Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Blitz: HeartBREAKER by Lila Felix plus Giveaway


HeartBREAKER
Lila Felix
(AnguiSH, #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: December 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Breaker James is no longer the boy locked in a prison of his own making. He’s not afraid to leave his house, and he doesn’t need Ash twenty-four hours a day, just to function—just to breathe.
Hell, lately it feels like he might not need her much at all anymore.
He’s a heart breaker, pure and simple. Turns out love is easy when you’re secluded from the outside world. Maybe Ash is the one who is afraid now…afraid she’s done her job a little too well. Can she learn how to let Breaker love her, now that he doesn’t need her to be his crutch?
HeartBREAKER is the endearing companion story to Lila Felix’s best-selling AnguiSH novel. Fall in love with Breaker James all over again!
Get book 1 – Anguish – for 99¢ for a limited time!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:
In most instances, I was strong—I could handle anything. But something about Breaker James—well, broke me. I guess that’s the other tough thing about love—it exposes your weaknesses and shines a spotlight on them.
Apparently one of my weaknesses was feeling like Breaker didn’t need me anymore.
That his need for me in his life had come and gone.
Expired.
Fizzled to nothing.
Breaker was breaking me again.
God, it felt beautiful to be broken.


Author Bio:
Lila Felix is full of antics and stories. She refused to go to Kindergarten after the teacher made her take a nap on the first day of school. She staged her first protest in middle school. She almost flunked out of her first semester at Pepperdine University because she was enthralled with their library and frequently was locked in. Now her husband and three children have to put up with her rebel nature in Louisiana where her days are filled with cypress trees, crawfish, and of course her books and writing. She writes about the ordinary people who fall extraordinarily in wild, true love.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Blitz: Forevermore by Cristiane Serruya plus Giveaway


Forevermore
Cristiane Serruya
(Ever More, #2)
Publication date: December 7th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A father desperate to save his little girl. A doctor fighting for a cure. And two broken hearts that can only be healed together.Ava Larsen is too busy finishing her pediatric oncology residency to find love… and she knows what it feels like to have a broken heart. She assures herself that kissing the gorgeous alpha stranger the night before was nothing more than a dangerous yet delicious mistake— one she won’t repeat.
Widower billionaire Aleksander Maximilian is one of the most powerful men alive, but he’s helpless to save his daughter Olivia from cancer. Doctors have assured him it would be best to enjoy her last days at home. To make Olivia’s wish to spend her last Christmas on Lake Tahoe come true, he hires the best home care team in the business.
It turns out the head of the team is the breathtaking woman he shared an unexpected kiss which ignited sparks. But this is the worst time for Aleksander to have finally have passionate feelings for someone, not to mention it’s strictly forbidden to Ava to get involved with her patient’s father.
Tragedy brought them together. A miracle might rip them apart.
An emotional gripping love story of hope, redemption, and never giving up, Forevermore is the second book in USA Today bestselling author Cristiane Serruya’s EVER MORE Series. If you enjoy romances by Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Sylvia Day, and Maya Banks, then you will cherish this heartwarming, steamy contemporary erotic novel.
Sequel to So Much More, FOREVERMORE stands on its own, but reading in order guarantees a more enjoyable time.

4 reasons why I LOVE to write romances!
Guest post by Cristiane Serruya
Hello and thanks for hosting me. I’m so happy to be here with you and your readers today.
Since 2011, I’ve been immersed in the written word—penning romance novels, to be exact. The process of crafting and getting a work through the publishing machine—especially the indie world—can be a lonely and hard path but when my new imaginary friends walk out of my romances, they’re worth all of grueling pain I submit my wrists and fingers to. Here are four reasons why I have been hooked by love stories.

1. The characters
The men! Handsome or scarred, funny or brooding, overbearing or supportive. Dark-haired, blond, paled skin, tanned and everything in between! Now put them together with blondes, brunettes or red-heads; thin or curved or toned; opinionated and bold or delicate and shy! Oh, my! To make it even better, throw in a couple of kids—I love stories with smart kids! Of course, makes it even funnier if we have a few criminals in the story, too. There, I have a bunch of new friends—and enemies—for me to play with for a while.

2. I get to create stories
Imagine those said characters meeting over a business meeting, as in The Complete TRUST Series; or fighting for a cure for a sick child, as in Forevermore, and the sparks flying over a heated argument or a nice gesture.
And then imagine them doing it. Yeah! And some revengeful ex-partner or dark secret, which threatens their relationship. I decide who loves and hates; who lives and dies! I can totally transform a person I know in a good or a horrible character. I can even take my revenge on the ones I don’t like much and create a whole new ending for a situation gone wrong. It’s freeing!

3. The research
Learning is a passion of mine. In order to create believable characters, research is necessary. For example, Tavish Uilleam MacCraig, the lead male character of Love Painted in Red, who appeared on my first release Entwined Fates, TRUST Series #1 and was supposed to be a secondary character, grew so much as a character during TRUST Series that he demanded his story to be told. As it unfolded, and from it I have already Damaged Love, which features Tavish’s best friend, Lord Richard Smith, and after comes the story of Richard’s older brother, Lord Hugh Smith.
All the three of them are veterans of war—I am always in awe of those men and women who sacrifice themselves to make this world safer.
We don’t have a strong military here in Brazil and I wanted them to be believable veteran dealing with PTSD, living with disabilities, having invisible scars, for the readers to feel their pains. So I interviewed many veterans online. It was an enlightening and heartbreaking experience and it helped me make Tavish and Richard come out beautifully—or so I like to think—with their physical and psychological scars and yet full of life strength and vigor.

4. The happily ever after
With all the horrible things happening in the world, unnecessary killings, religious and racial strife, it’s great to be able to escape to a world where my characters have survived bad things and are still able to find a fulfilling and healing relationship with a happy ending—and don’t forget the steamy sex I got to create. But sometimes, I get out of a story emotionally tired; so tired, I need a break.
It was exactly the case of Forevermore, Olivia, Alek, and Ava’s heart-wrenching and heart-warming story that I needed a break before I jump into the skin of Benedict, who is blind, and Natalya, from Evermore. Ah, what did I do during my break? I wrote a light, funny and suspenseful romance. So, pre-order already Royal Love, Last Royals Series #1.

Last, I want to share some good news. Almost all my books are on KindleUnlimited, so visit Cristiane Serruya’s Amazon Page and read them for free!
I love to connect with readers, so feel free to stalk me online: Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Instagram, Instagram. And follow me on BookBub, Amazon, and Goodreads.
Those who want to receive my very, very sporadic emails about new releases and promotions can sign-up here: Cristiane Serruya Website and win a free romance, free cookbooks, and so much more!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts here and helping me promote my work.
Love,
Cris, author



Author Bio:
USA TODAY and AMAZON best-selling romance author, Cristiane Serruya lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with her six-foot-six husband, two teenage daughters, and Loki, her Shetland sheepdog. Cris is a writer, a lawyer, a reader; a woman, a mother, and a wife. Not necessarily in this order. Or in any order…
She has a Master's in Business Law and a BA in Fine Arts. In 2012, after twenty-two years of practicing law, Cris decided to give writing a go. And--amazingly--it was just the piece that was missing in the puzzle of her life.
She loves to hear from readers so fell free to stalk her online and visit www.crisserruya.com to win a freebie left there only for you.
Those who want to receive Cris's very sporadic emails about new releases, giveaways, and promotions can sign-up on http://bit.ly/CS-VIPlist

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Excerpt from Hinder by Kristin Ping plus Giveaway


Hinder
Kristin Ping
(Guardian of Monsters #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.
Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.


EXCERPT

Before Sentinels it was just earth Wielders. That was how powerful they were and Ethan was the lucky boy that was going to be part of that. He was going to become the next earth Wielder’s protector in every way possible.


Tears formed in Ethan’s eyes, but he refused to let them roll down his cheek. He tried so hard to live up to his element, to be strong and special.
  
Sad that the boy didn’t know how strong or special he already was. Maybe it was my fault as a father, as a parent.
  
I wanted to tell Natalie that she should stop making him feel so terrible. He was just exploring. But what good would that do? We would just end up fighting again. I was so tired of our fights. Shoulders slumped, I turned to go inside. That was when I heard the roar of engines.
  
The hair on my arms and neck stood straight. Adrenaline poured into my blood like jet fuel and my heartbeat skyrocketed as I turned to see Natalie running toward me across the yard, jerking little Ethan along by the hand.
  
“Get rid of them. Now.” She shouldered past me into the house.
  
No one had seen what Ethan had done, right? No, it wasn’t possible. Was it?
  
Three black Jeeps and a silver one careened into the driveway, spitting gravel behind their shiny black tires. I leaped off the steps but then composed myself. With great effort, I slowed to a sedate walk. I had to try to make this farmhouse seem like any other sleepy home on this continent—even though it was far from it.
  
Who are these people? What are they doing here?
  
They weren’t Necrocretors. Necrocretors didn’t use Jeeps or SUVs to make their entrances. Whoever they were, they were driving fast. Too fast.

 As they pulled closer, the sun glinted off the tinted windows and blinded me. Then when they turned an angle, I saw it. It was the outline of a barrel.
  
I dove for the willow. Bullets shredded bark above my head. Splinters and sawdust flew everywhere.

 My back was firmly against the tree, safe from the bullets, or so I hoped. Thank goodness he grew a fully mature tree, I marveled. Otherwise I’d be dead.
  
I recited words that hadn’t touched my tongue in years. I carried them in my skin on my tattoo, across my chest, close to my heart. A phrase scribbled in Latin that I’ve learned at a very young age: Estque vel me vel.
  
Its meaning was simple: It is either them or me.
  
If someone had to die, it wasn’t going to be me.
  
I took out the Zippo in my back pocket, closed my eyes, and used my diaphragmatic breathing exercises to calm my heart.


More gunshots sizzled overhead. Bits of the porch railing and the willow bar exploded. The air filled with the scent of sulfur and singed wood.

I took a deep breath.

Then I flicked the flint.


Author Bio:
Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house.
She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.

When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at www.authorkristinping.com

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Blitz: First Case Scenario by Annemarie DeClark plus Giveaway


First Case Scenario
Annemarie DeClark
(Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City #1)
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Most cops walk a beat. She dances to one.
Undercover and using moves she didn’t learn at the Detroit Police Academy, Harlee races to identify the cold case murderer who has struck again. While juggling a charming ex-fiancé, a friend with benefits, and a partner who is too darn handsome for his own good, Harlee begins socializing with the potential suspects outside of work… until the killer learns of her double identity.
This mystery has a perfect blend of humor, sexiness and suspense. It is the first novel in the Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City Series.
EXCERPT:
Once upon a time, before becoming a big superhero detective, Liam Garrison was a hot street cop who pulled me over for speeding. All six feet and four inches of hulking, brawny Liam stood propped against my car while I quickly formulated my game plan.
“Harriet Lee O’Conner,” he read from my license, shaking his head. “Twenty-one years old.”
“My friends call me Harlee.”
“Do I look like your friend?” he asked, trying to sound tough.
“Do you want to be my friend?” I offered with a wink.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“Because I’m hot and you want my phone number?” I couldn’t believe I actually said this to a police officer.
He laughed at me. “Get outta here,” he said, handing back my license and registration. “You’re too much for me to handle. Don’t let me catch you over the speed limit again.”
“Okie-dokie,” I promised.
The very next day he pulled me over in the very same spot going the very same speed. This time, he wanted more from me, including information on where I was always going in such a hurry. I told him I was late for work at The Full Moon Gentlemen’s Club where I worked as an exotic dancer. We made a deal. That night I gave him a lap dance in exchange for the two speeding tickets he never wrote.


Author Bio:
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Annemarie is a former West Point cadet with a degree in Mathematics and Natural Science. She is a wife, a mother, and a proud daughter of a retired Detroit firefighter. When she isn’t busy reading or watching a whodunit mystery, she’s busy writing one.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Blitz: A Shine That Defies The Dark by Jodi Gallegos


A Shine That Defies The Dark
Jodi Gallegos
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.
After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.
Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.
When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.
EXCERPT:
The air was dense with the heat and moisture of late spring in the bayou. Crickets chirped, frogs croaked nearby, and the gentle slush of water slapped against the shore.
The trail was uneven and difficult to traverse in the dark. Dixie and I grasped at each other to keep from falling. The T-strap shoes I’d worn didn’t have a terribly high heel, but my ankles threatened to roll with every step nonetheless. I was sure Dixie’s higher heels would be the end of her if we didn’t find even ground soon.
I lifted the hem of my trumpet skirt, the material thin and ragged. It wouldn’t stand many more repairs. I didn’t want to risk it being snagged by the loose twigs that swiped at us as we followed the dark trail.
The faint sounds of zydeco music drifted on the air and made its way through the trees. A happy chirping melody from an accordion and fiddle filled the night. The tension I’d been carrying floated away with the buoyant melody. My heart began to beat in time to the scratching tempo of the frottoir, and I might have begun dancing right there had my ankles not threatened to roll yet again.
Just as I was about to declare that no moonshine was worth a forced march through gator-infested swamps, the trees opened up and I saw a barn at the edge of a pond. Yellow light seeped through the open doors and between the weathered slats. There were a few cars parked along the structure, as well as in the clearing behind it, and two horses were tied to the low-hanging branches of a tree near the door.
The Granger boys hadn’t so much set up a speakeasy as they’d taken possession of an abandoned barn and opened the doors for anyone willing to take the risk along with them.
“Look, Ophelia, it’s perfect!” Dixie laughed. She grabbed my hand and pulled me through the line of people streaming toward the doors.
I stopped short and pointed to the roof of the barn. “That boy has a gun.”
Simon Carre ambled past me. “There’s two in the trees and one over there, too.” He pointed toward the field, but didn’t stop walking.
Dixie pulled on my hand. “Claude Moret’s gang beat Tully Bishop near to death for settin’ up his own business,” she said. “The Grangers ain’t about to take that chance. Besides, the danger’s what makes it fun.”
Dixie’s enthusiasm was infectious. My reluctance was serving no purpose. As cautious as I’d intended to be during our illegal escapade, apprehension melted away as soon as I passed through the open doors. For the first time in five months, I felt like I was just a girl again. Tonight there was no sadness. My only responsibility was to enjoy life back in the most vibrant place on earth.


Author Bio:
Jodi is a YA writer, black belt, registered nurse and case manager for a busy home health agency. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Blitz: The Storm by Amanda McKinney


The Storm
Amanda McKinney
(Berry Springs Series)
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

The snow is dropping in Berry Springs… and so are the bodies...
On a pitch-black wintry night, Detective Dean Walker finds a man in the middle of an icy road, with a bullet between his eyes—a murder that is eerily similar to his father’s, which was never solved. Coincidence? No, Dean doesn’t believe in coincidences. He also doesn’t believe in love at first sight, until he meets the victim’s wife.
Psychologist Heidi Novak is hardly settling into her new mansion in the small, country town of Berry Springs, when she receives a late-night visit by the handsome Dean Walker. Seconds after learning that her husband has been murdered, gunshots explode around her and it becomes apparent that she is the next target.
With a massive winter storm looming, Dean races to find the killer and keep Heidi safe, while facing a long a list of suspects, including Heidi’s arrogant sister-in-law and a local, crusty cowboy. As the evidence mounts, Dean becomes more convinced than ever that his father’s murder is connected to the death of Heidi’s husband.
And he can’t help but think . . . will Heidi be the second love he loses to the ice-cold killer?
EXCERPT:
Dean pulled Dusty from the pen, saddled him up and jumped on.
“Alright buddy, let’s go.” He guided the horse out of the barn and into the dark night. He inhaled the cool winter air as Dusty leisurely stepped into the field.
He loved riding horses—something about it made him feel free; free of worry, free of stress. He closed his eyes for a moment and listened to sounds of the woods around him—the wind whispering through the tall pine trees, the sound of Dusty’s hooves crunching on the icy grass beneath him and the night calls of the thousand different critters that call the Ozark Mountains home. The faint smell of a fire burning somewhere in the distance tickled his nose.
Despite the picturesque surroundings, he looked into the woods and tensed. Usually, being alone on his land cleared his head and gave him a calmness that only the outdoors could provide. But, not tonight. Tonight, the woods seemed ominous in the dark night, with long shadows stretching across the field like fingers reaching to grab a hold of him.
Like someone watching him from the darkness, waiting to grab hold.
He thought of his mother, and the look in her eyes when she asked about Clint Novak. Although it wasn’t said, there was no doubt that she had been thinking the same thing he had been since he looked down at Clint’s body. Could it be the same person? The same person who killed his father six, now seven, years ago?
The thought seemed inconceivable. What was the connection between his father and Clint, and why wait seven years?
It wasn’t just the location of the bullet hole, it was just something in his gut that made him on edge about it. A sixth sense. And, obviously, something in his mother’s gut felt the same way, too.
He pulled Dusty to a stop where just seven years ago—to the day—he and his father were burning brush, right before his father was shot and killed.
He sat still for a moment. His eyes scanned the tree line in the distance—as he had done a million times—trying to put a face to the murderer who killed his father. Was it someone who knew him? Or, was it just pesky trespassers who got a little too trigger happy?
He took a deep breath and slid off the horse.
Flashbacks of holding his dead father in his arms shot like lightning through his head. His fists clenched as he paced the area.
As if Dusty knew what was going on, he bowed his head in grief, and respect for the dead.
Dean tilted his head to the sky, letting the light of the moon wash over him.
He whispered, “I’ll get him, Dad. I’ll get him.”
As tears threatened to sting his eyes, he reached into his pocket, pulled out the bottle of whiskey and took a sip. And, poured a little out for his father, as he did every year on this day.
Anger washed over him, and a renewed determination to catch the bastard that killed his father had him seething. He inhaled deeply, took another swig and looked into the woods.
He’d get the son of a bitch.
As he turned to mount Dusty, something in his gut twisted. A foreboding of something to come.


Author Bio:
Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.
Amanda’s debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES, THE WOODS and THE LAKE. The third book in the series, THE STORM is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

S’more to Lose Playlist, by Beth Merlin




 S’more to Lose Playlist
  1.  Hamilton Soundtrack
  2. George Gershwin’s An American in Paris
  3.   Anything by Adele
  4. Pink’s What about Us? (I can imagine this playing after all of Gigi’s encounter’s with Perry)
  5. La La Land Soundtrack
  6. Anything Sia
  7. Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball (Gigi’s anthem)
  8.  Anything by Sam Smith (I can imagine Perry sitting in a dark room listening to him.
  9.  Anything by Ed Sheeran (His music helped me get into a British mindframe)
  10. George Gershwin’s They Can’t Take That Away From Me

S’more to Lose
Beth Merlin
(The Campfire Series #2)
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Four years after her life-changing summer, Gigi Goldstein thinks saying goodbye to Camp Chinooka means saying hello to a brand new life. Now faced with a second chance at her career, she is filled with more hope than she’s felt in a long time. Her design house is taking the fashion world by storm, even attracting notice of Victoria Ellicott, the fashionable British socialite who just happens to be engaged to the future king of England. When Gigi is chosen to design the royal wedding dress in London, she is forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End.
But when Gigi learns Perry’s been dating Victoria’s sister, who rivals her in looks, style and sophistication, Gigi can’t help but feel inadequate in everything. Her world begins to crumble as she develops a creative block so debilitating, she fears that a wedding dress of royal proportions is never going to happen. Even a budding relationship with the handsome, wealthy, and rich Viscount of Satterley can’t make her forget about Perry and her inability to get over him. As the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and failures of her past.
Will she be able overcome her creative paralysis to design the dress of Victoria’s dreams, or will she break down now that she has even s’more to lose?


Author Bio:
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top 10 Inspirations for Writing a New Book by Mikel J. Wilson, author of Murder on the Lake of Fire



Top 10 Inspirations for Writing a New Book

1.  Unusual murders. For my mystery novels, I always start with an unusual murder – no guns, knives, etc. As long as I can come up with a grounded way to explain it, I set my imagination free to explore unique ways to kill people. (I’m not a killer. I just get paid to think like one.)
2.                        Visualization. I was at the gym one day when I had a vision of an ice-skater spiraling on a lake that erupts in flames. I could clearly see it as if I were watching a scene from a movie, and I kept rewinding it until it sparked a story idea.
3.                        Science. I did a great deal of scientific research to explain the opening murder, and it opened up other doors for the story to explore.
4.                       Music playlist. Whenever I start a new book, I make a new playlist (up to 300 songs) to match the tone I’m seeking for the story, and I play it while I write.
5.                        Puzzles. I love logic puzzles, word games and crosswords because they help get your mind working in non-linear ways – an attribute that’s particularly helpful for plotting mystery novels.
6.                       Reading. Authors sometimes shun other books because it takes time away from writing, but reading new books in your genre offers a nice breather and helps you understand what’s working in your market.
7.Working out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a machine at the gym when I’ve had an idea to propel forward or enhance a story I’m writing. Physical activities that don’t require a lot of concentration seem to free the subconscious to work out (intentional pun) creative issues.
8.                       Meditation. I started meditating during my first trip to Sedona in 1999, and that experience inspired my first published novel. Meditation lets my mind drift away for just a few minutes, and it comes back refreshed, ready to tackle another chapter.
9.                       Travel. Just like mixing up your workout routine to encourage better results, you have to mix up your daily routine to encourage creativity. Almost nothing messes with your daily routine more than a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before.

10.                Date night. Authors often unintentionally ignore significant others while working on their books. Setting aside an evening for a date can go a long way toward letting them know how much you love them and appreciate their support.

Murder on the Lake of Fire
Mikel J. Wilson
(Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Romance

At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – to investigate an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. This mysterious case of a dead teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is just the beginning. In a small town bursting with envious friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just below the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits Rome against artful private investigator, Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome and smart, seducing Rome and forcing him to confront childhood demons, but Woodard has secrets of his own. He might just be the killer Rome is seeking.


Author Bio:
Mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson received widespread critical praise for his debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Northern Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes and dimensional travel. Wilson now draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee.
Murder on the Lake of Fire, the first novel in the Mourning Dove Mysteries series, will be available December 1, 2017.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Book Blitz: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane plus Giveaway


The Upside of Falling Down
Rebekah Crane
(Skyscape)
Publication date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

For Clementine Haas, finding herself is more than a nice idea. Ever since she woke up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia, self-discovery has become her mission.
They tell her she’s the lone survivor of a plane crash. They tell her she’s lucky to be alive. But she doesn’t feel lucky. She feels…lost.
With the relentless Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists a blue-eyed Irish stranger, Kieran O’Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life…and start a new one.
Hiding out in the sleepy town of Waterville, Ireland, Clementine discovers there’s an upside to a life that’s fallen apart. But as her lies grow, so does her affection for Kieran, and the truth about her identity becomes harder and harder to reveal, forcing Clementine to decide: Can she leave her past behind for a new love she’ll never forget?
EXCERPT:
My composure cracks when I’m safely tucked in a stall in the bathroom. Everything shifts, my real need coming into focus, like a caged bird that knows it doesn’t want to live behind bars anymore.
I need to get out of here.
How can I see my dad and not love him? What is wrong with me? Everything I thought would happen hasn’t.
I press my sweaty head against the cool stall door. I wish I could be who Stephen wants me to be, a fearless girl willing to fight through this. More importantly, I wish I could be who my dad wants me to be. Clementine Haas. But I can’t. To go home with him like this would mean that every day he’ll wake up and want Clementine there, and instead, every day it will be me—whoever I am. We’ll both live in a constant state of disappointment.
I can save him from that.
I come out of the stall, focusing on myself in the mirror.
“Jane,” I say to my reflection. “I’m Jane.”
Stephen surely won’t help me get out of here. He wants to keep me safe in the hospital, which is still surrounded by camera crews and reporters. But there’s another way.
The hallway is clear of my dad and Stephen when I poke my head out from the bathroom. My heart races as I walk swiftly away from my room and toward the staircase at the other end of the hall. Once the door closes behind me, and I’m safely tucked out of sight in the stairwell, a moment of relief comes, but it’s brief.
The railing keeps me steady as I make my way down the steps and onto the first floor. My legs are weak, slow, but it’s not an option to stop at this point. Stop and I get caught. Move and I might find freedom.
In the courtyard, Kieran sits at the table where I left him, his feet up on the bench, a book in his hands. I check out the cover. It’s clearly a romance novel.
“You like romance novels, too,” I say. “We have something in common. Though I wouldn’t peg you as a romantic.”
“I’m full of surprises.” He squints in the sunlight. “I’ve never understood why guys go for fast cars and guns when these books have fast women and sex.”
“Honesty again. That’s a good thing.”
Kieran dog-ears the page he’s on and closes the book, setting it down on the table. “You ran away from the dare.”
“I didn’t run away.” I take back my seat. “I had to do something.”
“What was that?”
“It doesn’t matter. I’m ready now.”
“Are you sure, Jane?”
Kieran is just full of good questions, but debating the answer with myself would take too much time.
“Jane Middleton,” I say, holding out my hand. “That’s my last name.”
“Very royal sounding.” He places his warm hand in mine and says, “Kieran O’Connell. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Very Irish sounding, Kieran O’Connell.”
“Half-Irish, on my mother’s side.”
“And your dad?” I ask.
“Technically, he’s British, but he’s more asshole than anything.”
“Honesty again.” I reach for the last container of Jell-O on his tray. “I’m ready for my dare. Spoon, please.”
Kieran holds one up but doesn’t hand it over. “Are you sure you want to do this, Jane? It’s pig and cow parts.”
This is so much more than Jell-O. This is my life he’s holding in front of me.
“Where’s Waterville?” I ask, pointing to his hat.
“South of here a few hours.”
“Is it by Cork?” I ask, remembering the map and trying to sound like I know a thing or two.
“Not exactly. A bit more west.”
“Is that where you live?”
“For the summer months.”
I point to his T-shirt. “Then you go back to Trinity College?”
“Yep.”
“And where is that?”
“It’s in Dublin.” Kieran looks at me oddly. “Have you not heard of Trinity College?”
“Of course, I have. I just forgot for a second. It’s in Dublin. Right.”
“What about you?” he asks. “Are you on break from college as well?”
The question throws me. I have no idea if Clementine is in college. But I’m also not sure it matters. The part of me that keeps searching for Clementine needs a break. Jane can be whoever she wants. “Yeah, sure,” I say.
“What are you studying?”
“Undecided,” I say quickly. “You?”
Kieran rolls his eyes. “Business.”
“You don’t sound happy about that.”
“Not everything in life can be happy, Jane.”
The spoon rests in Kieran’s hand. No, sometimes life beats you down. Sometimes life deserts you, and your only choice is to find another path. “Are you going to give me that spoon or what?”
“You know, you don’t have to do this,” he says. His blue eyes hold mine. He knows this is more than just Jell-O, too. That’s what a dare does. It taunts you to take a different direction, to do something you never thought you could do, to jump, knowing that a million consequences could be on the other side of that dare, but that if you don’t do it, you’ll always wonder. And sometimes wondering is worse than consequences.
“I’m doing it,” I say. And I shovel a spoonful of pig and cow parts into my mouth.
Kieran sits back, a broad grin growing on his face. When I’ve eaten the container clean, he claps.
“I wasn’t sure you had it in you.”
I have to choke down the last bits of Jell-O, then I put my empty container on the tray with his, only partly satisfied.
“Why are you here?” I ask. “It can’t possibly be for pig and cow parts.”
“I come up to volunteer. Help out my fellow man and all. The food is just an added bonus.”
“That’s nice of you.”
“People need help,” Kieran says coolly. “It’s the least I can do.”
“People do need help,” I agree. “And now it’s my turn.”
“For what?”
“Truth or dare?” I say.
A glimmer comes to Kieran’s eyes. “That’s my line of questioning.”
“It’s not fair that I answer the question and you don’t.”
“Life isn’t fair, Jane. It’s all Jell-O, remember.”
I lean across the table. “Are you chicken or something?”
My confidence is surprising. Kieran seems to bring out something natural in me, or maybe he brings out more faith that the girl I was is still with me, just waiting to come out. Our eyes are fixed on each other’s. Kieran crosses his arms over his chest.
The clucking starts first. Then I start to flap my arms like chicken wings. Kieran glances around at all the other tables, and then he starts to laugh.
“OK. OK.” He holds up his hands in surrender.
But as soon as the clucking stops, someone drops an entire tray of dishes onto the concrete sidewalk. They break with a loud crash. I startle, freezing in my seat. It chokes the breath right out of me. A head rush comes on so suddenly that I’m worried I’ll faint right in front of him. Blood sinks to my feet. My hands go clammy. I start to sweat.
“Are you OK, Jane?”
Kieran talks, but I can’t see him. My head rests in my hands. Sound reverberates through me, and an intense pain creeps up behind my eyes. For a second, I swear I feel someone grab my hand. I expect to see fingers intertwined with mine, but they’re gone, and I’m left with a horrible empty feeling inside my chest.
“Are you OK?” Kieran asks again.
“I’m fine.” If I faint, this is over. With ragged breath and shaking hands that he can’t see under the table, I say, “Truth or dare, Kieran?”
“We don’t have to do this.”
“Truth or dare?” I say again more forcefully.
Kieran shakes his head. “It’s a Catch-22. Neither is easy. They both have consequences.”
“Do I have to start clucking again?”
He pauses for too long, and then he says, “Fine. Dare.”
The blood returns to my hands and head. The sweat dries on my forehead. This time, my voice doesn’t shake as I speak.
“I dare you to get me the hell out of here.”


Author Bio:
Rebekah Crane is the author of three young-adult novels—Playing Nice, Aspen, and The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. She found a passion for young-adult literature while studying secondary English education at Ohio University. After having two kids and living and teaching in six different cities, Rebekah finally settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to write novels and work on screenplays. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 feet, where the altitude only enhances the writing experience.

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