Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Lucie Ulrich!

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Okay, this looks like a seriously fun read! Hmm, wealthy intellectual or sweet, hunky officer? Wow! What’s a girl to do? 😉


Sarah Alexander’s marriage to millionaire Logan Montgomery is put on hold when Logan is offered the opportunity to go on an extended archeological dig in Egypt. Though not happy with his decision, Sarah supports her fiancé, despite the fact she’s already given up her apartment and teaching position.

When Sarah’s best friend, Pippa, suggests Sarah move to Sunset Cove, she figures a new town, new job, and new friends are just what she needs to help her through the separation. If she’d known one of those friends would turn out to be kind-hearted, good-looking, well-built, Officer Kevin Jenkins, she might have figured a little harder.

Though Sarah goes out of her way to keep her relationship with Kevin on a friends-only basis, it’s clear their feelings for one another are teetering toward something more. Now Sarah must make the most important decision of her life. Will she choose the man who can shower her with diamonds or the one who isn’t able to offer much more than free donuts?

Excerpt

Sarah changed into her pajamas, pulled out the sofa bed, and crawled under the sheets. Sleep, however, didn’t come easily. She wanted to talk to Logan—needed to talk to him, but it wasn’t possible.

When sleep finally came, it was accompanied by dreams of missed phone calls, arguments, and misunderstandings. There might even have been a fight between Logan and Kevin, but it was all too blurry to remember. She awoke with a headache and heartache.

Pippa’s bedroom door opened and she appeared makeup applied, dressed and ready for church. She stopped short at the side of the couch. “Yikes! Who did you wrestle with last night?”

“Crazy dreams.” Sarah pushed herself to a seated position and ran a hand through the tangles in her hair.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Pippa placed a hand on Sarah’s arm. “What’s going on?”

Tears clouded Sarah’s vision. “Guess I’m having a harder time dealing with Logan’s absence than I thought I would.” She blew out a breath. “I should be planning my wedding, not moving into a new apartment. Alone.”

“It’s barely been a month since he broke the news. Your reaction is normal. I’m sure it’ll get better with time.”

“He got mad at me yesterday.”

“Who? Logan?”

His harsh tone replayed in Sarah’s head. She nodded. “He was upset that I didn’t have dinner with his folks, and we parted on less than loving terms.”

“Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. You seemed to be having such a good time with Kevin that I never suspected anything.”

Her headache intensified. “Yeah, that’s another thing. I’m starting to feel guilty about spending time with Kevin. He’s a great guy and I like him a lot, but I’m afraid I might be giving him the wrong idea.”

Pippa’s eyes widened. “Like how? I know better than to think you’ve been flirting with him.”

“No, nothing like that.” Sarah thought back to last night and the other times they’d been together. Had she been flirting? Had he? “It’s just that I really like him. We’re so comfortable together, I forget he’s a gorgeous, well-built guy and I’m an engaged woman.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

BN

KOBO

Smashwords

LucieLucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to her–until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else’s was so strong, that once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.

Lucie’s first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for “Broken Vessels,” her first published work.

No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucieUlrich

Website: http://lucieulrich.com/

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Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Wendy May Andrews!

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Since joining up with Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press), I’ve discovered a new love for regency romance. I’m excited to read Wendy May Andrews’ newest release, The Duke Conspiracy! And honestly, who can resist that gorgeous cover?


Miss Rosamund Smythe, the only daughter of a baron diplomat, is finding the Season to be a dead bore.  After her stint at spying while in Vienna with her father, she wants a higher purpose in life than “just” being a wife.

His Grace, Alexander Milton, the Duke of Wrentham, wants a quiet life with a “proper” lady as his wife after the tumultuous childhood he had.  His parents had fought viciously, lied often, and Alex secretly wonders if he was even his father’s son.

Rose and Alex grew up on neighboring estates and have been best friends since she was four years old but a family feud has torn their friendship apart.

At a Society event Rose overhears a plot to entrap Alex into a marriage of convenience.  Her loyalty to their old friendship as well as her knowledge of the conspirator, Sir Jason Broderick, causes Rose to overcome her aversion to Wrentham in order to warn him of his danger.  Alex’s complicated childhood has caused him to despise all forms of deception so Rose avoids telling him how she knows so much about Sir Broderick.

When Rose is abducted by Sir Broderick to prevent her interference, Alex must deal with his own conflicted feelings to help her rescue herself. Can they claim their happily ever after despite the turmoil?

Excerpt

Alex gazed at his old friend in admiration. If anyone had ever told him he would be standing in Burlington House surrounded by Elgin’s Marbles debating with Miss Rosamund Smythe about who might be conspiring to entrap him into marriage, he would never have believed such a claim. But here they were. And she looked mighty fetching as she gazed up at him expectantly. He had to make an effort to remember what she had said. Oh yes, something about ideas to investigate. He wondered absently what she could possibly know about investigations and clues and all that. But she was right. They needed to have a direction. The only trouble was he was drawing a blank about any possible ideas.

All he could do was shrug helplessly. “I am so sorry, Rose, but I have absolutely no idea where to start. To the best of my knowledge I have never had any dealings with Broderick. I developed an instant dislike of the man upon first making his acquaintance, but I cannot even tell you why, as we have barely conversed.”

The duke was clearly flabbergasted over this development and was even slightly ashamed to not have a ready solution. Rose must have realized this. She hastened to reassure him. “Never mind about that. We both agreed earlier that the best place for us to start is with Lady Anne. That will have to be my job, as you will just be walking straight into their plot if you try to do anything about it. Now, I really must be going, so we must hurry and establish another appointment to meet up to discuss any of our findings. In the meantime, you should speak to your solicitors or man of affairs or whatever you might have along those lines and see if they are aware of any issues Broderick might have with you. Those gentlemen might know more on the subject than you.”

“How did you get so smart about such things?”

Alex was intrigued by the blush that spread over her face at this unanswerable question. The only thing she could offer was “My father is a diplomat,” with as much dignity as possible.

Alex allowed the moment to pass and was rewarded by the look of relief on her face. He hurried to make an appointment as they saw her maid approaching. “Would it be remarked upon if you come here again tomorrow or the next day?”

“Probably not,” Rose answered. “My mother never rises before noon and is really only concerned with how I spend my evenings. But you had best give me at least one day to try to make the acquaintance of Lady Anne, so let us say the day after tomorrow. That gives me a day and a half to gather as much information as possible. I shall start with my friend Lady Elizabeth. She is a font of knowledge about the ton, as well as being friendly with Lady Anne.” While she was speaking she fumbled with her drawing supplies, finally tucking them under her arm. “Wish me luck,” she concluded as she once more faced the duke.

The duke watched a myriad of emotions chase themselves across his companion’s face. He was unable to identify most of them, but he thought she looked rather wistful as she offered him a brief curtsy before she hurried away without another word.

Alex stood in the same spot for several moments, watching her retreating figure, wondering if she would look back before exiting the building. He was unprepared for the profound disappointment that swept over him as she strode away with purpose, never once glancing back in his direction. Slowly bringing his focus back to the statue she had been sketching, the duke allowed the entire interlude to play itself out in his mind. Giving his head a shake to rid himself of the melancholy that had befallen him, he followed in her footsteps and strode from the hall.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/18YsbHK

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-duke-conspiracy-wendy-may-andrews/1121452824?ean=2940151488785

About the Author:

IMG_20150112_122101Wendy May Andrews has been reading whatever she could get her hands on since the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. Wendy lives in Toronto with her own real-life hero. When not writing or reading, they love to travel wherever the mood takes them.

Website:

http://www.wendymayandrews.com

Social Media:

www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Twitter:  @WendyMayAndrews

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Clay Cormany!

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I’ve been a baseball/softball fan since I was 5 and thought that the New York Mets named their stadium after me. 😉 I love a good sports story and am looking forward to Fast-Pitch Love by Clay Cormany. Enjoy!


What does a high school boy do if he thinks the girl of his dreams will be an assistant for the softball team his mother coaches? Easy! He volunteers to be an assistant, too. That’s what Jace Waldron does in Fast-Pitch Love (CleanReads.com, formerly Astraea Press). It might be his only chance to make a move on Stephanie Thornapple. But Jace’s plans go awry and soon he faces the double challenge of coaching a team of mischievous preteen girls and learning there is more to romance than physical attraction.

Excerpt

Jace and Sylvia hit pop-ups, liners, bouncers, and grounders over and over again to the Valkyries while Martha watched and evaluated each player. Most of the girls showed improvement. The one exception was Lauren, who lacked the speed and agility to catch anything not hit straight to her. At one point she slammed her glove on the ground.

“It’s hopeless!” she yelled, almost in tears. “I’m a worthless klutz! I’m quitting the team.” She began to stomp toward the bench.

“Come on, Lauren!” Martha shouted. “Don’t quit! We need you!”

“Why — for a mascot?” Lauren shot back.

“No, we need you to play,” Martha continued. “You could be a great hitter. We all saw that last week. You just need more practice in the field.”

“Jace, why don’t you grab your glove and go out there with Lauren?” Sylvia suggested.

Jace, who had just finished a round of hitting balls, gave her a puzzled look. “What good will that do?”

“Just stand next to her and encourage her.”

He looked toward his mother, pacing along the first-base foul line. She nodded.

Jace ran behind the backstop where his mitt rested on the ground. After putting it on, he had the strange feeling that something soft and gooey was on his fingers. What could it be and how did it get there? No time to think about it.

He trotted out next to Lauren as Sylvia prepared to hit the next ball. It went toward Angela in right field, but Jace didn’t see her catch it, because his eyes were riveted on his glove. Something was happening inside of it, something bad. The gooey feeling was still there, but now there was also a feeling of heat that grew more intense by the second. The next ball off Sylvia’s bat went toward center field, but Jace didn’t see that one caught either. He was too busy tearing at his glove, flinging it away, and clawing at his hand, which felt as if it were on fire. He stumbled to his knees.

“Arrrrrgh,” he bellowed, as he rubbed his hand back and forth on the grass, trying to remove the slimy substance.

“What’s the matter, Jace?” Martha cried out. “Why are you –?”

“Success!” shouted Heather.

“Sweet revenge!” added Dana.

“What do you mean?” said Sylvia, as the two girls jumped up and down with glee. “What did you do to him?”

“Nothing much,” said Heather with a grin. “Just put some capsaicin cream in his glove when he wasn’t looking.”

“Why?” asked Martha, who seemed more curious than upset.

“For nearly killing us with that ball he hit last week. That’s what for,” answered Dana.

“Yeah, we figured we’d teach him a lesson,” said Heather.

“But that was an accident, girls,” said Martha. “What you did was deliberate.”

“He won’t die,” said Heather, pointing at Jace, who continued to rub his hand on the grass. A small circle of girls assembled around him, faces glowing with smirks and hands restraining laughter. Even Lauren seemed to enjoy the spectacle.

Buy Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fast-pitch-love-clay-cormany/1120679928?ean=29401503840

http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Pitch-Love-Clay-Cormany-ebook/dp/B00P744M7Q

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/490419

DSC03503Before writing Fast-Pitch Love, Clay Cormany spent over 20 years as a writer and editor for Ohio’s State Board of Education. His creative work has appeared in numerous central Ohio publications, including the Columbus Dispatch and Spring Street, Columbus State Community College’s literary magazine. He has also edited numerous books, including a three-volume biography of Christopher Columbus and A Death Prolonged by Dr. Jeff Gordon, which received coverage in the New York Times and on PBS. Fast-Pitch Love reflects the two years Cormany spent interacting with softball players and coaches both in practice and competition. He plans to contribute half of the earnings from sale of the book to girls softball programs in central Ohio and elsewhere.

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Elaine Cantrell!

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Hubby and I once toured the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. I’ve been fascinated by the idea that a haunted hotel could inspire an author to write a book. Rest Thy Head looks like a great read for the same reason. Enjoy this excerpt from Elaine Cantrell’s recent release! 😀


Running away from a fiancé who betrayed her, Peyton O’Malley finds employment at a beautiful mountain inn called Rest Thy Head. She didn’t expect to live in the haunted room or to fall for the inn’s owner, a fire-scarred, war veteran who uses the inn to hide away from the world. She didn’t expect her sister to show up at Rest Thy Head either, much less her formidable mother.

Now, thanks to the aid of a friendly ghost, Peyton has a shot at true love, and so does her sister Ashley, provided the guys cooperate of course!

Excerpt

Jake rummaged around for a pot to boil some water and caught her staring at him again. Oh, wait, she must be staring at his face. He’d forgotten to sit so that the worst of it was turned away from her. He carried the water over to the fire and caught her staring again. This time he stared back at her. The expression on her face absolutely took his breath away. Her beautiful blue eyes had gone all misty, and her face looked soft, rosy, and dreamy. And oh, those moist looking, tempting lips.

“Jake.”

“What?” He held his breath in anticipation of her answer.

Her eyes dropped. “I…I …nothing. Well…”

“What is it?”

“I love you,” Peyton blurted out.

She surprised him so much that he jumped and hit the pot of water with his knee. The fire made a hissing sound as the water hit it, but there hadn’t been enough water in the pot to put it out. At that moment Jake would have given ten years off his life to look the way he used to. She loved him.

Peyton’s face had gone scarlet. “Say something,” she demanded. “Didn’t you hear what I said?”

He bit the inside of his lip until he tasted blood. This was something he’d never expected to hear, but he had to keep her welfare in mind, not his own. It didn’t matter that his heart felt warm, full of love and desperate all at the same time. “Yes, I heard you, and I thank you for saying so, but what you’re feeling is gratitude, not love.”

Peyton fell on her knees at his feet and grabbed his hand. “No! You’re wrong. I love you. Don’t you love me back?”

Jake would rather have lied to her, but the joyful look on her face compelled him to tell the truth. “Yes, I love you, and I have from the first time I saw you. You’re everything I ever dreamed of, and you’re so beautiful it almost breaks my heart.”

Peyton jumped up and threw herself into his arms. “Oh, Jake, this is like a dream come true! I love you so much!”

She rained kisses on his face anywhere she could reach, and for one brief moment he held her close, then he gently put her away from him. “It wouldn’t work, Peyton.”

“Oh, but it would! Why do you say a thing like that? We’re in love!”

Buy links:

http://amzn.to/1MpQBsM

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/rest-thy-head?store=allproducts&keyword=rest+thy+head

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/rest-thy-head

elainespictureAuthor Info

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University.  She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and Romance Writers of America.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest.  When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.

Links:

http://www.elainecantrell.com

http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/elainepcantrell

http://www.goodreads.com/elainecantrell

http://www.amazon.com/Elaine-Cantrell/e/B001K7V90M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1411604384&sr=1-2

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Rachel Jones!

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Whew! I’ve been crazy busy this past week! Family and weddings – enough said! 😉 But I’m excited to have for you an excerpt of Rachel Jones’ book To Dance One More Day. These are the kind of stories I can melt into! 😀


From her early teens, ballet has been an integral part of Jillian Russell’s life. One by one, she loses her parents, grandparent, husband and child. If being alone in the world wasn’t bad enough, a medical diagnosis takes away her chance to become a prima ballerina.

Knowing a part of her will die if she walks away from ballet, she changes her focus and builds a ballet company and opens a dance school. This endeavor takes all her resources and leaves no time to build new relationships outside her world of dance. Jillian rationalizes if she doesn’t build relationships, she can’t be deserted. And she’s not sure she would survive another loss.

Handsome trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong has relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina for a fresh start. Until a few years ago, he had always envisioned his future to include a wife and children. But after his father died in a plane crash from lack of medical attention, his focus for the future has shifted to equip himself professionally to set up a rural clinic. A supporter of the arts, Alan finds himself on the board of the North Carolina Ballet Company. He has always had a penchant for fixing things. Realizing Jillian’s professional life could use some help, it is not long before he realizes he is drawn to her romantically as well.

They fall in love, but when Alan discovers Jillian has been misdiagnosed, he tells her she must decide between their love or a performance career in ballet.

Excerpt

Alan tuned out Jillian’s lighthearted chatter as he focused on the grand piano on the stage. Reagan was here in Charlotte! And he would see her backstage after the concert. He had had such high hopes for the night when he had heard Jillian’s news. But now to have his past collide with his future was almost comical. The house lights dimmed and a hush fell over the audience.

Reagan walked onto the stage amid the applause of the excited audience. She bowed  at her waist, a graceful bow, before taking her seat at the piano. Alan felt his breath catch in his throat. She was stunning in a muted turquoise lace mermaid gown. The neckline was sheer with beautiful beading. The skirt flowed to the ground. As usual her long, dark brown hair was swept in an updo.

She opened with Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in C minor. It was executed with a flawless precision, no surprise to Alan. He watched as her body moved in a familiar rhythm to the sounds she produced, movement that he remembered as clear as if he had watched her play yesterday. Her fingers flew over the keys and twenty minutes after she began, she ended the piece with a stellar finish. Reagan stood, bowed and left the stage. The house lights remained dimmed.

Jillian gave a light touch to Alan’s arm. “She’s magnificent. I can’t wait to meet her. I’ll have to get Barb a nice thank you gift for the tickets.”

Alan nodded. If the lights had been up Jillian would have seen his trans-like state as he replied, “She’s just as I remember her.”

Reagan returned and resumed the first portion of the program. Schubert’s Impromptu in G flat major was followed by Rachmanioff’s Prelude Op. 23 No. 5. As Reagan bowed, Alan glanced at the program. She’s ending the first half with Chopin. The polonaise was short, but had a powerful ending. Reagan exited the stage amid a thunder of applause as the house lights came up. People began leaving their seats to move about during the intermission. Alan and Jillian walked through the noisy lobby without attempting to talk. He took a place in line for two glasses of wine while Jillian went in search of the ladies room. How was he going to handle seeing Reagan after all these years, after all the pain he had endured? He didn’t know any way to convince Jillian to skip the backstage meeting. Should he tell her about knowing Reagan, about loving Reagan?

Buy links for To Dance One More Day:

http://www.amazon.com/Dance-One-More-Day-ebook/dp/B00L2EASUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404154763&sr=1-1&keywords=to+dance+one+more+day

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-dance-one-more-day-rachel-jones/1119742718?ean=2940149747580

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449309

http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=to+dance+one+more+day

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-dance-one-more-day/id890645465?mt=11

IMG_0625_(1)In 1977 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and taught music for ten years. After the birth of her second child, she returned to school and in 1991 earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing and passed the state boards for registered nurses. She has been a labor & delivery and antepartum nurse since that time.

Anticipating her retirement from healthcare, Rachel decided to write her first novel at age fifty-seven. For years she had experienced scenes of heroes and heroines rambling about in her thoughts and spilling into her dreams. So it was a no-brainer that she should attempt to capture these thoughts on paper.

Rachel resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of thirty-seven years. She has three adult children, who help spoil their Labrador retriever. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Southeastern Writers Association and is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America.

I can be found at:

https://www.racheljonesauthor.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RachelJonesAuthor?ref=hl

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8336834.Rachel_Jones

https://twitter.com/rellenj1

http://www.pinterest.com/rjoneswriter/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJc_RH2wOYRFyUsVUyfaRtA

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – J.J. Nite!

Bruises Cover

I couldn’t ask for a more appropriate book and author for this week! In the hype of the horribly categorized 50 Shades movie coming out on Valentine’s day, I’m stoked to be able to present Bruises of the Heart on my blog just in time! Enjoy!


When Victoria’s long-time boyfriend breaks up with her she’s convinced that she will never be happy again. But after meeting the new student, Will Prescott, things start to look up. Victoria is happy again and even when a little voice tries to tell her that something isn’t quite right with her new relationship, she holds on even tighter. Before long even Victoria can’t deny that she needs to end her new relationship, but can she get out before something happens to change her forever? Or will she be lost?

Excerpt:

“You need to stop right where you are,” said Noah, stepping around me. “It’s obvious that she’s scared of you right now and I would love to know why. Then maybe I’d have an actual reason to beat the crap out of you.”

“Noah, stop. It’s okay.”

“No it isn’t,” he said, never taking his eyes from Will. “I’ve seen you change since you started seeing him, and not in a good way. I’ve already told you how I feel about the past, but this right now doesn’t feel right. You can’t honestly tell me that you feel safe.”

I just looked over Noah’s shoulder since he still hadn’t turned around to look at me. He was staring at Will.

For his part, Will had stopped when Noah had told him to. Now he was looking even angrier, though I couldn’t understand why. Then he took a few steps forward and my heart seized.

Noah mirrored his steps. I threw my arms around him to keep him from going any farther, while looking over his shoulder to gauge Will’s reaction. Noah put his hands on mine and took two steps back. I expected him to pry my hands away, which he could have done easily, but he didn’t.

“What, you’re going to let a girl stop you?” Will taunted. “Are you afraid to actually see whether or not you could beat me up?”

I felt Noah tense and I squeezed him in response. He instantly relaxed again and squeezed my hands to reassure me.

I heard a door slam and then footsteps quickly approaching. I tentatively looked over my shoulder to see my mom running to where the three of us were standing. “Hey, what’s going on here? What are you two boys arguing about?” She shot me a look full of concern and confusion.

I let go of Noah, confident he wouldn’t do anything more with her here, but he continued to hold one of my hands. I was confused, but still too worried to think about it right then.

“There’s no problem here, Mrs. Williams. I was just asking a few questions,” Noah answered.

Through clenched teeth, Will said, “Yeah, we were just discussing something is all.”

“Should I conclude that ‘something’ was my daughter?”

Noah and Will only stared at each other, and the look I was receiving from Will should have ignited me on the spot. I felt guilty standing with Noah, but right then I didn’t really care. I felt safe, and I knew I wouldn’t feel that way if I were standing next to Will.

“I’ll take it from your silence that you were. I think that both of you boys need to get back in your vehicles and go home. Victoria, go get in the truck. And Noah, I’ll follow you back to Centerville,” she said.

“Victoria, I’ll be calling you later. We need to talk,” Will said before he slammed his car door and, with wheels screaming, whipped into a U-turn and headed back to his house.

“Does he drive like that when you’re in his car?” she asked in full mom mode.

I shook my head, unable to find my voice. Will’s parting promise had sounded more ominous to me than it probably had to anyone else. Noah put his arm around my shoulders and walked me to the truck.

“I hate to tell you this right now, but I think that we should talk, too. Call me when you’re ready to do that,” he said, and then he closed my door.


Buy Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bruises-of-the-heart-j-j-nite/1119712379

http://www.amazon.com/Bruises-Heart-J-J-Nite-ebook/dp/B00EV8LCUE

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/bruises-of-the-heart

Author Photo2J. Nite lives in North Alabama with her husband, 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 5 goldfish. She writes young adult sweet romance for Astraea Press and loves reading as much as possible. J.J.’s also found that if she doesn’t write something every day, her mood is that of a bear waking from hibernation. Don’t worry though, the children have learned to let Mommy write a little before approaching.

Social Media:

Twitter: @jjnite

Instagram: @jjniteauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jjnite1

The Stone of Kings · Writing

Meet the Characters of The Stone of Kings – The Reppenhaggans/Christian & Ana

Better shade of greyIn light of the 50 Shades of Grey movie coming out this Saturday, which in my opinion would be better suited for Halloween than Valentine’s (if they had to make it at all), I thought it would be fitting to introduce two of the minor characters from The Stone of Kings. Minor though they are, the Reppenhaggans reflect a major theme of anti-bullying which flows through the book.

And, if you’ll indulge me, they represent a more realistic view of Christian and Ana. And I would sincerely hope that Ana would eventually find courage as Mrs. Reppenhaggan does. As a disclaimer, I’ve never read FSOG and have no desire to. I’ve read enough summaries and excerpts to know that this is too much like some of the abusive relationships I’ve seen within even my own family. I really don’t find it at all sexy or remotely appealing.

What They Look Like

Mr. Reppenhaggan is a strong, burly man who usually leers or sneers. His beautiful wife usually stares at her hands and makes sure that her shirt-sleeves are pulled to her wrists.

Their Part to Play

They make Ardan and Thomas realize how much Hannah means to them. Her beauty has drawn Mr. Reppenhaggan’s interest and he couldn’t care less about the beautiful wife he already has.

Thomas and Ardan are compelled to protect Hannah from Mr. Reppenhaggan. THAT is love and romance.

I’ll say it again: protecting someone from a threat IS true love and romance.

What They Mean to the Story

Whether it’s the people of a country who must stand against tyranny and oppression, or a solitary abused wife who must find the courage to change her situation, victims must find a way an intelligent way to become empowered. Thomas and Ardan help Mrs. Reppenhaggan to realize that her husband’s behavior is unacceptable. She sees that he can be defeated and she is ready to make her own stand.

Their Failings

Mr. Reppenhaggan/Christian is a bully. That’s his failing. Period.

Until she meets Thomas and Ardan, Mrs. Reppenhaggan doesn’t feel as if she can get out of her situation.

Their Strengths

For all his muscle (FSOG: wealth) and attitude (FSOG: hot looks), Mr. Reppenhaggan (Christian) doesn’t have any strength. Unless you count being an example of how NOT to behave to be a strength, then…well, there’s that.

Mrs. Reppenhaggan has the strength to finally see a situation for what it really is. She uses the knowledge to dig deep and stand up for herself. EMPOWERED!

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you been involved in an abusive relationship? If you got out, how did you become empowered? Did you need help? Have you read FSOG and been involved in an abusive relationship? Do you see the book for what it really is? Do you help victims get out of abusive situations? Please share success stories! 

This week’s Wednesday Welcomes dovetails with today’s post. This is totally cool, because I didn’t even plan it! 😉 You’ll get a peek at J.J. Nite’s YA Romance, Bruises of the Heart!

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Ariella Moon!

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Teen Wytche fans get ready! Ariella Moon’s latest, Spell for Sophia looks awesome! Enjoy the preview 😀


Spell For Sophia by Ariella Moon (The Teen Wytche Saga #4)

Paranormal Young Adult Romance

Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.

Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou.

Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving.

Excerpt

Two-and-a-half years ago

I’d thought escaping would uncoil the fear and worry squeezing my heart. I figured I’d stop looking over my shoulder once I crossed the California state line, or Arizona’s, or New Mexico’s, or the border between Texas and Louisiana. But I hadn’t. Terror and hunger dogged me. I reeked of desperation. My head throbbed from all the bad decisions I had made since I’d found my bio-parents.

I could still pull out of this; save Christmas. Call Ainslie, the voice inside my head urged. I bet he’ll loan you his phone. My gaze zeroed in on the leader of a ragtag group playing basketball on the schoolyard. His short black curls had been coaxed away from his face, revealing warm nutmeg-colored skin and kind, dark eyes. Fifteen years old? I wondered.

He handed the basketball to a young white girl, then glanced my way. His head-to-toe sweep took in my gaunt face, long inky hair, grungy jacket and jeans, scuffed ankle boots, and the school backpack at my feet. He glanced protectively at the little kids who shouted at the girl to pass the ball. Then his gaze migrated back to me. His mouth twisted to one side. I could hear the word tolling inside his head. Trouble.

I hunkered against the side of the school building and tugged my gray knit cap low over my forehead.

“Who’s she?” A little kid with Christmas bows stuck on her wooly ponytails wrapped herself around the teen’s leg. Her fearful stare gutted me. I’m pretty sure I had worn the same expression the first time I’d entered foster care.

Kick it. I pushed away from the wall. My vision blurred. My hollow stomach whirled and the schoolyard spun like a carousel ride. I braced myself against the cool bricks until the dizziness passed. Pull it together. It will be dark soon. I needed to find a restaurant or fast food joint — any place open on Christmas where I could dumpster dive for food scraps.

I lowered my eyelids and tried to picture the route I had walked from the train station. I hadn’t planned on wandering through a lush Louisiana neighborhood. The children’s shouts and laughter had lured me to the brick school and its asphalt playground. School had been my favorite place, before…

My thoughts torpedoed back to the barren southern California desert. Some developer had gone bust, and all that remained of his planned subdivision was a paved road dead-ending in sand. “Hide in plain sight,” Mamá had said as Papá parked their pink-and-white vintage camper. The vehicle stood out among the sagebrush and creosote like a slash of bubblegum paint.

Hide what? I had wondered. I soon had my answer: a methamphetamine lab.

I rubbed my arms, creating an X over my chest. Embarrassment heated my cheeks. How stupid and naïve I had been. My parents hadn’t gone legit. They were trying to evade the local cops and the Drug Enforcement Agency. They had planned to flee northern California without phoning my caseworker or me. If I had waited just one more day to contact them…

“See, the cops would be looking for a couple, not a family,” I later overheard Papá boast to his boss.

“Weren’t you worried they’d issue an Amber Alert?” one of the boss’s henchmen asked, casting a sideways look at me.

“For a foster teen?” Papá scoffed. “They run away all the time.”

Spell For Sophia Book Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqDjod1KtpM

 

Buy Links for the Teen Wytche Saga

http://www.amazon.com/Ariella-Moon

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Ariella-Moon

http://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/8187

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=Ariella+Moon

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ariella-moon/id507847259?mt=11

 

Ariella Moon author photoAuthor Bio

Ariella Moon is a shaman and the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet Young Adult paranormal romances. She writes about magic, friendship, time travel, high school, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, Spell Fire, and Spell For Sophia from Astraea Press.

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

 

Connect with Ariella Moon

http://www.ariellamoon.com

http://www.ariellamoon.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author

http://www.goodreads.com/AuthorAriellaMoon

http://www.pinterest.com/ariellamoon/

The Stone of Kings · Writing

Loving and Learning from Reviews

Daddy motor scooterI haven’t finished introducing the rest of the Characters from The Stone of Kings. But I have an awesome reason for interrupting myself.

This month’s issue of InD’tale magazine has published their review of TSOK. And guess what? It got 4 out of 5 stars! 😀 Let the happy dance commence!

But I’m not stopping there. As happy as I am with that score, I’m even happier with what the review can teach me. This is my second review from a professional reviewer. As much as they liked the story, they both had trouble with the romantic aspect of the story and the scene changes for each chapter.

I thought that the common appreciation for Turlough O’Carolan and how he strove to unify Ireland would be enough to illustrate why Hannah and Thomas are drawn to each other. Not to mention that they save each other’s lives on several occasions. Maybe the romantic attraction simply needed to be more subtle.

This is why I LOVE these kind of reviews.

Honestly, I had much more fun writing the adventure parts than the romantic parts. I felt like I had to force the romance out whereas the adventure came naturally.

As for the scene changes, I wasn’t really expecting much of a problem with them, but *shrugs* I don’t plan to use the same structure with my future works. But at least I know that if I want to, I either have to change it up or not bother with it again. 🙂

I know I’m on the right track with my writing. But everyone needs a little help and guidance. 4/5 stars is excellent according to InD’tale standards. I know that I can reach the 5 star exceptional rating if I take what I’ve learned and apply it. That’s why I love that the reviewers, while they show what they love about my work, they also show where it’s weak. If they don’t, how am I supposed to know where I need to improve?

There are always going to be places where I can improve.

It’s nice to have experienced people who can be the motor for my scooter to help me out along the way till I get the hang of this writing thing. 😉

I’d love to hear from you!

Do you welcome helpful criticisms? Do the wheels start turning in your head, thinking of how to improve for the next time?

Join me for this week’s Wednesday Welcomes where we’ll take a peek at Ariella Moon’s latest installment of The Teen Wytche Saga!

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Coleen Lahr!

Accepted_1400x2100Yay! Back to my regular schedule! I’m so happy to have Coleen Lahr for my first Wednesday Welcomes! 😀 Here’s her latest release: Accepted. Enjoy!


Ashley Smith spent her life being shipped from one family member to the next.  When Ashley’s estranged father dies, she finally has the money to go to college and the chance to find a place where she belongs.

Within days, Ashley has found the one thing she’s always longed for – a family.  She may have even found love.  There’s only one problem.  Ashley likes Colin…a lot, but so does Randi, and everyone likes Randi.  Randi’s approval is the single easiest way to belong.  Falling in love with Randi’s crush is the single easiest way to find one’s self on the outside for the next three years.

When Ashley arrived at college, she never dreamed she’d find this kind of happiness.  Will she allow herself to hold on to this happiness, and Colin, or will her fear of losing her friends, the only friends she’s ever known, dictate her actions?

Excerpt:

As I sat next to Colin in Organic Chemistry, I wondered if having classes together was actually a good thing.

Unlike my first professor, the Organic Chemistry professor comprehensively explained the syllabus, including course requirements, objectives, policies and assignments. All things I was sure were going to be important in the grand scheme of the course.

And I didn’t hear a word she said.

Once again, I was completely distracted by the man sitting next to me.

We were in another massive classroom dominated by stadium seating. We would, over the course of the semester, split our time between this room and the chemistry lab. There were no spaces between the seats, just a thin metal arm rest jutting out from the spot where the seat backs met each other.

Every time Colin moved — to grab his notebook, to turn off his cell phone, to turn the pages of the syllabus we were reviewing — his body brushed some part of mine. By the time we were on the third page of the syllabus, he had brushed me three times with his arm and once with his leg.

And I was frozen.

Every time he touched me, albeit accidentally, my stomach dropped, and my cheeks flamed. My entire face was on fire within the first twenty minutes of class, and I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the boy to my left. I was afraid to move even a quarter of an inch for fear that I would inadvertently shift myself too far away for his unintentional brushes.

To make matters worse, my mind, which never wanders in class, began to drift away and I, the girl who rarely loses focus on a task, drifted with it.

As I sat frozen in my seat, waiting for the next time Colin brushed against me, I wondered what it would be like if his brushes weren’t accidental — if he was touching me on purpose…leaning his leg against mine casually as he relaxed in his seat, running his fingers down my arms, holding my hand in his, entwining our fingers together…

And as I imagined this, I felt myself smiling, my fantasy becoming so detailed that I could actually feel his warm hand, his long fingers, wrapping around my wrist. I could hear him saying my name again and again, the concern in his voice growing each time he repeated it…

Wait…what?

“Ashley?  Ashley?”

Oh no. I looked over at him. His face was filled with concern. I cringed.

“Sorry.” I smiled sheepishly. “I’m just…” I closed my eyes and rubbed my face, which was on fire, in my hands. “…You know, taking it all in. E-everything’s a little o-overwhelming,” I stuttered. I hoped that being overwhelmed was a good excuse for acting like a lunatic.

He smiled. “Don’t worry, Ash. I’ll help you.” And as he stood, he put his hand under my elbow to help me up.

Thank goodness next class is in the lab.


You can find Accepted at these retailers:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/13CDeEB

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/accepted-coleen-lahr/1120679923?ean=2940150383920

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/490424

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/accepted-1

headshotColeen writes young adult novels, loves running, rock music, the shore, daisies and bread.

When Coleen’s not plotting or writing her next book, she can be found making sandwiches in her family’s restaurant, running (but mostly walking) Disney marathons, reading any book she can get her hands on and playing with her adorable kid. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, two dogs, cat, and lizard.

http://www.coleenlahr.com

https://www.facebook.com/ColeenLahr