Attention!

Thanks for visiting!
* When you see the * in my posts that just indicates a new line/paragraph. :)
* To see a lot of fun information, scroll through the side bar and to the bottom of the blog.

20 August 2014

A Look At Holly Bush & 'Red, White and Screwed' ~ @hollybushbooks @GoddessFish #womensfic #romance

Today we have author Holly Bush visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
* Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She writes historical romance set on the American Prairie and in Victorian England, and more recently, Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
* Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

What are you going to tell us about today?
* My contemporary, women's fiction romance story Red, White and Screwed.

A look into the story

~ Blurb ~
* Political strategist Glenda Nelson is having a meltdown. Her handpicked, very married Congressional candidate was just caught climbing out of the window of the Sleepytown Motel, and her philandering ex-husband seems to have the most to gain from the colossal scandal that follows. As Glenda attempts to salvage the campaign in a hotly contested race, conservative and liberal pundits pounce on the story to further their own agendas.
* Glenda’s love life is nonexistent to say the least, that is, until she meets handsome artist Chris Goodrich. Chris’s easy-going, carefree outlook on life couldn’t be more different than the 90-mph crazy train that is Glenda’s, but the more time she spends with him, the more she craves his calming presence, his sexy smile, and his steamy embraces. Is Chris the one to take a chance on?
* Between the pressure of full-blown spin control mode, rapidly declining job security, refereeing two teenagers, caring for aging parents, and spending hours on her therapist’s couch trying to get past her ex’s crushing betrayal, Glenda finds love and makes the long trek back to happy.
~ Excerpt ~
* Between the pressure of full-blown spin control mode, rapidly declining job security, refereeing two teenagers, caring for aging parents, and spending hours on her therapist’s couch trying to get past her ex’s crushing betrayal, Glenda finds love and makes the long trek back to happy.
* The doors of the Mansville High School were covered with posters ranging from “Just Say No To Drugs” to a square dance being held Friday night after the football game. After getting directions to the art rooms, I ran down the hallway and burst through the door. The student art gala included a speaker. I smiled at Christopher Goodwich, straightened my skirt and hair, and found a seat. Sylvia was glaring at me.
* “Art is about beauty,” Goodwich was saying. “But beauty is speculative. What is beautiful to you and what is beautiful to the student beside you may be two different things.”
* I settled into one of those seats with the desk attached. My rear end was not cooperating and hung out either one side or the other. Goodwich was a good speaker and I listened intently. He was patient with the kids, and Sylvia’s art teacher was batting her lashes and giggling.
* Goodwich would never go for her type, I thought to myself. The overt artsy-craftsy, caftans-are-still-in-style, kind of a woman. And her hair was long. Why doesn’t someone tell women over forty to cut their hair? What kind of woman would Goodwich go for? Meg did say he wasn’t gay. Everyone was clapping. I stood up enthusiastically and took with me the desk still attached to my rump. Sylvia pulled at the seat, and markers went flying. Christopher Goodwich was heading my way.
* “It’s nice to see you again, Glenda.” Goodwich looked at the desk stuck to my hips. “Can I help?”
* The desk plopped off my ass with a thump, and I ran a hand through my hair. “Chris! What a surprise.”

Buy Red, White and Screwed here...
Amazon - Kindle | Amazon - Print | B&N - Nook | B&N - Print | iTunes | Kobo

Find Holly Bush here...
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Thank you for joining us here today, Holly Bush! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENT! Holly will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave your name and email with your comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions-virtual-blurb-blitz-tour-red-white) for a greater chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 August 2014

Welcome special guest: author Cheri Allan @CheriAllan @GoddessFish #romcon

Today we have author Cheri Allan visiting.
What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Cheri Allan writes upbeat contemporary romance and lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two kids, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself and happily-ever-afters. LUCK OF THE DRAW is her first novel.
* After years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.
* Cheri loves to hear from readers! E-mail her at cheri@cheriallan.com, friend her at facebook.com/cheriallanauthor, or visit her website and blog at www.cheriallan.com. Luck of the Draw, Book 1 in the ‘Betting on Romance’ series is available now through Amazon and Smashwords.

So, Cheri Allan, what inspired you to become a writer?
* Dr. Seuss. Pure and utter genius there. Seriously, I’ve always been an avid reader, and I fell in love early on with the lyrical quality of language. Language has such power. (Not in a ‘bwa-ha-ha’ evil sort of way but as in the power to connect with people on an emotional level.) I’ll never forget bawling my eyes out over Where a Red Fern Grows or hating/adoring Mr. Darcy. My mother burned many a dinner over a good romance, and I read my first as an early teen. I’ve been hooked ever since. The problem is, there aren’t all that many billionaire, ex-Navy SEAL, Adonis’ looking for love in rural New Hampshire, so after meeting and marrying my husband, I was inspired to write about characters and settings I could more readily relate to.

When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
* I started penning the first chapters of a romance in my early twenties, but didn’t pick it up again and finish it until my daughter was born. (Aren’t you sweet not to ask how long that was!) I proceeded to join my first writer’s group where they told me (in a nice way, mind you) that I’d made every mistake in the book. EVERY. ONE. (I’m nothing if not thorough.) So, I went home, cried, reformatted, cut 30K words to 85K, axed the head-hopping and queried an editor who--miraculously--requested the book. I kept writing, and by the time I received his ultimate but encouraging rejection, I had learned a lot about both my voice and writing full-length novels. However, I would no sooner publish those books than put my grammar school essays on the internet. They exist only on a dead computer. (May they rest in peace.)

How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
* Three, not counting revisions to ‘tailor’ them as longer or shorter novels. (For any of you thinking you can make your single-title length novel a category romance or vice versa, I’ll tell you now. You can’t. Write something new. Trust me. Auntie Cheri knows.)

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
* The worst? ‘You can’t write about a [fill in the blank] hero/heroine.’ My first book had a musician as a hero, and I can’t tell you how many people warned me that would never sell. Well, it didn’t sell for a lot of reasons, but the hero’s occupation wasn’t the problem. Editors, agents and readers want characters they can believe in and root for. Make your characters ultimately likeable and it doesn’t matter what they do. Except embalming. (Although, Nora could probably pull that off.)
* The best advice? Read Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict. And if you can’t identify the GMC for your main characters, go back and read it again. It’s like eating vegetables. You may not like it, but you’ll be SO much better off for having done it.

The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
* LUCK OF THE DRAW is book #1 in my Betting on Romance series; however, the books are written to stand alone and could be read in any order.

What sparked the idea for the story/series?
* Hmm. I should know the answer to this, but the truth is, it wasn’t an all at once ‘a-ha’ moment. The characters and story evolved around the idea of four match-making grandmothers. But I wanted it to be funny, so I made them play poker. With photographs instead of money, because they like to reminisce. And meddle. (God love ‘em.)
* My hero, Jim, was a secondary character from one of the previous, not-to-be-named books, and I’d always liked him. When I decided to ditch books 1-3 (you’re welcome) and focus on Jim’s story, I knew I needed to give him someone equally deserving of love, but with a bit of baggage. I discovered Kate and kept shoveling hardships onto her until she begged me for a forklift to carry it all, and we had our love story!
* Soon Carter (Jim’s cousin) demanded his own happily-ever-after… and a series was born.

*** Now for some fun info… ***
Would you/have you own(ed) a snake or some other exotic pet?
* Ack! Um, no. Not unless you count the three dead guppies I had when I was six. (Presumably, they were once alive, but I only ever remember them floating.) I like furry pets… specifically ones with only four legs.

Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
* Rain, definitely, for sleeping and writing. A nice steady downpour is ideal. Otherwise, my favorite days are cool, crisp and clear. Fifty-five degrees. I was married on a late September afternoon with brilliant blue skies, white fluffy clouds and a nip in the air that made you feel gloriously alive. Plus, because Autumn is after Labor Day, I’m allowed to listen to Christmas music. :)

If you could live anywhere in the universe, where would it be and why?
* An Earth-like planet where they have lots of clean running water, coffee, and chocolate… but where there are no bugs (specifically cockroaches, black flies or mosquitoes, and where ants only ever live deep underground or in animated children’s films.)

If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
* Stranded? As in ALONE? Okay, I think I’ve got this. I’d want:
1.) indoor plumbing, because, well, BECAUSE…
2.) a coffee maker (with coffee, 1/2 and 1/2 and sugar! Does that still count as one thing?)
3.) a sexy, professional chef (a girl’s gotta eat)
4.) a sexy, professional carpenter (for construction of my island getaway hut) and,
5.) a shipping container loaded with romance novels and survivalist manuals.
* That ought to do. Hmm. Roughing it never sounded so good…

*** About Cheri Allan’s book… ***
~ Blurb ~
* If only life had a refresh button...
* Kate Mitchell never planned to be a 31 year-old widowed single mom, but when her soon-to-be-EX husband up and dies, her dreams of finishing college and starting over are thrown in the air like a game of 52 pick-up. When she’s given a leave of absence from work and told to “quit or recommit,” Kate retreats to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to figure out whether she can discover her passion and pay the bills. Cue the fresh air, summer sunshine and one sexy local contractor.
* Tall, dark, and handy…
* Volunteer fireman and all-around hunky guy in a toolbelt, Jim Pearson has sworn off complicated women with messy baggage. They cling to his nice-guy stability and skills with a power saw just long enough to straighten out their lives and move on… but then he meets the cute single mom staying at Grams’ lake house for the summer.
* While a sizzling attraction draws them together, Jim's distrust of complicated women and Kate's incredibly complicated life threaten to pull them apart. But forces beyond their control—match-making grandmothers, the lazy backdrop of summer, and their own reckoning with the past—conspire to make them risk it all... and bet on love.
~ Excerpt ~
* “But when I think about going back… to a job I know is safe and secure… I can’t breathe.” She felt her arms grow cold despite the sunshine. “It’s like my future is closing in and there’s no way out. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that going back would mean I’m giving up hoping for something better. And… and I can’t bring myself to give up on me quite yet.”
* She stared at him in the silence that followed, her chest rising and falling, feeling brittle and defiant all at once.
* But then he tugged her hand until she sat beside him on the porch steps. He blew out a breath. “No one’s asking you to give up on yourself.”
* “You think I’m giving up,” she said. “But I’m not. I’m not throwing my hands up in despair. I’m not trying to quit. I’m trying to let go of the handlebars to see if I can do this without help.”
* “I don’t understand what that—”
* “I’m saying… I know you mean well, but you’ve got to let me figure this out on my own.”
* After a long moment, he nodded. “Okay,” he said, and he turned, the corners of his eyes crinkling in that warm, lovely way that always turned Kate’s insides to jelly. “You may not believe it, but I do believe there’s something better waiting for you.”
* “You’re talking to a practically unemployed widow,” she sighed. “It’d be hard not to go uphill from here.”

***Buy Cheri Allan's book here***
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo

***Find Cheri Allan here***
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thank you for joining us here today, Cheri Allan! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.

Cheri will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card & other prizes to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter! So be sure to leave your first name and email in your comment AND use the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Also, check out the other blogs at goddessfishpromotions-virtual-book-tour-luck-of-draw for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

17 August 2014

A Look At MK Theodoratus & 'Taking Vengeance' ~ @kaytheod @LoveBitesSilk #historical #fantasy

Today we have author MK Theodoratus visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Comics first hooked M. K. Theodoratus on fantasy. When she discovered L. Frank Baum's first Oz books, the strong female characters drew her into the possibilities of alternate worlds. Then, she stared writing in grade school when a teacher assigned a short story lesson. The assignment was incomplete at 25 pages, but she finished the book by the next summer. The Children’s Librarian, the only other person who’s read it, thought it well-done.
* Theodoratus has enjoyed at least four writing careers, including non-fiction. Now she writes fantasy ... mostly because it amuses her. Theodoratus writes in the world of her grumpy Far Isles Half-Elven, often featuring Mariah del Oesti or Renna of Ren Creek. She also explores other magical worlds of ghosts, gargoyles, and Fae. Most of her newer stories are set in Andor where demons prey on humans. You can read more about her fantasy athttp://www.mktheodoratus.com

What are you going to tell us about today?
* My story Taking Vengeance. Furious, Mariah and Ashton seek vengeance for a brutal attack on their daughter by vicious Sea Raiders.

A look into the story
~ Blurb ~
* In a tale older than time itself, Taking Vengeance tells a story about the strength and conviction of a mother's love against those who would harm her family. After witnessing centuries of fighting and chaos against her people and her own bickering with Linden, the ruler of the Far Isles Half-Elven, Mariah has withdrawn from politics to seek a peaceful life as a healer.
* But Mariah's peace is short lived when Sea Raiders attack her daughter's family, leaving her at death's door. The act of bigoted cruelty plunges Mariah into despair. Her grief is sensed by Ashton, her partner who is far away spying on their southern enemies, and he uses his elven magic to rush to her side. The couple's rage boils over at the outrage. Ashton urges Mariah to belt on her sword and seek vengeance against their daughter's attackers.
* Mariah discovers the Sea Raiders wield a strange new magic that threatens all they hold dear. But can she convince Linden that their country is in danger before it's too late?
* Taking Vengeance is a tale set in the world of the Far Isles Half-Elven, who constantly fight among themselves even though they’re beset by enemies on all sides.
~ Excerpt ~
* Mariah lifted her arms over her head, stretching to feel the full impact of the retreating gale. If only Ashton and I could sail away from our troubles with our daughter!
* Tired from a day of mediating petty disputes for her holding and helping at the healer's hall, Mariah stood on a promontory over-looking the churning eastern sea. The wind whipped her loose chestnut hair around her head. The gusts tempted her to ride the buffeting air currents, not keeping her pointed ears politely tacked to her head out of sight under her hair. The illusion of freedom teased the weight of time and sorrow from her thoughts.
* For a moment she thought of removing her shirt to feel the wind against her unbound breasts but changed her mind. Flight held no allure without Ashton next to her. When alone, they often sailed the air currents, making love, their souls merging until their bodies glowed and sparked with their commingled power.
* Her mind reached out to caress the tether of woven energy between them. Ashton was angry. Her lips tightened, but she couldn’t help him. They had agreed to live apart to ease Linden's complaints that they picked at him, two against one.
* Mother, where are you?
* Her daughter’s silent cry riveted Mariah’s attention. Norerah and her family should be far at sea by now. Unexpected pain invaded her mind as she sought out her daughter, only to catch a dim glimpse of her own hall far to the west.
* Ambush.
* The thought was a bare whisper before the connection between them went dark. Mariah transferred home across the leagues without thinking and found her daughter bleeding on the floor of her own hall. A harpoon pierced the babe in her carrypack and opened a gaping wound across Norerah’s back until it embedded in her shoulder. Her daughter's reddish-brown warrior’s braid fell across the blood-soaked rag rug the two had stitched together during the long winter nights.
* Kneeling by the expanding stain, Mariah struggled to remain calm. She took a deep breath as her fingers traced the path of the harpoon barb under the skin. Using the magic that made her a skilled healer, she mentally probed the broken ribs and lacerated flesh as she sought the source of pulsing blood. She needed to stop the flow; Norie had already lost too much.
* Mariah took deep breaths to stay calm. The aftermath of battles always crippled her thinking. She forced the mocking memory of her elder son, sprawled on a battlefield pierced by arrows, from her mind. The healer had no time to soothe that wound to her heart. Only a thread tied her daughter’s life to this world.
* Twisting her hair into a knot with bloody hands, Mariah bit her lip. I refuse to give her up to the Fates! The Summerlands can’t have her. One child is enough to give up too early.

Buy Taking Vengeance here...
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IBookstore | Kobo | Smashwords

Find MK Theodoratus here...
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Google+ | GoodReads

Thank you for joining us here today, MK Theodoratus! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.