Book Reviews now accepted through The Book Escape E-zine. Please contact Jennifer at: thebookescapemag@gmail.com with your blurb, release date, author name, and publisher. Thank you!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Jumpstart & A Giftcard GIVEAWAY with Kristina Knight...

3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Book
Even before my first book hit cyber shelves in June I'veheard this question – heck, I've even asked it a couple million times – but it goes something like this: what do you do when you can't write?
There are times when we can't or don't want to write. Ithappens to everyone. Call it writer's block if you want (I don't, I firmly believe 'writer's block' is an excuse that enables us to put off difficult work), but we all have moments when writing is like pulling teeth without thenovacaine. I've followed the advice of prolific authors, some of it worked forme and some didn't, but here are three things that do work for me. I hope they help you.

1) Change the scenery. By that I mean change your scenery. Go for a walk (or twenty), and take in Mother Nature's beauty. Take along you're camera if you want but no electronics. No iPod, no notebooks – not even the paper kind. Get away from the computer for an hour or two.
2) Change the book. Free write a scene from anywhere in the book, flip the POV character in a scene or change the goal of a scene. And while you're doing it, switch the narrator voice – set the character free by allowing a little 1st person POV. Yes, you'll have to edit it back to 3rd if the scene works, but isn't a little editing worth a breakthrough in the book?
3) Do something else creative.Get out of your writer box, but don't just take a walk. Flex those creative muscle by trying a challenging dinner recipe, put those summer vacation pics into the scrapbook -- you know it's been ages since you were gone! Whatever you do,try to engage a different part of your creative mind. Your conscious mind will be focused on the task at hand, but your subconscious can still think about that problem. Every time I'm really stuck, I do this…and it works every time!
** Excerpt: What a Texas Girl Wants:
I found my pants. You can come out now." No sound from inside the cabana. This was getting ridiculous. She wasn't an eighteen-year-old virgin any longer; she had to have seen a naked man once or twice. "Look, why don't I just slip inside and call a cab?"
"That would probably be best,"she said through the door. So she wasn't coming out. He leaned a shoulder against the doorjamb and knocked again, curiously reluctant to leave. Which had to be the stupidest move he had made thus far.
Being drunk enough not to notice a wedding ring was one thing, hanging around the married lady after finding out about the husband was quite another. Not that he had seen any evidence of a husband. This made the whole morning even more surreal.
Kathleen hadn't said anything about him, come to think of it. She didn't seem in a hurry to get rid of him, or curious about where said husband was. What was that about?
"What?" She sounded annoyed.
Jackson grinned. He wanted to ask about the ring, her husband, how they wound up naked on the beach this morning. He didn't ask any of these things, however, settling instead for, "Where's the nearest phone?"
He thought he heard a sigh from theother side of the door, but couldn't be sure.
"Through the lanai doors, downthe hall to the right there is an alcove with a phone." She mumbled something that sounded like, "Do not pass go, do not collect $200".
BLURB:
Kathleen Witte is a down-to-earth girl. She has to be, with the family ranch on the verge of success. After seven months of keeping it all together by swearing off men, however, Kathleen needs a bit of fun in the sun. Waking up with a husband she can’t remember isn’t how she planned to blow off steam.
The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl. He has four weeks of freedom in which to find his birth mother. He’s done well avoiding commitment until now, so when he wakes up on a Mexican beach with Kathleen his first reaction is curiosity. When he spies the matching wedding rings on their lefthands curiosity turns to concern.
Neither Jackson nor Kathleen want to stay married, but when her family shows up, they have no choice. Once back in Texas, however, can they keep this all-business marriage from turning into an all-consuming love?
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Wow, this sounds like an awesome book!
Today Kristina has generously offered to giveaway a $5 Amazon or Barnes & Noble giftcard to one lucky commenter. So, write your choice in the comments section, leave your email address, and follow this blog for a chance to win it.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday August 1.
I'd like to thank Kristina for joining us and for the wonderful giveaway.
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting to know Molly Daniels

I'd like to welcome fellow SCP author, Molly Daniels to Labelle Books.
Welcome, Molly, how long have you been an author?
MOLLY: I wrote my first official short story at age eleven, but I’ve been writing and trying to be published since the early 1990’s. So I guess nearly twenty years.
Wow, congratulations, what is your favourite genre?
MOLLY: Contemporary Romance, with Regency a close second.
If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?
MOLLY: Even though my Arbor University books are a series, book #3, Forbidden Love is better written than the first two (imho, anyway!). It will quickly catch you up on the happenings in the first two, and my ‘voice’ is stronger.


What is the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the writing process?
MOLLY: The fact the rules changed! I discovered five years ago that head hopping was a no-no. So going back into my manuscripts and reversing that was hard. And before my husband retired, Life was ‘easy’. I packed the kids off to school and wrote all day. But now he’s home 24/7 and objects to me ‘playing’ on the computer all day. I’ve discovered I’m more productive on laundry days, when I set a timer for myself.


Can you tell us about one of your current works in progress?
MOLLY: Sure! I just sent book #5 off for approval, so I’ll soon be self-editing #6, Searching For Love. Unlike the others, this one explores the world of F/F. One of my roommates revealed later that she was gay, and ‘came out’ to me over the phone. Observing how our mutual friends reacted to the news….I knew I had to include this relationship dynamic into my series.

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
MOLLY: Hmmm…my friends already know I played the drums in high school and recently enjoy unleashing my inner rock star among the drinking population of our town via karaoke….I know! I once wrote The Fonz a fan letter and tried numerous times to win a walk on role in Happy Days!

LOL, name your top three writing goals?
MOLLY: -Get these stories out of my head and down on paper
-Be able to one day support myself, or at least have a nice supplemental income, from my books
-Be recognized (some sort of award, long lines at my table, sell out at signings) for my achievements.
Those are some great goals. If you had the chance to meet one of your characters privately, who would it be and what would you do?
MOLLY: I’d love to meet Troy Anderson. But since Gretchen would object, then I’d have to say Lynne Harcourt and Nick Slater. They’ve been on an extended vacation for four years now and need to tell me their story.
Ithink that's awesome, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting your character Gretchen, but I can tell you that I enjoyed Troy's character.



What is the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?
MOLLY: You’re going to laugh, but sneaking into a concert by telling the guard I was with one of the groups. He let me and four other girls in; we promptly turned right and went out into the audience.

Or not checking into a guy’s room and sneaking out of the dorm via the fire escape at 2am….I’ve led a pretty sheltered life!

Thanks for having me today Jennifer!
Oh you are very welcome, Molly. I'd like to thank you for joining us. For those of you who would like to learn more about Molly and her work she can be reached through these links:
But, before you all go please enjoy Molly's blurb and excerpt, and don't forget to pick up your copies of Balancing Act today!
BLURB:

Gretchen McLaren has her life mapped out. A tour of duty with the Peace Corps, then working as a social worker for the elderly. But her boyfriend Joe Walker doesn't agree with her plan, and tries everything in his power to change her mind. But will he succeed? Or will his efforts drive her into the arms of another man?

Troy Anderson finds himself hearing the words no man wants to hear, "I just want to be friends." But when a skilled manipulator tries to tear down the woman he loves, will he fight for her? Find out what happens when jealousy upsets the balance of love and ambition. Has Gretchen been blind to true love the entire time?
EXCERPT:

“That's just great!” Joe threw his towel down in anger. “You have all day to read, but you pick the one time when I want to talk to you. What's more important, me or your damned book?”
“You, of course.” Damn it, why is he so mad now? How long did it take to get my attention? “I'm sorry I wasn't listening.”

“That's right, you don't think I'm worth paying attention to. What are you reading, anyway?”

“It's Danielle Steele's new one, Kaleidoscope.”

“I should have guessed. I saw those trashy novels in your room at the base. Why do you read them? They're not realistic.”

“So what?” Gretchen fired back. “Fiction is a form of entertainment, not meant for educational purposes.”

“Yeah, but these are all the same. Sex and trash!” Joe grabbed the green paperback and threw it into the kitchen wastebasket. “I don't want you reading that shit in front of me again. All it does is ruin your mind and morality.”

“It does not!” I don’t believe he threw it away! It’s not even mine! Maybe I can reason with him? She burst into tears and grabbed a tissue. “I read romance novels for enjoyment, not as a textbook to define how I live.”

“If you hadn't read them, you wouldn't have been such a slut last year!” Joe shouted.

“Oh, that's wonderful. I don't have to take this. I'm going back to campus!” Gretchen stood up and began looking for her shoes. What’s wrong with him? Where does he get the idea that reading romance equals a skewed morality?
“Don't leave, babe.” Joe softened his voice. “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought up the past.”

“Then why did you?” She pulled on her left tennis shoe. “Where's my other shoe? There it is.”

She reached for it. Joe grabbed it and held it. “Just listen to me for a minute.”

“No!” she yelled. “I'm too mad, just let me go back to the dorm before I do something I regret!”

“Just let me explain.”

“Give me my shoe!"
**************************************************
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~


Monday, July 23, 2012

Working Togther & A GIVEAWAY with Cynthia & Mike Arsuaga


How Mike (my hubby) and I select topics and began working together:

We discovered we were each other’s best editors. Each of us had expressed a desire to write a story about shifters. While kicking around ideas for animals a shape shifter could turn into, besides the usual wolves, bears, and big cats, our Yorkshire terrier pranced into the room. A light went off simultaneously. It was a "Eureka" moment. Together, we banged out a rough plot for Top Dog. Cynthia wrote the prologue. I completed the draft. She edited and inserted her own touches, to the book's benefit. The rest is history. We’re currently working on the sequel. Cynthia will write the love scenes when she edits.

How Mike Selects Topics:


I sort of fell into the Subspecies series. I wrote a short story titled "The Girl in the Library" for an informal contest on a writer's review site. A male vampire stalks a winsome red-haired young woman, conflicted as to how much he did it for sex and for prey. The hook is that she's a lycan, stalking him as he did her. The story went over very well. Encouraged by the comments I received, I turned it into the novel Subspecies. In the process of creating the world of subspecies, the other four books wrote themselves. I discarded many of the standard vampire/lycan legends in an attempt to create a world where subspecies could plausibly exist, as a mutation within humanity. Until the present century, never more than 600 of each type have ever lived at one time. They’re physically strong but not superhuman and live 250 years. With these limitations, and a few more to round out the scenario, they live unobtrusively among mankind for two thousand years until The Girl in the Library changes everything.


How Cynthia Selects Topics:

I began my writing after helping Mike with Subspecies. I’m a retired business owner and quite frankly had nothing to do. Mike’s story expanded and I helped him format and edit in order to submit to publishers. I had my own ideas and began to write. My first manuscript was accepted on the first try, which shocked me. The rest is history. I have five full-length books and one novella and one short story under contract. Many more are under Works in Progress. My ideas come to me out of nowhere. I never thought I’d write about vampires, but my daughter introduced me to her library of paranormal books and I was hooked. I couldn’t get thrilled by the ages of the heroines–young, virginal, and experienced in sex. Didn’t make sense to me, so with Mike’s encouragement I began to write and six months later I had The Cougar and Her Vampire complete and ready to submit. Before I completed it, I had another idea for another world of vampires and Born to Be Wild materialized as I drove home after dropping my daughter off to get her car out of the auto shop. A bright, sunny day in Central Florida and the music playing on the radio had my mind buzzing. I wrote the entire book in about three months!

I have since created two totally different vampire worlds and each is a series, Born Vampire and Forces of Beauty. The Born Vampire series is edgier, dark, and as some reviewers have suggested not for the faint of heart. The other series is edgy, but I think more palatable. I’ve also branched out to a contemporary fantasy with reincarnation elements and mythology, Echoes in Eternity, as well as a paranormal with a twist, Nightfall: Fantasies Fulfilled. Both stories are recent releases.

Today, I’m sharing the blurb and an excerpt from Love and Death in the Big Easy, the second book in the Shifter Tales Series Mike and I co-wrote. We will be giving away a PDF copy to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment AND go to my blog and follow me. Once on my blog, you can take a look at excerpts of my other books and even get the link to a Free Read! Good luck!

BLURB for Love and Death in the Big Easy:

A Dog
Drake Martin, the Yorkie shifter, and Sufi of the North American Shape-shifters, returns and this time he has a new shifter to play tag with.

A Cat
Kady Martin, Drake’s wife, has a new alter-ego as Tabitha, the Russian Blue Maltese.

A New Game of Tag
Twenty-six years later, the dog and cat play more than tag when, with their son and mixed array of shape-shifting friends, battle a new monster in town.

Death follows the happily married couple as carnage and mayhem run rampant in the streets of the Big Easy. With help from family, the shifter clan, and white magic the loving pair maneuvers through rebellious children, while battling the terminal illness of a dear friend, and the menace bent on bringing the city to her knees.

Oh boy!

EXCERPT for Love and Death in the Big Easy:

The scent of fresh lavender and jasmine soap filled every sense. My arms hugged her to my expectant chest. Before she could react, I took immediate advantage by thrusting my tongue between her lips to taste the sweetness inside. Despite the thousands of times we’d shared love, the experience revealed a new and different surprise. She jolted at first, but soon relaxed under my gentle touch.

I peeled down my jeans and stepped out of them, and then removed my shirt. I stood before her naked, with cock jutting forth to show Kady how much I wanted her, no matter how many gray hairs she thought she had or extra pounds she hadn’t shed. I offered her a wicked grin and raised an eyebrow. “All for you, baby.”

At first, her expression was nondescript as she lowered her eyes and surveyed my nakedness. Then, a small smile crossed her face. I had her.

I removed the nightgown in one quick pull of the hem over her head. I think the erection I sported doubled in size at the sight of her nude body. I never grew tired of gazing upon the beautiful Kady.

I scooped her in my arms, lifted her from the vanity stool and holding her close, carried her to bed, covering her mouth with mine as I did. She panted softly as I released the embrace and reclined beside her on the mattress. We had danced this erotic tango many times, hot and intense, but tonight something seemed different. Kady wasn’t the same. She jerked again when I ran a warm palm over her full breasts, swollen from lack of nursing our son. I hadn’t seen her so sensitive toward my fondling in a long time. I pulled back until she relaxed and returned the caresses.

Slowly deliberately, I kissed her forehead, her nose, and then crushed her lips beneath mine. This time she didn’t tense. The passion flowed, and she surrendered to my kiss, parting her lips, accepting me without hesitation. I sensed the excitement tingling through her, goose bumps rose on her creamy skin as my hands smoothed down her arms then stomach. My tongue trailed from her chin, down her neck to between her breasts, then laved over to one nipple and circled it.

“Oh, Drake. Please don’t. They’re so raw from the baby, and you might get a face full of milk.”

From the whimpers she made, I knew she wanted me to continue, but using a different line of approach. “Okay, but I’ll miss those girls.” I groaned as my cock strained tight against her naked thigh. I pulled off her and continued with the exploration of my tongue down over her abdomen. Tonight, the sole objective was to bring her pleasure.

As I slid a hand further down her lush body, the eager digits found and then teased her clit, before pressing a hard, thick finger into her vagina. The soft and firm flesh clung deliciously. Pulling and thrusting, circling and teasing, I drove her higher and higher.

“Oh, God, Drake,” she screamed, as I felt her orgasm building, ready to explode. She bucked against the vigorous probing as I inserted another digit, and her moist folds began to spasm around my fingers. I thrust faster and deeper, pulling every pleasurable sensation from her body.

“You’re so wet and hot.” My fingers probed deeper, as Kady teetered on the edge of orgasm.

A groan rumbled up from my chest. I slipped down her body, spreading her legs wide and positioning myself between her legs. Slowly, I kissed and licked along her inner thighs, moving higher to her waiting pussy. My tongue circled her clitoris. Eventually my mouth rested against the sensitive pearl. I nipped and tugged with my teeth until she gasped and jerked beneath me. She whimpered as I withdrew and slithered a fevered tongue down to the engorged folds to the entrance of her wet pussy. The oral exploration of my tongue as I parted her nether lips and dipped into her center, licking and plunging, brought shivers from Kady.

Working in and out as I opened her wider with each lick. Trembling fingers found their way to her clit and slowly rubbed in tiny circles attempting to keep her on the razor edge of orgasm. She arched her back as her body began to quake. Climax could wait no longer.

Within a few minutes, her orgasm exploded around me, as she thrust and ground her hips against my face. She clutched the sheets in tense fists, riding my tongue from one climax into another, each stronger than the previous.

I gripped her ass to hold her in place while I forced her to experience every last stroke I delivered. I lapped harder, as she squirmed from the pleasure and constraints I placed upon her. “Oh, Drake! I…I…can’t take anymore!”

I dipped again and my fingers circle the little nub until her clit was hotter than her core, throbbing against my lips before I stopped and repositioned on my knees between her legs.

“You’re so ready for me, Kady. Tell me you want me.”

“Yes, oh yes, I want you inside me now.”

I fisted my dick in a firm grip and rubbed the tip along her wet folds several times before entering the molten sheath. I took her in one swift plunge and paused. She lifted her hips to meet me, and the inner muscles clenched down hard. I thrust vigorously, filling her, pulling back and thrusting again, slow at first, building to a faster rhythm. She burned with wet heat. So right.

I pounded into her over and over. The sensation of me inside her hot pussy gave rise to tightness in my balls. She met each thrust with a reciprocal and fluid movement. Her muscles caressed and milked my swelling erection, our bodies moving in perfect synchronization.

“Oh,” she cried. “Yes, more, please!”
**************************************

Thanks again for having me Jennifer!

Mike
and Cynthia welcome visitors to their websites. http://mikearsuaga.weebly.com and http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com or my blog, http://romanticwordsbycynthia.blogspot.com/.


*************************************************
It was a pleasure to have you here, Cynthia! Don't forget to leave your email address' with your comments and be a follower of this blog as well.
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lyrics and Lust

"The third installment of her Spice It Up series is fine to be read on its own, though I will admit that now I’ve read this book, the first two won’t be far behind. I might actually have an “author crush” on Ms. Labelle, and I don’t think ...I’ve said that often - if ever."
~Leanna, from TwoLips Reviews~
Lyrics and Lust just recieved yet another phenominal review, and I had to share. For the full review please check out this link: http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7852&Itemid=36

BLURB:

Meagan Morales hits a rough patch in life, and in love. Moving to a new city with the help of her cousin, she feels like the fifth wheel once Nathan welcomes her into his home. You see, Nathan not only has a newly-wed wife but two lovers who live there with them, making Meagan worry that she’s intruding.
She gains new friends, employment, and surprises herself when she opens up to the very sexy, Mr. Lyric Cooper, but danger lurks in the shadows and she may need to risk her heart again to survive it.
Lyric Cooper lives for music. He’s got a successful business, his own band, and a regular audience. Lucky in life, but unlucky in love, Meagan suddenly walks into his bar and he knows she’s something special. Now if he can only convince her to think the same about himself...
EXCERPT:


The Rendezvous was a lot larger than she pictured it to be, but once inside it had a cozy feel to it. A pub designed to make you feel at home, and a popular local hang out judging by how busy it was, despite the weekday. After her eyes adjusted to the dim lighting inside she managed to get a better look starting with the floors up.

There were hard wood floors all around except for the dance floor. It was done in a dark ceramic. A long oak bar on the right side had an even longer line up of people waiting for their drink orders. The walls were a neutral white with rock memorabilia hanging against it as far as she could see. There were guitars, posters, T-shirts, and autographed pictures to admire. Tables were on the left, booths were against the walls, and in the middle sat a large stage.

It was then she saw the band. The music distant in the background, a good beat, but it was the person singing that caught her attention. He was hypnotizing, with his blond messy hair, seductive blue eyes, and deep baritone. He was tall, lean, and sculpted. She could tell by just looking, even at a distance. His T-shirt rolled up at the sleeves gave her a great view of large biceps with artwork, his pecs were outlined, and led down to a flat stomach she just knew would be defined by even more muscle. She couldn’t help but admire, and lowered her gaze for a further perusal, and bit her lip. Damn!

His blue jeans clung to him like a second skin outlining a generous bump in the front she tried not to think about and strong thighs. Her cheeks began to heat up making her snap her eyes back up to his face and gasp when her brown eyes met his blue ones. Had he been checking her out too? She instantly shook it off. There are a ton of beautiful women in the bar as if he’d notice you by the entrance.

“Earth to Meagan.” Heidi chuckled and broke the spell between her and the gorgeous band member. Then looped her arm through Meagan’s to drag her with them towards their booth. “Is everything okay?”

Meagan nearly groaned knowing Heidi knew exactly what had her distracted but decided not to dwell on it and pulled her to a stop. “Yeah, but I think I need a drink.” She smiled at her newest cousin-in-law and tried to fight another blush.

“Sure thing, his name is Lyric Cooper by the way. His band is also named Lyric, since he’s their lead, but everyone calls him Coop to avoid confusion, I think.”

Meagan looked around and breathed a sigh of relief seeing Zoey, Nathan, and Rafe were already seated at a booth a few feet away. “And, they’re pretty good but please don’t think I’m interested in anything else.” She gave her a knowing look and continued, “I’m just not relationship material at the moment, nor am I ready for anything naked and sweaty with anyone.”

“I’m sorry I just thought you might be interested. I mean you seemed to be...”


Meagan sighed, looked up to the ceiling momentarily, and then let out a deep breath before interrupting her. “He’s certainly eye catching. Can you blame me?” She smiled brightly then and hugged Heidi tight. “Thank you for caring, I know your intentions are for the best, but I was merely doing what hundreds of other women in this bar are doing at this very moment.” She stepped back and looped her arm around Heidi’s again. “Now come on, I was promised some celebrating and I plan on doing just that. Let’s go to the bar, the first round is on me.”

Heidi chuckled again.

“Coop certainly is that, isn’t he? He’s talented, gorgeous, and such a nice guy to be around. I’m sure you’ll meet him eventually. We’re regulars here so he may say hi later, and I agree he does know how to work the room.” She winked and smiled wider as Meagan’s eyes automatically went back to the stage. “Now let’s celebrate new beginnings.”

“To new beginnings and wonderful family,” Meagan cheered, feeling thankful for the distraction. It disturbed her to know how attracted she was to Mr. Lyric Cooper already and she didn’t want to think about it anymore. Tonight’s about starting over and quality time with your cousin and his loved ones. Just avoid the stage and have a good time.

But, it was easier said than done.
BUY LINKS:
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Falcon's Angel by Danita Minnis



Sleeping with the Enemy? Sometimes Love is the Best Revenge...

A thief and an assassin. Lust at first sight.

Sounds ideal until all the lies between Falcon and Angel bring them dangerously close to the end of their lives.

In my paranormal romance debut Falcon’s Angel, time is running out on a fatal reunion with ancient enemies seeking revenge for a past only they can remember - and a priceless Stradivarius.

In this first novel of the Cardiff Family series, I explore the soul-mate theory and how love can last several lifetimes.

A fantasy? Maybe. Haven’t you ever met someone so familiar, someone you just clicked with, whether they are a new friend or lover?

Falcon and Angel have a history with each other but don't realize it. They met and fell in love two hundred years ago in the not-so-gentle time of King Louis IVX. Not only do they have to deal with that volatile time in history, they must remember it to stay alive when part of that history comes after them in modern-day Naples. il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult which has been after them for centuries watches and waits to finish what they started.

If Falcon and Angel can love and trust each other this time around, with their combined memories they have an opportunity to put a stop to the cycle of murder and mayhem. The rest of the Cardiff family - a mom with special powers, a dad who comes from an ancient Roman line of vampire hunters and an uncle who is contemplating immortality for love - are counting on Falcon and Angel to get this right.

I am editing the second novel in the Cardiff series in which Angel's parents reveal more of her unique family history.


A part of me could not write this novel without including my love of music and the arts. As a matter of fact, the violin was the second inspiration I had for this story, right after Falcon and his near death experiences. I’m preparing dinner and on the other side of my counter block il Dragone and Falcon wrestle on the floor. Il Dragone makes a deft motion toward Falcon’s face with a long, serrated knife. It stopped my meal preparations briefly, long enough to jot it down. Falcon was fine, after all. Just another dire image, one of many I was bombarded with for three weeks before I realized Falcon wanted his story written. Once I knew who my personal James Bond was, the music chose Angel. Nightclub and studio singing did not fit Angel’s lifestyle as it did mine. However, she was a perfect fit for the violin, one of my favorite musical instruments.


Falcon’s Angel – blurb

She’s a classical violinist and daughter of a dynasty with one passion; her Stradivarius. Falcon wants the Stradivarius in her possession, and goes undercover to track down a thief. But he is not the only killer in search of the violin.


il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult, watches and waits.

Angelina wants to go unrecognized when she leaves her family’s Yorkshire estate to play in a symphony in Italy. But the Stradivarius, a gift from her deceased instructor, opens a door to hatred that is centuries old.

It isn’t long before Angelina is the target of a mugging on the streets of Naples. She pulls an odd earring out of her attacker’s ear as Falcon rescues her. The earring, a stylized dragon made of rubies, turns out to be a symbol for a mythical beast.

Falcon and Angelina are destined to relive a murderous cycle if they don't solve the mystery of the rubies.

And if Angel is planning to keep that violin, this is one special assignment that must be completed before il Dragone gets what they want.

Bio

If you asked me which is easier, writing songs or writing novels, I would say it was the former. Melodies and rhymes are second nature. What my characters want is another thing entirely. With my debut novel, Falcon’s Angel, I learned to listen to my spunky heroine and sinfully confident hero. They’re funny and in danger, and that’s just the way they want it. Lesson learned: don’t try to save them.

When I’m not writing, I exercise my lungs at my son’s soccer matches and our favorite theme park, because everyone knows it’s easier on the stomach to scream your way down a roller coaster.


Visit Falcon and Angel here:
http://danitaminnis.com/Home_Page.php#
EXCERPT:

Falcon stood in the shadowed courtyard of the Naples Conservatory. She left the building right on schedule. She had arrived early and stopped by the panetteria to pick up breakfast. She preferred the sweet rolls. When she left the music school, it was near dark.
Her schedule of classes wasn’t that bad. It was the time she spent practicing alone in whatever unoccupied classroom she could find that kept her there all day. She was dedicated, and very beautiful.
She had bumped into him in the hall two days ago on her way to class, “Scusi, Signore.” He did not know which was more shocking; the sound of her rich contralto or those huge liquid gold eyes, a striking contrast to the midnight waterfall rippling down her back.
He had purposely stepped in her path that day to confront her about the Stradivarius she carried. When he got a better look at her, he smiled “Perdonami,” and let her pass. Her lithe form glided down the hall.
If this goddess is a thief, she won’t have to take anything from me. I’ll give her whatever she wants, and more.
Although he allowed her to see him just that once, he had been watching her ever since. He did not know her name yet, but he called her Angel. Her unusual eyes made her seem like a fairy. Her fluid grace only enhanced the impression of an ethereal wood sprite.
The warm breeze lifting her summer print skirt silenced those thoughts.
Damned if he was not holding his breath waiting for the end of those legs before the gentle curve of her hips.
She crossed the darkening piazza and her full breasts danced under the white camisole top, making his mouth water. She was on her way home now.
She was staying at the Casa di Città on Piazza Avellino and now so was he. The apartment, a few avenues away from the Conservatory, was in the cultural Greco-Roman district, where the buildings themselves looked like archaeological finds.
Falcon emerged from the cluster of fig trees in the courtyard. He stopped when a man exited a side door off the Conservatory. The man started walking behind Angel.
Turning toward the fountain in the courtyard, he gave the man a head start. He fell in step behind the man, who carried no books, no instrument. Is he a teacher, or a lover? No, not a lover. The man didn’t even call out to the girl. He did not know her.
Falcon strolled along, looking into shop windows he passed. The man ignored a streetlight, but Falcon stopped, making sure no one followed him. With an idle shift from side to side, he waited for a car to cross the intersection.
Across the street, a teenager sat on the steps of a closed shop. He’d been there for the last few days. The car stopped at the curb in front of the teenager.
Someone should pick him up.
He would not jeopardize his cover for drug trafficking. He would leave that to the local polizia.
The light changed and Falcon crossed the street, satisfied that the man following Angel was alone.
They were walking through the ancient Roman marketplace, which was deserted now. When the girl got closer to the church built on the site of an old temple, the man began to close the distance between them.
Falcon shook his head as she reached the church corner. She never noticed the man who was just a few feet behind her now. When the man pushed her into the gloom around the church corner, they were lost from his sight. The girl screamed.
Sprinting, he rounded the corner. About ten feet away, the man was trying to wrestle the violin case from her against the wall.
Falcon pulled out his gun and aimed. “Let her go.”
The man turned toward him, and the girl pulled at his ear. The man bent, holding his stomach. He made an inarticulate sound before running away along the side of the building into the darkness.
Falcon darted past the girl and followed the man into the shadows.
What the hell?
Something flitted overhead, darker than the darkness in which he now stood alone. He pointed the Glock upward even as a figure walked up the side of the building. It looked like a black cloud but more solid than it should be.
Before he could get off a shot, the darkness disappeared over the side of the roof.
Staring at the dead end in front of him, Falcon put his gun away. No doors or windows on either side.
Where is the guy? Must be a hidden door somewhere, he’d check it out later.
Falcon turned back toward the girl. Beyond her, across the street, the man he had been chasing got into a car.
“No way,” he murmured as the car sped off. No way could the man have gotten past him in the alley.
The girl had both arms wrapped around the violin case in front of her. She was leaning against the church wall, crying.
A street lamp flickered on above them, belatedly bathing the passage in revealing light. She did not seem to realize that he was there.
“Did he hurt you, Signorina?”
She looked up. He lifted his gaze from her heaving chest.
“Grazie,” she whispered, wiping her face with the back of her hand. She shook her head. “I am fine.”
“You should not be walking alone at night.” The harsh reprimand in his voice surprised him. She was very young. Her tears wrought such vulnerability that he softened his tone when he came to stand in front of her. “Do you know that man?”
“No, I have never seen him before. But ... he knew me.”
“What did he say to you?”
She looked down at the violin.
He stared at her until she looked up. Ah, she had just found her story. It was in her eyes, and it was not the truth. The fear in her eyes told him that story would never change.
“He didn’t say anything, but the way he looked at me...”
Her chest heaved again. He almost smiled; she was having a hard time with this lie.
She stared at him. “You are from the Conservatory. I saw you the other day.”
“Antonio Russo, Tony to my friends.” She did not hesitate to shake his hand, and he did smile then. She might be lying to him but at least she did not see him as a threat. She continued to stare at him. She must want more. “I’m taking classes at the Conservatory,” he added. “I play piano.”
“Oh yes, I’ve seen you in Signor Gattano’s class.”
He had signed up for the class because it was right next door to hers. So, she had noticed him, too. He smiled wider.
“Signorina, I could call you Bella, but that would not satisfy my curiosity.”
She lowered her eyelashes over cheeks flushed the color of the terracotta tiles on his mother’s sunlit patio in Tuscany. She tanned well for one so light. He almost lifted his hand to touch her cheek. There would be little satisfaction in knowing her name now that her skin was singing a siren’s song to him.
“My name is Angelina Natale.”
“Ah. You are an angel, after all. I have not seen you around here for very long. Did you just fall from heaven?”
He watched her full lips while the sound of earthy laughter, though shaky, amped up the adrenaline coursing through his veins. A vision of her lying naked beneath him, her golden eyes glazed in passion, teased him.
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Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Interview & A Giveaway with Tamara Monteau

I'd like to introduce you to author Tamara Monteau. Today we get to know Tamara through an interview, and she's generously offered to giveaway an e-book copy of Dragon's Lord (Haven's Realm 3) to one lucky commenter.
You know the drill, comment with your email address and follow the blog for a chance to win it. We;ll announce her winner on Monday July 16.
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Welcome, Tamara, How long have you been an author?

TAMARA: I became interested in writing when I was small. I read Little Women when I was eight, and developed a life-long passion for the written word. I was introverted as a child, and when I didn’t have something to read, I made up stories in my head.
In 1992, in the aftermath of the short-lived Dark Shadows revival, I began writing about my first vampire. As my writing improved, so did my imagination and determination. I self-published Twilight Destiny, my first completed novel, in 2008, but still longed to be traditionally published. That longing was fulfilled early in 2011 with the receipt of not one, but four book contracts with Secret Cravings Publishing. Haven’s Realm was officially born.

Congratulations, what is your favourite genre?
TAMARA: I have a wide range of tastes, though my favourite has always been vampires, especially romances. I also like ghost stories, science fiction and fantasy.



If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?
TAMARA: That all depends upon their tastes, because each of my novels, while part of a series, has its own unique flavour and can be read alone. Some readers prefer to begin at the beginning of a saga, while others might find another story more interesting, and after reading, hopefully, will be lead back to purchase my earlier books.

What is the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the writing process?
TAMARA: Quite frankly, my own imagination. Just when I think I’ve run out of ideas, something lights a spark and begins to grow. I never know when or where inspiration will strike, and often what my muse whispers to me is the biggest surprise of all.

Can you tell us about one of your current works in progress?
TAMARA: Secrets & Promises, book five in the Haven’s Realm series, is nearly complete. I expect to submit it for consideration with Secret Cravings Publishing before the month is out. This is the story of my enigmatic, brooding loner, Vincent. He has appeared in all four previous Haven’s Realm books, and his turn has come. Vincent’s drama begins at the end of Haven’s King, where he makes a startling declaration that rocks the Community to its foundation. Forced by promises he made long before the Bargain was struck, he stands against his fellow Council members and his King against the one woman who’s been his greatest desire and deepest torment for more than a thousand years.
I have posted a few excerpts on my Haven’s Realm blog site under the folder ‘Who is Vincent?’ These teasers from my prior works will wet your appetite until I can disclose more.


Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
TAMARA: I am currently restoring my 1968 Camaro. This is the car, dubbed ‘the Lady’ by my sister, which was featured in Haven’s King. When I reach a dead zone in Haven’s Realm, I put in ear plugs, pick up the die grinder and get to work. We’re taking her down to nuts and bolts, and after a whole lot of love, she should be better than new. She’s a one-off, for those who know of such things, so is one of a kind, and has been in my family since she was new.


Nice, Name your top three writing goals?
TAMARA:
1 – To continue to write from the heart and enjoy every moment,
2 – To be read and enjoyed by an ever growing number of followers
3 – To one day be discovered and make it to the silver screen

If you had the chance to meet one of your characters privately, who would it be and what would you do?
TAMARA: Well, I could pick Ronan. I fell more deeply for him than any of the others during the writing process, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything with him, because his body has only reacted to the presence of his soul-mate.
I suppose my answer must be Vincent, because I would love to put my arms around him and give him my love until the pain deep in his soul finally mends. He is the most sensitive and caring, and would be more willing to teach me the pleasures I only dream about.
LOL, What is the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?
TAMARA: Um, I once peeled the aluminum backing from the insulation in our unfinished basement room. Got whipped good for that one. That’s about as naughty as I’ll confess to.



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I'd like to thank Tamara for joining us today. For those of you who would like to learn more about Tamara and her work here are the links she can be reached through:

Haven’s Realm Website:
http://www.Havens-Realm.com

Haven’s Realm Blogsite:
http://havensrealm.wordpress.com
BLURB:

Trapped in Cupid's spell, Jason, vampire and erstwhile King of Iolcus, falls in love at first sight with Mirissa Wellston, a Carrington police officer. When his ancient enemies take notice of his desire for her, they trigger an assault that threatens Carrington and rocks the Community to the core. With both his love and the Bargain at stake, Jason knows it will take more than a golden fleece to save Haven's Realm.
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Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~
http://www.jenniferlabelle.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Spice It Up: A Giveaway with Jennifer Labelle

SPICE IT UP,
Heidi Taylor has fallen in love with a man who is off limits. He's her best friend and she's afraid to tell him how she really feels, that is until Nathan suggests she needs a little spice in her love life and designates himself as her something spicy...
FINDING HIS SOMETHING SPICY,

Rafe Zakas had no intention of settling down until he fell hard for his two closest friends, Nathan and Heidi. Their perfect trio falls apart when Nathan gets a job offer, relocating them, and Rafe realizes he needs his own something spicy to love.
LYRICS AND LUST,
Meagan Morales hits a rough patch in life and in love, until she meets successful rocker Lyric Cooper. Just when she opens up to the idea of a new love, danger lurks in the shadows and she may need to risk her heart to survive it.
BUY LINK:

THREE WORDS TO BLISS (The Spice It Up Trilogy in PRINT)

It only took three words of advice to inspire them.
SPICE IT UP
FINDING HIS SOMETHING SPICY
LYRICS AND LUST
Three loving couples, three incredible stories,
and the erotic encounters that heat their sheets…
COMING AUGUST 2012
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I had to share my cover art love for this trilogy. *grins* I'm pleased to announce that Lyrics and Lust (Spice It Up 3) is now available for purchase in ebook everywhere, as well as to share my excitement that Three Words To Bliss will be available in print next month.
I've had so much fun with these characters, and as a thank you, I'm going to do an ebook giveaway to help celebrate. You ready?
Here goes:
Up for grabs is anyone of my Spice It Up Trilogy in pdf so leave me a comment with your email address and follow this blog. In your comment state which one out of the three you'd like to read the most.
Easy peasy!
I'll announce the lucky winner on Friday, July 13.
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~
http://www.jenniferlabelle.com

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Giveaway & A Teaser with Grinelda Markowitz


Hyukking It Up In All Seriousness
By Grinelda Markowitz

So, what do you do when, on a lark, you’re moved by ennui to write a book just because you kinda sorta think you can? Let’s not mention its being a slightly naughty book at that.

Well, you go with it just to see where it leads. Of course!

I did and the wonderful city of Kalaydan and its inhabitants evolved from the tip of my pen onto the pages it anointed. I was also introduced to the ever-present erotic and sensual energy of blue chi. I guess this is where I should also mention I’d never written a book before?

I was blessed early on by a virtual interaction with Peggy (or so I’ll call her), a seasoned writer, who was gracious enough to take the time from her busy schedule to read my first clumsy efforts and offer advice and feedback. That was the best thing anyone could have done for me. The wonderful thing is her response took a constructive tone and was in no way diminishing of my efforts. Instead, it encouraged and recognized positive elements while pointing out those things which didn’t work and why. What was even more wonderful about this interaction was Peggy left it up to me to use or not use her advice as I saw fit. I’ve come to see this person as a mentor and most definitely a friend.

In the multiple runs through of my book, I engaged in hand-to-hand combat with grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling. Believe it or not, I live to tell the tale. I still struggle with these skills and probably always will throughout my writing career no matter how short- or long-lived it may be.

Along the way, I was encouraged by Peggy and several other writers to continue my efforts. They all confirmed to me in one way or another that my readers would appreciate the tedious and painful process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction with which I labored. “It’s necessary,” they agreed. By the way, the afore-mentioned process is more commonly known as editing and proofreading.

So, as I come away from my first serious venture as a writer, I have acquired greater skill and ability with quill and ink (and blotter). This will serve me well as I embark on other writing projects in the future. I’ve already started on book two of The Kalaydan Chronicles which is titled, The Training. I’m also working on a shorter story, “A Ghostly Tale”.

I recommend the following to the novice writer. I expound on these things on my Wordpress page.
1. Seek out and utilize available resources.
2. Invest in a writer’s tool box and keep it well stocked.
3. Acquire and hone basic skills.


Excerpt:
Meanwhile, in the Jewelers’ guild household, in the Metal Smith’s district of the city, the essence of pawpi rode the breeze through the bedroom window of a young man with dark, curly hair and a forest green crystal about his neck. The beauty of the stone was in the yellow and silver veins which flowed from one end to the other.

He shifted in his sleep and murmured to himself

“Who are you?” He asked the sylphlike woman. She had silver-white dreads and alabaster skin which sparkled like crushed crystal in the silver moonlight.

She smiled with a mouth full of sharp teeth. Her eyes flashed with a blue and silver fire.

“What do you want from me?” He asked her as he appraised her tall, graceful body with two breasts like round, ripe fruit laden with nectar; each was adorned with a nipple the width of a pinkie-toe. She swayed gracefully as she walked towards him then turned suddenly to walk away. Her ample bottom was divided evenly between two wide hips.

She turned again to face him then was suddenly standing there in front of him. She reached out to him just as the breeze, upon which the pawpi fragrance traveled, ceased and his dream faded.

The delicate fingers of one of his strong hands cupped his throbbing cod-baby; surrounding it with warmth.

“Soon,” he whispered in his sleep, “soon.”


About Grinelda Markowitz
Grinelda Markowitz writes erotic fiction. The Moon-Kissed Chi is her first epublished book in the genre of erotic fiction.


Blurb:
In the City of Kalaydan, Arrinay and Bezhyanya, the senior members of the ruling family, are faced with the early maturation of their daughter, Gayadnae. She must start the training. It’s Kalaydan law. Their daughter has other ideas. After concocting a plan to avoid responsibility and almost succeeding in carrying it out, Gayadnae’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Grayt, the ever-present serving woman to Arrinay, fills many roles and has her fingers in a number of pies. There’s definitely more to her than is apparent on the surface. Besides coordinating activities in the Main House, keeping the young mistress in line, and talking to horses, Grayt seems to have a more secret mission along with a few more grave responsibilities.

A hint of trouble on the horizon and other darker activities weave their way through the backdrop of this delightful tale of the city of Kalaydan.


Giveaway:
I will give away one copy of The Moon-Kissed Chi by random drawing. Please comment in a reply to this post with your email address and state your desire to enter.


Links:
Wordpress: http://grineldamarkowitz.wordpress.com
Email: grinelda.markowitz@gmail.com
Blogger: http://thepearlydropletstocum.blogspot.com
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/grineldamarkowitz
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Grinelda-Markowitz/e/B007ZJZU1I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1



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I'd like to thank Grinelda for joining us today. We'll announce her winner on Monday, June 9th.



Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~
http://www.jenniferlabelle.com