Tag Archives: mystery

New Release Feature: Kidnapped in Love 2: Backfire by author Jamela

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Jamela, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic mystery/suspense, Kidnapped in Love 2: Backfire, officially released at the end of September! Yay! That’s awesome, Jamela! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Jamela is giving us a look at her new intriguing, mysterious romantic suspense, Kidnapped in Love 2: Backfire, today.

51ncysmdxql

Nice cover!

This is the blurb for Kidnapped in Love 2: Backfire, the sequel to Kidnapped in Love:

Trisha has dealt with the death of her husband and being kidnapped by a man she thought was her friend. Her life is good, now. She and her children are happy after losing James. She can finally breathe again. She is not afraid of anyone hurting her and all of her problems have been solved. She is a successful business owner and she is living her dream life. No more being guarded.

So, she lets the wall she built fall down and falls in love with the man of her dreams. It was unforeseen, to say the least. Derrick is a young handsome driven man who has known Trisha for several years. He knows what he wants and will not stop until he gets it. Trisha is the goal. She is living a fairytale life. She has it all; great family, career, money and everything a family oriented woman could possibly want. Life is better than good; it’s great!

But, things are not always what they seem. Trisha will do anything to protect the children she loves and the life she has built. Who wouldn’t? But she has skeletons in her closet which threaten the happiness of her world and entire family. Will she end up paying for past sins, real or imagined? Will her children suffer? Or will Trisha come out on top, again?

And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

As Trisha starts the car, Derrick reads the emails on his phone. He tells Trisha where they are going and she squeals with delight as she drives. “Trisha, I saw the doctor this morning.”

“Oh, I didn’t know you had an appointment. What is wrong, is your back still bothering you?”

“No, my back is fine as long as I take the pain medication. I went to a specialist. He is the doctor that treats patients with Alport Syndrome,” Derrick confesses.

Trisha is shocked at this news and pulls over into a parking lot. “Derrick, what are you talking about? Did you go to find a doctor for Sidney?”

“No, I did not go to find a doctor for Sidney. I went to my doctor. I have Alport Syndrome, Trisha. I’ve been seeing the same specialist for a while.”

“Wait, you mean you have the same illness Sidney has?! Why didn’t you tell me, Derrick?” Trisha says, squirming in her seat.

“Because I did not want to scare you away. I am so in love with you and I have been for a long time, even before I said anything to you. I didn’t want to see this reaction from you because I do not want to lose you, Trisha. My intentions were good. I’m sorry,” he says and lowers his head.

“Derrick. You know how much I love you. I have completely changed my life because you mean the world to me. But, we had a conversation the other day about secrets. What do you think this is? How could you keep this from me? I mean, chances are it would not have mattered, the same way it doesn’t matter right now.”

“Okay, if it doesn’t matter, then why are you so upset?”

“Derrick, I’m upset because you did not have enough faith in me to realize that I would still be by your side. I’m just disappointed.” Trisha bursts into tears.

Immediately, Derrick reaches over to comfort her. After all, that has been his job for a few years now and it is a hard habit to break. He thinks about the situation and tries to look at it from Trisha’s point of view. He realizes that she has a good point. He could and should have come clean earlier.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01M1ITTFB

B & N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kidnapped-in-love-2-jamela-thomas/1124697902

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6596263 

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Kidnapped-Love/Jamela-Thomas/9781539085423

What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like an riveting ride!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Jamela! I know I can’t wait to read this romantic mystery suspense series! 🙂

series

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

51ncysmdxql

Author Bio

flawless-mommy

Jamela-Ms. J has been writing for 35+ years. She currently resides in the Atlanta, Georgia Metro with her musician/videographer husband. She reads almost anything and writes mainly fiction. She dabbles in poetry, prose and other non-fiction works. She has been published in regional magazines and newsletters. She is currently working on another collection of short stories. She has several collections of short stories, which include And I Trusted You, What Is This World Coming To? and The Run Trilogy.

Jamela-Ms. J also has a few standalone short stories and flash fiction pieces; Quickie, Cruel Intentions, Your Love, Family Gathering, Mr. & Mrs. Santiago and Unknown Factor. The Run Trilogy is a compilation of three short stories (Hit and Run, You Better Run and Who’s Running Now).  A novella, Kidnapped in Love was released in January 2014 and a 2nd edition was released in 2015. She enjoys reading, singing and obviously, writing. Jamela-Ms. J believes everything good will take hard work and is worth having, especially if it benefits others.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://info74085.wix.com/jamela

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamela/568449613189000

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Asoral2

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00EDT9E4M

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/9727897-lj-jamela

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Mystery, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

New Release Feature: A Vindicated Heart by author C.L. Bush

I am pleased to announce a great book release by C.L. Bush, an author I met during my journey! Her historical mystery romance, A Vindicated Heart, officially released today! Yay! That’s awesome, C.L. Bush! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

C.L. is giving us a look at her new intriguing, mysterious Regency story, A Vindicated Heart, today.

A Vindicated Heart

Great cover!

This is the blurb for A Vindicated Heart, book six of the Fire in My Heart Series:

Rotting away in a jail cell is dangerous to a man’s health. So is being on trial for murder. Simon Tucker’s health is diminishing as it seems the world is colluding against him. The evidence is stacking up – not in his favor – and his future is looking bleaker and bleaker.

Lucy Livingston and her family are not standing idly by and letting the man she loves be convicted of a murder he didn’t commit.

But when sleuthing turns deadly and an old, unexpected foe turns up, Lucy is put into a situation that could change everything – and possibly cost her life in exchange.

And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

A day later, Laurie knew he couldn’t put off work any longer. The mining operation, now missing Simon and having been left in the hands of the foreman, was sadly lacking in attention. It had been a month since he had been out there and he had only kept up with the goings on via messages.

He leaned down and kissed Franny on the forehead as he breathed in her scent. It had changed with her pregnancy, becoming earthier. Smiling, he made his way downstairs for a quick breakfast.

Thompson met him at the breakfast room with the morning mail.

“Thank you, Thompson. I will be riding out today. Please inform Gerring to saddle Markum.”

“Right away, sir.”

Once the dour butler had exited the room Laurie took the time to go through his post. Issues with the land he was trying to buy that abutted the mining operation and his own property were not going well. The thousand acres would greatly increase the farming yield, but he wanted it more so because he felt there was more to mine on that acreage than what he had now.

Knowing it was something he would have to deal with soon, he put it at the back of his mind to ponder as he rode.

Markum was saddled and ready to go. At eighteen hands he was a huge animal; his black coat shining in the meager sunlight of the day, his muscles only hinting of his ability for speed and maneuvering. He was an amazing beast and Laurie thanked the stars for the day he had found him at market.

He mounted and made his way across the back lawn. Normally, he rode this way with Simon, but today he felt lonely. Opting not to take a groom, he knew it wouldn’t take long to get to the mines, and he longed for some peace and quiet to ponder all that was going on.

Ten minutes in, he came upon the meadow and allowed Markum his head. The river ran to his right with the waterwheel that ran the pump for the mines about a mile downstream. He would be there in a few minutes’ time, but he wanted Markum to get some of his restlessness out before they got to the mine. The feeling of the wind in his face and the animal moving beneath him was freeing.

He slowed him as he came within half a mile of the mill, not wanting to scare anyone by riding up like a bat out of hell. The feeling of peace buoyed him as he made the last bit at a walk on Markum.

That feeling of peace lasted only as long as it took for the arrow to fly by his face and lodge in the tree next to him.

Markum reared but Laurie, ever the trained horsemen, managed to keep his seat. He whipped around looking for the assailant and saw some fluttering of leaves over in the direction of the river.

Pressing himself low over his horse, Laurie galloped towards the spot he saw movement and broke through the bushes to find the river just twenty feet in front of him. Looking up and down the bank he saw no one.

“Damn.”

Making his way back through the brush and hurrying along to the safety of others, he saw footprints. The river had risen with the rains of a few days ago and when it had receded it had left the earth damp.

The clear imprint of footprints led directly into the river.

With nothing further to go on and his safety now a concern, Laurie kicked Markum into a canter and headed for the mine.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01KW962QY

Ooh! What a fascinating mystery! And I love Regency novels. ♥♥♥ This looks like an interesting ride! 😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, C.L.! I know I can’t wait to read this historical mystery romance series! 🙂

07f50c_97ddee44b06148a68ed956c65fb7a9f3~mv2_d_2108_1956_s_2

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

A Vindicated Heart

Author Bio

C.L. Bush

C. L. Bush started reading at a young age. Since then, she has voraciously read all she could get her hands on. With a degree in Business and another in Marketing, as well as being the mother of two boys and three grown stepdaughters and the wife of a soldier in the U.S. Army, her life is busy, but she has always kept her love of reading and writing. History is also a passion of hers and she regularly goes on trips with her family to experience it firsthand.

Embarking on a new historical mystery series, Fire In My Heart, she also has a successful coloring book series, I F*cking Love Coloring.

Check out all her books now and follow her here for emails about any new releases, discounts and giveaways coming up!

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.clbush.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorclbush/

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/C.-L.-Bush/e/B017OA7HV8

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14648833.C_L_Bush

 

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

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Mystery, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

New Release Feature: Starlight’s Curse by author K.C. Sprayberry

I am pleased to announce a cool book release by K.C. Sprayberry, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic suspense, Starlight’s Curse, officially released today, April 26th! Yay! That’s awesome, K.C.! :)

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

K.C. is giving us a fun look at her new contemporary suspense novel, Starlight’s Cursre, today.

Starlight's Curse-001

Nice cover! As the author, can you tell us a little about your book?

KC

Author K.C. Sprayberry:  The South is full of mansions of the former glory, some restored to how they were back then, and others left to rot over time. Those homes are the ones that fascinate me, drive me to wonder what stories their walls could tell. Starlight’s Curse was born of a local home that was once beautiful but even more than a million dollars in renovations couldn’t restore it to its former glory. Seeing that place, one can’t help but get a creepy feeling… and that was the beginning of Starlight.

Marie: Ooh! Love a story centered around a creepy house. 😉

My assistant is telling me your characters just arrived. How exciting! It was lovely talking to you, K.C. Pardon us for a moment while we learn a bit more about your awesome new release…

We have Jayme Barclay on the stage. Hello, Jayme! It’s such a pleasure to meet you!

scene 21_poppy montgomery as jayme 2

Character Jayme Barclay: Hello! It’s nice to be here.

Marie:  Introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? And what should we know about you?

Jayme: My name is Jayme Barclay. I grew up in Landry. Went away to college but came back after only a semester. My baby, Tawni, was all I cared about once she was born. Not that some of the old women around here thought the same. They were always giving me trouble about being an “unwed mother.” Everyone wanted to know who Tawni’s daddy was, but I couldn’t let those women destroy his life, like they tried to do to me. No one was going to make me hide away in shame… until that night.

Marie:  Okay. What are your feelings about this story, Starlight’s Curse?

Jayme: We have to tell this story. Everyone has to know, so they realize it’s never all right to accept what you know is wrong as the truth. And to fight for what you believe in. At first, after I lost my baby, I just wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere and join her. But then I found a reason to live, a reason to tell her daddy what I took from him, and a reason to fight back.

Marie: I can respect that. How do you feel about being a character in this book?

Jayme:  People won’t see me at my best, but the time frame of this story was possibly the worst moment of my life. So, I like being a character in this book. Everyone will think I’m a fool at the beginning, for running away and hiding, but I come back and I’m ready to fight to do what’s right. That’s all that counts.

Marie: What do you see in your future? No spoilers please!

Jayme:  I love my future. And if you want to know why, you’re going to have to read the whole book.

Marie: Great!

Is there a sequel to Starlight’s Curse in the future? Will you be part of it?

Jayme:  Oh, I can’t spoil the ending, but honestly… I’m not sure.

Marie: Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actress would you want to play you and why?

Jayme:  Poppy Montgomery. She not only looks exactly like me, but her role in Unforgettable is the same kind of person I am.

Marie: All right. Thank you for stopping by, Jayme! (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now we have Brad Patterson on the stage. Hello, Brad! 😀

scene 23_eddie cibrian as brad 1

Character Brad Patterson:  Hi. Thanks for having me here.

Marie: My pleasure. So, if you can, take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Brad:  Brad Patterson here. Jock in high school, graduated Purdue with a Criminology degree, and came back home. Boy, was I knocked over with a feather when I saw the girl I’ve always loved had a kid. And there was no daddy around. That didn’t matter to me. Tawni and me? We got along great. She was always like my kid. You should have seen her fishing when she wasn’t but six. Sat for hours until a catfish grabbed her bait. And her mama, what can I say? I’ve loved Jayme since we were both in high school. One day, I’m gonna marry Jayme.

Marie: (Sighs.) Lovely to hear! I love romance…;)

So, what are your feelings about this story, Brad?

Brad: I got knocked in the gut by a bunch of stuff that happened in this story. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, should ever go through what Jayme endured. That evil, wicked stepmother of hers deserves whatever happens to her. Nobody hurts my Jayme and gets away with it.

Marie: Okay. How do you feel about being a character in this book?

Brad: Wouldn’t be a book without me. (Laughs.) Well, I guess it could, but I certainly wouldn’t want to let Jayme handle a situation like she faced alone. Although, (cough, cough) I still want pictures of that one move she made. Lots of pictures.

Marie: (Chuckles.) What do you see in your future? No spoilers please!

Brad:  Oh, my future is definitely looking up. Jayme and I… ah, that’ll spoil the ending. Guess you’ll have to figure out where Jayme and I go by reading the book.

Marie: Definitely! 🙂

Is there a sequel to Starlight’s Curse in the future? Will you be part of it?

Brad:  I’d like to say I hope not, but I’m a cop. There’ll always be jerks in this world trying to make people hurt just because they can. Sure hope there really isn’t another one like what we went through. That just plain hurt.

Marie: Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor would you want to play you and why?

Brad:  A movie? You mean someone would actually want to make a movie about our story? Well… I think Eddie Cibrian would do a fine job portraying me. Kind of looks like me too.

Marie: (Giggles.) Uh, yeah, you are so right there. Sounds like a plan! 😉

Well, Brad, it was a pleasure meeting you! I think one of your co-stars is coming up shortly.

Brad:  Thanks for letting me visit! (Waves and heads off the stage.)

Marie: (Returns the wave.) Of course. (Clears her throat.) So, readers, we also have Jake Haskins, pardon me, I mean…Sheriff ‘Big Jake’ Haskins on the stage!

Wow! I don’t think we’ve had a sheriff before! A pleasure to meet you! (Shakes his hand.)

Scene 17_david boreanaz as big jake 1

Character Sheriff Big Jake Haskins:  Hello. The pleasure is mine, ma’am.

Marie: Please introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Big Jake:  You want to know about me? I’m just a country sheriff, who grew up on the mountain. Like a lot of mountain folk, I didn’t have an easy life. Big Jake Haskins is my name. And I treat everyone fair, until they break the law. You see, I’m not at all like the typical Southern sheriff. That’s because I made a vow when I was just thirteen, and I aim to keep it the rest of my life.

Marie: All right. What are your feelings about this story?

Big Jake:  Sorry story, if you ask me. If the sheriffs who’d been in charge when I was a kid had been honest, it wouldn’t have happened. But they were as corrupt as they come, so it was up to me to fix things. Took me forty years to figure everything out, but I’m not someone who gives up easy.

Marie: So, how do you feel about being a character in this book?

Big Jake: Pretty good tale, if you ask me. Kind of glad I got to be in it. As I said, I grew up hard, didn’t ever have much. Thanks to a pretty good bunch of people who believed in me, I’m going places. Might not be too happy about that now, but things will change. They sure will…

Marie: What do you see in your future? No spoilers please!

Big Jake: Oh, a lot of things. Definitely changes. Can’t say much about that, though. It would give away too much.

Marie: I respect that.

Is there a sequel to Starlight’s Curse in the future? Will you be part of it?

Big Jake: (Leans back in comfortable studio chair, shakes head slowly.) Now, I’m a realist. Had to be, after what I saw and experienced as a kid. I’d sure like to say there’s no chance of all that happening again. But I know people, and some are pure evil.

Marie: All right.

Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor would you want to play you and why?

Big Jake: A movie. (Snorts.) Who’d want to make a movie. (Nods head.) Yeah, I can see there being a movie. It’s got all the elements of a good story. Who would I want to play me? Why, that David Boreanaz fellow. You know, that guy who’s in Bones.

Marie: (Grins.) I Love Bones

Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Sheriff. (Shakes his hand once more.)

Big Jake: Thanks for the invite. You have a nice day, ma’am. (Heads off the stage.)

Marie: (Looks a little starstruck.) It’s uncanny, right? He really does look like David Boreanaz. I hope my palms weren’t sweaty. Good Lord, his hands were huge! (Laughs a little.)

Well, there you have it, readers. After meeting the author and the characters, let’s learn more about this fascinating book.

Here is the blurb for Starlight’s Curse.

The discovery of three teenage girls found hanging from an ancient elm tree, alleged suicides, on the grounds of abandoned Starlight Mansion by a teenage boy sets him on a mission to find the truth. Nearly forty years later, now the sheriff, Big Jake finds himself drawn into the investigation of a mysterious “suicide” and the disappearance of another teenager.

Jayme Barclay sees her fifteen-year-old daughter swinging on a rope from a tree at the mansion the county commissioner is turning into a resort. Brad Patterson loses a piece of himself when he answers the 911 call to get to Starlight on a snowy December night.

A year later, the mystery surrounding Tawni’s alleged suicide still haunts both Jayme and Brad. Big Jake has been shackled in this investigation, much like another sheriff so many years ago.

Reluctant teens hold back information, until Jayme returns to the hometown she abandoned, to find the truth. Brad hates that he had to intrude on her grief, but also believes this is his chance to redeem himself for not protecting the daughter of the woman he loves. Big Jake suspects who the killer is and that the person isn’t done yet, but must stand back and allow a younger man to stand up against a powerful and corrupt group of politicians.

Here is an excerpt.

Sleet and snow whipped around Starlight Mansion. A young teen, a mere thirteen-years-old, scampered in and around the tree stumps, scooted around boulders filling a former field where corn had once grown tall, and laughed as the winter storm pelted his face and bare hands. Jake Haskins had no problem with the bitter cold. Not one bit. Even the legends surrounding the long abandoned, decrepit mansion didn’t bother him.

Being the normally curious boy that he was, Jake crept up on the rear of the fabled house and tiptoed onto the back porch. Planks creaked under his boots, held together with duct tape around the toes. There’d been hints he’d get a new pair tomorrow, if he was good. He figured being good meant staying away from Mama until she cooled off after their earlier confrontation. Of course, she might not cool off much, since their words had been those of an exasperated woman putting up with half a dozen young children and a surly teen stuck in a house that was too small at best. Getting angry with his life had never been something Jake did, but he was fed up with being called a poor pig farmer whose daddy couldn’t rub two nickels together.

His dreams were big. Huge, some might say. No one up here on the mountain, with the exception of the Gleasons, had anything but a hard life. They worked from sunup to sundown, Monday through Saturday only to have to start again in the new week. Children went without more often than not, and parents bewailed their lot in life, all the while teaching the next generation to continue the same problematic lifestyle, dropping out of school and taking low paying jobs at the local factories and mills.

But not Jake. He’d decided long ago that he’d one day be the county sheriff. He’d be a most excellent lawman, never once lying, or falsely accusing a family of doing wrong because they were dirt poor. Heck, he figured he’d seen enough up here to put the current sheriff, Jameson Emerson Waldon II in prison, if anyone outside Wallis County would believe Jake when he reported the mystifying comings and goings at Starlight Mansion. It was purely wrong for all those men to creep about inside that falling down building for hours on end. And the screams from what sounded like women hurt his ears and his heart. Jake had tried more than once to get the goods on the people Sheriff Waldon brought up here, but had been caught and threatened with the Mountain Home for Unrepentant Boys on more than a few occasions.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01ERRNFWQ

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6232743

Ooh! ♥♥♥

This looks like an interesting romantic suspense!

Thank you for telling us about your book, K.C.! It sounds like a riveting tale! 😀

Starlight's Curse-001

Author Bio

KC

 

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines.

Author Links

Website:  www.kcsprayberry.com

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Manic Readers:  http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

AUTHORSdb:  http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

 

K.C.’s Books:

Starlight's Curse-001

The Lie

51b9Lef9rzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

51OdoPLWyNL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

41q8H9agQtL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

61jsKJ1B2JL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

61Uuuru9w9L._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

51XVGD2P1WL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

51pLs6uI2LL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

516w+TWgW7L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

51zeP+QYVtL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

41NtZGaBG+L._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 51XPHUnv2UL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 41hbUmUBWdL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 51udnyKtafL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 6115Jxkp2kL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

41P24VUJ+8L._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_

 41TIq9YheFL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 61y73JQdNhL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

51uiL0drzDL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 51+aouiMTrL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

1513c0-4hinL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_
41z5D1Bu7yL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

51-9mzD7QaL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

51Y+pwMDJRL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

51nN5mZubFL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_

 513eHqAIFEL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_

51JyEAGUz4L._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_
51ly4I2BxsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 515ARWDcnZL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

 41mw4J-xIDL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

51lGRJSDrRL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 41CUQkWjCjL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

51y9126o+WL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 51+7+yWxuPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

51GC50IEkhL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

51UFJfdUxEL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

FamilyCurse

 WhoAmI

51-ZsaGOYnL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 41sspioorCL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

51QLWgJu35L._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_

 41YS2GTsApL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_

Thanks again, K.C., for showing us your new release and letting your characters come to the studio!  ♥

Happy reading, everyone! And we hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, K.C. 😉

6 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense

A to Z Challenge: Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

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?

Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

51jUSjtiUoL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Mystery

Blurb: When Sarah McKinley is finally able to buy and restore the historic Florida mansion that she has always loved, she dismisses the horror stories of past residents vanishing and a long-dead housekeeper who practiced black magic. Then, in the midst of renovations, she makes a grim discovery. Hidden within the walls of Sarah’s dream house are the remains of dozens of bodies—some dating back over a century.

The door to the past is blown wide open when Caleb Anderson, a private investigator, shows up at the mansion. He believes several current missing-persons cases are linked to the house and its dark past. Working together to find the connection and stop a contemporary killer, Sarah and Caleb are compelled to research the history of the haunted house, growing closer to each other even as the solution to the murders eludes them.

But there is one who knows the truth…a spirit who follows every move they make. Soon Caleb begins to fear that if he can’t stay a step ahead, he could lose Sarah to a killer with an ability to transcend time in a quest for blood and sacrifice.

A few choice lines from the book:

“I feel like such an idiot for bursting in on you this morning, and at least this explains why I was so…confused.”

She was palpably sincere. Her eyes were silver in the moonlight, and he could smell the faint scent of her perfume. Somewhere in his core, he felt a stirring and a warmth. He’d wanted to touch her from the minute he’d seen her, but he’d never been more tempted than he was at that moment.

He needed to walk her home, see that she was safe.

He needed to keep his hands off her.

“Actually, you barging in that way was rather titillating,” he said, unable to prevent a smile.

She laughed, her cheeks turning a becoming shade of rose, but she didn’t look away. “Look, what I’m trying to explain to you is that I’m not a lunatic and I don’t usually go banging on a men’s doors and yelling at them. I guess I did have a dream, but if you look at this, you can see why I thought what I did. I mean…this could be a picture of you.”

“Point taken,” he assured her, then shook his head sadly.

“What?”

“I’m afraid this means you’re not going to barge in on me again.”

“I upset Bertie. I think I’d better behave from now on,” she said, turning away. “I need to explain things to her, and apologize.”

“Show her the picture. She’ll understand,” he said.

She smiled and started walking. He stayed by her side, shoving his hands in his pockets to keep himself from reaching for her, determined not to act like a jackass and ruin this tenuous connection between them. The night was warm, but with a sea breeze that stirred her hair as they walked and carried a tantalizing whiff of her perfume. He found himself noticing everything about her. The silky sheen of her hair and the way it swayed on her shoulders as she walked.

The way she walked.

The way she was built.

Her skin was smooth, and she was wearing a sleeveless knit dress that revealed a lot of that skin, and molded her curves so tightly that he had to swallow. Hard.

She had a great mouth, generous and well-defined. Beautiful lips. Perfect nose. He remembered how it had felt to have her underneath him that morning, the feel of her flesh against his.

He almost tripped over a cobblestone as they moved down Avila, ready to make the right that would lead them to St. George.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

“Yes, just clumsy,” he assured her.

“It was strange that day, when I saw you just staring at the house,” she said.

“It’s a beautiful old house,” he said.

“But it seemed as if you were drawn to it.”

I’m drawn to its owner.

“I like historic architecture,” he said lamely. They had reached her house, and stood staring up at it. The mansion had been magnificently constructed. That night, however, he felt as if the darkened windows were eyes, staring back at them. It was if something brooding was living inside the house. He gave himself a mental shake; he wasn’t prone to whimsy or flights of fantasy. It was a house.

A house and nothing more. But history happened in houses. Events occurred. The good, the bad and the very ugly.

Adam said there were two kinds of hauntings. Residual, the events of the past happening over and over again. And active, or intelligent, when spirits remained behind, chained by the trauma of their deaths. They could even learn to move objects and travel from place to place, which was why Abe Lincoln could be seen both striding the halls of the White House, or sitting in the seat where he’d been shot at Ford’s Theatre.

He couldn’t communicate with ghosts himself, but he worked with a number of intelligent and completely sane people who did speak with those long gone.

But this house…

It was as if the house itself wanted to tell him something.

He was suddenly anxious to get back inside.

But not tonight.

“Caleb?” Sarah said softly, studying him.

He turned to her. Her eyes were so wide and concerned.

Silver and beautiful.

“Let’s get you safely inside, okay?” he suggested.

And maybe, just maybe, I can stay awhile, he thought.

My Score:

Take two people brought together by the disappearances of several women, some odd historical events related to Sarah’s house and another murder, throw in some ghosts and a passion that can’t denied…and you have the recipe for a pretty riveting novel. Oh, yeah, and throw in some old magic? Yeah, that’s certainly the kind of tale I can get into.

The romance between Caleb, an investigator new to town, and Sarah, the new owner of a historic property where some old remains are found, develops naturally instead of immediately. For the rest, you’ll just have to read it to find out what happens next.

I give this one four hearts!

four hearts

Oh, just a quick note…this is part of the Harrison Investigation Series, comprised of eight novels.

9 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance

A to Z Challenge: Raising Landry by Andee Michelle

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?

Raising Landry by Andee Michelle

51-d64kI-NL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Blurb:

After having her heart broken on her wedding day, Carson Breaux flees her New Orleans home for the bright lights of Seattle. Determined to start over and finally pursue her own dreams for once, Carson spends years working towards her goals.

When a car accident takes her best friend LuAnne, Carson finds herself the guardian of LuAnne’s five-year old little girl, Landry. Between mourning the loss of her dearest friend, raising Landry, and trying to get justice for Lu, her life becomes a whirlwind of drama.

Kyler Richards grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, although he worked hard to accomplish his own goals. He meets Carson during a brief encounter but can’t shake the pull he feels to her. The friendship between the two quickly becomes the potential for more but when Carson’s life is turned upside down by the accident, both their worlds are torn apart.

Can their relationship survive everything that’s thrown at them?

**Author’s Note** Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

What people are saying about the book on Amazon:

What an amazing debut by Andee Michelle. Strong writing. Strong characters. Lots of feels! Take the journey with Carson. You won’t be disappointed.

5 stars – Great read and a page turner

Great read and a page turner!! Read it in one sitting. Loved it and can’t wait to read her next books 🙂

Pretty amazing book for someone’s first! I have never read a book that made me have so many emotions. Loved, loved, loved, this book!!!

5 stars – Great job!!

I totally enjoyed reading this book! For a first book, I think she did a great job! Looking forward to reading more of her books!

Fantastic read. I’m not a book person, I don’t like reading at all. I couldn’t put this book down. The emotional roller coaster kept me in suspense the whole time. Read more

5 stars – Carson is on an emotional ride in this book. …

Carson is on an emotional ride in this book. Book kept me on my toes. Read it completely in one sitting. Can’t wait for next book♡

5 stars – Holy debut novel! Loved!

Awesome, awesome debut novel! I loved this so much! My heart hurt, was happy, swooned and soared. Definitely something you need to read!

It was good but not great. It didn’t get my pulse racing wondering if things were going to end up like I wanted. However it was good. Read more

 

An incredibly easy book to lose yourself in. Full of emotion that left we wiped out. (In a good way)❤

My Score:

Andee Michelle’s debut novel looks promising! How can I resist? This book appears sweet, emotional and with enough action to keep things exciting. I had to add it to my Wishlist. I definitely can’t wait to read it! 😉

I give this one four hearts.

four hearts

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Romantic Suspense

A to Z Challenge: Heart of Gold by J.R. Ward

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?

Heart of Gold by J.R. Ward

517GPH9lwUL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

She has a passion for unlocking the secrets of the past…

Archaeologist Carter Wessex is drawn to Farrell Mountain to solve a centuries old mystery- and find a fortune in hidden gold. One thing stands in her way: Nick Farrell, a notorious corporate raider with no patience for trespassers on his land, and way too much sex appeal. After an explosive introduction, Carter abandons the project…but with Nick in hot pursuit.

What she finds is something more valuable than gold…

Though wary of Nick’s change of heart, Carter is soon swept up into the mystery- and the arms of a man she swore she’d never fall for. As buried secrets surface and passion grows, the shocking details of the missing gold are revealed. So are Nick’s true motives, leaving Carter to wonder…has everything between them been just another cunning ruse? And how many more secrets has he yet to share? It will take a heart of gold to find the truth—and have faith in a timeless love…

A few choice lines from the book:

Through the trees, Nick watched her with complete absorption. The only thing that kept him from going over to her was his iron will.

Which was feeling less ironlike with each passing minute.

He’d come up the mountain to talk about their kiss and had waited until Cort had returned home so they’d be alone. He’d intended to have a straight-out conversation about what had happened the night before and was determined to put the event in its proper context. In the intervening hours since he’d felt her against him, he’d managed to convince himself that it had been nothing more than an impulsive mistake and he wanted to make sure she knew how he felt.

It was a damn good plan. Until he got knocked off his soapbox.

When he’d arrived at camp, he’d found it empty. After he didn’t find her at the dig site either, he decided to check and see if she’d gone swimming.

That was when he took a turn off the high road.

When Nick got to the river, he saw Carter bending down to put her hand in the water. Her expression was grave, the moment private, so he thought he’d go back and wait for her at camp. That was when she began to unbutton her shirt, and Nick’s feet had started ignoring his commands to get moving.

Leaning against a tree for support, he watched as, inch by inch, she opened her shirt and then peeled it from her shoulders. As the shirt floated to the ground, she turned to kick off her shoes and that was when he saw her breasts. Draped in sunlight, they were taut and perfectly proportioned, her nipples pink and small. Below the curves, her stomach was flat and toned.

Nick’s heart started pounding like a jackhammer and he felt himself harden.

He told himself he should turn around and go. He was no Peeping Tom, after all. And he’d seen women naked before. It wasn’t as if he didn’t know the inventory of female attributes well enough, but somehow the familiarity didn’t register. As he looked at her, it was as if he was seeing a woman for the first time.

And he liked what he saw. So much so, he could feel the images burning into his memory.

Her hands went to the fly of her jeans and she released the buttons. Gripping the waistband, she slid them free from her long legs. Her hips were a gentle swell, her thighs strong and shapely. When her simple white panties followed, Nick gripped a tree limb so hard he cracked it in half.

Carter froze and then looked in the direction of the noise.

Nick ducked for cover.

He waited a moment and peered around the tree again.

Carter had turned back toward the river and was stretched her arms over her head, arching her back.

“Oh, sweet heaven,” he whispered, clenching his jaw.

In the course of his life, he’d lusted after companies, real estate, works of art. Even a few women. Nothing, however, came close to the throbbing urgency he felt while looking at her. As she stepped into the water and splashed herself, her neck arched as she looked to the sky, he was close to desperation as he’d ever been.

Nick wrenched himself away from the scene, afraid if he stayed longer he’d give in to his driving impulses. That he’d step free from his hiding place and reveal his desire. That he’d take her down onto the bank of the river and enter her body in one deep thrust.

Lost on his own mountain, he struggled to find the trail back down.

My Score:

This book is also on my shelf. There are two books in the series, and Heart of Gold is the second novel. I just love J.R. Ward’s paranormals, and when I found out about these previously written works of hers, contemporary romance instead, I had to see if they were any good. Of course they were! 🙂

Carter and Nick are two strong characters who, despite steadfast approaches in their respective professions, appear to fight everything they feel for each other throughout the book. This makes for a lot of interesting tension, sexy embraces and deep conflict. I also like the additional angle of Nick being a reluctant guardian to a troubled teen. Nick and Carter keep you guessing as you turn the pages.

I’d give this one four hearts.

four hearts

I’d also recommend the first book in the series, though it’s apparent they can be read in any order.

JR Ward -contemporary

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Mary Susan from THE ISLAND AND THE KITE plus a conversation with author Aurora Zahni!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Barbi Barnard’s character on December 22nd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Aurora Zahni, the author of The Island and The Kite, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Mary Susan Bennett, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Aurora in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Mary Susan!

MaryS

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Mary Susan.  Please have a seat.

Character Mary Susan Bennett: Thanks for having me here.

Marie:  Sure!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Mary Susan: Okay.

Marie:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Mary Susan:  My name is Mary Susan Bennett and I am from Heller Park, New Jersey. I come from a place where we don’t spend a lot of time describing what we look like, but I suppose I’m a frumpy redhead whose girlfriend describes as “curvy.” You can read about my adventures in The Island and The Kite by Aurora Zahni.

Marie:  Great! Thank you for that succinct description.

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

Mary Susan:  I am currently a waitress at a wonderful coffee shop named Cybele’s Reverie. I am a great waitress and can currently not think of a better way to spend my time and get paid for it.

Marie:  Well, it’s awesome that you enjoy your job so much. 🙂

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Mary Susan:  Small. Both my parents passed away recently and I lost touch with a lot of my other relatives after my cousin Coralie was also tragically taken away from us.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry to  hear that. 😦

That must have been very hard.

If it doesn’t bother you too much, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Mary Susan:  It was a simple ranch style house. When I was twelve, my parents let me take over the basement.

Marie:  (Smiles.) All right, I can tell there’s a story there, but I won’t pry.

Do you have any hobbies, Mary Susan?  What do you enjoy doing?

Mary Susan:  I like to listen to music and meet new people. When I meet someone, I try to connect with them and learn what they are passionate about. Shared experience is the cure for the human condition.

Marie:  Oh, I fully agree! And what a refreshing take to hear that!

So…what is your greatest dream?

Mary Susan:  I just want to make it through this world leaving a positive mark on the Universe.

Marie:  That’s certainly admirable.

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Mary Susan:  I don’t understand. I am precisely who I am, can’t be anything else really and nothing stops me from doing anything really.

Marie:  Good to hear!

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Mary Susan:  Stefi Angel. Is this a trick question and did Stefi put you up to this?

Marie:  Nope. (Winks.) I swear I didn’t know about you two before today.

In any case, it’s good to hear you say that. I just love romance, if the name of the blog wasn’t an indication. (Chuckles.)

The Island and the Kite

All right. So, let’s try something else.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Mary Susan:  I can’t talk about it. My entire existence is based upon moving forward.

Marie:  Okay, I respect that. I won’t push. I can see this is difficult for you.

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Mary Susan nods.]

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?

Mary Susan: I had such a carefree childhood that I never thought about it. I’ve always mostly accepted things for their own intrinsic beauty and appreciated what the Universe offered up to me. So I guess, yes, I have achieved my dream.

Marie:  Well, great!  😀

Let’s try something else.

So, who is your role model, Mary Susan?

Mary Susan:  My boss, Hilary Palmer who I think saves the world on a regular basis and would probably be much better for an interview.

Marie:  (Waves a hand.) Nonsense. You’re doing great! But, it’s good to hear that you admire your boss.

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Mary Susan: I’ve never done that. Why would you?

Marie:  Indeed! That’s an excellent point. I wish everyone could be so genuine.

So, can you tell us something? What is your deepest desire, Mary Susan?

Mary Susan:  Desires are never deeply hidden in me. I can get caught up in it on a moment’s notice.

Marie:  All right.

How about another question…

What is your greatest fear?

Mary Susan:  To fake anything in life.

Marie:  And it’s certainly refreshing that you’re not! 😉

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Mary Susan. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

Mary Susan:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Aurora Zahni on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Aurora!

71TV9edSpbL._UX250_

Author Aurora Zahni:  Hello, Marie!  A pleasure to meet you.

Marie:  The honor is mine.  🙂

So, we just got to talk to a female character of your story, Mary Susan Bennett. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Aurora:  Mary Susan is the best of me. She doesn’t judge and lives in harmony with the world around her. She has come through tragedy with a strengthened point of view, which she inherited from her parents.

Marie:  And as I was saying before with Mary Susan, I think that’s very admirable.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Aurora: She is often nonplussed by conflict. She is so easy breezy that she can face off with just about anything like a champ.

Marie:  Wow. I wish I had about ten cups of that! (Laughs.)

That’s awesome!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Aurora:  She doesn’t judge anyone, good or bad. She is just as often hurt by this as she is saved by it.

Marie:  All right. So, a sensitive soul…I can relate to that.

Let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Aurora: She loves eating, and her favorite treat is a Binkie, which is a bacon laced cream filled angel food cake pastry which may or may not remind you of a Twinkie from both heaven and hell.

Marie:  Good Lord! That sounds evil and scrumptious! 😉

How about another question?

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

Aurora: Ha, “being unaware.” It’s like they say, birds don’t know they are flying. Mary Susan doesn’t realize that she has any positive or negative properties, just hopes she does good in the Universe.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I wish we were all so innocent.

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Aurora: If you don’t like Mary Susan, I don’t want to know you. Mary Susan, however, would still be nice to you.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Great response.

Now that we have a real taste of Mary Susan, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Island and The Kite?

Aurora: Mary Susan had a small part in my first novel. She always stuck out to me as a character, and I wanted to give her a proper showcase. I wanted to send her on an adventure filled with trials and tribulations to see how she fared. And hey, I even gave her a love story, which I never do.

Marie:  Great!

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Aurora? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Aurora: I pants to plot points. I never plan out an entire book, because I feel that it guides the story too much and allows for “Hand of God” moments, as opposed to the organic development of a the plot. So I just write and revise often so I can always have an idea of what is ahead and keep it all in continuity.

Marie:  I can respect that. Sometimes it’s better to listen to the muse.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Island and The Kite or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?’

Aurora: This is my third published novel and it went fairly smoothly. I tend to write self-indulgent stories, but after two of those I was a lot more open to writing for an audience this time.

That balance is something important all writers need to address. You need to write the story only you can write, but that anyone can read.

Marie:  That’s good advice!  We should cater to different audiences at once.

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 story The Island and The Kite appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Aurora Zahni, a very talented author! 🙂

The Island and the Kite

Here is the blurb for The Island and The Kite:

Two girls. Two stories. One day.

A murder spree and magic tea help two star crossed lovers see the light.

 Mary Susan and Stefi Angel are two constant exes who can never get it right, always as eager to give up as they are to start up again. But one day in New York City helps change that forever.

The city is in a panic as the T and S Killers rising body count has everyone on edge. Free spirit Mary Susan just wants to see a movie and ends up trapped in Hell’s Kitchen being chased by vigilantes and murderers alike. She spends the night trying to escape the city that never sleeps and deciding if she should give Stefi another chance.

Star basketball player Stefi Angel can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to love…until she drinks magical tea and suddenly has all the questions and the answers. She just hopes she can get Mary Susan to believe they have the kind of love worth fighting for and that it’s not too late.

Aurora is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“So…” Stefi took a deep breath. “How am I doing, red?”

“Not bad. Maybe you’ll get most of me after all.”

“I want it all this time.”

“We’ll see.” Mary Susan laid her head on Stefi’s shoulder. “Hey.” She poked Stefi’s arm. “I have a gift for you back at my place.”

“I bet you do. Just let me get you cleaned up first.”

“No, silly. A real gift in a box with a bow and everything.”

“I think I have everything I need.”

They devoured their breakfast and Mary Susan napped on the drive back to her place. “Where’s your roommate?” Stefi asked when they got there.

“At work.” Mary Susan removed her outer layer of clothing and announced, “I need to shower.”

Stefi smiled and took off her shoes and socks. “Okay.”

“That wasn’t an invitation. I’m filthy and I really need to shower. Will you wait for me?” Stefi nodded and then watched Mary Susan and the curves she loved walk to the bathroom in her skivvies. Be a better girlfriend. Stefi brought down all the shades and curtains in the room and put on some music at a low volume. When Mary Susan got out of the bathroom, she was already in bed waiting for her.

“Stefi…it’s been a long day. I don’t know what you think is going to happen here.”

“Be quiet and come here and trust me.” Mary Susan listened to her and then cautiously slid under the covers. Stefi put both her long arms around her and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips. “Now I want you to sleep. I’m here. I’m yours. And I’m not going anywhere.”

The Island and The Kite Teaser

 

Ooh…this sounds really good!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00OOAXZYK

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-island-and-the-kite-aurora-zahni/1120965559

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5189750

About Aurora Zahni

71TV9edSpbL._UX250_

Aurora Zahni is a former rebel who’s trying to bring a little bit of Judy Blume and Sylvia Plath to the Twilight Generation. Over the years, she has given half-assed / full throttle contributions to numerous zines and blogs, written a web movie and done significantly well in countless competitive eating events. When she was in the 8th grade, she was on the local evening news. A dead body was being lifted out of the water at a marina by the Meadowlands and you could clearly see her standing in the background watching, looking a bit excited for the camera. Looking back it may have been the highlight of her entire childhood.

Aurora’s Books:

51whCbKkKpL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_

The Island and the Kite

51cUAUBaK2L._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_

51CKxXkwIaL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Aurora Zahni, here are some author links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoraurorazahni

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/aurorazahni

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Zahni/e/B00I3JC9I6/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7092273.Aurora_Zahni

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/shirley5283/aurora-zahni/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/aurora-zahni/

Radio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/beaucouppublishingllc/2014/12/09/a-bc-chat

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Mary Susan Bennett, a female character from The Island and The Kite, and Aurora Zahni, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, LGBT, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Vikki McGlory Ward from THE END OF CAMELOT plus a conversation with author Diana Rubino!

For our 220th post, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Devika Fernando’s character on March 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Diana Rubino, the author of The End of Camelot, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Vikki McGlory Ward, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Diana in a bit, but now we have on stage…Vikki!

8eacf1ed8670ef072e713f5dab35d6bd

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

Character Vikki McGlory Ward:  Hello.  Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

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

Vikki: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Vikki:  I’m living my dream as a housewife, but I design costumes for my father’s Broadway musicals. I’m also busy with our two kids—although Al and I decided we want four, so I’m hoping for twins.

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

Vikki:  A bit crazier than others, mainly because my father was in the rackets in the 1930s and he’s a composer of Broadway show tunes. I had an unforgettable childhood. My father took me to every Broadway musical that came out. We had famous people to the house all the time for dinner and cocktails, and to me, they were just folks; I didn’t care how famous they were, or if their albums played in the background. Dad gave me piano lessons, although it wasn’t my calling the way it was his—I preferred painting, sewing and designing fashions as a creative outlet. I never knew my mom. She died tragically and suddenly when I was an infant. But my father’s second wife Greta treated me like her own daughter. We went everywhere together – museums, hair salons, shopping, for long strolls through Central Park. But in school nobody cared whose kid I was. It was a strict Catholic school and I was in a uniform like everybody else. My family is Roman Catholic and we still have all the saints’ statues in the hallways and backyards.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Vikki:  A stately Tudor in Bronxville, then a red brick colonial in Westchester County. My father also brought us to his beach house on the New Jersey shore, which he bought the year I was born. I don’t like to go there, though. It’s where my mother overdosed on pain pills and I don’t want to be reminded of that. She died in the hospital the next day.

Marie:  Oh, I’m sorry to hear that! (Squeezes Vikki’s hand.) Let’s try a different question, shall we?

Vikki:  Yes.

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

Vikki:  Designing costumes, going for bicycle rides with my husband and kids. I love to sing opera arias, although I’m not trained, and I make sure I’m alone when I do it. Fortunately, Al and I share a lot of interests – opera, painting, fashion—and one that most couples don’t share—guns. We have contests at the shooting range to see who’s the best shot. He also likes to hunt, which I don’t. But I’m good at cooking the venison he brings home.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Vikki?

Vikki:  To write my father’s memoirs with the notes he won’t let me see until, as he says, “I’m planted.”

Marie:  (Laughs.) I wonder what he meant by that!

So, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Vikki:  I want to be more introspective, to look within and find my spiritual path. But I’m always out there doing something with the kids—it never ends. I’m too exhausted at night to meditate or do any soul-searching.

Marie:  I see.  Yeah, obligations can often tear you away from the things want. But, I’m sure you love your children considerably.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Vikki:  My first husband Jack Ward. I stayed in D.C. after I graduated Georgetown, still thinking I wanted a career in politics. I got a job as a political consultant with a couple of ex-CIA agents. Jack was a reporter for the Washington Post. I always enjoyed his articles—they had a clever undertone of cutting-edge humor. Sometimes he mentioned personal details: his close calls as a stunt pilot, his solo in a sailboat around Cape Horn, the political and show business parties he attended…I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for him to reveal another personal item, like the next installment in a serial. Then he became a television reporter for NBS. I was in my glory, able to see him every night at six and eleven. When So Far So Good came out—that was his memoir—I took the day off from work to read it. I devoured it, tore out the pictures and taped them to my walls. On television, he was as commanding and powerful as any president, and that was it—I had to meet him. So I spent every spare moment in front of NBS Studios waiting for an ‘accidental’ encounter. Finally it happened. First it was eye contact and a little small talk, ‘I’m your biggest fan,’ that kind of stuff. I had to talk fast. I read up on the items he reported so I’d be able to hold a conversation with him, and one day just blurted out an invitation to my place for dinner. He was so surprised, he accepted. I had him over the next night, and he fell in love with my aglio olio. I was already in love with him. When that evening ended, I’d already planned out the rest of my life… I wasn’t going to let him get away. I wanted him and I got him.

Marie:  Aww…that’s a sweet story.

EndOfCamelotCoverLarge

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

Vikki:  Losing Jack. He was found dead in the bathtub of his Dallas hotel room the same day President Kennedy was shot. He wasn’t supposed to be in Dallas. He never took baths. I immediately knew he’d been murdered. I found his notes and his tapes, and learned that he was embroiled in the plot to kill JFK—but his mission was to prevent it. From that horrific day on, I vowed to find out who was behind the murders of JFK and my husband. Bringing that bastard to justice became my quest, and once I found him, I knew that Jack could rest.

Marie:  How terrible! I’m so sorry. 😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Vikki nods.]

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?

Vikki:  To be a wife and mother, and indulge my passion for painting, designing costumes and seeing them on the stage. I must say I am living that dream, despite having lost Jack so tragically. But I know everything happens for a reason. Al told me many times if he hadn’t met me, he doesn’t know if he’d be alive today.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance.

So, who is your role model, Vikki?

Vikki:  It’s got to be my stepmother Greta. She rescued my father when he was still deeply grieving for my mother. She brought him back from the brink and gave him two beautiful kids.

Marie:  I agree. How inspirational!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Vikki: Al’s former fiancée, Mona. He was forced into the engagement by both their families, and the times I met her, she seemed silly, self-centered and took advantage of Al. But I was very cordial to her, and would never tell anyone how she rubbed me the wrong way.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your deepest desire?

Vikki:  To give my kids a normal life, and I hope they never have to face crime or murder or even greed.

Marie: Yes, I think we all want the best for those we love.

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Vikki:  That some underworld figure will come after me. It’s an irrational fear, but when you learn your father was a gangster, and my having met killers such as Jack Ruby and underworld figures on my quest to find Jack’s killer, that fear never leaves you.

Marie:  Wow, that’s terrible!  😦 I can certainly understand your fears.

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Vikki.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

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

LibraryHeadShot

Author Diana Rubino:  Hi. Thank you so much for having the two of us here, Marie! 🙂

Marie:  My pleasure! 

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

Diana: Vikki’s father Billy McGlory brought her up alone, until he married Greta, his second wife. Vikki has a degree from Georgetown and a Master’s in Political Science. She met Jack Ward in D.C. when he was a newspaper reporter. She and her father are very close; they get drunk together and have a good time.

She’s wanted to be everything from a cop to a ballerina to a singer to a lawyer to a jewelry designer. Her grandmother Vita urged her to do whatever she wants. She’s 90 and very feisty.

Marie:  Wow, what a unique background!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Diana:  She’s brave and doesn’t care about putting her life in danger; she lived for Jack and finding his killer.

Marie:  Okay. Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, is her greatest weakness?

Diana:  She inherited her father’s impetuousness and flighty nature, but hopes she’ll grow out of it.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

Diana:  Anything Italian, especially lasagna and strufoli (honey balls).

Marie:  Italian food is pretty awesome!

Let’s try something else.

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

Diana:  Her courage is admirable. But she didn’t consider it courage; she had to find her husband’s killer because she believed that was her mission, and if she got killed trying, that was her fate.

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

Diana:  I believe readers will like Vikki because she’s a strong, brave, loyal woman who put her life on the line for justice for her murdered husband. Besides that, she’s pretty cool. She sings opera but has every Beatles album and dances up a storm when Shindig is on.

Marie:  She is pretty interesting!  Now that we have a real taste of Vikki, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The End of Camelot?

Diana:  This is going to date me, but I was six years old when President Kennedy was assassinated. Everyone who was alive that day knew exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. I was in my first grade classroom. The teacher got a call on the classroom phone and told us ‘the president was shot.’ A collective gasp went around the room. It was ten years before I saw the footage of Ruby shooting Oswald, on a documentary.

My grandmother was a huge JFK assassination buff. She listened to all the radio talk shows and recorded them. She got me embroiled right along with her. I never lost my fascination with all the conspiracy theories. I always wanted to write a novel centering on this event, and it fit in perfectly as the third book in this series.

Marie:  Great!

So, Diana, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Diana: Absolutely a plotter. Just like I couldn’t drive cross-country without a GPS, I’d never attempt a coherent novel without a detailed outline. Of course it changes along the way, but the basic structure keeps me from going astray.

Marie:  That’s understandable. Eventually, I have to break down and plot mine as well.

So…I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The End of Camelot or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Diana:  I took some flack from a member of my crit group because he didn’t think it was realistic for Vikki to be sleuthing, seeking out underworld figures, and going after them with her gun, as she tried to find her husband’s killer. So I made it as believable as possible, although this is a thriller and Vikki is larger than life. It was also a challenge to write the sewer scene–I won’t spoil it and say how, but Vikki winds up in the New York City sewer system and finds her way out. That scene was hard to write. I needed it to be realistic and incredibly gross–and I managed to do both. 🙂

What would I do differently next time?

My editor needed me to change the scene where Vikki visits Jack Ruby in prison. He’s the guy who shot Oswald after Oswald shot JFK. She didn’t want me to write the scene as it happened, with dialogue, in case there was a problem. So I had Vikki tell the hero Al about the visit later on.
Next time I’m writing a historical with people who lived more recently, I’ll have to be careful about who I can put directly into a story and who I can’t!

That’s good advice. I’m glad it worked out for you! 😉

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The End of Camelot appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Diana Rubino, a very talented author!

EndOfCamelotCoverLarge

Here is the blurb for The End of Camelot.

November 22, 1963: The assassination of a president devastates America. But a phone call brings even more tragic news to Vikki Ward—her TV reporter husband was found dead in his Dallas hotel room that morning.

Finding his notes, Vikki realizes her husband was embroiled in the plot to kill JFK—but his mission was to prevent it. When the Dallas police rule his death accidental, Vikki vows to find out who was behind the murders of JFK and her husband. With the help of her father and godfather, she sets out to uncover the truth.

Aldobrandi Po , the bodyguard hired to protect Vikki, falls in love with her almost as soon as he sets eyes on her. But he’s engaged to be married, and she’s still mourning her husband. Can they ever hope to find happiness in the wake of all this tragedy?

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00UF3XYI2

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-end-of-camelot-diana-rubino/1121492967

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-end-of-camelot

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Diana_Rubino_The_End_of_Camelot?id=jnPxBwAAQBAJ

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-end-of-camelot/id979056619?mt=11

About Diana Rubino

LibraryHeadShot

Diana Rubino’s passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband Chris. In her spare time, Diana bicycles, golfs, plays her piano and devours books of any genre.

Diana’s Books:

Coming June 1st: 

 Still CrazyCover

Coming June 17th: 

BootlegBroadwayCover

Available Now: 

EndOfCamelotCoverLarge

AroundTheWorldIn80MealsCover (Small)

ForLoveandLoyaltyCoverMedium

23455168

ANecessaryEndCover_200x300

22430741

19286340

8586653

41i9vT+VSQL.

9278711

CoverTravelingLight

nysaga

11313395

ilyvbecause

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

Website:  http://www.dianarubino.com/

Blog:  http://www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DianaRubinoAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DianaLRubino

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Diana-Rubino/e/B005C4ZSHO/

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=47749428

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/100382402048172055582/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/845147.Diana_Rubino

Publisher:  http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=656

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Vikki, the female main character of The End of Camelot, and Diana Rubino, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out Diana’s latest release!  🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Event, Fiction, Historical, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Keri Sunderland from LOST & SCARED plus a conversation with author K.C. Sprayberry!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. It’s also our 200th post so it’s even more exciting! Yay!

If you remember, we interviewed Celia Kennedy’s character on February 24th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of Lost & Scared, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Keri Sunderland, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Keri Sunderland!

Keri

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

Keri Sunderland:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

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

Character Keri:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Keri: I’m a junior at Landry High School in Landry, Georgia, and like my twin, Shane (I call him big bro, cause he’s like ten minutes older than me), I get stellar grades. School is the best place in the world, and if I don’t get good grades El Creepo (AKA my dad) will give me grief.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your family like?

Keri: Wow. Tough one. My family is complicated, and I mean really complicated. There’s Shane and me, Kenny, Stacy, Jimmy, and baby Krissy, but there are two other kids. Something bad happened a long time ago, but I don’t like talking about it, or even thinking about it. Not even Mom talks about it. She’s cool now but for years she put up with El Creepo smacking her around. Shane and I finally did a “come to Jesus” meeting with Mom, and now the jerk is out of the house. We’re learning to get along without him, which means a lot more laughter and fun.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Keri: Our house is this sweet Craftsman style with two floors. The bottom one is normal—a couple of bedrooms (one’s a computer place for Big Bro and I), bathroom, living room, a great eat in kitchen where I love, love, love to experiment with recipes, and a playroom for the little ones. The upstairs is two huge bedrooms, one for the girls and one for the boys, and a bathroom the six of us have to share. The boys always leave that bathroom so nasty, and I have to clean it. But that’s part of being in a big family. What I love most about our house is the rest of the lot. It’s absolutely huge! Like we can invite the all the cheerleaders over for a barbecue, and the whole football team, and there’s still room for the marching band and a bunch of our friends. Oh, and the little ones can still play without getting bumped around. And there are huge, old trees back there, some tables and chairs. It’s the most totally cool place to hang out in the summer!

Marie:  That’s great!  🙂

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

Keri:  I love cooking. Did I already mention that? Well, I do, and I love experimenting, to find great new dishes. There’s cheerleading, and I’m hoping with all my heart to be the head cheerleader next fall, when my senior year starts. Big Bro and I also do this thing at Christmas every year, to pay back all the people who have helped us in the past. We get local merchants to donate gifts, a local tree farm gives Christmas trees, and then most of the high school and some adults give this stuff to needy families on Christmas Eve.

Marie:  How nice!

So, what is your greatest dream, Keri?

Keri:  So much bad has happened in our house, but I wouldn’t leave that willingly for the world, because good has also happened there. My greatest dream is to have our dad out of our lives. He used to be a good person, but he’s not now and he hasn’t been in a long time. He hurts Mom all the time, physically and emotionally by bringing his girlfriends around while she’s at work. He’s always screaming at us or making the little ones cry. Then he disappears, usually taking all of our money, but then it’s good. We’re happy for a while, until he comes back.

So, yeah, getting El Creepo out of our lives is my greatest dream right now. Oh, please don’t tell Mom that I’m calling him El Creepo. She doesn’t think that’s right, but the name fits.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about your dad. That must be hard.

Let’s try a different question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Keri: I want to be a normal teenager, with a normal home, and no worries other than what I’ll wear to school, or if the guy I’m crushing on thinks I’m cute, or if my bestie wants to go shopping with me. But I can’t be that now. I have to help my mom after I get out of school and before she comes home from work. Shane tries to help too, but he has a job, to save for college.

Marie:  I see.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Keri: Axe Markson. His first name is really Gerald, but only his grandma calls him that. He’s Axe to everyone else. Sigh! He’s so cute, and sweet, and I think he more than likes me but… this is so awkward… his dad is a cop, one of the cops who always show up when El Creepo acts like a total jerk. I mean, how can a girl get a guy to like her when he knows all her horrible secrets, and his dad is always at her house? But I hope one day that Axe will get past all that and actually ask me on a date!

Marie:  Oh, I hope so too!  I love romance…;)

lost and scared cover art

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

Keri: The night Cindy and Sam died. Shane and I know the truth, but we can’t ever tell. We just can’t. El Creepo promised to do the same thing to us if we did, and that would totally destroy Mom. But that secret is getting so hard to hold onto anymore. I think Big Bro and I might tell soon, before we absolutely bust from this horrific secret.

Marie:  How terrible! 😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Keri nods.]

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?

Keri: My dream is to have a house where I don’t have to worry about my dad screaming at everyone, or hitting them for messing up. All I want is a place where I don’t have to worry, where I can think about the rest of my life without being afraid of doing something wrong and having to pay his price. ‘Cause his price is always too high.

Marie:  That makes sense. Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home.

So, who is your role model?

Keri:  My bestie, Carly Jameson. She’s totally cute, adores Shane, and I can’t think of anyone better for him. She is always there when things are bad or good. Carly is the best thing in my life, unless Axe decides to ask me out, and then she’s second best, but only ‘cause she’s probably going to be hanging out with Shane.

Marie:  (Laughs.)

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Keri: Not really. People know that what they see is what they get with me. Except for the big secret, I’m probably the most open person in the world. If something bugs me, I blurt it out. Well, except for my other girlfriends, who dumped me fast once they figured out my dad was a total jerk. That hurt, but I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt. That would mean opening up about other things, and I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Keri: To go on a date with Axe, to have a happy family, and to go to college. The college thing might a bit hard, since I can’t get a job, but Shane told me that he’d give me part of his money from the savings.

For the future, I’m not sure. I plan on getting a business degree and finding a job after college, but I’m kind of scared of getting married. Seeing what my dad did to my mom for so many years makes me afraid of commitment, but then there’s Axe. He’s always made me feel safe, but what if he turns out to be like El Creepo? I couldn’t handle that.

Marie: Yeah, I can understand that. I had a bad experience with my ex, and it was hard to trust again after that. Luckily, I found a very patient man and we are so happy now.

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Keri: Losing someone else from my family. I still have nightmares about the night Cindy and Sam died, and my cowardice afterward. Yeah, I was seven when it happened, but still… it’s not like I’ve ever really held back from telling people what’s on my mind about anything else. I don’t get why I’m so scared of telling now, well, I kind of know why. Thinking about what he could do to me if I ever did tell shuts my mouth on the subject forever.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about the situation you’re in, Keri. That’s tough. (Pats her hand.)

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Keri.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

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

better pic of me

Author K.C. Sprayberry:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

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

K.C.: Keri is a teenager, just completing her junior year of high school. In a lot of ways, she’s an overachiever, always ready to volunteer to help out, giving more than her fair share to her community, and studying hard to get the best grades. All of this hinges on an event when she was seven that has marked her, driven Keri to fight back, but she also is still very much the frightened child, terrified that her boogeyman will hurt her too.

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

K.C.:  She’s loyal to those she knows won’t abandon her, a talented cook, and is willing to help out anyone in need. She also won’t quit, refuses to give up on someone she loves. These last two traits will serve her well when she’s faced with a situation she knew could happen, but never believed it would until it did.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

K.C.:  She can’t bring herself to tell the truth about the night Cindy and Sam, twins two years younger than Keri and Shane, died. A great believer in going to church and her religion, she loses her faith during a very tough time, and almost loses the heart to keep fighting back.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

K.C.:  Keri loves Sonic’s Chicago Dogs and Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese, extra pickles, no onions, and hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream.

Marie:  (Laughs.) All healthy choices, of course.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

K.C.: Keri has never been called on to stand up to her abusive Dad directly or to go against him when she knows that he will lash out with his fists. She’s avoided that since he started using drugs and drinking. But she’s faced with a situation where she knows that she has to do the impossible, take on things she’s never done before, or possibly lose another sibling. No spoilers, but I can say that when faced with a life or death situation, she discovers an inner core of steel that allows her to do what is right instead of cowering in a corner.

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

K.C.:  Readers will like her plucky attitude, her resilience despite the tragic situation she finds herself in, and how she doesn’t ever really give up. They might dislike how she loses faith in her abilities or leans on Shane’s perceived strength, discounting her own inner strength. She points out that he’s better with the physical stuff without even thinking about what she’s capable of doing.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Keri Sunderland, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Lost & Scared?

K.C.:  I had two names, Keri and Shane; they actually came to me at the same time, and they had to be twins. Then I saw a story about a child who had been taken by their non-custodial parent and I began to research the subject. Some of the information I discovered chilled me to the bone. Finally, I discovered this website for survivors of non-custodial parental kidnapping and couldn’t stop reading the stories on it.

That’s when a pivotal scene exploded into my head, of seven-year-old Shane and Keri hearing what’s happening to their younger twins, Cindy and Sam. The story evolved from there during the 2014 NaNoWriMo competition. I “finished” the book, about 51,000 words, during November and spent the next six weeks immersed in this book, as more and more information about them came out.

Marie:  That’s great! It’s interesting how research can spark more ideas.

So, K.C., what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

K.C.:  More of a panster. Stories come to me. Sometimes as a whole, other times in bits and pieces. I have stacks of paper lying around my office with ideas on them and files in my computer with half-finished stories just waiting on me to get to them.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That sounds a lot like me!

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

K.C.:  The biggest challenge in writing Lost & Scared was in keeping it real. That can be difficult to do while also paying attention to the plot lines and crafting believable characters. Also, some of the scenes were so intense that I couldn’t stop working on them until I had finished, so that they didn’t kick me out of a sound night’s sleep.

What would I do next time? Honestly, I don’t think I’d do anything differently. All of my books are like this. They reach a point where I have to continue working, ignoring the dust bunnies, my husband and son screaming for food, even the dog whimpering at me to play with her. I’ll become immersed in the story, to the point where nothing else matters, and that’s when the layers start to come together, to make the characters three dimensional, the action intense and real, and the outcome believable.

Marie:  I hear you. I am just as determined when I am focused on a project.

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 story Lost & Scared appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author!

lost and scared cover art

Here is the blurb for Lost & Scared.

When their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.

Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TXJ48FC

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/lost-scared/

About K.C. Sprayberry

better pic of me

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon best sellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, Starlight, and the soon to be released Lost & Scared. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

K.C.’s Books:

lost and scared cover art

24854564

24015374

23509529

23291912

23291909

23158662

22914349

22701657

22033077

21472973

20457013

19167495

18875275

24582948

18805010

18742419

18657271

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

16098197

11935414

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing K.C. Sprayberry, here are some of her author links:

Website:  www.kcsprayberry.com

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Manic Readers:  http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Keri Sunderland, the female main character of Lost & Scared, and K.C. Sprayberry, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing, Young Adult

A great period romance!

I don’t often write reviews for the I Love Romance Blog, only when I feel that I have something to say. I never promise reviews, not just because I don’t have a lot of free time, but I also don’t wish to have an author saying, “Hey! Why didn’t you give me five stars?” I’m not saying every author approaches a review with a lack of professionalism. Most don’t, but I still don’t want to take that chance (I’ve heard the horror stories). If I do a review, I am honest and I will only put it up on this blog if it’s a book I truly enjoyed.

Having said that, I had to bring this series to your attention as it relates to our theme – romance. After purchasing and reading the final book recently, I thought it was about time to make an overall statement regarding this fantastic historical romance series.

I accidentally stumbled across Kris Tualla’s The Discreet Gentleman Series when my publisher assigned me an editor for Upon Your Return. After seeing the unique relationship between Captain Grant Hill and his valet Eric, she recommended a series with a somewhat similar theme. It was, in many ways, entirely different, but so worth the read.

series

The Discreet Gentleman Series by Kris Tualla is a Viking series set in 1700s Norway. Brander Hansen is a discreet gentleman of discovery, a kind of pre-Sherlock Holmes. This series is full of suspense, intrigue and romance. Brander is a unique investigator in more than one way, however. Not only is he a master of disguise, he is deaf, and he and his cousin Niels have created an original way to communicate with one another, not altogether different from modern sign language. What he doesn’t expect is to be confronted with Lady Regin and all of the wonder and complications she will cause him during his question to gain back his honor and status as a gentleman.

This is a lovely, fantastic series that will keep you on your toes! You never know what kind of trouble these two will get into. I loved all of the characters in this series, and I can’t wait to read Kris Tualla’s other books! I give the entire series a fabulous five stars,and I fully recommend it to anyone who loves history, romance or mysteries!

Here are the books, blurbs and purchase links:

6e5e56fbf167c77390b7c75a81153e4e_b7je_jpmh

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B007K1KPUC

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-discreet-gentleman-of-discovery-kris-tualla/1107712758

16070906

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B008W192VC

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-discreet-gentleman-of-matrimony-kris-tualla/1111849364

17125022

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00AMI6I7Y

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-discreet-gentleman-of-consequence-kris-tualla/1120819189

19410341

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00G1YDOGQ

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-discreet-gentleman-of-intrigue-kris-tualla/1117375529

19470487

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00H9FUZSQ

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-discreet-gentleman-of-mystery-kris-tualla/1118060977

Thanks again, Kris Tualla, for making my romantic’s heart race. Now I have a reason to love Vikings! You’ve certainly made a loyal fan out of me.  😀

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Fiction, Historical Romance, Love, Mystery, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing