Today’s Featured Author – Jenn Bregman

Today I welcome author Jenn Bregman to my blog. Her legal thriller, The TimeKeepers, will be released on May 4th. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.

Interview

Where were you born and where do you call home?

Williston, North Dakota.  I bet you’ve never had that response before!  We moved around a lot when I was a kid — places like North Dakota, Minnesota, Oregon and Illinois, and then finally landed in Denver when I was in junior high school.  I loved the variety of moving and I loved trying to understand how each place was different, or the same.  At this point, though, I consider myself to be “tri-coastal,” and equally at home in Los Angeles, New York City, and Denver.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

My Dad.  He was an avid reader and great writer. He was an economist who could tell a financial “story” like no one else. He never really edited my work in the traditional sense, rather he would ask questions to force me to come up with my own answers.  Questions such as: “Are you satisfied with that adverb?  Does it say exactly what you want to say or can you find a better choice?”  You know, exhausting questions. 🙂

Have you started your next project?  If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I’m about 1/3 into the sequel and can’t wait to work on it every day.  It’s the continuation of Sarah and Sam’s relationship, set in New York City, with a blood-tingling plot.  It is years afterwards.  They have changed and so has their relationship.  Spicy.

Do you write full-time?  If so, what is your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I write 4-5 hours per day.  Any more, and I’m just not efficient.  I have my tush in the chair at 5:00 a.m. and then can work until, at least, 7:00 before the rest of the house gets up.  After that, I fit in another 2-3 hour chunk depending on the demands of the day.  Having that almost sacrosanct two hour period first thing in the morning, though, is critical.

Please tell us about your current release?

The TimeKeepers is a fast-paced legal thriller that plunges headlong into the depraved underbelly of big money, big law, conspiracy, and murder.  Attorney Sarah Brockman is young, idealistic, and naïve.  Having left Big Law in search of work that would make a difference, she finds herself barely scraping by running her own personal injury firm working for clients who can’t pay and pursuing causes she can’t win.  Then a random horrific car crash shatters everything and she’s staring into the darkest shadows of Big Law greed and murder.  Facing off against a cunning and deranged adversary, Sarah must navigate a kaleidoscopic landscape of characters including a sharp-witted socialite, a felon and occasional crackhead, and a shameless Mexican raconteur — all while kindling a tender romance with her boyishly handsome new love, Sam, who’s been following the same trail . . . but from the other end, and the wrong side of the law.  As invisible strings pull her ever closer to the core of the conspiracy, she wonders if the strings are being pulled for good or for bad?  And will she be on the side that wins?

How did you come up with the title?

Most lawyers bill their clients by the hour, usually in six minute increments.  As a lawyer, you must carefully keep track of your time every day, noting what matter you are working on, for how long, and for which client.  It is laborious; everyone hates it, but it is a necessary part of the practice of law.  On some days, all you feel like is a “timekeeper.”

Which of your characters is your favorite?  Do you dislike any of them?

I love almost all of my characters, or at least parts of them, for different reasons.  There is only one character in the book who I wholly detest.

What is the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

You will know it when you read it.  It was critical to understanding the story and a certain character in it, but it was almost impossible to write.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed?

I LOVE cheese. 🙂

Book Blurb

Attorney Sarah Brockman is young, idealistic, and naïve. Having left Big Law in search of work that would make a difference, she finds herself barely scraping by running her own personal injury law firm working for clients who can’t pay and pursuing causes she can’t win. Then a random horrific car crash shatters everything. Now she’s staring into the darkest shadows of the very system she’s dedicated her life to upholding, filled with corrupt judges, dirty cops and attorneys, offshore banking, massive fraud, and twists and turns through the highways and byways of Southern California, Mexico and the Cook Islands.

Facing off against a cunning and deranged adversary, Sarah is aided by a sharp-witted socialite, a felon and occasional crackhead, and a shameless Mexican raconteur. All while kindling a tender romance with Sam, her boyishly handsome new love, who has been following the same trail but from the other end – and the wrong side of the law.

Sarah feels invisible strings pulling her ever closer to the core of the conspiracy. But if she’s just a pawn in someone else’s game, are the strings being pulled for good or for bad? Or, even, both? And will she be on the side that wins?

About the Author

Jenn Bregman is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer who has practiced in both Los Angeles and New York City, where she worked on some of the most notorious cases of our time.  A veteran of Big Law and member of Mensa, she is a graduate of the University of Denver and UCLA Law School and has been published in the UCLA Law Review and Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.  A marathoner who loves pugs and hiking giant mountains, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, and their, oh so busy, five year old twin boys.

You can find out more about Jenn on her website or follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The TimeKeepers will be released on May 4, 2017 as a softcover book and will be available wherever books are sold (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). E-book versions will be available via Kindle and Nook.

#NewRelease – A PLACE FOR MY HEART by Ann Marie Bryan

Today, I welcome Christian Fiction author Ann Marie Bryan to my blog. She is on a virtual book tour promoting her book, A Place for my Heart, which came out in March.

Book Blurb

Crushed by heartache and desperate for an escape, he makes a life-changing choice.

When Chandler Peynard staggered into Sabrina Benjamin’s life, he was desperate for an escape route. Battling feelings of isolation, he erects barriers around his heart, often times leaving a trail of broken dreams behind him.

Sabrina’s happily-ever-after was ripped away months ago, but she hadn’t given up on finding love. Still, she was caught off guard by her feelings for Chandler, a man who could hardly be described as a model man of God. As an unexpected bond develops between them, she wants more – A lot more than Chandler is prepared to give, because falling in love and putting down roots are not a part of his plan.

Touched by Sabrina’s kindness and faith, Chandler makes a life-changing choice. However, complication is inevitable when the past he’d long thought was buried, pushes him to confront matters he would have given anything to forget. As he struggles to release himself from his past and embrace the future, he offers Sabrina a place in his heart, but she demands all of it.

In a season that brought so many changes, Chandler longs for peace in his soul and yearns for love. Will he trust God with all of his heart to overcome his past? Will he be able to testify that God’s grace wins every time? Will he find the strength to take a chance at life and love with Sabrina?

About the Author 

Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated, graceful, multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. “A Place For My Heart” is the third installment in her bestselling, Encounters of the Heart series.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

You can find out more about Ann Marie on her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase A Place for my Heart on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Marie Lavender

Please welcome Marie Lavender to my blog. She released her book, Upon Your Love, the third book in her Heiresses in Love series, in February. Please enjoy this excerpt.  

Excerpt

The neigh of a horse brought her out of her reverie and she looked over, but her mare stood quietly beside the stream. Adrienne’s instincts nagged at her and she stood up, her ears on alert. The clomp of hoof beats came to her on the swift afternoon breeze. Was the rider coming from the estate or perhaps it was simply a stranger? In any case, a sense of unease grew in the pit of her stomach and she reached down to unearth a small dagger Gabriel had gifted to her two summers ago. She kept it in a sheath around her thigh. Gabe had always said that if she didn’t have a sword on hand, it was best to have something. And she couldn’t agree more.

She clucked her tongue to alert Persephone and led her quickly by the reins under the cover of the trees. The rider was closer now and her mare shifted uneasily, blowing a breath out of her nose. She must have heard the approaching horse as well. “Shh. It’s all right,” Adrienne whispered, stroking her neck. She tied the reins to a tree and waited.

When the rider appeared from the forest, she couldn’t see him clearly. It was a man—that much she was certain—but the lapels of his dark coat and the thicket of limbs brushing her face kept her from placing his identity. He had dark hair and was tall, his body lean and muscled. She watched as he got down from a fine, black stallion and led it to the stream for a rest. The man took a drink from his cupped hands. He wiped the remnants of the water from his chin, and then seemed to search the area nearby. She shivered. Was it possible the man had been tracking her? If that was the case, her dagger would certainly come in handy. Adrienne crouched on alert, spying through her vantage point in the trees. From behind, she observed as the tension eased from his shoulders and he sighed.

A frisson of unease ran through her again. Taking it as a sign, she confirmed he was still faced away before she quietly eased out of her haven. Stepping up behind him, she lifted her dagger to his throat. A smile of grim determination danced over her lips as he stiffened.

“Who are you? Why are you here? Are you following me?”

“What if I was?”

Fine shivers moved along the surface of her skin, caused by the deep timbre of his voice.

“I would have to ask for your reasons, Monsieur.”

“I haven’t come to kidnap you, if that’s what you’re worried about,” he sighed. “I didn’t expect you’d be prepared. I commend the effort, of course.”

She frowned. The compliment threw her for a moment, but she then brushed it off. Surely, he ridiculed her, and thought he could overtake her somehow. She shook her head. He would be gravely disappointed.

“You will state your reasons for your presence and your identity, sir.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will regret it, of course.”

“Indeed? Do you intend to harm an unarmed man?”

She scoffed. “Unarmed? No, I doubt that. With the way you appeared to be tracking me, I am sure you’re quite armed.”

“Right again. What will you do about it?”

She shrugged. “This is Bellamont land. You’ve clearly trespassed. If I must, I will drag you straight back to the house. You know, I believe the foreman has a Winchester sporting rifle. He can be quite formidable when he puts his mind to the task.”

“I’m sure,” he murmured.

“What say you then?”

“I say, Mademoiselle, that you have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

Before she could open her mouth to take him to task, she felt a blow to her arm and the numbing pain caused her to drop the knife. Everything else happened in a blur. As he turned, he caught her leg, which caused her to collapse. But, before she landed, he grasped her up in his arms. He was too close, she thought. Panic threatened inside of her, but she fought it by degrees. She was a fighter, not some idiot who would succumb to a man’s power. Gabriel had taught her many tricks, as had her father. She forced herself to go limp so that he’d pull her closer. She let her eyes drift closed and pretended to have swooned.

Mon Dieu,” he whispered.

Then she unmanned him with a swift rise of her knee. He coughed out a grunted response, releasing her.

She retreated from him, intent on finding her dagger, but did not see it. The leaves in the grass crunched beneath her hands and knees as she struggled to her feet. She would have to rely on the resources of the forest to save her if he pursued further. Somehow, she doubted he’d be able to. She turned and her mouth dropped open as she looked at her attacker.

His dark hair had fallen over one eye and he was hardly doubled over in pain. No, he scowled at her now and he seemed quite well. She’d missed her target, she realized. His identity shocked her further. She felt quite stupid for not recognizing him, even from behind. But, why had Christian tried to attack her?

 “How…,” she whispered.

“You are not as fast as I, Mademoiselle.” Then he laughed, but there was no mirth in his expression. His eyes seemed darker suddenly. “You little brat,” he bit out. “You almost had me.”

She sucked in a breath and, when she saw him advance, she backed away. But, it effectively put her back right up against a nearby tree. She cursed. Christian closed in, blocking her in with his arms as he braced his hands on the tree trunk. Her breaths came out in harsh pants and her stomach had fallen somewhere at her feet. Dear God, what would he do? She jerked her arms out to break his hold, but his muscles were like the ratlines between the shrouds of a mast in a ship’s rigging. Solid. Struggling with his obvious intimidation of her, she managed, “Why are you trying to kidnap me?”

Some of the arrogance left his face. “I’m not. I thought we already established that.”

“Then why… this?” she asked, weakly. And why couldn’t she breathe? His clean, male scent caused her to feel lightheaded. No, she thought. That just had to be terror.

“I wanted to get you alone so that we could continue our plans. I didn’t mean for you to see me as a threat. I certainly didn’t expect a dagger at my throat.” He reached out and cupped her face, stroking the line of her jaw gently with his thumb.

Adrienne gazed into his nearly black eyes. She thought she saw a hint of admiration and something more, perhaps desire, in his gaze.

“P… plans?” she stammered, annoyed with the hypnotic effect he had on her. And what was that strange, but wonderful scent coming off him? She detected cologne which contained a hint of fresh pine. But then, she’d smelled it before, both in her room and at the Broussard’s engagement party. Even though the fragrance was pleasant, she tried to ignore it.

“Our matchmaking endeavor, chére.”

“Oh. That.”

“Yes, that. Did you forget?”

She cleared her throat. “No, of course not.” Her resolve returned in full force then. She slapped his hand aside and sidestepped him. Stalking away to locate Persephone, she unearthed her mare from the brush in no time. When she returned, he still stood there, watching her. She shivered again.

Mon Dieu, she thought. Why was this happening to her? Why did the man tie her in knots?

Book Blurb

The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…

Fara Hill, mother and faithful wife, is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?

Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?

Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born of a valiant captain and a fiery redhead, is untamed to her core and will bow to no man. Then Christian du Plessis enters her life with an offer she can’t refuse. Discovering the man behind the polished gentleman, she is drawn to him in many ways. Holding out for love is a family tradition, but can she resist the temptation of passion?

Christian finds this young woman to be a fascinating challenge, and is torn between keeping his distance from her and succumbing to her charms. A fierce battle of wills ensues as he sees she is much more than he ever imagined.

But danger lurks, threatening to destroy everything…

Can these two strong-willed individuals unite in the cause before time runs out?

About the Author

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

You can find out more about Marie on her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can purchase Upon Your Love on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Today’s Featured Author – Kay Blake

Today, I welcome author Kay Blake to my blog. The first book in her The Kim Brothers series, Catch Me If I Fall, came out in December.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! I’m Kay. I write mostly contemporary and interracial romance. I started to write erotica under a different pen name and for that erotica one, I want to add horror to my genres. My stories are usually sassy, sexy, sweet romances. I’m currently finishing up my last semester in school as I will be getting my bachelors in June. I’m sarcastic as they come. Super nerdy. Super sensitive and a big horror fan. I’m a wrangler of three cubs and I love the written word.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I think I always put a piece of myself in my projects. I’m sarcastic as they come so at least one character has to have some sarcasm even if that person is a supporting character. I’m a bit feisty as well, and usually nine times out of ten my heroines are sassy because it’s a quality that I have, but one I appreciate in heroines. If I don’t put myself it may be a quirk or quality of those around me.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes, I have. My next one which will be out in April is a novelette called Breathe You. This particular story is for a close friend of mine that I promised I will write this story. It’s a bit shorter than my last projects, but it was fun to write none the less. The release after that is my rock star book which will be called I Knew You Were Trouble. This particular story is me wanting to see if I could write a rock star story.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I have done very little outlines. I tend to have an idea and I will plot little things and then I write. I have to just flow. One outlines and me have a very poor relationship. I can say I’m going to do this, and my characters will say “not today, Kay.”

Please tell us about your current release.

Catch Me If I Fall is Book 1 in The Kim Brothers Series. We are introduced to Kasi who is a woman dealing with loss in many forms. She meets the eldest Kim Brother Jae, and they have a buildup of getting to know each other as well as dealing with grief and finding love. Most importantly they figure out together how to live life after you think there is no way you can live life after devastation. I don’t want to give too much away, but I do think this particular story is one that others can relate to in different ways.  This was one of the hardest stories I had to write, so I’m quite proud of it.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I had to do a lot of research actually. My heroine is a woman who wears a prosthetic and my hero is Korean American. Two things I’m not familiar with and I wanted to try my best to make sure I can tell the story I wanted to tell and still get the details right. I looked up many articles and blogs about wearing prosthetics, the emotions around it and living life with it and relationships with others. I also spoke to a woman who was very helpful. I also spoke to a high school friend of mine as far as the Korean aspects of my book. I also looked up articles as well.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This book is Book 1 of a trilogy. The series is called The Kim Brothers. The series will focus on all the brothers and them finding love. Catch Me If I Fall focusing on Jae Kim who is the oldest of the Kim Brothers. He is a bit laid back and caring. Book 2 which will be called Free Me is scheduled to be released December 2017. It will focus on middle bother David. David’s personality is much different from Jae’s so I’m excited to see where this go as I’m still writing it.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

I think for me the most difficult scene to write was the first time we see Kasi grieve. I had to pull the feeling behind losing a loved one from personal experience as I lost a spouse before. It was tough because it dealt with real feelings, and it required me to picture if this was me how would I deal with this kind of grief?

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Any of the Harry Potter books. I would love to live in the world of wizards, witches and muggles. I would love to go to Hogwarts, be best friends with Hermione and talk to the infamous Snape. It is a goal of mine to visit the Harry Potter world at Universal.

Do you have an all-time favorite book?

Yes I have two actually. Carrie by Stephen King & Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Stephen King & J.K. Rowling hands down. Stephen King is my favorite author of all time. He is the king of the literary world in my opinion. Horror is my first love. J.K. Rowling simply because she is fabulous and she also created one of my favorite series.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

Hmm, I’m a twin. I have a twin brother. Most people if they don’t know me wouldn’t know that.

Book Blurb

catch-me-if-i-fallKasi:
I have reached rock bottom. The kind of bottom that is so dark, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is nothing, but pain, loneliness and helpless despair. I didn’t picture my life going this way. I wasn’t supposed to be unhappy and broken.
How can someone find the good in me when all the good I had was taken from me?

Jae:
Helping people makes me feel good. I don’t do it for any accolades. I do it because when I needed someone to talk to, when I needed someone to keep me from spiraling out of control, I found it.
From the first time I saw her, I knew that there was something about her. I didn’t know what, but like a gravitational pull I wanted to know more about her even if she was here only to find some support for her grief.
Maybe I couldn’t solve her problems, but I won’t let her face them alone.

About the Author 

kay-blake-author-photoKay writes sassy, sexy and sweet contemporary and interracial romance. She is from arguably the greatest city in the world. (New York). She is a sarcastic sweetheart who prefers snuggling at home with a good book. She is a mom to three cubs.
Kay indulges in strawberry cheesecake, horror movies, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, wrestling and of course a happily ever after. Kay also writes erotica under Nina Gabrielle!

You can find out more about Kay on her blog or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

You can purchase Catch Me if I Fall on Amazon and Amazon UK.

#NewRelease – THAT SUMMER by H.M. Shander

Today is release day for That Summer by H.M. Shander. This is the second book in the Auorora MacIntyre series. Be sure to check out the excerpt after the interview.

Interview

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

This all depends on who you ask. 😉 Some of my friends have a hard time reading my books only because they hear me in the main character, and try to figure out who the other characters are based off. Where there is a little piece of me in the main character, there is also a little piece of me in the secondary characters too! As for experiences, bits and pieces are real (and some are amazing therapy to write), but I’ll never tell you which bits.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I am currently half-way through writing the third book of the Aurora MacIntyre series. I was pretty sure I could leave Duly Noted as a standalone, but half-way through writing That Summer, I unequivocally knew I needed a third to wrap it all up. And depending on how that ends, there could be a fourth. 😉

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I work three days a week at my kid’s school in the library (yeah – super cool job!) so my two days off I spent as much time writing as I can. I also write after tucking my kids into bed. Weekends are a total bust, as we’re busy with activities and get togethers. Over all, I’d say I’d max out at about 25 hours a week.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I have a very general idea of what I want to write, at least in how I visualize the outcome. But as I’m writing, I just write and let myself get immersed in the characters and their problems. I still get to the end, but it’s a very different path than originally envisioned. And that’s okay. To me, it makes the story more real.

Please tell us about your current release.

That Summer is a spin-off (one beta reader likened it to Rogue One vs Star Wars. You know how it’s going to end but you’re still in it for the ride). It takes place during a nine-week time jump in Duly Noted. I had several people email me wondering what happened during those weeks. Well… this is it. You could read it as a standalone, but having read Duly Noted will give you more insight into the characters. Plus, there are some plot twists in Duly Noted, that will be spoiled in That Summer, through the quick recaps.

What inspired you to write this book?

Without saying too much, as it’s a bit of a spoiler, those who follow my twitter feed will understand where my inspiration came from. We were out as a family at a local Saturday night activity, and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be interesting if a girl with vehicular PTSD fell in love with one of them. Telling you who the ‘them’ is, would be a major spoiler, as the main character doesn’t even find out until half way through the book. 😉 By the end of the night, I knew the two major characters and a couple obstacles they needed to face.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I did a lot of research in the field of PTSD and prescription drug abuse. I read lots of medical papers on the subjects, and chatted with people who had lived through prescription drug abuse (finding people who dealt with the severity of vehicular PTSD that the main character did was hard). I needed to get both sides—the personal battles and how the medical field would try to heal. It was highly interesting.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The first features Aurora and Nate as they fall in love. The second features Aurora and her budding friendship with Nate’s younger brother, Lucas. The third (being written) features Aurora, Nate and It tests the boundaries of all the relationships. Which will survive? Which will fall?

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I will only write successfully in two places – at my kitchen table when I’m home alone, or in my bedroom when I’ve tucked the kids into bed. I’ve tried the coffee shops and the library, but I’m easily distracted.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

An absolute must is a hot drink (coffee for daytime writes, caffeine-free tea for evening writing sessions.)

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I was almost eight years old before I could read, but once it clicked, I became a voracious reader.

Excerpt

“Again.”

“No!”

“Yes. Dammit, we’re going to try this again.” She smacked her hand against the roof of the car for effect.

“Aurora…” Lucas said, as he walked around and stood in front of her, “it’s finished for tonight.” Gentle, soothing hands gripped her shoulders as his blond head tilted down, his hair teasing the edges of his dark eyebrows. “And that’s okay. We can try again tomorrow.”

The parking lot was half-full of tenant vehicles, but the spots around Lucas’ car were empty. It was the perfect location to play ‘touch-the-car’, and endeavor to sit in it. Tonight, she had tried. Multiple times. And failed miserably. At first she could sit and touch the seatbelt, but with each successive attempt, she worsened. Her last crack at it, she launched back out as soon as her butt hit the seat. It didn’t matter how many times she tried, staying any longer than a few seconds caused instant panic. At least she’d stopped puking. PTSD was a complete bitch.

Her gaze cast towards the other vehicles around them. Anywhere but him. Shame and hatred blanketed her; shame that she couldn’t physically handle anymore, and hatred because of what she was trying to overcome. Normal people didn’t need to fight post-traumatic stress disorder. Normal people didn’t worry about their next car ride leading them straight to death. There was more hate than shame lately, which in itself was a good thing. It gave her something to fight against.

“Again, please Lucas.” Her voice almost a whine. “Just one more time.”

The gentleman stood strong before her, his stance unchanging. “As much as I’d like to see you conquer this tonight, it’s not gonna happen. You’ve pushed yourself all day. You’re on the edge of falling apart.” He flicked his hair away from his eyes as they settled over her.

“But I can do it. I just need another…” I can do this. I know I can. I just need another shot.

He shifted and closed the gap between them. “Your body and your mind need a break, okay?” When she didn’t respond, he squeezed again. “Okay? Look at me.” His hands smoothed out the wrinkles of her sleeves.

His soothing touch. It grounded her. When she flew off the handle, swore like a sailor, and lost all control, his gentle stroke from her shoulders to her fingertips brought her back to her senses. She couldn’t explain the way it instantly calmed her racing heart, steadied her breathing and focused her. Only that it worked. Every. Damn. Time.

She was so lonely and her body craved human contact. With all chemical relaxers completely out of the question since she’d quit her drug addiction cold turkey, the need for touch became her drug of choice. She was allowed two Xanax weekly, and she saved them for those times where she was so overwhelmed she couldn’t think straight. This wasn’t one of them. She needed his comfort more.

She and Lucas had been working on Operation Save Nate for the past few weeks. Every day two steps forward, one and a half steps back. It was maddening. She was never going to conquer her fears in time.

“Take a deep breath.”

Cool night air rushed into her lungs.

“Hold it for one… two… three… exhale.” Long fingers tapped out the count on her shoulder, ending with a tender squeeze.

His gaze held hers as she released the air. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Her shoulders sagged as she leaned against the car defeated. “Now what?”

Book Blurb

that-summer-ebookAurora may be named after a fairy tale princess, but she has never believed in happily ever afters—especially since her PTSD won’t let go, and her addiction to prescription pills still taunts her.

Now with only nine weeks to get her shit together and prove herself to Nate, Aurora must find the will to believe in herself so she can stop her true love from making a career ending decision. In order to defeat her darkest fears, she needs help from the only person she trusts with her life—Nate’s younger brother, Lucas.

Through therapy and relapses, Aurora and Lucas become best friends. However, deep and dark emotions bubble to the surface threatening both the friendship and everything she’s worked hard to overcome.

When darkness descends, threatening to take you away forever, do you succumb or fight back with all you’ve got?

That Summer is the expanded portion of Duly Noted readers craved. A story of love and courage. A story of a beautiful friendship between two lost souls. It is the second book in the three-part series.

About the Author 

I’ve been writing since I was fourteen. My original stories were handwritten on loose-leaf paper tied together with yarn, complete with its own custom cover courtesy of cut-outs from whatever magazines I had around.

My early love developed into a passion for writing contemporary romance novels. Now, as an adult who has experienced reality (not like my wildly naïve fourteen-year-old self) my characters overcome tough odds, with real (and dark) obstacles. However, the rewards are sweeter.

My heroes who are swoon-worthy and handsome and gentle, who have their own issues. No domineering alpha-males from me – I’ll leave those to many other wonderful authors I know and adore. My heroines are less than perfect with a very select few she’ll call friends. She’s neither popular nor outgoing but deeply loved by those lucky enough to know her.

Right now I am hard at work on the wrap up to Duly Noted & That Summer. I’m also tinkering on a novella which follows after Ask Me Again as I’ve received many emails from readers asking for more from Charlotte and Company.

It’s because of wonderful readers that I continue to write and develop my stories. I absolutely adore it when readers connect with me on twitter (@HM_Shander) because I’m very chatty on there, more so than my Facebook page (hmshander). However, regardless of the way you contact me, I’m sure to respond.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me, for posting your rating and/or review (because it truly helps an indie author like me) and for reading. Thank you to all the readers and bloggers who love my stories and share that with their friends, family and followers.

You can purchase, That Summer, on The Kobo Store, iTunes, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Jennifer Senhaji

Please welcome author Jennifer Senjaji to my blog. She is busy writing two different books but took a break to give us some insight into her writing. Her latest release was Angels in Disguise, a novella released in December. You can purchase it on Amazon.

Interview

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

There is a little bit of me in every character I write; of who I am or want to be.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes, I’m currently in the thick of writing two different novels. One, will be the third book and the finale to my Sunset Dreams Series. The other is the first book in a new series that starts where my last novella, Angels in Disguise (a prelude of sorts), leaves off. Both are contemporary romance.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I don’t write full time. I have a full time day-job and write in my spare time. My day-job is fairly high stress, so writing is definitely an escape. I occasionally write on my phone in my Evernote app, but usually wait to get home after work or on the weekend to work on my laptop. There is never enough time in the day for work, family, food, and sleep. You have to make the time. Instead of watching T.V. tonight, I’m going to write. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday, I’m going to write. If you want to do something bad enough, you will find a way.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received?

The best advice was to hire an editor. No writer should ever publish anything without hiring a professional editor. The worst advice was to publish a book every three months. I’m in no rush. I’m much more interested in providing my readers the best possible story I can.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I’m a firm believer in outlining and always use them. But outlines are fluid things that can change as you’re writing changes. Sometimes, I will write out scenes that my characters are hitting me over the head with before I forget them. Some of them make it into the outline, some don’t. But I love having a map, even if I end up adjusting course. Makes it easier to see where the story is working and where it isn’t.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would probably be Jenna Morris. Out of all of my characters, she is the closest to me in personality. I wouldn’t mind falling in love with Jake. Just don’t tell my husband. LOL.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Probably my novella, Sea Breeze. I love to travel and the idea of traveling the world and making a living doing it sounds divine.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I write at the dining room table. I don’t have a home office, so I spread out on the table until my family pushes me out.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Coffee is almost always next to me.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Yes. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite. I’ve read that book more times than any other. It never gets old.

What book are you reading right now? I just finished Trampling in the Land of Woe by William Galani, a fabulous piece of fiction and I’m currently enjoying Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I love cheese, but who doesn’t? Um, my strengths are learning, not necessarily in the classroom, but… you show me how to do it, I do it; or I figure it out. That’s how I learned to speak other languages, taught myself to play a bit of guitar, and soak up everything I can on the craft of writing. I love learning. I’m also pretty good at languages. Other than English, I speak Spanish almost fluently, Moroccan, French, and if I practice, a bit of Italian. Now if only I could travel the world and write for a living. Sigh…

Book Blurb

51hogecvcalGabe, a software engineer with a long history of one-night stands and Alex, a practical romance writer with a distinct lack of romance in her life want to ring in the New Year with a little fun—and a lot of music—at a waterfront New Year’s Eve bash where costumes disguise one’s true nature.
Abandoned by their friends and forced together, first impressions leave them disenchanted. But attraction soon smolders between them causing Gabe to contemplate deeper connections and tempting Alex to cast aside all her inhibitions.
Can sexual chemistry, particularly between a devil-girl and a black-winged angel, lead Alex and Gabe to a midnight kiss? Or will their fears and first impressions leave them counting down the seconds alone?

About the Author

jennifer-senhajiI was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life, and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.

You can find out more about Jennifer on her blog or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

You can check out her books on Amazon and Smashwords.

Today’s Featured Author – Connie B. Dowell

Please welcome author Connie B. Dowell to my blog. Her book, The Orchid Caper, is now available on pre-order on Amazon. The book will be released on April 11, 2017.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi. I’m Connie and I like cheese. Also, I write mostly for young adults, largely fiction with a little nonfiction too. In my spare time, I knit absurdly large and warm things, paint and draw a lot, and sometimes try to make noises on the violin.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Most of my time is spent chasing an almost seventeen-month-old boy with one ambition: to risk life and limb in new and unusual ways. When he is not testing his limits, that’s when I write and work as book publicist. Basically, my working hours exist in five minute bursts when he is occupied with toy cars.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I always start with a big picture outline, but I don’t know how it will play out scene by scene until shortly before I work on that particular scene. Then I micro-outline the upcoming scene or two before I write them.

Please tell us about your current release.

The Orchid Caper, now available on pre-order, is the first in a planned trilogy of wacky nature-themed heist books. A young burglar and a college kid who’s more than he seems are brought together in a smelly surprise and team up to steal…not a precious diamond, not a boatload of cash. Nope. A flower. But what a flower it is.

What inspired you to write this book?

To be honest, one day I thought Wouldn’t it be fun to write a horror story that starts with a mysterious fart? Then—for some reason—I started to write to see where it went. Obviously, it didn’t turn out to be a horror story…unless you’re a pair of underwear, that is.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Alas, if I tell too much of the plot, I’ll be revealing the ending of The Orchid Caper. But I can say that there’s more nature-themed thievery and that the second installment will showcase the same level of maturity and serious tone as the flatulence-laden first volume.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m slowly but surely plodding through Phoebe North’s Starglass. I say plodding not because I don’t enjoy it. It’s got spaceships and a murder mystery, pretty good stuff. It’s just that with writing and work and a toddler and no childcare, my reading time is limited to ten minutes at night before I realize I am too tired and brain-fried to put any more into my head.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I once thought I was going to be a lawyer. I even went to law school for a whole disastrous year. Side note: “Because I said so” is not actually an acceptable legal argument.

Book Blurb

orchid-caper-working-01A down-on-her luck burglar, a trust fund college kid with something to prove. Will they outfox a master thief?

All eighteen-year-old Darlene wants is to rob the joint. College guy Ian comes home too soon. And some ill-timed flatulence brings them together. Darlene thinks she’s toast. Instead Ian gives her a job offer, leading a heist team to steal a rare species of vanilla orchid. Only catch, she’s swiping from one of the best thieves in the biz.

With her dad’s store on its last legs, Darlene needs the cash she’ll get when the job is done. Ian’s in it to win a bet. Can their rag-tag team pinch the flower right under their mark’s nose? And can they remember not to eat beans for breakfast?

About the Author

author-photo-c-dowellConnie B. Dowell can’t resist breaking the law…on the page, that is. She spins tales of nefarious folks and the people who catch them. In addition to The Orchid Caper, she has written The Poison in All of Us, a young adult historical mystery novella set in 1918. A former university writing center coordinator, Connie also authored You Can Love Writing: A Guide to Get through Your College Papers and Like It. When not writing, she is a work-at-home parent and a law abiding citizen. Connie lives in central Virginia with her husband and son (and soon a daughter).

You can find out more about Connie on her website.

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The Orchid Caper is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released April 11, 2017.