of Florida.  Not really fair, as they’re pretty easy to catch.  They basically sit there while you reach down and grab them.  Fun for the kids, though and we do eat what we catch.  Couldn’t that be considered living off the land (or sea), at one with nature? 

It felt natural.  The sun, the sea, the salt… 

Either way, I wasted no time before I was off rubbing elbows with romance writers!  This past weekend was the annual Romance Writers of America Convention and what fun.  Two thousand women roaming the halls of one hotel – can you imagine? – filling their minds with craft, career, the dream of publication.  (You don’t realize what 2000 people looks like until you all sit down for lunch and then whew, that’s a lot of estrogen!)

Okay, that’s not entirely true.  There were a few men scattered throughout the venue, but they were completely outnumbered.  Brave.  Very brave.

Some of the highlights?

I was hall mates with Nora Roberts.  Yep.  Her room was two doors down from mine and we crossed paths more than a few times.  No, I didn’t accost her.  Not because I didn’t think about it.  (Hello?  This is Nora Roberts were talking about.)  It wouldn’t be good manners.  But it was pretty neat.  Here’s a woman who’s reached heights in her career most only dream of.  How can you not be in awe, I ask?

I am.  While there, I also had the opportunity to reconnect with some editors, agents and writers I haven’t seen in a while.  A good thing.  After all, these are the people who understand my need to write, even when it doesn’t make sense to the rest of the world.  Met some wonderful new editors, agents and writers and look forward to talking with them again soon.

The best part?  My passion for writing was set on fire.  More than love it, I’m driven to pursue the dream of becoming published, and connecting with readers around the world.  So stay tuned for my first series of short stories to appear online here (on the blog) in the upcoming months, followed by what I hope will be a variety of fun-filled, heart-touching fiction and non-fiction books — about gardening, about life, about women and all they love.

Women’s fiction

This section will pertain to writing – specifically my stories, lengths ranging from novellas to complete novels.   Themes will span the spectrum of women’s issues — many with strong romantic elements — and address the challenges touching our lives.

Check out my author website: Dianne Venetta

Look for the first to debut in winter 2011!