Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wrestling with Summer by Amelia Swan - guest post and giveaway

Five Things You’d Probably Never Guess About Amelia Swan

1. From the age of 5 through graduate school, I was heavily involved in figure skating. I competed, I coached, and I choreographed. If the sport wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably still be skating today. My sister was a skater too, so it was a huge part of our lives.

2. I talk about my cat and dog a lot, but I rarely mention my fish. I’ve had two goldfish for over five years. They’re names are Betty and Dawson. Most people think goldfish are just throwaway pets, but if you take care of them properly they can live for twenty years.

3. Romance novels aren’t the only books I like. As an English major in college and a former high school English teacher, I also enjoy the classics. I’ve always been particularly interested in the American literary canon. I consider myself an amateur Walt Whitman scholar. I also really like comic books and YA novels. My husband and I share an Audible account, and we go through a lot of fantasy and dystopian YA stories.

4. I’m watching Lost for the first time, and I’m really, really into it. I wish I’d watched it a few years ago when everyone else did. There are so many interesting things to talk about. It sort of reminds me of Twin Peaks, which is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

5. Even though I’m from New Jersey, the Seahawks are my favorite football team.

Will Summer’s past stop her from giving her heart to a professional wrestler?

Summer Sullivan is in a slump. Her friends-with-benefits relationship with yoga teacher Drew is going nowhere, and she’s behind schedule on preparing for her upcoming art show. When she hears that a professional wrestler is scheduled to speak at the private school where she works, she’s convinced things have gone from bad to worse. After growing up with a father who changed from a loving family man to a womanizing, heavy-drinking deadbeat while he worked as a wrestler, Summer has wanted nothing to do with the industry.

But Ryan Steele isn’t like the wrestlers from Summer’s past. With boyish good looks and a lean physique, he doesn’t look like the big, bulky wrestlers she used to know. And with his kind heart and romantic tendencies, Ryan doesn’t act like them either. It doesn’t take long before Summer is smitten with the charming wrestler, but even though Summer wants to be with Ryan, memories of her past keep getting in the way of their happiness. Will she be able to give Ryan a fair chance or will she let her misconceptions about wrestling stand in the way?


Enjoy an excerpt:

Placing the bag on my kitchen counter, I pulled out its contents. Even though the food was in plastic containers, I could smell the tangy, spicy aroma. I opened the lid of my drunken noodles and let the steam hit my face. "I'm glad I chose Thai tonight."

"Yeah, and you're lucky there's vegan Thai food in town. Now get over here. I have something I think you'd like to see." I quickly grabbed two pairs of chopsticks and brought everything we needed for our Friday night ritual feast to the coffee table. Kate and my open laptop were waiting for me when I got there.

I eyed her with lighthearted suspicion. "Uh-oh, what did you find?"

Kate smiled mischievously, grabbed a pair of chopsticks, and shoved a piece of fried tofu in her mouth. She nudged the laptop in my direction.

There he was. Almond-shaped eyes with teal irises. Shaggy but well-kept brown hair. A lean, ripped body. He wore only a silver pair of briefs with his last name written in a navy blue cursive across his ass and black boots that came up to his knees.

I was totally not prepared for Ryan Steele to look like a god among men.

I pushed the laptop back in Kate's direction and shrugged, fighting to pry my eyes off the screen. "He's all right."

Her eyes widened in surprise. "He's all right? Ryan Steele is gorgeous."

I picked up a piece of broccoli with my chopsticks. "But he's still a wrestler."


Amelia Swan writes contemporary, erotic, and new adult romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. Her and her husband currently reside in Northern New Jersey with their cat and dog. In addition to romance novels, Amelia is interested in yoga, fitness, veganism, and professional wrestling.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Fire by Various Authors- Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card. The book is priced at only $0.99! Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

21 ALL NEW Contemporary Romance stories by NY Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors.

Love when it’s hot? So do we. Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion. Turn the fan to oscillate and join us for this steamy, groundbreaking bundle of summer tales that are hot hot hot.




Enjoy an excerpt from "Summer Rhythm" by Brandy L. Rivers

Intending to head for the bar, Chloe got lost in a daydream when she stepped through the door. A familiar song caught her attention. Glancing up, her gaze locked on her biggest regret.

Molten brown eyes, shaggy brown hair, perfectly curved lips twisted in a sinful smirk. That sexy mouth, and talented fingers—and damn, the man could play an instrument. Nearly any.

Smoldering eyes locked on hers for a brief second, igniting hope. Then his brow furrowed as he looked away. Closing his lids, Doug Walsh threw himself into the music like he wanted to banish her from his mind. She couldn’t blame him.

Her desire was a cruel twist of fate. He was even hotter than the last time she saw him, eight years ago. A twinge of guilt thrummed through her and she turned, with the intention of walking out the door.

Someone looped their arm through hers and dragged her toward the bar.

“Thought I mentioned your favorite mistake was playing tonight,” Jackie sing-songed. They’d been best friends since kindergarten. As much as Chloe loved her, Jackie was going to torture her.

She didn’t want to think about the way she’d let Doug in, only to shut him out the next morning. Not once, but twice.

Hopeless, she looked over. “If you had, I wouldn’t have come.”

With a dejected sigh, she climbed onto a stool and dropped her chin into her hand. Nodding at the bartender, she ordered, “Long Island, please?”

Bartender dipped his head in acknowledgement.

Jackie nudged her. “Why not? Clearly you’re still hung up on him. I saw your reaction.”

“He probably hates me.”

“Nah. He never let it slow him down.”

Her mouth fell open. “Are you saying Doug turned into a man-whore?”

Jackie’s brow scrunched. “Not exactly. Though he doesn’t have a problem picking up women.”

“That’s karma for you.” Chloe turned to find her drink. Tracing the disposable coaster, she took a sip from the tall glass before asking, “Why did you invite me here?”

“Figured it would be like old times. Only without having to sneak into bars.”

Chloe giggled. “What the hell. He’s already seen me and the worst he can do is ignore my sorry ass.”

A smirk lifted one corner of Jackie’s mouth as she looked to the stage. “Doubt he’ll ignore you long. He can’t seem to keep his eyes off you.”


Goodreads


Buy the boxed set for only $0.99 at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Forty Watt Flowers by CM Subasic - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The author has opted to share five things about her we might not guess ... she's a brave, brave person!

I have something to confess and you have to promise to keep it quiet.

(leans in close and whispers in your ear) I’m Canadian.

So, how did I end up writing a story about a band in the Deep South?

Love, of course! My man of the time went to Athens, GA to do research at UGA and I followed.

There I was, a Capital “C” Canadian playwright. I’d just finished serving as Chair of the Women’s Caucus for the Playwrights Union of Canada. I was working on a play about Marshall McLuhan (and it wasn’t going well).

At the time in Canada, writers wrote about “Canadian issues” whatever those are. We were convinced that we had to “protect our culture”! But in Athens, GA the concept of a Canadian playwright was… well… quaint. In other words, not very marketable.

I had served on the judging panel for the 3-day novel competition, and enjoyed it. So, when I learned about Hill Street Press (HSP), a publishing house that had recently opened in Athens, publishing stories about the New South, I approached the editor and offered my services as a reader of their slushpile.

What an adventure that was! I was given piles of manuscripts and would do the first read, write a brief synopsis and review. That is when I became an addict of reading diamonds in the rough.

Reading an unpolished masterpiece is a true privilege. I always feel like an audience of one, a midwife of sorts, responsible for this child of the imagination. I enjoyed the puzzle of how to make the story work. For one manuscript I recommended for publication, Kirby Gann’s Barbarian Parade I was also involved in the substantive editing. I recall sitting on the train from New Orleans puzzling over the first chapter, suggesting cuts and selecting the opening line, "The day the freight train hit my father . . ." (This book is great read for a soccer enthusiast, with writing that is sensual, characters that are vivid and surprising, and a story that feels so real.)

One of HSP’s publications was a reprint of Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex, and Suicide in the Deep South, by Rosemarie Daniell, which won the 1999 Palimpsest Prize. This book is a roadmap for Southern women, exploding stereotypes and exploring sensuality, it is about the power of women, their strengths and challenges. It was an important message for me to hear.

At the time I wasn’t a comfortable feminist. I’d always thought of myself as a human first, not a woman first. And yet, I couldn’t help but notice how the media would talk about a woman’s looks or style first, her ideas second. How a man with a goal wasn’t seen as messy person if he didn’t do the dishes.

Meanwhile, being in the South, all around us were those flowers. It is a place where people talk about the flowers the way we in the North talk about the weather. The pansies are a bit of “winter color.” Southern spring progresses through her cycle of cherry blossoms, tulip petal trees, lilacs, azaleas, wisteria, dogwoods and on until the summering air of June brings Kudzu and Magnolia blossoms as big as your head. It’s a heady mix.

So, when I came up with the idea of writing the story of a band in the funky, eclectic music town of Athens, GA, I knew I couldn’t write about just any band. I had to write about an all-girl band. The band also had to have the word “flowers” in their name. The book had to explore how being a woman with a creative goal is a challenging experience. How the world sets the hoops higher for women and sometimes we set them high for ourselves, too.

Do I feel guilty for not writing about an all-girl hockey team? (winks) What do you think?

Here’s four other brief confessions:

i. I have a girl cat named Henry and a boy cat named Cato (originally Kate) because I got their sex wrong. In my defense, they came from a feral colony and wouldn’t let me touch them for two years.

ii. I may write about music, but I’ve never been in a band.

iii. I was a cheerleader in high school because it was the activity that guaranteed more time off school than any other.

iv. In cheerleading I discovered my leadership and organizational ability, and soon became “head” cheerleader. My first stab at “writing” was developing new cheers.



All Trisha wants to do is create something meaningful. Since she's living in Athens, GA, she brings four other women together and the rock band The Forty Watt Flowers is formed. But making good music isn't as easy as it sounds. From the jock atmosphere of the garage where they rehearse to the beer-soaked bars when they gig, these five young women struggle to find beauty in the mess of notes they try to play and the chaos of their lives.



Now enjoy an excerpt:

Drums Oh, the feeling of pounding the drums. Juanita allowed herself to disappear into the rough-and-tumble consistency of arms and feet. Flam paradiddle with accent. A long double stroke roll. Drag paradiddle followed by a ratatat pattern with just her weak, right stick. She became those jungle rhythms: The gentle shimmering of cymbal. The soldier march of snare. The boom boom boom, coming up the back-end with bass. A concert of percussion, erasing an erratic world. Here, passion made sense.

Juanita completed an extra hard rolling tumble and pulled the sticks to her lap, the abrupt silence jarring. She became aware of the gap-toothed barn around her, the absolute blackness settled around it, red pines hunched close by, cicadas trilling in chorus.

With a quick move of her forearm she wiped the sweat from her brow, squinted at her arm as if measuring for volume. Not enough. Then she looked up and noticed Tommy's slouched form by the welding equipment.


Colleen is award-winning editor who started her writing life as a playwright. She has had 7 plays produced across Canada and worked with the likes of Samantha Bee (yes, from The Daily Show) and Leah Cherniak.

Her plays include Back Alley Boys about the hardcore punk scene in Toronto, Eye am Hear which tells the tale of a luddite teenage squatters at some undetermined punkish time in the future, A Brief Case of Crack Addicted Cockroaches about the relationship between the media and politics featuring a city councillor who smokes crack (which was never produced because it was too off the wall) and Interbastation about the beauty in ugliness and the ugliness in beauty. Her novel Public Image tied for second in the Anvil Press International 3-day Novel competition.

In addition to her work as a playwright, Colleen puts on the dramaturgy, editor and script doctor hats for a range of publishers, producers and writer clients. She has a Master in Creative Writing from the prestigious UBC Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing and has taught play writing at the university level. She's also done the Board of Directors thing with the Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver and other arts organizations.

She was managing editor of Taking the Stage: Selections from plays by Canadian Women which was selected as the "most saleable dramatic publication of the year" by the Canadian Booksellers' Association. She has also been awarded Arts Council grants by the province of Ontario and Nova Scotia. She has served on the judging panel of several internationl novel awards. Her one-person play Interbastation was selected as one of the top-10 best shows by CBC Winnipeg in 1998.

She lived in Athens from 1999 to 2001 and, while there, reviewed and edited manuscripts for Hill Street Press.

Colleen currently resides in her birthplace, Toronto, with three grey cats and a drawer full of lint brushes.

LINKS:

Website: http://www.fortywattflowers.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8095397.C_M_Subasic
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/colleesu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFortyWattFlowers
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FortyWattFlower

Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Forty-Watt-Flowers-Subasic/dp/149937299X

BN buy link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-forty-watt-flowers-cm-subasic/1113036136

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Love Target by Heidi Loeb Hegerich - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I have always been a strange mix of shyness and boldness. Perhaps there’s a split personality in most of us; as for me, I am reticent and even bashful in the presence of strangers. I freak out and must settle my nerves before a public appearance such as a book signing or interview with media — even a phone interview, which would seem to be hardly nervewracking compared to a live appearance on a television show.

But as a first-time published author promoting my book — the novel LOVE TARGET — I force myself to control my timid inner child and take a seat at the author’s table or on the couch next to the TV host, or to pick up the phone and respond as articulately as I can to the interviewer’s voice coming through the speaker. I remind myself that they are doing me the favor: helping me let the world know about my book. What helps is that most of the interviewers seem genuinely interested in my story! This is both flattering and reassuring that LOVE TARGET is a good novel, well worth a reader’s time.

It was the bold side of me that spurred me to write LOVE TARGET in the first place. I always have craved new adventures; it’s why — at age 16 — I told my parents I’d had enough of America, and wanted to return to our native Munich, Germany, and I was intent on doing so whether they liked it or not, and I was heading from our Los Angeles apartment to Las Vegas, wherever Las Vegas was, to be a casino showgirl, whatever a showgirl was, because it paid $200 a week and I would earn enough money to get back to Munich alone.

In subsequent years, my adventures were of the type that would have seemed frightening to my 16-year-old self, had I known what lay in store! Not to give away the plot of LOVE TARGET, but these adventures — or misadventures — involved world-famous entertainers, New York mobsters, drug smugglers, crime-ridden ghettos, and more. Like so many first novels, LOVE TARGET is largely autobiographical; in fact, I term LOVE TARGET a memoir novel. Since my mid-20s, friends and family urged me to write my life story. But I resisted and resisted. When I finally took a stab at it, the result was 70 pages so unsatisfying to my eyes that I burned the sheets in my kitchen sink! But I knew deep inside I couldn’t give up just like that; and so I found an editor to help me shape the novel, get started on it again — and then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, for nearly two years, until the manuscript was finished and polished for publication.

I just needed a bit of a push. In fact, I always have. When I was too struck with stage fright to step out from behind the curtain at the Dunes in the Las Vegas Strip, as a 16-year-old showgirl, I was literally shoved into show businesses (stumbling forward onto the stage) by the showgirl standing behind me. Once the spotlight hit me, I automatically stuck my arms out and smiled brightly as I’d been trained to do in rehearsal, and began my patterned walk — leading the long line of showgirls snaking around the stage, to the audience’s applause.

In the section of my life story that is the basis for the sequel to LOVE TARGET that I am writing, my boldness has prompted me to undertake skydiving and sand railing, fire assault weapons and train with mixed martial artists, and travel to such exotic locales as Teheran, Iran, and Kabul, Afghanistan. (I overcome the jitters thanks to coaches, trainers, and travel agents who supply the necessary “push.”) And yet, I still cringe at the calendar in my smart phone showing a TV, magazine or webzine interview coming up. The butterflies flap fiercely in my belly — just as they did when I was a teenage showgirl. Therein lies a hidden reward of authorship: Not only does it allow you to create something for the world — it forces you out of your comfort cocoon to experience something both frightening and thrilling. It trumps timidy and rewards temerity.

It takes you, the author, on a brave quest just as the book you’ve created takes the reader on a vicarious odyssey.

Teenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor's offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.

Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle - where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.

Life's twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s - where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in "construction." Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid's hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.

Will she find true romance - a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is "happily ever after" just a crazy fairytale?


Enjoy an excerpt:

“Rascal, you sit yourself right down there.” Elvis motioned at the bed.

He picked up a shiny guitar. It was honey yellow, and the face had a rust-red design below the sound hole, decorated with golden orbs and stems like dandelions.

“Oh, it is beautiful, Elvis!”

He held it up proudly. “This is my Gibson. Ain’t she sweet?”

He sat on a chair cradling the expensive guitar. He delicately plucked the top string with his thumb and gently strummed the other strings with his fingers.

Soft strains filled the room.

“This little number is from my first movie.”

As he began singing, I recognized the melody.

“Love me tender . . .”

Elvis gazed at me as he serenaded, his eyes big, brilliantly blue, dreamy. His song sang straight into my heart. I tingled like I’d been caught in a breeze. Could he see my skin quivering? He could definitely see my cheeks reddening.

Elvis finished with a slow downward strum, thumbing each string individually, a sweet arpeggio. He let the last note ring and fade away.

He looked up and smiled.

“Don’t I sound like Bing Crosby?”

He didn’t wait for an answer. He leaned the guitar against the dresser and in the next instant was on the bed, an arm slung around my shoulder. His other hand grasped and turned my chin.

Elvis’ mouth was warm and gentle. Our tongues met. Just as quickly, his retreated.

Our mouths puckered again. Elvis’ lips worked softly against mine. They moved away and began pecking my face with slow, small kisses. My lower lip burned. Elvis had sunk his teeth in with a hard nip.

He released it just as quickly and turned away with a bashful look. It was like he was a nervous teenager. Was this all an act? Or was he just a giant flirt?


Heidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits. A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

Buy links:

www.lovetarget.com

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Target-Heidi-Loeb-Hegerich-ebook/dp/B00KCS0OCY/

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4E9UULoZNU

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoveTargetNovel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoveTargetBook

Robin Leach book review in Las Vegas Sun newspaper: http://www.lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2015/jan/13/love-target-showgirl-reveals-elvis-pregnancy-swing/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to Temptation by Charlotte Hughes - Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hughes will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With a hurricane closing in on Temptation, Louisiana, Michelle Thurston fails to convince her stubborn grandmother to leave her home on the bayou. Sheriff Gator Landry arrives by boat, hell-bent on forcing the elderly recluse to evacuate. He is stunned to find Michelle, who was just 16 years old when he courted her one steamy summer.

Now, at 32, Michelle comes face-to-face with the man whose kisses tempted her to lose control, only this time there is no place to run. Although Gator is not about to leave the two women defenseless, Michelle can’t help but wonder if he is more dangerous to her than anything the storm can do.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“We need to get out of these wet things,” Michelle said, crossing her arms in front of her in an attempt to hide herself. She shivered as Gator continued to stare. He still had the power to make her body go berserk when he looked at her that way. Those glittering black eyes didn’t miss a thing. It was as though he were capable of seeing past flesh and bone to her inner workings, all of which shook at the moment as violently as the tree limbs outside the window. She was certain he knew what that look did to her. He had it down to an art. And if it had had a powerful effect on her at sixteen, it was doubly so now at thirty-two.

“That’s the best idea I've heard all day," Gator said, shrugging out of his shirt. He mopped his brow and chest with it and ran it across the back of his neck.

Michelle wondered if he had any idea how sensual that simple act was. He was all rippling muscles and taut flesh. Goose pimples stood out on his shoulders and his nipples puckered from the chill in the room. His arms were lean and as brown as the rest of him. The room seemed to shrink to the size of a shoe box. Michelle had seen enough male bodies in her job to know that the one before her was one of the best she’d ever laid eyes on.

Gator would have had to be blind not to notice her perusal. The grin he shot her was brazen. “Like what you see, Mic?”


About the Author:
Charlotte Hughes published her first category romance in 1987, a Bantam Books’ Loveswept, titled Too Many Husbands, which immediately shot to #1 on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. She went on to write almost thirty books before the line closed in 1998.

Although Charlotte is widely known for her laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, she went on to pen three Maggie-Award winning thrillers for Avon Books in the late nineties, before resuming her first love, funny stories about people falling in love. She thrilled readers with her hilarious books, A New Attitude and Hot Shot, the latter of which won the Waldenbooks Greatest Sales Growth Achievement in 2003.

Her books received so many accolades that she was invited to co-author the very popular Full House series with mega-star author Janet Evanovich.

With that series behind her, Charlotte began her own, starring psychologist Kate Holly; What Looks Like Crazy, Nutcase, and High Anxiety, creating a list of somewhat kooky but always loveable and funny ensemble characters.

To keep current with Charlotte and her projects, please sign up for her newsletter .

You can also visit her website, and follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Two Worlds Two Men by Joy Frawley - Guest Blog and Giveaway

4_7 two worlds NBTM_TourBanner_TwoWorldsTwoMen copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joy will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five things you’d never guess about me….. By Joy Frawley


When I was a child I had this vision of what a writer looked like. This vision included dusty old men with white hair dangling a pocket watch from their button down vest. Yes, I know. I had quite the imagination. Yet that same imagination served me quite well when I decided to write my first book Two Worlds Two Men.

That being said, if you guessed that the first thing I was going to share about myself was a twisted sense of humor than you are correct! My odd humor is a legend unto itself to anyone who knows me well. I recall trying to reign in my political incorrectness due to worry about what others would think. Hence, much like straightening my wild black locks, the effort was useless. I’ve since given up trying to hold back my observations about the humorous sides of things mostly because I think the world needs more of it. Twisted or not.

I also have this odd attraction to color in my kitchen. I have a gorgeous collection of multi-colored ceramic bowls I adore filing with fruits and vegetables. Then I proudly display it on my counter much like a mother bird coddling her first born chick. For some reason the mere sight of fresh food inside colorful bowls makes me smile. I guess I’m a sucker for a lime green bowl filled with orange and yellow peppers. It’s downright beautiful. Either that or I’m deranged.

Dogs are my thing. Plain and simple. Some are cat people, however, I am a dog lover through and through. My dogs, Piggs and Diggs, bring a lot of pleasure to my life. It always amazes me how much a part of the family our pets become.

Flowers are never out of style. My sexy boyfriend brings me flowers on a regular basis. He gets an incredible amount of brownie points for this too. I’ve read that some women have no need for flowers and actually dislike getting them! Not me. I find their scent, color, and shape an all-around pick me up. For future reference, I’ll be more than happy to take any unwanted flowers off your hands.

Cobalt blue glass on the windowsill is downright gorgeous. I have accumulated several cobalt blue items over the years that consistently rest on my windowsills. Whatever the season that bold color enhances whatever is behind it. If I have snow the blue delivers a contrast so incredible I often find myself standing still and just looking at it awhile. If it’s a warm day the blue manages to bring a sense of freshness to my eyes as the rays of sunshine radiate through the glass. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long lean bottle or a funky paperweight if it’s cobalt blue glass it has got to be good!

So there you have it. Five things you didn’t know about me. I would wager some of you wish you still didn’t know these five things while others are running out to the nearest flea market for colorful bowls. Like I said it’s downright beautiful. See? There’s that twisted sense of humor again.

4_7 two worlds Cover_Two Worlds, Two MenJocelyn and Neely are having a perfectly pleasant dinner at the Sheep Heid Inn when it happens: Jocelyn suddenly finds herself sitting across the table, not from Neely, but a strange man dressed in medieval garb. This man is no apparition. His eyes, the deepest brown, clearly look on her in intimacy; his touch causes her pulse to rise. Jocelyn realizes two things: from his clothes, he is clearly an aristocrat, and that she, Jocelyn Stewart, seems to be in some sort of romantic relationship with him! Minutes later Jocelyn returns to Neely, in the present day, weak and terrified. Together they begin to unravel the forgotten past and find themselves facing the reality of medieval Scotland. A strange world steeped in folklore and superstition; where life begins and often ends with the sword. As Jocelyn travels back to medieval times she learns that the man she keeps seeing is no other than Sir Colin Campbell of the powerful Campbell Clan. When Jocelyn is with Colin, she wants never to leave his side; then she returns to the present and cannot imagine herself with anyone but Neely. Jocelyn struggles with a choice. Which man will gain her heart when both offer such different love? She is in love with two different men in two different worlds.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jocelyn looked around for the driver who was supposed to be waiting for her arrival with a sign. She had hired someone to pick her up because, as an American and first-time visitor to Scotland, she had figured it would be less stressful.

She didn’t see the driver anywhere; then, just as she started feeling nervous, she saw a man holding a sign with her name on it. And what a man he was! He was broad shouldered, strong and had dark brown hair with reddish tints. He exuded masculinity like some cologne, and even across the airport, she thought she could smell it. Smoothing her unruly hair, she started to walk over to him.

The man, seeing her approach him, took a step toward her. “Are you, Jocelyn?”

When he spoke her name, she found herself frozen in place unable to respond. She’d heard this voice before; she knew this voice. This man spoke her name exactly like the dream she had had all those years ago! She had been stirred awake in bed by a voice of a man, who spoke her name with a Scottish accent. His voice was gentle and low; as if he wanted to gain her attention, but not cause her alarm. Jocelyn had clutched the sheets to her chest and stared out into the darkness of her bedroom almost feeling his intimate presence beside her. She lifted her hand up to her ear having sworn his warm breath had brushed her skin. Jocelyn remembered she had turned her head, anxiously, toward the pillow next to her and almost thought she would be looking into the eyes of a stranger; yet she had not been frightened. This man, his voice, somehow comforted her.

Now, she stood in the airport and caught her breath as she faced the man before her. Her eyes searched his face for something; though what it was she wasn’t sure. Jocelyn felt her heart beating so fast she was certain the man could hear it as memories flooded her mind of that night so long ago when he or someone spoke her name in the darkness. Was that the reason for her vacation to Scotland? Was she unconsciously trying to find the man?


4_7 two worlds AuthorPic_Two Worlds, Two MenAbout the Author: Joy Frawley is an author and writer of the upcoming romance novella; Two Worlds, Two Men due to release on October 2014 by Resplendence Publishing. Joy lives in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan relishing in living the life of the classic “townie” with her two dogs Piggs and Diggs.

http://www.joyfrawley.com
https://twitter.com/joyfrawley

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Resplendence Publishing. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 18, 2015

Adding Lib by Kathryn Elliott - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome, Kathryn! Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

A fan of all things dark and criminally-minded, women’s fiction was not my first genre choice – I wanted to murder and plot political espionage. Sadly, it turns out I’ve got the killer instincts of a butterfly with Pope-like ethics. Damn Catholic school!

In all honesty, there are two schools of thought in writing. First, write outside your comfort zone, second write what you know; Adding Lib is a combination of both.

What research is required?

A key element of Adding Lib’s storyline stems from Libby’s mother, Mae McGinn’s early vascular dementia diagnosis. An advocate for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients for several years, I began researching the intricacies of the disease and interviewing families directly impacted by the often heart-wrenchingly slow process and discovered something surprising.

Laughter; a lot of laughter. It heals, soothes and even lessens the fears of both the patient and their family. I saw the niche for a humor and heartstrings based approach to a difficult subject matter – and Adding Lib was born.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine.

Tolerance.

Libby has a short fuse. Mae carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae's emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner. It takes a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae's diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Confession: I lock the door to write love scenes. Don’t misunderstand, I’m a good ole’ smut loving gal, I just prefer privacy to craft the thrusts, grunts and afterglow. Sometimes I invite my friend Kendall Jackson to join me.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Pantser - down to the Spanx.

Unlike a lot of my writer pals, I tend to develop characters and dialogue before a firm plot. I have a workable outline to begin, but the voices in my head need to talk it out before their story hits the page.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Cold cup of coffee. That I will, without fail, re-heat in the microwave and forget about until tomorrow when the cream curdle bubbles up to make cottage cheese. Yum.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

The second book in the McGinn Series, Finding Caroline is almost through the first dreaded draft. Sean and Caroline’s story is up next, and yes, there’s quite a bit of door-locking-smut-crafting. And it’s about time!

Additionally, I’m doing a big of ghost writing and publicity work (where my roots lie) for local non-profits including the American Cancer Society and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Do you have a question for our readers?

If you could be any fictional character for one day, who would you be?

Thanks for inviting me for a visit! I hope Adding Lib brings love and laughter.

Libby O'Rourke has a short fuse. Her mother, Mae, carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae's emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner.

Proficient in the art of denial, Mae brushes the shattering diagnosis aside and sets her sights on a matchmaking crusade for her eldest son. After all, if her lucid days are numbered, Mae’s going to make damned sure he makes it down the aisle while she still recognizes the groom.

It’s going to take a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae's diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.


Enjoy an excerpt:

Libby felt the weight of the coming conversation bear down on her shoulders like a lead blanket and struggled to find the right words.

“It’s all right, Libby,” Mae said, interrupting her thoughts. “Say what you need to. We’re here for a reason. We both know it.”

Shocked by her mother’s perception, Libby stared at Mae.

The older woman’s eyes were moist but holding back. She continued. “Spit it out, honey. I won’t have a public tantrum. It’s obvious you have something important to talk to me about, and I think you’ve delayed long enough.”

Libby’s shoulders slumped. “How’d you know?”

“Well, let’s examine the facts...” Mae grinned despite the gravity of the moment. “You took me to church, plied me with brunch, and now you’re standing there biting your bottom lip raw. Daddy used to call that your tell. We always knew something was wrong if your bottom lip looked like it had a run-in with a cheese grater.”

“Huh?” Libby ran her tongue over her bottom lip. “I never noticed.”

“In your teens, we were pretty sure you were going to bite clean through it,” Mae joked. “At least your nervous habit isn’t offensive; whenever Kevin lies, he grabs his testicles. Since the day he was born that boy treated his penis like an accessory. It’s terribly inappropriate, especially at parties.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathryn Elliott is a lifetime journalist with awards in political satire, human interest, and commentary. A Connecticut native, she is a happily married mother of two sons with high hopes one of them will pay for a delightful rest home.

A true believer in laughter's healing power, Kathryn writes characters whose flaws resonate with readers long after "The End."

ADDING LIB is her debut novel, and the first in The McGinn Series.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/KathrynElliottAuthor
TWITTER: @CandidKathryn
BLOG LINK: http://candidkathryn.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5961246-kathryn-elliott

BUY LINKS: The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=6006

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adding-Lib-Kathryn-Elliott/dp/1628306408/

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/adding-lib-kathryn-elliott/1120959745

iBook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/adding-lib/id946791906?mt=11

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Devil's Music by Pearl R. Meaker


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome, Pearl!

Thank you for inviting me to be on your blog. Also, thank you Goddess Fish Promotions for bringing us together.

Where are you from?

I’m from the state of Illinois in the Midwest part of the United States. That is also where The Devil’s Music is set, though it isn’t set in the town I actually live in. Twombly is a fictional town that has elements of my town and several other places I’ve lived.

What genre do you write in?

The Emory Crawford Mysteries are all cozy mysteries. My first favorite author, when I was nine years old, was Agatha Christie, and my love for her genre has stuck with me since. It is still my favorite genre to read in and was where my muse took me when I decided to write a book.

Why are you an Author?

This is a tough one. Needed to give it some thought before I answered.

I’m an author because I love stories, I love reading, and I discovered almost by accident that I write well. I’ve found the thrill of sharing a story with readers and having them fall in love with where I take them and the people I introduce them to. It is a totally amazing feeling. Every bit as wonderful as when I’m the reader and a story transports me.

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me. Songs inspire me, and both The Devil’s Music and my next book The Devil’s Hook were inspired by the song “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby” from the movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.

I also enjoy writing challenges where you’re given three or so words that seem random and unconnected and you have to write a short story using them all. Or you’re given a starting sentence – things like that. I used to write for a fanfiction challenge group and had a different challenge every month. It was a lot of fun, a good “school” on how to write and full of inspiration.

Where and what times during the day do you work best?

My time of day really fluctuates. I’m rather moody so it’s usually when the fit takes me. I’ve awoken in the middle of the night with something that just has to get written down “right now” and I’ll be at it still come morning.

Location is usually my living room, or my kitchen (where I am while I’m doing this interview), my office/craft room, or out on our patios in our backyard.

I’m a computer writer. I never wrote a story until we had a computer. I don’t like having to make messy corrections or not be able to move things around without having to rewrite whole pages by hand.

Who is your target audience?

Well, research says that it should be middle-aged women. But I read my first cozy when I was nine and loved it! So what that Hercule Poirot was an old man? Who cared that Miss Marple was an old, grey haired spinster who was a former nanny and knitted little fuzzy things? I loved them!

Think about it. The Harry Potter books are basically written for children, then growing into books for youngsters then teens. But right from the start adults loved them too. I think industries are often too quick to put prospective customers into neat little categories that don’t always fit.

I know the genre appeals to a wide range of people so mostly I’m concerned with writing a good, entertaining “who-done-it” with interesting plots and characters. If I do that it won’t matter much what the statisticians think.

How do you want your readers to feel as they read your book?

Entertained.

I want them happy when the story is being happy. Sad when the murder happens. Frightened when something scary is happening. I hope they feel what the characters in the story are feeling with each scene they read.

But over and above all, I want them to feel like they’ve been well entertained by escaping their everyday lives for a while.

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Study the craft – but don’t think you have to follow every piece of advice experts have to offer.

Sift through all the helpful hints and down-right insistence that this or that idea is THE BEST WAY TO WRITE. I myself, and many other writers I’ve come to know, have been badly messed up and had to spend some time recovering themselves, recovering their own style and voice, because they’d been convinced they were doing it wrong.

Try new ways and means if you want to, but start a new project, like a short story, to try them with. That way, if you find it doesn’t suit you, you haven’t ruined your larger work.

I did that with the “plotters vs. pantsers” issue. To read many writers opinions, you are doomed to failure if you don’t outline your book in intensely deep detail. For me, with the two short stories I tried it with, after I put all that detail into the outline, my brain knew it had written the story out in full and I couldn’t get it shifted into prose. Doing the deep, thorough outline didn’t work for me. I’ve read interviews with many successful authors who are “pantsers.” I prefer to call us “intuitive plotters.”

One writer I know tried the intense outline process on a novel she’d already been working on. She ruined that story and had to start over, working the way she had before, with a whole new novel. Which is why I say try the new technique on something small instead.

Share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know.

I’m willing to try things. If I find I can do something and like it, I keep doing it. That happened with writing, with fencing for five years, with playing bluegrass fiddle. It’s happened with all sorts of things. I still struggle with wanting to do well at things I just don’t do well at, just because I think they are things others expect of me. But I’m getting better at setting those aside and focusing on what I do well.


Emory Crawford doesn't do martial arts nor is she an athletic, leggy woman who is built like a model. She's a wife, grandmother, and empty nest lover of crafts, reading, birding and bluegrass music.

When an acclaimed scholar, best-selling author and fellow bluegrass musician is found murdered on the Twombly College campus where her husband teaches chemistry and forensics, Emory takes up her knitting caddy, to help her channel the spirit of Miss Marple, and heads off to help solve the crime.


Enjoy an excerpt:

Stars shone in a sky hazed with moonlight from a half- moon. The fountain played its merry music. The smell of late spring flowers wafted on the cooling air. Soft lights in the fountain made the area cozy while keeping it from being scary-dark. But our playful mood faded as we saw the silhouette of someone sleeping on one of the backless benches near the fountain.

“Drat! I was looking forward to some romance.” At forty-seven I still sound like a sulky child when I’m disappointed.

“So was I.” Jebbin didn’t sound it though. He was too busy squinting at the figure on the bench. He nodded his head toward the figure. “Something’s odd there, Emory.”

I looked closer. The figure’s arms both dangled down, hands resting on the ground. The legs were straight, hanging off either side of the bench in an uncomfortable looking position. We edged closer until we could see, lit by the light of the fountain, the body of a man splayed lengthwise on the bench. Several pouches and odd amulets rested on his chest. On the ground, the hand nearest us was holding a fiddle with no strings.

Jebbin grabbed my shoulders, turning me toward the fountain and away from the bench.

“He’s been strangled.” Jebbin’s body was tight, his voice tense. “It’s Archie and he’s been strangled.”


Pearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fanfiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts – when she’s not reading or writing - knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer.

Visit Pearl here:

www.pearlrmeaker.com

https://www.facebook.com/PearlRMeaker

Twitter link: https://twitter.com/PearlRMeaker

https://www.pinterest.com/PearlRMeaker/

Buy The Devil’s Music:

http://www.amazon.com/Devilss-Music-Pearl-R-Meaker/dp/1927559642/

https://www.promontorypress.com/books/pearl-r-meaker/the-devils-music

a Rafflecopter giveaway