Which Love Song do you LOVE?

Which Love Song do you LOVE?

In the interest of Valentine’s Day, we’re talking love songs. Do you have a favorite?

I was thinking about it, and there are so many love songs that I, well, love, but I can’t think of one that I love most.

But here are a few that are on my playlist today:

Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”


Josh Groban’s version of “Falling Slowly”


Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love”


Foo Fighters “Everlong”


Train “Marry Me” (since my book of the same name is out today!)


And, for people who really aren’t feeling the love today, or who hate this holiday, I have one for you too:

J. Geils Band “Love Stinks”

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Resolution Reality

Resolution Reality



The final strains of Auld Lang Syne are fading and a fresh, new year is upon us.

For many people, when the calendar rolls over, it’s time to take stock, have an honest look at your life, and see if you want to or need to make changes.

Studies say that less than 15% of people who make resolutions actually end up sticking with them.

So…how do you have a better chance?

I think enthusiasm counts for a lot. You have to be motivated enough to follow through. If some area of your life makes you miserable, then that discomfort is begging for a change, and you owe it to yourself to make it. If you don’t care enough to make a change, then you probably won’t make it/stick with it. The saying is true: If you want to, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse. Just know that IF you want to make a change, any change, you CAN make it happen.


It takes just as much time to wish as it does to plan. Write out step-by-step plan of action. Seriously, a detailed step-by-step of how the resolution will fit into your daily life.

Accountability works. Share your goals with supportive friends and family. (The key word is supportive. You want a helpful cheering squad. No negativity allowed.)

If you’re making several changes, it may be better to tackle one at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed.

Have patience. If, for example, your goal was to lose twenty pounds, that’s not going to happen just because you went to the gym two times last week. But if you track your progress, say, noticing your strength increasing or that you’re losing a pound a week, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Know that you might slip up, and if you do, that’s okay. Start fresh the next day. In all things, be kind to yourself.

I took a poll and here are some common resolutions that people will be making for 2017: break a bad habit, take a trip, stand up for yourself more, spend more time with loved ones, de-clutter, be present, learn something new, take up a new hobby, help others, eat healthy, exercise more, get enough sleep, find a new job, face a fear, relax more and stop stressing out so much, and do more of what makes you happy.

Whatever you do, I hope that 2017 is your most amazing year ever!

Toasting you with a glass of champagne,


Just a Taste of More Than Words

Just a Taste of More Than Words

more than words

My other job, aside from being a romance author, is being a voiceover artist. I absolutely love it and it was the perfect job for my heroine Skye. I also gave something I love to my hero Aidan. He plays hockey in a men’s rec league. I heart hockey so much. But that’s a post for another day… Please meet Aidan and Skye below. 🙂

This excerpt is from Chapter One:


Aidan MacKay prided himself on staying cool under pressure. His army days taught him the importance of an even-temper and self-control which served him well in civilian life, too—at work as the head of HR and at play, guarding the net for his hockey team.

But even Zen masters had a limit.

Waking up to a sick dog, followed by a dead car battery, two employee emergencies, then a showdown with the new payroll company had him clock-watching. At three o’clock, he’d barely made a dent in the pile on his desk, wading through seventy-five resumes for only three job openings, two of them temporary. Aidan teetered a breath away from his breaking point.

His head pounded. His mind swam with his never-ending to-do list. And his muscles ached from too many hours hunched over a desk.

Email after email appeared in his inbox and frustration mounted again. Blood pounded in his temples. He forwarded what could wait into Angie’s inbox, and then glared at the rest.

“Might as well get started,” he mumbled, scrolling down.

A name popped out at him from the mass of emails. A pleasant surprise. He lifted his fingers and sat back, staring at the screen.

Sky Galen.

The voiceover artist had been working with the company for the past six months, voicing sales training tutorials and workplace safety videos. Her friendly emails always made him smile. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair and hit play on the sound file.

Her voice glided out of the speakers, enticing him to open his eyes as if he expected her to be standing in front of his desk. Calming. Soothing. Like a spring rainfall cooling his hot skin. His heartbeat slowed. Breathing eased and his taut muscles loosened.

The recording ended all too quickly.

Holy shit.

He sat up straight, staring at the sound file on the screen, and hit repeat.

Wonderfully modulated.

Slightly husky.

Completely sexy.

Her voice contained magic. Real magic. No recording had ever affected him like that before.

He hit repeat again. Then, continual repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


Her voice possessed the same relaxing effect as an hour’s worth of yoga, or several minutes of deep breathing, or time spent playing with his dog. Instant, utter peace.

Heartbeat quickening, he clicked on the link for her website below her email signature. A background in swirly shades of blue as peaceful as her voice, countless testimonials, and demos showcasing a broad range of projects, including a few for Kallis, filled his screen. Her About page spoke of a previous career in radio before pursuing voiceovers full-time. He’d known she liked music; they’d had an interesting email exchange on rock bands when he’d mentioned his hockey team listened to eighties hair metal bands in the locker room before games.

He clicked through each page. Unfortunately, no photo. He would have loved a face to place with the name and voice. They’d emailed back and forth, quite a bit during her last few projects. He’d learned that she loved scary movies, Italian food, and lucky for him, hockey—even though they rooted for two rival professional teams. Hell, he knew more about her than the last three women he’d dated—combined. And when was that last date?

She was funny, sweet, and now, he was eager, more than eager, to get to know her even better.

Screw it—why wait?

He jabbed his fingers at the keypad and dialed the number listed in her email.

Two rings later, she answered, “Hello?”



“It’s Aidan. Aidan MacKay. With Kallis Toys.”

“Aidan, hello. It’s nice to hear from you.” Her voice flowed around him like a gentle breeze. The way she said his name… He wanted her to say it again.

He shifted the phone to his other hand and relaxed against the back of his chair. “I wanted to let you know how happy we’ve been with you.”

“Thank you. I’m so glad. I love working with you. Kallis is one of my favorite clients.”

Damn. He was consumed by the urge to see her. Hearing her voice live only heightened his craving for more. Nothing short of face time would do. “I’d love to meet you sometime.”

“Yes, well—” A blast of hard rock music echoed through the speaker, drowning out her voice. Two feminine voices mixed in before he could hear her close a door. Quiet returned.

He glanced at the phone, wishing he could see her through it. “Uh… Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry. My sister is here visiting, and she accidentally turned on my sound system. In hindsight, having a universal remote wasn’t a smart decision.”

“Good taste in music. Can’t go wrong with The Fury. Great band.”

“I’m so embarrassed—not about the band—I saw them in concert twice, and they were amazing. I’ll be hiding the remote from Terri for the rest of her stay.” Skye spoke louder, over the other voice profusely apologizing in the background, strong enough to penetrate the closed door.

He chuckled, more relaxed that he’d felt in ages. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll let you get back to your sister.”

“Wait. Did you need something specific?”

She seemed flustered. And he didn’t want to continue the conversation when she had a captive audience. “It can wait. I’ll be in touch with more projects soon.”

“I look forward to them.” Her voice softened, and he smiled.

He was still grinning like a fool a full minute later.

He returned to her website and played the various demos. Her voice changed from friendly to informative to concerned, but each one had the same effect on his system—utter peace.

He’d give anything to bottle that up. And maybe, with Skye, he’d find something more than the words filling the air.


More Than Words is Book 2 in my Holiday Hearts series. It’s available at all retailers. You can find the links, and lots more, by visiting me at susanscottshelley.com.

Happy Reading!



National WHAT??? Day

National WHAT??? Day


I love that every day has a holiday. Just last week, we celebrated National Pumpkin Day. While some people may think it’s silly, I think it’s fun.

And today, November 1st, has several for you to enjoy.

Up first – National Calzone Day 

Confession: I’ve only had one once. A long, long time ago. At the Philadelphia Art Museum’s cafeteria, believe it or not. And yes, it was artistic.



It’s also National Authors’ Day.

YAY! *jumps up and down* How did this one start?

In 1928, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement, Illinois Women’s Club had an idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors. She wrote a fan letter to fiction writer Irving Bacheller. Upon receiving her letter, Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of a book. McPerson decided to show her appreciation by submitting an idea for a National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.


So, what can you do? Send your favorite author a note to brighten their day.


Fitting in nicely with celebrating authors, it’s also National Family Literacy Day.

If you have kids – read to ’em. My mom read to us every night when I was little, and she loved books. She passed along that love to me.



And because pets are members of the family, you can celebrate with National Cook For Your Pets Day.

I don’t have a pet, but if I did, I might try this one, even though I avoid spending hours in the kitchen at all costs. Per the experts, consult your vet first.They’ll know your pet’s nutrition needs and can also tell you foods to avoid.



Now, this is an interesting one. It’s also National Vinegar Day.

This household product can be used for SO MANY THINGS, from cooking to cleaning to gardening. Yay for multi-purpose items!



Hungry? It’s also National Deep Fried Clams Day.

According to research, fried clams have been on restaurant menus since 1865. And the modern deep fried version since 1916. 



And after eating those clams, you can celebrate National Brush Your Teeth Day.

This holiday is designed to remind and encourage parents to get their kids brushing their teeth for just two minutes, twice a day.



So there you have it. All of today’s holidays. Now, which one are you going to celebrate? 

I really love that there’s something to celebrate every day because every day should be a celebration anyway. (Let’s hear it for the optimists!)


p.s. According to National Calendar Day, there are over 1200 national holidays. Want to know what to celebrate next? Check them out: http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/

Falling for Foliage

Falling for Foliage


As the only travel I’ve been doing lately is logging tons of hours and miles traveling along the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes en route to physical therapy (yes, that is as glamorous as it sounds…) I thought we could have a fun post today. A where would you go post, if you wanted to see pretty scenery for Autumn.

And so, I bring you a small taste of few of the top places in the States to view the change of seasons.

First up, we’ll start in the Northeast with Stowe, VT: (Where sugar maples sparkle in shades of fire and gold.)

Then, we’ll head down to Oakland, MD, and Swallow Falls State Park: (The oldest stands of eastern hemlock and white pine—more than 360 years old—blanket the area in gold, orange, red, and evergreen.)

Next, we’re heading over to Michigan, and Porcupine Mountains State Park: (Talk about variety – this park has more than 100 species of trees and more than 300 waterfalls.)

Then, we’re off to the west coast, and Leavenworth, WA: (SO pretty and peaceful! I want to go!)

And finally, back to my hometown: Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia, PA: (I LOVE walking/running the trails here.)


I so love this time of year. Nothing could be better that spying some pretty colors while drinking a pumpkin spice latte. (Though, to be honest, my preferred version is sprinkling pumpkin pie spice into my coffee). Where do you think is the best place to see fall foliage?



Labor-intensive Dessert for Labor Day

Labor-intensive Dessert for Labor Day


I love watermelon. And I’ve volunteered to bring one to a Labor Day picnic. But I can’t show up with one as-is. No, it needs to be impressive. And so I ask you, Spice Aisle readers, to help me decide…


Do I make a dolphin fruit party?



Do a fish filled with fruit?


Go for the top of the ocean food chain, and create a shark?



Maybe something sharp?



Something slow-moving?



Or something stunningly feathered?



Or is there something else I should sculpt? Let me know your favorite!

I’ve never attempted to carve anything other than a pumpkin before, so tips and tricks are appreciated.

And so, if all else fails, here’s my back-up plan:




Happy Labor Day!!


Made in the Shades

Made in the Shades


You already know that you should be wearing your shades when you step outdoors. (Full-spectrum UVA and UVB protection). But, if you’re confused about which frames suit your face best, I’m here to help!

ROUND FACE (Full cheeks with wide forehead and rounded chin (other sources say: Full cheeks with narrow forehead and jaw))

Choose square or rectangular designs. Over-size frames work well. Avoid round frames.

SQUARE FACE (Broad forehead, strong horizontal jawline, proportional in width and length)

Go with round or oval designs. Aviator and over-sized will suit you too. Make sure frames are wider than your cheekbones.

OVAL FACE (Proportionate forehead, cheekbones, and jawline)

Lucky you – All styles will suit you.

HEART-SHAPED FACE (Broad forehead that extends down to a small chin. Can have high, angled cheekbones)

Pick round or oval designs with wider tops. Cat-eye, Aviator, wayfarer designs work well too.

DIAMOND FACE (Wide cheekbones and narrow forehead, angular jawlines)

Oval designs work well.

OBLONG FACE (Face gracefully tapers toward chin. Elongated features from forehead to chin.)

Choose over-sized, square frames.

Made (1)

If you can’t really tell your type, grab a soft tape measure, and measure from forehead to chin and then from cheekbone to cheekbone. (Yes, there are online tutorials for this…) Enlist the help of a friend. “Hey, can you help me measure my head?” is something people do not hear every day. My husband thought I was nuts when he heard that question ringing through the house last week.

My face shape is a cross between round and heart-shaped and my personal taste for sunglasses is THE BIGGER, THE BETTER, so even if I look like I’m being swallowed up by them, I grab over-sized frames every time. I like to channel my inner Audrey Hepburn.
Bottom line: Wear what you love, and make sure you wear them year-round. Sunglasses aren’t just for summer. Protect those peepers Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. But maybe not a night…no matter what Corey Hart may say…

Which shape are you wearing?



It’s that time of year… Summer has arrived and that means one thing. VACATION!

My favorite place to vacation has always been the beach. Salt air, sand, the sound of sea gulls and waves crashing against the shore, it all feeds my soul.


I think it’s one of the very best places to watch a sunrise or sunset. And it’s the first place where I saw a glimpse of how many stars number the sky. You can’t see very many stars, living in the city, but out on a beach at night, in the absence of artificial light, the view is breathtaking.

Growing up, I spent summers at the Jersey shore. (Fun fact: people who go to Jersey beaches don’t “go to the beach,” they go “down the shore.”). I was used the dark blue waters of the Atlantic. But a few years ago, I had the chance to go to Miami, and the ocean there was light, pretty, and clear.


I’m looking forward to adding other beaches to my list. Give me sun, sand, and surf, and I’m happy.

Cue the Go-Go’s: 🙂



What are your favorite places to vacation?


Cover Lover

Cover Lover

There are songs we love, there are songs we don’t discover until another band performs a cover version of it, and then there are the songs that have cover versions so good, I dare say they are better than the originals. That’s what I’m talking about today.

First up:

“Sound of Silence” – The Simon & Garfunkel original is iconic. BUT metal band Disturbed recently released their version of it, and I absolutely love the orchestration and the way lead singer David Draiman seems to growl some of the lyrics.


One of my favorite hard rock bands, Halestorm, absolutely rocks their cover of hard rock/heavy metal icon Dio’s “Straight Through the Heart”.

And, one of my favorite Dio songs, “Rainbow in the Dark”, also has a great cover version, courtesy of Corey Taylor (of Slipknot and Stone Sour).

For my Philly peeps, I give you “No Easy Way Out.” Robert Tepper’s song is on the soundtrack to Rocky IV, but heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine’s version is a head-banging good time. 

And, you guys! I’ve saved THE BEST for last! Our very own Xio Axelrod is an amazing singer. And her take on Coldplay’s “Yellow” will leave you feeling all shades of happy. I love her voice! Check her out: 

I could go on and on… but I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, and if there are any cover versions you love, feel free to add them in the comments!
Heading back into my playlist,
The Best Medicine

The Best Medicine

Lifeis better
In honor of National Humor Month, we’re talking laughter.
So. True. 
And it really is the best medicine:
Laughter releases bunches of feel-good hormones. Research finds that humor can help you cope better with pain, enhance your immune system, reduce stress, even help you live longer. So you should, you know, do it a lot. 😀 
And how’s this for an “aww” moment:
I’m lucky that I’m married to a man with a wonderful sense of humor who makes me laugh every single day. But the best feeling is when I make him laugh. 
In books, movies, and real life, I always fall for the funny guy. And in friendships, I’m lucky to have several shades of humor in several different people.
Which leads me to one more quote:
So there you have it. Celebrate the folks who bring laughter into your life. 
And if you need more laughs, check out National Humor Month’s official website: http://www.humormonth.com/
Wishing you a day filled with belly laughs and giggles,