Posted in contest, excerpt, Giveaway, Spotlight, Young Adult on September 29, 2013



Celebrating the release of The Jamieson Collection with Harper Collins, today’s post gives you a look inside the books and a great giveaway!

Title: Rock and a Hard Place (The Jamieson Collection, #1) and Snapshot (The Jamieson Collection, #2)

Author: Angie Stanton

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release date: September 24, 2013 (re-release with Harper Collins)

Genre: Contemporary

Age Group: Young Adult

Event organized by: AToMR Tours


ROCKRock and a Hard Place

One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby breaks away from her perfect behavior and her life changes course.

Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. While Peter battles his family’s growing interference so he can spend time with Libby, she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.

Their lives are torn apart when Peter’s family intrudes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them?


“No, they’re not starbusts.” He continued to touch each mark. “They’re angel kisses. It’s like angels kissed your hands all over.” His eyes rose to meet hers. They were filled with kindness and compassion. Something she had felt little of the past year. (Peter)”

~Angie Stanton-Rock and a Hard Place

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Marti Hunter hates rockers and anything remotely related to the rock-and-roll lifestyle. She thought she’d left that all behind, along with her drug-addicted mother and absent-minded rock legend father. Now she lives with her grandmother, and Marti’s life is finally normal. Just the way she likes it.

For Adam Jamieson, normal is not possible. He is the genius guitar player of the band Jamieson. He’s ecstatic to finally get a two-week break from his micromanaged life and a chance to hang with regular teens. Adam’s shaving off his trademark curls and going undercover.

But when Marti, the reluctant rock princess, and Adam, the undercover guitar wizard, meet, sparks fly in more ways than one. They spend their time alternating between making out and driving each other crazy. But their summer adventures of skinny dipping, storm watching, and stolen kisses are brought to a halt when tragedy strikes.

Suddenly, they’re on opposite sides of the country, just when they need each other the most. Can Marti survive life with her dad and his vicious girlfriend? Will Adam get so fed up with his over-managed life and controlling parents that he quits the band?

Snapshot. A moment in time that changes two people forever.


Adam called his brother. Peter picked up on the third ring. “What’s up? What’s lured you away from making candles in the sand? Don’t tell me. Since the girls don’t know who you are, they’ll have nothing to do with you?”

“Not exactly. See, there’s this girl, and…”

“Hey Libby, Adam’s got a girl!” Peter yelled, ignoring Adam.

“Way to go Adam!” Libby called back. “Don’t break her heart.”

Adam shook his head. Calling Peter was probably a mistake.

“So what’s the problem?” Peter asked. “You finally get a girl alone and you don’t know what to do with her?”

Adam rolled his eyes. “No, she has this huge issue with musicians. Let’s just say she hates us all. How do I get her to stop hating me?”

“You know what they say,” Peter said. “There’s a fine line between love and hate.”
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About the Author

angiestantonAngie Stanton never planned on writing books, she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in a rural setting with her brothers’ 4-H pigs as pets, dance didn’t work out. Instead she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head she began to write them down and the rest is history.

She loves dipping french fries in chocolate shakes, all natural disaster movies and Broadway Musicals. When not writing, Angie is concocting ways to make more dreams come true, whether it be tickets to a Broadway show or convincing her family they should rent an RV and travel the country. She’s still working on that one.

Angie is a proud double finalist of the 2011 National Readers Choice Awards for Love ’em or Leave ’em, as well as a finalist for the Golden Quill Awards.

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Event Giveaway

Giveaway dates –  Sept. 24th-October 5th

All open International

(1) $50 Amazon Gift Card

(1) $25 Amazon Gift Card

(1) $15 Amazon Gift Card
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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, mystery, romance, Spotlight, suspense on September 25, 2013

Dance for a Dead Princess Final



Wall Street Attorney Taylor Collins, has something Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham, has been searching for since the death of the Princess of Wales: the videotape Diana made in January 1997 before her death in August, naming her assassins.

Determined to avenge Diana’s death by exposing her killers, Nicholas lures Taylor to England with his promise to sell his ancestral home, Burnham Abbey,  to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls.   But Nicholas, who has dated American actresses since the death of his beloved wife, ten years earlier and who has vowed never to fall in love again, is immediately overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.

Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in the estate of Mari, her long-time friend and client, and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish and is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York.  But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the Tudor-era love story of Thomas, the first duke and founder of the Carey family.  As she reads Thomas’s agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine.  But just as Taylor’s own feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she is confronted with evidence Nicholas may be responsible for a double murder.  When Nicholas is arrested and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth once and for all about Nicholas Carey and the death of the Princess of Wales.

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Prologue and Chapter 1:

Dance for a Dead Princess 1st chapter

Guest Post:

I wanted to write a book that combines  mystery, romance, and intrigue, woven around the historical fact that Princess Diana made a video tape in January 1997 naming her assassins, a tape that was brought to America and that has never been found.  I wanted the book to be a page turner, the kind of story you can’t put down.  And I wanted the plot to focus on a modern aristocratic family that dates  from Tudor times.

The modern Duke of Burnham, Nicholas, who is the quintessential international businessman, contrasts with his ancestor,  the sturdy Tudor knight, Thomas, who became the First Duke.   Both men’s lives are suddenly changed when they fall in love with beautiful women. In the inner Tudor story, Thomas was in love with Elizabeth Howell, an heiress desired by King Henry VIII and beyond Thomas’ station.  In the modern story, Nicholas’ great love was his late wife Deborah, who was Diana’s great friend at West Heath.  His vow to find Diana’s tape was made in memory of both women.  When the story opens, Nicholas is busy luring Wall Street lawyer, Taylor Collins, to England because he believes she has Diana’s tape.  The modern duke’s quest for the tape is complicated in equal parts by falling in love with Taylor, whose life is in danger because she unknowing has the tape,  and by his efforts to wean his rebellious and mysterious sixteen-year-old ward, Lucy, off drugs.

The plot turns on a host of unanswered questions that arise thick and fast.  Where is Diana’s tape?  Who broke into the cottage where Taylor is staying?  Is she being followed?  Is the rumor that Deborah’s death in 1994 was not an accident true?  Who is Lucy’s real father?  Does she stand in the way of Nicholas’ desire to sell Burnham Abbey, the Carey’s ancestral home? Are the Careys founded on the murder of the First Duke’s wife to clear the way for him to marry his heiress?  And, above all, who is trying to kill Taylor, and who killed the Princess of Wales?

I wrote Dance For A Dead Princess for readers who love page-turning tales of history, intrigue, great love stories, and mystery.  So far, all my readers have said they couldn’t put it down and that makes me very, very happy.  I hope that you will be next to enjoy it!

About the Author:

Deborah HawkinsDeborah grew up in the South, wrote her first novel at the of age thirteen, and has been writing ever since. In graduate school, she studied Irish Literature and came to believe all Irishmen and Southerners are born storytellers. In addition to writing, she loves music and plays the clarinet. Now that her children are grown, she devotes her time to law, music, writing, and her two Golden Retrievers, Melody and Rhythm.

Deborah taught college English and worked as a technical editor before going to law school. She worked for several large East Cost firms before coming to California in the mid-1980’s where she developed a solo practice as an appellate attorney while raising her three children as a single parent. She is admitted to the bar in two states and the District of Columbia, is a certified appellate specialist, and has a Master of Laws in addition to a Masters in English. She believes that even a legal case always begins with a story.

Visit her blog



Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Blog tour, contest, Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Review on September 6, 2013

banner large plum deadly


Plum deadly

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 304


Unjustly accused of cooking the books, Maggie Grady is forced to retreat from her high-flying New York financial career to the town where she grew up. Her aunt Clara greets her with open arms and a job at the family-owned business that has baked the best pies in the South for over forty years. Unfortunately, while Maggie is determined to return to banking, her reputation there seems permanently in the pits. That is, until her old boss, Lou, visits with news that he’s found the real crook. Before he can reveal the details, though, Maggie finds his body right behind the pie shop.

With only her own word that Lou planned to exonerate her, Maggie is in the spotlight. The police seem to suspect that Aunt Clara’s damson pie may not be just dangerously delectable, but downright deadly. Maggie doesn’t just have her own name to clear; she has to make sure that her aunt’s beloved business isn’t harmed, either. Yummy local reporter Ryan Summerour appears eager to help, and Maggie can’t help hoping that it’s not just the police who find her a person of interest—but Ryan, as well. She’d thought it challenging to make the perfect pie crust that Aunt Clara demands, but that turns out to be nothing compared with finding a murderer. . . .


Aunt Clara and Uncle Fred had raised Maggie after her parents’ death in a car crash. They’d been there through high school and college when Maggie had worked right here at Pie in the Sky for spending money, dreaming her big dreams about the future.

“I could use a little more tea,” an intense young man with spiky, green-tinged brown hair yelled out.

“I’ll get it,” Maggie said. “How’s that mystery pie coming along? People are waiting for it. I think we’ve already had a hundred suggestions for names. It’s smart of you to introduce new pies that way. Good marketing.”

Aunt Clara shrugged her shoulders. Her unnaturally red hair was a little frizzier than usual. It looked like an orange fringe around her still pretty face. She looked like Maggie’s mother, with that red hair and green eyes. Maggie had inherited her father’s dark brown hair.

“It’s what I’ve always done. The kids like it. I never guessed when your uncle and I opened this pie shop forty years ago that I’d be here making pies without him.” Aunt Clara sighed. “But then things don’t always go the way you plan.”

You said a mouthful there. Maggie brought another small pot of hot water and a tea bag to the young man’s table.

He looked as though he was working on something important. He raked his hand through his hair again and spilled Amazing Apple pie on his black superhero T-shirt that had already seen better days. The table was covered with diagrams and charts.

“What are you working on?” She tried to be friendly. It wasn’t always easy. It had been different when she’d worked here and known most of the students. Now she felt a lot like their mother.

“None of your business,” he barked, protectively covering the documents. “I have tea now. Go away.”

“You don’t have to be rude. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?”

He stared at her like she’d lost her mind.

Obviously not.


I love food and especially pie, so I was very excited to have a chance to read this book centered around a pie shop.  The pie names had me drooling all throughout the book, that’s for sure!  I thought this book had good characters that were pretty well developed for the first in a series.  I liked that there were a couple of storylines going on in this first book – Maggie losing her job, her boss dying after visiting her at the pie shop and the “big ugly” developer trying to purchase the property.  They all tied in well and while I had a sneaky suspicion who the killer was, I wasn’t 100% sure until that person was revealed.

This series is definitely going on my list of books to read and cannot wait to see what comes out with book 2!  We give this a solid 4 1/2 paws up and highly suggest checking out the book!


About This Author:

j&j 2Ellie Grant writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Joyce and Jim Lavene. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.


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Purchase Links
AMAZON          B&N               Book World                  Book Depository                    Powell’s Books


The Giveaway:

One print copy of the book open to US Residents only.  contest ends September 15th
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Tour Participants

September 3Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post

September 4My Recent Favorite books – Review & Giveaway

September 5Kaisy Daisy’s Corner –Review & Giveaway

September 5Dru’s Book Musings– Guest Post & Giveaway

September 5Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post & Giveaway

September 6StoreyBook Reviews  – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

September 7Dr. Pepper Diva – Review & Giveaway

September 9rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Interview, Review & Giveaway

September 10readalot – Review & Giveaway

September 11Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Guest Post & Giveaway

September 12Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

September 13A Blue Million Books  – Interview

September 14Brooke Blogs – Review

September 15Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Interview & Giveaway

a copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Blast, contest, Cover Reveal, excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on September 4, 2013

I am proud to announce the cover reveal for Innocence by Elise De Sallier…

Watch for its upcoming release on December 17!



Ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but in Anneliese Barlow’s experience, it leads to poor choices and unnecessarily tragic outcomes . . . and there is nothing pleasant about either.

Forced to flee her father’s brutal heir, Anneliese masquerades as Lisa Brown, a servant in the grand, country mansion of the Duke of Worthington. Befriended by her fellow maids, she tries—and failsto avoid attention while awaiting the return of the duke, her father’s friend. Discovering the life of gentility she had known was a virtual fairy tale, reality a dark and forbidding place, Lisa faces danger at every turn.

Captivated by the beautiful maid, Nathaniel Stanton, the Marquis of Marsden, decides the only way to protect the new girl is by offering her his protection. With her reputation ruined and all hope of returning to her previous station seemingly lost, Lisa surrenders her virtue to the man she has come to love almost beyond reason. Finding unexpected passion in Nathaniel’s arms, her senses are awakened to a world of sensuality she had not known existed. A world not without grave risks.

Believing it is the only way he can keep her in his life, Nathaniel asks Lisa to be his mistress, promising her a home and a future with him . . . of sorts. Despite her misgivings about its dubious morality, she accepts the position rather than be separated from Nathaniel. But her father’s heir, Lord Copeland, has not given up in his quest to have her for himself.

With her freedom, Nathaniel’s position in society, and the future of countless others at stake, she must sacrifice her future happiness and find a way to disappear forever. If her identity is uncovered, Lisa’s innocence won’t be the only thing that’s lost.

Author Bio


Elise met the love of her life when she was only sixteen, married him three years, and recently celebrated her thirtieth wedding anniversary. Needless to say, she is a big believer in living Happily Ever After. With a lifetime’s worth of experience behind her, Elise also believes great relationships don’t just happen, they take work . . . which doesn’t mean writing about them can’t be a whole lot of fun.

After surviving all manner of health obstacles while raising a family and nursing her elderly grandmother—her writing namesake, though she’d have been shocked by her granddaughter’s steamy love scenes—Elise established a career as a counselor and family therapist. Seeking an escape from the stresses of her work, she discovered the world of fan fiction, and her timid writer’s muse began to make its voice heard. Two point three million hits, twelve and a half thousand reviews, and an email from an acquisitions editor at The Writer’s Coffee Shop later, and Elise’s life found a new and fascinating direction.

A romantic fiction addict from way back, writing her own historical and paranormal romances—and having others read and fall in love with her characters and the worlds she creates—is a dream come true. Elise likes to see her characters grow, experience passion and adventure, tackle some difficult issues, and find lasting love . . . eventually.



Unable to see past the large bouquet, Lisa stumbled several times on the journey, the flowers falling to the side.

“Bother,” she muttered after her third attempt at repairing the damage was unsuccessful.

“I think they usually put the tallest ones at the back.”

Spinning around at the sound of a deep, male voice, she was surprised to see Nathaniel leaning against the wall.

“My lord! You startled me.”

He frowned—at her less than servile tone, she imagined—and Lisa offered a belated curtsy.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” she asked when the effect of his unbroken gaze reached an unbearable level.

“You can tell me your name.” His gaze roamed from the top of her head to the hem of her skirt in a shockingly forward manner.

“My name?”

“I’m assuming you have one?”

“Yes, of course. I have a name.”


One of his eyebrows rose, reminding Lisa of a novel she’d read by Mrs Radcliffe describing the hero as having a sardonic brow. She’d always wondered what one looked like, and now she knew.

Pushing away from the wall, Nathaniel walked over to the vase of flowers. With a few deft movements he created something quite presentable out of the jumble she had been fussing with for the better part of half an hour, and Lisa huffed.

“I’m sure you have many talents.” He chuckled at her reaction. “Although flower arranging and pouring hot beverages don’t seem to be among them.”

Unsure how to respond, she stared down at her wringing hands. Miss Brewer would not have approved.

“So, are you going to tell me,” Nathaniel continued. “Or am I going to have to force you to give me the information?”

Looking up, Lisa was surprised to see him standing mere inches away.

“My lord?”

“Your. Name.” He enunciated clearly.

Feeling her cheeks catch fire, she stammered a reply. “Li—Li Lisa.”

“Well, Li—Li Lisa, that’s an unusual name. How about I call you Lisa, or would you prefer Li—Li?”

In hindsight, she should have chosen a name that wasn’t derived from her own, especially considering Nathaniel was an acquaintance of Lord Copeland’s. But it was too late to do anything about it now.

“Lisa. I prefer Lisa.”

“From Elizabeth?” he asked, and she blinked.

“Um, yes, that’s right. From Elizabeth.”

Anneliese had been named after her Danish great grandmother on her mother’s side, or so she had been told, the name not common on English soil.

“I couldn’t make the zed sound when I was little, so I was called Lisa not Liza,” she said, trying to fit her story to his quite understandable assumption.

“How adorable.”

“I suppose that’s one way to describe a childhood lisp.”

“Not just the lisp, you.” Nathaniel smiled.

Lisa’s mouth dropped open. He thought her adorable? Maybe Ruth and Sally were right and Nathaniel was attracted to her even though he believed her a servant.

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to speak with you about. The other morning—”

“You mean the one where you had me banished from serving in the breakfast room on my very first day?” Lisa interjected, forgetting her place once more.

“So you were offended.” He rubbed his jaw.

“Er, of course not, my lord.” She modified her tone, not wanting to get herself banished altogether. “I could have spilled the coffee on you or one of the other guests. It was gracious of you not to have me dismissed.”

“Ah, Lisa, you misunderstood. I wasn’t concerned about your inability to serve the coffee. The excuse to hold your hand was most welcome.”

“What then?” She blurted the words then snapped her mouth shut. Holding her tongue was not a strength, and the unobtrusive nature of her new role was proving a challenge. Fortunately, Nathaniel did not appear offended.

“Are you aware of my father’s unusual standards concerning the treatment of his staff?” he asked, running his fingers over the satiny smooth finish of the side table.

She nodded, though it was difficult to think clearly with him standing so close.

“His Grace wasn’t always so honourable. When I was growing up, I distinctly recall him enjoying the odd dalliance with willing maids, and he did little to hide the existence of his mistresses.”

Lisa frowned. Dalliance was not a word she was familiar with, and as far as she knew, a man’s wife was the mistress of his household, a role that need not be hidden and did not come in multiples.

Nathaniel’s gaze rose to her face. “Don’t worry. You’re quite safe here at Worthington Hall. My father had a rather dramatic change of heart a while back, a conversion of sorts. He now devotes a substantial portion of his time and wealth to the betterment and protection of the working classes, despite the cost to his reputation.”

Lisa had heard as much from her father who had shared the Duke’s opinion.

“Do you follow a similar creed?” she asked.

“Mostly.” Nathaniel shrugged and took a step closer. “I’m happy to honour my father’s wishes, especially in his own home. Although the effort does sometimes come at personal cost.”

Reaching towards her, he ran his forefinger slowly down her cheek. “You have amazing skin. Soft as silk.”

Staring unblinking into his handsome face, Lisa swayed towards him.

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Category: Romance / Historical / Regency

Publication date: Dec 17, 2013

Comments Off on Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Innocence by Elise De Sallier
Posted in Book Blast, contest, excerpt, Giveaway, New Adult, romance on September 3, 2013

Final ATR Cover

Excerpt from Against the Ropes, Chapter Ten

“Don’t you usually go to Redemption on Thursdays?”

Max presses a soft kiss to my forehead. “I wanted to see you.”

“How did you find me?” I press my nose against his shirt. The stale, musty smell of airplane cannot overpower the fresh, clean scent of his cologne or the raw essence of Max.


“It’s not nice to keep secrets.” I pull away and mock a frown.

“You kept a secret from me.” His breath is hot and moist in my ear.

My body stiffens. I am keeping so many secrets from him, I don’t know which one he’s uncovered. “What secret?”

“What were you thinking when we were training at Redemption?” His eyes blaze with sensual fire and my mouth goes dry.

A thrill of excitement shoots through me. “Naughty things,” I whisper.

“Tell me naughty things.”

The DJ takes down the tempo with Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’.” A tremor shivers through me. “Like what? I don’t really do naughty talking.”

Max lifts my hand to his mouth and brushes his lips over my knuckles. “Like ‘hand.’”

“‘Hand’ isn’t naughty.” I quiver as his lips feather up my arm and tickle my elbow.

“Oh, you don’t know how naughty it can be,” he rumbles, as he peppers tiny kisses over my shoulder. “Say ‘shoulder.’”

“Shoulder. Max, what are you doing?”

He slides his hot, wet lips to the sensitive hollow at the base of my throat, sending tingles down to my core.

“Say ‘neck,’” his deep voice demands.

“Neck.” My heartbeat quickens; my lips part. We sway to the music, our bodies melded together as he plays his curious game.

He leans down and nibbles my lips, teasing them open. His kiss is soft and gentle. Sweet. But his lips are firm. “Say ‘lips,’” he whispers.


Anticipation ratchets through me when he slides his hand down my body to cup my behind. He gives my cheek a squeeze. “Now, say ‘ass.’”

I shiver in response to his firm touch. On his lips, the simple word takes on a sultry, erotic flavor that sends molten heat through my veins. I can do this. I have asked complete strangers in clothing stores if my ass looks big. I often told Susie to get her ass downstairs for dinner. In the bar, I told Amanda to wiggle her ass. Once, I even called Charlie an ass. My life is full of ass. “Ass,” I whisper.

“Good girl.” His lips brush over my ear, his breath hot and moist on my skin. Suddenly, I feel very, very naughty and very, very aroused.

He runs his hand over my hips, in and out on my waist, and along my ribcage. My body trembles, anticipating where he might go next. He brushes his fingers ever so gently over the exposed curve of my breast under my dress. “Say ‘breast,’ baby.”

A soft whimper escapes my lips and my back arches, pressing my breasts against his chest. People dance around us oblivious to the blazing inferno at the edge of the dance floor, unaware that the slow, sensual brush of Max’s fingers over my sensitive skin has peaked my nipples and fried my brain. His stroking fingers have turned the ordinary into the sublimely sexual.

“I’m waiting.” His voice is soft but laced with demand.

I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I imagine I am diving into a pool filled with warm, decadent, dark chocolate. “Breast.” The word drops from my lips like a falling petal.

“There we go.” He spins us into a corner and under the shadow of an eight-foot bottle filled with giant pills, he tightens one hand around my waist and slides the other between us. His hand caresses the underside of my breast and then, inch by inch, he drops it down. Warm fingers brush down my sternum and press against my tummy. A firestorm of arousal courses through my veins like nothing I have ever experienced before. My breath comes in short, rapid pants. My panties are beyond soaked. My entire being is focused on Max’s rapidly descending fingers. When he brushes the tips of his fingers over my mound my head falls back and I moan.

Triumph flares in the sensual depths of Max’s eyes. “Now say ‘pussy.’”

The soft, whispered word is erotic on his lips, sending a rush of molten heat through my veins. Max presses my body against his, trapping his hand between us. He is obviously erect and this, more than anything, sends my arousal spiraling out of control.

“Maaaax,” I moan.

He cups the curve of my sex and I am gone, lost to the moment, lost to passion.

“Say it, baby.” His demanding words bring me back.

My lips part. My body burns with lust. But some part of me says it is too much. This is not me and I have been pushed as far as I want to be pushed. The DJ spins Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” Max tightens his arm around me and sings the lyrics in a soft, deep voice only I can hear. His deep baritone rumbles in his chest. Slow, delicious warmth spreads through me and something strange and new penetrates deep into my bones. Tilting my head back, I look up through my lashes. His dark eyes glitter, unyielding, and yet filled with sensual promise. “Say it.”

I squeeze my eyes shut and whisper into his chest, “Not yet.”



He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

The man they call Torment is all sleek muscle and restrained power. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when a soft touch is required and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined…

Buy the book:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo


Author Bio

sarah castilleRecovering lawyer, karate practitioner, and caffeine addict, Sarah Castille worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. Her steamy, contemporary romantic tales feature blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

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The Giveaway:

Against the Ropes water bottle
E-Copy of Legal Heat
Kindle copy of Fight Club: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
Keep Calm and Fight On T-shirt
Gold plated boxing glove key chain
$50 Amazon gift card

ATR Bracelet
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Participating Blogs

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Harlie’s Books
Regina May Ross’s
Read Our Lips! Book Review Blog
Erzabet’s Enchantments
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
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Simply Ali
Tattooed Book Review
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My Life Beyond Labels
A Little Fiction of Every Flavour
Musings From An Addicted Reader
Books Books and More Books
StoreyBook Reviews
Jelena’s Book Blog
Scorching Book Reviews
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Michelle Graham, Erotic Romance
What’s On the Bookshelf
Dear Brighton
Blackraven’s Erotic Cafe
Blackraven’s Reviews
AJ’s Reading Nook
The Readers Roundtable
HEA Romances witha Little Kick
The SubClub Books

Comments Off on Excerpt & Giveaway: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille
Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Middle Grade, Young Adult on August 31, 2013

silver strand

The Silver Strand

Ever since twelve year old Isabelle Tresdon’s silver strand of hair sprouted, it’s been nothing but trouble: bleeding pink dust and sparking like a firecracker. Refusing to be known as the girl with the freaky, grandma hair, she wishes it never grew and the hair withers and tarnishes.

The only problem is, the strand is Isabelle’s source of magic, and she can transform particles of energy into matter. It’s also her ticket into Mastermind Academy, a secret school inside the earth’s core. Five days remain before the strand drains her magic and life, forcing Isabelle to enter into a deal with two trickster Masterminds to save it. But what she doesn’t count on is there is more at stake than just her life.

The Silver Strand, a MG Fantasy Adventure for 9-12 year olds, is book 1 in the Mastermind Academy Series.


louisaAuthor L.J. Clarkson

One thing you need to know about LJ Clarkson is that she tells BIG lies. She tells everyone that she gave up her career as an Environmental Engineer and Project Manager to write full time. But that’s not entirely true. Ten percent of the time she sleeps in. Fifteen percent of her day, she spends surfing the internet, researching for new books and her business. Ok, fine. Two percent is for research. But she’s only admitting it so she doesn’t end up like Boldrick. For eighteen point seven five percent of her day, she runs her promotional and support site for authors, called Indicated ( The rest of her time involves writing, reading, watching movies and TV, walking her dogs and falling asleep whenever her boyfriend talks technical computer lingo. Truthfully, she hates early mornings, mondays, grammar (yuck! just ask her poor editor!), broccoli and cleaning. If you would like to drop her and line and let her know what you think of the book, she would love to hear from you. Just not before 8:30am in the morning.

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“Did you know Isabelle has a silver, alien antenna?” Bimouth’s voice sang out over the shouts and chatter of the school bus, capturing everyone’s attention. “In science class, a magnet flew out of Mr. Higgins’ hand and stuck to her antenna. How freaky is that?”

Isabelle’s back pressed against her seat.

Bianca leapt up like a jack-in-a-box. Her voice came out as a hiss. “Shut your face horse mite or I’ll shut it for you.”

Looked like the bus ride might end in death.

Bigmouth turned to face Bianca. “What if Isabelle’s antenna, like, turns us into alien zombies?”

A chorus of whispers broke out.

Catching the bus was a very bad idea. Isabelle prayed again for that black hole to open up and suck her in. Better yet, she wished it would gobble up the bigmouth. Isabelle tugged on Bianca’s arm and said in a low voice, “Just cut it off.”

Her friend’s eyes softened. “You sure, Boof?”

“The hair’s caused nothing but trouble since it sprouted.” The little voice inside Isabelle’s mind begged her not to, but she didn’t listen.

“Ok.” Something in Bianca’s school bag rattled as she riffled through it. She yanked a pair of scissors free.

Isabelle’s gut clenched as her friend laid the strand between the blades. “Wait!” She suddenly felt unsure about whether to get rid of it. What if it were special and magical like Bianca had said? A magnetic hair, although cool, was hardly magical. Isabelle decided to test it. Closing her eyes, she willed her strand to turn Bigmouth into a toad.

But Bigmouth’s voice still carried throughout the bus. “And in gym class, like, she bled this weird, pink dust.”

“Definitely an alien,” someone nearby agreed.

So much for Isabelle’s strand being magical. “Cut it,” she said, exchanging a sideways look with Bianca.

Her friend squeezed the handles together. Fuchsia-colored sparks shot out and scalded Isabelle’s right cheek. The strand sizzled and hissed like a firecracker, drawing the attention of Bigmouth.

She shrieked like a real girl. “Look! Isabelle’s antenna’s on fire.”


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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Blog tour, contest, excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Young Adult on August 22, 2013



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

Author: Ginger Voight

Release date: August 20, 2013



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.


This book was just as good as the first one and it was hard for me to put down.  I kept wondering if Jordi was ever going to get rid of Eddie and be able to have a life with Jace or if she was doomed for the rest of her life.  Eddie is definitely a scumbag with a capital S!  It was hard for me to believe that Jordi was putting up with his actions and attitude towards her.  I wanted to send “Vito” after him to persuade him to leave.  On the flip side, Jordi’s lack of self-esteem did get frustrating by the end of the book.  She needs to work with a therapist and realize her worth and STOP being the victim!

We give this 4 1/2 paws and suggest you read Fierce first before diving into this book.


Find the books:

Fierce – eBook on Amazon

Fierce – paperback on Amazon

Fierce on Barnes & Noble (paperback and eBook)

Unstoppable – paperback on Amazon

Unstoppable – eBook on Amazon

Visit the Blog Tour on Facebook!


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 Ginger:

gingervoightGinger 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.

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Winner’s choice of $50 to Amazon or Barnes & Noble
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**A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review**

Posted in contest, excerpt, Giveaway, Science Fiction, Spotlight on July 25, 2013
iXEOS R copy

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ixeos reb

Ixeos Rebellion

With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs.

As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they’re pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?


The tunnel felt damp as they stepped through the portal. Lindsey held the torch out in front of her, turning in both directions. There were small puddles of water on the floor; the rounded walls wept in places. The tracks looked rusty.

“Great,” Clay muttered. “Are you sure this place isn’t going to collapse on us?”

“Nope. With no one maintaining it, it will eventually,” Lindsey said.

“I wonder what happens to the portal if this side is underwater?” Sarah asked, pulling her arms tight across her chest and shivering.

“I guess we don’t get back to Boston, at least this way” Riley said.

“But could we still come through the portal, and then drown?” Sarah asked. She was feeling claustrophobic as she thought about the weight of the water above her. “Or, what if we’re walking through it and the walls crack…”

“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen!” Lindsey said, heading left. “At least if it floods while we’re in the city, we can get back home from New York or DC.”

“Remind me to come inspect the motorcycles,” Clay said. He and Samson had been in charge of all the Depots that housed motorcycles in Europe, but Samson had handled the others himself. Until he died. Clay shook his head to rid himself of the memory. Best not to think of that right now, in the circumstances.

“Gangs don’t use this tunnel much because of the water, so that’s good for us. The line goes all the way to Revere Beach that way…” Lindsey pointed behind them. “It’s a long way, but it’s nice out there and people used to go to hunt or fish. Not so much now. Everybody is afraid of the tunnel collapsing; the rebels don’t come in here at all.”

“Are there rebels near the LRTD that can help us?” Sarah asked.

“I don’t want to get any of them involved until we know more. Crossing over to the Cambridge side is dangerous. We’ve done some minor ops to cause trouble over there, but mostly we observe. There are a lot of Firsts on that side of the bridge.”

The group fell silent, contemplating the inhuman experiments the Firsts were notorious for conducting. Firsts had been in charge of some of the more gruesome human experiments in both Japan and Germany in World War II. Their lack of emotion but insatiable quest for what they called knowledge, along with a large population of slaves at their mercy, had allowed them to continue their “research.”


The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.


Author Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.



Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Blog tour, contest, excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Young Adult on June 27, 2013

osteoblasts tour

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Osteoblasts cover

Osteoblasts to the Rescue


Merrin and Pearl are at it again! This time these two young Human Body Detectives are exploring the skeletal system.
With the ability to jump in and examine the various systems in the body, Merrin and Pearl’s adventures are fun stories and helpful tools to educate children.
In Osteoblasts to the Rescue, Merrin and Pearl navigate their friend, Lily’s, broken arm and learn all about bones.
As the fourth in The Human Body Detectives series, Osteoblasts to the Rescue can also stand alone as a book that’s sure to inform, engage, and inspire readers of all ages.


We do have the gift of going into other people’s bodies to help them feel better, but being a Human Body Detective is a big responsibility and no one seems to need help right now, Merrin thought.


They landed on a hard smooth surface. Happily, they were still together. As their eyes opened, Pearl looked around and Merrin gasped, “Pearl, where are we?”


Pearl leaned over to Merrin and felt along her spine. Merrin shivered a bit. “Those bones you feel when I touch your back are the spinal processes.”


“We need to get to Lily’s left arm, the one that is broken. I want to see the break and understand how the body will fix it. We might be in for a journey, Merrin! Most of the vertebrae have these spinal processes and if we climb up toward her head, we’ll find Lily’s left clavicle, which will lead us to her left arm.”

Oh my, Merrin thought.


Merrin realized Pearl’s shoelace was untied and bellowed out, “Pearl slow down and tie your shoelace!” But she was too late. Pearl tripped and then… She tumbled.  She landed on her stomach, her feet dangling off the rib.


They both looked up and noticed the sternum bone was completely vertical. They would need rock climbing gear to have any chance of getting to the top.  They both looked at each other and wondered if they were brave enough to do it. Who knew where they would land, let alone if they fell off the bone?

At that moment, osteoblasts came storming out from everywhere! They were all over the place. Merrin and Pearl tried to jump out of their way, but the osteoblasts were on a mission and didn’t even notice them.

“Well, I hope Lily is eating enough foods with calcium and phosphorus. Actually, what food does she need to eat to get more of these nutrients?” Merrin asked.




heather mAuthor Heather Manley, N.D.

I have always been passionate about healthy foods and exercising. Growing up in Toronto, Canada I would exhaust my allowance at the health food store and write school papers on spices and herbs. It was no wonder I found myself studying biology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. I loved animals as well so I initially focused on wildlife conservation and animal biology, however, with some exposure to naturopathic medicine, this health care philosophy rang true for me. I switched to pre-med and I graduated in 1993. I earned my doctorate at the from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon before moving with my family to Hawaii where I became licensed and continue to practice today.

Everything I learned in medschool came into fruition when my children were born. I realized the importance of teaching them, by example, about healthy food and lifestyle. Telling them what to eat was not enough, so I created and wrote educational adventure stories that explain the physiological systems in the body. Not only did my kids love the engaging and interactive stories but so did their friends.

I love seeing kids have fun learning to understand their bodies and how food helps them run faster and be smarter. My focus is on preventative health. I am passionate about encouraging families to seek the value of a simple lifestyle and offering tools to assist them at being proactive and confident in their daily living. I am constantly inspired seeing people make positive changes in their lives. With my website, I am excited to reach more families in a way that will manifest healthy living.

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, fiction, suspense on May 21, 2013


About Lawrence Weill:

Lawrence Weill is an author and artist in western Kentucky. In addition to novels, he writes short fiction, non-fiction articles and books, and poetry. His work has appeared in a wide range of local, regional, and national journals. He and his wife live in the woods overlooking a beaver pond.

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What should a woman do if she believes she is the mother of the second coming of Christ? This is the problem Lara Joyner faces when she comes to believe, through her visions, through the look on his face, through her cards, and through the thousands of hidden signs she sees in nature, that her son is Christ incarnate.
Incarnate is driven by this woman’s character and readers struggle between wanting to sympathize and knowing she is deeply troubled. In the end, we discover how her delusion turns many worlds upside down, as well as how faith overpowers reason. The story follows Lara and her two sons as she pushes Dale to perform miracles and save humanity. Although obviously unable to
do so, he goes through the motions to protect his little brother Louis. Told alternately from Lara’s perspective (in the present tense) and from the other principles in the story, the plot follows the trials brought on by Lara’s spiraling madness, her husband’s desperate search for his family, and the children’s bewilderment and fear.


Dale sat in the dark of the back seat, listening to his mother’s vague humming and the roar of the engine, with an occasional growl as other cars came out of the dark before them, their headlights sending a shadowy moment of light across the ceiling of the station wagon. When he could see, Dale looked at Louis, who sat next to him with his eyes closed tightly, or at the ashtray in the center of the backside of the front seat. He didn’t know why he looked at the small silver square, smudged with fingerprints, a corner of some cellophane wrapper sticking out of it, a vague stain trailing from a corner onto the vinyl of the seat it was attached to. Somehow, looking at it reassured him. Sometimes the cars that passed in the darkness honked several insistent honks as they came near, and Dale would feel the car swerve one way or another. When he felt the car swerve, often he heard the cars blare their horns in long, sustained honks again as they passed, the sound whining and changing pitch as the car sped past. The wipers rubbed, giving forth a grunt. Dale sometimes looked at his mother’s head, her hair cut loose and frizzed by the rain, but most of the time he couldn’t see her much. It was too dark in the big car. But he could see Louis well enough. He couldn’t miss Louis, who was now resting his big head on Dale’s shoulder. Whenever they went over a bump, Dale could feel Louis’ head bob. He wasn’t asleep, as far as Dale could tell, and the weight was getting to him.

“Move,” Dale hissed as he shrugged his shoulder, but Louis just bounced back. “Get off me, Louie.” He shrugged harder now, and his little brother sat up with a scowl.

“What?” Louis rubbed his eyes and turned his head down.

“You weren’t asleep.” Dale whispered, the way they always did when their mother drove. She didn’t listen to them much unless they started fighting and yelling, which they didn’t do all that often, or at least it didn’t seem so to Dale. And they had learned early on that if they were quiet, their mother ignored their conversations. Besides, she couldn’t understand Louis that well anyway, with the quiet way he spoke most the time.

“I was, too.” Louis sounded like he was sorry about something. He looked at the floor.

“Was not.”

“Was too.” Louis looked up and looked like he might cry, and his voice rose a level.

“Shh. Okay, you were sleeping.” Dale glanced up at the back of his mother’s head, but she wasn’t listening. Louis sat still for a moment, as if Dale’s agreement with him had thrown him.

“Where we goin’, Dale?” Louis whispered again now too.

“I dunno, Louie.” Dale shrugged, his hands facing up, flat.

“Ask her.” He looked at the floor again. His voice cracked like he was afraid.

“No, she’ll tell us when she’s ready, Louie.”

“Why won’t she tell us where we’re goin’?” Louie raised his voice to begin a cry.

“Shh.” Dale looked up and saw his mother glancing around.

“You two okay back there?” She glanced back towards them, but she wouldn’t be able to see them, as far down into the seat as they were sunk. At least she never seemed to know what they were doing, or saying for that matter, unless Dale told her himself.

“You said you’d tell us where we was goin’.” Louie said it in not much more than a breath, so that Dale himself almost couldn’t hear him. Louie kept his head lowered as he spoke, as if asking the question was wrong, forbidden. They could never tell if any question Louie asked would bring a small pat on his head or a quick backhand across the cheeks.

“What?” Their mother turned around more now, trying to decipher Louie’s whispered whine.