If I’d Never Heard of Me, Would I Buy My Book? by JB Glazer – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

I chose to write about this topic because let’s face it, people have never heard of me. Out in the Open is my debut novel and has only been in market for about five months. Writing a book has always been my dream, and while I’m so proud of my accomplishment, I never realized how many others had the same dream. Okay, I knew many people aspired to write a novel, but I didn’t think there were that many that would actually do it. It seems that there are hundreds of new books available each day. So what makes mine stand out? And why should someone read my book? I attended a number of writing seminars and recall one of the speakers saying, “You need to find your parking lot. What is it about your book that makes it unique?” This piece of advice really stuck with me. I work in marketing and we are always trying to find the “white space.” What is the one area that no brand has tackled yet? Or how would you do it in a way that is unique? I felt this advice was a parallel to a topic I’m faced with constantly at work. But now I had to figure out a solution in my personal life—and without a brilliant team supporting me.

This is a tall order because it seems that just about every topic has been covered. But the fun part of writing is that while most romances have a set formula, it’s up to each author to figure out the journey to getting to happily ever after. I decided that I wanted my novel to feel aspirational yet attainable. If I had to sum it up in one word I was going for real. So often I read books and walk away thinking, “Yeah, that’s great but it could never happen.” So I chose to write about the struggles of a young twenty-something who is trying to find love while navigating her career. It’s a realistic situation people can relate to, whether they are in that life stage now or can look back and remember what it was like to be young, single, and trying to establish yourself while still figuring out who you are. I used advertising as a backdrop because I work in the industry, plus I think it’s fun and glamourous, though I’m a bit biased. While it’s a workplace romance, it’s really more about the character development and the struggles they face in balancing love while trying to advance their careers.

I will admit, I don’t have a formal writing background. It’s a craft I’ve always loved and I’d like to think I have a knack for it. When I first told my friends I wanted to write a novel they weren’t surprised. Although when a close friend served as my beta reader she had an amusing reaction, “It’s just like a book you’d read at Barnes & Noble!” That’s what I was going for. 

So back to the question of would I read it? The answer is yes. If I liked the synopsis and preview of the first few chapters I’d take a chance on someone new. Everyone has to start from somewhere. But don’t take my word for it. As Lauren said in her review, “I loved every aspect of the book – the writing was top-notch, the character development was stellar and the storyline was extremely well-crafted. I devoured the book, eager to find out what was going to happen between Lexi and Jake, and the ending definitely did not disappoint (boy did I not see that one coming).”

MEDIA KIT out in the openAdvertising executive Lexi Winters had a plan, but leaving her cheating fiancé, her beloved New York, and a successful career weren’t on her agenda. At twenty-seven she faces the harsh reality of starting over again. She returns to her hometown of Chicago and lands a new job, where she meets Jake Hartman, the agency founder’s captivating nephew. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Lexi is protective of her fragile heart and isn’t ready to date again. Jake is on the fast track to leading the company and has vowed to his uncle never to let anything—or anyone—get in his way. What begins as harmless flirtation soon crosses a line that threatens to destroy Lexi and Jake’s promising careers. In a relationship plagued by secrets, will they risk everything to be out in the open?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I like your dress,” Jake says, lightly touching the fabric on my shoulder. He slides his hand down the length of my dress, grazing my breast, and rests it on my knee. I raise my eyebrows at him.

“You don’t mind, do you?” he asks in a low voice.

“No,” I say, meeting his gaze.

He stands up, and I stand up too, thinking we’re leaving. “Wait here,” he says, then closes the curtains to our seating area, giving us complete privacy. He makes his way back toward me wearing a determined expression that makes my heart beat wildly in my chest. Is he going to kiss me here, in the middle of the bar? He looms over me and takes the drink out of my hand. I feel the color rise in my face, and my breathing becomes ragged. Jake tilts my chin so I meet his gaze and leans in close when suddenly the curtains part and Brad walks in. “Sorry, dude,” he says to Jake, “but Maurice just informed me there’s a girl here looking for you. She says you work together, and she’s on her way down.”

Jake’s demeanor immediately changes. He fully opens the curtains and moves to the other side of the couch, putting some distance between us. I look at him questioningly, but his flirty smile is gone, replaced with a cool stare. Then I see a brunette talking to the bouncer, and I’m guessing she’s looking for Jake. She makes eye contact, and he motions her over.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT JB Glazer Bio PicJ B Glazer developed a love of writing at a young age. She followed that passion to the University of Illinois, where she graduated with a degree from the College of Communications. She pursued a career in advertising, a field that provided an outlet to express her creativity. She has fifteen years of experience at the renowned Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, which served as inspiration for her novel. She’s also a wife, mom, marketer, referee, short-order cook, maid, chocoholic, shopaholic, and multitasker extraordinaire. Visit her website at www.jbglazer.com, follow her on Twitter @JBGlazer, or connect with her on Facebook.

Out in the Open is available at national retailers including Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

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Christmas with the Marquis by Jean Hart Stewart – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

 

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive $15 PayPal cash. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When an arrogant Marquis’s seduction fails, he plans a Xmas celebration at his country estate. Inviting the one girl who not only rejects him but seems to hate him is part of his plan to win her. His scheming soon turns to much more than decorating the house for Xmas. Abigail’s beauty incites a plan for revenge on the Marquis by his most depraved enemy, who is bent on kidnapping and raping Abigail. Can the Marquis save her and make this a merry Christmas after all?

 

Enjoy an excerpt:

Abigail called after them. “Galoshes are by the back door. Gloves and scarves also. You don’t want to wear your best clothes on an expedition like this, gentlemen”

She leaned back in her chair and watched them go. Startled, but pleased, she hurried to her own rooms to change into riding clothes and tall boots. She adored tramping in the woods and how could she not join in the search for the perfect Yule log? After scarcely a thought she pulled on the breeches she wore when she was riding at home with no one caring what she did. She pulled on her riding boots, although she picked her second-best pair. Who knew what such wonderful snow would do to good boots?

She ran lightly down the steps to the back door. A small screech escaped her when the felt herself hauled against a strong chest, and looked up in astonishment at a livid Jason glaring down at her. Maybe not Jason, right now. No, definitely the Marquis. An irate Marquis, giving her a good swat on her rear and glaring at her.

“Don’t you even think of trying to escape me, you little fool. You’re not at your country home. You’re at mine, with some of the most licentious noblemen in London who’d be delighted to see you so scantily clothed. Do you want them to line up at your door tonight, you vexatious idiot?”

Abigail simply stared at him for a moment, her temper ready to boil over, when he suddenly softened, ran his hands over her hips and around her waist and pulled her against him. His kiss was hot and blazing, lingering at her lips with his tongue pushing into her mouth in a dizzying display of passion that had her clinging to his coat lapels.

“My god, Abigail, how am I going to stay away from you?”

He lay his forehead softly against her hair and softly caressed her well rounded bottom.

Stunned, she couldn’t think of a thing to say. She wrenched herself away and fled back to her room. She’d simply not thought of anything but her own comfort and that wonderful snow. Of course a woman didn’t appear in breeches at a house party for London aristocrats! Not unless there was a hunt scheduled or good riding was available.

She was an idiot.

How could she face Jason, and indeed her grandmother? And she herself was supposed to be chaperoning Bettina?

Burying her face in her hands, she tried to shut out her regretful thoughts. The fact that her every thought centered on Jason and his reactions didn’t even occur to her.

She didn’t see the lascivious face of Lord Wilcombe, earl of Wilmington, watching them from a corner of the hallway.

About the Author:

Jean feels she’s very much a Californian although she was born in Ohio. California has been home for a good many years. Life changed drastically for her when she was six and her father died incredibly from an errant golf ball. A dishonest insurance agent forced her sheltered mother to seek work, and she became a teacher. Her hours required Jean to be alone in the house in the afternoon, and since she was forbidden to leave till her mother got home, she became an avid reader. The local library supplied most of the books and she developed early her two of main interests, Jane Austen and King Arthur.

Reading is still one of her favorite activities, although she sometimes has to push it aside to make room for her enduring love of writing. Her journalism degree was used infrequently until recently. Marriage and raising two children pleasantly got in the way. After twenty years of being a real estate broker and with the kids raised she finally could devote her time to writing, her first love.

Jean’s enchantment with the lore and legends of Druids and, therefore, delving into their history led to fascinating research that inspired her popular Garland of Druids Series for Cerridwen Press. She’s now enjoying writing stories filled with magic and romance for her Songs of the Mages Series, also for Cerridwen Press.

Few things in her life have been so satisfying, especially when all her books have a happy ending. Wonderful to make happen. It only gets more interesting when a secondary character demands his very own book. Who would want to deny him? Not Jean!

EDITED TO ADD: “She has recently left Cerridwen and Ellora’s Cafe Press and is now writing exclusively for MuseItUp, the largest Canadian publisher.”

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1771239.Jean_Hart_Stewart

http://www.jeanhartstewart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorjeanhartstewart

https://twitter.com/JeanHartStewart

Buy the book at Amazon or MuseItUp Publishing.

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The Green Rose by Stephanie Burkhart – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

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

 

 

On the continent of Gaia, evil is brewing. Turncoat wizard, Balthyser, kidnaps the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. He wants the green rose, a source of powerful magic.

Princess Sonia of Tapin is forced to hunt down the rose in exchange for her father’s life. It’s the ultimate betrayal of Gaia’s peace, but she has no choice if she wants to save her father.

Prince Ivánstan of Dahaka accompanies her on the journey. Both face challenges and obstacles that test their strength of character during the hunt for the rose. Dare Sonia put her trust and faith in a man she hardly knows to secure Gaia’s peace or will the continent’s harmony be shattered forever?

 

 

Enjoy an excerpt:

Racing forward, he spotted her near Tapin’s tents surrounded by three beasts. Tall and slender, she possessed a strong, wild beauty he found intriguing. Long chestnut brown hair flowed down her back. Her eyes were golden yellow with obsidian irises. She’d been bonded! Only the noble bonded. Her high, exotic cheekbones and patrician features were steeled in courage and determination. The primal urge to mate with her made his heart pound in his chest.



A falcon, the heraldic symbol of Tapin, was prominently displayed on her tunic.



A bird screeched. A wyldebeast craned its neck upward and the descending falcon slashed its talons over the creature’s face, spraying blood.



“Well done, Hiro!” exclaimed the woman.



A second wyldebeast lashed at her. She stumbled backwards, tripping on a rock. Her wrist struck the ground hard, sending her sword sprawling several feet away from her, leaving her vulnerable.



“Draco, defend the Tapin noblewoman!”



Ivánstan’s dragon, now overhead, shot a blast of flame from his mouth, scorching the fur of an advancing beast. The creature collapsed and rolled over, attempting to use the ground to extinguish the flames on its body.



The remaining wyldebeast raised his hand, its fingernails moist, poised to strike the noblewoman. Ivánstan lunged forward and sliced off the creature’s wrist just inches in front of her face.



“Thank Nyla!” she cried.



The beast howled in pain and spun to face Ivánstan. Draco latched its thorny claws into the creature’s shoulders, lifting it into the air.

About the Author:

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She’s also an assistant den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.

 

 

Thoughts from Susie Warren, author of RUTHLESS PERFECTION – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susie will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Background of the book

For Ruthless Perfection, I came across a beautiful coffee table book with images from the Carrara Marble Quarries in a local bookstore. The images were so captivating that I purchased the book and began to consider telling a story with the marble quarries as the setting. I spent time researching the history of the marble quarries and the background for the characters naturally evolved. There are so many beautiful works of art created out of marble that it seemed like a natural extension to carry that over to seeking perfection. I knew I wanted to weave in a character’s struggle with the issue of seeking perfection and how that would impact falling in love.

Balancing life and writing

I think it is very hard to balance life and writing. I work as a CFO for a small independent school so my days are extremely hectic and I spend a considerable amount of time crunching numbers. Through much trial and error, I’ve discovered the only way for me to successfully write a novel is to spend time writing each day. Even if it is only fifteen minutes some days. I used to wait until I had a block of time – usually every few weeks but I would lose the thread of the story and was always starting over. By changing this to writing each day, I completed three novels this year.

Where do ideas come from?

I’ve discovered that I’m actually a rather visual person when it comes to story ideas. It seems my ideas always come from a blank canvas – whether I’m traveling to a new area and take a look at the horizon or see a captivating photograph or painting of a landscape. My mind then begins to play with the idea of who would inhabit the landscape and how would the setting impact them. For example, a beach community is vastly different than a marble quarry. The characters would need a different skill set and approach to life.

5-10 musts every story in your genre should have

Falling in love, happily ever after, fast-paced story line, emotional impact, conflict, sex or the desire to move the relationship to a physical connection.

My take on critique groups

I enjoy being part of a critique group. The direct feedback is helpful in understanding aspects of writing that may have eluded me. For example, I was always showing and telling and it took several sessions for the group to get me to understand the issue. In a group situation, when everyone has read the same pages, an interesting discussion can result. I think it moves everyone closer to understanding the elements of writing.


A day with Susie Warren behind the scenes

My day starts before six a.m. I wake up my teenage son, make coffee and walk the dog. Finally, sitting down at my computer to write for a short period. At seven o’clock, I drive my son to his bus stop and talk about his day. Getting back to the house, I write for another twenty or thirty minutes then wake up my daughter and husband. My daughter and I get ready for the day and head off together. I return in the late afternoon and begin making dinner. When everyone in the house is set for the night, I will often write for another hour or so.

If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

I do read new authors frequently but it would depend on the cover, premise of the novel and the excerpt. I always read the excerpt before committing to a purchase so I hope that my excerpt would draw a new reader in!

Pondering the muse

I don’t worry about the muse. I do worry about learning and growing as a writer. There is so much to know and it is difficult to look objectively at your own process.

How to handle negative criticism

I’m a very sensitive person but lucky I don’t take offense easily. I feel like everyone has their agenda and motivation for doing and saying things that say more about the person criticizing and less about the person being criticized. I’ve seen friends deeply hurt over a throw away comment. For some reason I don’t take those comments to heart.

The making of a Romance writer.

I think it can be hard to be a romance writer. For some reason, society in general has seen romance writing as less serious writing or a ‘secret indulgence’. I think this is slowly changing.

For me, the hardest part of being a romance writer is the willingness to explore the emotional core of the story. I get lost in intriguing plots and the structure of the story and have to push myself to fully investigate the emotional life of the characters. But the reader ultimately is looking for the emotional impact in the story so the setting and plot details in a well told romance will be somewhat invisible.

MediaKit_BookCover_RuthlessPerfection_2500pxA filmmaker wanting to honor her family’s legacy approaches a reclusive billionaire for help

Isabel Neri’s innocence captures the attention of a well-known Italian marble mogul, Marc Santoro, when she approaches him against her family’s wishes. Wanting to honor her disgraced grandfather, Isabel needs Marc’s permission to produce a film about the Carrara marble industry.

Faced with honoring an old family obligation, Marc allows Isabel to travel to Italy with him but seeks to limit her exposure to his family’s tragic past. Isabel discovers the untold story and challenges Marc to reveal the truth. She is forced to expose her own secret as their desire sparks out of control.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Isabel felt a moment of panic as she watched the driver make a swift exit. She carefully walked up the stone path that led to the front door, being careful not to catch her black Manolo Blahnik heels in the stones.

The front door swung open and Isabel felt the oxygen leave her body. She wasn’t prepared for seeing Marc Santoro in the flesh again. She could feel his gaze rake over her in appraisal, apparently sizing her up. He looked every inch the wealthy business owner: he was dressed in an expertly tailored gray shirt with slightly darker gray trousers that were pressed to exactness. He was even more striking than she remembered, and she reminded herself to just breathe and focus on her pitch.

It was his intensity that she responded to; he seemed to be absorbing everything about her. Isabel hid her expression as she acknowledged to herself that while he may appreciate her outward appearance, he wouldn’t appreciate her damaged body.

Would he remember meeting her before?

She forced herself to reach out and offer her hand. As his warm fingers enveloped hers, she felt a spark of attraction travel through her body. She immediately pulled back, but not before she saw his eyes darken.

He merely smiled at her reaction, saying, “So you are not just a figment of Alberto’s imagination.” Guiding her inside, he added, “I was beginning to doubt that the old man had any relatives interested in the marble trade.”

Isabel felt her spine stiffen. Was he questioning her family’s loyalty?

“My grandfather speaks very highly of you,” Isabel said as she took in the luxurious setting, trying to get her bearings.

His voice was cool and didn’t give her any clue if he welcomed her visit. “It isn’t often that Alberto Neri asks for a favor.”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_RuthlessPerfectionSusie Warren writes contemporary romance. Besides being an avid reader, she spends much of her free time crafting intense and complex stories about falling in love. When she is not writing, Susie works as an administrator in a small, independent school while caring for three teenagers and keeping tabs on her inventor husband. With the launching of her first book, The Forgotten Heiress, she has slowly begun to navigate the social media realm.

Susie loves to hear from readers and responds to each email and Facebook post. Please reach out to her via Facebook or Twitter @susiecwarren

For more information on her upcoming releases, new excerpts and other related postings, or to sign up for free promotions, please visit www.SusieWarren.com.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Two Alone in Dublin by Lucy Carey – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lucy 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.

Thanks for stopping by Long and Short Reviews. Where does your inspiration come from?

It’s hard to point to one thing and say, “That’s where my inspiration comes from.” Usually, it’s a blend of things—an interesting place I’ve been, a funny, unusual person, a quirky fact I’ve heard. This book, “Two Alone in Dublin: A Lesbian Love Story” was partly inspired by an all-too-brief interaction with a Latina barista in a Dublin café. (One of my two main characters in the story is a Brazilian bombshell who has moved to Dublin for a new life.)

Would you ever want to change genres and if so what would you like to experiment with?

I do enjoy reading and writing in a variety of genres: literary, sci-fi and horror, in addition to lesbian romance. As a bisexual woman, I would also like to expand into straight and bisexual romance, as well as lesbian romance. In the near future, I’ll also be adding some erotic romance into the mix, so keep your eyes peeled for those!

Are your characters/ideas drawn from people that you know personally in any way?

Absolutely. I find people endlessly fascinating—what makes them tick, what makes them act the way they do—so I study and pay attention to what is going on around me. All of my characters are an amalgamation of what I observe in those real-life people, a hodge-podge of their best and worst qualities and personality traits.

Where would you like to be in 10 years with life or career?

I would like to be happy, whatever that might mean. I hope that means that I am a full-time author and am able to work for the love of writing rather than for the need of money. But as long as I’m content in life and doing something I enjoy, I’ll be satisfied.

What book or books are you reading now?

I am trying to read more fiction and non-fiction by female authors. That includes a book on “Anonymous”, as well as “Astray”, a collection of short stories by Emma Donoghue.

What do you do with your free-time when you are not writing or brain-storming?

I like to travel when I can and if I can bring my camera with me, all the better. I’m also a music nut; rock music of just about every genre is what I like best.

What is your fondest memory from childhood that left an impact on your life?

I have a really strong memory of sitting in a hallway in school, with a notebook in my hand, writing a story while I was waiting for my dad to pick me up to take me somewhere. I was quite young—I think eight or nine at most—but I remember thinking, “This is something I could do forever.” I still hope it is…!

12_12 Cover_Two Alone in DublinSurrounded by one million people in Dublin city, two women feel very alone. One a university student from a small town in the Irish countryside, the other an adventurous spirit from a city in Brazil, they’ve both been searching for the other among the irritations and noise of everyday life…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mariana hadn’t worn this shade of lipstick in an age. She painted the brash, bright-red gloss around her full lips, rubbed her lips together and pouted. This was her going-out colour, a colour guaranteed to make her feel sexy and confident and womanly.

Had it really been so long since she had been on a date? she wondered. Despite this being her go-to colour for dates, it had been buried in the bottom of her makeup bag.

She checked her teeth for lipstick and, finding none, stepped back to look at her full reflection in the mirror.

She had chosen a form-fitting dress in a colour to match the shade of her lipstick and she adjusted the cups of her bra, to push her cleavage higher in its V-neck.

This, she thought to herself, must be what Susie had described as “putting your best foot forward.”

About the Author: Lucy Carey, Lesbian and Bisexual Romance and Erotic-Fiction Writer

I am a 30-year-old bisexual author who writes the kind of fiction I think other LGBTQ women want to read.

As someone born and raised in Ireland, let me assure you: our country is beautiful…and so are its women.

I aim to introduce you to the best of both—the stunning scenery of the Emerald Isle and its funny, complex, gorgeous, lesbian and bisexual women. I hope you enjoy it.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

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Moonlight in Winter Park by Samantha Chase – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Samantha 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.

“Moonlight in Winter Park” – A modern-day Beauty and the Beast style Christmas.

All Hope Cooper needed this year was to have the kind of Christmas her family always cherished. But with her parents gone and her only brother having to work, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out for her. There’s nothing she can do about her parents, but she most certainly can voice her annoyance at her brother’s boss for making him work out of town all through the holidays.

Beckett James hates the holidays and everything that goes with them. They were important at one time, but now the only thing that mattered was his company and its continued growth and anyone who worked for him better feel the same way. If not, then they could find employment elsewhere and good riddance. With a major expansion deal on the line, Beckett needs to focus. What he doesn’t need is Hope to come barging into his mountain retreat demanding that her brother come home immediately due to an emergency.

Suddenly it’s two alone in a snowstorm. Two alone for Christmas. And two alone to fight an attraction that had been there all along. Hope soon begins to realize she may have misjudged Beckett while he comes to see that there really is something special and magical about Christmas. But once they leave their private winter wonderland and return to their normal lives, will the magic still be there?

Enjoy an excerpt:

He stood there in front of her, looking all kinds of handsome. His dark hair slightly mussed, a gray wool scarf around his neck and a black wool jacket covering his muscular build. It wasn’t fair that he could look so good all the damn time – so calm and completely in control – when her life was spinning in the complete opposite direction.

“I…I really need to go,” she said finally and then forced herself to look up and meet his eyes. Damn. They were so dark, so intense and it would be so easy to just look into them forever. A sigh escaped before she could stop it. “Merry Christmas, Beckett,” she said with a bit of a forced smile.

“You too, Hope.”

“And I guess a Happy New Year, too,” she added and turned to climb into her car when his hand on her arm stopped her again. It was on the tip of her tongue to ask what he wanted, but suddenly his lips were on hers and Hope had to remember how to breathe.

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His lips were gentle at first but once she seemed to overcome her shock and relax, Beckett’s hands came up and cupped her face, caressed her cheeks. Hope sighed as her own hands crept up and clutched the front of his coat. It was so unexpected, such a complete surprise to her that Hope needed to keep herself anchored to something or her knees would surely give out and she’d be in a puddle on the ground.

After Beckett seemed satisfied with introducing himself to her through his kiss, he deepened it. His hand traveled up and into the riotous curls on her head as he moved closer to her. The feel of his lean body pressed up against hers sent Hope’s own body into overdrive. Over and over he slanted his lips over hers, his tongue teased hers, his breath mingled with hers. It was glorious and all-consuming and yet all she could do was purr against him.

Long moments later when Beckett finally lifted his head from hers, he stared down into her face. “Happy New Year, Hope,” he said, his voice slightly rough and gravelly. His hand trailed down her cheek to her chin before he let her go and stepped back.

And walked away.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, blogging, playing way too many games of Scrabble on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina. For more information visit her website at www.chasing-romance.com.

Where to Find Me

Website: www.chasing-romance.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SamanthaChaseFanClub

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamanthaChase3

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/samanthachase31/

All Samantha’s books can be found on Amazon.

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A Fur Family Christmas by Melissa McClone – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Welcome to Melissa McClone who is joining up for some Christmas memories.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a Christmas swag pack of goodies!
A Fur Family Christmas
by Melissa McClone
melissa SantaPupandChaosChristmas is a time of togetherness, of family. Ours consists of two-legged and four –legged kiddos. Whether they are covered with skin or fur, Christmas is a big deal, which is one reason I love to put animals in my stories, particularly holiday ones. My furbabies love Christmas, too!

melissa SpiritStockings

Our first Christmas in our first house was spent with two kittens named Rocket and Spirit, who my hubby calls the most expensive “free” pets ever. We found them at a garage sale. I was only supposed to bring one home, but the little gray girl was so underweight and pathetic looking I couldn’t leave her.

I was pregnant with our first child at the time, but my first babies were those two cats. Spoiled doesn’t begin to describe them. I rubbed them to sleep. They both slept on my pillow. I hated to leave them alone for any length of time. I even took them to see the neighborhood Christmas lights. I hadn’t a clue at the time that they were training me to be a crazy cat lady! Of course, everyone else around me knew.

 

 

melissa IMG_1109That first Christmas morning back in 1997, we set up the camcorder on a tripod to videotape the cats opening their presents and stockings. We called it Kitty Christmas and that hasn’t changed even though we now have three kids, two dogs and many cats, including fosters from a local no-kill shelter where I volunteer. Each furbaby gets their own stocking, and each seems to know which one belongs to them. Santa Paws brings a bigger gift that goes under the tree!

 

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Christmas was easy until we adopted our youngest cat, Beauty, in 2011 when she was only a couple months old. Until then, we’d never had a tree climber. Oh, the cats loved to bat ornaments or steal them. They would sleep under the tree or in the nativity crèche. Rocket, who is no longer with us, loved a singing Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer that I bought from QVC after he went up to the TV and touched it with his paws during the presentation. But they left the tree itself alone. Not Beauty.

 

She demelissa beautyintreecided the Christmas tree was hers. And every year since then, she’s made herself at home amongst the branches. That means all my lovely glass-blown and other fragile ornaments no longer get hung. They sit in the ornament boxes, replaced by shatterproof balls and other unbreakable decorations. But I must admit, she looks pretty cute in their place!

This year we have a new foster with us so we’ll have to see if Beauty has company in her tree or not! But no matter how many climbers we end up with, it’ll be a very Merry Christmas at our house!

 

About the Author: 12_9 melissa AuthorPicWith a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

You can connect with Melissa on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy Mistletoe Magic at Amazon or it’s free on Smashwords. Buy Kiss Me, Cowboy at Amazon. Enjoy Mistletoe Wedding at Amazon.

Deadman’s Blood by T. Lynne Tolles – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $50 Amazon gift card while five others will receive premium swag packs. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As the dust settles from the destruction of the Bloodstone Heart, a small scroll that had been hidden in the hearth of the altar room for hundreds of years, reveals a prophecy that seems to be about the Larsen family. While the group tries to unravel the riddles of the prophecy they also start to notice they’ve acquired some interesting new powers from the Bloodstone itself, some of which are going to take some getting use to.

Darby and Devon head to Ireland to set up house and get ready for their impending nuptials when Darby is asked to help cure the Summer Queen of the Everworld or the delicate balance of power between the Seelie and Unseelie courts will topple throwing the planet into a deadly ice age. While at home, things take a turn for the worse when there’s a tragic airplane crash, the Larsen vampires start dropping like flies, Bernard goes missing, and all the bad deeds dealt seem to point towards one person – the Dark Angel.

What’s so important about the altar room? Why are people dying in the name of this prophecy? Will the Larsen’s survive these new tragedies? These questions and other deep seated secrets will be revealed in this final installment of the Blood Series.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He popped a mint in his mouth and proceeded to the restaurant entrance. He was used to women checking him out, and he had to admit he liked the attention. When he and Devon were younger and in school, Devon often accused him of being awful cocky about his looks. He knew he could come off a little arrogant, but he never cared much how others perceived him. But tonight, he didn’t want to leave that impression on Jules. She made him work for this date, like no other woman had, and he was determined to win her over.

He spoke to the hostess, who he could see was trying to flirt with him. He smiled at her attempts, but kept a watchful eye on the door for Jules. Being handsome did have its advantages; he got his pick of tables and chose one in a corner where he and Jules could have a bit of privacy.

He ordered a bottle of Chianti while he waited. He was doted on by his waitress, Brandi (with an “i”), and the hostess kept peeking at him as the time ticked on. He checked his watch a couple of times. No sign of her yet and it was half past when they were scheduled to meet.

Has she stood me up? he wondered. He had been persistent at pushing her into this date; he wondered if maybe he had pushed too hard too soon. He thought though, he himself had sometimes gotten tied up at the gallery and been late sometimes as much as an hour. It could be that she simply lost track of the time. He would give her another half hour before he headed home.

The time moved much slower the second half hour and when the hour was up, he had drank most of the bottle of Chianti. Good thing alcohol didn’t affect vampires the same as humans, or he might not be able to drive, but it would take a huge amount of wine to intoxicate him. Feeling Jules would not show, he raised his hand to Brandi as she passed, letting her know he was ready for his bill. She brought it to him promptly and he paid and left.

He sat in his car for a while deciding what to do now that his plans had changed. He decided he wasn’t quite ready to give up on the evening. He made a quick call to Jules’s office to see if she was there, but no one answered. His last ditch effort was to see if she was home, so he drove the several miles to her house. Her car was in the driveway and the lights were on. She either forgot about their plans or had chickened out.

About the Author: T. Lynne Tolles can be found most days, juggling one of two cat muses and a laptop, tripping over a Newfoundland puppy and washing a never-ending pile of laundry. When life doesn’t get in the way, she writes paranormal romances for new adults.

Her passion for witches, ghosts, and vampires together with a light-hearted wit are reflected in her loveable characters and the adventures of mystery they unravel to find their happily ever after.

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The Pros of Critique Partners by Jennifer Wilck – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Pros of Critique Partners

The first time I sat down at my computer to write a story, I made a decision. No one was going to see what I wrote. Not my husband, not my parents, not my friends. I was writing romance and I was too embarrassed to have anyone read what I wrote—not because of the sex, because there wasn’t anything explicit, but because I was afraid of their reactions in general.

Eventually, I finished writing and editing the story and it was time to do something with it. So I submitted it to agents and editors. Many of the rejections, and there were many, came with comments. Contest submissions also offered suggestions. And I realized that in order to improve it, people other than myself had to read it. Some of the suggestions were ones I didn’t agree with, but others made sense. I picked and chose which ones to listen to, and stumbled through perfecting it and finally it was published.

In the meantime, I had started writing a second story, but this time, I decided to get brave and find a critique partner. The one I found was wonderful. Her strengths were my weaknesses and vice versa. She strengthened my writing and she was someone who could relate to my writing lifestyle—in other words, the fact that there were voices in my head didn’t faze her!

A few years later, she stopped writing and critiquing. At that point, I couldn’t imagine not having someone to analyze my writing, so I went on a desperate hunt for someone else. I was lucky enough to find two more. One of those is great at plotting issues. The other is a grammar maven.

And then a funny thing happened to me. I was asked to join a critique group. For the first time, we were going to be meeting in person. Before this, my critique partners had been online. We’d email chapters back and forth with our comments typed in the margins. But this group, made up of some very impressive, successful authors, met in person once a month. They had a schedule for critiquing. They had rules. And they wanted me.

Not only would I get the benefits of other eyes on my work, but I’d learn from them. I’d be forced to develop a writing schedule and stick to it. And I’d have enough people critiquing me (with the online partners I already had) that I’d be able to make an actual judgment whether or not to listen to comments.

So I said yes.

I’ve been to two meetings so far, with one coming up in a couple of weeks. Each partner has a different style. Some focus on one area, others focus on different areas. But they all have something valuable to say. Additionally, I’ve become a better critique partner as well.

And I think my writing will show a vast improvement!

12_9 miriam Cover_Miriams SurrenderJosh Lowenstein is a successful architect, hired to redesign the alumni club of a posh, private school in New York. He is strong, capable and knows the best way to do everything. Except let another woman in.

Miriam Goldberg is the Assistant Director of Outreach, and is Josh’s day-to-day contact for the redesign. She’s taken care of everyone around her, and forgotten how to let someone else take care of her.

With a tumultuous history, neither one is prepared to work together. As they get to know each other, the animosity disappears, but Josh is hiding something from Miriam and its discovery has the possibility of destroying their relationship. Only when they are both able to let the other in, and release some of the control they exert over everything, will they be able to see if their love can survive.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I should probably go and let you get some sleep. I’ll pick you up Saturday around 11?”

“Perfect. I hope I’ll be recovered by then.”

He laughed, kissed her cheek and let himself out the door.

She put her hand to her cheek. His lips barely touched the skin, yet her cheek burned as if he’d branded her. They’d been warm and dry against her face. What would they be like against her lips? She leaned against the door and listened for the ding of the elevator’s arrival. It was whisking away the man she grew more attached to each time she was with him. She gripped the doorknob and willed herself not to turn it, not to open the door, not to run after him.

The elevator dinged. He’d kissed her.

***

Her cheek? Did he kiss her cheek? Oh hell. What was he, fourteen?

Josh continued to berate himself in silence as he flagged a taxi outside her building. He gave his apartment address to the driver and stared out the window.

Why didn’t he kiss her lips, like a man? Like a man who was attracted to a delectable woman.

He didn’t have a good answer for that question, except their relationship was new and he was still working things out.

She’d asked for his assistance and he’d run to her. It’s what he did. He helped people, and helping Miriam gave him a satisfaction deep in his soul. By aiding her, he established a connection between his heart and hers, except he couldn’t tell her.

If he did, she’d in all likelihood run from him, especially after all the support he’d tried to give her sister. She’d think he was doing the same thing, maybe confusing the two of them, and she’d be far from the truth.

About the Author: 12_9 miriam AuthorPicWhen I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary). Since then, I’ve published two contemporary romances with Whiskey Creek Press. The Seduction of Esther is my first book with Rebel Ink Press, and I’m excited to be part of their team.

In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I serve on our Temple Board and volunteer for way more things than I have time to do. I also write freelance articles for magazines and newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life.

I can be reached at www.jenniferwilck.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wilck/201342863240160. I tweet at @JWilck. My blog (Fried Oreos) is http://jenniferwilck.blogspot.com and I contribute to Heroines With Hearts at www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com and to Front Porch Saturdays at http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com.

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Mistletoe Wedding by Melissa McClone – Spotlight, Scavenger Hunt, and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions and a part of a Scavenger Hunt! Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour and enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $20 Amazon GC and a prize pack.

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12_9 melissa Cover_MistletoeWeddingEvent planner at the Bar V5 Dude Ranch, Meg Redstone is dreaming of a white Christmas with twinkling lights, sparkly decorations and strategically placed mistletoe. She loves making dreams come true for others, whether planning a holiday wedding or giving her young daughter the best Christmas ever.

Ranch foreman Tyler Murphy loves the holidays, but his newest employee has taken over his barn with her over-the-top decorations. He admires Meg’s desire to give her daughter the perfect Christmas while planning a winter wonderland wedding, but he wants to show her that a Montana Christmas is more than glitter and lights.

After raising his younger sister, an instant family is not on Ty’s Christmas wish list. But he finds himself falling hard for the single mom and her little girl. Meg, however, is not interested in a romance with a cowboy like Ty, or any man. Getting her under the mistletoe is going to take a Christmas miracle . . . or a little help from Santa.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Her gaze kept straying back to the man walking next to her.

And she knew with pulse-pounding certainty.

All the rationalizations of why romantic feelings didn’t matter and why she was better off alone than in a relationship disappeared like a snowflake being caught on a tongue. They mattered, and she wanted those things badly.

With Ty.

She hadn’t meant to fall for him, but she had. Hard.

A shiver raced down her spine. The realization was unexpected, scary.

He shot her a sideways glance, which she knew because she couldn’t drag her attention off him. “You, okay?”

“Just thinking.” Of course, he would sense something was up. That was part of his appeal. He got her. The way he understood her daughter, too. If there was one man out there who was what she needed and Brooklyn needed, that was Ty Murphy.

Feelings and desires long buried rose to the surface. She was ready to stop saying she didn’t want more, want him.

“Know what you want?” he asked.

Meg swallowed around the lump in her throat. “Excuse me.”

“What chocolates you’re going to get?”

She sighed with relief. She thought he’d read her mind. “Salted caramels for the guys. I’ll have to see what Sage has in the display case before I decide what I want.”

Besides him.

“You can have more than one,” Ty said.

“I might want only one.”

“It’s Christmas. Don’t be so cautious. Live it up.”

If only she knew where he stood . . . Dare she ask?

About the Author: 12_9 melissa AuthorPicWith a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

You can connect with Melissa on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy Mistletoe Magic at Amazon or it’s free on Smashwords. Buy Kiss Me, Cowboy at Amazon. Mistletoe Wedding is currently $0.99 at Amazon.

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