Guest Authors Blogging on Manic Readers!


Interested in guest blogging on Manic Readers? Please contact Ivy.
ivydtruitt at gmail (dot) com.

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Stacy Finz & The Police Beat with giveaway

The Police Beat

One of my first jobs as a newspaper reporter was working in the cop shop, the press room in the San Diego Police Department. It was the night shift and the place was fairly empty. Kind of creepy. I’d call the watch commander from my desk at the same time every night to get an update.

Anything going on?” I’d ask.

Nope. All quiet.”

I was pretty new at the job so I went along with whatever the watch commander said. But after several nights of him saying that the city was quiet as a titmouse my bull meter went off. I called him back.

You mean to tell me there’s no crime in the second largest city in California? That there hasn’t been for days? Not even a burglary or car theft? If not, then your department is grossly overstaffed. Maybe I should write a story about that.”

He laughed. “I was wondering when you’d finally catch on, come down and introduce yourself.”

Of course my perv alarm went off but he actually turned out to be a nice guy. The next night I brought donuts (ok, it’s kind of cliché but who doesn’t like donuts?). And we started a nice tradition: I brought him food and he gave me stories.

For much of my career as a reporter I covered the crime beat and became pretty familiar with police culture. That’s why creating Sloane McBride, the heroine in my new book, Borrowing Trouble (number six in the Nugget Romance series), came so easy to me. She’s a former LAPD detective in one of the most prestigious units on the force. But when she blows the whistle on a group of corrupt cops, life in the department becomes untenable. And she starts second guessing herself and her career choice.

She’s hoping to win back her confidence working as an officer in the small town of Nugget, California. But her first assignment requires guarding a bear. Not exactly her idea of “To Protect and Serve.”

I like the way she grows throughout the story, how her ideas on policing are molded by the needs of the community, and how appreciated she comes to feel by the residents. And I especially like that I got to use my background in police reporting to write a romance story.

In the beautiful mountain town of Nugget, California, staying out of the limelight is easy, but staying out of love is a bit more challenging…

Back in Los Angeles, Sloane McBride was a great police detective, but after she uncovered corruption on her own squad, the job became nearly impossible. In the bucolic hills of Nugget, she can start to imagine a life after all that, where she keeps her head down, does her work, and doesn’t bother anyone. But her delicious next door neighbor isn’t going to make it easy to keep to herself…

Brady Benson’s wildest dreams came true in LA—but they were paired with a living nightmare. As executive chef of a searing-hot restaurant, he was lauded, adored… and then found himself caught in the sights of a lovelorn stalker. Now, laying low in Nugget, he finds his own heart ensnared by the beautiful new cop with her own reasons to start over.

Neither Sloane nor Brady came to town looking for love, but it seems to have found them. Trouble is, so have their pasts. And they’ll have to stop hiding from both if they hope to come out the other side together…

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Praise For Stacy Finz

“Finz is a unique new voice. Nugget, California is a charming small town filled with inventive characters and sweet romance.”–Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author of the Lucky Harbor Series

“Tender and touching, Stacy Finz writes romance with heart.”–Marina Adair, #1 National bestselling author of Summer in Napa

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Stacy Finz’s Bio

Stacy Finz is an award-winning former newspaper reporter. After more than twenty years covering notorious serial killers, naked-tractor-driving farmers, fanatical foodies, aging rock stars and weird Western towns, she figured she finally had enough material to launch a career writing fiction. She is the author of the Nugget Romance series (Kensington/Lyrical Press) about a small mountain town that has a strange way of giving people unexpected reasons to start over and find the most irresistible chances to fall in love. 

http://www.stacyfinz.com/

Cate Beauman & FINDING LAYLA with GC Giveaway!

Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Finding Lyla – book ten in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.

With over 4700 reviews and a 4.3 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

Buy It Now!

Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks

New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary. Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters. Don’t hesitate to jump right in!

Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Finding Lyla – book ten in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.

With over 4700 reviews and a 4.3 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

Buy It Now!

Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks

New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary. Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters. Don’t hesitate to jump right in!

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

The Inspiration Behind Finding Lyla:

Typically I get my story ideas from crime documentaries or some sort of crime television program, but I can’t say that is the case for Finding Lyla. When I was coming up with ideas for this novel, I knew I wanted to tell a story about a hero that had struggled through some rough times and a heroine that had some unresolved issues of her own, but was soft, strong, and gentle all at the same time. During the summer months, I started paying close attention to the ongoing Russia/US conflict and Lyla and Collin assured me they wanted their story to revolve around an adventure that combined all of these elements together.

Read an excerpt from Finding Lyla:

Collin settled beneath the covers on his temporary bed as the dim glow of city lights radiated through the windows. He reached out, grabbing the remote off the coffee table he’d pushed off to the side, and flipped through several channels, stopping on SportsCenter. Scores and updates ticked by on the bottom of the screen, and he moved on, not all that interested in hockey stats.

He stopped again when the live footage from Saint Petersburg, Russia caught his attention. With the volume on mute, he searched for the closed caption button and sat up, reading the news report while the station switched back and forth between the newscaster and images of the police surrounding a trolleybus in the middle of a downtown street. The reporter spoke of a bomb discovered during the busy morning rush hour, mere miles from the plaza where dozens had been killed on New Year’s Eve. Luckily a citizen had been paying attention, and the explosive device had been deactivated, stopping another disaster.

Early reports were suggesting that the same rebel group responsible for the December thirty-first bombing, Chechen Freedom, had attempted to strike again. The news segment switched to snippets of the video released weeks ago, shortly after the slaughter of innocent civilians, where the masked men promised more violence in retaliation for The Federation killing one of their leaders. The man pointed at the camera, vowing to continue with his plans to destroy Russia until the regime relented and gave the Chechens back their country.

Sighing, Collin rubbed at his jaw. Why did he feel like he was walking into a losing situation? Everyday there was something new going on over there. If it wasn’t bomb threats and anti-American rallies, it was anti-Putin demonstrations outside the Kremlin walls, which often ended with tear gas and riot gear. And he and Lyla were only hours away from their late-afternoon flight.

The issues in Saint Petersburg weren’t necessarily one of his concerns. The city was a good nine hours away from their destination. It was the possibility of terrorist attacks in Moscow and Russia’s discord with the United States in general that had him on edge. The fact that Lyla was a dual citizen of two countries at odds had the potential to work for her…or very much against her. Only time would tell which way things were going to go, and they would be along for the ride while they waited to figure it out.

Did you enjoy the excerpt? You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book with the links below!

Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks

The Unofficial Finding Lyla Soundtrack

Music plays a HUGE part in my writing process. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube while I create my stories and compile a collection of songs that I feel represent my characters or the situations they face as each novel unfolds. It’s a rare occasion that my creativity demands silence (And that’s a good thing. I’m a mother of two boys. Quiet doesn’t exist in my house.). I thought it would be fun to create a list of songs that ‘spoke’ to me while I wrote the Bodyguards of L.A. County series. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Finding Lyla:

  • Today by Steve Moakler
  • Beautiful Things by Gungor
  • Teneferie Sea by Ed Sheeran
  • Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon
  • Anywhere but Here by Safety Suit
  • Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback
  • Nirvana by Sam Smith
  • Don’t Deserve You by Plumb
  • Unconditionally by Katy Perry
  • You’re in Love by Taylor Swift
  • Fight Song by Rachel Platton

About the author:
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

For information on Cate’s new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at: http://www.catebeauman.com/author/home.html#!newsletter-sign-up/c9td

Cate can be reached at www.catebeauman.comand www.facebook.com/catebeauman.

You can follow Cate on Twitter @CateBeauman

DO YOU LIKE TO WIN FREE STUFF?

SIGN UP FOR CATE’S NEWSLETTER TO BE NOTIFIED OF MONTHLY GIVEAWAY OFFERS

AND NEW RELEASE INFORMATION

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Contact Cate

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/Cate-Beauman/e/B00A05KHVM/

Social links:

Twitter: @CateBeauman

www.catebeauman.com

www.facebook.com/CateBeauman

www.goodreads.com/catebeauman
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Olivia Dade’s MY RECKLESS VALENTINE with Giveaway

Mismatch: My Hero and Heroine at Work

While going through the files for My Reckless Valentine, the second book in my Lovestruck Librarians series, I came across one of my favorite deleted scenes. I hated to waste it, and I thought readers might like a glimpse into the very, very different personalities of my hero and heroine.

I decided this blog would be an excellent place to share the scene. I hope you enjoy it!

Background information: My outspoken librarian heroine, Angie, sleeps with a handsome stranger one night…only to discover the next morning that he’s her new boss, tasked with keeping her in line. Despite Angie’s plans to avoid Grant Peterson as long as humanly possible, the library’s assistant director, Tina Horacek, orders the couple to participate in two long days of team-building exercises together.

And that’s when the real fun begins. Some of it naked and atop a pile of stuffed animals.

When they write this e-mail and list, they haven’t taken their boss-employee relationship quite that far yet…but they will. Oh, they will.

Love,

Olivia

________________________________

FROM: g.peterson@nicecountypubliclibrarymd.org

TO: t.horacek@nicecountypubliclibrarymd.org

CC: a.burrowes@nicecountypubliclibrarymd.org

Dear Tina,

You asked me to show you our answers from the team-building exercises earlier today. Here’s the list of commonalities I share with Ms. Burrowes, the Battlefield Library manager. She wrote everything down by hand, so I’ve scanned the document and attached it to this message. I hope that’s acceptable.

Sincerely,

Grant Peterson

Director of Branch Services at the Nice County Public Library:

P.S. To put it generously, our commonalities proved…limited. My apologies.

P.P.S. Angie assures me you appreciate her sense of humor, as well as her exuberant use of parentheses. I certainly hope she’s correct.

[attachment below]

________________________________

THINGS I HAVE IN COMMON WITH GRANT PETERSON, NICE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCH OVERLORD AND MY NEW SUPERVISOR:

1. Noses—one each.

2. Other assorted, non-gender-differentiated body parts—i.e., nothing below the equator except our legs and feet. (Although his are ridiculously oversized.) (I’m referring to his feet, not anything else in that region.) (Get your mind out of the gutter, Tina.)

3. Height—gargantuan.

4. Mystery Science Theater 3000—hilarious.

5. Love of books—although not the same genres, because Grant turns a fetching shade of pink at the mere mention of futuristic alien erotica. Instead, he likes fancy-pants novels and texts about data analysis. Blecccch.

6. Love of music—although not the same types, because Grant has no appreciation for the Beastie Boys. He apparently stopped listening to music in his childhood (i.e., the nineteenth century).

7. Families—in the sense that we both boast a human mother and father. At least, Grant tells me his are human, but I’m beginning to suspect Spock somehow impregnated his poor mother. (Not the baby-advice Spock; the nerdy one with pointy ears.)

8. Mandatory attendance at trust-building meetings. Thanks for that one, Tina! Clearly, the two of us now make an unassailable team.

And that’s about it. Is it time for lunch yet? (Kidding.) (Kinda.)

Sincerely,

Angie, Your Beloved Employee

My Reckless Valentine blurb:

TEMPTATION FROM A TO Z
Library manager Angie Burrowes is in trouble again. Her superiors have never approved of her unconventional methods, but the latest warning is serious—another complaint from the administration or a patron, and she’s fired. With a steamy Valentine’s Day contest to conceal and her career on the line, the last thing Angie needs is a near-accident while driving home. At least, until she meets the tall, dark, and sexy stranger responsible for her very own spicy plot twist…

Straight-laced Grant Peterson has only one thing on his mind: making a good impression as the new Director of Branch Services at the Nice County Public Library. On the eve of his first day, however, a lusty encounter with Angie unleashes a desire unlike any he’s ever known. Their tryst may be one for the record books, but when he learns he’s Angie’s new boss, will Grant need to check out on love?

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Website   Twitter handle: @OliviaWrites    Facebook fan page

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Author bio:

While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a “manhood”? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet–it didn’t matter. I loved them all.

Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

My Maverick Muse ~ HELL ON HEELS & Giveaway with Victoria Vane

 My Maverick Muse by Victoria Vane

I began my writing career eight years ago. The idea for my first book was utterly random, springing from nowhere. Then the characters began appearing in my dreams. This was when I knew I had to write. When I finished my first novel fourteen months later, I was terrified. Because the process was utterly out of my control, I feared that this phenomenon would never happen again. Thankfully, I was wrong, as I just finished my twenty-second book! 

I have learned much over the past eight years. I have become a much better writer and a faster writer.  (We all do with time and practice) but my inspiration still comes to me in the same way. It’s still random and subconscious.

A while back, at the behest of my publisher I set out to “consciously” write a certain book after they rejected the idea I had proposed, namely because the book didn’t fit their marketing strategy for my series. They asked me to come up with something else. No big deal, right? I proposed a story that I thought they would like better. Everything was great until I actually sat down to write it! Almost every day that I worked on that book I felt as if I had to dig every single word out of my brain. Although I somehow managed to finish it, the process was absolutely grueling and no fun at all. In the end, the book was good but I knew it wasn’t my very best.

Lesson learned, always follow my muse.

Perhaps I am my own worst enemy, but I need to write what I am inspired to write whether it be cowboys or Vikings or wicked Georgian rogues. My muse won’t be kept in a box. Given his rebellious nature, branding is a huge challenge for me, so rather than focusing on a particular genre, I have decided I just need to brand myself as a writer. I write in several subgenres and time periods, but the one thing readers can always count on is a smart, sexy romance.

2016 is a HUGE year of experimentation for me as I will be releasing eight new books, four each in two different sub-genres (Historical and contemporary romance). I am also involved in four multi-author anthologies over the next few months. ROMANTIC BEGINNINGS ONCE UPON A TRUE LOVE’S KISS contains my first Regency romance, PASSIONATE PROMISES is a wonderful collaboration of authors from the Embracing Romance blog and contains a sequel to my bestselling title, A BREACH OF PROMISE, and the fourth, SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN, is a scorching HOT historical set. These releases are in December, January, February and March, respectively. 

January 18th marks the launch of my highly anticipated HOTEL RODEO SERIES that begins with HELL ON HEELS. I would categorize this series as sexy romantic comedy. I loved putting an old school rodeo cowboy in an urban setting and then pairing him with a tough-as-nails, New York investment banker. I also adored the myriad possibilities in setting a story in contemporary Las Vegas. The series is fresh, exciting, smart and very sexy! The second book, TWO TO WRANGLE releasing in February features the same couple, but the third book, BEAUTY AND THE BULL RIDER, coming in March, can easily stand alone. HOTEL RODEO is a fun series and I hope to add many more books to it.

So where do I go from here? Wherever my maverick muse decides to take me!


HELL ON HEELS (HOTEL RODEO #1) by VICTORIA VANE

PLACE YOUR BET…The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision…

ROLL THE DICE...She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust…

AND WIN…The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high.  And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns…

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ABOUT VICTORIA VANE

Victoria Vane is a #1 bestselling award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her works range from comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance and have received over twenty awards and nominations including: a 2015 Red Carpet Finalist for Best Contemporary romance (Slow Hand), 2014 RONE Winner for Best Historical Post Medieval Romance (Treacherous Temptations), and Library Journal Best Ebook Romance of 2012 (The Devil DeVere series). Victoria also writes romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee. She currently resides in Palm Coast, Florida with her husband, two sons, a little black dog, and an Arabian horse.

Email  Website   Blog  Facebook  Twitter: @authorvictoriav    

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Praise for SLOW HAND
Well-paced, scorching scenes and witty banter…”

Publishers Weekly

Slow Hand by Victoria Vane is delightful, funny, page-turning steamy sexy, and the romance between Wade and Nikki make you wish you could pull Victoria’s characters straight off the page and into real life…”

Unwrapping Romance


“For erotic passion and one-liners, the first book in Vane’s new series will satisfy…Vane’s latest gets a big yee-haw.”

RT Book Reviews

BUY LINKS:  AmazonB&NGoogle PlayKobo 

 

MK Schiller's UNWANTED GIRL & Giveaway

Breaking Boundaries by MK Schiller

The most memorable characters are the ones who break traditional roles. That’s probably why I love Hannah from the HBO show Girls. She’s quirky, messy, and not ashamed of her body. She shouldn’t be. I also love Alex Parish from the series, Quantico. She depicts a woman of Indian heritage, but she’s also a kick-butt FBI agent.

My goal as an author is to write an authentic, but stand out characters. It’s up to the readers if I achieved this goal, but it’s always my intent.

In writing multicultural romance, I get to explore the differences in people and how culture can shape a character. But my favorite thing is finding the threads of commonality that exit in all of us. Love has no boarders. Why should romance novels have them?

Unwanted Girl is about a girl from a small village in India. She falls for cynical New York City author. These two come from backgrounds widely contrasting backgrounds. Add to that the ticking clock element of the heroine’s student visa expiring in a few months. Both characters also have scarred pasts that limit their views of a promising future. Yet, together, they learn to embrace life and experience true joy for the first time. Shyla, the heroine, wants to write a story, but she is no writer. Nick, although a seasoned successful author, has lost his passion. The novel goes between the story they write and the one they are living. I’ve never attempted anything so outside the box. Then again, who wants to live inside a box?

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite characters, who aren’t afraid to break the boundaries.

When a man loves a woman

Recovering addict Nick Dorsey finds solace in his regimented life. That is until he meets Shyla Metha.  Something about the shy Indian beauty who delivers take-out to his Greenwich Village loft inspires the reclusive writer. And when Shyla reveals her desire to write a book of her own, he agrees to help her. The tale of a young Indian girl growing up against a landscape of brutal choices isn’t Nick’s usual territory, but something about the story, and the beautiful storyteller, draws him in deep.

Shyla is drawn to Nick, but she never imagines falling for him. Like Nick, Shyla hails from a village, too…a rural village in India. They have nothing in common, yet he makes her feel alive for the first time in her life. She is not ready for their journey to end, but the plans she’s made cannot be broken…not even by him. Can they find a way to rewrite the next chapter?

This smoothly written cross-cultural romance, which initially appears uncomplicated, evolves into an in-depth study of strong emotions and underlying motivations. Schiller has a fine talent for describing cultural conflicts, and the characters are multifaceted and endearing. A truly unanticipated turn of events sends the riveting conclusion into overdrive, leaving readers breathless. – Publisher’s Weekly

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Author Bio –
M.K. Schiller is a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. In the dark of night, she sits by the warm glow of her computer monitor, reading or writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is!
Author Links

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Susan Schild's ~ LINNY'S SWEET DREAM LIST & Giveaway

 

As my New Year’s gift to you and your readers, here is the complete first chapter of the book.

Positive Imagery: Linny’s stomach churned as she thought of her thieving husband, and practiced visual imagery to calm herself down. She conjured a verdant meadow like in The Sound of Music, with her hurtling towards an unsuspecting Buck in a threshing machine. There. She did feel better.

Linny’s Sweet Dream List is about what is important to me – funny friends, good men, work that makes us happy, women who have adventures, noble dogs, and finding love at any age.

The book is a sunny, wholesome read. Sometimes, the bad news in the media is overwhelming, and I wanted readers to find a pleasant haven in Willow Hill, North Carolina where colorful characters are searching for – and finding – their happily ever afters.

The book is available digitally and in paperback on Amazon.

 

                                                                  Linny met Buck on a charity building project.

A white vintage Cadillac convertible with long, gleaming fins wheeled into the parking lot. The driver stepped out, and strode toward the group. “Morning, Buck,” someone called, and the man raised a hand in greeting. So this was the hubba-hubba Buck, Linny thought, and eyed him. In a bright yellow Builders for Betterment T-shirt, knee length shorts, and work boots, he didn’t look that special. But as Buck gathered the volunteers, Linny got a better look at him, and quietly drew in her breath. With sculpted arms, long legs with muscled thighs and calves, and full head of tousled brown hair laced with gold, he reminded her of Michelangelo’s David.

Among the women volunteers, Linny sensed a quiet surge of hair tossing and pulling in of stomachs.

He gave the group a dazzling grin. “Morning, folks. My name’s Buck. I’m a custom

builder, and I’m your volunteer coordinator today. Thanks for helping us on this project. I hear you are a talented group, and you’re certainly good looking.” He gazed at them all, his eyes twinkling. Volunteers hooted and chuckled, and he went on. “Today, we’re framing. Let’s work hard, drink a lot of water, and be safe. We need three person teams…” While Buck detailed their tasks, the women on the crew fluttered around him.

Linny would keep at least twenty paces from Buck. Any man with as much charisma as Buck had could only be Category 5 hurricane type trouble.

She’d worked through the end of her shift, darting around the build site to try to avoid him. He’d walk into a room, she’d scurry out a side door. He’d approach to check their progress, and she’d peel off for a water break. It was finally quitting time. Linny was walking fast, looking over her shoulder and congratulating herself on having avoided Buck, when she plowed right into him. She bounced off of him, and he caught her shoulders and steadied her, barely hiding his smile. “You’re a little thing, but fast. Just like The Roadrunner. I like that.”

Linny flushed with a surge of attraction that she didn’t want to feel.

 

Linny’s Sweet Dream List is a Southern story about love and family, small town life and bright characters you are going to want as friends.

The book is a sunny, wholesome read. If you are ever overwhelmed by the bad news in the world, join me in Willow Hill, North Carolina where colorful characters are searching for – and finding – their happily ever afters.

Fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Dorothea Benton Frank may well enjoy Linny’s Sweet Dream List.

Linny‘s Sweet Dream List is the first of three Willow Hill novel. Two sequels to the novel, Sweet Carolina Morning and Sweet Southern Hearts – will be released later in 2016.

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Bio: Susan is a wife and stepmother. She enjoys weekend getaways with friends, reading fiction, and rummaging through thrift store and antiques stores for treasures like four dollar cashmere sweaters and amateur watercolor paintings. A dog lover, Susan has a special fondness for Lab mix rescue dogs. She and her family live in North Carolina where she is finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series, Sweet Southern Hearts.

Susan graduated from James Madison University in Virginia, and holds a master’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and management trainer to add authenticity to her characters. 

 

Email: susan@susanschild.com

Website: http://www.susanschild.com/

S. Harrison ~ INFINITY LOST

In the near future, one corporation, Blackstone Technologies, has changed the world: no disasters, no poverty, and life-altering technology. Blackstone has the impunity to destroy—or create—as it sees fit.

Infinity “Finn” Blackstone is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Blackstone’s reclusive CEO—but she’s never even met him. When disturbing dreams about a past she doesn’t remember begin to torment her, Finn knows there’s only one person who can provide answers: her father.

After Finn and an elite group of peers are invited to Blackstone’s top-secret HQ, Finn realizes she may have a chance to confront her father. But when a highly sophisticated company AI morphs into a killing machine, the trip descends into chaos. Trapped inside shape-shifting walls, Finn and her friends are at the mercy of an all-seeing intelligence that will destroy everything to get to her.

With no hope of help, Finn’s dream-memories may be the only chance of survival. But will she remember in time to save her own life and the lives of those around her?

I take my eyes off Ryan for a second and suddenly remember exactly where we all are. I slump back in my seat and look tentatively out the window.

I think this is going to be . . . interesting,I whisper, my words dripping with trepidation.

A cheesy grin widens across Bits face. You can say that again.

People, please. You boys, sit down. Everyone! We are not getting off this bus until youre all quiet and back in your seats! Im talking to you, McCarthy!

Poor Professor Francis. Theyre not listening at all.

This whole crazy ruckus is obviously contagious. I seem to be the only one who is immune. Even the usually reserved Bit is getting overly excited. I can tell by the bug-eyed way shes staring so intently at her computer slate.

This place is . . . amazing. Finn, youve gotta see this!she blurts, eagerly thrusting the screen in front of my nose. A glowing green com- puter wire hologram of Blackstone Technologiesgrounds and build- ings is jutting out from its surface. There arent any satellite photos of this place, which isnt surprising considering that your dads company designed and built most of them.

Shhh. Keep it down, will ya?I hiss at her.

Oops. Sorry.Bit continues in a whisper, I had to hack into the National Security Bureaus mainframe for anything decent. The best they have is this artists conceptual rendering, but even thats out of date and probably mostly guesswork. Wow. It could be wrong, but this says that theyve even got their own military training center and research hospital.

My stomach twists and turns even more than before.
“Finn, whats your dad like in real life? I mean, really like?
What I want to say is that my father is just a shadow in the night

to me, and that she probably knows more about him from TV inter- views and e-mag articles than I do. Im not sure why, maybe its self- preservation, but I choose to lie instead.

Well, one time on my birthday we went horse riding and had a picnic by the lake. We took a boat out and he taught me how to fish.Im such a terrible liar, but Bit doesnt seem to notice at all.

Wow. Its so hard to imagine him doing father and daughter stuff like that, yknow, normal dad-type stuff,Bit says, gazing thoughtfully out the window.

I know. Hard to believe, right?I say the words with the same thinly veiled sarcastic tone as before. That seems to go right over her head as well.

Professor Francis is at his witsend. People are chattering, texting madly, and snapping pictures out the windows. Miss Cole is just sitting there, smiling like an idiot, so shes no help at all. Brody Sharp begins chanting, Move that bus, move that bus!which, since were already parked, makes no sense at all, but it isnt very long before others join in. Its ridiculous.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Ryan Forrester, who until now was quietly reading, lean over the aisle toward Margaux. She leans toward him, flicking her silky blonde hair and beaming her perfect white teeth, her huge, pale-blue eyes flashing beneath her fluttering eyelids. Millie strokes her auburn hair behind her ear, raises one eye- brow, and gives a knowing look to Miss Cole, who smiles back before promptly shifting her gaze hungrily to Ryans lips.

I think Im gonna puke.

Brent Fairchild spots the exchange and sits up in his seat like a meerkat. That is his kinda-girlfriend Ryans talking to, after all. Ryan says something to Margaux that I cant hear above the chatter, and she nods. Suddenly she stands and shouts, Everybody shut up!The bus immediately goes silent.

I hate her so much.

Not only for the fact that she thinks shes the queen bee of this school, but also, and especially, because everyone else seems to think so, too. Apparently even Ryan Forrester. I tell myself that it shouldnt bother me, but it really does. Im halfway through a thought about how stupid he must be when he catches me looking at him. He smiles a crooked smile and holds our connection for that millisecond lon- ger than necessary, that minuscule amount of time that, in an instant, makes you both realize that its more than just a look. My eyes widen, my stomach tightens, and I quickly turn away. Totally busted. I quickly flump back against the seat.

Now that everyones quiet, a look of relief washes over Professor Francis. With a trembling hand, he mops his brow with his handker- chief. Thank you, Miss Pilfrey. Now that I have your attention, Id like to lay down a few ground rules for the tour today.

Theres a low groan.

As you obviously all know, todays reward field trip will take place at the main research and development facility of Blackstone Technologies, the largest advanced-technology company in the world.

Hells yeah!Dean McCarthy shouts from the back.

Professor Francis throws a frown in his direction. From your computers, to your phones, to food production, to military hardware and weather stabilization, Blackstone Technologies, and of course its founder, Dr. Richard Blackstone, is responsible for the innovations that make the lives we live today possible. Please remember that you are extremely lucky to be here. You are the first school students to ever be permitted beyond the hallowed doors of Blackstone Technologies.

Excerpt from Infinity Lost by S. Harrison, on-sale November 1, 2015. Published by Skyscape, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Copyright © 2015 S. Harrison.

S. Harrison is an author from New Zealand, where he often indulges in his love of watching superhero movies and art house films. He frequently escapes to the many islands of the South Pacific, where he is hard at work on his writing. Infinity Lost is his first novel.

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Michelle Callahan's CRASH AND BURN with giveaway

CRASH AND BURN

Love You Like A Love Song, Book 1

by Michele Callahan

  1. Where did you get the inspiration for your series/book?
    1. Normally, I have no idea where my ideas come from. With this series, I was talking to a writing friend (S.E. Smith – she writes awesome sci-fi romance!) and she was talking about her writing “playlist” for one of her books – you know – the songs an author listens to when they are writing, the music that goes with the plot, or the characters. And I thought, wouldn’t it be totally freaking amazing if the characters I love in a book had their OWN, original song?

Then, the heroine of Crash and Burn – Erin – who happens to be a singer/songwriter – popped into my head and said, “Hey, write some lyrics and let’s do this.” So, I did. And now I have Crash and Burn, a fun, sexy contemporary romance, and Crash and Burn – Chance and Erin’s personal story in a song. I found a great guitarist (JT Nolan) and a fantastic new singer/songwriter (Lauren Kayley). They took my lyrics and made them into a real song! It’s SO cool. (mp3 available at iTunes, etc… this month!)

2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?

a. I write in 4 genres because I love them. I write sci-fi & paranormal romance because I have never been able to get over my crush on Han Solo. Ever. And because immortality would be SO cool.

b. I write contemporary romance because I love the emotional intensity of stripping away all the trappings of the paranormal/sci-fi world and getting to the heart of what makes people fall in love. Why trust, or dream, or want? I love the focus and intensity of contemporary romance.

c. And I write hard science fiction because the crazy, convoluted, twisted plots won’t work anywhere else.  And because sometimes it’s fun to just have an adventure, use cool gadgets, and kill things with aliens in space. (Star Trek, anyone??? Beam me up, Scotty!)

  1. What is your go-to snack or meal when you are on deadline?
    1. I love crackers. When my kids were little, they loved the little cheddar crackers shaped like fish. So now, it’s super-salty, cheddar flavored crackers (square or fish shaped, I have no preference) and a Coke with ice.  That’s all I need to be happy most of the time.
  1. How many more books do you have planned in the series?
    1. Well, I have 4 Walker Brothers to start, the Love Song series — but I’ve already met 2 more hunky heroes in the course of writing the first book. Ideally, I’d like to write about 10-12 books in this series, each with their own original love song. Then we could throw together an album for the whole series and listening to it would be like a blast to the past – revisiting all the characters we got to know along the way. That would be an amazing experience as a reader who fell in love with all the characters. And I consider myself a reader first. I love these characters. I laugh and cry with them, so they are very near and dear to me.

10. What would the theme song for this novel be & why?

Well, the theme song for this book is Crash and Burn – an original song that has been produced specifically for Chance and Erin’s love story. I’m super excited about it and I hope everyone likes it. Find out more at www.mlcallahan.com/music ! The next book, Alone With You, will be out on February 25 (pre-order now), and we are working on the song for that one right now.  I can’t wait for you all to hear these songs. I love them, and they make me feel even more connected to the story and the characters. More love song books coming soon – Alone With You (Feb 2016), Up All Night (Mar 2016) and Make Me Forget (April 2016).

Happy Reading!

CRASH AND BURN

Love You Like A Love Song, Book 1

by Michele Callahan

 

CRASH AND BURN: Love You Like A Love Song, Book 1

Every love story should have its own song…

A childhood promise has Chance Walker picking up a guitar once again. Sure, he’s been busy growing up, finishing college, and even law school. He made a promise to his dying mother and he’s determined to keep it. While his guitar playing dreams were big when he was a kid, his skill is rusty and he hires Erin Michaelson to bring music back into his life. Not only is she incredibly talented, she’s one of the sexiest women he’s ever met. It’s hard to focus on correct finger position when her sweet scent threatens to drive him out of his mind.

Less than twenty-four hours after his first lesson he sees her again, but this time she’s on stage using another name and seducing an entire audience of men. He played the gentleman card once, and it got him nowhere. This time, all bets are off and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her. A single, sizzling backstage kiss will change both of their lives forever, because Chance soon realizes that Erin is not just an itch, she’s an obsession he refuses to live without.

Erin Michaelson spends her days teaching guitar and her nights on stage as her sexy alter-ego, Eva James. Music is her dream, her passion. All she wants is to say goodbye to a lifetime of scraping by, working two jobs, and paying for past mistakes. When a major record label exec hears her band play, she gets her big break. But life can be a real bitch, and meeting Chance now is just bad timing.

Problem #1: The record label wants her to dump her band and move to L.A. Problem #2: She hadn’t counted on Chance Walker and the scorching heat of that first kiss. And last but not least is Problem #3: Is Chance really falling in love with the dull guitar teacher, or is he really just lusting after the sexy Eva James?

Will success make all of Erin’s dreams come true? Or will falling in love make them both crash and burn?

Crash and Burn is a scorching hot, contemporary, new adult romance of 58,000 words. The story contains explicit love scenes and is intended for an adult audience. Coming soon, fall in love with the other Walker brothers in Alone With You (Feb 2016), Up All Night (Mar 2016) and Make Me Forget (April 2016).

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M.L. / Michele Callahan is a sci-fi fanatic, romance fan and full time writer whose earliest movie memories are of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo falling in love with Leia, and light sabers. (Still waiting on Santa to come through on that one.) ML writes sci-fi action adventure as ML Callahan, and romance as Michele Callahan. And when she’s not writing, she reads, binge watches her favorite TV shows, or pretends she’s not watching anime over the shoulders of her teenage children.

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Interview & A FINE MADNESS giveaway with Eileen Dreyer

What inspires your book ideas?

The more pertinent question is what doesn’t inspire ideas? I admit that when I first started writing it took a lot of work to come up with an idea. But it’s like anything else. The more you practice, the easier it gets, and suddenly you can’t watch a toothpaste commercial without thinking, “Ooh, what if….?”

For instance, the idea for my book A FINE MADNESS originally came from another book called Class, by Jilly Cooper about the British class system. Jilly has a real eye for humor, so her reflections set me to thinking that I might like to do a bit of a send-up. Then about a month later, my husband and I were visiting a dear friend in Yorkshire, when we drove through a town called Giggleswick, which tickled my funny bone. I just couldn’t pass it up. I had to call an aristocrat Lord Giggleswick so my American heroine could make fun of him.

So I had a yen to write about the British class system, and a town called Giggleswick. I was still in England when I was introduced to the unique brand of English eccentric. We passed over bypasses created to let groundhogs and hedgehogs to get across highways, forced on the government by animal rights activists. Add to that the fact that I’ve also long been fascinated by historic homes. When I travel to Europe, when I can I stay in old houses(I’m not the kind of person who can afford those stately mansions). A perfect place for a confrontation between an English aristocrat, an American woman who is restoring a stately home, especially if the Englishman is assessing possible threats to a secret high level meeting scheduled for the reopened house. And what do you have in historic homes? Ghosts. So I had to include a very noisy, very active ghost into the mix.

Believe it or not, almost every book is a variation of that. A bunch of ideas gathered everywhere and mixed together like bread dough.

Is there an idea out there that you wish you’d thought of?

There are a lot of ideas I wish I’d thought of. The one that sticks in my mind, though, is Dexter(remember, I also write suspense). A serial killer only killing bad guys? Oh, yeah. I would have loved to have played with that. 

What do you do when you get stuck?

First I reread the work from the beginning. Then, if something doesn’t show itself, I walk away and do something else. I go walking(I get great ideas when walking., which shouldn’t surprise me. I’m an old ER nurse. I think on my feet). In summer I work in my garden. And lately I’ve been doing mandala coloring books. They’re very Zen.

What distracts you the most when you’re trying to write?

Again, what doesn’t? I was finally diagnosed with ADD when I was 53, which means that the motto on my family crest should be “Squirrel!” When I’m on deadline, my husband has long since kicked me out of the house with my computer, music and the phone number of the local Chinese restaurant, and I spend 3-4 days at a local motel away from TVs, phones, house distractions. It’s amazing how much you can get done when the only thing to look at is a bad picture of the Grand Canyon.

Do you write by the seat of your pants (pantser!) or do you carefully plot your stories  (plotter!)? Has that changed at any point in your career or maybe it changes depending on the book?

I am by instinct a pantser. I put together my characters, their conflict and a few scenes, and then take off. It’s funny. I can see the whole book in my head like a jigsaw puzzle, but until I tell the story I can’t tell it to you in linear fashion.

I do need to plot more when I’m doing suspense, because they’re much more plot-heavy, and I usually have several subplots. I hate it.

 

Thanks so much for inviting me to play. If you want to know more about my books, stop by any time at www.eileendreyer.com or www.facebook.com/eileendreyer/  I’d love to visit.

 

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A Fine Madness by Eileen Dreyer

Quinn Rutledge has been hired to remodel historic Hartley Hall into a 5-star hotel.

Ian Matthews, a Special Forces officer in the Queen’s Protection service, is vetting the hall’s security for a secret international meeting, and presents himself to Quinn as a corporate officer checking on her progress.

All seems simple enough, until the pair uncover a crazed band of terrorists, a destructive ghost with an odd sense of humor, and an inconvenient attraction to each other.

Neither have time for love, and Ian is the embodiment of everything that went wrong with Quinn’s first marriage. But Love doesn’t care.

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New York Times bestselling, RWA Hall of Fame author Eileen Dreyer has published 31 romance novels in most genres, 8 medical­ forensic suspenses, and 10 short stories.

2016 sees Eileen enjoying critical acclaim for her foray into historical romance, the Drake’s Rakes series, which Eileen labels as Regency Romantic Adventure that follows a group of Regency aristocrats who are willing to sacrifice everything to keep their country safe. She is also working on her first non­fiction book, TRAVELS WITH DAVE, about a journey she’s been taking with a friend’s ashes.  

A retired trauma nurse, Eileen lives in her native St. Louis with her husband, children, and large and noisy Irish family, of which she is the reluctant matriarch. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.

Website: eileendreyer.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EileenDreyer

Twitter: @eileendreyer

IT NEVER RAINS IN JACKSONVILLE ~ Neils Williams

Your son and daughter sit in the corner of the room crying uncontrollably in fear and panic. The love of your life is bound and looks to you in tears for help and you are staring down the barrel of the gun. On the other end of that gun is a menace with one question. Will you sacrifice one member of your family to save the rest?

The Jacksons never thought they would ever have to answer that question. When Leslie, a military veteran
and beloved college professor and Patricia, a loving mom and High School principal move in hopes of a better and safer place to raise their three children, they think that life in Jacksonville, Florida was the fresh start they needed. But they soon learn that rain isn’t all that keeps pouring in this state, but danger and questions. Will the Jacksons be able to weather the storm that’s coming and can they face the answer to the question?
Could you?

Release date January 10th, 2015 in paperback and Kindle.

Neils Williams is the suspenseful author of the novel The Glass House and the upcoming It Never Rains in Jacksonville. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and the son of an entrepreneur, Neils has been writing since a very young age creating deep worlds for his readers to jump into. In his free time he enjoys watching reality tv and entertaining family. Neils Williams is now married to the author of Greener Pastures Hellene Alabi-Williams and they now live in Las Vegas, NV. He loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at neilswilliams21@gmail.com or FB.