Monday, June 24, 2019

NEW RELEASE JUNE 24! Sadira Stone's RUNAWAY LOVE STORY, Book Two in the Book Nirvana Series

 JUNE 24 IS RELEASE DAY FOR RUNAWAY LOVE STORY! 

About Sadira

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, belly dances, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books.

Inspiration for the Book Nirvana Series

Until recently, I was one of those readers--literary snobs who look down their noses at romance for the usual stupid reasons: too corny, too predictable, too fluffy. Then I read a few online articles about how fun and lucrative writing erotica can be. I thought, what the heck? Let's try.

I have never had so much fun with a writing project! My first steamy romance, Through the Red Door, nearly wrote itself, though it damned sure didn't edit itself. I've totally immersed myself in the world of romance, gobbling books like popcorn, filling my ears with romance podcasts, and joining the Romance Writers of America. From skeptic to romance mega-fan in two short years, I’m totally addicted to passionate, heartfelt stories with happy endings.

Why set the series in a bookshop? Ever since I was a wee lass, I dreamed of owning one. Add to that my fascination with historical erotic art and literature, and you’ve got the Book Nirvana series, set in an indie bookshop with an extensive erotica collection behind a locked red door.

I love stories in which a couple’s powerful physical attraction leads them to consider a partner outside their usual M.O.—one who just might turn out to be their perfect match. That’s how it happened for my husband and me, and my romance fiction contains that element.

I sort of pulled the setting out of a hat. I wanted to set my series in a college town. I’d heard that Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, has a lively arts scene and a rich counterculture legacy from the hippie era. After much online research, correspondence, and hours on Google Earth, I finally made the trip. Eugene is even lovelier than I’d imagined. Kate Rock, a resident author, kindly shared her knowledge of the city’s history and the flavor of the different neighborhoods. I look forward to many return trips.

About RUNAWAY LOVE STORY


She hates average...he's as average as they come.

High school history teacher Doug Garvey is trying to enjoy his last few weeks of summer vacation, but receiving his final divorce decree hits him harder than expected. After a brief fling fizzles, he fears love just isn't in the cards for him. If only he could find someone who's real, someone interested in something beyond herself…maybe a new running partner who can keep up with his more carnal appetite. When sexy, straight-talking Laurel runs across his path, he dares to hope again.

He's done with social-climbing posers...she's ambitious and has big dreams.

Fired from an art gallery, Laurel Jepsen shelves her pursuit of an art career in San Francisco to help her beloved great aunt Maxie move into assisted living. While out on a morning run, she's harassed by a group of teens until a tall, broad-shouldered hottie steps in, pretending to be her boyfriend with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through, not looking for a relationship.

Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the forest—but falling in love would ruin everything. Laurel can't stay in Eugene, and he can't leave. Doug's only hope is to convince her the glittery life she's after could blind her to the opportunities already in her path.

Excerpt

“I’m sorry she called you the S word.”
  “Huh?”
  “Sensible.”
  She laughed. “Yeah. That’s a curse word, as far as I’m concerned.” She leaned her head on his shoulder.
  “I’ll strike it from my vocabulary. Your S word is sparkle.” He traced her jawline with a feather-light touch. “Look at you, Laurel. You’re blinding.” His twilight-blue gaze made her heart dance—a steamy tango with swirls and dangerous dips. He kissed her, and, for a moment, she forgot all about caution, about cutting things off before they became too serious, about San Francisco. Her focus narrowed to his lips on hers, his nearness heating her whole body, opening her like a blossom, soft and willing. Ripe for the plucking.
“God, I’ve missed you.” He scooped her legs across his lap. One hand cradling her nape, the other gripping her thigh, he kissed her senseless. His velvet tongue teased her lips apart. He tasted of sugary coffee. The world around them faded—just two bodies, calling and answering, breathing in sync, their pulses beating the same rhythm.

Purchase RUNAWAY LOVE STORY


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Friday, June 21, 2019

Meet Pamela Thibodeaux and Read About her Romance TEMPERED HEARTS

About Pam 

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

About TEMPERED HEARTS



Rancher Craig Harris and veterinarian Tamera Collins clash from the moment they meet.  Innocence is pitted against arrogance as tempers rise and passions ignite to form a love as pure as the finest gold, fresh from the crucible and as strong as steel.  Thrown together amid tragedy and unsated passion, Tamera and Craig share a strong attraction that neither accepts as the first stages of love. Torn between desire and dislike, they must make peace with their pasts and God in order to open up to the love blossoming between them.  It is a love that nothing can destroy when they come to understand that only when hearts are tempered, minds are opened and wills are softened can man discern the will of God for his life.

Excerpt

Tamera awoke in a mild state of panic and confusion. Glancing around, she realized where she was and who was beside her. A blush warmed her cheeks as she struggled to sit up. She released the filly and fumbled with the front of her gown.

"I couldn't sleep," she explained, glancing into the steel gray eyes. His gaze, soft and warm like liquid metal, made her blush harder as he brushed strands of hay out of her hair with a gentleness that seemed out of character.

Craig knew he was treading on dangerous ground, that people were expecting them, but couldn't seem to get past the moment at hand. "I guess a kiss is out of the question," he queried, his voice tender, gaze unwavering.

Emotions, raw and unfamiliar, shivered through her. Tamera attempted to scoot away from him, emitted a shaky little laugh and tried to quench the feelings escalating to frightening proportions. "A kiss? Why would you want a kiss? I didn't think you even liked me."

Craig wound his hand in her thick hair, stopping her movements. "Like has nothing to do with desire," he moaned and crushed her to him as his mouth covered hers in a thorough kiss. "Absolutely nothing," he assured as she clung to his shirt and trembled in his arms.

Purchase TEMPERED HEARTS

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Connect with Pam

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Basics For Selecting The Best Travel Shoes

The Basics For Selecting The Best Travel Shoes
by 
Rae Steinbach 

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).
Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

Packing shoes – be it for a business trip, a weekend away with the girls, a busy city break, or a relaxing resort stay – is never easy. Ordinarily we would have tens if not hundreds of pairs of shoes ranging from comfortable sandals to sneakers that pair with each and every outfit in our wardrobe. But, packing our possessions away into one tiny suitcase obviously doesn’t accommodate these aforementioned pairs. So what do we do?
We find ourselves in this scenario quite often, so we’ve accumulated some of the most helpful tips out there. Regardless of what your vacation entails, there is a way to narrow down your shoe selection to just three pairs. Yes, we’re serious. Here’s how…
Three pairs, max!
This rule originally made us break out into a cold sweat, but we can confirm that it can indeed be done. Two pairs are enough if you’re only going away for a few days, but for longer trips - or if you’re going somewhere with unpredictable weather, such as Europe for example – then pack that extra pair of your most dependable travel shoes just in case.
Pack comfortable yet versatile travel shoes that can be dressed up or down. We usually suggest packing some nude heels or wedges that will go with absolutely everything, and a comfortable pair of flats for your feet to recover in the next day.
Add trainers if you plan on hitting the hotel gym or if your activities include a lot of action.  These types of supportive sneakers are also great for maneuvering quickly and comfortably around the airport and during travel!
Pick your colours wisely
We live for versatile holiday wardrobes, and picking a specific color palette that will see you through your entire vacation is a great place to start. The easiest way to do this is to choose a bold accent color, and accessorize around it with a base of versatile neutral hues. This way, you can mix and match your shoes and the rest of your accessories with ease.
If you’re a fan of dark colors, stick to your safety shades of black and navy blue, and add a pop of color by way of some red or cobalt blue shoes. Nothing clashes with black, so go wild with your footwear color choice! The same also works with lighter hues – a better idea for hotter climates – so select pastel colors such as lilac, yellow, and mint green, with nude or white shoes to match.  
Don't lie to yourself
We regularly lie to ourselves about waking up early to go for a morning jog, but it seldom happens; especially  when you’re on vacation. Don’t lie to yourself about working out, and leave the sneakers at home where they belong. However, if your vacation is an active one that will involve long walks and group exercises, then of course, bring them. We recommend picking lightweight athletic shoes to save space and precious weight.

Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane
This may seem like an extra hassle if you’re bringing a pair of hiking shoes or laced boots along. You might take more time at airport security – unlacing and lacing up hiking boots can be quite time consuming, not to mention stressful if everyone is watching you – but the space you save in the suitcase will be more than worth it!


Take care of your shoes and feet
Avoid packing brand new shoes, as you never know what damage they could do to your feet after a few hours. If you do insist on new shoes, break them in weeks or even months before you jet off. Avoid thin, cheap socks, and invest in a good pair such as SmartWool, Thorlo, and Darn Tough socks. There’s no point in splashing out on expensive walking boots if you’re going to pair them with cheap socks!
Always be prepared for blisters, regardless of how many times you’ve worn your shoes.Also, remember to pack plasters and adhesive strips generously. The Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit heals raw spots that have already formed, so throw a few of those into your case before setting off on your next adventure.

When you're on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about are sore feet or overweight baggage. Avoid the hassle and pack three pairs of your most versatile, comfortable, and stylish shoes!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Meet Paullina Simons, Win Her New Book THE TIGER CATCHER, and Other Prizes

Meet Paullina

Paullina Simons was born and raised in Leningrad, USSR. In 1968, her father was arrested for protesting the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and spent the next five years of his life in the Gulag prison camps and in exile. In the mid-seventies, Paullina and her family managed to leave the U.S.S.R. and immigrate to the United States. While growing up in Russia Paullina dreamed of someday becoming a writer. Her dreams were put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.
After graduating from the University of Kansas and various jobs including working as a financial
journalist and as a translator, Paullina wrote her first novel Tully. Through word of mouth, the book was welcomed by readers all over the world. She has since written twelve novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Her books have been published in over 23 countries, sold millions of copies, and have been on many bestseller lists around the world.
Paullina has lived in Rome, London, and Dallas, and now lives in New York with her husband and half of her children.
THE TIGER CATCHER is Paullina’s first book in the new End of Forever Trilogy. A BEGGAR’S KINGDOM, Book Two, will be published in August 2019, and the final book in the trilogy, INEXPRESSIBLE ISLAND, will be published in December 2019.

About THE TIGER CATCHER


All the colors of your world are about to disappear…
Young and handsome, Julian lives a charmed life in Los Angeles. His world is turned upside down by a love affair with Josephine, a mysterious young woman who takes him by storm. But she is not what she seems, carrying secrets that tear them apart—perhaps forever.
So begins Julian and Josephine’s extraordinary adventure of love, loss, and the mystical forces that bind people together across time and space. It is a journey that propels Julian toward either love fulfilled…or oblivion.
The Tiger Catcher takes readers from the dizzying heights of joy to the depths of despair and back again in an unforgettable new novel from a master storyteller.
Email me at diana@dianarubino.com to win an autographed copy of THE TIGER CATCHER.
 Click here  to win:
•             A TIGER CATCHER tote
•             A quartz crystal necklace
•             A red beret
•             A “From the Desk of Mr. Know-it-all” notepad


One lucky winner in the continental US will win this Grand Prize and a runner-up will receive a quartz crystal necklace. 


An interview with Paullina:

Q. Have any favorite authors influenced your writing? Who were they? 

A. Dickens for his great humor.
Hugo for his extraordinary capacity to write profoundly and poetically about the human condition.
Thomas Hardy for making prose sound like poetry.
Truman Capote for his obsessive attention to style.
Ira Levin for his sturdy, strong, clear, well-written storytelling.
Stephen King for the "I can't put it down" narratives.
Dostoyevsky for his tortured Russian soul that his books are stamped with.

Q. Do you encounter any obstacles in writing? If so, how do you overcome them?

A. I am full of obstacles. My body aches from sitting in one position, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, sometimes I don't want to get out of bed, sometimes I want to play the piano, or walk outside in the sunshine, or go shopping. I overcome it by my obsessive nature. Whatever I start doing, I want to continue doing. So I force myself to start with my work. It doesn’t always work, I can’t always force myself, but when I do, then I can't even remember the other things I wanted to do. There is no balance.

Q. Do you start with an outline, index cards, etc., or write from the seat of your pants and make it up as you go along?

A. Since I write fiction, I'd say I do make it up as I go along, sort of the nature of the job, but I don't make it up as in, I don't know where I'm going. I always know where I'm going. How I get there is another matter. I don't do index cards. That's a surefire way for me not to do what it says on the card. I've got the oppositional disorder syndrome. If I make a list, I will only do the items that are not on that list. 

Q. Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time.

A. I have a small writing studio less than a mile from my home. I go to work in the morning after I drop off my daughter at school and then come home at dinnertime. That sounds much saner than it is because as I get deeper into a book, it gets harder and harder to turn it off. So I’ll often also work at home, in bed, on the train—almost anywhere.

Q. What is your advice to aspiring writers?

A. Write your first book, everything follows from that.

Q. Which book that you've read (not one of yours) is the closest to your heart? Why?  

A. Gilda Radner's It's Always Something. Because it's heartbreaking. It's so full of humor and hope and desire to live, to lick this thing that's killing her. Her soul is on every page. And the poem that ends the book that Gene Wilder found when he was going through her things after she died is just devastating. “My body turned its cold back on me, at less than forty-three…” 

Q. Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing. How about you?

A. I’ve tried it both ways, but usually I write the first draft and then see where I need to make changes. The other way, I once spent three months writing and revising and editing one 30-page chapter, and when the actual book was finished, I had to delete most of it and start again. So I learned my lesson. Because it's only when you have the whole story down that you really know what part you keep and what part you throw away. 
Also, writing and editing come from related but different parts of my brain. Editing is meticulous, analytical, and left-brained, while writing flows and is right-brained.

Q. If you could be dropped into any book as a character, who would you be and why?
A. Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz books.

Q. What are you reading now?
A. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell and The Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen.

Q. Do you listen to music when writing or do you need silence?

A. I used to listen to music nonstop while I wrote my books, many of the songs on infinite repeat, but in 2008 I began teaching myself to play the piano and that ruined background music for me for good. Because I can't hear anything now without my hands trying to form the sounds on the black and white keys and the brain following along.

Q. Which three historical figures would you most have wanted to meet?

Albert Einstein
Joan of Arc
Marilyn Monroe

Q. Describe yourself in one word.
A. Anti-punctual.

Connect with Paullina














Monday, June 10, 2019

Meet Romance Author Angela Rosati, 90 Years YOUNG Today and Still Hard at Work


Meet Angela

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGELA!

Angela Marie Rosati (nee Russo) was born on August 22, 1929 in Long Island City, NY and grew up in Astoria, NY. That's just across the East River from Manhattan. "I worked in my father’s Italian Dairy business for years. I worked hard and read a lot. I loved going to the Broadway Shows, Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera. I purchased my first computer when I was 70 yo, or something like that. I began writing because my family was sick of hearing my historical/hysterical family stories. Later I took an online writing course; I was a 76 yo college girl! I don't want to be rich and famous; I just want to be rich, rich, rich." 


Angela and I have been dear friends for 25 years. We met through CompuServe's Italian Forum. She's the daughter of Italian immigrants and writes delightful, sweet romance novels with her unique touch of wit.

Angela calls on her life experiences for her books, which is why they are so authentic--they read like true memoirs rather than fiction.

She told me one of her many engaging stories the other day, and graciously allowed me to repeat it here.

"Maybe, this one will cheer you up...and I should include it in one of my books. I was 10 yrs. old and was going to make my First Holy Communion. (how do you like for formality!) The tough head nun told us girls we had to buy our missals, rosaries and VEILS from the church. The veils looked like the netting mothers used to put on the carriages to protect the sleeping babies from flies. I told my mother but she had already bought white satin for my dress (pattern Snow White) and my veil. The veil was the frilliest thing you could imagine. I, stupidly, went to the tough nun and told her my mother's actions. She asked me to describe the veil and I eagerly described it. (Any bride would have been happy to wear it.) When the nun heard, her lips thinned out and she told me to bring my mother in to see her. My mother, less than five feet tall, feared no living or dead human being. She was afraid of mice; that's all. Nancy, (mamma) and I went to see the nun; who asked about the veil. My mother, in church, facing the nun and said in her broken English, "Oh, is veddy plain, notting. I veddy poor. My Comara give to me." At the time, I was shorter than mamma and looking up at her, LYING in CHURCH to the NUN, face to face, her hands moving as Italians do. The nun, no fool and a daughter of Abruzzese knew my mother was lying. I saw smoke coming out of her ears. Her lips completely disappeared. She was beaten. On Communion Day, I was the only girl in a beautiful veil. The nun looked at me and I knew she wanted to not only kill me but my mother, too. Ha, she could have tried but Nancy would have floored her. And all the other girls in their raggy veils were jealous, even the rich ones."

See All Angela's Romances on Amazon
Her very first, WANTED: HUSBAND