Friday, June 20, 2014

#Excerpt from THE END by Denise Moncrief @DMoncrief0131 #Suspense #Romantic #BookClub

I pivoted on my heel to walk away when a car barreled down the one-lane street. It sped so fast I waited for it to pass. When it was only a few feet away, it veered toward me. I froze. Time crawled at an absurdly slow pace. If I didn’t move, the oncoming vehicle would crush me into the side of Paul’s car. My mind registered the intense horror of what was happening, but couldn’t seem to command my limbs to react.
When it was right on me, it swerved ever so slightly. I caught one glimpse of the driver. He stared straight ahead as if he didn’t see me, but the sardonic grin on his face made me believe he knew exactly what he was doing. My body curved in the middle in response to the air pressure from the passing vehicle. After it passed, I bent back the other way and slammed into the side of Paul’s car. My head bounced as it met metal.
Paul’s warning shout was too late, pelting my ears seconds after the rush of air from the speeding vehicle had already flattened me against his car. His frantic gesturing and pushing on the door to dislodge me was fruitless. I stayed plastered to the car frame, fearful of moving lest I collapse onto the pavement. A quick mental inventory assured me nothing was broken. At least, I thought nothing was broken. Every part of me seemed to be numb as if my neurological system had simply shut down in anticipation of bodily harm. Had the car made contact with me? Was I injured? It didn’t seem so.
Somehow, Paul was at my side. How had he managed to get out of the car? I was still leaning on the side as if my life depended on never losing contact with it. His fingers clutched my upper arms as he unglued me from the doorframe and pulled me into a tight embrace. His arms, strong as steel, wrapped around me. I was grateful for his support. Without it, I would have crumpled, unlikely to get up on my own. The trembling started in my extremities and moved up and down my body.
After a few minutes, he whispered into my hair, his mouth close to my ear. “Are you all right?”
I gulped down the horror that had lodged in my throat. “I think so.”
He pushed back and tilted my head until I looked him in the eye. His mouth was so close his breath warmed my nose. “I’m not leaving you alone tonight. I’m coming with you.”
I jerked my head right and then left to clear the fuzziness. “I’m all right. Really.”
He laughed, a tense, uneasy little chuckle. “No, you aren’t. That was close.”
I nodded my agreement. My throat was too tight to utter excess words.
“Too close.” This time his words held a harder edge.
I blinked. The alarm bells pealed raucously. “What are you saying?” I wiggled out of his embrace. “Don’t be—”
“Don’t be what? We were just talking about—”
“The guy was drunk. That’s all. Don’t be so paranoid, Paul. That wasn’t about Tab or Presley or me. That was about some guy being an idiot.” I took a step back from him. “I don’t need a bodyguard.” I wagged my head at him for emphasis. “I’m going upstairs to get some sleep. Alone.” I swiveled and rushed toward the opposite curb.
Then, I thought better of my hasty retreat and turned to capture one last glimpse of him. He stood next to his car, his arms dangling at his sides as if he didn’t know what to do with them once they weren’t wrapped around me. He had a lost little boy look on his face. A stab of conscience assaulted me. Was I being fair? Moving closer to him and then backing off? I needed to offer him something. A truce, maybe. Give him some hope I wasn’t blowing him off entirely. “You are going to call me tomorrow, right?”
He nodded. The grim expression on his face nearly caused me to falter and reassess my stance. I couldn’t allow him to come inside my apartment. My emotions were a swirling whirlpool of mixed feelings. He’d stirred me up with one heady almost kiss. What would happen if… Was I ready for the thing that was happening between us? 

Sometimes the end is only the beginning.
Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace. The only friend she has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death bring Ellie and Paul together.
Ellie’s paranoia increases as she becomes convinced Patterson is harassing her, certain that someone is searching her belongings for any hidden evidence she might have that would reopen his case. It becomes clear there was a conspiracy to release Patterson. She seeks help from her former co-worker, Presley Sinclair, but soon discovers Presley is deeply involved in the subsequent cover up. Worse yet, Tab’s affair with Presley drew him into the twisted conspiracy as well.
Together Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover the conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Once Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome—Ellie attempts to reveal Patterson’s hidden partner in the District Attorney’s office, but the co-conspirator she uncovers is not whom she suspects. Danger swirls around her as she steps further and further into the conspirator’s trap.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jack Canon’s Women of the House by Greg Sandora #Series #Thriller #Romance

“Guys, would you excuse me for a moment. Daphne teased biting her lower lip in an adorable half smile. Jack, I’ve got something to show you.” Her voiced pitched as she trained her pretty eyes toward mine anticipating my reaction.
“Nice, Honey. While you’re out there…tell the V.P.—we’ll meet with her on Monday.”
“Are you sure, Jack?” Locking eyes, “Your Mondays are always so full?”
“Sweetie, just fit her in the best you can—between something else – we might as well get it over with. Ten minutes tops.”
Daphne leaned into my side to whisper, “Okay, I’ll be right back,” I couldn’t see them, but I imagined her raising her perfectly brushed brows. She leaned in closer, her pretty voice got softer, “With a surprise – I’m just dying to show you the dress I bought for the wedding.” Her breasts and tummy pressed against my arm as she tenderly whispered the words.
“How’s that a surprise if you told him?” Alyson asked freshly. “I heard you.”
Daphne was generous with her touch and rubbed into me. I’ve never met a girl more comfortable in her own skin. Placing one hand firmly on my leg, she squeezed, delicately leaving the chair, before performing her usual sexy slink toward the door. This girl couldn’t help being beautiful!
Alone together, Alyson piped up, “That’s why woman hate her, Jack.” She added shaking her head gently against my chest, “That walk – it’s like she’s always trying to turn you on. Every minute she’s around you – she never let’s up. She’s so competitive – do you see it? And,—thatvoice – nobody talks like that!”
I put both arms around Alyson and held tighter to reassure her, “Honey, – this job would kill me if I didn’t have you girls to take the edge off.” She seemed satisfied to hear me excuse Daphne’s sultry antics. We sat quietly a moment before she started fidgeting with the ends of her dress.
“I’m sorry, Jack – you must think I’m just as bad the way my dress is riding up. It’s so short to begin with – I wore it for you.”
“Don’t ever worry about me, – you’re a wonderful distraction.”
“You know what – the heck with it then, I’ll just let it ride up so you can see the tops of my thighs.” She giggled.
“They’re beautiful. I just don’t want to take advantage of you.”
Alyson snuggled closer, getting more comfortable, “Really, Jack? It’s my body and I want you to see it. For that matter these are my lips,” I felt a trace of lip-gloss, scented cherry.
“My mouth wanted to kiss you.”
“Yeah?” I said a bit too softly, wishing I’d said it in a deeper tone. Rubbing her arms, feeling tender towards her. “It’s sort of funny, your body does whatever it wants.”
She giggled and smiled, “I guess.”
“Okay, I’m good, Sweetie.”
“Hey, Jack? What ever happened to Elsa?” Changing the subject.
“Elsa? We located her shoes. We found them in a Greek brothel. The girl that had them told our crew Elsa was auctioned off to a Saudi Sheik.”
“Oh my God.” Alyson covered her mouth.
“No, that’s good news because chances are she’ll still be alive when we go get her.”
“You’re going after her?”
“We sure are. Tip has your dad training on weapons and systems right now. It’s going to take him a few days to get him back up to speed. He’s been out of commission for a while, but as soon as he is ready he’s heading over there to rescue her.”
“Jack, do you think the sheik will just hand her over?”
“No, it’s going to be messy, we’ll have to wreck the place, but we’re sending a message. The only thing that matters is that Elsa will be coming home. And, girls like her will be safe. We’re going to stop human slavery once and for all.”
“What about in the U.S., Jack?”
“Here it’s a different story – we need to beef up law enforcement. We already have the means to stop trafficking, but it’s been allowed to go on.”
“Why?” Alyson asked in disbelief.
“Tip would be angry for me telling you – for your own sake, Sweetheart—you really don’t want to know…” Just as I was about to spill it—Daphne saved me from having to explain any further. Sauntering in wearing a peach form fitting tube dress—flattering her knock out figure to lengths I hadn’t ever allowed my mind to go. All-over- glitter silver stilettos shining over glossy black platforms gave her a statuesque long-legged appearance. She made her way toward me stopping short in the middle of the room. Daphne had a way of making love with her eyes.

Two months have passed since the long awaited inauguration of the New President of the United States – Jack Canon. Now he must live up to his promises. The World is wounded, people are hurting, the new President must keep the country afloat. Jack leads a very full life – The first couple’s relationship is hot with passion, but he can never admit that to Sandy, his best friend who is also head over heels in love with him. The Women of the House provide a welcome distraction while helping with the arduous task of running the country.
As President Jack must make tough decisions: Global Terrorism, Human Trafficking, Korea on the brink of war, all while thwarting International Greed. Women of the House is a story of noble sacrifice at extremely high cost. Who’s going to be the first to be strong enough and willing to pay? It’s not all work in Women of the House – Think the Wedding of the Decade meets the Crime of the Century.
Jack Canon’s Women of the House, is a story filled with Love, Lust, and Loyalty where passions can run wild! In Sandora’s monumental sequel, patriotism and valor mingle with an undying love that refuses to quit. Ride along as Jack Canon fights back against the most evil people on the planet. Readers are sure to embrace this unforgettable tale which will appeal to fans of political adventure, suspense and romance alike. Jack Canon’s Women of the House is a story of kindness, passion and courage that can’t be separated.
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Genre - Romantic Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LICHGATES: Book 1 of the Grimoire Saga by @TheSMBoyce #Fantasy #BookClub #AmReading

The king returned to his throne and bellowed his next words so that they reverberated off the walls of the cavernous hall.
“Stand and accept what you were born to be, my son.”
“Never.”
“Like I said, it’s not a choice.”
Carden reached toward him and clenched his hand into a fist. Braeden’s stomach tightened, as if his father had reached into his gut and squeezed. He curled over himself, stifling the agonizing yell in his throat.
The king twisted his hand and opened his palm, where sparks snapped and fizzled. Braeden’s muscles tore at the movement. Popping noises surged along his biceps and neck. His veins chilled and slowed. He unconsciously stood at a twitch of Carden’s finger. Braeden’s grip on his form was slipping. Smoke escaped his pores. Organs shifted. He screamed in pain until a heavy weight fell on his chest and closed his throat.
“Screams are for the weak,” Carden said.
The weight eased off Braeden’s lungs, letting him sink back to the floor as the internal tearing and popping stopped. The staggering numbness returned. His cuffs twisted as he moved, and searing fire coursed through his veins. Tremors pulsed through him.
Carden scowled from his chair, and the green lizard from earlier peered from the shadows beside the throne. Its outline blurred for a moment, but returned to normal so quickly that Braeden questioned what he’d seen.
It flickered again, more prominently this time.
Dark lines melted around its face. It grew taller, its skin stretching and pouring into the space around it. In a matter of seconds, the lizard filled the massive hall as it transformed into a dragon.
Braeden’s mouth went dry.
The dragon reared its head above the stunned hall and roared. The creature’s tail landed squarely on Carden’s chest, sending him flying into a support column by the main entry. The pillar crumbled on top of the king, burying him, and the dome it supported shattered. The dragon thrashed its wings against the walls by the thrones. Chunks of black marble pummeled downward, cracking the polished floor. Glass rained down on the cloaked subjects. A stampede began for the door.
A new, shriller roar echoed through the great hall, shooting chills through Braeden’s body. A red dragon with a long black stripe down its spine stood over Kara, baring its thick teeth. One dragon was bad enough, but two would be unstoppable. He tried to stand, to run, to possibly escape and at minimum find cover, but one of the spikes shifted and lodged into his bone. The pain buckled his knees.
Another patch in the ceiling crumbled. Pebbles and thick shards of painted glass showered to the floor. What yakona remained fled. Braeden grit his teeth, forced himself to his feet, and staggered to the edge of the hall.
Two thick claws engulfed him, pulling him into the air and pressing the spikes deeper into his hands with a single, deft motion. He cried out as the throbbing agony pulsed through his arms. Shimmering green scales blotted out the sky. The red dragon appeared in the air beside them, Kara tucked away in its claws.
The familiar weight of his father’s control returned on Braeden’s chest. Hatred coursed through his mind like a fever. He turned to the floor. Carden lay trapped beneath the rubble, a shredded look of fury consuming his gray face, and Braeden lost himself to the final ounces of his father’s remaining energy.
Kill the dragon, he was told. Rip it apart. Return.
He writhed, consumed by his father’s commands, but the green dragon clutched him tighter until the pain of the poisoned cuffs outweighed even his father’s will. He dangled in the dragon’s claws and watched the Stele recede from sight.

“The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. – Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy
Spring 2013 Rankings
#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.
—————-
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict – a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
—————-
Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Lichgates (#1)
Treason (#2)
Heritage (#3) – Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) – Available Fall 2014
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG13
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 Connect with SM Boyce on Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Forgotten Child by Lorhainne Eckhart @LEckhart #GoodReads #Autism #Romance

“Please sit down, Emily.” He extended out the flat of his hand, very much in control.

“Ah, thank you.” She perched on the edge of the soft leather seat across from a man who was too damn good to look at—a man obviously comfortable in his own skin.

Hardness set his jaw as he studied her. The tick of the wall clock seemed to echo in the silence, and Emily squirmed in her seat. Why was he looking at her like that? Maybe it was her outrageous entrance and he was wondering what kind of kook she was, whether he could entrust her with his child. Yes, that had to be it.

She swallowed hard. “I’m Emily Nelson; I talked to you yesterday on the phone about the job.”
He blinked before closing those exquisite eyes, as if he’d forgotten the reason she was here. When he opened them again, his hard judgmental expression seemed to have softened a bit.

Again he extended his large hand, taking hers in a firm grip. Just the touch of his solid calloused hand and the secure squeeze was enough to teeter her nerves back to that awkward woman at the door. She wondered what it would be like to have a man like this run his hands over you. She snatched her hand back before her face burned any brighter. Finally, he introduced himself. “The name’s Brad Friessen.” Emily kept quiet. He didn’t run on with his words. He must be a deep thinker, a doer. She could relate to that… but not to him. Her sly eyes glanced down at his left hand: no gold band, no white line, no wife or significant other. Or maybe he was one of those arrogant guys who wouldn’t wear a ring, a lady’s man. He had the looks and the attitude. Now was the time to ask about the woman who answered the phone when she called. Who was she?

“This is a working ranch I run, and I need a woman to look after my son. I’m old fashioned in my values. Children should be at home, not stuck in daycare. I’m looking for someone who’s comfortable in a kitchen and looking after children: a role that should come natural to a woman. I don’t want someone who’s got the phone stuck to their ear half the day. It’s a decent job and good pay; $500 a week, room and board, and includes all your meals.”

Her heart sank about the same time the bottom dropped out of her stomach. It was too good to be true. She wanted to cry. “But I… I have a little girl, I didn’t realize–”

His face hardened and he looked away. For some reason he was angry with her… no, furious. Emily didn’t know what to say when he let out a heavy sigh. He closed his eyes, rubbing his hand over the light brown shadow that appeared over his jaw. Then he faced her again, with those deep brown eyes now turned to steel. Emily saw that he could be a hard man.

Lorhainne Eckhart

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Genre – Contemporary Western Romance
Rating – PG
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Charlotte Dent by @MorganRichter #ChickLit #AmReading #Women

The theater doors were still locked when she arrived, about twenty minutes before six. It wasn’t a great neighborhood, this end of Sunset. The industrial side of the film industry was on display; prop houses and post-production facilities were nestled alongside storefront liquor stores and shabby doughnut shops. There was a wooden bench beside the theater doors, but the closer she got to it, the more it smelled like old urine, so she stood in the speckled shade of a tree by the curb and waited.
A blonde woman, middle-aged and leathery, propped open the front door of the theater with a cinder block. She shielded her eyes against the sun with her hand and squinted at Charlotte. She frowned. “Here for the auditions?” she asked. A purple velvet halter top barely confined her extravagant bosom; her feet were bare, and her toenails sparkled with purple glitter. “You’re early.”
“I can wait outside until you’re ready,” Charlotte said.
“No, whatever, come in. You can’t audition until the director gets here.”
Charlotte followed her into the theater lobby. Faded green carpet, chairs with ripped vinyl seats, a display case featuring faded handbills. Smelled like fresh paint and dry rot.
She took a seat on one of the vinyl chairs. A moment later, two girls entered. They were maybe still in their teens, sleek and lithe with glossy manes of hair. More aspiring hopefuls arrived, maybe a few dozen in total. She scoped out the crowd. Young. Very young. A bunch of nervous kids. Male-to-female ratio of about one to four. Pretty typical.
Had this process ever been fun? Maybe a little, back when she was a kid auditioning for local plays in Idaho.
The blonde woman reemerged, hands full. “Hi, gang. Nice turnout,” she said. “Welcome to Hollycould Players. I’m Holly.” Charlotte’s stomach churned a bit. “We’re about ready to get started, if you all could sign in on the clipboard. If you’ve got your headshots with you—which you all really, really should—have them ready to hand to the director when it’s your turn. And you need to fill these out as well.”
She held up a stack of stiff white cards, then set them beside the sign-in sheet on a table near the entrance. The table was instantly mobbed. Charlotte hung back. They’d audition in the order they signed in, and while it would be nice to get this over with, there was no benefit to going first.
She picked up one of the cards. It asked for her name, her contact information, her rehearsal availability. It also asked whether she had a reliable form of transportation. She had good walking shoes and a working knowledge of the bus system, so she responded in the affirmative. It was a lie, sort of, but her lack of a car would be a big mark against her. It might even knock her out of consideration.
Holly had put out the sides, too, in small stacks arranged by character. Charlotte picked up Annemarie’s scene and glanced through it.
“Crud. How late am I?” Charlotte looked up at a new arrival. A woman, late thirties, tall and fair and willowy, wearing a floral wrap dress in wispy crepe.
“Don’t worry. We’re still signing in,” Charlotte said.
“Good. I haven’t blown it. Have they collected headshots?”
“We’re supposed to hand them over when we go in.”
The woman looked so familiar, sounded so familiar… Charlotte glanced over her shoulder while she signed in and snuck a peek at her name.
Erica Fallow. Of course. When the woman looked up at her, Charlotte blushed.
“I’m sorry. I thought that was you. I just wanted to make sure.”
“Yeah, it’s me.” Erica smiled, embarrassed and pleased and wary all at once, the instinctual reaction of the famous when confronted with the public.
“Sorry. I don’t want to bother you. I just really liked Mad World, that’s all. I was addicted to it in college.”
“Thanks. That’s nice to hear.” Erica’s smile deepened, turned a bit more genuine, as though she had sussed Charlotte out and deemed her harmless.
They were still standing at the table in the middle of the room. Charlotte wished they were somewhere else, so she wouldn’t look like a star-struck fangirl in front of all these other actors. “I stopped watching after the third season. It wasn’t the same after you left.”
Erica laughed. “That’s what I think, too, but I’m biased.” She picked up one of the information cards. “Are we supposed to fill these out?”

When struggling actress Charlotte Dent is cast as a leggy killer robot in a big, brainless summer blockbuster, the subsequent hiccup of fame sends a shock wave through her life. The perks of entry-level celebrity are balanced by the drawbacks: destructive filmmakers, online ridicule, entitled costars, and an awkward, unsatisfying relationship with the film’s fragile leading man. Self-aware to a fault, Charlotte fights to carve out a unique identity in an industry determined to categorize her as just another starlet, disposable and replaceable. But unless she can find a way to turn her small burst of good fortune into a durable career, she’s destined to sink back into obscurity.
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Genre - General Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating - PG
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About @MBMulhall #YA #AmReading #AmWriting

  • The MB stands for MaryBeth. One word. Capital B in the middle!
  • I love ink, whether it’s on the page or on my skin. When I signed with Harmony Ink (my publisher) I treated myself to a new tattoo. <a href=”http://tinypic.com?ref=1492f0m” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i60.tinypic.com/1492f0m.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Image and video hosting by TinyPic”></a>
  • I devoured Nancy Drew books as a child.  It has led me to try to end all chapters on a cliffhanger of sorts.
  • If I’m not writing, I’m probably crafting, or taking pictures. I love artsy stuff. I painted my boyfriend a picture for Valentine’s day. Good thing he likes my artsy side!
  • I hate reading aloud in front of others. I struggle in my writing group and often have to fight back the panic attack. I’m hoping if I keep forcing myself to do it, it will become easier.
  • A couple years ago I decided to keep track of every book I read, posting the list to my blog at the end of every month. At the end I found I had read over 200 books throughout the year!
  • I was one class short of a minor in Japanese in college.
  • I’m very musical having sung in choirs and musicals (and my car!). I have also played several instruments: piano, clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone horn, a little tenor sax and a little standup bass.
  • Self-publishing my first book was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  It’s not easy to put yourself out there for others to criticize, but it was worth it to see people enjoy the story and ask for more.
  • I’m a wee bit obsessed with Doctor Who. My boyfriend even indulges me by giving me Doctor Who/Hello Kitty mashup t-shirts!


  • Secrets. Their weight can be crushing, but their release can change everything—and not necessarily for the better. Ian is no stranger to secrets. Being a gay teen in a backwater southern town, Ian must keep his orientation under wraps, especially since he spends a lot of time with his hands all over members of the same sex, pinning their sweaty, hard bodies to the wrestling mat.
    When he’s trying not to stare at teammates in the locker room, he’s busy hiding another secret—that he starves himself so he doesn’t get bumped to the next weight class.
    Enter Julian Yang, an Adonis with mesmerizing looks and punk rocker style. Befriending the flirtatious artist not only raises suspicion among his classmates, but leaves Ian terrified he’ll give in to the desires he’s fought to ignore.
    As secrets come to light, Ian’s world crumbles. Disowned, defriended, and deserted by nearly everyone, Ian’s one-way ticket out of town is revoked, leaving him trapped in a world he hates—and one that hates him back.
    Buy Now @ Amazon
    Genre - LGBT, YA
    Rating – PG-13
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    Friday, June 6, 2014

    S.M. McEachern Says #YA is Age 16 and Up, Yes or No? #AmReading #SciFi #GoodReads

    When I decided to write Sunset Rising, my first obstacle was figuring out the age group of the YA genre. Some define the age group as 12 to 18, while others define it as low as ten, and some as high as 18 to 25.   Wikipedia reports that 55% of YA readers are over 18 years of age.  In the end, I had to decide what age group I was writing for and I came up with this rationale:  YA is sixteen and over.  While this may seem like an arbitrary decision on my part, it’s not.  I’ll explain.
    During the time I was struggling to define the age group for YA, my 13 year-old daughter came home from school and told me about her day.  She and her friend Birdie (yes, it’s a made up name to protect her real identity) were hanging out on the school grounds watching the popular boys when one of the boys suddenly started vomiting. The other boys walked away in disgust, but didn’t stay away for long.  They returned to the scene with a stick in hand and started poking at the steaming pile.  Grossed-out and yet fascinated all at the same time, my daughter and her friend watched as the boys dissected the contents of their friend’s stomach.
    When the boys got bored of poking at it and left, Birdie urged my daughter to come with her to check it out too.  My daughter is a bit squeamish about barf and didn’t want to get too close, but she went in support of her friend and kept a respectable ten-foot distance.  Fearless, Birdie went right up to it and reported back to my daughter that it was indeed chunky and had a really weird color.  It also stunk.  With their curiosity now satisfied, the girls went in search of the boys to see what else they were getting up to.  Why?  Because at thirteen, these are the popular boys and the girls see them as eligible dating material.
    Now let’s consider how a sixteen-year-old would have reacted to seeing someone barf on the school grounds.  I’m going to guess that the vast majority of sixteen-year-old girls would avoid the pile of barf, and maybe even one or two them would seek help for the sick person.  The sixteen-year old boys would probably not have the urge to poke it with a stick, although they might take a peek and profess loudly to each other whether or not it was chunky.  Boys would do this for the same reason that when someone announces he farted, they all have to sniff the air to confirm the claim.  This is mature behavior for boys since they rarely change with age ;)  While some girls may be turned off by the boys’ behavior, by sixteen they have come to accept it as normal, quirky behavior; in other words, a guy thing.
    My point is by the age of sixteen, most individuals have gained enough experience to start making some mature decisions.  They recognize gender differences and are beginning to accept them… in fact, maybe even embrace them.  They are leaving their childhood behind to embark on becoming an adult.  And most societies do recognize sixteen as the age of initiation into adulthood.  Western culture celebrates the sweet sixteen birthday, Spanish celebrate the cuinceaƱera, and other cultures see sixteen as an appropriate age for marriage.  So, when I wrote a Young Adult novel, I did it with the understanding that a YA is 16 and up.

    February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are eventually permitted entry.  But the price of admission is high.
    283 years later…  Sunny O’Donnell is a seventeen-year-old slave who has never seen the sun.  She was born in the Pit, a subterranean extension of the bio-dome. Though life had never been easy, the last couple of months had become a nightmare. Her mom was killed in the annual Cull, and her dad thought it was a good time to give up on life.  Reyes Crowe, her long-time boyfriend, was pressuring her to get married, even though it would mean abandoning her father.
    She didn’t think things could get any worse until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to be a servant-girl at a bachelor party.  That’s when she met Leisel Holt, the president’s daughter, and her fiancĆ©, Jack Kenner.
    Now Sunny is wanted for treason.  If they catch her, she’ll be executed.
    She thought Leisel’s betrayal was the end.  But it was just the beginning.
    “Sunset Rising” is Book One of a series.
    Buy Now @ Amazon
    Genre - YA Science Fiction, Dystopian
    Rating – PG-16
    More details about the author
    Connect with S.M. McEachern through Facebook & Twitter

    Forty 2 Days (The Billionaire Banker) by Georgia Le Carre #Romance #Erotica #BookClub

    I lick my lips slowly.
    He eyes the journey my tongue undertakes avidly.  ‘That’s more like it.  That’s the mercenary bitch I know.’
    One moment he is standing there cold and insulting, and the next he has thrust a rough hand into my hair and pulled my head back.  I gasp with shock, my eyes wide, his dark.  Like a desert storm he descends on my parted mouth.  There is no time even to pull one’s cloak about oneself.  So sudden.  So unexpected.  He tastes wild, the way the first drops of rain in the desert taste.  Full of minerals. Bringing life to all it touches.
    He kisses me, as he has never done.  Roughly, painfully, violently, purposely bruising my lips, his mouth so savage that I utter a strangled, soundless cry.  The change, the extent of his anger, is impossible to comprehend.  He is different.  There is no longing.  Only an intense desire to hurt and have his revenge. This is not the same man.   My actions have unleashed something uncontrollable.  Something that wants to hurt me.  Alarm bells go off in my head.  It occurs to my fevered brain that he is ravenous, starving.  Then for some strange reason an image of him eating thin, almost transparent slices of cheese on biscuits flashes into my mind.  How civilized he was.  Then.  Before I betrayed him.
    I taste the fury in his kiss: blood.
    And my mind screams—this is abuse.  A moan gets caught in my throat, struggles vainly, and then escapes.  My hands reach up to push him away, but my palms meet the stone wall of his chest, and as if with minds of their own, push aside the lapels of his jacket and grip his shirt.  I know what once lived beneath the shirt and I want it.  I have always wanted this man.  As if my hands splayed across his chest have communicated my total submission, the kiss changes.  His tongue gentles, but demands more surrender.
    The fingers grasping my hair hurt my scalp.  I feel the pain vaguely, but more than that I feel myself begin to drown in that vortex of sexual desire.  The violent, throbbing need between my legs finds its way into my veins and flesh.  Every cell in me wants him inside me. I am on fire. One year of waiting has made me hungry for him.  I want him.  I want him thrusting that enormous dick of his deep inside me.  For a year I have dreamed of him inside me, filling me.  I know how good he can make me feel.  My body tries to burrow closer to him, but I cannot get closer; his grip on my hair is relentless.  Desperately I push my hips towards him towards what I know will be delicious hardness.
    As if that is some silent signal he puts me casually away from me.  And I am thrust back in a shitty back office in Kilburn High Street.  What the fuck am I doing?   He casually props himself against the desk, folds his arms across his chest, and looks at me calmly.
    I cannot return the insult.  I am a mess.  I stand there frustrated beyond belief, breathing hard, the blood pounding like an African drum in my head.  My knickers are wet and between my legs I ache and pulse for him.  With every weak and trembling part of me I want him to finish what he started.  I want him so bad it is shocking.  I clench my hands at my sides and try to get myself under control.  I look at him, how cool and collected he is, as he watches me struggle to regain some measure of composure.
    Then he smiles.  Oh! Cocky.  He shouldn’t have done that.  I feel maddened by the taunting smile.  How dare he?  He just wanted to humiliate me.
    And then I see it.  Not so fast, Mr. Blake Law Barrington.
    I take two steps forward, reach my hand out and put a finger on that madly beating pulse in his throat.  It drums into my skin.  The frantic beat is carried away by my blood up into my arm, my heart and into my brain.  Years later I will remember this moment when we are connected by his beating pulse.  We never break eye contact.  His eyes darken.  Now he knows that I know—my need may be obvious and easy to exploit, but he is not as unaffected as he pretends to be.  He was testing his own limits of control, but it hasn’t been as easy as he expected.
    ‘Is it sex when I want to see you come apart?’ he asks bitterly.
    A breath dies in my chest.  I take my finger away from his throat.   ‘What do you want, Blake?’
    ‘I want you to finish your contract.’

    Beyond the seductive power of immense wealth lies… Dark Secrets
    Devastatingly handsome billionaire, Blake Law Barrington was Lana Blooms first and only love. From the moment they touched his power was overwhelming. Their arrangement quickly developed into a passionate romance that captivated her heart and took her on an incredible sexual journey she never wanted to end.
    The future together looked bright until Lana made a terrible mistake. So, she did the only thing she could… she ran.
    Away from her incredible life, away from the man of her dreams, but she should have known a man such as Blake Law Barrington was impossible to escape. Now, he’s back in her life and determined that she should taste the bitterness of his pain.
    Shocked at how rough the sex has become and humiliated that she is actually participating so willingly in her punishment, she despairs if she will ever feel the warmth of his touch–the solidity of his trust again? And even if she can win his trust, loyalties are yet to be decided, and secrets to be revealed–secrets that will test them both to their limits.
    Will Lana be able to tear down the walls that surround Blake’s heart, and break him free of the brutal power of immense wealth?
    Can Blake hold on to Lana’s heart when she discovers the enormity of the dark secrets that inhabit the Barrington family?
    Lana has always believed that love conquers all. She is about to test that belief…
    Buy @ Amazon
    Genre – Erotic Romance
    Rating – PG-18
    More details about the author
    Connect with Georgia Le Carre on Facebook & Twitter

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

    @GaryTroia Shares His Writing Experience #WriteTip #AmWriting #SelfPub

    Since I was a child in primary school I have always had a yearning to create stories from nothing. I left school without qualifications, but with some encouragement from certain teachers concerning a few stories I had written. Now I was out in the big world, and having to earn a living. I thought it was about time to forget the big idea of writing; but that yearning, so deep within me, just wouldn’t let it go.
    I finally relented to the yearning and bought myself my first computer. I was so excited. Now I could write stories to my heart’s content. But there was a problem, a big problem. Every time I sat down in front of the computer, the blank white screen in front of me stared me down, winning every time. I had some ideas, but I just could never get beyond the first chapter. My first chapters were always quite good, which is not surprising, given the amount of time I worked on them, tinkering around and pondering essentials, such as should this be a comma, or perhaps; a semi colon? I ended up with a whole pile of excellent first chapters.
    I decided that I would never know how those first chapters would turn out in the end, because I was far too fearful to let myself go and find out. If I ever did let myself go on the very infrequent second chapter, my ego would soon shut down proceedings by bombarding me with ideas of doubt, ridicule, and unworthiness. So I ended up giving in to fear and shutting the lid of my laptop on my dreams of writing.
    One fine day, I was walking passed Richmond College, and there was an open day, so I decided to walk in and have a look. I naturally gravitated towards the literature side of things. I picked up a little booklet of courses, and saw immediately a course that was titled, How to write a…novel in a month. Needles to say I signed my name on the dotted line.
    When I turned up for my first day, the class was packed. And no wonder, who would not want to learn of a way to write a novel in a month? I think many of those in the class thought they were going to get magical fairy dust sprinkled on them, but of course, it wasn’t that easy.
    The idea of writing a novel in a month consisted in pledging oneself to write 1,677 words each day, so at the end of the month you would have 30,000 words of a novel, at least a first draft. I did it, and realised that the magic consisted not in fairy dust, but the magic of writing faster than your doubts can form, and making a pledge to keep you sat in the chair every day and write those 1,677 words. It is quite amazing what can be achieved with daily discipline.

    For the first time ever, this collection of short stories by Gary Troia brings together, in chronological order stories and memoirs from Spanish Yarns and Beyond, English Yarns and Beyond and A Bricklayer’s Tales into one complete volume.
    “Excellent! A collection of short stories about depression, alcoholism and drug use. Very compelling reading. I read this short story collection all in one go.” (Maria, Goodreads.)
    A Bricklayer’s Tales is the ultimate “I hate this job” story, written as a collection of short stories and memoirs, each one revealing a snapshot in the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This book of short stories is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book achieves clarity without trying.
    Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.
    A collection of short stories and memoirs that include:
    The Cuckoo’s Egg. Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.
    My Grandfather’s Shed. The making of an English key
    No Comb on the Cock. Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
    What I Did In My Summer Holidays In 1000 Words. Could having an idea ever be considered a criminal act?
    My Best Mate’s Head. Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
    The Shetland Isles. A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
    Pointing a House in Islington. Too much alcohol and cocaine don’t mix well on building sites!
    Angel Dust. The peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers
    Peyote. Hippies, LSD and an idyllic refuge
    Return Ticket. Handcuffed and ready for deportation. A sad departure from the States
    When I Joined a Cult. Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
    Bilbao. How very, very English!
    Teaching Other People. The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
    A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis. With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
    Catania. A meeting with a Sicilian fox, some Neapolitans, and a man with a camel haired coat.
    Advert In The Art Shop Window. Will a new building job in Spain be the start of a new life?
    Gaudi. A flight to Barcelona for a kebab, and a look at the Sagrada Familia.
    The Day My Soul Left Me. “To be or not to be? That is the question”
    How Not to Travel to The AlhambraHung-over, the wrong fuel, the car breaks down. Will they ever make it to Granada?
    The Road To Ronda. A terrifying drive to Ronda, was it worth it?
    Poking A Carob Tree. A new home and new neighbours, just in time for Christmas.
    Spain Reborn.No more commuting to London. Lets celebrate!
    Home From HomeA parallel world where the Spanish have taken over Weymouth.
    Three Common Carp.An epic battle with a whale and marlin it is not.
    Mrs. McClintock. An absurd farce in which a Glaswegian couple retire to Spain
    Steak, Egg and Intensive Care. A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
    The Unchangeable Chameleon. Can a leopard change it’s spots?
    A Bricklayer’s Tale. The story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer
    A collection short stories and memoirs of British dark humour.
     Buy Now @ Amazon
    Genre - Fiction, Short Stories
    Rating - PG-16
    More details about the author
    Connect with Gary Troia on Facebook & Twitter

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    #Quotes from TWELVE HOUSES by Olga Soaje #Women #Fiction

    You promised you would never leave me. Thirty-five years ago, I looked you directly in the eye and heard, “I will never leave you,” as we stood next to the ocean. And now, like a thief in the night, you go. No last words, no promises, no tears.
    May you find joy in every day, forgiveness in every thoughtless action on my part, and know my love in every breath.
    To this day it amazes me that unbeknown to most people, that secret self-portrait of my own flawed self not only helped me cope but also allowed me to become whole again.
    My heart is racing, and I’m thinking the unthinkable. My daughter, my pregnant daughter, might be having an affair.
    I’m not sure if your ready for what I’d like to discuss in you natal chart…
    If I allow myself to be pulled into your gravitational force I may lose myself completely.
    I felt the need to say “Thank you” At first, he asked me what for, and when I said, “For this moment” he understood that every grateful thank you, I might be saying a slow good-bye.

    Can anything good follow the best thing that ever happened to you?
    Amelia Weiss loved her husband of thirty-five years very much, but now he’s left her a widow. Without him, she is unable to work in her sculpture studio without crying. She no longer has a bridge to her estranged daughter. And she can’t seem to keep her mind in the present.
    But when her daughter reaches out asking for her help and her agent threatens a lawsuit if Amelia doesn’t deliver for an upcoming exhibit, she’s forced to make a choice. Will she reengage with her life and the people in it—allowing room for things to be different than they were before? Or, will she remain stuck in the past, choosing her memories over real-life relationships?
    Thrust fully into the present, Amelia stumbles into a surprising journey of self-discovery.
    Buy @ Amazon
    Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
    Rating – PG-13
    More details about the author
    Connect with Olga Soaje on Facebook

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