Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Trinidad and Tobago by Janice Ross

Genres
Mystery Romance
Caribbean Literature
Multicultural
Historical Aspects

Noteworthy

There's a murder, but the author keeps light. 
The sexual scenes, too are on a light note and no bad language.

Book Blurb
On the surface, the Island Hopping series is a remarkable journey of Sakkara Riley’s quest to locate her parents. What she learns is so much more than was ever expected. In Island Hopping: Trinidad & Tobago, Sakkara enlists the help of a local elderly historian, Natalia Day and her doting grandson, Anthony Lam. Equipped with her parcel of artifacts and a determined bravado, Sakkara uncovers more than she ever thought possible.

Excerpt
Turning upward to get his attention, she encouraged him to dance. Her words were not enough to overtake the powerful sounds of the calypso and soca rhythms, so he did something that nearly caused her to melt into oblivion. He leaned down to the side of her face, gently moved aside dark brown tresses, placed his lips to the very edge of her lobes and whispered. She didn’t entirely make out what he said, but his warm breath shot through her entire body, resting at her navel. When he was finished, Anthony grazed the side of her face with his lips. Before she could rebuke his boldness, she was directed into the crowd, trying in earnest to save face.
Many of the tunes were already familiar, though she couldn’t always quote them verbatim. A couple of times, she even caught Anthony mouthing a few lines, not many but enough. And, as his lips moved, she fell into a trance. Before she knew it, Sakkara forgot about her inability to move her hips, twining like a cleverly skilled Trini-native. They were able to wine their waistlines, easily transitioning from north to south and quickly back again. Though she couldn’t master every stunt as perfectly as the others, her efforts were commendable.
Whenever the partygoers were hyped up over the band’s selection and a particular dancer’s unmatched style, the atmosphere set out a spark so great that even Sakkara was swept into the scene. She forgot her intentions for being in Trinidad. Her lids fell shut and she surrendered. Even at one point, when the DJ declared that they were kicking it back a decade, Sakkara was amazed when she heard the song We Ain’t Going Home by Tambu because it had been a favorite of a school friend by the name of Sasha Benton. When they had study time, Sakkara could never understand how the girl managed to focus and maintain her grades while listening to the fast-paced beats. But Sakkara remembered how excited Sasha had become and how she would tear away in all types of loose movements. At that moment, Sakkara felt her friend’s energy.
Anthony must’ve seen the transformation, having positioned her right in front of his chest. She didn’t resist, not even when he dipped and gripped her hips. The magic of the blaring horns and fervor of the performer’s abilities were enough to wipe out purpose, at least for the night.


Giveaway Details
USA ONLY: 2 autographed paperback copies of "Island Hopping: Trinidad & Tobago" 
(w/ bonus copy of "Jumping Ship" Introductory Novella)

International: 3 e-copies (any format) of "Island Hopping: Trinidad & Tobago" 
(w/ bonus copy of "Jumping Ship" Introductory Novella)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the author


Janice G. Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. She is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Her debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her latest release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series – due out in 2014. It’s poised to be a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family.
Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings. Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a weekly show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Choices by Sheila Bliss









Guest Post by Sheila Bliss

            There were so many things I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a TV news anchorwoman, a fashion designer, a news journalist, a nurse, a teacher and a psychologist. That’s quite a variety. I wanted to make sure I had all the bases covered. I was also a voracious reader. My entire family was. Memories as a kid always involved a family member reading a book. My dad, my mom, and my older sisters. The best vacations also involved sharing our responses to whatever book one of us was reading at the time. My family instilled in me a huge love for reading. It was also my escape. My childhood was lonely at times and broken. Reading allowed me to escape the loneliness and I found solace reading about people who experienced a similar pain between the pages of a book. The words breathed life into these imaginary people that I wanted to be friends with, that I wanted for family. It also sparked a deep desire to create those same feelings of connection, relief and escapism for another person. Ultimately, I wanted to create and help people in the process. Teaching called the most to me at the time of college major declaration, though. My fear of failure was strong, so strong I allowed it to overshadow my desire.  So, I went with door number two or six if you count all my other options. I could still be creative and I loved working with children, especially children in impoverished areas. Although if you talked to my family they would swear I became a teacher just so I could boss people around. In the fourteen years I taught, I felt restless, I still felt a deep yearning to explore something different. I’m a goal oriented person. I like challenges and I wanted to challenge myself to something bigger. I wasn’t getting any younger and I wanted to write.

            I always wrote something, really bad poetry, random thoughts, character names, gratitude journals, quotes, lesson plans, wish lists and ideas for novels. I started my very first scrapbook when Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married in 1981 at the age of thirteen. I cut out pictures and wrote my own bubble quotes for each picture. I was so proud of myself. I kept going from there, writing diary entries, taking creative writing classes whenever I could in high school and college, keeping journals that were cathartic and therapeutic during some dark days in my early twenties when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that was incredibly exhausting and as equally painful. I took a break from teaching sixth grade in West Philadelphia so I could figure out how to tackle this auto-immune disease, went back to school to procure my master’s degree and started my family. When my oldest who is now sixteen, was ready to begin school I went back to school with her and started teaching Kindergarten. I’ve been there ever since. I love teaching. I love Kindergartners. They are my absolute favorite, but my yearning and restlessness was increasing and suddenly my reading choices were changing as well. My girls started talking about this book Twilight. I had no idea what they were talking about and I insisted that I read it first before they did. I was hooked, but what interested me more than anything was Stephenie Meyer’s personal story about how she started. She inspired me to sit in my girl cave, as my husband has affectionately dubbed it, and write something more than lesson plans. She gave me the courage to put my ideas that gnawed at my brain on my computer screen and actually save it and then have the nerve to label it. It was reading Jamie McGuire’s personal story that gave me the balls to self-publish it. I never met Jamie. She wouldn’t know me from Eve, but her story, her advice she posts on her blog, inspired me to not be afraid. She held my hand even though she didn’t know it or me. For the first time in my life, I was truly going to live by my own personal mantra, feel the fear, but do it anyway. It was time for mommy to practice what she preached to her little people at home. It was time to go big or go home. The clock was ticking and it wasn’t the female one, it was the life one that kept chiming through the night, through the fog of my dreams.

            I started Choices in 2009. It’s taken me five years from beginning to the end product you’ve purchased on Amazon. I wrote during the summer months, during holidays, weekends, days off and sometimes these characters hijacked my sleep and I wrote all night and then taught all day. I’ve had some major bumps in the road, some huge failures and some huge successes writing this book. Some people are shocked at the subject matter because I’m a Kindergartner teacher, but honestly that’s not all I am. I am a creator. I wanted to write something outside my realm of knowledge. Some of my friends were shocked and couldn’t understand why I didn’t write a children’s book…um, because I didn’t want to. I wanted to write something real, something edgy, something dark, yet promising, hopeful. I wanted to write a big romance, but not a typical romance that’s sweet and neat. I wanted to write something gritty and real. I wanted to write a story about a strong woman who’s had some strong situations that forced her to feel out of control and her response to it. I wanted to write about a character that was forced to really examine her life. I wanted to write a story that forced this character to ask herself the question no one wants to ask themselves, am I happy or am I lying to myself and believing the lie? Am I just going through the motions? I wanted to write a story about how a woman doesn’t have to sacrifice everything about herself in order to save someone who isn’t interested in saving themselves. When is enough? When do you draw the line in the sand and say I need to take care of me now. Life is hard. Life gives you cards you don’t want. Life is unfair. Life is real. Life isn’t pretty sometimes, but it does give you choices. So, therefore, I give you Choices. 




Book Blurb

 

One never truly knows what goes on behind closed doors in a marriage. On the surface Laurel Brittingham’s life is idyllic but when you dive below the sparkling facade and submerge yourself within the murky, slimy sand at the bottom, life is never as it appears.
Laurel is a devoted, loving and loyal wife and mother. She married her high school sweetheart and created three new young lives during her marriage to Paul, all the while denying and avoiding the role his demons played in their marriage. Laurel’s only saving support system, other than her three children is her rewarding career as a nurse and her three gal pals that she cherishes beyond words. Addictions, anger and emotional abuse are the cornerstone of her marriage until one day life presents an interesting choice. 
Laurel wasn’t looking for him, she wasn’t seeking him out. Laurel was loyal; for better or worse, weren’t just vows they were a way of life. Fate or destiny introduced a much younger man into her life; a much younger man who was also the son of a good friend. Brandon turned her world and her heart inside out and upside down. Their love was undeniable and soul mending. 
Unfortunately, everything has a price. Their relationship unravels a web of lies, betrayal, abduction and deceit. What Laurel doesn’t know is how close to home this ugly web of lies comes. Laurel begins to travel down a path of shocking truths with twists and surprises she never fathomed, even saving a soul she never thought possible. She’s forced to make choices that will affect her family, her friends, and her happiness, but more importantly may destroy the very life she holds dearest.

                           

                              About Sheila Bliss


This independent author enjoys writing books about circumstances that shape a person's life and that life is all about the choices we make.
She hopes that you enjoy reading her first novel Choices as much as she's enjoyed writing it!


                                  Get in touch


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Friday, April 18, 2014

Marie Lavender A Spotlight of an exceptional author

Marie Lavendar


Author Bio:

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 18 other books. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. Her imagination fueled a lot of her early child's play. Even growing up, she entered writing contests and received a certificate for achieving the second round in one. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted - to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.

Since then, Marie has published nineteen books. Marie Lavender's real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction and dabbled a little in paranormal stories. Most of her works have a romantic element involved in them. She just released Magick & Moonlight, a paranormal romance, in March. Upon Your Honor is her second historical romance. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.webs.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things


*****

Upon Your Honor, sequel to Upon Your Return, Releases on Monday, April 21, 2014

*****



Upon Your Honor blurb:

Deception is a dangerous path…

New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms.  As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be. 

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life.  But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

*****

Excerpt from Upon Your Honor                                                                             


It was difficult to wake this time, like waking from a deep sleep. The remnants of confusion were with her immediately. Chloe moaned. Her eyes felt too heavy to open. With an effort, she opened them by degrees. The first thing she noticed was the blurriness of the room, then the terrible headache. For a moment, she had to squint to dull the pain. Gradually, it eased, but it was still there, lingering like an annoying neighbor.
When her vision cleared and she could focus, she saw that she was in a bed, a truly comfortable one. The room was a cabin, filled with books and maritime instruments, a large red chair near the fireplace, and a small chaise close by. A tall man with broad shoulders stood facing the fireplace, holding a glass.
Something had happened. They had found her. With that knowledge, Chloe became aware of her state of dishabille as well as the loose hair that fell past her shoulders. They knew she was a woman. What would they do to her now? A moan of distress escaped her lips as she tried to sit up, failing due to a bout of dizziness. She had wanted to appear composed, but she was more like an invalid.
At the sound, the man turned and stepped towards her with purpose. He set his glass on a nearby table, pulled a chair up to the side of the bed and sat down. “Perhaps it would be better if you lie still for now. You will have pain for a while. Until it goes away, I suggest you try to rest.”
His dark red hair was familiar. And now that he was closer, she saw that his eyes were a unique shade of gray. Once she realized it was the same man from before, she managed a nod. Her tongue felt leaden, thick in her mouth. How could one man render her speechless? Clearing her throat, she found her voice at last. “I feel a little silly lying here though, when there is an inquisition to attend.”
“Oh?” He nodded. “Yes, I suppose there is a lot to answer for. But, rest assured, I am at the moment the only one here that is aware of your presence, though others will know very soon. If you have an escape plan, you’d better hatch it.”
His warning sent a shiver over her. “You foresee a lot of trouble then.”
“In your position, you should expect it.”
“I do. I am prepared.”

“You are?” He smiled a little. “Even though you convinced me you were a sailor at first, I now know to expect anything from you. However, you don’t strike me as the kind of woman who has approached many of these situations.”
Chloe licked her lips before replying, “You don’t really know what I will do in order to survive.”
“I suppose I don’t know much of your character. But, you hid away in the storage room for some reason. Are you running from the law?”
She was suddenly aware that he had an accent. French perhaps? She shook her head. “Not yet. No.”
He nodded. “Are you willing to take it to that level?”
“I would like to avoid that if possible.”
“There must be a story, then, if you are willing to do nearly anything to survive. What will you divulge to me if I am your only hope? What will you do to save yourself?”
Indeed, what could she do? The minor insinuations he was making disturbed her, but did not shock her. She was aware that some men were not entirely honorable, including Lamonte. “First, I would need to know whether I was in any danger in your hands.” She swallowed hard. “And then, if that turned out well, we would see…”
Mademoiselle, you honor me.” He paused. “I assume you are not married?”
She shook her head in negation and licked her dry lips. “If my honor is at stake, then I would expect some cordiality.”
He cocked his head. “Would a stowaway have honor?”
Chloe’s jaw tightened. “Every man or woman has a right to some dignity in the face of extreme circumstances.”
“Extreme? I would say you’re fairly coddled right now. If I had any less respect for your dignity, you would be in a prison. Or worse.”
*****
Contact Marie Here:



















Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Necklace of Goddess Athena




Book Blurb
Efimios is an ancient Greek and an unsung hero of Athens. He has saved the city countless times by undertaking time-travelling missions as instructed by Goddess Athena herself. Now an elderly man, he sends his son Phevos and his adopted daughter Daphne on a time-travelling quest to modern-day Athens. Mysterious as always, he only advises his children to look out for the signs without offering any explanations. Mystified, yet eager to obey their father’s will, Phevos and Daphne settle down in this new world, having been offered assistance by two orphaned siblings: Ksenia and Manos. New friendships and romantic love change their lives while their father’s covert purpose is gradually revealed. As the youngsters continue to unravel the secrets of their family past, inevitably they get caught up in the ongoing conflict between two Gods, one of which becomes their protector and the other, their worst nemesis. Who will prevail when the rival Gods meet again and will the mortal bystanders survive to tell the tale?




Book Excerpt
First, there was this tremendous roar. Everything around them shook with force and then, a blinding light surrounded them as they were taken through a cyclone of ear-piercing sounds. Phevos held the hand of his sister Daphne inside the forceful vortex of Time.

Neither of them knew where they were headed as they swirled frightened beyond description, their bodies surrendered to the powerful whirlwind. Their eyes were tightly shut to the blinding flashes of light and a sound that resembled a sweeping tornado tortured their ears. In the twenty years of his life, Phevos could never have imagined the intensity of the experience.

Although still captured in this unprecedented storm of light and sound, he managed to recall random pieces from his father’s stories. Efimios, his father and teacher, had described to him hundreds of times his experience of the Passage through Time but Phevos never expected there would come a day that he would experience it himself and at that, in such a different way.

Suddenly, he realized in panic that his sister’s hand had slipped away from his. He started calling out her name but through the roar he couldn’t even hear himself speak.

All at once, there was darkness and a soothing silence and next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground.

A strong buzz still sounded in his ears. It took a few moments to fade as he opened his eyes and tried to gather his wits. His body felt numb at first but he managed to sit up somehow and look around him. The ground felt wet under him and the air smelt of grass.
The moon shone high above on a starry sky with a velvet light that was ample, allowing him to inspect his surroundings quite easily. He was in an orchard.
There were trees, plants and bushes all around him.
Panicking, he realized that he was alone.

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