CALL FOR WRITERS – AUTHOR WEDNESDAY TO RETURN IN THE FALL

cropped-typewriter.jpgAuthor Wednesday returns in the fall, beginning September 9, but I need authors to fill the slots. Right now, I’m scheduling through the end of the year.

I welcome interviews and guest posts about your latest work. If you have a new release or a novel to promote, please contact me. If I think you’d be a good fit for my blog and my followers, then I will schedule you for an upcoming Wednesday. Please leave me a comment or fill out the contact form on the website.

If you’ve been featured on Author Wednesday before, I’m still happy to host you again, if you have something new to tell us.

I love doing this feature on my website because I’ve met so many wonderful folks, and in turn, I’m told that I’ve introduced others to new writers. It’s a great win/win for everyone. I only ask that you share the post with your followers on social media and that you stop by to comment on the post.

Third Base_low resolution for webIt’s been a productive summer for me. I published Third Base, a baseball romance, which is one of ten novels in the Score One for Love box set now available at all major retailers. This past week, I finished Minty’s Kiss, a sweet romance featuring an equally sweet kitty. It’s featured in the box set Christmas Pets and Kisses now available for pre-order. Now I’m diligently at work on Behind the Curtain, the third book in the Behind the Love series.

Score One for Love 3D

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CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

ChristmasPetsandKisses3D_425by200That’s right. I’m talking about Christmas, but that’s because I’m very excited to be a part of this new box set, Christmas Pets and Kisses, available for pre-order right now for only $0.99.

On Tuesday, July 14 we’re celebrating with a Christmas in July Facebook party where all sixteen authors will be hanging out giving away lots of prizes. Click here to join the fun.

Overview of Christmas Pets and Kisses

SIXTEEN ALL-NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED SWEET (PG-rated) CHRISTMAS ROMANCES

Ring in the Christmas cheer with sixteen all-new sweet and heart-warming romances from New York Times, USA Today bestselling, and award-winning authors. Don’t miss out on this romantic collection of Christmas tails…uh, tales as adorable pets with fins, paws, feathers, and hooves bring holiday magic with the gift of true love

Golden Christmas – Helen Scott Taylor

Two wounded hearts are brought together at Christmas by two golden dogs: a lab and a retriever.

Two Loves for Christmas – Mona Risk

Dog-Gone Christmas – Melinda Curtis

A handsome neighbor and his friendly St. Bernard mooch food and kisses from a merry widow.

His Christmas Promise – Alicia Street

A stray dog brings an ex-Army helicopter pilot and a single mom together.

We Wish You A Ferret Christmas – Nikki Lynn Barrett

Can a lost and found ferret bring two fractured families together?

Christmas Lovebirds – Rachelle Ayala

Can two little lovebirds and Christmas cheer open Melisa’s heart to giving Rob another chance?

Christmas on Cougar Mountain – Nancy Radke

The Vet & The Christmas Pet – J.L. Campbell

Tails, Time, and St. Nick – Mary Leo

Kris Timemaker uses a magic clock to bring his daughter’s missing Westie and estranged wife back to him.

Graced – Jade Kerrion

Noelle brings Christmas cheer to a widower and his children, along with several goldfish and a kitten.

Unexpected Gift – Chantel Rhondeau

Far from home, a lonely young woman strikes up a friendship with a lost cat and his secretive owner.

Minty’s Kiss – P.C. Zick

One kitten, a broken-hearted girl, and long lost loves are brought together for a special mountain Christmas.

The Christmas Wish – Michele Shriver

Will a fall from a horse bring Hayley’s parents back together in time for Christmas?

Dante’s Gift – Aubrey Wynne

Seventy years ago, a collie mix brings two hearts together in war torn Italy. Will their story help their grandson find his own Christmas love?

Mavy’s Christmas Miracle – Sharon Coady

Anne takes a rescue kitten to the vet, only to discover he’s the man who broke her heart.

The Impossible Rescue – Annamaria Bazzi

A handsome stranger gifts a cute Pomeranian puppy to a woman in need of rescue.

Here’s my offering to this group of creative and talented authors:

meme for facebook party

Pre-Order Now by clicking on the sites below:

Amazon

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Kobo

Apple

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – MARY SMITH

cropped-typewriter.jpgI’m very excited about introducing you to this week’s author, Mary Smith. Her debut novel, No More Mulberries, continues to garner praise  for its portrayal of marriage and life in Afghanistan. She’s created a novel of distinction about intimacy and adaptation, while offering up historical perspective on the Afghan culture.No More Mulberries - web ready

Welcome to Author Wednesday, Mary. It’s lovely of you to spend time with me today. I’m always curious to learn about other authors. You’ve done a variety of writing in the past, but is there a form of written expression you’d like to try?

I’ve written fiction, memoir, news stories, magazine features, and poetry – and now I’m trying my hand at a short stage play. It is interesting to try different things, but maybe I need to focus on fiction for a while and get another novel out there.

I understand. The past two or three years, I’ve stopped dabbling and concentrated on my novels. But I’m still drawn to other forms. Let’s talk about No More Mulberries. What’s your one sentence pitch for it?

Set in Afghanistan, No More Mulberries is the story of Scottish-born Miriam and her Afghan husband, Dr Iqbal — a story of cross-cultural differences, past loves, loss, and, ultimately, love.

It’s the next book on my TBR list, and I can’t wait to be captivated by the story. Did you publish No More Mulberries traditionally or did you self-publish?

The paperback is published by an unusual company called FeedARead which received funding from the Arts Council in the UK to publish a certain number of books. It pays the author a slightly higher royalty rate but doesn’t do any promotion. The author retains all rights, so I was able to self-publish No More Mulberries as an eBook. It’s the eBook which makes money for me, and I would certainly choose to self-publish again.

It sounds as if you found the perfect marriage between traditional and self publishing. What is the message you hoped to convey in No More Mulberries?

I spent several years working in Afghanistan during the years between the Soviets leaving and the rise of the Taliban, and I got a bit fed up of the Western media reports and the books written by men, which all seemed to focus on the war and dismissed women as being irrelevant.  I hope people who read No More Mulberries come away understanding the women of Afghanistan, despite the hardships in their lives, are not downtrodden victims but strong women who want the best for their families – as we all do. I also hope readers feel that whatever differences there may be in geography, religion, culture, humanity is the same everywhere.

I commend you for addressing this issue through fiction. What is the best thing someone could say about No More Mulberries?

“I loved it!” Actually, someone called Frenchie posted a review on Amazon (UK) which delighted me because she so obviously ‘got’ the book. “It is simply a life story, a love story, a vision to change a little part of the world, and a need for closure … A simple but oh so beautiful story that will stay with me for a very, very long time.” It is too long a review to post in full here but this is the link if anyone wants to check it out: http://amzn.to/1Q8Os4S.

It’s a satisfying experience when someone gets the essence of my writing, so I understand how this review pleased you. How did you come up with the idea for this novel?

I was exploring a ‘what if’ question. When I was living in Pakistan someone said mixed marriages never work – just as I was about to go to a party to celebrate twenty-five years of marriage between a German woman and Pakistani man. The comment stayed with me. What if a British woman married an Afghan man, and they lived in Afghanistan – what problems would they encounter and could a marriage survive? I gave my couple a few extra complications such as the loss of her previous husband, his first love, and cultural differences. I wanted to write a good, page-turning story, which could also open a window to show life in rural Afghanistan for ordinary people, especially women.

What type of research did you do in the writing of this book?

I lived in Afghanistan for several years, working for a health organisation and kept a diary throughout that time. Although the characters and their story are fictional, a number of incidents are based on events I experienced or witnessed. However, that’s not to say I didn’t need to do any research, especially when making any political, historical, or religious references. It was important for me to make sure they were correct. I read widely, but also found Afghan friends were happy to help and emails would often fly across the ether.

That’s important and something that isn’t often realized about the writing of fiction. Even though we imagine the plot and characters, the context where they exist must be accurate. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

Never mind a scene, I have a favorite chapter! Chapter Four. It actually changed the book entirely. Up until then the story was told from Miriam’s point of view, and I was worried Iqbal was coming over as a less than sympathetic character. Chapter Four is in his voice, and suddenly I understood a lot more about him than when I started writing. I – and I hope readers – could see that he, and not only Miriam, is carrying around a lot of baggage from his past.

What else do you want readers to know about No More Mulberries?

It’s my first novel, but I’ve started on another. I also have a non-fiction book, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women, which tells about part of the time I was working in Afghanistan.

Thank you for stopping by today, Mary. I hope you’ll come back when the new book is published.drunk chickens - web ready

Mary Smith - web readyAbout Mary Smith:  Writer, freelance journalist, and poet Mary Smith lives in beautiful South West Scotland. Although she has always written, whether it was childish short stories, very bad angst-ridden poetry as a teenager, diaries or funding reports, she never really believed she could write for publication. And so she did lots of other things instead including fundraising for Oxfam, and later working in Pakistan and Afghanistan for leprosy programs. While in Afghanistan, she established a low-key mother and child care program, providing skills and knowledge to women health volunteers. Those experiences inform much of her writing. Her debut novel, No More Mulberries is set in Afghanistan, and she has also written Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women, a narrative non-fiction account about her time in Afghanistan, which offers an authentic insight into how ordinary Afghan women and their families live their lives.

Links to books and social media sites:

Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marysmithwriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Website: www.marysmith.co.uk

http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/mary-smith/

Blogs: http://novelpointsofview.blogspot.co.uk/
https://marysmith57.wordpress.com/2014/07/

Author Wednesday – Sharon Black

cropped-typewriter.jpgToday Author Wednesday features a guest post from author Sharon Black. She’s recently published her first novel, Going Against Type, a contemporary romantic comedy set in Dublin. I welcome Sharon and her post about the creation of her first novel.GoingAgainstTypeLarge

The Creation of Going Against Type by Sharon Black

I was a journalist. When I was younger, I worked as a features writer for a national newspaper here in Dublin. After taking a substantial break when my children were small, I then wrote for another national paper for a couple of years.

By the time I was ready to write my debut novel, it seemed natural for me to write about what I knew.

Going Against Type is set in the world of Dublin-based national newspapers. But because the setting was familiar, it was important to me that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

The story is about two rival newspaper columnists, who write under pen names. They fall in love, without realising that they are bitter enemies in print. They have good reason to keep their alter egos safe from each other. As their relationship develops, each of them is blissfully unaware of whom the other is. Until they are forced to reveal themselves….

The idea for the rival columnists came after I remembered one of the fabulous old Hollywood films that I adored when I was a teenager. (They were shown at odd hours on Irish TV – I’m not old enough to have seen them on the big screen!)

In Woman of the Year, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey, she plays a high brow pundit, who rubbishes sport in one of her columns. Tracey is a sports columnist who leaps to attack her, and so they start to spar. In the film, however, they meet quite quickly and despite knowing who the other person is, they fall in love.

What I did in Going Against Type, was to turn the stereotypes on their head. It meant making my heroine the sports buff. At the beginning of the story, she is given a chance to write the new, anonymous sports column, Side Swipe.

My hero, Derry, is a fashion writer and also writes the back page gossip column The Squire for the rival paper. They fall in love, but they don’t discover that they’ve fallen for their bitter rival until half way through the book.

While that whole build up was really fun to do, it was also extremely challenging. I had to ensure  Charlotte and Derry’s columns were quite acerbic. That way, you could see a huge contrast between their views in the papers – their weekly banter – and how they were with each other. It also meant there was more at stake.

The hardest columns to get right were Charlotte’s. Paradoxically, she turned out to be a wonderful character to write. I personally know very little about sport, having never been sporty myself. But I admire people who are, and I believe team sports, in particular, are so important.

So to make Charlotte real, I had to do a lot of research. I read a lot of sports’ columnists, I checked all my facts, and then I tried to put myself into the head of a feisty, twenty-something woman, working in an area that’s largely dominated by men.
Her columns took a lot of writing and re-writing. I wanted them to be sharp, funny and very controversial. There was one thing that held me back a bit during early drafts. Initially, when I was writing Charlotte’s character, and the other female characters, I was terrified that I would inadvertently write bits of myself in.

It wasn’t something I wanted to do. Going Against Type is a romantic comedy. It’s light and escapist and fun. I couldn’t allow it to be even slightly about me. It’s just not that kind of novel. But because I deliberately made Charlotte very different from me, it meant I could write her freely, and that was fantastic.

A lot of people are surprised when they see that my hero is a gossip columnist and fashion writer. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but mainly these are areas in journalism that tend to be dominated by women. Quite apart from wanting to just shake things up, I wanted to write a strong male character, who is completely comfortable in his own skin, not to mind his fabulous tailor made suits! He is manly, yet completely relaxed with having a female boss and working in a features department, surrounded by women. Actually, he likes that a lot!

It sounds like a terrible cliché, but writing this book was a huge learning experience. I had written short stories down the years, and had some of them published. And I’d started so many books – but had never finished them.

This time, I armed myself with the tools: the nuts and bolts of novel structuring. And I knew I had a good story. I was determined to see it through. I’m so glad I did. I became an author, and I’m so grateful for that. And I’m very proud of my debut.

Sharon 254 bAbout Sharon Black:  Sharon grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University. She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. When she is not writing, she reads, walks, and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club fourteen years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction, and good stand-up comedy. She lives in Sandymount, Dublin, with her husband and their three children.

Links

Going Against Type by Sharon Black - 100Going Against TypeAmazon US

Going Against Type – Amazon UK

Going Against Type – Amazon Canda

Amazon Author Central

At Odds with Destiny – PreOrder Time!

Preorders ad
Native Lands, my latest release, is one of the novels featured in this new box set. I’m proud to have my work alongside some very talented and lovely authors.NATIVE_PBOOK005
While the novels span the spectrum of literary, historical, and contemporary fiction, they all contain a common element. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their journeys.
Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you At Odds with Destiny, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense.
★ The novels in this boxed set are out of the box ★
Open it at your own risk! 
PreOrder Now!
At Odds with Destiny
★ Kindle  Nook ★ Apple 
★ Kobo ★ Smashwords ★ 
★ Page ★ Foundry Scribd 
cover of boxed set

Author Wednesday – Lorna Lee

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday and my interview with Lorna Lee, the author of  Never Turn Back, a work of historical fiction that is based on a true story about the life of Lorna’s grandmother. She’s also published her memoir, How Was I Supposed to Know? The Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost.

NeverTurnBack

Welcome, Lorna. I love something that one of my heroes claimed about her writing. Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Did this happen to you with this book?

Never Turn Back is a perfect example of the subject choosing me. The character is based on my maternal grandmother and her grim life. She and I could not be more different in personality. I remember her as a controlling, stubborn, mostly miserable woman who trudged through her days with a yoke of duty burdening her. She sighed a great deal. Conversely, I try to find the positive in people and any circumstance that comes my way. Her story, however, is a compelling one—one that my family urged me to tell (even as fiction because she kept too many secrets for me to weave a complete narrative based only on the selected stories she revealed). When I told her story to friends at social gatherings, amazement and intrigue were always the response. “Lorna, you have to write a book about her!” And so I did.

It sounds as if you didn’t have much choice. Is there a message you try to convey to your readers?

While the humorous voice of my memoir is so different from the serious tone of the novel, both books are about human perseverance through seemingly impossible circumstances. My grandmother and I certainly approached life differently in terms of our attitudes and had different challenges to face, but we both had multiple tragedies in our lives, with which we coped in our own ways. My books are about the unsinkable human spirit.

You’ve written a memoir and an historical novel. What are your plans for your next books? 

So far, I’ve written two books in two different genres. Either I don’t want to be pigeon-holed or I want to be known as a “genre-jumper!” I’m seriously contemplating writing pure fiction next. It would be a murder mystery with a humorous twist—quirky characters in outlandish situations.

That would be quite a leap, but I operate that way, too. I’m always trying to challenge myself as an author. Since you’ve published two books, you must have reviews, so what’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

Since Never Turn Back was my first stab at fiction (although based on a true story), getting feedback about not knowing which events or characters were real and which were fictional was high praise. I knew I succeeded in my goal at writing believable fiction.

We all get them, so we might as well talk about them. What advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

Some bad reviews are simply because the reader didn’t care for the book’s subject matter or characters. If that’s the case, remind yourself that, no matter how much you want to, you can never please all of the people all of the time. As writers, we must stay true to our characters and our stories. If the bad review is of your work (i.e., hard to follow plot or unnatural dialogue), see if there is anything you can learn from the review to improve your writing. As humans, we crave the accolades; but as wordsmiths and storytellers, we learn quite effectively from our mistakes if we are willing to keep an open mind.

Excellent advice. So tell us the one sentence pitch for Never Look Back?

“Meri Vaarsara had a dream and something to prove; she also had incredibly bad fortune and even worse timing.”

Very intriguing. I love the contrasts. How did you choose the title? 

My grandmother was a very stubborn woman. When she decided to leave her home and family in Finland as a young woman, she left and never turned back. When she left Paris to come to a very disappointing America, she never considered going back. Her pride stopped her. The title came from what must have been her life’s guiding credo. I knew the title before I started writing the first line of the book.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? 

This book, like my memoir, is self-published. Before I wrote my memoir, I knew nothing about the publishing aspect of writing. I thought that once you wrote the manuscript and got an agent to represent you, your work as a writer was done. Ha! When my memoir manuscript was nearing completion, I started doing my homework about publishing. I discovered that even if I could get an agent interested in my manuscript, I would have the lion’s share of marketing responsibility even though they would get the lion’s share of any royalties. Yes, there is more prestige associated with being traditionally published. But there is more freedom as an Indie author. If I have to do the marketing anyway, I decided to try self-publishing and avoid the inevitable waiting for rejection letters. My skin is too thin for all of that anyway.

I thought the same thing after I finished my first novel. I’ve gone both routes, and I’ll take the Indie route any day. I’m so glad you stopped by today. Your first attempt at fiction sounds very interesting, and I hope you’ll stop by again when you get that murder mystery written.

LornaAbout Lorna Lee:  In her former life as a sociology professor, Lorna published many academic and research papers. Creative writing is her new path since her premature disability retirement in 2006 because to Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.

Never Turn Back is her second book and first novel. Her first book is a memoir entitled How Was I Supposed to Know? That book was awarded Best Memoir, 2012 by the Adirondack Writing Center in their Annual Literary Award Contest. In 2010, she was a finalist in the memoir genre of the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contest with her short story, Monkey Business.

Lorna currently lives with the man of her dreams and the dog of her dreams in the home of her dreams in the Portland, Oregon area. She keeps herself busy by writing, quilting, walking, meditating, and blogging.

Links:

Blog: Lorna’s Voice 

Never Turn Back page on Lorna’s Voice

How Was I Supposed to Know? page on Lorna’s Voice

Never Turn Back on Amazon

How Was I Suppose to Know? on Amazon

 

#2015 – A New Start

Happy-New-Year-Banners-Animated-2015-2

I’m not big on resolutions, but I do believe the new year is an opportunity to look back and forward. Then it’s time to get onto the business of NOW.

So first, here’s my look back at what I wrote about my goals for 2014.

1. Establish myself as a best-selling author – I certainly gave it my best effort. I continued establishing social media contacts, and I joined the box set Heroes to Swoon For with ten other authors to make a pretty good stab at best-selling status. 47a53-heroes2bto2bswoon2bfor_3d_medium

2. Finish writing Native Lands and publish it in 2014 – Done!

world travel guide, Morocco, memoir

3. Publish Odyssey to Myself – Another check off the list! 

4. Work on new travel blog, P.C. Zick Travels – OK, so I didn’t work on this one, but I published the essay book! 

5. Establish my editing and formatting business – I started off with a few jobs, but as the year progressed, my own writing and publishing took priority. I am starting off with a few jobs again this year, so contact me if you’re interested in talking about my services.

6. Start a new work in progress by the end of the year – I believe I accomplished this goal. I wrote my first romance, 64Behind the Altar, and published it in September. That novel went into the box set, Heroes to Swoon For. Then I started the next novel in that series, Behind the Bar. I put all of my Florida Fiction Series into a box set in November. ffs_boxset_final

 

That brings me to 2015 and my new goals for the year.

  1. Continue to pursue my writing dreams – This means I continue writing, publishing, and interacting with colleagues and readers. I’ve been given a great gift, and I will honor it and continue toward success as both an author and an entrepreneur.
  2. Finish Behind the Bar – bb_PBOOK005I hope to finish it in January and publish it by mid-year. I also plan to write the third book in the Behind the Love trilogy, Behind the Curtain. It would be nice to get it published by year’s end as well. I’m still participating in the Romance in a Month class, so that should keep me on track with this series.
  3. Continue to participate in box sets with fellow authors – I submitted Native Lands to the box set, At Odds with Destiny, with nine other authors. This should be released in March. I’m signed up with some other romance authors to write a steamy novella, The Hot Boys of Summer, about my beloved and sometimes beleaguered Pittsburgh Pirates. That will come out in June. I’m also participating in a Christmas box set with a pet theme. My novella will star an old and wise cat named Minty. And then if that’s not enough, last night I signed up to participate in a set about wine. Mine is called the Sins of Zin. Release date on this one will be early 2016.
  4. Finish a work in progress, The Learning Curve – I started this years ago, and it’s set on the banks of the Suwanee River so I’m thinking about changing the title to include the famous river. I look forward to getting back to this novel which will probably turn into a murder mystery–my first attempt at that genre.
  5. Continue to grow as a writer – This includes honing my craft, expanding my horizons by attempting different genres, and learning all I can about the art of writing compelling fiction.
  6. Assist my fellow Indie Authors, as well as those going the traditional route and those who are still trying to figure out which way to go – In 2014, I almost stopped doing Author Wednesday. But then I received such wonderful feedback from the authors I’ve featured, that I kept going, and I’m glad I did. It’s an easy way to give back and help others, and I’ve met some wonderful folks in doing so. I will also continue to write my reviews my way, with positive comments and feedback on the books I read.
  7. Read and then read some more – I have a full Kindle Fire and bookshelves of unread books. It’s one of the best ways to become a better writer.
  8. And finally, I will write, and then I will write some more – I have several novels started with first chapters. I really want to write one about four female friends in their fifties and how they’ve managed to stay friends through husbands, children, divorces, diseases, and deaths. It won’t always be pretty, but it will be real.

My personal goals are to maintain a healthy lifestyle, live with little impact upon the earth, and love others with grace and kindness. Wish me the best!

How about you? What are your goals for 2015? Do you set resolutions? Please leave me a comment – I always love to hear from you.

And thank you for following this blog. I’ve gained some new followers this year, so welcome aboard. I’m grateful for all your support.

 

Yippee, It’s Release Day for Heroes to Swoon For

88680-heroestoswoonfor_ad700by200I’m one of eleven authors in the contemporary romance boxed set, Heroes to Swoon For, so I can’t write an official review, but I can tell you about the other books I’ve read so far. I’m proud and humbled to be a part of such a talented group of romance writers. I only hope my first romance, Behind the Altar, can stand up to their caliber. And the best part? For a limited time, the entire box set is only $0.99 on Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, and Google.

Here’s a preview of the books, with my short commentary on the ones I’ve read so far. I hope you’ll get your copy and swoon through the holiday season with our heroes rather than stressing about the holiday egg nog. Cheers!

Aroused – J1Arousedade Kerrion

Recently divorced, Dr. Vera Rios is too busy being a single parent to look for Mr. Right. Along comes a man who cherishes her, adores her daughter, and helps her find her sexy groove. The only problem: Mr. Perfect is an escort, with far too many secrets of his own. Will love cost Vera her daughter’s safety?

Commentary: I loved Vera. She’s wounded and vulnerable but still manages to take care of her daughter. Her ex-husband has been created by Jade in the best tradition of jerky exes. The hero is certainly someone to swoon for as a male model, but the comedy of errors when Vera and Mr. Right meet is hilarious but with the ingredients to backfire in everyone’s face. Great romance with plenty of complications.

2Blazing Love TeaserBlazing Love – Chantel Rhondeau

Laura’s attempting to rebuild her life after grieving for her murdered fiancé. Fireman Thayne is the most eligible bachelor in Sayle—strong, loyal, and sexy as hell. He’s determined to show Laura how to love again, but an arsonist loose in Sayle ups the stakes, risking more than their romance.

Commentary: Who doesn’t love a heroic fireman? Thayne is so handsome that the main character Laura finds it difficult to believe he could even look at her let alone love her. I love that Laura isn’t model-perfect, but a real woman who is attractive for other reasons than her body. Thayne and Laura each carry wounds from the past but together they come together in love to fight the awful things happening in their town. I love both of these characters and rooted for their success despite some pretty lousy friends supposedly guiding them along the way. Here’s to a fireman and a vet’s assistant always keeping it hot!

love triangle, two young men and young woman on the beach at sunsetRoaring Hot! –Rachelle Ayala

Motorcycle racer Teo Alexiou cooks up a reality show to convince actress Amy Suzuki to play at being his girlfriend. When Teo and Amy find themselves caught in love’s grip, each suspects the other of acting. Their game playing explodes when Teo is injured on the track and left wondering if the reality show portrayed skillful acting or true love.

Commentary: How about a motorcycle racer with a billionaire father for a hero that makes you all swoony inside? That’s what Rachelle Ayala has created in Roaring Hot! I loved the story line with all its mix-ups and twists and turns. Amy is the actress who’s confused by her role of a lifetime and her introduction to the love of a lifetime. Either way both are hot, and the story takes the reader around the world. I loved the energy of this novel. It’s fast-paced, which goes with the racing part of the story, and fun to read.

 4TheRightPitchThe Right Pitch – Lyssa Layne

Colie Adger is trying to make it in the big leagues as an athletic trainer with the help of best friend Grant Adamson, a veteran pitcher on her team. Colie’s elated when big time pitcher Jace Richards, her former crush, comes back into her life. This time, he wants it all, with Colie front and center. Can Colie figure out her own heart and hit a homerun off the right pitch?

Commentary: What’s not to like about finely-tuned baseball players? Colie’s job is one to envy because of her close physical relationship to the players. It’s the dream for a young woman to have two baseball pitchers fighting over her–at least for me!
5Art of LoveThe Art of Love– Michele Shriver

After watching her parents’ marriage crumble, jewelry artist Chelsea Matthews doesn’t believe in love or happy endings.Sexy painter Hayden Shaw sets out to show Chelsea the art of love and prove to her that good guys do exist, but a gallery curator with an agenda of her own threatens both their happiness and their future dreams.

Commentary: I loved this book, and you can read my review of The Art of Love here.

6BehindTheAltarBehind the Altar – P.C. Zick

All seems perfect in Leah’s life until tattoo artist Dean rides his Harley into her heart. Dean, who’s been away from his home for ten years, finds himself irresistibly drawn to Leah’s natural beauty and genuine goodness, but Leah’s engagement to Dean’s brother stands in the way. The more they fight the attraction, the harder it is to stay apart.

Commentary: I’m not going to comment on my own book, but here’s a review from Amazon: Engaged to one brother but wanting the other. Such is Leah’s plight in this compelling story of forbidden love that is the first in an exciting new trilogy. The chemistry between Leah and Dean burns hot, and provides an interesting contrast to the backdrop of a church soup kitchen for homeless vets, which Is Leah’s other passion. With well-drawn characters, especially a villain that readers should be hating for a while, this book is a winner.

7LostAvalonLost Avalon – K.S. Thomas

Rockstar Blaise has it all with his brooding good looks, haunting voice and troubled lyrics of a soul gone lost. Only Blaise didn’t wind up brooding, haunted and lost by accident…
Avalon has been the girl next door since she was five. The band manager since she was sixteen, and the keeper of his secrets always. But Blaise has one secret even Ava doesn’t know.

Commentary: Lost Avalon is a fun romp through the rock and roller coaster of love. On the surface, it’s the story of a rock star about to fall apart unless his long-suffering friend can save him. But as the story unfolds, it’s more about facing the past in order to move forward. Ava and Blaise fight the past ravaged by alcoholism and mental illness. It’s not predictable, but it’s very romantic. It’s sexy yet tastefully presented in the artful hands of K.S. Thomas who is a talented story teller.

8SecondShieldSecond Shield – Stacy Eaton

When Agent Drew Bradley goes undercover to find an officer gone rogue, he finds Detective Sergeant Mackenzie McAllister, and she is nothing like he expected. Mack is the epitome of control, but when the rookie, twelve years younger than her, enters The Unit, the control she mastered slowly slips away. Can Drew solve the case before Mack loses her control completely?

Commentary: Coming Soon!

9Amber RulesAmber Rules – Melinda Curtis

For years, Amber was the main attraction in her father’s self-help infomercials.  Now, she must improve the mental game of the biggest bad-ass in the N.B.A., Evan Oliver. Too bad Amber knows nothing about basketball or life coaching. Too bad Even Oliver is determined to do things his own way, especially when it comes to teaching Amber a new set of rules.

Commentary: Coming Soon!

10Wild Irish RideWild Irish Ride – Jennifer Saints

Given a second chance at forbidden love, Alexi plunges headlong into the passion Jesse ignites. To Jesse, love is an overrated word for getting ones needs met, and he’ll gladly take Alexi on the ride of her life. Maybe then, he can get her out of his head. But the forces that tore them apart before are at work again and may cost them their lives this time.

Commentary: Coming Soon!

11HowYouRemindMeBonus Story: How You Remind Me – Julie Leto

Sexy guitarist Shaw Tyler knows lawyer Kate Schaffer’s personal fantasies and secrets. Trouble is, she doesn’t remember why. Kate used to live a wild and crazy life. After a scary black-out, she cleaned up her act. Problem is, who’s the man who acts like he knows exactly what she wants, and is she willing to find out if her past was a mistake?

Commentary: Coming Soon!

Book Review Friday – Starting Over

StartingOverI’ve been a fan of Michele Shriver’s writing since reading After Tenwhich I would call contemporary women’s fiction. She switched to writing contemporary romances during the Romance in a Month class, and the result was The Art of Love, which I reviewed a few weeks back. While writing The Art of Love about two college students, both art majors, finding their way to one another despite their differences.

One character from the book, the main character’s mother Liz, wouldn’t leave Michele alone so she wrote a second romance, Starting Over. I love all of Michele’s work, but I was particularly taken by this story because Liz, the plucky hero, is closer to my age and faces singledom as a vibrant woman in her fifties.

Liz faces the same dilemmas all women face as she grows older, but Michele does not wallow in the pity party of analyzing wrinkles, weight gain, and gravity pulls. Instead she emphasizes the beauty of the mature woman–beauty gained from living and learning and loving. Those things can’t be bottled by Oil of Olay or shot up in a botox treatment. Liz may have lived a few decades, but it has only enhanced her inner glow and aroused her passions to new heights.

When her new man comes for dinner the first time, the action in the kitchen both astounded me and gave me ideas! It’s refreshing to see a woman of Liz’s age still passionate about both her cooking and her sexual appetite.

Even though Liz has gained wisdom through her years of raising a daughter and divorcing the father, she still has many things to learn about love, and Michele Shriver takes us on that journey with her. It’s a lovely ride filled with bumps, love, sensuality, and humor. No matter your age, you’ll enjoy Liz and cheer for her ultimate success as a woman who has many more years left to enjoy what she’s learned.

Age is merely a number attached to our legal documents. It has nothing to do with how attractive we are or what we’ve achieved. Liz defies definition by her age, and that’s a good lesson for us all to learn. I thank Michele for creating such a well-rounded and passionate woman. Love never gets old nor does a little spiciness in the kitchen.

Starting Over will be officially released on Tuesday, December 9, but you can order yours now. It’s only $0.99 cents, and it’s a fantastic read by a lovely author. Click here to order your copy.

#New Release – Two #Romances from Jade Kerrion

 

 

Title: Betrayed
Author: Jade Kerrion
 Release Date: December 1, 2014

 

Synopsis
Marguerite Ferrara wows audiences on the haute couture
catwalks of Milan, Paris, and New York, but whenever she’s face-to-face with
Drew Jackson, she feels like a gawky thirteen-year-old in love with a superstar
who will never see her as more than his younger brother’s ex-girlfriend.
 

Drew’s superstar days are long over. A car accident shattered
his knee, destroyed his football career, and crushed his hopes of winning
Maggie’s love. How can he, a desk-bound financial advisor, compete against the
celebrities Maggie whirls through one-night stands or Tyler Lamarck, the social
media maverick who sweeps her off her feet?

 

Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK
Title: Crushed
Author: Jade Kerrion
 Release Date: December 1, 2014

 

Synopsis
Cody Hart, the daredevil black sheep of the esteemed Hart
clan, should never have made it to his twenty-fifth birthday. What he hadn’t
counted on, though, was his best friend dying instead of him.
 

Emotionally devastated and financially ruined by the death
of her brother, Felicity Rivers is down to her last hundred dollars when Cody
offers his help, at a price. She’s out of options, but nothing on Earth could
possibly entice her into the arms of the man who killed her brother.

 

Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK
Author Bio

 

Jade Kerrion writes award-winning and occasionally best-selling
science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary novels anchored on unlikely romances
you will root for and happy endings you can believe in. Her favorite romance is
the Double
Helix
love triangle between Galahad—the lab-created perfect human
being; Danyael—an alpha empath and Galahad’s physical template; and Zara—the
woman who can wreak more havoc with love than most people can with hate

 

 

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