Release Day!!!

Happy June 1oth! Happy Release Day to

Blame it on Texas

a contemporary romance by Amie Louellen

Every first love deserves a second chance. 

© 2014 Amie Louellen

 

BlameItOnTexas-ART(1)Shelby Patterson has come back to Texas for one reason and one reason only—to get her husband to sign divorce papers. She’s worked hard to build her California bakery, where clients clamor for her one-of-a-kind creations.

Seven years after her disastrous marriage, she’ll finally have everything in perfect order—just as soon as Ritter McCoy signs the dotted line.

Ritt is still pissed that Shelby walked out all those years ago without giving their marriage a chance. Sure, they were young and had just lost the baby that had rushed them to the altar, but they’d loved each other beyond reason.

Ritt gave up his college baseball scholarship, only to have Shelby and her mom take his parents’ bribe money and run. If Shelby wants those papers signed, she’ll just have to wait until he’s good and ready.

Or maybe, before she flies the coop again, he can convince her the love they had between them is still there—and still hot enough to melt their hearts back into one.

Warning: This book contains a sexy Texas boy determined to recapture his first love. May also produce feelings of nostalgia and longing for slow kisses and sweet tea.

 

Enjoy the following excerpt for Blame it on Texas:

She should have known she’d find him like this.

Shelby looked down at the oil-stained driveway to the denim-clad legs protruding from underneath the ancient Ford. The hem of the jeans was frayed, the worn cowboy boots dusty and with a few stains of their own.

She propped her hands on her hips, doing her best not to tap her foot in irritation. It would do no good. If there was one thing she’d learned in her time as Ritt McCoy’s wife, he had his own timetable and to hell with anyone else’s.

“I said, I need to talk to you.”

“And I said, just a minute,” his muffled voice returned.

Shelby bit back a growl and used the thick packet of papers to fan herself. That was one thing she didn’t miss about Texas—the heat. But with any luck and the good Lord’s grace, she’d only be here another few minutes, an hour at the most, and then she’d be on her way back to California.

A trickle of sweat ran down between her shoulder blades and into the small of her back. Shelby fanned harder and checked her watch. She’d been waiting twenty minutes for Ritt to finish whatever it was he was doing to the truck and sign on the dotted line. That was nineteen more than she cared to wait.

“Ritt.”

“Shelby.”

“I need you to sign these.”

“In a minute.”

“Now. I have a plane to catch.”

She jumped back, nearly snapping the heel off one peep-toe pump. They had been a special purchase for this trip along with the form-fitting black dress that hugged her like a second skin. Scrambling to get out of the way, she managed to maintain her balance as Ritt pushed the creeper from under the truck.

And there he was, the boy who stole her heart, took her virginity and married her all in one summer. Well, he’d had her heart for years before that. And he wasn’t a boy any longer; though the years, she grudgingly admitted, had been very kind to him.

“What?” he asked. Even lying down, he looked taller, broader, more. She was glad to have the advantage, standing over him like she was.

“I’m in a hurry.”

“Not my problem.” He disappeared in a quick swoosh back under the truck. But he left his image behind. Dark blond hair curling from under a ratty Longhorns baseball hat. Dirt smeared T-shirt covering a chest she didn’t remember as having quite so many muscles. Long legs, firm lips, square jaw.

“I’ve flown over a thousand miles to get you to sign these. The least you could do is get out from under there and do it.” Her voice rose in pitch, the whine she’d been tamping down rising to the surface. Couldn’t he see how they needed this? That it was time to move forward?

There was a loud clunk, which sounded like head versus oil pan, then a muffled curse.

He rolled out again, and before she knew what had happened he was towering over her. She took a couple of steps back for good measure, unable to meet his blue-gold gaze as he studied her face.

“What is it, Shelby? What is so important that you flew all the way out here to grace me with your presence?”

She was wrong. The years had been more than kind to him, they had outright adopted him. Had he always been this tall? This broad? This…masculine?

He had, she decided. But after seven years away, she had forgotten what a man her Texas boy had been.

She licked her lips, the sight of him bringing back more memories than she cared to delve through. Prom night, at the lake after the baseball games, Saturday afternoon in the canyon…

 Check out Blame it on Texas on AMAZON and B&N.com

 

Spotlight On: JM Stewart & Her Knight in Black Leather

Today I’m turning my blog over to my good friend and fellow author JM Stewart. Her heartfelt contemporary romance, Her Knight in Black Leather is  today’s Kindle Daily Deal. What does that mean…?

Her Knight in Black Leather is today’s Kindle Daily Deal! That means for TODAY ONLY it’s only 99 cents on Amazon!

 ~*~*~*~ Blurb ~*~*~*~

Cover_Her Knight_489x750Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?

Check out a bit more. Warning….this is sexy–in a good way :) 

“What did you need from me last night, Cat?” His hot breath teased her neck, the sensitive skin below her earlobe, and images invaded her mind. Of his mouth latching on there, leaving his mark. The possessive look in his eyes when he plunged inside her body, claimed her as his. How simultaneously wrong and right it felt to be claimed that way. They were strangers, yet deep down, she couldn’t deny she gave him a piece of herself last night.

“I wanted the fantasy. You were a little wild, a little dangerous. A Harley-riding bad boy in black leather with a wicked gleam in your eye who challenged anyone to try to judge you.”

A faint chuckle sounded behind her, so infectious one corner of her mouth curled in response.

“You were everything I wanted to be and exactly the type of man I never go for.”

“Is that why you took that ride with me? Spent the night with me? Because I’m different?”

She hesitated, her heart stalling in her chest, then shook her head. She spent the night with him because the façade intrigued her. The unexplainable pull between them and the uninhibited desire in his eyes sucked her in. The tenderness of his touch overwhelmed her. He overwhelmed her.

“No. I did it because I felt safe with you.” Safe to fulfill a fantasy without fear of it getting out of control, without fear she’d find out he really was every bit as dangerous as he appeared. And though she couldn’t explain how she knew, she’d bet every last cent she had that the only thing truly dangerous about Michael Brant were his discerning eyes.

“That’s exactly what I needed from you. The anonymity. You were the only person in this town who didn’t seem to know who I was, who hadn’t already formed an opinion of me. Over the years, I’ve convinced myself I didn’t care what people thought, but I came back expecting judgment. There are people here who aren’t fond of me. And with you, for one night, I was just a man. I had no name, no obligations, no expectations.”

He shifted closer, his body brushing her back, his heat seeping into her skin. I needed you.” His breath against her sensitive skin made her shiver. “I was just … me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know if you’d ever heard of me, what you thought of Michael Brant.”

His hands slid onto her arms, his touch light and hesitant, as if he couldn’t resist but wanted to give her room to object. When she didn’t — couldn’t — those hands skimmed along her forearms, over the backs of her wrists, awakening every nerve ending along the way and setting the tiny hairs to standing on end.

~*~*~*~ About the Author ~*~*~*~

 Me1JM writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

99 cent buy link on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00AWWZVBE

Here are the other buy links, but keep in mind the 99 cent deal is only available on amazon.

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Kobo

All Romance ebooks

Crimson Romance

 

Toby Blackfox

Have you met Toby? He’s Luc Blackfox’s dog, an injured in the line of duty, retired K-9 canine.  He’s loving, loyal and a menace to houseplants, wallpaper and handcuff keys.  Here’s a glimpse at Toby.

German shepherd dog looking through hole in fence guarding house

After Kaylee’s apartment is broken into she refuses anyone’s help, including Luc’s. In a not-so-well thought out plan, he handcuffs them together to force her to the safety of his house. Once there, Luc will uncuff them and that will be that. Except he forgot to let Toby in on his plans.

Toby whined and laid down, propping his chin on the backs of his front paws. Kaylee had to admit—even though she was still a little afraid of him—that Toby seemed like a good dog inside. Way down deep inside. He just didn’t have the outlets that police wives had. He couldn’t knit odd looking sweaters or take useless dance classes. He could only stay at home and miss his master and friend.

With one last look at the forlorn canine, Kaylee allowed Luc to tug her along. Two steps into the room, she realized it was Luc’s bedroom. And the bed was the one he slept in. This was where he got dressed in the morning and undressed at night and—

“Dammit, Toby. Where are my jeans?”

“Do you have a date or something?” Kaylee asked. A pitiful attempt at flippancy.

Luc glared.

She couldn’t stand in Luc’s private domain, handcuffed to him and look him in the face. Instead she centered her gaze on the vee of bronze skin at the opening of his collar. The mere sight of flesh disturbed her as well.

“I left the key in my jeans pocket,” Luc explained. “And I left my jeans on that chair.” He pointed to a wooden rocker in the corner of the room. A handmade quilt lay folded neatly over the back, but no jeans remained.

From the doorway Kaylee could hear the thump of the dog’s tail on the carpeted floor. Then a bark. She tried not to flinch at the sound. At least it wasn’t a growl.

“Find them,” Luc instructed. “Right now. Or I’m never repapering the bathroom.”

Toby barked again. Silently Kaylee wished the dog the speed of Mercury. It was enough being with Luc in his bedroom, but it was too much to be there handcuffed to him, a breath away from him, her nostrils filled with his very essence.

The dog returned a few moments later dragging a worn and ripped pair of jeans behind him.

“Good boy.” Luc patted the dog on the head, then smiled. His lips froze as he turned the jeans over. They looked like they had been run through a meat grinder backwards. The pockets had been rendered non-existent. “The key must have fallen out,” Luc said, but it sounded as if he was trying to convince himself. “It’s got to be around here somewhere.”

After a thorough, twenty minute search of the upstairs, the key was no where to be found.

Luc turned to Kaylee, his expression sheepish. “I think my dog ate it.”

Kaylee took a deep breath, in a futile attempt to calm her temper. “Luc, this is not the third grade, and unlike your teacher I’m not going to accept that excuse.”

He smiled wryly. “She never did either.”

“Tell me you have a spare.” Kaylee prayed he did. She could not spend any longer handcuffed to Luc. Her resistance toward him was wearing thin.

“Kaylee, I have a spare.”

She let out a sigh of relief.

“But it’s at the station.”

“Let’s go get it.” She started toward the door, but he tugged on their bound wrists and pulled her back.“Would you stop doing that!”

He held up their hands for her to see. “Do you want to explain this to whoever is on duty?”

Kaylee sobered. She hadn’t thought about that. If they went into the police station handcuffed together, everyone on the police force—including her brother—would know about it before the next roll call.

Check out all of Toby (and Luc and Kaylee’s) mis-adventures in Ten Reason’s Not To Date A Cop!

Available now from Samhain Publishing

Samantha March: On Self Publishing & More

Yesterday I gave you a review and glimpse into Samantha March’s new book, The Green Ticket. Today I have a little more from Samantha. Go grab and drink and a chair as Samantha shares with us her journey into self publication:

Amie: All right, Samantha, let’s get this party started. First of all let me say that I admire your bravery and dedication for your work and to self publish! When did you decide to take the self-pub plunge?

Samantha: I have a very entrepreneurial spirit, and I really loved the idea of being my boss and having full control over my work. I also knew that I wanted to someday create a business out of it – and I now am the owner of the indie publishing company,Marching Ink, as well.

Amie: Is your book available in print as well as in e-formats?

Samantha: Yes, you can buy in print from Marching Ink or Amazon. (Links will be available December 5!)

Amie: How did you find the printer?

Samantha: I printed my hard copies through the company CreateSpace. I found it pretty simple, the formatting wasn’t too bad and the step-by-step process was easy to follow!

Amie: Tell me about the art work. who did the cover? And how much of a hand did you have in determining the final look?

Samantha: Scarlett Rugers designed my cover, and I love it! My first thought when I envisioned the cover was exactly how it ended up. Scarlett was excellent and made quick work of the process.

Amie: And now for the dreaded edits…who did your edits and how many reads did you have before you said, “it’s time.”?

Samantha: I do a lot of self-editing, and it helps that I do freelance editing and have a bit of boost in that area. But you can’t rely on only your eyes to catch errors. My assistant did editing for me and gave me some great tips, and my proofreader and college friend also gave it a few read-throughs. After they both had gone through it, I read it three more times before saying I could publish.

Amie: Tell me about your stumbling blocks, successes, and things you wished you’d done differently.

Samantha: A stumbling block I had in the process of writing was having two characters turn out to be completely different than how I had planned them. The characters were Dani and Allie, and when I had first plotted the story, I basically had their personalities flipped – Dani held the secret and Allie was the good one. As I was writing, they kept taking different twists and turns, and no matter how hard I tried to make Dani evil, it just didn’t work. It took some rewriting, but I am happy with the way they ended up!

A success that I had the second time around was knowing that giving myself goals would help me get the book written faster than my first. Monday-Friday I would write and give a goal such as 1,000 words or 5,000 words or finishing a certain scene. Weekends were bonus days, and I finished this book (even with the re-writing!) much quicker than with Destined to Fail.

I learned a lot from my first book to the second, such as having a marketing plan firmly in place before I get excited and hit publish.  

Amie: Now, tell us about your book.

The Green Ticket~*~*~*~ BLURB ~*~*~*~

College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.

While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself ­­–– is growing up.  Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.

~*~*~*~ EXCERPT ~*~*~*~

 Bustling salon and spa seeking a full time manager to oversee daily operations. Job duties will include but will not be limited to: hiring and scheduling staff, assisting with appointment management, scheduling training opportunities, dealing with cash flow, marketing and advertising of the business, and ensuring salon and spa is run with class and enthusiasm. No experience in salon and spa business is required, but a business degree is preferred. Serious, enthusiastic, and hard-working individuals please email resume and cover letter tolanidohlman@blissfulsalonandspa.com. Hours will vary, pay is negotiable and based on experience.

 

I cracked my knuckles against my palm, tiny pops of the bad habit music to my ears. A manager at a salon and spa? This job listing was practically screaming my name. I didn’t have any experience with managing a salon – or anywhere for that matter – but I loved getting my hair done. And mani/pedis. And my bushy eyebrows needed a good hot wax job at least once every thirty days.

I bookmarked the job listing, making a note to myself on my daily to-do list sitting next to my laptop. Polish resume,I scrawled, right after 60 minutes Pilates/yoga workout andfinish cleaning bathroom.

Lila burst through the door at that moment, her long blonde hair flying behind her. “We must work out tonight. Please come and motivate me. I’m getting my pictures taken in two weeks and I really need to drop some weight. And tone up. Look firm. Look good. The TV adds ten pounds you know. Did you get your assignment done yet for Bater’s class? I need to work on that ,too.” Even though Lila Medlin had been my best friend for years, the speed at which she does everything could still amaze me. I watched her beautiful virgin hair (she’s a natural blonde the bitch) barely make it past the doorframe before getting slammed.

“You’re in luck. I was going to do some Pilates and yoga tonight anyways. Just do it with me. That will help firm and tighten you. Even though you know I don’t think you need it.”

“When I fit into your size two jeans, I’ll finally start listening.” Lila walked into the kitchen, opening cabinets then the refrigerator. “We have no food! Want to order a pizza or something? Ooh, maybe some wings? I’m craving hot sauce.”

I walked into the kitchen behind her, peering into the depths of our pathetic excuse for a dorm fridge. “We have food. Here’s a bag of lettuce, some carrot sticks back here, and croutons in the cabinet. I snagged some packets of ranch from the lounge yesterday. Voila–– let’s make a salad!”

Lila pulled a face, reacting like I asked her to go on Survivor and eats cockroaches. “Uh, yeah, salad sounds great if I was trying to starve myself, Alex. I’m craving real food, not rabbit food.”

I held my hands up in surrender. “You’re the one talking about toning and firming up. I’m just saying a salad will give you better odds then buffalo wings.”

Lila had a dream to be an entertainment reporter, and was itching for the chance to get out of Dodge- or rather, Iowa. Lila and I had been best friends since we came to Kaufman College in Des Moines three years ago, and had been living together for two. We wanted to move out on our own and get a house, but neither of us had the financials to support that yet. Lila was saving every penny to put towards photography sessions, voice lessons, and even acting classes. Her big goal was to head out to Los Angeles and somehow land an audition for Buzzworthy, the hottest celebrity news show. I supported her goal of being a reporter, even though I had no idea how to help her achieve it.

My goals weren’t as specific as Lila’s. Mainly, I wanted to be able to stand on my own two feet and stop relying on my sister for everything. Alicia was my big sister, married to Craig Bowersworth and living with their five kids in Seattle. Craig’s job as a political campaign manager led them to many places, but Alicia fell in love with Seattle the minute she laid eyes on the rainy landscape, so they settled down there. Alicia was a stay at home mom, but with Craig’s income, they don’t need the extra money. Alicia helped me stay financially afloat by sending me money each month. I held down stray jobs here and there, but still hadn’t quite figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I was studying Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship at college, and was still waiting to see where the wind would blow me.

“Fine, fine, a salad it is. Can you whip one up for me quick? I need to put my face on before Joel comes over.”

“What time is he stopping by?”

“He said around five. He has some study group thing tonight so he wanted to drop by and see me before that.” Joel Lohrbach had been Lila’s boyfriend for just over year, starting when we were sophomores in college. Lila fell hard and fast for Joel, and the attraction still baffled me. Joel was short and geeky, with spiked black hair and big glasses that did not make a fashion statement, and always has his nose in a book. Lila was tall, blonde and gorgeous, with ambitions to live in sunny LA and schmooze with celebrities. Joel was not agreeable to Lila’s future plans. I had no idea what would happen if Lila actually made it in the entertainment biz. I wouldn’t mind seeing them breakup. I thought Joel was a dick to Lila more than a sweetheart. But she loved him.

“Okay, get your makeup on and we’ll eat some salad and change for the gym. And you can help me look at this job I’m thinking about applying for. Tell me if you get good vibes or not.” Lila always says she gets “vibes” about certain things, such as if the elective I want to sign up for will be a brain buster or if the new Chinese restaurant in town has bugs in their food. And she’s usually pretty spot on.

“No problem. Are you thinking about leaving Tastie’s again?” Lila’s voice was muffled as she shouted out from the bathroom.

I put a healthy portion of lettuce in two plastic cereal bowls, quickly diced up the carrots and sprinkled those in, and shook the worn bag of croutons over the top. After smothering  the salads with ranch dressing, officially taking them from a healthy snack to a questionable one with the rich, calorie-laden topping, I was satisfied. Finding two clean forks in our utensil drawer was somewhat of a challenge, since neither of us were big on washing dishes, and I took a seat at our two-person table shoved in the back corner of our minuscule kitchen.

“Did you hear me? Are you thinking about leaving Tastie’s?” Lila came back into the kitchen, her face glowing and her blue eyes popping, even though she looked like she had no makeup on. I had yet to master the natural look like she could–– wearing two tons of concealer, highlighter, blush, shadow, liner, and mascara, and looking like she had just woken up. Mine always ends up looking like clown makeup when I try.

I dug into my salad, loading up my fork with lettuce and a crouton. “Yeah, just thinking about it, though. I’m getting tired of all my Friday and Saturday nights getting spent with sleazy guys. But the money is really helping me build up my savings account. I can’t live off Alicia forever.”

“I know, but look how good you’re doing saving money. You won’t be a waitress forever.”

“I wish I knew what I did want to be. How hard is it to figure out a career, especially as a junior in college? Shouldn’t I have this down already so I can stop taking all these electives?”

“Some people need more time. You’ll figure it out. If you don’t by the time I hit the high road out of this state, just come to LA with me. You could probably find a job out there in a heartbeat.”

“As what?”

“A model! An actress! I could get all the exclusive scoops on which designer you’re wearing and who you’re making a sex tape with next, and we could rule the world out there.”

“Lila, I won’t be making sex tapes with anyone in the foreseeable future. And the unforeseeable future, you perv.” I dug out the last crouton from the bottom of the bowl, crunching it between my teeth. “Besides, that lifestyle just isn’t for me. I don’t like being the center of attention. I would rather be behind the scenes.”

Amie: Where did the story idea come from/how did it come about?

Samantha: I actually became fascinated a few years back with the money versus morals topic when I watched a young girl marry an older man (we are talking a 50 year age difference) and be fine that people knew she married him for money. Well, fascinated and quite disturbed I should say! That gave me the spark to write THE GREEN TICKET and even though the plot is entirely different, the concept is still there.

Amie: One thing you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book.

Samantha: That making the right decisions can be tough, but worth it in the end.

Amie: Who was your favorite character?

Samantha: I really loved Emma in this book, and I actually hope to write another from her POV.

Amie: That would be fantastic! And the most dreaded question of all—are you going to try your hand at self-publishing again?

Samantha: My books will be published through Marching Ink, yes :)

~*~*~*~ A Little More From Samantha March ~*~*~*~

My journey to being published was an interesting one. From the day that I decided I was really going to give this author thing a shot to the day I got published, a lot of changes were made. When I first starting taking my writing seriously, my plan was to write a stand-out book, query some agents, snag the best, and then find a successful publisher to make me a successful author. When I finished the first draft of my debut, Destined to Fail, the recession was hitting the US hard and a lot of things were starting to change in the publishing industry. When I was finally done with all the edits and rewrites for Destined, even more had changed. Self-publishing and eBooks were on their way to becoming the new norm, and traditional publishing was nearing the side of impossible. I didn’t know what to do. Continue my original plan of querying and hoping to find a publisher? Or take matters into my own hands and keep up with the changing times?

I decided I needed to at least give querying agents a shot. I will say that my heart was not into it, and I had pretty much decided I was going to publish on my own. But I wrote a query letter, researched agents, and sent three letters out. Three rejection letters later, I knew that I didn’t want to keep trying. My mind was made up even before I drafted that query letter.

With that decision, I also knew I wanted to take it a step further. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I created my own publishing company, Marching Ink, and my debut novel Destined to Fail was published in October 2010. In August 2012, Marching Ink releasedBreaking the Rulesthe debut novel from Canadian author Cat Lavoie. And now in December 2012, my second women’s fiction novel The Green Ticket will be released by Marching Ink. I never thought my publishing journey would include building my own business, but I am extremely happy, grateful, and thrilled for the path I embarked on.

Samantha March~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

http://www.samanthamarch.com/

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Many thanks to Samantha for sharing her experience and The Green Ticket with us today! If you have a chance to check it out, be sure to–it’s a fabulous book!

The Green Ticket by Samantha March ~ A Review & More

The Green TicketCollege junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.

While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself – is is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.

~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~

Samantha has done it again! Okay, so it’s no secret that I adore Samantha March  on many levels, but here it  is again: a fabulous novel for  young adults about real people, with real problems, in real situations. Samantha expertly takes her sympathetic characters and puts them in situations which are challenging and true to their age and experience yet not so gritty that I feel like I should wash my hands after reading a chapter.

Alex is a college junior who falls into the dream job that may just be the  answer to her “what do  I want to be when I grow up?” Except…it  doesn’t come without costs. Will it be possible to keep up with the  demands of her job and school morphs into moral issues concerning the couple who owns the business.

I love how Samantha takes these fabulous young women in her books and puts them in situations that pulls and challenges them to the point that (although they don’t always make the right decisions) they learn and grow as do the  others around them.

The market for “young grown-ups”  is difficult water to navigate…Samantha March has it down to an art!

~*~*~*~ An Excerpt ~*~*~*~

Chapter 1

Bustling salon and spa seeking a full time manager to oversee daily operations. Job duties will include but will not be limited to: hiring and scheduling staff, assisting with appointment management, scheduling training opportunities, dealing with cash flow, marketing and advertising of the business, and ensuring salon and spa is run with class and enthusiasm. No experience in salon and spa business is required, but a business degree is preferred. Serious, enthusiastic, and hard-working individuals please email resume and cover letter to lanidohlman@blissfulsalonandspa.com. Hours will vary, pay is negotiable and based on experience.

 

I cracked my knuckles against my palm, tiny pops of the bad habit music to my ears. A manager at a salon and spa? This job listing was practically screaming my name. I didn’t have any experience with managing a salon – or anywhere for that matter – but I loved getting my hair done. And mani/pedis. And my bushy eyebrows needed a good hot wax job at least once every thirty days.

                I bookmarked the job listing, making a note to myself on my daily to-do list sitting next to my laptop. Polish resume, I scrawled, right after 60 minutes Pilates/yoga workout and finish cleaning bathroom.

                Lila burst through the door at that moment, her long blonde hair flying behind her. “We must work out tonight. Please come and motivate me. I’m getting my pictures taken in two weeks and I really need to drop some weight. And tone up. Look firm. Look good. The TV adds ten pounds you know. Did you get your assignment done yet for Bater’s class? I need to work on that ,too.” Even though Lila Medlin had been my best friend for years, the speed at which she does everything could still amaze me. I watched her beautiful virgin hair (she’s a natural blonde the bitch) barely make it past the doorframe before getting slammed.

                “You’re in luck. I was going to do some Pilates and yoga tonight anyways. Just do it with me. That will help firm and tighten you. Even though you know I don’t think you need it.”

                “When I fit into your size two jeans, I’ll finally start listening.” Lila walked into the kitchen, opening cabinets then the refrigerator. “We have no food! Want to order a pizza or something? Ooh, maybe some wings? I’m craving hot sauce.”

                I walked into the kitchen behind her, peering into the depths of our pathetic excuse for a dorm fridge. “We have food. Here’s a bag of lettuce, some carrot sticks back here, and croutons in the cabinet. I snagged some packets of ranch from the lounge yesterday. Voila–– let’s make a salad!”

                Lila pulled a face, reacting like I asked her to go on Survivor and eats cockroaches. “Uh, yeah, salad sounds great if I was trying to starve myself, Alex. I’m craving real food, not rabbit food.”

                I held my hands up in surrender. “You’re the one talking about toning and firming up. I’m just saying a salad will give you better odds then buffalo wings.”

                Lila had a dream to be an entertainment reporter, and was itching for the chance to get out of Dodge- or rather, Iowa. Lila and I had been best friends since we came to Kaufman College in Des Moines three years ago, and had been living together for two. We wanted to move out on our own and get a house, but neither of us had the financials to support that yet. Lila was saving every penny to put towards photography sessions, voice lessons, and even acting classes. Her big goal was to head out to Los Angeles and somehow land an audition for Buzzworthy, the hottest celebrity news show. I supported her goal of being a reporter, even though I had no idea how to help her achieve it.

                My goals weren’t as specific as Lila’s. Mainly, I wanted to be able to stand on my own two feet and stop relying on my sister for everything. Alicia was my big sister, married to Craig Bowersworth and living with their five kids in Seattle. Craig’s job as a political campaign manager led them to many places, but Alicia fell in love with Seattle the minute she laid eyes on the rainy landscape, so they settled down there. Alicia was a stay at home mom, but with Craig’s income, they don’t need the extra money. Alicia helped me stay financially afloat by sending me money each month. I held down stray jobs here and there, but still hadn’t quite figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I was studying Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship at college, and was still waiting to see where the wind would blow me.

                “Fine, fine, a salad it is. Can you whip one up for me quick? I need to put my face on before Joel comes over.”

                “What time is he stopping by?”

                “He said around five. He has some study group thing tonight so he wanted to drop by and see me before that.” Joel Lohrbach had been Lila’s boyfriend for just over year, starting when we were sophomores in college. Lila fell hard and fast for Joel, and the attraction still baffled me. Joel was short and geeky, with spiked black hair and big glasses that did not make a fashion statement, and always has his nose in a book. Lila was tall, blonde and gorgeous, with ambitions to live in sunny LA and schmooze with celebrities. Joel was not agreeable to Lila’s future plans. I had no idea what would happen if Lila actually made it in the entertainment biz. I wouldn’t mind seeing them breakup. I thought Joel was a dick to Lila more than a sweetheart. But she loved him.

                “Okay, get your makeup on and we’ll eat some salad and change for the gym. And you can help me look at this job I’m thinking about applying for. Tell me if you get good vibes or not.” Lila always says she gets “vibes” about certain things, such as if the elective I want to sign up for will be a brain buster or if the new Chinese restaurant in town has bugs in their food. And she’s usually pretty spot on.

                “No problem. Are you thinking about leaving Tastie’s again?” Lila’s voice was muffled as she shouted out from the bathroom.

                I put a healthy portion of lettuce in two plastic cereal bowls, quickly diced up the carrots and sprinkled those in, and shook the worn bag of croutons over the top. After smothering  the salads with ranch dressing, officially taking them from a healthy snack to a questionable one with the rich, calorie-laden topping, I was satisfied. Finding two clean forks in our utensil drawer was somewhat of a challenge, since neither of us were big on washing dishes, and I took a seat at our two-person table shoved in the back corner of our minuscule kitchen.

                “Did you hear me? Are you thinking about leaving Tastie’s?” Lila came back into the kitchen, her face glowing and her blue eyes popping, even though she looked like she had no makeup on. I had yet to master the natural look like she could–– wearing two tons of concealer, highlighter, blush, shadow, liner, and mascara, and looking like she had just woken up. Mine always ends up looking like clown makeup when I try.

                I dug into my salad, loading up my fork with lettuce and a crouton. “Yeah, just thinking about it, though. I’m getting tired of all my Friday and Saturday nights getting spent with sleazy guys. But the money is really helping me build up my savings account. I can’t live off Alicia forever.”

                “I know, but look how good you’re doing saving money. You won’t be a waitress forever.”

                “I wish I knew what I did want to be. How hard is it to figure out a career, especially as a junior in college? Shouldn’t I have this down already so I can stop taking all these electives?”

                “Some people need more time. You’ll figure it out. If you don’t by the time I hit the high road out of this state, just come to LA with me. You could probably find a job out there in a heartbeat.”

                “As what?”

                “A model! An actress! I could get all the exclusive scoops on which designer you’re wearing and who you’re making a sex tape with next, and we could rule the world out there.”

                “Lila, I won’t be making sex tapes with anyone in the foreseeable future. And the unforeseeable future, you perv.” I dug out the last crouton from the bottom of the bowl, crunching it between my teeth. “Besides, that lifestyle just isn’t for me. I don’t like being the center of attention. I would rather be behind the scenes.”

Samantha March~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

~*~*~*~ Connect with Samantha ~*~*~*~

http://www.samanthamarch.com/

Facebook

Twitter

GoodReads

~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~

Amazon: Print or eBook
Barnes and Noble: eBook

Kobo: eBook
Marching Ink: Print

http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/11/the-green-ticket-by-samantha-march.html

 

Debbie Dyke, Author of The Bloody Mary Club

I love having special guests on my blog., and today’s guest is no exception. She has a fabulous resume–screen writer turned novelist and expert (imho) on the  stock market. She’s here to talk about her book, The Bloody Mary Club and her adventures into  writing and publishing. Here’s a warm round of cyber applause for Debbie Dyke!

Thank you for inviting to post to your blog! I’m the author of The Bloody Mary Club, a financial thriller about an all women investment club that gets into trouble when their portfolio turns deadly.  I’m very passionate about the stock market and investments.  I’m also fascinated by the recent Ponzi schemes and financial scams that have been reported in the front page news. I’ve watched the bank meltdowns with great interest. As a former stockbroker, I’ve met a few embezzlers and worked with several bad brokers who’ve run away with client’s money.

My first venture into financial writing was “The Wall Street Calendar.”  I received a 365 day calendar for Christmas several years ago; it was called “money saving tips.” It was awful! Each day I’d cringe with the new tidbit of information. Example:  to save on toilet paper step on the roll. By flattening, you will save on paper use! At some point I said, “this is so bad, I could write a better one.” And sure enough, once I said that I had to go through with it.  I started working on a smart Wall Street Calendar which if you are paying attention put to good use at the beginning of each chapter of The Bloody Mary Club.  My Wall Street 365 day calendar caught the attention of the publisher of the most the most well regarded financial commentator at the time– Lou Rukeyser.

After I completed the calendar, I took a screenwriting class for fun and was hooked.The fun stopped once my scripts started to get attention.  When I was featured in Script Magazine, the editor, Shelly Mellott, liked my financial know-how so much she asked me to join her with the magazine as an owner. As you can tell, I’m an asset-focused gal, I put my money where my passion lies and became an owner. We were a great team. Script Magazine has since been sold to Final Draft.  It was the most fun ever!  I went to scriptwriting and film fests all over the United States. I met writers, producers, directors and agents. It opened doors for my writing and gave me amazing exposure. Over the years, I wrote five screen plays, several treatments, and articles for magazines. Two of my screenplays were option by HBO and an A list actress. I also collaborated with award winning director Uli Edel ( Baader Meinhof Complex, Tyson, Purgatory, Little Vampires) on a action movie called Closing In.

The best advice I received was from a top agent at CAA . He told me that if you wanted to be respected in Hollywood and control your work, you need to be novelist. Novelists are held in very high regard. Screenwriters are at the bottom of the barrel of the Hollywood pecking order and many aren’t even invited to their own opening night. I took his advice to heart. The Bloody Mary Club novel is based on my script.

I describe The Bloody Mary Club as a smart girl financial fiction. I won’t tell you how to get a man, buy fabulous heels or decorate a swanky condo, but I will use investing terms, mention stocks and weave a story about the ins and outs of a bank takeover.  Although it’s fiction, it has real world relevance.  I want to make the stock market and investing understandable and fun. I aim to increase the interest in Chick lit financial thrillers. In this era of bankruptcy’s, foreclosures and retirements in question, you need to know how to chart your own course. My characters in the investment club are women in their forties with no financial security and desperately rely on Gina Van Story to save them from a dead end retirement. All she demands is that the investment earrings stay put in the club until retirement age. This of course is a downer for them because Gina has all the toys and is about to enter the 1% club. They want to spend their club profits as soon they get them and Gina won’t allow it.  It’s the classic battle of the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have not’s’.

Ladies! This is your wake up call to take get your financial house in order. Don’t wait for a rich prince to come and save you! Here’s a passage from The Bloody Mary Club, Page 28 where my lead character Gina gives her ladies a wakeup call for being lazy about their finances:

“You’ve all grown up thinking you can’t handle this stuff and if you’re a good girl, some big strong man will come along and take care of it for you. Wake up. It’s not going to happen. Without this club, you’ll be greeters at Wal-Mart when you’re seventy,” Gina plucked a shrimp from her drink and jiggled it at Vivi. “Your legal secretary job isn’t secure.”

Vivi picked imaginary lint off her slinky top.

“What happens when your on-man-shop lawyer is thrown in jail for tax evasion? You’re pushing fifty, who’s going to hire a legal secretary who types on an electric typewriter and uses shorthand?”

Vivi pouted.

Gina moved onto Sarah busy snacking on peanuts: “And you can’t stretch your paycheck. You’re floating your bills. If mommy and daddy didn’t help out, you’d have no phone service, electricity or water. What are you going to do when they aren’t around? You think you’ll inherit their money? Statistics aren’t on your side. Mom and the General will need that money for their nursing home care. Your ex will get the last laugh as he skis down the slopes in Zermatt after having a wine and raclette meal paid for from his impenetrable trust fund.”

Sarah picked at her cuticles with one eye stuck in a half blink. “You forgot Joanie, she’s a mess”

After reading The Bloody Mary Club, I hope that the reader will realize that financial thrillers are fun to read and you might even learn something about the stock market. Through my story you will see that even the fat cats top get ripped off and that there are no get rich quick shortcuts.   In this era of self-directed IRA’s, everyone is responsible for their financial future and must make wise investment decisions. We all need to be savvy investors or else face a painful and dismal retirement. I make it clear through my characters that there are short cuts to make money or guarantees to double your return

I like it when readers tell me that they learned something from The Bloody Mary Club and that they also enjoyed the story. I’ve gotten a great response from readers that don’t normally follow the stock market or have an interest in anything concerning money. Readers have asked me to give them financial advice, to look over a proposed investment or even verify their trading strategies.  In this day and age with retirement up in the air, it’s gratifying to have this kind of positive response.  Through my writing, I want to make the stock market fun and understandable. I’m not looking to write the all encompassing story about Wall Street, I want to write about a tiny slice of Wall Street and stay within that framework.  My next novel, Gina’s Tonic, focuses on day trading and money laundering. There’s going to be offshore money maneuvers, a day-trader who’s forced to trade for profit or else die and nasty drug dealers trying to launder truckloads of money. For sure, the gin and tonics will flow on this novel!!

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my journey with you.  I hope you enjoy reading The Bloody Mary Club and come away with an appreciation of all things financial!  You can keep up with me by visiting my website:  www.DebbieDyke.com,

My blog;: http://debbiedykebooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook at: DebbieDykeBooks.

Cheers! Debbie Dyke, Author, The Bloody Mary Club.

Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. Readers if you want to know more about The Bloody Mary Club and Debbie Dyke, there’s an interview and review of The Bloody Mary Club at my review site, www.amiesreviews.wordpress.com

Samantha March

Publisher- Marching Ink

Book Reviewer/Freelance Editor

Blog Tour Coordinator

Author of Destined to Fail

ChickLitPlus.com

CLP Blog Tours

Twitter: @Chicklitplus

Facebook: Chicklitplus

I am in the process of switching servers for CLP and my email is connected to that. If you try to email me and get an undeliverable message, please try again at a later time. Thank you for your patience!

Five minutes after the close of the market, Gina was perched on the corner of her desk with her legs crossed tightly. Andrew sat before her in an armchair diverting his eyes away from her legs.

“Miss Van Story…”

“Call me Gina.” She drummed her fingers on her desk. “So Andrew, there are 1000 shares outstanding. Give me some numbers.”

“Six thousand dollars a share.”

Gina fixed her gaze on him and forced a straight face.

“I think that’s in the ballpark. At least third base if not a home run.” Andrew returned her gaze. “It’s a damn good offer…if I may say so myself.”

“It’s quite good,” Gina replied poker-faced.

Andrew gestured to the paperwork spread out on her desk. “Looks like you’re a busy lady. Why don’t you give me a list of the shareholders and I’d be happy to call them for you.”

“That’s not the way I do things.”

“I think your shareholders would be pleased to hear from me. Otherwise, I want you to inform them about our off er as soon as possible.” Andrew inched forward in his chair, “And lucky you, a sale could make you a lot of commission.”

“If you have anything in writing, you can leave it with me.” Gina sprung off the desk and struck out her hand. “I’ll look it over and make a decision.”

“I’m getting the feeling that you’re not taking me seri­ously.” Andrew dug into his briefcase and offered her an AU folder. “We’re committed to this deal.”

“Rest assured, Mr. Walsh, I take your proposal very seriously.” She set the package on the desk and turned her back on him.

“As the Beck Bank market maker, you have a fiduciary responsibility to present them with my offer.” Andrew cleared his throat then blasted, “And I expect you to do that.”

Gina spoke softly, barely above a whisper. “I know what my job is, Mr. Walsh. Maybe I should explain it to you. I match buyers and sellers.” She made two fists and smashed them together. “When someone wants to sell their shares, they call me and I go down my client waiting list and find who’s next in line to buy. I have a very long waiting list. Some clients have waited for years before they even get one share. I’m sure you’ve realized by now that that these shares are thinly traded, not a lot of them floating around. And here’s the most unusual thing, I don’t even get a commission on trades.” She went to the credenza and held up a bound report. “I keep the books. Balance out the shares. Handle all accounting. Again, I do all of this for free.”

Carol Caddo ~ In The Spotlight

Happy Thursday everybody. Only one more  day until Friday and I have something great to help pull you through. Are you ready? I’ve got Carol Caddo  here with me. She’s sharing some great insight as well as a peek between the covers of her new book Deja Vu of Love.

Hi Carol glad you could come in for an interview what motivated you to do this interview?

Hi to you as well glad you invited me, I love having the opportunity to reach out to readers who have enjoyed or are just discovering their passion for reading my passion writing.  I love writing great Chick Lit stories, with strong women and interesting pathos that offer a ton of options for character development.  The characters have a story they want to tell.  I try not to dictate their decisions.  I like characters who are just a bit flawed and everyone’s ideal best friend warts and all.

What is your personal motto?

You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.  My dad taught me that and truer words were never spoken.  So get rid of it and start a fresh batch but don’t waste an entire day trying to turn it into soup.

How do you feed your muse?

I garden and play the, what if game, which is how all my stories start something will grab my attention in life for instance the book I am starting.  The story concept came from a brief video clip I saw, so then I go hmmm what if… and then it starts.  Once that process starts there is no stopping no rest for the brain it just pounds me until I ferret it all out.  Then I can relax and start the writing process which at that point is like hitting the print button on a computer.

How do you develop your characters?

I write dialog and monologues for them in a journal sort of like the confession cams on realty television.  I let the characters talk about how they really feel about something either alone or in conversation with one or more of the other characters.

What has been the most significant book you’ve read in your life?

Well you know I am a fiction writer and reader so I do not read substance nor do I write it.  I write fun, interesting books with great characters and interesting dynamics between the characters.  I think that if you say significant in terms of impact on me it is A Tree Grows in BrooklynThat was the first time I feel in love with writing, I enjoyed the story too, but the writing rocked me.  I think I was about 8th grade.

Tell me a little more about Deja Vue of Love.

I am very excited about the book and the characters, I care for them all deeply, after all this is the first book I ever wrote.  So to say I am attached to these guys is an understatement.  The book is on sale for 1.99  on Kindle, but there will be several free days to download the book. If you want to be notified go to my Facebook page and like Carol Cadoo’s Bookstore. The free dates will be listed here.

How do you develop your characters and how do you decide who stays and who goes in a story?

Gosh that was a great question, um well first of all I write fiction so none of my characters are real, but I will say that I use life as a muse.  What I mean by that is I might see a character flaw in someone at the grocery store.  So I would use that flaw maybe not the same sex character as the muse in my head.  I may change the location and reinterpret the characters pathos related to that character flaw.  Of course to me naming the characters is a very personal process and I create the character and then name them.  If that makes any sense to you, hope I am not too wordy.  Wow, I know I am being too wordy but quickly just want to say as far as who goes and who stays that sort of happens organically.  I never push my attitude or opinion on the storyline development I allow it to present itself.

I noticed a lot of people are talking about your hero Gianni Payne in Deja Vue of Love, he is really sexy.

Oh yeah he is my ideal sexy.  Gianni is a combination of every man who I have felt that heart pounding, wave in your ears kind of attraction.  He is indeed my dream man.  I hope he is a lot of women’s dream man.  We all have a need for that responsible bad boy in our lives.  The cool thing with Deja Vue of Love is you can enjoy the bad boy and not have to go through two years of break up recovery.

How did you get started writing?

Well actually when I wrote Deja Vue of Love I worked as a waitress at Skippers in Cayucos for Mr. Ted and Ms. Sylvia my dream bosses.  I took a work shop on writing as I always wanted to try my hand at a book.  My writing partner of 25 years Danny Waller and I wrote romantic comedies in screenplay form he did all the narrative and storyline, I did character development and dialogue.   I really wanted to write a book.  So I bought 12 yellow legal pads and a package of Bic pens and started writing Deja Vue of Love I think around 1995 before cell phones, computers, Facebook and the internet.  So I had to go in and update.

Do you have any other books?

I have a second book called Inheritance of Love and then the third book in the Nightstand Love Trio is on the boards but Journey to Loveonly drafted it is about half written.  I believe Journey of Love will be available right around the Valentine’s Day holiday and Inheritance of Love will be available for Christmas Holiday so keep your eyes posted for it.

What was your day job?

Well as most artists I have been in a variety of professions.  I have worked as an actress, director, choreographer, wedding planner and waitress.  Not to mention a plethora of other short lived careers.  I spent the last ten years working as a wedding planner which was a huge research project for human nature.

What advice do you have for people who would like to write a book?

Write it.

Yes but what can they do to get it started?

Start writing

No other pearls of wisdom on that subject?

There is no better advice than start writing.  Every great journey starts with the first step; every great story starts with the first keystroke.  Talking about it, thinking about it, researching it all of that is well and good but you have to write it.  If you don’t get that started nothing else matters.  There’s no book without writing.

Do you feel there is a difference between self-published and corporately published books?

Sure yes I totally think self- publishing is the way to go until you get to Diva Danielle Steel level.  It is an opportunity to get your craft out there.  It does not matter if you have fifty books written if no one reads them what good is the gift of writing.  So I love self- publishing in addition it allows you to stay on the front lines of your marketing and research area. Plus you are communicating and reaching out to your readers without all the red tape.

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your writing career?

Balancing a personal relationship with the book writing process and a writer’s personality.  The book won.  (Carol is laughing)

Okay here is an easy one what do you watch on Television?

Oh man I love Monk love, l love, love, love it, I am an addict fan of Project Runway,  enjoy Top Chef, Next Food Network, Chopped, Cupcake Wars and the true crime shows.  I spend a lot of time listening  to TCM while I am writing I like to have old film Noir on it relaxes me.

Do you watch movies?

I watch Film Noir movies some of my favs DOA, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and Double Indemnity

Do you still live in Cayucos?

No not anymore I lived in Cayucos raising my oldest son Zach it was a wonderful decade of my life.  But it is bone chilling cold up on the Central Coast and after I broke my kneecap.  Great story bad reality, I couldn’t take the damp cold.  Now I live out in the desert and love it.  The sunsets are incredible and the mornings are little gifts from God.

What is the first thing you remember writing?

In the sixth grade I wrote a book called Wilbur the Waterlogged Wagendorf and my teacher wrote Carol this is really good you might consider a future as a writer.  Her name was Mrs. Alan and she was the first one besides my mother who ever read my stuff.  I was on cloud nine for days, kept the paper in my nightstand drawer for years.

Who do you live with?

Well I have one son who is seventeen still at home his name is Garette and my oldest son Zachary is living in Tulsa on his own.  I also have my two baby dogs a Giant Schnauzer and her name is Hazel and my spoiled little boy who is part golden retriever and part lab his name is Harry and he is precious.  I have a great life my house is always full of what I call rotating visitors.  Musicians and other artist who swing through California for business stay on my acre and assist in repairs, landscaping etc. in lieu of rent.  It’s a great way to live Simi communally.

Do you have any interesting writing eccentricities?

Well I am not sure how you define eccentricities but I do believe that the character just uses me to channel their story.  In other words when I am done with a writing session, when I reread it is like reading for the first time as I have no memory of the writing.  Let me clarify I don’t go into a fugue state but it is rather out of body kind of experience.

What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

 My very first love of books came from my best friends growing up.  Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden both girl detective series.  I had every one of those books and use to like to line them up numerically and just look at how many I had.  I still have my favorite six Nancy Drew books on my nightstand, I use them when I am in the middle of a book and can’t sleep.  As I don’t read other books when I am writing I love those books, some of them still have stains on the pages from long ago Oreo cookie and orange section binges. I had as a kid reading.  Still my favorite reading snack, but I would have to say my mom always encouraged me to write. From about the fourth grade she knew I had a gift and really fostered that gift with support of my efforts.  She was also my first proofer and editor.

 Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Well I love to grow Sunflowers, lavender and roses.  I also have two children and two dogs I adore.  I am a homebody who lives in the middle of nowhere so my recreation time is spent decorating my dream home Casa de Flores Too and landscaping my acre of heaven.  I also am a television junky and a Project Runway devotee.

How can readers connect with you online?

I would love readers to connect with me online.  After all I write so they will read me. I so want to know what they think, here are my vitals

carolcadoobookstore@gmail.com

Twitter carolcadoo@carolcadoo or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CarolCadoo

The only thing I ask is not to send me any story ideas, I don’t use outside story ideas and I am of the mindset that ideas like air go out in the universe and people breath them in.  That is why sometimes when you have never thought of something in your life and then you do.  Suddenly you start seeing and hearing about the idea all over the place.  So other than story line and character development I am open to any and all correspondence from people who like or have another opinion on my books.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I learned how important it is to get the right Posse surrounding you.  So many things require expertise that as a writer I am sorry to say I don’t possess.  Oh sure could I do it, if I had to yeah but then I would have complaints from consumers on the quality.  There are many examples of the need for a strong, fearless Posse to bring me out of the creative zone and into the business zone cause in this business you have to own balance or buy it.  If you have to buy it you need it to be compatible with your creative process, yet be able to work independently of that creativity to get the job done.

Have you ever hated what you have done and if so what did you do about it?

You know the hardest thing to admit is when something just really sucks on the reread.  Especially when you work and work and work the passage, line, scene or whatever it is.  I use to work it until my mind was numb, as I didn’t want to give up on it.  But I have since learned you have to let it go.  You can’t force it so now I am ruthless.  As far as what I do about it I cut it, immediately.

Have you ever experienced writers block?

Does not exist, that whole thing is bunk to me, writers block is just a nice way to say you have not done your homework.  You know a book is written when the time is right.  For instance I write the entire book in my head as I am weeding the garden, cooking dinner, cleaning house.  Then when my mind is ready I sit down and write the story my mind has already written.  I just do the physical labor of inputting, at the time of the original draft. It generally takes me about 10 days to write a book, that is the first draft.  As soon as the draft is over I have a group of trusted readers who take that bad boy apart page by page.  They send me a report of all the plot line issues, character issues, dialog issues and timeline stuff like that.  I usually read the notes and continue on with my life or draft another book.  Then after a time a reread the draft make the changes fix the holes my readers have found and then bingo we have a book.

 Do you have any strange writing habits and what do you eat when you write?

You know I don’t think I have any quirky writing rituals.  I can’t write in a quiet space but that is because I started writing with kids.  So now I just turn on Law and Order reruns and get to writing.  As far as food come to think about it I do prefer cold Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pepsi and Jalapeno Almonds when I am writing.  I like coffee too, but I forget I have the water boiling because I get so into the write.  I use a French Press because I like fresh coffee each time so the water always boils out.

So, what have you learned over the course of your writing career NOT to do?

Boy you got that right, man I have learned not to use the return or enter key on my manuscripts.  I am laughing as I think of my format guy and the first time he saw my manuscript.  I also learned that you can’t be afraid to break the whole book apart and restructure it.  That was an important moment in my writing.  I have learned to find out my flaws for instance for me the words just, and, but and had are crutch words for me.  Also I tend to over use by a lot my ly adjective words.  That and you really can’t give up if you believe in yourself do it. Who cares if it is a best seller write the book and they will read.

Carol Cadoo was voted most likely to………

Get this booked published. I never give up.  Somebody told me once my biggest problem is I don’t know how to quit.  I think they were telling the truth.  You never get anywhere quitting, you might have to change the route but just keep pushing forward.

Now let’s talk about the love scenes?

Hold on I have one thing to say about that otherwise I let my readers imagination to do the work.  You don’t have to commit murder to write a mystery.

What would you change in your life or career to date?

You know you can’t unscramble an egg so …I don’t think I would change a thing cause if you alter the Universe by just a little everything goes south.  Everything comes in the time and space it is meant to be in.   I have had this incredible Forrest Gumpesque life and wow you start trying to control things and the Universe will kick your ass. Yeah I wouldn’t want to change a thing …nope not a thing.

 Would you change the future if you could?

Holy Cow I don’t think so but then again I don’t know kind of spooky to think about.  Would that alter the past wow I don’t know maybe I will write a book? (Laughing)

Carol, I’m amazed at all the things we have in common! Now give us that sneak-peek at Deja Vu of Love.

~*~*~*~ The Excerpt ~*~*~*~

It just couldn’t be, no way, things like this don’t happen in real life… yet there he stood. Stunning, arrogant, ok ay Jazz Kelly had to admit it sexy as all get out.. Have you ever had that feeling you’ve experienced something before a smile, a sigh, a touch a look… Oh my god the look, when Jazz Kelly saw “the look” she almost collapsed. That’s when Jazz knew, this was Déjà Vu of Love.

Jazz tried to pull herself together in the middle of the hotel lobby, last time she had contact with Mr. Gianni Payne he tried to destroy her life he almost succeeded.  He didn’t but only because Jazz was stronger than he or anyone else thought.

She had survived… no beyond that she had thrived.  A successful production company, endorsements with major linen and home wares companies.  She had lunch with Mick Jagger dog gone it.  Jazz was not going to get sucked into that pretend relationship again.  Oh  no she would not go.  Gianni Payne could go to the devil and take his girl Friday Alicia with him.

Jazz was an important successful business woman and she would not be tricked by the passion that was already rising in her.  How could she be so attracted to a person who with the exception of one gift had added nothing but pain.  Oh well at the end of the day Jazz had to admit the price of the ticket was worth the ride.  Now only one question remained was she going to get on the ride or walk.

****

Across the Lobby Gianni Payne was reeling from the shock of seeing Jazz Kelly again.  He thought he was over her years ago.  His almost middle aged ego did not need another go round with that vixen.  Even as he thought the word he could not help but smile.  Jazz Kelly was his kind of woman that was for sure. The biggest problem was she had made it very clear to Gianni he was not her kind of man.  Besides Alicia would kill him if he got that nightmare going again.  It had taken him months if not years to bounce back from that hurt.  Nope, he boarded the elevator I can’t go there again.

****

Alicia, Gianni Payne’s assistant had watched everything from the café just of the lobby o the four star hotel.  Enjoying her tea she had practically spit the delicious concoction when she spotted the stunning auburn haired beauty strolling through the lobby.  At first Alicia was in complete denial, no way, no way.  I thought I took care of  her  8 years ago.  Oh this is not good if Gianni sees her it is all over.  Alicia would never be able to keep them apart again; this was not good Alicia needed to think.

****

Jazz Kelly watched Gianni Payne board the elevator, oh clearly he had seen Jazz he chose to ignore her.  Fine two could play the ignore game; she was not here to see Gianni Payne anyway.  Jazz was in Zurich to work, she had Chalet to design and a party to go to.  She was Jazz Kelly of Trading Casa’s a hit television show now.  Not a little Client Service Manager.  She was no longer a girl she was a woman.

~*~*~*~  Deja Vu of Love The Trailer ~*~*~*~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pYf3FkMZ4k

 Sights and Sounds of Deja Vu of Love Book Trailer

 ~*~*~* Buy The Book ~*~*~*~

http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-of-Love-ebook/dp/B008FK66J6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341688023&sr=1-1&keywords=carol+cadoo

~*~*~* ~ Connect with Carol ~*~*~*~

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/CarolCadoo

Twitter @CarolCadoo

Thanks, Carol, for stopping in and allowing me to be a part of your blog tour. Best of  luck with your book! And thanks, readers, for checking in!

Lots of <3–Amie

Jannine Corti-Petska ~ Today’s Special Guest

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I heart my job! In the past two years I have met some fabulous writers, editors, and agents and it just keeps getting better. What I love the most, these fantastic people want to come visit my blog and share their stories, inspirations, and wonderful books with me. Yeah, this is the life.

Today is no exception. Today I have fellow Wild Rose Press author Jannine Corti-Petska here. She graciously allowed me to grill her…er, interview her about writing in general and her latest two books.

Jannine, as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your current career?

I went from a child’s cowgirl dream and owning a horse to a teenage dream of racing cars to a high school dream of speaking 5 languages and becoming an international interpreter. Since none became a reality (I was working on the languages), I turned to what I did most: reading and writing.

In my late twenties, I realized I wanted to try my hand at writing historical romances and  discovered I actually had a talent for weaving intricate tales. But those childhood dreams were not lost. With the exception of racing cars, I’ve used the other two in my stories set in the 19th century American West and in the medieval period.

That’s one of the best things about being a writer, you get to be someone else–if only for a little while. How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing?

I was fortunate to be raised in an Old World environment. While it did have its drawbacks, it also provided me with a way of life that most American children never experienced. Having Italian parents whose first language wasn’t English helped shape my love for and eagerness to learn several languages.

My mom read a lot, though mostly stories in magazines. I began reading very early and my interest in the written word blossomed from there. In my Italian medievals, I capture the essence of the Italian culture I know so well. As I grew up in Los Angeles County, near Hollywood, my father loved watching westerns on TV. I’m not sure how much of it he understood, but those shows shaped my interest in the American West. And the larger-than-life cowboy hero. He just seemed so romantic and courageous. 

I totally agree. Love the cowboys! How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

For Dante’s Flame, I used a surname for the hero that, for some reason, I love—Santangelo. This is book 3 of my Italian medieval series. The hero in book 1 read Dante’s works, and I knew I wanted to use the name in one of my stories.

For Mine to Keep, written for The Wild Rose Press’ “Love Letters” short stories line,  the idea came about when the story unfolded in my mind. Of course, keep was a symbol of the medieval era and the castle used in the story. And mine had to do with the hero and heroine wanting to spend the rest of their lives together even though at the beginning, their marriage served only one purpose—to gain an inheritance. Also, the hero fought for and almost lost his life over holding on to the woman he loved.

Can you say romantic? <wink> Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?

I have, although mostly, I go with a modern theme in many of my books: physical abuse, alcoholism, family conflict, the mafia, and so on. I give these themes a historical twist.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Other than writing sex scenes, the challenge for me is discipline.  Thirty years ago I could write anywhere, anytime, under any kind of circumstances. Today, a fly on the wall distracts me! And my memory has gotten so bad that I find it difficult to keep facts straight. Confusion and disorganization cause me hours and days of frustration. Now I have to make a lot of notes, notes on those notes, more notes and….well, you get the picture. Then I have to remember which of those 1000 pages (exaggeration) of notes I wrote certain details I may need. I get excited if I can recall a fact or two! It’s not pretty, lol. So I suppose sustaining a story gives me the most problems these days. My mind is not growing old gracefully. Clutter is its enemy.

I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one. So, how did you deal with rejection letters?

Not well, at first. I was devastated every time I opened a rejection letter (sent snail mail). There was a system to my disappointment. My first reaction was my heart dropping to my stomach. On the heels of that, I’d get angry, thinking the editor or agent didn’t know what she was talking about. Surely my work was as good as authors who are published. I’d stew for a day, then I’d get energized and dive back into writing.  Rejection is terribly difficult to take when your being judged on something so personal as writing. In my mind, rejecting my work meant rejecting me.

I was most frustrated that my rejections weren’t horrible. Normally it wasn’t a don’t-quit-your-day-job letter. There was some quality of my writing editors and agents liked. One of my biggest problems was trying to sell Italian-set medievals in the late 90s and early 2000. In that sense, I had felt as if my heritage was rejected as well. I’ve since grown an extremely thick skin.

My friends used to joke that I got the best rejection letters. To me it didn’t matter, it was still a rejection. Next question, what tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Must-have tangible tools would be pad and pen (or pencil). When I began writing, I used this method as computers weren’t really on the scene, and those that were had a huge price tag. But an endless supply of pad and pen, I think, I essential. Computers are great, but when they go bad, you can lose all your work. You don’t have to back up your pad and pen.

A non-tangible tool would be keeping an open mind. Tunnel vision gives an author one, very tiny piece of the story. With an open mind, creativity really has an outlet to expand, making story possibilities endless. There are no boundaries to what a writer can achieve. Although there is a “formula” to writing romances, it’s what you create within that “formula” that makes or breaks a story. An open minded approach to writing will take your story from one dimensional to full and satisfying.

Again, glad to know I’m not the only one. I was writing notes long hand today. Sometimes the ideas just flow better that way.

Jannine, thanks for coming by. But visitors, don’t leave yet, the best is coming up. Keep reading for a look at Jannine’s latest releases…

 

-♦-♦-♦-♦-♦- Dante’s Flame  -♦-♦-♦-♦-♦-

Book 3 of the Italian medieval series 

Alessandra Podesta writes illicit tales unsuitable for a young lady. Exasperated, her father sends her to visit relatives in Naples to curb her wild imagination. But in her undying need for adventure, she toys with the affections of her tutor and is forced to marry him. When she unknowingly falls into a dangerous game of supremacy between two countries, she trusts the wrong people and endangers her life.

French tutor Dante Santangelo is secretly aiding the French in maintaining their rule over Naples. When he is manipulated into marrying the visiting cousin of the Valente Family, he seizes upon the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the family, who are under suspicion of helping the Spanish. When Alessandra’s life is in jeopardy Dante must choose between love and duty. Will he offer up his life to save Alessandra? Or remain duty-bound to the French?

Buy It Now:

The Wild Rose Press

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=845&zenid=ed2d7fc911aa2625089e24c300fa3313

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1612173136/ref=sr_1_1?p=S01R&keywords=Dante%27s+Flame&ie=UTF8&qid=1341441653#reader_1612173136

 -♦-♦-♦-♦-♦- MINE TO KEEP  -♦-♦-♦-♦-♦-

  ~ Blurb ~

Lady Elizabella Aldrich receives notice of an inheritance in Padua, Italy. Arriving from England, she discovers another heir lays claim to the castle. An unreasonably handsome Italian rogue stands between her and the castle she’s inherited.

Leonardo Da Mitri never met the noble who included him in his will. But after one look at Lady Eliza he relishes the challenge of defeating the beauty to make the castle his own.

Astonished to learn they must wed and remain married for a year, it soon becomes apparent someone does not want the nuptials to take place. As Eliza fights her growing desire for Leo, he fights for his life. Will he walk away from his inheritance—and Eliza? Or is he willing to risk everything to stay married to the woman who has claimed his heart as hers… to keep?

 ~EXCERPT ~

Elizabella and Leonardo haven’t been married long. Neither have they consummated their

marriage. In this scene, they both slipped on wet stone in the castle’s great room, and Leo traps her to the floor.

“Think you my brother will stand idle when I tell him how horrible you have treated me? You are rude and ill-mannered.”

“So I am.” Leo feigned boredom. Her observation of his character didn’t offend him. She was unapprised about Italian society…and Italian men.

“From the moment we met, you acted as if I am not fit to be in your company. So be it. I am not a noble, so I need not behave like the rigid men

in your society. And since I am not compatible in your eyes, then I shall do what I should have done last night.”

“You would not dare!”

He lifted his mouth into a non-committal smile.

“Oh! Let me up at once!”

“It appears milady must be taught manners as well.” Leo crushed her lips beneath his. He ran his hand down her waist and hip caring not that his

caresses were rough, groping. Her protests died in an instant. When he pushed her tunic up to her shoulders, he was surprised to find her naked beneath the expensive garment. He tore away to lave his tongue across her breast, taunting her nipple. Her deep, unfettered moan seeped into his heart. Last night had been merely a prelude to the ecstasy awaiting him with his feisty wife.

Leo recaptured her mouth and shed any misgivings about consummating their marriage. Even though theirs was more illusory than real, he should have sunk into her and be damned his righteous conscience. He desired Eliza like no other.

He broke off the kiss and gazed at her, from the red, irritated skin around her parted lips to her eyelashes shadowed high upon her cheeks. Resisting her was impossible, from the way her body moved, like a sultry feline, to her soft sounds of pleasure.

“Eliza.” Her name echoed in his head. “Do you want me? Truthfully, do you desire me?”

When her lashes fluttered upward, her eyes beheld a desirous sheen. Leo’s heart skipped a beat while his manhood surged upward in anticipation. Pray she didn’t reject him, for he’d not walk away a second time. Hope kindled the jagged pounding of his heart, even when her features lost their passionate glow.

“If I said no, would you leave me be?”

Buy It Now

The Wild Rose Press

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=4938

What a great excerpt! Thank you, Jannine! I’m sure everyone is adding this to their TBR list. I know I am!  Thanks for sharing your books with us and thank you, readers, for stopping by! Ciao–Amie

A Year to Remember by Shelly Bell ~ A Review & More

♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book! ♥♥♥♥♥               

When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year.  After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend, Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool. Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps toward recovery from her addiction to food.

~*~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~*~

This is a really long post, so  I’ll keep my review short and sweet. READ THIS BOOK.  But seriously, A Year to Remember is laugh out loud funny, and I was sad to see it end. The kind of book that you want to thumb back through even though you just read the last page. The kind of book with characters you wish you could be friends with. Even better, the ending is *good*, and Sara ends up with the right man for her.  You can’t always say that about chicklit. And y’all know I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Okay, I demand it on a regular basis. There’s no one more deserving of a happy ending than Sara. She’s funny, a good friend, and an all around decent person. That’s not to say that she’s perfect, but isn’t it our imperfections that make us funny, I mean, human. And for Sara, the year is about more than just finding the perfect man. It’s a year of hard self discoveries. As painful as that may be, I wish us all to have A Year to Remember!

~*~*~*~*~ An Excerpt From A Year To Remember ~*~*~*~*~

“Today, I turned twenty-nine and I wonder if I’ll ever meet my own beshert. Did we already meet and fail to recognize we belonged together? Did I lose my chance already?”

I stopped and pondered my own profound musings for a moment, before remembering I still held the microphone. Oh dear, what was I saying? I decided I better wrap it up, since the room started spinning.

“I’m jealous of my brother.” Crap, did that really just come out of my mouth?

“I mean, I’m not jealous just because my younger brother got married before me and I’m twenty-nine with no possible prospects in sight,” I stammered.

The audience giggled, and I wondered if they believed me, because I sure didn’t.

“I’m happy for my brother, because if he can find his beshert, it gives me hope that someday, I will, too.”

Before I could stop myself, the words I would live to regret flew out of my mouth. “Even without a significant man in my life at the moment, I promise you by the time I turn thirty, I will be married.”

Oh my God, did I really just say that? “With that, I’ll end by saying Mazel Tov, Seth and Emily. L’chayim!” I held up my empty glass of champagne.

Everyone clapped as I returned to my table. I hoped the videographer could edit my speech out of the wedding video, or ’I’d never live it down. My brother would play it at every holiday just to torture me.

Missy gave me a sympathetic smile. “That was a great speech until you blew it by admitting you were jealous and swore to marry by your thirtieth birthday.”

I groaned and put my head in my hands, terrified to think the night just started.

~*~*~*~*~ Let’s Hear From Shelly ~*~*~*~*~

Where did the story idea come from/how did it come about? 

I was working on another book when the idea for A Year to Remember downloaded in my head as my family and I drove to the movie theater. That’s literally what happened; The scenes, main character names, and even the title, came to me all at once like a downloaded movie. I skipped the film I was supposed to see and wrote the outline in the lobby. Three months later, I had a completed manuscript.

When I was turning thirty, I decided I needed to do anything and everything to find a husband. I used to say my dates were so bad, I should write a book about them. Eight years later I did.

One thing you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book.  

I’m hoping they’ll walk away with the knowledge that weight can be a symptom of food addiction and it’s not always about lack of willpower.

Why did you choose your genre? 

I love reading Chick Lit, especially books by Jennifer Weiner and Jane Green (I apologize to them if they feel that classifying them as Chick Lit authors demeans them. That’s not my intention.) To me, it’s the most personal way for readers to identify with the protagonist. I wanted my readers to know what goes on in a food addict’s mind.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing? 

Finding the time is difficult for me. I’m a full-time attorney and I have two elementary aged children, so I’m often writing at the table while my kids do their homework. I gave up television in order to write.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?   

Join a writer’s organization like Romance Writers of America. There is such a wealth of information to be found from peers. It’s not only about the writing these days. Authors are expected to know about the publishing industry and how to market themselves. Savvy Authors is another great resource to learn about the industry and it offers excellent workshops. Most importantly, don’t give up!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?  

There are some days when the words don’t flow. On those days, I don’t write. I’ll edit or research. I take a step back and wait for it. Usually, it’s when I’m not thinking about it that I’ll get an idea. The inspiration can come from anywhere, but often times it’s through lyrics in a song on the radio.

 What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers? 

Beta readers are a great tool to utilize while you’re writing. That way, you can have other people tell you what’s working and not working. It’s different from a critique partner or writing group because beta readers aren’t writers; they’re readers. Social media is another tool that’s important. It connects you to potential readers, but more importantly, it connects you to others in the industry. I find writers to be very supportive, and I love making contact with them through Twitter and Facebook. Once you have a finished manuscript, a website or blog is an absolute must.

~*~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~*~

Shelly Bell started reading at three years old. In elementary school, the librarian gave her books to test out for the school library. As a teenager, she spent her allowance each week on romance novels, enjoying both young adult and adult romance.

Married to Jason in 2003, they have two children and reside in the metro-Detroit area, where she reads on her Kindle each night when her family falls asleep.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.

~*~*~*~*~ Connect with Shelly ~*~*~*~*~

www.ShellyBellBooks.com

Twitter Facebook

Pinterest             LinkedIn

Google Plus       Goodreads

~*~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~*~

 ~*~ For e-book ~*~

Soul Mate Publishing

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 ~*~ For paperback ~*~

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

~*~*~*~*~ Shelly On Tour ~*~*~*~*~

 http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/04/year-to-remember-by-shelly-bell.html

Dark is the Sky by Jessica Chambers ~ A Review

♥♥♥♥♥ YOU GOTTA READ THIS BOOK! ♥♥♥♥♥

I’ve mentioned before how lucky I am, and it just keeps coming. Last year I got to read Voices on the Waves by Jessica Chambers. And this year Jessica sent me her second book, Dark is the Sky. The books are very different and yet they are a lot the same (in a good way).  Like Voices, Dark is the Sky is about people, a slice of life with a story to tell. It’s about the dynamics and logistics that occur when people get together. But unlike Voices, the people in Dark is the Sky are family. And Dark is the Sky is a bit…well, dark.

The Cameron family has come together for the weekend. Sounds pretty normal, right? Except the Camerons haven’t all been under the same roof in twelve years. Not since the weekend at Joel’s farm when their brother, Scott died. But his girlfriend wants everyone together, because she has suspicions that Scott was murdered.

Now, you should know by now, that I don’t read and tell. So if you want to know the ending, you’ll have to read it for yourself. What I *will* tell you is Dark is the Sky is a unique a story of a family in denial, twins who don’t speak to each other, first cousins who have fallen in love, and extra martial affairs that could rip the family (even more) apart.

Even better, Dark is the Sky is told in a unique way, skipping from present to past as the days of the weekend coincide. This style kept me turning pages and continually guessing if Scott’s death really was an accident. And if it wasn’t who the murderer could be.

Dark is the Sky is a page turning, slice of life story about a family discovering hidden secrets and praying that their revelations won’t tear all of their carefully constructed lives apart.

Oh, and it’s definitely ‘must read’!

But you don’t have to just take my word for it. Here’s an excerpt of Dark is the Sky by Jessica Chambers.

~*~*~*~*~ EXCERPT ~*~*~*~*~

“So,” Tim said, filling the painful silence, “how’s business with the vegetables?”

From his stiff-backed position on the sofa, Joel stared coldly at his twin and sister-in-law seated on either side of the drawing-room fire. “Evidently not as prosperous as yours. Olivia and I had to forego buying Lottie a Porsche this year.”

Carla let out a tinkling laugh. The sound stabbed through Joel’s aching head and he cringed.

Tim’s expression flickered at his curtness, but he smiled. “And I’m sure Lottie is much better off for not being spoilt like mine have been. You’re doing all right, though, aren’t you?”

“I’m earning a living, if that’s what you mean. A good, honest living.”

If Tim noticed the slight behind the words, he didn’t show it. “I’m glad.”

“You are?”

“Course I am. You can’t think I’d want you to fail.”

Joel said nothing, knowing the skepticism was plain to read in his eyes, and Tim bowed his head. Silence smothered the room, broken only by the crackle of the fire. Joel’s resentment burned as fiercely as the logs in the grate. How could Liv do this to him? She knew how he felt about Tim and Carla, even if he had never been able to confide in her the reason behind his hostility. Yet, she’d forced him into entertaining them for a whole bloody weekend, when all he wanted to do was fight to save his marriage. If this was her way of paying him back, she couldn’t have dreamt up a more effective punishment.

“Think I’ll go and get ready for dinner,” Carla said, and set her empty wine glass on the mantelpiece. “Okay if I have a shower, Joel?”

He didn’t look at her. “You know where the bathroom is.”

“Joel, your hospitality overwhelms me. With manners like that, you should open this place as a hotel.”

Once Carla had gone, the men sat in mute awkwardness, staring into their whiskey and sodas.

“What’s wrong?” Tim said at length. “Besides your problem with me, I mean.”

Joel raised his eyebrows. “What makes you think there’s anything else?”

“Come off it. We may not be close anymore, but you’re still my twin. I can see when something’s bothering you, and I wish you’d tell me what it is.”

Joel looked away, chest tight. He and Tim were once inseparable, all the closer for being best mates as well as identical twins. They shared everything, celebrating one another’s triumphs and picking each other up when they fell. What a relief it would be to cry on his brother’s shoulder, admit the mess he’d made of his marriage, and let Tim calm his fears as he used to. But that was out of the question. Joel’s fingers clenched around his tumbler. Tim had forfeited the trust between them and there was no getting it back.

“It’s nothing,” Joel said, voice hard. If Tim thought he would forget his betrayal, let alone forgive him, he had better think again.

~*~*~*~*~ About Jessica~*~*~*~*~

Jessica Chambers has a passion for writing contemporary novels packed with emotion, complex relationships and often a touch of mystery. She is the author of two published works, her debut, Voices on the Waves, reaching the finals of the 2011 RomCon Readers’ Crown Award. Currently, she is straying into the unknown and attempting her first young adult novel.

Visually impaired from birth, Jessica currently lives with her family and Staffordshire bull terrier in the English town ofWindsor. In addition to devouring fiction of all genres, she is a huge dog lover, staunch supporter of Liverpool FC, and admits to being addicted to TV quiz shows.

~*~*~*~*~ Buy Dark is the Sky ~*~*~*~*~

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Sky-Jessica-Chambers/dp/0984721509/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323000484&sr=1-1

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-is-the-Sky-ebook/dp/B006EQV9N6/

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-is-the-sky-jessica-chambers/1107757155?ean=2940013544604&itm=1&usri=dark+is+the+sky

 ~*~*~*~*~ Thanks for coming by! ~*~*~*~*~