Posted in New York, Spotlight, women on December 9, 2013

art of being rebekkah

The Art of Being Rebekkah is an Intricate Tale of a Woman’s Struggle with a Troubled Marriage, the Love of Her Life, Faith and Her Unborn Child

When 20-something Rebekkah Gelles suspects her husband, Avram, not only of lying and stealing, but also of contriving to bar her from having the children she so desperately wants, she realizes her marriage is imperiled.

The Art of Being Rebekkah by Karoline Barrett (e-Lit Books; December 2013; 6.99) tells an emotional and heartbreaking story of loss, love and faith as Rebekkah tries to rebuild her trust in men and establish independence for the first time in her life.

Devoted to her Jewish faith, Rebekkah’s values come into question when Nick Rossi – a tall, dark and Catholic, New York City detective enters her life. Convinced they can never be together, Rebekkah shuts him out, even after they share an unforgettable night of passion.

In the midst of her divorce – a difficult process for a Conservative Jew – Rebekkah must deal with a number of challenges, including the mystery surrounding her new career as an artist and reconnecting with old friends, now distant, casualties of a controlling husband.  Even more disquieting, Rebekkah learns she’s pregnant, though not via the Jewish man she’d always imagined as the father of her children.  The father is Nick, the man she believes is off limits.

Rebekkah must decide what’s most important – true, unadulterated love or raising her baby in the Jewish faith and culture she’s always cherished. As the young woman embarks on some serious soul-searching, a shocking confession further complicates matters as Rebekkah learns her biological mother may not have been Jewish after all.  Rebekkah, strong but vulnerable, leans on her adoptive parents and Nick, all of whom offer unconditional support.

In a final twist, Nick’s dangerous profession intervenes just when all the pieces are falling into place.  Rebekkah fears Avram may have been behind an attack on the detective’s life.

Together, Rebekkah and Nick must find a way to merge their lives and fight the negative forces that could keep them apart. Barrett tells a deep, rich story that creates a very real Rebekkah and provides a look into the thoughts of a compelling, young Jewish woman.  She also paints a clear picture of the New York City neighborhoods in which the story is set.

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About the Author

Karoline Barrett loves writing and reading women’s fiction and romance.  Her short stories have been published in various outlets, most recently in Every Day Fiction.  She is also a poet.  Karoline was born in upstate New York and has lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  At the moment, she lives in a small Connecticut town with her husband.  When not writing, Karoline reads, spends time by the water, watches the New York Yankees, indulges her Coca-Cola addiction and does anything that has nothing to do with math. www.karolinebarrett.com

 

About e-Lit Books

E-Lit Books is a ground-breaking publishing company of YA, NA, adult fiction and non-fiction books from emerging and established writers. It offers topnotch titles by fascinating authors supported by a leading national marketing and PR team. E-Lit Books presents the perfect combination for readers seeking engaging books and writers making their mark on the literary world.

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Posted in excerpt, Spotlight, women on December 7, 2013

roomies

Click on the image above to read an Excerpt of this book!

Synopsis

The countdown to college has begun.

When Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment at the beginning of summer, she shoots off an email to coordinate the basics: TV, microwave, mini-fridge. She can’t wait to escape her New Jersey beach town, and her mom, and start life over in California.

The first note to Lauren in San Francisco comes as a surprise; she had requested a single. But if Lauren’s learned anything from being the oldest of six, it’s that you can’t always get what you want, especially when what you want is privacy.

Soon the girls are emailing back and forth, sharing secrets even though they’ve never met. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives…and each other.

 

About Sara

Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of five novels for young adults, most recently The Lucy Variations, which the New York Times called “an elegant novel.”  She’s a National Book Award finalist and two-time Utah Book Award winner. Her books have been variously named to annual best books lists of the American Library Association, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, the Guardian, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library, and have been translated into many languages. In 2010, she served as a judge for the National Book Award. She has written essays and creative nonfiction for ImageHunger Mountain online, and Response as well as for several anthologies, and has been a regular contributor to Image‘s daily Good Letters blog on faith, life, and culture. As of summer 2013, she’s a member of the faculty of Lesley University’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Sara also hosts the This Creative Life podcast. Born in Cleveland and raised in San Francisco, she currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, and online via her website.

About Tara

In addition to my most recent novel, THE BEST NIGHT OF YOUR (PATHETIC) LIFE, I’m the author of three previous books for Young Adults, including DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB, which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens of 2011, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS and WHAT HAPPENS HERE.

Next up is ROOMIES, a novel I cowrote with Sara Zarr (Little Brown, December) and then my middle-grade debut, THE BATTLE OF DARCY LANE (Running Press Kids, May 2014).

I live in Queens, New York, with my husband and two young daughters, Ellie and Violet.  You can also visit her website

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Posted in contest, excerpt, Giveaway, New Adult, Spotlight on November 24, 2013

tag chaser

Synopsis

Paisley Bronson is a 27 year old successful advertising professional, but the most exciting part of her life happens outside of work. Claiming the life of a Tag Chaser toward the end of her college career has taught her one thing: Never get too close. She has enjoyed her dating lifestyle, but when her best friend makes a bet that she won’t ever be able to date a normal guy, her competitive nature takes control and she vows to change the game.

When Paisley meets the incredibly handsome and practically perfect Corbin Ray, she begins to think keeping her word might be easier than she thought. But when an accidental discovery reveals that Corbin is in the Army, she knows she must run the other way and never look back. Although it kills her, she aims to move on and look for a new prospect.

There’s just one small problem.

Paisley’s been assigned a new client at work, and his name is Corbin Ray.

Will Paisley and Corbin give in to the chemistry between them, or will their past and present complications keep them apart?

Fall in love with this fun and irresistibly naughty game of cat and mouse.

Excerpt

“You look like an angel,” he says, grabbing my hand and pulling me back down with him instead of standing up. He pulls me on top of him and presses his forehead to mine, staring deep into my eyes. Slowly, he runs his hands through my hair and pulls me closer, inch by inch, until our lips are touching again. I swear his kisses could kill me, could take all of my life and I would still want them.

“I’m no angel, just like you’re no knight in shining armor,” I say, thinking back to Thursday night when we first met.

“Hmm, that may be. But I still think we could make a pretty good story together,” he smiles, kissing down my neck to my collarbone.

“Oh, you think so?” I laugh, letting his kisses blaze a fire down my body.

“It’s worth a shot, right? Who knows, it could be a fairy tale,” he says as he stands up, pulling me with him.

“Or a train wreck.”

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Q & A with Kandi

Who inspired you to start writing?

My mom, definitely. She’s actually very into reading like I am and is a great writer herself. I hope to one day convince her to write a novel, too. She inspired me when I was very young and encouraged me to pursue my love of writing, no matter what. Everything I’ve written from awful love poems in high school (yuck!) to decent pieces in college, she has always been there for me.

Why romance?

Great question! I have no idea. I always pictured myself writing non-fiction or nothing at all, but one of my final capstone courses in college was an advanced fiction course that really turned me on to the possibilities of creating a story. Why romance specifically? Well, we could blame it on my husband for showing me love so early in life, but it’s probably more Disney’s fault than anyone else’s. I’m a girl, I love to love, what could be better than romance writing?

How do you write your novels?

Sporadically and without any structure at all. Sometimes I’ll be driving and I’ll whip out my phone and record something to write down later. Sometimes I’ll write a scene and sometimes I’ll just write about my character to get to know them better. Eventually, I sit down and map everything out so that I don’t forget anything (blonde moments are a habit for me) and then I slowly start piecing it all together. It makes sense to me, but if I told any of my professors this they might kill me lol.

When did you know you wanted to write a novel?

Honestly, it hit me out of the blue. I got the idea for Tag Chaser when I was in the shower and I just couldn’t shake it. I was dreaming about the characters, writing random scenes in my head, and just thinking about them constantly. I decided it was a sign to stop being so scared of failure and just write it. The way I see it, the worst thing that could happen is no one likes it – and in that case it will still be loved by me and that’s what matters.

Why should readers pick up Tag Chaser?

Tag Chaser is a unique story that I think hasn’t been told yet. Often times we fall in love with characters who are so perfect, either individually or for each other. Tag Chaser is about exploring our imperfections and learning not to fight that chemistry that sometimes we just feel, whether it’s easy or not. I think anyone who reads Tag Chaser will laugh and love, and those are both two very beautiful things.

About the Author

Kandi SteinerKandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

 

 

Giveaway

Kandi is kindly offering a print copy and an eBook copy of her book.  Just enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Print copy is open to US residents only but the eBook could be sent to anyone internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted in Fashion, nonfiction, Spotlight on November 23, 2013

lolly-cover-nookec

Synopsis

Lolly: From Fishing to Fashion, Reeling in an Unlikely Fashion Success is the latest non-fiction book by award-winning author Jeff Stewart and takes an in-depth and personal look at the start, deconstruction and re-birth of Los Angeles based clothing company, LOLLY Clothing.

Lolly tells the story of two brothers and LOLLY Clothing owners, Todd and Chad Kimball, who had a drive for success and a penchant for unconventional methods. The book also highlights a group of rather eccentric participants who all came together to create one of the fastest growing west coast clothing brands. Each member of the LOLLY team to include peripheral family members is either interviewed or mentioned in the book providing a candid often personal perspective on the evolution of LOLLY Clothing.

Lolly opens with a captivating story of a group of professional fishermen battling an angry discuss investing in a high-end clothing company, LOLLY; thus providing a smart introduction into the extraordinary group of characters in the book.

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About the Author

Jeff Stewart is an award-winning author of novels, short stories and poems. His works include: March of Time and Skin, Dead Birds Hot , Bad Jacket , F lotsam for Jetsam and his most recent work, Lolly: From Fishing to Fashion, Reeling in an Unlikely Fashion Success.

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About L O L L Y Clothing

LOLLY Clothing debuted in the Fall of 2011 and was created by brothers Todd and Chad Kimball. The brand is featured in over 600 stores nationwide and blends luxurious fabrics, feminine silhouettes and an understated street-chic aesthetic, making it one of the fastest growing West Coast clothing brands.

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Posted in Book Blast, breast cancer, nonfiction, Spotlight on November 22, 2013

Hopefully Ever After

 

Title: Hopefully Ever After
Author: Linda Barrett
Publisher: Linda Barrett
Genre: Memoir
Pages: 204
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988978032
ISBN-13: 978-0988978034

Linda Barrett could be any one of us. She’s an ordinary woman living a wonderfully ordinary life – husband, kids, teaching, writing – totally unprepared for Murphy’s Law on steroids. In February 2001, everything goes wrong. She discovers her breast cancer exactly when she starts a brand new teaching job which is exactly the same time as the release of her very first published novel. Secrets must be kept to protect her fledgling career as a writer. No secrets in the classroom however. Her adult students, preparing for the GED exam, out her in five minutes when they spot her wig!

Nine years later, Linda is fully recovered from her lumpectomy, chemo and radiation when breast cancer hits a second time. She is no longer a random one-in-eight woman who develops this disease. Blood tests show she’s a target of faulty genes, a carrier of the BRCA 1 gene mutation. Without drastic measures, she’d be susceptible to a third or fourth cancer hit. Murphy’s Law once again comes into play. This second time around coincides with a thousand mile relocation from Houston to Tampa. Putting a house on the market while handling a double mastectomy, implant prep, and six rounds of chemo is not for the faint of heart. Linda’s heart is not faint as she implores: “Do house hunters think we’re part of HGTV? Real homes aren’t perfect!”

At the heart of this memoir, however, is a love story. Cancer is merely the vehicle that exposes a mature marriage in full bloom. With her Knight-in-Shining-Tinfoil at her side, Linda and Michael Barrett meet the challenge of two enemies: cancer and fear. Their fight is hard won, but with cancer now in their rear view mirror, they are relaxed and laughing again. As Linda says, “Life is good. After all the turmoil, we’ve landed in a soft place. Friends and family are all around, and I expect to live out a natural lifespan however long that may be.”

Everyone deserves a Hopefully Ever After, and that’s what you’ll find here.

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About the  Author

Linda BarrettLinda Barrett is the author of 13 novels of contemporary romance. She’s earned many industry awards through Romance Writers of America, including the Holt Medallion, The Award of Excellence and the Write Touch Reader’s award. Family Interrupted is her first women’s fiction story. A graduate of Hunter College, Linda now lives in the Tampa area with her husband. They have three grown sons and the most adorable, intelligent, super-duper grandchildren ever!

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, Spotlight, Young Adult on November 20, 2013

sia

Synopsis

When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Excerpt

While I wait for my driver, I sit on a step outside the school. I watch the kids go by. No one stops to say hello to me, and I’m starting to understand why. Then I see Kyle trudging out of the school, shaking his thick brown hair back from his brow. I decide to go talk to him. But he changes direction when he sees me approaching.

“Wait! Kyle? Is that your name? Kyle?”

He stops, but doesn’t turn around.

Undaunted, I run up from behind. “Listen, I just wanted to apologize for Duke in the cafeteria today.”

“Why? Can’t he take care of that himself?”

“I guess he can, but I don’t think manners are his strong point.”

Kyle squints at me, trying to read my expression, so I keep my eyes wide open. If he’s looking for dishonesty or cruelty, I’m determined he won’t find any there.

“I don’t get it,” he says skeptically. “Why would you apologize to me?

I shrug. “Because it was wrong of him to be like that.”

“If you’re gonna apologize on behalf of Duke, you should apologize to Ben, not me.”

“Um…okay, I will.”

After a moment of quiet, Kyle says, “Okay. Thanks.” He sniffs and looks at the ground, obviously uncomfortable. “As long as we’re apologizing, I guess I owe you one, too.” He runs his fingers through his hair. “I’m sorry about yelling at you at the soup kitchen. That was you, right?”

I nod.

“So I guess it was my yelling that made you run into the street, wasn’t it?”

I nod again.

“Well, I’m really sorry. About all that. I had no idea.”

“Of course you didn’t. Don’t worry about it.” I look down the street, past Kyle, but I can’t see John and the car yet. I glance down at my nails, still torn and ratty from living homeless. “What were you doing there, anyway?” I ask.

He shrugs. “I volunteer there sometimes.”

“Oh.”

“My parents own a bakery nearby. I work there almost every afternoon. When we have day-old bread and stuff, I take it over to them.”

“You…Oh!” I suddenly recall the slice of bread I’d enjoyed just before Kyle yelled at me that day. Soft, homemade, and unforgetable. It brings a smile to my face. “Well, I know from personal experience that they really appreciate that. It’s very generous of you and your family.”

“It’s the least we can do.” He hesitates. “So you’d been eating there?”

“Yup. All week. With my friend Carol.”

“Carol? That older lady? I know her. She’s sweet. Helps a lot of the kids out. I guess she’s kind of a teacher for lost souls, huh?”

“You could say that,” I agree, remembering my wise friend fondly.

A dark car pulls up to the curb.

I smile with apology. “Sorry, but I have to go. That’s John, here to pick me up. So are we okay?”

“We?”

“Yeah. You and me.”

After a second, he returns my smile and holds out a hand. “Sure.”

I step closer so I can shake it, and while I’m there I purposefully inhale the smell Amber had so detested. She’s right. He smells like bread. Banana bread, I think. And cinnamon. Not unpleasant at all.

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Review

I was a little nervous going into this book because of the 1 and 2 star ratings that I saw on Goodreads, but I have to say they are sooooo wrong and I LOVED this story!

Sia wakes up not knowing who she is and only had her name on an iPod to get that far. She stumbles across a homeless woman named Carol that takes her under her wing until Sia is hit by a car and ends up on the hospital and “found” by her parents. What unfolds in the rest of the story is a young woman’s wake up call that just because you are wealthy does not mean you are entitled to be mean to others or not care about the plight of those less fortunate.

I thought this book was well written and worth the read!  We loved this book so much we gave it 5 paws!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About the Author

Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. When he’s not writing, Josh spends his time reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.

Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, administrative assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).

Sia is his debut YA novel.

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Q & A with the author

If you could fly anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Italy, simply because it’s always ranked as having the best food in the world. Its beaches are nice too. I’ve Googled it.

What is your favorite genre to read/write?

Young adult (YA), because those stories carry universal themes we can all relate to, a peek into the lives of characters who are more intriguing, real, and raw.

What is one silly fact about you?

I can mimic Enrique Iglesias’s voice pretty well. I sang “Hero” at a friend’s birthday party once and received an enthusiastic response. Some applauded, others laughed. Overall, though, I felt good about my performance.

What got you started on your writing journey?

My move from Massachusetts (where I’d lived most of my life) to Virginia. The first year here was difficult. I was alone, depressed, and in completely new surroundings. But it was here in the South that I began seeing all these stories in my head, and that my “writing gene” got activated. So it seems the old saying is true, everything does happens for a reason.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? 

I don’t choose, per se. I just write whatever I see in my head. And so far, all the romantic parts have been sweet and clean, which is fine with me.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?

I’m working on another YA novel that Sia fans should enjoy as well. If things go according to plan, I’ll publish that in the summer of 2014.
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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Posted in Medical Thriller, Sports, Spotlight, suspense on November 17, 2013

Today we welcome author Dustin Stevens to StoreyBook Reviews.  He has quite a few books out and contacted me about reading Catastrophic.  I will be reading and reviewing this book in the coming month, but wanted to highlight this book for anyone that likes suspense/thriller books that tie in sports and the medical field!  If you get a chance, check out his book!  He sent me the first chapter to share with you and I noticed that if you have a Prime account on Kindle you can borrow the book for free!

Catastrophic

 

Synopsis

College phenom running back Tyler Bentley is the ultimate success story. The son of a single mother from a wayward stretch of highway in Western Wyoming, he heads to Midwestern football powerhouse Ohio Tech and
becomes a star, MVP of the Centennial Bowl, runner-up to the Heisman Trophy.

He is also the ultimate fall from grace story when a freak play occurs, leaving his knee shattered.

Seeing an opportunity, the SynTronic medical corporation convinces Tyler to use their newly-designed KnightRunner knee replacement, promising him that he’ll be back on the field long before the upcoming season. Everything they promise comes true  up until the product malfunctions, costing Tyler his career and his  leg.

Now, leaning on the help of his one-time teacher Shane Laszlo, Tyler must take his battle from the gridiron to the courtroom. Laszlo, an Ohio Tech alum himself just a year removed from law school, has his own score  to settle with SynTronic, an incident occurring years before with repercussions  far greater than the loss of a limb.

Together, they will go into the biggest case Ohio has ever seen…

Chapter One

The law firm of Webster, Banks & Cohen, like most firms of its ilk around the county, had a well-defined hierarchy. Unlike all the others though, it assigned offices in ascending order of seniority.

The first floor was comprised of the palatial offices of Martin Webster, Jack Banks, and Howard Cohen, though they were rarely, if ever, seen in them.

The second floor was subdivided into six offices, each of them filled with the first hires of the firm forty years before. Two of the men had already retired into schedules similar to the founding members, while the other four still at least pretended to be working most days.

The third floor was split into ten offices, the second-year hires, followed by eight floors with fifteen offices each. All of those offices were filled with people that had been with the firm a minimum of twenty-five years. Every one of them still showed up a minimum of five days a week, many still working the same long hours they had when they started.

Somebody had to keep their trophy ex-wives in the lifestyles they’d grown accustomed to.

Above those eleven were fifteen more floors, all belonging to the firm. Levels twelve through twenty-four consisted of attorneys ranging from those on the cusp of making partner to those just a few years removed from law school. Grouped in teams of three to five, each one had their own receptionist and paralegal, a veritable free standing entity unto themselves.

Way up on top, the twenty-sixth floor was reserved for the rookies. Every single attorney that had ever working for Webster, Banks & Cohen started on the two-six, a fierce testing ground for new hires.

The entirety of the two-six was one large room with a tangle of desks strewn about. On their first day the new hires were assigned to a particular desk, but where they put it and how they chose to interact with the room was left up to them.

Corporate America’s truest Rorschach test.

Some angled for the windows, taking advantage of the fact that their firm was the only one in the city that didn’t bury them in the basement. Others chose the middle of the room, displaying their bravado for all to see and daring others to challenge them.

On his first day, Shane Lazlo chose the corner.

Not the one closest to the door or the one where two banks of floor-to-ceiling windows intersected, but the far corner.

As others sought out the coveted positions that first day, shoving their heavy old desks into position while wearing expensive designer suits, Shane nudged his into the darkened corner and began unpacking his bag. By the time some of his smaller coworkers had managed to post up just where they wanted, he had already read through the employee handbook and was moving on to the standard stack of first day documentation.

Cradled by dark brown brick to his rear and left, Shane positioned his desk tight against the side wall. It afforded him a good view of the room and even a decent sightline to the windows should he so choose.

Strategically speaking, it was an excellent move. On the social scale, it was closer to self-imposed exile.

That fact had failed to register with Shane the day he chose the seat. Not once in the months since had it done so either.

Most days Shane was the first person to arrive at the two-six, finding his spot in the corner long before anybody else bothered to come in. He wasn’t much of a morning person, but his preference for the quiet solitude of dawn made up for it.

Some nights, like this one, he was the last to leave as well.

Not a single light illuminated the enormous expanse of scattered desks save the small lamp on the corner of his and the laptop screen in front of him.

New Year’s Eve, a night when most people in Boston were at the North End enjoying dinner with family or at Faneuil Hall having drinks with friends, Shane sat alone in the semi-darkness. He had no family to speak of and only a few local friends, making it easy to dodge the handful of half-hearted invites tossed his way.

Not that he had much to celebrate these days anyway.

Just six months removed from law school, Shane was twenty-six years old and over a hundred thousand dollars in debt. The firm required seventy billable hours a week from him, which in actuality was more like ninety. The only person he had waiting for him at home each night was a temperamental cat.

The sadistic irony of being a twenty-six year old cat lady was not lost on him.

Ten months before, when the offer to join Banks, Webster & Cohen first came in, Shane jumped at the opportunity. The chance to practice environmental law with a renowned firm caught his interest within seconds. The chance to one day make the type of money they were telling him was possible sealed the deal.

Within weeks the new car smell of the whole thing began to wear off. By Thanksgiving the closest he’d been to the environment or big money was wandering into the Public Gardens by mistake on his way home one evening.

With a heavy sigh, Shane tossed his pen down on the desk and rocked back in his chair. He unknotted his tie and let it hang down from either side of his neck, placing his fingertips along his temples and kneading in slow, even circles. After several long moments he dropped his hands to his side, leaned forward and slid open the bottom drawer from his desk. He withdrew an ancient clock radio and plugged it into the wall behind him.

Brought it in special for the occasion, Shane adjusted the dial through a sea of static before finding what he was looking for. Clear and even, the familiar graveled voice of Ron Rickshaw floated out from the speakers, filling the desolate two-six.

“Yes sports fans, what we saw here in the first half was a performance for the ages. Ohio Tech running back Tyler Bentley, fresh off a top five finish in this year’s Heisman race, making a strong case that he should have been the one hoisting that trophy at the Yale Club three weeks ago.”

Jumping in was Rickshaw’s on-air sidekick, Ken Lucas. “It’s a shame that the folks tuning in this evening are listening on the radio instead of watching a television, Ron. I just don’t know that we can do Bentley’s performance justice. Coming out of the backfield for the Crimson Knights Bentley had rushes of 67, 45 and 38 yards, finishing the half with two hundred yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Forget the Heisman, this guy’s making a strong case that this could be his last game in a college uniform.”

“All week Bentley has been dodging questions about foregoing his senior season and turning pro,” Rickshaw said, “stating he will not address those issues until after the Centennial Bowl. I tell you from the way he’s carrying the ball right now, I can’t imagine there are too many college coaches out there that wouldn’t help him pack up his dorm room.”

“This performance comes as no surprise to Crimson Knights fans out there though, Ron. This is what he’s done pretty much all season for Coach Bob Valentine’s club. Over sixteen hundred yards on the ground, another five hundred receiving, a dozen touchdowns, he’s even passed for one and returned a kickoff for another. About the only things this kid hasn’t done yet are tear tickets and hawk programs.”

Rickshaw chuckled at the comment, his husky voice rasping out through the speakers. “Right you are Ken. Let’s take it down to the field for a moment and get the word coming out of the locker room from sideline reporter Sue Barnes. Sue?”

Shane took a long swig from a paper cup of tap water on his desk and rocked back as far as his chair would allow. He put the soles of his loafers on the corner his desk and smirked.

“Atta boy.”

Unlike his co-workers, who reminded every day him of their Ivy League pedigree, Shane was a card carrying alum of Ohio Tech University. In total he’d spent seven years on campus there, enjoying the price breaks for local students and the life that accompanies a college town during football season.

Tailgates, student sections, road trips. Shane had done everything and regretted nothing.

“Thanks Ron,” Barnes said. “I spoke with Coach Berg of the Virginia State Falcons and he said that his team had to find a way to contain Tyler Bentley. Coming into tonight they had planned to try and take away all other options for the Crimson Knights and force Bentley to beat them. Right now their plan is quite the opposite. Stop Bentley and force everyone else to beat them.

“On the opposite side, Tech Coach Bob Valentine said they have no need to change up what they’re doing. Remaining on the ground they’ve been able to control the clock and the tempo of the game while building a comfortable lead. If it’s not broke…

“Back up to you guys in the booth.”

“Thank you, Sue. With that we are all set to begin the second half. Darkness has fallen over Bill Irwin Stadium here in Miami and the temperature has dropped into the high-60’s, a perfect night for football as Virginia State kicker Drew Lenton gets ready to kick us off.

“Lenton draws back his standard eight yards and two to the side, has the referee’s whistle, and we’re under way here in the second half. Ohio Tech returner Maurice Welsh settles under it just shy of the goal-line and has a bit of a crease, returning it to about the thirty-one, make it thirty-two yard line for the Crimson Knights.”

“Knowing that Virginia State will be crowding the line and bringing eight or nine guys into the box to try and contain Bentley,” Lucas interjected, “it’ll be interesting to see if Tech tries to open it up here. Maybe catch the defense edging forward and pop a big one right off the bat.”

“First play from scrimmage Tech quarterback Nate Simmons takes the snap and drops back,” Rickshaw said, “and he finds tight end Brent Hanson over the middle. Hanson breaks one tackle before being drug town by a host of Falcons. That’s good for an eleven yard gain and a first down.”

“If Virginia State is going to commit that heavy to stopping the run,” Lucas said, “they’re going to be susceptible to that all night long. Their only hope is they can get enough pressure on Simmons to keep him off balance, otherwise this could be a very long night for the Falcons.”

Rickshaw continued with the play call, not bothering to comment on Lucas’s analysis. “First and ten from the Crimson Knight’s thirty-three. Simmons takes the snap and hands off to Bentley up the middle for a gain of seven. State was pressed up hard onto the line, but Bentley was still able to squeeze through to the second level.”

Shane finished the water, sat the cup on the desk beside his computer and checked his watch. “One more play and then back to work. I might even make it home for the fourth quarter.”

“Right now Tech has State back on its heels. The Falcons have no idea what’s coming and no way of stopping it even if they did,” Lucas announced.

“Here on second down Simmons takes the snap and pitches it out to Bentley, swinging hard around the right side,” Rickshaw said. “Nifty spin-move to avoid the first man, crosses the line of scrimmage and—

“Oh! He just got leveled at the forty!”

An audible groan from the crowd broke like a wave through the radio.

“Oh my Ken, this does not look good. Tyler Bentley went down hard and he is not getting up.”

Shane leaned forward and rested his elbows on the desk, turning the volume up a little higher and staring at the radio.

“I’m taking a look here on the replay,” Lucas said, “as State safety Harris Burton comes flying in and…” He let his voice trail off, offering a slight gasp as he sucked in a breath of air between his front teeth.

Folks,” Rickshaw said, “I know you can’t see this right now and be thankful for that. Burton almost put his helmet through the knee of Tyler Bentley. This does not look good.”

“Oh my, Ron,” Lucas said. “As you can see on the replay, it’s a legal hit. Burton works off a block and throws himself at Bentley, whose foot is planted. Boy did he take a shot right there.”

Shane slid back in the chair and rested his chin on his chest. He closed his eyes and returned his fingertips to his temples, massaging them in even circles.

“The angle that his knee is in just after Burton connects is difficult to watch folks,” Rickshaw said, a certain measure of sorrow in his voice. “Now they are calling for the stretchers.

“We can only hope this looks worse than it is.”

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About the author

I originally hale from the Midwest, growing up in the heart of farm country, and still consider it, along with West Tennessee, my co-home. Between the two, I have a firm belief that football is the greatest of all past-times, sweet tea is really the only acceptable beverage for any occasion, there is not an event on earth that either gym shorts or boots can’t be worn to, and that Dairy Queen is the best restaurant on the planet. Further, southern accents are a highly likeable feature on most everybody, English bulldogs sit atop the critter hierarchy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Saturday night spent catfishing at the lake.

Since leaving the Midwest I’ve been to college in New England, grad school in the Rockies, and lived in over a dozen different cities ranging from DC to Honolulu along the way. Each and every one of these experiences has shaped who I am at this point, a fact I hope is expressed in my writing. I have developed enormous affinity for locales and people of every size and shape, and even if I never figure out a way to properly convey them on paper, I am very much grateful for their presence in my life.

To sum it up, I asked a very good friend recently how they would describe me for something like this. Their response: “Plagued by realism and trained by experiences/education to be a pessimist, you somehow remain above all else an active dreamer.” While I can’t say those are the exact words I would choose, I can’t say they’re wrong. I travel, live in different places, try new foods, meet all kinds of different people, and above all else stay curious to a fault.

Here’s hoping it continues to provide us all with some pretty good stories.

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Posted in Blog tour, Book Blast, Historical, romance, Spotlight on November 2, 2013

colorado promise

 

Colorado Promise

Book One in the Front Range series – Historical Western Romance

In this passionate sweet Western Historical Romance, author Charlene Whitman introduces Emma Bradshaw—a high-society young woman from New York, who is forced to move out to the untamed Front Range in Colorado and finds that true love can withstand all the dangers the West can throw at her.

Greeley, Colorado, in 1875 is a town built on a promise . . .

. . . but to Emma it is a desert prison in the middle of a hostile and dusty prairie. Emma had hoped to go to Vassar College, to pursue her dreams of becoming a botanical illustrator. But when her father, struck with “Western fever” moves the family out West, Emma’s dreams are shattered. Her only consolation is that her childhood friend, handsome Randall Turnbull, has moved to Greeley to work for his railroad baron father. Her heart sparked by his comforting presence, she hopes Randall will fall in love with her and marry her.

But promises often turn bitter . . .

. . . as Lucas Rawlings, veterinarian and horse lover, well knows. Lucas has lived on the Front Range for three years at Sarah Banks’s horse ranch, after stumbling down from the Rockies consumed with grief. Since losing his precious wife and baby in childbirth, he doesn’t think his heart can bear ever loving again. But Sarah, a half-Cheyenne with a medicine woman for a grandmother, has a vision showing it’s time Lucas married again. He scoffs until he rescues Emma in a sudden hailstorm and their lives become intricately entwined.

Emma must choose—and fight—for the man she loves, at the risk of all she loves . . .

Emma yearns for the comfort and familiarity of Randall’s company, but Lucas’s easy confidence and gentle ways snag her heart. Facing a new life beset by grasshoppers, drought, and blizzards is hard enough. But when murderous ranchers try to force Sarah off her land, and her brother takes up dangerous company, the lives of her family and the man she’s come to love are threatened. It will take a miracle—and the strength and promises of true love—to come through unscathed in this untamed land.

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About the Author

charleneCharlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado’s Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George “Dix” Whitman, her love of thirty years. Colorado Promise is her first Historical Western Romance novel.

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Posted in Blog tour, Middle Grade, Spotlight on October 31, 2013

Cinta cover

 

Title: The Funny Adventures of Little Nani
Genre: Children’s Book
Author: Cinta Garcia de la Rosa
Publisher: CreateSpace (June 18, 2013)
Pages: 100
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1490413766
ISBN-13: 978-1490413761

Little Nani is a little girl who likes helping people. However, when she helps people the results can be a bit unexpected. Why is that? Little Nani is a witch! Or at least she wants to be a witch. With her magic wand, she will try to cast different spells to help her friends, but she won’t be successful all the time. Follow Little Nani in her funny adventures and meet her extraordinary friends. Funny ostriches, horses that love reading, super-fast turtles, grumpy zombies… Little Nani has lots of friends! You can also draw your own characters! Little Nani is willing to become a good witch. Will she manage to do it? Who knows? Read the stories and discover what happens next!

Excerpt (From “Little Nani and the Flying Muffin”)

“I’m bored!”

“How can you say that you are bored when I am reading to you one of the funniest books I have read in a long time?” said Horse in an exasperated tone. When Little Nani shrugged her shoulders, Horse had retreated to his favourite rocking chair in a corner of the room.

“Can I go out and make angels?” asked Little Nani, who was upside down, standing on her hands.

“Don’t be silly. You can only make angels in the snow, not in the rain,” said Horse without raising his eyes from the book.

“Can I go out and jump in the pools?” asked Little Nani, who was hopscotching all over the room.

“If you go out you will get soaking wet, and then you will catch a bad cold, and then you won’t be able to go out for a long time,” said the impatient horse. He didn’t like being interrupted while reading.

“Then I will cast a spell to make the sun come back,” said Little Nani, trying to take her magic wand out of her pocket while rolling on the floor. Big Billy, watching her efforts to take her magic wand out, and fearing that Little Nani could make the rain turn into a tempest, quickly pecked Little Nani’s hand.

“Ouch!” exclaimed Little Nani. “That hurt!”

She tried once more to take her magic wand from her pocket, but this time it was Skinny Nikki who pecked Little Nani’s hand.

“Ouch!” exclaimed Little Nani again.

It was pretty clear by now to Little Nani that she wasn’t going to have any fun that day. She thought that the rain was boring and, folding her arms with an angry look, she sat down in a corner.

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About the Author

CintaCinta Garcia de la Rosa is a Spanish writer who has loved the written word since she discovered she was able to read books at age 5. Since then, she has become a bookworm and reads around 100 books every year. She also writes, every day, compulsively, even in the middle of the night. You cannot control when inspiration hits you, can you? She writes in English because she is convinced that in a previous life she was British, so writing in English feels more natural to her than writing in her native language. Yes, she is crazy like that. Cinta Garcia is the author of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”, a collection of short stories for children, and “A Foreigner in London”, a short story published on Smashwords.

Her latest book is The Funny Adventures of Little Nani.

 

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Posted in contest, Giveaway, New Adult, Spotlight on October 27, 2013

treasure your love

Synopsis

Meeting Jett was like a drug. Dangerous. Addictive. And better forbidden. In his game, there’s a high price to be paid. But how much is too much?


Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, was never in love until she met the green eyed, sexy as sin, six foot two sex god, Jett. The man to whom she surrendered. The man who hurt her once only to conquer her heart again.
Sexy, handsome, and arrogant Jett Mayfield knows he has found his match. Brooke is like no other woman he’s ever met and he has every intention of keeping her in his bed.
Their future seems full of promises…until the past is catching up with them and dark secrets threaten to destroy their lives. Soon they realize that to love means to lose, and some choices are harder than others.
When everything comes crashing down, can mistakes be amended…or will he lose her forever?
A woman who surrendered to love.

A man who would do anything to protect her.

Two lives that are about to be tested…and the last secrets laid bare.



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About the Author

J.C. Reed is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of SURRENDER YOUR LOVE. She writes steamy contemporary fiction with a touch of mystery. When she’s not typing away on her keyboard, forgetting the world around her, she dreams of returning to the beautiful mountains of Wyoming. You can also find her chatting on Facebook with her readers or spending time with her two children.

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$100 Amazon credit and a print copy of the book

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