Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book excerpt from Charming the Duke by Holly Bush

Today's post is part of a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for Charming the Duke by Holly Bush.

Holly will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during her tour. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.

The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.

Our hero can’t resist a kiss . . .

“Thornsby!” Matilda hissed. People from one end of the room to the other were staring. Oddly, the glimpse Matilda caught of her mother revealed a smile.

“What is wrong with you, Thornsby?” Matilda asked when he finally released her after pulling her into the first deserted room they came to.

“You said yourself that Altry has never asked you to dance. What do you imagine prompted him now?”

“Heavens, I don’t know. Why would I care? It was just a dance,” Matilda replied.

“Just a dance? That young pup was nearly drooling.”

“Drooling? Whatever are you talking about?” Matilda asked.

“Miss Sheldon! You are no fool. Don’t presume to tell me you don’t understand. Altry asked you to dance because of this damned outfit you’re wearing.” Thornsby shouted.

“You’re only angry you can’t compare me to a maid or a washwoman.”

Matilda supposed the Duke was right though. Altry would have never paid her court if she hadn’t been wearing this dress. It all supported her notion that the glasses, brown dresses, and scruffy boots separated the chaff from the wheat. Those that deemed her worthy enough to speak to when dressed that way, and those that chose this evening to address her. The Duke had apparently noticed her gown.

Thornsby stared at her as if in a trance. She wondered what was going through his mind. “Don’t make Altry to be any more the cad than you, Thornsby. You’ve never noticed me either. Unless to insult me.”

His eye twitched. “That is untrue.”

“Far from it,” Matilda said.

“Don’t presume to know what is in my mind,” Thornsby said and grabbed Matilda’s bare shoulders.

The moment was charged with sparks, shooting through the air, connecting him to her. Matilda felt, well, she didn’t know what she felt. Fluttery and female. Angry. Aware. The touch of his fingertips drifted down her arms leaving her hands numb. Her voice came out barely above a whisper.

“What is on your mind then?” she asked.

“I’m thinking of kissing you, Miss Sheldon.”

Matilda batted her lashes. “Is it the dress?”

Thornsby touched his lips to hers. A feather’s touch. He inched back to gaze over her face. “I don’t know. But I don’t think so.”

His breath was warm on her cheeks. She’d never been this close to a man before. She could see the lines around his mouth and the bristle of his beard. He touched his lips to hers again.

“What do you imagine it is?” Matilda whispered into his mouth.

Thornsby slipped his hand around her waist and pulled her close. He tilted her head up with his finger. “I haven’t a clue,” he said. Then he kissed her. Really kissed her.

Author Bio and Links:
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and former vice-president of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Interview with correspondent, host, actress, and author Melissa McCarty

Today’s guest wears multiple hats including, correspondent, host and actress. As an author, Melissa McCarty is here to talk about her book, News Girls Don’t Cry.

Melissa McCarty is a seasoned television news reporter and anchor.  She’s been reporting the ‘late breaking stories’ for nearly fifteen years. She earned her stripes in small markets such as Grand Junction, Colorado, and Amarillo, Texas.

She made a name for herself in Las Vegas, where her investigative reports made national headlines and served as the basis for an episode of CSI.  One of her undercover investigations ended with an arrest, several felony charges, and freed three women kidnapped and forced into a life of prostitution.

After three years of reporting for ABC, Melissa was hired by CBS-2 and KCAL-9 news, the duopoly in Los Angeles, as the go-to Breaking News field reporter, where she often led multiple newscasts for more then five years. 

She has appeared as an actress in several television shows such as ABC's Revenge, BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood, NBC’s Chuck, FOX's Lie To Me, HBO's Big Love, and films such as 'In Sight' and 'Coldwater Canyon'. 

For the past year, Melissa has been the host for Newsbreaker a division of ORA TV a new cutting edge TV network online created by the legend Larry King and Carlos Slim. 

Melissa continues to lecture to journalism students at universities in the Southern California area and periodically speaks to “at risk” teens for community organizations. 

Her book News Girls Don't Cry is available at and  

Welcome, Melissa. Please tell us about your current release.
News Girls Don’t Cry is a story about family, an inspiring story of overcoming adversity, grabbing second chances and becoming happy with your voice, with your choices. The crutch of the story is about loving someone with mental illnesses and addictions. The book follows siblings growing up best friends but torn apart over the years, as one sacrifices it all to succeed and accomplish a seemingly impossible goal of becoming a Newscaster, the other falls deep into darkness a world of gangs, violence, drugs and alcohol all while trying to understand what was brewing inside; undiagnosed mental illnesses. Melissa’s brother, her hero growing up, is bi-polar with severe social phobias who spent years self medicating as no one in the family new about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. So even as she calmly reported the nightly headlines on TV, often times the topics were similar struggles unfolding in her personal life. As she reported the news her brother was making the news. In NGDC Melissa confronts the memory demons of her past, her regrets, and guilts and explores, as many career woman do, what hardened her along the way and how she turned it all around. How her brother turned his life around and chose life rather than risking death each day.

What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration to NGDC was my brother. Seeing his courage to overcome his mental warfare each day, his addictions made me realize what I prioritized as important, my career was not, what matters is family and not turning your back regardless of how difficult they make it. His struggles are similar to millions and my raw, honest and intense account of our journey will help others. 

Excerpt: Chapter 1
My Glamorous Life and Other Fallacies

            At the age of twenty-two, only recently graduated from college, I conducted my first live news broadcast in Grand Junction, Colorado.  I stood next to a dead child whose tiny body was covered by nothing but a thin cloth. I was barely able to speak, deeply shaken by the family on bended knees wailing at the feet of their baby. The father had been pulling out of his driveway for a trip to the market, unaware that his four-year-old had snuck out the door and run behind the SUV to join him.
I became fixated on the tiny foot poking out from under the sheet. Quietly hyperventilating, I wanted to scream at someone to have the decency to cover it.
In the many years since then, I have, in my role as a newscaster, seen hundreds of lifeless or injured bodies, and witnessed up-close, distraught and hysterical parents, children, siblings, friends and bystanders. The bodies come in every manner and demeanor and disfiguration: decapitated, dismembered, bloodied, and bloated. I’ve stepped in blood, feces, brain matter and more.
It’s something I’ve never gotten used to. I did expect that my ability to stomach such scenes would grow over time; others told me it would. I expected that I’d become desensitized to it and be able to efficiently and effectively report on it and move to the next assignment. Isn’t that what police officers, firefighters and first responders learn to do? Why couldn’t I?
Long after the cameras were turned off, the images and the back-stories lingered in my mind, memories stacking up like books on library shelves. Regardless of the “I’m tough” armor I strapped on for work each day, the images lived on in me and replayed themselves over and over. Visions of death haunted me at night; the sounds of screaming, pain-filled crying and shrieking robbed my sleep. Tragic accidents, terrible crimes, devastating fires- and the faces and tears of the family and friends upon learning about the demise of their loved ones—seared my memory.
In other words, I did become desensitized—but not in the way I had been told. In response to the continuous exposure to horrific events, I distanced myself—walled myself off emotionally, even from family, friends, and boyfriends. If they didn’t understand why I had become so remote, they weren’t alone: quite frankly, I wasn’t really aware of it myself. Not at the time. I had learned to live in the real time of tragedy. The broad shoulders and brave face—smiling, practiced, emotionally-restrained—of the newscaster were a crucial part of my professional life. That persona allowed me to offer up the facts and shed light on the issues of the day. It gave me the strength to counsel others in their time of sorrow and pain.
But it was also who I became all the time, even in my private life. I couldn’t turn the channel off. I could easily tell someone else’s story: families triumphing over illness, accident, or cruel fate. But I struggled with accepting and supporting similar needs in my own family . . . and myself.
All my life I’ve had an unrelenting drive toward success, yet I worked to keep secret the upbringing that fueled that ambition. I was afraid of being judged for where I came from and who I was then. I kept my past hidden from everyone: the camera, my colleagues, the brass, even many of my friends. Almost no one knew about my stormy personal history, one that could have made me a subject for the evening news rather than the reporter. Given where I came from—the family that I both loved and endured—it’s remarkable that I didn’t end up on the other end of the microphone.
In other words, for a woman in her thirties I have a lot of baggage. I’m not going to say had a lot of baggage—because I still do. There will always be baggage. I grew up with it. But the thing about baggage is that it can’t stay in the closet for too long; it has a way of strapping itself around your ankle like a ball and chain—and insisting on going everywhere with you. It lives in your brain, governs your actions, and colors your sense of self-worth.
Ironically, it was the same career that I used to push me forward that taught me about myself and helped me turn my life around. Reporting on the difficulties of other people was what forced me, finally, to not only confront the realities of my own past, but accept and learn from them.
Which brings me to my family . . . especially Mikey.
Always Mikey.

What project are you working on next?
The next phase for me is my transition back into TV which I’m excited about. I stepped away for a year for this book and to work with a legend Larry King at his company ORA TV an online network. Now I’m ready and excited to head back to TV.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my heart I was a writer since high school. It’s when I’d sit for hours and days writing poetry and reading each one to my friends. I became a paid writer right after college.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
After college I became a paid writer/anchor/field reporter so I’ve been writing about ten hours a day for almost 15 years.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love to write with intensity, I dramatize often. Some would call me and my writing dramatic but I think in color, I am drama, I am intense, and it’s just my personality. But I see how others think it’s too much! Ha. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a supermodel. Then I wanted to be a life coach for troubled kids. So, I combined the two and chose broadcasting for the vanity and for the community! :o) wink, wink

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I exposed my deepest thoughts for purpose. I exposed my life and my brother’s life to help others relate, learn, and realize we are stronger then we give ourselves credit for, we can endure much and love even more.

Social media:  @Melissamccarty1, or

Thanks, Melissa!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book excerpt for Finding Her Dream by Jennah Scott

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennah will be awarding a $10 gift card (to the winner's choice of e-book retailer) to a randomly drawn commenter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit, the more chances you earn to win.

It wasn't until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love, complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone in stops her cold, and it's much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His business is succeeding, now he's ready to complete his life with a wife and kids. One night, one look and he's found her. RayAnne is everything he's been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can't wait forever, and walk away to find happiness?

Now enjoy an excerpt:

By the time his heart came back on line the group had broken off into two directions, one of the women went to find a seat while the blonde headed to the bar. With a man. Just his luck. But he couldn’t keep his eyes off the way she sauntered up to the bar, her hips wiggling just enough to draw his attention. As he watched her order he noticed the man had his sights set on the other woman they’d arrived with. She had spiky black hair, piercings, and tattoos. Maybe his day wasn’t doomed after all. The dark haired one wasn’t his type. But the blonde…the cute, innocence of her face contrasted with the sexy short shorts and flannel shirt tied at her waist. She was exactly his type.

She looked up and down the patrons, stopping at him. James couldn’t pry himself away from her gaze. He winked and she grinned before offering him a finger wave. A little vixen.

“Hi.” Her cute, kissable mouth formed the word.

“Hey, sugar,” he replied, garnering the attention of the guy standing at her side. The other man glanced down the bar at him and cocked an eyebrow. Did they know each other? James didn’t think so, but he wasn’t very good at names or faces, so it was possible.

James broke their connection, turning to signal the bartender he wanted another round. As he tipped the bottle back, a warm, soft touch landed against his neck. “Save me a dance, cowboy,” the sweet words were whispered in his ear.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won't ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

When she's not writing you can find her on Twitter, with her family, or buried in a book trying to escape reality for just a minute.






Buy Links:
All Romance | Amazon | Barnes and Noble 

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview with sci-fi romance author Jael Wye

Today's guest is doing a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Sci-fi romance author Jael Wye is sharing a bit about her novel Ice Red.

Jael is going to be giving away a digital copy of Ice Red to a lucky commenter during her tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.

Jael Wye grew up on the American Great Plains, went to school in the Midwest, and now lives in beautiful New England with her family and her enormous collection of houseplants. For more of Jael’s unique blend of futurism and fairy tale, don’t miss her ongoing series Once Upon a Red World.

Welcome, Jael. Please tell us about your current release.
Ice Red is a science fiction romance based on Snow White, set on Mars 300 years in the future. Bianca Ross, the heir to the Mars space elevator, is struggling to wrest control of her family’s company from her cruel and powerful stepmother Victoria. When she encounters Cesare Chan, who has reasons of his own to fight Victoria, danger and desire chase the pair across the red planet.

What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for this book was a lifetime love of Disney, Star Wars, and action films of all kinds. Add to that recipe an addiction to paranormal romance novels, and the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

Excerpt from Ice Red.
In one swift rush, he tackled Woods, driving him away from her. She crouched on the floor, stunned, as the two men grappled for control of the rifle. Cesare was bigger, but the Earther was as solid and hard as a boulder, his shorter limbs letting him power in close. He briefly let go of the gun with his left hand and pounded Cesare in the side with a series of vicious jabs. Cesare grunted in pain but didn’t let go. He used his superior height to jerk Woods off balance and send them careening into the rover’s cab, half falling against the consoles.

The rifle fired with a sizzling crack, the round blowing through the rover controls. Blue sparks crackled under the panels, and the sharp stink of fried comps filled the air.

“Fecking mookie!” Woods shrieked. His face was a bestial mask under the sickly, flaring light. “You’re dead! You’re dead!” With a heave of his thick shoulders, he slammed Cesare backward into the wall next to the lock door, trying to shove the rifle up against his throat.

Cesare’s lips were drawn back from his teeth in a fierce snarl, but his face was gray, his arms shaking with strain. Bianca looked around wildly for something, some way to help him. Her eyes fell on the emergency lock release on the door. She launched herself at it before the thought could even half form in her mind, darting past the two fighters to fetch up against the door. She ripped through the protective membrane and clawed the switch.

Instantly the locks burst open, the rover’s air rushing past her into the frozen world outside. She threw herself sideways, crouching next to the wall.

On the other side of the open door, Cesare’s eyes flashed toward her once, and then he jabbed his knee up into Wood’s stomach. The Earther grunted, wavering slightly, and Cesare instantly hauled him back and through the lock.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Next is the sequel to Ice Red. Ladder to the Red Star is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk set on Earth 300 years in the future, and will be released April 28. At the moment I’m working on the sequel to that novel, based on the tale of Patient Griselda.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Though I dabbled with writing most of my life, several years ago I became fascinated with the concept of retelling fairy tales in a science fiction setting. I decided that I would never have a moment’s peace until I got these stories written and published, so I set about learning my new profession. That was when I became a writer—the moment I committed myself to it fully.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a full time writer, but my perfectionist habits force me to work very slowly. I spend a few hours each day working on the business side of writing (marketing, accounting, etc.), a few reading the books my peers are writing, and a few thinking and staring into space. The remainder of my workday, which often goes into the night, is spent writing, erasing, and rewriting.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I tend to talk to myself. Arguing with the inner critic about plot points or trying out dialog aloud in a character’s voice can be extremely useful to a writer. However, it can also lead to funny looks, exasperated scoldings, and psychiatric analysis, so be warned.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer, an artist, and a geneticist. So far, I’ve fulfilled two childhood ambitions. One to go!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
All the technological marvels in Ice Red, such as the space elevator, the dome cities, and so on, are concepts that have been under serious consideration by space scientists for decades. It is entirely possible that sometime in the future the science fictional elements in my story may become reality. And who knows, maybe the romantic elements will too!

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Interview with romantic suspense author J. Alex Blane

Today’s guest is J. Alex Blane. He’s doing a virtual book tour with Write Now Literary for his debut romantic suspense novel Where We Left off.

J. Alex Blane, is one of our newest and most promising author whose novel Where We Left Off debuted his first break in the literary world of Christian fiction romantic suspense. A Multi-Media developer by trade; “J. Alex Blane is a talented man whose creativity is exceptional!” – Katrina Coleman (Amazon).

An alumni of Wilmington University receiving both his graduate and undergraduate degree, since he could remember, it had always been his dream to write a novel. After nearly eight years of deciding to put a single ballpoint pen to a piece of paper he finally placed the last period at the end of the very last sentence. With that he introduced readers all across the country to Where We Left Off, a story that has evolved into something to this day he will say he never expected and in some cases transcending the definition of its genre. To date, Alex has sold over 17,000 copies and has been recently awarded Northern Delaware’s most Happening Author.

J. Alex Blane currently lives with his wife and his two children in Bear Delaware where they share a small home just right for him to sneak off into a little corner and write more of what he loves and those who have already began asking, yes, the second and third installment of the series.

Welcome, J. Alex. Please tell us about your debut release.
Where We Left Off is a very unconventional story of what seemed to be an unlikely relationship that developed between two people that couldn’t have been more opposite. Mason, a young, handsome and successful real estate developer wasn’t the type of man to settle down and definitely not the type to become vulnerable to feeling anything for anyone. Like most instances, all it takes is that one person, with that one look to change the course of everything. For Mason that was Sydney McCail. As smart as she was beautiful, she was nothing like the women he’d entertainment himself with. She held fast to her morals, and her Christian upbringing and despite Masons disregard for them, he found himself falling for her with each passing day. He would never tell her he loved her …but he felt something. It’s not long until what’s seemingly too good to be true becomes too good to last and it all came at the introduction of Sydney’s father. Secrets, fear, faith and forgiveness shapes the rest of this story in a way that will have you leaping from one page to the other caught in moments of laugher, tears, anger, sadness and warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Where We Left Off will not be what you expect.

What inspired you to write this book?
This is probably the easiest answer to give. My novel, Where We Left Off, is inspired by a true story. While remaining fiction the story was inspired by life; my life to be more accurate. I’m often moved to write through experiences; when I love, when I don’t, when I hurt, when I’m happy and when I’m most sad. The moving finger that writes move to the pulse of your heartbeat flowing through ink from the pen that is so tightly held between your figures as if hoping your tears won’t replace the ink as the words form. In short, the best stories come from those that you’ve experienced full of emotion and authenticity. For me Where We Left Off is one of those stories.

Chapter 17 Excerpt from Where We Left Off:
It was almost as if their conversation from the night before had never ended. They talked and laughed as people who walked in for lunch came and went. She was so eloquently animated when she spoke that it caused him to smile more at her gestures and facial expressions than her actual words. It seemed like once she started she didn’t stop. For him, that was a good thing. The more she spoke the fewer questions he had to think of to keep the conversation going. There were moments when their hands exchanged touches of innocent flirtation, and when there was silence their eyes spoke more than words ever could. He was as lost in her gaze as she was in his.
The waitress made her rounds clearing and collecting her tips from every table around them before she finally reached theirs. “How is everything?”
 Sipping the last bit of orange juice from his glass, but never breaking his eyes away from Sydney, “Perfect,” he answered. “Everything was perfect.”
She removed the empty plates and glasses and left the check sitting on the edge of the table. “I’ll take that when you’re ready,” she said, walking towards the kitchen.
They were far from being ready. Even though they had eaten and the plates had been cleared from the table, neither of them wanted to leave just yet.
“So I’ve been meaning to ask you what made you leave me on hold for so long last night?”
Maybe because you called me at two, o’clock in the morning,” she laughed. “I actually just wanted to see if you were going to hang up or not.”
“Twenty minutes though?” he reiterated.
Shrugging her shoulders, “You could have hung up,” she suggested with a sly grin.
“I could have,” he laughed.
They didn’t think it was a problem, so they sat at the table a little longer than usual once it had been cleared. The check was still sitting towards the edge and neither one of them had paid much attention to it since it had been placed there. After noticing their waitress walk by the table a number of times, Sydney started to feel a little uncomfortable.
“I think we should go,” she whispered. “She’s walked past us five times.”
Noticing the waitress staring back at them from across the diner, he laughed, “I think you’re right. I guess we’ve outstayed our welcome. I’ll be right back” he said, reaching into his pocket to pay the bill.
Sydney waited at the table, completely flustered and thoroughly infatuated. Watching him walk away, she tried her best to conceal her smile but she couldn’t. By then, him being late was no longer a factor. She liked him; she really, really liked him.
Although she hadn’t taken much thought into Mason’s perception of the afternoon thus far, the feelings seemed more than mutual.
Standing at the register, he caught himself smiling at random thoughts, with a light chuckle at remembered jokes as the cashier changed his twenty-dollar bill, leaving a few singles in his hand. The way he felt was so far out of character for him but, ironically, he liked it. He walked back to the table with a different stride in his step, a different look in his eyes, and an overall different approach to this woman who sat across from him. He held out his hand to help her from her chair.
“Aren’t you just the gentleman?”
“I try,” he modestly agreed.
They walked toward the door, close to holding hands but not, though strangely wanting to.
“I’m really glad we did this,” she said, walking through the door he held open for her.
The time had escaped them into early afternoon. It was warm outside with a comforting, cool breeze. Most of the cars had left the parking lot, leaving only a few remaining. She didn’t think any of them could be Mason’s. One was an old Buick and the other minivan she was sure belonged to the noisy family they had walked past on their way out.
“Where’d you park?” Mason asked her, throwing on his jacket.
“I took the bus,” she answered, looking over to the bus stop. “My car is parked in my driveway until I can get it fixed, so it’s public transportation for me for a while.”
“Wow, you really took the bus here?”
“And to think…I was the one on time,” she laughed. “So let’s see, are you the Buick or the minivan?” She asked, pointing and laughing.
“First of all I respect Buick, but I will never ever drive a minivan.” He paused. “That’s me right there.”
He stood at the edge of the walkway and pointed towards the side of the building, where there was a motorcycle parked beside it. It wasn’t an actual parking space, but he made it work. The motorcycle was big enough to accommodate his masculine build, but small enough to fit on the side without making it difficult to walk around. The reflection of the sunlight bouncing off of the chrome exhaust and wheels was blinding as Mason walked towards it.
“Mason, please tell me that’s not yours?” she asked.
He noticed she wouldn’t walk too close to it, and when she did her steps were tense and her hands tight. She had never been on a motorcycle, for obvious reasons. Compared to her four-wheeled car, two wheels and less security meant less safety.
Mason had a sense of arrogance when climbing onto the motorcycle, one that was attractively apparent to her. She didn’t say anything at first, watching him straddle the bike and standing it upright.
“Well, um, please be safe on that thing,” she urged him.
Mason leaned forward on his helmet with a pondering and almost cunning look on his face.
His eyebrow slightly rose as he tilted his head her direction “What else are you doing today?” he asked her inquisitively.
“Nothing,” she answered apprehensively, yet indirectly inviting.
He stood straight up with the motorcycle still beneath him and looked at her with a daring gaze.
“Hop on!” he suggested.
Her eyebrows rose as if he had clearly lost his mind.
“You’re joking, right?”
“Not at all….hop on!” He said again, holding his helmet out towards her.
            There was no question; she was nervous. So nervous that when she tried to speak, even as the words formed on the tip of her tongue she still couldn’t get them out past a stutter. Before she could force out a word to express how she felt about getting on, he reached out and took her hand, pulling her towards him. Once she was in front of him he slid his helmet onto her head, leaving the visor open. The look in his eyes said trust me. Everything inside of her told her not to; that she couldn’t, that she would be a fool to trust him. What if I fall off? What if he goes too fast? What if? Even all of her what ifs had no real restraint against his charm and wit. In less than a few seconds she found herself climbing onto the back of his motorcycle and wrapping her arms around him, squeezing him harder than she had ever held anyone before.
She could feel the vibration of the engine moving up her legs as he revved the throttle. “Only around the corner…and you’ll bring me right back, right?” she yelled over the loud rumble of the exhaust.
            She felt his chest jump in a deceptive laugh.
 “Of course” he yelled, nodding his head with little assurance.
            “I don’t believe you,” she yelled out.
            He shrugged his shoulders.
            “Too late now!”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m very excited to be working on the second and third installment following this series. I’m sure most will have a number of questions after reading Where We Left Off, one of which I’m sure will revolve around Jackson (Mason’s brother) and his wife amongst a host of other characters that make brief appearances. When I sat down to write this novel I pictured and asked myself, how would I want to see this if it were a movie, how could I build the suspense for this story while also creating one for the next?

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think the first time I knew and considered myself to be a writer was in the 6th grade. My girlfriend had broken up with me and unlike most of my friends who would just brush it off, I was the hopeless romantic even then, and had to write her a heartfelt letter. By then I was well past the roses are red and violets are blue and more into “feeling your heartbeat against mine”. Long story short she had my math teacher read it and it nearly brought her to tears so much so until my girlfriend felt she had to, if for no other reason than for the sake of love, get back together with me. I knew then that I loved to write but more than that I knew that if I really put my heart into it, people would perhaps love it to. That’s when I considered myself a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I could say I write full time. That would definitely take care of a lot of the distractions making it difficult to find that quite time and space to write. Other than writing I am a Career Development and Admissions Counselor at a University in Delaware. Finding the time to write in between a full time job, family and other extracurricular activities is extremely challenging. But unlike my wife and children I am a bit of a night owl and when they all head off to sleep that’s when my creative juices start flowing, or should I say that’s when the voices start talking, the rooms transform in to new cities, and breeze from the air conditioner becomes the chilling winter air of light snow or rain. I find time to write when the time finds me.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I would say my interesting writing quirk is adding a poetic undertone in random places. I love words and how when they are properly formed together than can make the worst statement sounds so eloquent and direct and an great sentence sound even sweeter. I began chapter 16 somewhat like this when trying to bring to the reader’s attention the time that had passed and the evolution of Mason and Sydney’s relationship: “As the days passed, weeks turned into the season’s end. Mason and Sydney were no longer strangers to each other any more than water was to an ocean. Fall blossomed their romance into winter, as snowflakes shimmered like stars in the night sky.” Where there are places to be creatively and descriptively poetic I tend to dip into my quirkiness.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I can tell you that my mom wanted me to be an architect. I loved to draw and was a very artistic child. I can’t really say I remember what I wanted to be. I will tell you as I grew older I wanted to be almost everything under the son; a music producer, a photographer, a graphic designer, a rapper. I was fortunate to find a university that afforded me a degree in communications and interactive multi media which encompassed nearly all of that. One that I do know is I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and anything that I really set my mind to I gave 110%. I just wanted to be someone that mattered. Someone that made a difference and ultimately someone that helped people.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Is there anything more I want to share with my readers …yes. I can’t say thank you enough to every single one of you who took a chance to pick up a book by an author that was unknown to you with a piece of work that you had no idea if it would be good or not. Thank you for sharing your days and nights with me and getting to know a few new people hidden within the pages of Where We Left Off. Your words mean the world to me. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Promo post for "Renegades" by Sara Mason

Title: Renegades
Author Name: Sara Mason

Author Bio:

Sara Atherton Mason was raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, with an amazing immediate and extended family. She attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating with highest honors in Chemistry. She then graduated from the Florida State University College of Law with high honors. She lives in the Florida with her toy poodle, Melvin, and clerks for a United States District Court Judge. She enjoys coffee, wine, sports, and science fiction television shows.

Author Links -

Book Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 31, 2013

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Book Description:

Elora Pertin spent her life trying to please her father, an esteemed General for the Empire.

When he convinced her to leave her quiet life as a scientist to advance a secret project for the Emperor, she had no idea what she was getting into. The seemingly innocent projects she engineered were actually being used to develop a genocidal weapon. After uncovering the Emperor’s plot, Elora had no choice but to act.

Elora finds herself fighting for her life against the Empire she once served, abandoning everything with only a handful of friends and an unlikely ally—the Emperor’s deadliest assassin. Will he prove himself true as her protector, a loyal servant of the Empire, or a romantic distraction? With the law and assassins searching the star system for them, Elora and her team are determined to accomplish their mission . . . or die trying.


Back in her room, Elora tried to come up with another plan. If her father couldn’t—or wouldn’t—help, she had to find someone else. Just finishing and going home was not an option. She tried to focus on the weapon, but was preoccupied with thoughts of her father. What was he involved with? How could he involve her in the development of an illegal weapon? He had been her rock and best friend since her mom died when she was so young. If she couldn’t trust her dad, whom could she trust?
She had just closed her eyes to practice the meditative techniques she learned on Naruta when she was suddenly pulled out of bed to her feet. She felt the strong arms of a man on either side of her head. Instinctively, she tried to jerk his arms away because she was sure he was about to break her neck. Her head was pulled so far to one side she could feel the muscles in her neck tearing apart. Then he stopped.

Elora could barely see the mirror in her peripheral. The man’s black monochromatic attire made him hard to see in the dark room, but she could make him out against her body. He was tall with shaggy dark hair, slightly curly on the ends. He had a strong jaw, and as she moved up his face, she saw he was looking at her in the mirror. His eyes were dark—almost as black as his clothes. Just as suddenly as he pulled her out of bed, he released her.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Special interview with contemporary romance author Tamra Lassiter

Today features an interview with contemporary romance author Tamra Lassiter, and an excerpt from her new novel, Something to Lose.

Tamra will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.

Blurb about Something to Lose:
Everyone has something to lose.

Camden Piotrowski is justifiably upset to find her boyfriend in the arms of another woman. But it’s not the end of her world and definitely not something that a bubble bath, good wine, and cookie dough won’t help. Her pity party is interrupted when handsome Seth Vendetti bursts into her bathroom. She soon discovers that her world and those in it are not as they seem. Can she trust Seth’s version of the truth and make him realize that even he has something to lose?

Excerpt from Something to Lose:
I finish and place my plate and fork on the coffee table and turn to face Joey. He’s totally into me, or seems to be, but is it enough for him to want to go for the full gusto? He leans towards me and lightly kisses me just below my right ear. The motion does absolutely nothing for me other than make me feel a little nauseous. It’s not like when Seth’s lips touch me. Thoughts of Seth make my cheeks flush. Joey must take that as a good sign because he goes for my lips next. I fight the urge to flee and try to fake enjoyment. Does it work? Can he tell?

Joey’s hands move around my neck. He pulls me closer. I pull away and look to him shyly.

“You feel it, don’t you?” he asks, a creepy smile on his face.

I smile, as if I’m embarrassed. I know my cheeks are still flushed, mostly with worry for what I’m about to do. I nod my head towards Comb-Over and Crooked Nose, who have just taken seats at the table. “Can they go somewhere?” I ask as innocently as possible. I even bat my eyelashes a couple times just for effect. Joey smiles again, this time triumphant, a knowing smile and then snaps his fingers. The men exit my apartment without saying a word.

What are four things you can’t live without?
My family, my dogs, my computer, a good book.

What is your favorite television show?
Big Bang Theory. I’ve loved it since the very beginning. I was afraid early on that it would be cancelled because shows that I love usually meet a quick and painful death.

What is something you’ve lied about?
I don’t lie much, but it does happen occasionally. The only ones that I can think of are when I faked illness to get out of something that I couldn’t easily just say ‘no’ to.

Who is the last person you hugged?
My daughter, Natalie. She’s always been my snuggle bug.

Do you like kissing in public?

I think a quick peck is okay, but anything more than that is uncomfortable for everyone around you. My daughter usually makes an “ewwww” noise for any kiss she sees.

Author bio and links:
Tamra Lassiter lives in Northern Virginia with her supportive husband, two lovely daughters, elegant Great Dane and not-so-elegant, but very sweet, English Bulldog. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and of course, writing.