Saturday, July 8, 2017

Seeing Sam by Kelly Moore: Book 3 of the Next August Series (Pre-order)

Blind faith sent Sam’s world spiraling. He trusted the wrong person that almost cost August and Nashville their lives. His guilt sends him on a journey to figure out who he is and what type of man he wants to be.

A once innocent, sweet young man, now faces life alone by his own choice. He rebuilds himself to be a good, strong man. An old injury threatens the use of his legs, just as he meets a beautiful brunette that will change his world again. He falls in love for the very first time with sweet, innocent Emma Flinn.

Emma has had her own tragedies in life to deal with, but she hasn’t let anything stop her from being an independent, successful woman. She’s lived in the same town her entire life and has quit hoping for prince charming to come along. Until out of the blue, Sam comes crashing into her life. They fall in love fast and hard.

Everything seems perfect to Emma, but Sam has something that he’s been hiding from her. He’s faced with a decision to either help Emma, or lose something that will cost him dearly. Sam chooses love and it rips their lives apart, leaving Emma to start over again.

Emma learns of Sam’s secret and is willing to forgive him, but will Sam let her?

Ninety-nine cents, now until July 11th




Excerpt 

Hesitantly, I let him lead me through the house.  He quietly opens the front door and the sound of the rain brings a shiver to my body.  “It’s okay, Emma.”  I try to wrap my arms around myself, but he won’t let me.  The rain pelts down in front of us, terrifying me.  He takes one of my hands in his and the other he places on his shoulder.  “Dance with me,” he says.
“You brought me out here to dance in the rain?”
“I brought you out here to hold you in the rain so you wouldn’t be scared any more.  The dancing part is a bonus.” 
I think I can hear his facial muscles pull his lips up in a grin.  I relax and sway in his arms.  “You know this means I’m only not scared with you in the rain.”
“The rain won’t hurt you, baby.  I know it was raining the night your parents died, but it wasn’t the rain that hurt them.”
My hair is dripping wet and the t-shirt is clinging to every part of my body.  I don’t care, all I care about is the man in my arms.  He swings me around and I hear the sloshing of the puddle beneath me.  I raise my face to the rain and start laughing, a deep, cathartic laugh.  I have no fear at this moment in time.  He stops dancing and places his hands on my face. 
“I love you, Emma,” he says and consumes my mouth.

---

Kelly Moore was raised in Mt. Dora, Florida, a true southern girl with a sarcastic wit. Gypsy traveling nurse by day and romantic author by night. Loves all things romantic with a little spice and humor. Loves two characters who over comes their pasts to fall in love and have a happy ending. Wife, mother, grandmother and dog lover. Travels the US in a fifth wheel making memories and making friends.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Prophecy of Solstice's End by Diantha Jones (Oracle of Delphi #3) -- Cover Reveal

Readers of this blog know that I love Diantha Jones' work, so I'm pleased to help reveal her new cover for Prophecy of Solstice's End. This new cover gives a taste of how fierce Chloe is as she comes into her own, but to get a better taste, go pick up the book! 

Prophecy of Solstice's End

Oracle of Delphi #3

By Diantha Jones 
BLURB:  Summer Solstice is here. Let the games begin. Nothing but lies (some of them her own) and deceit have brought Chloe to Olympus for the Solstice Olympic Games. As the Oracle and the special guest of the King of Myth, Chloe becomes immersed in a life of unfathomable luxury, taunting history, and overwhelming excitement. Though scheming and untrustworthy, the gods remain on their best behavior as the tension and anticipation builds around the outcome of the Quest of the Twelve Labors, the deadliest competition of the Games. All seems well on the celestial front...until athletes start turning up dead and a philosopher missing for months returns with a most terrifying story... But that’s not all. As Strafford confronts his troubled past and more is learned about the Great Unknown Prophecy, Chloe grows close to another, setting off a chain of events that will bring her face-to-face with a truth that will rock both of her worlds to their core. And it’ll all happen before Solstice’s end...
  Book Links: Amazon  | B&N | Goodreads
Author Bio: Diantha Jones loves writing fantasy books filled with adventure, romance, and magic. She's the author of the Oracle of Delphi series, the Mythos series, and the Djinn Order series (as A. Star). When she isn’t writing or working, she is reading or being hypnotized by Netflix. She is a serious night-owl and while everyone else is grinning in the warmth and sunlight, she’s hoping for gloominess and rain. Yeah, she’s weird like that.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Don't worry, I still love some things

I can be a snarky critic, but when something impresses, I'm a natural enthusiast. I can't have you read my last post and leave you with the impression that I'm looking at everything skeptically. Here's a list of what's currently knocking my socks off on TV. (Check my Amazon profile if you want to see what I'm loving in books.)

Legion Oh my god, this show. We're five episodes into an eight episode season, I can't tell you exactly what's going on, but I can't stop watching. How much do I love this? I actually stay up to watch this at 10 PM because I might not be able to sleep anyway if I have to miss it. Dan Stevens, who's almost unrecognizable from Downton Abbey, is David Haller, a super powerful mutant whose power (consciousness? brain? reality?) has been food for some kind of creature (another mutant?) since he was a young boy, and it's screwing with his mental health. Is he imagining everything we've seen since the first episode? Or is reality this disconcerting to someone with so much power? I can't tell you yet--hell, I can't even tell you when this is taking place--but I can't wait to find out. 

The Americans Another series on FX that's taking a much slower pace of storytelling, but it's just as engrossing. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are "Elizabeth and Philip Jennings" in the early 1980s, but they're really Soviet spies who have been here for decades and have gone full-on into their covers, including raising a family together. It's 1984 now, and the Cold War tensions are escalating. Elizabeth is a true believer and is willing to do anything to serve her homeland, while Philip has always tormented himself with questions before he does the same things. Giving them pause are their children, particularly daughter Paige (Holly Taylor), who knew something was off and had her worst theories confirmed. Elizabeth thinks they can be both good parents and patriots, but Philip knows that something is going to have to give. And that's just for starters. 

"Knock, knock"
The Young Pope I was as skeptical as everyone else about this series, and I was just as wrong. It's absurdist in part because nothing stays sub rosa for long, but part of its brilliance is its acknowledgement that everything changes eventually, even the Catholic Church, no matter how much the young, energetic pope can force his possible supernatural will over his minions. Jude Law is amazing--I need to be reminded that he's in fact British--as the man who's neither good nor bad but pure in it's most ruthless sense. 

Westworld Another example of someone taking a piece of Seventies schlock and turning it into an artistic masterpiece. How much consciousness does something have to have before it becomes immoral to treat it like a tool? And what does it say about someone who needs to play at inflicting pain in order to feel alive? Rachel Evan Wood, Thandie Netwon, Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins are mesmerizing as the people (and androids) both grappling with those questions and living out those consequences. 

Finally, while I don't get to movie theaters that much, I did get to see The Lego Batman Movie, and I was legitimately impressed. The whole movie is one big wink at superhero storytelling period, but it's brilliant in addition to being hilarious. And can we give a big shout out to the casting department, if only for casting Kate Micucci as Clayface? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

LOVE at the CHOCOLATE SHOP SERIES #WhatLoveTastesLike

LOVE at the CHOCOLATE SHOP 
SERIES

#whatlovetasteslike
Series Newsletter sign up: http://tinyurl.com/zstuqco
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 Find out what love tastes like in a new twelve book series set at Copper Mountain Chocolates in Marietta, Montana.

Book #1: Melt My Heart, Cowboy by C.J. Carmichael 
Who is the handsome cowboy who comes into small town Marietta’s chocolate shop every week to buy a box of chocolates? More importantly…who is he buying the chocolates for? These are the questions sales clerk Rosie Linn asks herself as she waits for her sadly neglected childhood home to sell so she can pursue an exciting new career in L.A. Rosie finds out the answers the day rugged ranch hand Brant Willingham introduces himself and asks for her help in managing the care of his younger sister. Brant’s mother has recently died, leaving him the sole guardian of eighteen-year-old Sara Maria–who has been a puzzle to Brant ever since she began exhibiting signs of autism at age two. Rosie and Brant come up with a plan. She’ll help with his sister if he handles repairs and a new paint job for her old house. It seems the perfect solution, but a new dilemma is created when the couple start spending time together. Brant discovers he doesn’t want Rosie to sell and leave, and Rosie fears she will have to choose between love and her dreams.
Author website: http://www.cjcarmichael.com

Buy Links - $3.99 
AMAZON    B & N NOOK    iBOOKS    KOBO    GOOGLE PLAY BOOKS
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Book #2: A Thankful Heart 
by Melissa McClone 
Chocolate is better than men, and so are dogs. At least, that’s what Dakota Parker tells herself as she mends her broken heart and finds forever homes for rescue animals. So far, so good. She can indulge her love of chocolate where she works while her foster dogs provide her with the unconditional love she craves. What more does she need? Seattle architect Bryce Grayson is counting the days until he can return home to the big city with his father in tow. That is if he can convince his dad to leave Montana. Bryce’s escape plan, however, goes astray when he meets Dakota. Her sweet kisses put the chocolate she sells to shame. Maybe he should be the one to move to Marietta, but could he be happy living in such a small town? He has until Thanksgiving to decide. Author website: http://www.melissamcclone.com
Buy Links - $3.99
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Book #3: 
MONTANA SECRET SANTA 
by Debra Salonen 
Ad exec Krista Martin, while feeling more Grinch than elf, still jumps at the chance to co-chair Marietta’s Secret Santa Society. Why not? Especially since brilliant, attractive, and innovative tech wunderkind Jonah Andrews has agreed to help. He’s well connected and Krista’s hoping for some advice on rebooting her career. Jonah knows Krista has a not-so-hidden agenda, but sparring with her over cocoa at their Secret Santa meetings is the most fun he’s had since returning to his old hometown. Krista may come across as all business, but Jonah’s positive he’s glimpsed a little girl inside her who wants to believe in Santa… and in love. Author website: http://www.debrasalonen.com
Buy Links - $3.99
AMAZON    B & N NOOK    iBOOKS    KOBO    GOOGLE PLAY BOOKS
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Book #4: The Chocolate Cure 
by Roxanne Snopek
No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men! New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it. But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her. The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could be Maddie’s professional salvation. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions... on chocolate... on meddling... and especially on men.
Author website: http://www.roxannesnopek.ca
Buy Links - FREE! 
AMAZON   B & N NOOK    KOBO    iBOOKS   

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Book #5: The Valentine Quest 
by Melissa McClone 
Keep your competition close…and your heart even closer. When Nevada Parker travels to Marietta, Montana, she anticipates enough peace and quiet to finish her PhD dissertation. Cupidville turns out to be anything but quiet. In fact, it looks like Valentine’s Day—her least favorite holiday—exploded all over the small town. Among the sea of red hearts, “Be Mine” signs, and pink, pink, pink, Nevada spots a flyer for a multi-day race called The Valentine Quest. The grand prize—a luxury tropical vacation—would be the perfect welcome-home gift for her brother who’s leaving the military. Dustin Decker sure could use a break from giving city slickers sleigh rides. Even with a bum knee from his bull-riding days, the race’s grand prize is as good as his—until he realizes he needs a partner if he wants to win.
Buy Links- $3.99
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Book #6: Charmed by Chocolate by Steena Holmes 
(Releases on March 2, 2017)
When Leah ran off to Southern California, she hoped to leave freezing cold winters and unrequited love behind. She was never meant for a small town life and the timing with her longtime best friend–and secret soul mate–was always hopelessly off. But after a mishap on the hit reality show Charming, Leah declares her love for Wade nationwide and is publicly dubbed "Lonely Leah." She returns to Marietta to hide at her family's home–from the media who wants to turn her into a human interest story, from the townspeople upset with her blunder, and most of all, from Wade, who wants to talk. It took Leah leaving town to wake Wade Burns up to the reality that he's head over heels in love with his best friend. But now that she's back home, she's giving him the cold shoulder. With chocolate and a grand gesture, can Wade charm his way back into Leah’s heart? Author website: www.steenaholmes.com
Buy Links- $2.99
AMAZON   B & N NOOK    iBOOKS    KOBO    Google Play Books: Coming Soon 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

When the magic is gone: The I've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' Blog Hop

Thanks to Lanea Stagg for starting us off yesterday!

As for me, I'm a sentimental fool. Part of why Marie Kondo’s “spark joy” mantra was so life-changing is that my inclination is to keep things around me because of what they used to mean to me, never mind what they do for me in the here and now. So to be given permission to let something go without guilt is the most liberating thing I can think of.

Admittedly, this orientation brings me a little less joy when it comes to entertainment. Oh, how I love to grab a hot chocolate (LOL, hot chocolate when February brings a 68 degree day…) and let myself fall into an old favorite for a few hours. Why can’t everything just stay good?

A few months ago, I decided that I needed to watch Lawrence of Arabia. Having interviewed the author of a fabulous book about Lawrence a few years ago, I knew that the movie actually got a lot right, and there’s something to be said for accuracy in historical fiction. Yeah...and that’s why I could no longer abide Alec Guinness as Prince Faisal, Anthony Quinn as Auda, and Jose Ferrer as the Turkish Bey who assaulted Lawrence. All three are amazing actors, but after watching this film a number of times, I finally couldn’t get past them in what I’ll call Desert Tan Face. The fact that they’re in the same movie as the magnificent Omar Sharif only made it more difficult; even in the 1960s, there were known and talented actors from that part of the world. And considering what the story of T.E. Lawrence is really about—a sideshow to a sideshow can, in fact, have epic consequences, especially when mixed with a little noblesse oblige—it feels extra special wrong to have those actors playing those parts.

No

No

That's not insulting at all...

Well, there’s always the 1950s, and specifically 1950, which saw Born Yesterday, Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve (among many others). I was feeling like I needed a sassy, classy woman to guide me through my day, so obviously no one but Bette Davis could fit the bill. And since All About Eve was crowned winner in the 1951 Oscar race and I’d loved it before, I couldn’t go wrong.

Except of course I could. Maybe I’ve seen too many modern movies or just too much television, but Bette Davis, as incredible as she is, was over the top and not always in a good way. Her insecurities about being an aging woman are, sadly, as apropos today as they were sixty years ago, but Margo Channing’s diva act grated on my nerves. Not, however, enough to root for Eve Harrington, who was a masterful manipulator only because the weaknesses she had to exploit were so close to the surface of her victims, not because she was particularly brilliant. I can’t decide whether it’s Anne Baxter’s acting or the writing that made Eve’s scene with Addison DeWitt so unbelievable the second time around, but I cringed watching it.

On the plus side, Marilyn Monroe didn't make me wince

As I rued the expense of the two films I’d rented, I realized that this wasn’t the only time I’ve walked away from something I loved. When I was a high school sophomore, I thought
The Scarlet Letter was the most thought-provoking book I’d ever read. The characters! The plot! The obsession with good, evil, and repentance! The ill-fated love between Hester and Roger! (And did I mention that Nathaniel Hawthorne was hot?) Be still my fifteen year old heart. So when I was assigned the book the next year at a different school, I was ecstatic...and then horribly disappointed. For whatever reason, the person who taught that book couldn’t stand the structure of the way it was written and seemed to feel that Hawthorne was obsessed with everything dark. Perhaps he was, but it was painful to sit through lessons taught by someone who couldn’t see anything redeeming about it. Since then, I haven’t been able to pick up the book again, and that’s probably when I began my policy to never re-read a book.

Sadly, the list of things I “can’t even” continues to grow. The soundtrack of Camelot? There’s, like, two songs I still like, and am I supposed to listen to them in an infinite loop? West Side Story? My twentieth time through, and I start wondering why the story couldn't have been Riff and Bernardo teaming up against those d-bags, Schrank and Krupke.

This is the couple I really mourn

And *deep breath* the last few times I've watched Star Trek: The Original Series, I've been genuinely upset over the number of stories they needed to shoehorn into existing costumes and sets, because a lot of times they didn't work that well. And then I watch some of my favorite episodes from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and I think Avery Brooks and Terry Farrell could have used a little more direction in their more dramatic scenes. There, I said it.

This was just stupid
Sisko was more dramatic than Kirk sometimes...

What we do is part of our identity, but so is what we love. It’s disconcerting—depressing, even—to not only fall out of love, but to change the standards by which we fall in love. (Maybe ST doesn’t do it for me anymore because I don’t think repressed, snarky guys like Spock are as hot as I used to.) Bear with me as I recalibrate.

Have you dropped anything you used to love? Want to defend West Side Story? Either way, let me hear from you in the comments below, and don't forget to catch Keri tomorrow (full schedule can be found here).

Friday, February 24, 2017

I've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'...what about you?

Is it perverse to be excited about this? A modern form of misery loving company? Maybe, but I'll take it.

Lanea Stagg starts us off today. The rest of the schedule is below, and I'll update as the posts come up. Please follow along and share what didn't stand the test of time for you too!


Me: 2/25
Jami Deise: 2/27
Bette Davis in All About Eve trailer
Bette Davis aged much better than "All About Eve"

Friday, January 27, 2017

Blog Tour Alert: I've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (late February)


Caroline Fardig and I were looking for another theme for our crazy blog tours, and this came to me last month. If nothing else, talking about how much you don't love something after Valentine's Day is pretty wacky, amirite?

But seriously...be prepared for some deep analysis (why is our gadgety, cutting-edge culture nostalgic over toys we played with when were in preschool?) and some straight up trash talk (no, Dynasty, you owe us an apology for making passive-aggressive, sexually abusive men seem like catches).

Seriously?
Watch this space for updates and schedules.

...And here's the schedule! Thanks to the authors and bloggers who agreed to share their wit for this.

Me: 2/25
Jami Deise: 2/27


Friday, January 20, 2017

A not-so-hidden feature gets in done in three days

I don't talk about my writing process on this blog because I know most people couldn't care less, but I think some of you might be able to relate to this.

I just sent the manuscript for my next full-length release to my beta reader. This is a huge relief. I started working on it two years ago (wait, that long ago?!) and instead of plotting it out in a linear fashion, I wrote it as I needed to get the scenes out. Which isn't the worst way to write, but makes things more complicated when it's a mystery with a lot of moving parts. I didn't have writer's block on this one, but I did have editor's block. I knew I needed to fix a number of things, but it seemed like so many that I couldn't keep track of them.

Part of my issue is that I'm not using Microsoft Word but Google Docs. The machine I do the bulk of my work on is a Chromebook (and I LOVE my Chromebook), and it hasn't seemed worth the trouble to install Word because what I could get for Chrome isn't fully functional. That meant I couldn't take advantage of the outline feature that Word has...or so I thought.

Earlier this week, I saw that some of my chapters were randomly showing up in the outline. I'd seen this on other Google Docs I work with but hadn't known how to use it. I did a little research and found...wait for it...that all I needed to do was highlight chapter titles (or whatever) and change it to a heading style. Yeah...just like what you do in Microsoft Word, though it might be a little easier to change styles.

God is in the simple things

After I spent thirty seconds grumbling at myself, I jumped into the editing. So. Much. Easier. Now. As soon as I saw something I knew I needed to carry through to another section, I could quickly figure out where it needed to go. That was three days ago, and it would have been one if I didn't have to do things like care for my children.

Before I found this (really simple) solution, I was fantasizing about getting something like Scrivener, a software many writers I know use which allows you to visually organize scenes and rearrange by dragging-and-dropping. But something in me resists getting the latest-and-greatest out of principle--and the principle would be not wanting to have to keep up with every new software or gadget. My orientation is to pull as much use as I can out of something before I walk away from it. This is hand-in-hand with being a tidier person, but the lesson here is that we need to be more proactive about researching what we have.

What hidden-to-you features have you discovered that saved you time?