Monday, November 26, 2012

The Truth is...

Guess I'll just get right to it.  Before I do, I want to congratulate June for winning the $5 Gift Card in the Howloween BlogHop.  Thanks to those who commented. 

The truth is...

...Almost three years ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  I can still remember the exact thing I was doing when we got the news.  She had driven herself to the hospital and called me at work to tell me that she thought she had pnemonia.  I left work to be with her.  The next day, after the doctors extracted almost 2 liters of fluid from her lungs and tested the fluid, we received the horrifying news.  Then the doctors gave us a one to two year prognosis.

...I tried, in spite of everything, to keep it together.  Even now, almost three years later, I'm still trying.

...My book was published.  And my mom got the chance to read it.  She actually read my words in paperback.  She bragged about me to her friends, she showed up for everything I did to celebrate this achievement.

...At the end of summer, my mother was told that the cancer had travelled to her brain.  My mother was an educator for over 30 years.  She valued education above all else.  She was blessed to do what she loved until she retired.  Such a blessing.  And I still tried to keep it together.

...Last month, the doctors gave us the grim news that 'they'd done all they could do'.  I dreaded the day those words would come.  As a planner, it's really hard for me not to have a plan.  And so I tried to keep it together.

...I have faith.  Strong faith in God.  I know that God wouldn't put more on me than I can bear.  I know God does not make mistakes.  And I know this because my mother raised me.  And she has this strong faith...this out the box faith.  And I'm trying but...

...I go to work.  I take care of my children.  I still try to put a smile on my face when I'm talking to my friends/family.  I still try to encourage others. 

But the truth is...I feel like a mess.  My mind is hazy, my body won't move, my thoughts run a mile a minute.  I can't write, I can't read.  Some days the only thing I can muster up the energy to do is play Phase 10 against the computer, do word searches, hit 'like' on every comment I see on Facebook, or watch TV...and pray.  This is my mother.  BUT I'm still trying because I have no other choice.  I'm still pushing because that's what I'm supposed to do. That's what my mother still does every morning, and she won't stop.  So I can't stop.  I suppose I'll be able to read a whole book one day soon.. or get 5,000 words on paper... or update this blog more than once a month.  Maybe I'll even finish that work in progress.  One day.    That's my truth. 

Congrats to June on winning the $5 Amazon Gift Card!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Howloween Blog Hop


Hey All! 


I know... it's been a while since I've posted.  Personal life sometimes gets in the way. 

I signed up to participate in the Howloween Blog Hop through The Blog Hop Spot.  Although I didn't make their deadline, I'm still going to honor my committment and give away a $5 Amazon GC to one lucky person who responds to this post with their favorite scary movie and their email address.  The contest will close at midnight! 

Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Independence Day Blog Hop... and the winner is...

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July.  It was truly a great day for me. 

Thanks to everyone who followed me via email or GFC and participated in the Celebrating Independence Day Blog Hop.  It was a great experience.  And I hope to interact with all my new followers more. 

Drumroll please....

The winner of a $15 Amazon Gift Card is


FORETTA






Thanks again for participating everyone!  Enjoy your weekend. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Let's Celebrate!!! Independence Day! And... a giveaway


Independence Day!

As we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July, I'm reminded of all the ways we are free.  I don't have to sneak to read or write.  And I can say exactly what I want. 
This particular holiday has always been a favorite of mine.  I always love the opportunity to get together with family and just chill...  I can remember playing all day and eventually gathering on the front lawn for fireworks with the neighbors.  Good times. 


I'm participating in the Independence Day Blog Hop this year.  Stop by The Blog Hop Spot and check out the many participators.   There are some GREAT prizes to be won.
For the hop, I'm giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card.  The contest will start today and end Wednesday at MIDNIGHT!  Winners will be notified by email.

The best part?  You don't have to do much to enter.  All you have to do is follow my blog (either by email or blogger) and let me know that you did by posting a comment!  That's it!  Current subscribers and followers are already entered.  Good Luck!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meet Melissa Groeling, author of TRAFFIC JAM

It's a pleasure to have fellow Black Opal Books author, Melissa Groeling, as a guest on my blog today.  Melissa's novel, TRAFFIC JAM, was released in May 2012 and getting rave reviews! 

Welcome Melissa!!!!


Hi Leslie! Thanks so much for having me! It’s so great to be here! My name is Melissa Groeling and I, like my wonderful host, Leslie, have been dancing around with the written word for quite a long time. It’s a complicated, awesome, entertaining, sometimes frustrating dance but a dance nonetheless. There are days when I have my dancing shoes on and I’m ready to PARTY! Other days, I just want to wear my slippers, curl up on the couch with a book that’s not mine and stay far, far away from my computer.
As I sit here, sipping blueberry tea and staring balefully at the blister on my little toe, I wonder, what’s the hardest thing writers do? In the scheme of things, a blister is a walk in the park. There are days where I’d rather deal with a blister than sit at my laptop. Honestly, I can get so frustrated with a story that I’m surprised I’m not bald from tearing my hair out. I’ve always considered shaving it but my hair dresser refuses and then I chicken out. But okay let’s get back on track, shall we? What exactly is the hardest part of being a writer?
Is it fleshing out the plot? Is it building up a world and characters from scratch? Is it tying up the loose ends of the story within a reasonable amount of pages? Is it keeping the story in a constant flow from start to finish? Or maybe it’s keeping the motivation to continue. Maybe it’s fighting that feeling you get when you feel like what you’ve written is a piece of crap. Or maybe it’s everything that comes after---you know, the promoting, the marketing, getting yourself and your work out there so people can see it.
Or maybe it’s the people who tell you that you can’t do it.
That you’re no good.
That your story is too weird to get published.
That it’s impossible to be a writer because it’s so hard.
Well, my friends, can you imagine where we’d be if we actually listened to those people? All these reject letters and emails that we collect. They can beat a person down, sure. But will that person stay down?
          I think that’s the core of a writer. We just don’t know when to quit.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Traffic Jam is her first young adult novel.

Come find me at Facebook!
Twitter: @stringbean10

ABOUT TRAFFIC JAM...
When you’re caught in a traffic jam, you’ve got nowhere to go… Val Delton’s life is spiraling and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Her dad lost his job, her mom works fourteen hour days to pay the bills and yet somehow there are high-end shopping bags and an iPod in her older sister’s room. Naturally, Val becomes suspicious but her sister’s lips are sealed. Then by accident, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret hidden behind her sister’s bright smiles and cool indifference. Val has no idea how far and how deep the repercussions of her sister’s secret will reach but she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Will she succeed before her sister’s secret destroys everyone she loves?


Great having you here, Melissa.  And for all those who haven't picked up her book yet, it's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Black Opal Books!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Author Interview: ZRINKA JELIC... and a GIVEAWAY

Today I’m with Zrinka Jelic, author of Bonded by Crimson.  Bonded by Crimson was released early this year by Black Opal Books.  As always, it’s a pleasure to chat with one of my BOB sisters. 
Also, Zrinka will be giving away an eBook copy of her book to one lucky commenter.  Leave those comments, people.
1.    Zrinka, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ah, the question I dread during the job interviews. In our culture it is considered unworthy tooting your own horn and one would be modest about singing the praise to himself. So needless to say, when I moved to Canada and went on my first job interview, it didn’t go so well. It took me quite some time to get used to the idea to put myself on a pedestal and I don’t think I haven’t gotten completely over this cultural difference. I’m just your average gal, maybe on a quiet side, though I’ve come a long way since my awkward teenage days. Nowadays, as always, you’ll find me with my nose in a book. But with two kids, house, promoting my novel and working on my works in progress, those moments are scarce.
2.    Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I don’t have one particular all times favorite author. At the moment I’m taken by Arturo Perez Reverte. The books I’m reading are translations from Spanish and I’m not sure how much was lost in translation, but I love them and the smooth prose.
3.    What are you reading?
I have three books on the go. One is Debbie Christiana’s “Twin Flames” which I’m enjoying immensely. I think I’ll finish it in the next day or so. Then I have Chris Karlsen’s “Golden Chariot” and just finishing “The Kings’ Gold” from A. P. Reverte.
4.    I’m actually reading Twin Flames myself.  It’s such a good read.  So, What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m either in the gym, babysitting other kids along with mine, house chores, reading. I used to have sawing side craft. I figured how to make those little leather slippers that were so expensive in stores. I made a few pairs for my friends’ kids and somehow the word got out and orders started to pour in. But now you can get those slippers almost in any kids’ stores for less than I can make them. So I stopped my production though I’m still known in my neighborhood as patch-up lady. I do some alternations and fix ups on clothing.
5.    When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
The very first book I finished was waaaaay back in high school. I was struck with an idea and very motivated to write a story after I’ve seen “Romancing the Stone”. To this day this movie is still my favorite romance and inspiration. My first story was hand written, and the girls in the school fought over it. I can’t even remember what it was about. No idea what happened to it. I’m assuming it got ripped in one of the cat fights. This was in pre-photocopier days. But I wish I still have it, just to get a good laugh out of it. But my first “official” finished story is what I like to refer to it as “my training wheels” where I made all of the beginners’ mistakes. I’m planning to go back to it someday and revise. I still think it’s a good story.
6.    Where do you get your ideas?
From everyday life. I like to observe people around me. Often I imagine how two people met, what drew them to each other, what’s their story, what hardships they had to overcome to find their happiness. Today young people don’t have to struggle with the same troubles as their parents. Dating is seen as normal part of growing up, while in my teenage days and where I lived, parents forbid their children to go out on dates. And any parent who allowed or even encouraged their children to date was looked upon as too liberal or strange. I also like to explore old tragic love stories and try to reincarnate them to some kind of happily ever after.  
7.    Are you a pantser?  Or do you outline?
I’ve read a few books on how to write and each stressed out the importance of detailed outlining. So I gave it a try and failed. I felt silly doing some of the exercises in the book and got nothing out of them. These books also made me guilty about not plotting and doing that character’s arc and all that. And while I see how having the clear plot and character’s arc (journey) n front of you can help along, I also find it a waste of time. I outlined my book and never referred back to it. While I stuck to the original plot, my muse also decided to take me on a ride. So it is safe to say I’m a punster and I’m proud of it.
8.    Can you tell us the challenges in getting your first book published?
There’s been a few but I had biggest one that many new writers fear. While my book was still in pre-published state, I’ve decided to “test the waters” and posted opening chapters on a website where other aspiring writers rate each other’s work. Majority of readers liked the story, but some didn’t. I never expected that absolutely everyone would love it, but I wasn’t prepared for harsh and right down nasty and hateful reviews. From people I never met or did not know. It was quite discouraging but I pressed on and found out the worst thing you can do was to reply to those comments. These people are Internet trolls and they get their kicks of getting people to lash out at them. The best is to ignore them and delete their comments if possible.
9.    Tell us about BONDED BY CRIMSON.
The premise of the story is do we deserve second chance at love and happiness. It there love after loss and hurt? Can we recognize it when it comes our way and most importantly, would we embrace it or would we be scared to open our hearts and souls to another being out of fear to get hurt again?
10. How did you come up with the title?
Originally I wanted “Bonds of Crimson” but the title was taken and I wanted something original. In the book the enzymes of a hero (who is immortal though he is slowly turning human again) are passed through his child to the mother therefore making her something of an immortal too. So that they can have endless future together. But it also has another meaning, Kate (the heroine) is bonded by blood (crimson) to her husband, their children and the land they came from (Croatia).
11. Who designed the cover?
That was Jack from Black Opal Books and I think he did a great job and nailed the book right there. I love the silhouette of the Matthias’ (the hero) wife’s ghost in the background.
12. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I think the middle was hard. Just to keep that intrigue and not to reveal too many details and yet give just enough clues and foreshadowing to keep the reader’s interest. I’ve read too many books that gave it all away in the first chapter, or had saggy middles that it was a daunting task to read it through, but they started off very interesting and I just had to find out how it all come together in the end. I was disappointed.
13. If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything about your latest book?
Can’t think of a single thing, but maybe I’d just tightened some of the sentences, other than that I wouldn’t change anything to the actual plot.
14. What project are you working on now?
I have two works in progress. One is paranormal romance titled “Love Remains” and it’s about a career oriented single woman who returns home from a business trip and finds a husband and a couple of kids in her house. Of course, the plot thickens from there. My second project is a prequel for “Bonded by Crimson” titled “Rose of Crimson” and we go back six years to find out how Matthias, under the guise of Miles, got Kate to write his story. In this book my attention is to bring the full legend of the tragic love story to life. It’s going to be a big task, but I’m up to the challenge.
15. Any new books coming out? 
I have my second novel “Treasured Chest” going through the editorial process and I’m hoping it will be released sometimes later this year or beginning of the next. It’s a pirate’s romance with an unexpected and unusual twist.
16. Congrats on the new novel.  Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
The writing is very solitary but you don’t have to do this alone. There are numerous writing organizations, some are free to join, some have a fee, but just get out there and join to critique loops, writing communities and other supportive group. I can’t stress out supportive enough. Unfortunately I wasted plenty of time on places where the members tend to put down other people’s work and praise their own. Your love for writing will shine in your work and don’t let anyone discourage you. Yes, there’ll be nasty reviews but that is a part of the business.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Song? At the moment it is Thomas Bergersen - "A Place in Heaven
Favorite Movie? Romancing the stone
Favorite Season? Summer
Favorite Food? Watermelon
Favorite Quote? “The road of life is rocky and you may stumble, too. So why not point fingers, someone else is judging you.” ~ Bob Marley
Any parting words? Thanks for having me as your guest blogger, Leslie. It is always exciting to reach out to new audience. This was fun to write.
My debut novel “Bonded by Crimson” has been released on January 28th, and it is available in all formats at Black Opal Books, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and All Romance eBooks

BLURB
Love isn’t in the cards for her…

After her short failed marriage, Kate tries to rebuild her life and takes a position as a nanny to three small boys. She quickly grows to love them, but their father, terrifies her, while igniting a passion she didn’t know she possessed. Disturbed by his distant manner with his sons, Kate struggles to make him more involved in the boys’ daily lives. Her efforts are mysteriously supported by an entity that cannot really exist. Or can she? And if she does exist, is she really trying to help Kate, or just take over her body?

But when he deals the hand, all bets are off…

Six years after his beloved wife passed away, Matthias is still trying to become the father she wanted him to be. Not an easy task for a three-centuries-old immortal. His search for the ultimate nanny ends when Kate Rokov stumbles to his home and into his arms. The immediate attraction he feels for her seems like a betrayal of his dead wife, a love he’s harboured for over three hundred years. But when Kate is stalked by a deadly stranger, life he clung to in the past begins to crumble and break down. Can Matthias learn to trust and to love again in time to save his family from disaster, or will his stubborn pride destroy everything worth living for?



AUTHOR’S BIO


Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two children. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, she writes contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic’s love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that’s about the only break they get. “Alas,” Jelic says, with a grin. “Some rain must fall in everyone’s life.”

Find me on: Facebook Twitter 
Watch the book trailer: Bonded by Crimson
One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win an eBook copy of “Bonded by Crimson”. Good luck!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Author Interview with Christine Hughes... and a GIVEAWAY!

I'm so excited to have fellow Black Opal Books author, Christine Hughes, with us today!  Her debut novel, TORN, was released Saturday June 9, 2012 to the masses.  I'm hearing great things about it and I can't wait to read!  If you haven't already, pick up your copy of TORN. 

And the best news of today?  One lucky commenter will receive a free ebook copy of TORN. 




So, Christine, let's chat...

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Let’s see, I’m a writer so that should tell you I’m a bit off my rocker. I’m a former middle school English teacher so that lends itself to the crazy part too. J I’m a stay at home mom with everything that entails. I’ve been married for almost 9 years to the man I met when I was 14. As a child, my father was in the Army so I moved around a lot – I attended 13 different schools before college. I guess because of that, I am able to adapt to new situations pretty seamlessly. I have a younger sister who has taught me a few things about being an adult over the years. In general, I’m pretty normal expect for the off-the-rocker bit.
  2. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? Fahrenheit 451 by the late Ray Bradbury helped me to look at fiction in a new way. The story was brilliant and way ahead of its’ time in terms of how the world operates. He was familiar with reality tv before there was such a thing. Also, A Separate Peace by John Knowles. I don’t know what it is about that book but I just loved it – the story behind it, the message it sent – amazing book.
  3. What are you reading? I am finishing up the Hunger Games Trilogy. I really like it but by book three, I’m not terribly impressed with Katniss. Don’t shoot me! I just think that by this book she should be more, well, just more something. Overall though, I really like the series.
  4. What do you do when you’re not writing? With two kids at home who play two different sports, I feel like we are always on the go. Sometimes I read, sometimes I veg out, other times I’m so busy, I don’t know where my day went. Lately, I’ve been promoting the heck out of TORN so I feel like I’ve been spending all my free time attached to my computer.
  5. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? I first started writing TORN on my back deck and finished there too.
  6. Where do you get your ideas? I get my ideas from music. Lyrics to songs, the melody and tempo.
  7. I'm a music person too.  I get a LOT of ideas from music.  Are you a pantser?  Or do you outline? Pantser all the way. I try to outline but I end up so far away from where I think I’ll be, I just go with it and let the story write itself. For example, the betrayal in TORN was completely changed around. It was too easy to write it the way I first thought it out so I changed it up and it ended up being a great plot twist – less predictable.
  8. Can you tell us the challenges in getting your first book published? I queried the hell out of TORN. I went to the NJSCBWI conference in Princeton, I had it critiqued, edited, ripped apart and sewn back together. All it took was three lines and a contest at SavvyAuthors to garner the attention of my current publisher. I consider myself lucky though – I finished TORN in June of 2011 and signed my contract with Black Opal Books by October.
  9. Tell us about TORN. TORN is a YA paranormal with some romantic elements. It’s a story about the yin and yang relationship between good and evil, hope and despair. It asks, if everything is all sunshine and roses, will hope fade way? Do we need the bad with the good?
  10. How did you come up with the title? The original title was CHOICES but I felt it was a little soft. I was talking to my sister-in-law, who beta read for me, and I asked her if she could feel Samantha going crazy. She responded that she wasn’t so much going crazy as she was torn about the situation. So, thanks Allison for a great title!
  11. Who designed the cover? Jay Sabo of JS Designs designed the cover. He’s amazing and I have him ready to design the cover for Three Days of Rain and BETRAYED.
  12. If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything about your latest book? I think I might’ve put it into 3rd person. I’ve fallen in love with my antagonist, Sebastian, and I feel he has a great story to tell. Who knows – maybe I’ll write one from his POV.
  13. What project are you working on now? I am working on the sequel to TORN, tentatively titled BETRAYED
  14. Any new books coming out?  Three Days of Rain was picked up by Black Opal Books. It should be out by the end of this year or early next year.
  15. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? All I can say is to keep at it. Everything you write, everything you read, makes you a better writer. Take the good with the bad. Don’t get discouraged by rejections or bad reviews. Keep plugging away and it will happen if you really want it too. Cyn Balog taught me to realize that I had become an “I did” and had separated myself from the “want to’s”.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Song? Three Days of rain by my friend Jason Liberatore (find it on Spotify)
Favorite Movie? Probably When Harry Met Sally
Favorite Season? FALL
Favorite Food? Cheeseburgers
Favorite Quote?  "All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers.  It's my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset, I've won or lost. At sunrise, I'm out again, giving it the old try." ~Ray Bradbury

Any parting words? I want to thank you for having me here, Leslie. I’m happy to be able to call you my friend. Being publishing “sisters” has allowed me to see what a great person you are, so thank you for all the chats, messages, shares, likes and conversations.

Come visit me on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ChristineHughesAuthor and check out my terrible neglected blog at http://christine-hughes.com

Thanks for coming by Christine!  One of the BEST things about this author thing was that I was able to meet some AWESOME writers.  I'm happy to call you my friend and I'm looking for great things from you! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Goodreads... GIVEAWAY

Hi all!  It's been a whirlwind since the book released.  I want to thank everyone for purchasing!  I so appreciate it.  I love feedback, so let me know what you think... or post a review.

To celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway on Goodreads.  Here's the link:


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Basement Level Five by L.R. Wright

Basement Level Five

by L.R. Wright

Giveaway ends June 11, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Enter to WIN!!!! 

Monday, April 30, 2012

And the WINNER IS......

Hey all!

This has been a whirlwind of emotions for me!  The book is officially "released" and I'm still on cloud nine. 











The CONTEST has concluded and I've picked a winner (using a Random Number Generator of course).

The winners of an EBOOK COPY of Basement Level 5: Never Scared are.....


Kim

and

Mona-Karel


Thanks EVERYONE for your support.  Hope you ladies enjoy the book! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

And Here It Is.... Basement Level Five: Never Scared


TODAY is the big day (although the book released yesterday).  Basement Level Five: Never Scared is officially on the shelves (virtual, anyway). 


The CONTEST will continue until 11:59 pm today!  The winners will be announced Sunday, April 29, 2012.



This process has been so rewarding for me.  I'm humbled by the support I've received from family and friends (new and old).  I've met so many new friends via blog posts and online communities and I've learned a great deal along the way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I told them…I ain’t Never Scared!

Three more days.  Three.  More.  Days. 
Saturday April 28th is quickly approaching.  And to celebrate, I thought I’d do it with music (just so you know, I couldn't find clean versions of the song so be forewarned).  
Bone Crusher - Never Scared

The Boss - Rick Ross

Bonnie and Clyde - Jay Z and Beyonce

Basement Level Five:  Never Scared - April 28, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meet Kendrick from Basement Level Five: Never Scared

I’ve often talked with writer friends about falling in love with a supporting character.  Enter Kendrick from Basement Level Five: Never Scared.  I’m talking about him at Just Another Book Addict.  Hope you can stop by and check it out.
ALSO, if you haven’t heard, I’m giving away a few FREE ebook copies of the book for two lucky commenters.  SO, comment and you’re entered. 
ONLY 5 more days until Basement Level Five: Never Scared is released.  I’m excited…how about you?
And because I LOVE Kendrick so much, here’s another excerpt.
EXCERPT
Now she tapped her foot against the floor and glared at him. “Kendrick, stop breathing all heavy. It’s okay.”
“It’s not, Alexa. I’m not going to get killed because you refuse to take your safety seriously. That asshole shouldn’t be threatening you. And what is with that punk you’re dating—Erik? You’re with him but he can’t even defend you?”
She rolled her eyes. “Look, I don’t need Erik to defend me. I can defend myself.”
“You shouldn’t have to, especially when you have a date.”
“You’re worse than Lei and Dro. These are high school students, Kendrick, not hardened criminals out for revenge. You’re overreacting.”
He shook his head incredulously. “You’re serious? What part of ‘threat’ don’t you understand? You know there’s history between Steve’s father and Pop. That’s nothing to take lightly.”
“I’m not taking it lightly. I can beat Steve in my sleep. He’s weak, all talk and no action.”
Kendrick pinched the bridge of his nose. “You realize the others are not going to see it that way, right?”
“Yeah.” She shrugged. “So what?”
He ran his hand down his face and took a deep breath. She was really starting to get on his nerves. “You’re playing with serious fire, Lex. Why would you risk it?”
She studied him with amusement on her face then placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. “Steve is Erik’s best friend. I have to see him every day at school. It would be more dangerous for me to act like he’s a leper. You always told me to keep my enemies close, so that’s what I’m doing.”
She was right, Kendrick thought, but Dro was still going to kill her—after he kills me for not keeping a better eye on her.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Countdown has begun.... and a CONTEST

Basement Level Five: Never Scared will be released APRIL 28, 2012. 



I can't tell you how exciting this ride has been.  In a million years, I never imagined being a published author, but I have to say, the feeling... NO WORDS. 

Because I'm feeling so excited and SO happy and SO SO blessed, I'm giving away 2 FREE ebook copies of the book to two lucky people.  And all you have to do is... comment on any post leading up to the release (along with your email address so I can get in touch with you).

This contest will run until April 28, 2012, the RELEASE DATE! 

Good luck.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Drum Roll Please......My Top 5 for the 1st Quarter of 2012

My Reading Addiction



Hey all...so I've joined a blog hop hosted by My Reading Addiction.  As such, I'm going to unveil my Top 5 books of this quarter:


1.  Indigo by Beverly Jenkins:  It's a classic and I re-read it in January just because.


2.  Blood of the Demon - Rosalie Lario:  My first foray into paranormal romance.  There were demons, angels, fairies...everything.  Keegan was HOT

3.  Jewel by Beverly Jenkins:  Love marriages of convenience!



4.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson



5.  Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich




To see more Top 5 lists, check out the following peeps:








Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: JEWEL by Beverly Jenkins

From Beverly Jenkins Online!
A proposal she had no choice but to accept…
Though Eli Grayson is one of the most handsome, charming, and intelligent men in Grayson Grove, no one will take a chance on a confirmed bachelor.  Unwilling to give up his dreams, Eli convinces his friend Jewel to pose as his wife.  Their masquerade is to last just one night… but when word gets out, Eli and Jewel must tie the knot to save his career—and her reputation.
Became a love she never expected…
Angry at being forced to turn her life upside down, Jewel never imagined that a white-hot passion would consume her once she and Eli became husband and wife.  Sharing a bed has turned their prim friendship into a sensuous love affair… but when a woman from Eli’s past returns to stir up trouble, he and Jewel will learn just how far they’ll go to protect the precious gem of their newfound passion.
My thoughts…
Jewel was one of Ms. B’s books that I’d never read.  I’m not sure why that is since I’ve tried to get my hands on all of her books.  And, like every other time, Ms. Jenkins did not disappoint.  
Returning to Grayson Grove, Michigan—the setting from Vivid—was a great ride for me.  I was interested in seeing what happened to the people of the town after Nate Grayson and Vivid Lancaster rode off into the sunset.  As always, the scenery descriptions zapped me right into the beautiful town and its surrounding areas. 
The book opens with a little mystery (sorry, I can’t spill) and then we are reintroduced to Eli Grayson—Nate’s handsome cousin.  Eli, who had some less than admirable traits in the past, has tried to live on the straight and narrow.  He’s a journalist by trade, but the local paper he ran has closed due to lack of funds.  The Gazette is Eli’s passion and he’d do anything to try and get it back up and running.  When the owner of a thriving Black newspaper enters the picture, intent on investing the money to help The Gazette, Eli sees this as a way to get back to doing what he loves.  However, G. W. Hicks only invests family men—Eli has to have a wife.
Enter Jewel Crowley, who we met in Vivid as well.  Jewel is fiercely loyal to her family and takes care of her father, Adam (who is married to Eli’s mother coincidentally), and her brothers—and loves doing it.  When Eli comes to her with a proposal—they would pretend to be married for one day then when Hicks leaves after investing in The Gazette it would all be over—she is skeptical but agrees to it.  After all, who can resist Eli Grayson?  (Not me.)  Jewel has even harbored a crush on him for years. 
Of course, it couldn’t be that easy.  That’s when the fireworks start for these two. One night of pretending becomes a real marriage of convenience—which I have to say is one of my favorite premises.  Give me a marriage of convenience and I’m all in.   
Once again, Ms. B gives us a passionate love affair.  These two are on FIYAH!  Eli is strong and intelligent (my kind of man; gray eyes, hot body, and all).  Jewel is smart and beautiful (and a fire cracker).  Perfect Couple (and if you haven’t read my thoughts on perfect couples, click here).  I was hooked from the beginning.  There was mystery, intrigue, and the supportive characters were colorful and extremely important to the story.  I especially loved that Maddie (another character from Vivid) was featured and had her own mini-love story.  All in all, I was so happy that I had a chance to read Jewel.  I enjoyed every bit of the story.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Best of Quarter Top Five Blog Hop

Hi All!

Just wanted to let you know I'll be participating in my first Blog Hop!  It's being hosted at Addiction to Reading.  On April 1st, I'll post my Top Five books read so far this year. 

Also, if you haven't read my guest post on The Pen Muse site, you can go here!  I'm talking about The Dreaded Deadline!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Want to know what makes Alexa tick? Check out her interview!!!

Today, I'm over at Mona-Karel's blog with Alexa.  You can find the interview here.

My Killer My Love by Mona Karel is available to purchase.  Here is the blurb:

She came to the woods to heal and found evil lurking among the trees….

Upon her grandmother’s death, Kendra inherits a cottage deep within the sequoia forest, along with the powers given only to certain women in her family—powers she doesn’t know she has. Recovering from a vicious attack in Phoenix, Kendra returns home to the remote cabin determined to heal both her body and her spirit. But the forest is ailing, too. Evil lurks in its dark places, turning its quiet glades into a battlefield. When a strangely beautiful man appears at her cabin intent on punishing her for a crime she didn’t commit, Kendra needs all her strength to protect her forest, her life… and her heart. Can she learn to use her powers and to trust Mykhael in time to save the ancient forest?

He came to the woods to redeem himself and found innocence that would be his undoing….

Throughout his long life, Mykhael has struggled, often in vain, to please the Atrahasis, immortal overlords of the sacred places in the universe. Now they have given him one last chance to redeem himself. He must punish the person they think desecrated an ancient forest in Northern California. But when he meets Kendra, he realizes he’s doomed to disappoint them yet again. Not only is she innocent of the crime the Atrahasis have accused her of, Kendra is the missing part of the soul he didn’t know he still possessed. Can he defy the Atrahasis yet again and live long enough to save the only thing in his life that matters?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blog Tour (First Stop): Ordinary Housewife or Deadly Assassin

Hi all!

I'm over at Bri Clark's blog, The Belle of Boise, talking about Alexa Martinez, the heroine of Basement Level Five:  Never Scared.  You can check out my post here

Tomorrow I will be over at Mona-Karel's blog.  I hope you all can stop by.