Wednesday, August 30, 2017

#Excerpt: SWIM by M.E. Rhines


Swim
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A mermaid has no fear of the deep…
Angelique is not your typical fairy tale mermaid. She’s edgy, with a quick temper and intense personality that sometimes leave her feeling like an outsider even among her own clan. Reeling from the recent changes in the Mer-world hierarchy, Angelique is struggling to find her place in the ocean. But a chance encounter with a handsome two-legged Fin-man will leave her questioning more than just her place in the underwater order.
Packed with adventure, romance and drama, Swim continues the compelling story of life and love in the magical underwater realm of Atargatis.

EXCERPT:
Would they serve me on a platter, or just toss me in tank and use me as an exhibit? Some of the humans Mother captured spoke of places where even the ocean’s greatest predators were put on display for the amusement of the young and hardened of heart. An aquarium they called it. Manatees, dolphins, sharks. All subject to the degradation of living in a box for the rest of their days.
Oh, Poseidon help me, I’d rather die right now.
Almost as soon as my body contacted the sea floor, the rope connecting me to the human vessel tightened. An illusion of weightlessness befell me as it pulled me up. Despite already feeling drained, I swam against the pull right up until my entire body left the water. Suffocating aridness strangled me. I danged inside the net a good ten feet above the water, swaying along with the howling wind as if it was dancing with me.
I scanned the rough waters below, desperate for a trace that Lennox was around. But the sea was fuming. Furious, whether at me or the fisherman I didn’t know. Already turbulent waters intensified, until waves the size of small squalls slammed into the boat from all sides.
Even if Lennox was down there, and I doubted he was, there would be no way to see him through the chaos on the ocean’s surface. I didn’t waste much time searching. He’d said it himself; he was a warrior, a killer at heart. It wasn’t in his nature to go around saving anyone or anything unless it served his king. He was long gone, left me for dead.
“You see,” I heard the horrible man shout. “Look at that tail.”
“I’ll be damned. You weren’t seeing things after all, Reggie.”
“Yep. Heard stories about mermaids in this area. Didn’t much believe them. Until now, of course. She’s awfully pretty, too. Prettier than I ever imagined a mermaid could be.”
“What should we do with her?”
“Are you kidding? People would pay a fortune to just take a quick look at her. Mortgage their own houses, I bet. We’re gonna be rich!”
The blond man tapped his chin with his index finger, pondering the idea. A small, naïve part of me hoped he might listen to that slight little voice in his head, the one that should tell him I was a living thing. A sentient, conscious, and intelligent living thing and should be treated with common decency. His conscience should’ve told him to put me back in the water and drive his boat far out of here and leave me be.
Then this human, the one who moments ago seemed so kindhearted and eager to help me until my tail was exposed, reminded me of that one ever-important detail I managed to allow myself forget:
Humans have no conscience.

Author Bio:
ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.
She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.


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#Review: JUST ANOTHER VISCOUNT IN LOVE by Vivienne Lorret




  4 of 5 stars

This is a delightful sweet story of one man's determination not to let anyone keep him from the woman he loves. Sam Wortham, Viscount Ellery meets the shy Gemma Desmond when she and her aunt, the Dowager Duchess of Vale, stop for a picnic on Ellery's estate. Sam is drawn to Gemma, but she's not willing to share her last name with him because of her criminal father. She's been shunned by the ton for the sins of her father and Gemma just wants this sweet interaction not to marred by the scandal. When Sam invites her and her aunt to a house party, she finds that the scandal follows her to Surrey and she's forced to tell Sam of her scandalous past before one of his house guests reveal it.

The more Gemma pulls away so as not to hurt Sam, the more he pursues her. So goes the back and forth of these two. Ms. Lorret takes the reader on the ups and downs of trying to protect a loved one as their mutual attraction grows. I loved Sam's determination to get to know Gemma without letting anything dissuade him from garnering Gemma's good opinion of him. While the happily ever after ending was a foregone conclusion, the journey to that end was quite enjoyable. Fans of Regency romance will definitely enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Excerpt:

“Well, I know my aunt is fond of you.”

Ellery angled toward her, his boots shifting to the outer edges of her slippers. The lapels of his coat were only a breath away from the rise and fall of her breasts. Lifting his hand to her cheek, his fingers glided along the slope of her jaw to her chin and tilted her face up to his. “And what of her niece?” The rapid beat of her heart made it difficult to release a breath. It was locked inside of her like so many recent hopes and dreams. Her lips tingled, plumping under his dark, searching scrutiny. And when the tip of her tongue darted out to wet them, his head dipped toward hers, close enough that she caught the clean, spicy scent of his shaving soap and felt the heat of his breath.

Gemma’s eyes drifted shut of their own volition. “I have it under good authority that she likes you. Very much, indeed.”

His other hand released hers, his fingertips skimming up the length of her bare arm, setting off a shower of tingles. Cupping her face, he drew closer, his nose nuzzling beside hers. His lips brushed one corner of her mouth and then the other. “Enough to permit me to kiss her?”

A soft laugh escaped her. “I believe you already are.”

And it was heaven, these slow, searching nibbles at her lips, the feel of his warm breath against her skin.

“Not yet,” he said with more sampling tastes of the corners of her mouth and a sly sweep along the center. Cradling her face in his hands, he went still, waiting for her answer.

Restraint emanated from him in the small vibrations through his fingertips and in each shuddered breath between her parted lips. He would take only what she was willing to give. He was not selfish. His honor and decency were not merely for show. These qualities were part of him and in his every action.

And she loved him all the more for it.

But this was not the time for hesitation. They’d been patient for long enough. Ages and ages. She wanted him to know that he didn’t need to hold back. Not with her.

Slanting her head, she whispered against his lips, “Then show me.”

 
BLURB:

As the toast of the ton, Samuel Wortham, Viscount Ellery, should have no trouble finding a wife. Yet each lady he pursues ends up married to another. As a last hope, Sam plans a house party, intending to choose a bride from one of his guests. But when he encounters a raven-haired beauty by his estate’s pond, he’s captivated by her charm and desperate to see her again.

A quiet trip to the country is just what Gemma Desmond needs to take her mind off marriage. After all, as the daughter of a notorious criminal, her prospects seem quite grim. The last thing she expects is a chance meeting with a handsome lord and an invitation to his lavish house party. Ellery is everything she hoped for in a husband. But can she ever escape the stigma of her father’s misdeeds? When a pair of conniving debutantes frame her for theft, Gemma has her answer. Unwilling to let her scandalous reputation taint the kind, honorable man she adores, she flees. Yet Ellery isn’t about to give her up. He might be just another viscount in love, but he refuses to let this potential bride slip through his fingers…

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of works including: The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Season’s Original Series, and the upcoming Emma Identity Series. For more information on her books, sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

#Review: ADELINE by Christine McKnight




3 of 5 stars
 
I've read quite a few of Ms. McKnight's books and really enjoy her stories, but this retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" didn't quite capture me the way I had hoped it would. Ms. Adeline Price is a feisty heroine bordering on brattiness who always wants to have her own way. When she is rescued by Jasper, Earl of Ailesbury from a broken down carriage in a terrifying thunderstorm, he takes her back to home. She is further delayed from returning to London by a series of circumstances. During the 1.5 days she spends with Jasper, she glimpses his kindness and goodness as he takes care of his servants and the people in the village.

I loved Jasper as the Beast. Ms. McKnight did an excellent job of showing his compassionate side. The scarred beast of a man has a heart of gold. Adeline, on the other hand, wasn't very likable. Her fiery temper and arguments with her brother makes her unsympathetic to me. Then spending a few more hours in Jasper's company and she's totally in love with him? That seemed unrealistic--in less than 3 days, she's wants to spend the rest of her life with him. I realize this is a retelling of the fairytale, but I wanted more interaction between the two before they both fell deeply in love. And at the end there was a timing issue--was it a month or several months since she last saw him? Both timelines were mentioned and it was confusing. I'm a fan of Ms. McKnight, but this book just didn't speak to me the way some of her other books do.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

#Excerpt: QUEST FOR NOBILITY


The fire danced and crackled with life, seeking to devour everything in its path.  Three separate spurs raced around the warehouse, burning all they touched.  Boxes of all shapes and sizes became ash as the flames joined to become one intense, hungry blaze.
She watched the scorching scene, riveted to the floor.  She turned her head, seeking an escape, but saw only shadows.  The flames were almost upon her when the walls disappeared.  She felt the heat closing in and tried desperately to free herself.  When she turned back, the flames surrounded her, engulfing her in an inferno of pain and torment.  Screaming, she felt the flesh melt from her limbs.
Dyla bolted upright in bed, awakened by an ear-splitting scream.  Drenched in sweat and trembling uncontrollably, it took her a moment to realize that it was her own scream she had heard, and she shuddered in fear.
She clambered off of the bed and fell to her knees. “Oh no, oh no,” she whispered while rocking back and forth.
Within moments, Darius came rushing into the room and found his sister sobbing on the floor.  Enfolding her in his arms, he made a telepathic connection and was immediately assailed by images of pain and suffering.  He had never felt such intensity through his link with his sister before, and he nearly staggered back at the blow. “It’s okay now, you’re safe,” he said softly, clutching her tighter.
It took Dyla several minutes before she came back to herself.  “Darius, I had a terrible vision.  There was a fire, it destroyed everything.”
Darius lifted her chin and met his sister’s eyes. “I felt it when I touched you.  You’re safe now.  It was only a bad dream.”
“No, it wasn’t a bad dream, it was more than that.  I was there, inside it, feeling the heat of the fire.  It burned me.  I’ve never felt anything so horrible before.”
“Do you want me to summon the healer for you?”
“No, I want to talk to Mother.  She’s never mentioned having visions before, but she may understand what’s happening to me.”
Darius helped Dyla to her feet and slipped a robe over her shoulders.  A number of concerned servants were standing in the doorway to the bedchamber watching the scene unfold.
Darius reassured them.  “It’s all right.  Go back to bed.  Everything here is fine.”
The servants nodded one by one and slipped away.
The twins left Dyla’s room and walked down the corridor to their parents' bedchamber.  Dyla knocked lightly on the door. 
Silence greeted them.


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Friday, August 25, 2017

#Excerpt: SEVEN WAYS TO LOSE YOUR HEART by Tiffany Truitt


Seven Ways to Lose Your Heart
Tiffany Truitt
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: July 18th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

In the span of seven days, Annabel Lee will lose her heart.
Kennedy Harrison, as reckless with life as Annabel is obsessed with order, never could commit to anything—not to a person, not to a job, not to a path. But he’s got a history with Annabel, and for once Kennedy doesn’t want to run. Determined to spend time with her before she leaves for college, Kennedy dares her to join him on a road trip to a music festival.
And neither of them could ever say no to a dare.
But Annabel’s got a plan. She’ll complete seven dares in seven days—if Kennedy applies for one writing internship per dare. Because Kennedy needs to be pushed just as much as she does.
What follows is a dizzying week of music, shady hotels, comical dares, and a passion neither one knew existed. But when it ends, Annabel and Kennedy will realize the biggest dare of all might just be falling for each other.

99¢ for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:
“You haven’t drowned in there, have you?” I yell to Annabel, noting that the sound of running water stopped about fifteen minutes ago.
“No, just relaxing,” she calls back.
Just relaxing. Naked. In a bath.
I scramble from the bed and knock gently on the door. “And would you like some company to help you, you know, relax?”
“Did you finish?” She sounds more like a scolding teacher than the girl who ravished me last night. But this is Annabel Lee we’re talking about. It’s all about priorities.
“Yes, I finished. Now, can I come in?” I ask, pulling off my shirt in anticipation.
“Read it to me.”
“Huh?” I ask, my shirt not completely removed from my head yet.
“I want you to read it to me.”
Of course she does. Why did I expect any less? I pull my shirt the rest of the way off on my walk back to get my computer. When I go to open the door, her voice halts me.
“I didn’t say come in. I said I wanted you to read it to me.”
“And may I come in when I’m done?”
“Only if it’s good,” she sings. She’s enjoying every bit of this torture. The lovable vixen.
And so I read it to her sitting on the floor outside the bathroom door. Even I have to admit it’s good. It’s, like, fucking fantastic. When I get to the part about us dancing up there together, the whole crowd making us feel like gods, she makes me read it again, and I smile knowing it meant as much to her as it did to me.
“You can come in now if you want,” she says, sounding a little shyer than I expected to hear. Gone is the bravado of the schoolteacher, replaced again by the girl who still doesn’t know the power she has over me. How does she not realize she’s had power over me since that first dare when she made me switch out Mrs. Peterson’s peanut butter sandwich with kitty litter?
My heart starts beating a little faster, knowing what’s waiting for me on the other side of this wall. My breath catches in my throat when I open the door and see her sitting there, staring up at me, and waiting.


Author Bio:
Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of one McDonalds and Banana Rats (don't ask), she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).
Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman (5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered "low brow" or outside the "classics."
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#Excerpt: TO TAME A WILD HEART by Gwen Mitchell


To Tame a Wild Heart
Gwen Mitchell
Publication date: June 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Audrey Taylor has carved a living out of society’s fringes using her supernatural abilities and street smarts. Freedom—sleeping beneath the open skies and under the radar—is all she’s ever needed. But when an ancient council of witches discovers her powers, Audrey must submit to their training or be stripped of her gifts and her memory.
Audrey knows better than to trust anyone, and she’s never worked well with others, so it’s just her luck to be assigned a withdrawn and irritable falconer as her mentor. Even more disturbing is her desire to tear through his brooding façade and bare the man beneath when she should be focused on escape.
Corvin Wright values the solace of his duties and only finds peace among the birds entrusted to his keeping. But the council no longer sees a use for his unique gifts, and his sanctuary is in danger unless he can earn his place by babysitting a fledgling witch. The task becomes daunting when his apprentice turns out to be wilder and more broken than any creature he’s ever cared for. Her fiery spirit and dangerous beauty challenge every ideal of the life he’s built. As Audrey wrestles with her captivity and the bonds of responsibility laid upon her, Corvin must find a way to tame her wild heart before she breaks his.

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Excerpt:

An hour later, the bait basket was empty, but Honey had caught a fifth wind and was happily chasing butterflies around the meadow while he and Audrey lounged in the thick grass.
“We should have packed a basket of treats for us,” Audrey said when her stomach rumbled loud enough to catch the eagle’s attention.
Corvin smiled to himself. He loved her enthusiasm for food, even if it stemmed from going hungry for too often. The extra weight she’d put on suited her—not just filling out her ample hips, but her face looked healthier and more youthful too. Though it was still easy to forget how young she actually was, since her eyes told a much older story.
“Would you like a peach?” He nodded at the far edge of the tree line, where a large peach tree sat like a squat decoration among the towering cedars.
“There’s no fruit on that tree,” came her logical reply.
He winked and strode past Honey—who barely paused in her chase—to stand at the foot of the giant tree. He held his palm under the lowest branch and pulsed magic into it. The branch shivered, and buds burst forth in a froth of fluffy pink. As his magic flowed into them, the flower petals rained around him, and two large pieces of fruit bulged, causing the branch to drop the heavy fruit right into his palms. He twisted them free and sauntered back to Audrey to hold out the largest and ripest one.
“If you had three, I could juggle for you.”
He settled next to her as she took an exaggerated bite and moaned in pleasure, closing her eyes.
“Oh, god.” She grinned as a bit of juice dribbled down her chin.
He took a bite himself to avoid leaning in to sip the sweetness right from her lips.
“Why is there a peach tree out here in the middle of the woods?”
“I planted it. I found this place when I was a boy. The plants led me here. I was eating a peach at the time—they’re my favorite. So, I decided to plant the pit. I used what little magic I had, and it took root that day. Whenever I wanted to run away, I would come here, and I always had food. Since then, I’ve woven my own magic into this place. The plants and animals know me. They let me pass, while they help keep others away.”
Audrey tilted her head, studying him with a teasing smile.
“I know what you’re thinking—even then I was antisocial.”
She set her half-eaten fruit aside and wiped her hands on her thighs. “I wasn’t going to say that. The first time I ran away, it was to a tree fort. Well, sort of. It was the hood of an old Chevy, an umbrella I found at the dump, and some fallen branches. I hadn’t thought ahead to pack any food though. If I’d had a magic peach tree, I might still be there.”

Author Bio:
Gwen lives a life of romance and adventure with her very own hero in Seattle. She's a nature lover, science geek, and kitchen witch, with a nose for well-aged tequila and a pin-up fashion obsession. When not hiking to hidden waterfalls, taking in a burlesque show, or otherwise cavorting through the Emerald City, Gwen can be found in her favorite cozy chair brewing tales of magic, murder, and romance.



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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#Review: TRAITOR IN HER ARMS by Shana Galen


 
  4 of 5 stars


"Traitor in her Arms" is more suspense and intrigue than a straight romance. Usually the romance takes center-stage while the setting is secondary. Not so in this book. Gabrielle McCullough has been left in debt by her deceased gambling husband and is forced to thievery to raise cash. Ramsey Barnes has a secret that he will do anything to keep, including stealing a priceless necklace. When these two cross paths trying to steal the same item, their long-ago passion for each other sparks again. When Gabrielle is recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel for a dangerous mission in Paris, Ramsey follows with the intent of unmasking the Pimpernel, his final task for his blackmailer.

What happens next to these two during the Reign of Terror is spine-tingling, edge of your seat action. No one is safe and because they could be sent to the guillotine at any moment, they allow their past feelings to surface once again. Their love-making is as intense as the times and so there is no slow build-up to romance. There were twists and turns in the book that will keep you turning the pages to the end. If you're looking for a romantic love story, this isn't it, but if you like to suspense and intrigue, you'll thoroughly enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Interview with John Herrick, BEAUTIFUL MESS


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Del Corwyn hasn’t had a hit film since his Academy Award nomination 40 years ago. He’s desperate to return to the spotlight but teeters on bankruptcy. Del is a forgotten legend—until, while combing through personal memorabilia, he discovers an original screenplay written by his once-close friend, Marilyn Monroe, who named Del as its legal guardian. The news goes viral. Suddenly, Del skyrockets to the A-list and has a chance to revive his career—if he’s willing to sacrifice his friend’s memory and reputation along the way.

Beautiful Mess is a humorous coming-of-age story about a 78-year-old man who lives in his own fictional world. The novel incorporates lesser-known facts about Marilyn Monroe and imagines the further impact she might have made on pop culture if her life hadn’t reached an abrupt end.

Check out the book trailer! You can find it at my website, www.johnherrick.net.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
I’ve had a minor issue evolve into a major one. My novel From the Dead centered around Jesse Barlow, a preacher’s son who left home to pursue a career in California. Things go south for Jesse, and after a suicide attempt, he returns home to make amends, conduct some serious self-reflection, and find a way to emerge from his father’s shadow. When I first identified the concept, the preacher’s son aspect was just a fact, the launching point for the novel. I didn’t plan to dig into the details of Jesse’s faith. But as I planned the book, I realized I couldn’t do his story justice without introducing a faith element to it, because it would have represented such a significant part of who he is. So From the Dead became mainstream fiction with a strong religious bent. That made marketing the book much more difficult because people will attack you from both sides, but many other readers recognize the intended balance.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
I would never be opposed to a major press. However, I love the benefits of the small indie route I’m on right now. I have the opportunity not only to write, but to stay involved in all aspects of the project, from creative to marketing to analytics. In a way, I get to be a creative director, but I’m surrounded by people who are much better at making particular aspects happen. You can’t beat experience like that. So if I ever sign with a New York house, I have a working knowledge of each team member’s role, which will help me collaborate and communicate. When your team fires on all cylinders and you collaborate well, the product ends up so much stronger. Many people underestimate the value of recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, and their end-product suffers for it.

How involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
One of the benefits of working with a smaller indie press is that your involvement is welcome. My professional background is a blend of creative, IT, analytics, project management, and marketing, so I tend to collaborate well. Although my involvement with the Beautiful Mess cover design was limited, I’ve found the artwork for all my past books myself. I think that’s because, as the writer, I know not only what the novel contains, but what it doesn’t contain—the “why” factors that motivate the characters but don’t get included in the manuscript. So I can sense when an image resonates with the story. But to date, I have written all the copy for my books—years ago, I wrote ad copy for radio, which helped prepare me for that. Nothing goes to waste.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
You know, I’ve never tried a critique group. I’m wary of getting input on a novel until the first draft is complete, because well-intended comments at the wrong time can dishearten a writer. You NEED criticism—you can’t improve as a writer without it—but you don’t need it too early. You can always make your draft better, so I focus on planning the story and getting the words on the page. Once the first draft is completed, I have a few people who read the drafts and are willing to give me honest feedback, even if it’s harsh.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I usually have a playlist going. For Beautiful Mess, I listened to several film scores, which was a first for me. Since it’s a romantic comedy, most of the scores were lighthearted and fun, such as The Intern, Finding Neverland, It’s Complicated, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I need a detailed plan. Most of my stories begin with a 50-100 page sketch, a miniature version of the novel. In fact, it’s so detailed, I lift some dialogue blocks from it verbatim! But it’s the only way I’ve found I can complete a project. I need a road map. That’s where my years working in the IT world helped—I developed discipline, troubleshooting skills, and project management experience. The key to my first novel was pretending the book was a 9-month software implementation project, and creating a project plan, including time estimates and milestones. Whatever works!

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the publishing arena?
Never give up! Ever. The best things in life, the most substantive achievements, take YEARS (not months) to come to fruition. So if you want to develop a high-quality reputation as a writer, determine to put in the years of effort. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Oh my word, I adore my little niece and nephews. Perhaps the greatest honor of my life is being Uncle John, and one of the greatest privileges is getting to treasure those kids. We have so much fun together, and it’s amazing to watch their personalities develop year by year.

What’s next for you?
I have another romantic comedy ready to go in late 2018. For the latest on my work, feel free to check out my website, www.johnherrick.net. You’ll find my Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads links there, too. Hearing from people is such a privilege. I read and try to reply to everything I receive.

Thanks so much for letting me stop by!

  
BLURB:

A fallen star. Four Los Angeles misfits.
And the Marilyn Monroe you only thought you knew.

Del Corwyn is an aging relic. An actor who advanced from errand boy to Academy Award nominee, Del kept company with the elite of Hollywood’s golden era and shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Today, however, he faces bankruptcy.

Humiliated, Del is forced to downgrade his lifestyle, sell the home he's long cherished, and fade into a history of forgotten legends—unless he can revive his career. All he needs is one last chance. While searching through memorabilia from his beloved past, Del rediscovers a mysterious envelope, dated 1962, containing an original screenplay by Marilyn Monroe—and proof that she named him its legal guardian.

Del surges to the top of Hollywood’s A-list overnight. But the opportunity to reclaim his fame and fortune brings a choice: Is Del willing to sacrifice newfound love, self-respect and his most cherished friendship to achieve his greatest dream?

A story of warmth, humor and honesty, Beautiful Mess follows one man's journey toward love and relevance where he least expects it—and proves coming-of-age isn't just for the young.



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Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Blast: THE DEVIL'S ASSISTANT series by H D Smith



Dark Hope (The Devil’s Assistant, Book 1)

After five years of working for the Devil, Claire Cooper believes she lives an otherwise normal life. Until she finds herself in jeopardy for a murder she did not commit. Desperate to save her life and soul, she enters Purgatory, but runs afoul of the Devil's sister, Pagan Queen Mab. Mab has her own agenda and uses Claire to get even with the Devil. Claire learns each ruler is in a race to discover “the girl” in the prophecy to fix time. As Claire peels away clues to the real killer, she realizes she must outwit the Devil’s children or end up a prisoner in Purgatory forever.

On Sale for only $.99 for a limited time! eBook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkHope Audio: http://bit.ly/DarkHopeAudio (Narrator: Lauren Fortgang)

Dark Awakened (The Devil's Assistant Book 2)

Last spring Claire’s seemingly normal—if not totally screwed up—life was tossed on its head. For five years she’d been one of the damned—a human that knows the truth about the otherworldly among us. She’d worked for The Boss—the Demon King himself—as his administrative assistant, handling everything from early retirements, to Maintenance’s incessant requests for dental.

No one gets dental.

Then she walked into Purgatory—totally not her fault—went back in time, and awakened powers she never knew existed. Now Claire has a prophecy hanging over her head, a diamond ring hidden in her sock drawer, and the blood of a long dead royal running through her veins.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Her vow to live free or die takes a serious hit when she’s forced back under The Boss’s protection. Of course, there’s no protection from fate, or the Bounty Hunter sent to deliver her to Purgatory. And as if being “the girl” in the prophecy wasn’t enough, Claire soon discovers there are three other contenders for her role—two of whom want her dead.

Follow more of Claire’s adventures in Dark Awakened, the second installment of the Devil’s Assistant Series, to find out if she’s lucky enough to escape with her life, or if she’s just the first notch on the next contender’s belt.

ebook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkAwakened

Dark Forsaken (The Devil's Assistant Book 3)

Last Spring, Claire was framed for the murder of Junior, the Devil’s oldest hellspawn. Last Summer, she reawakened the fourth realm, saved the world (after almost destroying it), and wound up with the worst job ever.

Now, Claire’s been locked out of her realm, given an assistant that doesn’t actually assist, and told to handle a small problem in Underworld that might just get her killed.

And to top it all off, Mab’s made one of the contenders her untouchable. So, yeah, you could say Claire’s having one of those days.

Follow more of Claire’s adventures in Dark Forsaken, book 3 of the Devil’s Assistant Series, to find out if Claire can defeat the latest contender, survive the quads, and replace the curator before Harry figures out she’s stolen his blood.

ebook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkForsaken

Dark Contender (The Devil's Assistant Book 4)

One final contender stands between Claire and claiming the Fallen Throne—but Faith isn’t giving up without a fight. Defeating Faith and taking her blood isn’t all Claire has to worry about. She must find the last few drops of her own original blood—before the big three usurp her realm and end any chance of her completing the prophecy.

Mace offers a strong shoulder, but as long as Claire aches for the missing Thanos, she can’t let herself lean on it.

Meanwhile, the Oracle has emerged from a 500-year hiatus to gleefully fling monkey wrenches into Claire’s timeline. Claire loses several hours to one of the hag’s schemes, resulting in Faith getting away with the Prince of Time. Which definitely isn’t part of the prophecy.

Putting the Time King back together again won’t be easy. Even if Claire manages to gather all the parts, nothing fits like it did before. The cracks expose the truth that will change everything…including who’ll be the last man standing by Claire’s side.

ebook: https://www.books2read.com/DarkContender

 

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Author Website: http://bit.ly/HDSmithAuthor Twitter: http://bit.ly/HDSmithTwitter Facebook: http://bit.ly/HDSmithFacebook Goodreads: http://bit.ly/HDSmithGoodreads Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/HDSmithAmazon

Author Bio:hdsmith

HD Smith is a software developer by day and an author of kick-ass Urban Fantasy at night. She grew up in South Carolina, but has called the Sunshine State home since 1997. She has a Masters degree in Computer Science, but her love of writing has really unleashed the creative siren in her soul. For more information, visit HD's website at http://www.hdsmithauthor.com/.

Interview with Michelle Jester, THE FUNERAL FLOWER


Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes, I did try the traditional route initially. I sent out query letters to agents and publishers.

How long before you got your offer of representation? Was it for your first novel?
I heard from several agents around the three week mark, which I felt was encouraging. I didn’t get overly excited though, mainly because I somewhat understood the process a bit and for one reason or another on both sides, neither really worked out. Either I was too unwavering or they were. So, I basically shelved the book after that until around the eleventh month when I received the first call from a publisher. It was one of my favorite publishers (!!) who had been forwarded one of my query letters from one of those agents (who is now a dear friend). After that, two other publishers contacted me.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book?
The main factor which pushed me to self-publish was because of the strong “opinions” from the agents/publishers. One said I shouldn’t include so much God content, while another said I shouldn’t include so much harsh subject matter. Having to exclude either of those elements really made my book no longer mine. “The best chance your book has,” my husband said one day, “is to be what it is.” So, on June 19, 2016, I started the journey to self-publish my first novel, The Funeral Flower. Its debut was a year and a day later on June 20, 2017.


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
One of my most important ‘processes’ is to wear rings that have something to do with the story. For The Funeral Flower I had two rings, one a cameo style with a carnation and the other one was just a frilly, white carnation. As far as music or silence, it differs from scene to scene and day to day.


Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes, four. It was an incredible team and I found each editor offered a ‘specialty’ or something they really excelled at.


Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The paperback is through Barnes and Noble, ebook through Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo. Several independent booksellers are also carrying it in their stores and on their sites; however I do not have the full list of those. Here are the short links:


What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
My advice is to write your own way. Remember that everyone has different writing styles like we all have different fashion styles. We may be influenced by designers or others who wear clothing we like, but we don’t mirror them fully. We each have our own place in this world. SO BE YOURSELF and let your work reflect that.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I try to fall in love with as many things in life as I can. My top passions though are photography, nature, reading and people. 

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer –  (I really am the worst at answering these kind of questions)
dogs or cats? Dogs
Chocolate or vanilla? Depends on what it is. Ice cream: vanilla. Candy: chocolate.
Coffee or Tea? LOVE THEM BOTH!
Talk or Text? Depends. Text is often preferable unless it’s an emergency, a serious topic or a confidential one. However, sometimes I just need to connect and talk.
Day or Night? LOVE THEM BOTH!

What’s next for you?
We just wrapped the first part of filming the book trailer for Love, Cutter and the novel will soon be off to editing!



The Funeral Flower
Michelle Jester
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Devastated by the death of her grandfather, six-year-old Kelly Rodgers barely manages to cope with the profound loss. Already facing issues at school, she finds herself spiraling deeper into despair, when a fateful interaction through the fence in her backyard gives her hope. In the years following, Kelly realizes that life’s tragedies can be dealt with through acceptance; until another series of agonizing events leaves her heart in pieces.
Finding herself thrown into new surroundings, Kelly embraces her life and resolves to never fall in love. That decision is easy to keep until her junior year when she is drawn by an unavoidable attraction to the new guy, tormented James Delaney. The moment he looks up at her and smiles, her body betrays her. And he notices. She is determined to avoid him, but soon Kelly is forced to face the inevitable truth: She doesn’t want to avoid James… and he won’t let her.
Even though tragedy always follows love.
This book is intended for mature audiences due to critical subject matter. Note: Due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+




Author Bio:
I am a hopeless romantic (I think this is the most important thing to know about me). In addition, I live in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with my husband and high school sweetheart. Together we have a son and daughter.
Throughout my life writing and photography have been my main creative outlets. Especially when I am stressed, I know I can go to either of those things and pour out that anxiety into something good and productive.

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