Excerpt: Fast Glamour (Book #3: Glamour Series) by Maggie Marr

Title: Fast Glamour Series: Book #3: Glamour Series Author: Maggie Marr Age/Genre: NA Contemporary Published: July 2014 Cover Design: Okay Creations

Title: Fast Glamour
Series: Book #3: Glamour Series
Author: Maggie Marr
Age/Genre: NA Contemporary
Published: July 2014
Cover Design: Okay Creations

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Synopsis:

A broken heart forever bears scars. . . 

Sterling Legend grew up a prince in the City of Angels. His life was perfect and he wanted for nothing until his entire world shattered. He lost everything dear to him the year he turned seventeen. Now he’s grown into a formidable man on the cusp of outrageous success. His life revolves around his work and all the beautiful baubles that Los Angeles can offer to a wealthy young man. He’s buried his feelings and his heart so that he will never be hurt again. 

A lost love that she could never forget . . .

Rhiannon Bliss was forced to leave L.A. to extinguish the fire of a first love, but an ocean, a different country, and seven years couldn’t quell her desires. Now she’s returned to the City of Angels to care for her mother. Can she fight her feelings for the man that once broke her heart? Does she even want to? 

Finding your way back to love can be an impossible path. . . 

Sterling Legend is at the top of the entertainment industry. His fast rise to success due to his talent and to his last name. But Sterling wants to find success on his own. He is on the path to producing his first film, without his famous father as the star, when the ex-love of his life re-enters his world. Rhiannon Bliss left seven years before without a word. Sterling has no need to forgive, but his desire for Rhiannon is overwhelming. Can two broken hearts use the heat of their attraction to find their way back to love? 

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Excerpt #1: Sterling:

“Dude, what is up with all these guys letting themselves get pussy-whipped?” Webber shook his head and a look of disdain covered his face. He took a long drink of cabernet.

            My gaze swept the room. This was opening night for The Amanda Legend Gallery and the renovated space in Venice was packed with people.

            “Look over there,” Webber gestured. “Dillon MacAvoy, famous ladies’ man, is married, guy, he’s friggin’ married. As in completely-off-the-market, one pussy forever. Poor guy.”

            Dillon bent toward Lane, his wife and my sister’s best friend, and she whispered in his ear. He leaned toward her and gave her a gentle kiss. The look on Dillon’s face made it clear he didn’t think being married to Lane was a burden to bear.

            “Then there’s Ryan and your sister. No offense to her, I mean she’s a fucking hot piece

of—”

            My eyebrows tightened and I turned my head. “Webber, you’re talking about my sister.”

            “Oh, right, man, sorry,” he tapped me on the arm and rolled his eyes upward as if to say what-the-hell-was-I-thinking. “She’s hot and I get that they’re in love, but married? Ryan and Amanda are going to get married? What is the world coming to? Even Choo!” Webber swung his arm out and pointed toward Choo MacAvoy, Dillon’s little brother, who was standing with his boyfriend Jackson. “Even he’s paired off.” Webber shook his head and took another gulp from his wineglass.

            “I guess all that’s left is you, your dad, and me. The three amigos on the hunt for women throughout the world.” Webber raised his glass to toast us.

            I glanced toward Dad. He stood in the center of the gallery with a blonde on one arm and a redhead on the other. He was single right now, but I wasn’t certain that he’d remain single. Since Mom’s death, marrying and divorcing seemed to be his latest hobby.

            “Speaking of on-the-hunt,” Webber said, “I spy a lovely little brunette I’ve yet to meet. She looks like she needs help finding me.” Webber punched me in the arm. “Later.”

            I tilted my glass of wine to my lips. Webber might never get married, and I was right behind him on that decision. I accepted that true love existed. I’d been witness to it, when I was little, between my parents, and with Dillon and Lane and Ryan and Amanda. I’d even experienced true love, once—but I’d been so young that to call it a romance was a bit of a stretch. A crush was probably more like it. Regardless, I wasn’t ever going down that road. Giving away your heart hurt. Why suffer the soul-crushing defeat of lost love when I could enjoy the hedonistic pleasure of a new girl every night? This was L.A. and I was a Legend. Let the ladies line up.

            Amanda swept toward me and Ryan trailed in her wake. Webber was right, my sister was a knockout.

            “So, what do you think?” she asked. She knotted her fingers together and raised her eyebrows.

            My eyes swept over the giant space with high ceilings and great lighting to accentuate the art. The dark wood floors were varnished to perfection. Magnificent art adorned the walls. A hip and eclectic crowd filled with collectors and people with money to spend were here at the opening of Amanda’s new gallery.

            “I think you’re a hit,” I said. I kissed my sister on the cheek. “You saw all the paparazzi outside?”

            “That’s because of Daddy and Dillon and this guy,” Amanda hitched her thumb toward Ryan who stood beside her, “not my gallery.” 

            “Press is press, little sister. And with your eye,” I glanced at a giant piece that took up an entire wall, “I think you are in for much success.”

            The Amanda Legend Gallery was opening with a bang. This event had become “red carpet” with the appearance of my father, his famous friends, and all the famous people Amanda and I had collected in our Hollywood life. I wasn’t certain how many sales she’d racked up in this first night, but I’d overheard a number of collectors mentioning that most of the paintings were sold.

            “Thank you!” Amanda nearly burst with pride. The light shining through her eyes made me happy. She glanced from me to Ryan, and then toward our Dad. “I’m so lucky to share this with my three favorite guys.”

            Ryan lifted her hand that he clasped tightly in his and kissed her fingers. The giant diamond he’d just given to her when they’d recently gone to Paris sparkled in the light. Another man down for the count. I nodded toward Ryan. He knew I would love him like a brother, but I also had big expectations when it came to the man who would marry my little sister. 

            Forgiving Ryan Sinclair for being a douchebag was easy because of the permanent smile affixed to my sister’s face. The guy hadn’t been my favorite in the beginning, but post rehab—the second time—and my sister was the happiest I’d seen her in the seven years since our mom had died.

            “I have to go schmooze,” Amanda said. “I’ll see you later.” She leaned toward me. “Oh, by the way, that painting you’re ogling was done by someone you know. Very well.”

            I crinkled my eyebrows. Amanda and Ryan escaped into the crowd. I turned back to the giant painting that had captured my attention. Who did I know that was an artist? I stood in front of the giant work. It was almost a mural. The bright colors grabbed me. My gut twisted in response to the images before me.

            “Do you like it?”

            My heart kicked against my ribcage. Was it . . . Could it be? The voice was familiar and yet, deeper, darker, older . . . sexier. Summertime memories of a beautiful girl flickered in my mind, memories of a girl who had nearly been a woman, and me nearly a man. A girl I loved. A girl I could have made a life with if I’d known, even known at the tender age of seventeen, what making a life with someone meant. A girl who’d disappeared and had taken my heart with her. I turned.

            My chest tightened. My breath caught in my lungs.

            Rhiannon had been that girl.

            Rhiannon stood in before me in a silky slip of a dress, tall and willowy with long lush white-blonde hair draped over her shoulders. Haunting green eyes stared out from atop cheekbones that looked sculpted from marble. She was so beautiful, so ethereal, that she didn’t even look real. Her lips turned upward into a smile.

            “You’re looking very well,” she said. 

            I maintained my cool Legend exterior. Rhiannon had been a mere schoolboy crush. Hadn’t she?

            “Rhiannon,” I said. I leaned forward and grasped her hand and pressed my lips to each of her cheeks. A scent rich and dark like cinnamon trailed her. The scent caused memories to pop in my mind. Memories of blankets, and beaches, and Malibu and first kisses.

            Heat jolted me. Desire coiled thick in my gut. I forced a coolness into my face. I hadn’t touched Rhiannon since I was seventeen and yet, and yet, her skin, her hand in mine seemed familiar, natural.

            “It’s been forever,” Rhiannon said.

            My throat clutched. Never at a loss for words and yet, in this moment her ethereal beauty blinded me. I was barely able to put words together in my mind and form the syllables on my lips.

            “It has,” I said. I cleared my throat. Recovered. I’d bedded the most beautiful women in the world; I could speak to Rhiannon Bliss. “Haven’t you been in Ireland and … London?”

            “Good memory,” she said. She flipped her golden locks over her shoulder and glanced down at her wine. “The last four years I’ve been in Paris, and now I’m here.”

            “And now you’re here.” My head spun with her words. Rhiannon was here. In Los Angeles. After nearly seven years away, seven years of silence, seven years of memories, Rhiannon Bliss was again standing next to me and having the same effect she’d had on me when I was seventeen.

            “You never answered my question,” Rhiannon said. She nodded toward the painting behind me. “Do you like it?”

            I glanced over my shoulder. The landscape was familiar and yet distant, rendered in a surreal manner. “I do,” I said. “It seems so familiar in an eerie way.”

            “Ah, so you do remember that view,” Rhiannon said.

            I cocked one eyebrow upward and my gaze locked onto those green eyes. Green eyes that I could fall into forever.

            “It’s at my mom’s place, on the plateau.”

            Heat grabbed my chest and pulsed through me. I knew that spot. We knew that spot. That spot in Malibu, on Gayle Bliss’s ranch, would forever hold a place in my life.

            “You painted this?”

            She nodded. Her eyes said so many things to me in this moment, things that words could never tell me. There were so many questions I wanted to ask. But pain, fear, and a broken heart stopped me. I had questions that only a man who needed answers, or who wanted to pursue a lost love, would ask. And I was definitely not that man. Love was not on my itinerary—not in this lifetime.

            “It’s beautiful,” I said. I plastered the Legend look of nonchalance onto my face.

            Rhiannon’s eyebrow cocked upward, and the smile widened across her face. “I see you’ve mastered the Legend facade,” she said. Her voice lilted and teased. My head jerked back; I was not used to anyone ever calling me on my shit. That didn’t happen in this town, not when you were a Legend.

            I smiled. Why pretend there was no history, when Rhiannon was here to tell me otherwise. “You remember that?” I asked.

            “How could I ever forget?” She glanced toward the giant painting. “You should buy it,” she said, “before someone else does.”

            “Yes,” I said. “Maybe I should.”

            My gaze swept the room as I sipped my wine. I caught Webber’s eye across the room. He’d stopped chatting up the new brunette and stood with his palms up. He looked at me and shook his head. His pointed at me and then he drew a heart in the air. He shook his head, as though I was the next man down for the count. 

About the author and where to find her:

author - Maggie MarrMaggie Marr grew up in the Midwest and made the move to Los Angeles to work in the movie business.  She was a motion picture literary agent for ICM before becoming a full time writer.  She’s written for film and TV and ghostwritten for celebrities.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: One Smart Cookie by Kym Brunner

Title: One Smart Cookie Author: Kym Brunner Age/Genre: YA Contemporary Published: July 15, 2014 by Omnific Publishing

Title: One Smart Cookie
Author: Kym Brunner
Age/Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: July 15, 2014 by Omnific Publishing

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Synopsis:

Sixteen year old Sophie Dumbrowski, is an adorably inept teen living above her family-owned Polish bakery with her man-hungry mother and her spirit-conjuring grandmother, who together, are determined to find Sophie the perfect boyfriend.  But when Sophie meets two hot guys on the same day, she wonders if  this a blessing or a curse. And is Sophie’s inability to choose part of the reason the bakery business is failing miserably? The three generations of women need to use their heads, along with their hearts, to figure things out…before it’s too late.

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About the author and where to find her:

As the saying goes, I’m pretty much an open book. What do you want to know?  

HOMELAND: I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois (Woo-hoo! Best city in the world!), but currently live in a northwest suburb that’s still close enough to get to the city in 40 minutes. Almost all of my stories take place in and around Chicago since it’s the only region where I’ve lived. I wish I could write a story that takes place in Greece, but I’d need to go there first. (Hint, hint, Husband)

SPARE TIME: I love to read and write obviously, but I also LOVE movies and reality TV. There, I said it. Point fingers all you want, laugh at me, but my brain wants what it wants and I’ve never been a good disciplinarian. Just ask my students or my lovely daughters, who laughed all the way out of the house after they did a few loads of laundry as “punishment.” 

FAMILY: I’ve been blessed with three beautiful daughters, a very tall, intelligent, and debonair husband (who might read this so I have to be really nice so I can get that trip to Greece), and two adorable dogs. Life’s pretty damn good, for which I am super thankful. 

WORK: Starting at the tender age of 14, I’ve been employed. First, as a hot dog wrangler (Sammie’s in the Portage Park area of Chicago), then an old-fashioned sign maker and cashier for PG Berland’s Paints, then in high school as an A-Accurate Answering Service operator (loved the job – hated the perverts who used to call and breathe heavy) and finally, for most of my life. . . a teacher. I’m teach 7th grade reading and writing all day long! And they pay me! What could be better than that?

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Sneak Peek: All For This (Book #3: Here and Now Series) by Lexi Ryan

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Synopsis:

**ALL FOR THIS is book three in the Here and Now series. It is not a stand-alone and it’s intended to be read after LOST IN ME and FALL TO YOU.**

What if you would never remember the day you made the most important decision of your life?  That’s what they’re telling me about the day of my accident—the day I put on Max’s ring and chose him over Nate. I’m counting on the wisdom behind a decision I don’t remember making.  Max is amazing—sexy, sweet, and kind. I was starting to believe happily-ever-after might be in my future after all. Then the unthinkable happened and my world imploded. If I’m going to make this work with Max, I need my missing memories, or at least answers from about those five days before my accident.  But what does my future hold if those answers aren’t anything like I imagined?

Title: All For This Series: Book #3: Here and Now Series Author: Lexi Ryan Age/Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Published: August 4, 2014

Title: All For This
Series: Book #3: Here and Now Series
Author: Lexi Ryan
Age/Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: August 4, 2014

Excerpt from All For This:

The following excerpt from ALL FOR THIS by its very nature contains spoilers for the first two books in the Here and Now series, LOST IN ME and FALL TO YOU. If you hate spoilers and haven’t read the first two books, I recommend you don’t read any further.

Max

“How are you holding up? Did it go okay with Nate last night?”

She stiffens at his name. “He asked me to move to LA.”

Of course he did. “And what did you say?”

She blinks at me. “I’m not leaving New Hope. This is my home.”

“He wanted more than for you to move to LA.” I take a step closer. I need to touch her. I wonder if she knows she’s pulling away from me, if she can feel it like I can. It’s as if we’re connected by a thousand little threads like those in a woven rug and they’ve been breaking one at a time since the moment Nate came back into town. With every breath, I feel another thread snap. “He wanted you.”

She shrugs. “I’m already taken.”

I draw in a deep breath. She lifts her hand to my face and skims her fingers along my jaw.

I groan softly and slide my hand into her hair as I lower my mouth to hers. She’s soft and sweet, and I need more of her.

Taking a fistful of her skirt, I yank her dress up around her waist and find the cotton of her panties. She gasps, and I rub her through the fabric as her fingers curl into my back. My lips find her neck and the skin in the sensitive juncture of neck and shoulder.

“Max,” she says. But it’s not the normal breathy, needy whispering of my name. The word is a warning. A yield sign. “Max.”

My hand stills and I pull back to look into her eyes. I’m blindsided by the apology I see there. “Let’s move in together.”

“What?” She blinks at me. If she’s thinking I have the world’s worst timing with important proposals, she’s not wrong.

“We could rent out our apartments and use the money to rent a little place together. Someplace without those stairs that scare the living shit out of me every time I think of you climbing them. Someplace we can make our own.” I take her hand and squeeze. “You didn’t want to move in together last spring because you knew your mom would flip if you lived with a guy before marriage, but we’re not trying to maintain appearances anymore, are we?” She looks at the floor, and I tilt her chin back up so her eyes meet mine. “I could give two shits about appearances. I want to wake up with you in my arms, Hanna. I want to know I’m going to be right there when you need me, every time you need me. You and Claire are all that matter in my world. I want everything that matters to be what I come home to every night.”

“I’m sorry.” She steps back. “I just can’t. I’m too confused right now.”

My lungs burn as I fill them—it hurts to breathe in a world where Hanna isn’t mine.

“I know it’s not fair. And I want a future with you, but…”

“But you can’t stop thinking about him.”

“I can’t move in with you right now,” she says softly. “That wouldn’t be fair to either of us. It’s not that simple.”

“You keep saying that.”

I swallow back the rest of what I want to say right along with my anger, frustration, and the betrayal I’ve never allowed myself to feel. While I was waiting for her to take my ring, she was with another man, and I was never allowed to be angry because that man died and she needed to grieve.

I drag a hand through my hair and look at the ceiling. “Was it that simple when you made love to him?”

“Can we not do this?”

Torment is etched across her face, and I can’t stand to know I’m the one who put it there. I pull her against my chest.

“I won’t rush you, but remember something for me,” I whisper into her hair. “You put on my ring.”

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About the author and where to find her:

Author - Lexi RyanOnce a college English professor, I now write full time. I live in rural Indiana, where, when I’m not writing, I get to hang out with my husband and two kids–a six-year-old boy and a two-year-old hellion, er, girl. Not surprisingly, reading and writing remain my favorite activities, though both come in bits and pieces these days, not the big hunks of time I enjoyed before I had children. When I’m feeling virtuous, I like to go running (I use that word liberally. I’m really, really slow) or do yoga. Don’t worry, I’m always careful to balance out such activities with a hearty serving of ice cream or a chocolate martini.

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Release Event: Sugar on the Edge (Book #3: Last Call Series) by Sawyer Bennett

 

Filth

Title: Sugar on the Edge

Series: Book #3: Last Call Series

Author: Sawyer Bennett

Age/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Sensual couple

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Synopsis:

He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…

He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.

Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?

*SUGAR ON THE EDGE can be read as a stand-alone*

Possess

Secret Scene

He smiles at me then, and it’s the most brilliant smile I’ve seen on his face yet. He reaches his hand across the table at me, and I release my napkin to take it. “Now that that’s out of the way, tell me your secret.”

“My secret?” I ask in confusion.

“The secret you said you would tell me maybe someday,” he reminds me while stroking his thumb over the back of my hand.

“Oh, that,” I say with immediate understanding. “It’s not all that interesting.”

“It must be if it’s a secret,” he prompts.

“It’s not really a secret. It’s public knowledge, just not something I talk about.”

“Yet, you told Brody about it.”

“He’s my friend… my closest.”

“I’m betting Brody was never as close to you as I was this morning… when I was deep inside your body.”

I pull my hand away and glare at him. “Why do you always try to shock me with your sexual innuendos?”

“Love,” Gavin drawls in that sexy, English accent. “That wasn’t innuendo. That was pure fact… I was deep inside your body this morning, feeling every inch of your sweet pussy surrounding me.”

“Stop it,” I hiss at him across the table.

He leans back in his chair slowly, giving me a calculated smile. Drumming his fingers on the table, he says, “It’s time for you to stop being shy with me, Sweet. I know you inside and out now.”

“You don’t know anything about me,” I counter.

“I know plenty. I know you’re unbelievably sweet, kind, and caring. I know you have an amazing work ethic. I know you’re smart and funny, and you’re fucking sexy as hell. I also know that you’re a risk taker and that you are nothing like I first thought you were. I know you’re private and timid, but when you get angry, you stand up for yourself. I know your body feels amazing wrapped around me, and I know that I want to feel it again… tonight as a matter of fact. I know that I love to hear you scream in pleasure, and I know my cock is aching for you right this very minute. If I thought you’d let me, I’d pull you into the bathroom right now and fuck you standing in one of the stalls, hopefully while someone came in, and we’d have to be very quiet so as not to get caught. And I know… without a doubt, you’d scream anyway, regardless of the danger.”

Heat courses through my body, along with gratification that he does know quite a bit about me already. That means he was looking at far more than just my tits and ass, and he has found appreciation outside of those things that normally a man would notice about a woman.

“Now, tell me your secret,” he commands.

About the author and where to find her:

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

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Cover Re-Reveal and Author Interview: Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Box Set by Barbara Sikstone

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Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider

by Barbara Silkstone

Series: Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider, #1 – #3

Genre: Romance, Humor, Mystery

Publish Date: October 1, 2013

Wendy-Darlin-Tomb-Raider-Barbara-Silkstone-Box-SetSynopsis:

WENDY DARLIN TOMB RAIDER ~ Box Set:

Until last year Wendy Darlin was a full-time real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires. Then she met Roger Jolley, world famous archaeologist, Johnny Depp look-alike, and at times the most irritating person on the planet. Join her as she travels the globe in search of lost treasures and antiquities. She’s been told her life is like the movie Romancing the Stone but at times she feels more like Indiana Jones with boobs.

WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS ~ Book One

Real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires, Wendy Darlin, clashes with “SEC Investigator” and world famous archaeologist, Roger Jolley. He follows her out to sea on a mega-yacht owned by Charlie Hook, a Ponzi swindler on the run from federal agents and angry investors. Despite her fear of water, she finds herself a tomb raider on the Caribbean one step ahead of modern day pirates. Will she find the Lost Boys? Will she escape Hook’s clutches? And whom will she find on Nevis Island? Oh… and is Roger a good kisser?

LONDON BROIL ~ Book Two

When we last saw Wendy Darling and Roger Jolley in WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS, they were hot on the trail of Egyptian icons stolen from the British Museum. Wendy is now in a frantic race against time and a murderer as she searches for the last Lost Boy hidden somewhere in London while a killer heat wave invades the city. Wendy is held captive over a fish ‘n’ chips shop while Roger’s life is threatened. Can Wendy escape her captors, rescue Roger, and find the missing Lost Boy before the murderer strikes again?

CAIRO CAPER ~ Book Three

Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley, in a quest for Cleopatra’s tomb. All they have to do is get from Cairo to the Temple of Taporisi Magna alive. Armed only with a couple of hijacked ashtrays and faced with a trek across the blazing Sahara desert can Wendy out-maneuver Russian oligarchs, a dozen Dark Force mercenaries, and Roger’s chubby ex-girlfriend in time to find the tomb and seal it before chaos erupts in Egypt?

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Author Interview:

What are you working on now?

With the greatest respect for Jane Austen, I have taken Pride and Prejudice out for a spin. As I progress through the writing of Mister Darcy’s Dogs, I will be posting the newest chapters of on Second Act Café.  http://secondactcafe.com/book-bits/

I’d like to invite readers to comment as the novella progresses.

Although inspired by Pride and Prejudice, my story takes place in modern times. It’s a teeny bit like Bridget Jones Diary but my heroine tends to be feistier and the wealthy, handsome Darcy has a secret identity. If my fans enjoy this riff on a classic I may continue to pay homage to Jane Austen and create a series.

What are you reading now?

I recently read the book that inspired my journey into Austen-ville. The Trouble with Horses by Elizabeth Ann West http://www.amazon.com/The-Trouble-With-Horses-Prejudice-ebook/dp/B00LJK7LFC  This is a delightful Pride and Prejudice variation novella. Elizabeth was kind enough to encourage me to take my sense of humor in a new direction. I am quite excited to see what transpires between William Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett as they encounter both pride and prejudice in the twenty-first century.

What flavor is your writing style?

I love legal thrillers, clever comedies, and noir mysteries. Over the years I was able to take workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, and other greats. I began to hone my one-liners aiming to become a female Elmore Leonard. I’m still not there, but I keep working on my adverb-lite diet. How will my style compliment Jane Austen? Stay tuned!

What books have most influenced your life most?

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon had a profound effect on me. There is something in both the tale and the telling that will forever haunt me. I have a signed copy of the book and will treasure it always.

Ghosts by Marsha Parker. The book is not about ghosts by rather about love. There is a scene in the book where the current day narrator meets her love and soulmate from the 12th century. Toward the end of the story as she questions his ethereal presence and her longing for him, he appears one night. He leads her to a Welsh meadow where under the moonlight, they lay on a sheepskin and…well, the result is the most beautiful love scene I have ever read.

Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?

I spent the first four years of my life in our hall closet trying to turn into a black panther when that didn’t work I decided to become a professional majorette. Again I was met with disappointment. In kindergarten I learned to press lightly with my crayons, I then realized I was destined to become a writer.

I’ve always had a passion to write humor and horror – closely related genres. In eighth grade I started an underground newspaper patterned after Mad Magazine. Unfortunately our nun did not appreciate my demented humor. Threatened with excommunication I took my paper underground until I graduated Catholic school.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first published book was The Adventures of a Love Investigator. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0040SXWBW

I was coming off a short marriage and a protracted divorce. I lost everything I owned prior to the marriage. I needed answers to why I continuously accepted the wrong men into my heart when my guy friends where such nice men. Why couldn’t I tell the difference?

I set out to learn about men armed only with a tape recorder and a quirky sense of humor. I wanted to learn how men really felt about love, sex, and commitment. My goal had been to conduct 1000 intimate interviews with men in their own man caves. I wrongly estimated it would take one year. Six years and 527 men later, I had become The Woman Who Knew Too Much.

During my odyssey, I met men who have sex with married women, and men whose wives have sex with other men. I listened to men who have no idea how to approach a woman, and men who have it down to a science. I discovered many men who went to unbelievable lengths in search of love.

I learned many things, one of which is that I make a much better Singleton.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?

I am always my heroines. That’s why I write in the first person. I have had more the average wild and wacky adventures in my real life. These escapades color the pickles my ladies stumble into. Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider takes the physical risks I avoid. She does share a number of my phobias like fear of getting her face wet and terror of holes in fabric. This has caused us both no end of trauma.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please join me as I pay homage to Jane Austen in Mister Darcy’s Dogs. The first excerpts will appear on the Second Act Cafe http://secondactcafe.com/book-bits/ in August. I’d love to hear your thoughts as I progress through this first novella in a new genre.

About the author and where to find her:

Author - Barbara SilkstoneBarbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Vulgarian Vamp, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.  Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

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Review: Mist and Midnight (Prequel: The Talbot Trilogy) by Tori L. Ridgewood

Title: Mist and Midnight Series: Prequel: The Talbot Trilogy Author: Tori L. Ridgewood Format: ebook, 46 pages Published: September 20, 2013 by Melange Books    Original Title: Midnight Thirsts ISBN: 139781612357263

Title: Mist and Midnight
Series: Prequel: The Talbot Trilogy
Author: Tori L. Ridgewood
Format: ebook, 46 pages
Published: September 20, 2013 by Melange Books
Original Title: Midnight Thirsts
ISBN: 139781612357263

Synopsis:

Stalked by a cruel and relentless vampire, Charlotte is on the run. Fleeing the city, the powers of magick her only protection, she couldn’t afford to fall for the hot modern prospector Pike Mahonen. Can she avoid temptation in a small town, to keep them both safe?

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

You all know how I hate to read a series out of order but once again, I have fallen victim to my own poor research L So, it is after reading and loooooving the first two full-length novels in The Talbot Trilogy that I find myself reading and reviewing the trilogy’s prequel, Mist and Midnight.

As The Talbot Trilogy continues, Charlotte Fanning is playing a larger role but Mist and Midnight is Charlotte’s story and how she came to Talbot in the first place. More importantly, Mist and Midnight is the story of how de Sade, the sadistic vampire who has been nothing short of evil came to Talbot. After a total bad luck run in with de Sade during an evening out with her friends, Charlotte has spent the better part of the last year doing her very best to protect herself and her family from the pure unadulterated evil that is de Sade. In a last ditch effort to protect her family, Charlotte has abandoned her home and her work and is moving to the remote town of Talbot. Though she has taken every precaution, de Sade is very old and very clever and so very stowed away on the train that is taking Charlotte to her new home.

Pike Mahonen is finally ready to settle down. With no family and a lust for adventure, Pike has spent the better part of his life travelling the world and living his life to the fullest. He has a fondness for adrenaline rushes and beautiful women and his desire for Charlotte Fanning is instantaneous. Inconceivably, Charlotte is immune to Pike’s charms and so, he makes himself almost constantly visible to her as they both settle in to life in Talbot. Though she doesn’t want to endanger anyone else, Charlotte is drawn to Pike and before long the two are “seeing” one another. Given his extreme level of evil, de Sade is absolutely opposed to any man other than himself touching Charlotte and so, he makes his presence known in a most spectacular way. For obvious reasons, Charlotte is forced to explain the situation to Pike and he, unbelievably believes her and resolves to help her take out the ginormous evil that is de Sade.

The Bottom Line: I am such a huge fan of backstory and history that I knew I was going to like this novella length read. Charlotte is becoming more important as The Talbot Trilogy continues so to know how she and de Sade got to Talbot and how she met Pike was quite interesting for me. The only thing holding my star rating at 4 rather than my standard 5 for this series is the sort of unfinished feel to this read. The two full-length novels in this series are beautifully written and edited and I have come to expect a very polished and smooth read form Ridgewood. Mist and Midnight doesn’t have that same feel and it made some of the reading a bit choppy. Even with the choppiness and unfinished feeling, I still enjoyed this read and would certainly recommend it to readers of The Talbot Trilogy.

P.S. Even though I don’t like reading a series out of order, even I have to admit that Mist and Midnight can be read as a standalone and reading it after having read the first two full-length novels was not an issue at all.

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About the author and where to find her:

author - Tori L. RidgewoodAfter her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

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Review: Yanked (Book #1.5: Frenched Series) by Melanie Harlow

Title: Yanked Series: Book #1.5: Frenched Series Author: Melanie Harlow Format: ebook, 150 pages Published: June 5, 2014

Title: Yanked
Series: Book #1.5: Frenched Series
Author: Melanie Harlow
Format: ebook, 150 pages
Published: June 5, 2014

Synopsis:

Mia Devine fell hard for Lucas Fournier after their magical week in Paris. But eight months later, the free-spirited half-French musician still hasn’t made any promises about their future. And as magnifique as long-distance phone sex is, nothing compares to the real thing.

Fed up with stolen weekends and lonely nights, Mia flies to New York armed with a list of reasons why they should take the next step, but an unexpected guest in Lucas’s apartment derails her plans. He’s been keeping secrets–worse, he claims he’s happy with the way things are.

Without the magic of Paris, can their mismatched love survive?

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review: 

For eight long months, Mia Devine has been living her life in Detroit while her boyfriend, Lucas Fournier lives his life in New York. No longer worried about things like inhibitions, Mia has been enjoying some seriously good phone sex and, when possible weekends with Lucas. But Mia hasn’t been able to shake all of her old habits and after eight long months she is once again pondering the future. Knowing Lucas’s feelings regarding the future, marriage and kids, Mia knows she must tread carefully or everything she holds dear will be gone like a skittish rabbit.

In a very un-Mia like moment, Mia buys a plane ticket to New York and shows up on Lucas’s doorstep determined to have a very serious conversation about their future as a couple. Unfortunately, the first conversation Mia gets to have is with Lucas’s ex-girlfriend, Jessica. What a conversation it is: Jessica is staying with Lucas until she finds a new apartment, Jessica is bunking in Lucas’s bedroom, Jessica knows nothing about Mia and, Mia clearly knew nothing about the current cohabitation situation. Needless to say, Mia’s second conversation is with a very surprised Lucas and Lucas is a complete and total ass! Seeing her HEA winging its way right on out the door, Mia follows and Lucas doesn’t.

Alone and heartbroken in a New York bar, Mia all too quickly succumbs to the texts sent by Lucas and shows up at his Gramercy Park hotel room only to engage in zero conversation and some really steamy and totally angry sex . . . .twice. But things still aren’t as Mia would like them to be and after a disastrous night out with some of Lucas’s friends and his ex (oh yes, the ex is there!), Mia goes to sleep determined to have a serious talk with Lucas knowing it may be the end of their relationship.

The Bottom Line: I LOVED Frenched in so many ways and was totally smitten with Mia and Lucas’s story but Yanked rubbed me the wrong way. Lucas is a very dominant man and through everything has had to give up very little where his relationship with Mia is concerned. Mia, on the other hand has changed rather dramatically and been willing to sacrifice her own wants and desires out of a fear of losing Lucas. When Mia shows up on Lucas’s doorstep and things go quickly from bad to worse, Lucas is a complete ass yet within hours Mia is once again succumbing to his will in the bedroom without so much as an apology for his appalling behavior. I totally understand that Mia is head over heels in love with Lucas and wants to be with him but the relationship is far from equal. Yes, I also get that Lucas eventually pulls his head out of his ass and makes things right but for me, it is too little too late. Finally, I found myself disappointed in Mia and that ultimately left me disappointed with the read as whole. With that being said, I am now completely on the fence with having loved one of the books in the series and not so much with the other which means Forked, the forthcoming book in the Frenched series will be the determining factor for me.

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About the author and where to find her:

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. I write New Adult historical and contemporary stories.

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