29 February 2012

Blog Hop: The Philip Dolly Affair

Welcome, welcome, welcome! Guess what? It's Wednesday, and while that usually means flash fiction I've scheduled a guest or two for the good ole blog today. Their names are Jeffrey Ross and Jann Contento, and they're here to entertain with an interview, excerpt and fun prize!

That's right: He'll be giving away a fantastic and unique prize to one lucky commenter. I'm talking a character from the Philip Dolly Affair reading poetry, just for you! Comment away, and don't forget to check the event page for the next stop here. Enjoy!

Interview:


Welcome aboard! Tell us a little about yourself, please.

Jeff: I’m older than you think. Much of my life has been spent riding motorcycles or fishing. I play bass guitar in a rockabilly band and also in a blues project. I enjoy solitude very much and have tried to ignore much of the noise generated by daily American life. I would rather be known for my poetry than my fiction and essays, but I don’t have an MFA in Creative Writing so . . .

What about your latest release?

We have had some success writing Op Eds about community college and Higher Education issues for Insidehighered.com, Times Higher Education, Academic Leader, and The Axis of Logic. Our novel, College Leadership Crisis:  The Phil Dolly Affair (CLC: PDA), is an attempt to fictionalize many of our ideas and concerns.

Certainly we would like to reach a larger audience. There is a novel genre known as the Campus Novel or Academic Novel—some of the classics include  Absalom Absalom , Brideshead Revisited , Zulieka Dobson, Campus Novel , Gaudy Night , Jude The Obscure , Lucky Jim , Portrait Of The Artist As a Young Man , The Secret History , This Side Of Paradise , College News , Faculty Towers, and the recent Fight For Your Long Day [the adjunct’s novel]. But we really think CLC: PDA is the first community college Campus Novel ever written.

So much of American life has been commoditized and scripted—we see clearly predictable and repetitious behavior in the work place everywhere—and our novel is a chance to provide some comic relief about the whispered truths everyone recognizes but represses day to day. What is the final desired outcome of American daily life?

Ok, let’s get down to the fun stuff. If you were stranded on a lush tropical island, and all of your basic needs 
were met, what two items would you have with you? What person would be with you? Remember, you’re stuck there for an indefinite period with only each other to occupy the time.

Jeff: I would have a guitar and a laptop. Hopefully I could be alone.

Jann: The first item would be John Wiseman’s SAS Survival Handbook: For Any Climate, in Any Situation, the second, a case of 16 year old scotch. I would probably be with the fictional TV character MacGyver, (not the real life actor Richard Dean Anderson).

If you could play opposite any of your lead characters, which one would it be and why?

Jeff: I would like to be Jack Frost—he struggles so much with his love for Julia Flowers and then finds redemption. I suppose I am still waiting for some sort of redemption, some separation from the puppet show, as well.

Jann: I’d like to play opposite the lyrical philosophizing custodian, “Guitar” Bob Zontarg. I’d like to talk with him about his music, the band, his poetry, his stint with Buzz Clocker and Dr. Emmie Seemy. Maybe Bob would allow me to sit in with his band sometime?

If you could lead any of your secondary characters, which one would it be and why?

Jeff: This is a little rougher. I really like Father John—his commitment to his students and his cause (the Food Bank) is very commendable to me. We use quite a bit of religious images in the book, hopefully seen in a playful way, to work on our redemption themes.

Jann: Mr. Allworthy, Professor of Philosophy seems like a pleasant chap, a bit delusional maybe, but hard working middle class hero. His notion of community college motivational mores interest me, and his lovely wife Alice, well, I’d like to taste her meatloaf. I also wonder whether she uses real butter in her baking.

You’re locked in a closet with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, three paperclips and a string. How do you get out?

Jeff: I’d probably enjoy the lock up with Kate. I can’t imagine being near the other two. Most actors frighten me. Who are they really? Sometimes I marvel that Hollywood has become such an integral part of American life.   Hah. I would probably begin discussing my concerns with Pirates of the Caribbean movies, my fascination with Edward Scissor Hands, and my general lazy attitude about movies in general. That might get the two fellows to throw me out. [I don’t really know who Colin is]. But Kate— Oh lad, she’s a looker--with that red hair, sure she’s from the Scootland, I thought I saw her once walking near Bowness-on-Solway near Hadian’s Wall--ach she is a beauty—oops, wait, I am quoting McDougal, the overtly socialist bartender, a major player in the Phil Dolly Affair. ACH! Now what could I do with that string and paperclip? Go fishing!

Jann: Well, if Johnny Depp is alive and well, and what he knows he’ll never tell, I’d start up a brand new band, with lead guitar by scissors hand…then I’d take a paperclip and see if Colin has a grip, and with the string I’d try once, maybe twice, to see whether Kate is really nice. Naaaa, I’d attempt to configure a paperclip in the door handle area to jar open the door for a safe escape.

Name five things you can do with a pencil.

 Jeff: Write poems, sign debit card receipts, sharpen their points, tap on a table, stick behind my ear….

Jann: Write, wrestle, whittle, twirl, and poke

Who’s your favorite character from your book(s)? Why? Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

Jeff: I really like Elena Vasquez. She is a bright, beautiful, strong, student-centered, articulate woman who is not comfortable always expressing her values and beliefs within the repressive culture of Copperfield Community College. Many of our characters are victims of the system. Her situation, her two apparent romances (one with the married Dean, the other with Dashika (!) seem troubling and difficult for her. She is smart, vibrant, intellectual, and lovely. Each time I read her chapter I am more taken with the richness of her life and the chaos of her journey….

Jann: Jack Frost, the Anglo Espanol Professor from The Philip Dolly Affair. He’s a deep, complex, curious powerful poet, and surviving romantic. He’s also quite troubled; he suffers, smokes too much, he rides a Harley Davidson, and committed himself to lifetime fitness. What’s not to like?

Where can we find you around the vast interwebs?

Jeff: I maintain a blog on Open Salon and Writers Network—mostly for my poems and developing essays. We have established a BlogSpot blog for the Characters of Copperfield Community College. If you Google Jeffrey Ross College Leadership—you’ll probably find a few references to me (or the Comedian Jeff Ross.) Oh—we are also experimenting with talking avatar movies—here is a sample, “Discussing the Philip Dolly Affair.” (you tube).

Jann: Mostly high, dry and tangled.

What about your books? Where are they being sold at? 

Our books are available at the Rogue Phoenix Press website, Book Rack book stores, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble on line.  

Thanks for dropping in! Any last words?  

Jeff: This novel is a satire, a spoof, but it has a great deal of verisimilitude. We write about a community college, because this is what we know. But hopefully the book has more general, more expansive, meaning, than just what goes on at the college down the street.

If any of you have ever worked or gone to a meeting, you will recognize our characters—both those that are secondary and flat, or primary and developed. It seems like everyone in our society calls himself/herself a leader these days— in actuality, so few can be followed. We offer a different model, we think, and enjoy using hyperbole and exaggeration to entertain our readers. PS—we are  working at being artists rather than craftsmen in this book. I suppose our readers will let us know if we have succeeded. Thank you.

Jann: While community colleges are currently receiving heightened attention, this novel provides a behind-the-scenes analysis of many whispered truths, those simmering but unspoken workplace behaviors, issues, and machinations every worker (Everyman!) will recognize.

A humorous and biting read with a clever mix of satire, political intrigue, failed romances, and tragic-comedy, this novel will open your eyes to the truth about community colleges …

Blurb:

While community colleges are currently receiving heightened attention, this novel provides a behind-the-scenes analysis of many whispered truths, those simmering but unspoken workplace behaviors, issues, and machinations every worker (Everyman!) will recognize. A humorous and biting read with a clever mix of satire, political intrigue, failed romances, and tragic-comedy, this novel will open your eyes to the truth about community colleges …

Excerpt:

JB O Connor, Student

JB had just left the Student Success Center [housed in the Teaching Learn-ed Center] at Copperfield Main.

He had taken a battery of academic placement, career guidance, political party proclivity, student government group and organization interest inventories, and TB tests….

He had spent about 20 minutes with a lady counselor [d--- she’s hot!] making course selections and was now walking over to the Business Center Complex to pay his registration fees.

JB had come to this venerable institution of higher learning for various reasons. [But mostly because his dad told him to go back to school or else.] About two days ago, he quit his job at the Sticky Mart and thought he might like to lounge around the house for a while. That same afternoon, while he was home watching the TV and drinking an ice cold beer, his dad, John, strode into the house and told him he had to get another job, or join the military, or go to college, or get out of the !%$^@! house.

Basically lazy and not suited for menial labor, JB had been out of high school for two years now, and had never really thought about going on to school. But, none of the armed services wanted him because of his inability to read... so college seemed like a good possibility.

Assorted Links:

College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair
By Jann M. Contento and Jeffrey Ross

Biographies

Jann M. Contento has a broad range of experiences in higher education including student affairs administration, athletics, and institutional research. He is currently working in a community college setting and has co-authored several articles on leadership and college culture.


Jeffrey Ross, who resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife and son, is a writer, rockabilly musician, and former full-time community college teacher. He has had four "Views" pieces published on InsidehigherEd.com since 2007, has authored and co-authored several op-ed articles on community college identity, purpose, and culture, and has recently had several pieces published on the Cronk News  higher education satire website.



Online Presence and
Social Media Links

Face book Info Page


Getting to Know Phil Dolly Blog

Twitter Account @SalinasChick


Jeffrey Ross Creative Efforts  Home Page on Web Eden (Music and More)


Jeffrey Ross Open Salon Blog—other poetry and essays



28 February 2012

Blog Hop: Melissa Kendall!

Happy Tuesday! Today's guest is Melissa Kendall. Enjoy!


Please tell the readers a little about yourself:

I am a 36-year-old stay home Aussie mum. I have one son who is 3. When I’m not writing I work part-time as a Software Support Consultant and I also do some book cover design work.

How about your latest release?

My latest release is a short story called ‘Life in Suitcases’ and it is include as part of Ruby Lioness Press’s Love Again Anthology

What was your primary inspiration for this book?

It was just an idea my mind came up it with. What would the story be like if two characters had to find their way back one another? Within a day or two I had 7000 plus words written.

Do you have any muses?

Not really for the most part all of my story ideas just come to me at random completely inopportune times. But if am going to be inspired by something it is usually a picture and occasionally a song.

Do you control your characters or do they flog you into shape?

I think they flog me into shape my stories usually play like a movie in my mind and I just write what is happening.

When you write, is there a special routine you follow?

No particular routine but I write best when I am alone and it is completely quiet. This usually only occurs after midnight.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

I would love to be an elephant just loping around some wide open plain.

Five random facts about you:

I live in Perth Western Australia
My grammar and punctuation usually suck unless I am writing smut then it seems to be perfect for some reason.
I have visited more than half of the US states.
If I could live anywhere in the world I would live in Hawaii.
I want to visit all Disneyland’s in the world, before I die. So far I have been to all the LA parks, all the Florida parks and the Hong Kong park.

Are you working on any new releases later this year?

Yes I have a novel coming out in the second half of 2012 called Matronly Duties. It is a dystopian romance set one hundred years in the future.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Just that I hope people enjoy my writing and I would love them to come say hi on twitter.

Contact info (Facebook, Twitter, website, blog):


Flash Fiction:

As I turn the news off, I look out the window worried about the locust plague that is supposedly heading our way.
The last two years crops have been measly at best, due to the drought, and now we have these flying pests to deal with.
Sitting on the front porch, gun on my lap, I wait. I know it isn’t going to actually help me fight of this latest threat to my lively hood. It is a comfort though and worse comes to worst I could always use it on myself.
It is a morbid thought I know, but if I lose this year’s crop, my life will be over anyway.

27 February 2012

Blog Hop: Ella Jade!

Happy Monday! Am I allowed to say that? Today I'm hosting Ella Jade, another author from the Love Again anthology. Enjoy!


Please tell the readers a little about yourself:

Hi! My name is Ella Jade. I'm a multi-published Contemporary Romance author. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. The stories and plots have always played out in my head but I never knew what to do with them. That all changed when I discovered the eBooks industry. Now I'm writing novels at a rapid pace and I can't be stopped.

How about your latest release?

Home is part of the Ruby Lioness Press Love, Again Anthology. Here's a little blurb…

Dr. Chase Avery has worked hard to give his high school sweetheart and the love of his life Elyse Jacobs the life she deserves. But in working toward their happily ever after, he may have gotten sidetracked and missed out on the important things in life. He's constantly moving toward the next step in making their future perfect that he forgot to live in the moment. He's stunned when Elyse walks out. She can't deal with being second and now Chase has to live with his mistakes.

Chase finds himself alone and overworked on Valentine's Day. He tries hard to fight the memories of his lost love. What happens when she shows up at his house unexpectedly? Can an old flame be rekindled or is it nothing more than one last night of passion?

What was your primary inspiration for this book?

When I saw the theme for the anthology I wanted to come up with a way for the hero to not only get a second chance at a love lost, but I wanted him to have redemption too.


Do you have any muses?

The characters inspire me. I love coming up with new and creative ways of bring them together and having them realize they truly belong with one another.

Do you control your characters or do they flog you into shape?

I let them take me where they want to go. They talk, I listen. And luckily for me, they talk often.

When you write, is there a special routine you follow?

As soon as I put my last one on the bus, I head to the gym and then to Starbucks for an Iced Tea and then my writing day begins. I try write for a good five hours. When I'm really caught up in a plot, I pick it back up after the kids are in bed.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

In my house we're true Disney fans. We love going to Disney World and we're headed there again this summer. But there isn't a day that I don't wish I'm amongst all that magic. So, I'd say I wish I were at Hollywood Studios right now riding the Tower of Terror!


Are you working on any new releases later this year?

Yes, I'm in edits for Crossfire of Love scheduled to release on 3/19/12. I've recently signed a contract for a novel called Passion's Pain. And I've just finished a Novella called Make Me Stay. I'm in the submission process for that one.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I'd just like to thank the readers and friends I've made in the past year. You guys have been amazing and I hope you'll continue to get lost in my words.

Contact info (Facebook, Twitter, website, blog):


Thanks for having me.

25 February 2012

Blog Hop: Love Again

Welcome to Saturday, folks! Since I missed this one on Monday, I'm going to give Tamaria Soana the whole weekend to herself. She's another fabulous author from the Love Again anthology. Enjoy, and welcome to the blog, Tamaria!


Please tell the readers a little about yourself:

I'm forty years old, live in Western New York, been married for twelve years,we have two daughters three and seven. I'm just a stay-at-home mom with a very active imagination. For as long as I can remember I've loved to read and would imagine scenes and stories in my head.


How about your latest release?

Love, Again is a Valentine's Day Authors Anthology.

Here is a short summary of my story Vows:

Addison Klein finally realizes how unfulfilled she is being marriage to Tyler. She is contemplating whether she should fight to keep her family together or walk away from her marriage.  The death of her best Peyton, cause her to sit back and rethink her life. After a fight with Tyler, and a scary episode at work Addison knows she needs to finally decide her future. Just when she thinks she is all alone in making this life altering decision, she gets a little guidance from her guardian angel. Addison comes to terms with the fact that she needs to deal with her past before you can move on and focus on the future. With the help of her therapist Addison rediscover herself and realizes that the vows she said on her wedding day meant something to her... for as long as we both shall live. Wanting to be a better example to her two little girls, she makes a decision that will change their lives forever when she sets out to seduce her husband.


What was your primary inspiration for this book?

I wanted to tell a story about a woman who has lost her way both in her life and her marriage. Just when she is about to call it quits a tragic event happens and changes things. Sometimes we have to go on a journey and discover ourselves before we can change anything in our lives.

I've always been drawn to angels, so the idea of writing a guardian angel fascinated me. As much as I love Addison, Peyton stole my heart as I wrote Vows.


Do you have any muses?

No, I really just let my characters take over and lead me through their story.

Do you control your characters or do they flog you into shape?

I wish I had control of them, but sadly they own me.

When you write, is there a special routine you follow?

As a stay-at-home mom of a three year old, it's sometimes hard to get in the groove.  I write in spurts mostly. At night or weekends when my husband is home, I love to go into the rec-room where I have an office area and put headphones on and get lost in my characters.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

LOL...wow. I guess an eagle. They seem to be smart birds, and to be able to soar in the sky and be free would be amazing.

Five random facts about you:

I'm a very upbeat, positive person.
I love to scrap-book and cook.
I love old shows and watch the re-runs of Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, and The King of Queens over and over again.
I love Raman Noddles! They aren't just for college kids!
Oh, and yes I'm one of those crazy Twilight people!


Are you working on any new releases later this year?

Obsession my debut romance/suspense novella is releasing March 19th 


Anything else you’d like to say?

I would like to thank you for hosting me on your blog.

Contact info (Facebook, Twitter, website, blog):




And a Flash Fiction!

Here we go. I have no idea where this little story came from.

Luann is outside in the barn looking through the drawers of her husband, Kent's, work bench for a hammer, when she hears a screeching sound from behind her. Luann jumps and on instinct, grabs a gun off of the rack that hangs over the workbench. She turns slowly to find that it is only two huge rats fighting in the corner. She lets out the breath she is holding as she remembers hearing on the news that the town is overrun with rats. She hates any kind of furry little creatures, especially if they are in her barn. She holds the gun out and aims at the first little pest and pulls the trigger. Without hesitating, she cocks the gun and aims at the one running away and pulls the trigger again.

Luann drops the gun and wipes the sweat from her forehead. She looks at the two dead bodies and sighs. She grabs a shovel, disposes of the bodies, cleans up with some bleach, and places the gun back on the rack. She finally finds the hammer she was looking for and heads back toward the house. Luann smiles, feeling pretty proud of herself. She can’t wait for Kent to come home so she can share what happened. She places the hammer down on the counter forgetting why she even needed it, grabs a beer, walks onto the deck and sits down in her favorite chair, looking out over the ranch. “There is nothing better than country living,” she whispers into the cool air before she takes a swig of the beer.

23 February 2012

Spotlight: Courageous Dare

Welcome to Thursday! And thank goodness. This week couldn't have been stranger. Today, I'm spotlighting Courageous dare by Lacie Nation. Enjoy!

Blurb:


Baylee Crawford thought she had her whole life figured out, right up until she accepts a scandalous little dare involving a mysterious man that makes her throw caution to the wind. When she falls completely in love with her mystery man, how will she cope when she has to say goodbye to him as he leaves for war? When a tragedy threatens to tear her world apart, Baylee is left feeling lost and has no idea how to help her family in the midst of this loss. Follow Baylee and Nash through a tale of love, passion, longing, war, and tragedy.


Excerpt:

Teeth hitting, tongues warring, and their breath mingling together, desperate and needy, she couldn’t stop it.
“I need to feel you,” he begged against her lips.
 She could have cried from the desperation thick in his voice. Wrapping her legs around his waist and pulling his hips into her, she clung to his body in every way she could. In less than four hours he’d be gone. She molded her body to his, keeping every sliver of skin she could connected to him. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she broke the kiss, and hid her face in the crook of his neck. She breathed him in, sun, mint, and the tiniest hint of cigarette smoke. She always hated the smell of smoke, but on him, mixed with the smell of mint and a scent inherently him, it was mouth watering.
Their bodies moved together as one. Her hands roamed over his back, memorizing every muscle and curve of him. His forehead rested against hers, and she noticed moisture on his cheek, although she didn’t know if it came from her eyes or his.
Baylee pushed on his chest. When he moved back, she moved as well, shifting them, him sitting and her perched in his lap. With her legs around his waist, she writhed against him. She wanted to look into his eyes, fearing if she did, she’d never stop crying. His head rested on her shoulder as she whispered soft words of love in his ear.
When she had an orgasm, it rocked her soul, right down to the very core of her. Her body shook against his. She pulled back slightly, she wanted to see his face when she brought him to bliss. When she looked at him, she couldn’t stop the sob from leaving her. His eyes, bright all the time, shimmered. His chin quivered, but the look of absolute terror there in the depths of his gaze broke her.
“Nash…” She couldn’t say anything else, couldn’t speak past the emotion lodged in her throat.
“Baylee, please tell me you know how much I love you…please.”
She put her hands on both sides of his face, using her left thumb to wipe away the tear slipping from his eye.
“I know, Nash, I know it with everything inside. You love me.”
They still moved together, still worshiped the other’s body until his pace became erratic. When he came, he gripped her hips too tightly. She didn’t give a word of complaint. She held onto him, running her fingers through his hair, trying to hold him together with all the strength she had.
“I love you, baby girl. Don’t ever forget.”
“I love you too.”
Nash carried her to the shower where she washed his body, and he washed hers. She stopped crying, but it took all of her strength to do it. They finished showering, and she went to the kitchen to make breakfast while he finished getting ready. At a sound behind her, she turned and saw him standing there. She gasped and nearly fell down. Standing in the doorway in his combat uniform, her husband, the most amazing thing she had ever seen. She wanted to have her way with him. At the same time, she wanted to hide him away and never let him leave.
Baylee ran across the room and threw herself into his arms, unable to stop the flow of tears from falling. She tried hard to be strong for him, to be as calm as she could, knowing it’d be hard enough for him to leave. She couldn’t stand the thought of him being in a war zone, being in the blistering dessert, being shot at, or anything else along those lines.
“Promise me you will come back. Lie if you have to. Right now, I need you to say the words,” she begged against his neck.
She could feel him choking back his emotion. She could feel his pain radiating off of him in waves.
“I promise,” he whispered into her ear, as if unable to say anymore.
They ate breakfast, neither of them able to say much. Ethan, Jolie, and Jamie went with them on the silent drive to the airport. Once parked, Nash grabbed his duffle bag from the trunk of Jolie’s car, and they all walked inside.
Baylee wanted there to be a line, wanted it to be crowded to give her more time with him. Back to holding it all in, she fought to be strong for him. Her strength ebbed away with ever step they took towards security. Her grip of his hand must have been painful, but she couldn’t loosen it though.
She looked at her watch, seeing he had to go. Looking around, she noticed many of the people watching them, some with smiles and looks of understanding, while others wore looks of appreciation toward Nash. Being proud of him, proud to be his wife, didn’t make it easier to let go of his hand.
When they reached the security gates, she could go no further. The time had come where she would say goodbye to him. Not see him, touch him, or feel him for the next seven months. Baylee stopped, took a deep breath, and turned to face him.
He put his hands on her face looking deep into her eyes and spoke in a soft voice. “I’m coming home to you, baby girl. Seven months, we can do this.”
She nodded, wrapping her arms around his neck. When he hugged her, he stood up straight, lifting her feet from the ground. She wrapped her legs around him, not caring in the least who saw. She kissed his cheeks, both his eyes, and finally his lips, letting her tongue slip into his mouth. The kiss was heated and completely inappropriate for public. She didn’t care.
“I love you, Nash Jenson.”

Excerpt 2:

Without fear or uncertainty in Baylee’s voice, she spoke in her way of challenging Jamie. “Dare.”
Jamie’s smile spread even wider, and she nodded slowly. She took a shot before saying, “I dare you to have sex with a stranger.”
A collective gasp swept around the room. Suddenly, this game had taken a turn from the occasional strip tease and random kiss to something else entirely. Baylee laughed and thought for a moment. She hadn’t been with a man in a very long time, not since her relationship ended a year ago. She never thought she’d sleep with some random man, but when her gaze fell upon the man sitting next to her, she made her decision. 
She smiled at Jamie, stood up, and extended her hand to the delicious looking man sitting to her right. Shock passed over his face. He shook his head slightly, grabbed her hand, and followed her lead. Baylee looked over her shoulder to her best friend. She had to laugh a little at the look of total astonishment on Jamie’s face.
Baylee’s heart pounded harder in her chest the closer she got to her bedroom. Stopping at the door, she took a deep breath before turning the knob. Walking in, she took another deep breath and turned.
He leaned back against the door, causing it to latch with a soft click. Head down, the fedora covered his whole face, with the exception of his lips in a slightly dark, sexy smile. When Baylee heard the lock click, she clenched her thighs together in anticipation.
Taking a step toward her, he asked softly, “What should I call you?”
The deep timber of his voice sent chills down her spine and when she said “Baylee,” her voice sounded breathy. She never realized her voice could sound sultry.
“What should I call you?”
“Nash.”
His name, the only thing he said before he pressed his lips to hers gently. She didn’t think. Instead she deepened the kiss, tracing her tongue along his bottom lip. He opened his mouth sliding his tongue into hers. She moaned at his taste, whiskey, mint, and the slightest hint of cigarette smoke. A strange combination she found mouth watering.
“Tell me you’re sure about this. Tell me you want me.”
Desperation. The only word she could use to describe the way he sounded.
“Yes,” she gasped as he nipped the place where her shoulder met her neck.
Her answer seemed to be the only encouragement he needed. His hands moved down her body, stopping at the hem of her dress. When he pulled back to look at her once more, she gave him a nod of permission.
One sweep of his arms left her standing in nothing more than her panties, gloves, and heels. Swaying her hips in her best exotic dancer impression, she rolled her gloves off, letting them drop to the ground. She sauntered the three steps he had put between them when he removed her dress. She slowly lifted the hat off his head, revealing his deep auburn colored hair, cut really short on the sides and slightly longer on top.
Her hands ghosted down the back of his neck, over his shoulders, and across his chest to the buttons on his vest. As she worked the buttons, he put his hands on both sides of her face and kissed her so passionately, her knees nearly buckled. Once she got the vest off, she had no patients for the shirt buttons. She ripped them open with both of them groaning in delight at the sounds of buttons hitting the wall and hardwood floor. With their hands working together, his clothes quickly became a pile on the floor next to hers.
She moved to take her shoes off, but he stopped her, shaking his head slowly with a devious grin on his face. The way his eyes seemed to drink her in made her lightheaded.
“I want to taste you.”

Where can you buy this fabulous book, you ask? I'll tell you:

Secret Cravings Publishing

About The Author:


Lacie lives in Ga with her boyfriend of five years and their dog, Libby.  She spends most of her time reading and writing.  She writes from a very personal place and finds that creating a story based off of things she has been through is very cleansing.  She is extremely close to her family so she tends to use little quirks that she loves from her family members to create characters that are realistic.

22 February 2012

Blog Hop: Sabrina Luna

Welcome back to another fantastic day! It's Wednesday, which is typically reserved for flash fiction, but today I'm hosting Sabrina Luna whose work is featured in the Love Again anthology. Enjoy!


Please tell the readers a little about yourself: 

My name’s Sabrina Luna and I currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina.  When I’m not busy writing or doing other work, I enjoy meeting up with my “geek” friends for movies & munchies, haunting bookstores and creating art.

How about your latest release?

It’s titled “Crazy for You” and will be appearing in Ruby Lioness Press’ anthology “Love Again”. 

What was your primary inspiration for this book?

I wrote this story because I love the whole premise of a couple finding love again months after a wild, impulsive weekend together.  

Do you have any muses?

For the story, I was envisioning a handsome, yet somewhat ordinary guy who knows what he wants, but needs some encouragement from his younger sister and a gal who is trying to ‘be good’ and stick to a decision she made when she was a teenager.  Luckily, his stepsister’s wedding brings them back together once again.

Do you control your characters or do they flog you into shape?

Oh, I never try to control my character, but, if the inspiration is right, then the story seems to just flow –and I love when that happens!

When you write, is there a special routine you follow?

I usually start off with a title and a basic idea, and then I briefly outline scenes to guide me along.  Once in a while, the story may take a detour, but usually it will flow pretty smooth until the end.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

Oh, I’d time travel back to Christmas holidays in the early 1980s and be with my family.  My parents, grandmother and uncle have all passed on now, but I’ve love to re-visit those happy times once more.

Five random facts about you:

1.) I love coffee!

2.) I’m a professional psychic reader of Tarot & oracle cards and a Kosmic Astrologer.

3.)  I’m a geeky fan of The Big Bang Theory!

4.)  I enjoy creating mixed media art on recycled materials such as cereal boxes.

5.)  I’m an optimist –the glass is always half-full!

Are you working on any new releases later this year?

I’m working on re-releasing several of my out-of-print titles via ebooks and getting ideas on some new writing projects.  So, keep your fingers crossed for me!

Anything else you’d like to say?

I believe in doing what you love & loving what you do, so I’d like to thank all my readers for letting me tell you stories!   It’s one of the many things I love to do!  Thank you!  J 

Contact info (Facebook, Twitter, website, blog):

Website: http://www.sabrinaluna.com

17 February 2012

Book Spotlight: Moon Over Alcatraz!

FRIDAY! Here's an awesome book spotlight for you. Enjoy!


Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty.  But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.

Excerpt:

Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees.  Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to the tiny casket.

Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box.  I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on the wood.  Weston joined me and placed a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.

He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly.  I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.
Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw.  She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave.  It pecked around, chirping a little song, then flew off - as if saying goodbye.  My heart squeezed inside my chest.
I picked up a small handful of soft dirt.  “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.
Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side.  Why her?  Why my baby?  

Was this supposed to make sense?  And, if so, to whom?

We drove home in silence.  No words existed to express my grief.


Fascinated by broken-hearted couples and atypical families, Patricia weaves engaging tales of men and women who create cohesive families where love reigns supreme.  She sprinkles her books with intriguing characters who struggle to find balance in life after tragedy.  Whether an unwed teenager, desperate widow, abandoned father, or a couple who stray from their marital vows, her characters form relationships impacted by their desire to create a family.

Aside from writing, her favorite things to do include riding her Friesian horse, Maximus, dot-to-dot for adults, and watching Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington movies.  She spends a majority of her days writing while her two very large Chocolate Labs lounge on the couch cuddled next to her and her MacBook.
She writes a blog every Wednesday, so if you're interested, sign up to be on the mailing list and she'll notify you after she posts her blog on this website.  Or just drop by Wednesday mornings and leave a comment.

16 February 2012

Guest blogger: LM Brown!


Happy Thursday! Today's guest is author LM Brown. Enjoy!

You want me to do what?

Welcome to the fifth and final day of my blog tour in celebration of Valentine’s Day and also my newly released Valentine’s Day themed short story.

During this short tour I have blogged about the origins of Valentine’s Day, Lupercalia, how the tradition of the first man a woman sees being her husband might work in the modern world, and all about the birds.

But that is barely touching the tip of the iceberg of Valentine’s Day traditions.  Of course we all know the obvious ones – sending flowers (often roses), cards signed from Your Valentine, etc.  But what about some of the less obvious ones?

If you see someone doing something remarkably odd or unusual at this time of year, there’s a small chance they may just be trying to find their Valentine in a more unusual way.

See that girl walking round the church at midnight on the Eve of Valentine’s Day?  Maybe she’s looking for a lost piece of jewellery or perhaps she is lost?  If she walks round the church twelve times though, she is probably hoping it will make her dream of her future husband that night.

No, it’s not very late Christmas Carollers.  In the 18th and 19th centuries children singing door to door on Valentine’s Day was not unusual.  Some sang songs of romance, others not so much. 

Putting five bay leaves on a pillow (one in each corner and one in the centre) is another way of dreaming of your true love, provided you recite one of several rhymes before you sleep.  Of course, there are so many variations on the rhymes and the number of times you should say them, you may not get to sleep at all that night.

Despite the popularity of birds in Valentine’s traditions, eggs are not so popular.  If you feed your would be sweetheart eggs on Valentine’s Day you are saying no to them.  Best to stick to apples and pears, as they are said to mean yes.

Of course, you may not believe in all of this at all, or you may decide to make up your own tradition instead, just like the friend of one of the heroes of my new release did with her Anti-Valentine’s Party. 




Blurb

Can a wrong number lead to Mr Right? Nick Davis’s life takes an unexpected turn when a stranger starts leaving messages on his answer machine. Is there hope Nick can become more to Connor Hayes than just a wrong number?


Excerpt

Nick Davis stumbled from his bedroom into the kitchen, cringing at the bright sunlight of the January morning. He snapped the blinds down, causing him to simultaneously sigh with relief at the more subdued light and groan at the sound, which echoed far too loudly for his liking. Every step he took was careful and measured, so as not to make his aching head pound any more than necessary. He spared a glance at the blinking red light on the answering machine: a new message. Suspecting it to be a slightly belated Happy New Year greeting, and probably a loud one, Nick left it for the moment. He headed for the fridge and a hangover cure in the form of hair of the dog, also known as a nice cold beer.

Damn, what did I do last night? He remembered meeting his mates at The Red Lion for a night out on the town. They'd had a few drinks there before moving on to The Royal Oak. Then they'd headed out to the city, where things started to get a little hazy. He did recall Marc screaming Happy New Year down the phone at least an hour early, but midnight itself was a complete blank. He supposed he should be thankful he'd made it home in one piece, and hadn't woken up to find a strange man in his bed this morning.

After nursing his hangover until mid-afternoon Nick finally remembered the message and hit the play button.

"Hey, baby! Happy New Year! Missing you already. I can't wait to see you again. Give me a call to let me know you got back safely. Love you."

Nick frowned at the answer machine. He didn't recognise the voice of the soft-spoken man on the other end of the phone. Chalking it up to someone too inebriated to dial correctly, he deleted the message and promptly forgot about it.


Available from Silver Publishing

Where to find L.M. Brown

12 February 2012

Valentine's Day Blog Hop!

Ah, Valentine's Day. To prepare for the upcoming most-romantic-day-evah, I'm busy writing an opening involving a kidnapping and a fight. This poor character will be put through the wringer, but she'll find love along the way.

Hopefully, they can make it last. Time will tell.

There's nothing more that I love than a suspense tinged with romance and maybe some hot sex in there somewhere. ;) Hope y'all are enjoying the blog hop! Here's a short excerpt from The Reign of Delila, releasing March 10th. And don't forget to swing on by here to visit the other sites for the chance to win some awesome prizes!


Finn glanced down at me and smiled at my nonchalant expression. "Nothing fazes you, does it?"


"No."


His head dipped low to my ear. "Come dance with me, my love," he murmured. "I might be able to shake you up a bit." He tugged me onto the dance floor, running his long and cool fingers down my neck.


Finn pulled me against him, my back pressed to his front, and ran his hands up my sides. Smiling, I threaded my hands behind his head and leaned against him. Eyes were beginning to watch us, and I'd caught one set at the bar.


The man was young, mid twenties or so, built from years of athletics. Not a typical footballer or basketball player, though. Something different. He reclined casually against the bar, sipping from his longneck while his eyes traveled across my length. I kept my eyes locked on him, narrowing in on the meal, as my hips began a slow rhythm against Finn.


"I see you have an admirer," Finn whispered, his lips pressed against my neck. With a sharp jerk of my hip, I was facing him, pressed against his body with his thigh sliding between my legs. "I'm not sure he can handle you."


His hands slid down my back as the music changed to a sensual song. "I haven't met any who can," I replied. My head fell back as I bent from the waist on each booming beat, and his hand ran down my exposed stomach. People around us began to stop and stare. He yanked me back up, our bodies pressed so close light had no hope of penetrating between us. Weaving my hand into his hair and tugging hard, I relished in his sharp intake of breath.


"You vixen," he said with a soft laugh, and spun me out by a hand. When I twirled back in, he captured my waist and cradled my cheek. For a split second, I wondered if he might kiss me, but then I blinked and he was stepping back. "Go get your man."