Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Blast: Big Fat Disaster


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Big Fat Disaster
By Beth Fehlbaum
Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It’s her life: Dad’s a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative’s trailer, where her mom’s contempt swells right along with Colby’s supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby’s role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she’s only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.
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About The Author
In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is an experienced English teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading. She is currently a Library Science student at Sam Houston State University.
 
Beth is the author of Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014); Courage in Patience (Kunati Books, 2008); and Hope in Patience(WestSide Books, 2010). Hope in Patience was named a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Truth in Patience, which rounds outThe Patience Trilogy, is as yet unpublished. The Patience Trilogy has been revised and is available for acquisition!
 Beth has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups. She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope”.

Beth is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope.
Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.

You can find Beth online at http:www.bethfehlbaumbooks.com
on Facebook, and on https://twitter.com/bethfehlbaum.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Promo Blitz: Hearing Love





Hearing Love - Release Blitz
By Katie Lee
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: April 16, 2014

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Ella James, the beautiful, feisty Director of Operations at Coopers’ Treats finds herself immediately at odds with Alexander Shepard, CEO of SBS, Inc. Alex’s company is looking to merge with the financially shaky Coopers’ Treats, but from the moment they met, Alex had this way of getting under Ella’s skin. Alex’s plans for the merger would require Ella to uproot herself from her safe, quiet existence in the bucolic suburban enclave of Brookside and move to the bright lights of Manhattan. For Ella, who lost her hearing at a young age, change wasn’t something she embraced or welcomed freely. She was also reluctant to leave Chase Kramer, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, even though they were currently in the “off-again” phase.


But a merger with the more financially stable SBS, Inc. would mean ensuring Coopers’ Treats continued existence, so Ella packs up and heads for the Big Apple, hoping that giving Chase the chance to really miss her might clarify his feelings for her. When Ella gets to Manhattan, she is charmed by both the big city and Alex. Despite her feelings for Chase, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to Alex and the chemistry between them is sizzling. They embark on a passionate, fun, whirlwind affair. Ella is surprised by her intense feelings for Alex, even though she is still haunted by dreams of chasing after an elusive man, dreams that she started having when Chase first broke off their relationship.

 As the merger deadline approaches, Ella finds herself caught between her feelings for two very different men. As she works to see that the merger is completed successfully, her muddled feelings for both men threaten to jeopardize everything she holds dear. Will she finally be able to hear love and make the right choice?



EXCERPT

(SHORT EXCERPT)


“What happened to Alexander Shepard?”

“I kicked him out,” Ella James answered, her voice dismissive.

“You what?” Cynthia asked with a gasp.

Ella was surprised by the distressed expression on her assistant's face. “What?”

“I-I. . .” Cynthia stopped, shaking her head. “You really kicked him out?”

“Cyn, what’s going on?”

Cynthia took a deep breath before answering. “I saw Mr. Cooper while I was in the bakery and he told me that he forgot to tell you that someone named Alexander Shepard would be coming in to meet with you. He said to tell you that he’s the CEO of the corporation and that you’d know what that means.”

Ella bolted out of her chair as panic gripped her. “Oh my God!”

As she fought to contain the rising panic, Ella's mind went back to her meeting earlier that day

About the Author:

 photo DenverBar_zps81c40bb7.jpgKatie Lee has had a lifelong love affair with books. She fell in love with her first book in the second grade and hasn’t looked back since. She first took up writing as a hobby, wanting to craft her own magical adventures, and through the love and encouragement of family and friends, decided to get serious about writing and share her stories with the world.

She currently resides in Maryland in the United States. She works for the government during the day, and her spare time is devoted to writing. She gains inspiration from all sorts of things, but mostly from the fun and adventurous trips she takes when she can.

Her debut novel, "What Endures" was published in August of 2013 and is available on Amazon.

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Blog Tour: Stone Cold


Title: Stone Cold (Ironhill Jinn #2)
Author: Jocelyn Adams
Genre: PNR, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 11th, 2014

Not all monsters can be tamed.

Blurb:   
Lou Hudson makes a deal with the Isaac to save the Ironhill jinn from execution…and lands on the front line of a war between the vampire and his sire.

Daddy Dearest intends to have Lou for himself to spite Isaac and begins meddling in every corner of her life. Her reputation shatters when people die, her monster-whispering skills shelved by public outcry and vampire politics.

When forced to confront their enemy, she isn’t prepared for the depth of Isaac’s plotting—or her increasing attraction to him—and to end their latest crisis will only cost Lou a piece of her soul.

My review:

Alrighty peoples! Don't you dare make any judgements about this book based off the hunky stud on  the cover! This is not just some silly highland romance! This is a very well written, complex, and kick ass book! I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of the bad ass lady as the main character, and Lou is certainly one of those. She's got a super fun Lara Croft(ish) kind of feel to her, yet also comes across as wonderfully vulnerable too.

The story picks up nicely from the first book, however, I think you could easily read this one without reading the first (but why the hell would you want to do that?) Lou and Isaac are just smoking hot and have a simmering chemistry that threatened to boil over on every single page they occupy together!

Here's the deal. This is a must read for any lover of hot romances with kick ass ladies, sexy vampires, and great writing!

Buy It:
Amazon




Authors Bio: 
 
Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.

With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has five published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.

When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

Author's Links:
http://www.joceadams.com


Excerpt:

In the serenity of the Colorado night, without distraction, I noticed a scent surrounding Isaac I’d either ignored or hadn’t noticed before. Mineral hints of snow in chilled night air, and beneath it, the dewy scent of the earth in autumn. It drew up thoughts of Mum and the better times we’d spent together. My mind quieted further.

“Are you afraid?” Isaac asked, once again the guarded, regal lord. “Your terror should be painting the wind in shades of bitterness, but I scent nothing but your vanilla-tinged contentment.”

I thought for a moment before answering, watching a hawk sail across the last splashes of pink. “No, I don’t think I am. Is it strange that I find comfort in the scent of my executioner? That it plunges me into my most pleasant memories during my life?” I smiled. “I’ve never believed in God, but perhaps he exists after all and has granted me this small mercy at the end of all things.”

A rustle of fabric came to my ears as he shifted closer. “What do I smell like?”

Encouraged by his interest, I rolled his scent on my tongue, through the halls of my memory. “Frost-coated leaves on the forest floor in autumn when the earth is damp yet not frozen, and the wind has that first crisp hint of winter.” I’d always wondered why prisons would send a priest to the condemned, seeing no point in confessing anything, but I had a sudden understanding of how unburdening just having someone to listen could be.

I decided to share the memory. “Mum forbade me from using my abilities when I was young and we lived in England. Never let them see your strangeness, Lou-Lou Bean, she’d say. My jinn magic would build up and become almost blinding, and the longing was worse than starving. She finally gave in to my begging and took me up north to a small forest when I was three.”

My smile grew, and I let out a small laugh, remembering. “The first thing I did when she set me free was to drop to my knees and dig my fingers into the earth.” I stretched my hand out, almost feeling the cool soil squish against my palms. “It was late October like it is now. I had to shove away the leaves, inhaling the earthy scent of my element. The instant the rock called out to me and I could actually connect with it was like I’d been breathing with one lung all my life and could suddenly take in a full breath.”

I tried to shake off Mum’s reaction to it all back then, but it wouldn’t leave me, sucking the remembered joy out of me. “Mum always turned her back while I changed to stone. She didn’t like to see my strangeness, as if it would somehow drive the hurt deeper, that my father had cursed her with a condemned abomination for a daughter. She lived her entire life looking over her shoulder because of me.”

A tug came on my braid. I imagined Isaac running his fingers along the length of it, and that, too, was a strange sort of comfort coming from the last source I expected it from. I’m here, I heard in the act. I’m listening.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spotlight: Affair in Athens




Title: Affair in Athens
Author: Matina Nicholas
Genre: Literary Fiction
Release Date: April 1, 2013

Blurb: 
 
Fulfilling her mother’s dying wish to discover her roots, Athena Vallas journeys to Greece and finds more than history as she reunites with a part of her family she didn’t know existed. While documenting her grandfather’s heroic role as a Greek Orthodox priest in Plaka, sheltering Jews during the Resistance in WWII, Athena meets Luke, a dangerously charismatic man who sees her as the ideal wife. 

Drawn into an extravagant lifestyle, her attraction to Luke is intense until she discovers that he plays a high stakes game of illegal pursuits. When she attempts to distance herself, Luke refuses to relinquish his plans. Ruthlessly, he keeps his eye on the prize—Athena—who won’t compromise love for wealth or fidelity for lifestyle. 

Affair in Athens includes a set of authentic Greek recipes at the back of the book, passed down through Matina’s family. Read, eat, and enjoy!

Buy It:
Amazon



Authors Bio:
With a background in English and Education, and a dedication to transmit her love of writing to her students, Matina Nicholas taught writing and literature at university and high school levels. She has been published in educational texts, professional periodicals, and journals. Currently, she writes for the Condo News under the name Tina Chippas. Her writing pieces can be read at condonewsonline.com under Commentary and Essays.

A confirmed dog-lover, Matina is involved with her two dogs, Chelsea, a geriatric-but-far-from-over-the-hill toy red poodle and Lukie, a spunky, stubby Miniature Pinscher. Their eagerness for adventure and fine canine dining is the source for some of her essays for the Condo News.

This is her first novel.

Blog: http://tinachippas.wordpress.com/

Excerpt:

The old priest’s Byzantine chant, the heady smokiness of burning incense, the power of icons hundreds of years old staring down on her intoxicated her senses. She looked about the ancient Greek Orthodox church tucked under the Parthenon with a deep sense of awe and respect. This was where her grandfather had been priest for fifty years, where her mother had been christened and prayed and left behind so long ago. There were no pews, no chairs in this church. After all, “orthodox” meant upright. Dozens of candles in ornate brass candelabras flickered and cast mysterious shadows.

Athena’s eyes brimmed with tears. The altar swam before her. She was overwhelmed with a sense of coming home, of belonging. She knelt, covering her face with her hands, remembering her mother’s last days. Filled with love for her daughter, Amalia grieved that she would not live to see Athena married or have children. How could any daughter deny her mother’s last wish? Athena had promised to visit the tiny church in Plaka, learn of her Greek roots and her grandfather’s role in sheltering Jews during the Resistance.

Tears slipped through her fingers and dropped to the stone floor, the same stones where her grandparents had stood when they married, baptized their children, where their coffins had rested before they were buried. This was where her grandfather and his parishioners heroically stood when the Nazis trained their machine guns on them—Father Peter, in his black robes, face and arms raised in prayer, radiating strength and courage to his parishioners as they stood facing him. They had done God’s will by hiding and smuggling the Salonika Jews out of Athens into the remote countryside. “Pater Ev-lo-i-son Emas. Father bless us,” they chanted, their voices abruptly silenced by the sharp, staccato bursts of the machine guns.

“My daughter.” Athena felt strong hands on her shoulders. She raised her tear-stained face to see an old priest in the customary black robes, looking down at her. His bright blue eyes peered over his wire spectacles, his face creased in concern. “I am Father Nicholas. My child, how can I help you?” His English was quite good.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Promo Blitz: Throbbing Hearts




















Throbbing Hearts 1 - PROMO Blitz

By Sabrina Lacey

Sizzling New Adult Romance

Date Published: March 19, 2014


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Brendan Clark doesn't know I exist. But tonight, I'm going to change that. For the first time in four painfully long years, he's single. I've been waiting for this, my heart racing every time I see him. I finally have a chance and I'm going to take it. Tonight I will touch those kissable lips... and he'll see it, too - that we're meant for each other. If only I can stop shaking...









EXCERPT



Annie





Totally over stupidity-saturated college parties like this one. Wishing I was back in bed. Still heavy, heavy, heavy in my Goth phase. If you don’t like it you can fuck right off.



________





I ask Corrine, “Why did I come to this stupid thing again?” as she snakes her way through too many faces I pretend not to know. These people are all friends (ish) with her, but with me? Not so much.



“You came because I made you! You can’t stay stuck behind a computer every night, Annie! How are you ever going to get laid?” She throws a look my way that says I should know these things.



“You mean fall in love. How am I ever going to fall in love,” I correct her. Even with the dyed black hair, black lipstick, black wardrobe – I’m a hopeless romantic.



She snorts disapproval and stands up on the toes of her already high-heels so she can peek over the mass of stupid. “I see booze! Come on!”



“I can’t wait.”



My hand gets encased in hers and I am dragged by force. Corinne is the sitting-on-the-back-of-a-motorcycle kind of beautiful. No tiaras for this one. She’ll wear pink, but it’s gotta be hot pink. Her hair isn’t just dyed blonde, it’s platinum. Her jewelry is a little too heavily applied, as is her red lipstick. Makeup around her green eyes is the only thing she keeps low-key. She’s a little bit on the trashy side and I really like that about her. You wouldn’t catch me dead around a pastel-wearing girlie-girl. Corinne’s not afraid to swear, get dirty, and be maybe a lot slutty. Vicariously, I live through her wild side. She’s fine with that, because everyone needs a cheerleader and I’m her biggest. I just cheer from behind a sarcastic grin and dry witticisms, that’s all.



When we get to the multitude of inebriation materials, she turns to me. “Falling in love is an antiquated notion. We don’t need men. They need us. We center them. And from them, we get sex. Hot sex, if we’re lucky. And if we’re not lucky, we move on.”



I watch her grab the gin bottle, and I almost scream, “No! No gin. I can’t even think of gin without vomiting up the last three years of my life.”



She drops it back to the table. “Oh yeah. That was a fun night. If fun equals a nightmare. How ‘bout this?” She holds up a bottle that says Chopin. I lean in closer and see that it’s some highfalutin vodka. “This good?”



I shrug. “Let’s give it a shot.”



“Shots! Yes!!”



“Uh oh.” My tone is as dry as a scone left out for five days and then two more. “We’re doing shots. Great.”



Corinne pours while talking. “Look, you. You’re making Marilyn Manson jealous with that outfit. Your social skills are bested by mutes. We need to loosen you up if we’re going to get you any action – like EVER.”



My tongue plays with the roof of my mouth as I suck on her game plan. “Why do you even hang out with me?”



“Because I love you, Squid. And you make me feel good when I’m around you. You get me, and you don’t judge. Do you know how rare that is?” She calls me squid because of the black hair dye I’m addicted to. I’m naturally strawberry blonde and even though the lowest percentage of the population is born strawberry blonde – I could give a fuck. It’s too puppies, kittens and roses for me.



“That’s very sweet. I may throw up.” We tap our cups together with no celebratory clink bouncing back, thanks to the plastic. Very low end, this party. I vow that when I’m all grown up and have got my own place, I will have enough glassware to throw a party without red plastic cups sullying the classy festivities. I drink the vodka and wince. “Blech… add some cranberry or something?”



With her hand, Corinne shakes her platinum hair and musses it up all sexy style like she’s readying herself for battle against the weaker sex, and I don’t mean women. “Hello. Shots aren’t supposed to taste good. Drink up.”



“Eesh.” I drink it back and cough once. Just once because her laser-beam eyeballs stop me from making a scene. “Sorry.”



 “You’re not a lost cause!” She chuckles. “You’ve still got these.” She points to my eyes, which – I have to admit – are probably my best feature. They’re bright cotton candy blue. I am fond of them. Why do you think I smudge so much eyeliner around them? “And these!” She reaches out and grabs my boobs, which are cleverly hidden behind a baggy shirt and jacket, not to mention several silver stone-pendant necklaces. Each stone has a different healing property: protection, communication and love. I fancy myself a bit of a witch. Or spiritual. Or whatever.



“Anybody besides you touches my boobs and I’ll punch them in the face. And you can let them go now, too.” She laughs and obeys. I’m not into girls. Neither is Corinne. But I don’t really mind her grabbing them. Someone’s got to.



“Hey!” she barks at a girl pushing through to the booze-table. The girl eyeballs her and a silent war is won by neither. Corinne looks back to me. “Does that include Brendan Clark? Would you punch him in the face if he did this?” She grabs them again and giggles.



My heart jumps out and kisses her for saying his name. But then it goes dead all over again and I swat her hands away. “Brendan’s got a girlfriend, remember?”



Corinne leans in and whispers, “Not anymore. Word is, he dumped her right before they were supposed to go away and celebrate their graduation with a good boinking.” She eyes me. “Interesting news, isn’t it?”



See this is the problem with friends. They see things you don’t want them to see. Which means you can’t live in happy denial. I’ve not told anyone how I feel about Brendan Clark, not even her. But somehow she spotted me staring at him with my mouth open one too many times. Ever since, it’s been like dragging Lindsey Lohan to rehab to get her to drop it.



But still my heart pirouettes throughout my insides at the news.



Brendan’s single?



I blink at Corinne, stunned and speechless. Though, Brendan has all of my heart, he has no idea who I am. He is beyond out of my league. I’ve only said “hey” to him once and it was a disaster. I said it because he said it first. But then it turned out he was talking to his buddy Mark who was walking up behind me. Needless to say, I slinked back into the shadows where it’s nice and quiet… and dark enough for me to cry.



I shrug and look away so she can’t see me lying. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this, Marilyn, but I really don’t care what Brendan does.” She calls me Squid. I call her Marilyn after Marilyn Monroe, thanks to her hair and sexy goddess style. I may have gotten the short end of the nickname stick.



Her eyes narrow and she leans in to see if she can decipher my code. “Really?”



Avoiding her, I mutter without care, “Yeah. I’m not interested.”



“Not at all?”



“Not in the slightest.”



“He’s walking up behind you.”



“Let’s do another shot.”



Corinne laughs hard and turns to shove that girl out of the way. Successful, she starts singing “Shots shots shots shots” by the band LMFAO, and pours way too generously.



I don’t dare look around, but I don’t need to. Before I even lay eyes on Brendan, I hear his voice, low and deeper than most other guys and already my knees feel like noodles. His voice boasts his advanced levels of testosterone, and the place that aches for him between my legs moistens instantly. He’s here. He’s walking up behind me. Now is my chance to talk to him! To let him know I exist. I eavesdrop and hear him talking about Mendocino, something about a…



“Here you go.” Corinne slides a half-full cup back in my hand and I lose the last part of what was being said.



I take it from her, head down, focusing hard on the red plastic. I know that when I turn around, I will be face to face with the man I plan to have babies with. First I should probably tell him my name.



“Thanks.” I drink it before she even has a chance to toast or join me.



She stares at my speed, reads correctly into it, and whoops loudly, “Now it’s a party! Here, have another!”



I don’t argue, holding my cup out. I turn my head, say nothing, and stare at the man I have every intention of marrying. He’s exchanging words with jerkoff Mark and that asshole Tommy, but all I can see is Brendan’s mouth moving like the world just slowed down to make me the happiest girl in it. His lips are so full and pouty, and his teeth are straight from the braces he still had on during the beginning of his sophomore year, the I first time I saw him, three years ago. I was a freshman, and apparently invisible.





About the Author:

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Sabrina Lacey is like many women in modern times - she's been a lot of things to a lot of people. A wife, ex-wife, daughter, teacher, stand-up comedienne, wackadoo, loyal friend, fed-up bartender, fashion photographer, lazy bones, bitch, and sweetheart (though less often than bitch). She lives in way too dry Los Angeles where she wishes there was more thunderstorms. Who doesn't love a good thunderstorm...



Pour a nice glass of wine, and enjoy the ride. ;) Cheers!




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