Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blog Tour: Hemphill Towers by Leona Pence

Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 10/25/2013

Riley Saunders has her dream job. As an art director at a leading advertising agency, she works every day with her two best friends, Stella and Birdie. All three have been assigned to ensure that the Grand Opening of the Peterson Art Museum is nothing short of a success.

When a girl’s night out at a hot new Italian restaurant ends with a spilled bottle of wine, it sets in motion a series of events that leaves Stella and Birdie caught up in whirlwind romances, and Riley fearing for her life at the hands of a deranged stalker. But, when the handsome museum curator, Trent Peterson, learns of her situation, he vows to keep her safe.

In a quick-paced tale of fine art, wine forgery, and the Russian Mafia, Riley and her friends soon discover their pursuit of love will require them to expose a crime, thwart a murder, and trust the one thing that has never failed them…their friendship.
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

I don’t think so, unless it might be the idiom, ‘What Goes Round, Comes Round.’

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The biggest challenge or hindrance is scheduling time to write. Procrastination is a terrible thing in writing. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get started again.

Research is not one of my finer points either. I envy those who love to do research.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Hemphill Towers is my debut novel. I have a flash story in two anthologies, but they are just 200 and 250 words respectively.


If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I have three main characters and their love interests. I chose these actors because they’re beautiful people who fit the descriptions of my characters. I’ve added a link to my blog to show you.

Stella: Alexis Bledel                                JB: Gerard Butler
Riley: Amy Adams                                 Trent: Jake Gyllenhoal
Birdie: Rachel Weisz                              Federico: Antonio Cupo
Dierk: Emerson Smith

When did you begin writing?

I didn’t start writing until two years after my husband’s death from lung cancer. I was sixty-five years old, and writing a novel hadn’t even entered my mind.
How long did it take to complete your first book?
I wrote a very rough draft in three months. It spent a lot of time on my computer shelf, but from start to publishing took five long years.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Barbara Cartland and a gazillion Harlequin authors inspired me to write in the romance genre.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Just sitting at my computer and letting the words flow. And, of course, writing: The End.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Romance, Intrigue, Fraud, Italy

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

My second book WIP uses many of the characters from Hemphill Towers. I’ve only written about five chapters.  I’d like to try my hand at Flash Fiction. An F2K friend keeps encouraging me to try flash. It’s a challenge to put a whole story into an extremely limited amount of words. 

Leona Pence started reading romance novels as a teen. She graduated from Nancy Drew stories to Harlequin Romance, and then to her favorite author, Barbara Cartland and her vast Regency romance collection. Happy endings were a must.
Leona began writing late in life after the death of her husband of forty-four years. They married on her 19th birthday after a three month courtship – and yes – love at first sight really did happen.
She enjoys reading, writing, online pool, and especially being a Mentor in F2K, a free online writing course.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cover Reveal: Taking Chances

Ariadne Wayne - Taking Chances - Cover Reveal
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 3/30/2014

Lauren and Mark Burrows lost their parents in a car accident one night. Despite their father being the drunk driver, both struggle with the urge to turn to drink; Lauren most of all. When all they have is each other, Lauren feels lost when Mark falls in love with Cassie Warren and moves out.

Ethan Stone has been alone since his divorce. His ex-wife took him for everything, and he has felt empty for a long time. He's not looking for love, but Lauren brings him back to life. The question is whether she can fight her demons for the man she loves, and if Ethan can handle the wild ride that is life with Lauren.


Ethan leaned over to kiss her. “I’m looking forward to going to bed too. If I’m invited.”
She laughed, slapping his arm. “Are you kidding? After all that fuss at the door, you had better bring your A game tonight, Mister.”
“I don’t know about that, but I could do with loving you some more. We’ll have to leave pretty early. My schedule is full tomorrow.”
“You still came?”
“Lauren, I told you. You’re worth the effort. If I have to look for work down here, I will.”
“I can’t believe anyone would do that for me.”
“I love you. Even if you don’t feel the same way, I’ll be there when you need me.”
She kissed him. This man was special, and he was hers.
“I do feel the same way. My whole life, no-one ever loved me,” she said.
“I bet that’s a lie. You have such a good heart. Anyone who doesn’t love you isn’t worth knowing.”
“Can we skip dinner and get to the bed part?”
Ethan squeezed her hand. “Not after the effort I put in. Maybe afterwards.”
“Well, you can’t wash the dishes. There’s no hot water left.”
“You didn’t leave any for me?”
Lauren draped her arms over Ethan’s shoulders. “No. You should have joined me.”
“Next time, beautiful.”
She looked away, not wanting to meet his gaze. “What is it, Lauren?”
“No-one’s ever called me that before.”
    “Well, get used to it.”
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Tour: The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock

Date Published: 11/11/2013

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.

A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.

Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.

All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.


Without making a sound, Wyatt quickly found the exact place he was seeking. Ducking under some low-hanging tree branches, he ventured into the dark, partially-hidden lair only to be met with a less-than-welcoming blade at his throat. Dev had moved slightly from the hiding place Wyatt left her and although the lower half of her body remained immobile, her arms were functioning just fine, as evidenced by the blade drawing a thin trickle of blood from Wyatt’s neck. One wrong move and she would certainly kill him. 

 Wyatt slowly brought his hands up to Dev’s, wrapped his fingers around hers and painstakingly maneuvered the blade away from his neck. Only then did he dare make eye contact with her.  

“You didn’t really think I was just going to leave you here, did you?” Wyatt asked as he moved to retrieve his blade from Dev. 

 She wasn’t quite ready to give it up and slashed at Wyatt’s outstretched hand, managing to nick his wrist.

 “Crap!” Wyatt sat back on his heels, holding his wrist, and laughed, “fair enough. I deserved that. I should have told you I was coming back, but I couldn’t risk Ryker overhearing or suspecting anything. Trust me, if he thought I was coming back for you he would have spent all night watching me like a hawk. So I left you and walked away and it worked. Now get over it and give me back my blade.” 

 Despite the laughter in his voice, Wyatt wasn’t playing. He wanted his blade. Her name was Odara and she had been handed down the Clayworth line since the witnessing of The Code of Ten. She was sharper than any Raven blade and fit his hand like a glove. Many had fought and died at his hand thanks to Odara. She was his protector and he wanted her back where she belonged, safely strapped to his hip.  

"Kill me," Dev offered the blade at a price. 

 Wyatt stood up tall and glared down at Dev, clenching his jaw in irritation. 

 "Kill me," Dev challenged him again, taunting him with her smug stare and grim request.  

With blinding speed, Wyatt landed on Dev, knocking her to the ground. Before she even realized what was happening, he locked down her arms and liberated his blade from her grasp. Wyatt hovered above Dev, inches from her face, momentarily tempted to slice her throat and end all of this drama. She couldn’t move a muscle.

 "You are in no position to bargain with me," Wyatt angrily whispered, never taking his eyes off of hers. "I am faster and stronger than you. So don’t even think about toying with me like that again.”  

Wyatt pushed himself off of her, replaced Odara at his hip and grinned mischievously. “For the record, my blade isn’t worth your life. I just want it back. And I asked nicely the first time.” 

 Dev remained in her prone position, staring up at Wyatt, uncertain of her next move. She didn’t have the strength necessary to pull herself into a seated position and she definitely was not going to ask for help. 

 “What?” Wyatt stared down at Dev, knowing she needed help to get up but determined to make her ask for it.  

Even in the darkness, Dev could see Wyatt’s eyes sparkling with amusement. He was thoroughly enjoying this little moment between the two of them. His pleasure made her wish she had slit his throat when she had the chance. Rather than requesting his assistance, Dev focused every ounce of her energy on rolling over onto her stomach. If she could do that, she could easily pull herself into a sitting position, Wyatt be damned. She closed her eyes and focused every fiber of her being on the task at hand but nothing happened. Her body failed to react. It didn't even twitch. The body that had so beautifully saved her from certain death at the hands of those Sanctum fools just hours earlier now couldn't even roll over. She shook with frustration, wanting to scream to the heavens in rage, knowing such action was futile and beneath her. So she took a calming breath, opened her eyes and glared at Wyatt.  

"Ahhhh, you're back. I was starting to miss your charming scowl," Wyatt bent low and absentmindedly pushed some of Dev’s hair out of her eyes, “was getting worried there for a second."  

Dev grabbed his hand in her vice-like grip. She hated him and his snarky comments. 

 "I realize you don’t like me," Wyatt pulled his hand out of her grasp and gently placed his arms around Dev, helping her to sit, unable to look at her lying helplessly on the ground for another second, "but I'm all you've got so by all means, continue simmering in your hatred for me but do so with the understanding that I'm on your side. 

 "All this stabbing and cutting nonsense has got to end. If you want to hurt me, just imagine it, okay? Pretend. Don't actually do it. I heal quickly but it still hurts like hell.  

 "Now we've got to get out of here fast," Wyatt checked his watch, alarmed at how much time had passed since he jumped out of his window, "and you still can’t walk, which means I’m going to have to pick you up again. Whether you’re okay with it or not. 

He leaned back on his heels and waited, for some reason hoping Dev would respond, all the while knowing she would not. Dev listened with keen interest to every word coming out of Wyatt’s mouth. She most certainly didn’t like him, but she had to respect his determination. He fully intended to get her out of this park and to somewhere safe and against her better judgment, a tiny part of her was relieved. It was the same, small part of her that was fiercely drawn to him, like a sickness almost. And it was the part of her she most wanted to destroy. 

 Dev hardened her resolve, focused on her intense hatred for all things Sanctum and shut down. '

For an instant, Wyatt thought he saw a spark in Dev’s eyes and just as quickly, it was gone. At that moment, for reasons unknown to himself, Wyatt resigned himself to a one-sided relationship with her, one completely based upon his will to help her. He stood up and reached for her, praying she didn’t have a blade hidden somewhere, knowing that if she did, this time she would definitely kill him. To his surprise, Dev wrapped her arms around his neck and allowed Wyatt to scoop her up and into his arms, but he thought nothing more of it, knowing full well she was merely using him to further her agenda.

 And that was all right.

Madhuri Blaylock is a lawyer by day, writer and avid shoe and dress buyer at all other times. She lives in Jersey City, but her heart remains firmly planted in Brooklyn via Snellville, Georgia. Her husband, Henry, is also a lawyer, and only a lawyer because he actually likes being a lawyer (go figure), probably always wanted to be a lawyer and is really, really good at all things lawyerly. He's also pretty hot.

She’s got a big kid, Miss Sydney, and a little kid, the one and only Dash. They're awesome and fierce and supremely cool and able to make her laugh at the strangest things. She would love to add a dog, some chickens, a goat and a burro to this crew. Everyone needs a burro.

Some of her favorites, in no particular order: ice cream, Kill Bill, four-inch heels, Matt Damon, tattoos, Laini Taylor, scotch on the rocks, The Sanctum trilogy, random office supplies, Martha's Vineyard, "The Girl" aka my Mini, Rihanna, Doc Martens, tulips, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

One day she plans to grow up. Right now, she’s enjoying the adventure.

Monday, January 20, 2014

PROMO: Stealing Luca's Heart

Stealing Luca's Heart - Week Blitz
By Ellie Lyons
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 12/30/2013

Just what is going on at the Tetari farm in New Zealand? First her father is injured in a suspicious hunting accident, now someone is after the Tetari family and their land. With the help of charismatic businessman and eldest son, Luca Tetari, Ally Edwards is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. As passion flares and love blooms, Ally and Luca search for the answers in Ellie Lyons’ romantic suspense novel, Stealing Luca’s Heart, Book 1 of her new, contemporary series.

When Ally Edwards’ father, Cal, is injured in a suspicious hunting accident in New Zealand, she takes leave from her job as a University of Iowa economics instructor to rush down to be at her father’s bedside. When she arrives, she finds herself hosted by her father’s friends, the Tetari family, who welcome her into their home.

Luca Tetari, the eldest son, is not only a businessman in the family corporation, but also the team captain of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team. Luca is the consummate player, skillful on the pitch and off, indulging his fans and beguiling everyone around him. But as she gets to know him, Ally discovers that Luca is far deeper as a person than his surface charm would indicate, and soon she finds herself falling in love.

But while Ally and Luca are realizing their new affections, the Tetari family and their land are under attack by unknown assailants. With a new “green” energy project in development, who is trying to take over their property, and how? Does this have anything to do with Cal’s injury? After all, if someone has hurt one person, mightn’t that same individual be willing to injure—or even kill—additional people to achieve his or her goals?

Ellie Lyons

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Always and Forever by S.P. Cervantes

New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 11/13/2013

Twin sisters Ava and Hannah were ripped from their peaceful seeming lives into a whirlwind of attacks and war only to learn the real truth about their existence. 
Nothing was as it seemed anymore and may never be again. They had already lost their father in childhood now they have to cope with their mother’s kidnapping as they watch those sworn to protect them risk their lives.

S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, 

where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and 

running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel. 

S.P. Cervantes is currently working on a new contemporary romance, while finishing the 

final novel of the Secrets of Shadow Hill series. 

S.P. Cervantes has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Cross Cultural Education.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Transmigration of Cora Riley

Urban Fantasy
Date to be Published: 3/4/2014

Average family. Average job. Average existential crisis.

After thirty boring years, nothing about Cora Riley’s life has measured up to her childhood dreams of being truly extraordinary. It’s too bad that the night she decides to seek out her specialness she crashes on a rural highway.

Cora wakes in the clutches of the Mistress of the underworld who sets her a seemingly impossible quest. If she wants a second chance at life, Cora must find her way through the dozen heavens and return to the castle in three days.

With the help of an unusual guardian angel named Jack and a little boy named Xavier, Cora navigates the afterlife doorfield and quickly learns that gods and monsters are very real indeed. Terrifying and tempting obstacles litter her path; only the power of belief – in the Otherworld, in her companions, and in herself – will return her to the land of the living.


Face hot with anger, Cora takes a few shaky steps forward, looking anywhere but at the eyes that see through her. The orc guards, previously slouching and entertained by the spectacle of her humiliation, become suddenly alert and close rank in front of the dais. The Mistress smirks from behind them, almost daring her to come closer. 

“You know I’m right, my lady,” she says, taking another, more determined step. “The legends are all the same. The ruler of the underworld makes a bargain with the hero, sets him some monumental task in exchange for a second chance, and then has to keep their promise when the hero succeeds.” She takes another step forward. The guards cross their weapons into a barrier between her and the Mistress. Cora just smiles; it widens the split inside her cheek, but she doesn’t care. She holds out her arms and gestures grandly around the throne room. “And since I don’t see anyone else here asking for a ticket back to civilization, I guess that makes me the hero. And you owe me a quest.”

Ellie Di Julio is a nomadic writer currently living in Hamilton, Ontario with her Robert Downey, Jr. lookalike husband and their three cats. Between nerd activities like playing Dungeons & Dragons or watching Top Gear, she enthusiastically destroys the kitchen and tries to figure out what it's all about, when you really get down to it. She also writes urban fantasy novels riddled with pop culture references and sexy secret agents.

Her first novel, Inkchanger, could easily be considered Forgotten Relics #0, and as such, rewards readers of the rest of the series, sort of like watching Thor before The Avengers. Her second novel, Time & Again with Kyeli Smith, has nothing to do with super powers or secret agents but is very cool nonetheless.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

PROMO Blitz: After Alex Died by Dakota Madison

After Alex Died - Week Blitz
Dakota Madison
New Adult Romance
Date Published: 11/28/2013

"Don't be someone who defines her life by someone else's death."

Dee Dee DeMarco's brother, Alex, was funny, free-spirited and creative. He was also gay. Tormented by bullies, Alex killed himself on his 15th birthday. 

Two years later, and now in college, Dee Dee believes getting a summer job working with a college-prep program for disadvantaged high school students is a stroke of luck, until she discovers that the guy assigned to co-lead her group is Cameron Connelly, a star basketball player and one of the bullies who tormented her brother to death. How can Dee Dee possibly spend the entire summer working so closely with one of the boys she blames for her brother's death?

I could feel my heartbeat quicken as I entered the auditorium. The kids were talking and messing around as they waited for the class to begin. The other counselors, with the exception of Cameron, were also seated in the audience with the kids. Cameron was standing at the podium with Dr. Jones.
When Cameron saw me walk in, he winked at me. I didn't know whether to slap him or hug him. Therein was the problem. 
Dr. Jones waved her arms to get everyone's attention. "Quiet everyone. We have a special presentation today. Cameron is going to talk to you about bullying and how it impacted his life."
"Who would bully him?" one of the kids cracked and the other kids laughed.
"Enough," Dr. Jones reprimanded. "I expect you to give Cameron your attention and utmost respect."
Cameron took the podium. "Thank you, Dr. Jones. I'm here today to talk about bullying. Not because I was bullied when I was your age but because I was a bully. And it ruined my life."
When I looked out over the sea of faces, all eyes were trained on Cameron.
"I thought I had everything. I was one of the school's first string basketball players. We were all-state champions. I already had a full basketball scholarship to Penn State. I was popular. I had tons of friends. I could get a date with any girl in the school. And I lost it all."

Dakota Madison

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