Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Lot of Sex...For a Reason: Vice by Rosanna Leo

I am delighted to welcome Rosanna Leo back to the blog today with a little bit about her latest contemporary romance, Vice! I've read it and I loved it. If you'd like to know just how much, you can read my review here. Take it away, Rosanna! 
*

I’d like thank Jessica very much for hosting me as I continue my blog tour for Vice, my new contemporary romance.

I write a lot of erotic romance so it only stands to reason readers will encounter a fair bit of sexual activity in my books. Not too much. I do like to think the sex always has a part in the story. However, in writing Vice, I surprised myself by the intensity and frequency of the act.

There is a section my editor called “the marathon sex-fest.” I laughed when I first read the comment  but wasn’t offended. You see, although I hadn’t really planned to use sex as a story-telling device, it became one. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Vice is about addiction. And although it deals primarily with gambling addiction, there is a level of sexual addiction as well, specifically in hero Liam Doyle. Having come from a ridiculously-tragic childhood and youth, Liam vanquished many of his fears and became a wealthy man. He went on to own casinos and now everyone in Las Vegas knows him as a powerhouse of business. However, in trying to run from his demons, he attempts to lose himself in pleasure. When he and heroine Kate embark on a sexual relationship, his intensity attracts and overwhelms her. 

On some level, Liam seems too good to be true. He’s a man who never tires of pleasing his woman. But after a while, Kate suspects his need for sex is just a way to avoid the real issues in his life.

Can Kate and Liam resolve their problems? I hope you’ll read Vice and find out. 


Vice
by Rosanna Leo
Release Date: September 22, 2015

He’s much more than a bad habit.

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protestor hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler.

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control...and losing themselves.

Warning: Contains a sexy, damaged hero who’d really rather just be having sex, and a no-nonsense redhead who makes him want to roll the dice on love just one more time.

Excerpt

He meandered toward her and forced a smile. “You seem to have had a busy day.”

She whipped around and her eyes widened. He saw her give him a quick once-over. Did she like what she saw? Interesting. There was some perverse satisfaction in that.

“It has been busy.” She narrowed her hazel eyes at him. “Do you work here?”

So, she didn’t recognize him. Good. “Yes, ma’am, I do.” He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, noting how her gaze dropped to his exposed forearms. Her lips parted. Clearly, working out had its merits. “And word inside is you’ve upset the big boss.”

Her nostrils flared as she dragged her gaze away from his arms. “About time.” She put her sign down and picked up her purse. “Do you know Liam Doyle?”

“I’ve heard one or two things about him.”

She stepped closer and her lips did the most amazing thing, curling into a flirtatious semi-smile. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to share them with me? The other guy kept on sucking up about him as if he was wearing a wire.” She paused. “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”

He laughed out loud. He couldn’t help it. This was way too much fun. He sidled close to her, leaned in conspiratorially, and put a hand on her elbow. Her very soft elbow. “I’m not wearing a wire. But are you sure you want to know the truth about Doyle? I don’t know if you can handle it.”

She gawked at him and then at his lips. Her voice came out in a whisper. “Try me.”

He murmured in her ear, taking note of her lilac scent. “Well, I hear at midnight he sprouts black wings and horns. And he’s always searching for innocent maidens to add to his coven.” He bit on his bottom lip, suddenly wishing he was gnawing on hers.

At first, her eyelids did this fluttery thing that made his imported pants spring to life. But then she blinked and began to laugh. “And here I thought I was dealing with a mere businessman. I didn’t realize Doyle was cousins with Lucifer.”

“What’s your name?”

She regarded him from out of the side of her eye, her mouth still bearing the same flirty grin. “What’s yours?”

“Consider me a friend who wants to give you some advice.”

The smile disappeared from her face. “And what would that be?”

“Don’t mess with Liam Doyle. He doesn’t take to it kindly.”

The coquettish shine in her eyes hardened. “Is that a threat?”

“No, sugar. That’s not my style.”

“What exactly do you do here? Are you in security?”

“Never mind that.” He waved his hand. “Look, you’ve had your fun. Why don’t you run along home now?”

She reached for her sign and tucked it under her arm. “I will go where I damn well please. And you can tell your friend Mr. Doyle to expect me tomorrow. Maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to confront me himself.” She turned on her heel and walked down the manicured pathway leading to the taxi bay.

Liam stared at her ass as she walked away. Brave?

Game on, sugar. He’d show her brave.
***
Buy Links

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews. 

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair. 

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com





Monday, September 28, 2015

Made for Me: Sexy New Contemporary Romance by Susan Behon


Made For Me
Book 3: Madison Falls Series
By Susan Behon
Release Date:  September 28, 2015

Sabrina O’Malley can’t stand the sight of Keith Sutton.

At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself. In all honesty, she loves sneaking peeks at the gorgeous, golden-haired construction foreman. It’s easy to forget how arrogant and irritating Keith is when she admires him from afar and can’t hear him talking.

The problem is, he’s always talking. Keith won’t let Sabrina forget her drunken and failed attempt to kiss him. He’s determined to get a do-over and she’s determined to avoid him at all costs. If he has to rile her up to get her attention, and that kiss, Keith is all for it.

Sparks fly when trouble comes to Madison Falls and they are thrown together in an effort to stop it. When Sabrina is targeted and comes under fire, Keith is resolved to keep her safe. To do that, he needs to get past Sabrina’s defenses.

Will Sabrina put her pride aside and give Keith a chance before it’s too late?

Excerpt

“Damn him anyway for a handsome devil.”

Sabrina O’Malley was doing her best not to stare at Keith Sutton, but the man looked like a Greek god in his tux. With his blond hair and great height and all of that gorgeous muscle straining against his black tuxedo jacket, he was definitely god-like. On second thought, he looked more like the Norse god, Thor. She had actually called him that before, but it was more out of irritation than adulation.

From behind the steaming trays of food at the buffet table, it was easy to get away with staring. The guests normally didn’t look past the trays of pasta and chicken parmesan to chance a glance at the caterer. That was fine with Sabrina. If they weren’t looking at her, then she could get away with looking at them.

She couldn’t hear what Keith was saying to his dance partner from across the reception hall, so that was the reason Sabrina gave herself for getting caught up in the sight of him. When he wasn’t speaking, she could forget that Keith Sutton was an overgrown jerk.

Sabrina knew this would happen when she agreed to cater Tracy King and Ben Carrington’s wedding. Lord, she wanted to smack her head against a wall for that lapse in judgment. It was an excellent boon to her business but the reality of being here with the romantic music and all of the happy couples was trying on her nerves. Love was in the air and she was doing her best not to breathe it in.

Keith had glanced over a time or two but she didn’t know if he was, in fact, looking at her or checking out the array of food. It was a toss-up where he was concerned. The man loved to eat. At six foot four and at least 200 pounds, he was a giant of a man. Add in the shaggy blond hair and beautiful blue eyes and he truly reminded her of some warrior god or Viking.

Not that she needed a reminder of gods, Vikings, or Keith. He turned up wherever she went. Tonight couldn’t be helped though. He was a member of Tracy and Ben’s wedding party. Keith had been partnered with Sarah Brandon since she was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman. Sabrina reminded herself that they were practically family since Sarah’s sister, Sophie, was married to his brother, Reed. Keith was supposed to dance with Sarah at the reception. That didn’t mean Sabrina had to like the way she was staring up at Keith and laughing at whatever charming tripe was coming out of his mouth.

It was small of her, but Sabrina wanted to shove Sarah out of the way and dance with Keith herself. She felt mean for thinking it since Sarah looked so lovely in her strapless violet gown. Her golden blonde hair was swept up in some sort of twist, and with her height, she made a perfect partner for Keith. Damn it. To top it off, Sarah was an incredibly nice person too.

Sabrina thought she would look ridiculous dancing with Keith anyway. At just an inch over five feet tall, she was a munchkin compared to him. Her head didn’t even come up to his shoulder. The last time she tried to get eye to eye with Keith Sutton, Sabrina had to stand on a chair. Not one of her better decisions.

That was months ago, but she’d learned that jumping up on furniture was a terrible way to get a man’s attention. Her incredible state of intoxication at the time added insult to injury. She hadn’t been hurt physically, but boy, had her pride been stung.

Sabrina had been out with her sister celebrating the successful changes they’d made since taking over management of the Pizza Palace. After finally seeing some positive results from the new sauce and the revised menu, they’d decided that after months of nonstop work, a drink or two at Sarah’s Suds and Spuds was just what they needed. Only, she’d had one too many. Okay, three too many, but with her size, one was really all it took.

They hadn’t been in town a week before Sabrina had heard about the Sutton brothers. Anyone and everyone dished the dirt on Reed and Sophie’s courtship. When they weren’t talking about them, they were speculating over Keith and his prospects. Since moving to Madison Falls, she’d never met the Suttons personally, but with all the details bandied about, they weren’t hard to pick out of a crowd.

Her celebration landed on karaoke night, so Keith had been there with Reed and their friends. He was the only six foot four, blond haired man in the room so she’d identified him right away. His brother sang a few times and had quite a lovely voice, really. Keith didn’t sing, but he looked to be getting a whole lot of enjoyment out of ribbing those who did.

That was the night that her awful attraction to Keith Sutton had begun.

His wicked grin had drawn her in like a moth to a flame. One drink in and she’d been brave enough to smile at him when they’d made eye contact. Two drinks in and she’d had no problem telling her sister, Fiona, how easy on the eyes he was. In her blissful haze, she’d mentioned this loudly……and often. Three drinks in and Sabrina had decided that a kiss from Keith would be a perfect way to top off her night.

She’d made this foolish decision when Keith was about to pass by their table on the way to who knew where. In retrospect, she should have listened to her sister. Fiona had told her to stay the hell off of that chair. In her liquor-laced reasoning, Sabrina had explained it was the best way to reach him if she wanted to get her kiss. It sounded reasonable at the time.

As soon as he was close enough, Sabrina had hopped up on the chair and thrown her arms around his neck. To give the man credit, he took a strange woman latching on to him like a barnacle with remarkable aplomb.

“Whoa. Hey there, Red. Something I can do for you?”

Sabrina’s next words would haunt her for months.

“Yes. Kiss me.”

Keith had glanced down at her, then tilted his head like he hadn’t quite gotten the joke. “Excuse me?”

Sabrina remembered how good he’d smelled. Like peppermints and expensive aftershave. “Kiss me. I want to celebrate.” She’d threaded her fingers behind his neck and leaned in for a right proper smooching. That was when he must have smelled her third whiskey sour.

He’d reared back and stared into her eyes. His eyes were a beautiful, deep sea blue. She was going to tell him how gorgeous his eyes were after the kiss. Sabrina had tried to lean in again but Keith kept her at arm’s length.

“I think you’ve already done enough celebrating. Thanks, sweetheart, but no thanks. I don’t take advantage of drunk girls.” As he said that, he unlatched her hands, picked her up by the waist, and set her on the floor as if she weighed no more than a doll.

Even drunk, Sabrina was aware enough to be mortified.

Keith had eyed her from head to toe. Taking in her ginger red hair and matching crimson cowboy boots, he’d grinned as if her little stunt amused him.

“What’s your name, Red?”

She’d stared up at him, tongue-tied and wishing the floor would open up and swallow her. Adding her name to the mix would have been a horrible idea. At least her sense of reasoning kicked in before she’d told him who she was.

“You’re cute.” Cute? Yes, and so were puppies. “Maybe I’ll see you around.” Not if she could help it.

With that, he’d ambled away and left Sabrina wanting to crawl under the table and hide. Thank God the spotlight had been on the latest singer, which in contrast, left the rest of the room blessedly dark. The unfortunate guy singing Piano Man sounded like a strangled cat. All eyes were on him: some in disbelief, some in pity, and some in need of another drink. Thanks to the Piano Man massacre, Sabrina thought she’d gotten away without that many people seeing her throw herself at a man like a horseshoe. That’s what she’d hoped for anyway.

Fiona pulled her down in her seat before she could do anything else embarrassing. Her sister hissed, “I told you to stop after the second drink, but you never listen!” Seeing Sabrina’s obvious mortification, she’d softened her tone. “Don’t worry, hon, with a man that good-looking, I bet things like that happen to him all the time.”

Sabrina had sobered up enough to want to get the hell out of the bar. She’d made an ass out of herself so her celebrating was through. Thank God she hadn’t told him her name. Madison Falls was small, but she’d thought that surely she could avoid him.

A few weeks after that disastrous night, Sabrina learned that luck was not on her side. Both of her delivery drivers at the Pizza Palace had called off sick. There had been an enormous order due out to a construction crew and no one to deliver it but her. Just her luck that the order had been called in by none other than Keith Sutton.

When she’d pulled up to the site, she’d prayed he wouldn’t remember her. But as soon as Sabrina had gotten out of her car, Keith had done a double take and walked over. Damn her red hair. It was like a beacon.

“Hey there, Pizza Lady. Remember me?”

Of course she remembered him. She’d been taking turns fantasizing about and trying to forget the dazzling behemoth. “No, sorry. I have a delivery here for Sutton Construction.”

“That’s me. I mean, I’m not Sutton Construction. That would be a stupid name. But I am Keith Sutton. I called in the order.” After a sweeping once-over, he grinned, “Today must be my lucky day.”

Sabrina couldn’t say the same. 
***
Buy Links


Author Bio

Susan Behon, author of the Madison Falls series, enjoys creating a world that brings readers romance, laughter, and a healthy dose of sexiness. Susan graduated summa cum laude with a B. A. in English from Norfolk State University. She currently lives in Ohio with her very own romance hero of a husband and their two wonderful daughters.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lipstick, Souvenirs, and a LOT of Post-Its: Staring into the Void for #ProjectPurseDump


Twenty-two lipsticks. Eleven bottlecaps. Seven black pens. Five magnets. Three tins of Altoids. Hello Kitty band-aids. A Mucha compact mirror from Paris, and a coin from House on the Rock.

These are a few of things I found this week when I emptied my purse out onto the floor.

In my defense, it is a very large purse. I have a few you might call “sensible” purses, brightly colored leather with understated embellishments and clever pockets, but the one I keep returning to is an oversized, flimsy thing I got at World Market for I think $8. It’s grey and it has crows on it. Size aside, it’s fairly nondescript, and goes well with my worn out jeans and band t-shirt aesthetic, plus I can fit half a library (and a hoodie!) into it should the occasion call for it. All of the things you see here were in it on a day that it was fairly empty, apart from my cat there, but he could have fit into it, too.

So what’s inside? It’s a kind of survival kit, plus a few extra bits and pieces I picked up along the way. Let’s take a closer look.


The essentials:

Seven black pens and two packs of post-its: I usually also carry a notebook full of graph paper with me for story ideas, but post-its and pens will do in a pinch. If I get story ideas--anything from bits of dialogue to major plot points--I write them on post its and stick them to the cards in my coin purse if I don’t have a notebook handy. Apparently I can also write notes on my phone, but this still feels too futuristic for me most days, and I usually forget.

Makeup: I don’t intentionally have twenty-two lipsticks on me at all times, it’s just that they gather in my purse. I don’t have any anywhere else in my house. I have them in my purse, in the coin purse inside, and more inside the Union Jack makeup bag. This makeup bag also contains hair pins, more ponytail holders than I have anywhere else, two eyeliners (one black, one purple), face powder, blush, mascara, orange scented roll on perfume, and a souvenir Mucha makeup mirror I got in Paris ten years ago. Because you never. fucking. know. Some days you just need eyeliner, and lots of it. I once loaned one of my friends a fire engine red Stila lipstick to write down her number for a random guy, and a couple years later, loaned the same lipstick to another friend when he was hosting punk rock karaoke as a kinky sailor. Who wore it better? My vote’s on Dave.

Coin purse: I haven’t carried a wallet in many years. In Britain, coins are far more common than paper bills, so carrying a coin purse was far more practical. I’ve been back in the states for a couple of years now, but I still carry the same coin purse I bought at New Look for a pound almost ten years ago. Today it’s full of all of my cards, some random change, a spare set of earbuds, post-its covered in story ideas, a customs declaration, a list of Edith Piaf songs (really), a guitar pick, some fortunes from cookies (“Don’t put off till tomorrow what can be enjoyed today…” in bed (snicker)), hair pins, and more lipstick. Could you fit all of that into a wallet? Didn’t think so.

A coin from The House on Rock: How else will I make the crazy music play?

Randoms:

Bottlecaps and magnets: Okay, there’s a reason for this, I promise. My friend Lily gave these to me a couple of weeks ago so I could make some bottlecap magnets for my fridge. She made some and they look awesome, so I’m going to give it a shot.

Three tins of altoids: Why have three when one should be curiously strong enough? None of these are actually mine. My husband keeps buying them and asking me to hold them, so I put them in my purse. He forgets they’re there and buys more, asks me to hold them, and voila. Three tins. Can I offer you a mint?

Not pictured: The phone I use to obsessively ignore my email and ogle pictures of macarons on Instagram, my work badge, and my keys.

This might seem like a lot, but if you need to be minty or photo-ready, I’ve got your back. You know, just in case.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Explore Medieval Ghana in Chanta Rand's Exciting New Historical Romance, Rise of a Queen


When most people hear the term Medieval, they think King Arthur, Lady Guinevere, and the Medieval Times Restaurant. But did you know the Medieval period simply refers to a time in history that lasted from the 5th to 15th centuries? Rise of a Queen, my new Medieval African historical romance, highlights the glorious Kingdom of Ghana in the 11th century.

Many people aren’t aware of much of Africa’s history outside of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which began in the mid-1400s.  Sure, we’ve gotten glimpses into Africa’s past through such popular movies as Tarzan, and The African Queen—where the natives are running wild and naked. Because many times Hollywood is more focused on entertainment than accuracy, we rarely get to see historically accurate depictions of ancient African civilizations.

While researching for another historical novel I was writing about the Moors (North Africans who conquered Spain in 740 AD), I came across a documentary about Timbuktu. I’d always thought Timbuktu was an imaginary place until I saw this. The more I read, the more captivated I became. I learned it was a city that rose to prominence in 12th century. It was a center of great wealth and learning, visited by scholars and explorers from all over the world. Eventually, Timbuktu was annexed by the powerful Mali Empire, known for its glorious wealth and military might. Then, Mali was eventually taken over by the Songhay Empire. But before Mali and Songhay, the Kingdom of Ghana ruled (not to be confused with the modern country of Ghana).

These three ancient civilizations fascinated me so much I stopped working on my Moorish romance and started working on a romance with West Africa as the backdrop. I consider myself a huge history buff, but the fact that I’d never heard of these empires blew my mind! Let me give you a few facts about the ancient Kingdom of Ghana.

·        It existed between 300 AD and 1200 AD.
·        Its capital city of Koumbi Saleh on the rim of the Sahara desert was split into two distinct areas (one for Africans, and the other for Muslims and Arabs).
·        Its mighty military consisted of over 200,000 soldiers. The king charged a protection fee for traders traveling in caravans carrying salt from the north and gold from the south (gold was so abundant that salt was more valuable than gold back then).
·        Its government was a monarchy made up of a very wealthy king and rich vassals who paid tribute to him. (Ghanians had a complex system of government with governors, a court system, and advisory boards of elders).
·        The main methods of transportation were camels and horses.
·        Due to the hot weather, ordinary citizens wore very little clothing (animal skins and clothing woven from grass). Royalty wore linen, silk, and Kente cloth.
·        The Niger River ran through ancient Ghana, providing water for bathing and washing. The river offered plenty of fish and waterfowl to eat. The people also grew sweet potatoes and other vegetables.
·        Most of the people living in the empire were farmers, but they didn't own the land. Each family was allotted a portion of the land by the local village leader. The others were blacksmiths, woodcarvers, leatherworkers, entertainers, servants, and slaves.
·        There was constant fighting and warring from rival clans and outsiders who coveted the Kingdom of Ghana’s enormous wealth.

  A Moorish nobleman living in Spain by the name of Al-Bakri questioned merchants who visited the empire in the 11th century and wrote that the king:

“…sits in audience or to hear grievances against officials in a domed pavilion around which stand ten horses covered with gold-embroidered materials. Behind the king stand ten pages holding shields and swords decorated with gold, and on his right are the sons of the kings of his country wearing splendid garments and their hair plaited with gold. The governor of the city sits on the ground before the king and around him are ministers seated likewise. At the door of the pavilion are dogs of excellent pedigree that hardly ever leave the place where the king is, guarding him. Around their necks they wear collars of gold and silver studded with a number of balls of the same metals.”

If you’re interested in learning more about this sprawling empire, look for my historical romance, Rise of a Queen. In the back, you’ll find an Author’s Note that offers in-depth details about the Kingdom of Ghana.


...and now for a sneak peek! 


Rise of a Queen
by Chanta Rand
Release date: November 22nd, 2015

A dead husband. An unconsummated marriage. She needs an heir. Any man will do.

1061 AD. A sprawling empire rich in gold, resources, and military might dominates West Africa. It’s The Kingdom of Ghana, and it’s at the height of its power.

Twenty-year old Nabeela is grappling with her own power struggle. In order to save her younger sister from their step-brother’s clutches, Nabeela agrees to marry a repulsive African prince and bear him an heir. However, her plans are waylaid when tragedy strikes on her wedding night—her new husband dies—without consummating their marriage.

She must find a replacement to impregnate her immediately. Any man will do—including a drunken soldier her servants find naked taking a bath in a neighboring village. Nabeela holds him captive and coerces him into having sex with her—stealing the one thing he can never get back—his seed.

What she doesn’t know is the soldier is Rafan, Commander of a warring tribe’s royal army, and one of her family’s arch enemies. Eager for revenge, Rafan tracks her down once he’s released. But when these two reunite, they realize their lust for each other is far greater than their disdain.

Enamored by Nabeela’s beauty and bravery, Rafan makes her an offer of marriage, and the promise to help her become queen. He convinces her that they are stronger allies than enemies. Even though they share a commitment to unite, there are others who are determined to destroy them and their plans, including the one person Nabeela would have never suspected. In the end, she’s is forced to choose between her passion and her ambition.

Pre-order now on Amazon

Chanta Jefferson Rand is an Emma Award winning Debut Author of the Year, a multi-published, best-selling author of sizzling-hot romance, and the former host of The Chanta Rand Show. An avid reader of all genres, she stepped onto the scene in 2010 with her first published historical romance, Pharaoh's Desire.

Chanta is a history junkie, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn't like! If you still want more, check her out at www.ChantaRand.com or email her at Chanta@chantarand.com.



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Friday, September 18, 2015

#ProjectPurseDump: Tracey Gee of LOVExtra Romance News!


Today I am turning over my blog to LOVExtra's Tracey Gee for the first post of #projectpursedump, a series where authors, bloggers, and friends share the contents of their purses with revealing results! Enjoy!
***


I’m so meta. You can see, in the background, this blog posting as it’s being written

Welcome to Week 1 of Project Purse Dump. I get to go first only so I can give the other wonderful people who’ve signed up a chance to get their blogs ready. Mine will be the dullest purse, I’m sure.

First of all, I don’t carry a purse. That alone is a blog post (not really, that would be cruel). I’m a backpack kinda gal and have been for about 30 years. I have come to the following two conclusions about this:

1. It’s better for my body.
2. I’m a Libra and hate to be unbalanced.

And here’s my stash, once more, with feeling:



Here’s the tale of the tape, minus the tape.

A. The two most essential drugs/supplements in my life, after Xylometazoline: Acetaminophen and Lactaid®. They go with me, everywhere.

B. I live in Canada. And like most Canucks, I have a dizzying array of Tim Cards. Neither of these has any money on it. Bummer.

C. Boring. My wallet and coin purse.

D. Double-boring. My water bottle. You never know when you’ll be stranded and need water. One day, I’ll blog about my struggle (mostly over now, phew) with OCD. Not fake OCD, the real deal.

E. My blood donor reminder card. I went last week. Yay! Cookies!

F. Ok, now we have a story. This is my ultra-cool Swiss Army knife. I’ve carried one forever. The best thing about this one (my second in 30+ years, first one was stolen)? I was in Genève once a long long time ago and got locked in a public toilet. For years I wondered what on earth would I ever do with a fish scaler. Seriously? Me? I’m at two with Nature.

Then I went to Genève. Things to know about many parts of Europe? Pay toilets. Things to know about this particular pay toilet in Genève?

1. If you catch the door before it closes and you haven’t put any coins in (I didn’t have any, I wasn’t being cheap, just desperate), you will be LOCKED IN THE TOILET.

2. A lot of the public toilets are floor-to-ceiling walls for the cubicles. That means, they aren’t really cubicles. They’re tiny rooms.

3. There is a drug problem in some parts of Europe and in some public toilets (even in really nice places), they use black light so those wanting to find a vein can’t do so.

So you get the idea: I was locked in a very dark tiny room in Switzerland. And I have a train to catch (once I find the train station) because I’m heading to Italy (the food’s better).

Oh, did I mention I’m claustrophobic?

And did I mention there is little-to-no sympathy for North Americans travelling in Europe without change for the toilet? That’s just an aside.

In panic, I rifled through my knapsack and dug up my Swiss Army knife and tried a few things before hitting the fish scaler and voila! I was in Milan later that same day eating farfalle al funghi, the morning just a bad memory.

G. My teeny phone. I live on my teeny phone. Mummy loves her teeny phone. It’s an HTC Desire C and I have three of them.  No. Really. All I need: email, WhatsApp, and Instagram. It possibly works as a phone, too.

H. A watch. Yes. It’s true. I wear a watch. I hate having to look at my phone for the time because I don’t want to look like one of those people who owns 3 HTC Desire C phones.

I. My comb. Just in case I get a moment to actually comb my hair. That happened in 2014, and I look forward to it happening again this fiscal.

J. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t have my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gel pen?

K. Don’t laugh. It’s the schedule for the Y by my house. I circle classes on it (which I never attend).

L. My only cosmetic: lip balm. That’s it.

M. My key chain. See that carabiner clip? I hang my keys on my bra strap. It’s the only way I can find my keys. I never keep them in my purse except when I’m NOT out. That spine on my key chain? That from my evil chiropractor. It’s a great ice breaker.

N. My teeny tiny travel New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Because you never know when you need a quiet moment with God.

About Tracey Gee


Bright light! Bright light! (Sure, you saw Gremlins, didn't you?)

I’m a crabby old bat. Easily distracted. Portly, perimenopausal, whiffy yet whimsical. I keep the BFG 9000 in my girdle. In my spare time, I eat stress. Lots of it. 

I'm the O/O of LOVExtra.com, my newest binary baby who’s about to turn one, this November. My personal blog is the aptly named Old Enough and Ugly Enough. ☺

I'm trying desperately to write a book which is worthy of a publisher's notice.  In the absence of that, I play piano and classical guitar—badly—and go to Zumba. My own true love.

I eschew malls.
***
Would you like to get involved with #projectpursedump? All you need it s a blog and a sense of humor! Email pursedump@lovextra.com for more info!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cover Reveal: Resplendent Ruin, Hot New Contemporary Romance by Bella J

Today I have the special honor of introducing you to Bella J, one of my newest pub sisters at Liquid Silver. Her first novel, Resplendent Ruin, is coming out this November and Bella is here today to show you the cover! Read on for an excerpt and a great post about what it's like to see your name in print for the first time. Congratulations, Bella! 
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Thanks Jessica for hosting my cover reveal for Resplendent Ruin, Resplendence Book#1. This will be my very first published book, and to say that I am super excited is a huge understatement.

The day I received my contract from Liquid Silver Publishing, I completely freaked out!  Since I live in Cape Town, South Africa, I always get my emails from the publisher during the early hours of the morning.  So this meant that I woke my husband at 4am, literally screaming and jumping on top of him like a crazy person.  I think for a moment he actually thought that I had finally lost it… but then again, that might be something he thinks on a regular basis.

Naturally during the days that followed I constantly walked around with my phone, checking my emails every two minutes (I still do that actually), waiting for someone to contact me and to let me know what the next step would be.   So remember, the day I got my contract was the first time I freaked out.  The second time? The second time was when my book got assigned to an editor – when I was still blissfully unaware of exactly just how much hard work goes into the editing rounds.  Luckily I got assigned to an amazing editor who made staying up till 1am going through edits a hell of a lot easier.

Okay, now if you think my first two episodes of freaking out were bad, the third time was a real doozy – the mother of all freak outs…

I was getting into bed next to my husband who eagerly busied himself with the tablet (playing a kiddies game btw) and I decided to check my emails one last time.  That’s when I got the email from the arts department at LSB saying that a mock-up of my cover was attached.  While my heart was literally pounding with excitement, I kept quiet while I waited for the attachment to open – isn’t it funny how your phone always decides to take its time loading whenever you’re really anxious to see what is going to pop up?  That damn little loading circle just kept on turning, and turning while I was secretly busy crawling out of my skin.

And then finally, when I was just about ready to shake the damn thing – like that would make it load faster – the image popped up!  

And then my husband thought I was having a heart attack.

I freaked the hell out!  I was screaming and jumping on top of him like a mad woman once again – it seems like I tend to do that a lot.  See, I knew that the LSB covers are always awesome, but my cover just totally blew me away.  I could not stop staring at it… I still stare at it at least twenty times a day.  My cover is now my laptop screensaver, the home and lock screen of my phone, as well as the background of my tablet.  And guess what will be hanging on my bedroom wall soon?  Ah huh, yup… MY COVER!

I’m guessing the next time I will be freaking out, screaming and jumping on my husband will be November 16th – release day!  I’m really looking forward to that little freak out session.  *wink*


And here it is...!

Resplendent Ruin 
Resplendence, Book 1
By Bella J
Release Date: November 16th

Juliette Mason had it all—the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect fiancé. She lived the perfect life. Until everything started to slowly fall apart. 

Daniel, her attractive and success-driven fiancé, was the love of her life. For years she wanted nothing more than to finally walk down the aisle, to be Mrs. Daniel Clarke. But as time went by, the cracks in their relationship started to come to the surface, and Juliette found herself in a place she never imagined she would be. It was a place where she started to question everything about her life and her dreams, a place where nothing about her life made sense anymore—a place where she found Knox Taylor. 

Knox didn’t count on falling in love. In fact, Knox didn’t count on anything really. He was blissfully happy living a fast life of reckless behavior, impulsive decisions, and beautiful women. He lived the perfect life of a flourishing bachelor—but then she happened.

Excerpt

“Why are you in my room?” 

Juliette yelped and jumped at the same time. She dropped the cuff which was still clutched in her hand, and the sound echoed through the room as it clashed against the bedpost. 

“Oh my God,” she breathed, holding her hand against her chest. Her heart was beating a hundred miles an hour, and she could feel all the blood drain from her body, rushing to her burning cheeks. 

“Why are you in my room?” His voice was right behind her now, and she swallowed hard. Not wanting to turn around and let him see the embarrassment on her face, she kept her back to him. 

“I’m sorry,” she muttered and tried to scurry past him. But before she was able to make a getaway, he reached out and grabbed her wrist. A shockwave of extreme undiluted need shot up from his touch, through her spine, straight to her core. Holy crap, she couldn’t breathe. 

His stare burned through her skin and her body felt like it was on fire. Startled by what she felt, she looked up at him. 

His midnight hair was damp and unruly as ever, and his face slightly flushed. 

There was no stopping her gaze from moving down. 

“I, um…I…” She couldn’t think of a single thing to say, not one damn thing as she stared at his incredibly well-built, unbelievably toned chest with the faint dusting of black chest hair. 
Down, down, down—like Alice in the rabbit hole—her attention went, until they reached the very prominent, very masculine V. Or what Lexi would call it, the “penis-pointer.”—Oh no, she didn’t? Did she just think about his… 

Yes. Yes, she did. 

“Up here, sweetheart,” he said, still clutching her wrist. 

Her gaze shot up, another wave of embarrassment making its way to her already burning face. He had that damn arrogant grin he wore so well on his face. He knew the effect he had on her. He knew every dirty little thought that flashed through her mind during the last five seconds. Smug bastard! 

She jerked her arm out of his hold and her skin instantly mourned the loss. “I just came to return your jacket.” It was a miracle that she didn’t stutter since she couldn’t form a single sentence in her head. 

His arm dropped to his side and her eyes followed the movement. That’s when she noticed the white towel wrapped around his waist. For a split second the thought of what was behind that flimsy white towel made her thighs clench and her stomach tighten. 

Look away! 

He cocked a brow. “And you needed to put it in my room?” 

“Well,” she searched for words, or an explanation, or something, “I just wanted to make sure you got it back safely.” Well, I certainly aced that explanation. 

He looked at her suspiciously, and then his eyes went dark. “Whatever. You can leave now.” He dismissed her. 

Oh hell no! 

She gave a step forward. “Do you think that women actually find this whole jackass approach of yours attractive?” she spat out. 

“I don’t know, do you?” 

Struggling—yet again—to think on her feet, she just stared at him, completely blank. Nice. 
He gave a step toward her, traces of the darkness in his eyes she saw a second ago gone. What she could only interpret as a sexy-as-hell grin crossed his face, showing off his ridiculously distracting dimples. 

I want to trace those dimples with my tongue… Stop! 

All of a sudden the entire atmosphere between them changed from awkward, to angry, to—electrifying. Her skin tingled, and she was suddenly painfully aware that except for the flimsy towel wrapped around his waist, he was completely and utterly naked

With somewhat furrowed brows and the corners of his mouth pulled back just enough for her to wonder if he was about to smile or frown, he slowly started toward her. With each step he took, she instinctively gave one step back. This was probably what trapped prey felt like being stalked by a wild, hungry predator. Adrenalin would pump through the prey’s veins as it prepared to run for its life or brace itself for impact. The only difference was that the adrenalin pumping through her veins was for an entirely different reason than wanting to escape her predator. In fact, she wanted to run to the predator. 

Stupid, stupid prey! 

She inhaled sharply when her back hit the wall. Her body started to shiver as he leaned into her. Heat burned through her skin while her heart beat wildly inside of her chest. 

He placed his hands flush against the wall just above her shoulders and looked down at her, his eyes a frenzy of heat and seduction. Every inch of her body felt electrified, like it was leaning over the edge of unadulterated lust in search of ecstasy. 

He cocked his head to the side and he stared at the soft, exposed skin of her neck. She was pretty sure he could have seen the vein pulsating to the rhythm of her heart. She felt completely intoxicated by the way he moved, the way he smelled, and the way it felt having him so close up against her. She closed her eyes and felt him slowly trace the edge of his nose up her neck, all along her jaw until she could feel his lips brush against her ear. 

“Tell me, Jules,” he whispered, the words coated with sheer unmistakable allure. 

“Tell you what?” she asked dazed. She could not remember what the hell they were talking about. 

He focused all his attention on her lips while he kept his mouth mere inches from hers. It was complete agony having his lips so close to hers and not being able to feel it. 

“Do you find my jackass approach attractive?” 

His warm breath waved over her wet lips and an inferno of flames erupted inside of her, leaving her incapable of thinking about anything else than what his lips would feel like pressed firmly against hers.
***

Author Bio

Bella J lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her husband, two kids, and a Chihuahua. Her love for writing started in eighth grade when she received her first writing assignment—which she flunked. But the positive side of her failure—her newly-found passion for writing. The negative side—now she’s completely spaced out half of the time living in her little pretend world of romance, love, and insanely hot heroes. 

Resplendent Ruin, Resplendence Book #1, will be released on November 16th 2015, and is her first published novel.  Check in on www.lsbooks.com regularly for pre-order info.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Release: Seduction in Sierra Leone, Contemporary Romantic Suspense by Olivia Night

Today I am very happy to introduce you to one of my newest pub sisters from Liquid Silver, Olivia Night! There's nothing like a destination romance to make you feel like you're been on vacation, and Olivia's first novel, Seduction in Sierra Leone, sounds like a real scorcher! Let's take a peek!
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Thanks Jessica for having me here! This whole “publishing a book” business is brand new to me and I am learning so much. There is a lot more involved in getting your book published than I ever imagined and at times it has been a bit overwhelming. However, persistence is something an author knows well.  I’ve realized that I can’t do it all at once and that this process really is a marathon and not a sprint. 

I have been so lucky to work with Liquid Silver Publishing on my first book, Seduction in Sierra Leone. This is the first in a three book series. Books two and three are both close to complete. 

The main characters of Seduction in Sierra Leone came to me on a random night in September when I was plagued with insomnia (as I often am).  Aislinn, (pronounced Ashling) and Brandt came to me already almost fully formed. All I had to do was write their story. 

The writing process was so much fun. I don’t know how others write but, for me, I simply write what the characters tell me to. The story unfolds in bits and pieces and often not in chronological order. So for about six months I bounced around the book. It was not uncommon for me to sit and write a few pages in chapter three and then jump forward to chapter twelve to write a few pages. 

Even more fun was the discovery of other characters. Two characters appeared at different times and very quickly they let me know that they had their own stories and their stories had to be told as well. 

Each of the female lead characters has some part of my own personality. You will find that all of them mention Dean Winchester at one point or another (Can we say hottie?) and that they all are a bit stubborn.

Beyond that I will let you guess what other characteristics they share with me. 


Seduction in Sierra Leone
The Men of FTI, Book One
By Olivia Night

In the mangroves of Sierra Leone, two strangers raised a world apart find themselves inextricably connected. Seduction in Sierra Leone, the first in a series of three novels, is a fast-paced tale of murder, lust, and love that transports the reader to a foreign and mysterious world of danger. 

Aislinn Salameh, an American relief worker, is searching for purpose in her self-imposed lonely world. The stranger who enters her village on a blistering hot day looks more animal than man. She knows she should stay far away but can’t stop herself from being drawn to the mysterious man. 

Brandt Fairlane is a man haunted by the sins of his past. Detached from others, Brandt has spent his life alone. His line of work is too dangerous for the luxuries of love and family. 

When Brandt sees Aislinn and her haunting eyes, he knows he must possess her. But when Brandt’s past comes back from the dead and Aislinn is caught in the crossfire, it is up to him to keep her safe. In order to survive, they must learn to rely on one another. As they run for their lives, the heat between them becomes undeniable. Now, Brandt must not only protect Aislinn from a madman committed to stealing her away but he also must protect her from himself. Because if Brandt steals her body and her heart, he’ll never let her go. 


Excerpt 

As he got closer to her, he realized there was something different about her eyes. He was a few feet away when he realized what it was. With the realization all oxygen left his body in a rush. It felt as if he had been punched in the gut. His heart stuttered. Shit, it did something weird at the sight of her. The woman’s eyes were...? He couldn’t think of word that would fit. And then it struck him. They were haunting, the color of a cucumber slice. Not the skin of the cucumber but inside. A pale, shivering light green. Her eyes widened as she realized he was looking at her. He could see, even from the distance, a small blush creeping up her cheeks at being caught staring. She was beautiful. All smooth pale skin and green eyes. He felt his dick jump. He almost looked down. It had been a long time since he had thought about his dick. And it was another man’s woman who was making him all too aware of it.

He felt heat course through him. Her tiny body had been placed purposefully behind the taller man. But Brandt could still make out her smooth legs and accommodating hips, accommodating as in she could spread those lush legs and accommodate his body between them. She was no doubt the man’s girlfriend, and here Brandt was thinking things that only a boyfriend should be allowed to think. Shocked at his own thoughts, he attempted to look away, but in the end, it was like pulling strips of Velcro away from each other. He wanted to close the distance between them, place his hands on the other man’s neck, twist, feel the snap, and watch the man drop to the ground. Then he would curl his fingers around the women’s neck, bring her to him, and angle her head so that he could kiss her. He shook his head like a man in a proverbial cartoon trying to expel the foreign thoughts and images. Envious. He was feeling envious of a man he didn’t know and a woman he had barely glimpsed. It was wholly inappropriate. He’d kill another man for thinking of his woman that way. Well, if he had a woman. Like the one he was staring at.

Fuck, he had to get a grip. For Christ’s sake, he was mooning over her like a teenage boy. Giving himself a mental ass-kicking, he averted his eyes and greeted Brima. He began to walk up the path to Brima’s home. But, as he walked, a magical sound floated over to his ears. She was laughing. His skin tingled at the musical note. His body tightened. Fury rose inside of him, a feeling he wasn’t expecting, a feeling that surprised him. She was laughing at the man who had been standing in front of her. Hatred for the unknown man charged through him like a herd of wild horses. Was he screwing her? His stance had been clear; it had said mine. Brandt wanted to eliminate the man, the threat. Bile rose at the idea of her lying beneath that man. Brandt realized he wasn’t envious. He was jealous. He had never been jealous. It was a useless emotion, and it got people killed in his line of work. If you wanted what someone else had, you simply took it. Jealousy could slow a man down. But he was. He was jealous. It screamed inside of him to move quickly, to take her from the man who was really just a baby. To make her his. To tie her to him in every way possible until she admitted that she was his. He wanted to mark her as his, use his teeth to mark her neck, her breasts, her stomach, the insides of her thighs. His. Fuck.

He had to stay far away from this woman. No woman needed a man like him. No woman deserved a man like him, one who would want to own her. He wasn’t one for laughter and cuddling. Puppy shit. Women wanted puppy shit. This woman, whoever she was, deserved more than Brandt could ever give. Brandt had to stay the fuck away from her. Because he didn’t give up what he made his.
***

Author Bio 

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid read and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Seduction series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, runs, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.