Saturday Spotlight – The South Winds by Allison Mullinax

 

 

South Winds (1)

The South Winds

by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting

August 7, 2018

 

Cassie Ray, manager of her family’s successful oyster house, has never asked for much out of life. The sun, surf, and sand are her companions. The regulars and tourists that flock to The Slippery Oyster are her livelihood. But when the Atlantic kicks up a hurricane, sending waves of black water threatening the coast, Cassie quickly learns that the south winds have blown in a lot more than debris and saltwater.

Dean Alexander left Turquoise Isle eight years ago and never looked back. With his sister’s wedding approaching, and a hurricane churning in the Gulf, Dean returns home, where he’s welcomed with a riptide of memories determined to pull him under.

Will Cassie and Dean make it through the crashing waves of the past? Will they get a second chance before it’s too late or will the storm ahead be too much for them to handle?

Excerpt:

EXCERPT #4 – CHAPTER SIX

“Was that Dean Dean?” Jonah asks, still standing in the same spot since he walked into the house, staring at me wide-eyed.

“The one and only.” Wiping my sweaty palms over my black pants, I grimace at the tight muscles grinding in my forearm, protesting any sort of movement from my fingers. “This night sucks.” I blow a stray strand of hair out of my face. The smell of fish grease clings to my locks for dear life.

“I pictured him taller, less… clean cut,” Jonah says over his shoulder, walking into the kitchen. He stomps through the house, the hardwood floor shaking under his boots. “Where’s the good stuff?” He shuffles through a bottle of ketchup, cartons of leftovers, and an expired jar of mayonnaise as his backside sticks out of the refrigerator.

“He didn’t used to be. He’s different. There’s nothing in there. Try up there.” I point to the cabinet above his head as he swings around. A slice of lunch meat hangs from between his lips momentarily before he sucks it into his mouth.

“You need to go to the grocery store. I could have sworn I saw a bottle of wine hiding back there last week.” Towering over the refrigerator, Jonah stands on his tiptoes to reach the back of my liquor cabinet, from which he produces a three-year-old bottle of vodka. Pointing to it, he shrugs, waiting for my approval.

“Yeah, that’ll do.”

“Sit.” Jonah nods toward the table and walks across the kitchen. He pulls two red plastic cups out of the cabinet and snatches a bag of Cheetos. He places his pay load on the table.

“I just can’t believe he came to the restaurant.” Walking over to my kitchen nook, I plop down on top of the dining table, my legs dangling over the edge.

“Wait, woman!” Jonah waves his hand frantically in the air before pulling a finger to his lips, shushing me. “Don’t tell me all the gory details yet. I want the vodka version, not the bitter-Betty version.”

“I’m not bitter.”

“Playa, please, I’ve never seen you wound this tight. I could bounce a quarter off the vein popping out the side of your neck. Gimme.” Jonah holds his hand out for a cup, twisting the lid of the vodka off with his teeth. The clear liquid splashes against the bottom as he spits the top out onto the table. I watch it spin against the grainy wood, making its way toward the edge. Harold eyes the lid curiously from the floor, waiting for it to drop into his paws.

“Drink.” Jonah keeps his eyes on mine as we both tilt our heads back, letting the shots burn down our throats. He pulls a fist to his lips, his eyes watering over. “This is terrible.”

“I know, give me another.” I cough, then slam my cup down onto the table.

“One more. I gotta drive home.” Jonah pours a single shot into each of the cups, and we

toss the fire into our bellies one last time. “We need to update your liquor choices, Cass.” He shoves his hand into the Cheeto bag, plucking out several, and leaving cheesy powder coating his knuckles.

“I may never drink vodka again after this.” I hold my tongue out, waiting for the burn to disappear.

Jonah tosses the cups into the trash along with the half-empty liquor bottle, giving a slight shudder as it smacks against the bottom of the garbage can. “All right, spill it.”

 

BUY LINKS:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/the-south-winds

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/South-Winds-Turquoise-Isle-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6X6V18/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-south-winds-allison-mullinax/1129081625?ean=2940162142232

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/the-south-winds

About the Author: 

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters. 

Social Media: 

 Website

Facebook

Twitter

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AuThursday Madison Micheal

Besotted MM Banner

madison michael author photoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Oh my, this may be the question I least enjoy answering. I am a retired software manager from corporate America who always loved romance as an escape from life’s realities. I grew up on romantic musicals like “My Fair Lady” and “Gigi” and so, when I had time on my hands after years working 60 hour weeks, it felt natural to write romance. I had no expectations but the writing bug bit me and I am hooked.

I still love to read romance. I love to travel.  I love the movies and exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods and restaurants. I am close with my family and friends who give me loving support and edit my books. And I am almost always surrounded by cats, junk food, and 24-hour cable news.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I do a broad brush outline to get a novel started, what Point of View I will use per chapter, how the plot will unfold chapter to chapter. I never stick to it. My characters take over about ¼ into the book and everything starts to change.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Writer’s block is just the worst! I had it for about three months last winter and thought I would never get back on track. I did a lot of research for my books during that time and wrote blog posts, but I just could not get my novel going. Finally, I came across an article that mentioned that writer’s block was really the brain saying it didn’t like the project. It rang true for me, so I did a deep dive on my characters, got to know them better and poof – the block was gone.

What genre do you write?

Mostly I write contemporary romance because I like dealing with the issues facing couples today – careers, families, and friends that pull couples in so many directions. Also, I enjoy the steamy aspects of a contemporary romance. But, I have written a time travel novel, Our Love is Here to Stay, and I had a wonderful opportunity to research Chicago in the 1950’s and keep my characters true to the period. I would love to do that again, or even try writing a Regency Romance. I love the manners and the clothes.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Besotted.jpgBesotted is the fourth novel in a series about four friends so the idea was really coming to me as I wrote the prior three books in the series. I loved creating four separate stories yet overlapping the characters so that readers could really get to know them. I am more about the characters when I write than the plot and I expect that the characters from the Beguiling Bachelor series will continue to make appearances in future books as well.

How are you publishing this book and why? (Indie, traditional or small press)

(Indie) I have more control over my story this way – the length, the plot lines, cover art, every aspect. I have a passion for marketing and interaction with my fans that equals my love of writing. I want to stay close to the novel and the readers.

All of my books to date have been published by me. I love being an indie publisher.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. I actually mentor a few aspiring writers and I warn them to keep moving forward and avoid falling into the rewrite pitfalls until they finish a full draft. Its great to polish until you are happy, but not until you actually have a full work to publish. Also, start small if you are unsure. Write short stories, write novellas so you can put yourself out there and get reader feedback, and momentum. Talk to other authors, they will be encouraging. You, on the other hand, will be your harshest critic.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.madisonmichael.net or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MadisonMichaelRomance

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Thanks for asking, I would love to.

Besotted Teaser 5.2

AuThursday – Mary Martinez

URBIMG Banner2

MM author photoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I live in Utah, just west of Salt Lake City. I love to travel, go to concerts, read and of course hang out with family. I haven’t always loved sports, they were okay but now I love sports, most. We have season tickets to the University of Utah Football and Gymnastics. We love baseball and whenever we get a chance we go to a Yankees game.

I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I started one when my kids were little, that didn’t go over well. Before the internet. Yes, I’m old. LOL. But when my kids started moving out I decided it was time. That was in the early 2000’s. I’ve learned a LOT the hard way.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I just write a bit of backstory to get the feel of the characters, do an outline of characters and then write by the seat of my pants. I add things to my backstory doc as I go.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not often, it’s usually just problems with a scene so I can move forward. I take a walk or clean to clear my head when that happens.

What genre do you write?

I write more than one. I started with Romantic Suspense, I’ve added Romance, Women’s fiction, one middle grade I wrote with my three oldest grandsons and currently I’m writing a fantasy complete with Wizards, Witches, faeries, Deamhans, Warriors, and Dragons.

How did you come up with the ideas for your books?

WatchingJenny_MaryMartinez300I do not know. The ideas pop into my head at weird times. I was driving to work when Alanis Morissette came on the radio and for some reason, the idea of a stalker came to mind and the idea for Watching Jenny was born.

ChickMagnetFinal300

 

 

My son used to take his nephew to the grocery store with him to pick up girls, hence my idea for Chick Magnet.

RomanceAndMisconceptionsFinal300I am not sure of the others. With Romance and Misconceptions it started out as a romantic suspense but then I liked the twin that was supposed to die so much I turned it into a romantic comedy.

 

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Join a book club of readers, not other authors. You’ll read books you’d never have picked up on your own. You’ll have firsthand experience of what a reader likes and dislikes about how authors write. How they react to certain situations. I have found it very valuable. Especially since there is always wine.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website: www.marymartinez.comwww.marymartinez.com

Mary’s Garden Blog: http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/

The After Work Cook Blog: http://theafterworkcook.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormarymartinez/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marylmartinez

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryMartinez/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTww3B2ofa11UPFrSe0WGAg

Pinterest (my fav) https://www.pinterest.com/marylmartinez3/

Mary’s Book Group News: http://www.marymartinez.com/marys-book-group-news.html

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Excerpt from Classic Murder: Mr. Romance

ClassicMurderMrRomanceMaryMartinez300“Would you like to come up for a drink?” Katie asked and then hiccupped loudly. Placing a hand over her mouth, she looked around. Adam watched her cheeks pinken with embarrassment. Then another giggle escaped. God, she’s cute.

“Come on, Katie. Let’s go to your apartment and get you ready for bed.”

Katie straightened up and looked up at Adam. Adam watched as she started to lean to the side, he hurried to place a steadying handout, but before he could, she started to teeter the other way. He finally grabbed her by the shoulders. Walking her backwards until they reached the side of the building, he propped her up against the brick. He leaned down and took the ridiculously high-heeled shoes off her feet, one at a time. Shoes in hand, he stood up.

“Okay, I think you can walk to your apartment. Come on.”

Adam was glad they didn’t have to take the stairs. He would have had to pick her up and carry her. Not that it wasn’t a tempting idea, but he was having a hard enough time controlling himself without the added temptation. At her apartment, he kept one arm around her waist and half propped her against the wall. He waited while she fumbled in her minuscule silver purse for her key. Then he unlocked the door.

“In you go, Katie. Now which way to your bedroom?” Adam asked.

Before she could answer, Oscar barked from the kitchen where Katie had left him for the evening. First things, first; someone had to take care of the poor dog and then he could deal with Katie. He led her to the sofa, helped her sit and smiled at the silly grin she had on her face.

Standing at the door, Oscar waiting to be let out, Adam looked at Katie. “I’m talking the dog for a walk. Will you be all right?”

Katie blinked and her head rolled to the side to look at him. She grinned wider, then hiccupped. “Yup.”

Adam sighed. He couldn’t just let the dog out; he had to be on a leash. Hoping she stayed on the couch, he let himself and Oscar out.

When Adam let himself back into the apartment a few minutes later, Katie was still sitting where he had left her. Her eyes closed and the same silly grin spread across her face. He walked over and, as his face came level with hers, her eyes popped open and her hand came up quickly. Before Adam knew what was happening, she’d put her hand to the back of his head and pulled him in. Her warm lips locked with his. Desire shot through his body.

Reminding himself that she wouldn’t remember it in the morning, he forced himself to pull away gently. Taking both her hands, he pulled her to her feet, where she slightly swayed.Reviews by Crystal button

AuThursday -Barbara Monajem

TROTS BM Banner2OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve been making up stories ever since I could read and write. The first story I remember writing was in third grade about apple tree gnomes. Unfortunately, I have lost that story!

How do you make time to write?

Luckily, I can write anywhere, anytime, but since I have a job during the week, I get most of my writing done on weekends, or on vacation while my husband does the driving!

What genre are your books?

Most of them are Regency romance, but I also have some vampire mystery/romances out there, and I just finished writing a Regency mystery. Some of my romances have magic in them. They’re a lot of fun to write.

What draws you to this genre?

I love reading both mystery and historical romance, so I naturally tend to write a blend of the two.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a Regency romance where the heroine is a French refugee and a smuggler. She’s VERY feisty and fun to write. I’m also writing a Regency with magic, in which the heroine can see the fairies, and therefore people think she is crazy. The hero is half-fairy and super sexy and exciting. Lastly, I’m polishing my Regency mystery about a wealthy lady who has to confront all her class prejudices while solving a mystery that centers around herself. The hero of that story is a clever, intriguing Scot.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

Introvert all the way. It means I’m pretty terrible at being sociable. I love hearing from my fans, but I dread meeting them and having to make small talk!!

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Um…well, so far I haven’t found it. Yikes, is that something more to worry about?

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Persevere. Get critiques, enter contests, learn to rewrite and revise, believe in yourself. And again, persevere.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

http://www.facebook.com/barbara.monajem

http://twitter.com/BarbaraMonajem

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3270624.Barbara_Monajem

http://www.BarbaraMonajem.com

TROTS Teaser 4.3Do you have a sexy excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Hmm. Not really, because the heroine and heroine don’t get together until pretty late in the book. But here’s a teaser.

redemtionoftheshrew480Years earlier, Gloriana tried to seduce Philippe by coming to him naked in the moonlight, but he spurned her and left. Now they can hardly tolerate each other…but the attraction still lingers.

Gloriana gaped at Philippe, and their eyes met. It was dim in that tavern, but not dim enough. The awareness in his eyes sent a bolt of desire through her, top to toe.

“I do covet you, but I am an honorable man,” Philippe said. “I shall not act upon my desires, however, tempted I may be—or have been in the past.”

She surged up, gripping the tankard. “There’s nothing honorable about being a coward.”

His eyes flashed, but he slouched at ease in his chair. “Shall I call you a few choice names, too?”

She flung the tankard at him. Ale dripped down his waistcoat. He rose slowly to his feet. A babble of crude commentary broke out. Hands shaking, she dug in her reticule, dropped a shilling on the table, and stalked out into the night.

To the sound of laughter and jests, Philippe’s among them.

TROTS Teaser 2.2Reviews by Crystal button (1)

Saturday Spotlight – Insatiable by Michelle Hazen

5 INSATIABLE_v3_ebook

Jax Sterling is a sex addict with the heart of a golden retriever puppy.  As the lead singer for the Red Letters, it’s easy to hide his loneliness behind his bad boy lifestyle…until he lands on tour with a hard rock goddess who makes him want the relationship he can never have.

Onstage, Ava’s all chains, whips, and guitar licks, but the backstage confessions they share are darker than their leather. She wants Jax, but he wants better for her than him.

But then, bad news drops that threatens the life of one of his bandmates, and the loyalty of the other. Terrified by how little he has left if he loses his best friends, Jax takes the plunge to let someone else into his life.

Until Ava finds out his ugliest sin, and it’s nothing she can forgive.

Excerpt:

“Jax, wait!” She grabs my arm.

“Still not ready to sleep?”

Please God, let her ask me to hold her. That happens in Jera’s romance novels all the time. And okay, the heroes never pop inappropriate wood, but that’s just because they’re a bunch of pussies.

Ava nods, and I can’t quite read the look in her eye. Her hand feels soft on my arm and when it drops away, my skin tingles. “If you want to trade in truth or dare for a bedtime story next time, I rock at Dr. Seuss. Jera’s daughter can’t get enough of rhyming.” I half-smile. “Songwriter’s kid, you know.”

“Sorry. You should go catch a nap before the plane lands. I need a new damn boyfriend is all.” Ava sighs. “Hate sleeping alone.”

My heart jolts and I briefly debate the wisdom of jumping up and down, waving my arm in the air. Decide against it on the basis of possible un-coolness points. “You could try your bodyguard. Judging by the look he gave me when I was on my way in here, he’s dying to play Big Spoon.”

Ava laughs. “Yeah, not even a little bit. Plus, his wife is in my knitting group back home.”

“AVA knitting? From the girl who started the skull-with-pink-bow trend, that’s some serious blackmail, so now we’re even.” She still looks glum, so I skim my knuckles down her arm. “Come on, you’re not really alone. You’re on a tiny plane with the world’s most prescient flight attendant, a vampire bat, and a makeup artist whom I suspect of reading the dictionary. For pleasure.”

She laughs, squirming around until she’s straight on the bed again and squinting up at me as a tiny curl falls into her eyes. “You’re crazy weird, you realize that, right?”

“They’re your hand-picked staff, not mine.” I head for the door and pause with my hand on the knob. “I’ll totally stay and cuddle with you, you know. As long as you have sex with me three, maybe four times first.”

“Four?” She pushes her hair out of her face. “Oh, is that all?”

I wink. “‘If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.’”

“Oh my God, did you just sex-quote Dr. Seuss at me?” She explodes into my favorite laugh, the gasping snorty one.

I close the door, grinning. Which sucks, because I look like a fool when I realize her bodyguard is still awake, swiveled so he can watch me come out of her airplane’s bedroom.

And he still hasn’t blinked.

Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2GLB6xk
Buy Now:
Amazon → https://goo.gl/jKoDXf
Barnes and Noble → https://goo.gl/3Jn33o
Kobo → https://goo.gl/fphZC3
iTunes → https://goo.gl/iP9F3y

About Michelle Hazen:

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband
ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of
her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a
sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead,
hiking, and Tillamook cheese.
Follow Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest |Instagram

AuThursday – CG Coppola

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

My name is Caitlin and I write (mostly) romance as C.G.Coppola. I actually majored in Creative Writing which has led me to my fifth desk job, but thankfully, also into the world of Indie authorship. I self-published my first book, Escape from Harrizel, in 2013 when I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t) and I’ve been publishing regularly since. I have a boyfriend whom I refer to online as “Batman” and we live together with our dog, Appa. It’s a good life.

How do you make time to write?

I demand it. Having a fulltime job with an attention-starved boyfriend and dog makes it difficult, so I have my required “writing time” – usually in the evenings and early weekend mornings. I make a big fuss when I miss it, so I tend to get my way when I say, “I’m going to work.” (I’ve trained my boys well).

What are your current projects?

I’m in the middle of releasing the Better Than This trilogy, a YA contemporary romance that follows the story of Autumn and Alex, and how the sudden end to their high-school romance led to his famously iconic “A.M.S.” songs—written for the girl who got away. The first book, Better Than This released on May 18th, and the second, Better Than Now is due out on August 17th. The final book—and the climactic conclusion to their epic love affair—will be released on November 16th. Eeeek! Can’t wait!

I see you have a series titled Arizal Wars. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I never thought I’d write a series, but some stories go deeper than they seem. I think Shrek explained it best with his onion analogy. Stories—like onions—have layers, and the more layers you peel back, the more you find. Series are an awesome way to fall deeper into the worlds you love and writing them—it’s like the VIP experience. (Basically, I really like writing series).

BETTER THAN THIS - THUMBHow are you publishing your latest book, Better Than This and why?

I self-published Better Than This because I didn’t want to wait for an agent/publishing house to come along when I know it’s ready to be shared. In fact, the second and third books were written when I decided to publish all three of them three months apart this year (I was unemployed for a spell so I had plenty of time to write). I think traditional publishing is great, but if there’s a story needing (and ready) to be told, why keep it to yourself?

What is your writing kryptonite?

Cartoon shows in the background. Or maybe the phone going off. Distractions. I can’t deal with them because it’s the quickest way to pluck me out of the world I’m writing and back into this one.

Where can readers find you?

I have a very lovely blog where I post regularly about writerly things and sometimes when I’m feeling social, I jump on my author Facebook or Twitter. I have very little free time so I try to cram as much writing into it as possible. But, if you’re feeling stalkery:

https://Authorcgcoppola.com

https://www.facebook.com/cgcoppola

cgcoppolawrites@gmail.com

@writercgcoppola

Saturday Spotlight – In the Assasin’s Arms by Katherine Hastings

assassinIn the Assassin’s Arms by Katherine Hastings

Excerpt from Chapter Four

Turning to run out of the room in hot pursuit, he heard a whooshing noise from above and felt a thud across his head. He watched in rapt fascination as, like a gigantic spider, she landed in front of him. She had been suspended in the rafters above his head the whole time.

Damn this woman, he thought as he readied his sword. She had pulled one over on him again. Shaking with a rage unlike any other, he vowed this would be the last time.

She stood silently between him and the door. Her red cloak covered her brilliant hair and only her red lips and creamy white skin showed from beneath it. He couldn’t see her eyes, but he didn’t need to. She pulled a dagger from the holster strapped around her thigh, sliding it across the black leather pants that peaked out from beneath her cloak. Deftly, she lunged at John with it, poised to strike. He sidestepped her advance and pushed her as she slid past him, causing her to stumble. Like a cat, she was instantly back on her feet. He tried not to be impressed by this woman’s skills, but it was impossible not to take notice of her speed and agility. Like lightning, she charged at him again. He blocked her with his sword and pushed her away. She ran forward and disappeared beneath him, swiping his legs out from under him as she slid through them. He realized he had underestimated her as he flipped backward, landing on his arse with a thud. 

Before he could even process what had happened, she leapt on top of him, the tip of her sharp dagger pressing into his jugular so forcefully he could feel it thumping against his pulse. By God, who is this woman?

“John Wesley Douglas. I am impressed that you found me,” she said, lowering her mouth to just above his. He couldn’t help but feel himself stir again as she straddled his manhood, her hot breath brushing his lips. The element of danger twined with the strong sexual chemistry, creating a lethal cocktail of lust. “Tsk tsk. You should have left me be.”

“Left you be?” he raged. “You killed my friend. He was my family, you treacherous whore! What kind of man would I be if I let you get away with it?”

He watched as her cloak slipped off her head, revealing her shiny red waves. The silver and black clasp of her cloak rested just on her clavicle. John cursed himself for still feeling aroused at the thought of unclasping it and revealing her breasts even while she sat with a dagger to his throat.

“I did not kill your friend, even though I can see how you could come to that conclusion after our… interlude.”

Her blue eyes bore into his and John couldn’t help but feel she may be telling the truth. Then again, what did he know? She had bested him twice already and now he was just supposed to believe her? She had killed Henry. It had to be her, even though her eyes indicated innocence. No, she was guilty. She had to be. In that moment, his pride won out, demanding that he not let her get the best of him. With lightning-fast movement, John knocked the dagger away from his throat and sent her flying backward through the air. In an instant, he was on his feet and on top of her. He immobilized her before she could respond, her arms pinned above her head with one hand and her own dagger pressed to her throat with the other. She smiled and arched her meticulously groomed eyebrows.

BUY LINK:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Arms-Dagger-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B07F3KBMWW/

GIVEAWAY LINK:

https://www.katherinehastings.com/news-and-events

(Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card)