Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on August 12, 2013

going organic

 

This is a brand new series called A Blossom Valley Mystery series.  I’ve seen mixed reviews on it but I always like trying new series because you never know when you are going to find a winner!

Synopsis:

As Dana readjusts to life back home with her recently widowed mother, her latest career move isn’t exactly a piece of cake. In fact, it’s all tofu fish sticks, stuffed squash blossoms, and enough wheat grass shots to scream bloody murder – especially when Dana discovers the body of Maxwell Mendelsohn, Hollywood producer and opening weekend guest, deader than a yoga corpse pose. While Dana pens the Spa’s blog and balances the attentions of the local police and reporter Jason Forrester, her escalating job duties now include finding clues, motives and suspects. One thing’s for certain, she better act fast before all this healthy living kills her.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Going Organic Can Kill You by Staci McLaughlin
Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Blog tour, mystery, Romantic Suspense on August 9, 2013

dark waters

 

Synopsis:

It may be summer, but schoolteacher Anna Silver’s trip to the coastal town of Bamfield is anything but a vacation. She’s on the run, desperate to stay one step ahead of her father’s

murderer and determined to track down the one man she’s been told to trust: her father’s old cell mate, Brent Carver. But when she finds him, she discovers not a kind, elderly artist but a dangerously hot alpha male with blood on his hands.

Loyal to the core, Brent would never turn away his friend’s daughter when she comes seeking help. He can’t deny Anna his protection…just as he can’t deny the instantaneous attraction he struggles to keep in check. But as their passion blazes out of control, a sadistic killer is on the hunt to stop Anna from uncovering his dark secrets.

Review:

This was one action packed book!  There is a great mix of romance, suspense and even some  mystery.  This book kept me on the edge of my seat because I wanted to know who set up Davis and WHERE did the $60 million go?!  There were a lot of twists at the end that I did not expect or even see coming…..just when you think you have it figured out there is another twist in the tale.

I thought this was a well written book with solid characters.  It does take awhile for the back stories to unfold but I think it was done well and at the right time.

We enjoyed it so much we are giving it 4 1/2 paws!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprinthalfpaw

Buy the Book:

Amazon * Amazon. CA * Amazon UK * Amazon.DE * Amazon. FR * Bam! * McNally Robinson * Chapters-Indigo * Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

Brent Carver lay in bed listening to the surf outside his open window. The rhythmic pounding pulse helped calm the ragged unset­tled feeling that clawed inside him. Sometimes it even let him sleep. Not tonight.

He shifted restlessly, sweat damp on his skin. The west coast was getting a blistering-hot summer that had him thanking God he wasn’t stuck in that shithole prison, sweating it out with a few hundred of his least best friends. He sat up in bed and swiped irritably at his too long hair.

Gina had liked it long.

Damn.

He’d spent the past year trying not to think about Gina, or her murder, and yet memories snuck past his guard all the time. Her smile, her giving nature, her unwavering dedication to his undeserving ass. When he’d broken things off with her, he’d hoped she’d finally move on. Find herself a man she could marry and have babies she could spoil. But things hadn’t worked out that way, and no one regretted it more than he did.

He whipped back the covers and padded naked to the open window that faced the Pacific. It took a moment for his heartbeat to stop hammering. A moment for the burn in his chest to ease. At nearly forty years old, he’d spent half his life in prison and would never get enough of breathing in the fresh clean air of freedom.

The dark water before him stretched like a smooth satin sheet all the way to the horizon. But the calm tranquility was an illusion that disguised deceptive currents and gigantic swells, cold depths and wicked storm surges.

That ocean called to him—it always had. This sliver of coast was what he’d missed locked up in his cell for so many years. Not peace. Not serenity. Not pissing in a private bathroom. Huge rollers crashing home. Elements clashing like titans in his backyard. The abandon. The wildness. The energy. Prison had squeezed the need for that energy into a tiny corner of his mind and tortured him with it in his dreams. When he’d gotten out, he’d spent two days just staring at the ocean. This was where he belonged. This was where he needed to be. And no one was ever going to take it from him again. Being caged, being imprisoned, had almost wiped him out of existence, and the worst thing was—it was his own damn fault. He’d taken a life and gotten what he deserved.

He’d been out four years now, but the smells, the memories, the sense of watching his back, was ingrained, tattooed on his brain like most cons wore ink. He’d found his salvation in a tal­ent for painting, enough of a talent that he could afford a kick-ass mansion anywhere in the world. But he’d returned here, to the small remote strip of land on the western edge of Vancouver Island. The scene of the crime and the only home he’d ever known.

Maybe he should buy a yacht, learn to sail. But that sort of aimless wandering didn’t appeal and his parole officer probably wouldn’t approve either. He rubbed his aching neck muscles and headed downstairs for a drink. He’d finish that last piece for the exhibition.

Exhibition.

He shook his head in disbelief. Some fancy-schmancy museum in New York was giving him an exhibition. He opened the fridge and pulled out a beer and popped the top. His agent had worked some serious magic, wrangling that mother. Only trouble was the gallery wanted the elusive and mysterious B.C. Wilkinson to turn up in person to the opening. His agent had even taken care of a passport and special visa requirements.

Yeah, right. He snorted. No fucking way. Still, Brent had learned years ago that it was easier to do what he wanted and beg forgiveness later. Not that he dealt much in forgiveness. Gina’s image smiled sweetly inside his head, but she was dead—stabbed to death by a homicidal maniac last year—and thinking about her wouldn’t bring her back.

His fist tightened around the neck of the bottle and he resisted the urge to hurl it at the wall. Prison had taught him iron control—he just hadn’t realized how much he’d need it on the outside. He headed onto his back porch, buck naked and glad of the fresh ocean breeze that cooled his overheated body. His nearest neighbor lived a quarter of a mile away, out of sight, over the bluff. This region was too remote for passersby and anyone with a boat would moor it in a sheltered cove, not at the mercy of Barkley Sound’s treacherous grasp. The moon was cloaked behind restless clouds that billowed like smoke across the sky. He was just about to sit his ass down when he saw a shadow flitter near the woods.

He had visitors?

No fucking way.

In prison he’d received enough death threats to take serious precautions with his safety. When some of the local thugs had been arrested last year, he’d let down his guard and thought the danger was over. He’d obviously thought wrong. What if it was his brother, Finn? Or the cops? He pressed his lips together. Finn knew better than to spook him and the cops had no reason to be sniffing around.

Something was going on.

No one made social calls on Brent Carver—no one without a death wish. He lived on a peninsula that, due to the rugged terrain, was only accessible by boat. There were about thirty locals living on this side of the inlet, but they were more likely to hand-feed rabid wolves than drop in for a beer.

Did his visitor know he was out here?

Leaving the bottle on the deck, he carefully slipped over the side of the porch and melted into the night. It was pitch-black in the woods, but he’d grown up here and knew every tree and hol­low. He made his way along the side of the shed and ducked into the forest. Over the last year, he’d gradually stopped listening to the scanner for signs of trouble, stopped keeping firearms in the house. He’d gotten soft, but not stupid. Silently he dropped to his knees beside a massive Sitka spruce that was technically on his neighbor’s property. If she found out about his little cache, she’d be pissed. He swept dirt and dead needles off the top of a waterproof box he’d sunk into the ground, and removed his SIG Sauer. He replaced the lid and covered it as best he could in the dark. He got his bearings, and found the tree where he’d hidden his ammo. He grabbed a magazine and headed up to the road, circling around. He inched down an old trail and came up behind where the shadow had been.

Darkness cloaked the clearing where his house sat but his night vision was sharp. And damned if the woman—put a man in prison long enough and he could spot a female blindfolded at twenty paces—wasn’t climbing his porch steps shining her flashlight around the place like a laser show. Maybe she was a thief? Maybe someone had figured out Brent Carver was B.C. Wilkinson and sitting on a shedload of very expensive artwork? Then she knocked on his back door.

What the…?

He rubbed his hand over his brow. He was stark naked except for his gun, and now some woman was standing on his deck? He hoped to hell she wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness because she was about to have a come-to-Jesus moment.

But she could still be armed and dangerous. He’d pissed off enough bad guys in the joint to be wary of anyone turning up in the middle of the night. Hell, no one visited here, period.

“Hello?” She pressed her ear to his door. “Mr. Carver?” she said louder. Her shoulders sagged when no one answered.

He didn’t recognize her voice. He moved fast and silent across the clearing, padded up the stairs just as she reached for the doorknob.

“You’re trespassing.”

She jolted, her hand going to her heart as she spun to face him. “Oh, my God. You scared me.”

Never admit fear.

“I don’t like visitors, lady.”

Her flashlight dipped and then shot back to his face, almost blinding him. She swallowed, taking in his lack of clothes and keeping her eyes north of the hot spots. “You’re naked.”

“I was in bed.” He didn’t know why he needed to explain himself.

Her voice came out like gravel. “I’m looking for Brent Carver.”

“I’m looking for peace and quiet. Looks like we’re both screwed.”

“You’re Brent?” Her free hand slipped into her bag and he grabbed her wrist and pinned her against his door before she could get the drop on him. She went ballistic and tried to whack him with the flashlight. He jerked it out of her fingers and threw it behind them. She felt tiny and delicate, crushed between him and that solid piece of oak, although her lungs were in full working order.

Shit, his ears hurt.

“No one will hear you, so you might as well stow it.” She jammed one hand against his chin, squirming like an eel, then went for gold by trying to knee him in the nuts. He deflected the attack and pressed her tighter against the door, wedging her there with his body. She barely came up to his chin but fought like a wild thing. “Want to tell me who you are and why you’re knock­ing on my door in the middle of the night?” He concentrated on making sure he didn’t injure her while he tried to check out what she was going for in her purse.

She scratched sharp fingernails down his arm, drew in a breath to scream even louder. Her breasts pushed against his chest, which would have worked for him in a big way if she wasn’t so goddamn terrified. Sonofa-fucking-bitch.

Why me?

He had nowhere to stick his gun so he removed the pocketbook from her fingers and stepped back, keeping a wary eye on her bloodthirsty knee. She stood there stunned, trembling, and breathing heavily. He didn’t think it had anything to do with his dazzling good looks.

“You bastard.” Her chin snapped up. “You aren’t Brent Carver.”

He cocked a brow. “What makes you say that?” He searched her bag, more by touch than sight in the darkness. A cell phone, wallet, keys, tampons, tissues. No gun or shank.

“He’s a respectable painter. He’s not some nutcase who runs about in the middle of the night, waving around a gun, among other things,” she muttered darkly. “Attacking innocent, defenseless women.”

The scratches on his arm stung enough for him to snort out a laugh at that. Her eyes narrowed. He watched moonlight flow over her features, fine boned and delicate, except for the tight clench of her jaw.

There was no obvious threat in her pocketbook, but it didn’t mean he should let his guard down. He needed clothes. For some crazy reason, he was getting a little turned on by Miss Prim and Proper telling him who and what he was. It was probably being naked and within a hundred yards of anything two legged and female, but he didn’t want to scare her any more than he had already. He wasn’t a hound. Nor was he under any illusion about what she thought might happen when he grabbed her. Someone had jumped him in the shower once and lost their eye for the trouble. Hell, most people thought he was evil incarnate and that was the way he liked it. He reached past her and opened the door. “Inside. Now.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.” She tried to dodge aside.

He grabbed her by the shoulders and forced her across his threshold. “You want to meet Brent? I’ll take you to him.” Her eyes were so huge with fear she looked like she’d been electrocuted. But she’d come to him, she had to play by his rules.

 

Giveaway:

Toni is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one winner from all the different tour stops. Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dark-Waters

 

Tour Schedule:

8/6/2013
Reading Between the Wines
Cocktails and Books
Hesperia Loves Books

8/7/2013
We Love Kink
Tattooed Book Review
Love N. Books

8/8/2013
Busy Moms Book Reviews
Twinsie Talk Book Reviews
Queen of All She Reads

8/9/2013
Fae Books
Musings From An Addicted Reader
StoreyBook Reviews
First Class Books

8/12/2013
Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Smardy Pants Book Blog
Blackraven’s Reviews

8/13/2013
Erzabet’s Enchantnents
Delighted Reader
HEA Romances With A Little Kick

8/14/2013
The KariAnnAlysis
Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books
The Readers Roundtable Smokin’ Gun

8/15/2013
SnifferWalk Books
Shh Moms Reading
Reads and Thoughts
Guilty Pleasures

8/16/2013
Bookworm Brandee
My Book Muse
Simply Ali
Reviewing in Chaos

8/19/2013
3 Partners in Shopping,Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
Heart Breaking Reviews
From the TBR Pile

8/20/2013
Manic Readers Guest Author Blog
My Fiction Nook
Books Books and More Books

8/21/2013
Romancing the Book
Harlie’s Books
My Life Beyond Labels

Posted in 4 1/2 paws, chick lit, Review, romance, women on August 8, 2013

st patricks day

Synopsis:

For three best friends, one winter will change everything.Chronically optimistic Jayne is surprised she’s still single at twenty-eight. But as always for Jayne, there’s hope. This time his name is Gray–a successful, gorgeous marketing VP that she can’t believe is going out with her. She’s never given up on the belief that the right man for her is out there, somewhere. Maybe Gray could be the one…if she just works hard enough to make it happen.Her cynical friend Karen is suspicious of Jayne’s new guy with his model looks and over-inflated ego. She’s concerned for Jayne, but has her own relationship to worry about. Not that anything’s wrong with her boyfriend. He’s actually perfect for her, which is why she’s terrified. Not sure she can ever fully trust a man again, she considers bailing on yet another relationship.

Claudia is always there for her friends, no matter what they’re going through. She mothers them like the children she craves to have, relieved she’s no longer navigating the dating world. Happily married, Claudia can’t wait until the day her husband finally agrees it’s time to start a family.

‘Til St. Patrick’s Day is a novel exploring the depths of friendship and what happens when love doesn’t go according to plan.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Review:

I really enjoyed this book!  I thought it was a great story about three friends and their life experiences (with men!) over a six month time frame.  The title of the book is based on a song and that relationships usually end by St. Patrick’s Day when all of the holidays are over and you don’t need a “date” or want to be alone.  I thought all three women were strong characters in their own way and learned a lot about themselves in these relationships and what they would and would not accept….and in the end realized that they were stronger than they thought.  I think they also learned things from their relationships and about who they are as people.

We give this book 4 1/2 paws!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprinthalfpaw

About the Author:

holly gilliatt When she’s not busy daydreaming of someday spending her life writing from a cozy house in the woods, Holly Gilliatt has a hectic life in the suburbs as a wife and mom to three glorious—and crazy—kids. Working full-time selling packaging supplies and equipment in St. Louis, Missouri pays the bills (most months). A hopeless romantic and music addict, she finds time to pursue her passion for writing by avoiding housework. Her biggest ambition is to someday be caught up with the laundry.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter * Book Website

 

 

 

 

 

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Anniversary, contest, Giveaway on August 7, 2013

bliss anniversary banner

 

It’s been an amazing year as Bliss released over 20 titles and have plenty in store for everyone going forward.  Bliss couldn’t have gotten to where it is without all of the wonderful readers out there.

To say thank you and welcome to new readers August will be filled with special events.  Here is the lowdown for the #BlissBall celebration:

  • #BlissBall Twitter Party: Wednesday, August 7, 9-10pm EST: Join 10 Bliss authors for a Twitter party and be ready to win some #BlissBall bling!
  • Pin It to Win It Pinterest giveaway: Sunday, August 11: Showcase which Bliss books you can’t wait to read.  Follow BlissEntangled and stop by to find out how to win a $25 Amazon gift card on Sunday.
  • Blogger Love: August 19-30: Of course we think Bliss books are so sweet and sassy that readers can’t help but love ’em but don’t just take our word for it. Fans will be posting why they love Bliss books and readers will have a chance to win a “Sweet” grand prize package. Follow Bliss on Facebook for each stop.
  • Bliss Ball Facebook Parties: Join Bliss for not one but two Facebook parties with the lovely Bliss authors.  August 27 and August 29 from 8-10pm EST we will be chatting with Bliss authors, readers and there will be more great prizes to win!

 

Check out our full list of Bliss books and come ready to party and win!

 | 
Comments Off on Bliss Publishing is turning 1!
Posted in Guest Post, Middle Grade on August 6, 2013

StoreyBook Reviews would like to welcome author Marilyn Levison today.  She is the author of Getting Back to Normal, a book I read, reviewed and truly enjoyed!

 

 

Why I Write For Kids

 

Like many writers, I read voraciously as a child. Once I mastered my letters, I was off and writing short stories. In my senior year of high school I took a creative writing class. Almost every week I wrote a short story, which I then rewrote after receiving the teacher’s comments. I’m sure he didn’t mean his criticisms to be unkind, but they cut me to the bone. “Vague characters” was one. I can’t remember the others. And so I worked diligently to correct my errors, writing then rewriting, and earning a poor grade for my efforts. Is it any wonder that I decided to major in Spanish in college instead?

Years later, when my two sons were young, I took a few writing classes. I wrote short stories and poems, then tried my hand at writing my first novel, a romantic suspense. The opening scene came to me in a dream, which I still remember: a young woman is pursued by a gangster (so she thinks) who tells her that her husband owes his boss a large gambling debt. I finished the book with the help of Roberta Gellis, my friend and mentor, then went on to write a novel about a girl who moves to upstate New York and befriends two ghost children. I never sold either book, but remembered Roberta’s telling me I had the knack of writing for children.

My next project was a kids’ book. AND DON’T BRING JEREMY. This is a novel about  two brothers. The older, Jeremy, has disabilities. I’m happy to report that this book sold, was a nominee for six state awards, and is currently available through my publisher, Untreed Reads in all e-forms.

I went on to write more books for children, each with a different theme. I love writing as a boy (Adam in AND DON’T BRING JEREMY), a girl (NO BOYS ALLOWED,) having magical powers (RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK,) and befriending a ghost (GETTING BACK TO NORMAL.) Could be I write about kids because I’m still one at heart. Or maybe it’s because I can call up childhood memories and remember how I felt when I was young. Many changes have come about since I was a girl–electronic devices, for one, the evolution of language is another. But the basics–family, school, friends, dreams and disappointments–remain the elements of life.

Recently, I’ve been writing mysteries and romantic suspense. And then last year I surprised myself by writing a children’s book. RUFUS AND THE WITCH’S SLAVE, a sequel to my award-winning “Children’s Choice” RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK, takes place in the South of France. Rufus, his best friend Billy, and his new friend Danielle save a young girl from the clutches of an old, mean witch. I had fun writing about Rufus’ expanding his magical powers, falling for his first girlfriend, and rescuing a kidnap victim. Writing about young protagonists is exciting because kids are constantly growing, exploring, and developing new abilities and strengths. They fail, they make mistakes, but they come back twice as determined and raring to go.

Some of my books are more serious—getting past a parent’s death, one’s parents’ divorce, accepting a brother’s disability. My protagonists have difficulties to overcome, but they persevere and triumph in the end.

Writing about kids keeps me young in spirit and offers me the promise of hope for the human race.

 

great escape tour banner GETTING BACK TO NORMAL large 448

Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Middle Grade, Review, Young Adult on August 6, 2013

getting back to normal

 


Genre: YA/Grades 6-8
Published by: Untreed Reads Publishing
Release Date: May 29, 2013
E-Book File Size: 289 KB

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis

Sixth-grader Vannie Taylor’s mom has just died. Her father’s completely lost without his wife and brings Vannie and her younger brother to live in a dismal cottage on the estate where he manages craft fairs, dinners, and other events.

A ghost named Archie befriends Vannie, and helps her prepare a wonderful supper for her brother. After Vannie discovers Archie’s secret, he asks Vannie to help him make amends for something in his past. But helping Archie means accepting a very large change in her own life. Things get back to normal for Vannie, but not in a way she’s ever imagined.

 

Review

This was a fun read.  I wouldn’t have thought that I would like YA books that are truly geared towards the 10-12 year age range, but I thought this book had a lot of good morals and could teach a child a thing or two.  The book was written from a child’s perspective and I thought the author did a great job with that, I truly felt like an 11 year old was telling me this story.  The ghost, Archie, isn’t a scary ghost and is truly trying to help someone have a better life.  He even helps Vannie see that life can go on despite the tragedies in the recent past.

We give this 4 1/2 paws and if you are looking for a book for your child, definitely check this one out!

 

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprinthalfpaw

About the author

marlilyn levisonMarilyn Levinson, a former Spanish teacher, writes mysteries, romance, and books for children and young adults.

Her romantic suspense, DANGEROUS RELATIONS, is a love story entwined with an intriguing mystery. GIVING UP THE GHOST is an entertaining ghost mystery. The first of her Twin Lakes Mysteries, A MURDERER AMONG US, was awarded a Best Indie of 2011 by Suspense Magazine. A new edition of A MURDERER AMONG US and its sequel, MURDER IN THE AIR, will be out soon.

A ghost, a mansion, and a feral Maine Coon cat feature in Marilyn’s brand new YA, GETTING BACK TO NORMAL. Three of her popular out-of-print children’s books, AND DON’T BRING JEREMY, NO BOYS ALLOWED, and RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK are now available as ebooks.

Marilyn is co-founder and past-president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives on Long Island.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Untreed Reads Books

 

 Tour Participants

August 5 – Queen of All She Reads Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
August 6 – StoreyBook Reviews Review & Guest Post
August 7 – Mommasez… Review & Guest Post
August 8 – Thoughts in Progress Review, Interview & Giveaway
August 9 – readalot blog Review & Interview
August 12 – A Chick Who Reads Review & Giveaway
August 13 – Brooke Blogs Review
August 14 – FUONLYKNEW  Review

 

great escape tour banner GETTING BACK TO NORMAL large 448

Posted in cooking, Cozy, Monday, mystery on August 5, 2013

gluten

 

Gluten for Punishment is the first in a brand new series called A Baker’s Treat Mystery.  I love cozies and I love anything having to do with cooking, so this is a great combo!

Synopsis:

With her mother’s death, Toni Ryder returns home to OilTop, Kansas bringing her gluten-free bakery business with her. But Toni has never felt at home in her hometown and cooking wheat-free in the middle of wheat country isn’t making her any less a fish out of water. When Toni becomes a suspect in OilTop’s first homicide investigation in twenty years, she must count on her crazy family and follow the clues to solve the mystery and clear her name.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Gluten for Punishment by Nancy J. Parra
Posted in contest, Cover Reveal, Giveaway, romance on August 5, 2013

unstoppablecropped

Title: Unstoppable (Book #2 in the Fierce Trilogy)

Author: Ginger Voight

Expected Release date: August 20, 2013

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Book Summary:

His eyes were rimmed red when they met mine. “I die inside every time he touches you, and there’s nothing I can do about it. You’ve made it clear that you’re going to go on with this sham of a marriage, no matter who it hurts in the process. You lie to everyone, Jordi, including the people you’re supposed to love the most. And I just can’t take it anymore. This is not the way I want to live my life.”

“I thought I was worth it,” I mumbled.

“You have no idea what you’re worth,” he said softly. “That’s the problem.”

In book #2 of the Fierce saga, Jordi Hemphill has joined her true love Jace Riga on cross-country tour with Giovanni Carnevale and Dreaming in Blue. The star-crossed lovers anticipate the freedom to explore their burgeoning relationship, despite the continued complications of her ties to her tormentor Eddie Nix and Jace’s new standing as a rock icon. Nothing is as it seems, which make the pair fodder for the rumor mill. Forces from all directions threaten to tear them apart, but it is Jordi’s own insecurities that drive a wedge between the aspiring diva and her hero.

Author Ginger Voight further delves into the key issues that keep Jordi from defeating her demons once and for all. This sweeping saga unearths revelations that will rock Jordi’s world forever… and set her on the path to the path to her story’s epic conclusion.

 

Teaser:

By the time I got to the arena, I felt like a big, fat loser. It bled into my performance, which Terrell cut short. He gave the band a short break while he took me aside. “You’re getting weaker every single week, Jordi. What’s going on?”

“Just the back I guess,” I offered my pat excuse, but he wasn’t having it.

“Bullshit. You were fine once you went back to your regular set. It’s this half-hearted ballad stuff that has zapped your energy. So what’s up?”

“I’m just not loving the set,” I confessed. “People use my number to get refreshments or go to the bathroom, or even find their seat.”

“Then you have to make them pay attention,” Terrell said. “The problem is that this was never your set. You need something edgier. You sound like you’re auditioning for a school play every time you sing these ballads.”

I nodded. Thanks to my back, I couldn’t perform all of Shelby’s songs, so I had to improvise with the covers she used on the show. I was never crazy about Shelby’s set, but after singing them for weeks I had grown to hate them. I had wanted to suggest a few different songs, hell… even my songs… but I didn’t want to complicate the tour the way I had complicated the show. I had a hard enough time overcoming my diva reputation as it was. “Sure that won’t cause the band to revolt?” I asked with a teasing smile.

He laughed. “I bet they could use the change as well. You think you’re bored!” He consulted the calendar on his phone. “Think you can be in Orlando by Sunday?” he asked. “That way we can practice one new song by next week?”

I nodded. “I’ll be there.”

He smiled. “Good girl.”

When I headed off stage, I noticed that Shelby had been standing nearby, waiting for her turn to rehearse. Unfortunately, she had been close enough to hear the conversation. “You’re changing the set?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I stammered. “Just trying to get away from the slower songs. I want something with more of a challenge,” I tried to explain, but realized too late how it sounded.

“I see,” she said as she crossed her arms in front of her.

“Just one for now,” I clarified, but I knew it didn’t help. So I kept digging. “We’re just two different people. It’s OK that we’re two different artists. We shouldn’t be interchangeable.”

“Sure,” she said, but I could tell she was still offended. Then she lowered the boom. “If you’re going to discard these songs anyway, I’d like incorporate them into my set.”

“Of course,” I said instantly, and then she told me the one she wanted. It was the showstopper – the only one of the three that planted butts in the seat and made the audience pay attention to my performances.

But it wasn’t as though I could tell her no. They were her songs, after all.

The showstopper I gave her, but whatever.

So I was starting from scratch. It wasn’t the first time.

I retreated to my dressing room to scour through my thousand-song playlist for some ideas. I had jotted down about ten possibilities by the time Jace came knocking on the door. Despite how my heart leapt just looking into his handsome face, I could see by the hardened look in his eyes that he was livid.

He shut the door behind him and turned to me with a cold, controlled voice. “Whatever has happened between the two of us, don’t take it out on Shelby.”

In all this time he had said nothing to me, he had let our relationship go down in flames without a fight, and yet he was willing to stand there and defend Shelby? It immediately raised my hackles. “I haven’t taken out anything on Shelby,” I informed him coolly.

“Oh really? Then maybe you can tell me why she’s in her dressing room, crying her eyes out, because you slammed her set as boring and unchallenging.”

“I never said that,” I corrected. “I just told her that I didn’t want to do the ballads anymore. These weren’t my songs in the first place. Why should I have to sing them night after night just to spare her feelings?”

“You were the one who took over the set,” he reminded. “You gave up your songs. Remember?”

“And you know why,” I shot back.

“No, Jordi. I don’t know why. I don’t know why you do half of the things you do.”

After a brief stare down I had to look away. “This isn’t about us,” I said at last. “I’m the opening act for a rock concert and I’m putting everyone to sleep with slow love songs I never would have sung in the first place. She gets the better set, the better songs and the best song of her own set. Why am I the bad guy here?”

“You really have no idea how inferior she feels to you, do you?”

“Well, fucking ditto!” I exclaimed as I shot out of the chair. “In case you haven’t noticed, Jace, I’m the one going down in flames on this goddamn tour. The fans love Shelby. The crew loves Shelby. PING loves Shelby. She’s everyone’s little sweetheart. I’m the whale people feel compelled to harpoon. It’s on every website, it’s in every paper. She sings my song half as good as I do but everyone is willing to blow sunshine up her ass because she’s a size 2.”

Jace was dumbfounded. “Wow. Are you even listening to yourself?”

“Are you listening? Have you ever? You’re the big hero who can do no wrong. Fans fall at your feet whenever you look their direction. You don’t know what it’s like to hustle for every last crumb of affection, for acclaim… for credit. I’m torn every which way by everyone. And worst of all, you know how screwed I’ve been and how many hits I’ve taken. You’re the only one who does. And yet even you take up her mantle after letting me go without a fight.”

I was in tears as I finished so I turned away. His fingers curled around my elbow and he turned me back. “How dare you say I never fought for you? I’m the only one that ever has.”

“Then where are you now that I need you the most?” I cried.

I lost myself in those incredible green eyes, eyes that scanned my face. A tear streaked down my cheek and teetered precariously on my chin. He gently captured it with his spare hand. “I’m right here,” he said.

I fought a sob back as I pushed against his chest, but it was useless. He pulled me into his arms and he held me tight. His hard body felt like heaven against my own, but I had been burned one too many times before. I knew that happiness was a trap. No matter what happened in that embrace, he’d turn from me and he’d go back to the fair damsel in distress who needed him to be her big protector.

He’s a dog with a new bone, evil Eddie whispered in my ear.

I tried to pull away but Jace held me fast. “No, Jordi,” he said in a low, commanding voice. “You don’t get to run away. You don’t get to call the shots. You don’t get to make the rules.”

“If I honestly thought that I could, then we’d be together,” I muttered into his shoulder. “No complications. No delays. Just us and nothing more.”

He tipped my head to look at him. “Don’t you know that’s all I want?” he asked as his thumb brushed my dampened cheek. “You’re my heart.”

My eyelids fluttered shut as his head descended toward mine. The minute his mouth closed over mine, a bolt of lightning shot through my entire body. Instantly I deepened the kiss, it was beyond me not to. I was his. I had been branded and claimed.

 

About the Author:

gingervoight

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, FIERCE 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

The Giveaway:

One winner will receive $25 in Amazon or Barnes & Noble credit

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 | 
Comments Off on Cover Reveal & $25 Giveaway: Unstoppable
Posted in 3 1/2 paws, humor, Review, romance on August 4, 2013

emily ronda romance

Synopsis:

When Emily is rudely woken from a blissful dream on a beautiful beach with her lover, and told she’s on air with her local radio station diskjockeys, she does what any normal woman would do. She fakes it, and pretends she was already awake.

The competition to win an engagement ring has been drawn, but Emily won second prize. Squeee! She’s won a Valentine weekend in Spain with her boyfriend, Brian, and a limo will be there soon to whisk her off to the airport.

The story begins in not-so-sunny England, and quickly moves to Spain. Emily and Brian meet a sexist expat driver, and then endure two days of comedies of errors discovering Ronda and the white villages of Andalucia.

Emily tortures herself over-analysing every word Brian says, watching his every move for any hint Brian really wants to propose to her. After all, why wouldn’t he want to marry her? She’s perfect for him, isn’t she?

Emily and Brian make the discovery that could make or break their relationship. Neither is happy with the way things are. Over three days, they are thrown out of their comfort zone. Emily learns to assert herself as she struggles to save their relationship, often with humorous consequences for Brian.

In the end, Emily discovers she is more than others think of her, and hatches a plot to start a new career as a fashion blogger, with Brian her faithful sidekick. Now all she needs to do is convince Brian that’s what he wants too.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Buy:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Review:

 

pawprintpawprintpawprinthalfpaw

 

Find the Author:

 Website * Goodreads

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review

 | 
Comments Off on Review: Emily’s Ronda Romance by Michelle Cameron
Posted in contest, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on August 3, 2013

the prodigal

Synopsis:

This sweeping allegorical tale begins with the escape of a Gypsy princess and her young lover from her father’s camp in 1851, recalling the flight of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The boy steals Prodigal, a sailing ship blessed with unnatural speed, and the lovers escape to sea, leaving the father to grieve for the loss and pine for the return of his child. More than 150 years later on Ocracoke Island we meet Aidan Sharpe, an aging lawyer, as he rises from the sand of a remote beach after a lost weekend. In a strange foreboding, one woman gives him wine and another gives him water just as his world is about to be consumed by scandal. While struggling to rebuild his life in this lonely outpost of the Outer Banks, Aidan is caught up in a two-thousand-year-old mystery that unfolds with the sudden reappearance of Prodigal off the coast, adrift and unmanned. Its discovery will lead Aidan and those close to him into the deep, in a race between time and eternity.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Exciting news!

The Prodigal was chosen as a finalist along with four other novels by reviewers for the 2013 annual BookBundlz Book Club Pick contest. The finalists were announced on August 1.  This is an annual contest to select the best novel for thousands of book club members around the world.  The reviewers selected the finalists, but the winning book, to be named on September 1, will be determined solely by the greatest number of votes from the general public between now and August 31. People can sign up at the BookBundlz website to vote once per day and see where each of the five finalists stands in the running day by day.  VOTE HERE

Buy the Book

Amazon – Print or Kindle

Barnes & Noble – Print

Trailer:

 

 

About the Author:

mike hurleyMichael Hurley lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Susan. Born in Baltimore in 1958, he studied English at the University of Maryland and law at St. Louis University. His debut novel, The Prodigal (Ragbagger Press, 2013), is the story of a troubled lawyer who is trying to rebuild his life on Ocracoke Island when he discovers that his destiny is tied to a mysterious schooner that drifts ashore. Kirkus Reviews called it “stirring, romantic and evocative of the sea’s magic.” ForeWord Clarion Review described it as “a masterpiece of artistic imagination.”

Michael’s first book, Letters from the Woods (Ragbagger Press, 2005), is a collection of essays about life drawn from the canoe trips he took with his young children between 1995 and 2003 while publishing the quarterly journal, Paddle & Portage. The Wilmington Star-News described it as “one of those books you pick up like a comfy old shirt to relax in. . . Whimsical . . . Elegiac . . .” and wrote that “Hurley, like Hemingway, glories in the job cleanly done. ” The Raleigh News & Observer described it as “pointed, personal, and poignant. A deep and passionate tale of wilderness adventures. A celebration of universal truths. Well worth reading.”

Michael’s memoir, Once Upon A Gypsy Moon (Hachette, 2013), grew out of an improbable solo sailing-voyage from Annapolis to the Dominican Republic over two years that was part pilgrimage, part protest, and part penance. It’s a star-crossed love story wrapped within a rollicking good sea tale that Kirkus Reviews called “a striking memoir of personal discovery.”

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

The Giveaway:

Michael is kindly giving away 2 copies of his book, paperback or eBook winner’s choice!  Just enter the rafflecopter below.  Ends 8/16 and open internationally for the eBook option only.  Paperback copy US only.

You can enter once each day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway