Saturday Spotlight – One of a Kind Christmas by Lexi Post

LP OOAKC bannerOne of a Kind Christmas
A Christmas Carol Book #4
By Lexi Post

Lexi has a $25 Gift Card to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/sPP5CV.

FullofLife medAbout One of a Kind Christmas:
For her to love him, he must face a spirit, an archangel…and himself.

The spirit of Cameron Douglas has totally screwed-up…again. Now, he has to fix his mess in one night with the help of his best friend and somehow encourage his widow to move on.

Holly Douglas is anguished that this is the last Christmas she’ll be visited by her late husband, Cameron. For three years he’s sent her the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they‘ve helped her cope with her loss. But now all that ends, and she doesn’t understand why he must push her away.

Ethan Stewart has been in love with Holly since Cameron’s death, but she isolated herself from everyone, including him. Then something changed, and he was welcomed back as her friend. But he wants more— to love her openly, and most of all to make her happy again. Though he loved his best friend like a brother and will do anything for Holly, as he’s pulled into the spirit world, he discovers the price they must pay for their chance at forever…and it just might be too high.

Releases Day December 5, 2018
Buy Links for One of a Kind Christmas:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2TukRfU

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-of-a-kind-christmas-lexi-post/1129901071?ean=2940161606766

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1442733578

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/one-of-a-kind-christmas

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN/

Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN

LexiPost_OneOfAKindChristmas_600x900.jpgExcerpt:

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. “I miss Cam. It was as if we were two parts of the same soul. I lived vicariously through him even while I worried constantly about him. It was one of the reasons I was constantly warning him to be careful. I was afraid to lose him.”

Ethan looked away and rubbed the back of his neck. “And then I did.”

She felt as if her heart were breaking all over again, not for her but for Ethan. He was so good to her. He even loved her. And she… “Ethan, I understand.”

His gaze returned to hers. Though she couldn’t see his face clearly, the limited light reflected off the sheen in his eyes.

She placed her hand on his cheek and rising on her toes brushed her lips across his in a feather-light kiss. She only meant to give comfort, but a spark of something else hit her heart.

She remained there, her lips close to his but not touching, wanting more but afraid to ask.

Ethan remained absolutely still, his breath mixing with her own.

He loved her but would never push her. It wasn’t his nature. She could walk away right now, but to what?

Nothing.

She stared at his mouth in the dim light. She wanted to live again. She wanted to feel again. Tilting her head, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, moving her hand down his stubbled jaw and behind his neck to pull him closer.

Ethan’s lips opened, and she slipped her tongue between them.

As his arms came around her, it was like waking from a dream. A slow burn flowed through her veins as he took control of the kiss and explored her mouth with his tongue. It was an unhurried exploration and heat built in her belly. When he pulled back to lick the underside of her top lip, she took her first deep breath. As she exhaled, tingles spread throughout her body.

He kissed the corners of her mouth before leaning his forehead against her own. “Ye catch my blood on fire, lass.”

Other Books in the Series:

A Christmas Carol Book 1, Pleasures of Christmas Past is on sale for only $.99!
Jessica is assigned a hot, Scottish mentor who confuses her heart. But will he protect her soul?

Buy Links for Pleasures of Christmas Past:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DxWFDU

B&N: http://bit.ly/1jICy8T

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1026485012

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/pleasures-of-christmas-past

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Pleasures-Christmas-Past-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B013EVYRV4/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.com.au/Pleasures-Christmas-Past-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B013EVYRV4/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pleasures-Christmas-Past-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B013EVYRV4

Desires of Christmas Present (A Christmas Carol Book 2)
Sometimes not knowing is better…for everyone.
Desires of Christmas Present Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DxtbpE

Temptations of Christmas Future (A Christmas Carol Book 3)
He set out to prove the future was far worse than she imagined. Now he wished it wasn’t.
Temptations of Christmas Future Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2Q9s71L

Lexi Post head shotAbout the Author:
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance, and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Lexi’s Social Links:

Website: http://www.lexipostbooks.com/

Lexi Post Updates: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c1w1g3

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexipostbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexiPost

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1IEL2cc

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lexi-post

D2D: http://books2read.com/author/lexi-post/subscribe/1/16171/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomLexiPost

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

Blog: http://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lexipost77/

Email: lexi@lexipostbooks.com

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Saturday Spotlight – The Christmas Ballet by Constance Bretes

TCB CB BannerThe Christmas Ballet

By Constance Bretes

Constance has 2 $10 gift certificates to Paparazzi Accessories to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/taJJDH.

About The Christmas Ballet:

Laura Hemmingway cut herself off from men and her family when the man she loved married her sister. She moved across the country and was doing just fine until she received a devastating call to return to New York. She had to face the death of her sister, her sister’s little girl, Maria, and Maria’s father, Stefan—the man she had once loved. She figured she would pay her respects and leave as soon as possible. She never anticipated on the beautiful little girl stealing her heart. And she never expected that seeing Stefan again after twelve years would stir up old feelings.

Stefan’s life was complete. He had a successful career as an attorney, a beautiful wife, and an adorable six-year-old daughter. Although he and his wife had been married in name only for the past several years, he cared for her deeply. Then her unexpected death brought him face-to-face with his former lover, and the guilt he’d carried for years.

Stefan is still in love with Laura and wants to give her everything she deserves. He and Maria are racing against time to convince Laura to stay with them in New York.

Can a little girl’s love, and the true magic of Christmas, help Stefan convince Laura to stay and give their relationship another chance?

Content Warning: contains some sexual content

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Heat Level – Hot

TheChristmasBallet_MediumExcerpt from The Christmas Ballet:

He smiled as he thought about the look on her face when he’d stroked her. Maybe she was more interested in him than she either believed or cared to be.

Then he thought of something. “One more thing, Laura,” he called out to her, and she stopped at the door and turned around.

“On the nineteenth, the law firm is hosting the annual Christmas party. It’s quite grand and lasts all evening long.”

“You want me to be sure to be available to babysit Maria,” Laura said.

“No. I want you to plan to come with me.”

“What?”

“Remember that beautiful, green, velvet dress we saw at Macy’s? I want you to get that dress, and the accessories to go with it, and attend the party with me.”

“Stefan, really. You know I don’t go to those types of events, and I don’t wear those kinds of clothes. I’m not comfortable with either of those things.”

“You need to get comfortable.” He smiled.

“This is not a part of a job for the nanny and teacher. It’s out of the range of the job description. You need to get Ginger to go with you. I’m not going.” She gave him a defiant look.

“Laura, I want to take you to this event. I’m not taking no for an answer. I will arrange for Rhonda to take you shopping to help you get what you need. You will charge all the purchases to a credit card I will give you that’s for your use only. This is the first of many social parties you will be attending.”

He watched her as she clenched her hands into fists and released them.

“Who do you think you will get to care for Maria on these…occasions?”

“Usually Lillian is available.”

“Stefan, it’s my job to care for Maria, not be your date to your parties. I don’t like being told what I will or won’t do. I don’t like social parties, and I don’t like wearing expensive clothes. It’s not me, and you’re not going to change me.”

“I don’t want to change you. I want you to attend an event by my side. It won’t hurt you to have some beautiful clothing to show your feminine side. I want the world to see the beauty I see. Be glad I want to show you off. Some men might decide they don’t want others to see what they see.”

“Flattery doesn’t work with me. You can tell me what to do as far as Maria is concerned, but my personal life is off limits to you.”

“That’s good to know. At least I know you won’t get carried away and escape my grasp by someone making flattering remarks to you. Your personal life interests me.”

“Stefan, you just don’t get it. I am not going to this party,” she said, enunciating each word slowly and carefully. “Besides, your mother would be horrified to see me walk in with you.” Her face hardened as she stared at him.

“Look at it this way—you’d be doing me a big favor.”

“How?” She raised an eyebrow.

“I’m not interested in the other women that come to this social party looking for an eligible bachelor. With you on my arm, it would send a clear message to all the others that I’m taken.”

“God, you’re impossible. Ginger is more than capable of providing you that kind of service.”

“I don’t want Ginger. You have the grace, quiet beauty, and finesse I want in a date, and I will not take no for an answer. After Maria’s recital, you and Rhonda will set a shopping date. And one more thing. When you get your hair done, I’d like you to wear it down.” He smiled at her.

“This is not going to happen.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at him.

“It will. I’ll just have Maria work on you.” He eyed her.

“What?”

Stefan grinned. “You heard me. You’d never turn down anything from Maria.”

“Grrrr.” She growled and stomped up the stairs.

He laced his hands and put them behind his head. Oh yeah, it’ll be a night she’ll never forget.

About the Author:CB Author Photo

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She retired from the State of Michigan after 38-plus years of service and now writes and researches full time. She is married to her best friend and has recently moved from Montana to Alabama. Her hobbies include basket weaving, sapphire digging, and checking out old ghost towns.

Constance’s Social Links:

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Keeping Faith by Beverley Oakley

KF BO BannerKeeping Faith

Fair Cyprians of London Series (Book 3)

By Beverley Oakley

Beverley has a print copy of Her Gilded Prison to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win a print copy of Her Gilded Prison. You may find the tour locations here.

Keeping Faith bannerAbout Keeping Faith:

“My beautiful Revenge.”

Four years ago, Faith’s mysterious benefactress falsely accused her of stealing and deposited her in Madame Chambon’s exclusive brothel.

There, Faith was to learn how to entrance London’s noble gentlemen with her learning in philosophy, politics, and art.

Her body was to be saved for the greatest enticement of all: revenge.

Faith doesn’t care what she has to do. She lives only to fulfill a bargain that will set her free.

But when Faith is recruited as the muse of a talented, sensitive painter whose victory in a prestigious art competition turns them both into celebrities overnight, she discovers the reasons behind her mission are very different from what she’d been led to believe.

Now she is complicit in something dark and dangerous while riches, adulation, and freedom are hers for the taking.

But what value are these if her heart has become a slave to the man she is required to destroy?

keeping-faith-e-readerExcerpt: Chapter One

“What did you learn last night?”

“A gentleman must always believe he knows best.”

Confident that her answer was pleasing, Faith reached across the table to help herself to a macaroon but a sharp slap across the back of the hand stopped her progress by the silver teapot.

Her smile of feigned contrition was rewarded with a raised eyebrow from Madame Chambon. Not an invitation to partake of a macaroon, unfortunately. The table laden with eclairs and petit fours in Madame’s private sitting room was merely for show.

“Greedy girl, Faith! You can eat at the Dorchester tomorrow and I daresay you won’t even spare a thought for the other girls who are justified in being somewhat jealous of your cossetted life.” Madame sniffed as she patted one of the grizzled, orange curls of her elaborate coiffure. Faith suspected a squirrel’s pelt had made its contribution. “I’m sure they wonder every day why you never have to stir yourself – or anyone else, for that matter – to get your fine clothes or a roof over your head.” Madame Chambon piled three macaroons onto her already laden plate before making a sweeping gesture that encompassed the furnishings of her surprisingly decorous private sitting room with its gold tasseled green velvet curtains and flock wallpaper. “What have you told them, Faith? About why you are here, I mean?”

Faith’s stomach rumbled as she gazed from the prints of the famous artists that lined the walls to the fine fare in front of her, ordered from Fortnum and Mason. These monthly sessions in table manners were supposed to give Faith the practice she needed to deport herself like a lady when eating in public. However, under Madame’s guardianship, Faith never actually got to try the specialties.

“Answer me, Faith. In all the three years that you’ve been here, you’ve had to do precisely nothing to justify your existence. Surely the girls have questioned you? I have my own version of the truth for them, as you know, but I’d be interested to hear what you have to say.”

Faith didn’t answer. She already knew how lucky she was, but Madame was not ready to drop the subject, despite having just crammed an entire chocolate éclair into her mouth. Faith just managed to make out the muffled words, “Every night you lie peacefully in your bed while the other girls have to earn their livings.”

Lying peacefully in her bed was not how Faith would describe the restfulness of her slumber. She was kept awake every night by the grunts and cries of ecstasy that penetrated the thin walls of her attic chamber.

Still, she’d finally learned when it was wise to respond meekly, so she bowed her head and stared at her neat kid gloves while dreaming of the delicacies Mrs. Gedge would order for them when Faith really was dining with her at the Dorchester Hotel the following afternoon. The Sacher Torte Mrs. Gedge had ummed and aahed over before finally choosing the baked Alaska from the sweets trolley last month still haunted her. However, since part of Faith’s tutoring included how to win over reluctant gentleman ‘and make them wild with wanting’ which is how Madame phrased it, then surely Faith could persuade her American benefactress to order the Austrian chocolate specialty?

She was so busy rehearsing her words for tomorrow that she almost missed Madame’s prophetic and appalling statement.

“Well, Faith, the time has come for you to start earning your way, now.”

Faith brought her head up in shock. Was Madame teasing? When it appeared not, she gripped the table edge as she struggled for composure. For so long she’d known the reckoning would come. Yes, and with three years preparing for it, she’d believed she could meet it head-on with the necessary fortitude.

But there’d been no warning.

She began to shake, biting into her bottom lip and clasping her hands in her lap to try and keep secret the manifestations of her terror from Madame who’d only be spurred onto gloating and make her suffer even more.

“Mrs. Gedge reported last month that she wasn’t entirely happy you were ready for what she has in store for you when she took you to tea, Faith.” Madame chewed noisily, unperturbed, it seemed, by the crumbs that landed on her gaudy vermillion skirts.

Faith didn’t suggest that Mrs. Gedge’s dissatisfaction was perhaps the fault of Faith’s tutor – the one sitting in front of her – who knew nothing about deporting herself as a lady.

With a dainty gesture using only her forefingers, Madame Chambon raised her plate and licked at the crumbs that had not been dislodged before saying, “Fortunately, Lady Vernon is recovered at last from her long indisposition and has agreed to forget your rudeness to her from six months ago. In fact, she’ll be here shortly. Yes, she’ll soon have you passing the scrutiny of the most discerning duchess.” Madame gobbled down another macaroon with as much finesse as the dogs Faith’s father used to goad into fighting each other after they’d fought over the scraps from the scrubbed wooden table at the farm. Not that there’d been many scraps with ten children to feed.

“Should we not have waited for Lady Vernon?” Faith suggested, daringly. But she had to say something to stop herself from launching into a volley of querulous questions about exactly what form this ‘having to earn her own way’ might take.

Madame Chambon pushed aside an untouched plate of bread and butter to reach for another chocolate éclair and sighed. “There was just so much food on the table it seemed unnecessary to wait if her ladyship was going to be late. Ah! And here she is.” Madame’s orange painted mouth turned up at a knock on the door. “Shoulders back, Faith! And make sure you don’t talk with your mouth full.”

Since this was not a danger, Faith supposed there might be some compensation in having to face her former nemesis who surely must subscribe to the belief that learning table manners required one having to eat.

Madame threw her arms wide in a welcome as the door opened to admit the new arrival. “Good evening, Lady Vernon. We’re so glad you’ve recovered from your chest ailment,” she gushed. “A good rest has done you the world of good. Why you look ten years younger. Just as you do every time I see you, in fact. And we’re indeed humbled that you’ve consented to return.” Madame simpered at the elderly woman, dressed all in black who looked, Faith thought, even more wraith-like than usual as she pinned up the veil of her bonnet and took the seat at the table proffered by Madame who went on, “I’m sure you’ll feel even better once you’ve heard Faith’s heartfelt apology.”

Faith blushed under the scrutiny of the two pairs of expectant, unforgiving eyes, and glanced longingly at the remaining macaroon.

Yes, there were times when it was worth being abject. She mightn’t mean what she said, but if the last three years under Madame Chambon’s roof had taught her one thing, it was how to sound heartfelt and sincere when she felt anything but.

“I’m sorry for my rude comments about…” Faith hesitated. Perhaps it was best not to stir up old memories. While it must be perfectly obvious to anyone who met Lady Vernon as to why an earl’s daughter could remain a spinster into her sixtieth year, it hadn’t been in anyone’s interest – Faith’s least of all, it turned out – for Faith to have gone into quite such specific and extensive detail regarding her thoughts on the likely reasons. “I behaved like a child, though it’s such a long time ago, now, I can barely remember what was going through my head at the time. I was only seventeen and, in those days, prone to losing my temper but now I’m eighteen and, thanks to all your efforts in teaching me how to act like a lady, Lady Vernon, I’m so far from the rude and impulsive young thing I was before, you’d not recognise me today. Thanks to your thorough tutelage, I am determined that I will never speak out of turn, to you, or anyone. Indeed, I have changed! I truly believe that confronted by a table of delicacies like this, for example, I would certainly not embarrass you or Mrs. Gedge or any lovely young man or his mother who might take me out to tea by any show of greediness or lack of restraint.”

Lady Vernon’s eyes remained fixed firmly on Faith for the duration of this speech with no indication of how forgiving or otherwise she might prove to be.

After a long silence, she spoke. “Restraint?” She sniffed. “Restraint is the most important requirement of any young lady, Faith. I’ve told you this many times, so I’m glad it’s a lesson you claim to have finally learned.”

With her eyes fixed on Faith, she reached towards the remaining macaroon that sat lonely on its plate just in front of them both, her long-fingered hand hovering just above. “Please pass that to me, Faith. I can’t seem to reach it.”

Wordlessly, Faith complied, schooling her features into impassivity while she railed inside, I hate you! I hate you! as she watched Lady Vernon transport the coconut confection to her thin, bloodless lips.

“Delicious,” Lady Vernon murmured. “In fact, I believe it is the best macaroon I have ever tasted? You must surely agree, Faith, since the plate is now empty.”

She looked pointedly at the two remaining crumbs that clung to the edge of the fine china as if to imply that Faith had eaten the rest. Then she indicated the plate of bread and butter near Madame Chambon. “Please eat, Faith. Madame Chambon and I have a leisurely afternoon at our disposal. She and I will partake of the remaining chocolate eclairs –” Her pointed chin wobbled slightly, whether from the suppression of mirth or the swallowing of bile, Faith could only guess, “while you make good work of the bread and butter with all the ladylike restraint you’re so anxious to prove.”

beverley-eikli-author-pic-copyBeverley Oakley’s Bio:

Debutantes, widows and the occasional courtesan test society’s boundaries in Beverley Oakley’s wicked, passionate historical romances dripping with scandal, intrigue, and suspense.

 

Her Fair Cyprians of London series is about a group of determined and clever courtesans at a high-class Soho brothel who use their wit and beauty to avenge past betrayals – and who find lasting love along the way.

 

How can there be a happily ever after? is a question many a reviewer has asked before admitting to being delighted and satisfied by the unexpected plot twists and surprise endings – just like in Beverley’s own life. You can read more on her website.

 

Beverley’s Social Links:

 

Website: http://www.beverleyoakley.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyOakley/

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/beverleyeikli/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeverleyOakley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5989577.Beverley_Oakley

 

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AuThursday- Gabriele Russo

Incoherent Gods Blog BannerPlease welcome Gabriele Russo to The Clog Blog.  Welcome, Gabriele!

Hi, thank you for having me.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a Québécoise, born in Quebec City. When I was thirteen, I went to an English boarding school. I had to learn how to write the language on my own, which I did through books. Despite my love of reading, I didn’t start writing until my thirties. Oh, I tried a few times, but nothing more than a few pages ever came of it. In my twenties, I went to live in Strasbourg, where I did my Bachelor’s degree in History, with minors in Archeology and History of the Religions. I came back to Quebec, thinking I would continue my studies in International Relations, but the Political Science classes had me running out of there screaming “We’re all doomed!” So I started to work in the hospitality industry instead, and eventually ended up owning two restaurants – which wasn’t great for my sanity either… I sold my shares in them, wrote my first novel, then went back to University to learn how to write, and got my Master’s in Literary Studies, with a concentration in literary creation (the MFA doesn’t exist yet in French universities).

How do you make time to write?

It can be hard sometimes, even without a full-time day job. Like right now, I have a 50000-word unfinished first draft lying around my computer, and with traveling, visitors, promoting Incoherent Gods, I haven’t had a chance to write a word in two months. To be frank, I haven’t even tried making time, because I know I would be too distracted. When my life is quieter, I simply set aside the morning for writing, staying away from social media until I’m done writing the amount of words I set as an objective (usually 1.5 to 2K).

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not really. Sure, some days are harder than others; you have to force it a little. When that doesn’t work, I go back, tinker with what’s already written, add a paragraph there – often it gives me ideas, and I usually end up quite close to my objective. And if really nothing is coming out after 2 hours, I just let go, hope it’ll be better the next day.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

If you know a published fiction writer that has never received a rejection letter, then I hate them a little… It sucks, every single one breaks your heart, but you deal. You write NO on the cue card, and you send another query (after tweaking it, ideally), or you rewrite the book or even another one. If you can’t deal with rejection, don’t go into the arts, because after rejection comes criticism, which can be just as bad.

Can you tell us your story of getting, “The call”?

Actually, as good things come in pairs, I sort of had to make “the call”. Fiery Seas had had my manuscript for a couple of weeks when someone else I had queried requested it. I asked him to wait, which he was happy to do, but I also told Fiery Seas that someone else was interested and could they please give me an answer soon. I think they answered the next day offering a contract for three books. Right before Christmas – that was a very merry Christmas.

What genre are your books?

Fantasy. More specifically, I like to say they are satirical fantasy. Which I guess is comic Fantasy, but the humor is a little darker. You can find out more on a blog I wrote recently: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/17138796-what-the-is-satirical-fantasy

I’ve also recently come across the expression “New Weird”, and I guess that could also apply, as well as Mythic and Paranormal.

What draws you to this genre?

I like that the humor has meaning, that it can be hidden and hard to catch, in opposition to waving it your face obvious. I also enjoy the fact that I can point out things I find ridiculous about our world (and there’s a lot of those), and by letting the setting and the story imply the criticism in a usually comic way, avoid ruffling too many feathers.  

Do you have any advice for Aspiring Writers?

Don’t?

All kidding aside, if I had known then what I know now… Ok, maybe I would have done it anyway. My first advice would be to make sure this is really what you want to do: are you ready to invest the necessary efforts, time, and money? (For classes and other learning opportunities – I’m not in favor of paying to get published; there are too many scams out there to be certain of what you will be getting in return.) It took exactly 8 years, 4 drafts, 3 years at university before my first novel was published (and I’m Canadian, so those three years did not cost me a quarter of what they would cost in the US).

Second advice: do not go in this thinking you’re going to be the next J.K. Rowling and make a ton of money. 99% of authors don’t make enough to live on. Third: be very careful of scams. Sorry to insist on this, but it’s really the worst thing about the publishing world today, and the sharks cover all aspects of the process: writing, editing, representation, publishing and promotion. Every time something requires you to shell out money, examine it very, very carefully – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you’re still not sure, go to Absolute Write and/or Writer Beware.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Like most authors today, pretty much everywhere. Here are the links:

https://www.russogabriele.com

https://twitter.com/lugabirusso

https://www.facebook.com/GabrieleRussoLGJR/

https://www.amazon.com/Gabriele-Russo/e/B01NCPNOPT

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16180981.Gabriele_Russo

https://www.instagram.com/lugabirusso/

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

Sure, here’s one from the chapter EVIL QUEENS in which the soul of Queen Louhi, having been pushed out of her body by the witch Chiloe, takes residence in Hercules’s:

Jupiter transincarnated a third time, materializing close to the coast, west of the kennels. And there was Hercules, lying unconscious in the middle of the path leading to the sea.

He rushed over the yard that separated them, fell to his knees beside the body and put his ear to the still chest.

His grandson’s heart was beating. Faint but regular. Jupiter raised his head and just as he was about to tap Hercules’s cheeks, he saw it: he’d been bitten. Louhi! Or rather, that Chiloe witch!

He wanted to scream. If he ever got his hands on…

On whom?

Hercules’s eyes fluttered, interrupting the frustrating train of thought.

“Sonny? Sonny? Are you okay?”

The eyes opened. Something was wrong.

Oh, they were the right color and all, but SOMETHING was wrong. This wasn’t his grandson. Was he now a vampire drone?

“Hello, Jupiter.”
Well, that was weird.

“Louhi?” He grabbed Hercules’s collar. “What the hells are you doing in my grandson? Get out!”

“It’s not that simple. And anyway, don’t worry, he’s still in here.” A shadow lifted from the eyes. “Hi, Pappy. It’s okay. It’s just until we find her body and push the witch out. You know I have to help her any way I can.”

Letting go of the collar, Jupiter hit the ground with his fist. “It’s not right. It’s just… not right! How is it even possible?”

A thin veil of cynicism that comes with great age obscured the eyes as Louhi came back to the fore. “When a vampire drinks from a human without killing them, it creates a spiritual link. All the stronger if said human has drunk back, even if it’s only a few drops. You often hear of what happens to the humans, but it also affects the vampire. Or actually, the vampire’s soul. Which is why I feel the connection, but Chiloe doesn’t. This link creates a… I guess you could call it an awareness, but it’s so much more. Anyway, it’s why most vampires end up killing their drones: the pockets of mind-numbing emptiness quickly become unbearable.”

“My grandson’s your drone?” Jupiter grabbed the collar again.

“No,” said Louhi’s unruffled voice. “He’s protected from that by his immortal genes. His danger is of becoming. Now the link, the link happens in all cases of blood transfer, although it does fade after a while if the victim turns.”

“Fine! He’s not your drone! What is he then? A puppet? A Djinny lamp? A-a-a…”

“Jupiter! He gave me permission.”
     “Oh, I bet he did. You know how much he—”

“Pappy!” A fleeting light, now gone. Jupiter saw that if Louhi hadn’t known before, she certainly knew now. And was not a little confused about it.

“Jupiter, my soul can’t find its way back to my body. Skuld cut my bonds to it. It’s really the only way.”

With a deep breath, he stood and brushed his knees. It wasn’t her fault. But oh, how his fists itched! Soon he would need to punch someone, or something.

Instead, he held out his hand, helping Hercules/Louhi up.

“Jupiter, this is a major advantage. I know my body’s weaknesses. She can’t control my soul anymore because the bond to my body has been cut, so the poison doesn’t affect me now.”

“And what if we don’t find her? Or what if we need to destroy your body to destroy her?”

“I doubt it will come to that. A vampire’s body is very hard to destroy, much harder than a god’s. But here’s my promise: whatever happens, I will leave your grandson’s body in less than twenty-four hours… No Hercules, if I stay any longer, there is too great a risk of our personalities melding.”

Jupiter repressed the urge to slap his grandson silly. “Louhi, you swear? On your immortal soul?”

“I do.”
“Okay, then. Let’s find that witch. But how?”
“Hercules said something distracted her, that it’s probably why he’s still alive.”

“Ba’al was going to her lair, to get her body and whatever else he could lay his hands on. I think he was also hoping he’d find you her. This is getting confusing.”

“Maybe she felt him, or he triggered an alarm. Do you know where the lair is? He might need help.”

“Against you? No offense Herc Louhi, but Ba’al is a titan. They’re not all quick on the uptake I grant you – I mean, I was able to trick my father quite easily if that gives you an idea – but they’re strong like you wouldn’t believe.”

“Yes, Ba’al is strong, but have you ever seen him hurt anyone? I know it’s not that he can’t, he just won’t. Add to that the fact that Chiloe is wearing my body.”

“Yeah, I get what you’re saying. The kid said she lived on one of the southern isla

“Shhhh,” said Hercules in his own voice.

He laid his hand on Jupiter’s shoulder and listened attentively for a moment before whispering: “I hear a boat. Let’s hide, maybe it’s her.”

They crouched behind a bush, keeping the path and the beach in view.

“And if it is?” asked Jupiter. “What do we do?”

“I don’t know,” said Louhi. “For now, let’s focus on not losing track of her.”

 

AuThursday – Sue L. Hamilton

Please welcome my fellow ND author, Sue L. Hamilton to The Clog Blog.  Sue, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Growing up on a family farm in north central ND provided a strong work ethic that lead to a 20-year corporate career, encompassing direct sales, upper management, employee training, customer service, and business development. 

For the last 15 years, I’ve redirected my passion by encouraging others through the gift of speaking and writing.  This allows others to be motivated and energized and bring them hope.

I’m an eternal optimist that loves life.  On a personal note, I love gardening, cooking, and classic cars and is especially fond of being a wife of 31 years and mother of two grown sons.

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

The structure I use on a regular basis while writing is the following:

  • Personal Story
  • Thoughts about the problem
  • Lessons learned – teaching
  • What to inspire or to move to action
  • Prayer

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Yep!

Okay, I’ll say a little more.  I’ve felt like I’ve had writer’s block ever since I completed my memoir Carried by Faith in the fall of 2017.  I worked at it for seven years. In the last two of those years, I worked at it every day, even if it was for fifteen minutes.  Now I have to force myself to write a weekly blog and most recently have went to an every other week blog because I just don’t feel like writing. UGH!!

What genre do you write, and what draws you to it?

Blog posts are geared mostly to middle-aged women working on self – improvement.

Memoir Carried by Faith is a wide range audience from male or female, age 16-70 years old.

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

I was forced into writing!  While doing a lot of public speaking I use my life stories in the presentation/training and afterward people would ask me if I had a book or a website that I shared my stories in detail.  The answer was always a resounding, “No!” I continued to hear it and decided to begin writing even though I wasn’t a writer. So, the idea for my memoir was my life stories from around the age of 5 – 30years old and a tragic motorcycle accident I survived.

My current project is a self-help book with the “rest of the story” from where I left off in the memoir.  

How do you publish your book(s) and why?  (Indie, traditional or small press)

Self-publish.  I used TLC Design https://www.tlcbookdesign.com/ which allows for a la carte or packaged options.  I’ve chosen this route because of the cost and the control of timing in producing a finished product.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Start writing and keep writing!  Huh – maybe I need to take my own advice.  

Find your writing voice and style.  The only way I’ve found this is by continuing to write and seeing what I like and don’t like.  In addition, I suggest that you get used to being told you need to improve and change things that you thought were wonderful and after someone else reads it they give you feedback for improvement.  Be ready for constructive criticism because it will help you and improve the end product.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.suelhamilton.com

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

Walls as a Way of Life

Excerpts from Carried by Faith: From Substance Abuse to a Life Filled with Miracles page 40-42

Author – Sue L. Hamilton www.suelhamilton.com or www.carriedbyfaith.com

The high, thick walls of protection became my life; they bordered my heart, so no one could enter.  Others didn’t understand what I was living in, this living Hell.  The walls hid the pain and unspeakable things associated with the hard years of alcohol and drug abuse.  

I believed no one would understand, so it was easier to keep everyone away with high, cold walls of silence and no emotion.  No form of light, goodness, or happiness was allowed in. Alcohol and drugs filled the silence.

It was nice and quiet in the walls of protection, I didn’t have to explain myself, but then again, I couldn’t explain myself.  The silence was best, and that is why I would use the “liquid forgetter,” alcohol and drugs. I craved the effect they gave me, and they kept my level of chaotic thinking at bay.  They did for me what I could not do for myself.

I ran after the effect and did whatever I needed to get my supply.  The concoctions of alcohol and drugs along with the need to keep my supply met took me to some very dark places.  It can be explained like this – wickedness danced in the darkness of night, moving in and out of its hiding places and drunkenness was the painful bondage that took over my mind and body.  When I would awaken from its stupor, I would wonder, “Where am I?” “What happened to me?” “What have I done?”

“What was to become of my miserable life?” “Why was I here anyway?”

I looked for a way to escape my life, even a slit to my wrist one dark night would not stop the pain.  I had no answers. It felt like a knife stabbing in my heart. The pain would dull occasionally, but I always felt its continual throb, reminding me of my bondage.

I was constantly trying to get back to the original first feeling of catching a “buzz” or “getting high”.  It would not come back.

Nights turned into weeks, then months, and years of crying and sobbing into my pillow.  The pillow stopped the loud wail coming from deep within my soul. It silenced the fear and absorbed the tears that I couldn’t vocalize.  

No words would ever reach my lips to explain my hopelessness.  I continued to repeat in my head, “Why God…why am I here?”  

I didn’t have any answers, so I continue to hide behind my protective walls.

 

Saturday Spotlight – Destroying Dominic by Ginger Ring

Destroying Dominic BannerTitle: Destroying Dominic

Series: Genoa Mafia Series Book 3

Author: Ginger Ring

Genre: Mafia Lite, Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42295827-destroying-dominic

 

teaser Dom 2Blurb:

Dominic

I don’t dance.

I don’t date.

I don’t fall in love.

But there’s one woman who does intrigue me—Stephanie Barclay, the best friend of my boss’s wife. The same boss who wants Stephanie dead.

What’s the use? I make people disappear for the mob. What self-respecting woman would want to spend her life with a cleaner? That ship sailed a long time ago. Besides, relationships make you weak. But what if she is already a target?

Stephanie

I plan weddings.

I make people’s dreams come true.

I write stories about the love of a lifetime, but where’s my happily-ever-after and white dress?

My past is a nightmare, a death sentence for anyone who discovers it. No one would be able to see beyond my background—except Dominic Scarlatti, the man who just a couple months ago killed and buried a monster for me.

He may be a nightmare to others, but I’m determined to make him my hero. Even if it kills me.

Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Cwamm6

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2CvEwG9

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2CwanGG

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2CvFnXo

Early review quotes:

DOMINIC…Damaged. Sexy. Badass. Protective. Loyal. A loner. Quiet. Loved to read. He was a solid book boyfriend material.” – Early Reviewer

“Mafia romance hot sexy men, women who stand up for them and lots of action what more can you ask for.” – Early Reviewer   

“Love Dom!!!” – Early Reviewer

teaser Dom 1

Author Bio:

Ginger Ring is an award-winning author with a weakness for cheese, dark chocolate, and the Green Bay Packers. She loves reading, watching great movies, and has a quirky sense of humor. Publishing a book has been a lifelong dream of hers and she is excited to share her romantic stories with you. Her heroines are classy, sassy and in search of love and adventure. When Ginger isn’t tracking down old gangster haunts or stopping at historical landmarks, you can find her on the backwaters of the Mississippi River fishing with her husband.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/romancewritergingerring/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GingerRings

Website: https://gingerring.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7325608.Ginger_Ring

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Gingernovel/boards/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AVyNFi

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]Excerpt:

 “Stop!” Roman shouted as they pulled Dom to the side and Maksim slowly got off the floor. Blood streamed from his nose and he wiped it away with the back of his hand.

 “I see you are not going to cooperate as I hoped. So I will make you a deal.” Maksim had everyone’s attention as he stood and placed a hand on Ivan’s shoulder. “You can’t buy the contact but you can win it. Are you a gambling man, Caponelli?”

 “I’m listening.” Roman leaned against his desk. It killed Dominic to remain quiet as they talked about Stephanie’s future as if she were a horse they were trading.

 “You have to fight for her. A fight to the death.” He pointed around the room. “Any takers?”

 “I’ll fight for her.” Dominic shook off the hands of those holding him but they remained by his side.

 “I thought you would.” Maksim had a sick smile on his face. “You survive, you keep the girl. You die, I get Stassi, Bravikova’s shipping contracts, and a piece of the action here.”

 Dom’s heart sank. There was no way Roman would risk a part of his business. The business his father had spent years building. Yet Roman walked over and stood in front of him.

 “Are you sure? This is to the death. Are you willing to die for her?”

 “Yes. Anything to keep her from this monster,” Dominic declared, and then even Ivan agreed to the terms.

 “Remember, you have to survive,” Maksim reminded him. “You die and she’s mine to do whatever I want with. Maybe I will have her rejoin her friends. If they’re still alive.”

 “I will win and then I’ll kill you,” Dominic promised.

 

AuThursday with Madison Micheal

D&D Blog Tour Banner 2

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

I know that readers want to know about authors, but this is the hardest question I answer. While I can go on for hours about my books and my characters, talking about myself is more of a challenge. I could give you a resume but all you really need to know is that I spent a long time in corporate America before I wised up, retired and started writing. Why? Because I can’t not write. I wake up in the morning with stories jumping around in my brain, aching to get on a page.

I write romance because life is challenging, no matter your situation. Escape and a happy ending can make all of our lives that little bit easier. When I am not writing, or more accurately when I am done writing for the day,  I love to binge TV shows – I am not one for delayed gratification. I love to eat regional foods like pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef, steaks, and ribs – all that Chicago’s chefs have to offer. Unfortunately, I hate to exercise, so this desire to eat must be tempered.

Right now I am without feline companionship, a first for me in 18 years, but a situation I hope to remedy this winter. I like nothing more than having a cat or two (or three) curled beside me as I write. They are fierce critics.

One more thing…I love hearing from my fans – they send ideas, feedback, and suggestions, or they ask for more of a certain character. All input is welcome.

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

I try to highlight the flow of the main action and events by laying out chapters and what will happen in each. This assures me that my books won’t sag in the middle, or run way too long – I do love to write and it can get out of control. Then I revise the outline a dozen times as I actually begin writing. My characters drive the story and the better I get to know them and their motivations, the further I end up straying from my original outline.


Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not writer’s block per se, but I do get burned out to the point where I just cannot look at the blank page anymore. I know what I want to write, I have stories outlined just waiting to get onto the page, but I can’t find the energy to actually write. Or I write and hate everything I put to paper. When that happens I just have to give myself some serious self-love – good food, great friends, sleep and even exercise. Then I can get back to work.

What genre do you write? What draws you to this genre?

I write erotic romance/contemporary romance – more romance than erotica but definitely steamy and always with wealthy characters. I just love the fantasy of living in that world. I recently saw the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” and the over the top wealth was so much fun. I loved peeking into that level of luxury. That is the object of my writing as well but perhaps tempered a bit.

Why erotic romance? My characters are worldly and in their 30’s. It would be silly to think they don’t have sex. A wonderfully romantic and very hot sex scene helps bond the characters and move their relationship forward. People relate to each other differently after a first kiss, a romp in bed, a sharing of true intimacy. Besides, its fun to write a steamy scene and get a great response from readers.

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

For “Desire & Dessert” two work-related actions conflated. I work part-time at a local B&B and thought it would make a great setting for a novel. And I signed on to do a collection with a billionaire theme. The real fun came from sharing my idea with a true friend who suggested my heroine be the billionaire – a nice twist from the usual.

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

I prefer to publish my own books, at least for now. I don’t want to be hampered by word count requirements or specific romantic trope directives. I love the freedom of setting my own deadlines too, although I am as demanding as any publisher might be.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read and write – a lot. Finish what you start. Resist the urge to rewrite and rewrite before you finish. Millions of people say they want to be authors, but the ones who make it are the ones who finish.

And get a critique group. They will make you better.


Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Social Links:

Website: madisonmichael.net

Madison’s Blog: madisonmichael.net/category/maddys-blog

Maddy’s Romance Madness: madisonmichael.net/category/mrm/

Maddy’s Tours and Treats: madisonmichael.net/category/tours-and-treats/

Facebook: facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance

Twitter: twitter.com/madisonmichael_

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Madison-Michael/e/B01EVUGG6G/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

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

Excerpt from Desire & Dessert:

DesireDessert

“Inside or out?”

The maître’d and Grant were both looking at Stevie expectantly. Usually assertive, she demurred to Grant. “You know the place better; you choose.”

“If you would like the patio, Dr. Harris,” the host suggested in a heavily accented voice, “I have a lovely corner table.”

The couple acquiesced and were seated in the back corner of the enclosed patio. The music was fainter, but still audible accompanied by the tinkling sound of a fountain. Stevie glanced across the patio. There were about eight tables outdoors, all for parties of two. High bushes of hibiscus and roses bursting with blooms surrounded the patio. The fragrance was wonderful, the table incredibly intimate.

“You like it?” Grant asked with a hint of uncertainty.

“I love it.”

“Wait until you taste the food,” he promised, his confidence restored.

They hid behind tall menus, selecting dishes to share along with a carafe of sangria. After giving their order to the server they were finally alone.

“It’s beautiful here,” Stevie breathed. “Thank you for suggesting it.”

“Now that I finally have you alone,” Grant teased only to be interrupted by the server arriving to pour their drinks. “So much for my sinister plans.”

“Do you have sinister plans?” Stevie queried in a low, husky voice.

“Do you want me to?”

“No answering a question with a question,” Stevie responded. She watched conflicting emotions waver across Grant’s face and waited quietly. She would not give him an out. She had learned from business that silence was a powerful tool.

“Yes, in fact, Stevie. I have very sinister plans.”

The words were out, electric between them like a live thing. Stevie sucked in a breath, surprised by how quickly and matter of factly Grant had stated his desires. She reached her foot forward under the table closing the few inches that separated them. She rubbed her foot slowly up his leg, allowing her movements to acknowledge what she failed to say with her lips.

“Have I shocked you?”

“I guess that depends on just how sinister you can be. Mostly you have pleased me,” Stevie admitted. No shy wallflower, she gave Grant a bold smile and placed her hand in his. “I’m looking forward to finding out.”

Grant pressed a soft kiss on the back of her hand then released her as course after course of Latin-inspired small plates arrived. For the next hour, they spoke of the food, the atmosphere, the music, everything but each other and what lay ahead. After assuring that he ordered something to satisfy Stevie’s sweet tooth, Grant requested the check. When it arrived, Grant automatically reached for it and Stevie reveled in the moment. Too often she was the one who paid for the date. Not tonight.

“We could go dancing?” Grant asked. “Perhaps a salsa club in keeping with our theme?” Stevie believed he was just making a polite offer but couldn’t quite tell.

“Are you a good dancer?”

“Not on a dance floor.” Grant offered her a wicked smile and reached to help her from the chair. “But in a bedroom…”

“Braggart.”

“Am I?”

“Shall we find out?”

Desire & Dessert

B&B Billionaire Romance Series (Book 1)

By Madison Michael

Madison has put together some really awesome Prize Packages to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here.

Can they forge a business merger and a personal one too?

Spoiled Stevie Jurran expects smooth sailing when she arrives at Lakeside Lodge to implement her plan to merge it into the luxury Bijoux Hotel chain. Completing this simple task will move her up the corporate ladder, increase her value to her father’s multi-billion dollar business and settle the score with her cheating ex-fiancé. Just one insignificant B&B stands between her and success –one B&B and its provoking and intriguing manager.

Secretive and sexy Grant Harris is not your typical innkeeper. Digging in his heels, he tries to preserve the aesthetic of Lakeside Lodge by resisting every change Stevie implements. Retreating from his life in the B&B’s surroundings, Grant quickly learns there’s no way to combat his growing desire for the infuriating heiress. Can he concede to her demands and contend with his past to win this alluring woman?

The B&B should be a perfect fit for the hotel chain. Stevie and Grant should be a perfect fit as well, but will they set aside their pasts and egos to complete a merger of a different kind?

Will love seal their deal?

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2NJ30xy

Reviews by Crystal button