Saturday, August 30, 2014

AWD Guest Post by Author Stacy-Deanne



Worth the Risk: Celebrating HIV-Positive Characters in Romance


Hi All,

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) here and I want to share a bit about my new release, Worth the Risk!

About the Book:

Houston music critic Alvin Zak becomes smitten with violinist Madeline Deever from the first moment she lays her bow to her violin to perform a concerto. Sent to review the orchestra, Alvin becomes so enraptured by Madeline that he asks her if he can do a feature on her. The polite, yet elusive Madeline agrees to think it over while declining Alvin’s invitation for coffee. Alvin does not understand Madeline’s abrupt refusal to his invite and it makes him even more interested in getting close to her.

The last thing Madeline is looking for is love since she is harboring a secret that has the power to ruin any potential relationship. Convinced no man would love her enough to accept her situation, she fights off Alvin’s advances, but begins to fall in love with him.

Can Alvin convince Madeline to trust him and give into her feelings or is Madeline destined to spend her life alone?
Available August 30th from Secret Cravings Publishing

Check Worth the Risk out on Goodreads and add it to your shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22596061-worth-the-risk


Why I Wrote the Book:

Worth the Risk will always hold a special place in my heart. So far, it is probably the most important book I’ve written. I wrote it in honor of my cousin who has been living with HIV for over a decade. The type of person she is and the struggles she’s been through made me want to base a character of her. I also wrote the book because I feel that it is important for fiction, especially romance, to focus on people from all lifestyles. One thing my cousin has to deal with is finding friends and lovers who understand her situation. I wanted to write this book for others with HIV so that they have faith that they can find love and romance like everyone else.


Why I Feel the Book is Important:

I believe fiction should sometimes show the harsher side of life. I also think it is important that people have characters in which they can relate. People with HIV fall in love and are in relationships the same as others, yet we don’t see many romances focused on them. I don’t know why that is. Maybe some writers don’t know much about HIV and are intimidated to write about it. Maybe some writers feel like audiences would not want to read a romance with an HIV-positive character. All I can say is that so far, reactions from readers and reviewers have been positive toward my book. In fact, a Facebook Group influenced me to follow my heart and write this. I had someone tell me that no one would want to read about an HIV heroine, but when I asked about this I got so many others who said that wasn’t true. I like to follow my heart in my writing so I couldn’t let it go, so the story was born. This a lesson to all writers to listen to your heart. If you feel strongly about something, write it no matter what.


The Importance of Romance Books for Everyone:

As a black child, I didn’t have any books that centered on people like me. None of the children’s books I read and enjoyed had little black girls in them. I always thought about that.

When I was a teenager, I never saw romance books or many other books outside of literary fiction with blacks as characters or on covers. Romance especially weren’t being written for blacks. It was very hard for black authors to get their romances published. Until BET Books and Kimani came along, romance books rarely focused on blacks. I always thought about that.

Now, read what I just wrote and you’ll see why I feel it’s important to have books everyone can relate to. I feel this way because it’s something I’ve experienced. I wondered how many people with HIV who love romance novels ever go, “Hmm, wonder why they don’t write more romances for people like me?”
That is the question I had in my head when writing Worth the Risk and it made me more determined and proud for writing this story.


What I Hope Readers Get From This Book:

What I hope people get from this book is simple, entertainment. I also hope that it expands the minds of people who don’t have firsthand experience with HIV or with those who have it. Worth the Risk is an interracial romance before anything else, except the heroine is living with an incurable disease. Madeline is still a woman with feelings and desires like any other woman. What I don’t want is for people to overlook the book because they are afraid of the subject matter. Once again, this is a romance above all else and I hope people see that.


Excerpt (Mild adult language below):

Madeline ran out the door and hurried down the sidewalk toward her dark-blue Mazda.
Come on!
She dug in her purse for her keys.
The last thing I need is anyone asking questions.
“Madeline?” Alvin busted out the door. “Madeline?” He ran up behind her. “Wait!”
She stopped and sighed.
What do I say if he asks why I’m here? Of course, I can tell him to fuck off but then what? I wake up and the next thing I know another feature of me will be in the magazine?
She turned around.
Hold on. Why the hell is he here?
“Hey.” He squinted. “You okay?”
“Why?” She held the prescription note behind her back. “Why wouldn’t I be okay?” She raised an eyebrow. “You saying I don’t look okay?”
“You look beautiful actually.”
Compliments.
She brushed her hair behind her ear.
I do like the way I feel when he looks at me. But, I can’t trust this man. He did a feature on me without my permission. Who does that?
She tilted her head.
I can’t lie and say I’m not a tiny bit attracted to him. Why does he like me though? Is he really interested in me or just my music?
“What are you doing here?” She avoided meeting his gaze.
“I’m here for my yearly checkup.” He swung his arms. “I gotta get my blood pressure medicine refilled.”
“You have high blood pressure?”
He rolled his eyes. “No, I just take the medicine because I like it.”
She grinned. “I guess your job can get stressful, huh? I’ve seen how some react when you give them bad reviews. I saw what that musician did to you on Twitter last year. I couldn’t deal with stuff like that.”
“No one likes a critic.” He clasped his hands in front of him. “That’s the nature of the job, but I love what I do. I love music, so that’s why I like to judge it and study it.” He gestured to her. “Why are you here?”
“I had to see my doctor.”
“Dr. Fox too?”
“No.” She crumpled up the prescription note. “It’s another doctor.”
“Oh.” He nodded. “Who?”
“Who?” She exhaled. “Is that really your business?”
He shrugged. “No, but I told you the name of my doctor.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t ask did I?”
His smile faded.
I hate being a bitch to him. He seems to be a nice guy but I can’t give him an inkling something can be between us when I know it’s impossible. Better to reject him now than hurt him later.
“Alvin, I told you I didn’t wanna see you again.”
“You don’t wanna see me because of the feature or something else? I’m sorry if doing the story hurt you. It wasn’t my intent.”
“Do you realize how many emails I’ve been getting since you wrote about me?” She touched her hair. “I mean…they’re nice and stuff but I didn’t want this to happen. You should’ve given me the choice.”
“I apologize, but I thought you’d be happy once you saw it.”
“Well, I wasn’t.” She held her arms to her sides. “I wasn’t.”
 “I don’t know how to be with you.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Things that I thought would impress women don’t work on you.”
“I don’t like games or tricks. I’d rather know off the bat what you want. No bullshitting.”
“Okay.” He swallowed. “I wanna go out with you, and I wanna know more about your music.”
She sighed.
“How about I give you a chance to tell your own story this time?” He touched her arm. “I really am sorry if the piece offended you.”
“It didn’t offend me. It was a very flattering feature but—”
“You didn’t want it?”
She nodded. “I don’t like people doing things behind my back.”
“You might be glad to know it’s gotten a lot of attention. I got people calling me asking me more about you and how to reach you.”
“I don’t want anyone to reach me.”
Why, Madeline?” He moved closer. “You’ve got a wonderful gift that you share with the world, but you don’t wanna share yourself?”
“I can’t.” She closed her eyes. “I can’t share myself with anyone else again.”
“Including me?”
She looked into his eyes. “Especially you.”






Upcoming Release:

Since I’m here I’d like to share about my upcoming September 13th release Empty coming from Sugar and Spice Press.

It’s about a May/December romance and I hope you check it out and enjoy it!

Blurb:

Empty is an endearing love story about soul mates who didn’t realize how lost they were until they found each other.

Forty-five year-old Sacramento Social Psychology Professor Bella Terry has developed a feverish attraction for her twenty-four year-old student, Cameron Moore. Despite their differences, Cameron finds the elusive Bella irresistible and stops at nothing to get closer to her.

Their interest for each other turns into a fascinating bond neither expected. They share their deepest secrets and Cameron realizes there is more to Bella than he ever imagined. Bella has not had an easy life and because of this, she’s built a wall to her heart. Bella pushes Cameron away, but Cameron refuses to give up on love.

After a traumatic experience, Bella realizes she loves Cameron and can’t afford to walk away.

Thanks for having me!

Check Empty out on Goodreads and add it to your shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22818338-empty





Monday, August 25, 2014

ASA Says Thank you to Readers! ~ Massive Book & Prize Giveaway

Massive Giveaway Alert!


Readers, this one is for you! Join me and my fellow authors as we say a big old thank you to our readers for all their support and for checking out our work! ASA is excited to offer 4 massive giveaways to any readers who enter. Just sign up below and spread the word!

Giveaways close at the end of the month!


Giveaway #1: a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #3 a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #4 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, August 22, 2014

BLOG TOUR ~ Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux (Review + Excerpt)



Release date: August 7th 2014


Synopsis via Goodreads:

Falling hard never felt so good.

Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...

The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?


About the Author
Jennifer ComeauxJennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. 







~Book Review~

Love love love this book! As a newbie to the New Adult genre, I was apprehensive about reading about tons of sex with bad boys and indecisive good girls and tons of bad language spread throughout. Thank goodness for Jennifer Comeaux's books! I love that she weaves a good story with sweet and endearing characters you can't help to fall in love with. She carves a nice niche out in writing about the competitive world of figure skating and being a huge fan of the sport since I was little watching the Olympics with my parents, Crossing the Ice was a dream come true.

Josh was my kind of hero. Sweet, a bit shy but definitely endearing and a gentleman. I couldn't wait for him and Courtney to get together and I loved the way they got to know each other. It was like falling in love again which is why I love reading romance books that really focus on the romance. They had sweet chemistry that really made me see why they cared for each other and how good they would be together. I couldn't help gushing!

Years ago I bought Life on the Edge and it's been waiting for me to dive in. I don't know why I took so long especially since a young Emily and Sergei appear in that book and are the coaches of the young figure skaters in Crossing the Ice! Love that! It makes me even more eager to read back sort of like a prequel to lead up to the events of this book.

At this time I'm still reading the book because some books you need to let simmer and marinate like a find gourmet meal and this one was one of them. I'm already a slow reader but when I really enjoy a book, I take my time because I love being in the minds of the characters. The bummer thing is this is the last in the series when I finish, but the upside is that I have a lot of great reading to catch up to in this series and I can't wait!

Thanks Jennifer Comeaux for this wonderful series!

Content: Clean book except for a few minor curse words sprinkled throughout.

~Excerpt~
         
            “Should I be worried about the lack of people here?” he asked. “I’m trusting your claim that this place has good food.”
            “It gets really busy on weekends. There’s a guy that plays the piano on Friday and Saturday nights, and all the old geezers come out. It’s a totally happening scene.”
            “Sounds entertaining. Anything’s more happening than what I’d be doing at home.”
            “And what would that be?”
            He took a sip of water and thought a moment. “Probably listening to my iPod on full blast so I don’t have to hear Steph watching reality TV at volume level fifty.”
            “You should come check it out this weekend then. The piano guy’s actually pretty good if you can put up with some of the cheesy songs he plays.”
            He leaned slightly forward. “After a lifetime in skating, I’ve become immune to cheesy music.”
            One of the waiters interrupted us, asking me to fill a drink order for his table, so I slid down the bar to get the wine. As I poured two glasses of red, I glanced at Josh and caught him watching me. He quickly looked away to the TV behind the bar. Was I being too friendly, encouraging him to come back to the restaurant so soon? I didn’t want to send the wrong signals. He just seemed like he could use the company. I’d gladly help anyone get away from Stephanie.
            I scooted into the kitchen to see if Josh’s dinner was ready and came out carrying a tray with his grilled salmon and asparagus. His eyes grew big as I set down the plate, and I parked myself in front of him, waiting for him to take a bite.
            “You’re going to stand there and watch me eat?” he asked.
            “Until you tell me how you like it.”
            He smiled and tasted a piece of the fish. His eyes stayed on his plate as I sensed he wasn’t comfortable being watched. His strong jaw moved slowly, and I found myself studying his mouth for the first time. He had nice, full lips. The kind that were made for kissing…
            Jeez, what are you, thirteen again? I backed off and picked up a dishrag to wipe a nonexistent spot from the bar.
            Josh finished chewing and waited a long moment, not giving me any hint of his opinion as he continued staring downward. Finally, he placed his fork on the plate and looked up at me.
            “It’s excellent,” he said.
            I pumped my fist. “Success!”
            “You’ll have to tell the owner you’ve recruited a new regular.”
            “I will. Maybe he’ll give me a ten cent raise.”
            He cut into his asparagus. “How long have you been working here?”
            “About two years. My dad was laid off from his job, and things got pretty tight, so I looked for something that could fit into my training schedule.”
            “Is he still out of work?”
            “No, he found a job in Boston — that’s why my parents moved. It’s just not as good a position as he had before so I needed to keep working.” I folded the dishtowel and hung it under the bar. “They’ve been really good to me here, letting me take off for competitions and always giving me the dinner shift on weekdays.”
            “It still has to be tough working all night after skating all morning.”
            “There are some mornings I really hate the alarm clock.” I laughed. “But I try to keep a consistent schedule — leave here by ten, in bed by eleven, so I can get eight hours of sleep.”
            “Your life sounds as exciting as mine.” He smiled.
            “At least you’ve been to college already. You must’ve had some exciting times there, right? Frat parties, football games…”
            He stared at his glass and traced the rim of it with his thumb. “With skating always coming first, I didn’t really have the typical college experience. It was pretty much train, go to class, eat, study, sleep.”
            I eyed him with one brow skeptically raised. “Not even one night of drunken debauchery?”
            He slowly shook his head. “I’ve never had a drop of alcohol.”
            “Really? You knew how to order a scotch.”
            “It’s my dad’s favorite drink.”
            I studied him harder, and he looked down and reached for his napkin. I’d thought I had limited social experience, but Josh might be even more inexperienced than I was. Even I had gone through the ritual of sneaking into a club and getting sloppy drunk (okay, it had only been once, but still).
            “Wanna try some vodka?” I joked and pointed to the line of bottles behind me.
            His smile returned. “I’m good, thanks.”
            “Okay, you just let me know because I make a mean Moscow Mule. At least that’s what my customers tell me.”
            I gave him space to finish his meal while I organized glasses at the other end of the bar. When I went to refill his water, he was on his last piece of fish.
            “I’ll be tempted to have this again this weekend, but I’m curious if everything else is just as good,” he said.
            “So you’re definitely gonna come for the big entertainment?” I realized after I spoke how excited I sounded.
            Josh apparently picked up on it because his grin grew a little wider. “I’m psyched for the blue-hair crowd and the cheesy music. Sounds like this will be the hottest spot on Cape Cod.”
            I laughed and moved over to the cash register. “Can I get you anything else? We have some yummy desserts. Not that I eat them on a regular basis,” I added hastily.
            “I’ll wait and splurge this weekend. Gives me something else to look forward to.” He paused and grimaced. “How sad is it that one of the highlights of my week is dessert?”
            “Hey, I’ve been known to take an hour to eat a piece of cake just to make it last. There’s no shame in anticipating and appreciating dessert.”
            I gave him his check and carried his plate to the kitchen. When I returned, he was standing and putting his wallet into the back pocket of his jeans. I brushed aside the twinge of sadness I felt because he was leaving and marched confidently toward him.
            “Thanks again for the recommendation,” he said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
            “Bright and early!” I chirped a little too enthusiastically.
            He walked away, and I bopped myself on the head with the bill folder before opening it. As I counted the cash, I realized Josh had left double the expected tip. What the hell? Was he pitying me?
            I squeezed the money in my fist and hurried for the door. Josh was a few steps into the parking lot. I called his name, and he spun around.
            “What is this?” I held up the cash. “I didn’t tell you about my dad losing his job because I was looking for a handout. I don’t need your charity.”
            He looked stunned. “I… I didn’t… that’s not why I did it. I heard you say that old guy only gave you a dollar, so I wanted to give you what he should have. What you deserved.”
            The tension in my body melted, and I softened my voice. “You didn’t have to do that. You can’t cover every cheapskate that comes in here. You’ll be broke by the end of summer.”
            His lips twitched upward. “It just didn’t seem right.”
            “Well, thank you. Mr. Mayer owes you a drink. A non-alcoholic one.” I smiled. “And I owe you an apology for getting all defensive.”
            “Don’t worry about it. It’s forgotten.”
            I let out a breath. “Good.”
            We stood quietly, making the crickets chirping around us sound even louder. Josh fiddled with his keys and took two small steps backward.
            “So… goodnight again.” He slowly walked in reverse toward the row of parked cars.
            “Goodnight.”
            When he eventually turned to his car, I went inside and thumped myself on the head again, that time with the heel of my hand. What was it about Josh that threw me off balance and made me act like an idiot? If anyone else had left me a humungous tip, I’d be dancing around and bragging to Meredith.
            Me and hot rich guys apparently weren’t a good combination.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich ~ Book Blast & $50 Giveaway

secret blissThe Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure
“Oh! Do link arms with me, Calliope,” Blanche whispered, her brown eyes widening with apprehension. She took Calliope’s arm, tightly linking it with her own. “The old Mulholland house still gives me the willies every time I walk past it. I hate to think on what might have gone on inside. It’s truly terrifyin’!” “Oh, don’t be silly, Blanche,” Calliope said, feigning calm. “Poor Prudence’s lunacy…it’s sad. And besides, her fiendish acts were not committed inside the house. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…it’s just a sad, empty building.” Calliope Ipswich felt the hypocrite, however, as an uncomfortable shiver of residual dread and unease shuttered down her spine,

More than six months had passed since the All Hollow’s Eve when the dangerous state of Prudence Mulholland’s fracturing mind had been revealed to the townsfolk of Meadowlark Lake. And now, each time Calliope thought of poor Prudence and her family, not only did her heart ache for their family’s unhappy lot but a chill of lingering horror rippled through her being.
In truth, at times Calliope wondered if it had all been simply a bad dream—a nightmare. But it hadn’t. It really had happened—all of it.

Purchase your copy on
 



marciaAuthor Marcia Lynn McClure

Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”


Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

 

Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Goodreads


BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/16/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway






















Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Fourth Wall Blog Tour + Giveaway!



When Marin was little and monsters chased her through nightmares, she learned to weave her own dreams. Her mother called the lucid dreaming a gift, and when an accident takes her mother and leaves her baby brother an empty shell, Marin uses this gift to spin a new reality for herself. One without time or sorrow. A world without memory.


But just when Marin thinks she’s safe in her make-believe fantasy world, the monsters come back and her dream turns to a nightmare. Something in the dream doesn’t want Marin to wake up. In order to heal herself and her family, Marin must face the truth she’s forgotten and conquer what lies behind the fourth wall.





Rae's Review:
Wow!

The Fourth Wall is one of those books where I read the blurb and think I know what I'm getting into but once I start reading, I have no idea! This is a good thing! After a while of reading similar books, The Fourth Wall is a welcoming change. If I had to tell someone what it was about, I'd tell them "it's about a young girl cursed or blessed (depending on how you view it) with the gift/curse of lucid dreaming to overcome the death of her mother and her broken family". In a nutshell that's exactly what it is. Though I feel like I'd be leaving out a chunk of what makes this book so unique.

Ms. Naranjo's young adult novel features a YA protagonist but some very mature subject matter with death, mourning and moving on. There are small elements of fantasy in our protagonist Marin's dreams. Although I'm a huge fantasy fan who loves the all out fantastical elements, the way it was used here was a companion to the Marin's inner struggle rather than leading the story. Let me tell you, it fit. The true champion in this tale is the Marin's journey to trusting others and facing the everyday with school, schoolmates and family interactions.

I love the way Ms. Maranjo wrote this story with such detail and emotion that made me feel what the characters felt and I rooted for them to overcome their tragedy. I'm looking forward to seeing wha tother stories she has up her writer sleeve!

Fans of realistic fiction would love to dive into this book especially if they are looking for a YA book that falls in the realistic fiction genre.

Content Warning: Some adult language and adult themes

Paperback: 237 Pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (June 10, 2014)

ISBN: 978-1-937178-51-2


Twitter hashtag: #FourthWall


The Fourth Wall is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon.



Book Giveaway Contest!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author: Elizabeth grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (12) and Gabriel (7). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry. The Fourth Wall is her first novel.


Elizabeth’s creative nonfiction has appeared in Brain, Child, Phoenix New Times, Literary Mama and Babble.com, and is forthcoming in Brevity. Elizabeth is also an award-winning fiction writer; her short stories have been published in The Portland Review, Hospital Drive, SLAB Literary Magazine, and Bartleby Snopes. Links to her work and information on classes/critiques can be found at http://www.elizabethmarianaranjo.com/.

Elizabeth grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children, Abigail (11) and Gabriel (6). She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry.


Website: http://www.elizabethmarianaranjo.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/elizabethmarianaranjo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.m.naranjo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emarianaranjo





Check out past stops on the tour!

Monday, July 21 @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/


Tuesday, July 22 @ The Lit Ladies
Don't miss today's interview with Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she talks to Margo Dill about The Fourth Wall. Once you've found out about Elizabeth's debut novel, get in on the giveaway to get your hands on your own copy!
http://www.thelitladies.com/



Wednesday, July 23 @ All Things Audry
Elizabeth Maria Naranjo makes a visit at All Things Audry and shares her thoughts about "Lucid Dreaming" and offers a giveaway of her debut novel, The Fourth Wall. This is a blog stop you won't want to miss! http://allthingsaudry.blogspot.com/



Friday, July 25 @ Renee’s Pages
Find out what Renee has to say in her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo's debut novel The Fourth Wall. Elizabeth is also offering a giveaway of her fabulous book. A blog stop too exciting to miss!
http://reneespages.blogspot.com/


Monday, July 28 @ Create Write Now
Join Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she shares information about her debut novel The Fourth Wall and provides insight into "The Advantages of the First Novel".
http://www.createwritenow.com/


Thursday, July 31 @ CMash Reads
Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and her debut novel, The Fourth Wall will be highlighted on CMash reads today. Tune in and participate in the giveaway for this highly acclaimed first novel from a very talented young author! http://cmashlovestoread.com/

Monday, August 4 @ Choices
Learn about the "Benefits of a Small Press" with Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and she gives insight about the publishing process of her debut novel The Fourth Wall.
http://madelinesharples.com/


Wednesday, August 6 @ Blue House Review
Elizabeth Maria Naranjo takes her debut novel, The Fourth Wall and stops at The Blue House Review where she shares some little known "Facts About Elizabeth" and offers a giveaway of her highly acclaimed first novel!
http://www.bluehousereview.blogspot.com/


Friday, August 8 @ I’d So Rather be Reading
Today's spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading is none other than Elizabeth Maria Naranjo with her debut novel, The Fourth Wall. Find out more and read a review by Crystal Otto of WOW! Women on Writing as she shares her thoughts of Naranjo's work.
http://www.idsoratherbereading.com/


Tuesday, August 12 @ Romance Junkies
Today's interview at Romance Junkies gives us a glimpse into the writing life of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and her debut novel The Fourth Wall. This is a "can't miss" blog stop!
http://www.romancejunkies.com/


Thursday, August 14 @ Bring on Lemons
Read Crystal's review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo's debut novel, The Fourth Wall and get in on the giveaway to receive your very own ebook copy of this fabulous book!
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/



Wednesday, August 20 @ A Writer’s Dream
Today you won't want to miss a review and giveaway for Elizabeth Maria Naranjo's The Fourth Wall. Stop by and see what Rae Lori has to say and learn for yourself why this debut novel is receiving such high praise!
http://raelori.blogspot.com/


Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.



Monday, August 04, 2014

~ Blog Tour ~ Shadows in the Curtain by Cami Checketts



Every stage actress wants fans, but what happens when one goes too far?
Emmy has the perfect life— a house on the beach, a successful career headlining the local theater, and love. But when a brutal murder brings unimaginable grief, Emmy’s world comes crashing down. As she tries to pick up the pieces, she can’t seem to avoid Josh, the new fireman in town.
Emmy does her best to fight the sizzle in her chest when Josh is near. But with the stalker still out there, terrorizing her and those she cares about, she can’t fall for anyone—especially Josh, a suspect in the murder investigation.
If Emmy allows a man to get close, it’s not just her heart she puts at risk, it’s her life.

“Cami Checketts can spin a tale like no other. Love, suspense, thrills, she has it all, and Shadows in the Curtain is no exception. What a thrill ride! I highly recommend this book. 10 stars!!”
Sherry Gammon, author of the Port Fare Series
“I’m a sucker for the exciting parts, and this book has scenes that had my eyes racing my heart to the end of each page!”
 Amanda Tru, author of the Yesterday Series

Shadows in the Curtain - Only $2.99 at the following retailers:
Buy it in print here for only $8.63


Cami Checketts' books Poison Me and The Colony are only $.99 for the length of the Shadows in the Curtain blog tour -August 4th - 9th.

Poison Me 
Jake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, and her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer.
But secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she’s always loved but could never have. Chanel’s unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, and Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love.


The Colony
To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property.
Lance, Brinlee's attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion.
While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.


Excerpt from Shadows in the Curtain

Timothy stuck to her side while people surged passed with compliments, hand squeezes, and the occasional hug. Emmy searched every eye, but only saw excitement from a fun performance or weariness from sitting too long. If anyone had murder in mind, he was as good at putting on a fake face as she was.

No one piqued her curiosity. Until he came. She had no clue what his name was, but the past few weeks she’d seen him almost every morning at the gym. He was much too good-looking, with his rippling muscles and deep blue eyes. She always avoided looking directly at him, though she knew that was as obvious an indicator of her attraction as staring would be. She couldn’t avoid him now.

The wide entryway, which featured plush, faded carpet and wood-planked walls, shrank as he drew nearer. The babble of the crowd faded. He reached for her hand, staring deep into her eyes. Her hand fitted itself into his like he was a magnet. Her entire body leaned toward him.

“You were amazing. So passionate.” He smiled and the room swayed.

Emmy was quite sure the passion she experienced right now had nothing to do with singing or acting. She should draw away but couldn’t force herself to. “Thank you,” she managed, embarrassed by the huskiness of her voice as she tried to catch a breath.

The crowd pressed forward, and he was forced to release her hand and move to the side. His blonde date gushed over Emmy for a second, and then they were gone.

Emmy continued greeting other patrons but couldn’t forget the allure of his blue eyes. He didn’t seem like the creepy stalker type, but she had to wonder. Could he be the one sending the notes?

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Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Reckoning by Teyla Branton Book Blast

Reckoning

My inner sci-fi geek girl is tickled by this series and particularly the author not only because we share a same name but also because her first name and middle name remind of one of my fave characters  and the actress that played her on an old SF show I enjoyed.

Her book series sounds great and I'm excited to add this to my reading queue for review!



The Reckoning

The Reckoning


Only One Can Survive The Reckoning


Erin Radkey has always known the day would come when she would have to personally confront the Triad leader of the power-hungry Emporium. But she never thought it would be with a snake in her head that feeds on her energy. Or that she’d be in the company of an uncertain ally who might turn on her at any moment.

The stakes are high as new intel uncovers a startling Emporium plot that will catapult the entire world into war. Erin is determined to save not only the mortals but also her friends—even if it means sacrificing herself and her newfound love for Ritter Langton.


Ritter is just as determined to save Erin and prevent what would usher in the most bloody century the world has ever known, but even he might not recognize the person she becomes.


Every day the enemy grows stronger. There will be no second chance.




Excerpt



I started firing. My third man fell and Mari’s second before the group turned in our direction. Two men at the back dropped from Ritter and Stella’s fire, followed by two more. Nine down. They opened fire. The rat-a-tat-tat of their automatic weapons sliced through the stillness of the night. We had to hurry. Mari crouched behind the car, while I went over the top, using Ritter’s speed. He was already there. I landed on one rotund Hunter while bringing my trangue gun down on another. I rolled as I fell. Another turned his gun in my direction, but I was already diving away, the bullets spraying the short grass. Twisting, I came around, my foot out, kicking the gun from his hand. He slammed his fist at me, but I deflected it with my left arm and jabbed my right hand into his gut. He grunted and leaned forward into my next punch. I looked around as he fell, but I already sensed everyone was down.


“Get them into their van,” Stella said. “It won’t be long before someone comes to investigate those shots.” She grabbed a Hunter and started tugging him across the ground.


I sent my thoughts out wider, finding two more life forces slinking in our direction. They were dimmer than the average life forces, which meant they were shielded. Before I could warn the others, Desoto’s two patrolman emerged from the trees only twenty feet away. I caught a glimpse of automatic rifles before a spotlight blinded me.


“Stop,” said a voice I recognized as belonging to the Unbounded who’d found Walker asleep in the security room. “Put down those weapons.”


Unbounded. Both of them, I told the others. Mari, stay behind the car until I tell you.


Ritter, Stella, and I dropped our tranques and raised our hands as the Unbounded moved closer. I could see a red dot on Ritter’s forehead, and as there wasn’t one on Stella’s, I figured another must be on mine. Though the bullets wouldn’t kill us, we’d be out of commission long enough to lose the information we’d obtained unless Stella had already uploaded it to our servers. Worse, we’d be back in Emporium hands.

I’d rather die a true death.




Praise for The Reckoning:



I just loved the whole Saga! Well-written, completely addictive, keeps you on the edge, wanting to know what comes next! I really think the author should consider a movie or a TV series for the whole four books! For not being a SF fan, I just can say that this was AWESOME!



The fourth instalment in the Unbounded series definitely lives up to the action packed books preceding it. I love the strength of Erin's character, and the novel made for compelling reading.



The Unbounded world is a fascinating place to visit! I would recommend this series to anyone, women, men, young adults. Not overly complicated yet the author weaves an amazing tail. I can hardly wait to see what is next for the Unbounded!



Book #1 The Change is FREE.
Change

“Surprising plot twists” -Publishers Weekly

Grab your FREE copy today!






teylaAuthor Teyla Rachel Branton


Teyla Rachel Branton grew up avidly reading science fiction and fantasy and watching Star Trek reruns with her large family. They lived on a little farm where she loved to visit the solitary cow and collect (and juggle) the eggs, usually making it back to the house with most of them intact. On that same farm she once owned thirty-three gerbils and eighteen cats, not a good mix, as it turns out. Teyla always had her nose in a book and daydreamed about someday creating her own worlds. She is now married, mostly grown up, and has seven kids, including a two-year-old, so life at her house can be very interesting (and loud), but writing keeps her sane. She thrives on the energy and daily amusement offered by her children, the semi-ordered chaos giving her a constant source of writing material. Grabbing any snatch of free time from her hectic life, Teyla writes novels, often with a child on her lap. She warns her children that if they don’t behave, they just might find themselves in her next book! She’s been known to wear pajamas all day when working on a deadline, and is often distracted enough to burn dinner. (Okay, pretty much 90% of the time.) A sign on her office door reads: DANGER. WRITER AT WORK. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. She loves writing fiction and traveling, and she hopes to write and travel a lot more. She also loves shooting guns, martial arts, and belly dancing. She has worked in the publishing business for over twenty years.




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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/27/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

~ Blog Tour ~ Son of War, Daughter of Chaos by Janette Rallison

Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour


SonOfWarEBookSon of War, Daughter of Chaos
Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life.

When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.





Janette Rallison  Author Janette Rallison
Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that.

Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off.

Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)



~Excerpt~
I was on my feet and running down the path before I could fully process what was happening. The dark swarm flew toward me. Their wings sounded like the dull hum of an incoming storm. I didn’t have to see them to know they were scarabs—the flesh-eating kind. The Horusians had pinpointed our location and flown in beetles to kill us. How they found us, I didn’t know.
As I fled down the slope, I slipped. My feet jerked out in front of me. I hit the ground, hard, skidding and then flipped over. I tumbled down the slope, clawing at the ice, trying to get a handhold. White flashes of snow jumbled together in my vision. Finally, I hit a flat spot. I managed to stop, pick myself up, and run again. Panic wrapped around me. I couldn’t make it off the ridge before the scarabs reached me, and even if I could, I had nowhere to hide from the beetles on this open stretch of land. Still, I ran. I wouldn’t stand still for death.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/24/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Midnight Play by Lisa Marie Perry ~ A Review

Love evens the score

As general manager of the Las Vegas Slayers, Danica Blue goes toe-to-toe with players whose size is matched only by their egos. Quarterback Dex Harper is the biggest and toughest of them all, with a hell-raiser reputation that he insists he doesn't deserve. And Danica, the good daughter who's always played by the rules, is suddenly tempted to break every last one. 

Football is the only thing Dex has ever been able to count on. To save his career he needs Danica's PR savvy, and he's happy to help her discover her inner bad girl in return. But glimpsing the real woman behind that sexy, flawless facade is making him realize how much is at stake. Because getting back on the team could mean losing Danica, unless he's willing to risk it all—and play for keeps….



Let me just say I love the idea of this book. I'm glad I was able to hop in on the 'good daughter's' book because I find the good girl/bad boy trope rather fascinating in romance and I like to see how different authors handle the clashing of two different personalities.

Midnight Play also made good use of some of the other tropes I like to read in romance like enemies to lovers in addition to opposites attract. Then it throws them together in a sports themed world. I've been meaning to read more sports romances and Midnight Play fits the bill. It was a mixed bag for me with a couple of things I really enjoyed and some things that were a bit surprising that I could leave behind.

First of all, what I loved. I loved how Danica was put together. She's a no-nonsense woman with a whip smart career mind that showcases her talent to be the Slayer's team GM. I loved seeing her handle herself and her family during the press conference scenes. Ms. Perry has a talent for witty banter and I have to say this was one of my favorites:

“Question for the general manager.”
Danica sent the reporter a coy grin. He faltered for a moment, backlit by the flashes of cameras, but that fleeting hesitation was all she needed to know she could handle whatever he dished out.
“How satisfied are you with TreShawn Dibbs?” the reporter asked, referring to the kicker Danica had hired in spite of his checkered past and the firestorm of talk about his prior experiences with performance-enhancement substances.

“Since the season opener he’s abided by the terms of his contract with our team and he’s maintained one hundred percent accuracy on all field goals. Who wouldn’t be satisfied with stats like that?”
That didn’t stop him from persisting, though. “Even you have to admit it was a risky move to acquire a player suspected of so many transgressions.”

“Dibbs is healthy and giving our franchise the results we want. What would football be without risky moves? You never know what action I’m going to take next. Don’t ruin all the excitement by trying to predict me.”

This earned a wave of laughter, and the reporter blushed as though embarrassed to have even broached the subject.

Loved that. Danica kicks butt verbally and can go toe to toe with anyone (outside of her family) if need be. Inside of her family is another story. She is jelly in front of her parents, her mother a hotsy totsy socialite who always seems put together is quick to turn her into the dutiful daughter who never quite seems to be at the top of her form. She is the straight and arrow one among her more wilder sisters (who each have their own separate books) and naturally she comes unglued when the hero makes his appearance. She also has an ex-husband who still has eyes for her. Speaking of said ex-husband, I didn't mind that we got a glimpse of him still jonesing for Danica. It added an edge of suspense that I had hoped would go somewhere but sadly didn't. One thing it did give was this nice exchange between him and Danica.

Marion shook his head. “I will love you for the rest of my life, Danni. Don’t go thinking that’ll change because we signed some papers last year.”


“But you’re not in love with me. That changed before we signed the papers.” She forced her expression into one that was casual—impassive. “Dredging this all up again is rooting us in a place we shouldn’t be. We’re different now, Marion. You’re music and BET and MTV. I’m sports and ESPN. We’ve got separate lives. Let’s live them.”

Snort. Considering how all over the place music is with both BET and MTV and how sports and ESPN go together like peanut butter and jelly, I like how Ms. Perry uses this to show how all over the place Marion is and how put together Danica is. I kind of wish we could see a bit more of Marion to confirm that analogy which was brilliant.

I like that Danica was a divorced woman who still caved around her parents. No matter how old their children get, some parents have such a strong influence and hold on their children that doesn't stop once a magical number appears when they age. Considering the Blues work together so closely in their professional and mostly social lives, the bond and hold is stronger, so I understand why Danica couldn't quite stand up to her parents (and namely her mother).

I liked this aspect of the book and felt it was stronger when Danica was on her own weathering a balance between both aspects of her lives while fending off a stalkerish husband. If the book continued with this strength while balancing a burgeoning romance with Dex the football player, this would have been a seriously captivating read for me.

Unfortunately, when Dex and Danica got in the vicinity of each other, I felt the book tended to suffer a bit. It's weird I find this happening in a lot of current romance books. Although I don't read much women's fiction, I find that some romance books tend to be stronger when the female character is on her own. Consequently, I felt like I didn't know as much about Dex as I did about Danica. It's understandable because the book revolves around her family's business, but he felt more like a supporting role in her life rather than the hero in the romance book. I did love the glimpses we got into his family connection, but I wanted to know more about him than just knowing he ran between hot and cold with Danica.

Also in this instance, the main characters' attraction felt more to me like lust than love and I would have loved to have seen more tension built up over the course of the book. They didn't get together until about halfway point which I wouldn't mind if the tension was there pulling them together the whole time. Maybe I've been burned by too many IR books focusing on the physical relationship between the main characters but I wanted more substance in their attraction that really focused on a romance-y type of romance rather than how their bodies reacted to each other. A few instances made me side eye the characters. I would have loved to have seen more romantic reaction, such as their scene when Dex made his appearance at the wedding.

Her plate slipped from her grasp, but her panicked “Oh, crap!” hung in the air as a man caught the dish in one hand and wound a muscled arm around her waist. She was aware of being crushed against a hard male body, of cologne with hints of rum and spice, yet her eyes were on her plate.

“You rescued my cake! I could kiss you.”

Love this! It was very cute and very romantic and swoony for the setup.

Midnight Play has descriptions and words that I don't remember reading in the Kimani line prior to this book. I'm not sure if the line (and only this line) is turning up the heat or if because it features POC and IR couples but it's something I will keep a close eye on in future books from Kimani. I wish Harlequin would offer more bwwm IR couples in their other lines (preferably Special Edition, Superromance and their romantic suspense lines) and not just in one section. It's a complaint I have with IR books in genre which have come it's own genre in a way with erotic books on one side and sweet books on the other. It's tough to navigate which one is which at times and with Harlequin having their own distinct branded lines, it makes the kind of book I want to read much easier to find. As a Harlequin reader panelist, I'll continue to make note of this to HQN themselves.

I'm glad MP didn't veer into fetish fiction where the different races of the couple was highlighted and a source of confusion and conflict from the heroine's POV. They were played as GM and player with that and the differences in their family backgrounds molding their interest and hesitation toward each other. The one instance race was mentioned was in a wonderfully written description in passing (His tanned skin contrasted with her own sun-kissed brown complexion as he tried to press something into her hand.)

There were a lot more lines and dialogue I highlighted in my Nook book that the author really played well but to include them would make this a book length review in itself. I love love love her talent for dialogue and description and pretty much almost highlighted most of my ebook copy with great lines. I will say that I hope Ms. Perry revisits the IR genre once more in the future.


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