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Archive for June, 2015

Waiting for Ethan Book Banner

Waiting for Ethan_SHINETitle: Waiting for Ethan
Author: Diane Barnes
Publisher: Lyrical Press

When Gina Rossi was in junior high, her best friend’s psychic grandmother got everything right—from predicting that Gina would break her arm and travel to Italy, all the way to leading police to a missing neighborhood child. The one time Gina didn’t listen to her, she almost got herself killed. So when she says that Gina will marry a man named Ethan—but she will have to wait for him—Gina believes her, and waits…

Now thirty-six, Gina’s Mr. Right is nowhere in sight—until the day she’s stranded in a snowstorm, and rescued by the last type of Ethan she expected. It’s very romantic, yet surprisingly not. This Ethan is sexy, and clearly her hero. Still, instead of her “Aha” moment, Gina’s confused. And when Ethan is happy to discover she’s single, does Gina dare tell him, It’s because I’ve been waiting for you. But the bigger question is, does she dare question destiny—by taking it into her own hands? And is she brave enough to handle what happens once it’s time to stop waiting—and start living?

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Waiting for Ethan  is available for pre-order at  Amazon, B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

Though she always dreamed about being the shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, Diane Barnes is a marketing writer in Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. She participates in two monthly writing groups and regularly attends novel writing workshops in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts.

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The Hidden TruthTitle: The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles
Author: Zack Zaibak
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 152
Genre: Medical/Dentristry
Format: Ebook

We are often judged by how we look, and the first thing people notice is a smile. In The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles, author Dr. Zack Zaibak tells how modern cosmetic dentistry can transform ordinary smiles into stunning gorgeous ones.

Dr. Zaibak, honored by the Consumers Research Council of America for the last five years as one of America’s top dentists, discusses important issues relating to dental health and improving your teeth, your smile, and your self-esteem. Dr. Zaibak has been featured on national and local media outlets including ABC, WGN Superstation, Fox and Univision, and has served as an expert commentator for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is also a provider of cosmetic dental care to winners of beauty pageants.

People with bright, beautiful, and healthy looking smiles are seen as more attractive, competent, and happier. In fact, a dazzling, radiant smile can make all the difference in romance – as well as career success. In only two visits, you can gain a sparkling white, perfectly shaped, celebrity smile as modern innovations make your dental visit a satisfying, comfortable, and even enjoyable experience.

Dr. Zack Zaibak’s all-inclusive book unveils the hidden truth about today’s state of the art choices in cosmetic dentistry for creating smile makeovers and gorgeous Hollywood Smiles, including Lumineers porcelain veneers, Invisalign metal-free braces, teeth whitening, bonding, implants, crowns, bridges, Snap-On Smiles and gum lifts.

The health of your teeth and mouth affect the well-being of your entire body. The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles reveals the secrets to enhancing your teeth to produce an exquisite, engaging smile that will positively transform your self-image and your life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zack Zaibak, MS, DDS, is a licensed general dentist in the state of Illinois and one of the top practitioners of advanced cosmetic dentistry in that state. Honored by the Consumer Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Dentists, Zaibak has the latest advanced training and certification in Lumineers, Invisalign, and laser surgery.

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Profile: Author Barry Hornig

Were you on line at Studio 54? Did you ever swap drugs for gold in Tangiers? Or try on a dog collar at the Botany Club? Ever marry a countess or a Playboy playmate? Meet Barry. He did all of that and a lot more. He’s had many ups and downs and has probably forgotten more than you’ve fantasized, but this book is what he can recall…

“I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out."

Thus goes the pitch of Barry Hornig’s candid, compelling, revealing, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Without a Net: a True Tales of Prison, Penthouses, and Playmates (Köehler Books, 2015), which, from idea to polished manuscript, took him eight years to complete.

Without a Net is the story of a young man from a middle class background who shoots for the stars and goes after things that aren’t attainable, and when he thinks he has them, they get taken away,” states Hornig. “In the process, he winds up incarcerated, threatened with guns, and succumbs to addictions, but through a powerful series of visualizations he manages to manifest somebody who helps him change his whole life around through love and compassion. And through that, he is able to help other people.” Hornig’s over-the-top life is told with honesty, self-mockery, hope, and more than a little Jewish humor.

The decision to write this memoir came about from Hornig’s anger about his great ups and downs in life and the question, “Why do they continue to happen to me?” He needed to get it out of his system. Through writing, he hoped to see life more clearly and get rid of some of the anger and pain. He decided he wouldn’t misdirect his energy by looking back, but instead concentrate on looking forward and benefit from lessons learned, and it worked. “I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out,” says Hornig. “I believe that with determination, visualization, and the right partner, you can emerge from any darkness, live an interesting and fruitful life, and recover your sanity and your spiritual balance.”

In addition to his personal journey, the book offers a kaleidoscope of America from its triumphant and proud years in the 50s to a more recent time when – from Hornig’s perspective – “A great power has been shamefully falling apart. We’ve killed all our heroes, and there’s nobody to look up to. Violence never wins. And Gordon Gekko was wrong; greed is not good. (Sorry, Oliver.)”

Writing Without a Net had its challenges. From telling the truth, to stirring the hot coals, to old temptations re-awakening, to unsupportive peers telling him he was wasting his time and would never finish the book, Hornig admirably stuck to his vision through it all and came through the other side with a completed manuscript and a renewed sense of reality.

Besides the obvious painful, emotional journey of having to access his troubled past, Hornig’s challenge included the fact that he’s dyslexic. Because of this, he decided to work with Michael Claibourne, who helped him organize his thoughts and Without a Net Coverpen his words. Claibourne loved his life story and had been urging him for quite a while to write it all down.  It seemed just as exciting as any of the screenplays they were working on. “My creative process was a form of channeling with Michael, who acted as interviewer, scribe and psychiatrist,” adds Hornig. “We wrote this memoir from Topanga Canyon to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Montana, and New York City. Sometimes lying down and sometimes sitting up.  In person, over the phone, and over the net. It was complex but clear. I tried to be truthful and honest with all the subjects.”

In spite of help from his writing partner, as well as support from his spouse and family, becoming an author has been overwhelming for Hornig, to say the least. “I can’t quite wrap my head around it,” he says. “All I did was tell a story. We’ll see what happens from there, and I’ll leave it up to my audience.” He’s looking forward to sharing some of his experiences in this journey with younger people, and hopes that this book puts him in a venue where he can talk to them. “I want to spread the news: it’s never too late.” He hopes readers will learn from his story and even find themselves in it, and realize that even the most destructive impulses can be overcome. “I have been able to forgive the people who wronged me, and forgive myself for wronging the people that I wronged – both the ones who are dead and the ones who are still alive. And looking back now through the other end of the telescope, it’s all very clear.”

Barry Hornig currently divides his time between Santa Monica, California, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he owns a gallery of fine art rugs. He is a professional sports fisherman, an expert on the paranormal, has talked with beings from space, had visions in Masar-i-Sharif, has been blessed by Muktananda, and hugged by Ammachi. “I have so many more stories to tell… and they’re not all autobiographical” states the author on what lurks on the horizon. “Screenplays, movies, all with messages. I am hoping that with this book my other story work will be taken seriously. And that in turn the other work will get out and more lessons will be learned.”

Connect with Barry Hornig on the web:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Without a Net is available from Köehler Books, Amazon, B&N, and other online retailers.

My article originally appeared in Blogcritics

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WHTB_banner
Why Hate the Billionaire? is the first of The Delanys, red-hot romances filled with sensuality, passion, and all the forms of deepest love.  Five closely-bonded siblings — Cassidy, Brianna, Kellee, Norah, and Niall –– from a lower, middle class family whose parents were killed 11 years ago each must find a way to survive –– and thrive –– from their
encounters with the sexy billionaires who desire them. 

0acab-why2bhate2bthe2bbillionaire-2b-2bhigh2bresolutionSynopsis

Why Hate the Billionaire? (The Delanys Book I)

Cassidy Delany is resigned to a life of responsibility, hard work, and sacrifice as she struggles to support her orphaned family. She never indulges her passions so that her younger siblings can have the freedom to follow all of theirs. That is, until she encounters Daniel, a sublimely gorgeous –– and arrogant –– billionaire. Overwhelming mutual lust leads her to agree to a one-night stand that morphs into a fantasy weekend full of mind-blowing sex. When he acts like Cassidy is just another woman who exists for his pleasure, she runs away, hoping to never see him again. But when Daniel reappears and turns everything upside down, Cassidy knows that their unquenchable passion and the disturbing emotions it evokes, could destroy everything she’s fought so hard to achieve.

Daniel Sheffield, MD, is a typical spoiled, Beacon Hill Adonis from a Boston Brahmin family with trillions of dollars, and always gets whatever –– and whoever –– he wants. But the delectable and brilliant Cassidy Delany is something he’s never encountered before: a woman who sees something worth wanting beyond his money, power, and sex appeal. One taste and what he thought was just an insatiable desire for her body becomes a need for much more. But he’s shocked to discover that getting the girl can destroy what he values most –– control.

 
Coming Soon …

READ AN EXCERPT

Cassidy

He didn’t run. I’ve been talking nonsense and it doesn’t seem to bother him. No funny looks either. It doesn’t even seem like he’s being nice just so we can have sex again. After what we shared, though… When he made me feel he beautiful and loved and safe Unfortunately, I know that this sort of thing doesn’t exist in reality.

But the fact is that in reality, we’re too different. Daniel’s from the land of the rich and powerful and, while he says he’ll not have anything to do with the bitch he was with, he’s still going to marry his equal in wealth and status. A woman from the upper crust trained to be the right kind of wife. One who stays home and throws $100,000 parties for every occasion and dedicates her life to making him and their family look good. Not a girl from Southy who’s worked all her life to be able to take care of her younger siblings. Daniel’s not about to be emotionally attached to someone so beneath him in status and wealth once this little moment is over. And I’d never submerge my life to someone else’s; medicine and my siblings mean too much to me.

And it’s too bad, because, besides the sex, I like him. We have science in common and a similar sense of humor. He’s probably being groomed to inherit some sort of medically related multi-international. I watch him eat. It’s fascinating just to seen a piece of egg white slide down his perfectly crafted lips, especially when I know what they feel like all over me. But as I get aroused, the room suddenly grows cold.

“Hey, babe,” Daniel is staring at me. He seems concerned.

“Just a little cold. An effect of the hot food.” I’m lying.

Daniel holds my hand and rubs it. His touch makes me slip back into the fantasy world again. He runs one of his long fingers lightly over my jaw. I make a resolution. So what if this is a blip in time. If I’m making memories, I plan on making a few more so I’ll always remember that once, someone made me feel special. I look into his blue-gray eyes and we’re connected again.

“Your eyes aren’t just hazel, they’re a golden hazel. Little bits of liquid gold in there.” He seems rapt.

Were my eyes that attractive or were wealthy men just naturally attracted to gold? I smile ruefully.

“What?” Daniel asks.

“Nobody’s ever described my eyes as a precious metal. It’s sort of embarrassing.” I’d look away, but I can’t.

“I didn’t mean it to be.” He looks at my plate. “You didn’t finish everything,” he says, astonished.

“I ate a lot,” I protest lightly. “My eggs, sausages, and most of the hash browns. I’m full. You can finish it all.”

“Thanks!” Daniel greedily grabs my plate. Good, it’ll give him lots of energy to burn off if I have my way. I watch him suck down some potatoes and remember the sensation of him sucking on me. I snap my knees closed as I stifle a moan.

The waitress brings the check. No dessert for us; that’s waiting at the hotel. I grab for the check and Daniel tries to snatch it away.

“No,” I say definitely. “It’s mine. You’ve been paying for everything so far. It’s my turn.”

“But Cassie, it’s not a big deal and it’s easier for me…” Daniel protests.

“No,” I say, maybe a little too loudly. He doesn’t understand. If he pays for everything and I just give him sex, it basically means I’m acting like a whore. “I like things equal. Last night was…last night. We either pay for ourselves or switch each time.” I give what I hope is a sultry look. “You know, we change positions regularly…”

“Hmm,” Daniel seems to consider that with a little smile. “Well, I definitely know whose turn it is on top.”

The images pore into my head and I can feel my inner walls clench and my hips wanting to rotate. Of course, now that’s all I can think about and my hunger for Daniel grows. I stand up, throwing enough cash on the table for the meal and a large tip. “Are you ready? Let’s go.”

Daniel’s right behind me as we rush out into the alley. He grabs me to him and pushes me against the wall for a heated kiss. He pushes a leg between mine and I can’t help myself. I wrap a leg on his hip and start grinding. I can feel him thickening under his jeans. Instead of relieving the need, this is making it worse.

“Cassie, baby. If you keep doing that, I’ll be too hard to make it to the hotel. When I count to 3, we’ll break and make a run for the hotel.” Daniel shoves his tongue deeper, exploring my mouth then abruptly stops. “1, 2, 3 – RUN!”

We make it to the lobby, both of us struggling to catch our breath. Daniel keeps poking the “up” button for an elevator, but it’s taking too long and I can’t stand it. Even rubbing my legs together doesn’t give me any relief. “The stairs!” I yell and Daniel chases me to our room.


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Myth and Magic Banner


Myth and MagicTitle:
 Myth and Magic
Author: Mae Clair
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle 

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Myth and Magic is available for pre-order at  Amazon, B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

Mae ClairMae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

For More Information

Visit Mae’s website.

Connect with Mae on Twitter.

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The Dreamer Summary
It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover
Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift,
Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.


The first in a spellbinding contemporary fantasy trilogy, The Dreamer opens doors into the subconscious and follows the journey of a young woman torn between two worlds as she questions the power of
the mind and battles between fate and freewill.


 
BUY THE BOOK

Excerpt

 I begin to dream of something familiar. I’m floating over a nearly empty field at night. A solitary elm tree rests in the distance. My body’s warm with light, as bright as a star, and I move faster and faster, racing toward the tree. A shock of penetrating, ice-cold water bursts across my skin, and I smack down to the earth. My vision goes dark.

Gradually, I hear movement around me. Feet stepping on grass. The sound of crickets chirping. A soft, cool breeze brushes across my skin. I open my eyes to the sky, my view partially blocked by the leaves of a tree. The part of the sky I can see is streaked with white lights zipping past. I’ve dreamt of this place before. I’ve seen this tree and felt this grass beneath me. I’m so at ease lying in this familiar place. No pain comes from my head here, and I want to stay like this forever.

I’m brought out of my reverie by a girl’s whispers. I chance a look around to see two figures standing at my right, looking down at me. They are both completely dressed in black with some object strapped to each of their backs. One is a girl with almost white-blonde hair and fragile features. From the dark silhouette of her body, I can tell she’s as skinny as a stick. The other figure is a man with short-cropped raven hair and two-day stubble, which, coupled with his attire, allows him to seamlessly camouflage into the dark surroundings. His pale skin is what sets him apart from the backdrop, along with the brightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.

Those eyes.

I stare into them, trying to stir up the memory that is swimming around in my head suggesting I’ve seen them before. All I can currently deduce from the rapid beating of my heart and the tense heat in my belly is that I must find him attractive. And if anyone else were seeing what I’m seeing, I don’t think they would blame me.

The girl next to the shadowed man whispers fervently in his ear as he stands still, arms crossed over his chest, studying me intently.

“It’s a Dreamer,” he finally says, his voice deep and rich. The girl flinches at his volume used but follows suit.

“I see that it’s a Dreamer, Dev. But what is she doing here?” The light, twinkling quality of her voice contradicts the vehemence of her tone. Do they think I can’t hear them?

The girl paces to his other side while gazing at me warily, her blonde locks pushing forward to cast shadows around her face. Even with her features slightly obscured, her beauty is obvious. I begin to wonder if this dream is going to be all about supermodels, which would definitely make it a nightmare.

“I’m not sure. Something must have gotten crossed on the journey to her landscape,” he says while turning his attention to the night sky.

“That’s never happened before. It’s impossible.” The girl puts her hands on her hips in bewilderment and faces him.

Dev—I’m guessing his name—shifts his weight and scratches his stubble-filled chin, regarding me like I’m a car with a flat. “Well, it’s happened now.”

This whole time I’ve kept quiet, and I decide it’s time to say something.

“Excuse me.” I begin to sit up.

Dev stands perfectly still, his face subtly lighting up with curiosity. The girl, on the other hand, takes a step back, steadying herself like she’s about to throttle me.

“Whoa.” I put up my hands, indicating my nonviolent intent. “I’m not going to do anything but stand. Can I do that?” I fix my gaze from one to the other questioningly.

“She can hear us.” The girl tries to whisper sideways through her mouth.

Is she kidding me? “Of course I can hear you! What’s going on? Where am I? Who are you guys?” My numbness upon waking here has quickly evaporated and is replaced instead by slight hysteria.

“Inquisitive, isn’t she?” Dev arches one of his brows in amusement.

I let out a frustrated sigh. “Please stop talking like I’m not right in front of you. Like I said, I can hear you. And I have a name. It’s Molly.”

The girl is about to say something, when Dev puts his hand up to quiet her. “Hi, Molly.” He flashes a lopsided grin. “What’s going on is that you’re dreaming.” He elongates the word dreaming while wiggling his fingers as if he’s telling a spooky story. “Where you are is in your dream. Who we are… Well, we’re obviously figments of your imagination.”

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E.J. MELLOW BIO
 
E.J. Mellow is the author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. When
she’s not busy moonlighting in the realm of make-believe, she can be found doodling, buried in a book (usually this one), or playing video games.
Residing in Brooklyn, NY she is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter.
Social Links:

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Title: Poetically Baring My Soul

Author: Jerald Brown

Publisher: Jerald Brown

Genre: Poetry

Format: Paperback

Poetically Baring My Soul is a poetry book that offers a honest inscription of trials, feelings, thoughts, and revelations. It creates a visual image from personal accounts within the expressions of the writings. Poetically Baring My Soul invites all those who have an acceptance of faith, a honesty and even accountability of self, and a vivid appreciation of metaphors and wordplay, to embrace the poems inside.
ORDER INFORMATION

Poetically Baring My Soul is available for purchase at  

amazonBN

I was born and raised in Danville, Il, a small town about 2 hours outside of Chicago. My parents, J.W. and Dizer Brown instilled values and principles of life in me at an early age. I enlisted into the Army 10 days after graduating high school and the discipline I received added to my upbringing, shaping me into the man I am today.

My love for poetry began through hip hop. I had aspired to become the greatest rapper of all time! Alongside the music, I would write little poems about anything from my surroundings, to my feelings, to my experiences. Eventually, those “little poems” turned into pieces of my life.

Poetically Baring My Soul is my very first book. It provides a testimony to the trials and tribulations I’ve faced, my growth into manhood, and expressions of my spirit, soul, and body. I wrote this book to honor God with this gift, glorify Him, and to connect with others who may share in my walk through life. I am a man of faith. I am confident that my poems will explain my purpose, provide insight, and give readers a honest look into my heart.

For More Information

Visit Jerald’s website.

Facebook
Twitter

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Going Home, Gambling on a Dream et al

Going Home FINAL_shineTitle: Going Home

Author: Stacy Finz

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle 

The small mountain town of Nugget, California, has a strange way of giving people unexpected reasons to start over—and find the most irresistible chances to fall in love…

Maddy Breyer needs to prove she can make her own life after betrayal blew up her previous happily-ever-after. Staying totally focused on renovating a decrepit mansion into a bed-and-breakfast might help her—and this recession-hit town—finally turn things around. But the mysterious new sheriff is the kind of lawbreaking temptation that’s an even bigger challenge to resist…

Detective Rhys Shepard is only back in Nugget long enough to care for his ailing father. He’s got a big-city promotion far away from this place that never accepted him. He does not need a sudden crime wave to solve. Or one leggy case of heartbreak stirring up all kinds of trouble and challenging his rules. Which might explain why he’s suddenly finding it hard to leave…
PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Going Home is available for pre-order 



at  Amazon, B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

Stacy Finz

Stacy Finz is an award-winning journalist. After more than seventeen years covering notorious serial killers, naked-tractor-driving farmers, fanatical foodies, aging rock stars and weird Western towns for the San Francisco Chronicle, she figured she finally had enough material to launch a career writingfiction. In 2012 she won the Daphne du Maurier Award for unpublished single-title mystery/suspense. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband.
For More Information

Visit Stacy’s website.

Connect with Stacy on Facebook  and Twitter.

GamblingOnADream_shineTitle: Gambling on a Dream

Author: Sara Walter Ellwood

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle



With Everything At Stake….

It’s been years since Sheriff Dawn Madison said goodbye to Texas Ranger Wyatt McPherson. She’s closed the door on the heartache of her past. But when the sleepy town of Colton, Texas, is rocked by a series of shocking murders, Dawn has no choice but to trust the man who broke her heart if she wants to protect the ones she loves…
All Bets Are Off

Four years have passed. But Wyatt hasn’t forgotten the bold, Native American beauty who stole his heart . . . and broke it. Losing her and the life they had hoped to share left him an empty shell of himself. But if he wants to stop the deranged killer terrorizing the innocent kids of Colton, he’ll have to let Dawn back into his life. It’s a risk he’s willing to take, even if heartache is all he takes home…

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Gambling on a Dream is available for pre-order at  Amazon,  B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

sara-walter-ellwood-7

Although Sara Walter Ellwood has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also publishes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.

She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name of Cera duBois.

For More Information

Visit Sara’s website.
Connect with Sara onFacebook Twitter and Goodreads

Look of Love _hires jpg_shineTitle: The Look of Love

Author: Crystal B. Bright

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle
You can’t fight love…

There’s only one thing MMA fighter Gunnar Wells is more devoted to than his career, and that’s his mother, “Queen” Elizabeth. An elegant African American woman who adopted Gunnar and his two white brothers, Elizabeth was there when they needed her, and they’ll do anything for her. For Gunnar, that means running her hair salon when she suddenly falls ill. And if that’s not awkward enough for the champion fighter, he’ll have to work alongside Eboni Danielson, the other love of his life. The one he left behind to pursue his dream. The one he’s never forgotten…

Between the salon and her volunteer work, Eboni keeps busy to keep her mind off the man who broke her heart. So when Gunnar shows up again, she does her best to stay cool—on the outside. But the more she watches Gunnar step up and help out, the less she can deny her feelings. Soon Gunnar is doing everything he can to convince Eboni to give him a fighting chance. Can she trust him again—even when old secrets and new dangers come between them once more?
PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

The Look of Love is available for pre-order at  Amazon, B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

I started writing very young. My first story was a young adult romance called ‘Trudy’. I wish I could find it so I can see how far I’ve come from then to now. Hopefully it’s a grand leap!

After only one year at ODU I dropped out to ‘live life’. Little did I know, life is expensive and it doesn’t suffer fools lightly. So after working 3 jobs at one time just to make ends meet, I decided to go back to school.

With any school, you have to meet with an advisor before registering for classes. So my advisor asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I proudly answered that I wanted to be a novelist. She smiled, nodded and said, “That’s nice. Now what will you do for money?”

Ouch! So I hopped from journalism to professional writing to literature but my heart always brought me back to creative writing. I figured if I’m going to spend my money for my education then I should enjoy it. So I stuck to creative writing and was pleased to find a non-residency Master’s program for Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. It’s the first in the country and invaluable. I learned so much and made great contacts.

For More Information

Visit Crystal’s website.
Connect with Crystal on Facebook  and  Twitter.

Bachelorette for Sale-highres_shine
Title:
 Bachelorette for Sale

Author: Gail Chianese

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle

“This book will make your heart smile.” —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

This sparkling debut dives right in to everything funny, flirty, and fiery about modern dating with the tale of a sexy singles auction that comes with the prize of a lifetime…

As far as Cherry Ryan is concerned, the bright lights of Hollywood are nothing but glare after her heart is broken on a reality show for millions to see. Instead she’s throwing herself into fundraising for the local community center that was a priceless lifeline to her as a kid. But when a volunteer for the singles auction bails at the last minute, Cherry finds herself on the block—and sold to Jason Valentine, a handsome contractor with a gorgeous body—and a really bad attitude about her days in the limelight…

Cherry soon finds that Jason’s more than eye candy, and not entirely sweet—especially his quest to win the bid for the center’s renovation. Mixing business with pleasure doesn’t seem like such a good idea—until Jason has a chance to reveal the big heart beneath his surly exterior. Cherry’s falling for him hard, but trust isn’t easy when you’ve been burned. To conquer her fears will take a giant leap of faith—straight into the spotlight again…

“A charming, warm-hearted story.” —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“Gail Chianese is a spunky, spirited, and sassy new voice in contemporary romance with a series destined for the keeper shelf!” —Roxanne St. Claire, New York Times bestselling author

“The West Side Romance series is like the perfect pick-me-up latte—hot and steamy, with a layer of frothy fun on the top!” –Jessica Andersen, New York Times bestselling author
PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Bachelorette for Sale is available for pre-order at  Amazon, B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

I Currently Live in Beautiful Connecticut, but originally hail from sunny California. I am the mom of three amazing kids, the wife of a 25+ year Naval officer and the rescuer of three fur babies. In my spare time, I like to ghost hunt with my hubby, geocache with my family and lock myself away with a great book. I am a proud member of Connecticut Romance Writers of America.

I love to connect with my readers on my social media accounts and website!
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Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. His fourth book, Turning To Stone, came out 15 June 2015. Gabriel writes short stories, which are available online and in print. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. In this interview, he talks about the secrets of writing compelling suspense.

Connect with Gabriel Valjan on the web:

Blog: https://gabrielswharf.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gabriel-Valjan/291400997547203

Twitter: @GValjan

Website: www.gabrielvaljan.com

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Turning To Stone. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   

A: Bianca is in Naples this time. Loki, her mysterious contact, is now giving her baffling anagrams. They seem to lead to a charismatic entrepreneur who has a plan to partner with organized crime to manipulate the euro and American dollar. Against a backdrop of gritty streets, financial speculation, and a group of female assassins on motorcycles, Bianca and her friends discover that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.

Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah, his journalistic exposé on the Neapolitan Camorra, which sent him into exile with a price on his head, inspired Turning To Stone. The Fiscal Crisis of 2008 provides an undercurrent to the novel. I followed the fallout in the media as it related to Italy. Italy, in my opinion, became the first scapegoat, followed by Spain. Italy and Spain are the third and fourth biggest Eurozone economies, respectively. The American media pundits had insisted that the European welfare state is what caused the debt crisis in Europe; that it was European public debt that caused the fiasco, when in reality it was Wall Street’s speculation of American private debt on the international market that had been the true culprit. Italians are very prudent when it comes to their money; they have one of the highest savings rates among European nations and the household net wealth is more than five times their GDP, the highest rate among western European countries. Not once anywhere in the media here in the U.S. had those facts been discussed. Traditionally, Italians invest in government bonds and real estate, very rarely in stocks. Turning To Stone ventures the what-if scenario: what if someone tried to destabilize the world’s reference currency, the U.S. dollar. The thing to fear is fear itself and a stable Euro.

Italy may have its problems, but its welfare state is not one of them. Some glaring facts contradict the pundits’ portrait of a ‘weak Italy’, but I’ll mention only two of them, for the sake of space and time: 1) Italy is the least indebted of the EU economies (‘aggregate debt’ is public and private debt combined) and 2) Italian citizens own that public debt: the U.S. can’t say that about its debt, which the Chinese own. If there is a ‘message’, I would say that all my novels deal with relationships and trust, how friends navigate and negotiate a morally compromised world, uncertain of what is the truth or the lie and whether either of those two could get them killed.

Q: What do you think makes a good mystery-suspense novel? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: Item 1: Present a reason WHY a reader should care about your main character. This is the personal connection. My Bianca is intelligent but flawed. She is something of an adrenaline addict who can’t resist a challenge. She ran away from her employer, Rendition, yet she remains intrigued when they seem to present challenges to her through Loki. As in life when you know your WHY, you acquire an attractive energy. The rest of the story is a matter of HOW. Bianca has specific talents, but she learns time and again that teamwork is how one overcomes obstacles.

TurningtoStone_FlatforeBooksItem 2: Present a WHAT: a situation in which the main character has to resolve some conflict, or there are consequences. This is the mystery part of your story. I summarized the plot in an earlier question. Throughout the Roma Series I want readers to wonder why Rendition, which is powerful, apparently international, and lethal has not silenced Bianca.

Item 3: Present a ticking TIME BOMB. This is the suspense part. Every decision has to have a consequence. Arriving at the wrong conclusion is misdirection. In Turning, I invite the reader to solve the anagrams. People, in my experience, can learn to deal with the consequences of their actions, but they think twice, reconsider the situation, when they know that their actions will affect someone close to them. The Time Bomb is also a metaphor to go beyond your own ego. Bianca has dear friends who have put themselves at risk for her; she can’t let them down.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: Turning To Stone is unique in the Roma Series in that it is my most complex plot. Economics is an abstract subject and about as interesting to most people as clipping their toenails. It is 2015, yet the consequences of the Fiscal Crises of 2007 and 2008 are still playing themselves out here and abroad. I noticed a curious phenomenon within the news media: American news packaged the crises into neat sound bytes with very little analysis. The finger pointing was such that the pundits pointed at the moon, but had us staring at the finger. When Wall Street received some of the blame, the knee-jerk reaction was to blame it all on greed rather than explain how the bankers did it.

In plotting Turning I wanted to show that the criminal’s plan would affect national economies. We are all connected. Think about the farmer or trucker when you buy produce at the store? You are dependent on him for sustenance and his farm is dependent on your consumer loyalty. Turning is about considering those connections. The currency in your pocket means something because we all assign a value to it, so what if someone came along and redefined that value for you? That is exactly what happened in 2007 and 2008. In stark terms, one casualty of the Crises was home ownership, the symbol of the American Dream. Someone came along and said that your home is relatively worthless, but you still have to pay the mortgage and property taxes based on the original appraisal that no longer exists. In terms of consequences today, the news will talk about austerity measures, but won’t tell you about the suicides as a result of unemployment in Greece. Just this morning I was reading about a doctor in Greece who had worked a 12-hour shift, dealing with such suicides, only to end his shift seeing a body bag that contained the body of his son who had killed himself.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: I didn’t do interviews, but Bianca is inside my head, figuratively speaking. As with all my characters in the Roma Series, they live and breathe, have their own personalities and quirks. Bianca began as a challenge from a work colleague. She jokingly teased me that a man couldn’t write a female character. She wanted to see what I could do. She was tired of reading about detectives, male or female, who cursed all the time, had a drinking problem and dysfunctional relationships with their family and peers. I think she was reading a lot of British and Icelandic noir at the time. I’m old enough to remember the primitive days of computing so that helped in bringing Bianca into existence. As a kid, I knew one of the world’s premiere hackers. Bianca is an amalgam of personalities I have met and known. She is no Lisabeth Salander but she has her own issues. The short story I had written for a friend morphed into the first book in the Roma Series: Roma, Underground.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: Each Roma Series book has its own villain. Each novel has organized crime and Rendition as monolithic bad guys. I tried to avoid stereotypes. In my experience, the people who are very experienced at the not-so-nice things in this world are very quiet and unassuming; they don’t draw attention to themselves. Men who have seen and participated in combat, for example, don’t talk about it. Likewise, the individuals who are powerful in organized crime are not flashy, don’t have their names on a chart, or drive fancy cars and act like Tony Soprano; they are often milquetoast. John le Carré demonstrated countless times in his fiction that spy-work is hardly James Bond adventures; it is mind-numbing routine, analysis, and endless waiting until the opportunity presents itself. My bad guys are intelligent and well educated. What makes them deadly is they don’t make mistakes, which is why Bianca and her friends are heroic – they have to stop the baddies. In Turning, it so happens that the bad guy has allies, the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra, along with the Calabrian and Sicilian mafias, the ’Ndrangheta and La Cosa Nostra.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: Writing a mystery-suspense novel is like camera-work in filmmaking. A writer has to know when to cut the scene and guide the reader’s eyes to another scene. In shoptalk, I’m referring to pacing and subplot. The story arcs are zoom-in and tracking shots. If we were to dissect Turning, we’d start with an assassination and learn about a criminal conspiracy to commit forgery; our characters, particularly Bianca, struggle to put a stop to the violence while they field interference: bureaucratic and criminal. The subplots are always about the relationships in my books. Farrugia is undercover and at risk. He also has a love interest, Noelle. I introduce a new character who has a question mark over his head. Good or bad guy? In Turning, the ticking bomb is solving the anagrams that Loki gives Bianca.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: Research and personal experience. I’ve been to Naples; it isn’t my favorite Italian city. Naples is very gritty and reminds me of New York’s Little Italy on the hottest, most humid day in the summer. Saviano’s Gomorrah, which I mentioned earlier, provided me with a sociological and psychological profile of Naples and the region, Campania. I read through blog posts done by ordinary citizens who are trying to fight the Camorra. What I found fascinating and disturbing is that organized crime is like a biological creature in that it has organ systems and a nervous system. The Sicilian mafia is hierarchical, patriarchal, and closed off. The Calabrian mafia is impenetrable to law enforcement, with an almost non-existent rate of penitents, those who ‘flip.’ The Camorra is the most flexible organization in that it will work with any ethnic group and it can ‘set up shop’ anywhere in the world. Readers will quickly discover in Turning To Stone that, like real life, women play a vital role in the Camorra. After reading Saviano, I concluded that Camorra would make the perfect corporation.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: The recurrent theme to all the Roma novels is the evolving relationships between the main characters. These characters are team players with unique flaws and strengths. True friendship is worth fighting for in a troubled world. I hope that readers see an emotional arc in character development in each of my characters throughout the Series. The world is a scary place and governments are entities that will do what they have to do in order to survive. People are ultimately expendable. The only thing that any government needs from its citizens is their consent. I tend to know my plot before I start writing. Revision is for fine-tuning scenes and checking the logic of the plot.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: That is a challenging question. Craft to me is technique, those things that you learn by example from reading other authors, or from study in the classroom. What can’t be taught is the idea for a story. Take Raymond Carver’s short story “Cathedral” as an example. The idea is simple yet profound: How do you explain a cathedral to a blind man? Nobody can teach the idea for a story. Stories from writers with an MFA come to my mind: technique is there, evident, and I feel the nudge and the wink, but often the story has no life; it does not ‘speak’ and feels clinical. Art — I make no claims to define it, but for me artistry exists in taking the mundane and making it extraordinary. I appreciate it when someone shows me a new way at looking at something, whether it is a flower or a garbage can.

Editing is complicated and the hardest part of writing. It amounts to murder – the ‘kill your darlings.’ I would say that editing dialog is tricky. In real life, people do not speak full sentences or display coherent thoughts, which the reader knows and for which he or she suspends belief, but if the writer holds steadfast to every grammar rule then the dialog wouldn’t sound realistic. People, for example, don’t subordinate in real life: ‘I think it’s unrealistic’ versus ‘I think that it is unrealistic.’ A writer needs an honest, caring editor who knows language and psychology.

Speaking for myself, I can’t proofread my own work because my eyes don’t see the missing words. I know the story too well, so I rely on others for structural editing. Ego has to be left outside the door. The writer is not there to say, “This is what I meant when I wrote this.” What is there on the page has to speak for itself without commentary.  A structural edit should find gaps in logic and continuity. Bianca came into the room with red heels; she shouldn’t exit wearing sandals. As to whether editing can kill the creative – I don’t think so, but no amount of judicious editing will save bad writing or an ill-conceived story.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: Humility. Curiosity. Discipline.

Humility: The story is what matters. A reader cares about what is on the page, and not about who you are or what you look like, or if you are traditionally or self-published.

Curiosity: Remain open and as curious as a child. Lessons come from unexpected sources. It is all material..

Discipline: Time spent talking about it is time you could be doing it.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A: Homework sounds like a bad thing, as if it’s an unpleasant chore. Musicians appreciate good music regardless of their personal preference because they understand rhythm and melody. A cineaste will watch a film, know how it will end yet will find pleasure on the screen from start to finish. Writers are no different in that they appreciate a well-turned phrase, a clever image or a well-told story. Instead of homework I would say that when you enjoy what you do you don’t think of it as homework. You have to breathe and that isn’t homework. Writing is like breathing for some people.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: Rennie Browne and Dave King’s Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and Carolyn Wheat’s How to Write Killer Fiction are two excellent books that provide numerous examples to substantiate their teaching points. Kristen Lamb’s blog We Are Not Alone offers both writing advice and social media strategies. Writer Unboxed is another blog that has daily articles of encouragement and advice for writers. Other than that, the greatest resource that any writer has is their library card.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: Respect your reader, for their time is precious, and be grateful should they spend it with you. Respect yourself and write the best story that you can write today. Listen to the world around with all your senses, for it is all material. Learn from your mistakes and from others, and strive to be 1% better each day. You will not only be a better writer, but a better human being.

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Title: Turning To Stone

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Author: Gabriel Valjan

Website: http://wintergoosepublishing.com

Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing

Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1N73WGy

Bianca is in Naples for Turning To Stone, the fourth book in the Roma Series from author Gabriel Valjan. Loki, her mysterious contact, is now giving Bianca baffling anagrams. They seem to lead to a charismatic entrepreneur who has a plan to partner with organized crime to manipulate the euro and American dollar. Against a backdrop of gritty streets, financial speculation, and a group of female assassins on motorcycles, Bianca and her friends discover that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.

Pinterest boards for the Roma Series books

Book 4: Turning To Stone | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/turning-to-stone/

Book 3: Threading the Needle | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/threading-the-needle/

Books 2: Wasp’s Nest  | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/wasp-s-nest/

Book 1: Roma, Underground  | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/roma

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MY REVIEW:

I loved this book. I thought it was super cute and perfect for middle graders. My son is going into second grade next year and I think in another year he would be ready for this book and love it. The pictures were simple yet cute and the action made it such a great read for a kid. I thought the author did a good job of pacing and combining action and adventure with some humor. I highly recommend this book for children in a range of ages as young as second graders. It portrays the fun of being a kid in the summer, being free, the power of friendship, and action! Great read and very appropriate for the target age range.

SYNOPSIS

coverFMZRSummer vacation is almost here! And Pea O’Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long!

But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes.

But when the zombie rats attack a neighbor man, the boys have to enlist the help of a graveyard looney and the city’s stray cats. With time running out, Pea and his gang track the monsters to the city’s sewer system. But in the city sewer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s eat…or get eaten.

PURCHASE

Amazon Kindle
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B & N Nook
Kobo
iTunes

 

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The Author

Kat’s  Website / Facebook / Twitter

THE SEER’S LOVER won 2nd place in the LuckyCinda Book Contest 2014!katpromoshot

Author Kat de Falla was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she learned to roller skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher.

Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients.

She is married to her soul mate, composer Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.

This tour was brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

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