Tag Archives: Mika Jolie

New Release Feature: Explicitly Yours by Mika Jolie

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Mika Jolie, an author I met during my journey! Her wedding-themed romantic comedy, Explicitly Yours, officially released this month!

Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release! 😉

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Mika is giving us a look at her comical wedding romance, Explicitly Yours, today.

Great cover! So romantic!

This is the blurb for Explicitly Yours:

Marriage.
The final frontier. The end of dating. The number one cause of divorce.

I bet you every man who is about to take the plunge experiences a wide range of feelings. As a guy, whose wedding day is only seven days away, I know this.

Anxiety—Nerves are kicking in. Yeah, even confident, cocky guys like me are bound to face nuptial stage fright.

Let’s face it, forever is kind of a long time, right?

Excitement—Coriander and I are going to make it official. I’m marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with.

Nothing can top this moment.

That is until I got the biggest surprise of my life…

***While this book can be read as a standalone, it is highly recommended to read The Boy Friend first to avoid any spoilers.***

Let’s hear from the author! Hello, Mika! 🙂

Hi, readers!

You are cordially invited to Dean Conrad Morello and Coriander ‘Moonchild’ Phillips’ wedding.

Friends since elementary school, their story began in The Boy Friend.

There, we watched the two transition from friends to lovers. In Explicitly Yours—a novella—I invite you to go on another journey with these two beloved characters. This time, they are lovers, friends, and in seven days, husband and wife. But anything can happen in a week.

Read an excerpt from Explicitly Yours

Dean

See that dapper guy in the navy-blue suit, crisp white button-down shirt, blue and silver silk tie, and matching silk pocket square? Yeah, I mean the guy standing under the oak tree, with the clean-shaven jaw, neatly trimmed, dark brown hair, and a giant smile on his face.

That’s me, Dean Conrad Morello. It’s time, ladies and gents. The big event we’ve been leading up to.

There’s a reason I look cool as a cucumber, and it’s not because of the October breeze zipping through the air. I’m stoked to make it official with the woman of my dreams. You heard right, no anxious thoughts, no toe-curling fear. All the feelings swirling through me are a combination of crazy-good emotions and impatience. I feel them in the pounding of my heart, in the calm of my chest.

That’s right. I can’t wait to slip that ring on Cori’s finger and make us official … And be naughty and have a lot of dirty wedding night sex.

“Beautiful day for a wedding.” My father looks debonair in a light gray suit as he shakes my hand. The handshake turns into one of those man hugs where we pat each other’s back.

When we step away, I meet brown eyes so much like my own. I see joy, pride, and a nameless emotion that comes from watching his only son marry the love of his life. And it hits me, one day, this will be Cori and me, hugging our child goodbye as they embark on a new journey with their spouse. A raft of conflicting feelings—happiness, certainly, but also profound sadness—tugs at my heartstrings.

With my eyes welling up, I adjust the cuffs of my suit. The garden of Martha’s Way is buzzing with excited chatter. Guests dressed in formal evening attire move around. Some take their seats at the area facing the breathtaking sunset, others stand, talking.

“You look beautiful, Mom.” Truth is, she looks stunning and elegant in a shell-pink gown with a matching lace shawl covering her shoulders.

She smiles. “You look very handsome.” She places a kiss on each side of my cheeks, then runs a thumb over the lipstick stain she probably left on my face, her blue eyes misty. “There’s something special about an outdoor wedding.” Her gaze sweeps over the outside setup Jason and his team at Martha’s Way have put together. “The unparalleled beauty of the fall season.”

“I agree with your mom,” my dad says as he links their fingers together. “Jason did a great job.”

I nod and let my gaze sweep over the outdoor decorations. Mellow autumn sunshine lingers warmly. The trees, having lost their green hues, offer a kaleidoscope of autumn red and orange. Mason jars filled with baby’s breath hang from their branches by twine loops. A cello’s mahogany wood, sloping inwards at the sides—much like a woman’s curves—rests against the oak tree beside a shiny, pitch-black piano. Burlap bows with large sunflowers and fall leaves decorate the chairs. A rustic wooden sign reads Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After.

Everything is a true representation of Cori and me: Bold, fun, and sexy.

Here are some teasers to entice you with as well!

What people are saying about this book:

 

 

This book is Da Bomb! It’s a great follow up to The Boy Friend! There are plenty of chuckles, happiness and a few tears in this story.” – Lisa Helmick, Amazon

A story that is amazing and that I loved reading. This is an author who knows how to write a book that has you captivated from the first chapter and I found myself reading it in one sitting.” – Laura Furuta, Amazon

Explicitly Yours is a comical gold mine of sexy perfection! Which will have you in stitches from the very start! Seriously, it’s a brilliantly genius, snarky, work of art that is so cleverly written! I was in shock! I horribly despise romcoms! But, with Mika’s writing it does feel like an over the top Romcom! It feels like she found shelter in my brain and took over it! Stealing my thoughts and placing them on paper!! OMFG REALLY!!! Now I’m having to stalk Mika Jolie on a daily basis!” – queenzany, Amazon

Don’t forget to grab The Boy Friend and go on a journey with the cocky Dean Conrad Morello as he’s fights his growing attraction for his BFF.

Happy Reading!

-Mika

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0769XPFN7

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/explicitly-yours-mika-jolie/1127248689?ean=9781978190252

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Explicitly-Yours/Mika-Jolie/9781978190252?id=6842447479054

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7680635

 

Wow! Love these excerpts. ♥♥♥

 

Thank you for telling us about your book, Mika! Readers, I can truly vouch for this one, as I was a beta reader. So grab it now! 🙂

You can check out book one of the series too…

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she loves writing about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, she can be found on a hiking adventure, driving her boys around to their activities, or sneaking in a date with her hubby.

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon and BookBub.

Author Links

Website:  http://mikajolie.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mikajolie1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Mika-Jolie/e/B00NA74B6E/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/mikajolie/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mika_jolie/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mika-jolie

 

Thanks again, Mika! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Wedding

New Release Feature: The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Mika Jolie, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, The Boy Friend, officially released yesterday! Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Mika is giving us a look at her modern romantic comedy, The Boy Friend, today.

Hot cover!

This is the blurb for The Boy Friend:

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.
She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.
She’s the bomb.
Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.
Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.
Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.
Now I want more. I want her.
All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.
Right?
If only it were that easy.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

What people are saying about this book:

“Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG…..I loved Dean and Moonchild!! And my favorite subject…friends to lovers!”

The kiss, though!!! WOWSERS!!! MY toes curled while reading that scene!!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071YL3LMD

Wow! Love the emotions here. ♥♥♥ I can personally vouch for this one, as I was a beta reader!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Mika! I know we all can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this wonderful book!

Author Bio

Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.mikajolie.com

Blog:  http://mikajolie.com/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MikaJolie1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/mikajolie

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MikaJolie

 

Thanks again, Mika! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

58 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

Prologue Reveal Feature: SOMEWHERE TO BEGIN – Poison and Wine Series – by author Mika Jolie

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Mika Jolie, a friend and author I met during my journey! Her contemporary romance, Somewhere to Begin, officially releases on September 20th! Yay! That’s awesome, Mika! :) Congrats on your upcoming release!:)

somewhere-prologue-banner

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

Mika is giving us an exclusive look at her intriguing romance, Somewhere to Begin, today.

somewhere-front

Awesome cover!

This is the blurb for Somewhere to Begin, book one of the Poison and Wine Series:

There are wounds that never show on the body.

For twenty-nine years, Colbie Bennington does as expected with an eternal smile stained on her lips. The biggest chances she’s ever taken can be counted on one hand, three fingers to be exact—her battered red chucks, painting her toenails a vibrant blue, and her wedding dress. Always the dutiful daughter and a Stepford fiancée, she has never acted on impulse, never been in love.

She’s never lived.

On her wedding day, Colbie ends a toxic relationship, drops the fake smile, and says, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Navy SEAL Zander Serrano returns home broken and burdened with a volcano of remorse. Too trapped in a mental war to be at peace and too damaged to be at war, he shuts the world out. The last thing he expects is to feel, especially for a runaway bride with her own baggage.

Two empty hearts marred in different spots find themselves drawn to one another. Each with their own scars. Some, the world can see. Others, unseen to the naked eye.

They say two broken people should not be together. But for Colbie and Zander, their attraction is undeniable, unexpected.

Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?

Starting over is never easy, but sometimes in life, everyone needs somewhere to begin.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

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Also, the much awaited prologue…

“Somewhere there’s a war.”

~ Mika Jolie

 

Afghanistan, six months ago . . .

 

Zander’s body hit hard against the concrete. Bones cracked. Muscles snapped.

Another massive blast shook the building, blowing everything up in its path. Walls screamed. Lights flickered. Tables jumped. Chunks of the ceiling caved in. A cacophony of sounds hit his ears like a tidal wave—the crunching of metal, the tinkling of glass shattering as the explosion blasted its way out of the complex, the sound of a shrill and deafening alarm warning of danger.

“Evacuate. STAT. Bomb. Bomb.” The raucous blaring of the overhead radio jarred through his head.

Black dust hung in the air, burning Zander’s throat and invading his lungs. They were ambushed by enemy fire, facing a barrage of bullets from all directions. Every cell in his body reeled at the immediate assault.

Too close. Much too close.

Human instinct told him to counterattack. Ignoring the initial urge, he waited and gathered his wits. Years as a Navy SEAL taught him never to invest in the first option that crossed his mind.

SEALs held back to see what else showed up.

He spotted a shadow darting around the corner of an adobe wall, assault rifle in hand. Zander drew his semi-automatic pistol. With only a split second to decide, he squeezed the trigger and watched the body collapse.

A deathly silence loomed.

Choking on the lack of oxygen, he released a breath, rolled onto his chest, and scanned the room. Blood dripped from his forehead into his eyes, blurring his vision but not enough to obliterate the horror staring at him. His friends lay like rag dolls in the position of death—lifeless and dismembered, flesh and brains erupted in liquid halos, a plethora of shattered bones—arms outstretched, burning flesh, cracked skulls, brains blown out.

Death tinged the air.

He coughed and swiped his mouth. Through cracked lips, he spat a glob of blood mixed with saliva onto the floor, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Squinting, he inspected the room through the swirling dust for Ben.

A few feet away, his best friend, wet with gore, slouched against a wall. His face was twisted in a grimace, his skin pale and clammy as molten-red fluid pumped from his stomach.

“Help me.”

The desperate plea sent chills down Zander’s back. Nausea rolled in his stomach. He closed his eyes for a moment and swallowed hard, pushing back the vomit from his parched mouth. “I’ll get us out. Don’t move,” he cautioned when Ben motioned at the wound on his thigh. They were brothers—not cut from the same cloth, but they’d shed blood together. “I promise—” His words cut short by another deafening explosion.

In the chaos, he analyzed the environment and assessed the risks. Two doors. Four windows. Enemies to the right and left. They were ambushed—a well-organized attack—leaving his band of brothers dead or critically injured. The chance of surviving was nil, but he’d die trying.

Zander flicked his mind to autopilot mode—survival instinct—willing himself out of his surroundings. Becoming invisible was a powerful mental skill he’d mastered over the years when shit got real. He was trained to control the situation, to never react on emotion and to judge every move with logic.

Bullets continued to plow through the room like metallic hail, chipping the pavement around him. Some passed so near to his face he could feel the air being cut in front of him. He snatched one of the fired rounds from the ground and rolled it between his soil-covered fingers. So light, so cold, a trinket designed to take the only thing that really mattered, life.

He shook hands with death, acknowledged it, and whisked it away like a bunch of fruit flies caught in a heavy gust of wind.

Time to kill or be killed.

Relaxing his grip, the bullet slipped through his fingers. The empty casing hit the concrete, making a hollow clinking sound. Zander planted his hands on the floor and pushed himself up. A stifling sensation, as if shaving with a flamethrower, shot through his body.

His legs wobbled.

Gravity yanked him down.

Winded, he dragged himself to a sitting position. Back pressed against the wall, he peered at his legs. Below his knee, blood turned his khakis a deep Tuscan red.

Fuck.

Quickly, he stripped off his jacket, tied it around his thigh, and scanned the area. Not a sound could be heard, either close at hand or in the far off distance. Even his own breath seemed to die as soon as it left his mouth. It was an eerie sort of tranquility as if the world was encased in a cocoon or a bubble, and there was no way out. So instead of being soothed, his senses heightened.

He spotted an M4 carbine inches away. Stretching his arm, he grasped the handle and hauled it toward him. Gun in hand, he belly crawled along the floor, scraping his fingernails across the puddle of his own blood. Sweat and sanguine fluid poured in warm rivulets down his face. He went from body to body, patting down the corpses of James, Pete, and Scott for identification.

Something. Anything to commemorate their existence.

Nothing.

Because SEALs often worked behind enemy lines, a dog tag or something that could give away their identity was considered a huge unnecessary risk. He knew it, but he’d hoped. Pushing back the thought he’d have to identify every one of them later—if he survived—Zander wormed his way from one side of the room to the other and sat next to Ben.

His elbows burned from the effort. None of that mattered. “Put your arms around my shoulder.”

Ben glanced at him. His blue eyes dazed, his skin pale as a ghost.

Shit. Not Ben, too.

Zander rose to his feet, his teeth cutting on his bottom lip. The injury down his thigh protested, and he staggered a little. Ignoring the fire blazing through him, he dragged Ben’s weight down the hall. Tiny lead pellets traveled at twice the speed of sound through what remained of his left leg, the pain intensifying with each dragging step, jarring and brutal. He winced as the pain burned without mercy, penetrating to the cells that should have been protected by smooth skin but most likely lay open and raw.

He was a soldier.

A SEAL.

He trained for war, stood for justice, and fought to win.

With all the strength he could muster, he pushed his weight up against the doorway, dragging his left leg along with him. After leaning Ben’s body against the wall, he palmed the door open and picked out the details of his target. A group of insurgents stood in a circle, plotting. They thought they’d won.

Every movement became robotic, more machine than man. The rush of combat spiked his psyche with crazy excitement and hyperalertness. Curling his finger around the trigger, he aimed and squeezed. A hail of bullets jingled in rapid succession, pushing through the air with elegance, striking bodies with extreme precision.

Flesh tore. Arteries split. Indistinguishable faces marked with red splatter extinguished without a wisp of silvery smoke.

For a moment, silence loomed. Time stood still and yet it raced. Sand shifted under his combat boots. Suddenly he heard the sound of blades in the sky. With a deadly whoosh, the helicopter launched its missiles. A storm of dust came stinging, numbing the air with an acrid smell of death.

Exhausted, he leaned against the doorway, drowsiness coiling insidiously within him. An uncomfortable premonition—a feeling in the pit of his stomach as if he was looking death right in the eye—swept over him.

Another earsplitting sound rumbled in the distance. Clouds of fire belched upward. Weightless, he collided with the ground, drenched in his own blood. He sucked in a breath as every muscle throbbed in pain. The faces of his parents, his sister, his brothers, and home dangled in front of him as the gate of hell opened. Eyelids fluttered shut. One last memory of roughing it in a football game with his band of brothers crossed his mind.

A smile curved his lips.

And then everything faded into an abyss.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01LK0VKI4

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/somewhere-to-begin-mika-jolie/1123601804 

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1097910088

Books2Read:  https://books2read.com/u/mlKe6A

Ooh! What a fascinating story! This looks like a sexy, interesting ride!😉

I can personally vouch for this one, as I was a critique partner for Mika. And I’m a big fan of her Martha’s Way Series.

(Sighs.) I love romance. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Mika! I know I can’t wait to read this book again! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Somewhere to Begin today!

You can also add it on Goodreads and follow Mika Jolie as an author there.

Enter the cool gift card giveaway on Rafflecopter:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dda4dfec375/

Good luck in the giveaway, readers!🙂

Wow, this new title looks great! Be sure to get your copy next week, or pre-order it today!

somewhere-front

Author Bio

mika-jolie

 

Mika Jolie is the bestselling author of the Martha’s Way series. She lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.

For latest news on her current works-in-progress, interviews with fellow authors, or just to see what she’s up to, check out her website: http://www.mikajolie.com or sign up for her newsletter http://mikajolie.us8.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=031e437e36c82d666bd5f3d46&id=af83626053 where you can hear her latest news and enjoy giveaways.

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marthas-way-series

Author Links

Website:  http://mikajolie.com/

Blog:  http://mikajolie.com/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/mikajolie

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

 

Thanks again, Mika! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

 

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Martha’s Way Series by Mika Jolie

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]

For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ❤

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Martha’s Way Series by Mika Jolie

Martha's Way-Mika Jolie

Genre: Multicultural Romance

Blurb for The Scale:

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*All the books in the Martha’s Way series are standalone and can be read out of order.*

Twenty-seven year old, African-American, Minka Greene has to endure watching her twin sister marry the man she loves. Her weight is up, and her confidence is down. Not exactly the ideal time to meet the real man of her dreams.
The Scale opens in Martha’s Vineyard with Minka attending Keely and Blake’s engagement party at Martha’s Way, the beautiful inn owned and operated by the tall, blond, tattooed man with the piercing blue eyes. It just so happens Jason Montgomery is also Blake’s childhood friend and the best man. Dealing with a whirl of emotions, Minka faints in Jason’s arms.
When she wakes up naked in Jason’s bed after a night of passion, the Vineyard confirmed bachelor struggling with his own demons and the woman filled with self-doubt and pining for another man are joined in an experience that will change their lives.

The Scale is book 1 of the Martha’s Way series. All the books in the Martha’s Way series can be read as a standalone.

A few choice lines from the book:

“Why aren’t you comfortable with my nudity?”

It’s not just your nudity that I’m not comfortable with. As a distraction to hide the unsettling feeling inside, she sucked in a deep breath and walked across the room to retrieve what appeared to be her bra.

“I like your name. Minka,” he said from the bed. “It’s different.”

“I’ll be sure to pass the compliment on to my parents. Please put some clothes on.”

Jason laughed off her obvious discomfort. “Come back to bed, darling. I can call Blake and let him know you’ll be late.”

She stood there watching him. Her lips drawn, her eyes narrowed.

“And Minka, did you like the sex?” He waved a long finger in the air. “Ah, don’t lie.”

“I was drunk. You took advantage. Please put some clothes on.”

“I never take advantage of a woman. And you weren’t drunk.” He patted the empty space on the bed next to him. “So how did we compare to your college make-out session?”

The man was impossibly conceited. Did he really need to hear that was the best sex she’s ever had? Walking past the bed, she murmured, “I have to go.” But damn it, he was coming to his feet, off the bed, in all his glory. Don’t look!

Once again, she failed. She looked at his wide shoulders, his tattoos, his flat abdomen, and…

Seriously, she needed to stop gawking as if she had never seen a beautiful naked body before. Well, she hadn’t but she didn’t have to make it so obvious. Minka caught her breath as he came to stand very close to her, leaving only inches between them. Out of desperation, she tried to increase the space between them by taking a step back. To her surprise, he turned on his heels and walked toward the dresser, giving Minka a full view of his flawless ass. He pulled out a pair of black boxer briefs and lazily slid long, toned, tanned legs into them as if he was very aware she was examining his every move. She hated to give him that satisfaction, but her eyes were glued to him, even when he turned to face her, in the sexiest pair of boxer briefs she had ever seen on a man.

He took two long strides to close the space between them. Minka automatically took several steps back until her back was pressed against the wall. Toned arms came to rest on the wall, his eyes locked into hers, holding her prisoner. “Don’t go yet, Minka.”

Really, did her name have to sound like silk coming out of his mouth? “I must go,” she heard herself say in a whisper. Minka wondered who she was trying to convince. At this point, she wasn’t so sure.

“I want to see you again.”

Were her ears deceiving her? A gorgeous hunk of a man wanted to see her again after a night of sex. This couldn’t be. She wouldn’t allow herself to entertain the idea. He was too beautiful. He belonged with someone just as beautiful, someone like Keely. At that thought, her heart sank. But it was better she protected herself from any more humiliation.

“I have a boyfriend,” she said out of desperation.

A soft laugh escaped his throat. “You just told me you were single.” As he spoke the words, he drew his face closer to hers, his lips inches away from hers. He was about to kiss her again; only this time she was one hundred percent sober. Minka toyed with the idea of begging him to have a little mercy on her. But she didn’t, instead her long lashes fluttered when he paused for a mere second.

Then he was kissing her, another mind-blowing kiss. His lips felt just as great as they had last night, if not better. Minka heard a soft noise from her throat as he deepened his hold on her. Against her lips, he whispered, “God, you feel good.” His voice was raspy as he spoke the words, the heat of his mouth caressing her lips. “Let’s go back to bed.”

She wanted to, oh how she really wanted to go back to bed with him one last time. “I really have to go. I promised Keely I’d go to her fitting with her.” Where she found the voice to speak, Minka wasn’t sure.

“Otherwise you would have stayed,” he challenged, still standing way too close to her, his lips too close.

“Yes, probably.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“Yes,” she admitted. At least for one last time, she would have stayed.

He nodded and took a few steps back away from her, seeming to understand her dilemma. The space unexpectedly left her feeling empty. He walked over to the bedroom door and opened it.

She quietly followed him as he led her down the spiral mahogany stairs. The house, she realized, was quite large with a certain charm. A Victorian style house that was clearly a work in progress, with what appeared to be freshly stained and finished floors, newly painted walls and sparse furniture. With the exception of his bedroom and the big leather sofa in the living room accompanied by a big screen television, it didn’t look like any other furniture had been purchased. She wondered who was actually behind the man and why he lived in this big old house alone. Was he coming fresh off a relationship, perhaps a divorce? And if so, had he gotten his heart broken or had he been the heartbreaker? Minka decided it was probably the latter.

“So, should we try this again?”

Lost in her thoughts, the question caught her off guard and she bumped into him. Her hands landed on his bare chest and stayed there for a second too long. She really should have insisted he put a shirt on as well. Not that the sexy, thigh-hugging boxers were helping much. “We should try this again,” he repeated, but not as a question this time. “I want to see you again, Minka.”

“I can’t.”

“Because…”

Okay, so he was persistent. Because next time, there won’t be any alcohol. Because next time you will see I’m not built like a model. Because next time, I won’t be good enough.

“Because whatever kinky sex we had was induced by alcohol, and that wasn’t me,” she said instead. Her voice sounded almost remorseful.

Blurb for Need You Now:

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The best relationships usually begin unexpectedly.

Puerto-Rican, American Liliana Serrano has never been one to let others determine her future—certainly not her pack of three overprotective brothers. She always stands on her own, which is exactly how she entered her arrangement with Adam Aquilani. The hot formula one driver is aloof, detached, and not interested in relationships. Fresh off a broken engagement with a cheating fiancé, no-strings-attached sex was just what she needed.
Except one year later, she never expected their hook-ups to have consequences.

Haunted by his past, Adam Aquilani is a man who lives on the edge. The absence of commitment and emotional attachment in his year-long relationship with Lily was just what he needed. Until he discovers the rules have changed, and he must decide to let her go, or give her full access to his well-guarded life.

As the two take a journey of discovery, secrets are revealed which test the strength of their connection.

Can they accept what is? Let go of what was and accept what will be?

*All the books in the Martha’s Way series are standalone and can be read out of order.*

A few choice lines from the book:

Lily reached the doorway when Adam caught her hands. The whole thing happened too fast. His fingers laced in hers, chests pressing against one another. With his weight he directed her to the wall, raised her arms up over her head, and caged her in. Not one to cower, she looked straight into his eyes.
“You don’t love me,” she whispered.
His jaw tightened, but he made no attempt to dispute otherwise. Her heart scattered in tiny little pieces. She hadn’t expected a declaration of undying love, but the reality still stung.
“I need love, Adam. That mad, passionate love. It should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.” She examined his stoic expression, and her posture sagged. The fact she was forever bonded to a man who didn’t love her smacked her in the face. It shouldn’t. She already knew that. But…still, reality sucked. “That’s not who we are.”

Blurb for Tattooed Hearts:

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*All the books in the Martha’s Way series are standalone and can be read out of order.*

Being someone’s first love is unforgettable. Being their last is immeasurable.

Claire Peters should be on top of the world. She owns the radio waves and has a budding movie career. But her heart longs to be rooted. Ten years ago, she fled Martha’s Vineyard to pursue her dream and to make something of herself. But there’s still a void. After a decade of running, she returns to the island hoping to find her happiness with the man she’s loved all her life.

When a tragic event shatters Dr. Forrest Desvareaux’ well-balanced world, the Vineyard’s hometown good guy discovers everything in his life is based on lies. Angry and betrayed, he turns to Claire – the one woman who has indelibly marked him.

Is it possible to run back to the person who broke you?

Forever linked, Forrest and Claire are an unending continuum. But she’s a wildflower and Forrest’s roots run deep on the Vineyard. Can they accept home is not a place but a feeling?

A few choice lines from the book:

She knocked on the door and waited. Nothing. She knocked again, a little firmer this time. Still nothing. Claire reached in her purse and grabbed her phone. Damn, no freaking signal. Another perk of living on the island. Phone signals were capricious.

She turned on her heels to the back of the house where she knew he kept the emergency key, then headed back to the front. The night wind penetrated the wool coat with absurd ease, making her shiver. She drew her shawl around herself more tightly to keep out the cold as she fumbled with the key. The door slowly creaked open; she stepped inside and was greeted by a muted house, which was not typical of Forrest. She headed down the hall, the click of her heels amplified with each step on the wooden floor. She entered the family room. In here, ESPN always blared in the background. Tonight, there was nothing but an eerie, hollow silence.

A bad feeling slithered up the back of her neck. She dug in her purse for her phone again. One finger dragged along the screen; it lit up. Still no signal. A knot of fear twisted in her gut.

“Claire.”

The sound of Forrest’s voice, infused with a question mark, caused her heart to jump and fill with joy, relief. She whipped around and faced the main reason she came back to Martha’s Vineyard.

Blurb for Wrapped in Red:

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*All the books in the Martha’s Way series are standalone and can be read out of order.*

Christmas is a time to be merry and bright. For Minka Montgomery, it’s anything but.

While the small towns of Martha’s Vineyard burst with festive lights and good cheer, a black shadow parades around and within Minka. With her Christmas spirit conspicuously absent, her marriage to Jason Montgomery has snowballed and is spiraling out of control. The weight of motherhood – and her new role as a wife – presses on her shoulders. Self-doubt creeps in and swiftly turns to hopelessness.
As her anxiety level rises, can she share what’s in her heart with her husband? Is there a branch of hope to hold on to? With Christmas only twelve days away, can she find her Christmas spirit and rediscover the true meaning of the season?

A few choice lines from the book:

The door creaked open. She stepped in just as Jason threw his shirt on the bed, naked from the waist up—every muscle well defined, ripped to perfection, and covered with various tattoos.

Heat.

Fire.

And crazy need stirred between her thighs. No surprise there. Jason naked, half-naked, or fully dressed, always managed to produce a reaction. Lately, she just couldn’t follow through.

A thick blanket of guilt smothered her heart.

They held each other’s gaze for a few seconds. “I don’t know where to start,” she said into the silence.

“Try the beginning.”

My Score:

I was fortunate to be a beta reader for The Scale, the first book in this series, and I absolutely loved it! The passion between Minka and Jason was scorching and I found the heroine to be a very relatable character. With her insecurities about her weight and some pretty tangled romantic history, she was a character I really wanted to root for.

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Now, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading the other books in the series, but they are on my Amazon Wishlist. I can’t wait to dive in and learn about the rest of the characters we got to meet in the first book! 🙂

I give this series five hearts.

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Grab a copy when you get a chance!

Martha's Way-Mika Jolie

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Reviews, Romance

A Character Interview with Minka Greene from THE SCALE plus a conversation with author Mika Jolie!

Today, I thought we’d do something a little different.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mika Jolie, the author of The Scale, during a few beta reads and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Minka Greene, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Mika in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Minka Greene! 

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Minka.  Please have a seat.

Minka Greene:  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Minka:  Sure.

Marie:  So, Minka, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Minka: I’m an elementary teacher. I teach third grade. I love my job and I think I’m good at it. The kids seem to love having me around.

Marie:  That’s great!  So, what is your family like?

Minka:  (Chuckles.) We are an interesting bunch. I have a fraternal twin that used to be a model and now a designer. My father played basketball in college and my mother is a former model. (Pause.) For a while I used to feel I didn’t belong there, you know.

Marie:  I can definitely relate to not belonging.  What did your childhood home look like?

Minka: I live on a teacher salary now, but my childhood was pretty privileged. The big house and the private school.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?

Minka: I recently took up Bikram Yoga. I have to say I love it. I also love to play with my camera. I’ve taken some great shots on the island since moving to Martha’s Vineyard.

Marie:  What is your greatest dream, Minka?

Minka: (Smiles.) To have a family with Jason. I can’t wait to see a combination of the two of us running around. One thing is for sure; they will have a lot of hair. (Laughs.)

Marie:  (Laughs.)  So, what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Minka: Wow! I love this question. For a very long time I wanted to be Keely. That’s my fraternal twin sister. I always felt she was the more beautiful one. The one everyone loved. Then I realized I was my own worst enemy. I needed to embrace the person that I am. (Lets out a deep breath.) A caring, honest and loving person. (Smiles.) It took some harsh lessons, but I’m there now. And the only person who stopped me from being that person before was, sadly, myself.

Marie:  It’s true we are our worst critics.  I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Minka: Truthfully it’s Jason.

Marie:  I think I was expecting a different answer based on the book, but readers, you’ll just have to wait until you get your hands on it.  I can’t wait to read it again!  

So, Minka, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Minka: Without getting too much into it, I’d have to say losing my virginity to the wrong person. I wasn’t abused or anything like that. But shortly after, I overheard him telling our classmates that he couldn’t be held accountable for sleeping with the fat girl.

Marie:  Oh, no!  That’s horrible.  What a jerk!  I just want to tell you, girl, I am totally on your side.  Sometimes men suck!  Okay, before I get all feminist on everyone, let’s move on to something a bit lighter.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Minka: To be happy. (Smiles.) I’m definitely there now.

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Marie:   Who is your role model?

Minka: Myself.

Marie:  Hmm…I can’t wait to find out more.  What about you, readers?  Minka, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question…Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Minka: (Laughs.) No, not anymore. But it used to be my sister. (Laughs again.)

Marie:  What is your deepest desire?

Minka: To be more outspoken. I’m still working on that. I’ve gotten so much better though.

Marie:  I hear ya on that.  It’s hard for quiet people to open up.   And what is your greatest fear?

Minka: To have never loved.

Marie:  A girl after my own heart.  We could be sisters in spirit, hon!  I love romance!

Well, our time is growing short. Thank you for visiting us today, Minka. I wish you luck with Jason. (Waves goodbye to Minka.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Mika Jolie on the stage today. Hi, Mika!

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Author Mika Jolie:  Hello.

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Minka. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Mika: Minka is very interesting. She struggles with accepting herself as she is. She has gotten better, but it’s definitely still a work in progress.

Marie:  What are your character’s greatest strengths?

Mika: Minka is pretty stubborn. I find that to be a strength. Also, even though she had a hard time accepting who she was, it never stopped her from exploring new things. In her own way, she’s quite brave.

Marie:  Oh, I agree.  What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Mika: Really, I think it’s one. But it’s major. Self-acceptance.

Marie:  What are some of her favorite foods?

Mika: I would say a vegetable omelet and let’s not forget a good chocolate soufflé.

Marie:  Ooh!  You said the evil word. Chocolate.  I love chocolate!

Mika: (Laughs.)

Marie:  What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Mika: She would probably disagree, but Minka is pretty adventurous. She takes risks and is willing to try new experiences.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Mika: I think people will relate to Minka. They will not always like her because she can be pretty self-absorbed, which she doesn’t see at all. But her struggles are things that we all can identify with. And that’s what makes her such an interesting character.

Well, now that we have a real taste of Minka Greene, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

Marie:  What first gave you the idea for The Scale?

Mika Jolie: (Smiles.) Two things really. My first inspiration is my best friend who struggled with her weight for most of her life. The second is my own experience with my pregnancies, my weight gain during my pregnancy and how my body has changed.

Marie:  What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Mika: (Laughs.) I wish I was a plotter. I plot but very little. I don’t have sticky yellow notes hanging all over my desk. I do a very small outline of the characters, and I write down three things:

  1. What SHOULD happen
  2. What COULD happen
  3. What MUST happen

At times, I deviate from those but for the most part they help me stay true to course.

(Chuckles.) I guess you can say I’m a minimalist plotter.

Marie:  Huh.  I find that approach VERY interesting!  Well, whatever keeps us organized, right?

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Scale or getting it published? What would you do differently the next time?

Mika: First, an editor suggested that I change the name to fit in the Romance genre. I said no thanks. I was asked to change the opening scene. I also said no to that because while it is not typical for Romance, I needed to establish Minka and all of her idiosyncrasies.

Writing The Scale was fairly smooth. I had it so well thought out. (Laughs.) Perhaps a little too much because I did a lot of trimming.

Publication was not difficult. I received several offers. It was very tough to choose one.

Next time, I don’t think I would do much differently. I had a great beta reader, and I intend to use her again. (Smiles.) I have a contract for all the books for the series with Secret Cravings Publishing. They have a great team there. But, you know, I’m still going to edit the daylights out of it before I send it over. Well, because I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Marie:  I hear ya on that one!  It’s hard not to edit something to death.  Eventually, we have to tie our own hands and say, “Enough!  It’s ready!”  LOL.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great love story The Scale is.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book that is quickly becoming a bestseller! 

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Here is the blurb for The Scale:

Twenty-seven year old, African-American, Minka Greene has to endure watching her twin sister marry the man she loves. Her weight is up, and her confidence is down. Not exactly the ideal time to meet the real man of her dreams.

The Scale opens in Martha’s Vineyard with Minka attending Keely and Blake’s engagement party at Martha’s Way, the beautiful inn owned and operated by the tall, blond, tattooed man with the piercing blue eyes. It just so happens Jason Montgomery is also Blake’s childhood friend and the best man. Dealing with a whirl of emotions, Minka faints in Jason’s arms.

When she wakes up naked in Jason’s bed after a night of passion, the Vineyard confirmed bachelor struggling with his own demons and the woman filled with self-doubt and pining for another man are joined in an experience that will change their lives.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Scale-Marthas-Way-Book-ebook/dp/B00M7JACWI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1406722738&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Scale+by+Mika+Jolie

Secret Cravings Publisher: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&products_id=913

Barnes& Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-scale-mika-jolie/1120019073?ean=2940149660940

All Romance ebooks (ARE) https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?sortBy=bestSelling&searchBy=title&qString=The+scale

About Mika Jolie

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Author of Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, and Chick lit, Wife, and Mommy to two energizer bunnies. Member of Secret Cravings Publishing. When I do have time to breathe, I like to run, hike with my camera at hand, and work on my gardening and knitting skills. Join me in my journey.

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Mika Jolie, here are some of her author links:

http://mikajolie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authormikajolie

https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author

https://twitter.com/MikaJolie1

https://plus.google.com/101099856242668700162/posts

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Minka Greene, the female main character of The Scale, and Mika Jolie, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here!  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Interview, Love, Relationships, Romance, Women's Fiction, Writing