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INTERVIEW with E.L Todd author of Into the Fire ~ Giveaway

Please join me in welcoming author E.L. Todd to the blog! She’s agreed to an interview and we’re also going to learn more about her latest release INTO THE FIRE. Don’t you love the cover? Well, wait until you check out the blurb and excerpt :)

Also, toward the end of the post is a link to enter E.L.’s giveaway :)

Let’s get started …

Tell us about yourself tweet style :) That’s right, you get 140 characters!

I love cocky alpha males, devilish tattoos, and men with hearts of gold. That’s everything you need to know about E. L. Todd

Love it! Tell us the last thing you cooked.

Carne Asada tacos. I could eat Mexican food EVERY day.

Mexican food is a fave of mine as well. What was the main goal you accomplished in 2015 and the one main goal you hope to accomplish in 2016?

I wanted to write an alpha male that hung precariously on the line between being a jerk and a sweetheart. Ash is the product of that goal.

In 2016, I want to focus more on sensual romance, the kind where the scenes without sex are just as hot as the ones with the steamy sex.

Great goals :) What’s the one question you’re asked most often when it comes to your writing?

How do you write so fast? I don’t have an answer to that. I just get an idea in my head and I go for it. My fingers hit the keyboard and they don’t stop, not even for a bathroom break.

When did you first know you wanted to become an author?

A very long time ago. Ever since I started reading I wanted to be a writer. It’s my one true passion. I never thought I could accomplish that dream because I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I’ve read so many amazing stories and I kept thinking, “I’ll never be as good as they are.” But I continually strive to be better.

It’s a constant in most authors lives I think. Who was the first person you told when you were contracted for book?

My two good friends. They read all my stories up to this point and they were the ones who encouraged me to pursue this dream. When it actually happened, they were the first ones to celebrate with me.

I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in INTO THE FIRE.

I already had the title picked out, so I wanted a name that would complement the main character. That’s when I thought of Ash. He’s so hot he burns everything he touches.

What inspired you to write INTO THE FIRE?

I wanted a romance that was so hot it actually burned the partners involved. Both characters knew it was too dangerous to become invested in it but they did it anyway. And of course, they got burned. I wanted to show that kind of relationship, the kind where you see the end before it begins.

How do you feel about writing love scenes?

I enjoy it. I liked explaining the way the characters feel for each other through their physical embraces. You can show a lot about characters in the way they interact with each other. Are they gentle? Do they kiss? Do they hold each other when everything is finished? There’s a lot of story you can tell.

What’s the one scene from your book that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?

Alessandra meets Ash for the first time in a coffee shop. She’s immediately attracted to him but the second he opens his mouth she realizes just how arrogant he is. He thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread, and she immediately grows irritated with him despite his obvious level of hotness. That’s when the chemistry starts. You’ll see what I mean.

I love that. lol Do you have a writing ritual—as in do you wear a lucky pair of socks, drink a certain drink, light a candle, play music?

I light a candle when I write. It’s usually scent based on the season. The one on my nightstand is cozy woods. It’s the perfect smell for the winter.

When writing do you try and reach a certain word count each day, or do you write for a certain amount of time, or do you just write and don’t worry about either?

I try to reach a certain word count every day if I’m on a deadline. If I’m not on a deadline and I’m working far in advance, I write for as long as I’m “in the zone”.

Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

After Into The Fire was finished, I started on a series called The Timeless Series. It’s about a guy and girl who meet and immediately feel a connection. But it’s much more complicated than simply going on a date and falling in love. Both of these characters realize they can never be together. But that doesn’t stop the attraction or their feelings. It’s almost like destiny is keeping them together.

 

 

 

RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…

If I could go anywhere in the world I’d go: to  the North Pole.

My toothbrush: is pink with red flames along the sides.

I’ll never eat: fried polar bear.

When I was a kid I wanted to:  be a bounty hunter.

My favorite television show is : The Big Bang Theory.

My favorite quote is : ”Twenty years from now you’ll great the things you didn’t do more than the ones you actually did to.” Mark Twain.

The last book I read was : The Arrangement by H. M. Ward.

 

 

Enter to Win a
$50.00 Amazon eGift Card

 

Into the Fire
Gorgeous Entourage #1
E.L. Todd
Releasing on January 30, 2016
Fallen Publishing

 

 

Ash

Despite everything I’ve done for my parents, I’ll never be good enough for them. Instead of seeing a man to be proud of, they just see
an embarrassment. I served four tours in Afghanistan but that doesn’t mean anything to them. They only see the ink, the party life, and my short stint in jail.
 
And nothing else.
 
When they were in trouble, I handed over my life savings. I didn’t think twice about it because they’re my family, my blood. They raised
me to be my own man and gave me everything I needed. It didn’t matter that it was every penny I had. It didn’t matter that the money was set aside for my future. My dreams.
 
Because they needed me.
 
But now they refuse to pay me back until I become the man they think I should be.
 
Alessandra

I have an unusual professional.
 
I escort men, acting as their date to family functions or work parties. It’s my job to act deeply in love with my client. And I always
nail it.
 
But it’s not what you think.
 
I’m not a prostitute. I’m not a call girl. I’m an actress. Get it right.
 
There are strict rules when it comes to my profession. There is no touching, kissing, or anything but hand-holding. Those who choose
not to comply will get a swift kick in the nuts.
 
But all this goes to hell when Ash walks into my life.

EXCERPT

I sat up then ran my hands up his chest. “You want to know a secret?”

“Always.”

“You’re the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.”

“Well, that’s not a secret, sweetheart.”

“Ugh, you’re so cocky but you’re still hot.”

“I know.”

My hands went to his jeans and I unbuttoned them then pulled down the zipper.

Ash watched me with dark eyes.

I got his jeans off then saw his long definition in his boxers. It was thick and moved all the way down to his thigh. “Wow…”

“I get that a lot.”

I pressed my lips to this tip through the material and gave him a gentle kiss.

Ash’s eyes widened and he released a deep moan. “Whoa…sweetheart.”

I grabbed his boxers and tugged them down.

He gripped the top and kept them up. “As horny and flattered as I am, not tonight.”

I pouted my lips. “Why the hell not?”

“Because I’m not going to take advantage of you.”

“Take advantage?” I asked. “I’m giving it to you.”

“Even so, last week you told me no. I know you’re only saying yes now because you’re drunk. That’s not how I do things.”

I growled. “Come on, don’t be such a pussy.”

He chuckled. “Excellent way to get into a man’s pants.”

I growled again.

“I’ll tell you what.” He kneeled at the foot of the bed with his torso between my legs. “If you still want to when you wake up in the morning, I’ll rock you so hard your bed will break. How about that?”

“But I want it now…” My hands moved down his chest.

“I’m sorry.” One hand moved through my hair. “Take it as a compliment.”

“You’re rejecting me. How is that a compliment?”

“I’m rejecting you because I care about you. I want to know you want me, not just because you had too much to drink. And I don’t want to be something you regret.” He tucked my hair behind my ear. “Even drunk, you can understand that, right?”

I nodded.

“Good.” He stood up then pulled his t-shirt off.

Oh my lord.

Ash was a solid slab of muscle. Prominent lines of muscle divided the different areas of his body. His torso was flanked with power and strength, and the muscle of his ribs looked like lines of sand in the desert. His stomach contained an eight pack, full of grooves and valleys. And his chest was wide and expansive. Both of my hands couldn’t take up half the area. “I usually sleep in the nude but I’ll sleep in my boxers tonight.”

“I want you to be comfortable…don’t mind me.”

He chuckled then pulled the covers back. “Come on. Get into bed.”

“With you?” Seriously?

“What does it look like?”

“Are you trying to torture me?”

That stupid grin was on his face. “Change and let’s go to bed.”

I eyed his t-shirt on the floor then snatched it. I pulled it over my dress then removed my dress from underneath.

“That’s pretty impressive.”

His shirt reached past my thighs and made me feel smaller than I already was. I crawled up the bed then lay in the sheets beside him. “Your shirt smells good.”

“It’s my natural scent so I’m not surprised.” He turned on his side and faced me. Then he wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me close to him. “For what it’s worth, I’m going to be hard all night.”

“We can fix that…”

He chuckled. “I would love to—in the morning.”

“I thought you were a dick?”

“I am.”

“Then why are you being so sensitive right now?”

“I’m a dick because I sleep around and tell women they aren’t getting shit from me. But I’m not an ass. I don’t lie and act like I’m something I’m not. No woman ever has to wonder where our relationship is going. And I don’t take advantage of women. A little buzzed is fine, but totally drunk like this isn’t right. And I don’t need to get a girl drunk to get her into bed. Besides, I’m your friend. What kind of friend would I be if I totally used you when you were most vulnerable? That shit is fucked up.”

Now I felt like an idiot. I put myself out there and got rejected—coldly.

“Hey.” His voice came out gentle. “Saying no wasn’t easy. You know how attracted I am to you. I sincerely hope you still want it in the morning. Because my morning wood is going to be bigger than usual.” He leaned in and gave me a gentle kiss on the lips. His mouth was soft and delicate. Even though the touch was innocent, it somehow made me melt. “Good night, sweetheart.”

“Good night.”

BUY NOW
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Amazon Bestselling author, E. L. Todd, was raised in sunny California where she still lives today, claiming it’s the best place in the country. Easily hypothermic and hateful of the cold, she prefers to be warm all year round. She attended California State University, Stanislaus and received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, but still pursued her dream to be a writer. She’s written several novels and many series’, and her imagination can’t seem to stop. She tries to find the good in people and she exploits that in her writing, proving that people can make mistakes and rise above their past.
 
Her hobbies include sunbathing, swimming, eating at Surf Taco in San Diego, reading, and learning everything she can bout hippopotamuses’, her favorite creature. Her greatest dream is to make people forget about the harshness of reality and dive into a good story with lovable
people. When fans tell her they love her work, it gives her the greatest sense of accomplishment.



 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with Susan Schild author of Linny’s Sweet Dream ~ Giveaway

Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today :) Please help me welcome returning author Susan Schild. Susan is here to share her latest release with us. Linny’s Sweet Dream sounds fabulous and I think you’ll agree :) Before we dive into the blurb and excerpt…and her beautiful cover…Susan has agreed to take a seat and answer a few questions. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her better.

AND, as a special gift she’s given me a link to the entire first chapter of Linny’s Sweet Dream, and there is also a link in the post today (toward the end) that will give you access to enter her giveaway. So, we have a lot of fun going on today!

Let’s get started …

Christine, I am so grateful to you for sharing information about Linny’s Sweet Dream List with your readers! Thank you!

As my New Year’s gift to you and your readers, here is the complete first chapter of Linny’s Sweet Dream List:     http://bit.ly/1leRhJI

 

  1. Tell us something you love, something you fear, and something you wish.

I love big, sweet dogs who hog the bed, getting into the flow with writing and coming up with a scene that makes me laugh out loud.

I fear big spiders (the ones with long legs that jump sideways) and Copperheads. Sorry for the visuals. To erase mental pictures, maybe think about lemon bars or Zappos boxes at your door.

 I wish everyone would be nicer to each other.

Love your answers. We have a few things in common ;) lol

  1. What’s the appliance you use the most?

Right now, the microwave! While I’ve been doing edits on the books, have prepared too many meals this way. 

  1. What’s the last thing you cooked?

Because I’m trying to eat healthier, this morning I made a spicy lentil soup with carrots and it is simmering away. As a good cook friend of mine says, the flavors are “marrying.”

Love that, and I love soup. Always a favorite :)

  1. Do you have a goal for 2016? And if so, what is it?

Would like to get back into a good routine with exercise and stretching or yoga. Too much time hunched at computer. Need WD-40 some mornings.

Also, I’m going to get better at Twitter.

All good goals. 

  1. When did you realize that you wanted to become an author?

The main part of my work life before writing was as a business consultant, and I enjoyed telling a story to illustrate a point. Some of the stories were a little out there for the engineers and technical folks I mainly worked with – like how a Black Lab puppy chewing drywall off a kitchen wall related to managing employees effectively – but they seemed to like the stories anyhow. I have always been an avid reader, steered towards novels set in the South and finally decided to take a writing workshop at Meredith College. That’s how it all began.

  1. Who was the first person you called when you were contracted for LINNY’S SWEET DREAM LIST?

My husband. He’s been a big supporter, and been good-natured about having a preoccupied wife. Even though he’s more of an action and adventure guy, he has read all three books in the Willow Hill Series and made smart suggestions. He wants more cat and mouse scenes with private jets or racy yachts like in Stuart Woods’ novels, though, and I haven’t found an opportunity to work either in my novels yet.

Love that! It’s awesome that he’s so supportive.

  1. I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in LINNY’S SWEET DREAM LIST.

Character names are great. I write down names that I hear and like, research them on sites for Southern names, and read the obituaries for beautiful or apt country names.  I tried not to get too stereotypical about Southern names in any of the books. To me, too easy, and distracting. Plus, I am writing about the new South, and you’ll have fewer people named Opal Anne and more named Finch, Quinn or Annabelle. Mary Catherine is named for my mother, Kathryn. I always loved that name.

  1. Why should we read Linny’s Sweet Dream List?

If you like funny and heartwarming Southern stories about love and family, enjoy small town life and bright, vivid characters, you’ll love Linny’s Sweet Dream List. If you like books in which there is no profanity or graphic anything, and like strong women characters who love their men but don’t depend on them for their identity, you’ll enjoy the book.

  1. Which character in Linny’s Sweet Dream List is most like you and in what way?

I see myself in all three of the main characters. Linny and I are alike because we are both try hard girl. I also have some of Mary Catherine’s bluntness, and a measure of sister Kate’s vague spirituality.

  1. What’s the one scene from your book that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?

The one where Linny’s car runs out of gas, and she has to accept a ride home from Jack Avery, whom she thinks is a married man with a much younger girlfriend. She’s attracted to Jack, but trying to maintain a frosty façade because of what she thinks she knows. (there are some doozy mix-ups in the book) Here’s an excerpt:

“Let me give you a lift,” he calls.

“It’s okay. I need the exercise.” She flushed, realizing how crazy she sounded. Yup. She was just working out wearing business clothes in one-hundred-degree heat.

“Get in, Linny.” He pulled the truck onto the shoulder, pulled open the passenger door, and stood beside it, hand on his hip. His face told her he wasn’t taking no for an answer. “It’s hot, girl. Get in.”

She wavered, but her good sense won out over her stubbornness. Climbing up into the blessed cool of the cab, she held on to her outrage about Velvet/Bunny and could not make eye contact with him. “Thank you,” she said stiffly.

Wonderful tidbit. This book sounds so fun :)

  1. Describe your hero through your heroine’s eyes.

Jack is quiet and competent, and an outdoorsy man’s man. He’s not a charmer like her ex-husband. He’s a bit of a science nerd, and he’s good looking. Linny can’t imagine why he’d be interested in her. She’s down on her luck, feeling foolish because of her last husband’s shenanigans, and very wary of men. Here are some lines from the book that explain it.

Her sister, Kate, asks Linny what she thinks of the new veterinarian, Jack Avery.

“Well, he seemed nice.” Linny tried to sound bland, but flushed remembering the arc of electricity she’d felt when she touched him. Last time she’d felt that kind of high voltage, she’d run off to Bermuda and married trouble. She shuddered, and vowed to steer clear of Jack Avery or die trying.

  1. Where do you prefer to write?

Great question. Makes me think of Colonel Mustard in the Drawing Room from that old game Clue. I write best at the dining room table, in comfy clothes, with good lighting and Tucker, our Lab Shepherd mix, asleep at my feet.

  1. Tell us about your book in tweet form—that’s right, you get 140 characters :)

Love funny and heartwarming Southern stories about love and family, small town life and bright, vivid characters? Read Linny’s Sweet Dream List.

Perfect tweet! Congrats :)

  1. Share with us something about yourself not many people know.

I’m a big fan of those Tiny House shows and would love to live in a small cabin/cottage out in the country. Would prefer one with no loft bedroom (scared of that tricky ladder at night) and with an easy drive to TJ Maxx.

Those Tiny Houses are so cool, but I’m not sure I could do it. I like my “things”. lol And I have lots of things.

  1. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

I am finishing edits on Sweet Southern Hearts, the third book in the Willow Hill Series. I won’t give away the plot, but let’s just say there’s:

  • husband hunting
  • a windfall of babies
  • sixty year old girlfriends driving an RV to see the U.S of A.
  • a church lady who ends up in jail. (a mix-up that could have happened to anyone)

RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…

The last book I read was…my own book, Sweet Southern Hearts, which is the third in the Willow Hill series. While on deadline, all I have time to read. Just finished book and edited. On December 15th, sent off to my publisher for him to read.

For breakfast I had…a lovely pear and a cup of lemon yogurt. Trying to be virtuous after a pecan pie incident over holidays.

My favorite thing about 2015 was… Kensington Publishers asking to publish Linny’s Sweet Dream List. So thrilling.  

My shirt is…cotton, and my sweatshirt is pink fleece that I’m fairly sure does not go with my complexion but it’s soft and comfortable.

I can’t leave the house without… reading glasses and my phone.

I’ve never had… to miss an episode of Railroad Alaska and Doc Martin because I record and voraciously watch.

Thank you so much for sitting down with us and answering a few questions. I had a lot of fun and hope you did too :)

 

 

Enter to Win a 
Tin of Carolina Cupboard Cheddar Cheese Straws
(U.S. Only)

 

LINNY’S SWEET DREAM LIST
Willow Hill #1
Susan Schild
Releasing Jan 5th, 2016
Lyrical Press
Set in the off-beat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, Susan Schild’s moving and witty novel tells of one woman who loses everything—and finds more than she ever expected.
At thirty-eight, Linny Taylor is suddenly living a life she thought only happened to other, more careless people. Widowed for the second time, and broke, thanks to her cheating late husband, Linny has no house, no job, and no options except to go back home. There, in a trailer as run down as her self-esteem, Linny makes a list of things that might bring happiness. A porch swing. A job that nourishes her heart as well as her bank balance. Maybe even a date or two.
At first, every goal seems beyond reach. But it’s hard for Linny to stay in the doldrums when a stray puppy is coercing her out of her shell—right into the path of a kind, compassionate vet. The quirky town is filled with friends and family, including Linny’s mother, Dottie, who knows more about heartache than her daughters ever guessed. And as Linny contemplates each item on her list, she begins to realize that the dreams most worth holding on to are measured not in worldly success, but in the sweetness of a life lived to the fullest.

EXCERPT

Linny kept her nervousness at bay with a lawn-and-garden-care palooza. She could manage this man, she decided, sitting on the metal seat of the surprisingly peppy lawn tractor, zipping around the overgrown lawn in ever-smaller circles. She’d tell the whole truth about herself and, in the unlikely event that that didn’t scare him off, she’d insist that they start out as friends for a year or two. Later, if he underwent an extensive physical and his financial records checked out, they’d progress to a slow pace of dating. This was the power of positive thinking that her old friend, Indigo, preached about. She nodded her head to encourage herself.

But later, all Linny’s good intentions flew away when she opened the door to the beautiful cowboy. With a stubble of beard, faded Levis, and scuffed boots, Jack’s green eyes sparkled as he gave her a crooked grin. “Evening, Linny.”

She drew in her breath sharply as she met his eyes and caught his scent—some heady mix of hay, horses, and Dial soap. Her attraction to him made her weak-kneed and apparently, mute. She opened her mouth and closed it again. She groaned to herself. This was not good. Drawing herself up taller, she sighed, and offered ungraciously, “You might as well come in.”

Roy skidded around the corner, a pair of Linny’s rattiest underwear in his mouth, and launched himself at Jack. Gasping, she snatched the panties from the dog and stuffed them in the pocket of her shorts. Feeling her face flame, she mumbled, “His latest trick is stealing clothes from the laundry basket.”

Jack grinned, and stooped to scratch the dog. Roy twisted in delight, and gazed at him adoringly. Linny shook her head, thinking of the similarities between herself and Roy. All it took was a little affection, and Jack was the puppy’s new best friend.”

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Susan has a graduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her work background as a psychotherapist and a business consultant to add authenticity to her characters.
 
Susan is a wife, a stepmother, and a dog lover, Lab Mixes in particular. She and her family live in North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series.
 

 

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with Kaira Rouda author of Laguna Heights ~ GIVEAWAY

I’m excited to have author Kaira Rouda on the blog today. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her through our interview and also learning about her book Laguna Heights. I’m loving the cover. Definitely makes me want to take a tropical vacation. How about you?

Also, don’t forget to enter her awesome giveaway!

Let’s get started…

 

 

What are your five best personality traits?

  1. Cheerful: I like to smile and that seems to make people smile back ;-)
  2. Caring and empathetic: I care deeply about my family and friends
  3. Optimistic: I tend to look on the bright side of life
  4. Enthusiastic: I love to work hard and I believe anyone can achieve her dreams
  5. Genuine: What you see is what you get.

What’s the first thing we’d see when we open your front door?

My two dogs, Tucker and Frankie!

Aww…nothing is better than being greeted by furry friends. What’s the one thing you eat that makes your family cringe?

Mustard on French fries, but now some of them love it too! Grey Poupon preferred.

Okay, I might have to try mustard with french fries now. lol Tell us your favorite part of the writing process.

Beginning a new story with a clear idea of my characters.

I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in LAGUNA HEIGHTS.

Annie just sounds like someone you would like and somebody you would want to be friends with! I’ve never met a mean Annie. And Hank is named after a really kind chiropractor I know

Describe your book tweet style…that’s right, you have 140 characters!

LAGUNA HEIGHTS by USA Today bestseller @KairaRouda. Will their perfect life be ruined by her secret past? http://amzn.to/1Ljez6M #romance

Nice job with the tweet! Where do you write?

In my office. Lately at a stand-up treadmill desk!

I want one of those so bad! I’m jealous :) Is there something you have to have when you are writing? Maybe you wear a lucky pair of socks, light a candle, eat something sweet…

I have to have my dog, Tucker, curled up on my desk and my other dog, Frankie, in her bed. That makes everything perfect to start writing.

What’s the one scene from LAGUNA HEIGHTS that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?

I loved writing the scenes on the college campus – it has been a long time since I’ve strolled on a campus as a student! Those were fun scenes! Imagining the coffee shop, the walkways full of kids. The infinite possibilities at that time of your life. Ah.

When did you know that writing was your passion and was what you wanted to pursue?

By third grade, maybe sooner, but for sure by third grade.

Why should we read LAGUNA HEIGHTS?

It’s the perfect beach romance with a twist. The story flashes between present and ten years ago, has a definite bad guy, but mostly it’s a wonderful love story.

Please share the first sentence in your book.

Why won’t Madison pick up? Annie’s hand shook as she held her phone to her ear, wishing her best friend would answer her call.

Out of all your books, which one character is most like you?

Kelly in Here, Home, Hope – my first novel.

Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Absolutely! I’m working on a women’s fiction novel at present, and next, I’ll jump back into contemporary romance. I’m so happy to have my feet in both writing worlds. Next year,  I’m excited my women’s fiction release, THE GOODBYE YEAR, on May 3, 2016. I’m equally excited about starting a new contemporary romance series in 2016 AND continuing both the Laguna Beach and Indigo Island romance series. I’m so excited about the future.

RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…

I wish I could slow down time. My kids are growing up so fast.

My best accomplishment of 2015 in my writing life is making the USA Today bestseller list and in my personal life, surviving the empty nest (barely).

My toothbrush is aggressively electric.

I prefer sunsets over sunrises.

I don’t plan to ever skydive.

The last thing I ate that had bacon in it was I’m not sure! I’ve been mostly vegetarian for eight years.

I’m so glad you let me interview you Kaira. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Thanks so much for having me here!

 

 

Enter to Win a
$15.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller

 

LAGUNA HEIGHTS
Laguna Beach #2
Kaira Rouda
Released Oct 15th, 2015
Real You Publishing

 

Annie and Hank have created a perfect life in Laguna Beach but when a dark secret is revealed, will their marriage survive?In high school, Annie Johns was the calm, supportive sidekick to the rest of the tumultuous female stars of the hit reality TV show, Laguna Nights. Today, she’s living the happy life as a mom that she predicted on the show long ago. There’s only one problem: the secret from her past that haunts her most nights, a secret that if revealed could ruin everything she shares with her husband, Hank, the man who saved her from the heartache.

***Laguna Heights can be read and enjoyed as a standalone novella. And if you enjoy Annie and Hank’s story, please consider reading the
rest of the Laguna Beach series.

Laguna Nights (Laguna Beach Book 1), Madison and Josh 
Laguna Heights (Laguna Beach Book 2), Annie and Hank 
Laguna Lights (Laguna Beach Book 3), Laura and Paul
Laguna Sights (Laguna Beach Book 4), Jamie and Scott

EXCERPT

Annie dropped back into her seat, contemplating another cup of coffee when a guy approached her table. He looked like he’d just rolled out of bed. He was cute, with shaggy brown hair and, Annie noticed, sleepy bright blue eyes. He smiled, revealing straight white teeth. “Hey, are you Annie? From the show Laguna Nights?”

“That’s me,” she said, feeling her cheeks blush under his gaze, a strange phenomenon as this was the expected question. Coming from him, though, with his eyes focused intensely on her, she felt electricity crackle in the air between them. This was a first. So far, through high school and college, she had been on dates with some great guys, even multiple dates with a couple of them, but none of them she would consider boyfriend material. She had decided she was destined to be everybody’s friend, guys and girls. But with this guy, well, she felt her heart beat a little faster.

“Can I grab you another cup of coffee? I was just going inside to order. Black, right?” he said, looking at her almost empty cup.

“Yes, sure,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

“I’ll be right back,” he said. “Oh, I’m Chris, by the way.”

Annie leaned back in her chair and felt a rush of happiness wash over her body.

 
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I’m delighted to be able to say I’m a national bestselling author. My books have won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. The novels have been widely reviewed and featured in leading national magazines. I’m still working hard and building that career, learning from a wonderfully supportive reading and writing community. Speaking of support, I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful family. My husband and four amazing almost grown children are my biggest blessings. Oh, and my friends fill my life with joy. I hope you’ll take a moment to visit my website – and to peruse my books. I love talking to book clubs, in person or via Skype. If you’re interested, please let me know. For more, please visit my website KairaRouda.com
 
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with Laura Drewry author of How Forever Feels ~ GIVEAWAY

Today I’d love your help in welcoming author Laura Drewry to the blog. She’s let me ask her a few questions so that we can get to know more about her and her release How Forever Feels. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know more about her and her book!

Afterward, take a moment to check out her giveaway and leave a comment :)

Let’s get started…

how-forever-feels-virtual-tour-1

Tell us one thing you love, one thing you hate, and one thing you fear.

I love elephants. There’s just something about them that’s so beautiful and amazing.
I hate when I run out of milk for my coffee. I don’t drink milk on its own, but it’s a must for my coffee.

Besides the everyday fears of something happening to my kids, I fear open water. I force myself to go out on our boat once in a while, but only because the kids and my husband like it. I think the ocean is truly awe inspiring and I’m very happy to live right next to it, but I’d much rather admire it from the shore than to be out on it where it’s deep and cold and a heck of a lot stronger than me.

I am an elephant lover too. Like you said, they are amazing, and they have a gentleness about them that I find so beautiful. What’s the first 5 things you see when you open your refrigerator?

Yogurt, coffee, left over cannelloni from last night, carton of eggs, and a ½ glass of milk (my son leaves them in there all the time – drives me crazy. LOL)

lol…I do the same thing as your son. Drives my hubs crazy! What’s the one thing you eat that makes your family cringe?

Brussels sprouts. I know, I know, but I like them. Preferably covered in gravy, but even without, I still like them. :)

I won’t touch the subject of brussel sprouts. lol Tell us your favorite part of the writing process.

I have a few favourites, but one of them is when something that happened early on in the book comes around full circle and closes things up at the end. I don’t use an outline when I write, which means I never know what’s going to happen until I’ve typed it out, so when these things pop up it’s always such a great surprise.

I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in HOW FOREVER FEELS.

I agree – choosing names is always fun!

Maya McKay – The first time we met Maya was in PLAIN JAYNE, Book 1 of my Friends First series, when she was just coming through a painful divorce. She needed a name that I thought encapsulated who she was: gentle but strong, kind but not a pushover, and someone who might seem quieter than most, but who was fierce when it came to the people she loved and for me, that name was Maya.

Jack Rhodes – Jack is many things but an alpha male he’s not. An everyday guy without superstar status or a reputation with the ladies, he needed an everyday name to match that. At the same time, it needed to be strong, like him, and still sound good slipping of Maya’s tongue.

Describe your book tweet style…that’s right, you have 140 characters!

Jack has always loved Maya, but he’s also her ex-husband’s best friend so it’s hands off. How far can loyalty be stretched before it snaps?

Nicely done! Where do you write?

I changed our dining room (which we never used) into my office where I have my big desk, bookshelves, turtle tank, my Jeter corner, and the china cabinet (which I’d love to get rid of, but there’s so much stuff in it! LOL)

Dining room conversions are all the rage right now. I know 2 others that turned theirs into an office and a library :) Is there something you have to have when you are writing? Maybe you wear a lucky pair of socks, light a candle, eat something sweet…

Coffee and music. The coffee has to be in my favourite mug which I just realized is 21 years old (yikes) and the music changes depending on what I’m writing.

What’s the one scene from HOW FOREVER FEELS that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?

The scene in Jack’s hotel room when he and Maya are playing his Apollo game was a lot of fun to write. They’d just gone through an emotional scene where she learned more about Jack’s childhood and they were both feeling a little drained, so they needed to lighten it up a little. It was a side of her he’d never seen and it was fun to watch and write how he reacted to her.

When did you know that writing was your passion and was what you wanted to pursue?

I’ve always wanted to write, but it took me a long time to figure out *what* I wanted to write. It wasn’t until a friend sent me a box of Linda Lael Miller and Johanna Lindsey books that it suddenly became clear. I needed to write books with happy endings.

Why should we read HOW FOREVER FEELS?

HOW FOREVER FEELS, like the other books in the Friends First series, is a story about regular people facing some of the same problems we all face. I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t read it, but I think readers will relate to the decisions Jack and Maya have to make and why they make the decisions they do.

I hope HOW FOREVER FEELS takes the reader on an emotional ride that ends with a smile and a sigh of contentment, because couldn’t we all use a little more of that? :)

Out of all your books, which one character is most like you?

I think there’s a little bit of me in all of them, but I don’t think there’s one that is most like me. If one is, it’s completely unintentional. One of the joys of being an author is writing characters who can be smarter, funnier and stronger than me. :)

Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

I’m starting a new series called Fishing for Trouble so I’ve just finished writing the first book, OFF THE HOOK, which is scheduled for release in April, and I’m starting on book 2. The series is set in a family run fishing lodge on the coast of BC and each book focuses on one of the O’Donnell brothers.

That is such a cute series title and book title. Nicely done!

RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…

I wish I could: swim.

There is no way I’d ever: go white water rafting.

If I could go anywhere in the world I’d go: on safari in Africa

I prefer: Daryl to Rick.

lol…okay, that’s my favorite answer! I’m a Daryl fan, too!

Growing up: I took tap dancing lessons from Sister LaRose – a nun at a nearby convent.

The last thing I ate that had bacon in it was: last night’s bacon/sausage cannelloni. Heaven! :)

 

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today – it was great fun!

Thank you for coming by. I enjoyed our interview and wish you much success with your book. Awesome cover!

 

 

Enter to Win a 
Select Ebook Bundle from Loveswept

 

HOW FOREVER FEELS
Friends First #4
Laura Drewry
Releasing Oct 13th, 2015
Loveswept

From USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry comes a warm and witty new Friends First novel—perfect for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery. How Forever Feels is a sweet tale about the one that got away . . . and the one that came back.

Maya McKay’s heart is as big as Jack Rhodes’s shoulders are broad. Their chemistry is out of control, but it could never work between them because Jack is more than just best friends with her cheating ex-husband—they’re like brothers. Maya, the sensitive, practical florist, has given up on love and is ready to settle for like. But now that Jack’s around again, he’s stirring up old feelings—and turning Maya’s fantasies into irresistible reality.

Jack blew his chance with Maya years ago when he stepped aside for his best friend, Will, and he’s still kicking himself about it. Maya was promised forever once before, and she got burned. But when Jack realizes that second chances aren’t going to fall out of the sky, he seizes the moment—and the woman he’s always loved—to show her how forever truly feels.

 

EXCERPT

“So what brings you to town?” Ellie asked. “And if you mention Dickhead’s name in your next sentence, you’re buying a round for the whole room.”

“Thanks for the heads-up,” Jack muttered, giving the packed house a quick glance. “The company I work with is moving one of our offices up here, so I’m keeping an eye on things to make sure it all stays on track and we get going on time. I talked to the contractor the other day and it sounds like we’re on course, so hopefully—”

“Duh!” Groaning, Jayne thumped the heel of her hand against her forehead. “You’re Gamer-guy-Jack from TMJ! That’s why I know your name—Nick told me someone was coming to take over for Keith but I didn’t make the connection between you and him. “

“You know Nick Scott?”

“Sorry.” Maya laughed. “Let me try the introductions again. Jack, this is Jayne Scott, Nick’s wife, and if he’s doing the work, you’ll have no worries about staying on track.”

“Good, because the lease we have right now is up in mid-November, so we’re already pushing our luck.”

“Nick said you work out of Seattle,” Jayne said. “So are you going to stay when the new place is finished or are you just here on loan?”

“Just a loaner,” he said. “Until Keith’s back.”

“And are you staying with”—Jayne stopped and winked at Ellie—“He Who Must Not Be Named?”

“No.” Jack blinked past Jayne and shrugged. “That hotel by the golf course gave us a good deal, so—”

“Us?” Ellie asked. It was only one word, but it covered a lot of territory.

He turned his grin to Maya. “Me and Pete.”

“Pete’s with you?” Maya cried. She’d never considered herself much of a dog person until she’d met Pete. “How is he?”

“Still the same; big, brown, and a little bit pathetic.” Jack pulled out his phone and flashed a couple pictures of his chocolate Lab, starting with the one of Pete as a chubby nine-week-old puppy and ending with a recent one of him with two tennis balls stuffed in his mouth and his right ear flopped back.

“How old is he now?” Maya asked. “Eight?”

“Coming up next month, yeah.”

They were all still gushing over him as Ellie continued to pepper Jack with questions.

“You married?”

“No.”

“Ever been married?”

“Sorry, Jack,” Maya muttered. “Ellie, the Queen of Tact, doesn’t believe in beating around the bush.”

“It’s fine.” He chuckled but Maya knew it was forced. “And no, never been married.”

“Got any kids?”

“Nope. It’s just Pete and me,” Jack said, tucking his phone away again. “I told you, boring.”

“I don’t believe that,” Ellie said, watching him through narrowed eyes. “You don’t look like the boring type.”

There was never a day that went by when Maya didn’t know how lucky she was to have these three women as her best friends, but nights like this made her appreciate them even more. Following Ellie’s lead, they spent the next hour or so dragging all kinds of stories from him; everything from him being the tall, skinny awkward kid at school, to the craziest date he’d ever been on—the girl showed up in a leopard-print catsuit complete with tail and ears—to the time he literally ran into Thor at Comic-Con.

“He’s a big sonuvabitch, that one.”

“Looked in a mirror lately, Jack?” Regan laughed.

“Yeah, easy for you guys to laugh about it,” he said. “But I wound up flat on my ass surrounded by security.”

“Way to make an impression,” Maya snickered. “There goes any chance you might have had to get him to voice one of your games.”

A slow smirk spread across Regan’s face as she sat up straighter. “If it’s voices you need, why don’t you get Maya to hit up her new boyfriend, Griffin Carr?”

“Griffin Carr?” Jack’s eyes bulged. “You mean . . . no . . . Griffin Carr? Like just-started-filming-the-next-Bond-movie Griffin Carr?”

“One and the same.f” Ellie nodded, but Maya was already shaking her head.

“He’s not my boyfriend. We’ve been out a few times, that’s it.” Okay, it was a little more than that now, but she couldn’t exactly tell the girls about it with Jack sitting there staring at her.

“Sorry, Snip, you’re going to have to give me more than that. Griffin Carr?”

It took her a few seconds to say anything else, partly because she was in mid-sip of her wine and partly because she was dragging that sip out as long as she could.

“He’s been filming up here a lot in the last few years and likes to use Regan as his stylist.”

“And?”

“And a few months back, he and Regan made a deal where she’d be his stylist for an indie film he was doing if he’d agree to play on our slo-pitch team in a charity game, which is where he and Maya met.”

Jack nodded. “Right, I remember Will saying something about the game.”

Ellie nodded pointedly. “I’m guessing Dickhead neglected to mention that Griffin was all over Maya like white on rice.”

“But she was playing hard to get,” Regan added. “Because she thought he was a sleazeball.”

“And I already admitted I was wrong,” Maya said, forcing a dry laugh. “And that I shouldn’t believe everything I hear or read about him, so can we get over that, please?”

Regan popped a couple peanuts in her mouth and grinned. “I’m telling you, Jack, that game was one of the best things I’ve ever witnessed; we had Griffin putting the moves on Maya for all the world to see, and we had Dickhead and his skank with front row seats to the show. It was beautiful.”

Maya was sure Will’s scowl that day had little to do with the fact that Griffin was hitting on her and more to do with the fact that Stella spent the entire game the same way every other woman—and a few of the men—did: drooling over Griffin and doing whatever she could to get his attention.

A better person might not have found any satisfaction in Will’s misery, but Maya never claimed to be that good of a person.

 

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USA Today Bestselling author, Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.
 
 
 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with author MJ Schiller author of Blackout

Please help me welcome friend and fellow author MJ Schiller to the blog today! She agreed to take the hot seat and answer a few questions so we can all get to know her a little better and she’s also sharing some info on her latest release BLACKOUT! I love the cover…and of course her teasers are incredible. I think you’ll enjoy our chat and checking out her latest release :)

Let’s get started…

Describe yourself in 3 sentences.

I am a mother to a twenty-year-old, and eighteen-year-old triplets who just started as freshman at the University of Missouri-Columbia, my alma mater. I enjoy writing romance and romantic suspense. Make-believe rocks! I like to read, karaoke, and attend concerts.

Make believe does rock! And congrats on the kids starting freshman year…what an achievement! When it comes to peanut butter, do you prefer creamy or crunchy?

Ahh…depends. Smooth for a sandwich (doesn’t tear up the bread), crunchy for everything else.

I wish I liked crunchy, but I’m a smooth girl all the way :) What’s the one thing you eat that makes your family cringe?

Chicken quesadillas and protein cakes. Quesadillas because it is my go-to meal when we are out to eat and it drives my  kids crazy that I always order the same thing. Protein cakes for a similar reason. I eat one every day.

lol…Love it! Tell us your favorite part of the writing process.

I actually enjoy almost all of the parts of being a writer, but my favorite would have to be getting that rough draft down on paper, because that’s when the creativity is at its height.

Very true! I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in BLACKOUT.

The three main characters are Faith Roberson, Eli Batonis, and Max Theobald III. A long time ago I made a list of girls’ names I liked and Faith was on it. Roberson is actually the last name of my daughter’s friend. Several years ago my lunch lady friends and I drew up a list of “sexy guy names.” You know, the ones that almost always seem to be attached to a sexy guy. Eli was on there. Max just seemed to fit the character’s personality. He’s a charmer, funny, sexy, from a wealthy family, but pretty down-to-earth. Couldn’t picture them with any other names!

Thanks for sharing. I love behind the scenes stories like that! Tell us about your book in a tweet…that’s right, you have 140 characters!

Max-the consummate ladies man. Eli-haunted by his past. Hope-the woman who loves them both. Eli vs. Max. Wish it were a title fight.

Nicely done. Describe your writing space.

Right now my writing space is the corner of the couch closest to the outlet. But my husband and I recently became empty-nesters and before the boys even left I had Recycling for Families come and pick up their bed frames because their room is going to be MY OFFICE! That’s right, no more mail littering the coffee table, no books stacked on the floor. Instead of a box full of wires and plugs, we’ll have them stowed away in a drawer. It will have soothing gray walls and a big, black, L-shaped desk. Already have the paint chips! ;)

Fun times! Congrats on your new office. Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, night, or are you one of those lucky authors who can write whenever and wherever?

When I had newborn triplets and a two-year-old, I learned pretty quickly that I had to seize those little 5-15 minutes of the day not assigned to some chore. I used those niches in the day  to do something for me, which was write!

What’s the one scene from BLACKOUT that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?

There is a scene when Max and Eli get into fisticuffs and then are found bruised, bloody, and laughing on the floor by an irate Faith. Love that scene!

When did you first know that you wanted to go the extra distance and become an author?

When I turned forty I decided “that book I was going to write someday” needed to be written! I sat down and wrote twelve books. (Not in one sitting!) Then I decided I needed to do something with them and started pursuing publishing.

Great story. Love it! Why should we read BLACKOUT?

Because it is a story about love, making mistakes, pain, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice. It’s sexy and it’s funny—it has some dark spots, too. And the ending really felt right.

Out of all your books, which one character resonates with you the most?

Well this is kind of hysterical, because he is as unlike me as he can be, but Chad Evans from TRAPPED UNDER ICE, the first book in my ROCKING ROMANCE COLLECTION. Chad has issues. He carries around a lot of pain and anger from his childhood. But he’s also the sweetest guy. He needed just the right woman to unlock that wonderful side of him.

Care to give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on next?

Due out any day is the final installment in my scifi romance series the ROMANTIC KNIGHTS TRILOGY. It’s titled A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER. The series contains two storylines. The romance between Darius and Maggie, and how Orion’s feels about it. And then there’s the suspense element. Someone is killing off the members of the Grand Council—and a few of our favorite peeps are on their hit list!

RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…

When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be _I didn’t want to grow up. Still don’t. WAAAAY overrated!

My eyes are _one is blue, one is green.

When I write I always have funny expressions on my face. That is, according to my kids.

I prefer to not work, and yet I’m forced to.

Thanks for having me! It’s been fun!

LOL…I loved your answers to the random questions. Thank you so much for visiting me on the blog MJ. I enjoyed getting to know you better and learning about your latest release :)

Blackout_CVR_MED

Blurb ~

Max. The consummate ladies’ man.

He’s good looking, but not an absolute knockout. With Max’s charm though, he could have any woman he wants. Once he meets Faith, he doesn’t want anyone else.

 

Eli. He is a knockout.

But a dark past shadows him and holds him captive. Drinking dulls the pain, but meeting Faith makes him want to change all that.

 

Faith. She loves them both.

When a blackout brings her together with Eli, she’s happier than she’s ever been before. When another blackout tears them apart, Max is there to pick up the pieces. But can she forget the man who first made her whole?

legs teaser BLACKOUT

Excerpt ~

Faith

 

He was there. I remember it all—the crowded street, Max holding the car door open, a bus passing by—and then he was just there, looking…as good as ever somehow, but not looking the same. I froze and everything faded away—the honking, Max’s laughter, the tires on the road, the sounds of construction. As if God pressed His giant mute button. And Eli stood there, peering at me from across the street, and I couldn’t breathe.

Instead of his khaki green flak jacket he wore a navy, cotton jacket, unzipped. The wind tugged on the ends of it as he glanced around. His hair was shorter, but it was definitely him, hands shoved into the pockets of tan Dockers, (Eli, in Dockers?). He leaned a little against a light post, his feet crossed in front of him. When his gaze landed on me, he straightened. A bicyclist passed in front of him, a bullet of color. My mouth froze in mid-smile and my throat suddenly ached.

And then, like some cosmic explosion, everything came speeding back into place.

“Babe?” Max turned and glanced across the street, but he didn’t seem to see Eli. How, I don’t know. “What’s wrong?”

“N-nothing. Nothing,” I finally spat out, looking up into his warm, brown eyes.

“Well, are you going to get in?” He gave me a teasing smile, his handsome face serene. Max’s sandy, red-brown hair was not as long as Eli’s had been, but long enough to show a hint of sexy curl. He wore his beard closely-cropped and carried himself with a confidence and style which was inherited from his successful parents.

“What?”

“In the car, you nut.”

He bent and kissed me on the lips, a sweet, simple kiss, but I pulled away; suddenly it was all wrong. He didn’t notice. He was too happy. Too happy I finally said yes. I gazed back across the street and, even though he wasn’t near enough for me to see his eyes, I knew what they looked like. I knew by the way he turned and hurried away. And Eli’s pain was mirrored in my own.

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00YDYJECO

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blackout-mj-schiller/1122067823?ean=2940151276016

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/blackout-83

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blackout/id1002493152?mt=11

ISBN: 978-1-939274-15-1

M.J. Schiller profile pic (picmonkeyed)

Bio ~

MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh! Can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has a twenty year old (how did that happen?) and eighteen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.

Links ~

For MJ

Website: www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with Diane Burton author of The Protector ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome friend and author Diane Burton to the blog. Diane has agreed to take the hot seat and answer a few questions. If you don’t already know Diane, I think you’ll enjoy getting to know a little more about her, and of course her latest release The Protector.

Don’t forget to check out her blurb and excerpt, and then enter her awesome giveaway at the end of the post!

Let’s get started…

db

Describe yourself as if you were tweeting…that’s right. You get 140 characters! :)

Action/adventure romance author. 1 spouse, 2 kids, 3 gr’kids. Quilter, gardener, reader, movie watcher. Detroit Tigers & Star Wars fan.

Nicely done! What’s the first thing we’d see when we walked in your front door?

Family pictures.

What is your favorite meal to cook?

Mostaccioli or as my grandkids call it “fat spaghetti” from my grandmother’s recipe.

Pasta is always a favorite. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

In high school, but a teacher discouraged me. A long time later, with empty nest approaching, I decided I would write a romance novel, sell a zillion copies, and be as famous as Nora Roberts. LOL Life doesn’t work like that.

It’s rewarding none the less though :) I love choosing names for my characters. How did you go about choosing yours?

For my science fiction romances, it’s sound—how the combination of consonants and vowels appeal to me. I want them to be different from American names yet pronounceable. For romantic suspense, I decide on the character’s heritage and the part of the country they are from.

What makes THE PROTECTOR different from other books in the same genre?

I tackle issues that are just as common in the future as they are today, like human trafficking.

Which character is most like you?

Bits and pieces of me are in all the characters I write. Rissa’s lack of confidence in Dillan’s love; Dillan’s rebellion against his father’s plan for his career; Arjay’s inadvertent humor.

Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, evening, or just whenever you can?

Definitely in the morning when I’m freshest.

That’s how I roll, too. lol What’s the first sentence in your book?

After cutting the heel off a loaf of jambor, Rissa Dix sat on a stool at her work island, closed her eyes, and inhaled the scent of freshly-baked bread.

What was your favorite scene in THE PROTECTOR to write and why?

When Dillan takes Rissa up into the rainforest canopy. The scene shows her having fun, something she rarely does.

Why should we read THE PROTECTOR?

If you like adventure along with romance, second chances and healing, you’ll find it in THE PROTECTOR.

Sounds great :) What is one of your fondest memories from when you were growing up?

Lying on a quilt in a shady spot outside and reading Nancy Drew mysteries.

Growing up my sister and 2 neighbor girls would read romances while we soaked up the sun on a trampoline. Fond memories :) What is the best part of the writing process for you…the beginning of the book, the middle, or the      end…and why?

The beginning. It’s a new adventure, full of promise. I know basically where the story will go but not how. There are always surprises.

Would you give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on now?

I’m working on the second book in my cozy mystery series called The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. It features a female detective in a fictitious resort town on Lake Michigan. It should be available in October. Then I’m finishing a Christmas novella that started as a short story about the voyage of a small team of astronauts to a “Goldilocks” planet. Christmas in Space will be released in November.

bn

The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel)
by Diane Burton
Amazon  Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | Smashwords
Genre: Romantic Adventure/Science Fiction
Release Date: July 24, 2015
Length: 370 Pages

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from raiding the frontier colony. She’s met with apathy and disbelief. Because she lost her own baby to traffickers, she’s determined that no other mother will suffer the same heartache.

Industrialist heir Dillan Rusteran aids her in rescuing more children. Little do they know they’re about to tangle with a trafficking ring that puts Rissa in danger. Dillan’s loved her for years despite her claim she’s too old for him. As they fight the traffickers, will she finally see him in a new light?

EXCERPT

Dillan woke up to a steady thump-thump-thump. Damn, the sublight engine was acting up again. He rolled over and almost fell out of bed.

Two things hit him at the same time. He wasn’t in the wide, comfortable bed in his quarters aboard ship and the thumping wasn’t his sublight. Thank the stars for that. Still, it had been acting a little wonky lately. He’d have to check it out.

After dressing and taking care of his needs in the small san-fac near the stairs, he ambled down carrying his boots in the event the big Zebori was still asleep. Although how anyone could sleep through all that thumping he had no idea. He followed the noise into the kitchen.

Rissa stood at the island kneading dough. Last night he remembered how much higher than normal the island was. She’d built it to accommodate her height. For a moment, he just watched her as she concentrated on the dough. Several lumps of grayish-brown dough sat on the flour-covered table waiting their turn. Even though he was a few meters away, the yeasty scent hit his nose and brought back memories of the times he’d been there before. And how much he enjoyed her company. Despite her treating him like a kid.

The dark haired teen—Pela?—worked alongside Rissa. She noticed him first. Panic crossed her strong features before she murmured to Rissa.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.” She laughed as she turned the dough she’d been punishing into a long, loaf pan. She picked up another lump and went to work on it.

Dillan yawned. “What time is it?”

“Almost Mid-Day.” When she looked up, she did a double take. “Your beard is gone.”

“It itched. When I find the barber, I’ll get my hair cut, too.” He ran his fingers across the top of his head. “It’s Mid-Day? Damn. I wanted to get an early start.”

Without stopping her kneading, she asked, “Early start on what?”

“Going into the mountains.”

“Did you come here to go climbing again?”

Grief hit Dillan the way it had for the past six years any time someone mentioned his former favorite sport. He hadn’t climbed since his best friend died in a freak rock slide. Or so he thought until a year ago.

Rissa’s dark eyes reflected guilt. She stopped working the dough. “I’m sorry, Dillan. I forgot.”

“Apparently, so did Konner.” He didn’t conceal the hurt he’d felt when he learned Konner was not only alive but had a family. “Turns out I was wrong about some things. I’ll, uh, leave you to your work.”

With her forearm, she wiped the sweat off her brow then went back to kneading. “Pela, you did fine. Turn that one into the next pan then get Dillan a cup of sheelonga tea.”

Pela eyed him with uncertainty.

“I can get it.” He sure didn’t want to upset the girl. “Mugs still next to the sink?”

Rissa looked surprised that he remembered. He remembered everything about her. She’d stayed in his mind after every trip from the time he was sixteen. Konner had teased him about being infatuated. Dillan knew it was more than infatuation. Especially after that last visit.

About Diane Burton
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

db

I grew up in the Detroit-area and have lived in Portage (MI), Sedalia (MO) as well as a brief stint in Chicago-land.  I’ve been a Parks & Recreation supervisor, an inventory clerk for a flute store, and a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts. My last job was for an oil and gas exploration company where I discovered the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.  My longest-running gig was as a teacher where I taught elementary kids for over 10 years.  I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapters of RWA. I met my own hero on a blind date. It was love at first sight–for me. It took him a little longer. We currently reside in West Michigan and have two grown children and three delightful grandchildren.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and I love movies, especially action adventure, mysteries, science fiction, and romantic comedy. CastleFirefly, and NCIS are my favorite TV shows. So is it any wonder that I write science fiction romance and romantic suspense, both with comedic elements?

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$15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with Shelley Shepard Gray author of A Wish On Gardenia Street ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome author Shelley Shepard Gray to the blog today. She’s getting comfy in the hot seat so I can ask her a few questions about herself and her book. Don’t you love the cover? Then you’ll love the blurb and excerpt, too. I think  everyone visiting today will enjoy getting to know more about Shelley and her book. It’s a book that is out of the realm of what I normally read, but I’m looking forward to opening my copy.

Afterward, don’t forget to check out her giveaway!

Let’s get started…

TVTGardeniaStreet-ShelleyShepardGray

Tell us two things about yourself not many people know.

Hmm. Let’s see. Most people know I bake all the time, but not many know that I don’t really like to clean up the kitchen and I usually leave a mess. Okay, I don’t really like to clean and even our housekeeper who comes once a month asks me to stay out of her way.  I’m also left handed and I almost always write two books at the same time.

I’m just jealous you have a housekeeper once a month. lol What color is your toothbrush.

It’s currently blue.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I love Christmas. I decorate the day after Thanksgiving and bake nonstop for a month. I also get to see both of my kids at the same time, which makes me very happy.

The holidays are wonderful when family visits. Where to you prefer to write?

I usually write in my office in our basement. I will sometimes write outside on my laptop, but I don’t type as fast on my laptop.

Writing outside is the best when it’s warm with a light breeze :)I love choosing my character names. How did you go about choosing your hero and heroine’s names?

Some people might not realize that there are only a certain number of last names that the Amish have. I read the Budget, which is the Amish newspaper, and pull names from there. After 30 books, I love discovering a ‘new’ Amish name!

I didn’t know that. I love learning something new. If you could tweet us your favorite line in your book, what would it be?

Yes, it needs to be 140 characters or less) All she’d had to do was believe. Believe, dream, hope…and have faith

Describe your hero in five words.

I don’t really have a ‘hero’ in this novella, so my heroine, Maddie, could be described as Impulsive, Steadfast, Chatty, Amish, and Kind

How do you feel your book is different from other books in the same genre?

This is a fun little story that is part of my Pinecraft series. It’s an Amish story set in the middle of Sarasota, Florida. So it’s a fun change of pace.

Why should we read A Wish On Gardenia Street?

It’s a sweet little novella that’s a quick read. I think it’s a nice reminder about being faithful and trusting friends, family, and God.

Care to share what you  have coming up next?

September will bring the next installment of my Pinecraft Bride series. A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn comes out at the beginning of September. It will be followed in October by A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft. November brings Whispers in the Reading Room, the last of my Chicago White City Mysteries. It’s a historical romance set during the 1893 World’s Fair.

Enter to Win A 
Digital Download Copy of
A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET

 

A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET
An Amish Brides of Pinecraft Novella
Shelley Shepard Gray
Released July 28th, 2015
Avon Inspire
Bestselling
author Shelley Shepard Gray continues her Amish Brides of Pinecraft series with
a special addition—a tale of wishing and wanting…and what the heart really
needs.
Good
things may come to those who wait, but Mattie Miller is confident that great
things come to those who go after what they want…and Mattie wants Danny Brenneman.
Danny is the reason she’s returned to the sunny Amish community of Pinecraft,
Florida—well, that and to see her best friend Leona get married.
Mattie’s met Danny only once before but she knows the spark between them is
sure to lead to something special. Despite a missing cat, wedding day chaos,
and Danny himself, she’s confident this vacation can only end one way: in an
engagement of her very own!
EXCERPT

June 10

Everything looked the same.

As she looked around the colorful, bright attic room of the Orange Blossom Inn, the very same room where she’d stayed just a few months ago, Mattie Miller felt a curious sense of déjà vu. The same bright quilts decorated the three twin beds. The same rag rugs warmed the wooden floor.

But yet everything was different.

This time, she wasn’t going to be staying with Leona and Sara, her two best friends in the world. This time she was going to be by herself. And instead of preparing to have the time of her life in their girlfriends’ getaway, she was back in Pinecraft for Leona’s wedding. Sara had planned to come, too. Unfortunately, she’d contracted pneumonia and their doctor had forbidden her to travel.

Therefore, Mattie had boarded the Pioneer Trails bus by herself and had passed the time on the twenty-hour journey with the company of a good book and a comfortable pillow and blanket. To her amazement, she’d slept for seven hours and had awoken with the sure feeling that everything was going to be amazing in Florida.

She just knew it.

Of course, it was going to be a special trip because she would get to watch Leona say her vows. But she had other plans, too. Other, secret plans she hadn’t even dared to tell Leona.

Mattie Miller didn’t intend to simply observe a romance. No, this time she was going to have a romance of her own.

During her visit in January, she and Danny Brenneman had grown fairly close. Since then, they’d exchanged a half dozen letters. Though neither of them had declared anything, Mattie was positive that their friendship was ripe for blossoming into something more.

Yes, if all went well, she would be planning her wedding to Danny Brenneman soon. Just like her best friend Leona. Before long, Mattie would be moving to Sarasota, too. She and Danny would have a perfect life together and she and Leona would continue to be each other’s best friend. They’d support one another through their first months of marriage, throw baby showers for each other, and raise their kinner together, too.

Just like they’d always planned.

And now, it was finally all going to happen.

“Are you sure you don’t mind being up here in the attic all alone?” Beverly Overholt, the proprietor of the inn, asked, interrupting her drifting thoughts. “I feel badly that I had to switch you with the two ladies who were supposed to be staying in this room.”

As long as she had a place to stay, Mattie didn’t care where she slept. “I have two good legs, Miss Beverly. Stairs don’t bother me. I don’t think that lady can say the same.”

“I imagine that is true.” Smiling a bit sheepishly, Beverly added, “I canna tell you how surprised I was to see Mrs. Donaldson on crutches. One would have thought she’d have told me that she couldn’t navigate stairs at the moment.”

 

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Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times
and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction
Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She
lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can
often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
 
 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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