Thursday, April 18, 2019

Meet Lilith Thorn, Author of The Becoming



Welcome to the virtual book tour for The Becoming by Lilith Thorn. She took some time out of her busy schedule to let us really get to know more about her and her writing, plus a couple of interest trivia bits about her as a person. Then check out an excerpt from the book and follow the tour for even more fun!


What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Traditionally I like ice cream with something crunchy mixed into it. Chocolate Chip mint would be my classic favourite. Though, recently, I’ve taken a shine to the salted Carmel cashew ice cream. Its dairy free and arguably better than real ice cream. Even my husband likes it.

Which mythological creature are you most like?

Wow! If only. I’d have to pause on this one for a minute to think. How I see myself, how others see me or who I really most resemble? ☺ Medusa comes to mind for the mornings, especially if woken up before I need to be up. And who wouldn’t want to be compared to a goddess. In the end I’m likely more of a fairy or a pixie. Cute in theory, but a whole lotta trouble in reality, oh and often appeased with a little something sweet.

First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

It must have been a good one, because I’ve been reading ever since. I really couldn’t name a single book that left that kind of impression on me from my early years. I know I was a big Nancy Drew Fan. Anything by Christopher Pike I gobbled up. I remember having a stack of 14 books at the beginning of one summer vacation and finishing them before the new school year started.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

A lot my writing comes from natural character development. I have an idea of who they are and where I’d like them to land, but as the story line progresses and their personalities develop things might pan out a bit differently than I had originally planned.
As for plot, these are developed internally. They spin around in my head for months before they make it to paper. Often in pieces waiting for the glue that brings each important scene together, that will come once I start putting it to paper.

Describe your writing space.

I work from home. I also write from home. I prefer a desk top to a laptop, its more comfortable for my hands while typing. I have a comfy desk chair on rollers. To my left my husband has his home work space set up, to my right is a shelf of puzzles and random toys for the kiddies. My day planner and notes are neatly piled in the space between my keyboard and monitor. My speaker and phone sit opposite both serving as a distraction and a way to fill an otherwise quiet room. Neatly standing behind those are notebooks and files from my various jobs, social media, marketing, administration, a box of pins holding them in their standing position. On top of the box is a picture of my husband and two children taken four years ago, bellies to the floor eating my son’s first birthday cake, they’re laughing. The walls feel bare but display memories. A framed papyrus from Egypt, an aluminum photo of the view we had from our apartment while living in Hawaii and a canvas print of a Cessna from my husband’s first job which props up a long, rectangular piece of Styrofoam, pulled from something shipped to us recently, that my son has transformed into a four year old’s interpretation of the Aurora using crayons.



The Becoming


Niamh is a good wife. She learned early on that crossing her husband had consequences. Living quietly in the shadowed cage he has formed around her, Niamh suffers his secrets and bares the scars they leave behind.

On the night of her biggest humiliation Caleb enters the ballroom changing Niamh’s course forever. He brings safety to her dark world and introduces her to the possibility of escape. Will Niamh’s love for Caleb be the key to her freedom or will it be her undoing?

Read an excerpt:
Chapter One – Pg. 1

He is the man I would have noticed first, had he been in the room when I arrived. As it was, he arrived “fashionably late”, as we’d say now. Men and women alike stole glances as he strode through the doors; we were too polite a society to stare.

He is the kind of creature that draws all eyes to himself without doing much to deserve it. Though this was not his home, he was the king of the castle. Even in my distracted state, I soaked in his energy, felt him before I saw him and, like a magnet pulling me, my body turned toward him.

Had I been anyone but my demure self, my jaw may have hung open or I may have walked toward him to embarrass myself with a bumbled, unasked for introduction. Instead, as his eyes met mine, I quickly glanced away and blushed. Later – much later – he would tell me it was the blood rushing to my cheeks that drew him to me.


Book links:



About Lilith Thorn


Born in Dundas, ON, Lilith Thorn is a restless wanderer. Her first move was to St. Catharines where she earned a Theatre degree at Brock University. Despite her parents’ wish that she would return home and work at McDonalds after graduating, Lilith refused and instead moved to Toronto to give acting the ‘Old College Try.’ After years of sacrificing her other passions for the stage and an empty bank account, she put away those dreams to say “Yes” to a different adventure. This took her to Dublin, Ireland for a few years where she met, fell in love with, and married another Canadian who took her to the one place she said she’d never live: Yellowknife. After nearly a decade in Canada’s Great White North, Lilith looks forward to further adventures with her husband and two children, just about anywhere.

Lilith Thorn is a pen name, the pseudonym used to protect the innocent; that is, so she hopefully never has to explain to her mother-in-law over dinner that she has written an erotic novel.

Social Media:

Twitter - @liliththorn

Instagram - @byliliththorn

Facebook Page - @liliththornwrites

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39675321-the-becoming


One randomly chosen winner along the tour via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Journey to Writing and the Creative Process by Russell, author of Derrick



DERRICK by Russell


THANK YOU for Having Me!

I must share some exciting news with all of you!

My new book, DERRICK, just won in 2018 New Apple Literary Awards Contest as Official Selection in Psychological Suspense. I am completely surprised, flattered and humbled by the honor!

Also to add, GAVIN (Part 1 of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy) won 2017 New Apple Literary Summer E-book Awards as Official Selection in Horror.




Journey to Writing and the Creative Process


In my youth, I had a knack for spinning a tale. Because my family moved around quite a bit, my talent grew more while the new set of friends got to know me. Soon, they enjoyed my stories. I would describe malevolent stories about missing people captured in the basement of nearby houses, specters or ghouls haunting the school or even crawling malformed creatures in the shadows that grab children in order to bring them back into the depths of sewers. Seriously, I always had a dark imagination! Truly, it wasn’t until I read my first ‘grown-up’ book--Cujo by Stephen King--which I grasped the concept of being a writer, and desired to conjure an equally terrifying story. Plus, it’d be awesome to have my name on the cover! Even then, I realized I had to drop my last name: My god, it’d take up too much space…;)

As an adolescent, I attempted writing: Really premature renderings of dialogue, descriptions and scenes paved my wave into larger pieces. In college, I did take creative writing, but I found it to be too structured for me. Then again, I did just about majored in everything. In my twenties, I wrote my first manuscript—not exactly a great piece of literature—and then buried it. Will it ever come to the surface one day? Perhaps. Anyway, the sense of accomplishment catapulted me into writing The Tale of Old Man Fischer, which took me a long time to write and edit. Frankly, I never really told anyone in my family (and even my friends) that I wrote books. When Old Man Fischer hit the shelves, they were absolutely flabbergasted! Attending Graduate School and completing my thesis further ignited the writer in me. In essence, I wrote GAVIN as a study break. Soon after, DERRICK was conceived.

Where am I going with this? As I alluded to earlier, I had really taken only one creative writing class. The other students lapped up the professor’s lectures on structuring and organizing story boards before the actual writing: It seemed too contrived to me. Needless to say, it almost squashed my aspirations to be a writer. Purging that process, I reset my writing process and wrote by the seat of my pants. Truly, I begin a new writing project with the blank screen. I don’t have outlines, don’t draw up character descriptions and don’t even do research! Seriously nothing…I just begin writing. A visualization of a possible beginning appears in my head and a cool main character’s name pops up. From there, my fingers do the rest. As the story progresses, I allow the characters point me in the direction. In fact, I really don’t know the outcome until about mid-way through. Then it becomes really exciting how it all winds up. If I’m surprised how the books turns out, then my reader will be equally as astonished. In a nutshell, my writing is truly organic.

Essentially, I am one of those delusional, peculiar guy in back of bar with a laptop, guzzling martinis, coyly watching the crowd and typing away. One of those patrons might become my next inspiration. Or you, if you walk into that bar…

So many thanks! Please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Remember…Read to Escape!

Russell






Derrick

In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities —but one of the victims is most peculiar…

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.



Available on Amazon


Read an excerpt:
The Opus Theater was a gouged-out smoldering shell of a building, resembling a nefarious beast defeated at the hands of a mob of local villagers. Its massive first-floor entrance breathed out the last of the smoke, the toothy marquee scarred with black soot. Above, its blackened window-eyes stared down upon the people menacingly. As Gavin ambled closer, avoiding the other officers, a gripping scent of chemicals, fabric, and noxious gas filtered into his nostrils, then wafted away with the wind. Next to the theater, a pair of smaller sibling buildings, a shoe business and a comic magazine shop, were scarred and smoldering as well. Even from here, Gavin could make out the shattered glass sparkling grimly against the siren lights.

As he had seen on the news, the fire trucks clustered near the front of the buildings. The crews were already wrapping up their gear, and one was lowering its long ladder. Firemen dashed from the trucks into the dark fa├žade of the building, being swallowed up by the dying beast. Other men tugged on the thick gray hoses that were haphazardly tossed around on the street. Already, pockets of ice were forming on the standing water and small icicles began to grow from the edges of the building. Gavin carefully stepped over the hoses, which reminded him of ripped-out intestines from the gut of the savage beast, and tried to get out of the firemen’s way.

Hastily, a fireman rushed past him and knocked him slightly. Grunting an apology, the man kept talking into his radio and rounded one of the trucks. The smell of smoke invaded Gavin’s nostrils once again.

From behind him, Derrick shouted, “About time you fucking got here.”

Russell will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Remember to leave comments and questions for Russell along the way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Awakening: The Vampire (Shadow-Walkers Book 3) by Kelley Heckart


She protects supernaturals. He hunts them.

Do you like a passionate romance with a tortured vampire hero and a supernatural murder mystery? Rock Star meets Supernatural in this exciting new series. The women are the rock stars here, and they command the supernatural alpha males in their lives. Grab a copy now and enter the sexy, scary, and thrilling world of Shadow-walkers. This compelling romance will capture your soul.


She may be the killer’s next target.

Jessie Henriksen, the cynical lead guitarist of Hecate’s Fury, is convinced Death is stalking her. After all, she wears the Death/Undead rune tattoo. When she discovers her current lover’s mutilated body, his vicious, ritualistic murder thrusts her into the arms of a handsome, mysterious man and into the very destiny she has tried to avoid. Jessie is a Shadow-walker, chosen to protect supernatural creatures.

He hunts and kills supernaturals.

Merrick, a hunter and a dhampir, always hunts alone, but a Shadow-walker could help him solve his supernatural case. When he and Jessie team up to stop the killer, neither can deny the rising passion between them. Jessie lowers the barriers Merrick has built around his heart and discovers his dark past. If their love is to bloom and survive, he must convince her he isn’t a heartless killer. And other darkness awaits them, more than just the murderer. Surviving won’t be easy.


Read an excerpt:
Five Finger Death Punch’s loud music pierced the air. Cigarette and pot smoke sent a lingering, strong, herbal-smelling cloud into the large, dimly lit living room, and people laughed and chattered in different groups. 
Yet it all seemed like it was happening far away. 
All I could focus on was the black-clothed, hooded figure outside the window. He watched me from below in the shadows of the trees lining the Hollywood Hills mansion belonging to Bobby Draco, lead singer of Children of Judas. My stalker had appeared every night since I’d arrived here ten days ago. 
A cold, damp, otherworldly aura swirled around him, and fragments of it slithered toward me, penetrating my bones. 
He wasn’t human. 
Death is stalking me.

 Buy on Amazon


About Kelley Heckart

Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband, dog, and a number of backyard “pets.” Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors and alpha heroes, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic, and romance. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor, practices target archery, and writes and records music with her husband. She can be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/

Kelley Heckart:

Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.


http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

https://www.facebook.com/kelleyheckartauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/kheckart

www.amazon.com/author/kelleyheckart



I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Dukes by the Dozen Anthology by Various Authors



Welcome to the book blast for Dukes by the Dozen by so many of your favorite authors! With so many choices, there's sure to be something for everyone inside. Just take a look! And please leave comments and questions for all of them all along the tour as you enjoy more excerpts, reviews, and bonus chances to enter the giveaway!


Dukes by the Dozen

by Eileen Dreyer along with Alyssa Alexandar, Elizabeth Essex, Madeline Martin, Grace Burrowes, Gina Conkle, Ella Quinn, May McGoldrick, Bronwen Evans, Jennifer Ashley, Anna Harrington, Heather Snow, & Sabrina York

What's better than a dashing duke? A dozen of them! In this case, a baker's dozen--thirteen of your favorite historical romance authors have come together to bring you more than a dozen tantalizing novellas, with one per month, for a year's worth of never-before-released romances.

Duke in Winter by Alyssa Alexander

February - The Difference One Duke Makes by Elizabeth Essex

March - Discovering the Duke by Madeline Martin

April - The Duke and the April Flowers by Grace Burrowes

May - Love Letters from a Duke by Gina Conkle

June - Her Perfect Duke by Ella Quinn

July - How to Ditch a Duke by May McGoldrick

August - To Tempt A Highland Duke by Bronwen Evans

September - Duke in Search of a Duchess by Jennifer Ashley

October - Dear Duke by Anna Harrington

November - Must Love Duke by Heather Snow

December - The Mistletoe Duke by Sabrina York

January - Dueling with the Duke by Eileen Dreyer



Read an excerpt:
from Dueling with the Duke
by Eileen Dreyer
January

She had a face that was completely forgettable. At least that was the way Jamie had described her. A girl you might overlook if you weren’t careful, which Jamie had said would be a shame.

Jamie had been correct. If Adam had simply seen Jamie’s wife sitting at a desk, he would have walked right by. It was when she moved that she began to make an impression. She had a compelling grace, especially for a small woman. He would have expected her to, well, bounce like a small bird on a fence. She glided as if books rested on her head.

Of course, he thought almost smiling. A marquess’s daughter. She had undoubtedly balanced a goodly number of books on her head.

“How can I help you, Your Grace?” she asked, setting her glasses down on a table and rising to her feet. “I don’t believe we’ve met?”

“To my eternal regret,” he said, “we have not met before now. I should have begun at the beginning. I am Adam Marrick, Mrs. Grace. Jamie’s cousin.”

And there it was, he thought. The reason Jamie had fallen in love with Georgina Wyndham in the first place. That smile. Wide, bright, warm, all-encompassing, as if she embraced not just him but the world. Before he knew it, Adam was smiling back.

“He loved you very much,” he said.

Her eyes glittered with welling tears, but that smile held. “I know,” she whispered. “I loved him dearly. I am so very glad to finally meet you. He spoke of you as well, of course. You were quite his hero. Hussars, wasn’t it?”

“It was.”

She invited him to sit, where they enjoyed a bit of society over tea.

“Lully,” he blurted out, appalled at his own clumsiness. “I’m really here for her.”

His words were met with a rather stark silence. “Pardon?”

He nodded, setting down his saucer. “I am actually here to bring her some news.”

Again Georgie tilted her head. “Lully is four, Your Grace. What news could you have to give her?”

This wasn’t going the way he’d planned. He should have believed Jamie from the start. Maybe his reaction to Georgie wouldn’t have knocked him so off-center.

“I need to take her to Scotland.”

“I beg your pardon?”

He tried briefly closing his eyes. “She is needed there.”

She was staring at him as if he’d begun to bark like a dog. “In Scotland.” Suddenly she was getting to her feet. “Are you feeling perfectly well, Your Grace?” she asked. “I can call for the local physician. He is old, but….”

He should have known this would be her reaction. “No,” he said, There was no avoiding it. He had to get to his feet as well. “No,” he said, grabbing his cane and hoisting himself up, his knee protesting like an unoiled hinge. “I am not ill. I was coming to see you anyway. I promise. Not only because I wanted to meet the woman who had stolen Jamie’s heart, but because I made a promise to him.”

“That is lovely.” Her voice didn’t sound like it. “But not to the point.”

He nodded and took another breath. “There is news,” he repeated. “Jamie’s mother has died.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

She neither sounded nor looked like she meant it. Having known Jamie’s mother well, he couldn’t really blame her. “If we could sit...”

Giving him a chagrined nod, she sat after him. “How can that concern us?” she asked. “Jamie’s family made certain we knew we were not welcome.”

“Well, since Jamie is…gone, it means that Lully has inherited. I need to take her with me to accept.”

Adam didn’t think you could see fire in the color green. He certainly could now.

“Inherited? Inherited what? Jamie was disowned.”

“You cannot disown a title, Mrs. Grace.”

“A what?”

“She is no longer simply a little girl,” he said as gently as he could. “She’s a duchess.”

She seemed to glide up to her feet, rising to her full height, which suddenly seemed not so insignificant. Following to his own feet, Adam wondered suddenly how anyone could possibly think she was forgettable. She was Boedica, Titania, Maeve. He had the oddest feeling she was looking down at him, instead of standing at his shoulder.

And then she closed the conversation.

“No.”


Available on Amazon 


About Eileen Dreyer

New York Times Bestselling, award-winning author Eileen Dreyer has published 40 novels and 10 short stories under her name and that of her evil twin, Kathleen Korbel in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, mystery and medical forensic suspense. A proud member of RWA's Hall of FAME, she also has numerous awards from RT BookLovers and an Anthony nomination for mystery. She is now focusing on what she calls historic romantic adventure in her DRAKE'S RAKES series. A native of St. Louis, she still lives there with her family. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.

http://eileendreyer.com/



Eileen is giving away $25 Amazon/BN GC. Be sure to follow the tour for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 12, 2019

Review of Oh, Baby! by Jill Blake, plus a Day in the Life of the Author


Welcome to the book tour for Oh, Baby! by Jill Blake. To kick off today's stop, we're starting with a peek into a day in the author's busy life. Then I have an excerpt and a few thoughts of my own to share with you. Please leave Jill any questions or comments you might have. And then follow the tour for more fun and chances to enter the giveaway!


A day in the life of ... Jill Blake

A day in the life of a physician/mom of 3

6 am – wake up, shower, get ready for work.

6:30 – prep breakfast + lunches

7 – out the door. Catch up on news on NPR. Drop oldest kid at school.

7:30 – Open the office. Check email, review lab results that came in overnight, respond to medication refill requests, look through the day’s schedule of patients, pull up and review results/consult notes for some of the more complex patients.

7:30-9 - Once or twice a week, attend committee meetings at the hospital or CME morning report.

8 (or 9 on days when I have morning meetings) – start seeing patients. In between patients and during “lunch” hour, continue working on my inbox (return patient calls, answer emails, review incoming test results, refill medications, field questions from colleagues and staff).

5:30-7 pm – finish charting and other paperwork for the day. Once or twice a week, rush home to drive/pick up kid(s). They are involved in a slew of extracurricular activities (taekwondo, basketball, orchestra rehearsal, etc.). Use time between drop-off and pickup to run errands (food shopping, pharmacy, gas up the car, etc.)

5-9 pm - Twice per month, work Urgent Care shift, then take call for our 24-physician group. Call ends at 8 a.m. the following day.

6-8:30 pm -Twice a month, attend administrative meetings (operations, marketing, etc.)

7-9:30 pm (on days when not attending meetings or working Urgent Care) – dinner with family, help kids with homework. Adjudicate arguments between kids. Collect and plug in electronic devices from kids (“Aw, Mom, I’m in the middle of a game here! Five more minutes, ok? Please??”)

9:30-?? – pay bills, read, catch up with DH

When do I fit in exercise, writing, and quality time with family? Mostly on weekends, and during my one “administrative” day per week, which is when I also catch up on charting and clearing out my EPIC inbox, as well as doing the more time- and labor-intensive non-clinical tasks for my medical group (for example, I’m in charge of maintaining our website and FB pages).

I am lucky to have a very supportive husband and a terrific nanny, who manage the household and much of the day-to-day care and chauffeuring of the kids.




Oh, Baby!


Lena Shapiro. Successful surgeon. Dutiful daughter. She sacrificed her personal life to build her career and take care of her mother and sister. Now thirty-nine and single, she watches her peers pairing off and having kids, and wonders if she missed out on her own chance at happiness.

Assigned to mentor a visiting colleague, Lena finds herself falling for the man instead. But Adam Sterling is all wrong for her: he’s too young, too arrogant, and too willing to push personal and professional boundaries. And he’s leaving L.A. for a job on the opposite coast.

With the date of Adam’s departure looming ever nearer, will Lena retreat to the safety of her familiar solitary life, or will she take a chance on an uncertain future with the man who might make her dreams come true?

(Please note: This is a steamy contemporary romance that contains mature themes and explicit content, meant for adults 18 and over. It is a stand-alone novel, with no cliff-hangers, and a guaranteed HEA.)


Read an excerpt:
Copyright © 2019 by Jill Blake

Adam knocked on her office door. “Can I interest you in a lunch break?”

Lena glanced up from the computer. “I usually work through lunch.”

“How about I grab us something from the cafeteria and bring it here?”

“I’m not hungry.” She turned back to the screen. “Thanks.”

Adam studied her. So much for making progress. Good thing he wasn’t easily discouraged. A quick scan of the room, and bingo!—there it was. Inspiration.

“Is that the latest JACM?” He moved closer and reached for the journal topping a pile of paperwork on the corner of her credenza. “You don’t mind, do you? I’ll just sit and read quietly.”

“Help yourself,” she said drily. “But don’t you have an office or something you can use?”

“Sure.” He shed his white coat and draped it over one of the visitor’s chairs, then sauntered across the room, where he toed off his shoes and proceeded to make himself comfortable. Or as comfortable as he could get, considering the love seat fell far short of his six foot three inches, and Lena was still staring at him, her expression now more irritated than bemused. “But it’s the size of a supply closet, and there are three other fellows sharing the space. So…”

“Do you always get this chummy with your attendings?”

Ooh, now she was pulling rank. He hid a grin. “I wouldn’t call breathing the same air on opposite sides of the room chummy.”

Available on Amazon
On sale for $0.99 during the tour!

**My thoughts**
Lena is a character I can relate to in some ways. We're about the same age and she can hear her biological clock pretty much screaming at her. She tends to stay quite busy at work, focusing on it more than other important things in life. She's also the one who ends up doing the most to take care of her family, namely her mother. Love is the last thing on her mind.

Then the beautiful young doctor comes into her life and turns it upside-down. I don't blame her for keeping a barrier around her heart. She has her plans already set in stone, and getting involved could mess those up. Plus she just doesn't want to get hurt.

But at the same time, she has a strong physical attraction to Adam and finds him hard to resist. And her life really does get turned inside-out. And to share much about those changes could give away too much of the later story.

The book is a quick and easy read. It had enough steam to keep it interesting, without overdoing it. I liked the added bits of medical drama. I did find myself wondering what I would do if I were in her shoes. I did enjoy passing the time with it. I wanted the story to be fleshed out a bit more. I wanted to get to know Adam a bit more. The story would skip ahead some periods of time, which did help to avoid monotony. And events at the end of the story could have made for a great sequel!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


About Jill Blake

A native of Philadelphia, Jill Blake now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. During the day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, once the charts are all done and the kids are asleep, Jill writes steamy romances with smart heroines, sexy heroes, and guaranteed happy endings.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website: https://www.authorjillblake.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/UMZZ9

FB: https://www.facebook.com/jill.blake.3386

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B1ZIHKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6899971.Jill_Blake

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jill_blake_



Jill Blake will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Review of The Virgin Club by Kayley Wood



Welcome to the book blast tour for The Virgin Club by Kayley Wood, a contemporary romance with a smidge of comedy that is ever so much fun to read! Please enjoy my review and an excerpt before you download your own copy. You won't be disappointed. (And it's currently only  $0.99!) And then also remember to leave comments and questions along the way as you follow the tour and then enter the giveaway.


The Virgin Club


Challenge: Lose my virginity before my 24th birthday. Time Left: 23 days.

Appletinis, a semi-meltdown, and a ‘Lose My Virginity Challenge’ post. That's all it took for my little blog to go viral.

I’m going to be fine. I’m anonymous. I can just delete the post and pretend it never happened. No big deal, right?

Wrong!

My co-worker crush, Logan—gorgeous, yummy and out of my league—found out about my secret deadline-driven cherry popping quest.

Humiliated would be an understatement.

Fortunately, my besties come to the rescue with a brilliant plan that involves my trending blog. If all went smoothly, I'd not only win over the untouchable Logan but also live my dream of becoming a full-time writer.

The plan isn’t just brilliant, it's perfect… until my new boss, Alexander Freeman comes into the picture with his Brooks Brothers suit and Tom Ford briefcase.

So what if the Stiff is hot? I will not ruin my one chance with Logan or my dream career.

But I'm in more trouble than I originally thought.

Turns out Alex has a few intentions of his own and a huge secret I'm totally unprepared for.



Read an excerpt:
David and I walked down the hallway toward the conference room, Maria and Claire trailing behind us.

“Have you noticed what’s trending on Twitter right now?” David asked.

“No. I’ve been absorbed in the Moonstorm Press account. Anything interesting?”

“Very,” David leaned in closer and whispered. “Apparently there is a twenty-three-year-old virgin out there who is set on cashing in her V-card before her twenty-fourth birthday.”

A cold sweat started to form under my arms. This was not good. I let out an over-exaggerated laugh. “Why would something that stupid be trending?”

David smirked. “A twenty-three-year-old virgin sharing her sexual escapades like it’s her diary for the entire world to see? This is the next viral thing. Mark my words.”

Viral? No. My blog was not going viral. I had to delete that post the moment I got home. Maybe even the entire blog.

“Are you talking about The Virgin Club?” Maria caught up beside David and her eyes lit up like she was ready for some juicy gossip.

Yup, I will never drink and post again.

“Yes!” David said. “Have you read any of it?”

“Some, but the site kept crashing, but thankfully someone posted some screenshots on Instagram. Did you see her goal for the first week?”

I wanted to sink through the floor and disappear. The last thing I needed was my work colleagues talking about my sex life—or lack thereof.


https://amzn.to/2WUxkdy


**My thoughts**
I will admit that when I first read the blurb of this book, I was a little apprehensive. I thought perhaps it was going to be like some kind of reality show where all the girl does is try to sleep around or something like that. But this little voice in the back of my head kept telling me to give it a try. I am so glad that I did.

It's not at all what I thought it was going to be. I was surprised to find myself relating to Emma so much, especially considering I am a generation older than she is, which I think helped me to really get into the story. Emma has her job that she goes to daily and does well at, two best friends, and seems to be doing okay on her own, only she is a big fail in the romance department. She is also a writer and has an anonymous blog that talks about a pact that she and her friends made in college - to remain virgins all the way through school. This is something that you almost never hear about anymore. Usually it seems like people are competing to see how early they can lose it, instead.

So when Jada and Lauren move on to their respective serious relationships, and subsequently give up their V-cards, Emma is left being the last one standing. She decides to shift her blog's focus from being a single girl still trying to hold onto her virginity to vowing to give it up by the time she turns 24 in a few weeks. And suddenly she goes viral.

People can't stop tuning in to see what kind of trouble Emma is going to get herself into today, especially when it involves her little love triangle that has developed between her, Logan - the new hottie at work, and Alex - the new boss. Even more intriguing is that Logan and Alex have their own past, making the game a little bit more exciting. And of course, she is still, in theory, anonymous, but you know she is going to get found out at some point.

What I loved is that Emma ends up learning a lot about herself as she writes out her story. She is figuring out how to find what's real and good in a relationship and continues to realize that it's not all about sex. She learns a lot about trust and love as well as friendship and loyalty. She learns that blogging after enjoying a few appletinis may not be the smartest move (although it did let her be honest, which led to thousands of followers, and who hasn't done this at least once or five times before?). And I love that she learns to embrace herself as  a super lovable klutz, which actually makes her even more endearing to me. (Says the woman who just recently sprained her ankle doing something stupid and trivial as well.) 

If you're looking for a lot of hot sex, don't bother. Or maybe you should try this book, just to try something different. I actually loved having a cleaner romance to read for a change. The men will still give you plenty of swoon-worthy moments in the romance department. And you won't be able to help but laugh at, but mostly with Emma, along the way. I was really reminded of beloved authors like Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding, Marian Keyes, and other great indies like Tawdra Kandle, Melissa Baldwin, and Becky Monson. Adding Kayley Wood to my list and definitely reading more of her work.


About Kayley Wood

Kayley has three simple rules in life:

1. Surround yourself with some incredible, kick-ass women you call friends.

2. Don’t worry about failure or mistakes. It’s how you respond to them that makes all the difference.

3. An appletini is never complete without two cherries.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44301055-the-virgin-club

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18941724.Kayley_Wood
Kayley Wood will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 28, 2019

If You Wanna Be a Queen, Ya Gotta Think Like a Queen plus the Queens of Hearts Anthology


This steamy anthology has something for everyone in it! Check out all of the stories within by some of your favorite authors, as well as an excerpt. And Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe is telling us a bit more about her own story. Be sure to download your own copy and leave comments and questions for the authors as you follow the tour. Best of luck entering the giveaway!



Although I’ve been toiling with writing for a few years, I’ve only recently ventured out into the publishing world. My first step into this wonderful industry was with DCL Publications’ anthology The Greatest Gift of All. I was invited to submit a story for it and wrote a romantic comedy for it called ‘We Made Snow Angels.’ I got some pretty good comments on it, which made me feel really good and encouraged.

I was then invited to join in on another anthology titled Queens of Hearts, also through DCL Publications. Immediately, I knew that I had to write something special, something funny, something with a bit of romance, and something that would honor my LGBTQ friends. I’m a proud LGBTQ ally and wanted to express my love for the community with this submission.

In keeping with the Queen theme of the anthology, I based my story ‘All I Want is to Be Happy’ on a young black man who works in a bookshop during the day and moonlights at night as a drag queen. Michael – under the guise of stage name Rayne – becomes Queen Rayne after stealing top crown from long-time ruler Madame Vivian at an annual drag competition.

After seeing how devastated Madame Vivian becomes after losing her crown, Queen Rayne begins to consider how her life will be when the day comes that she too is dethroned. In turn, as Michael, he begins to realize how lonely his life has become and decides he needs to make some major changes to find happiness.

Michael was a hilarious character to write – both in and out of drag. Michael is one of those guys whose nerves sometimes get the better of him. I think a lot of us can relate to that, and with Michael, his intentions – sometimes genuine and sometimes a bit dubious – lead him into some hilarious situations that have so far left the readers in stitches and, thankfully, wanting more.

One of my favorite things about ‘All I Want is to Be Happy’ is that I got to honor one of my favorite Queens in the world – RuPaul. There is a scene in the story where the queens gather together before their show and pray to RuPaul for guidance and support. RuPaul has taken the love and appreciation of drag queens into the hearts of new generations and has helped to bring them mainstream, with shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race. After all, no one does it better than the Drag Queen Supreme.

I’d like to extend my thanks to Books to Light Your Fire for hosting me! Thank you to the visitors and readers who have stopped by, and to DCL Publications for including me! Thank you, Goddess Fish Promotions. This is my first virtual book tour, so I hope I managed to keep you interested!





Queens of Hearts


A romance anthology unlike any other, Queens of Hearts will seduce you, romance you, make you laugh, and make you afraid with four very different stories from four different, talented authors.

‘Regina’ by Adesanya
Her name is Queen by definition, and she wears her dreads – dreads she spent half of her life growing – atop her head as her crown. Her name is Regina, and as romance sweeps through the wintry air with promises of Saint Valentine and Cupid’s mighty arrow, she finds herself entangled with a handsome man who knows all the right things to say. As a love affair blooms and romance comes into full blossom, Regina and Clive seem like a match made in Heaven. But is Regina really the woman that Clive believes her to be, or will a dark secret put an end to their cold-weathered fling?

‘All I Want is to be Happy’ by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe 
Michael is feeling down over his life. He works two jobs, has four roommates, can’t afford a car, and he’s as single as they come. Worse yet, after winning the crown at a local drag competition, he begins comparing himself to his nemesis – Madame Vivian, whom he stole the crown from. Now, as a popular author and a missing wallet come into his life, Michael finds himself on a series of misadventures that will either help him see the silver lining of life or drive him further into his self-despair.

‘On Bended Knee’ by Anarie Brady 
As the Greek goddess of Springtime and the queen of the underworld, Kora divides her time equally between her husband, sweet and gentle Aides, god of Hades and her dominant, Grant, a.k.a. Grannus, Celtic god of salt water and spa. This arrangement suited all three of them perfectly for years. However, when Hecate, Kora’s handmaiden and supposed best friend decides she’d make a better paramour for Aides, things could change drastically for everyone.

‘You Don’t Eat People You Love’ by Jae El Foster 
An infection is spreading throughout the town, and it has made its way to the countryside where a party of high school seniors is underway. When the infection spreads through the party in a most savage way, Bethany and Tommy must flee for their lives before they too are either eaten like their friends or they become a part of the living dead. Will sheer determination and the love that bonds their teenage romance be enough to keep them alive, or will they face a fate that is much worse than death?


Read an excerpt:
All I Want is to be Happy by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe

As he set his cell phone down, the store phone rang.

“Why won’t people just let me wallow in my misery?” he complained, lifting the receiver of the phone. Then, in his most chipper voice, he said, “Thank you for calling Thompson Books. My name is Michael. What reading enjoyment can I help you find today?”

“Is this the guy that was behind the counter a few minutes ago?” came the reply.

“One and the same. Just me until the boss man gets here. Who’s this?”

“This is Stevie Basil,” the voice replied and Michael felt himself go weak. What did the man want? Was he going to lodge a complaint? Michael just knew that he was about to become the latest man brought down by the Me Too Movement.

“Hi, Mr. Basil,” Michael said upon clearing his throat. He was beginning to sweat. “I’m actually reading your book right now.” More flattery, he knew, but maybe directed in a better direction.

“I was just in your store, remember?” Stevie Basil asked him. “I’m the brother on the back of the book.”

Flipping the book over, Michael looked at Stevie’s picture and acted surprised. “Why, oh, my goodness. Mr. Basil, it is you. How about that?”

Stevie took a moment to respond. “Listen,” he said, and Michael perked in his seat – his nervous smile disappearing to a nervous frown. “I think my wallet fell out of my pocket while I was there. Did you happen to see it anywhere?”

His wallet, Michael thought, shaking his head. There goes a fantasy.

He had hoped, somehow, Stevie would have found his memory of Michael so attractive that he’d wanted to call and ask for a date. His head had been stuck in the clouds – a way to advert the thought of being in trouble for flirting.

“Hang on,” he said, now feeing imposed upon. “Let me check.” He stood from his seat and peered over the counter, looking to the ground. There lay the wallet. “I don’t see it,” he replied, suddenly feeling a bit devilish. “Maybe you lost it in the street?”


Available on Amazon


About the authors:

ADESANYA:

Although born and raised in Chicago, Adesanya often draws inspiration for her writings from her Nigerian heritage. Her love for the written word developed at a young age, and today, she enjoys sharing her own stories with the world. Sometimes the tales are romantic. Sometimes they are frightening. Adesanya believes that these traits and more are what make up Life in all of its pain and glory, and no matter the genre she tackles, it is always Life that she is writing. Currently, Adesanya resides on the West Coast, USA. ‘Regina’ in Queens of Hearts is Adesanya’s first release with DCL Publications. She can be found online by following her on Twitter @theindieauthor or on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/adesanyaindieauthor.


JENNIFER PATRICIA O’KEEFFE:

Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe is an author of romantic comedy and anything quirky. She resides in Tennessee, just outside of Nashville where she shares a home with her cats. Ms. O'Keeffe loves to make the world laugh and to find humor and love in the least likely of places. Readers may keep up with her and her writings by following @authorjpokeeffe on Twitter. She is currently working on her first full-length novel Runaway Heiress, and her short stories ‘We Made Snow Angels’ and ‘All I Want is to Be Happy’ can be found in the anthologies The Greatest Gift of All and Queens of Hearts, respectively.


ANARIE BRADY:

When not dreaming up steamy romance novels, Anarie Brady spends her time cooking delicious meals, sipping beautiful wines, and enjoying her time with her husband of over 30 years. She published her first novel, Conquest of a Fairy, in 2008 and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her novels are available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. She’d love to hear from readers. You can find her at https://twitter.com/AnarieBrady or on Facebook, Instagram, and https://anariebrady.blog. Her recent DCL Publications releases include ‘As I Follow, So Shall I Lead’ in Kings & Queens and ‘On Bended Knee’ in Queens of Hearts.


JAE EL FOSTER:

Jae El Foster is an author with whom you question going to bed with at night, but you dare to venture beneath the sheets with him anyway. As the venture concludes, you are perhaps romanced by it, or perhaps you are frightened by it. Don’t worry because you are always satisfied by it. Despite the title or genre of the book, Jae El sets out to please you with climatic and unexpected conclusions that will make you tremble with emotion. Hop aboard the Jae El train and give it a good ride. Follow him on Twitter @jaeelbooks, ‘like’ him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorjaeelfoster and visit his website at www.jaeelbooks.com. ‘You Don’t Eat People You Love’ from Queens of Hearts is Jae El’s tenth release with DCL Publications.



Adesanya, Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe, Anarie Brady, Jae El Foster will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway