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Thursday, April 23, 2015

#BookBlast Red Tide Rising by @AllieGailAuthor

Allie fell in love with books from the moment she was issued her very first Sally, Dick and Jane reader. Born and raised in Alabama, she now resides in the sunny panhandle of Florida with her own blue-eyed Prince Charming and two fat, obnoxious cats. When she’s not busy obsessing over the lexicon of her latest project, she can usually be found watching B-movie horror (the cheesier, the better!), reading or playing online computer games while indulging her unhealthy Pepsi addiction.

Stalker Links:

Blurb:
Ages 18+. Contains strong language, explicit sex and elements of horror. This book is the final installment in the Immortal Touch trilogy.
*****
What good is immortality when every moment is agony?

The vampire Ash has returned from his watery grave, proving that death is merely a minor inconvenience. Picking up where he left off? That might not be as easy. Because someone else is vying for Sami's attention - the last person he ever would have expected.

Fulfilling her desire for immortality seems the surest route to winning her favor. But for Sami, this gift will come at a terrible price. One simple lie of omission is all it takes to send her spiraling into a terminal state of madness. And as the last remnants of her sanity slip away, Ash can no longer deny that her maniacal behavior is putting them all at risk. His perfect angel has become a perfect liability.

But can he find it in his heart to destroy her?
 
Where to Buy:
 
Excerpt:
“Trust me?” he whispered.

“I trust you.” Her eyes fluttered shut as she waited for the sharp prick of the needle, the one that would send her into her last slumber as a human.

Instead she felt herself being lifted into the air, and even before the back of her head slammed against the hard packed sand, even before the warm water of the tidepool surrounded her, she knew she’d been deceived yet again.

Ash was straddling her body, both hands wrapped around her neck in a grip of steel as he held her head just beneath the water’s surface. The briny sting of saltwater in her nostrils sent panic rushing through her, and she began to struggle like a wild animal, kicking while beating at his arms and tearing at his flesh with her fingernails. It did no good other than to exhaust all her strength. The hands around her throat were immovable. He would not be budged.

A primitive scream escaped her in a short trail of bubbles, accomplishing nothing at all but to deprive her of what little breath she had left. The sapphire eyes that were coldly fixed on her seemed to blur and waver as the rippling water obstructed her vision. She felt dizzy. Her pulse banged out a violent tempo of terror.

Air! Oh God, I need air…I can’t breathe…please, for God’s sake, let go…let go…

In a final desperate bid for oxygen she inhaled reflexively, and her starving lungs ached and burned as they sucked in the stagnant seawater that mercilessly suffocated her.

The frenzied thrashing grew weaker. Her fingers slowly released their clench on his wrists as her body became limp and still. The pale light from the full moon above her dimmed and faded away, and a sleepy blanket of darkness began to cover her with its peaceful comfort.

So this was what it was like to die.

It wasn’t so bad, really.

Blinking once, she relaxed and succumbed to the darkness.

The last sight her mortal eyes took in before the twilight of death clouded them was his broad Cheshire grin, hovering just above the water’s surface.
 
Allie will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#BookBlast Perfect Fit by @LyndaMSimmons

Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!
Website
Goodreads
 
Blurb:
Fast-paced, funny and incurably romantic

Rachel Banks has never believed in magic or moonlight, but if she’d thought that putting a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would conjure up a nightmare in the form of blue-eyed charmer Mark Robison, she’d have stuffed that cake into her mouth instead! Mark is only in Madeira Beach for some much needed R&R and his new neighbour is not the kind of woman made for vacation memories. But there’s something about the incurable romantic that just keeps drawing him back.

Jennifer Crusie. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Lynda Simmons? Oh, yeah!

Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:
Amanda snapped on her gear and opened the front door. “That was chance. But this.” She picked up a couple of bags. “This is fate.”

Rachel stopped in the doorway. “Do you really believe that? Do you think it’s possible for two people to be des¬tined for each other? Like soul mates.” She shook her head. “Forget it. Let’s go.”

Amanda blocked the way. “Who did you meet?”

“No one, and I’m late.”

Amanda planted her skates sideways. “You cannot do this. Not after I told you about the real estate broker.”

Rachel looked through the fringe of Amanda’s bangs into her frank green eyes and wondered if she should take a chance. “Let me ask you this. Have you ever heard of dreaming on a piece of wedding cake?”

“Sure, it’s an old custom. Like walking to church because it’s lucky and passing on a green wedding gown because it’s not. But most people serve the cake for dessert these days.”

Rachel tried a smile. “Not all.”

“Someone gave you cake to dream on?” Rachel nodded and it was Amanda’s turn to laugh. “Don’t tell me you did it.”

When Rachel didn’t answer, Amanda’s mouth dropped open and her voice rose. “You did, didn’t you?” She put the bags down. “Okay, I need details. Did you have a dream?”

It was on the tip of Rachel’s tongue to say no, to deny that anything out of the ordinary had occurred. But she found herself nodding and watched Amanda’s eyes grow even rounder.

“Did you see him? The man you’re supposed to marry?”

Rachel took comfort in the fact that her friend had been sucked into the fantasy as easily as she had and nodded a third time.

Amanda stepped closer. “Alright, this next part is really important. Where exactly did they get this cake?”

Enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card during the tour! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Writing update: Regency Romance

I'm finished the next in my Regency Romance series, formerly titled Desperate Woman, and it's off to the editors. Still working on that title!

I did a lot of research for this story. It does have courtroom drama, of the 1817 variety, and I not only don't know a lot about British law (except for TV) but I know nothing about Regency law.

All right--mainly I watched Garrow's Law, which is an excellent BBC series about William Garrow and his efforts to reform the British judicial system. And it took me a while, but the actor who plays Garrow, Andrew Buchan, is the actor who plays Mark Latimer on Broadchurch, which I absolutely adore.

A short blurb:
The daughter of a successful merchant, Selina Lyndell never expected to marry an earl. But that's exactly what's about to happen. But then it all falls apart--her father is convicted of murder and hanged, vicious scandal follows her like a second shadow, and Selina herself is hunted.

Edmund, Earl of Granville, isn't letting Selina go without a fight, be that on the streets of London, at the Old Baily, or against the ton's vicious gossip. Nothing will stop him from clearing the family name of the woman he loves. Or of getting her back in his arms, where she belongs.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DIY Thursday: Wool dryer sheets

I haven't used dryer sheets in a while, several years or so, ever since I read an article about how they contain cancer-causing ingredients.

This has its drawbacks. Like static cling. Which makes my hair do all sorts of flyaway things that look ridiculous if you're not a model in front of a wind machine.

I had read about wool dryer balls, but I'm lazy and it's taken me a while to remember to stop at the fabric store for wool. I finally did and followed these (pretty) simple directions on making my own wool dryer balls.

No, I didn't scent mine. I don't like scents that close to my face all day, and often toss my tops in the dryer to get rid of puppy hair. (She's a corgi=she constantly sheds!)

One of my favorite all natural websites, DIY Natural, has How to Make Wool Dryer Balls directions, which I dutifully followed. I used my time wisely: I made the wool ball while watching the newest episode of Broadchurch--it didn't require much concentration and I got caught up on such an excellent series!

You Will Need:
  • skein of 100% wool yarn (NOT wool labeled “superwash” or “machine washable”)
  • scissors
  • pantyhose
  • blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook (I own neither so used an old pair of hair chopsticks I never managed to use correctly)
  • string or cotton/acrylic yarn (to secure the wool ball in the pantyhose)
I recommend going to their site and following their directions. They have photos, which are very helpful!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Curves: Curvy Girls in print

I've had some trouble with Createspace and the formatting. Really, Createspace didn't like my cover, which I happen to think is lovely! Then they didn't like something in the file itself.

And I get it, I do--they want a clean experience for the reader. I do, too! I want you to be able to read my stories without formatting problems.

So the end of March release (clearly) didn't happen and I'm sorry for not jumping on here sooner to share that. I hope to have everything finalized within the next week. I'll post again when the link is live.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Writing update: Regency Romance

I've finished editing the first in my new Regency series. Title still to be determined. It was Ruined Woman, but that no longer fit the story. I have a couple floating around.

But I finished editing it, it's back with my editor now for final edits then off to the lovely woman who does my e-book conversion. I hope to have it ready for publication by May 7 but will definitely announce it in advance.

Here's a short blurb:
Two years ago, Isabella Harrington followed her heart to Milan and never looked back. One year ago, the man she thought she loved abandoned her. Now, she must find her own way back to London not in disgrace, but victorious.

Jonathon, Duke of Harcourt, isn't necessarily looking for a wife, but he can't resist a good wager. If he wins, Isabella becomes his mistress. If she wins, he marries her.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#interview with Isabella for Forever Faithful

About Christine Svendsen

Christine Svendsen is the founder and chief executive of Sapphire Books Publishing, a leading United States publisher of LGBT books. Christine founded the company in the face of rejection from big-time publishers who either told her that they weren’t looking for books of her type or that they wanted her to rewrite her stories completely. She defied them all by establishing her own publishing company, which now features a long list of award-winning LGBT authors. Today, Christine publishes books through her company and writes under the pen names of Isabella and Jett Abbott.

Christine’s most recently published novel under the name of Isabella is “Forever Faithful,” the sequel to “Always Faithful,” a book based loosely on being a former military officer’s wife and the adventures of living on a military base.

Other novels by Isabella include:

          “Broken Shield,” which covers the topics of spousal abuse and how it can lay hidden in a relationship, even when the person being abused is a cop.

          “American Yakuza” I and II, tracing the adventures of a multicultural character who tackles the male dominated world of the Japanese mafia.

          “Executive Disclosure” and “Surviving Reagan,” a series about Chad Morgan, an executive protection specialist, and Reagan Reynolds, a daughter ready to take the reins of her father’s company until her plans get derailed by her own misguided determination.

Novels by Jett Abbott include two books: ”Scarlet Masquerade” and “Scarlet Assassin.”

Christine is currently working on a new novel called “Time Stamped.”

When she’s not writing, Christine teaches college part time, rides motorcycles, and spends time remodeling her cabin in the Sierra foothills. She lives on the central coast of California with her wife and has three wonderful sons.

Contact Information:
Sapphire Books Facebook page

Founded by Christine Svendsen, Sapphire Books Publishing is “the gem of lesbian publishing.” Dedicated to quality fiction that reflects the lives of the lesbian community, the company publishes romance, erotica, paranormal, mystery and intrigue, fantasy, and other fiction where the main characters are lesbians. Since its inception, the company has grown to include a cadre of highly acclaimed LGBT authors, including Linda Kay Silva, Kim Pritekel, Beth Burnett, and Linda North. Sapphire Books are available in hardcover, softcover, and ebook formats throughout the world.
 
1. What is your story's heat level?
The main characters in Forever Faithful have a passion for each other that comes out in the way they interact intimately. Most of my novels have intense love scenes. I run the gamut of sensual to downright kinky, as in American Yakuza.
How do you approach the sex scenes? I want them to be sexy and hot, and I want the reader to say “damn” after they’ve read one of my sex scenes. I like the visual aspect of a sex scene. So often times there isn’t a lot of talking.

2. How do you maintain activity as a writer when sitting at a desk all day?
I work out regularly with heavy weights, walk, and try to stay pretty active when I’m not writing. If I have a problem with a scene and I can’t quite get it right, I walk away and do something else and come back to it.

3. What is it that you loved about the main characters in your story?
I love strong, determined, flawed women. I think that translates to the page and in my writing. I’ve written about women who were cops, firefighters, in the military and found themselves in situations that they knew were wrong or bad for them. They have to work their way out of those situations and oftentimes fight to stay upright.

4. What do you feel is your strongest type of writing? Humor? Angst? Confrontation scenes? Action? Sex? Sensuality? Sweet Romance? And why?
I like to think that I write intense storylines with great intimate moments between the sheets. I’m not much for chick lit, or a BBQ romance that you can read in an afternoon. I wish I could write humor, but I think for me it comes off as more of a sarcastic or quick wit. I like to create novels that take the reader somewhere, and with someone, they would never find themselves with normally. I want the reader to think, “I’d date her in a heartbeat.” Or “Oh, God, why can’t I find someone like that.”

5. Are you social media savvy? If so what do you suggest for others? If not, why not?
I like to think that I am. I have a Facebook presence with both a regular page and a fan page. I have a website (www.isabella.rocks), and I have pages on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler and Instagram. I post on my Facebook pages regularly, sharing photos, asking questions, running contests, and giving away free books. I like interacting with readers on a regular basis and have made friends with a lot of people who come to my page. I tweet, but not as often as I’d like.
 I think an author without social media is hurting themselves. It’s where a lot of connections are made. We are more accessible these days than in the past. I think in some ways readers expect it and I think they like it when you’ve taken time to talk to them. But, it’s a delicate balance between pimping and sharing experiences with the readers. I’ve seen authors burn themselves on social media by being too pushy, trying to sell their books, or being political and turning off readers.

6. What are some things from your life or things you have observed that you've infused into your stories?
All of my books have one character who rides a motorcycle. I love to ride and have ridden from the age of twelve. I also think that women who ride have a certain style that incorporates well into a strong, sexy woman. Controlling a piece of machinery that can go a hundred miles an hour and stay vertical takes some skill. I think those optics translate well. I’ve lived some of the struggles in my books. I’ve been a military wife. I’ve succeeded when people told me I’d fail. I worked hard to get where I am today and I’ve had to make decisions that weren’t popular, but had to be made. I’ve met some of the women in my books. They may not know it, but they have been inspirational to me and my writing. I hope I’ve done them justice between the pages of my books. Of course I’ve never met a vampire, but I’d love to. As for the sex in my books, my wife tells me that she can’t listen to me do a reading if I read the sexy stuff. Her response is, “Do you always write about our sex life?” I just say, you write what you know.
7. If you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to visit for story-related research?
I’d love to set a story in Tuscany, but then wouldn’t everyone? I tend to write about places that I’ve been to. I’ve lived in the south and on the west coast, so I set most of my stories there. I have constructed locations that are an amalgamation of several places.
 
8. Any fun facts about the research for your book?
Research is the life blood of a book. If you get it wrong a reader won’t hesitate to let you know, either in a review, via an email, or a message. I’ve ridden my motorcycle 100 miles per hour, crashed my bike, and walked away with only a broken collar bone, shot all of the guns in my books, and well, for the kinky stuff, you’ll just have to read and wonder.
9. Finally, tell us a little about your newest release!
Forever Faithful is the second book in the Faithful series. This book picks up where Always Faithful left off. It was partially based on my experience as a military wife and some of the people I met along the way. I wanted to focus on the family side of things in this book. Nic Caldwell is a Marine who is being deployed again, but this time to Afghanistan. Her wife, Clare, is left behind to wonder if Nic will meet the same fate as her first spouse, who died in Iraq. Nic comes pretty close to fulfilling that concern. It a nutshell, it’s a book about surviving a deployment, PTSD and how love conquers all.
Excerpt:
Blue on green meant that an Afghanistan soldier or civilian, someone considered a friendly, was shooting at U.S. military. Afghanistan civilians and soldiers, once cleared, were often in the compound. The U.S. trained them, worked with them, getting them ready to take over from U.S. forces. Some of the civilians were day laborers, and interpreters, indispensable in Nic’s line of work, and suddenly she wondered if Ami had reported for work today.
Silence.
Poking her head up again, Nic couldn’t see anything moving. Crouching still, she motioned for the soldier next to her to go around the opposite side of the pallet stack. Nic shuffled low towards the door of HQ. Hugging the wall, she peeked around the corner and then jerked her head back. A quick look and her gaze lit on two soldiers lying in a pool of blood and another soldier was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, clutching his chest. A stampede of feet pulled her attention away and toward three men running towards her with their weapons drawn and aiming at her. Standing, Nic’s hand rose, signaling the men to stop.
“What’s the situation, Colonel?” an Army staff sergeant asked.
“Two soldiers on the floor, one leaning against the wall, and I can’t see anything else.”
 “We’ll take it from here, Colonel.”
 
Enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card during the tour! 

DIY Thursday: Gardening

Another spring, another try at a vegetable garden. I've tried every year for the last several. It starts out so well. Not only my enthusiasm but the garden itself. Then, as time passes and my plants don't grow, or grow sporadically, my discouragement does.

This year I'm trying something different: Soil. As in a ton of fresh dirt dumped on my garden. My yard has dirt. With things embedded in it: glass, rubber, concrete. I have no idea why. Whoever lived in this house before me must've either been a slob or tried to build the yard level up with stuff.

All I know is that I need a fresh start and fresh soil is the way to go. Will till what I have there now, then dump (read: have delivered) topsoil. And then I'll plant my garden.

This is the year! (I say that every year. I really believe in it this year!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#BookBlast This Heart of Mine by @Brenda_Novak

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised $2.4 million. For more about Brenda, please visit www.brendanovak.com.
Facebook
Twitter

Blurb:
4.5 Stars TOP PICK from RT Book Reviews!
First love. Second chance?

As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her.

But she did not run down the girl he started dating next.

Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob’s father isn’t exactly welcoming.

Riley doesn’t trust Phoenix, doesn’t want her in Jacob’s life. He is, however, ready to find
someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he’s about to find both!
 
Buy Links:
Amazon
Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-heart-of-mine-brenda-novak/Barnes and Noble Nook
iBooks
Kobo
 
Excerpt:
As soon as they were gone, Riley grabbed Phoenix’s elbow, hanging on even when she tried to avoid the contact, and guided her to his truck. “Let’s get you to a doctor.”

The second Riley mentioned doctor, she wrenched away from him. “No, I―I don’t need a doctor.”

“He’ll check out that cut, tell us if it needs stitches.”

“A doctor will cost money. And I...I have other plans for...for my income in the next while.”

What income? He doubted she had any, but he couldn’t say that. “Phoenix...”

“Stop,” she said. “I’ve had worse than this. This is nothing.”

Watching her closely, he could see that she was dizzy. “Do it for Jacob’s peace of mind, then.”

“Please, don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“I haven’t got the money for a doctor. I’m sure you know that.”

“I’ll look after the bill,” he said, but he should’ve known that wouldn’t convince her.

She edged farther away from him. Then she started down the street at a faster clip than he felt she should. “I’m okay,” she called back. “Go take care of Jacob.”

“Damn it, Phoenix.” He hurried after her. “Why do you have to be so stubborn? It won’t cost that much.”

She hadn’t bothered to turn when he spoke, so he’d been talking to her back. “It’s a waste of money,” she told him over one shoulder. “I’m fine, like I said.”

“It’s five miles to your place. You’ll never make it.”

She made no comment.

“Soon you won’t even be able to see where you’re going, what with all that blood.”

Again, she didn’t respond. She’d managed to put a little distance between them and obviously thought she was getting away. But he wasn’t about to let her go. He had no idea whether she’d make it. So he jogged after her and swept her into his arms, which wasn’t hard since she didn’t weigh much.

“Ah!” she cried. He’d startled her. She hadn’t expected that move. He guessed her head hurt, too, and being jarred hadn’t helped.

“We’re doing this my way,” he said, and carried her to his truck.
 
Brenda will be giving away a Kindle Fire HD 6 (16 GB) US Only during the tour!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#BookBlast The Soul Retrieval by @annjarvie1

Ann W. Jarvie has a B.A. in journalism and more than twenty-five years’ experience as an award-winning writer in advertising and public relations agencies, both in South Carolina and Chicago. She now lives near Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends part of her time as a freelance copywriter and the rest writing fiction.

The Soul Retrieval was inspired by Jarvie’s maternal grandmother’s fascinating life on Indian reservations, where she lived with her physician husband until his mysterious and untimely death.
www.annwjarvie.com
https://twitter.com/annjarvie1
https://plus.google.com/104972649617453739149/posts
https://www.facebook.com/ann.jarvie1

Inspired by a true story, The Soul Retrieval is a suspenseful tale of love, loss and healing
which follows traumatized southern beauty Henrietta Clayborn as she moves between her
home in a small South Carolina town and the New Mexico Native American reservation whose spontaneous healings keep drawing her physician husband back. Tortured by her awful secrets, Henrietta struggles to thrive in either locale, but it is her unlikely friendship with Joe Loco––an eccentric Native American mystic with an Elvis fetish and a gift for healing––that shows her the way to be whole again.

Set in the late 1950s, The Soul Retrieval is richly woven with spiritual insights but also deadly secrets, forbidden healings, a murder mystery, stunning scenery and an unforgettable cast of characters.

A story of transcendent and inspiring power that is both entertaining and enlightening, readers will be cheering for the uptight woman from South Carolina to push through her fears of the forbidden as she searches for truth and healing, faces great obstacles on the frontier of self and
ultimately becomes more than she ever thought possible.

After finishing the second nocturne, he looked up at her. “You know that I’ve been researching the high incidence of spontaneous healings here, right?” Jeff was both a lead physician and medical researcher at the Medichero Indian Hospital. He reached for a pack of cigarettes from the pocket of his short-sleeved white shirt.

“Uh-huh,” Henrietta said. She barely heard what he said. How am I going to get into it? How am I going to tell him? She had asked herself these questions at least a million times. She picked up a pen and notebook from the coffee table, trying to keep her hands busy.

Jeff smoked in silence a moment before continuing. “There’s more to it than even I  imagined.”

“More to what?” she asked. She absently doodled on the page without looking up. How am I
going to tell him?

Jeff blew smoke. “The spontaneous healings that I’m so interested in ... the medicine men here seem to be doing something real to affect the recoveries.”

Now he had her attention. “They are?” She looked at him. “Like what?”

Instead of answering, Jeff got up and turned toward the bay windows that cradled the piano in a small alcove off the living room of the doctor’s cottage. His silhouette against the bright morning light was a man-shaped eclipse, his muscled edges luminous and blurred by the smoldering tobacco. It gave him an unworldly appearance, and Henrietta was reminded about how often she felt like an outsider here, and even back home.

The author will be giving away a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card during the tour!