Guest Author: CHARACTER INTERVIEW with Jennifer Labelle

15_09_09_Labelle★★#OneClick★★

Bitter Sweet by Author Jennifer Labelle is available on Amazon!

 

Well, Today I’m delighted to introduce you to Jenna Baker and Samantha O’Connell from Bittersweet.

Jennifer: Good morning to you both, it’s nice to see you visiting us again.

Sam: Morning, Jen, what’s up?

Jenna: Good morning, Jennifer. It’s great to see you again.

Jennifer: Likewise. There have been a lot of changes in both of your lives lately, first with the trip and finding a new love, then with the move, and the transition with Jayden. How are you both coping?

Jenna: *fans face* I promised myself I wouldn’t get emotional. Um, the trip Sam sort of surprised me with to Ireland was the best thing I could have ever hoped for. After all, if it hadn’t been for Sam I’m not sure I would have ever met Brady. And, Jayden loves him almost as much as I do. Plus, I think the move helped us to move on. There were too many memories I’d much rather not live through again, you know? But, maybe Tyler will come around one day.

Sam: I think what Jenna is trying to say is that we’re all coping pretty well. Yes, she misses Tyler, and of course Jayden does too, but they’re both happy now. I see it on a daily basis, and I love my beautiful little God child, Jenna and Brady have blessed us with. And, as you cansee I’m coping very well too. *she rubs her visibly pregnant belly* Caleb and I will have a playmate for Shelby in a few short weeks.

Jennifer: Congratulations to you both. Married life certainly suits you. Jenna I’m assuming Shelby is the daughter you and Brady share together?

Jenna: She is *smiles*

Jennifer: And, Sam, do you and Caleb have any names picked out for your little one?

Sam: *laughs* is that your subtle way of asking me if we know the sex?

Jennifer: I suppose so, yes. *shrugs*

Sam: Melina Jenna O’Connell actually. We’re having a girl. *grins* A little girl so Shelby will soon have a playmate to enjoy. Hopefully they’ll be the best of friends like Jenna and I are, and Caleb and Brady.

Jennifer: Congratulations again. I think it’s wonderful that two best friends married two best friends. So where are these men of yours today?

Jenna: Brady’s got Caleb practicing. *laughs* They’re with the children to give us a moment with you.

Jennifer: And to yourselves of course. So tell me, Jenna, how does it feel to have your story finally told? Yours is a unique one.

Jenna: That it is. I think you did a great job with it, and Brady was the best part. Although, I blush every time I get to the intimate parts. Sam gets a kick out of it, and makes sure to tease me. God love her.

Sam: Oh, I do not. *laughs* Although, I do crack up every time I read about the time you walked in on me and Caleb. *Sigh* he’s delicious isn’t he?

Jenna: *eye roll* He’s no Brady, but yes, Sam, Caleb is a very good looking man.

Sam: Well, of course Brady is a dish too. You and me did good Jenna.

Jennifer: *chuckles* The two of you are great.

Sam: Why, thank you, thank you very much.

Jenna: *wink*

Jennifer: *smiles* I’d like to thank you both for joining me today. It was a pleasure to write the book and I loved catching up with you both. IfI’m ever back in Dublin I’ll be sure to stop in to say hi.

Jenna: Oh please do.

Sam: Thank you, Jennifer. We’d love to have you.

If you all liked this interview, and would like a one of a kind erotic contemporary romance to keep you company this fall then may I suggest checking out, Bittersweet. I’d like to thank Jenna and Sam for their time, and for the update.

I love happy endings, don’t you?

Please enjoy the blurb, an excerpt, and a review snippet below.

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An accident on a rain-slicked highway leaves Jenna Baker alone…

Jenna is scarred, confused and vulnerable after surviving an accident that took her husband’s life. After a year of mourning Tyler and struggling to raise their son on her own, Jenna’s best friend whisks her off to fulfill her lifelong dream of visiting Ireland. She never dreamed her trip would include a self-appointed tour guide in the form of a sexy Irishman with piercing blue eyes and a smile that promises to fill her empty heart.

Brady Connelly is irresistibly drawn to the lovely, broken yank…

As the weeks pass, Brady comforts and supports Jenna, convincing her to live and chase her dreams. His attraction to her grows and their chemistry ignites, but Jenna isn’t sure she’s truly ready to move on. How can he convince her to release the past and take a leap of faith…with him?

The impossible happens, and Jenna’s world is thrown into chaos…

Tyler is alive and re-enters Jenna’s life, burdened with guilty secrets. Jenna knows she has to try and make things work between them, if only for their son’s sake, but she’s blessed—or cursed—with vivid visions of Brady. The visions begin to consume her and leave her questioning her sanity and the bittersweet nature of her marriage.

Jenna’s dreams of Brady become her lifeline as she questions the boundaries of fantasy and reality.

Is her one hope for happiness waiting for her across the sea?

✯ #oneclick →→ http://amzn.com/B00YYFVIDK

✯ Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING

 

★★★★

Reviews:  “First, let me say that when I read the blurb of this novel the first thing I thought was that this could either be really great or really depressing.  It was definitely GREAT!!  The main and supporting characters were solid, and you will either love them or hate them (okay, loathe is probably the better word there).  The ending was satisfying and worth the emotional ride that this novel brings us through.
I give this novel 5 stars for it’s ambitious and successful telling of this woman’s life-altering trials and happily ever after!” ~The TBR Pile – http://thetbrpile.weebly.com/reviews/giveaway-bittersweet-by-jennifer-labelle~

 

★★★★

 

EXCERPT:

“Tyler, wait.” She was breathless, and self-consciousness swept through her as he undressed her. Her body wasn’t the same since the accident. She was thinner from the horrible hospital food and being in a coma. She had scars from her surgery, and she was still tender in other spots, even though she didn’t look half as bad as when she’d first come to.

“What is it, Jenna?”

She blushed and felt a little silly all of a sudden. Since when had she ever been shy with him? The answer was never. “I’m different now,” she whispered. “With the scars, it’s probably not going to be very pretty to look at.”

He didn’t answer. Instead he continued to undress her until she stood before him completely nude. “Come with me.” He moved her in front of a long mirror and lifted her chin so she was forced to look at herself. “You’re beautiful, Jenna.”

His lips were close to her ear, and his breath was warm and soothing. It gave her a chill as she leaned into him. “I’m glad you think so.”

“You’re trim.” He continued trailing his hands from her hips up to cup her breasts. “And perky, perfect. God, Jenna, your breasts are just right the way they lay in my hands.” He tested their weight in each as he fondled them, stroking his thumbs across her hardened peaks.

“Tyler, don’t stop.” Breathless, and weak in the knees, she leaned into his embrace while he teased and tweaked her nipples. She reached back to stroke him, but he moved to stand in front of her instead.

Starting with her feet, he gazed up her entire body with lust.Once he reached her eyes again, he said, “The scars are still healing and barely noticeable. You’ve been through hell, and you’re still so damn sexy.”

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★★ Meet the Author ★★

Jennifer Labelle resides in Canada with her husband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stay at home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down time engrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance (especially historical), mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she’s decided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, as she shares some of her imagination with all of you.

Find her on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

 

Website: http://www.jenniferlabelle.com

Blog: http://labellebooks.blogspot.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Jennifer-Labelle/168414043184292

TSU: http://www.tsu.co/LabelleBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1JenniferLabell

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4649930.Jennifer_Labelle

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Labelle/e/B0058ALAWY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1388199871&sr=1-2-ent

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JenniferLabelle

 

 

Reading Alley Grand Opening Celebration! #ReadingAlleyEvent

Peeps, have you seen Reading Alley as yet? It’s a great new review site. I’ve helped test the site and you can find reviews of some of my books there. Here’s the link to my page –> Cassandra’s Reading Alley Page.

After extensive testing, Reading Alley has now officially launched and to celebrate, they’re offering a host of giveaways! Check it out below.

Cassandra
xx

AN INVITATION

Reading Alley is officially launching and we are marking it in a big way with our Grand Opening event! Take part in a variety of site activities, such as our weekly contests, review challenge and referral program. The more active you are, the higher your chances of winning in our Grand Draw. Lots of irresistible prizes, including an Amazon Kindle and gift certificates, are up for grabs.

On July 24, Week 7 of our Weekly Contest went live. Answer 3 questions and get a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card! Each week, we will have different winners, for a total of 12 winners by the time the party is over. Week 8 contest will commence on July 31.

So don’t wait! Click here to join now.

WHAT IS READING ALLEY?

Reading Alley is a site that caters to passionate book reviewers. Book reviewers get the chance to read the latest books in the market for FREE. In exchange, the only requirement is for them to submit their honest, unbiased review afterwards.

We feature a variety of books from different genres such as Romance, Mystery and Thriller, Erotica, LGBTQ, New Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Young Adult, and more. These books are from both known and up-and-coming authors. Examples of books currently up for review at the site are:

Authors are welcome to set up their books for review at a reasonable price. By joining Reading Alley, authors gain instant access to this community of reviewers who can share their thoughts and recommendations, leading to greater awareness and exposure of their books.

If you wish to learn more, click here.

Otherwise, sign up for a free account now and join our Grand Opening celebration!

See you there!

Follow Reading Alley
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Sweet Imperfection by Libby Waterford

 
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Available from Decadent Publishing  March 31, 2015
A contemporary multi-cultural erotic romance novella

Single and childless, Emma Chen-Delvaux is finding her ten-year college reunion almost more than she can handle. Running into recently divorced Nate Hirsch is a welcome distraction, especially when the old friends’ flirtation escalates from banter to the bedroom. Nate and Emma have off-the-charts chemistry, but will their imperfections end their affair after one red-hot reunion weekend?

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

~Excerpt~

She told herself a woman was entitled to change her mind and that going to Nate’s room close to midnight didn’t make her slutty. Some of the things she wanted to do to him once she got there might qualify her for the designation, but that would be between them. God, it had been so long since she’d had sex she was practically wet just thinking about making out with him.

She barreled into the building since the door was conveniently propped open, but then stopped. She didn’t know which room he was assigned to. She’d meant to get his phone number, but had been so flustered by the kiss it had slipped her mind.

Oh well, she’d have to do this the old-fashioned way.

“Nate!” she called in a fairly loud voice as she trailed through the first-floor hallway. “Nate!”

The hallway was dead quiet, so he was either ignoring her or the floor’s occupants were very sound sleepers. They were probably all at the party in Ashworth 10.

She climbed to the second floor, calling his name, feeling slightly foolish, but also pretty horny, which was more important.

“Nate!”

A woman came out of the bathroom and looked startled when Emma rushed up to her.

“Hey, do know what room Nate Hirsch is in, by any chance?”

“Um, no, sorry,” she said, then scurried back to her room on the opposite side of the hall.

Emma wasn’t giving up so easily and again called, “Nate!” She was about to climb the stairs to the top floor of the building when the door of the corner room opened and Nate stuck out his head.

“Emma?”

“Nate.” She rushed up to him, relishing the confused but cute smile on his face and the crinkles it formed around his eyes.

“What’s going on?”

“I’m an idiot. I thought it would be taking things too fast, but we’ve known each other forever. Plus, there’s a rager going on right outside my room, and I’d rather get no sleep this way.” She planted an open-mouthed kiss on him that had them both stumbling backward into his room. The door clanged shut behind them; Emma paid no attention to anything except the fierceness with which Nate’s arms clamped around her, holding her to him as if for dear life.
 
 
About the Author

Libby Waterford writes steamy contemporary romances. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, where she works off her weekly pilgrimage to In-N-Out by swimming and climbing the city’s secret staircases.

Find her at:
Website: http://libbywaterford.com
Email: libby@libbywaterford.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/libbywaterford
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LibbyWaterford
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/libbywaterford
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/libbywaterford
 
The Weston University Novella Series

Book One: Passionate History
Book Two: Sweet Imperfection
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
 
 

Release Day for THE COMPLETE UNDERGROUND SERIES by Jessica E. Subject #boxset

My friend, Jessica Subject, has a release day! Check out The Complete Underground Series, all three titles available in one bundle for the first time.
 
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In the future…
The corporation Planet Core holds all of the power. They place restrictions on the lives of those living within their boundaries, including who they can love. And there is no escape.

Deception runs deep…
The rebel group, calling themselves The Underground, is disputing the corporation’s leadership. With the desire for freedom, they will fight.

And betrayal can come from anyone…
Will the rebels defeat Planet Core, or end up fighting for their lives?

Includes: Never Gonna Let You Go, Never Gonna Desert You, and Never Gonna Say Goodbye
 

Available NOW
Decadent Publishing
Amazon: US | UK | DE | CA
Google Play | iBooks | ARe


 

~ Excerpt ~

When the glide arrived at her stop, she stepped off with a swell of other riders. She crossed the asphalt road, once used for gas-powered vehicles, and took a deep breath. I’m finally home. Sliding her card to gain access to the secure building, her heart raced in anticipation. She needed to be with Erik, find out the truth, and reunite with the man she loved. However, her apartment door didn’t open.

“Access denied,” the robotic female voice rang out.

What? She tried again with the same result. Sliding the card faster or slower didn’t make a difference. She couldn’t get into her apartment building.

“Please vacate the area. Authorities have been notified.”

Calla’s stomach twisted. Her throat tightened. Was this Malock’s doing?

She pulled out her communicator and contacted the building manager. “Taylor, it’s Calla Jacobs. My card won’t work in the reader. Can you please open the door for me?”

He grimaced at her. “I’m sorry, Jacobs, but I’m under strict orders not to let you into the building. Your apartment has already been assigned to another employee, and your belongings were taken a week ago to Planet Core.” He disconnected, leaving her to stare at a blank screen.

A week ago? Malock had planned her demise before she’d even left for Airondelle? Tears threatened to fall. She wiped them away. With PC cameras all over the city, she imagined he watched her and laughed. She stood tall, not letting him get to her.

Although she had no possessions, no place to live, she could still live a happy life with Erik. But where was he if not at her apartment? After they’d decided to return to being friends, he’d moved to Planet Core claiming she would be too much of a temptation for him if they continued living together.

She dialed his communicator, hoping he’d be nearby. When he failed to answer, not once, but five times within ten minutes, Calla lost hope. Malock had ruined her as he’d threatened. She had nothing left. Her only option was to return home to her parents. A glide could get her there by nightfall.

She squashed that irrational thought. No! She’d rather live in the rumored underground cities than go crawling back to the two people who’d admitted they’d only had her to gain status in the business world. She couldn’t go back there. She’d rather take her chances and return to Planet Core.

Sirens hauled her back from her thoughts. A police hover bike flew past her and ground to a halt. Glancing in her direction, the officer pointed at her.

I haven’t done anything wrong!

When the bike circled toward her, she ran—her first instinct. Malock knew too many people, and he’d reminded his recruits every day when he’d dropped in on their training. She hadn’t realized how those words would affect her until now.

The siren on the bike screamed behind her. She motioned to cross at the intersection where people and hover vehicles waited for the lights to change. But instead, she spun around the corner, hoping to throw off the officer. She peered over her shoulder to see if the bike followed her, and smacked into what felt like a brick wall. Landing on her ass, she stared up at the mountain of a man before her.

The guard from Planet Core.

She crab-walked backward across the concrete sidewalk. Hopping onto her feet, she fled back onto the main street. She traveled the way she’d come, unsure if anywhere would be safe. No one could escape the cameras.

Hurrying past her building, she spotted the hover bike reflected in its dark glass walls. The siren had been turned off, and the officer was almost on her. She scanned her surroundings for an escape route. Similar glass buildings lined the next few blocks, all owned by Planet Core. She couldn’t get into any of them now, and there was no place she could hide.

Her lungs ached from running. Maybe she should surrender. What then? I’ll be killed.

“Stop!” The officer on the bike rocketed in front of her.

At the same time, something grabbed her arm and yanked her into darkness. A cloth slammed over her mouth, muffling her cry. Shit! Things just went from bad to worse.
 
 

15_02_24_Jessica Subject underground series
 
 

Guest author: Tara Quan

With the holidays upon us there are troves of books to curl up with by the fireplace. My paranormal romantic comedy goes great with mulled wine and cinnamon cookies. Part of Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand line, Frosty Relations features a young college graduate facing the complicated world of adulthood and confronting the frost mage she’s had a crush on for most of her life. Add some Christmas magic and Madame Eve’s renowned matchmaking service, and we’ve got the beginnings of an icy-hot love story. Those who’ve read my Halloween release Flirting with Fire already know Jack, this tale’s hunk.
 
 
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Attorney Jack Frost never understood why holidays did weird things to people. His secretary went on vacation, his best friend ditched their annual Aspen trip, and the law firm’s stubborn human resources assistant refuses his clerical support request. What’s a warlock to do on Christmas Eve but go on a 1-Night Stand? But when an oddly familiar empath shows up as his date, this ice mage has a hard time denying the magic of the winter solstice.

Faced with an anemic employment market and financial woes, college graduate and former witch Mina Mao lands an HR assistant job at Frost and Sons. Having spent her day saving Christmas from Frost Junior’s Grinch-like behavior, she accepts the gift of Madame Eve’s service and heads over to the Castillo Capital. When her date turns out to be her childhood crush and workplace nemesis, she braces herself for the sexiest icy ride of her life.

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Comedy, Interracial/Multicultural

Buy Links: Amazon | AllRomance | B&N | Decadent | GoodReads
 
 

Layla Tarar  Photo by Melissa GoldenAbout Tara Quan
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, paranormal worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Her characters, armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. Learn more at www.taraquan.com

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon
 
 

~Excerpt~

Curious, she pulled up the accounting module and groaned when she read the current tally. “Please tell me mini-Frost already left.”

“No such luck.” Angela looked over her shoulder. “The invoices I turned in put Leo’s billings above his by a hair, so the Space Cadet is on a warpath. He’s marching down the hallway as we speak. By the way, what possessed you to let Beth take his overflow work this week?”

Mina furrowed her brows. “Why? She’s new, but I’ve heard she’s good.”

Angela rolled her eyes. “That girl spends half her day on the phone and makes careless mistakes. If she wasn’t tall, blonde, and busty, she’d never have gotten through probation. With the testosterone crowd, all she needs to do is bend at the waist and elbow-squeeze her boobs whenever she drops off a document.”

Sighing, Mina filed the information away and clung to a ray of hope. “Jack is young, male, and single. Maybe it’ll work on him, too?”

Angela snorted. “He grew up with us as babysitters, and we call him the Space Cadet for a reason. Do you know what that brat cares about more than womanizing?”

Mina shook her head.

“Proper usage of spaces, periods, apostrophes, and commas.”
 
 

Welcome to the blog, Jess Michaels!

Peeps, today we have Jess Michaels on the blog, chatting about her brand new release!
 

Have a Piece of Me

 
Hi everyone and a big thanks to Cassandra Dean for having me here today. If you don’t know me, I’m Jess Michaels and I write erotic historical romance set in the Regency period. It’s actually a big day for me because today is the release of my most recent book, A MOMENT OF PASSION, the second book in my Ladies Book of Pleasures series (A MATTER OF SIN was first if you are interested).

A release day is always a nervous day. I do my best to keep it together, but I admit I spend a lot of time rushing around, trying to spread the word, checking rankings obsessively and freaking out. I guess it’s because with every book I give away a little piece of myself.

First, I pour a lot of emotion onto the page. When I’m angry or sad or frustrated, writing can be a great outlet for me to release those feelings, but sometimes when I read back over a book when I’m done and editing, I can see little hints of themes in my own life in the themes of my books. I won’t say which ones, but now you can assume everything that happens to my characters happens to me, including the super sexy sex and the happily ever afters. It won’t all be true, but I like to leave you guys guessing.

Secondly, I think it’s impossible not to leave a little sprinkle of yourself in your characters. I tend to write female characters I’d like to be friends with and men who have a sense of humor, as well as dark sensuality. I don’t know what that says about me, but it says something.

Finally, when you are interacting with me or seeing me on a blog like this or my Facebook or Twitter on a release day, you are seeing me at the height of my hopefulness, my anxiety, my worry and my joy. Writing is my full-time job, how I support my family, so every release means everything to me. How the books do means everything to me. And I celebrate and cry and sweat it all out.

So here is a piece of me. I hope you enjoy it!
 
 
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The Ladies Book of Pleasures, Book 2

When Lady Jacinda unwraps a scandalous birthday gift, she’s sure the anonymous giver is playing a cruel joke. The Ladies Book of Pleasures may be responsible for one gossiped-about marriage, but for a lady ruined by a rogue and shunned by society, Jacinda is doomed to a lonely, loveless future.
Worse, as she pages through the volume of passionate promises, she is observed by the wicked and dangerous Duke of Carnthorn—and now he is stalking her as a possible willing victim to his shocking preferences.

Jason, Earl of Northfield, is having none of it. Jacinda, keeper of his most painful secret, is a friend he will not abandon to a wolf like Carnthorn. As they embark on a pretend courtship—for her own protection, of course—their proper decorum in public melts into wicked passion in the bedroom.

But even as real feelings begin to develop between them, Carnthorn is watching. He is not convinced. And he is determined to possess Jacinda, no matter whom he has to destroy…

Out Now
Amazon ~ B&N ~ iTunes

 
 

14_10_14_Jess Michaels Author Jess Michaels lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and two old lady cats. They all work for the “family business” (though the cats are more decorative rather than helpful). You can find her at www.authorjessmichaels.com
 
 
 

Guest author: Sara Daniel and the launch of Beyond Fairytales! #giveaway

Peeps, today we have Sara Daniel on the blog, chatting about her brand new release. Please make her feel welcome!
 

Once Upon a Marriage:
Retelling The Three Army Surgeons

 
My favorite school assignment was modernizing and retelling a fairy tale (sophomore English – Aced it AND got extra credit – Thanks Ms. Seckler!), so when Decadent Publishing put out the call for a retelling of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, my hand immediately shot in the air. I was given The Three Army Surgeons, an obscure, somewhat gruesome story that was definitely not a romance. (Read it here.)

At the beginning of the initial brainstorming, I thought, “You have got to be kidding me. What I have I gotten myself into?” But then I plunged in. Before long, I was giggling as I typed because Once Upon a Marriage was SO MUCH FUN to write. Yep, favorite assignment ever!
 
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Time is running out for Armina Keer to have the baby she’s always wanted. Before she can move on with her life, she needs her estranged husband to sign their divorce papers. When she can’t get him to respond, her meddling uncles arrange for a trip to his inn. Despite vowing to guard her broken heart, she has to settle the past before she can have a future.

Ian Keer might not deserve a second chance with his wife, but he’s not going to give up one either, not with the immediate flaming attraction still between them. While her uncles’ antics wreak havoc on life at The Inn, he offers her the ultimate gamble: Spend the night with him, and afterwards he’ll sign the papers if she still wants to leave.

With everything riding on one night together, Ian must convince her that their love is strong enough the second time around, and Armina must decide if love is worth sacrificing her dreams.
 

 

~ Excerpt ~

“You hate me,” Ian whispered, feeling more nauseous than if he’d ingested a prosthetic eyeball. How could she not hate him when she believed their personal relationship had meant less to him than an employment issue?

Armina gazed beyond his left shoulder. “I don’t hate you. I’ve never hated you. When we got married, I understood you had a strong work ethic combined with an unusual drive to succeed and a consuming passion for the Inn. I knew I’d come in second to this place.”

He opened his mouth, wanting to argue, but couldn’t. If she’d made him choose, he wouldn’t have picked her.

“I thought I was okay with it,” she continued. “After all, I loved the Inn, too, and wanted you to realize your vision for it. Turns out I wasn’t okay. I didn’t realize how distant second place actually was.” She shrugged her slim shoulders. “Live and learn, right?”

Not right. He wanted to take back the lesson and teach her about real love instead. “You never should have had to settle for second place. With me or with anyone else. No one has the right to ask that of you.”

“Agreed.” Her voice came out stronger, her shoulders squared, and she looked him directly in the eye. “Now you understand why I want a divorce.”
 
 
14_07_07_SaraDanielSara Daniel writes what she loves—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She lives her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband. Connect with her online at:

 
 
 
 
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Guest author: Elizabeth Morgan

Peeps, today we have Elizabeth Morgan on the blog, chatting about her brand new release. Please make her feel welcome!
 

Are my characters based on real people?

 
I often get a little stuck on topics for guest posts. So, I usually ask my readers what they want me to talk about, because at the end of the day, I would rather talk about something you would be interested in reading. One reader asked – are my characters based on real people?

None of my characters have ever been based on real people. When I say real people – and I think I am correct in assuming this is what the reader meant – I mean people I know.

I will say that when I was planning my urban fantasy series, the Blood Series, I had such a large cast of characters I was really stuck for names, so I have used names of family members or friends, but the characters in that series are not in any way, shape, or form based on my family members or friends.
All my characters, no matter what story they are in, have been written from the way they present themselves. They talk, they react to what is being said or going on, and I write down their words and reactions.

My characters in Stepping Stones were no different. As each one made their entrance and presented themselves, their voices and mannerisms were clear. I didn’t need to flesh them out or create them to be someone else. They were all individual.

As a writer, a little part of yourself does sometimes slip into your stories. I would like to say that my humour is a regular occurrence along with shared beliefs, hopes, and fears – depending on the story and the topics involved – but even then, I haven’t placed myself into any of the characters; they aren’t me. For one, they are all braver, stronger, and funnier than I am. Ha.

What I will say in regards to Stepping Stones is that the story is very family orientated, but Maggie’s family is not based on my own.

Families are something we all have, or at least have at a certain point in our lives. No family is perfect. They disagree. They argue. They hurt one another. But they support one another, care, laugh, love, and overall want what is best for each other.

I come from a large family, and lord knows we have had problems and good times, but all families have those moments of tension, those times of laughter and love, fond or painful memories, of course we all have.

So it wasn’t difficult to write this family, and although I haven’t, nor has any member of my family, ever been through what the characters go through in this story, there are moments I can relate to. I have had those moments Maggie has. I have sometimes felt like an outsider, I have felt the distance, there have been disagreements and arguments, but families aren’t perfect.

And Maggie’s family are who they are and even though there are problems and issues between them, they still clicked as a family. And all families click even if you feel like there is tension, unsaid words, or distance between you all; there is always love there and that is the best foundation to build upon.

So, dear family – and friends – even though we have our difference and we are living in different area codes, I still love you and hope you are happy and well. And don’t worry; none of my characters are based on you, even if they have your name. ;-P

Thank you for having me over today, Cassandra, and thank you to all of you for stopping by. The reason I am over today is to celebrate the release of my sweet contemporary romance book, Stepping Stones. The story was released on June 17th and is about retracing steps, forgiveness, realization, second chances, family, friends, faith and love. The blurb and excerpt is below for you to peruse.

If you would be interested in winning a copy of my new release, Stepping Stones or maybe a swag pack, then please do leave an entry on the rafflecopter at the end of the post.
 
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There’s nothing like a wedding to bring the family together…

If not for her baby sister’s impending marriage, Margaret West would never return home. But after six long years, she finds herself a maid of honor who must answer to the people she left behind.

If her parents’ interrogation doesn’t drive her to drink, facing her foster brother, Adrian, just might. To make matters worse, her ex-fiancé is the vicar who will conduct her sister’s ceremony.

Everyone demands to know why she ran off. But the more time she spends at home, the more Margaret realizes even she doesn’t know the real reason.

Sweet Contemporary Romance
Bono Books ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

 

~ Excerpt ~

“When is Aidy getting here?” Jessica grabbed the large bowl of scrambled eggs and brought it closer to her plate.

“I think his flight is due in at three.” My mother placed a dish of bacon on the table and took a seat beside me. “He will be in time for the wedding rehearsal; don’t worry.”

My stomach clenched. “Wedding rehearsal?” I coughed, trying to clear the chunk of toast lodged in my throat. “What wedding rehearsal?”

“Today at four. We’re running through the service.” Jess scooped egg onto her plate. “I told you.”
Nervous laughter bubbled in my throat and try as I may, I couldn’t stop shaking my head. “No.” I patted my chest. “No, you never mentioned a rehearsal.”

“Oh.” She placed the bowl back in the middle of the table. “I could have sworn I did.”

“Nope, you didn’t. Believe me, I would have remembered otherwise.” I grabbed my mug and knocked the coffee back before finishing my piece of toast.

“Well, it’s no big deal.” Edward took the bowl of eggs and helped himself. “Just a quick run-through.”

“Will everyone be there?” Forcing a smile on my face, I looked up at them both, hoping like hell my question would pass as innocent and genuine curiosity.

“Anyone who is involved in the wedding itself will be.”

Great. So that meant Jessica, Edward, the parents, and the bridesmaids, plus me. That left Adrian and…. “Will Vicar Taylor, be there?”

Oh God, did my voice just go higher?

“Yes, Margaret, William will be there. He is the one who is marrying Jessie and Edward, so he needs to be there.” My father skewered some bacon and tomatoes onto his fork.

Grimacing, I reached out and grabbed another piece of toast. “Just a question, Pa.” A stupid one, but a question nevertheless….

“It is normal for people to have wedding rehearsals, Margaret. Just because you—”

Jess picked up the coffeepot. “Does anyone want more coffee?”

I straightened, my focus fixed on Pa. “I’m aware of that.”

“Maggie?”

My father’s shoulders went rigid. He lifted his head and our gazes locked. I didn’t miss the way the muscle in the side of his neck ticked. Arguing with my father in front of Jessica and Edward was not an option, so I looked away.

“Please.” I held out my mug and Jess poured the dark liquid.

I could kick myself. A wedding rehearsal hadn’t even crossed my mind. Having to stand at the altar before William on the actual wedding day would be hard enough, but having to do it twice…my stomach churned.

“So, will Adrian come straight to the church?” Edward cut the awkward silence.

“Yes. He will get a taxi to the church, and then we will bring him and his luggage back here.” My mother held her mug out to Jess.

“Adrian is staying here? Tonight?” I added sugar to my coffee. “Won’t it be crowded? I thought—”
“No more crowded than it was in your childhood.” My father took a bite out of his toast.

More and more good news. Of course he would be staying here; it was his family home after all. I guess, it was stupid of me to hope that he would go to a B&B, but my parents wouldn’t have allowed it even if he did suggest it. I hadn’t seen him in six years, hadn’t spoken to him. And yet, in a couple of hours I would be locked in the same house as him.
 

Elizabeth Morgan

is a multi-published author of urban fantasy, paranormal, erotic horror, f/f, and contemporary; all with a degree of romance, a dose of action and a hit of sarcasm, sizzle or blood, but you can be sure that no matter what the genre, Elizabeth always manages to give a unique and often humorous spin to her stories.

Like her tagline says; A pick ‘n’ mix genre author. “I’m not greedy. I just like variety.”

Guest author: Katherine Givens

Today we have historical romance author Katherine Givens on the blog. Make her welcome, peeps!
 
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5 Things I Didn’t Know About
Becoming A Published Author

 
1. Never did I think I’d make friends and acquaintances.
I’ve always imagined the life of an author as lonely. I thought of a recluse in front of their computer or journal, pulling words out of her head for hours on end. I thought contact with editors and publishers was the extent of human reaction, but I was wrong. Happily so. Joining different organizations and groups for romance authors and writers has led to me forming precious friendships and bonds. It’s led to the passing of advice and tips. It’s led to laughter and conversations over books. It’s led to congratulations and shoulders to lean on when the inevitable rejections hit. As an author, I’m not the recluse I imagined. I am one in a community of editors, publishers, bloggers, and readers.

2. Social media.
Honestly, I didn’t know much about marketing a book when I first started. Joining the RWA taught me about the different channels to market a book, one of the strongest being social media. I hadn’t a clue Facebook and Twitter could be an author’s friend, but its a lesson I learned. And, surprisingly, I quite enjoy connecting with readers through social media.

3. Bloggers.
I knew blogs existed, but I thought this was more of a hobby for most. Several business savvy people learned this long before I did, and they’ve come to treat book blogs as a business. These bloggers put hard work, time, and dedication into their blogs. I appreciate their work more than I ever have before.

4. Hard work really does pay off.
In the beginning of my writing journey, I faced what every writer faced. The endless stream of rejection letters, or at least it seemed endless. But my lucky break came with In Her Dreams, my first release with Harlequin Australia’s imprint Escape Publishing. The publication of this book didn’t just fall into my lap. I had to dedicate myself to my craft. I had to push my doubts aside and write everyday. And in May of 2013 with one email from Harlequin Australia’s Escape, I learned hard work does indeed pay off.

5. I thought I was so deeply in love with writing, but my first sale has heightened my passion.

Writing has helped me through several difficulties in my life.l I’ve become so attached to my writing, because it is what I clung to through every hardship and trial. I associate my identity with the word “writer.” Well, now it is “author.” Writing fiction has always been when I’ve felt most alive, most in love with life. Now that I am published and able to share my gift with others, I am so madly in love with my writing it is sometimes difficult to contain.

What I did expect as a writer were the long hours, bouts of loneliness, and the painful rejections. I expected determination, passion, and hard work were requirements. I also expected to reach publication, have fun with every aspect of this job, and love what I do. And guess what! I was right about all of these things.
 
 
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A flirty, fun, mix-and-match romance about two sisters who are betrothed to the wrong men…

Evangeline Vernon is a woman on the verge of spinsterhood — until the prim and proper Duke of Manchester steps in. Her family is pleased with the match, but the duke is not the passionate man Evangeline craves. Her heart belongs to an alluring, golden-haired gentleman, perfect in every way…except one: he doesn’t exist.

Angela Vernon is everything a proper, well-brought-up woman should be. She knows her place and understands society’s expectations — which include not being jealous of her sister and not coveting her sister’s suitor. But how can she bear the heartache of watching the only man she loves marry not only her sister, but a woman who doesn’t see past his exterior to the man he is beneath?
 

Available NOW
Escape Publishing
Amazon: US | UK | Canada
ARe | Google Play | B&N

 
 
13_10_08_Katherine Givens In Her Dreams is Katherine Givens’ debut novella, which is published with Harlequin Australia’s imprint Escape Publishing. She is working on a number of other projects and always has ideas flooding her head. In her spare time, Katherine loves to read about history, craft jewellery, and play with her ornery kitten named Bucky. To learn more about Katherine and her writing, please visit the following sites. She loves to hear from readers.
 
 
 

Guest author: Iris Blobel

Peeps, today we have Iris Blobel on the blog, chatting about her brand new release. Please make her feel welcome!
 

New Beginnings by Iris Blobel

Thanks, Cassandra, for having me on your blog today, and thanks for the opportunity to talk a bit about my latest release NEW BEGINNINGS, the first in the trilogy of the “Beginnings-series”.

New Beginnings is set in Hobart. I think it was a bit over fifteen years ago when I set foot on Tasmanian soil for the first time. I was about to endeavour on a Contiki Tour for about ten days. It was January and freezing cold – that’s about all I can remember. AND the ghost tour. Dang, I was scared! I promised myself to never come back again. But places like Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Launceston and Freycinet made me fall in love with the island. And yes, I did return a couple of times – I was even blessed with warm weather!

I usually try to include Tasmania in my books. JOURNEY TO HER DREAMS is set in Launceston and Ireland, INNOCENT TEARS has a small bit in Tasmania, and my latest release NEW BEGINNINGS is completely set in Hobart. Where better to set a story than in a city fully of mystery and intrigue?

Thank you all for visiting today. I hope you’ll enjoy the small excerpt below.
 
 

New Beginnings by Iris Blobel
To believe in new beginnings is to trust in tomorrow

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.

As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.
 

 
 

~ Excerpt ~

Chapter One
Sophie stared at the attorney, waiting for some answers. She and her sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, and had learnt about the details of their inheritance.

“Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

“Who is she?” Mia asked.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. Surely, an old place like this would have its own ghosts — after all, Hobart was renowned for its lively spirits.

Her younger sister’s gentle touch on her arm reminded her she hadn’t answered the question, yet. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Sophie shrugged and focused her attention back on Mr. O’Connor. Although hearing his words, she still found it hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade.

“I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details,” he replied.

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief. Was he serious? What kind of lawyer was he? Sure, Tasmania was at the very end of Australia, but wouldn’t they have the same education? With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He stared at her. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He looked uneasy, but she didn’t care. She needed to know. Sophie had received a call from the lawyer a week earlier, and he’d told her about an

inheritance. He’d given her details on where to pick up tickets to Hobart. Some legality, he had said. She needed to come in and sign documents for the transfer of ownership.

“Ms. Bellinger was one of the partner’s clients. I was only given the details shortly after the client’s death.”

Sophie drew in her lips. Her eyes darted over to the window as she took a few deep breaths, inwardly calming herself. Nothing had ever been easy in her life. “Why isn’t the partner here?”

He took a deep breath. “Retired.”

As she pondered on that for a moment, she began to think about what life could be like with this inheritance. Different. Better. Another sigh escaped as she returned her gaze to the man behind the desk. “You can’t just leave your assets to just anybody, can you?”

“Miss Lever—”

“Levesque,” she helped him.

Their eyes met.

“Are you refusing the bequest?” he asked hesitantly, and she clearly noticed how one of his eyebrows arched upward.

Staring blankly with her mouth open, she could feel the panic running through her veins with every thump of her erratic heartbeat. An uncomfortable silence fell over them for a moment. Then she quickly said, “No. No, of course not. We’re accepting.” She turned to look at her younger sister. “We’re actually looking forward to seeing it.”

And with one swift movement, he stood and went to a little cupboard near the window and retrieved a bunch of keys. “Would you like me to take you there?”

Still feeling that rush within her, Sophie took Mia’s hand and inclined her head in answer. “Is it far?” Her voice sounded tired. Even to herself. It had been a long day already. She stood and thinking how tired she was, Sophie placed her arm around Mia, who was probably exhausted.

“No, not at all. Five to ten minute drive, I’d say.”

“I still don’t understand. Why us?” Sophie asked quietly, meeting his gaze and, for the first time, actually taking in his icy-blue eyes. He was very attractive. Too attractive for a boring lawyer. His face was tanned by wind and sun, and there always seemed to be a hint of a smile on his face. His blond curling hair was cut short. Her gaze fixed back on his mouth. Blushing, she quickly looked away.

The attorney turned to them. He scratched the back of his head. “Ma’am, what I know is that both of you are in the will. What I know is that I was supposed to fly you down here to officially read you the will. What I know is that I’m supposed to hand over the keys to you, and to let you know that your expenses are covered for the next twenty-four months. I did not know Ms. Bellinger, as one of the retired partners wrote up the will. I do not know who she was or in which way she was connected to you. I assumed she was a distant relative.”

Sophie took her sister’s hand as she thought about his last comment. Distant relative? Her mother would have at least mentioned her once. She sighed and tried to understand, not the circumstances that had brought her there, but the fact that the attorney just didn’t know. “Oh well, let’s go then.”

He pinched his nose with his thumb and index finger and took a deep breath. “Okay. Look, Miss Lever—”

“Levesque,” Sophie helped him again. This time somewhat more firmly.

Running his thumb over his eyebrow, he stepped closer, but not so close as to be intimidating. “I’m sorry. It’s been one extraordinary week,” he said with his voice just above a whisper. “Once I get back I’ll check with the partners here to see whether anybody knows more about it.”

One extraordinary week? His remark irked her. In fact it was downright annoying. Holding Mia even closer to her side, she lifted her finger and pointed at him. “No offence, Mr. O’Connor, but it has been quite a week for us as well, and I was prepared to answer all your questions. I have one simple question, and you don’t know. Wouldn’t there be something in the file?” Sophie was a kind person.

Kindness was her middle name, but she wouldn’t have got that far in life if she hadn’t watched some of those nasty actresses on television and copied them. And the stare. Sophie met his surprised frown dead-on.

He frowned and seemed taken aback by her words. “No offence taken.” And then he let out a deep breath. “You’re right. I apologise. As I said, I’ll find out details and let you know.”

“Thank you, Mr. O’Connor,” she replied as she blew out a breath.

“What about our stuff?” Mia whispered to Sophie.

Sophie moved her head to look down at her sister, but before she had a chance to say anything, he beat her to it. “What stuff?” he asked as he opened the door.

“Considering what we inherited here, we brought all our things,” Sophie explained without looking at him.

The attorney stopped in his tracks. “All, as in all your clothes?”

Sophie’s eyes met his. She emitted a small sigh, but tried to keep her composure. It was something she had learnt over the last few years. Standing straight, she corrected him. “All, as in all our belongings.”

They stepped outside the building and followed Mr. O’Connor with their suitcases. Two teenage boys walked past them, eager to get the attention of some girls across the road. Aware of the attention, the girls covered their mouths with their hands and broke into giggles. Sophie’s stomach churned. So many things she had missed out on in life. But it was going to be better from now on, she reminded herself, and straightened up as she followed Mr. O’Connor.
 

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her two dogs. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.