The Curvy Girls Club by Michelle Gorman [BookBlitz}

 

The Curvy Girls Club US

Chick Lit

 

Imagine a world where looks don’t matter

Pixie, Ellie, Katie and Jane have been best friends since meeting at Slimming Zone. Tired of being judged by the number of calories they consume, they decide to form a different kind of club. The fun evenings they spend together, not worrying about their size, make them happier than they’ve been for years.

But the club doesn’t stop real life from getting in the way and together the girls have to address some much bigger issues than just their weight…

“This is a delightful book of friendship, acceptance, and belonging for anyone who has ever wondered: “What if?”” Publishers Weekly

Gorman is an advocate of helping women to learn to be happy in their own skin and hopes that this book will lend itself to engaging audiences and start the New Year feeling less obsessed by their weight and more focused on learning to love themselves.

 

Book Trailer

Author Bio

Michele Gorman is the USA Today best-selling author of eight books, including Bella Summer Takes a Chance and The Expat Diaries (Single in the City) series. Her first book, Single in the City, debuted at number 8 in The Bookseller’s Fiction Heatseekers bestseller chart. She is also a founding member of the publishing collective, Notting Hill Press, and has published upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films but objects to spiders and the word “portion”.

UK Covers for The Curvy Girls Club

Curvy Girls Club UK eBook cover

 

The Curvy Girls Club UK paperback cover

 

Email: MicheleGormanPR@NottingHillPress.co.uk

Twitter: @MicheleGormanUK

 

Year Faves Part I: [Audio Books that Rocked my World]

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This has been a VERY hard task to accomplish.

Just so you know, I have listened to a total of 84 audiobooks between 11/30/13 and 11/30/14. You might think that’s a sh*tload of money (and yes, it might be), but I discovered late 2013 this crazy yet extraordinary gift from Amazon called Whyspersync for Voice (which if you haven’t tried I REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO). It saves you an even bigger sh*tload of money if you compare it to an Audible membership, and based on the possible fact that you’ve had those books sitting in your ever growing TBR pile since the beginning of the electronic age, this is actually an INVESTMENT rather than an expense.

At least that’s how I see it (totally my opinion) since it already knocked out those 84 books I had waiting to be read hopefully before the next solar eclipse.

So because audiobooks literally saved my life to the point where that’s all I’ve played in my car on my way to work since my first purchase, I decided to share with you my TOP 5, or in better terms the 5 audiobooks I mostly enjoyed this year and the ones I think deserve to win a freakin’ Grammy Award or something similar.

I have to point out that this list doesn’t reflect ONLY my love for the book. Of course, the story needed to be great, but that didn’t determine my love for the audio. The audiobook narrator did all the trick. In the Audiobook world, THE VOICE you put in the story is what will make it a KICK ASS STORY. And trust me, I’ve listened to several of my all time FAVORITE books being narrated by people who don’t make the cut, which has DISAPPOINTED me to the extreme, but hey, my love for the book won’t die because of it, they simply did not make this list.

Points I took in consideration to choose these:

  • I listened to this audiobook between December 1, 2013 – November 30, 2014.
  • I didn’t get to listen to a sample (surprise factor blew me away)
  • I have listened to this TWICE cause it’s THAT good.
  • I loved the audio regardless of whatever I thought about the book
  • The narrator is OFF THE CHARTS great. Mind blowing GREAT.

And without further ado, I give you my BEST audio experiences of 2014:

 

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5# Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley [Narrated by Susannah Jones]

Oh, GOD BLESS the extraordinary talented Susannah Jones for taking this task to THE MAX and making ALL 8 ROCK CHICKS THE MASTERPIECES THEY ARE in audio. See, I am a devoted Kristen Ashley fan, I know for a fact that anything I pick from her I will like and the entire Rock Chick journey was PHENOMENAL to say the least, now mix that with the absolutely hilarious and catchy voice of Susannah Jones and you have a time bomb ready to explode once people figure out the whole audio trick. Listening to a story you love, narrated with such professionalism and humor is a treat only few will enjoy though everybody SHOULD. I particularly loved them all, but above all, Rock Chick Revolution was THE BEST. All the voices she makes are fantastic, but there is something in Ally’s character that turns it up a notch. I think her best ones are Tex, Lee and Mr. Kumar.

Kudos to both of you ladies: KA, for being the FREAKIN’ QUEEN OF EVERYTHING, and Susannah, for bringing the gang to life with such easiness it will make you think you are witnessing everything from first row at the theater.

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#4 Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde [Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov]

This book had it ALL, hands down. And Tatiana Sokolov, contributed to turn it into a wild ride.

Literally.

Joanna Wylde delighted us with Preacher’s story, and Tatiana Sokolov (with a small collabo from no other than Sean Crisden narrating Preacher’s POV) knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN. Reaper’s Stand is one of the best books I’ve heard her narrate (and I’ve heard quite a few) and since I hold Tatiana close to my heart (she’s the first narrator I ever listened to since I got myself an audible account) I just knew she would makes us enjoy another kick ass story. The author / narrator combo in this audio book made it reach another level of awesomeness to the point that I listened to it TWICE IN ONE WEEK. Tatiana has this way with characters and male voices that seriously sound so realistic you could hardly tell she’s the one behind them, and not every narrator has that gift. Trust me. To say it was a catchy and fun, and wild and explosive and IMPRESSIVE, is just not enough. It was AMAZING.

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#3 The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune [Narrated by Sean Crisden]

Lord Almighty, where do I start?

TJ Klune is with no doubt one of the most gifted storytellers to have ever lived.

Seriously.

See, there is something so special in the way he writes, and how he involves the reader with such ease, you just KNOW there is a magnificent and beautiful story waiting to be read. And when you mix the added bonus of a SUPERB narration from an equality gifted narrator like Sean Crisden, you are officially entering the big leagues.

If you ever read Bear, Otter & The Kid you know what the story is about. So much so, that if you loved it like me, you cried (a river, for real). Well, Tyson and the gang were brought to life (again) in the extraordinary voice of Sean Crisden who nailed it with every single character interpretation. There is no mistake on anybody’s voice, which makes the audio experience a really fun and happy one. If I have anything to say about this, is that it was TOO SHORT! 15 Hours were not enough of this man’s marvelous voice.

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#2 Chronicles of Nick: Infinity [Narrated by Holter Graham]

Mr. HBO himself has a legion of fans worldwide. I’m pretty sure the opinion of a random blogger is one of the things he can care less about; but OH-EM-GEE if there is one person I simply WORSHIP when it comes to voice off’s is Holter Graham. From the minute I heard the first sentence of the book, I knew who he was. I knew it would be a MIND BLOWING experience and sure enough, I finished all 5 books in a month. CRAZY! Think about it: approximately 50 + hours of Holter Graham giving a voice to Southern / Cajun Cherise Gautier, mighty Acheron, the winey Heifer Goddess and the rest of the Dark Hunters!

PARANORMAL PARADISE IN NEW ORLEANS!

To me, Holter Graham is one of the greatest narrators on the planet, and to have the HONOR and privilege of narrating a book by none else than mastermind genius Sherrilyn Kenyon….I kid you not, if it was me, I couldn’t sleep.

Infinity is possibly the best one of all 5 narrated by Graham. The voice he gives to Nick Gautier will only make you love him all over again (yes, before he turned all crazy and allied with Artemis)…

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#1 Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford [Narrated by Greg Tremblay]

My audio book experience would have never been the same this year if not for the TALENTED AND BLESSED VOICE OF THIS MAN. Actually, it would have never been the same without the GENIUS STORY of Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae Min. Rhys Ford brought a little bit of light to my life with this series and when I discovered the EXTREMELY WELL NARRATED AUDIOBOOKS, it was like opening a door to a totally new world.

Of all the many, many, audio books I have listened to this year; this is the best one. Hands down.

Greg Tremblay has a GLORIOUS gift. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the smoothness of his voice and the way how he juggles accents with such a natural way. The easiness he finds in switching characters leaves you speechless. His voice alone is a gift from heaven I wish I had (I seriously sound like a hyena laughing…) so yes, to say his narration talent is brilliant is just not enough.

IT’S EPIC.

 

Milked by Lisa Doyle [BookBlitz]

milked lisa doyle

By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

 

Excerpt

 

“Can you hear me?” said a slight, wiry man with glasses and an authentic Irish brogue. I hadn’t even noticed as a full band of six—no, seven—guys had assembled in the corner of the bar. And oh God, Eamonn was standing there holding a violin. (Is there an Irish word for violin? Would they call it a fiddle?) This was possibly better than a guitar.

“Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Failte,” said the older man, and we all applauded. The band started out with a lively piece and some of the presumably regular patrons started clapping and cheering.

Over the next hour, I sat transfixed watching them (okay, him) as the rest of my group kept chattering away. It wasn’t just his looks that made him sexy; it was the way his hands moved on the violin, how he put his whole body into the song, how he was so in tune with the rest of the group. There were so many more of them than you’d see in a typical bar band, and they all had to play off of each other, producing these amazing harmonies. There was another violinist (fiddler?) playing as well, but I could pick out Eamonn’s the entire night. It sounded sweeter. I had never appreciated Irish music at all before that night. In fact, I had thought it was kind of cheesy. There was nothing cheesy about the way Eamonn looked playing it.

Anthony, good sport that he had been, begged off at ten, citing an early call schedule starting the next day.

“Thank you for the wine,” I said, giving him a pat on the hand as he left. He nodded and left. Meg and Henry soon followed, giving me quick hugs goodbye.

Just then, Eamonn took the microphone from its stand. “We’ve got time for just one more song tonight. I understand there’s a lass here celebrating a birthday?” His eyes scanned the room for about half a second before landing on mine.

Oh, God. I managed a small wave as my friends started to clap and hoot in my direction.

“Any requests, love?” he asked, wiping a little sweat from his brow.

Crap. I didn’t know any Irish songs.

“Er. Something by U2, maybe?” I squeaked out.

He conferred with his bandmates for a moment. They all then left the stage except for Eamonn. He pulled a stool up closer to the microphone and set it back in its stand, then adjusted it for height. He sat down, wiped his brow again, then smiled at me and started to play.

A hush fell over the bar as he alone proceeded to play the most extraordinary version of “All I Want Is You.” Everyone was enraptured at this point, not just me. It was so melodious, so hauntingly beautiful and unlike anything I’d ever heard. I’d never been hugely into violin music before, but I knew I’d never listen to one the same way again.

When he played the last lines, it was like the end of a massage. I felt so refreshed, so relaxed, but damned if I didn’t wish it was longer. The bar erupted in applause, and Eamonn stood up to take a small bow. The wiry man returned to the stage and said, “How ’bout my nephew?” and gave Eamonn a large pat on the back.

Leigh turned to me after the cheers had died down.

“Seriously. If you don’t sleep with that guy tonight, I will,” Leigh whispered.

Let me just tell you that thirty-year-old me had never had a one-night stand before. And by definition, thirty-two-year-old me hasn’t either, thank you very much. I just wanted to make that clear. Leigh, on the other hand, she was kind of slutty. A great friend, sure, but she would be the first to admit she had lost track of her magic number halfway through her twenties.

“I’m not sleeping with anyone tonight, all right?” I said. But that’s not to say I was going to walk out that door and never see that guy again. Hell, no. I grabbed a coaster from the center of the table, and scribbled the words “Birthday Girl” and my cell phone number on it.

 

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!

lisa doyle

 

Author Bio:

Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois and a graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the nonprofit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has written for major beauty trade publications (Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc, Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life) and is a contributor to WOMEN REINVENTED: TRUE STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT AND CHANGE (LaChance Publishing, 2010). Doyle is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary, Inc., a full-service agency based in New York. For more about Lisa, please visit herwebsite.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bylisadoyle

Twitter: @bylisadoyle

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Lust, Mechanics and Mini Coopers by Elle Brookes

Bella Media Management

Romantic Comedy/Adventure/Time Travel

Date Published: June 15, 2014

Part Two: Sex. Coffee. Time Travel.  Coming Soon

 

BlurbAdventure-romance author, Lesley Meryn, has lived her own share of adventures. But the one thing she has never experienced is the “coupe de foudre”, the Lightning-Bolt of Love. Connected by years of friendship to the sexy action-movie star, Jason Hambrey, Jax, the two really are “just friends” but the paparazzi are merciless, making their lives and their friendship almost impossible to sustain.

When Lesley’s Aunt dies, leaving her a piece of property in North Yorkshire, Lesley is mystified. Her aunt kept it a secret. Lesley travels to London and learns her that her aunt leased the property twenty-five years before to an ‘Historical Research Society’. The lease on the property is up for renewal. Before she makes her decision; Lesley travels to the farm to investigate

Nothing could prepare her for what she finds at the farm. Miles Sherwood is dark, devious, and desperate. He’s the very last person one would consider the head of a stuffy British ‘Historical Society’

Lesley finds him insufferable, yet irresistibly attractive. The two unknowingly share a deep connection. Whether they like it or not…it’s Lightning-Time!

 

 

Excerpt

 

“UNDONE…”

Miles stared at the computer again without seeing it. Now his brain was whirling with even more concrete, even more disturbing images. For a man who had always taken a measure of pride in his discipline and self-control he felt as though he were on the verge of losing it completely. He poured another mug of coffee from the thermos on his desk, hoping that it might help to clear his head.

The phone chirped at his elbow. He stared at it until it stopped, then rubbed his hands over the stubble on his face. He took another long drink of coffee.

When Miles looked up, she was standing there in the open doorway, watching him. He flinched slightly, wondering how she could have snuck up on him so easily. He hadn’t even heard her.

“I’m leaving,” Lesley announced firmly and quietly and without preamble. “Now.”

“We haven’t discussed the lease.” He found himself staring at her lips.

”There’s nothing for us to discuss,” she stated flatly, trying to keep from looking at him directly.

“And your car—” Miles caught her eyes with his.

“I’ll walk if I need to…” Lesley stared back at him without flinching.

“Its a long walk,” Miles replied still locking eyes with her.

“I don’t care.” Lesley swallowed, desperate to keep her resolve.

“It might rain,” he observed.

“It might,” she replied faintly.

Miles took a step towards her. “Not until we finish our business.”

“Our business can be settled by the solicitors.” Lesley took a small step away from him, her heart thudding madly.

“Why not between us?”

“I’d rather not.” She pulled her gaze away from him, fixing her eyes firmly on the painting behind him. She noted that the rapier was back in its scabbard on the wall next to the painting.

“I think we can settle this like two civilized people.”

Lesley gave a short laugh. “Do you really believe that?”

“We could at least try….” he raised a brow.

“Ahh…Don’t you think we’ve gotten a bit past that?”

Miles scratched his cheek thoughtfully. “I must have missed that part.”

“Missed it? You engineered it!” Lesley faced him, offering her bruised wrists for his inspection.

“I believe that you made a considerable contribution in that regard.” he replied dryly, tilting his head to the rapier on the wall.

Lesley stared at him a moment, then dropped herself obstinately into the beleaguered upholstered chair.

“I thought you were leaving,” he said.

“Oh, I am.”

“Then kindly do it, so I can get back to work.” As if.

Miles folded his arms against his chest and leaned back against the desk. He raised his chin to the door. He was torn between the dread that she would do just that and the hope that he could think of something to get her to stay.

“If you’re going to go, then go.” He thought that perhaps reverse psychology would work with someone as seemingly perverse as she was. He smiled inwardly. She was almost as bad as he was. “I can have Conan take you to the train station.”

Lesley stared at him then moved her attention to behind him resting it on the painting, then on the rapier hung on the wall beside it. After admiring it for a few seconds, she came to a decision.

“That’s yours. then?” She turned her head to the sword.

“Yes, it is.”

“Do you know how to use it?”

His eyes slitted dangerously at her. “What are you getting at?

“Is that just for decoration, or do you know how to use it?”

“Maybe.” His mouth set into a firm line.

“Mmm…” she paused. “Have you got another one?”

“If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, then stop thinking about it.”

“What is it you think I’m thinking about?”

“I don’t even want to think about it.”

“You were the one who suggested that we settle this like two civilized people.”

“You are out of your mind…” he hissed between his teeth. “How can you even suggest—”

“I consider it a rather civilized way of resolving our differences. Well, it used to be, in any case.”

“I consider it out of the question.”

“Why?” she asked.

He turned away from her, raking back his disheveled hair, not certain just how he should respond to her.

“I’d like to propose a little wager.” Lesley stuck her chin out at him, the defiant eight year old still very much a part of her.

“A what?” His head swiveled to face her.

“You heard me, a wager. If you win, you get the lease renewed, same terms, no questions asked, for whatever length of time you require. “

“And if I lose?” he asked softly.

“If you lose… you tell me what it is you’re really doing here. I mean really. The absolute truth.”

“I thought I’d already done that,” Miles replied calmly, “told you the truth…”

Lesley offered him a wry twisted smile. “Nah….I don’t think so. There’s more.”

“What makes you think that?” Miles asked, humoring her.

“Mmm…” Lesley raised a brow as she took stock of him again. “If there isn’t, then what have you got to worry about?”

Miles looked down, shaking his head.

“You’re afraid.”

“Of you? No.” Miles raised his head slowly. “For you…yes.”

“I’m not. What do you say?”

“You’re very sure of yourself, aren’t you?” His brows rose.

“No more than you appear to be,” came the response.

“I think you have the wrong idea about me, D’Artagnan.”

“I don’t think that at all.”

Miles took her in carefully, the set of her jaw, her flashing eyes, the determined set of her lips. Oh God, those luscious delicious lips. He could no more set upon her with a sword than he could willingly smash the treasure of a priceless Fabergé Egg. No matter how much she provoked him.

“I suppose you’ve changed your mind about me, then…” he replied dryly, taking yet another tack.

“What do you mean?”

“Yesterday you declared me a man without principles. What could possibly have happened between then and now that would lead you to believe I would keep to the terms of any wager you cared to propose? In a duel of honor?”

Lesley had no response to this.

“Listen to me, you selfish brat. You want to go, then go. For whatever reason you’ve chosen to concoct, it’s not enough that we fence words, now you want to use the real thing. You have no idea what you’re proposing, or who you’re dealing with. And I’m weary of playing games with you. And I adamantly refuse to be a character in one of your self-indulgent literary exploits.” He gave her an exasperated wave. “Ach!”

She stared at him, speechless, for several moments. The heat of adrenaline flashed through her. He was so devilishly handsome, those black eyes flashing at her, and so… so…

“You’re insufferable!” she finally breathed.

“Thank you,” he nodded. “From someone who has elevated the concept into an art form, that is high praise indeed.”

Shaking, and outraged beyond words, Lesley gathered herself up and started for the door.

“What? No scathing retort?” Miles commented quietly, not able to stop himself.             “No parting sarcastic remark?”

Lesley paused, her fingers trembling on the door handle. There was everything in her that wanted to reply, yet she held back, unwilling to allow him to succeed in his attempt to goad her. With a deep breath of resolve, she wrenched the door open and walked down the long tiled passageway.

Miles stared at the open door, the sound of her boots receded down the long corridor. With each step the haze in his head grew stronger and the roar louder, and he found that he was having difficulty breathing. He knew he had to do something or else he would never be able to function or think clearly again. He had so much unresolved sexual tension, building up from the first electric moment he’d seen her, he had to do something. And he realized then, that he would do just about anything to keep her from leaving. He swallowed, took two deep breaths and cursed himself for his weakness and for what he was about to do.

“Wait!” he called from behind the door, and down the passageway her boots slowed. “Wait! I’ll do it!” He listened for a reply. There were no footsteps. He held his breath.

Carefully, he tilted his head around the door and came face to face with her. She stood silent, watching him, waiting. He found himself caught up, transfixed by those hazy smoky emerald eyes, and he knew he was lost.

“I’ll do it. Damn you,” he whispered. “I’ll do it…”

She smiled. And it sent a fiery cold shiver down his spine, which was surprisingly, frighteningly, familiar.

 

 

Author Bio

Elle grew up in Los Angeles, California, but has lived in San Francisco and then Jamaica when she was a Peace Corps Volunteer.  At the age of  twelve she bOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAecame obsessed with keeping falcons in the back yard. Fortunately, for the hundreds of hapless French poodles living in the San Fernando Valley at the time, she was not allowed to do this. In the course of the following years, she took on the challenges of earlier times, learning how to fence, how to ride horses, archery skills, and she even took a “Grand Tour of Europe”. Travel continues to be a passion of hers. Her father always claimed that she had been born into the wrong century.  He may have been right.  Elle currently lives in the central highlands of Costa Rica with her dog Pixie, and her hedgehog, Quiller.

 

 

 

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Live, Love & Laugh with Ute Carbone [BookBlitz + GIveaway]

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Title:  The P-Town Queen
Author:   Ute Carbone
Published:   June 2012
Publisher:  Champagne Book Group
Word Count:  65,000
Genre:  Romantic Comedy
Content Warning:  Mild language and adult situations
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis:
Nikki Silva feels like she’s blown up her life even as her brothers tease her about blowing up a boat called the Mona Lisa. Divorced, funding for her shark research cut off, she’s moved back to Provincetown to live with her father in her childhood home. Nikki hopes to regain herself. She’s written a grant proposal for the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Commission to fund a study that will get her back to the sort of research she loves. The commission is run by her ex-husband Ned, who would rather have a migraine than give money to his ex-wife.
Marco Tornetti wants to turn a hole-in-the-wall Newark spaghetti joint into a trendy bistro. His silent partner, Fat Phil Lagosa, wants to use the place to meet questionable people for questionable business deals. When Fat Phil accuses Marco of a double cross and has him taken for a ride by one of his hit men, Marco knows he’s in too deep.
Marco escapes the hit man and takes the first bus out of the Tri-state area, a bus chartered by the Greater Teaneck Gay Men’s Choir and headed for Provincetown. Marco figures that Phil would never look for him in Provincetown‘s gay community. But when he meets Nikki and falls hard for her, he finds that pretending to be gay isn’t as easy as it would seem.
 
Excerpt from The P-Town Queen by Ute Carbone:
In my lifetime I have learned, among other things, not to overcook veal and never to forget a woman’s name the morning after. On that day I added another little ditty to my list: never blow up a dead whale with dynamite.
Max Groper had figured it for a horror show and so had washed his hands of the whole mess and stormed off to his van. Nikki, too, must have figured what would happen, but that woman likes trouble, I swear to God.
“We’d better stand back,” she said, with the same amused mischief in her eyes that she’d had at Good Vibrations. The cops had, in fact, already pushed the entire crowd back, so Nik and I went to stand in the front line, so to speak, right where the lot meets the beach in front of the first row of cars.
“I wish I’d brought the video camera,” Nik said. “I hope someone is recording this for posterity.” I looked around and noticed at least three video cams trained on the whale, which was now being wired for a trip to kingdom come. “YouTube bonanza,” said Nikki. “I’m surprised that the folks from Channel Four aren’t here.”
“Maybe we should go wait in the truck,” I said. I had this bad feeling that flying whale parts wasn’t going to be like the fountain light show at the Bellagio in Vegas.
 

 photo 070714-NAfterglow.jpgTitle:   Afterglow

Author:  Ute Carbone
Published:  January 2013
Publisher:  Champagne Book Group
Word Count:   69,000
Genre:  Romantic Comedy
Content Warning: Language, PG-13 sexual content
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis:
India Othmar isn’t having a great year. Her husband of thirty-one years has left her for their son’s ex-girlfriend. Her grown children have moved home. Her best friend Eva seems determined to set her up with every oddball in their small Massachusetts town. And her most significant relationship these days is with Cherry Garcia.
But India is more resilient than she thinks. And though it will take a broken arm, a lawn littered with engine parts, some creative uses for shoes, and a scandalous love affair of her own, she learns, much to her surprise, that her life hasn’t ended with her marriage.
 
Excerpt from Afterglow by Ute Carbone:
“It’s just one date.” Eva held out the package.
“Spanx?” I asked, reading the label.
“Don’t you watch the View? Oprah? All of Hollywood’s leading ladies are wearing it. It’s like a gym in a box. Tone without the trouble.”
I unwrapped the girdle-like contraption and held it up; doubtful it could do much besides make me uncomfortable. “And this man. This card you gave me. You called him?”
“On your behalf, yes.” I frowned at her as I’d been frowning at the girdle contraption.
“Well, someone had to.”
“Explain to me again why you won’t date him.”
“Rule one,” Eva said as though lecturing a child.
“Never date a man you do business with,” I recited.
“Correct. Also, rule two applies here. He’s a friend of Carl Phillips, who I dated, when was that? Anyway, rule two. Never date the good friend of a man you’ve slept with.”
“I didn’t realize that dating was so complicated.”
“Very complex. You’re a bright woman. You’ll catch on. And J. Hank is the perfect primer date. He’s a nice man, once you get past the whole prison thing.”
I dropped the Spanx. “Come again?”
“Strictly white collar. A few months for a little tax mix up.”
“Shouldn’t there be a rule about dating an ex-con?”
“Oh, for God sakes, India. Martha Stewart went to prison.”
Eva held up both hands as though she were the scales of justice.
“Insider trading, a little tax problem. Hardly the same as rape and
murder. And you don’t have to marry him. In fact, more than one
date is inadvisable. He’s just for practice.”
“Practice?”
“Darling India, you haven’t dated in thirty years. J. Hank is
good practice.”
 

 

 photo 070714-NSeachingforSuperman.jpgTitle:  Searching for Superman

Author:  Ute Carbone
Published:  June 2013
Publisher:  Champagne Book Group
Word Count:  54,000
Genre:  Romantic Comedy
Content Warning:  Language, mild sexual content
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis:
Stephanie Holbrook has finally found a job she really loves: working as an assistant to Conrad Finch in a small regional theater that’s about three dollars and a power outage from being torn down. Stephanie wishes her love life would be as perfect as her job. She’ll be thirty on her next birthday and she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. According to Stephanie, Mr. Right has to be strong and brave, with great values and good looks. A guy a lot like Superman.
When Doug Castleberry shows up at her niece’s birthday party dressed as Superman, Stephanie is positive he’s not the real deal. Sure, he’s great with kids and he’s kind of cute. But he’s just a high school teacher making extra money by dressing up for kid’s parties. Hardly the strong, brave, and drop-dead gorgeous guy she’s looking for.
As the theater teeters ever closer to the edge of disaster, Doug proves to be a better man than Stephanie had ever imagined. Could he be the Superman she’s been looking for all along?
Excerpt from Searching for Superman by Ute Carbone:
As though her frustration had been carried across the airwaves, a white van with a castle stenciled to its side pulled into the Spellman’s driveway as Stephanie hung up. None too soon. She surveyed the damages. All the balloons had been popped. The presents had been opened in an attempt to restore order among the birthday guests. Wrapping paper was strewn across the floor in three rooms. Some of the girls were playing catch with a new Barbie doll. And several other children were using a new jump rope as a makeshift whip.
Steve had taken Max, who had somehow fallen asleep despite the ruckus, upstairs for a nap. Liz was attempting to clean bits of cookie dough from the counters and floors. Stephanie squared her shoulders, ready for a showdown with the belated Cinderella.
She marched down the driveway, ready to tell the Castle Creature just what she thought of abhorrently tardy behavior, when out of the van jumped Superman. He didn’t look so much like Superman as a man dressed for a Halloween party. He was too short for a superhero, for one, only a few inches taller than Stephanie. He was more wiry than muscular. He was cute, though. He had a full head of light brown curly hair and nice eyes. Not blue, like Christopher Reeve’s had been, but hazel. The eyes were looking right at her.
“Spellman?” he asked. When she didn’t answer, he smiled apologetically. “The GPS in the van isn’t working. And this development is a maze. I felt like I was in an episode of Lost. In which I was really lost. I figured I’d eventually run out of gas and Jane would have to put out an APB.” He looked at Stephanie with those hemlock eyes again. “Sorry.”
“You are not supposed to be Superman.”
“What?” He went to the van and drew a paper off the seat. “I’m sure. Yup. Says right here. Superman.”
She took the paper from him and crumbled it. “You are supposed to be Cinderella.”
“No.” He looked at her with a combination of horror and confusion. “Cinderella?”
“It’s a princess party. So you better have Cinderella in that van of yours.”
“It’s not my van. And, no, I don’t have Cinderella hiding under the backseat.” He gave her a no-harm-no-foul sort of shrug.
“Let me call Jane.”
Stephanie waved her cell phone at him. “What do you suppose I’ve been doing for the last hour?”
“Okay, okay. She’s probably… Let me go back to the shop, see what I can do.”
He turned to get back into the van. She gave his cape a tug. “You are not leaving. You can’t leave. There are twenty-five children terrorizing my sister’s house and you have to stop them.”
 

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About the Author:
Ute (who pronounces her name Oooh-tah) Carbone is an award winning author of women’s fiction, comedy, and romance. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where she spends her days hiking, listening to music, drinking copious amounts of coffee, eating chocolate and dreaming up stories.
 
Giveaway Details:
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The Divorced Not Dead Workshop by CeCe Osgood [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

A KINDLE EBOOK NOW ON AMAZON!!

THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit, is a hilarious and touching look at re-entering the dating world after divorce. 

Blurb

Meet Dorsey Bing. She’s been divorced for five years and was recently dumped by her mega-hot Brit boyfriend, Theo. Smart, funny and a wee bit angsty, Dorsey brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced men. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through.

That all changes when her best friend Pilar, a feisty go-getter, opts to set up the workshop with herself in charge and Dorsey as her “go-fer.” But do things ever really work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.

A startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of handsome but wily Finn Woodall soon send things topsy-turvy for Dorsey. Even more trouble arises with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey want him back or is she smitten with Finn who could possibly be a back-stabbing rat bastard? And with everything that’s happened in the workshop will Dorsey face her biggest challenge to win the love, and life, she’s always desired?

 Excerpt

 Having just lost her job after “The Pee Incident,” Dorsey Bing, the novel’s main character, curls up in her bed, scared of the future.

***************************************************************

 

A fresh wave of anxiety swept over me. What to do? What to do? I crawled out of bed and found my CD player. Good. My favorite relaxation CD was still inside. I loved the narrator’s wonderfully deep, sonorous voice, which was almost as good at inducing sleep as high school algebra. The next thing I knew it was dark outside, and my front door was rattling. I was about to panic when I heard Pilar’s voice. “Hey, girl. Open up. We brought ammo.”

In record time, the ammo (a bottle of Merlot, Thai chicken lettuce wraps from Pei Wei, and chocolate almond bark from Trader Joe’s) was spread out on the coffee table. Goblet in hand, I told them about my miserable day.

Mimi voiced her concern and gave me a comforting look while Pilar, seated next to her on my plum-colored loveseat, checked her watch. “Okay. Our two minutes of commiserating with you is” — she counted under her breath — “up.” She arched a dark eyebrow. “Let’s talk about your brainchild.”

“What brainchild?”

She exhaled loudly. “You know I love you, Dorsey, but you really do have zero follow-through. It drives me crazy.’

“What are you-?”

She cut me off. “You’ve been this way forever, so I guess I should be used to it by now.”

“Used to what?”

“How you never act on your ideas. Remember your ‘Suck-It-In’ body girdle? You had that idea years ago, but did you follow through on it? No. The woman who did is now the Spanx zillionaire.” Pilar held up a finger. “Well it’s not happening this time, my friend, because this time I’m willing to help you give it a go.”

I swirled the wine in my glass. “Give what a go?”

Pilar picked up a lettuce wrap.  “What you said last night.”

“Last night’s a blur, Pilar. You know how I get when I’m snockered.”

She finished the wrap in two bites. “This was before you saw Theo. You weren’t snockered then. You were talking about divorce and dating and how you hated the online scene. You said what people really need is a place to meet each other, and that’s when you brought up this dating workshop idea. You said men suck and this workshop might help ‘desuckify’ them. Ring any bells?”

I gave her one-shoulder shrug. “Little bit.”

“During our first pitcher at Casa Oro, you started brainstorming about the workshop. You wanted it to go deeper than the usual date-doctor spiel, and really get men engaged in learning about their expectations and what’s going on inside their heads. You called it ‘soul-fetching’ which”—Pilar snorted—“isn’t such a hot marketable term so I say we drop it.”

“I like soul-fetching,” Mimi said dreamily.

Pilar ignored her. “Frankly, I’m not sure about it being only for men, but we’ll deal with that later. Anyway, that’s the gist of what you said last night, Dorsey.”

I rolled my eyes. “I must’ve talked your heads off, huh?”

Mimi smiled. “Oh, yeah. You were on a roll. You started asking strangers at the next table what they thought of your workshop idea. You got a couple thumbs up.”

I cringed. “Jeez. Please don’t ever let me drink again.”

Pilar leaned forward eagerly. “Here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking about it, and I like it. I like it a lot. I think it really has potential.”

I made a face.

“Don’t do that, Dorsey. Don’t put it down.”

“You can’t be serious–”

She cut me off. “I am. I’m very serious. I think it’s worth pursuing.” She grabbed the wine bottle. It was empty. She set it down with a thud, snorted “I’ll be back” and bustled off to the kitchen.

Her reaction to the workshop idea had really surprised me. I was under the impression she loved being an event planner and traveling around the country setting up fundraisers for charities and non-profits, although, come to think of it, she had been griping about not feeling fulfilled in her work life lately.

Just last week she said she felt like she was helping other people live their dreams, while she had put her own on hold. I’d chalked it up to her needing a vacation, but now I suspected it might run deeper than that.

“Any takers?” Pilar asked, returning with the bottle of Zinfandel from my fridge.

Like she had to ask. After filling our glasses, Pilar sat across from me. “Last night, you talked a lot about how your mother was divorced for a long time, and how things changed when she met Ralph, and how she knew he was such a great guy.”

I sensed where she was going. “But he didn’t go to a workshop to be a great guy.”

“That’s because he’s a natural. The point is, we’ll help the ‘not-so-great’ guys become more like Ralph. That’s exactly how you put it last night.”

Hellloooo. I was drunk. I say dumb things when I’m hammered.”

 

Author Bio

 

CeCe Osgood lives in Texas after many years in LA working in the film industry.  Her writing career includes magazine articles and screenplays as well as being a freelance script analyst (main client HBO). She also has had two screenplays optioned. cece osgood

Being a novelist has been her lifelong dream, and now it’s becoming her reality. Her debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit aka lighthearted women’s fiction, is about dating after divorce.  She loves red wine and hates pretzels.  See more about her at http://www.ceceosgood.com.

 

 

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Private Air by Billie Bates [BookBlitz]

private air

 

BlurbWhen Sienna Harris joined the Australian Air Force as a flight attendant for the Prime Minister, she thought she’d hit the glam-job jackpot. But three years of weapons training, outback destinations, and a cheating fighter pilot fiancé, and she’s realized it’s not so fabulous after all. Time to embark on a new adventure, this time to the prestigious world of international VIP aviation.
Sienna and her best friend leave behind their small-town lives for a glitzy career flight attending on a Saudi prince’s private jet. Money, parties, designer clothes, and exotic locations fill the job description, while the sexy pilot, Ted, makes it hard for Sienna to obey the “no fraternizing” rule.
But even the most opulent of journeys can hit turbulence. Sienna’s boss, the appearance-obsessed chief stewardess, issues diuretics and Botox with the uniforms and catering orders, and the prince is a man who’s never told no. Underneath its lush appearance, could this desert oasis be more of a muddy puddle?
The Devil Wears Prada meets Pan Am in this fun frolic to the glamorous side of air travel, inspired by the author’s own experience as a VIP flight attendant in Saudi Arabia and Europe.

Excerpt

A glow of excitement washed over me as I jumped in a cab. Mike still didn’t know I was in town, so my arrival would be a sweet surprise. We’d been doing the long distant thing for three years, which wasn’t terrible, since I only had to worry about shaving my legs once every two weeks. But now that we were engaged and my contract was up with the RAAF, the plan was for me to discharge and move here to be with him.

I’d always imagined taking time out to travel the world after my military contract ended, but life didn’t always turn out as planned.  And even if giving up flying and living in Williamtown wasn’t quite the jet-set life I’d envisioned, being the wife of a fighter pilot wouldn’t be terrible, either. What girl didn’t want to find a fun swoon-worthy man to love and settle down with? I pushed aside the niggling thought that I was giving up on pursuing my dreams, and focused on nicer thoughts, like bubble baths… and reenacting love scenes from Top Gun.

Fifteen minutes later, the taxi pulled up next to Mike’s black Nissan 350Z. Beyonce blared from the living room. Beyonce? Other than the Top Gun soundtrack, I usually couldn’t get him to listen to anything but AC/DC.

I stepped through the front door to his townhouse and called out over the music, “Mike? It’s me, babe, where are you?”

I needn’t have asked.

Mike sat in the living room in his boxers, his hands behind his back in fluffy pink handcuffs, while a flame-haired Glamazonian, complete with leopard print thong, gyrated on his lap to Crazy in Love.

I froze, halfway through the door, with my hand still on the doorknob and my jaw on the floor. My initial thought was I’d just seen my first pair of bare, silicone boobs. Not a common sight in the circles we hung with.

Mike, although stunned, didn’t look nearly as worried as I thought he should. “Sienna, what are you doing here?” he asked.

My stomach lurched into my throat.

Big Red got off his lap, apparently bored, but didn’t attempt to clothe herself or to un-cuff him. She switched off the music with the remote, looked me up and down (or just down, considering she stood six feet tall), and swaggered to the bedroom. “Let me know when you’re done,” she called over her shoulder.

“Sienna, it’s not what it looks like,” Mike said.

“That’s original.” What I really wanted to say was, So you’re not getting a lap dance? You’re just having your crotch polished and her panties are the Shamwow? But the saliva build-up in my throat only let me swallow.

He sighed. “Why don’t you un-cuff me, then we can talk. The keys are over there on the coffee table.” He nodded in the direction of the table. The table I’d given him as a housewarming gift. In a daze, I inched over.

He took my silence as a cue to continue. “Arizona is a stripper, okay, but it’s not as sleazy as it looks. We’re old friends.”

I thought over a list of activities I participated in with old friends. Lap dancing didn’t come to mind.

“There’s no easy way to say this, sweet-thing…” He tilted his head in pity. “Arizona and I have fallen in love.”

My heart stopped.

I didn’t know which was more insulting; that he’d paid another woman to gyrate on his groin, or that he was in love with another woman who’d been gyrating on his groin.

The blood that had drained from my face returned with full force. “You’re in love? You still call her by her stage name and you think you’re in love? You have a fifteen thousand dollar ring on another girl’s finger, and you think you’re in love?” My voice didn’t come close to matching my internal meltdown.

“Sienna, I’m so sorry, babe, this is hard for me too, you know. I was waiting for the right time to tell you. I guess the heart just wants what the heart wants…”

I stared at his bound and pathetic self and felt an overwhelming urge to kick the chair from beneath him. “No Michael, in your case I think the dick just wants what the dick wants.” I picked up a lipstick from the table and examined the base. Final Seduction. How appropriate.  Mike sat jaw clenched as I wrote the word DICK across his forehead in hooker-red lipstick, then turned and walked out the door.

“I’m keeping the ring,” I called over my shoulder as I left.

********

Two days later, I was back in Canberra freezing my butt-cheeks off on the rifle range. Weapons handling only came around twice a year, but I couldn’t stand it. Raw blisters in the webbing of my thumbs and bruises on my hipbones from shooting in the prone position, weren’t my idea of a fun day out.

“Harris!” The Sergeant’s voice bellowed out over the range. “Unload your rifle and get to the shelter! Your Commanding Officer’s on the phone!”

Thank God. They probably needed me for a flight, which meant I’d get out of spending the rest of the day firing (or misfiring). Although, picturing Mike’s face on the target had me shooting with much higher accuracy than usual.

I unloaded my rifle, handed the sergeant my magazine, and pulled my camouflage-pant’s pockets inside out. “No live rounds or ammunition in my possession, Sarge!” I barked.

He nodded abruptly and kept the line-up waiting while he addressed me. “You flight stewardesses think you’re above military requirements just because you jet around the country with the Prime Minister,” he said. “Harris, I want you back on this rifle range before the month is out or I’ll write you up as un-current and therefore grounded. You won’t be flying anywhere!”

“Yes Sergeant, I’ll report back as soon as I land.”

“Dismissed.” He scowled at me, then turned back to the line-up. “Ready! Instant! Fire!”

I skipped inside and took the receiver from the admin clerk. “Wing Commander Worthington? This is Corporal Harris.” I rolled up my camo-shirt sleeves, so relieved to be out of the cold.

“Sie, it’s me, Kendi. I had one of the boys pretend to be Worthington. Look, I’m heading over to Betsey’s Pizza Kitchen, you have to come and meet me ASAP. I have some news you’re gonna freak over!”

“Of course, sir, right away.” I shrugged to the admin clerk as I hung up the phone. “Duty calls,” I said, which wasn’t entirely untrue.

*************

 I cranked the heater in my old silver MX5 and waved to the security officer as I drove off the RAAF base.  Don Henley’s Boys of Summer came on the radio. I turned it up to sing along at full volume, trying to push away memories of a road trip to Sydney I’d taken with Mike. The same song had blared from my stereo, and he’d covered his ears in pretend protest against my off-key singing.

I just couldn’t get my head around Mike’s snap-one-eight (fighter pilot jargon for one hundred and eighty degree turn). One minute we’re talking marriage, kids and me giving up my career to support him in his (something that had taken a lot of convincing for me to be onboard with, might I add). The next minute he’s in love with Tacky Jacky. I mean, seriously, leopard print thong? And Kendi thought I was stuck in the Eighties!

I’d really underestimated Mike’s immaturity, or else my wanker-radar had been turned off for three years. I felt like a peanut shell crushed into a dirty bar floor. Mike was the foot. I guess that made Arizona the dirty bar floor.

I slid into an empty parking space outback of Betsy’s, then switched my camouflage shirt for a black, Roxy zip-front sweater.

Inside, Kendi sat in a corner booth with her laptop, a maxi mug of mochaccino, and what I hoped was a latte for me. She wore a pink cashmere sweater and black skinny jeans, her golden mane pulled back in a ponytail. Kendi always looked put together, even when casual. Unlike me, who always looked casual, even when put together.

“Sienna, you’ve got to get a load of this,” she said, throwing her tiny size-two frame around me for a hug, then dragging me down in front of her laptop.

I took my latte and scrolled through the article she’d pulled up.

Life in the Fast Plane, the title read. Beside it, a picture of a handsome, clean-shaven Arab man. He waved from the stairs of a gleaming white Boeing 737 private jet. Two stunning flight attendants stood at the bottom of the stairs wearing black ‘60s-style baby doll dresses, knee-high boots, and sailor caps.

Gone are the days of wealth being rated by the number of Ferraris parked in one’s driveway or the size of one’s home in St Tropez. The new Jet Set make their status known by racking up air miles in their private ‘homes with wings’.

Leading the pack with his ostentatious display of wealth is Arab billionaire playboy, Prince Mohamed Al Saif, whom is often snapped at celebrity events with a different glamazon under his arm each time. Prince Mohammed Al Saif, 46, is a distant relative to the King of Saudi Arabia and has reportedly been pulled over the coals more than once by the Royal family for his overtly ‘Americanized’ lifestyle of excess.

He most recently made headlines for winning the Celebrity Car Race for Cancer last fall (a wild card entry since he funds 60% of the event), and rumors abound that his personal trainer, chef, and aircrew, all have salaries that equal that of a Chief Executive Officer…

My heart palpitated. Aircrew on salaries equaling a Chief Executive Officer? Okay, so it referred to Aussie CEOs, not quite Enron, but I didn’t need to read any more. I felt punch-drunk as I imagined a world of glamorous uniforms, exotic locations, and tax-free dollars. My very own Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Kendi always joked that I needed an upgrade to Cribs, since Lifestyles was so last decade, but I thought it a poor imitation. And even though I’d never tried caviar or champagne (the real stuff, at least), there was something in the way ‘champagne wishes and caviar dreams’ rolled off Robin Leach’s tongue, that made me think I should want those things more than anything in the world.

Kendi grinned at my salivating and clicked open a new window. The title read Van Hutton VIP Crew Agency. Below it was a photo of an immaculately groomed woman in her fifties. She had a silver bob and sat with her diamond-encrusted hands laced in front of her.

Crewing privately owned aircraft in Europe and the Middle East since 1988.

I scanned the contact information. The phone and fax numbers were British.

I didn’t know which was more shocking, that enough private flying existed to justify a crewing agency, or that we didn’t know about it.

“I FedExed my résumé while you were away last week,” Kendi said. “Moira Van Hutton called me herself, Sie! She’s the one who told me to look the Prince up on line, to see if it’s someone I’d care to work for,” she said, imitating posh English. “And that’s not all, she was so impressed with my work history she asked if I could recommend any other girls for her books, ‘only slim and attractive ones’ though. Sienna, we’ve got to get your résumé to her.”

This caught me off guard. “She really said ‘only slim and attractive’? Isn’t that breaking the discrimination act?” I didn’t know if I’d tick the ‘slim’ box. ‘Strong’ maybe. And next to Kendi I probably looked stocky. And how attractive did she mean? The girls in the photo looked like models.

Kendi’s blue eyes narrowed, possibly mistaking my deep thought for hesitation. “Sienna, this is your dream job. Hell, throw in the ridiculous salary and it’s better than your dream job. You’d have a first-hand glimpse at the life you fantasize about every bloody time you watch re-runs of Lifestyles. You’d be like Robin Leach in a dress. A cute, sixties style, baby-doll dress.”

I exhaled, blowing my chocolate bangs off my forehead. “No, I know. Trust me, I’m actually so excited about this I feel sick.” I looked down at my trembling hands. Goose bumps and my hands are shaking, I thought, which meant I wanted this bad. “I’m just in shock. Mostly by my first reaction, which was, thank God I’m not tied down with Mike.” Maybe I was more like my mum than I thought. That could’ve been why I felt sick. She’d run off when I was twelve for a chance at her own champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

“Oh shit, hon, I’m sorry. We’ve barely talked about how you’re doing with the whole Mike screwing you over thing.”

I circled the base of my cup on the table. “I’m doing okay. I just can’t decide what’s more insulting; Mike leaving me for a dirty bar-floor, or Aunty Pearl suggesting it was because I’d let myself go.”

Kendi raised an eyebrow. “Peanut-shell analogy?”

“Yeah…” I looked at her inquisitively.

“You used it once about your mum, except she was the foot.”

“Actually, she was the foot, and the dirty bar floor.”

My Dad had died in a fighter-jet crash when I was twelve. Aspartame induced flicker vertigo, the coroner’s report read. Go figure, diet cola killed my dad. Six months later, Mum met an LA movie producer on a SYD-LAX flight and famously got fired for joining the mile high club with him. She dumped her Qantas uniform in a trashcan and never came back. Hank, the movie producer, married her but didn’t like kids, which is how I ended up living with Aunty Pearl and Uncle Stan.

“And Pearl really asked if you’d let yourself go? That’s gotta be the shittiest thing she could have said! Short of asking if you’d been giving him enough blow-jobs, that is.”

I stifled a laugh and shrugged it off. “You know what she’s like. A sweetheart, but old fashioned as hell.” I mindlessly folded my paper napkin into an airplane. “Private flight attendant for a Saudi Arabian prince.Just saying it out loud sounded beyond exotic. I took a deliberate breath then swigged down the last of my latte. If there was a flying position out there even more prestigious than the one we already had and paid ten times as much, I wanted to be doing it. No, I had to be doing it. Just knowing about it made my little military gig now seem mediocre.

I returned to the previous window and traced my finger along the wing of the BBJ 737. Pure, giddy excitement overrode any lingering sadness about Mike.

I squeezed my hands into fists to stop them shaking. “I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do to get this job.” A smile curled the corners of my mouth. “Let’s do this.”

Author Bio

Billie Bates grew up in Australia with unquenchable thirst for travel. After exploring thbillie batese world as a VIP flight attendant for seven years, she finally settled in the quiet Midwest of the USA, where she now lives with her husband and two children.

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To Kiss a Werewolf by Molly Snow [BookBlitz]

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Kiss

To Kiss a Werewolf

Molly Snow

Genre: YA Paranormal Romantic Comedy

BLURB

As president of Paranormal Addicts Anonymous, Stella’s got no time for popular guys. Especially the surfers who hang at Shoreline’s beach—they think flashing a sand-sprinkled, tanned chest is enough to get any girl. But when surfer-hunk Damien Capernalli crashes Stella’s PAA fieldtrip to a haunted bed and breakfast, it may be time to rethink her priorities.

…And what’s with that wolfish gleam in Damien’s eye?

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excerp1

  Sea salt wafted in the humid sky, the full moon hidden by dark, puffy clouds. Normally, Damien would be feeling on top of the world. A night at the beach, with a pack of friends and girls—one in particular basically throwing herself at him. The typical blonde bombshell cheerleader. Piece of cake. But things weren’t feeling quite right.

Tina wrapped an arm around his, as she sat with him beside the crackling bonfire. She endlessly giggled, even when he wasn’t joking. It was way overboard. She was trying too hard, and suddenly she wasn’t as attractive. Man, why be so serious? he told himself. Just go with it. She’s hot. You like her. She obviously likes you.

But it was hard to let loose when he kept thinking about that girl at his uncle’s pizzeria. She must have known him from school. She had called him by name. So, why couldn’t he put a finger on who she was, what class they may have taken together? He not only knocked her to the ground like a fool, he did something else to anger her. If only he knew what that was… What made it worst of all, he was actually going to accept her request for a date. It’s just that tonight he already had plans with Tina.

A half hour later, Damien was making out with the blonde in his jeep. He was going through the motions, but his head still wasn’t clear. Why was he going to let some random girl from earlier that night ruin his mood? It was so, so irritating. He wished she never walked into his workplace. Whoever she was. Whatever her name was. Tonight could have been so much easier, not being confused over some dark and depressed Goth girl.

As he kissed Tina’s neck, the scent of her floral perfume quickly morphed from soft and seductive to strong and sickening. As if he had licked a bar of soap, he could taste the smell. He pulled back and shook his head, wiping his nose with a shoulder.

Tina’s hands were around his neck the next second. Her fake fingernails lightly pressed into his skin as she pulled him back down. Not wanting to totally ruin the moment, he surrendered, and told himself to get a grip. He moved away from her neck and back to her mouth. Soap. He could still taste her perfume. Nostrils flared and he pulled back again, cringing.

“Come here,” Tina breathed. “Don’t play hard to get now.”

He opened his mouth and panted, hoping to release the flavor. Looking up to the half-moon that peeked through a cluster of dark clouds, he suddenly felt like gagging. In the next moment, he leapt off the girl and ran to the center of some fir trees that bordered the beach.

“What’s the matter?!” Her voice trailed after him.

Damien hunched over and grabbed his knees. Something was wrong. Horribly wrong. He was sure he was going to vomit whatever stomach flu suddenly overtook him, but instead he felt possessed to howl hoarsely into the night: “Owoooo!”

BIO

Molly Snow is a Top 10 Idaho Fiction Author, awarded by The Idaho Book Extravaganza. Her works include quirky teen romances BeSwitched Gwand Fallen Angel. Also a speaker on writing, her school assemblies have been featured in The Contra Costa Times and The Brentwood Press. Snow is married to her high school crush, has a set of silly twin boys and a bobtail cat named Meow-Meow. Molly Snow also co-writes mysteries under her pseudonym Claire Kane.

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Dandy Day by Annie Wood [BookBlitz]

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  BLURB

Dandy Day is a thirty-five year old free-spirited, commitment-phobic, Venice Boardwalk roller skating waitress. When Dandy is suddenly dumped by her therapist, right when they were on the brink of figuring out why her relationships last only a whopping three months, Dandy decides to take her relationship issues into her own hands. With the reluctant help of her lifelong best friend, Simon, Dandy tracks down her exes one by one and does a relationship autopsy on each of them in order to get to the bottom of her relationship challenged life.

A short novel about love, friendship and grown ups (sort of) growing up (sort of).

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Check out this animated excerpt —–> (I found this absolutely phenomenal!)

 

 

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Dandy:

 There’s another dream I have about once a year. I have no memory of my dad, so I have no way of knowing if he and my mom were ever happy together. I do have one photo of him, though. He’s leaning against a red Jeep, smiling into the camera with a grin on his face, like he just got away with something, and wouldn’t you like to know what? He has the butt end of a lit cigarette dangling from his lips. He’s wearing a striped brown derby hat. He has bushy eyebrows, but even so, he was without argument a very good-looking man. He looks like he could charm the pants off of you. Which I guess is exactly what he did to my mom, who had me about 9 months after meeting him.

My mom was there too. She was stunningly beautiful and serene, with blonde, wavy hair and big, blue knowing eyes. I remember she was always laughing. Not the kind of laugh you laugh after hearing a joke but the kind of laugh where you are so full of joy that you have no choice but to laugh.

My mom and dad are sailing on the clear, blue ocean, over calm waters, the wind in their hair, they hold on to one another tightly. Mom was joyous, and dad was charming. And together, in this yearly dream of mine, they were deeply, undeniably in love. It’s as if nothing outside of themselves on that sailboat on that perfect summer day could harm them.

Then the sea gets suddenly choppy and huge, ten foot swells begin to rock them violently around the boat. They lose their balance. My dad lets go of my mom to tend to the boat, and my mom’s smile starts to fade as she watches him go.  He looks like he’s about to take the wheel, but instead he tips his hat to my mom and dives off the ship, leaving mom alone on the rocking boat. Then there’s a baby’s cry heard from inside the cabin. I can’t see the baby, but I’m guessing that I’m that baby. My mom’s smile returns briefly. But not completely.  The baby’s cries get louder and louder, and mom slowly begins to vanish. First it’s her left arm, then her right, then her legs. A piece of her keeps vanishing one at a time, as the baby’s cries grow louder, the wind whips the boat to and fro until finally… mom is completely gone. The baby is now alone on the rocking boat in the middle of the storm. Still crying.

That’s when I wake up. Disappointed that the dream always ends the same way.

Everything was perfect until dad jumped ship and mom disappeared.

I feel painfully sad for that baby.

BIO

Annie was born in Hollywood, raised in the valley. She avoided the valley girl accent by speaking backwards for the first 15 years of her life. As an actress she has guest starred on several TV shows. You may remember her best in her recurring role on Becker with Ted Danson, Lara in Good Luck Chuck and as the host of her ownannie wood nationally syndicated dating show, BZZZ! which she also co-produced. As a writer, she is a produced and published playwright and recently had a comedic scene in the NBC/UNIVERSAL showcase. Her web-series, Karma’s a B*tch http://anniewood.com/karma.htm was chosen by Virgin America as BEST OF THE WEB and season 2 is now in the works. Her books of comedic scenes, Snapshots! & Act Up & Make a Scene have been performed on Hollywood stages and is available on Amazon. She lives in Los Angeles with her charming, Italian husband and her equally charming, Jewish/Buddhist/Italian dog, Lucy.

 

 

Dandy Day Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/gypsywood/dandy-day-a-novella-by-annie-wood/

 

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GIVEAWAY

Annie is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner!

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Tiara Trouble by Lane Buckman [BookBlitz]

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BLURB

What happens when Dynasty meets Honey BooBoo, they have a baby, and that baby is raised by Charlie’s Angels? You get TIARA TROUBLE.

One foreign policy question five years ago sent Destinee Faith Miller’s dreams of being Miss American Universe up in flames and landed her back in her hometown of Phenix City, Alabama, with her tail between her legs. But like the mythological bird that her hometown is misspelled after, she rose from the ashes to create Destinee’s Dolls, a thriving pageant consulting business knee-deep in pink, prints and glitz.

A death at the local level of a national event lands her the job of pageant emcee, and Destinee dares to dream of bigger things—maybe even a reality TV show! But when judges start dropping like flies, she has her hands full keeping herself alive long enough to see those dreams come true. Contending with catfights, car bombs, and the camouflage-colored funeral of a redneck’s dream, Destinee gets a little help from her friends, family, and a pit bull named Clarabelle.

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The competition for the Miss Alabama American Universe title that would lead to a shot at the Miss American Universe event had been fierce. It came down to a real battle between Tonielle West, the sleek, elegant brunette representing Auburn, and Deenie Paul, the busty, bubbly blonde from Huntsville. When the final moment came down, the two of them standing there holding hands, grinning at each other, and whispering words of encouragement as they waited for the emcee to read the name of the winner, we were all holding our breath.

Personally, I was torn. I thought Tonielle’s beauty and interview had been the best, but Deenie had knocked it out of the park in swimsuit and talent. For me, it came down to the fact that our family Rolls Tide, so I just could not in good conscience root for anyone from Auburn—whether she went to school there, or not. For the record, she did.

Drums rolled for what seemed like minutes, and the tension built until the emcee opened the envelope and said, “Your new Miss Alabama American Universe is,” he paused again, causing Tonielle and Deenie to crunch up their shoulders and clutch hands even tighter, “Miss Auburn American Universe, Tonielle West!”

Both women screamed, hugged each other, and stayed there together for a moment, but then Judy Clawson, the current reigning queen, and I stepped up to draw Tonielle away into her own solo spotlight. I was a bit disappointed at the outcome, but not nearly so much as Deenie Paul was. Deenie clung to her victor’s arms, seemingly unable to believe Tonielle had won. In fact, I had to pry one of Deenie’s hands off Tonielle’s bicep, and the emcee had to help pull her backwards so that a junior girl could shove the First Runner Up trophy into her hands.

I had one eye on Deenie as I handed Tonielle her bouquet, and I couldn’t help thinking that the way she was looking between her trophy and the back of Tonielle’s head boded no good. It looked an awful lot like she might be thinking it was heavy enough to do some serious damage to her rival’s skull. But violence was avoided for the moment and Tonielle took her winner’s walk down the runway. Finally, after all the photos were snapped, short interviews were given, and autographs were signed, we were on our way back to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham, the official hotel of the Miss Alabama American Universe pageant.

It was a short ride, and we arrived just after the bus dropping off all the pageant contestants was pulling away, so we entered the lobby to a rowdy group of young women in sequins, sashes, and sky-high heels, toasting one another with champagne—a few of them drinking straight from big, green bottles. Everyone was happy and cheerful, as most girls are after the stress of an event like that is over with, and the after party was in full swing only moments after we’d all gotten inside.

Girls crowded around Tonielle. Every one of the fifty losing contestants came over to offer their congratulations and make over her crown, her sash, her trophy, and her bouquet, fairly smothering her with tipsy affections until the pageant handlers eased a throughway so she could pass all the way inside the lobby.

I saw Deenie Paul in the crowd and thought she looked especially happy, her lips turned up in grinchy glee, as she buttered a roll she’d grabbed up from a catering tray nearby. I thought she might just be excited to eat a carbohydrate, as those are verboten during pageant events—no one wants to be puffy for her close-up—but then I saw that she was watching our new reigning Miss like a hawk.

An official pageant photographer asked Tonielle to climb up the wide, white granite steps that led up to the second floor conference area. He wanted to get a few shots of her alone, before having the other girls crowd in to fill the stairwell for a group shot. Tonielle made it up the steep staircase, holding on to the chrome-plated rail. She had a funny look on her face when she got to the top, and I realized she was having trouble walking. I was trying to figure out if the trouble was her shoes, or how tight her evening gown fit her, when she did a little shuffle with her feet. Her arms flew out to either side and she started flailing.

It wasn’t a second before she was falling backwards, crumbling and tumbling. She didn’t even have time to scream before her head hit the edge of that first stone step with a horrible crunch, and then about every other one on her way down, leaving splashes and slashes of crimson on the light granite stairs and the glass partitioning along the rails.

When she finally landed at the foot of the stairs, her limbs were akimbo, and her head was tilted at an angle far too square to her shoulders. Her mouth was twisted and eyes were wide and staring up as though mortified by the splatters of blood that painted the gowns and faces of the beauty queens crowded around her. For a moment it was absolutely silent. It was so quiet you could hear the false eyelashes batting, as the gathered girls blinked, squinted and tried to make sense of what they’d just seen. Then, one girl started to scream and that set off the rest of them like car alarms in a parking lot.

Deenie Paul put down her roll, daintily wiped the corners of her mouth with a cocktail napkin, and strode over; bending to pick up the crown that had bounced off Tonielle’s head, somewhere halfway down the stairs. She considered it, turning it over in her hands twice before using her thumb to wipe away a smear of blood. Then, she put it right on top of her hairdo, whipping out a bobby pin from her chignon to hold it in place. That done, she walked back over to where she’d been standing. She noticed me gaping at her, looked me in the eye and grinned. Then, she picked up her roll again and licked it right down the center, her tongue coming away yellow before disappearing back into her smile.

BIO

lane buckman

Lane Buckman is a former beauty queen from Phenix City, Alabama. Growing up, she wanted to be Miss America, a criminal lawyer, a super model, the President, a Bond girl, a brain surgeon, a journalist, a back-up singer for Duran Duran, and a college professor of Medieval Literature. In order to fulfill those dreams, she became a writer. She lives in Texas with her family, and enjoys every miserably hot second of it.

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Buy the Book!

An Unexpected Bride by Shadonna Richards [BookBlitz]

Cover

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An Unexpected Bride
The Bride Series, Book 1

Shadonna Richards

 Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Comedy

ISBN:  978-1463774820

ASIN:  B005GXLALY

 Number of pages: 260

Word Count: 54,000

 Cover Artist: Ramona Lockwood

 

 

Amazon  BN  Kobo  iTunes

 

Blurb

AN UNEXPECTED BRIDE (Book 1 in The Bride Series) – #1 Bestseller in Humor

Emma Wiggins is about to marry her heart-stopping, gorgeous boss, CEO Evan Fletcher, in seven days–too bad he doesn’t know it yet!

Desperate to fulfill her ailing grandfather’s last wish to see her settle down and get married, Emma Wiggins, a 30-year-old, career-focused executive tells him a little white lie on his deathbed that she is in fact engaged–to her boss, deliciously handsome and emotionally unavailable, Evan Fletcher.

The situation takes an unexpected turn when her grandfather’s condition improves slightly and to her shock, he goes ahead and arranges a wedding ceremony at his hospital bedside before he passes on. Now, all Emma has to do is convince unsuspecting, commitment-phobic Evan to tie the knot with her in seven days. Can love blossom in the most unlikely situation?

 The Bride Series novels and novellas have sold over 260,000 copies in the last year ***The Second Anniversary Edition! Newly published with an additional 5,000 words, added scenes, a new ending and a bonus steamy love scene!***

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1  

 “…It is better to marry, than to burn with passion.” -1 Corinthians 7:9 (NIV)

 “You mean to tell me, you can’t find a decent man? Not one?”

“Grampa!” Emma Wiggins felt the blood siphon from her face. She could not believe she was having this conversation again.

She shifted her hips uncomfortably on the hospital bedside of her ailing grandfather, trying to find the right words to say. She knew quite well where he was going with his comment. He was desperate to see her settle down, get married and have kids one day—like normal people. But after her previously tainted relationships left her with emotional burns to seventy percent of her heart, no way was she going down that yellow brick road to happiness again. There was no place like home…alone.

   “Oh, Gramps!” she whispered, tilting her head to the side. “Look, I promise you, I won’t end up…dying alone and penniless. You have my word on it—okay?”

Her whispered reassurance was virtually inaudible. Was that a promise she could even keep? She really didn’t want to fall in love again. It would hurt too much. On the other hand, she wanted to give her grandfather hope, something to cheer about. Especially now as he neared the end of his long time battle with what he called “a dreadful opponent that had a habit of sneaking up at the wrong time—prostate cancer.”

The long-term care unit at Mercy Springs Memorial Hospital was unusually quiet during the busy lunch hour. The place was tranquil except for the sound of the air conditioner gently humming in the background and the odd clanking of knives scraping plates as some patients ate their meals. The aroma of hospital food filled the air. The scent of fresh cut flowers she’d bought and placed at the bedside table wafted to her nostrils. She eyed his untouched lunch tray. The smell of mashed potato with gravy and sliced beef reminded her she hadn’t eaten.

Laced with guilt, Emma glanced down at her watch. She didn’t want to leave him. Not ever. Not after what the doctor told her about his prognosis. But she didn’t want to push her luck at work either. Her boss, Evan Fletcher, president of Fletcher Advertising where she worked as an account executive had been more than kind to extend her lunch hour to visit her ailing Gramps. They had the pivotal conference call meeting in half an hour with one of their biggest potential clients. She didn’t want to blow this. Not now.

This was a career clincher for her. But speaking of careers…. Her grandfather, whom she’d always referred to as Gramps when she was a little girl and had trouble pronouncing Grandpa, just finished a fresh round of chastising his only granddaughter for putting career ahead of love and family. If only he knew. She would love to have a family and a husband. But…

Her grandfather, Mr. Wiggins, reclined weakly and peered at her with droopy eyelids. His favorite pair of thick brown spectacles propped on the tip of his nose. He felt comfortable with them on, even when resting. The head of his bed elevated to a ninety-degree angle.  The green and white hospital bed sheets covered him up to his chest. He hadn’t eaten much during the past few days and he appeared older than his eighty years. Emma knew her grandfather loved her and wanted the best for her. She was also painfully aware that he regretted only having one child, a son, Emma’s father. Oh, she looked like her dad. Deep, almond shaped brown eyes that sparkled, dark, curly long ebony hair that shined. And a dimpled smile to melt even the coldest of hearts. Always willing, always helpful.

“I know that silly guy hurt you when he left you but—”

“Oh, Gramps. Why are you talking about that now? I’m so over him.” She emphasized the “so” and bit down on her lower lip. She wished she could simply delete the bitter memory of her ex-fiancé’s betrayal from her mind. She longed to erase the baggage of emotional scars he packed her off with. Yes, her hope was singed during that nasty breakup period, but she couldn’t dwell on relationships now. Her work was her love. And so was Gramps.

“Sometimes you need to take your messed up relationships with a grain of grace so you can appreciate when the right one comes along. I just don’t want to see you let him ruin your chances of happiness with someone else. In hindsight, I can say that other guy was a goof, not worthy of you!” He struggled to lean forward and touched her cascading mane of dark, spiraling curls.

Emma was amazed at his strength. She didn’t realize that many palliative patients had energy before their inevitable demise. In fact, she was always in amazement when she visited the quiet unit. Patients were up and about, walking, conversing, and partaking of typical activities. Of course, not all patients were responsive and ambulatory. It was a mixture of diagnosis, prognosis, and illness processes. The ages of the patients ranged from eighteen-years-old to those who reached their ninety-ninth year.

“You realize you’re my only grandchild.” A muffled cough emitted from his throat. He grabbed a tissue from the side table and covered his mouth with it, coughed up, and wiped his mouth clean before tossing the Kleenex in the black garbage bin by his bedside.  “The Wiggins line will be finished if you don’t marry and have kids, pumpkin,” he emphasized tearfully, water filling his eyes. Emma could barely watch him cry.

Just then, one of the nurses, a perky redhead sporting bright pink scrubs, bought in a plate with a slice of cake on it. Her cheeks glowing red.

“Oh, what’s the occasion?” Emma was glad to change the subject as she peered at the icing on the cake.

“Oh, this is from Mr. Harry next door. His granddaughter just got married in the room.”

“Married? Here?”

“Yes.” The nurse placed the cake on the table before the untouched tray of food. “We sometimes get requests for wedding ceremonies to take place at the bedside for palliative patients who are too ill to otherwise attend. He wanted to give his daughter away. We arranged for the chaplain to do the honors, but sometimes patient’s family members bring in their own minister.” The nurse smiled and fixed Emma’s grandfather’s pillow and repositioned him before darting out of the room.

Emma couldn’t help but notice her grandfather’s fresh round of tears.

“What’s wrong, Gramps?” Surprise caught her voice.

“I just wished it were you, pumpkin. It’s my only wish before I go to be with your dear old grandma to see you get married, settle down, and have a family. You’re hiding yourself in your work. There’s so much more to life than work, you know. We all need love, pumpkin. It won’t be nice to be alone when I’m gone—” His voice cracked and broke off. “I just hate to think you’ll be alone with no one. Just don’t give up too easy on finding true love.”

Emma’s heart took a serious plunge into the deep end of despair. She could bear no more. If only he knew it was just as unsettling to her as it was to him to see her in this state.

Lord knows she tried hard to make things work with her ex-fiancé, of whom she could barely bring herself to recite his name. But, oh, nothing escaped the careful observation of her grandfather. He knew her all too well.

Truth was, she really did hide behind her work, bury herself in its corporate arms, and lose herself to the company’s aims and objectives.

But it was the perfect cover. And why not? She’d at least be doing some good service while keeping her mind busy at the same time.

Why not pour her heart into working to change images through advertising? Fulfill a need. Utilize her communications skills to write and design advertisements for special clients to inform the public about products and services that could help them to make their lives better. Contribute to economic growth. Yes, there were some things much more critical than love, Emma tried to convince herself.

 Still, she really couldn’t live with herself knowing the doctor told her in the family meeting earlier that Gramps only had days to live. Days! How could she not want to see him happy?

Her large, tearful brown eyes surveyed his aging, graceful face as if each blessed, earned wrinkle had a story of its own to tell. Her eyes penetrated his dark, kind, tired eyes glazed over with cataracts. At one time, this same pair of eyes was so filled with life. Love. Hope.

He was all she had now.

She was all he had.

Those time-honored crow’s-feet in the corners of his eyes ever so present. Each wrinkle represented wisdom and sacrifice made to his country and to his family.

“Gramps, don’t worry. I’m…I’m okay. I-”

His tears fell hard like the Texas rain. Her grandfather bellowed out in pain. Her grandfather, the stronghold of the family, loving, determined, but wore his heart on his shirt sleeves, was never afraid to weep. That took a powerful man to do that. This same man took her in when everyone else—meaning her parents—could not care for her.

Soon, the nurse would come back in and wonder what Emma did to upset this poor, dying man.

“Gramps, I didn’t want to tell you before but…I’m seeing someone. I am getting married.” Liar.

Emma bit down on her full, defined lips. Anything to make him happy—a dying man’s last wish. But before Emma could stop herself, she swallowed another hard lump of reality. What did she just do? Did she just tell a lie to spare his feelings? She could shoot herself. But she hoped he didn’t hear amongst his own wailing.

As if someone turned off a faucet, his flow of tears almost dried up immediately.

“What did you just say, darling’?” He sniffled and grabbed a tissue at the bedside to dab at his tears, his shaky hand removed his spectacles while the other free one wiped his eyes.

“I’m…you know…” Hesitation. Crackles shadowed her vocal chords.

“Getting married? Sweetheart, that’s wonderful news. Why didn’t you tell your dear old Gramps before? Getting me all worried. Who’s the lucky guy? What’s his name?” He peered over his spectacles. A light seemed to beam from his face.

Okay, now what do I say?

“Um…”

Think, Emma. Think.

“Evan.” She could kick herself. By the time she was through she would be beaten and worn.

“Evan who?”

Okay.

“Fletcher.” Good Lord. Okay, now I’ve done it. What’s wrong with me?

She tried to convince herself she wasn’t entirely dishonest. She was seeing her sexy, heart-stopping, gorgeous boss Evan for the sole purpose of work—every day. They worked closely at the agency for the past three years—sometimes late nights to meet tight deadlines, travelling together. He’d promoted her from new grad receptionist to office manager to account coordinator and possibly more. He’d always believed in her. She admired him from afar. Though Evan was as distant as a star in the galaxy from Earth. Okay, so he was a self-professed bachelor who had made it known to staff he despises the institution called marriage. He’d never know about this little secret lie she just spilled out to her grandfather.

Emma’s BlackBerry vibrated with a gentle hum.  It was the office. Evan probably wanted to know where she was—since they had that important conference call shortly.

“I’d love to see him,” her grandfather blurted out. “When are you going to bring him by so that we can meet?”

Emma’s entire body stiffened.

 

BIO

Shadonna Richards enjoys reading and writing about the magic of romance and the power of love. She has sold over 260,000 copies of her bestselling romance novels, the Bride Series and Whirlwind Romance Series, in the past eighteen months.

 Born in London, England, she has a B.A. Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Nursing. She is also the author of the non-fiction books, A Gift of Hope, Count Your Blessings and Think & Be Happy: 365 Empowering Thoughts to Lift Your Spirit (an Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Meditation).

 Winner of Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2010 Day Two Challenge, she is also a member of Romance Writers of America. She’s a proud mommy and wife and lives in Canada with her husband and son.

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Unscripted by Jayne Denker [BookBlitz]

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unscripted

 

Blurb

One of Hollywood’s hardest working women is about to discover there’s a lot more drama behind the camera than in front of it…

Faith “Freakin’” Sinclair probably shouldn’t have called her boss a perv…or grabbed his “privates.” But as creator of the hit dramedy Modern Women she’d had enough of his sexist insults. Now she’s untouchable in the industry—not in a good way. The only way to redeem herself is to convince Alex the wildly popular wildly demanding former star of her show to come back. But there’s one obstacle in her way—one very handsome broad-shouldered obstacle…

Professor Mason Mitchell is head of the theater department where Alex is studying “real” acting. The only way he’ll let Faith anywhere near Alex is if she agrees to co-teach a class. It’s an offer she can’t refuse—and as it turns out the professor just might end up teaching Faith that there’s more to life than work—and that real-life love scenes are way more fun than fake ones….

Excerpt

 

I flung my bag over my shoulder and started for the door. Mason held out his hand to stop me while he said to the caller, “I understand . . . Nope, can’t be helped . . . No, I think we’ll be okay. Keep in touch; maybe we can figure something out at a later date . . . Yeah, take care.” When he paused again, then said, “What’s that?” I’d had enough. How could I stomp out in a snit if I had to keep waiting for him to finish his phone call? Didn’t he know anything about dramatic exits?

 

I escaped into the bright white corridor, heading for the doors, my shoes ringing on the linoleum.

 

“Faith!”

 

I kept walking.

 

“Faith, hold up!”

 

I spun around. “What for?”

 

“Well,” he said, a little breathlessly, “I . . . I just . . . think—”

 

“You know, you make no sense. You irritate me, you insult me, you stonewall me, you threaten to throw me off campus, and then you invite me to give a lecture. You make no sense.”

 

“I know. You’re right. It does sound contradictory.”

 

“And self-serving,” I spat, happy to throw his own words back at him. “You don’t want me here, until you think you can get something from me. Then the rules change. You’re just like everybody else.”

 

“Faith,” he said quietly, and his low tone caught my attention. “Really, I’m not.”

 

There was a beat or two of silence. I shook my head and studied the ceiling tiles. “What do you want, Mason?”

 

“You’re really going to keep coming back until you talk to Alex?”

 

“I’m stubborn that way. Threaten to sic your rent-a-cops on me all you want. I’ve had worse.” As you witnessed, I thought.

 

“Well, then, if I can’t keep you away from Alex, let’s do this the right way. You’ll be welcome, as long as you don’t badger him. Observe, instead. See what he’s learning, see why it’s important to him. And then you can decide if he’s better off here or back on the show. And in exchange, I’m asking you to give something back to our department—”

 

“Cash?”

 

“Faith!”

 

Of course he was the type who couldn’t be bought. “What, then? And don’t ask me to give a lecture about my mother’s career again.”

 

“Forget the lecture. I want you to teach a course.”

 

Yeah, it finally happened. Dude rendered me truly speechless. Eventually I fought out, “Are you insane?”

 

“Well, not an entire course—and not alone. I want you to help me out with one for the fall semester, which starts middle of next week. My guest lecturer just bailed on me—that was the phone call I just got. I’ll have to take on the course myself now—I can’t find a replacement at this late date—but I’ve got so much to do already . . . I thought you could teach it with me. You can speak to a moderately sized group of people, I suppose?”

 

“I—” My words caught in my throat, and I just stared at him, incredulous.

 

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

 

“Wait,” I said, closing my eyes tightly for a minute, trying to get my equilibrium back. “Why in the world would you want me to help teach a class?”

 

“Well, the kids would eat it up, for one thing—the legendary Faith Sinclair, real-world experience, all that. And if you’re going to camp out here to try to change Alex’s mind about his life choices, you might as well make yourself useful.”

 

“And Alex would take the class.”

 

“No, definitely not.”

 

“Well, then, what’s the point—”

 

“It’s not part of Alex’s course schedule for his acting studies. Besides, if it were, I wouldn’t ask you to do this. It would be unethical for you to have any academic influence over him. You can communicate with Alex on his own time, if he wants to talk with you. In fact, this offer is contingent on whether he’s okay with having you on campus at all. I’m doing this because I think . . .” He sighed, then admitted, “Because I think you’re right—Alex should have an opportunity to know all his options, including going back to Modern Women if he wants. But he also should have the freedom to make his own choices, so no full-court press on the guy.”

 

I couldn’t believe the next thing that came out of my mouth. “What . . . what’s the subject?”

 

It looked like Mason was trying to suppress a smile, failed. In fact, he was beaming. “Scriptwriting. I figure it’s up your alley.”

 

“Well, yeah.”

 

“So you’ll do it?”

 

God, he looked so hopeful. And Jaya was right—he was pretty adorable. He had that kind of open face and eager eyes that made you want to take him home. Like a puppy. So it actually hurt me a little bit when I whapped him on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Figuratively, of course.

 

“No way in hell.” And I shoved open the double doors and walked out.

BIO

 

Jayne Denker is the author of three contemporary romantic comedies, By Design, Unscripted, and Down on Love, and is hard at work on a fourth. She lives in a small town in western New York, USA, with her husband, son, and one very sweet senior-citizen basement kitteh who loves nothing more than going outside, where she sits on the front walk and wonders why she begged to go outside. When Jayne_DenkerJayne’s not hard at work on another novel (or, rather, when she should be hard at work on another novel), she can usually be found frittering away stupid amounts of time online.

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(Also available on iTunes)

 

BookBlitz: Sisters in Bloom by Melissa Foster

Sisters in Bloom Melissa Foster

 

Sisters In Bloom

The Snow Sisters Series Book Two

By: Melissa Foster

Releasing October 9th, 2013

Cover

Blurb

 

Kaylie Snow has always been the fun, flirty, pretty sister. Now her burgeoning baby bump, hormone-infused emotions, and faltering singing career are sending her into an unexpected identity crisis. Watching her older sister, Danica, glide through a major career change and a new relationship with the grace of a ballerina, Kaylie’s insecurities rise to the forefront—and her relationship with fiancé Chaz Crew is caught in the crossfire.

Chaz Crew has everything he’s ever wanted: a lovely fiancée, a baby on the way, and soon, the film festival he owns will host its biggest event ever. When he’s called away to woo the festival’s largest sponsor—and the lover he’s never admitted to having—secrets from his past turn his new life upside down.

With her baby shower around the corner and her fiancé’s big event looming, the pressure is on for Kaylie to pull herself together—and for Chaz to right his wrongs. In a few short weeks, the couple who had it all figured out will learn things about life and love that may change their minds—and their hearts.

 SISTERS IN BLOOM is a testament to the bond of sisters, the strength of women, and the pains and delights that accompany motherhood. A book for every mother, sister, and daughter, SISTERS IN BLOOM will resonate with readers who love to explore family dramas.

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About Melissa

 

Author Info

“Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal“– Bestselling Author Jennie Shortridge

“What sets Melissa Foster apart are her compelling characters who you care about… desperately. This  is psychological suspense at its most chilling. I dare you to read the first chapter and not be hooked.”  International bestseller, M.J. Rose

Melissa Foster is an award-winning, International bestselling author. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog,Author Pic Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

 

Author Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

My social network for women

World Literary Café

Fostering Success

Goodreads

Giveaway!

Two digital copies of ‘Sisters in Love’ book ONE in the “Snow Sisters’ series

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