THE SONGS THAT BROUGHT ME BACK by MYLISSA DEMEYERE BLOG POST

 

The Songs That Brought Me Back

by Mylissa Demeyere

 

Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.

Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves.

Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past.

Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew.

They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together.

Always together.

Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.

 

Why I wrote Ainsley’s story (from Mylissa Demeyere)

Did you know that every forty seconds 1 person dies due to suicide? That’s close to 800,000 worldwide, each year. There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. That’s an estimate of 16,000,000 attempted suicides worldwide amongst adults. (Source: The World Health Organization).

Five days shy of my sixteenth birthday, my father’s body was found after he had killed himself. Needless to say, it wasn’t the sweet sixteen it could have been.

That event had quite an impact on my life and how I decided to face the challenges I meet.

When I wrote The Songs of You and Me, I delved into Jackson’s past. He got to tell his side of how Ainsley’s choices affected him. I never felt I could leave her tale untold. Each story always has at least two sides to it.

Why does a person make such horrible choices as Ainsley did? What drives them to such selfishness? And does a person like Ainsley have it in her to redeem herself?

My dad made the choice not to fight and right the wrongs in his life. It not only ended his life; it impacted many other lives.

Ainsley’s story is my way of showing you what can happen when people who make mistakes decide to try and do better. Because everyone deserves a second chance to right the wrong and start over again.

This is Ainsley’s story of what happens when you choose to not give up.

I hope that whomever reads this, will realize that we all, at one point in our life need and deserve second chances. When we take those chances, and turn our lives around, miracles can happen. I have seen it firsthand and the stories that follow are beautiful. Not perfect, but definitely worth living.

Even when life seems dark, lost, and like there is no other way than ending it, there is ALWAYS another option.

To everyone who has ever felt like there was never another way, this story is for you. My dad didn’t take the other way, but I hope you will find help. Life isn’t always perfect, but it is a wonderful gift. Definitely worth fighting for.

 

 

 

Author Mylissa Demeyere

Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.

The Songs That Brought Me Back is her second novel in The Songs Series, with a third book releasing in the middle of 2019.

 

Website * BookBub * Facebook * Instagram * Twitter

Amazon * Goodreads * Pinterest

 

$25 Tour Giveaway

Ends 12/30/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via PayPal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall Blog Tour @SunbornRising @Aaron_Safronoff @iReadBookTours

Sunborn Rising:

Beneath the Fall

by Aaron Safronoff

 

Sunborn Rising_Beneath the Fall_cover

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall is the best vivid fantasy YA book of the year.”Entrada Publishing

 

Sunborn Rising Winning Art Work

On a distant world of forests floating on an ocean around a star,

a blight threatens to plunge all life into darkness.

But three friends seek the light.

Together, they will Fall and be lost.

And at the very Root of darkness, they will find themselves.

But will it be enough to help them find their way home?

Characters of Sunborn Rising

 

The world of Cerulean

Light and water flow from the ocean into the roots of the Great Trees, up through the boughs, and out over the lush canopy. But the once vibrant treescape has grown dim over generations of arboreal life, and the creatures of the forest have forgotten the light.

Barra, a young, willful Listlespur, finds her late father’s hidden journal, and reads about the old world and the mysterious plague her father believed destroyed it. He wrote that he warned the Elders. He urged them to take action. Those were his last words.

Together with her two best friends, Barra will explore every bark, wood, and leaf of the Great Forest to relight her world and complete her father’s story, even if she has to travel beneath the Fall.

Purchase Links

Amazon ~ Author Website

 

ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and please, leave comments!

 

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Guest Post

Congratulations, Patricia, on the changes coming to your Room with Books website! I sincerely appreciate your invitation to guest post before you transition to more reviews than tours. Good luck! Okay, let’s get started.

Inspiration is an odd concept. I never seek it out. I don’t know what it would look like if I ever found it. And no one thing has ever been entirely responsible for anything I’ve created. Inspiration is less about “that thing” that inspires, and more about your receptivity to being inspired. While it’s true that an inciting event or sight might affect you tremendously, your insides have to be unlocked and unguarded to experience it. People frequently ask me about my inspirations, and I do my best to answer in a straightforward manner, but having this guest post opportunity, I thought it’d be fun to give a more complete, albeit less straightforward answer: Everything and nothing. From a dust mote hanging just so in a ray of light to firemen rushing headlong into a burning building, on a given day, either could make me weepy — though I’ll never admit to it: *sniff* “Allergies.” On another day, with a syringe full of liquefied emotion plunged straight into my heart, the most effusive response leaving my lips might be, “Ouch.” Hyperbolic maybe, but I think the point is clear. Inspiration depends on me.

External factors definitely matter too, but as collections of moments strung together over time instead of a single instantiating event. Space exploration, rather than walking on the moon. Travelling, instead of that one trip to Germany. So, while stories almost always occur to me as flashes of inspiration, the experiences responsible are varied and numerous, and in that precious flash, they’ve come together in a new way, that I was lucky enough to observe. After all this time of writing, I can unreservedly say that music and stand-up comedy are always close to my heart, and that I’m more open to those forms than any others. I’m listening to Hum, The Very Old Man, right now, and I’m absolutely positive that demarks the end of this post.

Thank you so much for reading, and for indulging in this roundabout explanation. I guess I was inspired. Did anyone see what did it? 😛

 

Book Trailer

 

You can also find more videos here.

Sunborn Rising Wins Art Award!

Please click on this link to read this exciting news and to share in your post if you want.

I have also attached the winning art work to this email.

 

Meet the Author

Aaron Safronoff 2Aaron Safronoff is author of the Discovery Award winning science fiction novel, Spire. Since his debut, he’s published a sequel, Fallen Spire, and a novella of literary fiction, Evening Breezes.

Safronoff’s diverse background includes the formal study of computer science, bio-chemistry, and culinary arts. However, most of his career has been in the videogame industry in quality, production, and design.

Today, Safronoff is the co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Neoglyphic Entertainment, and is busy writing his fifth novel, the second installment of the Sunborn Rising series.

Connect With the Author

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

 

Giveaway

Prizes:

  1. Five winners will each receive a signed hardback copy of Sunborn Rising AND a free signed CD of the original musical soundtrack (open to USA only)
  2. One winner will also win a 16’ x 20’ high quality (giclée) printed piece of the original art on canvas, signed by author Aaron Safronoff as well as Christopher Chamberlain the Art Director (valued at $100) – open to USA only
  3. Ten winners will each get a gifted Kindle copy of Sunborn Rising with a $10 Amazon gift card AND a free digital download of the original musical soundtrack (open international)

Giveaway ends Aug 6, 2016.

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Rough Edges Blog Tour @_BookMistress

Rough Edges

 

Cover Rough Edges

Work hard, play hard, love hard…

Nothing is sexier than someone who knows what they want and has the confidence go after it. This anthology is crammed full of hot romances featuring those kinds of rough-around-the-edges alpha personalities–stories about the kind of men and women who ride horses during the day and their partners at night, who speak few words but mean every one of them, and who would never break their own personal code of honor. We’re talking about cowboys… and cowgirls.

This anthology contains seven romances with a Western theme that run the gamut from sweet to sizzling.

Purchase Links

All Romance Books ~~ Amazon (Kindle) ~~ Kobo

 

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Emma’s Ride

by Christine Morgan

Emma is a demure young lady from Back East, or so she appears until her stern parents discover her inclination toward lusty leanings, and decide she’d best be safely married off before she can ruin the family reputation. She finds herself on a stagecoach bound West, set to wed an old man she’s never met. When a strapping cowboy boards the same stage, Emma realizes this might be her last chance to give in to her wild and wanton ways, but the journey may yet have some surprises in store for them both.

Excerpt

What angered Emma the most was that she was being punished for something she hadn’t done. Or, rather, that because she was being punished for it, she wished she’d gone ahead and done it.

How easy it would have been, how delightful! And they had, almost. If she’d been less coy, dash it all! If she’d not played at maidenly demure resistance, and made him pant vows of undying adoration in

her ear… why, it might have been long over with by the time Papa came in, and the ache, the terrible need in her, might finally have been met. The need that had burned since she’d discovered the books. She had never dreamed people did the deeds described in their pages, depicted in their drawings.

The flame had begun then, flickering, lapping, making her think of things she had never considered before.

Meet the AuthorChristine Morgan spent many years working the overnight shift in a psychiatric facility, which played havoc with her sleep schedule but allowed her a lot of writing time. A lifelong reader, she also reviews, beta-reads, occasionally edits and dabbles in self-publishing. Her other interests include gaming, history, superheroes, crafts, cheesy disaster movies and training to be a crazy cat lady. She can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/christinemorganauthor and https://christinemariemorgan.wordpress.com/

 

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Time Machine Cowboy

by Trayce Primm

A boring end to a cold winter’s day means shedding work clothes and popping a frozen dinner into the microwave.  But once in a magical while, the package contains a sizzling surprise that heats up more than a cold heart.

Excerpt

A sharp, mechanical ping from the microwave summoned her back to the kitchen. She picked up a pot holder and pulled on the oven door, frowning slightly when it wouldn’t open. She pulled harder, then turned the timer on and off, hoping it might be of some help. A spark arced inside, setting off a humming, buzzing sound. Before she could move, a kaleidoscope of multi-colored, neon-bright light erupted from the small machine, filling the room with streaks of smoke and jagged blue bolts of lightning.

She tried to get out of harm’s way, but it was too late. The Technicolor web held her fast, paralyzed with fear, yet unhurt. Visibility dropped to zero, and she felt disoriented by the cacophony of light and sound. The noise intensified to a horrible crescendo, then settled down to a plinking, rhythmic regularity, familiar somehow.

Her senses returned one by one, picking up a jumble of isolated images. The sound of a badly tuned player piano—the tinkling dance hall classic, A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight—the yeasty smell of beer mingled with the acrid pall of cigar smoke, a glimpse of a polished wooden bar and rows of bottles lined up behind it and the tantalizing aroma of hickory-smoked barbeque. As the colored aura cleared, she realised she wasn’t alone anymore.

Meet the Author

By day Trayce Primm transforms women into goddesses with her flashing shears; by night she uses her razor sharp words to transform boring reality into fantasy. She is a poet, published author of sensual romance, and is currently awaiting publication of a reincarnation murder mystery.

 

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Lady of Lacrymosa

by Brantwijn Serrah

When Katarina started her shift in the saloon, it was a night like any other. That was before the silent lady gunslinger strolled in through the batwing doors. Katarina can’t keep her eyes off the woman, and when the gunslinger starts to dance, sensuously spinning a black magic spell, Kat finds herself hopelessly, utterly lost. By morning, nothing will be the same.

The West gets weird, the night the strangers come to Lacrymosa.

Excerpt

Once she’d tended to her needs and tidied herself again, she slipped into the poorly-lit passageway between the saloon and the boarding rooms above. She crossed to the barroom door, still flustered and distracted, and didn’t notice the hand reach out from under the stairs and haul her back.

A short cry barely made it to her lips when there came a hot, soft mouth upon her own. Katarina felt the rough wood of the pantry door at her back, and a slender hand slid round the back of her neck, holding her captive to the kiss. A slim leg nudged between her thighs, rustling her skirt. She might have panicked but even before the scent of leather and magnolia hit her she knew who the phantom would be.

“What are you doing?” she whispered. Putting her hands up between them she nudged the lady away. “You don’t belong here. Get out, get back into the bar, or I’ll scream…”

Lady Gunslinger gave a husky, quiet little laugh, but she said nothing. Her hand found Katarina’s wrist in the dark, and without a word, she tugged the saloon girl towards the stairs.

Guest Post

Talking Shop:

Opening up Your Own Sexuality through Writing Erotica

There are a lot of reasons I enjoy writing romance and erotica, not the least of which is sheer enjoyment. I recently realized these genres are the only ones where I find myself capable of writing something actually literary, something more than simple fiction. That’s not to say fiction and genre storytelling aren’t wonderful ways to express one’s writing passions; I prefer a good escapist fantasy over heavy literary tome any day. But I find it fascinating how deeply erotica can reflect subtle truths about the human condition and the people we truly are.

One thing erotica has allowed me to do is to fully realize my own sexuality. As a child I understood the hetero-normative view of the world. When I wanted to kiss my female best friends, I knew full well I’d be going against the status quo. I knew never to tell a female friend I loved her without qualifying it as platonic. I understood that I was STRAIGHT, 100%, because I had a boyfriend.

But I also knew that women were beautiful. I knew I loved to draw them and I loved the sight of their nude forms. I knew I felt more interest in them, aesthetically, than I did men. I knew when my scene partner in drama class grabbed me and kissed me on the lips—a fake kiss, of course, a “stage” kiss—I really did wish she’d meant it for real.

I made it out well out of high school and into college—and an ever-deepening intimate relationship with a male partner—before ever admitting I might be less than 100% straight. I’m probably not the first person in the world to discover the infamous Kinsey Scale and be utterly flabbergasted by the idea I didn’t have to be entirely one way or the other. The concept of bisexuality, not completely unknown to me, was suddenly visible and tangible.

The gap of years between discovering the Kinsey scale and connecting all those moments when I wanted to love girls instead of boys, though, and my current ability to readily call myself bisexual, took quite a bit more time and understanding. This is when I really began writing erotic fiction. In fact, the very first erotic piece I really sat down and wrote—Life Drawing—was at its core a look into my own curious discovery of sexual orientation.

Erotica has allowed me to explore my own sexuality in ever-increasing ways, and at a wonderfully safe distance from any disruptive influences. I opened myself up to exploring the landscape of lesbian attraction and interrelationship. Even today, I couldn’t exactly put in words the sort of distinctions I discovered, or name to you exactly what each tale said to me about my own feelings, but I understood myself more and more each time I opened a new door through my fiction.

But I’m not a lesbian. I’m bisexual, and that’s a different thing entirely. It’s another distinction I felt my way through while writing. Because my bisexual characters are different from my gay characters and my straight characters. It’s easy to think they’re just “in-between”, but when you write them and you delve into them and you get to know them, you realize it’s not that simple at all. Bisexual characters have different expectations, different desires, and different needs in same-sex relationships as opposed to opposite-sex relationships. Their view—just like my view—isn’t just a matter of being open to sex with either gender. It’s more nuanced.

Nuance is a factor I pick up on most when I can see it on the page. When my bisexual character responds to her surroundings and situations; when my gay character is faced with assumption and labeling; when my heterosexual character stumbles into a situation with a same-sex secret admirer. One can never really assume things will always go according to plan.

Writing erotica and erotic characters opened my eyes to even more subtle gradients between the black-and-white of gay vs. straight. It leads me to understand the concept of a “singular same-sex attraction”, or how a gay character identifies him or herself based not on actual deed, but on emotional and mental self. The genre of erotica opens up not just avenues of the straight-bisexual-gay continuum, but of polysexuality, pansexuality, asexuality, intersex, and so on. It opens doors not just into the insight on sexual orientation but sexual personality: connecting with those lifestyles and fetishes you don’t yet understand, but want to understand.

The fact is, I’m a writer before I am anything else, and a storyteller, and a fantasizer. Escapist literature is wonderful, and I love to tell it. But all stories carry a weight of some truth in them, not just for the reader, but for she who put pen to page. I learn when I write; I learn about myself when I write. I learn about my own real self, and needs, and love. And that may be one of the most liberating and empowering things in writing erotic literature.

Meet the Author

When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours pencilling naughty, sexy illustrations in her secret notebooks.

Brantwijn has two romance series currently in-progress with Champagne Books.  She’s also had short stories published in several small press anthologies. She has author pages on Goodreads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories and audio readings occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com/.

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Hunted and Haunted

by Jen DeLuca

A key witness in her ex’s corruption trial, Anna needs to lay low for her own safety. While she’s stashed in a remote hunting cabin in Montana, her nightly erotic dreams make her wish that sheriff’s deputy Gabe McKenna’s protective custody was a little more hands-on. Then she learns about the ghost who shares the cabin with them and discovers it’ll take both men to keep her safe… and satisfied.

Excerpt

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me I’m safe. Tell me you’ll stay.” I had come out here because I was afraid, but that feeling was long gone, replaced with something much more primal. I wanted him in my room, in my bed, but my mouth couldn’t form the words.

Something must have shown on my face, because he started toward me. Slowly, deliberately, the soles of his boots like ominous music against the wood floor. “You’re safe,” he reminded me. “I’m not going anywhere. Nothing’s going to happen to you.”

His voice was a growling whisper, and I strained to hear it as he walked closer still. Heel, toe. Heel. Toe.  Clomp-clomp. Clomp-clomp. The closer he came, the harder my heart thudded in my chest, a counterpoint to his footsteps. I didn’t shrink back at his approach, just kept my eyes on his as he came closer.

He stopped a scant inch away, the heat from his body radiating toward mine. The quick rise and fall of my breath brushed the soft fabric of my camisole against his chest in a barely-there whisper. He was a large man, and this was a very small cabin. With anyone else, I would have felt threatened, but this was Gabe and I wanted nothing more than to curl into his body.

Meet the Author

They say write what you know. When Jen DeLuca was 6, she wrote stories about girls who had dogs, played tennis, and took naps.  She’s branched out a little since then, and now her stories usually include some snark, some angst, and some kissing. A Floridian by way of Virginia, Jen loves Hokies football, latte-flavored lattes, and the Oxford comma. She no longer plays tennis but she takes as many naps as she can.

 

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My Midnight Cowboy

by Pumpkin Spice

If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most-hard hearted bachelor in Wyoming?

A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for more sexual discovery.

Excerpt

I sat alone in complete darkness until the tram pulled into a stop. When the doors opened, light poured into the car and suddenly Ben stood before me. I gasped. He said nothing.

The tram resumed moving toward another tunnel and darkness overtook the tram. I felt for him, but he was no longer in front of me. A brief pocket of light before the next tunnel spliced through the tram and Ben was on the bench seat beside me, his voice in my ear.

“Hey,”he said.

“Hello.”I waited for him to touch me. “I wondered where you went.”

“I promised to look after you and I plan to keep that promise.”

“People break promises.”

He reached his hands into my hair and pulled me toward him. His mouth grazed my neck and nibbled at the tender skin. “I don’t break promises and neither will you.”

“Maybe.”I dug my fingers into his thick, wavy hair. “Maybe not.” I toyed with him and his hold on me strengthened. The ferocity of his kiss ignited my senses and made my skin prickle with pleasure.

Meet the Author

Pumpkin Spice is the published author of adult romantic fiction. Her naughty fairy tale line “Scarlett Hood & The Hunter” and “Goldlie Locks & The Brothers Bear” is published by Evernight Publishing along with her Cupid Conquest romance, “The Hart Moment.” Pumpkin’s favorite time of year is fall when the leaves are turning, the weather is crisper and the nights are a whole lot longer. Write to her at: pumpkinspicecom@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter @PumpkinSpiceU2

 

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Coming Up Roses

by Anna Kyle

To get the long-coveted D.V.M. initials after her name, healer Rose is forced to spend the last two weeks of her internship at the Finnegan Ranch she left eight years ago, where she spent and best and worst times of her childhood.  Now Rose had to contend with using her rusty healing abilities to help a wounded, angry donkey and deal with the sexy shapeshifter cowboy who broke her heart.

Finn’s wolf did the unthinkable eight years ago – attacked the girl he loved. Then years later she’d unknowingly saved his wolf, and him. Now he has two weeks to convince Rose that the bite which drove them apart also binds them together. Because letting her go this time might not be possible.

Excerpt

If he let her go now nothing would stop her from leaving him. Forever. His wolf whined, a high-pitched, mournful sound.

No. If Rose thought she’d be happier without him, he would stand aside and let her walk away. Her safety and happiness were all that mattered. But he couldn’t let her stumble away, raw and hurting and believing he’d ever hated her.

Murmuring soft words in her hair like she was a scared filly at the crossroads of trusting or bolting, Finn held her. He wasn’t sure how long they remained locked together, swaying gently back and forth. Inch by inch her body relaxed until her arms crept around his waist and she sighed against his neck. The soft, contented noise she made was a gift so tender and precious that it stole his breath. Too soon she untangled herself and scrubbed her face.

Meet the Author

Anna Kyle spent her youth reading about and dreaming of horses and scheming (unsuccessfully) how to convince her parents to get her one. That led to writing her first story about a girl and her horse which in turn led to a lifetime love of writing. As an adult she reads everything from histories to mysteries but romances are definitely her favorite. These days she writes the paranormal romance series, the Wolf King, at World Weaver Press. SKYE FALLING was published last summer and the origin novel, OMEGA RISING, will be out late spring 2016.

 

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Jump Without Looking

by TJ Dodd

Jackie has a veterinary practice, her family’s ranch, and a habit of avoiding men. The last thing she needs is a giant, blonde cowboy who tears down her fence and rattles her nerves. Russ has no job, a beat-up old pickup, and a rundown ranch he just inherited. He needs everything except the beautiful, angry neighbor who turns him on and then runs him off. Can one pregnant cow, two horses that love to jump, and three long kisses prove them both wrong?

Excerpt

Not that his thoughts were angelic. In fact, they’d send him straight in the other direction. Jackie O’Neill was exactly the kind of woman who turned him on: spirited, strong, and sturdy. She was more of that kind of woman than anyone he’d met, so much so that she may have just become his definition of that kind of woman.

He wondered if she felt what he did, something like two magnets pulling them together. He wondered if her skin was as soft as it looked, and if it would dimple between his fingers when he held her thighs and kissed her full round breasts. They wouldn’t bruise each other, that was for damn sure. He’d fit right into her cushioned body.

Sitting next to her was a gift.

Meet the Author

TJ Dodd is a frequently sweary, occasionally inappropriate former teacher and acknowledged black sheep of her family. She’s okay with that. She shares her home with her pit bull named Piddles, who outgrew the habit but got stuck with the name. She’s made up stories her whole life and thought it might be fun to try to get some of them published. So far it has been.

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Leaving Shangrila Virtual Book Tour @IsabelleGecils @GoddessFish

Leaving Shangrila: The True Story of a Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape

by Isabelle Gecils

 

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ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and leave comments!

 

GENRE: Memoir

 

About the Book

Leaving Shangrila: The True Story of A Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape by Isabelle Gecils, is the captivating memoir of a charmingly complex heroine.

Isabelle paints a colorful world as she tells the tale of how she forged her own path in the midst of turmoil. The story, set in Brazil where she grew up, is populated with fascinating characters, both good and bad. From a narcissistic mother to her perpetually flawed lovers to three resilient sisters, Leaving Shangrila’s motley crew make for an endlessly intriguing storyline. Leaving Shangrila begins with young Isabelle, trapped in a hellish world. Surrounded by lies, manipulation, and abuse, Isabelle is desperate to escape the adversity of this place. Filled with tremendous strength and an unyielding drive to survive, she begins her journey toward freedom and self-realization. Through the trials and obstacles along the way, Isabelle goes back and forth to balance who she is with what she must do to survive.

With themes of perseverance, self-reliance, and the resilience of the human spirit, Leaving Shangrila: The True Story Of A Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape highlights the important character traits one discovers on the path to finding their self. Truly empowering and inspirational, readers everywhere will relate to this coming of age story.

 

MediaKit_BookCover_LeavingShangrila

 

Excerpt

My entire class staged a school play, except that, unlike everybody else, I watched it rather than act in it. Joining the theater troop required almost daily rehearsals at one of my classmates’ lavish colonial homes near school. I was not invited to join the group. They already knew I would not come.

At the school grounds, my classmates cracked jokes about what happened during their afternoons together. They perched on one another as they traded stories and exchanged hugs. I heard about the English classes they took after school, their boat trips around the bays of Rio de Janeiro, the excited chatter that accompanied field trips I was never allowed to join. When the entire class decided to spend a lightly chaperoned weekend in Cabo Frio, a town with white, sandy beaches and coconut trees lining the boardwalks, my jealousy meter spiked. For two months, that is all anyone talked about. Since I did not even receive an invitation, nobody spoke with me.

I felt lonely observing them. I longed to be as adored as were the two most popular girls in my class: Isabela and Flavia. Isabela, despite the discolored white spots all over her skin due to type 1 diabetes, was the reigning queen. The boys swooned over Flavia, two years older than the rest of us although she repeated third and fifth grade due to her poor academic performance.

I observed these two girls, searching for what it was about them that made them special. Yes, they were both beautiful. While their beauty may have helped with their popularity, it surely was not the main factor, as there were other pretty girls too. I decided that what they had in common, what nobody else had, was that they were the best athletes in my class, even perhaps the best in all of the school.

Isabela and Flavia were always the ones everybody wanted to have on their team and as their friend. They were either team captain or the first pick. They seemed to try harder than everybody else. So I thought that if I truly focused on sports, then I could be just like them. If only I could excel on the handball field—as girls did not play soccer, despite the madness surrounding the most popular sport in Brazil—then maybe, just maybe, my social standing could change too. I made a plan. One day, I would be just as great as these two. One day, I would be chosen first.

At the beginning of each week, the P.E. teacher assigned two captains. They, in turn, each picked a team for the week. We played handball on Tuesdays, volleyball on Thursdays. And every week, for the past three years, I was the captain’s last, grudgingly chosen pick. I knew why. Had I been captain, I would have chosen myself last too.

I did not score any goals in handball. My throws were either too weak or out of bounds. Knowing this, my team did not bother passing the ball to me. I spent the game playing defense, barely succeeding at blocking the other team’s powerhouse players as they demolished the team I was on. When an opponent charged towards me dribbling the ball, I got out of the way. In volleyball, I removed my thick glasses for fear they’d be broken, and as a result, I could not see the ball coming to hit me in the face.

I did not particularly enjoy playing sports. However, to change my standing in the team-selection pecking order, I practiced with a purpose. During games, I became more aggressive. I wore my glasses. I reached for the goal, whereas before I simply stood on the sidelines. I blocked more aggressively too—even if it meant pulling my opponent’s shirt or hair—no matter that this often led to a penalty against my team. During these early weeks, I returned home with two broken eye glasses, earned a couple of red cards, and made my teammates angry.

At home, after completing my homework, I begged my two sisters to play ball with me. They did play, but not for long. When they grew tired, I threw the ball against the wall, attempting to increase my arm strength. When my arms felt tired, I ran around the farm to increase my speed and reflexes by dodging a pretend ball. At night, as I drifted to sleep, I prayed silently so that my sisters would not hear me plead: “God, please, make me be chosen first.”

As weeks turned into months, I became quite adept at catching the ball as it ricocheted from the wall towards me. I was no longer chosen last. That horrible fate was bestowed on a shy and almost as awkward classmate who had the extra disadvantage of being overweight, which slowed her down compared to me; I was slight and scrawny. Yet, despite months of effort, I did not score any more than before, did not throw the ball any harder or more accurately, and hardly touched the ball at all. Since I often increased the penalty count with my new, more aggressive tactics, the coach had me sit out whenever there was an odd number of players.

A year into this futile attempt, I felt a deep sense of disappointment but realized the foolishness of pursuing an utterly impossible dream. Maybe one had to be content with their lot in life, I concluded. Any attempts to try to change who one was, or what one wanted, were futile. Feeling defeated and deflated and knowing that, despite any effort, the sports court was not a place for me, I talked myself out of my goal. I stopped practicing in the afternoons. I removed my glasses again during games. I accepted that I was not meant to be popular and that the world where my classmates lived did not belong to me.

I hated my life. I hated going home where there was nothing to do and nobody to play with. I hated how different we were—with our round house, with our religious meetings, with our inability to do anything other than go to school. Not knowing what to do to change any of it, I returned to my routine, finding friendship in books and getting all my validation from my grades.

Two months later, I felt sick.

My head and muscles hurt; my nose was running; and I coughed uncontrollably. I barely slept. My mother suggested I stay home. No matter how sick I felt, I would never choose to stay home with my stepfather lurking around. Anywhere was better than home. Despite my illness, I dragged myself to school that day. It was a Tuesday, which meant handball day. That morning, I walked to the handball court, hoping my swollen eyes and drippy nose would help me avoid playing at all.

“Coach, I am sick,” I said with narrowed eyes. “Can I sit out the game today?”

“Being sick isn’t enough reason not to play,” the P.E. teacher said, not even bothering to look at me. “So, go play.”

Although students never questioned the decisions of a professor, I protested feebly.

He dismissed me again, treating me as a little pest who could not be taken seriously.

“Here is what you will go do,” he told me. “Your team needs a goalie. Go defend it,” he said, pointing towards the goal. The regular goalie was also sick that day, but unlike me, she had the good sense to stay at home.

Off to guard the goal post I went, grateful at least that I did not have to run or be pushed around on the court. I hoped that a strong team defense would prevent me from having to exert much effort. My teammates groaned and shook their heads in disbelief as they saw me standing in front of the goal, mumbling that the team had already lost. The opposing team congratulated themselves before the whistle blew. “This will be easy,” they bragged within earshot, ensuring I knew they considered themselves to have already clinched victory. Having me guard the goal was the same as having no goalie at all.

A surge of anger and despondency bubbled up within me upon hearing their snickers. I felt tired of always being at the bottom of the totem pole, tired of feeling ridiculed and different. I puffed my chest as if this would make me larger, ignoring how painful it felt to take deep breaths.

My team’s defense did not keep its end of the bargain. The balls from the opposing team flew towards the goal at unreasonable speeds, from what appeared to be impossible angles. Yet, I blocked them out. I blocked every single ball that came towards me. I shielded that goal as if my life depended on it. At the end of the game, my team won by a landslide.

Not used to the taste of victory, I did not distinguish the elation I felt from the confusion at this unexpected turn of events. My dumbfounded classmates looked at me as if they saw me for the first time, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

They, and I, were in awe.

My feat as the goalie made the gossip circuit and by the following week, despite some lingering doubt about my abilities, I was picked third in the line-up. I had jumped seven places in one week! This was better than an improvement; it was a major victory!

At the sound of the whistle, the players moved. I tried to concentrate. Not feeling as angry as I did the previous week, my confidence waned even before the game started. But I wasn’t playing for the game. I was playing for my dream, my rank in the social pecking order, and my desire that for once, people would pay attention to me.

Nobody pierced my defense of the goal. My team won again.

Two weeks later, the captains planned the team selection for the school’s annual Olympic Games. The teams played together for two months in preparation for the week-long competition, held at a sports complex where all the parents—and the large, extended families that most Brazilians had—watched the games. The Olympics was the talk of the school.

My class split the girls into teams; these teams would play both handball and volleyball. The P.E. teacher selected the team captains. To my utter surprise, Isabela was not one of them. Thus, there was a possibility that Flavia and Isabela, the two best players, could be on the same team together. And that, I was sure, would lock in victory for whichever team they were a part of. I hoped that I would be chosen, even if last, to the better team. It was obvious to me that the opposing team would have no chance and would simply be crushed.

There was an air of excitement and nervousness at the school playground as the captains readied themselves to make their picks. Flavia was one of the captains. Ana Cristina, a strong but not stellar player, was the captain of the opposing team. After a coin toss, Ana Cristina was first to select players.

 “I want Isabelle,” she said pointing at me.

She clearly meant Isabela, with an “a”, and not me, with the French spelling of a name most Brazilians did not get right. It made no sense to me that she would have chosen otherwise. So I did not budge.

“You heard her, Isabelle,” the coach said, tapping me on my shoulder. “Hurry up and move to Ana Cristina’s side.”

I was too stunned to hear the loud murmur emanating from the cluster of the other girls at this unexpected choice. This could not be right. I thought Ana Cristina had been crazy to select me. This choice guaranteed that Flavia would pick Isabela next. Ana Cristina’s team would be decimated. No team could win against the two stronger players.

I looked at Ana Cristina with panic in my face and shook my head. “Don’t do it,” I whispered. “Pick Isabela first.”

She looked at me, puzzled.

“Why?” she asked

“Get the next strongest player. Don’t let them be on the same team. Worry about the goalkeeper later!” I stated, with a modicum of desperation in my voice.

She stared at me with a serious frown on her face and gestured impatiently, beckoning me.

“Isabelle, just come over here.”

As I walked, she spoke loudly enough for all the other girls to hear. “If I do not choose you, Flavia will. Then my team will not ever have the slightest chance. Nobody can score when you are defending that goal. You are the most important player here and the one I want on my team.”

Still stunned, I moved next to Ana Cristina as the selection continued until all girls were sorted into teams. Once I got past my horror that we would now face Flavia and Isabela together, I remembered my wish made months earlier, the one I gave up so easily, about being chosen first. Yet, even in my wildest dreams, I had never expected that it would happen during the most important and visible athletic event of the school year. I felt an unfamiliar feeling of elation fill my chest. I felt I could burst. A broad smile spread across my face. I went home, screaming with joy: “I was chosen first! I was really chosen first!”

And for the first time in my life, I believed I was good at something.

Guest Post

By Isabelle Gecils, Author of Leaving Shangrila

“What was it like for you to remember the details of your journey and write your memoir?”

Writing a memoir is a process.  I easily remembered all the major events and important turning points. The challenge was remembering the exact order in which they occurred, who was actually there, and what was said.  That was particular important as a lot of the feedback in early manuscripts was the tried and true advice “show, don’t tell.”  It is infinitely more challenging to write a scene with dialogue of something that happened decades ago, and capturing emotions of those involved, rather than just say what has happened in summary form.

Also, in early versions of the manuscript, I omitted a lot of what turned to be significant information.  Some of it was not even consciously. For example, I did not explore my sisters’ role because I felt their story was not mine to tell. I also omitted mentioning my stepfather, who was the primary cause of a lot of our hardships because I had erased him from my life, emotionally, but in truth, physically he was there. This is where having a critique group became so instrumental to ending up with a comprehensive and well thought out story arc.  My group questioned the “why” of things.  What made my mother be so strict? Where were my sisters during the toughest parts of growing up? What had happened to them? And how did leave Shangrila? And the only way to answer these questions was to revisit what I had included or excluded and then reconsider everything.

There was also the challenge that what I remembered, was not necessarily aligned with what others remembered.  I had to interview family members (when they were amenable to these talks) as part of the process of writing the book.

The biggest learning – and gift – of this process was learning about events and occurrences I did not know about my past. For example, I was unaware that my grandparents threatened to reveal family secrets if my mother and stepfather succeeded in forbidding us to go to school.  That is, my own understanding of what happened in the past had to evolve along with the information I collected along the way.  That was truly the most rewarding part of writing Leaving Shangrila.

Meet the AuthorMediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LeavingShangrila

Isabelle Gecils grew up in Shangrila, a remote farm in a lush jungle in Brazil. But who really knows where she hails from? Her immediate family hailed from 6 different countries: France (dad), Egypt (mom and grandma), Turkey (grandpa), Lithuania (grandpa) and Poland (grandma).  There is a freedom in belonging nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

Leaving Shangrila is the story of Isabelle’s journey from a life others choose for her to one she created for herself. To support the writing of this memoir, Isabelle completed the Stanford Creative Nonfiction Writing certificate program. She currently lives in Saratoga, California, with her husband, four sons and two territorial cats.

Connect With the Author

Isabelle_gecils@yahoo.com

http://www.isabellegecilsauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/IsabelleGecilsAuthor/

@IsabelleGecils

http://www.isabellegecilsauthor.com/

 

Giveaway

Isabelle Gecils will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – April 29, 2016 @huckfinn76

April 29, 2016

 

Guest Post

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Patricia has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog Danny—Danny the Dog—to toot it for me. He always has an attitude and usually does not speak highly of me. But please understand that we co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States once co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny.

Danny on CouchAndrew took me away from watching reruns of Lassie to help him out here. For a person who works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about my girlfriend who came to visit me last week.

Her name is Lisa and she and I had a lot fun together. Of course, we had to let Andrew tag along, but enough about him. I want to talk about Lisa and all the fun we had.

First of all, she took me to the park and walked with me. I was so proud to be seen with her. All the other dogs were jealous. Then we went to a place that gives you sandwiches. How cool is that! Lisa and I had something called a sub sandwich. Andrew had a salad; he is such a wuss.

That night we went to my friends’ boat, Mike and Beth. They cooked for us and everyone enjoyed themselves except Andrew. He was put out that I was spending all my time with Lisa. But hey, I live with him. Lisa was going to be here for a few days only.

Of course, I was the star of the party. There were many humans there. Some guy called Gonzo rubbed my fur. And another human named Crabby Mike gave me a bone to chew on. And Beth hugged me and told me I was beautiful. I already knew that, but I let her say it anyway.

After the party, I was sad. Lisa walked me back to our boat and said goodnight. They don’t let dogs in where she was staying. Something called a hotel. So Andrew and I went to bed. I don’t know what he was thinking about. But I went to sleep thinking of Lisa. She smelled so nice—a pleasant change from Andrew.

Beth has a brother; his name is Lloyd. He’s not too bad as far as humans go. And he happens to be a great cook, and, of course, he’s my friend. Anyway, he took one look at Lisa and invited her and me to his house for dinner. We tried to leave Andrew behind, but somehow he got in the car. It didn’t matter. Once at Lloyd’s place Lisa and I communed, and I’ve got to say for a human she’s alright.

Then the next day she went home. I wanted to go with her so badly. But she told me she has a dog of her own. I told her . . . no problem . . . just let me at the little monster. For some reason she didn’t take to that idea.

So here I sit with Andrew, missing my friend Lisa.

That’s about it for now. Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy happy.

This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Patricia for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.

 

About the Book

Resolution-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalIt is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.

Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.

On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.

They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.

Purchase Links

Amazon ~~ Smashwords

B&N ~~ iTunes ~~ Kobo

 

Meet the Author

Andrew

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.

Connect With the Author

Website ~~ Blog

Facebook ~~ Twitter

Weekend With Her Bachelor Release Event @jeannie_moon @Barclay_PR

WEEKEND WITH HER BACHELOR

by Jeannie Moon

Bachelor Auction, Book Four

 

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Two old friends, a bachelor auction and a wedding in the mountains of Montana equals what turns out to be a romantic weekend and possibly the beginning of so much more.

 

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Release Date: 04/26/16

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Digital

 

About the Book

Bachelor Gavin Clark is determined to help Marietta reach its fundraising goal for the town’s hospital charity. So the handsome emergency physician is up for almost anything on his date with the lucky winning bidder.

Little did he know his former high school crush, Ally Beaumont, just so happened to be that lucky winner. Their date whisks them off to her friend’s destination wedding at a romantic, luxury ranch resort in the western Montana mountains and close quarters, a shared history, and a magical location push the two old friends into each other’s arms…

Is Gavin and Ally’s story just beginning, or will their romance end with the weekend?

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon

Kobo

B&N

 

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Excerpt

Clad in an expensive dark gray suit with a lighter gray shirt open at the collar, Gavin tugged at his cuffs before flashing a devastating grin. Confident and sexy, without the cocky edge, there was a collective gasp as every ovary in the place exploded.

Ally’s sure did. Every emotion, every desire attached to Gavin flashed and burned. She ached watching him walk to the front of the stage, stopping and motioning for the crowd to bring it when it was time for the bidding.

“Gavin is an emergency physician in Bozeman, but he grew up right here on his parents’ ranch. An expert horseman, he was the tight end…”

Squeals of delight came up from the crowd. “I’LL BET HE HAS A TIGHT END!” someone shouted.

Coach waved his hand. “Keep it clean, ladies. He’s up for pretty much anything on his date with the winning bidder as long as it’s legal. So that leaves lots of possibilities. I’d like to start the bidding at five hundred dollars.”

Mandy’s hand shot up before Coach could take a breath. “Thank you for starting us off, Mandy.”

Gavin looked stricken at the bid.

“Six do I hear… there we have six hundred? Seven hundred? Eight hundred.” The bids were creeping up, but no one had blown away the field like with the other bachelors.

“Twenty-five hundred dollars!” came a voice from the end of the bar.

Craning her neck, Ally wasn’t really surprised when she got a look at the bidder. There was Jenny, her finger sliding up and down the stem of a wine glass. Cool, casual, arrogant, as always, Gavin’s eyes went wide, and for the first time since he came on stage, he looked in Ally’s direction. Did he want her to bid?

Winning Gavin in the auction had been her plan, that hadn’t changed. But there was no denying she would get some perverse pleasure out of winning a bidding war with the woman who’d messed up their relationship. Time for her to jump in. The town was always looking for something to talk about.

“Five thousand.” Ally raised her hand slowly, and Gavin’s expression stilled.

“Well, thank you, young lady. We have a bid of five thousand dollars. Do I hear five thousand-five hundred?”

“Ten thousand,” came Jenny’s response.

Ooohs and ahhs rose from the crowd.

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Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Weekend With Her Bachelor by Jeannie Moon for the purpose of an honest review.

I genuinely enjoyed reading Weekend With Her Bachelor by Jeannie Moon. The premise of Weekend With Her Bachelor is second chance at love and it’s one of my favorite romance plots!

Weekend With Her Bachelor is a very quick read but that in no means takes away from the drama built in! The characters are very well written with a wonderful history of childhood through high school friendship. The sparks fly between Alli and Gavin from the beginning and they never bank that fire even through the tears and tantrums.

I haven’t (yet) read the three previous books in the Bachelor Auction series, but I have every intention of taking them with me on my upcoming seaside vacation!

I highly recommend Weekend With Her Bachelor by Jeannie Moon and give it five steaming cups of Room With Books coffee.

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©April 24, 2016

Patricia, Room With Books

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Guest Post

What does it take for you to get into the head of your romantic couples to be able to write them so deliciously?

I have to know the couple really well. Whether it’s a new romance, a friends to lovers or even a reunion, I need detailed backstory and character profiles. It takes me weeks to flesh out my characters. I might name them several times, until I get a fit. The description has to be perfect. I need inspiration pictures, and make a picture board. I create a history and a list of likes and dislikes even if those things never make it into the book.  Knowing my characters helps me understand who they are and how they are likely to react.

Am I writing a wallflower who finds her strength? A beta male who finds his protective side, or an alpha who softens?  All these things affect the telling of the story and the chemistry between the characters.  IN all that backstory I try to find common ground, physically and emotionally to make the connection.

Sometimes, they fight it. Just like on the page, but in the end you’re right–it’s delicious.

 

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Meet the Author

Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs, and resides on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

Connect With the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads| Amazon

 

 

Giveaway

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Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – April 20, 2016 @Modernize

APRIL 20, 2016

Create a Writing Room That Invigorates Creativity

We all wish writer’s block was a one-time occurrence—something we became invincible to after the first run-in. But that’s unfortunately not true, and we at Modernize understand the struggle of not being able to focus or find inspiration. Your writing room can go a long way to inspire you and kick-start your creativity. Here are a few ways to design the perfect space to create your next masterpiece.

via Design Sponge graphic

via Design Sponge

 

Establish Peace and Quiet

If you’re having trouble staying focused or inspired, it may be due to a number of distractions. Family members and roommates, while we’re fond of them, can disrupt us right in the middle of a breakthrough or surge of inspiration. Noises around the house or even outside can pull us away from the task at hand. The first step in creating your writing room is to find a private space. A spare bedroom with a door is ideal. Communicate with loved ones that you should only be interrupted for emergencies during your writing hours.

As for outside noises, we recommend noise-canceling headphones or a speaker system to play soft, inspiring music. Sometimes listening to movie soundtracks or any of the focus stations on Spotify or other streaming music apps can boost your productivity and mood. You can also set up a fountain to enjoy the soft flow of water, which is relaxing and may reduce your creative stress.

via Residence Magazine graphic

via Residence Magazine

 

Decorate for Motivation

What inspires you? Every writer is different. Some are motivated by quotes from their favorite authors, like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Harper Lee. Some are more motivated by art pieces that channel their aesthetic, or set them in a scene from their work in progress.

For example, if you are writing a novel set in France, you would probably benefit from a French country-chic decor, or at least a few photographs of the country. If you decide to decorate according to what you’re working on, make sure these elements can be switched out when you change projects. That’s why we recommend wall art and accessories, rather than major purchases. You can also create an inspiration board and change it monthly to revive your passion.

Use a vinyl decal or a framed piece of art for inspiring quotes, or hang pictures of your family and friends, especially if they influence your work. Flesh out your writing room’s design with accessories like a rug, lamps, knick knacks, bookshelves, and more. Make sure you have a desk large enough to house all of your reference materials, journals, and computer accessories.

via Skona Hem graphic

via Skona Hem

 

Let Light Shine

Natural light can boost your mood and productivity, so make sure you have plenty of windows in your writing space. Position your desk near natural light to stay focused and inspired. It’s also nice to rest your eyes after a writing sprint and gaze at nature, which may further feed your inspiration.

In the evenings and at night, you’ll want to rely on soft light from reading and floor lamps. A well-lit space will fight off gloom and improve your mood. You can play up this concept even more with bright colors, like crisp white, yellow, cyan, and even a vibrant green. Colors that perk you up will keep you energized throughout the creative process.

Don’t let writer’s block defeat you. Attack it head-on with the perfect writing room as your army, and enjoy the inspiration your newly design space provides. Remember, no one can write your story but you!

True Peril Release Blitz @VeronicaForand @Barclay_PR

True Peril

by Veronica Forand

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Dive into the world of drug cartels and assassins in this thrilling conclusion to Veronica Forand’s True Lies series in TRUE PERIL.

 

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Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 7, 2016

Publisher: Entangled Select Suspense

Format: Paperback and Digital

ISBN: 9781633755772

Series: True Lies #3

 

Synopsis

She’s this assassin’s toughest assignment ever…

Socialite Trista Patterson has turned her back on her life of privilege and dedicated herself to helping others. Her mission to protect the world’s children often takes her into the bleak and violent underbelly of third world countries. When a kidnapping attempt goes wrong, Trista quickly finds herself running for her life…and married to a man she just met…as she’s placed at the top of the Cartel’s most wanted list.

Some days no good deed goes unpunished.

Dane O’Brien has spent his life in the shadows. Once a lethal assassin he grew tired of losing his soul with every hit, trading his gun and missions for a conference table and office politics as an undercover operative for the CIA. But when visiting his humanitarian sister turns deadly, Dane finds himself swearing to protect her beautiful and passionate friend Trista no matter the cost…even if it means stepping back into the world he swore never to return to. Although falling for the tough-hearted Trista is easy, keeping her alive is hard.

Find out more at

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Get a Sneak Peek at True Peril!

Copyright © 2016 by Veronica Forand

“Trista?” he called out through the trees.

No answer.

“I’m Jenny’s brother. It’s safe.”

He called to her several more times and then started back to his car to gather supplies to hike a mile or two farther to try to find more evidence of her presence. The swish of a branch behind him caught his attention. Whoever was hiding had emerged.

Relief turned to caution as Trista walked out of the jungle with a layer of mud covering her and a handgun aimed at his head.

“Trista?”

She didn’t speak. Her eyes remained focused on him, and her legs seemed poised to take off at the slightest threat.

“Are you hurt?” he asked.

Hovering in the area between the road and the forest, she shook her head. “You’re Jenny’s brother?”

Her voice sounded stronger than her faltering body appeared. Some of the mud that covered her looked more like blood that had dried on her shirtsleeves and part of her pants.

“Yes. I’m Dane O’Brien.”

“What’s Jenny’s middle name?” Her eyebrows furrowed as they had in the pictures.

“She doesn’t have one.”

She took a tentative step forward. She observed Dane’s movements and fixed her eyes on his like a panther ready to pounce. “What’s her favorite drink?”

“Chocolate milkshakes. Or a margarita if the bar carries fresh limes.”

The tension in her face melted away. She pointed the gun to the ground and walked over to him. His arms opened automatically—after all, the woman had been through hell. She probably needed a hug or a shoulder to cry on.

She crossed her arms over her chest, the gun dangling from her hand. Her breathing pattern switched from a heavy sigh to a shivery exhale. He put his arms down and observed her.

“Are you okay?”

She nodded. “I’ll survive.”

“Let me rephrase. Do you need medical attention?”

“No.”

“Where are the men who took you from the village?”

“Dead.”

“You killed them?”

She nodded. Her gaze dropped to the ground. Most people never recovered from such a nightmare. Yet she’d not only lived through the ordeal, she emerged from the jungle healthy and armed.

Impressive.

He’d placed the odds against her, but now that he saw her in person, he’d have changed his bet. He approached her with caution. Her finger rested just outside the trigger, in a position a skilled shooter would feel comfortable with.

She peered up at him. “I’m glad you’re here. I didn’t know how I’d get down from the mountain. Is Jenny all right?”

“Worried about you.”

“What about Natalia?”

“I don’t know anything about her, except she’s probably alive thanks to you. Did they hurt you?” He placed a calming hand on her shoulder and slipped the gun out of her hand.

“No.” She eyed the weapon, but didn’t reach for it. Not that she’d be capable of taking it back from him.

“I’ve been listening to the group’s radio all night. They’re coming back. For me.” A tear rolled down her cheek. She ignored it and looked toward the hut. “I didn’t mean to kill them.”

“Kill or be killed.” He urged her toward the Land Cruiser with a soft hand still on her shoulder, trying to ease the wretched emotions that would brand her view of the world forever—the same emotions that tortured his soul every night. “You survived a kidnapping by two moronic men. Don’t feel guilty.”

“You’d have killed them?”

More than killed them. That’s why he hid away in an office now. If anyone had threatened to rape a young girl in his presence, he would have flayed their skin and stuffed it down their throats before ripping their hearts out. “I wouldn’t have been as merciful as you.”

 

Top Five Ways To Meet Your Hero

By Veronica Forand

  1. People who give of themselves are true heroes to the people they help.
  2. Visit a dog park (preferably with a dog). Guys who love dogs? Cool.
  3. Join a club for your favorite activity. You like tennis? He likes tennis? Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Join a group hike. Find a guy who loves the real you and not someone pretending to be what the guy wants.
  4. Night classes. Enjoy learning something new. If you don’t meet anyone, you’ve gained a lot anyway.
  5. You are the heroine of your own life and when you embrace that fact, you open yourself to so many new opportunities. And if a hero happens to come along? Even better.

 

 

Check out the other books in the True Lies series!

 

UNTRUE COLORS, True Lies #1

“A briskly paced romance featuring breathless suspense.”—Kirkus Reviews

UNTRUE-COLORS-1600x2400-682x1024

Available at:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

TRUE DECEPTIONS, True Lies #2

True Deceptions COVER

Available at:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

About Veronica Forand

VeronicaForand

A Golden Pen winner in romantic suspense and a triple finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, Veronica Forand is an attorney and a novelist. She’s lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.

Read more about her upcoming releases and appearances at http://veronicaforand.com/.

Connect with Veronica:

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

 

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Her Fierce Warrior Blog Tour @PaigeTyler @SourcebooksCasa

Her Fierce Warrior

By Paige Tyler

X-Ops Series, #4

 

9781492625865 (2)

 

Publication Date: March 1st, 2016

ISBN: 9781492625865

 

About the Book

9781492625865

The woman tensed. As anger and fear ricocheted across her face, her eyes changed from red to green to brown in a dizzying display like nothing he’d ever seen.

Every instinct in Angelo’s body screamed at him to lunge for his weapon. Instead he set his feet for impact, blocking her slashing claws. Unbelievably, after a few moments of struggling, she went still, all the fight gone…

Minka isn’t sure she should trust the sexy Special Forces soldier who found her. Subjected to horrors, on the run from scientists set on locking her in a cage, Minka is terrified of the monster she’s becoming…and somehow, Angelo is the only one who can calm the beast inside her and make her feel safe.

But can she trust the way he makes her feel when she’s not even sure she can trust herself?

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Exclusive Guest Post

What was the most difficult scene to write for Her Fierce Warrior (emotionally or otherwise)? Please share a snippet.

This scene is near the end of the book, as Minka tries to imagine how she can handle making it work with a soldier who’s deployed away from home far more than he’s ever there. It’s not just that she’s in love with him. He is literally her anchor, the one sure thing in the world that helps keep the beast inside her at bay. She seriously isn’t sure she can survive without him.

Being married to a soldier (thankfully retired now), I could relate in some small way to Minka. I lived in constant fear of those times when he had to be away. Back then, I would find myself scanning his face every time he had to work late. Was he just doing some training that ran long, or had they been working up plans for a deployment he didn’t want to tell me about? After a while, it was like I couldn’t get a breath because I could never exhale. So the scene below was tough for me to write—it had me crying like a baby.

Snippet

Minka tried hard to hold back tears as she boarded the Osprey with Angelo. They found two seats in the back. It was as close to privacy as they could get on the small aircraft. Everyone must have known they needed some time together because they all sat up front. The thump of the rotors made talking almost impossible, but there wasn’t really anything to say anyway. Mostly because she and Angelo had said what they needed to while the crew had prepared the aircraft for takeoff.

“When we get to Bagram, I’m going to have to go with my team,” Angelo had said. “But I’ll be coming off this deployment in a month or two. I have a lot of leave time saved up, and I’m going to spend every minute of it with you. If you want me to, I mean.”

“Of course I want you to,” she’d said, but on the inside, she didn’t know how it was going to work. She couldn’t imagine living without Angelo by her side, but that simply was not a possibility. Angelo wasn’t only a soldier; he was Special Forces, which meant he deployed—a lot.

So she’d nodded as he talked about his current enlistment and possible options after that, like getting out of the army. But those things would be years from now, and with the way her heart was breaking at the thought of being separated from him for just a few weeks, it all seemed so far away.

But she put up a good front because that was what she knew Angelo needed.

Minka leaned her head against his shoulder as the aircraft took off. She was tired and her eyes felt heavy. The physical fighting, as well as the internal fight she’d had with the beast, had taken a lot out of her. But she didn’t want to waste this time with Angelo sleeping. So she held his hand and stayed awake the whole trip back. And if she let out a few tears, she made sure he didn’t see them.

 

Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Her Fierce Warrior by Paige Tyler from the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.

Her Fierce Warrior is the fourth book in the X-Ops Series by Ms. Tyler and I haven’t, as yet, read the previous books in the series.  This put me at a distinct disadvantage in knowing the back story and the other characters encountered in Her Fierce Warrior, but not enough so that I was willing to put it down at any point.

Ms. Tyler introduces action from beginning and it rarely stops until the last page. With so much going on, it didn’t take me long to grasp the basics of this series and make myself comfortable with the cast of characters.

In addition to the main focus of Angelo and Minka, the stories from previous books appear to be moving forward and a very nice lead to the next was left in place.

As much as I dislike cliffhangers, knowing that I have reading to make up and Book 5 also waiting made the ending of this book much easier for me to swallow.

Ms. Tyler is definitely high on my list of authors to follow and one whose backlist will be keeping me entertained for quite some time to come!

I absolutely recommend you pick up Her Fierce Warrior by Paige Tyler and the rest of the X-Ops Series and hang on for the ride!

I give Her Fierce Warrior five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!

22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration

DIVIDER

© March 3, 2016

Patricia, Room With Books

DIVIDER

About the Author

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

 

A Gentleman’s Game Blog Tour @TheresaRomain @SourcebooksCasa

A Gentleman’s Game

Author: Theresa Romain

Series: Romance of the Turf, #1

 

Cover

 

Guest Post

Where is Your (Least) Favorite Place to Write

If you ask a million writers where their favorite place to write is, I bet at least 900,000 will say “at home, while wearing pajamas.” I am one of those 900,000. (Seriously: Home. Pajamas. It’s great.) So, I don’t have any new insights there. But! I can tell you about my LEAST favorite places to write. All of these are actual genuine true attempts that I really tried. Really.

  1. In the passenger seat of a car, with a baby and a young child in the back seat, when both of them are cranky. The young child was mine. The baby was my brother’s. He was driving. I was writing a synopsis. You can probably guess my level of success.
  2. In a coffee shop, when there’s one other person there and he’s loudly practicing a language tape. It’s great to learn a new language. It’s less great to do so in a public setting without earbuds in. Incredibly, I did manage a thousand words in my manuscript, though I think my characters were grumpy and puzzled in that scene.
  3. At home, while wearing pajamas, when my husband is home sick. I realize this makes me a terrible person. Mr. R is really healthy and hardly ever takes a sick day, which might be why when he DOES get sick, he is really loud and tragic.*

I’m sorry. I told you I was a terrible person.

  1. At the home of one of my out-of-state relatives, when everyone else is eating snacks and playing cards. Both snacks and cards are Serious Business for my relatives, but in a fun way. If you’re playing cards, you need to have pie or cookies or, at the very least, a cheese plate with a bowl of candy on the side. Knowing this is going on when I’m shut away trying to work on a story…well, I feel like I’m missing out on life.

I guess it’s all about balance, fitting a fictional world into a real one. I don’t always do that very well, as this list proves! But when the book is done, all the places to write—favorite and unfavorite, difficult and pleasant—are totally worth it for the chance to get a new story into readers’ hands. I hope you’ll enjoy reading A Gentleman’s Game!

*He just read this and said, “I am not.” Dutifully reported.

 

About the Book

Title: A Gentleman’s Game

Author: Theresa Romain

Series: Romance of the Turf, #1

Pubdate: February 2, 2016

ISBN: 9781492613718

 Cover

In Book One of Romance of the Turf, a refreshing new Regency series from rising star Theresa Romain, a mystery demanding to be solved brings unlikely allies together in more ways than one…

How far will a man go

Talented but troubled, the Chandler family seems cursed by bad luck—and so Nathaniel Chandler has learned to trade on his charm. He can broker a deal with anyone from a turf-mad English noble to an Irish horse breeder. But Nathaniel’s skills are tested when his stable of trained Thoroughbreds become suspiciously ill just before the Epsom Derby, and he begins to suspect his father’s new secretary is not as innocent as she seems.

To win a woman’s secretive heart?

Nathaniel would be very surprised if he knew why Rosalind Agate was really helping his family in their quest for a Derby victory. But for the sake of both their livelihoods, Rosalind and Nathaniel must set aside their suspicions. As Derby Day draws near, her wit and his charm make for a successful investigative team…and light the fires of growing desire. But Rosalind’s life is built on secrets and Nathaniel’s on charisma, and neither defense will serve them once they lose their hearts…

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

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