Cover Reveal: Popstars, Friends, & Lovers by Karen Gordon

“The poorest man is not the one with no penny in his pocket, but the one who has no dream.”

– The Burnouts, Class of ‘99

Popstars, Friends, & Lovers (Burnouts #2)

Karen Gordon

Goodreads

Genre: NA Romance

Blurb

For two weeks Steve Shrader lived a dream. A dream that he didn’t even know existed until he felt it. For two weeks the kid with no mom had good food, clean clothes and sheets and Christmas. For two weeks he had love – in the form of Hello Kitty bandaids and hot soup and his best friend, MG. Then he screwed up, like he always did, and the dream he was living went away.

Now school is over, MG is gone and he’s headed down the same path as all the adults in his life; drifting along, dodging or dealing with one sh*t-storm after another, numbing themselves with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. But he’s seen a better life. He’s seen what he wants. He wants MG. The question is how to get to her from where he is now.

MG dreams of living large in New York City. (OK, to tell the truth, it’s her mom’s dream, and she is just along for the ride.) But she’s gonna make it work – in a kick-ass, cool apartment, with a glam fashion job and photo shoots with rich friends in magazines – or not. She left everything she was sure of back home in St. Louis and almost everything she thought she knew about Manhattan and life isn’t turning out to be true.

When her false dreams crumble and fall though her hands she’s left with what’s real. A real life with a real job and real love; and it can all be hers if she’s brave enough to believe in herself and go after what she truly wants.

Their love story started in Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: a love story, now it continues in Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer’s tale. MG, the best friend with a talent for trouble, and Steve, the most laid back hero in romance novel history, are back. With old friends from high school and a crazed array of new ones they go for a win in the game called life.

Expected Publication Date: November 2, 2014

excerpt

Junior Prom, 1998

They all piled into the limo, ready for food and a reprieve from the stares and drama that had been prom. Steve scooted across the bench seat to make room for his dates: Carrie, Casey, Gina, and MG. Casey wanted the window seat so she crawled over his lap, almost kneeing him in the balls on her way.

“Case, jezus!” He doubled over, protecting himself.

Her look of surprise said she hadn’t really noticed who she had just climbed over.

Gina and Carrie arranged themselves on either side of him, popped off their high-heeled shoes and draped their legs across his to rest their feet. He unconsciously grabbed their toes and started rubbing, causing both of them to moan in ecstasy. But his mind was on MG, kneeling on the rear facing seat with her butt squarely in his field of vision while she gave the driver directions to the all-night pancake restaurant.

At least fifteen different guys must have come up to him tonight and high-fived or fist bumped him for having four dates to prom. Fifteen guys who normally never talked to him but probably talked about him as a burnout, drug addict, loser. He’d never considered himself the smartest guy, but he was sure as shit smarter than them when it came to girls.

It started when he was fourteen. Girls started coming on to him, usually older ones. That was the summer he grew five inches and towered over all his friends at a gangly six feet tall. That was also the summer that his dad stopped making him get his hair cut. Women of all ages couldn’t seem to keep their hands out of the dark brown waves.

Desiree was sixteen and lived in his apartment complex. She gave him his first joint and first kiss and he was hooked. He loved everything about both, especially the way they made him feel. Having grown up with only his dad and brother, girls were exotic to him and he couldn’t get enough time hanging out with them. He wanted to hear what they had to say, study their bodies, taste them, smell them, make them smile. Desiree and her friends taught him how to do just that in a way that guaranteed they couldn’t get pregnant. He had hours and hours of oral lessons from his first girlfriends. When he met MG he volunteered to teach her, then Casey, then Gina (though they never got that far). He’d be happy to go over the finer points with Carrie too if she ever asked.

“Don’t stop!” Carrie moaned and he went back to rubbing her feet. Casey took off her shoes and stuck her feet on his lap too. He rotated rubbing Carrie’s, then Gina’s, then Casey’s. MG’s were notably missing.

♪   ☺   ♥

The tough-looking night shift waitress at Paul’s Pancakes flirted with him. She teased him about what he had to keep four dates happy then passed him her number on the back of the check.

Gina saw it first when she grabbed the check to divide the total by five. “So, who do you think this is for?” She joked as she held it up to show the others. They all smirked at Steve.

He shrugged off his innocence. “What?” There was no jealousy in the group. If he wanted to call the waitress he could. But that was the problem too, there was no jealousy, especially not from the one he wanted it from.

MG wiped the last of the syrup from her plate with her finger and licked it off. Steve watched her with rapt attention. Try as he might he couldn’t give up the hope that she might really care, that he hadn’t majorly fucked up when he told her that he loved her. He breathed out his frustration and looked away. Carrie caught him and gave him a small smile of understanding. She had it just as bad for her neighbor Ben as he did for MG.

He thought back to the two weeks when he had lived at MG’s house. His older brother Tony (better known as Stony) had come home wasted and beat the crap out of him. When he got to a pay phone the only person he wanted to call was MG and she didn’t hesitate to drive in a snow-storm and come get him. Then she took care of him, well, her and her mom. She put Hello Kitty band-aids all over him and made him laugh through his pain. She made stupid airplane noises and fed him soup because he could hardly move his shoulder and his lip was too swollen to eat solids his first day there. She fell asleep, spooned against him, watching movies on the couch in her upstairs TV room. He even stayed through Christmas. She bought him fingerless gloves and a hat, and her mom spent way too much on a new leather jacket for him. Best damn Christmas he could ever remember. Best two weeks he could ever remember. He wanted more of it.

But he fuckin blew it. Somewhere in the middle of telling her about his memories of his step-mom, he told MG that he loved her. He meant it, but he should have kept his mouth shut. Ever since then, they were still friends, but … it just wasn’t the same. She barely touched him anymore.

♪   ☺   ♥

After pancakes they were all back at MG’s house where Steve was sprawled on the couch in the upstairs TV room. He had changed out of his tuxedo and was waiting for the girls to finish changing. It was past two a.m. and he had really had enough for the night, but MG insisted they needed to stay out all night. He slumped over the plump arm of the soft chenille sofa. Gina came in and flopped across the giant bean bag chair, looking like she had had enough too. Carrie and Casey both stretched out on the carpeted floor, sharing one of the big floor pillows for their heads.

“Don’t go to sleep,” he warned. “She’ll drag your ass down the stairs and out the door.” When it came to fun, MG was determined. If she wanted to stay out all night, they would all stay out all night, even if she had to drag them kicking and screaming.

But MG took too long to get ready (nothing new there) and they were all breathing deeply, sound asleep, when she came in the room.

“Come on you guys,” she pleaded to the silent room, then gave up when no one stirred and pulled a pile of blankets from the hall linen closet. Through half-open eyes Steve watched her drape a blanket over Carrie and Casey, then Gina. He closed his eyes when she sat on the coffee table in front of him, wondering what she would say or do if she thought he was asleep. She reached forward and twirled some of his wavy hair around her finger. She had been doing that ever since they met sophomore year. It made his hair stand up and her laugh.

He was half on the couch, one leg still on the floor. She laid the blanket over him and leaned in and sniffed his shirt when she tucked it around his neck. Hopefully smelling his cologne (not that he owned any). He had stopped by Walgreens to use a sample on his way to her house.

His heart lurched when he felt her climb over him and under the blanket and snuggle into his back. Her arm wrapped around him and burrowed into a warm spot against his chest. He opened his eyes and swallowed, willing his traitor heart to slow down before she could feel his reaction to her, that stupid hope he worked hard to keep buried. In his mind “Love Sucks” by the Addicts played in a loop ‘til he fell asleep.

Burnouts, Geeks, & Jesus Freaks (Burnouts #1)

Goodreads

Publication Date: February 24, 2014

They’re burnouts – a little short on parents, money and plans for the future, but they’ve got each other and a whole lot of fun. With a world of crazy at home, Carrie Gould needs them to keep her sanity. To stay in their world she needs to keep dating the guy with the party house, which would be fine, if she hadn’t fallen in love with someone else.

He’s such a geek. Ben Gorman is obsessive, smart, strong-willed and on the fast track to his dream of becoming an Army Ranger. He’s also the only geek with a girl. Joelle Welker is perfect for him; a self-proclaimed Jesus freak, who is dedicated to her beliefs and to building a future with Ben. But those plans don’t include his neighbor, Carrie, or Ben’s dedication to her.

Their friendship started by chance. Their love started with trust.

***This book is recommended for readers age 17 and older due to sexual content.

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

about the author

Karen Gordon was born and raised in the suburban paradise of St. Charles, MO, on the outskirts of St. Louis. She earned a B.S. in English from the University of Central Missouri (BS being the operative term) and a M.A. in Media Communications from Webster University, where, always a rebel, she graduated in a hot pink mortarboard because she didn’t like the school colors.

She currently resides in Olive Branch, MS (formerly Cow Pen) on the outskirts of Memphis, TN with her 2.5 super-smart kids, and an amazingly-funny, cute, geeky husband.

When not writing, she is a stay-at-home mom (chick in charge) and part-time teacher. Any down time is spent reading, catching up with friends and obsessively worrying about every little thing.

Her first novel, “Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story” was published in March of 2014 with the second novel in the Burnouts series, “Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer’s tale” being released in November, 2014. She is currently working on the third, and final, novel in the series, tentatively title “Boi H.E.A.”

Contact the Author

Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter: @joiedemidvivre | Email | Pinterest | Google + 

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Top Ten Tuesday #9 : Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit (whether fictional or real)

images (2)Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Today’s topic is top ten bookish places, real or otherwise, I’d like to visit.

The first two bookish places will obviously be *wait for it*, yes that’s right Hogwarts and Camp Half-Bloodharry potter boxed set 1 percy jackson boxed set

1. Hogwarts form the Harry Potter series

2. Camp Half-Blood from Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Next up would be Paris definitely. I always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, but after reading Anna and the French Kiss my desire to go there just increased.

anna and the french kiss love-in-paris

3. Paris from Anna and the French Kiss

Another place I want to visit is Ireland and Scotland. Visiting the ruins and castles in Ireland and Scotland is another dream. I think the first book I read set in Ireland was Born in Fire by Nora Roberts. And after reading the On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young, Scotland too became a favorite.

born in fire ireland

on dublin street series Scottish_Church_Ruins

4. Ireland from Born In Fire

5. Scotland from On Dublin Street series

Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland. I would love to attend the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

 alice in wonderland tea party

6. Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland

Another world I loved and would like to visit is Nevernever from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. Meeting Grimalkin would be the icing on the cake. Also with the Shakespearean characters of Oberon, Titania and Puck, this series is amazingly done.

Iron-Fey-series nevernever

7. Nevernever from The Iron Fey series

Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia series. I would so love to meet Aslan.

chronicles of narnia box set narnia

8. Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia series

Did anyone say The Lost City of Atlantis? Hell yeah! I would love, love, looveee to see the city of Atlantis. I was always curious about it, but after reading about it in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron, I wish I could go there.

 acheron atlantis5_1

9. Atlantis from Acheron

Now for the last, but not the least I would love to go to the New York presented in both Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series with angels and archangels, as well as the one presented in The Harrison’s Dragon Bound. Why? Dude, there are dragons there. Duh!!

dragon bound angel's blood new york

10. New York from Dragon Bound and the Guild Hunter series.

 Disclaimer: All the images have been taken from either Goodreads or Google Images. I don’t own any of them.

Review: Business Management by Sameer Kamat

4 stars

business doctors

I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.

When I first read the title of the book, Business Doctors, I never thought I would read the book. I mean it sounds so technical. I thought it would a book talking about business management or something equally boring.  But it’s tagline; Management Consulting Gone Wild did make me curious. So after reading the synopsis, I decided this book was worth a try. And I’m happier for that. This book took me on one hell of a ride . The story was strong, the characters were noteworthy and the very fact that the author used the Underworld setting with mobs and mafia, makes is damn good and enjoyable.

I stopped reading books by Indian authors, because, lets be frank, it’s pretty much the same fricking thing again and again and again. The setting is either in IIT/IIM or some place such place, the basic story is pretty much the same. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, parents oppose and the couple tries to convince their parents that true love knows no boundaries. It’s all about the masala(spice) , like a Bollywood movie. I’m happy to say that Sameer Kamat strays from the obvious. The setting is different, the characters are different and story is different too.

Stephen Woody, head of Woody’s Family Business (WFB), is on the way to his doom. His business is sinking and there is nothing much he is able to do. Coming from a family of mobsters, Woody inherits his position as the head of WFB, even though he doesn’t have the brains to run the business. His business is run by his minions and all he gets is the daily updates. He is all brawn and no brains.

“But in sheer animal ferocity Woody beat them all and that’s why they respected him. Not because he had brains-he had never shown any signs of better brainpower than any of them. Not because he held the reins of the business. But because he was a brutal animal and they feared crossing him.”

Woody is the perfect example of the saying. “Jack of all trades, king of none“. He is involved in drugs, prostitution, gambling, porn industry and what not. He was  losing all his money to his competitor and he needed a way to stay afloat. Enter Michael Schneider. Michael is a business consultant, but he is a victim of the economy too.  He too is steadily losing business and he needs every job he can get to keep his head above water. Woody is an unconventional client, and though Michael initially doesn’t want to work for Woody, he later agrees.

This book is humorous, it’s serious, it’s well fleshed out with great characters. I  loved the away how Angie, Woody’s wife explained the concept of “business doctors”.

” “What do you do when you have a toothache?”, she queried.

“What?” Angie’s question seemed totally disconnected from the serious topic that they had initiated. 

…”Well, I go to a dentist.”

“And what do you do when one of your key men get held up in jail?”

“I get my lawyer to bail him out.” Woody shrugged. 

…”All I’m saying is, when you have a problem that you don’t fully understand, you approach an expert for help, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do. So?”

… “So if I’m facing problems in my business now, do you mean to say there are, er, business doctors who can help?”

“Yeas, there are. They are called management consultants. Sounds a little more sophisticated than business doctor”

One other particular line I liked was when one of Woody’s minions, Jacob, tells him about the situation with their pornography business. It is ripe with innuendos and very smartly done.

“The industry has gone flaccid too boss. It needs some intense simulation to stroke it back to like. Stiff competition has been erecting hurdles in our path. Our client’s aren’t coming…”

I loved the detailing that went into the book, from the prison break, to the running of the mafia. Everything. And some of the twists the author threw at us, especially the role played by Angie and the involvement of Stevie McMohan took the book to a different tangent altogether. It just confirmed my theory as to how Angie is much more than she looks. She is a master manipulator, pulling  all the strings with the expertise of a seasoned puppet-master with the rest of them being the puppets. From the very first she was pulling the string. With an intricate plot like this one, Sameer Kamat sure is a winner.

As good as the book was, there were also a few problems I found. For one there were quite a few typos in the book. Usually a bit of typos here and there is not a big deal, but for some reason it stood out here(probably because I was also beta-reading another book and was paying a lot of attention to it). I also thought that the first half of the book was a bit technical and could have been written in a more layman terms. Also I found the points of view jumping from one person to another and got confused. This changed after the first couple of chapters, but every time I left the book for a couple of hours and came back to it, I had no idea who was talking.

The characters were expatiated and I especially like the intricacies of Angie’s character the best. Woody was dumb at best and I did not know if I should be irritated with him or find him endearing. That said, the book is arresting, with crazy situations and humorous writing. A definite recommend.

about the author

Sameer Kamat is the best-selling author of Beyond The MBA Hype and Business Doctors.

He is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball & Booksoarus. He completed his MBA from the University of Cambridge and currently lives in Mumbai (India).

Connect with Sameer on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Email

Blog Tour: Steampunk Carnival by Cassandra Leuthold

STEAMPUNK CARNIVAL By Cassandra Leuthold

Genre: Science Fiction/ Steampunk

Katya Romanova gave up everything to work at the one-of-a-kind Steampunk Carnival – her family, her home, her reputation. She wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.As a guide to the guests, Katya enjoys more freedom than most. She makes time to gossip with her best friend, Magdalene.

She basks in the elaborate costumes that bring her awed attention, hoping they might also win her a husband. And no man pays her more attention than her boss and carnival owner, William Warden.

But in the summer of 1887, death threats against Mr. Warden break the spell. Katya knows he might be as underhanded as he is charming, but who would
actually want him dead?

When Katya finds unexpected evidence about the carnival’s true origins, the stakes jump even higher.

Not sure whom they can trust, Katya and Magdalene work to unravel the carnival’s mysteries. Who really invented the innovative rides?

Is Mr. Warden protecting his employees or only himself from the looming violence? And will Katya cling to the better side of his nature or eventually turn her affections for him into a powerful rivalry?


BOOK LINKS

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Cassandra Leuthold

Cassandra grew up in the small town of La Porte, Indiana, exploring wooded parks and sparkling lakes. Making South Bend her home, the scenery hasn’t changed much – inspiring trees and a long, winding river. From the time she started writing in second grade up to the projects she works on now, the nature, history, and people around her inspire the stories she tells. You can find her work listed under many different genres, but the heart of each story remains the same. What keeps us together, and what pulls us apart? She lives with her writer husband and their moody cat, Gaia, in a house three sizes too big. She holds a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in English. When she’s not writing, you can find her sewing, enjoying nature, listening to music, researching family history, and watching TV.

 Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest


excerpt

Katya jumped when the office door slammed open. She stood under the great Warden wheel, helping Heinz make sure all the guests had climbed off and no children were hiding in its many compartments. Katya gave her full attention to William Warden as he stormed out of his office, a small building tucked behind the eastern food stall. He raised his fist, holding up what Katya barely recognized in the hazy lamp light as a twisted piece of paper.

Mr. Warden’s dark eyes blazed. He glanced from face to face, from Heinz to the man several yards behind Katya closing up his game stall to the cooks in the food stall cleaning up after another busy night. His voice rang out confident but strained. “I won’t be threatened.” The words echoed off the metal engines and supports of the nearby rides, and the cooks turned their heads. “I’m not afraid of you, whomever you are.” Mr. Warden paused, turning the page in the air. He explained, almost casually, “Another death threat.”

Katya stepped back, bumping into Heinz and ignoring the exasperation he huffed out under his breath. She had no wish to stand any closer to Mr. Warden than she had to, as if expecting the threat to be carried out immediately now that he had stepped out into the open. She looked to the food stall to see if Magdalene was watching. Even her industrious friend had stopped moving to stare at Mr. Warden along with the other two cooks. Not a single one of the workers spoke.

Mr. Warden tightened his grip on the tortured page. “I won’t tolerate this. There will be more security by the end of the week, I assure you.” He crumpled the paper until it disappeared inside his fist. He strode back into the office and slammed the door behind him.

Katya was too shocked to know what she thought beyond an automatic fear for her own safety. Workers throughout the carnival buzzed with assumptions and judgments. She heard every sentiment from a worried “Who would do that?” to a hard-edged, mumbling “It’s about time.”

Heinz muttered to himself, “Does he think it’s somebody who works at the carnival?”

Katya glanced at the food stall again. If someone was planning to murder Mr. Warden, she didn’t like Magdalene working twenty feet from his office.

Heinz’s thick elbow nudged her arm, firm but not impatient. “We’re finished here. Go see if anybody else needs help.”

Katya walked away, rebuffing his order and heading straight for the food stall, making sure the door to the office remained closed. She did not usually worry about Mr. Warden’s reaction when she disregarded Heinz’s directions, but under the circumstances, she felt she should. It was not every day Mr. Warden lost his head in front of his employees. Katya needed to reassure herself about Magdalene’s safety if not find a good answer to Heinz’s query before concern ate a hole through her stomach.

author interview

1. What is your favorite genre to write? What genre do you find most difficult to write?

I love all the different genres I write in, but I think my favorite is fantasy.  It gives me carte blanche to write pretty much any story I want.  The world where it takes place doesn’t have to be Earth, but it can be based on Earth or completely different.  Fantasy can be historical, magical, polished, or rustic.  The genre comes with certain kinds of characters that readers are used to – warriors, wizards, thieves, and hunters – but I can also choose to go my own way.  I can write about revolutionaries, princesses, and swords for hire, and I am – but that’s a different series from Steam World.

The most difficult genre for me would be romance.  I’ve known for a while now I’ll probably never write anything in that genre.  I’m a lifelong hopeless romantic, but romance novels have a pattern to follow.  I don’t think I could color inside the lines well enough.  Romance needs a happy ending.  It has to bring two characters together in certain ways and keep pressure on them to break up.  I like to do a lot more playing around with how my characters meet.  They might take months to get together, or they might fall for each other right away.  Sometimes their relationship survives the pressures of life, and sometimes it doesn’t.  I enjoy reading romance, but I don’t think I could pull it off as a writer.

2. What would your dream occupation be besides an author?

I’ve known since I was 18 years old I want to be a fulltime writer.  Writing gives me a satisfaction I can’t get from other work I do.  If I knew for certain I couldn’t make that happen, I’d have to find something else in the creative realm.  Interior decorating; selling natural, homemade cosmetics; giving other authors feedback to help improve their work.  I would also consider lounge singing, but I don’t think that would pay the bills.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Dreams? Personal experiences? Personal interests?

All of those and more.  I would – and have – drawn from every part of life for inspiration.  I’ve based some stories on dreams, which gives them an illogical, strange quality because that’s the way dreams work.  Some scenes and characters in my books are based on things I’ve done and people I’ve known.  Some come from stories other people told me or things I saw on TV.  I love incorporating my interests and hobbies into my writing.  Music makes its way into almost everything I write.  My husband and I love to cook, so I use food to help me say new things about my characters.  I also sew, and I think that’s given me a fuller understanding of how to clothe each character.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

TRAILER

PLAYLIST

“What I Wouldn’t Do,” She Swings, She Sways

The first chapter of Steampunk Carnival is different than the rest of the book. It’s narrated by someone whose name isn’t revealed for several chapters. The reason he’s obsessed with filling a journal with his ideas isn’t clear until we find out who he is, but the song gives insight into his situation. He’s a man driven by longing, loneliness, and desperation. It adds extra layers and emotions to what’s shared at that point in the book.

“Kill The Lights,” The Birthday Massacre

I’m a big fan of the movie “Moulin Rouge.” In the director’s commentary, BazLuhrmann talks about the interesting difference between points of view in the climactic scene when Satine dies after the big, pulse-pounding performance. The audience applauds. They loved what they saw. But what they missed was a murder attempt, and what they can’t see after the curtain closes is Satine’s heartbreaking death. This song represents that for Steampunk Carnival. All the guests see are beautiful costumes, spectacular rides, fun games, and delicious treats. They don’t know about the death threats, the violence, and the arguments. They never find out the games are rigged.

“Common Reaction,” Uh Huh Her

As the story unwinds, Katya finds herself in deeper and deeper trouble. She acquires more to lose – friends, her safety, a boyfriend – and realizes there are fewer things she can be sure of. A lot she took for granted isn’t true. This song expresses Katya’s confusion and caution. She doesn’t know how much to trust her boss, William Warden. She hopes everything will work out all right, but she knows any ending is possible.

“Hold My Hand,” Mister Heavenly

This song reminds me of Maddox’s approach to Katya in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. If Maddox has one thing going for him, it’s persistence. He tries several different tricks to get Katya to go out with him, and she turns him down several times. She’s not easily persuaded to trade her love of money for appreciation of simple fun.

“Shake It Out,” Florence & the Machine

This song provides the perfect backdrop to the night Katya finally gives in to spending time with Maddox. She leaves her fear, her distrust, and her rigid ideas about dating behind. Katya and Maddox ride three attractions at the carnival, which thrills Katya more than she anticipated. But more importantly, they’re finally able to share more about themselves and build a solid foundation for their relationship.

“Baptized by Fire,” Spinnerette

The lyrics and driving guitar in this song mirror what Katya and her friends are feeling by the time they confront the forces conspiring against them. Katya has seen William Warden’s inner nature, and she doesn’t like it. His security guards, allegedly hired to keep the employees safe, have been watching Magdalene like a hawk for weeks. Katya’s tired of meeting in secret, worrying about how the carnival’s reputation will survive the truth about its origins. But true to the song, with going to battle against powerful rivals comes a new beginning for all of them.

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Release Day Blast: Her Name is James by C.J. Heath

j5 (1)

j6 (1)

excerpt

Tom was in the living room gaming, with his music loud and pounding while James was sat on a stool purloined from the kitchen. He was dressed in a padded black bra, suspender belt and stockings and matching underwear. He was peering into his pedestal mirror and cursing while trying to apply his eye make-up. The mirror was poorly lit and he was having trouble seeing if the shade he’d painted above his lid was an even coating.

Pursing his lips as he thought, he caught sight of his distorted face in the mirror and frowned. He shook his head, put the delicate application brush back in its box, tucked it onto the cupboard and stood up. He walked to the door and tried to listen for movement but with Tom’s metal music reverberating through the house, he couldn’t hear anything. He turned the handle and slowly opened the door a fraction.

With no sign of any activity, James quickly moved down the landing to his parents’ bedroom and slipped inside. He scanned the room and saw his mother’s make-up mirror sitting on her dressing table. It was a large mirror with a circular bulb running around its outside and when he examined it, he found it magnified too. He crawled under the table and unplugged it and wrapped both his arms around it as he crossed back to the door.

Opening the door, he heard Tom’s feet thump on the stairs as he rushed upward and he quickly pushed the door to. Standing beside the door in just his underwear and stockings, James froze, wide-eyed. “Don’t come in, don’t come in!” The mantra was repeated in a whisper over and over.

He freed an arm from holding the mirror, leaving it still carefully cradled against his body with his other hand and he put his free hand over his mouth silencing himself. He took a slow breath and let it out, dreading his brother opening the door.

The music downstairs still resounded around the building and James realised he’d never have heard if Tom had shut himself in his bedroom, headed back down the stairs or as was more likely, was in the bathroom.

Cautiously, he put his hand to the door handle. He pulled it slowly toward him. Peering out, he could see a faint glimmer of light coming from under the bathroom door. Should he make a dash for it? Should he push the door to again and wait? He strained to hear. Nothing but the heavy drum, whining guitar and raw, guttural vocals sounded. He stepped out of the room, terrified the bathroom door would open. Quickly, he pulled the door shut behind him and darted for his room, oblivious to any sound he’d make.

As he neared the door to sanctuary, he heard the flush of the toilet and gasped out loud as it made him jump. “Shit, shit, shit!” James hissed as he made a grab for his own door handle and forced it open just as he heard the lock on the door behind him slide back. He almost threw himself into the room and as he turned to shut his door, he saw his brother come out of the bathroom. He pushed his door shut and waited; he didn’t think he’d been seen but he couldn’t be sure.

The door to his room exploded open and crashed against the wall, the door handle permanently marking the paintwork. Thomas forced his way in as James stepped back in fear.

Thomas glared at his brother, gazing up and down his partially clad body, taking in the black lingerie at a glance.

“Thought so!” Tom bit. “Fucking freak. What the fuck do you think you look like?” He stepped menacingly into the room, rage rising fast. He shook his head, disappointment and anger vying for supremacy. “First chance you get and you’re…” Tom glared at his brother, disgust and loathing taking control. He shook his head again.

Horrified and anguished, James made a move toward his brother hoping to placate him but Tom lashed out, his fist connected with James’ cheek and the impact sent him hurtling across the room to fall against the bed. The mirror in his hands surviving the fall only by chance as it bounced from the bed to the floor. James rolled on the bed to turn and face his brother again but he had already left, the door standing open and empty.

This excerpt can be found at: http://cjhwrites.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/extract-her-name-is-james/

Buy the book at:

HER NAME IS JAMES,

uk:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Name-James-CJ-Heath-ebook/dp/B00O2658BO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1412857899&sr=8-2&keywords=HER+NAMES+IS+JAMES

usa;

http://www.amazon.com/Her-Name-James-CJ-Heath-ebook/dp/B00O2658BO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412858081&sr=8-1&keywords=her+name+is+james

 other book by CJ Heath

DARK ANGEL.

UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Angel-CJ-Heath-ebook/dp/B00NE0U2Z6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1-fkmr0&qid=1412847633

 USA

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Angel-CJ-Heath-ebook/dp/B00NE0U2Z6/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1412858327&sr=1-2

  j3 (1)  j2  j1

about the author

cj heath Living in England on the Hampshire / Surrey border, CJ is a married father of three grown sons and has written for pleasure for more decades than he cares to admit. Growing up on an old fashioned country estate, he would often be found among the trees of a nearby wood with a book for company.
After receiving a generous payment to leave the Ministry of Defence in one of the rounds of Government budget economies, he turned his attention to writing with an aim to publish. His first work ‘Her Name is James’ still rests on a decision from a publisher and Dark Angel is the second complete work but the first to be published. Dark Angel is the first of three stories and though he wants to return to what he terms as “Rip ya heart out” stories that are character driven, he is firmly focused on completing his current trilogy first.
CJ is acquiring a following for erotic poetry but his first passion is as a storyteller. News of his current and future works can be found at his website

STALKER HIM AT:

http://www.amazon.com/CJ-Heath/e/B00O0QTTY8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

http://www.cjheath.com

Promo Post: Full Exposure by Sara Jane Stone

FullExposure (1)

Synopsis

No touching allowed …

After serving her country, Georgia Trulane craves adventure—and sex. She’s set her sights on her brother’s best friend—now her boss, since she took a temporary job as his nephew’s live-in nanny. Only problem? Eric refuses to touch her. That doesn’t stop Georgia from seducing him. But an earth-shattering encounter leaves her fully exposed, body and soul.

Eric has a long list of reasons to steer clear of the woman he has wanted for as long as he can remember. For one, he refuses to be her next thrill ride. When he claims her, it will be for good. But the attraction is undeniable, and the more they fight it, the stronger it pulls. But will it be enough to conquer their obstacles?

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iBooks ~ Google Play ~ Kobo

SJS3-2

excerpt

Eric heard those words and knew he should walk away. But desire mixed with that one word. Dare. His imagination ran in ten different directions. The things he wanted to do to her, the places he wanted to see his hands move over her body, and hers over his, raced through his mind. It was like watching a highlight reel of his sexual fantasies.
But this wasn’t about him.

Eric leaned across the table, keeping his voice low even though he’d demanded a table in a quiet corner of the restaurant, just in case having others around them set off warning bells in her head. “I dare you to tell me your fantasies.”
Georgia’s eyes widened. “A dare is supposed to be an action.”
He sat back in his seat and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “Feel free to demonstrate.”

She raised an eyebrow, and he wondered if she planned to take him up on his offer. If her fantasies were anything like his, a little show-and-tell would draw unwanted attention. And it might get them arrested.

She cocked her head as if debating which path to choose. Part of him screamed demonstrate. He could afford the bail.

“Are you done with your chowder?” she asked.

He nodded.

“Get the check,” she said. “I’ll tell you while we walk along the beach. Your condo isn’t far from here, right?”

“Five minutes on foot.” Eric withdrew his wallet and dropped a pile of bills on the table, more than enough to cover the meal and tip. “Let’s go.”

Watching her slide from the booth and head for the exit, knowing where this was headed when they reached the shore, the last shreds of his self-restraint snapped. It was as if he was waiting for her towel to drop again, unwilling to look away.

Eric followed her out the door and down the old wooden steps to the beach. Silently, they walked side by side. He couldn’t touch her. Not yet. This wasn’t a sweet stroll by the shore, hand in hand. One touch would set him on fire. He had a feeling it would do the same for her.

The sun was inching lower and lower in the sky, but it was still too bright. And even when it fell below the horizon, the lights from the condo buildings and hotels lining the shore would cast a soft glow over the beach, bright enough to illuminate two people stripping down in the sand.

Twenty paces from the Clam Shack, alone on the shore except for a man tossing a tennis ball for his dog, Eric leaned over, careful not to touch his lips to her ear. “Start talking, Georgia.”

“My fantasies?”

He nodded. “Tell me. I dare you.”

She shoved her hands in the front pockets of her jeans, and her eyes focused on the sand in front of her, as if she were doing her best not to step on shells or debris. In the dimming light, he couldn’t read her expression.

“You’re my fantasy,” she said.

Eric stopped short, her words hitting him in the gut. He’d been waiting for her to describe something kinky and wild. “Georgia—”

about the author

SJSauthor photo After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream—writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Visit her online at http://www.sarajanestone.com or find her on Facebook at Sara Jane Stone.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website ~ Goodreads

FullExposure (1)

 

Waiting on Wednesday #8: Miss Mayhem

waiting“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

miss mayhem

Miss Mayhem

Rebel Belle #2

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Expected Publication: April 7th 2015

Synopsis(from Goodreads):

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.

Why am I waiting for Miss Mayhem?

I really enjoyed Rebel Belle, and now I want to know what do Harper and David get into. I’m also interested in knowing how Harper, David and Ryan work together.

What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Leave a comment.