Posted in Blog tour, Giveaway, romance, women on October 22, 2014

Strollers & Stilettos Cover

 

Title:                            Strollers & Stilettos

Series:                         In Stilettos, #4

Author:                        Nana Malone

Release Date:           October 20, 2014

Genre:                         Contemporary Romance

 

Synopsis

What happens when real life gets in the way of Happily Ever After?

Chronic list-making, event planner, Jaya Trudeaux Westhorpe, envisioned a fairytale ending once she married hotel magnate, Alec Westhorpe—complete with a steamy, extended honeymoon and an eventual family.  What she didn’t expect was a baby on their doorstep and a family-phobic husband.

When reformed playboy, Alec Danthers Westhorpe, married the woman of his dreams, he thought he’d finally found peace. But a long-hidden secret threatens to jeopardize what he holds most dear.

Warning: Sexy, sass talking women will make you laugh, cry and want a pair of killer footwear.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

 

Excerpt

Of all the things Alec never thought he’d hear, “Someone’s left you a baby at the hotel” would have been at the top of the list. A baby abandoned on his property was bad enough. One in any way tied to his name was a potential disaster. Especially given the Kleinman deal. The old goat was already looking for a reason to back out of working with them.

Alec’s heart thundered as fury coursed through his blood. With one call, the ground beneath his feet shook. According to Caleb, the baby had come complete with a birth certificate naming him as the father. It wasn’t true. Couldn’t be true. Except, maybe it could be.

His stomach pitched even as he gripped the steering wheel. Normally, Jaya would be a calming influence, but right now, the last thing he wanted was her near this mess.

This was all some kind of mistake. He and Jaya had been apart for six months before he’d finally pulled his head out of his ass and come back to her. But he hadn’t slept with anyone. He would never have done that. Are you sure about that?

The bile rose in his throat, and he choked it back. Shortly before he’d realized he couldn’t live without Jaya, he’d been willing to do anything to bring himself a reprieve from missing her. Including drinking himself into blind oblivion. All he had were hazy, foggy patches and pieces from that one night, but he’d woken in his own bed. But there had been blond hairs on the pillow next to him, and the place had smelled distinctly of floral shampoo. Would he have substituted someone else for the woman he wanted? Could he have? No.

At least that’s what he wanted to believe, what he had to believe, but still, it was possible.

“Alec, I’m sure it’ll be okay. We’ll figure out what’s going on.” Jaya’s voice was soft, reassuring.

It only made him feel worse. He cleared his throat. “Jai, you didn’t have to come.”

“Caleb called in a 9-1-1. When are you going to realize that means that I’m coming too? We’re a family now. Your problems are my problems.”

Yeah, well, he’d see how she felt about it once they got to the hotel. Because he was pretty sure she wasn’t going to take it so smoothly that he had his own personal Billie Jean.

After breaking a myriad of traffic laws, they arrived at the hotel in barely one piece, and Caleb met them in Alec’s office, but halted when he saw Jaya. His gaze darted to Alec’s as he spoke. “Jai, I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Whatever you have to say to him you can say to me. Where’s the baby?” Jaya asked.

When she crossed her arms over her breasts, Alec realized he probably couldn’t love her more than he did in that moment.

Caleb nodded brusquely before radioing one of his team to bring the baby in. When he turned his attention back to them, he spoke quickly. “About an hour ago, one of the maid staff found the baby girl in the business center. The kid had a note pinned to her that said, “Property of my daddy, Alec Westhorpe.” Caleb darted a glance at Jaya before moving on. “She also had what looked like a legit birth certificate on her, naming him as the father.”

Alec ground his teeth together. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. “I don’t have a kid.”

Caleb nodded. “We’ll clear it up. The mother is listed as one Melanie Brooks. We’ve started digging up any information on her that we can. But right now she’s a ghost.”

Jaya’s voice was calm and level as she asked, “How old is the baby?”

“Eight and a half months, if the birth certificate is to be believed.”

Alec kept his eyes on Jaya. His body clenched, waiting for her to do the math. Waiting for her to turn a wounded, disbelieving gaze his way. But it didn’t come. Instead, she asked more questions.

“Can we talk to the maid who found the baby? Maybe she saw something?”

“My guys are talking to her now. Whoever left the kid, left her with a few days of baby food and her blanket and a toy or two.”

She sighed. “That poor baby.”

Alec watched his wife carefully. She seemed unconcerned whether the baby was his or not. Her only concern was for the welfare of the child.

There was a brief knock at the door, and Caleb’s right hand guy, Tom, walked in, carrying a squirming bundle. If the situation hadn’t been absurd enough, Alec might have started laughing at the picture Tom made with the kid. Someone as big as him, looking extremely uncomfortable with a baby in his arms.

As if sensing the new audience, the baby turned her head, and her gaze collided directly with Alec’s. He sucked in a sharp breath. Jet-black hair framed her heart-shaped face. Startling blue eyes stared back at him. And like him, she had a cleft in her chin. His head swam, and prickly heat stung his skin.

Jaya didn’t seem to notice. Instead, she relieved Tom of the tiny burden. “Hey there, beautiful girl. You’ve had a heck of a night, huh? Well, don’t you worry, we’ll find your mama, okay?”

The baby gurgled and rewarded Jaya with a smile.

“Have you called Child Protective Services yet?” Alec asked.

Caleb nodded. “Right after I called the cops. They’re already on their way and will be keeping it discrete. They’re interviewing the staff.”

For the first time since they’d walked in, Jaya slanted him with a displeased look. “We are not handing this baby over to CPS.”

 

About the Author

NanaMaloneUSA Today Bestselling Author Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin on a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana at a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since.

With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters. Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana meantime works out her drama, passion, and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Nana is the author of twenty novels. And the books in her series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists as well as the iTunes Breakout Books list and most notably the USA Today Bestseller list.

 

 Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter

 


 

Giveaway

Nana will be giving away a digital copy of Sexy in Stilettos, the first book in her In Stilettos series
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sexy in Stilettos Cover

Synopsis for Sexy in Stilettos

What’s worse than having to watch your sister marry your ex fiancé? How about when that fiancé fires you from the family business?

Hyper-organized, event planner, Jaya Trudeaux is used to doing things by the book and never making waves. It’s a strategy that’s served her well until she finds herself in failure alley with no fiancé, no job and her thirtieth birthday looming. Maybe it’s time to change her methods. Starting with an unlikely date to the wedding from hell.

The only thing that can tie carefree, playboy, Alec Danthers down is his formidable step mother. When she calls him home to help find his wayward brother, he never imagines an uptight, list making, sass-talking woman would make him think about putting down roots.

Can Jaya put the lists down long enough to enjoy the ride that is Alec? Will Alec stop running long enough to recognize true love?

Warning: Sexy, sass talking women will make you laugh, cry and want a pair of killer footwear.

 

 

Blog Tour Stops

October 20, 2014

Musings From an Addicted Reader

So Many Reads

October 21, 2014

Romance Junkies

Reading By The Book

Read Your Writes

Book Talk with Eileen

October 22, 2014

Cricket’s Chirps   

Snarky Mom Reads

StoreyBook Reviews

October 23, 2014

Joyfully Reviewed

The Book Review

Love Romance Passion

The Season For Romance

So, I Read This Book Today

SOS Aloha

October 24, 2014

Becky on Books…and Quilts

A Closet Full of Books

Em & M Books

Posted in Book Blast, e-books, excerpt, romance, Spotlight on October 21, 2014

The Art of Love by Michele Shriver

Published on October 21, 2014

 

Chelsea Matthews has a simple dream—travel the country on the art fair circuit selling her hand-crafted jewelry. When her disapproving father refuses to release her trust fund money to support her ambitions, she takes a part-time job in a campus gallery. While counting the days until she can be free of its stuffy confines, an unexpected temptation comes in the form of a sensitive painter.
For Hayden Shaw, having his paintings displayed in the finest galleries is the true measure of an artist’s success. When the pursuit of his goal puts him in contact with the free-spirited Chelsea, his world is turned upside down.
Can two seemingly opposite artists find middle ground and discover the art of love, or will a gallery curator with an agenda of her own undermine both their dreams?
Hayden Shaw stopped and took a deep breath. Whittier Gallery. The name was etched on the door, and underneath that, in smaller letters, Marissa Kincaid, Curator. Was she the woman who would change his life?
A chime sounded as Hayden pulled the door open and walked inside, a portfolio of his work tucked under his arm. He had a pitch prepared as to why this particular gallery should feature his art. That
same pitch hadn’t gone over well at the last gallery he visited, but he was undeterred.
A woman sat behind the desk talking on the phone and she gestured in his direction that she was almost finished. Not wanting to eavesdrop, Hayden nodded and wandered in the direction of one of the
displays. It featured oil painted scenes of the Boston Harbor, and he couldn’t deny the skill of the artist. Did Hayden’s own work belong here? Was he good enough?
No negative thoughts, Shaw, he chastised himself. Hayden remembered the pep talk his roommate had given him before he left. He had to be bold and confident.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Can I help you?”
Hayden turned around to face the woman as she stepped out from behind the desk. “I hope so. Are you Ms. Kincaid?” As he studied her face, though, Hayden doubted it. The woman facing him didn’t appear
much older than his own twenty years. He doubted she was old enough to be in charge of a prestigious art gallery.
She shook her head and tucked a wayward strand of light brown hair behind her ear. “No. I’m Chelsea Matthews. I just work here.”
“Hayden Shaw.” He extended his hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“What can I do for you?”
“I’m a student here at MassArt,” Hayden said. “I understand you display student work, and I have a portfolio with some pictures of my paintings—”
“Pictures?” Chelsea interrupted, “or paintings?”
Hadn’t he made that clear? Hayden tried again. “I’m painter and I’m interested in having my paintings displayed here. I do photorealism, so they’re paintings based on photographs. I didn’t want to
lug the originals all the way across campus, so I brought pictures of them.”
“So, pictures of paintings of pictures is what you’re saying.” Chelsea’s face carried an amused expression, and Hayden wasn’t sure how to take it. Was she making fun of him, or rather his style? Not
everyone understood or appreciated photorealism. Maybe this gallery wasn’t the right place after all. Or was she simply trying to joke around? He didn’t always get people with quirky senses of humor.
“I guess you could say that.” He set the portfolio on the desk. “Would you like to see them?”
“I could look at them, but it’s not up to me whether the gallery will showcase your work,” Chelsea said. “Can you leave this so I can show Marissa?”
“Sure. I can do that.”
“Good. She should be back in a little later,” she said. “Can I ask you something, though?”
Hayden nodded. “Fire away.”
“Why here?”
He had the speech prepared as to why he felt this gallery was a good fit, but truthfully it wasn’t much different than the one he gave at the previous gallery. Besides, he didn’t think that was what
she wanted to hear. “I’m not sure what you mean?”
“I mean what’s the appeal here? What’s so special about galleries?”
Was she serious? She worked in a gallery, and she wanted him to tell her what was special about them? “I want people to see my work.”
“Then why not display it around campus? In the classroom buildings, stairwells, wherever. People do.”
He knew that. It was impossible to walk anywhere on the MassArt campus without seeing student artwork on display. While it made for an interesting environment, seeing paintings in stairwells,
sculptures on the grass and metal works hanging from a tree, Hayden didn’t quite understand why it was such a popular thing to do. “I want people to be able to appreciate my work.”
“Who’s to say that the folks walking down Huntington Avenue can’t appreciate it?”
She had a point, and Hayden was left unsure how to respond. “It’s not the same.”
“You mean you want someone to appreciate it by buying it.” Her lips curled up in a smile. “Am I right, Hayden Shaw?”
She was, and Hayden hated how materialistic she made him sound. He stuck his hands in the back pockets of his jeans and averted his gaze to the floor.
“Oh please, don’t be embarrassed.” Chelsea laughed. “Making money is a noble goal. I certainly want to make money from my art.”
“You’re an artist too?” Hayden regarded her with curiosity. “What kind? Are you a student here?”
“Yes. Jewelry and metalsmithing major.” She reached up and touched the necklace she wore, holding it out for him to see. “I made this.”
For the first time, Hayden examined it. It looked to be made out of Scrabble tiles, spelling out the letters F-R-E-E. Art was definitely in the eye of the beholder, but he found the necklace oddly
appealing, much like the woman who wore it. “It’s very unique,” he said. “Are you? Free, that is?”
Mischief danced in her hazel eyes. Pretty eyes, he decided. Not unlike the rest of her. “It depends on the context in which you’re asking.”
“A woman of mystery. I like that,” Hayden said, then wished he could take the words back. The conversation had veered dangerously close to flirting, which probably wasn’t wise given that he hoped
to have a business relationship with this gallery. “Is your work on display here?” His eyes scanned the gallery showroom for any cases that might house
jewelry.
She shook her head. “No. Galleries aren’t my thing, and my work’s not Marissa’s thing.” She shrugged. “I’m hoping to go on the art fair circuit this summer, after graduation.”
“Art fairs?” Hayden frowned.
“Yeah. You know, like Ann Arbor. Des Moines. Kansas City.”
Why would anyone pass on a prestigious gallery in Boston in favor of the capital of Iowa or a city most famous for barbecue? “Are you from the Midwest?” Hayden asked.
“No. New Hampshire.”
“Then I don’t see a connection,” Hayden said.
“The cities I just mentioned host some of the best art fairs in the country,” Chelsea said. “Surely you’ve heard of them.” She said it as if she expected everyone had.
Hayden shook his head. “Sorry to disappoint you, but no. Art fairs aren’t really my thing.” He didn’t get the appeal of traveling to cities in the middle of nowhere, peddling art on the street. “No offense, but have you considered aiming a little higher?” Okay, so the Scrabble necklace was kind of strange. Some people liked strange.
The amusement that once reflected in her eyes faded, and Hayden knew at once that his words had offended her. “No offense, but have you?” She retorted before turning away from him. “I’ll show
Marissa your pictures when she gets back.”
 

Buy it for 99 cents!!!

 

Michele Shriver writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Her books feature flawed-but-likeable characters in real-life settings. She’s not afraid to break the rules, but never stops believing in happily ever after. In her free time, Michele enjoys football, hockey and reading a good book written by someone else.

Hosted By:

 

Posted in fiction, New Adult, romance, Spotlight, Young Adult on October 21, 2014

Amazon Burning_CVR

Title: Amazon Burning
Author: Victoria Griffith
ISBN: 978-1938231940
Publication Date: October 2014
Pages: 338
Genre: New Adult/Romance/Fiction/Young Adult
Publisher: Astor + Blue

 

Amazon Burning is a debut young adult novel by Victoria Griffith. In this page- turner, Griffith weaves a suspense- action thriller centered on coming of age in a tangled web of romance, mystery, and chaos in the Amazon.

When 22-year-old aspiring journalist, Emma Cohen, is forced to flee the comforts of her NYU student life, she maneuvers an internship from her father at his newspaper in Rio de Janeiro.  There, Emma is immediately swept into a major news story–and a life-threatening situation–when a famous jungle environmentalist, Milton Silva, is mysteriously murdered.

Emma must now enter the Amazon rainforest with her father to investigate; both awed by the enormity and beauty of the Amazon, and appalled by its reckless destruction.  Not only will Emma have to brave the primal world of the Amazon, she must fight to survive the kidnappers, villains, corrupt activists, and indigenous tribes that lay in wait along the ever-twisting trail of the murder case.  Stretched to the brink, it’s up to Emma, her father and the dreamy news photographer, Jimmy, to unravel the mystery and live to tell the tale.

Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith is a spectacular debut Young Adult novel.  Griffith’s powerful rendering of the Amazon rainforest forms the perfect, wildly exotic backdrop for this extraordinary tale of a young urban woman coming of age in the midst of intense conflict.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

 

About the Author

Victoria Griffith is the author of the award winning non-fiction picture book The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont (Abrams, 2011), which won numerous awards, including the prestigious Parents’ Choice. The book was recently translated into Portuguese for the Brazilian market and was also released in audio book version.

Before becoming a full-time author, Victoria spent twenty years as an international journalist, fifteen of those years as foreign correspondent for the UK’s Financial Times. During that time, she had fun writing on a wide range of topics, including Brazil’s Yanomami Indians, architecture, space exploration, the human genome, and the growth of the Internet. She even managed to fit in some children’s book reviews. Her most terrifying assignment was preparing lunch for Julia Child, who praised the Brazilian fish stew but refused to touch the blackberry dessert. Victoria lives in Boston with her husband and three daughters.

Website

Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, excerpt, Review, women on October 20, 2014

Palmetto Moon banner

Palmetto Moon 2

 

Title: Palmetto Moon
Author: Kim Boykin
Publisher: Berkely Trade
Pages: 320
Genre: Southern Women’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Synopsis

June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

Excerpt

Charleston, SC

June 20, 1947

“Murrah?” Rosa Lee’s eyes go wide and she shakes her head at me like I’ve forgotten the rules, but I haven’t. Since before I was born, my parents forbade the servants to speak their native tongue in our house. Offenders were given one warning; a second offense brought immediate dismissal. I say the Gullah word again, drawing it out softly. “Why are you crying?” The hands that helped bring me into the world motion for me to lower my voice.

Rosa Lee’s husband, Desmond, told me my first word was murrah. It was what I called Rosa Lee, until Mother made me call her by name. “My own murrah.” The forbidden words bring more tears. I press my face into the soft curve of her neck and breathe in the Ivory soap Mother insists all the servants use, mingled with Rosa Lee’s own scent—vanilla and lemongrass.

She holds me at arm’s length, trembling, and I know I’ve done it again.

“You got to tell them,” she pleads. “Make them see you can’t go through with this.”

I point to the door that leads to the elegant dining room where my parents are eating their breakfast. “I have told them. Mother refuses to listen, and I’ve begged Father. He says I have to do this.” She looks away. Her body rocks, sobbing violently on the inside. “Rosa Lee, please don’t cry. I can’t bear it.” She shakes her head and swipes at the tears that stain the sleeve of her freshly pressed uniform. “I won’t do it again. I promise.”

“When you’re asleep, your heart takes over. You got no control, and it’s gonna kill you.”

She’s right. Since I graduated and moved home from college two weeks ago, I’ve been sleepwalking like I did when I was a child, but these outings don’t land me snuggled up in the servant’s quarters, between Desmond and Rosa Lee. Most of the time, I wake up and return to bed without incident, but last week Desmond found me trying to leave the house. He said I was babbling about sleeping in the bay, which might not have been so disturbing if I hadn’t been wearing five layers of heavy clothing. I knew what he thought I was trying to do to myself and told him not to worry.

Since then, Rosa Lee has insisted on sleeping on the stiff brocade chaise in my bedroom. Of course, my parents don’t know she’s there or that she’s so afraid I’ll walk to the bay or step off the balcony in my sleep, she’s tethered my ankle to the bedpost with three yards of satin rope she begged from Mrs. O’Doul.

“Maybe it will be different after the wedding.” I love her enough to lie to her. “Father says I’m a Hadley and once it’s over with, I’ll fall in line the way I was born to.”

“But what if Desmond hadn’t caught you?” She threads her fingers in mine and kisses the back of my hand. A part of me wishes her intuition hadn’t sent Desmond to check on me, that he hadn’t found me. “And what are you gonna do when we’re not there?”

“Don’t say that.” My knees buckle, and I melt into a puddle at her feet. Justin has made it clear he’s happy with his staff and has no plans to add “two ancient servants.” But living under his roof and not having Rosa Lee and Desmond with me is unthinkable, another high price of being the last Hadley descendant.

“You think it’s not going to get worse after you’re married? Who do you think’s gonna be there to save you? Mr. Justin?” She hisses the last word. “You think long and hard before the sun comes up tomorrow, because I’m afraid down to my bones that you won’t be alive to see it.”

She collects herself and heads into the dining room to check on my parents. They won’t look into her beautiful brown face and see she’s been crying any more than they see this wedding is killing me, or at least the idea of being yoked to Justin McLeod is. Not because he’s eight years older than me and, other than our station in life, we have nothing in common, and not because of his good qualities, although no one can find more than two: He is a heart-stoppingly beautiful man and the sole heir of the largest fortune in Charleston.

For over a hundred years, Justin’s family and mine have built ships. And while two world wars made us rich, a prolonged peace threatens to weaken our family fortunes considerably. Somewhere in all that, my father convinced Justin a Hadley-McLeod union would position them to take over the world, at least the shipping world. And Father is certain nothing short of a blood union will keep Justin in the partnership.

Rosa Lee pushes through the swinging door and pours the coffee down the drain, her signal that breakfast is over and my parents are no longer close by. I smile, trying to reassure her I’m okay, that I’m going to be okay. She shakes her head and starts to wash one of the breakfast plates in slow motion, barely breathing. I hate those things, and after tomorrow, I’ll own twenty-four place settings of them, part of my dowry. I don’t give a damn about thousand-dollar plates, but I do care for Rosa Lee.

“I can do this.” I say from behind her. My voice sounds sure, steady. “I will do this.”

 

Review

Looking at the cover I’m not sure I would have guessed that the book is set in 1947.  Vada has decided that she can’t bear to be forced into a marriage with Justin and with the help of Rosa Lee & Desmond (the household help) she leaves Charleston for a town just 50 miles away.  Now in today’s world that would be nothing, but back then that was probably far enough away to hide.  After all there was no internet, easy ways to track people, etc.

I enjoyed the story but wish it dove a bit deeper into the different characters and their history.  I don’t know if we got the full story on all of the characters, at least the main ones.  There was some surprising revelations on some of the minor characters, or at least to me!  I didn’t quite understand what Vada saw in Frank Darling, perhaps because he was so different than what she knew?  I don’t know his age, but I guessed him to be older than her.  I think Vada was probably mid-twenties and my impression of Frank (by some of the background) is that perhaps he was in his mid-thirties.

I loved some of the characters and disliked others.  I think an author’s goal should be to have a good balance of character to love or hate and Kim did a good job here.

Overall I give it 4 paws up, a great story about the south and a time that I can only imagine.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

 

About the Author

Kim BoykinKim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.

Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.

As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.

Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.

WebsiteFacebook * TwitterBlog * More books * Contact Kim

 

 

Posted in Guest Post, romance on October 20, 2014

Today I welcome author Kim Boykin to StoreyBook Reviews.  I just finished her book Palmetto Moon.  So welcome Kim!

Palmetto Moon 2

My Journey to Being a Published Author

By Kim Boykin

Writing for me has never been a problem; I produced three novels in a span of three years and then two more a few years later. But trying to get published is like trying to solve the Rubik’s cube in 5.5 seconds. It seems impossible, but it’s not.

Most everyone will tell you, to be traditionally published, the first and most important step is finding an agent. While I love my agent, I disagree.

After I finished The Wisdom of Hair fourteen years ago, I signed with Jane Jordan Browne. Jane and I had a lot in common, she was kind of like an older me, and I loved her. And then, after the first round of submissions, she died.

Jane had cancer and didn’t know it. My heart was broken because I liked her so much, and she was a great person, but also because I felt like she was my shot at getting published. Jane told me not to worry; she’d told her partner to sell my work, but I knew the reality of the agent/writer relationship.

Unfortunately, the agent I inherited didn’t care much for Southern fiction. For two years, I held out hope she’d sell my work, but in the end, I had a frank conversation with her assistant and asked if the agent was every going to sell my books. When the answer was a very kind, “no,” I divorced my inherited agent and floundered. For eleven years.

I’m horrible at rejection, so I submitted to agents on and off, but got nowhere. Out of total desperation, I asked myself, “Who buys books?” The answer was obvious; I was pitching to the wrong people. Immediately, I looked online and found Michael Neff’s NY Pitch Conference. A four-day crash course in honing a pitch and then pitching to four editors, who do buy books. Turned out, I was one of the darlings of the conference with three out of four editors requesting the manuscript. Still I knew I needed an agent.

Nobody likes to write query letters, but the first paragraph of mine basically said, “I have three editors reading my manuscript and I’m looking for representation.” I sent out 167 e queries. By the end of the week, I had 60 agents reading the script, and 20 reading the whole script. I ended up with 3 offers; then I got to send out rejection letters.

And the icing on the cake? When I met Leis Pederson, I liked her a lot and hoped she’d buy my book. In the end, or, I guess I should say the beginning, Leis picked me and we’ve been a team for The Wisdom of Hair and, my new novel, Palmetto Moon.

There are a lot of reasons not to pursue traditional publication. Unless you’re lucky enough to get a huge advance, you’ll work your butt off marketing and selling your own book. And some authors who get those big advances will tell you they kill themselves trying to sell their books. But, for me, to have gone through all this and come out on the other side with two novels with the Penguin stamp of approval? It was worth it.

Posted in Book Blast, fiction, Giveaway, romance on October 19, 2014

 

Where there is love

Where There is Love by Mya O’Malley

Mia Dennsi is a beautiful young woman who has experienced a challenging childhood. As an out of work teacher, Mia accepts a position for home-schooling a troubled, misunderstood teenager. Mia makes it a priority to help Cassidy overcome her challenges and reach for her dreams. In the process, Mia experiences healing of her own; she is faced with issues she must now come to terms with.

Mia finds a rare friendship in Jamie, her caring and attractive neighbor. The relationship starts off as friendship, but will Mia let this healthy friendship bloom into something more or is she destined to a repeat the vicious cycle of making the same mistakes over and over again?

Through the various twists and turns of Mia’s love life, she is forced to make a decision that will affect her entire future. The reader cannot help but root for this character to succumb to true love and happiness.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buy

 

 

Excerpt

I would have done anything for that girl. Anything. I have dreamed of Mia, I have waited for Mia. I have loved Mia.

I can’t trust Mia.

I can’t get my hopes up again, only to be crushed by her. I couldn’t stand it.

She doesn’t allow herself to be happy. What has happened in her life to cause her to reject the people who love her, who care for her?

I remember the first time I ever laid eyes one her. The way she bumped into me, how embarrassed she was. I swear to this day that she is the most beautiful creature I’ve laid eyes on. Her slim build, dark hair and striking eyes. And that smile, that smile still warms my heart.

I went to see my grandma in Maine for the weekend once I realized that I was falling in love with Mia. My grandmother and I have always been close. She has been there for me through thick and thin ever since I was a child. I grew even closer to her as I was growing up, finding my way in life. For some reason, I always found it easiest to share my feelings with Grandma, the two of us like kindred spirits.

My feelings for Mia scared the life out of me. I told my grandmother that I didn’t want to risk getting hurt again and that Mia seemed so unsure of herself. She offered me a piece of advice that I will hold true to my heart forever: She placed her hand over my heart and said, “Go where there is love, surround yourself with love.” So I did, I went to Mia and tried to tell her how I felt, only to be brushed off with news of Josh coming back into the picture.

I’m happy with Danielle, she’s smart and she’s beautiful. Yeah, I’m going to give this a chance, I would be a fool not to.

But…I think…she’s not Mia. My heart can’t take Mia.

She has the power to hurt me, and I can’t survive that again.

 

About the Author

MyaMya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.
Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her fifth novel.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Blog * Pinterest

 

 

book blast button

 

 

 

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/4/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Blog tour, Fantasy, fiction, Giveaway, Science Fiction, Young Adult on October 18, 2014

castlebluesquakebanner

 

touraoutthebooka

castle-blues-quake-cover 300ppi

The Castle Blues Quake

Children’s, Young Adult – Sci Fi / Fantasy

12-year-old Pepper Connelly leaves her best friend, Chrissie, behind when her family moves from New York City to Santa Cruz, CA. Pepper discovers a boy, Corey, hiding in her backyard shed. Unknown to Pepper, Corey is a ghost trying to contact his grandfather, Boppie, before he crosses over. He tells Pepper he must locate Boppie before Social Services finds him. Pepper agrees to help.

While Pepper’s communication with Chrissie dwindles, her friendship with Corey grows. She tells Corey about her passion for writing songs, and throughout the story, she composes a song about Corey. Corey teaches Pepper to play the harmonica. Soon, she’s torn between finding Boppie and knowing when she does, Corey will certainly go back on the road with his traveling-musician grandfather.

Other characters help her on her quest: new classmate Ally Cressman, who dresses in an odd-ball, non-mall style; Sawtooth Sam, the mysterious saw-playing street musician; and Madame Mchumba, who performs her psychic readings at the Boardwalk amusement park.

Earthquakes, haunted house rides, poltergeists, and crystal ball readings propel Pepper toward the shocking conclusion of her search.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Amazon

 

tourabouttheauthora

 Linda Covella

Profile Picture_Charlie CutLinda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines (“Games and Toys in Ancient Rome” and “Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan,” in Learning Through History magazine, and “Barry’s Very Grown Up Day” in Zootles magazine), she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books:  the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali’s Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing are her first novels.

She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

 

Linda’s Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Goodreads     |     Pinterest

 

 Giveaway

This Giveaway is open Internationally. You must be 13+ to enter.

PRIZES

2 Winners will each receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour is brought to you by

mythtoursbanner

Please check out the other hosts on the tour for chances to enter the Giveaway!

Posted in Book Blast, Giveaway, romance on October 17, 2014

Author Ginger Voight returns her readers to the star-making world of rockers and romance with her SOUTHERN ROCKER series. It’s all the angst and the passion you desire, with several familiar faces from the beloved GROUPIE universe along the way! SOUTHERN ROCKER BOY is written from Jonah’s point of view, and book one of an exciting new trilogy expected to release in its entirety by the end of 2014.

NOW AVAILABLE

When Jonah Riley’s father dies unexpectedly, he, his grieving mother and ailing sister are forced to move from the country to Austin, Texas. Jonah finds work at an auspicious night spot called Southern Nights, where he earns a few extra bucks as a bouncer-turned-musician.
 
There he meets fiery songstress Lacy Abernathy, who has no use for him or anyone else in the club when she’s not on stage. This is an entirely new experience for this ladies’ man. The opportunistic club owner latches onto this chemistry to fill her club, playing with their hearts and livelihoods for her own questionable motives.
 
Enter music executive Graham Baxter, who offers them both a way out…by competing for a recording contract they both need. Now if only they can fight the intense chemistry that keeps them locked in battle, when they’re not locked in each other’s arms, that is!
 
 
 
#2 – SOUTHERN ROCKER CHICK expected Nov. 21.
#3 – SOUTHERN ROCKER DUET expected Dec. 12.
 
 

Ginger Voight is prolific author, freelance writer and optioned screenwriter. Her fiction is diverse, with novels like the edgy, coming-of-age drama DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, and the fun family adventure for kids of all ages, COMIC SQUAD.
Having grown up reading different authors like Danielle Steel and Stephen King, Ginger has always been drawn more to story than to genre. This shows up in her various stories. Titles such as MY IMMORTAL and TASTE OF BLOOD are a delicious, heady mix of horror, suspense, and romance.
Genre romance, however, has held a special place in her heart, ever since she read her first Harlequin novel when she was only eleven. As a result, Ginger is making a name for herself writing romances of her own, starring women who look more like the average American woman rather than those traditionally represented in the size-biased American media. Her Rubenesque romances were created especially for those heroines with fuller figures, who can still get the man of their dreams if only they believe they can. Such titles include UNDER TEXAS SKIES, LOVE PLUS ONE, THE GROUPIE TRILOGY, THE FIERCE TRILOGY, THE FULLERTON FAMILY SAGA, THE LEFTOVER CLUB and PICTURE POSTCARDS.
Ginger was included in the best-selling book by Smith Magazine NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING, featuring her six-word memoir.

Website | Blog| Facebook | Amazon | Twitter

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Book Blast, fiction, Giveaway, suspense on October 17, 2014

Hot Pursuit

Hot Pursuit by Susan Dayley

Kennady thought she’d found the perfect summer escape—working at a resort in Jackson Hole. But then Atticus comes to town, an international conference threatens world finances, and a Mexican cartel shows up to stop the conspirators. When Kennady’s friend Chelo gets entangled with a handsome and possibly dangerous man, her own life is threatened. From eco-terrorism and kidnappings, to gunshots and an earthquake, Jackson was not an escape after all.

BONUS: Hot Pursuit offers two storylines with two different endings for each. Also includes links to images, music, information about location, and other fun details that relate to the story.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

AMAZON

Excerpt

The car barely hummed as it moved rapidly through the increasing dusk. They were heading out of the Jackson area, but Chelo had lost track of the direction. “Where are we going?”
“It’s a piece of property my father owns,” Xavier replied. “Most summers since I turned fifteen, I spent a month here.”
“So my father contacted your father because he had property around here?” Chelo watched out the window, hoping to memorize landmarks. But the closing darkness only allowed her to see the occasional mile markers that whipped past much too often.
“Not exactly. Our fathers are cousins, and family helps family. Our cabin and my knowledge of the area were a bonus.”
They roared down the narrow highway, well over the speed limit. When they passed other cars, Chelo held her breath in fear, her nails digging into the door handle. Any moment the car could blow a tire, causing them to spin out of control and plummet over the side of the mountain. Chelo realized she had only herself to depend on. Nobody knew she’d left with Xavier. She had to stay calm and think her way out of this. “So everything has been a lie.”
“No.” He eased back behind a car rather than pass on a curve. “I had no idea how beautiful you would be, or how much I’d enjoy our time together. That is real.”
She stared ahead, avoiding his eyes. He turned down a lane that cut through thick lodgepole pines. A rail fence lined the road on either side. “Why are you bringing me here?” she asked.
After a hundred yards Xavier stopped before a closed gate. “Your father would like to talk to you, but first I’ve got to open this. Now I can drag you out there with me so you don’t run away, or you can wait until I get back and I’ll drive you to where you can talk to him.”
Chelo suddenly felt excited. She hadn’t seen her papa in over a year. She missed the cigar smell that clung to his clothes, and how his eyes lit up when he saw her. “I’ll wait,” she told Xavier.
The gate, made of logs, swung on large iron hinges. Xavier came back to the car and drove through, leaving the entrance open. The final light from the setting sun had gone, and they drove down a dark lane. At the end, the trees opened to a clearing with a stable to the left and a log-framed house to the right. A waning moon lit the space and flashed silver through the trees from where it reflected off a body of water. At the edge of the headlights, a long rope hung from a high branch, with a tire tied on the end of it. For a moment, Chelo pictured Xavier as a lean, tall youth, swinging recklessly over the roof of the cabin, then plunging earthward again, laughing and letting go with one hand.
“Chelo? Come inside.” He had gotten out of the car and walked around to get her door. She stepped out into the chilly air. Over the chorus of crickets, she could hear the sound of a rushing river. Above, in a space between the treetops, three bright stars shone in the sky. She hoped her father would come out and meet her here. Xavier took her elbow and guided her toward the front porch. The door didn’t open to welcoming arms. Why is the place so dark?
The headlights on his car faded, but Xavier slipped a key into the lock on the heavy cabin door and opened it quickly. He flipped a light switch, and the magic of moonlight and stars vanished with the realization of an empty room.
“I thought you said my father was here,” Chelo growled, assessing the wood-paneled space filled with rustic leather furniture and plaid wool blankets.
“I said he wanted to talk to you. Have a seat and I’ll get us a Coke.”
“Where is my dad?” she yelled.
“I only said that you’d get to talk to him.” The shock hit her like a blow to the gut.
“You’re a bully, Xavier—a mean, low-class thug.” Her voice came out scratchy with fear. Without her father there to help her, she felt unprotected.
Xavier only laughed. “Don’t get all worked up. You’ll talk to him soon.” Xavier went into an adjoining room and turned on another light. Chelo looked about for a weapon. Over a rock fireplace, a heavy beam served as a mantle. A brass clock noisily ticked off the seconds.
Xavier returned and handed her an open can. She turned away. “You are a liar. You do not care about me.”
“It’s just a Coke,” he coaxed.
She snatched the can from him and took a short drink. Despite her growing panic, a jolt of caffeine might help her carry through with an escape. Behind him, the clock on the mantle looked heavy enough to knock him out, but too large to conceal behind her back. And the sharp edges might cut his skull. I’ve never been good around blood. She drank again. The pop tasted good. Next to the clock sat a basket filled with dusty eucalyptus leaves and dried berries. She took another drink.
“So your dad is my dad’s cousin? Then you are my uncle? No, that’s not right.” Her mind had trouble making sense. Maybe she could go outside and get some fresh air. Her head began to ache.
“Sit down,” he said. “You don’t look too good.”
He tugged at her elbow and she mechanically moved toward a sofa, but the motion made her dizzy. She let her knees bend until she sank into the leather cushion. She raised her head and tried to focus. Next to the basket on the mantle, just before a series of framed pictures, three white wooden candlesticks with white candles on them offered another choice. The candlesticks had smooth bulging curves. One of them would be perfect.
“Here, have another drink—it’ll clear your head,” he said, easing her elbow upward. What he said made no sense, but she drank anyway. Nothing is making sense. I need to get to the candlesticks.
She tried to think of something to say to distract Xavier. “When do I talk to my father? Is he on his way?” Chelo tried to stand up so she could walk casually toward the fireplace.
“Some friends are bringing a satellite phone. We’ll call him then.” Xavier spoke right next to her.
Why was the fireplace still across the room? She realized she hadn’t stood up yet. And then she looked at the picture closest to the candlesticks. She recognized Xavier, though he looked about fifteen. He held a gun casually across his chest. It wasn’t a hunting rifle. She’d seen that type of gun all her life back home.
He reached out and took the soda can from her just before she slumped backward. A thought hovered around her slipping consciousness, like smoke from her father’s cigars, then drifted away before the words could form. He drugged me.

 

 

About the Author

susan dayleySusan writes constantly, gardens in rich earth, hikes where the sky brushes the mountains, loves without restraint, reads in between, and shovels snow in serpentine patterns. She is the author of Cold Pursuit, and Redemption, the story of Jonah.

Website * Facebook * Pinterest

Twitter * Google+ * Goodreads

book blast button

 

 

 

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/4/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in 4 paws, mystery, Review, Romantic Comedy, women on October 17, 2014

TemporarilyEmployed_w8210_300

 

Temporarily Employed, romantic comedy mystery
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Author: Vicki Batman
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Page Count: 314

 

Synopsis

New Job. New Love. And Murder.

Hattie Cook’s dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee–the very one she replaced. The last thing she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he makes her heart pound.

Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. When the police determine there’s more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.

Can the killer be found before Hattie’s time is up?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Amazon eBook * Amazon paperback * The Wild Rose Press eBook * The Wild Rose Press paperback

 

Excerpt

“Yuck.”

Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.

A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I’d commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”

My Bad Day checklist included:

– Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.

– Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.

– A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.

I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.

How embarrassing.

After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I’m too exhausted to care.

A litany of: “No, not hiring.” “Just filled the position.” “You’re over qualified.” “You’re under qualified…” tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.

Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.

I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.

Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.

 

Review

This is a combination of a pretty clean romance story (just 1 almost sex scene) and a smidge of a mystery.

Hattie is pulled over by a police officer, turns out her bumper has been stolen. on top of that he writes her a citation….that isn’t where the fun ends, he is the older brother of her best friend from high school and he is not the same geeky boy he was then. He has grown up and is quite hunky! Of course as you expect, they are attracted to each other and stumble around trying to figure out their relationship.

I thought it was a bit odd that she calls him A. Wellborn. Now I get why, he is a police officer and that is how he signed the citation, but why not refer to him by his name, Allan? Maybe that is how she kept him at bay and kept her feelings for him downplayed?

The mystery part is tied to her temp job at the insurance company. It isn’t too hard to figure out that there is something suspicious going on, but I was a little surprised at how it all played out. kept me on the edge of my seat when that portion came to a conclusion.

All in all I really enjoyed the book and wonder if there will be a second one because of the way the book ended. It does leave you hanging but you can probably guess how it will turn out. I hope there is a second book (at least) so I can see if Hattie remains working with the temp agency or if she goes back to her love of being a buyer for retail stores. And of course what is her relationship with A. Wellborn (aka Allan)?

We give this 4 paws up

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless, giving her plenty of material for her writing.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Amazon * LinkedIn * Google+ * Smashwords * Plotting Princesses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2014 ©  Storeybook Reviews