Guest Post & Giveaway: Captured Lies by Maggie Thom





Guest Post
Thinking of Becoming a Writer?
by Maggie Thom

If you are thinking about becoming a writer or maybe you're a writer but really don't consider yourself one, there are some things that you should know. Writing is one of those crafts that is truly amazing and can take you away to so many places. The best part is that you get to create people, places, things, creatures and you get to decide what happens to them all. But it's not as simple as people make it sound.

1. Writing is an amazing craft but it takes a lot of time and dedication to it, so be prepared to park your behind to do it.

2. Procrastination will become your best friend... avoid it at all costs. It really is rather devious as you will find that you become very proficient at other skills - like cleaning, laundry, doing errands, washing your dog, etc. - all things you'd never thought would be something you'd end up doing for hours just to avoid writing.

3. Some people will love your work and some people won't, recognize that your writing isn't for everyone. And that's okay.

4. Friends and family will try to help but know that you will be given a lot of advice as to what type of stories you should write or how you should add in some new elements into the one you have.

5. Talk to readers and talk to authors, get as much feedback as you can about what they like to read and what makes a compelling story.

6. Get feedback on the stories that you write, find readers and writers to give you feedback. Try to make sure that those people are willing to give you honest, constructive criticism. It will truly help you to strengthen and expand your writing.

The best advice I can give is to focus on your writing and your love of writing, it truly will make it so much easier. Some different things may happen that can be discouraging but try not to focus on the negative. Learn your craft, practice your craft, do your craft and share your craft. Know that you have a gift and you get to decide what to do with it but also know that stepping into your gifts and talents will be the greatest gift you can give yourself. Write for the love of it.

***

Captured Lies
by Maggie Thom
Book #1 The Caspian Wine Series
Suspense/Thriller
Date Published: October 2012

 
She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it...

Her life was a lie!

Bailey knew her upbringing wasn’t normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. At 29, she finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then suddenly her mother dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life is a lie. Using the skills she learned on the streets, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to discover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs.

Everyone seems to have a story... but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years.

But can she do it in time...

Captured Lies won Book of the Month LAS Reviews (March 2014)

"This is a story that when you start to read it you don’t want to put it down until you finish it." Cindy's Reviews

"Captured Lies is a very edge of your seat sort of book... I was totally enthralled with this book..." Tammy's Tea Time

"Maggie Thom has a hidden gem with Captured Lies!... Like an onion, each layer of this action-packed tale becomes more involved, more wickedly deceitful and more dangerous..." Tome Tender

"Captured Lies is an outstanding book and it was a book I couldn't put down..." Dee Sauter (Moderator Linda Howard Book Junkies)

***

About the Author:

Award winning author, Maggie Thom, took the challenge and leapt off, leaving a fulltime, twenty year career in management, to write full time. After publishing her first suspense/thriller book Captured Lies, October 2012, she published her second novel, Tainted Waters, April, 2013. Tainted Waters went on to win 2013 Suspense and Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine and Captured Lies won book of the Month through LAS Reviews (February 2014). She published her third novel, Deceitful Truths (The Caspian Wine Series - Book 2), March 2014.

An avid reader and writer her whole life, she decided to break the monotony of wishing to be an author by making it happen. She is a wholehearted nature lover and likes nothing better than to take a book, hike to a remote spot by a river or waterfalls and read. Married to her best friend, she is learning that humor, love and patience help her navigate her way through her twins’ teen years. Her motto: Escape to read and Read to escape. "Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!" InDtale Magazine

Website: www.maggiethom.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaggieThom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggiethom2
Blog: http://maggiethom.wordpress.com/the-write-to-read/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+MaggieThom/posts
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/maggiethom2/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6549592.Maggie_Thom

BUY LINKS

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes

***

Giveaway

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Book Review: A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin


A Vision of Fire
by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin
Science Fiction
Simon and Schuster
Review Copy from Netgalley courtesy of the publisher
4 Stars

The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin: a science fiction thriller of epic proportions.

Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father—a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels—but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work.

In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Animals, too, are acting irrationally, from rats in New York City to birds in South America to ordinary house pets. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient—and perhaps the world.

Review:

I was an avid fan of the X-Files so when I saw that Gillian Anderson had written a book, I had to give it a go and I'm glad I did.

Tensions are running high in the UN after an assassination attempt on the Indian ambassador. It looks like the peace talks going badly between India and Pakistan might set off a nuclear war and things all around the world are getting weird. From animals behaving oddly, to children and teenagers having strange lapses of concentration and harming themselves, or being harmed by unseen forces.

Caitlin O'Hara is a child psychologist who is brought on board after the ambassador's daughter has strange fits and starts speaking in languages no one can understand. Even Caitlin's friend, Ben, an interpreter at the UN doesn't recognise any of them, but they do have similarities to some he's heard. At first Caitlin is convinced that Manik is having some sort of reaction to her father's almost shooting, but she's never seen a case of PTSD that happened so quickly before.

Soon, other things grab her attention: a young man who set fire to himself in Iran, a young woman who suffered all the symptoms of drowning, but she'd been on dry land. It seems that Manik's episodes are part of something bigger, but what? And how can they stop it?

Now, this is an enjoyable book, well told with characters that you care about. But I have a niggle with Caitlin and the first time she witnesses one of Manik's strange episodes. Up until that point, Caitlin seemed a very down-to-earth sort of person, medically trained and looking for scientific explanations. But as soon as she sees Manik, she suddenly does an about-turn and veers off into New-Agey type stuff. She wants to treat Manik with nothing more than hypnosis and rants at the family doctor for prescribing sedatives. It just didn't seem like her at all.

The book is fast-paced and I eagerly turned the pages ready to see what happens next. It has an intriguing, mysterious storyline to be untangled and the threads were woven together so well that it leaves plenty of room for the next book. Another book I will look forward to.

Fantasy Book Bundle - Love Legends - for only 99 cents





Love Legends 
A Fantasy Romance Boxed Set  
Jaide Fox, D.X. Luc, Skhye Moncrief, 
Sky Purington and Alisha Paige
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication:   July 7, 2014
ASIN:  B00LMMBRS4
Number of pages:  805
Word Count: 397K
Formats available: PDF
Cover Artist:  Skhye Moncrief

Book Description:

Steal the keys to five realms with these five fantasy romances for a mere $.99 with this bundle simply bursting with love, lust, and power games. From witches and werewolves to Greek mythology and even Scottish magic, these tales offer an eclectic mix sure to stoke your summer's heat into a solar storm! So, summon your inner warrior princess and ready your charms. Prepare for the battle of the sexes and wizards with hexes, because the only way to defy all evil is to fall in love...and maybe invoke a god!

His Forbidden Fruit by Jaide Fox

First she would become his captive...then he would capture her heart....With his lands cursed to wither and die, a desperate Lord Dominic Rainier learns from a witch that the only way to save his people is to capture the lovely Lady Lilith Somerset … and impregnate her before the next full moon….

Touch of the Gods by D.X. Luc

When Love and War make a wager, what could possibly go wrong? Hephaestus has lived a life of harsh abuse. The lame god knows heartbreak and doesn't believe love is in the stars for him. Little does he know, Eros and Ares puts his love life to the test and leads him to the full bodied, mortal Vanessa. Does he take a chance to open up or continue to believe he's destined to suffer for eternity?

Swordsong by Skhye Moncrief 

He's arrived to help her create the perfect bride. His ticket home relies on a lonely woman haunted by more than apparitions. If time-travel duty, romance, and a bit of magic don't help them realize their destiny resonates in mysterious fairy SWORDSONG, all known history could change.

Sylvan Mist by Sky Purington

Coira refuses to acknowledge the Scotsman haunting her.Why should she? She carries no magic and is newly engaged. Though well aware of the mysterious tie between the medieval MacLomains and her Broun heritage, she prefers a proper English gentleman to a barbarian living six hundred years in the past. However, as one whirlwind day will prove, she has little choice in the matter.

Circle City, Lord of the Wolfen by Alisha Paige 

Axl Wolfdorn is coming of age, ready for his Unleashing and on the hunt for his Moonswan, the female he will choose for the Chase and the royal Feral Consummation. But how can he consider bonding with a mate when the only scent deep within his nose is the tangy scent of the woman he must now kill to avenge his mother's death?

Available at Amazon | BN | Kobo

Connect with the Authors:

Alisha Paige- www.alishapaige.com

Skhye Moncrief- www.skhyemoncrief.com

Sky Purington- www.skypurington.com

D.X. Luc- www.facebook.com/deshanna.neal

Jaide Fox- http://www.amazon.com/Jaide-Fox/e/B00AWTJ0EQ

Tour giveaway

2 $25 gift cards to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble winner’s choice

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Devil's Jukebox by Marcel Feldmar





The Devil’s Jukebox
Marcel Feldmar
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Pop Fiction
Publisher: Peabo Productions (Self-Published)
Date of Publication: July 8th, 2014
ISBN: 9781495947469
ISBN: 9781310876769
Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Sam Soto

Book Description:

A group of friends are reunited after twenty years to learn that their destinies are entangled with the immortal Muses and a mysterious lost jukebox.

From Vancouver to a New Orleans cemetery, roaming through Los Angeles to Las Vegas; it’s a supernatural road trip laced with rock ‘n’ roll.

Available at Amazon | iTunes | BN | Smashwords

***

Excerpt:

eclipse


Martin looks around the room, smiling through darkness and music. Another night slumming at the Industrial Eclipse. Everyone’s a regular. Everyone’s dancing, flirting, listening to music, drinking. Another escape from normal life. There is comfort in the lights, the darkness, and Martin walks towards the seats in the back room to wait for Charlotte and Phillip. He sits for a few minutes, alone, other than the occasional interruptions by random kids taking breathers between dances. He enjoys watching all the death puppies shake and sway. Nightclub lust in black fishnets and eye shadow.

Jonathan appears, holding a drink in one hand and a clove cigarette in the other, swaying to the background beat.

“What are you doing here?” Martin asks.

“Your girl told us we were meeting here, so why not? I mean, the music could be better, but the chicks are hot. Sebastian should be here soon as well.”

“She’s not my girl.” Then Martin sees her walking across the floor, and he smiles.

Charlotte walks slowly, peering between darkness and movement. When she notices them, she moves in their direction with a big grin on her face. An Images in Vogue song hits the playlist, and Charlotte yells, “Talk later, dance now!”

She pulls Martin into the mess of bodies. He shrugs, decides to go with it. This is Charlotte, and with her, he can ignore all of the lame dancing and spaced-out goths experimenting with MDMA and Industrial grooves, dancing in the shadows and staring at the floor in attempts to impress others who are also busy not looking at anything but their own feet.

After a few hits of the dark waved tunes they go back to sit with Jonathan. Sebastian is there too, looking a little uncomfortable as all the hairsprayed girls twist and turn across the room.

“Well, if it isn’t Mister Church,” booms a voice behind Martin.

“Phillip.”

“I’m glad we’re all here, but I think we should talk somewhere a little quieter.”

Charlotte spins around him. “Not now. That can wait.”

And she’s gone again, lost in a blur of music and movement

When the club starts to shut down, people drift outside and disperse into the early morning air. The earliest breath of sunlight is sometimes refreshing, but after a long night in the club it’s a little frightening. Martin looks apprehensively at the glow of the exit sign. He always feels close to some kind of vampire life when he steps out of the club’s doors. He’s not quite ready to leave, not alone. He stands against the wall; he should be talking to someone, mingling, doing something other than what he always does in these post-social situations.

His friends are here, but they’re all occupied with conversations and people-watching. It’s a blast to recount the various hook-ups and random crash and burns that took place throughout the night. He finally moves towards Annie and Phillip, who are standing near the bar.

“Martin! We were wondering when you would stop holding up the wall and say hello,” Annie says. She gives him a big hug.

“Hey, yeah…” Martin gives her a sheepish smile.

Sebastian comes up behind him and nudges his shoulder. “C’mon man, let’s go.”

“Why stop now?” Phillip asks, “You should come over and hang out for a bit. Company would be good, I think.”

Charlotte joins them and says, “It’ll be fun. We can finally talk shop, right?”

“Absolutely,” Phillip says.

Charlotte gives Martin a little smile, which distracts him completely.

“Dude, can’t beat that!” Jonathan says. “Early-morning goth party!”

“Annie? Care to join us?” Sebastian asks hopefully.

“Not tonight, boys, though it sounds fun. But I’ll see you soon. We have to practice for our show next week.”

“That’s right,” Sebastian says. Annie winks at him, turns on her heel, and glides out the door.

“You bastard.” Jonathan jabs Sebastian in the ribs, one eyebrow raised.

“No, it’s nothing like that…” Sebastian trails off, looking at the door that had let Annie disappear.

Jonathan stares at him. “Seb, you like her, don’t you?”

Sebastian rolls his eyes. “Whatever, let’s go.”

Annie knows the subject of the jukebox might come up tonight, but she’s not ready for that yet. Better to stay out of it until she knows more about what’s going on. It’s been a couple of weeks since she spent the night talking with Charlotte and Phillip, and it’s been strange hanging out with her friends since then. But it started to feel more so after they got together last week for one of their random acid trips. That had ended… Annie shakes her head and realizes she can’t remember how it ended.

“Oh, not again,” she groans.

After Annie leaves, the rest of them come together. They move through the streets, travel in a cab for as far as fifteen dollars will take them, and when they reach the dark house, Phillip moves past the hanging Christmas lights to put a record on the turntable in the corner.

“So, let’s talk music,” he says.

Martin falls back onto the couch, scattering a stack of comic books. He gets a disapproving glance from Phillip, while Sebastian and Jonathan flip through the vinyl piled up against the wall.

“Drinks?” Phillip asks.

“Of course.” Martin sends him a thumbs up.

Charlotte sits back in a chair, watching. It feels like the calm before the storm. Or more like the calm before the next storm. It’s only been a week since Pandora arrived. Thankfully Phillip had pushed her away, with a little help from Dion—and someone a little more unexpected: Fortuna.

Fortuna isn’t like Charlotte and Phillip, but she’s definitely not one of the Muses. According to Phillip, Fortuna has been around for a long time. Longer than Pandora. If Fate and Destiny were sisters who now hated each other, Fortuna would be their grandmother.

“Charlotte? What are you thinking about?” Martin asks.

Charlotte smiles at him. “Nothing, this just feels good, you know?”

Martin smiles back. He knows. He’s been having trouble sleeping for the past week—or more like trouble dreaming. The dreams are all bad, and sleep feels like something that he needs to avoid, but right now there is just a feeling of contentment. Charlotte feels it too, and she hopes the feeling will last. After Pandora left, it had taken all of the strength Charlotte and Phillip could muster to push that night out of everyone’s minds.

They had done it partly to spare the others the memory of the nightmare experience, but it was also to protect them from Pandora in the future. She wouldn’t be able to find them as easily, or use what they know, if they didn’t know anything. But the memories will come back, and when that happens, Pandora will be back as well. Even now, Charlotte knows that there is a slight memory lingering among the friends, even though it’s just a memory of having forgotten something.

Jonathan sits, slightly uncomfortable. He’s been quieter than usual for the past week, and he’s not sure why. He feels like something has been stolen from him, but there’s no evidence of anything missing. It’s a feeling that has been hovering ever since they had all got together, and although he remembers the beginning of that night, he can’t remember how it ended. He just remembers that he had woken up on Sunday morning and the world looked different. It even sounded different. That’s when he decided he needed to understand more about the things that exist between what he saw and what he knows. He knows there’s no such thing as ghosts, but he’s pretty sure he saw one that night. He’s a little apprehensive about sharing this with anyone, so he tries to ignore it. Jonathan shakes his head, trying to get a low hum out of his ears. It feels like he’s been living underwater. Nothing feels like it should, and he doesn’t like it.

He looks around Phillip’s place and knows that he’s not the only one feeling this… strangeness. Martin looks really tired, Charlotte seems a bit distracted, and even Phillip is acting a little on edge. Sebastian seems the most out of sorts, though, and Jonathan wonders if it has something to do with Annie.

Sebastian does feel different. He had seen something recently, but he didn’t know what. He was with his bandmates, and Charlotte was there, too. They all dropped a couple of hits of acid and wandered into the night. He can picture the sidewalks and how they seemed to shift and glisten against falling shadows, and then the shadows came to life. That was all he could remember until he opened his eyes the next morning and realized he was in his own bed. He was awake and convinced that something out of the ordinary had happened, something that was floating on the edge of his mind like a wraith of memory.

Now he’s ready for a change, ready for something new, and it has to be soon. A new home, a new city, a new life. Something. There’s still the band, but that doesn’t feel like a good enough reason to stay in Vancouver. Sebastian flashes on a memory of Annie, how she looked when she left the Eclipse. She seems almost like a new person. He’s known her for a long time, but suddenly she’s someone he really wants to know. It’s not the music that’s keeping him here.

***

About the Author: 

Marcel Feldmar was born in Vancouver, moved to Boulder, ended up in Denver, went back to Vancouver, moved to Seattle, and ended up in Los Angeles. He is married with three dogs, and enjoys well made cocktails. He is also a coffee addict and an ex-drummer for too many bands to mention. He recently traded in his drumsticks for a couple of pens, and proceeded to complete his first novel. The Paranormal Pop Fiction tale entitled The Devil’s Jukebox.

http://www.marcelfeldmar.com

http://www.facebook.com/jukeboxdevil

https://www.goodreads.com/MFeldmar

***

Tour giveaway 

5 signed paperbacks

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Series Spotlight & Giveaway: Love AND Series by Mary Kate Kopec





Love and Bullets
Love And Series
Book One
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre:  Romantic Action Suspense
ISBN: 978-0615968957
ASIN: B00AP54YTS

Book Description:  

Three years ago Giffin Reese fell for the man of her dreams. But it wasn't meant to be. She was already married to a good man. A man who believed in her. Needed her. Loved her. Sometimes in life we do what it calls upon us to do.

It wasn't your everyday protection detail of a Senator plus trophy wife. First, she was no trophy. She came with brains and an attitude. Just what he liked. And two, the case was all kinds of screwed up. A threat with no name on it. Maybe even a leak. And it all turned to hell when the Senator got taken down by a sniper shot.

Devon Monroe still doesn't know what the hell went wrong that day. But he's not going to let it happen again. Someone's serious with an itchy trigger finger, and this time the target is squarely pointed at a certain Senator's beautiful widow. But not if he can help it. It'll take everything he has to set things right, clear his conscience, and prove himself to her. Even if it means dying, trying.

Love and Bullets is an action packed steamroller of mystery, suspense, and rekindled desire. Come join Devon and Giffin as they race against the clock, explore their hearts, and dodge bullets in this story of secrets, deception, betrayal, and love.

Sparks fly and so do the bullets!

Excerpt, Love AND Bullets:

“As you can see, Mrs. Reese, we can quite easily get to you.  You cannot be protected, despite what Mr. Monroe seems to think.”

Devon?  They knew him?  How could that be?

“So unless you choose the same fate as your husband, I suggest you reconsider your current ventures.”

She was baffled.  What current ventures?  She helped people.  How could that be a problem?

“What do you mean?” she asked.

He continued, ignoring her interruption.  “Mrs. Reese, you will die if you do not heed my warning.”  As if to emphasize his words, he raised a gun and pointed it in her face.  “This is not a negotiable request.  Do you understand?”

No way did she understand, but she nodded anyway, afraid to ask and not wanting to get shot.  What current ventures?  What could she be doing that would get her killed?  What could she be doing, and had it gotten her husband killed?  She felt sick with fear and confusion.

Without warning he leaned over and opened her door.  Keeping his gun leveled on her, he added flatly, “Now get out.  Your ride is coming.”

Abruptly the car stopped.

You didn’t have to tell her twice.  She didn’t hesitate.  She jumped out.  But before she could get all the way out, the car began accelerating again.  And in her efforts to clear the speeding vehicle, she fell to the ground and rolled, skinning her hands and knees.

Pain shot through her, and tears stung in her eyes.  Giffin attempted to get up, but stumbled back down to one knee.  Her arms and legs shook like leaves.  She was in a full body tremble.  Not for trying, but she couldn’t quite catch her balance, and she realized that her heel had broken.

Giffin reached around, and with a shaking hand, removed her shoes.  Holding them in her hand, she pushed herself up and tried to stand steady on her two feet.  She looked up the road to where her abductors’ car was disappearing into the horizon and a wave of overwhelming relief flowed through her.  They didn’t kill her.  It was over.

But then the other side of brain fought back and asked, What the hell is going on?


She was unsurprised now, when Devon pulled around the bend in a shiny silver Lexus sedan and came to a stop beside her.

“Get in,” came the voice in the car.

She knew that voice, knew it well.  It did something to the pit of her stomach.  She got in, tossed her shoes to the floor, and fastened her seat belt.  Throwing him a sidelong glance, without humor, she asked, “Just in the neighborhood?”


Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/MTrON4X1yl0  

Available at Amazon

***

Love and Leaving
Love And Series
Book Two
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre:  Romantic Action Suspense
ISBN: 978-0615988610
ASIN: B00BH51P4W

Book Description:

Emma June Carter’s life is as normal as can be. All except the part where once upon a time she was Miss Michigan and a finalist for the Miss American Sunshine pageant. She's a baker and a co-owner of Delectable Delights, a sweet treats bakery that she loves. She has good friends. A best friend. And it was all going so well - until her boyfriend dumped her. The boyfriend that had hinted at love and a life together - and then disappeared.

Detective Jack Haley is good at his job, likes life, and knows how to laugh. Poker and his luxury ride with perfect performance and buttery soft leather seats take the edge off of the grit and grime of his work in property crimes.

For them, it was any other day. Until he got the call. And she went out for one last drink to shake off the breakup. A chance meeting in a bar, and neither gets what they came for. They get so much more. Neither know it, but danger is trailing Emma's footsteps, and her life is about to go from normal to hell in six seconds, flat. It doesn't take long before their paths cross again, and this time it won't be so easy leaving.

Love and Leaving is a story about nothing being safe, but in life, having everything to gain . . . at a cost. Jack and Emma will have to decide what is worth it and what isn't.

He's coming, and she's leaving!

Excerpt Love and Leaving:

Emma June Carter, former Miss Michigan, now successful pastry chef and master of all things sweet, sat twirling her pathetic excuse of a lemon twist stormily about in her second, now half-empty, vodka tonic, swearing off men and their many useless promises.

Twenty-nine—for real—and three days shy of being thirty, she thought she’d found the one.  But after six months of crazy-for-you, non-stop fun and abandon—and a major hint at permanent things to come—Max Stone, man of her dreams, had abruptly called it quits.

One phone call.  No explanation.  And he was gone.

Now all she wanted to do—when she wasn’t bawling miserably—was rip his lying heart out of his gorgeous, too-fit chest and feed it to him for lunch.  Or at least sit here for the moment, alone, to enjoy a short, self-indulgent and well earned—if you don’t mind—pity party.

And a drink or two.

Emma wasn’t one for anger or wallowing, but this really hurt, and she just needed a moment to cope.  And process.  And get a grip.  And to stop seeing herself stomping her pain out all over Max’s, now annoyingly, beautiful face.

She smiled.  Stomping on his face wasn’t the nicest of thoughts.  True.  But “It’s over.  Take care of yourself.  Bye.” followed by a dial tone just wasn’t the way it was done.  The weasel hadn’t even been respectful enough to do it in person.  And now, all she got was voicemail and a visit to his empty apartment.  So yes, not a nice thought, kicking the crap out of Max, but Max didn’t deserve a nice thought.  And as wishful thinking went, it was a pretty good image, and so even though it really wasn’t like her, it made her smile.

“Your drink’s getting low.  Lemme buy you another.”

Emma dropped her smile and slid her eyes left to the gravelly and deeply masculine voice interrupting her lament to find Mr. Ripped and Ruggedly Handsome in black leather and jeans eyeing her up appreciatively.  Good grief.  Not another one.  She barely suppressed a sigh.

Ruggedly Handsome was just that and then some.  But he and his molten-chocolaty brown eyes, heavy jaw, thick brows, and perfect lips—minus the hairline scar—were all bad-boy to the bone.  And if you weren’t convinced, the spider web and dagger tattoos on his hands and hard-ass biker boots should finish off the story.  He was oozing sex appeal like the Hoover Dam had just let loose.  And barking up the wrong tree.  Emma had had enough of suave and slick.

She shook her head, “No thanks.  I’m good.”

Returning to her drink and her thoughts, it occurred to her that perhaps having a pity party publicly—even if she was situated at the end of the bar, with her face tilted down, hair falling forward, staring morosely into her drink—wasn’t the best signal for personal time.  But still.  Couldn’t Mr. Ripped and Ruggedly Handsome see that she wasn’t up for company, especially male company?

Apparently not.

Mr. Handsome followed with, “I can see that, and it’s just a drink.  Give me a chance.”

Oh God.  He was going with a lame line.  Seriously?

Not really wanting to engage hotty biker dude in a verbal duel over drinks, Emma thought to cut him short, so she could get back to her alone time.  But she wasn’t the mean type, so she returned his appreciative once over and sighed in mock disappointment, “Sorry, but you’re way too cool for me.”

Not-getting-it biker guy edged closer with an undeterred glint in his eye and gave her comment the brush off.  “Don’t say that—”

So much for being nice.

Emma realized her pity party was over.  Ruined by Mr. R. and R. Handsome and his annoying persistence.  And this time, she dropped a very heavy sigh for real.  He made to continue with his pitch, but frustrated by his intrusion, Emma pushed back from the bar, scraping the metal feet of her stool on the stone tile floor beneath, and dropped a ten spot next to her drink as she made to leave.

“Hey,” he said, and inappropriately reached for her arm. “You don’t have to go.”  But Emma firmly deflected his touch with her hand.  “Let me stop you right there.  No means no.  I’m done.  Got it?”

The molten look in his eyes wasn’t chocolaty anymore, and he said, “Got it,” like he meant it.  And then he called her a bitch as he turned to the barkeep and signaled for another round.

Emma stood, shouldering her purse, back to thinking feeding men their hearts for lunch was a good idea and came to the conclusion, Bars are bad.  Next time just buy a bottle and take it home.

But there wasn’t going to be a next time.  She’d sworn off guys, and Mr. Ruggedly Handsome Jerk had just sealed the deal.

Shaking her head, fully irritated and no longer feeling any form of self-pity, Emma angled for the door wanting nothing more than to get the hell out of this bar.  Two strides into her escape, the front door pulled wide and bright-ass sunshine poured in, silhouetting her view of the incoming human.  She blinked to shake off the flashbulb effect and kept marching toward the door.  And subsequently plowed headlong into a six-foot tall wall of solid muscle.

Bouncing back, jolted, and losing her footing, Emma once again noted that Bars are bad, and this time added, Men are worse.  As evidenced by the shadowed cretin blocking her getaway.

“Whoa, hey there,” came the solid hands that kept her from stumbling, and the calm, even-timbred male voice that felt soothing on her angry nerves.  “You okay?”

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/QpzL4FJwSWY

Available at Amazon
 

***

Love and Revenge
Love And Series
Book Three
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre:  Romantic Action Suspense
ISBN: 978-0692212103
ASIN: B00K7J85EM

Book Description:

Maddie Monroe has had better days. And made better choices. When she wakes up kidnapped--used for bait--and in more danger than she could have ever imagined, it's all she can do to hope that she'll live to regret telling Seamus no.

Ex-Navy Seal Seamus Kincaid knows that the only easy day was yesterday. And in his line of work, enemies happen. He just never thought anyone would use Maddie to get to him. And now her life is on the line.

Maddie's dimples bring hard men to their knees, and her smoothies make them beg for more. She's smart, funny, and just one of the guys. She wields a computer like Seamus wields a knife. And she's a spunky ray of sunshine in skinny jeans and a bop-tail who gives his serious, get-it-done attitude the adjustment it needs. She's happiness in his life, until he scares the hell out of her on a mission gone bad, and she can't deal. Letting her go won't be easy, but losing her forever is unacceptable

Love and Revenge is a story about facing your fears, fighting for what's important, and learning that you can't control life--you can only decide which life you want to live.

Fight for love - die for revenge!

Excerpt Love and Revenge:

“Maddie,” he said, and reached out to pull her into his reassuring embrace before she could retreat any further.  “That was a bad day.  One of the worst.  But I made it.  The whole team did.  Everything’s okay.”

No.  It wasn’t.

He held her tightly, but her arms stayed at her sides.  His chest was solid, his arms strong, but they no longer brought her the comfort they once did.

Every time he had to deploy to suppress a hostile environment—even though it was completely unlike her—all she could do was think the worst.  And she didn’t want to do it anymore.

Seamus, refusing to accept her withdrawal, kept her close and lovingly whispered into her ear, “Maddie, you are my world, my joy, my laughter, the sunshine in my days.  I love you.  You are the only woman for me.  My family.  Maddie,” he whispered low, with his heart in his words, “marry me.  Be my wife.”

Maddie stopped breathing.  Her lungs froze.  Her breath got lost somewhere in the silence between the stalled beats of her heart.  Unwanted tears blurred her vision, so she closed her eyes and leaned into his shoulder.

Seamus cradled her as though she was the most precious person in the world to him, but his words coaxed aching misery into the very core of her bones.  Her body.  Her heart.  They had so much in common.  Yet they were so very different.

She was the light to his darkness, the laughter to his calculating necessitated tenacity, the warmth to the loneliness of his life, and she knew it.  And they both valued family and could see their hopes fulfilled in each other.  But she wouldn’t ask, and he wouldn’t offer—and his job was her breaking point.

She’d known it was going to tear her apart, facing him down again.  But no way was she prepared for this.  He was pulling out all the stops, save one.  And she knew that if he gave up his field work for her it would be poison to them both, so she never asked and wouldn’t.

She just needed to let him go, so he could do what he was driven to do, and he needed to let her.

It took everything she had to step back from him, out of his embrace, away from his love.  Tears rolled heavily down her face.  She couldn’t seem to stop them, and rather than brush them away, she ignored them and stood up straighter, gathering her strength and will.

Seamus looked confused, but no less determined.  “Maddie,” he said reaching for her again, but she took another step back and out of his reach.

“No Seamus.  If you really love me, you’ll let me go.”

His eyes briefly clouded, then cleared.  His ironclad willpower maintained his control.

“Maddie, this doesn’t make any sense.”

Matters of the heart rarely did.

“We can do this.”

She shook her head, and his frustration began to break through.  “You’re not thinking this through.”

It was the perfect thing to say to move her from disconsolate agony to biting anger.  He was telling her she wasn’t being rational, and there was a part of her that agreed, but he didn’t get to make that call.

“You’re wrong Seamus,” she said with heat in her voice.  “I have thought it through, and I’ve met somebody.  I’m moving on.  I suggest you do the same.”

Maddie’s stomach clenched, and she’d gone cold with the pain of her own words.  Her heart was breaking, and from the look on his face, so was his.  But he said nothing.  He just stood there searching for a new tactic, a solution, a way to win the fight, and if she didn’t get him out of there, he’d find one.

She couldn’t take much more of this, so she didn’t give him the chance.  She couldn’t cave.

A desperate force of will incited her tone with something so harsh it made her nearly sick.  She didn’t want to hurt him, but before he could find his bearings, Maddie dismissed him with a firmness that shattered like ice across her skin and made it hard for her to breathe.  “Please.  Leave.”

To her relief and misery it worked.  And her stomach sank as she watched the light in his eyes fade, shutting her out.  Where once she was his joy, now she was not, and the determination in the strong lines of his face turned flat.  She could have never imagined how bad this was going to feel.  It stabbed at her heart and ground her stomach into bits.  She wanted to crumple into a ball and cry the horrible river she knew was coming, but she’d made him let her go.

Seamus stood there a moment longer, staring at her with strengthening detachment, and if she wasn’t mistaken, disgust.  He shook his head, then stiffly turned and walked out of her room and away from her.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/dZ-vxUx3qlU

Available at Amazon


***

About the Author:

Mary Kate Kopec creates steamy character driven stories of hopeful love. She thinks love and life are worth fighting for and that at times both are filled with hard bits and messy emotions. She likes a good mystery, lots of action, and a heavy dollop of humor to lighten the mood. She writes what she loves and wishes you great enjoyment in everything you read.

Website: http://www.marykatekopec.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marykate.kopec

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4353265.Mary_Kate_Kopec

***

Tour Giveaway

5 copies- winner’s choice of ebook or print for any of the 3 books

1 goody bag full of swag.  Open to US shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview: Temba Magorimbo


About the Author:


I am an African writer based in my homeland of Zimbabwe here in southern Africa. I want to believe that I write fiction that is classified as romance general. I work for the government as an accounting assistant. My fiction (print) is on CreateSpace while kindle is on Amazon. My other short fiction pieces are free for sample reading on timbooktu (dot) com and wattpad (dot) com. I grew up in the then Rhodesia during the Ian Smith era when the country was separated on a 3-tier racial system. The effects of the civil war which mainly became serious between 1975 and 1979-80 affects my writing. I went to schools segregated by race with my race being the bottom of the tier. We were the last group of students who completed seventh grade and were streamed with barely half making it to the next level. My father was a police constable [British South Africa Police] from before I was born, 1960 to 1977. I was born on 9 August 1966 in Gwelo (then, now Gweru) which is in the middle of the country where language is influenced by the Karanga to the east, Ndebele to the centre and mainly south and other Shona dialects and cultures.




Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I meticulously plan. I start writing with an outline from which I make periodic changes. I also realized that I ended up with all characters being short and stubby so I write down the names, characteristics and job descriptions of my characters at the top of the novel manuscript erasing them when committed to memory. In one novel, all the beautiful ladies were heavy breasted. So I plan and change as I go.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

At times they change the story especially if they grow too familiar with me.

Do you write in other genres?

I write contemporary romance fiction which is an issue of how two people get to be in love or what happens to them when their marriages gets to be on shaky ground. I have written crime fiction which ended up as short stories. I also wrote war and ghost stories that ended up the same way.

What is your favourite food?

I like my chicken [pot roast] with rice, mixed fruit salad and 375-ml of chilled Coke plus an apple and a banana. I then feel at home. In the morning it just coffee with boiled milk, and anything to go buy or tea with lemon and loose biscuits without cream please.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I write from mid-day to the late evenings. Mornings are a little bit bothersome. I have to do lots of things before I can settle to write. I did rather check my Facebook/yahoo mail or whatsapp before I settle down to some creative writing.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I think I dream of Cape Town, Table Bay, Robben Island and Table Mountains with a visit to a wine growing area. Cape Town can be done on a budget. From my capital city, one can go economy by choosing a coach which however takes about 36-hours to reach Cape Town. The point of the holiday will have been made either travelling by coach, train [from Johannesburg to Cape Town] or by aeroplane.

Do distant places feature in your books?

They do, with some books the distance is about six thousand kilometres before a man can know if a woman is going to say yes to his proposal.  At times it’s the distance between Brisbane (Australia) and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) before another character can know if his divorce can be shelved aside while they try to make up again.

Do you listen to music while writing?

I like to listen to soft gospel, country, blues and mainly jazz which do not disturb my thought patterns.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

This is the story of Trevor and Naomi coming from different but similar backgrounds yet bound to meet. Both share the same issue of being children of migrant labourers looked down on by society. Trevor traces his history to the Zambezi floodplains of Zambia where modernisation stopped an ancient kingdom. Naomi traces her history to Malawi. Trevor wants to break the shackles of poverty having grown in a mining community. He has seen the pensioned migrant labourers living squalid lives. Some left their families in the north and married and started new ones here. He seeks to be different, a pebble in a pool not on the ocean seabed. Trevor and Naomi burn the midnight oil. She wants to hog the limelight. She flunks her university entrance examination. She has her moods and temper. He has his drinking problems. Through the ups and downs of the economy they go, surviving by a margin. How can they save their union if at all?

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

Writing a book is easier than marketing the same book(s). I have learnt that I burnt calories and energy chasing after traditional publishers when all that matters is convincing a reader to buy a book whether published by a traditional publisher, subsidy or self-published. I have learnt that it takes guts to reach out from the unknown world and be known.

Is there anything you would do differently?

If I had known an=bout free publishing platforms like Lulu, CreateSpace, Amazon kindle, Smashwords etc. twenty years ago I would have published 20+ books by this day. Constant rejection slips from traditional publishers had made me almost quit several times.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Picture a 12 to 13-year old boy going to a secondary school (high) with a library. The wealth of books there were just astonishing. On the African side there was Wilbur Smith [Shout At The Devil], Doris Lessing, Chinua Achebe [Things Falls Apart], Cyprian Ekwensi [The Grass is Singing], Ama Ata Aidoo, Major Mwangi [A Carcass for Hounds], Ngugi [Matigari], Charles Mungoshi [Waiting for the rains], Shimmer Chinodya [Farai’s Girls]. On the western side Franklin W. Dixon [the Hardy Boys], Carolyn Keene {Nancy Drew], Alfred Hitchcock, Enid Bylton [The Famous Five], Captain W.E. Jones [Bigglesworth]. Jack London [White Fang], Colin Forbes [Target 5]. Alistair McLean etc.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

It’s a long road to victory if you persist or to nothing if you give up hope.

What are three words that describe you?

I like writing

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

Wilbur Smith – Goldmine

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Naomi is slightly shorter than Trevor with a broad smile and dimples when the mood is upon her. Trevor on his part is taller and broader with a good sense of humour. He used to like her laughter especially when she threw her head up exposing her tender neck. She loved his dance, his jokes and his behaviour when he was walking drunk. Give and take their differences, they are only human beings living in a melting pot of an economy. Their differences seem to be growing now in their marriage. What is wrong with marriage, Trevor constantly asks himself? Is it worth it to call a spade a spade and divorce? Then he checks in his mirror to look at the walking mistakes of broken homes. How will his little children fare without him or their mother? Since both of them are young, they will certainly remarry. One only needs to read the daily newspaper Monday to Friday to find court cases of step parents who have abused their charges. Can they work out their marriage? Trevor starts from the back looking at the days he had dated Naomi to seek and destroy that which causes them to separate. How is he going to deal with her moods, her temper tantrums and his own need to hold the green bottle? With three children, a mortgaged house, both parents having degrees and the economy in free fall, times are tough mentally for both Naomi and Trevor. Can they hold on until the end as the Zimbabwean political circus and national elections collide?

List of previous books if any



Buy Links:









Blog Tour/Author Interview Brett Garcia Rose


About the Author:

Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase, Fiction Attic, Paraphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s Award, Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. To learn more, go to BrettGarciaRose.com, or connect with Brett on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

https://twitter.com/BrettGarciaRose

https://www.facebook.com/brettgarciarose

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8307465.Brett_Garcia_Rose

http://www.brettgarciarose.com/

***


Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

Flow: I don't plan anything. In my writing or my life. It means more fixing down the line, but that's OK.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

Ha, all the time! They're nasty, unruly beasts. As a writer I'm pretty ruthless though, and I imagine my characters detest me.

What is your favourite food?

Anything asian. They're the original foodies.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I was a night person until a few years ago, sleeping from 5am to 11am or so.  The I decided to become a morning person, up at 6am every day. I greatly prefer the latter; I feel like it gives me more room to live, and I see better in the daylight.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

My ultimate dream is to live on a boat and circle the world. As far as vacation-type traveling, it doesn't matter so much where I go, as long as I go. Traveling, encountering new people, strange sights, odd foods jars me as a writer and a person. it never makes it into the writing itself, but it certainly makes it into the writer. It's the trickle-down theory of experience.

Do distant places feature in your books?

No. See above.

Do you listen to music while writing?

No, but I do once I start editing.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Noise is a first-person thriller/mystery about a deaf man's search for his missing sister. It's short, and very violent. Ultimately, it's about love.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

Just how complex it is. And how difficult it is to do it well. But it's also exciting to have so much control over every aspect of the process. And it's much more rewarding than publishing in magazines, even well-respected ones. Diving into books is like going off into the wilderness with just a knife. You really are on your own, no matter what your publishers or agents tell you. Your success or failure is truly yours, and it's not based on the quality of the writing; that's a given. And that really is the most beautiful part.

Is there anything you would do differently?

No.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My stutter, for sure. I think that sense of isolation, as well as the brutal self-reliance anyone with impaired communications learns to cultivate, contributes greatly to my writing. And it is the main source of simplification, even brevity. I don't write filler, long descriptions, even long paragraphs. To a stutterer, even one who no longer stutters outwardly, every word is precious and hard-won.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

To approach it as a craft, just as an artist or a sculptor would. One of my favorite reviews of my work said something about hammering words into place, and that phrase has always stuck with me. Also, train yourself to become a brutal editor with a long, fast sword. If the car is a red Ford, it better have a damn good reason for being so, and you, the writer directing your reader's precious attention toward that fact, need to be able to explain to them why. If it isn't important to the story, then it isn't important to the reader. There are some exceptions, as in the style/substance debate, but, even in the writing is painfully beautiful, the attempt to minimize will ultimately improve your work. Also, learn as much as you can about the publishing industry, and marketing in general. You'll need that later on.

What are three words that describe you?

Intense, Big-hearted. Brutal.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

Probably Bright Light's, Big City, as it was the primary influence for the first professional short story I'd ever published (A Night at the Plywood Palace). I liked the fluid efficiency of the writing, the flow of language. Also, The Road, for similar reasons.

***

Noise, by Brett Garcia Rose, was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery

Synopsis:

The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?

Praise for Noise:

“A staggering, compelling work of fiction…mind-blowingly perfect. It has everything. Exquisite details, world-weary voice, and people worth knowing. It is truly amazing!” – MaryAnne Kolton, Author and Editor of This Literary Magazine

“Strong, compelling, raw and human in the best sense. Beautifully written.” – Susan Tepper, Author of Deer and Other Stories

“Perfect, compact and explosive, closing with the gentlest word.” – James Lloyd Davis, Author of Knitting the Unraveled Sleeves

“Wow. Beautiful and wonderful and sad and real.” – Sally Houtman, Author of To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay

“Frighteningly good.” – Meg Pokrass, Author of Bird Envy

“Superbly explosive. The rage escalates and careens out of control. Amazing.” – Ajay Nair, Author of Desi Rap