Friday, October 30, 2015

'Full of Fire' by Jennifer Millikin



Blurb:

Innocent, introverted Lila Mitchell's life is thrown into disarray when she meets playboy nightclub owner Xavier Townsend. Up until that fateful night, Lila was content experiencing emotion through her camera. Xavier's handsome face and captivating personality changes all that. Lila wants Xavier, bad boy reputation be damned. If only Xavier's past mistakes weren't also in the present. When faced with the consequences of Xavier's past, will Lila's fiery personality and fierce determination be enough to see them through?



Buy links



Author Bio

Jennifer Millikin is a romance and women’s fiction author who enjoys writing about strong female protagonists. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Communication Studies and lives with her husband and two young children in Scottsdale, Arizona. When she isn’t chasing after her little ones she can be found gulping coffee in her office, typing furiously at her keyboard and reenacting scenes. 

#FREE read! 'Just in Time (A BWWM Billionaire Romance)' by Veronica Maxim


***For a limited time a FREE BONUS copy of Falling For You, another Take Me To Europe Series romance INCLUDED in this copy of Just In Time!***

KERRY
After David’s betrayal, the last thing I wanted to do was stay in Kansas. So I traded in my cheating husband for a one-way ticket to the land of gondolas, cobbled streets and…. sexy daring Italian men kissing me in doorways? Just one…one in particular…

LUCA
I’m used to it. Fast cars, glitzy galas and a few knockout supermodels on each arm. What I’m not used to is the bronze beauty I caught reveling in the sunlight. There’s something about the way she clings to me when I save her that makes me never want to let her go…

Passport ready? Follow Kerry and Luca to Venice in Veronica Maxim's new billionaire romance series!

A FREE BONUS copy of Falling For You, another Take Me To Europe Series book INCLUDED in this ecopy! Both are standalone books with no cliffhangers.


This romance contains mature language and themes intended for 18+ audiences.

http://amzn.to/1Hf0eGM


Thursday, October 29, 2015

'The Lost Art of Second Chances' by Courtney Hunt


Blurb:

When Lucy Parker’s eccentric grandmother, Belladonna, dies, she leaves one last request. Lucy must return a beloved painting to a mysterious man in Italy, leading her on a journey into the past to discover long-buried family secrets that could change everything. . . .

Belladonna Rossi grew up as the queen of her small town in rural Tuscany. When World War II terrorizes the countryside, she helps the Monuments Men hide centuries of art in the warren of caves in her family vineyard. When she falls in love with one of the soldiers, will their love be able to survive in a war torn world?

When Lucy’s childhood best friend, estate lawyer Jack Hamilton, agrees to accompany her to Italy, will they find their second chance at love? From the tiny town of Applebury, Massachusetts to the rolling hills of Tuscany, never-told family secrets unfurl in…the Lost Art of Second Chances.


http://amzn.to/1HeIzPG


Author Bio:

An attorney by day, Courtney Hunt lives outside Washington, DC with her own Prince Charming and their son.

From the day Courtney snuck her first romance novel out of her mother’s library bag, she’s enjoyed reading about all the many paths to happily-ever-after.

When Courtney isn’t writing, she enjoys photography, sailing, and reading. She can never resist a craft store. After an early stint as a Disney cast member, she is a life long Disney addict. She’s also an avid fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Buffy…the list goes on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

'Toccata Obbligato: Serenading Kyra' by Jennifer Theriot


Blurb:

Rock star Todd O'Malley is pierced, tatted up and misunderstood. Kyra Edwards is sweet and innocent; she captures his heart.

This is a story of Beauty and the Beast, where we admire the beauty that is Kyra and adore the beast known as Todd….


Read an excerpt:
We meet up for coffee the day after next. I swear to God, Olivia was right. This girl is the one for me. When she walks into our coffee shop—I call it ‘our coffee shop’ because that’s where we met—she has her hands behind her back and walks up to me, grinning from ear to ear. 
“What’s up with the smile?” I ask. 
She proudly places a black t-shirt on the table. “Here, I got this for you. It’s corny, I know.” 
I unfold the shirt and read it. I smile and take her hand. The shirt says, ‘Plays Well With Others’. “Wow. This is awesome, Kyra. I love it!”

She makes a silly face, “Well, I know you play in a band, and I thought it was cool. Corny but cool. So you really do like it?” 
I give her a hug, and when she hugs me back, I’m relieved. “It’s awesome, Kyra. I really do love it.” 
She pulls back. “Seriously? I was afraid you’d laugh at me.” 
I put her hair behind her ear and look her in the eye. “I’d never laugh at you, Kyra. I really love it. I’m gonna wear it every day.”


http://amzn.to/1MNbvQG




Listen to the playlist on Spotify here.


About the author:

Jennifer Theriot hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm by day and does her writing at nights and on weekends. In her limited spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. She’s mom to three grown children and ‘MiMi’ to three (soon to be four) grandkids – all of whom she adores!

Her best-selling Out of the Box Series, OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING, OUT OF THE BOX REGIFTED and TOCCATA OBBLIGATO~SERENADING KYRA are currently available on Amazon.com . The final in the Out of the Box series, OUT OF THE BOX EVERLASTING will be released in 2015.

COOKING WITH THE CRAZY LADY AUTHORS:

The Crazy Lady Authors aren't just cooking up plots in their books, they're also cooking up tasty vittles! Hey, we're 'crazy' about you, so we're 'dishing' our best recipes out in this awesome cookbook. It's the CLA's way of helping you serve up outstanding dinners in between reading any one of our published works. We know how easy it is to get lost in the pages. Before you know it, the hours have flown by and it's time for dinner. The hubby is hollering, the kids are complaining, and even the dog wants treats. We figure it's all our fault so why not help you maintain peace and harmony in your home by providing this amazing book of easy recipes to keep your clan well-fed? We do, however, stop short of coming to your house to cook it all up for you. We're writing our next novels, after all! Don't be greedy. Bon appetit!

Social Media Links

GOOGLE PLUS:  https://plus.google.com/102404514817870981129/posts

WEBSITE:  http://www.jennifertheriot.com

BLOG:  http://jennifertheriot.com/blog/

AUTHOR FACEBOOK: Jennifer Theriot, Author:  https://www.facebook.com/JenniferTheriotAuthor

TWITTER: @ JenTheRiot  https://twitter.com/JenTheRiot

GOODREADS AUTHOR:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7082754.Jennifer_Theriot

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Theriot/e/B00D8SW61C/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

AUTHORGRAPH:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/JenTheRiot

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:  https://www.youtube.com/user/jtheriot2000

Monday, October 26, 2015

#BookReview 'Conjuring Destiny (Brides of Prophecy Book 3)' by Brooklyn Ann

conjuring destiny tour banner

conjuring destinyFamous rock star, Xochitl Leonine, has dreamt of a world with two moons where a black cloaked man beckons her. One Halloween night, she meets the mysterious stranger of her dreams… literally... and their shared dance becomes a rendezvous in a place of endless night.

Zareth Amotken has no idea how important Xochitl’s heavy metal band is to her. As an immortal sorcerer, he doesn’t care. He has one goal: to find the prophesied savior of his world. Her voice holds the power to bring back his world’s vanished sun.

Xochitl’s compassion urges her to help in any way she can. Yet learning the mysteries of her past causes conflict with her future in music. Her destiny in his world and her obligations to her band pull her in opposite directions. How can she long for one while the other is so dire?

As Zareth introduces her to his people and teaches her to control her powers, she aches for his enchanting kiss. Zareth tries to resist, for their passion will unleash serious consequences, both political and magical.

As the time to fulfill her destiny draws closer, she must choose between her heart, her duty, and her friends. The wrong choice could ruin everything.

But if Zareth’s evil half brother succeeds in taking control of her for his own ends, he will take away her choices… and destroy the world?

Available on Amazon


**My thoughts**

Rock star romance is a hot genre right now. Throw in some paranormal and supernatural beings and happenings, and you have an intriguing combination that makes you stand out in the genre. The blend of those two genres is what actually caught my eye with this book and made me want to read it.

What I love even more about the rock star aspect of this book is that the lead character, who is the rock star, is actually a woman. Usually you get a hot guy who has some issues he needs to work on, being pursued by a female fan (or a female who doesn't realize she is a fan until she gets involved with the band). Xochitl (so-she) is a no-nonsense bad ass singer and guitar player who puts all of those men to shame. Her electric personality is actually literal, as she can conjure purple flames that appear to most people to be merely incredible special effects. She has a deep and dark side that stems from a rough upbringing, lots of taunting and bullying in her life, and losing her mother at a young age. Unbeknownst to her, there are even more reasons for this darker side and her unique personality traits and abilities.

Enter Zareth, the being from the other world who has been haunting her dreams and is going to teach her everything that she needs to know in order to fulfill her prophecy. It doesn't hurt that he is a good teacher, in many ways, and is also smoking hot.

The story alternates between their points of view, providing a seamless account of everything that is going on. Their story has a rich history, which is explained in adequate time, without being dry and boring. So many things had to happen to lead up to the darkening and still need to happen to bring back the sun. Xochitl has so much to learn, reminding you of a Harry Potter or any other such character who is coming into her destiny at an advanced age. That aspect of the story is one that has been done many, many times, yet Brooklyn makes it feel fresh and new.

The author also has a knack for creating meaty descriptions that make you feel like you are actually in the characters' worlds. I felt like I was right there with them, every step along the way. Their reality was my reality. The richness of the words roll off the tongue and help the action to play out as if it were a movie unfolding right in front of you. It helps to keep you engrossed as you read.

This is my first Brooklyn Ann book. It is also the third book in the series, yet I didn't feel like I was missing much by not having read the first two. That being said, I am now intrigued to check them out some time in the near future. I enjoyed my trip to this magical world.

Meet the author:

SONY DSC Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. After writing historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed "Scandals with Bite" series and urban fantasy in her "Brides of Prophecy" novels, she now explores the chaotic realm of heavy metal music-- a difficult world to find love in.

She lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.

She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
You can also find her on Literary Addicts, Goodreads and Google +

Follow The Tour



The author is giving away a $25 Gift Card to the winner's choice of bookstore. the store must be able to provide e-gift cards. 18+ giveaway ends November 9th, 2015 at 11:59 pm
a Rafflecopter giveaway

#99cents sale! 'Must Love Breeches (A Time Travel Romance)' by Angela Quarles


Blurb:

She's finally met the man of her dreams. There's only one problem: he lives in a different century.

"A fresh, charming new voice" – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare

HOW FAR WOULD YOU TRAVEL FOR LOVE?

A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, and suddenly her love of historical authenticity collides with the reality that she’s a modern-day girl. But when a thief steals her card case, she determines to retrieve the time-traveling artifact. Now she must hunt down the case, navigate the pitfalls of stiff society London, conceal her origins, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, a viscount so hot, he curls her shower-loving toes.

Lord Montagu is resolved to avenge his sister and has no time for dalliances, despite the appeal of the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge requires a respectable match, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. But he did not bargain for Ms. Rochon being his intellectual match or her irresistible allure.

Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home, and her heart, lies.

Set in 1834 London, this time travel historical romance features a small cast of historical characters, including Ada Byron, Lord Byron's daughter, and Charles Babbage, inventor of the Difference Engine. It explores the often overlooked scientific developments of pre-Victorian London.

With a heroine caught between the Regency and Victorian eras, find out why USAToday calls this time travel romance "a delicious twist on historical drama and romance."


Read an excerpt:

A reenactment ball was the perfect setting for romance. Or not.
Isabelle Rochon fidgeted in her oddly-shaped-but-oh-so-accurate ball gown, surrounded by women who’d sacrificed historical authenticity for sex appeal. Red carpet ball gowns in the nineteenth century, really? Once again she was like the dorky kid participating in dress-up day at school when everyone else had magically decided it was lame.
“Gah. I feel like a green robot with strange battle armor.” Isabelle pointed to her dark green dress, the shoulders flaring out almost to a point, exaggerating their width. “What were the fashionistas in 1834 thinking?”
“I have no bloody idea.” Jocelyn squeezed the poof of fabric at her shoulder. “These huge-ass sleeves are ridiculous.”
“Ah, screw it, we’re having fun, right? I’m not going to self-sabotage the ball. Not after all the time I spent obsessing over my costume.”
“And obsessing over the etiquette rules.”
“That too.” Besides, how fun was it to learn Jocelyn shared her obsession with guys in period clothes and bodice-ripper romances?
Isabelle eyed a guy strolling past in tight-fitting, buff-colored pantaloons. She pitched her voice to be heard over the string quartet. “Hmm. How about the clothes on that daring derriere?”
Jocelyn sucked on her olive and plopped the empty stir stick into her martini. “Oh, yes. Definitely a breech-ripper.”
Isabelle choked on her Bellini, the champagne fizz tickling her throat and nose. This was the first opportunity they’d had to socialize outside work, so she treated this moment delicately, afraid to puncture the mood. No need to point out he sported pantaloons, not breeches.
She should ease up on the drink, though. She didn’t want to get plastered at the Thirty-fourth Annual Prancing Through History Reenactment Ball. Especially since her new colleagues would be around. And her boss. She needed to impress him.
“Look lively,” Jocelyn said, her voice low, with a dollop of teasing. “Here comes the office hottie.”
She’d been cultivating a mild crush on Andrew since starting her new job at the British Museum six months ago. The whole situation was perfect. A guy in the same field would respect her interests, wouldn’t expect her to give up her profession for a relationship. He was safe. If it worked out, great, if not, no biggie. She was happy, finally, with how her life was working out.
She’d pictured him in period clothing before, looking resplendent.
He did.
“Hi, Andrew.” Her voice came out a little too high. Jeez, could she sound any more like a lovesick fool? She always did this around gorgeous men—went ga-ga as if she couldn’t rub two brain cells together. She gazed around the Duke of Chelmsford’s newly renovated ballroom and pretended as if her breath hadn’t quickened and her body hadn’t heated at the sight of Andrew.
“Hello, Isabelle. Jocelyn.” Andrew nodded. His smile felt like a gift for her alone.
Her pulse throbbed. He’d sought her out. Play it cool. Say something witty. “So, uh, having fun yet?” Having fun yet?
Something, or someone, in the crowd hogged his attention. She followed his gaze until she found it. Or rather him. Their boss at the bar.
Andrew faced her and the remnants of calculation on his hot-as-heck features disappeared behind his over-bright grin.
He leaned closer.
The artificial tang of his cologne drifted her way. She wrinkled her nose.
“Well done on the Whittaker exhibit. Finding that journal was a bit of a coup. It’ll be a fine addition to the exhibit, once it’s built.”
He’d noticed. She’d worked damn hard. “Thank you.” Why couldn’t Brits find her Southern accent as sexy as she found theirs?
“Glad you came across the pond to work with us. That find should put you in the running for the promotion.”
Good. The promotion would mean she could stay in London. Well, it would make staying easier. No matter what, she was determined to remain.
“Of course, you’ll have to beat me out.”
Cold clarity hit her stomach like accidentally gulping a glass of iced gin instead of iced water, jolting her from her usual foray into Incoherent Land around attractive guys. “You’re applying too?” Of course he was.
“Without a doubt. Career changer and all. I’m a shoo-in. Sure you still want to apply?”
Could she scrub the smug look off his face? She settled for the less satisfactory, but more controlled, “Yes.”
Now catching her boss’s attention was more important than ever. Besides wanting to escape into another era, she’d also hoped her costume would impress him. She glanced at the wet bar. Drat. Where had her boss gone?
Andrew slipped his hand around her elbow, pulling her closer. “How about we ditch this party and grab a pint? You and me.” He ignored Jocelyn, who stared back and forth between them.
It all made sense—his sudden interest after dismissing her for months, the calculation she’d caught when he’d turned back—he thought he’d intimidate and charm her into giving up the position.
She yanked her arm free, saying, “Fat chance, you smarmy horndog,” which cut through the room because, of course, the music had just ended.
Jocelyn snorted her drink, eyes watering, and coughed, fighting to catch her breath. For a moment, her coughing was the only sound punctuating the silence.
The curious eyes of the onlookers made Isabelle feel as if a huge moat had sprung up around her. The moat of Beware, All Ye Who Enter—Idiot in the Center. If one of those eyes were her boss…
Andrew trotted out his grin, the one that used to make her insides hum. “Thought we had a connection. No?” He backed away, hands up, eyes locked with hers in a you’re-such-a-fool stare, his heels snapping on the marble floor with each backward step. “Cheers, then, babe. May the best man win.” He nodded and sauntered off.
Jocelyn, bless her, completely ignored the Moat of Embarrassment and stepped to Isabelle’s side. “How had we never noticed what an ass he was?”
“Probably because we were too busy drooling?”
“There is that.”
“Seriously, I should just go pound my head against the nearest vertical object and repeat one hundred times, ‘When will I learn?’”
“Just be careful not to poke out your eye with those lethal shoulder sleeves.”
“Ha.” But Jocelyn’s dry humor softened Isabelle’s mood. “Can’t believe he expects me to just roll over. I have to get the promotion, I need the security. No way am I going to sacrifice my dream to be with a guy, I don’t care how hot he is.”
Never again would she let a jerk encased in good-looking skin influence her life. Been there. Done that. Have the gold-stitched Fool’s cap.


Buy links
99 cent sale 10/26-11/1




About the author:

Angela is a geek girl romance writer. What makes her romances geeky? Whether it's fan girling over Ada Lovelace by having her as a secondary character in Must Love Breeches, or outright geek references with geek types in her romantic comedy with paranormal elements, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, or going all Southern steampunk in Steam Me Up, Rawley, she likes to have fun with her romances and hopes her readers do too.

Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL. When she's not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She's had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum, and has discovered that writing allows her to explore all her interests.

She's an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr's A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn't looked back since.

She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college.

Friday, October 23, 2015

'Petunia and the Pearl Diver' by Suzi Love


Blurb

The pearl diver needs a working girl to rouse his manhood. Petunia needs money to save her family. A night at a London brothel will fix each problem. But walking away is impossible when one night leaves them craving more…and more.

Read an excerpt:
“Take off the rest of your clothes and lie on the bed,” Petunia growled at the man.

Hands behind his head and long legs stretched out before him, the captain stayed where he was, lounging in a plush red velvet armchair. From floor to ceiling, everything in this expensive brothel room was glaringly red which, according to Madame, enhanced the experience for her patrons -- customers who had dabbled in every sort of erotic titillation and were therefore finicky and easily bored.

Petunia cracked the long black whip the way she’d been taught. She’d practiced for an hour today, until her muscles had ached and her strained shoulder hard to hide from her family. To her relief, the whip’s tail gave a loud snap and crackle and the surprised customer jumped before shifting and straightening in his chair. Relieved sighs came from the two black clad men standing behind her, and she knew her tutors in whip wielding were as happy as she was that she’d managed to gain the captain’s attention. They stomped their booted feet and shuffled closer to her, giving the appearance of two menacing guards.

She pointed the whip at the man a second time. “Move.” She gave him her sternest look. “Onto the bed.” The whiptail ran smoothly back and forth through her fingers, hopefully reinforcing the idea that she was an experienced mistress of punishments. “Now.” 
His eyebrows shot upwards and he finally focused on her face, or as much as her sleek leather mask allowed him to see of her features. Good. Without his full attention, she had no hope of carrying out this farce. The captain unwound his lean length the way she imagined he’d unwind coiled rope on his pearl trawler. Slowly, carefully, and as sensually as a dancer, he straightened to his full height, putting him a good foot taller than her. Her heart thudded in her chest and her pulse raced.

She shivered. Dancing with him was one of the things that must never happen, because the close contact might trigger his memory that her brother had introduced them. If they met at a formal social occasion, she prayed he’d never associate that well-bred lady with a girl he’d paid for in a brothel, because she’d heard that war had changed him and she didn’t know if it was for the better, or worse.

Buy links:


About the author:

I'm Suzi Love, an Australian author of historical romances set mainly in the late Regency and early Victorian eras, and ranging from sexy to erotic. With a bit of Australia thrown in.

I now live in a sunny part of Australia after spending many years in developing countries in the South Pacific. My greatest loves are traveling, anywhere and everywhere, meeting crazy characters, and visiting the Australian outback. I adore history, especially the many-layered society of the late Regency to early Victorian eras.

My titled heroes and heroines live a privileged life in and around London, but my stories also dig deeper into the grittier and seamier levels of British life. I love heroes and heroines who challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire.

I hope my romances bring history alive for you and that you have fun alongside my roguish heroes and feisty heroines.

Web Places

Web ~ http://www.suzilove.com

Facebook ~ Facebook Page ~https://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzi-Love-Author/226478447412317


Want to see what Suzi Love gets up to each day? Take a look at my Rebel Mouse Magazine or my Suzi Love Daily Paper.

Suzi Love Magazine

Suzi Love's Daily Gossip Newspaper

'Conjuring Destiny' by Brooklyn Ann #BookTour Blast & #Giveaway

conjuring destiny tour banner

conjuring destinyFamous rock star, Xochitl Leonine, has dreamt of a world with two moons where a black cloaked man beckons her. One Halloween night, she meets the mysterious stranger of her dreams… literally... and their shared dance becomes a rendezvous in a place of endless night.

Zareth Amotken has no idea how important Xochitl’s heavy metal band is to her. As an immortal sorcerer, he doesn’t care. He has one goal: to find the prophesied savior of his world. Her voice holds the power to bring back his world’s vanished sun.

Xochitl’s compassion urges her to help in any way she can. Yet learning the mysteries of her past causes conflict with her future in music. Her destiny in his world and her obligations to her band pull her in opposite directions. How can she long for one while the other is so dire?

As Zareth introduces her to his people and teaches her to control her powers, she aches for his enchanting kiss. Zareth tries to resist, for their passion will unleash serious consequences, both political and magical.

As the time to fulfill her destiny draws closer, she must choose between her heart, her duty, and her friends. The wrong choice could ruin everything.

But if Zareth’s evil half brother succeeds in taking control of her for his own ends, he will take away her choices… and destroy the world?

Pre-order on Amazon


Meet the author:

SONY DSC Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. After writing historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed "Scandals with Bite" series and urban fantasy in her "Brides of Prophecy" novels, she now explores the chaotic realm of heavy metal music-- a difficult world to find love in.

She lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.

She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
You can also find her on Literary Addicts, Goodreads and Google +

Follow The Tour


The author is giving away a $25 Gift Card to the winner's choice of bookstore. the store must be able to provide e-gift cards. 18+ giveaway ends November 9th, 2015 at 11:59 pm
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Read the first chapter from 'Video Games' by Kelly Ann Gonzales


Blurb:

After David the Writer leaves Cameron de la Cruz for a night out at Dave and Busters in Manhattan, Cameron finds herself in a proverbial quarter-life crisis. Cameron, the naïve anti-heroine, must make a choice between doing what is best for her sanity or what is ultimately better for society. In between high-profile careers and men, she finds that the lines between what normally considered morally just versus what is ethically corrupt are blurring together. Love, lust, and money become entangled in these figurative, and occasionally literal, video games.

Read the first chapter:

Chapter One: She Chases Him.
“I have to meet my brother at Dave and Busters.”
“Sorry, is that a joke?” Cameron de la Cruz ripped apart a bagel with lox and cream cheese. She sat on a plastic chair on the High Line underneath the burning city sun of the concrete jungle. The Colombian writer who she was dating was named David Serna. He was twenty-seven, and he was cancelling plans for post-work drinks with her to go to the adult equivalent of Chuck E. Cheese’s. He was a marketing assistant for a middle market equity firm. He was a writer when they were younger and went to college together, when she was a resident and he was her RA.
Cameron wanted to be a lawyer, but when the prospects for a proper ROI for law school didn’t pan out, Cameron pursued the P.R. industry. She considered herself a professional blogger at night and a hotel executive during the day. Cameron was twenty-five, a general manager for a luxury boutique Manhattan property, and in her spare time she wrote about Manhattan restaurants for a blog—which, in the blogger community, is a pejorative term.
Bloggers preferred to be referred to as writers. This was the one aspect that Cameron and David had in common besides an undergraduate degree. It was her girlfriend’s blog, which her girlfriend called a lifestyle guide more than anything. Cameron was not subsidized for her time blogging, at least not monetarily. Instead, she
would reap in the benefits through exclusive product reviews and free drinks in the Meatpacking District.
“No, really,” insisted David, “I want to see my brother and my little nephew.”
“Okay David, that’s fine,” Cameron cooed over the phone. The whole conversation they were having was over their smartphones. Cameron and David grew up in a generation which thought it was perfectly normal to text and call more often than to see each in person. Cameron worked downtown and David was in midtown. They worked in the same city, but were barely seeing each other. They made it up with sweet text messages throughout the day with little picture emoticons, the kissy-faces, hearts, and virtual teddy bear hugs made up for any loss time.
“Cool, cool.” Cameron could tell David was nodding from twenty blocks away, most likely adjusting his pair of Ray-Ban prescription, thick-framed wayfarer glasses.
“So while I put down money on our hotel reservation in D.C., you go have wings and beer with your brother in Times Square.”
“Cameron, was that meant to sound so hostile?”

“Yes, David, because I’m pissed that you’re cancelling plans with me so you can go hang out in the very place you swore you would never set foot in.”
“Jesus, Cameron, it’s Dave and Busters, not a strip club. We’re going to drink some Stella’s and play foosball.”
“You made plans with me first. It’s like you don’t even care that you’re cancelling plans with me to go act like you’re a bridge and tunnel college boy.”
“First of all, you may have lived in the Bronx once, but you grew up in central New Jersey. Studies show that central New Jersey isn’t even real.”
“Well, David,” Cameron’s voice raised. She threw away the remainder of her wheat bagel into a trash can. “First of all, go fuck yourself because Bruce Springsteen put central Jersey on the map. Second of all, I understand that your family is a priority. I get that. I’m Filipino. Family is everything, but come on, David, when you make a promise with someone, you uphold those promises. You’re abandoning me for Donkey Kong.”
“Cameron, you have some abandonment and trust issues you need to work out.”
“You know what David,” now Cameron was shaking her head from fifteen blocks away as she walked further uptown on the High Line, “if you’re going to act like this, then I can’t do this anymore.”
“Well, Cameron, it’s not much of a loss considering you were never my girlfriend anyway. Remember? I wasn’t ready for anything serious. Listen, you’re a nice woman. You’ll find someone before you know it. ”
David hung up. Cameron stood in the middle of the High Line path. A male jogger swerved past her, sweaty and shirtless. A young couple excused themselves quietly as they swerved past her; she surmised that they must have been tourists. The couple held hands as one of them held a subway map and the other a chai latte from Starbucks. Cameron’s hands shook as she slowly accepted that she had wasted half of the year trying to keep a man who never wanted to be kept. She pulled her Chanel sunglasses out from her Tom Ford black leather bag. What would Carrie Bradshaw do?



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About the author:

Kelly Ann Gonzales is from the Class of 2014 at Fairleigh Dickinson University (College at Florham). She has formally studied Hotel and Restaurant Management and has an informal but passionate desire to learn more about feminism, female entrepreneurship, and making tomato sauce from scratch. Video Games is her first published novel. She lives in New Jersey with her loving parents and her loving brother: a Labrador retriever named Thor.





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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

'Rescue My Heart (Manhattan Dinner Club)' by Jean C. Joachim


Blurb:

OVERFLOWING WITH PASSION and suspense, this mouthwatering romance by a master storyteller starts with a bang -- literally. Rory Sampson, dog walker and aspiring writer, is mowed down in Central Park by an oblivious hunk on his bike -- Hack Roberts. Smug, hostile and holier-than-thou, he tries to pin the blame on Rory. But a Judge delivers an unorthodox sentence, angering both parties.

Seeking revenge, Hack finds himself too vulnerable to Rory’s voluptuous charms – despite having a fiancée. Wary after a break-up, she protects her wounded heart with a barrage of sarcastic come-backs as they each struggle to squelch the sizzling chemistry that threatens to turn their lives upside down.

Will loneliness and frustration force her to settle for the hot and heavy attentions of her ex, Mr. Not Quite Right? Confused, and tormented by desire, Rory seeks the comfort and advice of her four smart, sassy girlfriends, The Monday Night Dinner Club.

With more ups and downs than a Six Flags Coaster, RESCUE MY HEART is the first in the Manhattan Dinner Club Series.


Read an excerpt:

“Baxter! Stop!” Rory screamed. Shoving Bruce aside, she raced full speed after the pug. In her mad dash, she didn’t see the bicycle traffic whipping around a curve and speeding down the hill. She pounced on the dog right before a bike crashed into her, sending her and Baxter flying.
Rory landed hard on her arm. Pain shot through her body, freezing her. A loud yelp told her Baxter was injured as well. She tried to catch her breath, her gaze searching for her pet. She spied him nearby, spread out flat on the pavement. He was still breathing. “Baxter,” she called.
A crowd began to gather. A pair of concerned, dark brown, male eyes stared into hers. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
“No, idiot brain. I’m fine. Does it look like I’m fine?” Attempting to push to her knees from the pavement, she grimaced and let out a moan. A long scrape on her leg was bleeding, her shoulder ached, and gravel was embedded in her thigh. Tears clouded her eyes.
Bruce raced over. “Rory, you okay?”
“Baxter looks like he’s hurt worse than I am.”
A patrolman appeared and asked Rory if she needed an ambulance.
“I already called,” Bruce piped up. The wail of a siren in the distance drew closer.
“This numbskull was doing sixty, I swear,” she said, pointing to the tall, brown-eyed man.
“That’s ridiculous. I wasn’t doing sixty.”
The policeman turned to him. “Sir, can you confirm your speed?”
“There’s no posted speed limit for bikes. I did kind of lose control around that curve.”
Kinda?” Rory muttered. She lay back down on the ground.
“I.D., please.” The officer put out his hand. The man handed over his driver’s license.
“Dr. Hanson Roberts,” the cop said, writing in his pad. “A member of the real estate Roberts family?” He looked up at the doctor.
“Yeah. A ticket? What for?” Dr. Roberts shifted his weight.
“Reckless biking, speeding, causing bodily injury to this young woman.”
Rory gave a half-smile. “Serves you right. What about my dog?” She turned worried eyes to Baxter, who lay still, whimpering.
“I’ll take him,” the doctor said.
“Over my dead body…which you almost have…”
“I’m a vet…”
“I don’t care if you were in Afghanistan…”
“A veterinarian. Hack Roberts,” he said, extending his hand.
“A vet? Save him.” She ignored his offer to shake.
“Without x-rays, I can’t tell the extent of his injuries, but he’s awake and alert.”
“Dr. Roberts, you’ll have to take some responsibility for this young lady…what’s your name, miss?”
“Aurora Sampson.”
“Aurora? What an odd name,” muttered Hack.
“Oh? Like Hack is normal?” she replied, hostility oozing from every pore. Bruce tried to help her up, but she crumbled under the pain.
“Miss Sampson, I’m giving you his contact information. He’d better make good on these injuries. My card, in case he doesn’t. I’m considering criminal charges, Doc. You can’t speed like that in Central Park. You messed her up.” The patrolman gave Hack a dirty look.
“Officer, would you mind helping with the dog?” Hack asked, looking away.
“Where are you taking him?” Rory asked. When the ambulance drew near, the siren drowned out his words.
He whipped out a business card and handed it to her. “Here’s the address. Call later to find out how he’s doing.”
“She’s going to be in the hospital, you jerk,” Bruce said.
“We’ll keep him until you can get him. Hey, I’m sorry about this.”
“Yeah? Sorry and a Metrocard’ll get me on the subway.” She turned an angry stare toward him. Before she could continue her diatribe, the EMTs approached. She answered their questions, craning her neck around them to watch Hack and the policeman as they picked Baxter up carefully and put him on the patrol car’s backseat. Her eyes, blinking back tears, connected with Hack’s as the car drove away.
“Want me to go with you?” Bruce asked. He combed her hair back from her forehead.
Rory shook her head. I wanted you to love me. But you don’t. Don’t drag this out. One sharp pain, and it’s over.




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About the author:

Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. The Renovated Heart won Best Novel of the Year from Love Romances Café. Lovers & Liars was a RomCon finalist in 2013. And The Marriage List tied for third place as Best Contemporary Romance from the Gulf Coast RWA. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Married and the mother of two sons, Jean lives in New York City. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued put, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice.

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