Thursday, January 22, 2015

Behind the Author: Amanda Usen (#Giveaway)

Welcome back to another BEHIND THE AUTHOR spotlight! Joining us today is Amanda Usen of the newly released Entangled Indulgence book, IMPULSE CONTROL! Looks sweet and a whole lot of sexy! 

Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain! A peek behind the author? Are you sure you really want to see what I've got going on back here? 

Well...let's start with the three kids. My oldest just turned thirteen, and by the time this posts I will have survived her bat mitzvah. Do you know what it's like to be a non-Jewish mother who hates to plan parties but is also a perfectionist? A perfectionist with a book release two days after the grand event? Who also started a new bakery job not too long ago?

My lists have lists. I mutter. My husband came home from work today and found me in my pajamas. Again. Don't ask if my teeth were brushed. Everything is fuzzy, especially yesterday. If I want to remember what I did, I have to check my lists. I just got home from a two-hour band concert, and I still have my coat on because writing this blog is the last thing on my list. Plus, I live in Buffalo, and it's cold by the kitchen window, my favorite place to write.

Displaying Usen Tree Tattoo.jpgFor the most part, I've been lucky enough to turn my passions into jobs. I liked to cook, so I went to culinary school. Now I teach pastry arts at a community college, decorate cakes at a grocery store, and write about chefs. But there is one thing I do consider a hobby, not a job. A few years ago I began doing yoga, and that inspired an appreciation of balance in all areas of my life. I vowed to be a more present wife and mother. I even got a tree tattooed on my back as a constant reminder of balance. I wanted to be reaching for the sky yet remain firmly rooted in my family. Like yoga, it's a practice, and I often find my priorities in need of adjustment. I try not to be too hard on myself when I lose my balance. Fortunately, my daughter chose tree invitations for her bat mitzvah. Hebrew is a mystery to me, but the tree of life I understand. Now THAT was a theme I could get behind, and the party planning got a whole lot easier. 

So what is behind this author? A solid six months of amazement at the way my daughter learned Hebrew prayers. A little speech I'll be giving at the service which I feel is the best writing I've done. A beautiful prayer shawl. Cutout cookies made with love by a good friend. And a whole lot of focus on the family. Hopefully, I can get all five of us out of our pajamas and looking presentable for the photographer on Saturday. I'll let you know how it goes!

23941361Impulse Control
by Amanda Usen
ebook, 245 pages
Published January 19th 2015 by Entangled: Indulgence
ISBN 1633751856 
Survivalist Russ Donovan is the toughest man in America, with a reality TV show to prove it. Now he’s been strong-armed into filming a new show with dainty lifestyle expert Susannah Stone. But while “At Home in the Wild” could mean millions for his family’s charity, Russ plans to put Little Susie Homemaker to the test—in the Adirondack Mountains in the dead of winter. And there's no way she'll be able to hack it...

Susannah is tougher than she looks. She's had to fight her way through life, and there's no way she'll let a bossy mountain man show her up. When she gets him on her turf, he’s in serious trouble. But now she's run into a bit of problem. Because no one—least of all Russ and Susannah—expects sparks to fly both on camera and off. And now everyone will see their risqué rivalry break all of the rules... 

Don't miss these other books by Amanda!

About the author:
Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast, and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children, one gerbil, four fish, a Russian tortoise, and a beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing romance. If she isn’t baking or writing, she can usually be found reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner.

For book news, contests, and hot recipes, visit Amanda at:

Amanda is giving away One print copy of INTO THE FIRE, Book One of the Hot Nights series, for a USA winner OR an e-copy of INTO THE FIRE (Amazon or B&N only) for International winner. To enter just leave a comment telling us something you do to find balance in your life (reading, crafting, drinking! lol) or just leave a meaningful comment or question for Amanda. Then be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter below so your entry is counted. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I survived the bat mitzvah! And my daughter was so fabulous. I'm so proud! Thanks for hosting me today, and thank you, readers, for stopping by. :-)

  2. I enjoy walking. Hubby and I joined the YMCA 3 years ago and try to go 2 - 3 times a week.

  3. Walking the dog :) When the weather is nice, we do about 2-3 miles. It's amazing how it calms and centers you. Thanks for the fun post!

  4. There are two things that I do to find balance that are working for me. The first is that I have an alarm set on my phone for every morning at 8am to turn my crap over! Second, I have a new breathing technique that I do twice a day that really grounds me!

  5. My go to for finding balance in my life is walking, reading & listening to music. I enjoyed reading this post for Amanda's latest book. I'm looking forward to reading it. I've enjoyed the other books I've read.

  6. Reading and listening to music.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. I know I should go to yoga today, but it's so cold! I may have to find my balance on my own floor, wrapped in three fleecies and a scarf. And SOCKS!

  8. I like to bake, read or garden to find some relaxation.

  9. I like to dance & read. Thanks for the giveaway!


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