Tag Archives: new release

What to Read Wednesday with Jamie K Schmidt author of Truth Kills ~ GIVEAWAY

I love Wednesdays because it means What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Jamie K Schmidt to the blog. I think you’ll enjoy her guest post and learning more about her latest release Truth Kills. I already want to get to know her heroine better just by what she shared :)

Afterward check out all her giveaways and don’t forget to comment and click on the link to enter :)

Take it away Jamie…


College Problems


Jamie K. Schmidt

Phoebe Jones, my heroine in Truth Kills—the first book in the Truth or Lies series, is a freshman in college.  She is an orphan who was aged out of the system, but granted one year of her dream college by a mysterious donor known as the Benefactrix.  She wants to become a journalist, so the first thing she does is join the college newspaper, The Sentinel.  This was her first article:

The Freshman Fifteen is what the average weight gain a freshman can expect to gain in their first year of college.  Here are five tips to keep that from happening to you:

  1. Water, water, everywhere!  Keep a filled bottle of water with you at all times.  Most of the time when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty.  Drink a bottle of water before every meal.
  2. Snack healthy, and cheaply! Popcorn kernels are about $5 for a silo. That will last you all year.  If you can’t snag the air popper from your parents, you can make your own with a brown sandwich bag.  Put in a ¼ cup of kernels and a tsp of olive oil.  Fold down the bag and shake.  Put it in the microwave until all the kernels top popping.
  3. Limit pizza to once a week. I know.  I know.  This is a tough one.
  4. Eat six small meals instead of three big ones to cut down on snacking. Make sure you have a serving of fruit and vegetable with every meal
  5. Take a half hour walk around campus every day. In addition to hauling your books all over the place getting to and from classes, the extra exercise should keep those fifteen lbs. far away.

Her editor thought it was a little tame. He marked it up and told her to spice it up a bit.  She was writing for a college audience not Woman’s Day.  Here’s what actually got published in the paper:

How to Still Fit Into Your Jeans After Freshman Year

  1. Drink light beer, it’s mostly water. Get the low carb option, if available to stop bloat. If you don’t have a fake ID or don’t want to drink, grab lemon slices and sweet and low packets from the cafeteria and make your own lemonade and drink that instead of soda.
  2. If you spend all your money at the mall on fun things, there won’t be any left for snacks.
  3. Order a veggie pizza.
  4. Eat at the dining hall for all your meals. You’ll wind up existing on shredded carrot salads because that’s the only thing you recognize.
  5. Sex burns lots of calories. Have at it.  Just be safe.  Use a condom.

Phoebe goes on to write a Freshman’s Guide to Sex column and asks her faculty advisor to help her out with the fun parts.


Tell me what advice you would give to a incoming college Freshman.

I’m giving away a free e-copy of Truth Kills to one commenter.



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Truth & Lies #1
Jamie K. Schmidt
Released Sept 30th, 2015
Truth & Lies Series
Aged out of the system and
battle worn from unsuccessful foster care, four women on the cusp of adulthood
find passion and their paths in life through the help of an anonymous fairy
godmother type who calls herself the Benefactrix. 
Truth Kills: Book One
A healing and emotionally fragile girl unknowing falls for the nephew of the man who killed her family.
College freshmen, Phoebe’s new lover is sexy, creative and willing to let her act out all her dirty fantasies. Unfortunately, Keith’s not telling her the truth about who he really is and the secret past that binds them together. When his Uncle breaks out of prison to search for the “girl who got away,” Keith risks losing the best thing in his life by admitting to Phoebe that his Uncle killed her parents.
Phoebe Jones lost her family during a home invasion when she was only thirteen. She’s the only one of the four girls who remembers a loving family. The Benefactrix has given her a full boat scholarship to the local college, where Phoebe meets a graduate student who wants to do a story about her family. But Keith Parker isn’t without his own demons. His Uncle, now on death row, was one of the men who broke into Phoebe’s house eight years ago. What started out as a project for understanding and healing is complicated when Phoebe & Keith act on the
explosive desire between them.
Phoebe craves to be in control sexually and Keith is more than willing to let her have her way with him. What started out as a hot fling rapidly becomes something deeper. Keith knows he’ll lose her if he reveals who he really is, but the lie has taken on a life of its own and threatens to destroy not only their relationship but Phoebe’s fragile self confidence and freshly won self esteem.

Turning back around, she stood up on her tiptoes until she thought she saw the back of Larissa’s head.  Larissa had been a door stop baby, dropped off at a hospital.  She never knew her family.  She didn’t even come with a note pinned to her blanket.  Larissa had been Phoebe’s first friend at the home.  She loved hearing about Phoebe’s parents and the little details of a “normal” life.  For some reason Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday were the best things Larissa ever heard of and would never get tired of hearing Phoebe talk about how it used to be.

Kelly, Maryanne, and Larissa. That was the sum total of the people who would cheer for her when she walked up on the rickety stage to accept her diploma from Principal Barnes.  And at the ripe old age of eighteen, Phoebe was about to be aged out of the system and those people would be lost to her as well.


She was not going to cry.  If she started, she wouldn’t stop and that would ruin the ceremony for her friends.

“Just another day,” Kelly murmured.

Phoebe nodded and pulled herself together.  Nothing new here.  She forced her chin up and willed this endless ceremony to end. It wasn’t as if they would never see each other again. None of them had any money to go very far, except maybe Kelly.  Her boyfriend Chad was loaded and liked giving her expensive treats.  He was taking her away on vacation tomorrow to Belize to celebrate.  But that was only for a week because Kelly had a job to get back to at the camera shop.  She’d been working there since she was sixteen.  It didn’t pay anything, but she was able to work on her own projects in between transferring people’s pictures from film to digital.

After Kelly got back from Belize, Phoebe and the other girls would start their transition into adult housing, leaving the group home that had housed them since they were ten-years-old.

Graduation was supposed to be a day of hope and of new beginnings.  She should have been looking forward to a fun summer and then off to college in the fall, somewhere far away from Connecticut and the memories.  Except her grades hadn’t been that good.  So she’d take night classes at her safety school, and maybe next year get accepted into one of the larger universities.  Paying for that would be another thing to worry about.  Just not today.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo


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USA Today Bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt is a hybrid author who has over thirty short stories published in small press and ezines, and a variety of novellas and books online. Her Club Inferno series from Random House has been in Amazon’s top 100 ebooks sold and Barnes and Noble’s top 10. She has a dragon paranormal romance series at Entangled Publishing. Book one of the Emerging Queens series is The Queen’s Wings.
Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in Secondary Education English, which is a fancy way of saying she went to college to teach high school English. When that didn’t pan out, she worked as a call center manager, a Tupperware consultant, a paralegal, and finally a technical writer for a major conglomerate company. She is an active member in the Romance Writers of America (RWA). When not writing, Jamie relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry.

Posted by on October 7, 2015 in What to Read Wednesday


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INTERVIEW with Dixie Lee Brown author of Rescued by the Ranger ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome author Dixie Lee Brown to the blog today :) Dixie is sitting  in the hot seat getting ready to answer a few questions os that we can all get to know her a little better. We’re also going to get some first hand tidbits on her release RESCUED BY THE RANGER!

Afterward, don’t forget to enter her giveaway :)

Let’s get started!

Thanks so much for inviting me to be on your blog today. I’ll get right to your questions.

Awesome. I’m so glad to have you here Dixie! Tell us one thing you love, one thing you fear, and one thing you wish.

Love: I love my dogs. I have a Maltese named Kaycee and a Maltese-cross named Reba. They are amazing!

Fear: If I can only name one thing, I’ll have to say snakes! Awful! As a kid, I had nightmares about snakes.

Wish: My wish would be that there wasn’t so much hate in the world.

Love your answers. What’s the last thing you cooked?

Bacon, eggs, and French toast. I love breakfast!

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I’m a big fan of summer, so when Memorial Day rolls around, I get excited. Summer is on its way along with all the activities that people do: camping, fishing, hiking, gardening. The list goes on and on.

What’s under your bed?

Besides the dust bunnies? I have four of those thin plastic containers filled with off-season clothes and old purses. I think it’s written somewhere that you’re not allowed to get rid of old purses, right?

At what point in your life did you decide that being an author was no longer going to be a dream but an ambition you were going to turn into a reality? :)

About five years ago, I read the Twilight saga. I was so caught up in the story and the characters, I didn’t want it to end. For months afterward I couldn’t shake the feeling of being in that alternate world. I’d always wanted to write, but now I wanted to write a story that would draw people in and make them want to stay. So I went for it, and with each story I get a little closer to my goal.

Describe your writing space.

A recliner in the living room, my laptop on my lap, and one of my dogs sleeping on the leg rest. It’s not as convenient or comfortable as I’d like, but I’ve tried a desk with an adjustable chair and other more traditional arrangements, and none seem to work for me.

What makes your book stand out from others in the same genre?

My readers have come to expect page-turning action in my books. My editor never lets me forget it either!

Which scene in this book was your favorite to write and why?

While writing this book, I felt such a connection between the hero, Garrett, and his brother Luke. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, so this answer will be purposely vague. At one point, Garrett is captured and left to die. When Luke finds him, he refuses to leave even though staying puts his life in danger as well. The scene between them is very heartwarming, touching, and made up of moments that only brothers could share.

What would YOU like your readers to know about your books or you in general?

All of my books so far honor the military hero. Everyday men and women whose lives have been changed by their unselfish service to our country. No “thank you” could ever be enough. I write about them because of my deep admiration and high regard for what they do. My heroes aren’t “bad boys”. I like to think of them as good guys with bad-boy skills and human foibles. If you share my appreciation, you’ll enjoy RESCUED BY THE RANGER.

Will you share the first sentence in your book?

A faint whine from the shotgun seat jerked Garrett’s attention back to the narrow road hugging the side of a steep mountain in the middle-of-fucking-nowhere, Idaho.

Would you give us a little peek into what you’re working on next?

I’m currently working on another romantic suspense, a sequel to RESCUED BY THE RANGER, which brings Garrett’s brother Luke (a Navy SEAL) home from an Afghan POW camp. He’s hoping it’s not too late to make things right between him and Sally Duncan, the sexy brunette he met before he deployed. But the aftermath of his captivity and the fact that he rejected her in the hospital when he returned to the states aren’t the only obstacles in their way. Sally has secrets of her own. Hers could get them killed.

RANDOM FUN: Finish this sentence.

My toothbrush is well-used and a little ragged around the edges.

When I’m alone in the car I’m usually “writing” my next scene in my head.

My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough.

When I was a child I dreamed about growing up to be a singer. (No, I can’t carry a tune in a wash bucket!)

The most fun I had this summer was a recent girl’s trip to the beach with two wonderful friends.

If I could live my life in any television series, I’d choose to live in Hot in Cleveland. (This was hard! I don’t watch much TV.)

That was fun! Again, thanks for having me. Maybe some of your readers would leave comments and tell me which television series they’d want to live in!


Enter to Win a
Digital BlueFire Download of


Dixie Lee Brown
Releasing on Sept 8th, 2015
Avon Impulse


Protecting those in trouble is what Army Ranger Garrett Harding does best. But after helping a feisty redhead toss a couple of losers from her Idaho bar, the woman is anything but grateful for his assistance—in fact, she seems to know him. Worse, she almost certainly hates him.

The only thing Rachel Maguire wants is to send this smart-mouthed, muscled military man packing. She knows Garrett has his own reasons for staying, so when he offers Rachel a deal—two days to prove his worth or he leaves—she reluctantly agrees. Despite wanting to loathe him, Rachel finds herself drawn to his quiet confidence…and the way he fills out a t-shirt.

But when Rachel receives a phone call from the past, everything changes. The stalker who destroyed her life ten years ago is closing in once more. Refusing to put anyone else in harm’s way, Rachel hits the road hoping to lure danger away from those she loves. But Garrett won’t leave this sexy spitfire to face her stalker alone. He’ll do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking his life—and his heart.



A wave of anger hit Garrett hard as he watched the red-haired woman school her expression into patient nonchalance, yet she couldn’t hide the fury that burned in those green eyes. Garrett, taking his cue from her, forced a smile and shifted his weight to one of the barstools. “Huh! They just left the place unlocked?” He stared directly at the kid. “Seems reckless. Any slimy piece of riffraff could wander in and sit himself down.” A faint smile crossed quickly over Rachel’s face, but apparently the idiot beside her was too stupid to take offense. Garrett would have to try harder.

The kid leaned back in his chair, and a black scowl twisted his features. “I won’t be tellin’ ya again to clear out. A fella stickin’ his nose in around these parts is askin’ for a beatin’ . . . or worse.”

Garrett’s gaze shifted to Rachel as she slowly lifted her eyes to his. She studied him curiously for a second before the slimeball squeezed her hand cruelly and she bit her lip, muffling a small sound. The tautness of her body and the determined set of her jaw telegraphed her intention ahead of her movement, and Garrett started toward them seconds before she jumped to her feet, sending her chair flying backward. Rachel fisted her right hand and flung a haymaker at the punk’s nose. Obviously quicker than he looked, the kid saw it coming and easily caught her wrist, yanking her arm behind her back. With one foot, he pulled the closest chair into position and forced her to sit, then turned to face Garrett with a make-my-day smirk on his face. Clearly enjoying himself now, he twisted Rachel’s arm higher, bending her over the table, and a cry escaped her this time. “As I was sayin’, it’s time for you to go.”

Garrett held his ground. The woman’s eyes still flashed with fire, but fear seemed noticeably absent, if the instinct to knock the kid on his ass was any indication. Maybe they were a couple and this was their idea of Saturday-afternoon foreplay. Damn. He hated getting involved in family matters, but he’d never been able to abide violence against women.

A deep breath later, he’d committed himself to what was likely to follow. “Thanks for the warning, but I think I’ll hang around for a while. Unless you want to let this pretty little bartender here sell me a drink.”

The guy took a step toward the edge of the table, still grasping Rachel’s wrist. “Hey! You hard of hearin’ or somethin’? You’ve got two seconds to git back on the road or I’m gonna kick your ass.”

Garrett laughed, then let his forced humor fade as he squared his stance. “You can try if you want.”

The guy roared like a wounded rhinoceros, released the woman’s wrist, and lurched around the table toward Garrett. Rachel didn’t waste a second. She darted away from the table, vaulted over the top of the bar, and dropped out of sight on the other side.

Garrett braced for the lunatic’s clumsy attack, but with three strides still separating them, he heard the distinctive sound of a Winchester lever-action rifle. The charging bull in front of him obviously recognized the sound as well.

He skidded to a stop and threw his hands in the air. “Now, Rachel, baby. You don’t wanna do that.”

“I sure as hell do, you sorry excuse for a single-celled amoeba. I told you if you ever laid a hand on me, I’d kill you, and I meant it.” Rachel’s voice was silky smooth and hard-edged.

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DIXIE LEE BROWN lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by what she believes is the most gorgeous scenery anywhere. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who make sure she never takes herself too seriously. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies, and trips to the beach.



Posted by on September 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!


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 :)


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 ~



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.


“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.


Barnes and Noble:



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







Google + :




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


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BOOK BLAST ~ Love in the Vineyard by Pamela Aares ~ Giveaway

Enter to Win a
$25.00 Starbucks eGift Card
Tavonesi #7
Pamela Aares
Releasing Sept 10th, 2015


From USA Today bestselling author Pamela Aares comes Love in the Vineyard, the seventh book in the Tavonesi family series featuring passion, mystery, and well-won love!

A one-night stand brought Natasha Raley the greatest gift of her life—her son. She wants to give him a better life than she had, but a gambling bet lands both of them in a homeless shelter. When the shelter director gives her a ticket to a masquerade ball, Natasha finds herself dancing with the most intriguing and mysterious man she’s ever met.

Adrian Tavonesi is creating a paradise on earth in Sonoma California, determined to be worthy of his vast fortune by making the world a better place. Convinced women only like him for his money and his status, he invents an anonymous relationship with the beautiful Natasha to create a dream world for both of them.

As passion flares into an all-consuming affair, the lies Adrian and Natasha have told each other threaten to ruin everything. Adrian is kind, generous, and sincere—Natasha knows he would be the ideal father for her son. But will her past and the devastating gamble she once made destroy her new world? Or will betting on the truth this time lead to the perfect, ever-lasting love?



Tasha was more beautiful than Adrian remembered.

And just as skittish.

Whatever she was hiding, the continued anonymity she was proposing suited him just fine. He liked the idea of being seen as an everyday man, just another guy living in Sonoma. And he liked a woman who could ask for what she wanted.

“I’ll play,” Adrian answered. “But just exactly what rules are you suggesting we follow?”

He had to admit her proposal added an edge of raciness to the day, an edge of challenge and the allure of fantasy. Maybe she wasn’t afraid, as he’d first thought she was. And maybe, like him, she too wanted to be liked for who she was in this time. In this moment.

In Rome, almost everyone he ran into knew he was from one of the oldest Roman families. They knew his cousins and cousins of cousins. Knew of the vast Tavonesi wealth. When he first moved to the Bay Area with his father and siblings, he’d loved that they’d all had a degree of anonymity.

But now that he’d started to revamp the vineyard, in the Napa and Sonoma circles he traveled, he’d lost the privacy of those early days. His worth, his prospects, his heritage were on the surface, easy for anyone with a computer to access. Though notoriety came with success, with moving forward with his plans, he resented the assumptions and prejudices that accompanied the details of his life, as though a map of his past set out every possibility for his future. He was charting new waters and didn’t want to be bound by history or prejudice or presumptions. His sisters Zoe and Amber had cut themselves free and were pursuing their dreams. And so were his American cousins Alex and Alana.

But what he disliked most about his wealth was the feeling of being targeted. Of being a catch. Wealth drew people to him; that was another fact of his life. But he didn’t want to be seen through that lens, to be pursued for his bank account. Wealth made it hard to know whom to trust. Especially when it came to women.


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Pamela Aares is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance novels. Her contemporary series, The Tavonesi Series, explores the lives, loves, friendships and sizzling romances of the Tavonesi family.

Her popularity as a romance writer continues to grow with each new book release, so much so, that the Bay area author has drawn comparisons by reviewers to Nora Roberts.

Pamela Aares writes romance books that she loves reading, particularly those that entertain, transport and inspire dreams while captivating and tugging at the heart. She takes her readers on a journey with complex characters in both contemporary and historical settings who are thrown in situations that tempt love, adventure and self-discovery.

Before becoming a romance author, Aares wrote and produced award-winning films including Your Water, Your Life, featuring actress Susan Sarandon and NPR series New Voices, The Powers of the Universe and The Earth’s Imagination.

If not behind her computer, you can probably find her reading a romance novel, hiking the beach or savoring life with friends. You can visit Pamela on the web at


Posted by on September 14, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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So, I read this book…Five Things I Love About You by Sarah Ballance

First let me start out with my disclaimer. lol I’m not a professional reviewer. Even though I’m an author, I also love to read. I read quite a bit and on occasion I like to share a book or novella that has really grabbed hold of me and share it with my blog friends. 

Today, I’d like to share a fun little novella from author Sarah Ballance titled Five Things I Love About You…which is a steal at .99!


Five Things I Love About You is such a fun story, but I should’ve known it would be because Sarah Ballance always has a way of pulling me into one of books with the dialogue, characters, and overall awesomeness. I can’t even begin to tell you how she is a master at weaving words together that just make you fall in love!

My favorite part of this story—besides the characters—was the yellow fanged cat who would just show up out of nowhere and somehow steal the scene. But his little part toward the end of the story melted my heart. I won’t go into detail because you should read this book yourself to discover all the little tidbits of amazingness.

Estelle comes to New York City from the sunny west coast to apartment sit her brother’s place. She’s not thrilled because she hates the city–how the people are rude, the sidewalks are dirty, and the overall stench. She ends up meeting a hunky neighbor who just happens to douse her with pickle juice and then come to her rescue when her air conditioner goes on the fritz. From the get go these two are attracted and between their conversations filled with sexual innuendo and the thoughts racing through their heads—about each other—this is a real page turner. Crosby–the hunky neighbor–is determined so show Estelle that the city has a lot to offer. He’ll find at least 5 things that she’ll love about city life.

Let the fun begin…

Being that they were from different ends of the continent, I was anxious to find out how they’d have their happily ever after. Would they end up having a long distance relationship…would he chuck in his business and leave it to his brothers and head west…or would she sell her house and move to the big city, or would they compromise and meet somewhere in the middle? I guess if you want to find out, you need to grab a copy of this fun novella and find the answer. This is the first book in a series about the Chase brothers, and I’m already in love with the men in this family. Looking forward to book 2!!!



Five things to love about NYC. But she only needs one…

California landscape artist Estelle Donovan hates big cities. Between the grime, the smell, all the drab concrete, and the suffocating summer heat, how can anyone breathe? Housesitting her brother’s New York apartment, complete with broken elevator and smoking air conditioner, is her kind of hell. It’s only for two weeks, though. What could possibly go wrong?

Dumping a jar of pickles on the hot girl at the grocery store wasn’t Crosby Chase’s finest hour, nor was getting bitten in the butt by the demonic cat on her fire escape. But he is going to change her mind about his beloved city, damn it. In fact, if they could just make it five minutes without falling into bed, he bets Estelle he can find five things she’ll love about New York.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan. And with an entire country between them, Crosby realizes he doesn’t need five reasons to make Estelle love New York.

He needs one big reason to make her stay…

Title: Five Things I Love About You
Series: Chase Brothers
Author: Sarah Ballance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, novella
Length: 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63375-337-2
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Imprint: Lovestruck

Price listed is for the U.S. digital format. Please confirm pricing and availability with the retailer before downloading.




Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Review, So...I read this book


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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…


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


An Amish Brides of Pinecraft Novella
Shelley Shepard Gray
Released July 28th, 2015
Avon Inspire
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
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!

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.



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


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INTERVIEW with Maris Soule author of A Killer Past ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome author Maris Soule to the blog today! I’m excited to have her her and even more excited that she agreed to let me interview her. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her, too. 

Afterward, check out her release A KILLER PAST. You know what a cover junkie I am, and this is another winner. I love it.

And, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a $15 Amazon gift card. The link is at the end of the post. GOOD LUCK!

Let’s get started…


Tell us two things about yourself not many people know.

(1) I did a bicycle tour through parts of 4 European countries when I was 21. We stayed in youth hostels, a youth work camp, and inexpensive B&Bs. It was a great experience.

(2) I was the head of two (different) high school art departments for a total of 6 years.

I love those fun facts Maris! What’s the last thing you cooked?

Some breaded chicken breast strips, served with mixed vegetables.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I love Thanksgiving. It’s not commercial. The emphasis is on getting together with family, enjoying a meal, and talking.

That’s my fave holiday as well, for the same reasons as you :) Tell us your favorite part about the writing process.

The editing. I have the story down, now I can go through it and eliminate the repetitions, bring in the five senses, improve my sentence structure, add texture, and do all of the many things a writer needs to do to turn garbage into prose.

I love choosing character names. How did you go about choosing the names for your hero and heroine?

In A Killer Past, my heroine has kept a low profile for 44 years, so I knew she would choose a common name. The name I gave her was Mary. I’m not sure why I picked Harrington as her last name, other than it sounded good, and by making Mary’s decease husband’s name Harry, I liked the sound. Mary and Harry Harrington. As for my hero (if he can really be called that), I wanted a former Chicago policeman who’d transferred to Rivershore, Michigan so his boys would grow up in a safer environment. I wanted him to be Italian, but rather than give him an Italian first name, I went with Jack. Jack Rossini. Now, Mary has another name, but that’s revealed later in the book, and as far as Mary’s concerned, that person no longer exists.

If you could tweet your favorite line from your book, what would it be? Yep, that’s right, you only get 140 characters. :)

Of course, if Mary did tell the truth, and Clare did believe her, Mary would have to kill her.

Ooohhh…that’s a good line! Describe your hero in five words.

Lonely, curious, protective, determined, and loving

Now your heroine.

Complicated, secretive, athletic, determined, and remorseful.

Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, evening, or anytime?

I feel as though I’m the freshest in the morning (9-1:00). I used to write late at night, but now I find I get too tired and I’m not as happy with anything I do then. My problems really started when my husband retired. I now try to write when I know I’ll have a block of uninterrupted time. That changes day by day.

What makes your book stand out from others in the same genre?

I’m not 100% sure what genre A Killer Past fits in (which made it difficult to sell). It’s more of an action suspense than a mystery. There have been some movies recently where an older female is actively taking out the bad guys (Red and Red II), but most books (and movies) of this nature involve younger women. I’ve found, when I talk about the book, a lot of older women are eager to read about a kickass grandma. So that’s what makes A Killer Past different.

Can you share a sneak peek into what you’re working on now?

Meadow Lark Williams, who’s in her late 50s, is nudging my creative thoughts. Meadow moved in with her father when his wife/her mother died. Her father has dementia, and Meadow is trying to decide what’s best for him now that her mother’s not around to care for him. Her father was a burglar in his younger days, and Meadow learned the “trade” from him and his friends. I know a series of burglaries are going to occur in the retirement community where her father lives, and I know a woman her father has an argument with is going to be found dead, but the whats, whens and whys are still up in the air.




A Killer Past
by Maris Soule
Amazon  Barnes & Noble Kobo Books | Books-A-Million
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Published by: Robert Hale / Hale Books
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Length: 224 Pages

Most people in the town of Rivershore, Michigan view Mary Harrington as a quiet widow whose only oddity is that she spends a lot of time at the gym. Her son thinks it’s time for her to move into a retirement home. Two gang members think she’ll be an easy target. No one in Rivershore knows what Mary did in her younger years—really did—but the two gang members discover they’ve underestimated their victim . . . and Mary fears reverting to old habits may have jeopardized her future.


Mary limped into her living room and sagged into Harry’s Lazyboy. Her heart hadn’t stopped pounding since she’d left the two boys. Even though pain radiated up her leg, the adrenalin racing through her body overrode the sensation. Excitement clashed with fear. My God, what had she done?

The boys hadn’t been content to simply take her purse and run. Oh no, they wouldn’t leave it at that. The short one blocked her escape while the tall one looked inside her purse. He said a twenty wasn’t enough, wanted to know where she’d put her credit cards, where she lived. They’d threatened her.

When the tall one grabbed her arm and reached for the lapel of her jacket, she didn’t even think before she reacted. Forty-four years might have passed, but her body automatically responded with ingrained moves. A shift of position, one step back, and she had her assailant off balance. She used her cell phone as a weapon, jamming the edge hard against the bone of his forearm. As she applied pressure, a sweep of her foot, along with a twist to her side, had him falling forward. The moment he hit the ground, she dropped down and slammed her knees into his back and ribs. Before he could react, she used the edge of the cell phone to cuff his ear, then grabbed his arm and gave a violent twist. He started screaming right after she heard his shoulder pop.

A quick roll to the side put her on her back. The short one stared down at her, his mouth open and his eyes glazed with confusion. She knew she didn’t have much time, but springing to her feet was not an option. Her joints might remember the moves, but age had robbed her body of its elasticity. What once had taken a single maneuver now required three stages, but she was on her feet before Shorty truly understood what was happening.

She used the cell phone in her hand to deliver the blow to his face, a side kick took out his knee, and a chop to his neck put him down on the ground. In the past, she would have finished him off then, finished both of them off. She knew the killing points. Two strategically placed jabs, and both of the boys would be eliminated, no more threatening old ladies.

But that was in the past.

“You stay where you are,” she demanded over their whimpering.

She retrieved her purse from where the tall one had dropped it, gave the pair one last glance, and turned away. Breathing hard, she hoped she wouldn’t have a heart attack before she reached her house.


Writer, teacher, artist, wife, mother, dog trainer, horse rider, boater. Maris Soule can list an array of occupations and avocations. Even as a writer her 29 published books span a variety of genres and subgenres, ranging from short stories to romances, romantic suspense, and mystery. A two-time RITA finalist, Soule has placed in and won several writing contests. Born and raised in California, Soule and her husband now spend their summers in Michigan and their winters in Florida.


About Award-Winning Author Maris Soule
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page


Click HERE to enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card


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


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