Summer, Don’t Leave!

Today, I’ve decided to write about a controversial topic. Wait, hear me out before you leave! I’m just going to write about the weather, I swear!

Here’s why it’s controversial: Because I love summer. I don’t look forward to fall. Yes, you read that correctly. While everyone is posting colorful fall photos and talking football on Facebook, I’m lamenting the loss of hot weather, of days spent at the beach.

Yes, summer has its drawbacks. If you aren’t at the beach, it can be pretty damn hot and miserable. It sucks when you’re at the day job, staring out the window at a gorgeous summer day, knowing that by the time you leave and get home and make dinner and clean up, there will not be enough time to go to the beach, even for an hour. It’s worse when that perfect weather is on a Tuesday, and by Saturday morning, thunderstorms have rolled in, leaving behind a drop in temperature that is reminiscent of, well… fall. And yes, it’s annoying to try to keep up with the watering, so your garden does not shrivel up and die, just as the tomatoes are starting to ripen. And I’ll acknowledge that if you do not have air conditioning or a basement, it can really, really suck on those steamy, humid days when, for whatever reason, you can’t get to the beach to cool off.

Summer DrinkAll that said, there are so many wonderful things about summer. The drinks, for one. This year, my husband discovered flavored San Pellegrino mixed with berry vodka, and I admit, we’ve gone through a lot of vodka since June. I don’t drink Summer Shandybeer, but I understand that when Summer Shandy shows up on the shelves at the grocery store, it’s more an indication of summer’s arrival than Memorial Day weekend.

I’m a red wine drinker under normal circumstances (which are pretty much any circumstances), however, I tend to drink more white during the summer, because, well, it’s chilled and refreshing and cool. This summer, I discovered Cherry Tart Chardonnay, and have declared it my favorite. My husband and I also tasted and then purchased a custom made order of Viognier, a delicious white wine, which we will bottle very, very soon. It will then sit in the basement (on its side, of course) until next spring, when we will bring it out and undoubtedly barrel through the entire order (30 bottles) before next fall.

The food is better in the summer, too. Okay, yes, I’m a Midwesterner, so I’m of course a fan of comfort food. But there’s something to be said for fresh tomatoes, strawberries, corn, hell, anything fruit or vegetable. They all taste better in the summer. I tend to eat healthier and I’m outdoors more frequently during the summer months, so that weight I struggle to keep off usually manages to stay that way – until fall hits, and suddenly it’s easier to hide the bulges behind sweaters and fleece, while I work my way through delicious casseroles and spaghettis and chili and all those utterly delightfully heavy fall and winter dishes.

486541_10151192409961579_1171425848_nAnd let’s not forget the beach. Or the pool. Or even the river. Sitting in a camp chair with your feet in the water. Canoeing. Boating. Kayaking. Fishing. I don’t even like to fish, but I’ll scale the hell out of a batch of bluegills, if you catch ‘em for me. And then my husband will batter and grill them, and we’ll all sit around the picnic table, eating the fruits of our labor. Outdoors.

There’s also swimming. Lounging on a floating raft, with a Mike’s Hard Lemonade in your hand, one leg dangling in the water, to keep cool. Heading out to the swim platform and practicing your cannonballs, over and over again. Drifting down the river in inner tubes. Skiing. Tubing. Taking a leisurely cruise around the lake on a pontoon boat.

During winter, I have to practically push my kids out the door, regardless of how antsy and bored they claim to be. During summer, I only have to utter the word, “Beach,” and they’re ready to go fourteen seconds later. And it’s guaranteed they’ll be exhausted by the time we’re heading back to the house. The dog, too. It’s hard to give the dog the proper amount of exercise when it’s ten below, but on beach days, we can wear her out enough to last for a solid two days.

So yeah, I admit it. I love summer. I lament its ending each year, and from September through May, I desperately look forward to its return. Keep your fall colors and football tailgates, and hand me the Summer Shandy, please.

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Hey, since summer is unfortunately coming to an end, I bet you’ll need something to do with your time, once a month or so. Why not join my Facebook group, Come Wine with Tami? Hang out and chat with authors, without the hard sell. Oh, and don’t forget to bring the wine!

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Christmas Carols Blog Tour – In August!

Yep, you read that right. We’re talking Christmas… In August. Why, you ask? Well, why not? After all, Daisy Banks has a brand new book out, and it’s called Christmas Carols! It’s also super sweet, with a blind hero, and who isn’t a sucker for a hot, not-quite-perfect hero?? Curious? Read on…

Thank you, Tami, for your kind offer to help me celebrate the release of my new book Christmas Carols, published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of August.

I know rChristmas candleeaders might think it a little odd to be thinking about Christmas in August but in Victorian England, where my story is set, people were used to starting their Christmas preparations early. One of the things often made was decorations for candles. These were made from oddments of bright seasonal ribbons, twine, dried herbs and flowers and closer to the date fresh green holly and ivy. When wrapped at the base of large church candles the effect is always pretty. Obviously if you wish to dry herbs and flowers for the Christmas season you must begin earlier in the year by cutting your herbs and flowers and hanging them in an airy dry place to dry out. They should be stored once totally dry in a place where they won’t gather a lot of dust.
Dried gypsophil (also known as baby’s breath,) one or two dried red roses, or perhaps some dried lavender, all wrapped with twine into a bundle and attached with a bright red or green ribbon makes a fragrant addition to a candle. Obviously with such decorations never leave your candles alone when lit, but do enjoy the sight and smell of them.

 

Christmas Carols_Daisy BanksExcerpt

Alice hurried across the nave and rushed up the steps to the organ where Stephen sat. “Your poor head! What happened? Did you fall?”

He rose and gave her a small nod of greeting. “Good morning. Alice. Yes, I fell, but I did it at home and knocked myself out. I gave David quite a fright.”

She had to stop herself reaching out to touch him, and in the moment she held her hand back from caressing his bandaged head, an understanding came of all that had swept her away in the brief time since she had met him. “Stephen, should you be here and not in your bed?” Her voice quivered in the chilly air.

“I am well enough. I came round from the blow as soon as David applied an iced compress he’d made using the snow. There is no serious damage done, just a small gash. I’ve had worse.”

“Are you going to rehearse today?”

“I have played a little but I don’t think I will do much more today. It is very cold in here this morning and my fingers are almost numb. In truth I’ve merely been passing the time until you arrived.”

A flash of warmth heated her cheeks. “It’s kind of you to say so.”

“I had begun to wonder if I should climb the hill with Blue, so perhaps we could meet you. I’m sure you had a perilous journey here.”

“I slipped once, and unlike your head, where I landed there was no harm done at all.”

He smiled. “So, Alice, shall we totter down the street to the tea shop and hope Mrs. Brown can warm us with a pot of her best brew?”

“I’d like that, Stephen.”

“Good, and I have something I wish to ask you, if I may.”

She stepped with him and Blue down the arc of stairs to the church floor. “Of course, Stephen. I can tell you about my thoughts on the designs for the holly and ivy decorations, too.”

“Excellent.”

“I’ll just get my muff and scarf.” She hurried across to get them and wrapped her scarf back in place. Once she’d returned to his side, she set her arm through his and together with Blue, who looked none the worse for his cold journey last night, they walked out and down the snowy path toward the gate.

 

Blurb

Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.

 

Thanks for reading,

Daisy Banks

 

Find Daisy Banks here:

Blog http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks16

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

Tsu   http://www.tsu.co/DaisyBanks

Amazon http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

 

Christmas Carols_Daisy BanksBuy Links

Amazon

http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1NWh8gi

iTunes

http://apple.co/1IN2oP2

Kobo

http://bit.ly/1y85pJt

 

Daisy Banks is the author of:

Soon to be available with Liquid Silver Books Serving the Serpent

Christmas Carols

Marked for Magic

To Eternity

A Perfect Match

Timeless

Valentine Wishes

A Gentleman’s Folly

Your Heart My Soul

Fiona’s Wish

A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy’s books are available here

Amazon    http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iTunes

Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

 

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Did you enjoy learning a little about Daisy Banks and her books? You should join my Facebook group – Come Wine With Tami Lund. Once a month, I’ll feature a get-together with an author. You get to ask questions, have conversations, get to know him or her. That simple. Just don’t forget the wine!

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Let’s Blog About Sex, Baby

This blog is about sex.

Yep. So if you don’t like sex, well, I don’t even know what to say. Besides that, you’ve obviously stumbled upon this blog by accident, because I write about sex. Every one of my books. They aren’t erotica, but they should put a little heat in your cheeks (and another place further south) as you read, maybe cause you to eye your partner like he/she is a tempting cut of steak.

Witch Antho Promo PicToday, I’m going to talk about writing sex. No, it’s not a tutorial. As much as I like to write and talk about it, I’m not  qualified to be a teacher. My best advice would be to close your eyes and envision it … then write down exactly what you see in your head. Every detail. And if you need to take a minute to, well, take a breather, I also suggest you keep going. Wait until after you’ve finished the scene. Because that scene will be so much hotter if you write it while you are … um … squirming? Uncomfortably warm? Turned on? Yeah, that.

Okay, wait, I didn’t mean to start doling out advice. I want to talk about my own sex scenes, and why I write the ones I do.

True confession: I love the idea of sex in the shower.

I say the idea, because if you’ve ever done it in a normal-sized shower, with normal-sized people (even just two of you), well, you know what the term awkward means. Still, the idea is so, well, hot. And so my characters have sex in the shower. A lot. Probably, every book I’ve ever written has at least one sex scene that involves the shower or bathtub. Hmm … I wonder if that’s really true? I’ve published fourteen books to date. I wonder if every single one really does contain a shower sex scene?

I can’t decide if I’m embarrassed or proud.

I also love the idea of sex standing up. You know what I’m talking about: Six Pack Abs holding your thighs, pressing your back against the wall, while he presses something else against your G spot … Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Sex standing up, usually using a wall for support, is another one of my all time favorites, although it may not actually be in every book I’ve ever written. In the first book in The Resort series, this is how Carter and Allison have sex for the first time. In the troughs of passion, he even whispers, “Do you want to go to the bedroom?” And she replies, “No, I can’t wait any longer. Do me now.” (That was paraphrasing, but you get the gist.)

In Candy Crush, Brandon and Gabriella do it in the laundry room, with her seated on the dryer. Carter and Allison from The Resort do it standing up a lot. Of course, they have sex over the course of five books, so that’s to be expected. Tanner and Olivia from Into the Light do it against the wall of a cliff, next to the beach. Jake and Natalie from Love Gumbo … well, that’s a short, so there are only two sex scenes, and naturally, one of them is in the shower. Maybe that needs to be my signature “thing.” Or maybe I need to get more creative with the steamy moments in my books.

I admit, when I’m writing sex scenes, I tend to take my characters out of the bedroom. I don’t know why. I guess I figure that we all do it in the bedroom. That’s real life. And these books, well, they aren’t, are they? I mean, we all wish they were, but … So when I’m warming up to a new scene, in my head, I’m wondering, where would my readers like to have sex? What will keep them turning pages, panting for more?

Maybe I need to try writing erotica.

Seriously though, it’s the readers I think about, when I’m writing those scenes. Not myself. (“Honey, I have this idea for my next book, wanna try it out with me…?”) Nope. It’s all about that person who will hopefully pick up my book and be so entranced that they cannot put it down again until the end. And then when they do, they turn to their partner and say, “Honey, I just read this book with some great sex scenes. Wanna try them out with me?”

Yep. That’s me. Dr. Tami. Adding spice to my readers’ sex lives. Mostly in the shower and up against walls.

Anyone for levitation sex?

 

PS – I also blog over at the Writing Wenches website, once a month. This post is a slight modification of one I initially published over there. Here’s the rest of them, if you’re interested: Tami’s Writing Wenches Posts

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**NEW RELEASE** Lost and Found by Kay Blake

Happy New Release, Kay Blake! Doesn’t that cover just scream summer? Want to know what it’s about?

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Interracial Romance

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Found-Kay-Blake-ebook/dp/B010N2124M/

Blurb:

Zoe Reynolds’ life is thrown into a tailspin when she catches her fiancé sleeping with his receptionist. Reeling from his betrayal and wanting a change fast, she cuts her hair and purchases tickets to go on a seven day cruise to the Caribbean.  All Zoe wants is some fun in the sun and time to paint. That is, until she meets handsome but shy Donatello “Donnie” Carson, a forensics investigator who is on the cruise only to appease his best friend. Donnie is still hung up over bitter loses in his life, but with Zoe, he is able to start living again.

Though both have past wounds, sparks fly and their connection sends them on a whirlwind romance. Can Zoe and Donnie let go of the past and find solace in each other?

In keeping with the Jealous July theme, here’s an excerpt from Lost and Found:

I quickly headed to my room. Donnie completely changed my whole mood and I didn’t even know what was wrong in the first place.

“Wait, Zoe. Wait. Please?”

I stopped, but didn’t turn around.

“Look I’m sorry, but I was feeling a bit insecure back there.”

“Why?” I said, still not turning around.

“I don’t know. You just seemed a little too friendly with Rob than I wanted you to be.”

I laughed. “Really? That’s the big issue?” I turned around, now fuming. I started pacing. “You think I don’t know what kind of guy Rob is. I saw him ogling me when you guys came and picked me up. I was trying to be polite, he is your friend, isn’t he?”

“Yeah but—” I immediately cut him off.

“Don’t yeah but me. I know we haven’t known each other for ages or anything, but this is ridiculous. One, I don’t do the whole swapping thing. I like you, Donnie. I really like you, and for you to get upset with me for trying to be nice…I just can’t deal with this right now,” I said as I headed to my room without turning back.

~~~

Like it? Want to get to know the author? Here’s a Top Ten Favorite Things About Summer list, courtesy of Kay Blake:

My Top Ten Favorite Things about Summer

By: Kay Blake

Since, my novelette takes place in the summer, I thought I would share a few things that I like about the summer. They are in no particular order.

  1. The zoo- I know how crazy that sounds, but I am a mama bear. I have three cubs and well, the zoo seems so much more inviting when the sun is bright and shining. I also love big cats; you know tigers, leopards, panthers, and jaguars. (If I could have one-I would in a heartbeat, lol.)
  2. Fruity drinks– I am a sucker for a good fruity drink and though I don’t drink too often this is the time of year that a Bahama Mama or an Orange-Cherry Champagne Cocktail is, well, perfect!
  3. A good book- Because a good book goes along with any weather.
  4. Weddings- I may be a little bias since I just had a summer wedding, but seeing all the pictures of weddings in the park, beaches, or anywhere in nature is one of my favorite things about summer.
  5. The beach- Give me a beach umbrella, a book, and a beach chair and I am there.
  6. Summer Fashion- NYC is one of the cities that fashion its peak. I picked out a few trendy pieces for my summer collection and I can’t wait to show them off.
  7. Ice Cream and more ice cream- Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love ice cream?
  8. BBQs- Most time Memorial Day marks the beginning of BBQ season. I love the burgers, hotdogs and chicken off the grill with a nice cold glass of lemonade. (I am drooling just thinking about it.)
  9. Summer break for my cubs- When the cubs are out of school, I have more time to do things with them outside of the house. Outings and outdoor events are fun with the cubs around.
  10. More time to spend with friends- There are so much things to do in the summer. Summer in NYC makes it easier and more convenient to hang out and have a good time with friends.

 

Kay Blake

Bio:

Kay Blake was born in the city that never sleeps or as she sees it arguably the greatest city in the world (NYC). She have always loved written word and breezed through books all of her life. She decided to take a real stab at writing professionally in 2014 and have been on a roll since.

She is a mama to three cubs and recently re-married. She is working on her psychology degree. Her guilty pleasures are chocolate, wine, a good book, and horror movies. You can find her being sarcastic, while bawling at romance movies and being a super mom.

Social Media

Twitter: Author Kay Blake/ www.twitter.com/authorkayblake

Instagram: AuthorKayBlake/ www.instagram.com/authorkayblake

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorkayblake

Website/Blog: http://www.authorkayblake.wordpress.com

Tsu: http://www.tsu.co/authorkayblake

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/kayblake

Congrats on the new release, Kay!!

**Pre-Order Blitz** FINDING US by Debra Presley

Finding Us Preorder Blitz

pre-order blitz

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Book Title: Finding Us (A Nucci Securities Novel)
Author: Debra Presley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Pop star Abby Murphy is living every girl’s dream. She has fame, fortune, and a handsome boyfriend, a guitar player named Sean. That changes the night she finds him in the arms of another woman. Hurt and betrayed, Abby ends their relationship. But Sean won’t accept the breakup, and she soon learns that he’s had a hidden agenda all along. Overnight, Sean transforms from loving boyfriend to dangerous adversary, and Abby no longer knows who she can trust among her friends and family.

Abby turns to her bodyguard, Danny Nucci, a man who will do everything in his power to keep her safe. But when Abby realizes her feelings for Danny run much deeper than she thought, she refuses to give in to her attraction in order to preserve her new found independence as well as protect Danny from Sean’s machinations.

When Abby finally finds the strength to reclaim her life and acknowledge her growing love for Danny, will she be able to let him in? And will Danny be able to overcome his own demons to be the man she needs him to be? Or will she be forced to let him go forever?

excerpt

©2015 Debra Presley

The sun rose, and the rays seeped through the windows of the hotel suite. The brightness woke Danny before his alarm. He grabbed his phone to check the time a moment before his alarm starting blaring.

“Fuck.” He pressed snooze and stretched lazily. From the corner of his eye, he saw someone in the chair across from him. His body and mind were in action, assessing the threat, before he realized that is was Abby. At some point while he’d slept, she’d moved from the bedroom to the chair. She was wrapped in the blanket from his bed, snoring lightly. Her head was tilted to the side, resting on a small accent pillow, and her feet hung over the edge. She looked utterly adorable, and Danny hesitated to wake her. After last night, she needed the rest, and he had work to do before they were scheduled to be on the bus. He’d let her sleep a while longer.

He decided to deal with Vivien first and dialed her number as he walked into the bedroom.

“Mr. Nucci,” she answered. He wanted to roll his eyes every time she called him “Mr. Nucci.” Everyone in Abby’s entourage was informal except her. Danny tried to avoid dealing with Vivien. She and Abby had a complicated relationship that he tried to stay out of. It wasn’t his business, and as long as it didn’t affect Abby’s safety, he didn’t need to weigh in. Abby had hinted at a troubled home life when she was younger, but she’d never really shared that part of her life with him.

“Vivien, I’m not sure if you’re aware of what happened last night, but—”

“I’m well aware of my daughter’s impulsiveness.”

Danny held his tongue. Vivien hated to hear about problems. She just wanted them to go away.

“I think we need to discuss this situation.”

“What’s there to discuss? Abigail knows what’s expected of her.”

“That’s between you and Abby. I’m here to keep her safe, and last night she was assaulted. That warrants a conversation.”

“I don’t agree, but if you insist, we can meet for a few minutes this morning. I’ll have my assistant call you with a time.” She hung up the phone before Danny could say anything else.

He stared at Abby sleeping in the other room. If he wanted to prep her for their meeting, he needed to wake her now. Danny returned to the living room.

“Abby,” he whispered and sat next to her on the ottoman. He shook her gently. Nothing. She didn’t even stir. He watched her sleep for a moment then leaned over to gently push her champagne-colored hair away from her face. He took in her fair complexion sprinkled lightly with freckles and then abruptly stood. He needed to stop before his thoughts got the better of him. The last thing he needed was for Abby to see how much she affected him.

He worked hard at keeping things professional because he knew all too well what happened when he cared too much for someone. Since Vanessa, Danny hadn’t allowed himself to get close to any woman, and he still wasn’t ready to take that step. Shit, last night he nearly lost it when he saw Sean with Abby. It brought up too many memories that hit too close to home. He failed when it came to Vanessa; he wasn’t going to let anything cloud his judgment this time.

He watched Abby resting soundly, but he couldn’t stop thinking of his fiancé. He blamed himself for her death. And at the time, it nearly destroyed him.

Their tour of duty in Iraq had been tense, and his mind was on other things. He missed the signs that something was wrong, and after she died, nothing anyone said could convince him that he wasn’t responsible. Not only were they engaged, but she was also a fellow soldier who he’d worked with since boot camp. They’d served side-by-side, both sergeants in the Psychological Operations unit, commonly known as Psy-Ops.

“Abby.” He said her name louder but didn’t touch her this time. Abby said something in her sleep, but he had no idea what. Danny chuckled because, really, she was just too adorable.

“Come on sleepyhead; you have to wake up,” he coaxed.

“Go away.” She gathered the blanket closer to her body.

“I can’t. It’s time to get up. Let’s go.” He pulled at the blanket and saw that she was only wearing the T-shirt he gave her last night. He stared. Her legs were smooth and sexy, and there was a hint of her purple lace panties peeking out. Danny threw the blanket over Abby and stood quickly. He worked for Abby. He didn’t need images of her half naked in his brain.

He walked behind the chair. Distance was a must right now. His phone alarm sang “Reveille” and instead of shutting it off, he increased the volume and placed it by Abby’s ear.

She jumped, causing the ottoman to shift forward. Danny laughed at her expression but stopped when she lost her balance and fell to the floor. Like a scene from a sitcom, she landed on her ass, with her legs up in the air. Abby quickly covered herself with the blanket.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Screw you, Nucci.” She looked up at him with narrowed eyes. “Now help me up, asshole.”

Danny helped her stand, mindful of her bruised arm. The blanket fell to the floor, leaving Abby in his old New York Yankees T-shirt. Even though he knew what to expect this time, the sight was too much to ignore. He tried to avert his eyes but failed.

Abby laughed and walked slowly into the bedroom, shaking her sexy ass. “I’m gonna grab a quick shower. Can you get my suitcase or do you have another one of these I could wear?” Abby flipped up the end of Danny’s shirt, giving Danny an eye full.

“I’ll get your clothes.” Danny sighed and looked up at the ceiling. He was clearly off his game.

“Thanks.” Abby winked and laughed even louder. She closed the door and left him standing in the living room with his mouth hanging open. Holy shit. His mind raced with all the things he wanted to do to her, and he was thankful for the reprieve. He grabbed the keycard to Abby’s room and left to go get her things.

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Inspired By

Follow The Book Enthusiast – Book Enthusiast Promotions’s board Finding Us by Debra Presley on Pinterest.//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js
 

Meet the Author

DebraPresleyButton.4Debra is a native New Yorker who made her escape to the suburbs. She often returns to her hometown to visit her favorite deli for a bagel with butter, because there’s no better bagel than a New York bagel. When not in search of bagels, Debra spends her time running Book Enthusiast Promotions, an online promotions company that helps indie authors spread the word about their books. She’s also the owner of The Book Enthusiast blog.

She started writing lyrics in her wall-to-wall NKOTB bedroom at the tender age of thirteen while dreaming of the day she’d become Mrs. Jordan Knight. That dream never came to fruition, but she has continued to write. Now she’s working on her first novel.

 

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***COVER REVEAL***DELICIOUS DECEPTION***

Cover Reveal

9781440593475

Book Title: Delicious Deception (Tough Love, #3)
Author: Tami Lund
Genre: Contemporary Romance Suspense
Release Date: August 3, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads Button with Shadow

Book Blurb

Emily Kate Boudreaux runs a restaurant located on a bayou in Texas, because it’s what her family expects of her. She’d rather pursue her living as an artist. Then sexy chef Connor Rikeland walks into her life and turns it upside down. Soon, Emily Kate’s restaurant is a roaring success, she has time to paint to her heart’s content, there’s a hunky guy warming her bed, and she’s having visions of happily ever after.

Connor Rikeland is used to women throwing themselves at him, and he’s been known to use relationships as a bargaining chip in his climb up the ladder. He wants a culinary career in the spotlight—and Cajun cooking isn’t his ticket to fame even if Emily Kate is unlike anyone he’s ever met.

Not to mention Connor has a few secrets that have put him on the wrong side of her brother’s FBI case. When the pieces of just why Connor is hanging out in a backwoods town begin to surface, Emily Kate must decide what’s real, what’s a lie, and what’s worth risking her heart over. Because deception or not, life with Connor is delicious.

excerpt

The restaurant had a strange vibe.

Just as Connor reached for the door, an older couple stormed out, complaining about jambalaya. Was the chef’s jambalaya not up to par tonight? That seemed like a dish a place called Louisiana Kitchen would have perfected.

The building was an old wooden structure with a covered porch wrapping around three sides. Ceiling fans lazily spun every few feet. They didn’t do much to ease the muggy, early summer air, but their real purpose was to keep mosquitoes at bay. The small lobby contained a hostess stand positioned to discourage patrons from seating themselves. Wooden benches lined the walls for waiting customers. Eclectic paintings and sculptures hung on the walls, all portraying some sort of Louisiana-esque theme. He studied an especially whimsical design of two crawfish that appeared to be holding hands—er—claws, until another unhappy couple who appeared to be in their forties walked into the lobby, chased by a frazzled woman with flour smudges on her face and curly blond hair attempting to escape the bun on the back of her head.

She had smooth, lightly tanned skin and looked as if she wore very little makeup. She was taller than average for a female, maybe five seven or eight, and most of that appeared to be legs. He had always had a thing for great legs.

Despite the smudges on her face, the snappy red and white sundress she wore was unsullied. Having worked in restaurants for most of his life, Connor immediately pegged her as some sort of manager. She’d probably been in the kitchen, sampling the chef’s dishes. Did the chef deliberately let her leave the kitchen looking like that, or was he so busy, he hadn’t noticed? Connor himself had experienced plenty of both types of days.

Except this restaurant didn’t look particularly busy. He could see into the dining room from his vantage point, and no more than half the picnic tables and booths were occupied.

In Detroit, Thursday evenings were often nearly as busy as Fridays. Yet another difference between this place and his home.

“Please, Mr. and Mrs. Henry, don’t be upset. I know you were looking forward to the pecan-encrusted trout. I promise, next time you come in, I’ll have a new chef. That will be one of the interview questions,” the blond pleaded with the unhappy customers as they paused in the lobby so Mrs. Henry could dig her keys out of her purse.

Pecan-encrusted trout? New chef?

Connor could do pecan-encrusted trout, assuming the kitchen had the ingredients on hand, of course. His interest was officially piqued. Not only in the hot blond, but in the situation that was becoming clearer. His mind spun a million miles a second: here was a way to hide out for a while, until it was safe for him to go back to Detroit and figure out

what the hell to do with the rest of his life.

It was crazy, but he had done crazier. It was risky … Wait, no it wasn’t. This cozy, backwoods restaurant was not the sort of place his pursuers would ever dream of visiting.

His family had no clue what he was doing. Hell, he hadn’t even told them he was applying for the chef’s position at the casino. He hadn’t wanted to face their disappointment if he didn’t get it. As little as his family offered their praise, they were far too effervescent with their sympathy when things did not work out to his advantage.

It was perfect. It was … “Uh, excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Henry.”

The blond and her unhappy customers all turned their heads to look in his direction.

He offered his most charming half smile. The one most women found irresistible. Mrs. Henry’s eyes glazed, but the blond narrowed hers as suspicion bloomed on her face. Of course, when he was charming women, they were not normally under duress at the time.

“I’m sorry I’m late, uh …”

“Emily Kate, is this your new chef?” Mrs. Henry gave him a hopeful look.

Emily Kate. While he’d only been in the South a few days, he had already decided he would never understand the locals’ insistence on using first and middle names.

“No, I …” Connor cut her off.

“And, yes, pecan-encrusted trout happens to be my specialty.”

“It … is?” She looked utterly confused. Connor bit the inside of his cheek to keep from chuckling. Sometimes, it was almost too damn easy. Another reason he couldn’t quite understand why his former boss up in Detroit had never promoted him. Everybody else loved him, almost instantly.

“Remember, I mentioned it when we spoke on the phone? I also told you I might be a little late today, considering I had to drive up from New Orleans,” he lied through his teeth. It was worth the small fib, though. The Henrys were hooked. Emily Kate was still dubious, but she was about to not have a choice. Connor knew how to play this game.

“You’re from New Orleans?” Mrs. Henry asked, her voice breathy. Mr. Henry didn’t even notice his wife was all but drooling. He was clearly too busy envisioning the pecan-encrusted trout that was now in his immediate future.

“Studied there,” Connor hedged. He didn’t want to get too caught up in his own lies. He didn’t know jack shit about New Orleans, and if these people started asking questions, he’d be screwed before he even got started.

“How about you all take your seats, and the server’ll get you a drink while Emily Kate and I head back to the kitchen and I get started on your order. Is that two pecan-encrusted trouts?”

“Crab stuffed shrimp for me,” Mrs. Henry piped up. “With tezcuco seafood salad.”

Tuscan what? “Uh, right. Come on, Emily Kate.”

The Henrys happily headed toward the hovering hostess, while Emily Kate remained where she was, glaring at him.

“Don’t look at me like that,” he chided. “I just saved your ass.”

PRE-ORDER!

Meet the Author

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

She loves to interact via social media, and is on most major platforms as “Tami Lund Author.” Find her, like her, follow her!

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.

And most important, if you enjoyed one of Tami’s books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?

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I’m Jealous of the People You See Every Day

Today’s Jealous July Blog is courtesy of author Jennifer Senhaji, who just had a new book release last week! It’s fitting that in invited her to be a guest on my blog in July, as her book is about long-distance love, and tell me you know someone who is or has been in a long distance relationship and it didn’t make them nuts wondering what the other person was doing – every waking moment? You know darn well jealousy is a living, breathing thing in those types of relationships. Which means this book is probably a fascinating read. I’m currently a little way in, and I’m looking forward to finishing it during my vacation!

Please welcome author extraordinaire, Jennifer Senhaj…

Choosing to Dream is the second book in the Sunset Dreams Series. The story revolves around Jen and Jake, their attempt to survive a long distance relationship, and all that comes with it.

Jealously. Insecurity. Anxiety. Frustration. But when they get to see each other: heart pounding bliss.

Yep, I know the feeling well. I was in a long distance relationship for almost two years. Two years. Back before there was free long distance apps like Facetime, Tango, or Skype. I think it was even back before cell phones. To top it off, the long distance was really long distance. Like 6,000 miles. I was in San Francisco, California and he was in Rabat, Morocco.

I was in a constant state of anxiety: Checking my voicemail. Checking my email. He used to have to go to an internet café to send one and I would log in to my email every five minutes at work to see if I had a new message. Checking my mailbox, because yes—we used to send snail mail back and forth to each other.

Add in an eight-hour time difference. Yep. That was me. It’s a wonder we made it work.

Did we write lots of love letters? Yes. Did we fight constantly about nothing? All the time. Long distance relationships breed all types of insecurities.

And because I was so busy agonizing over when I was going to see him again or talk to him, every other activity and interest in my life fell by the wayside. Nothing was fun anymore. One phone call and my time with friends would be interrupted. Those same friends put up with hours and hours of me bitching and moaning about how much I missed him.

And the phone bills… My God.

I was lucky. We got married and my long distance love moved across the world to be with me. But it was a risk.

Then, years later, I watched my daughter suffer through the same thing, only for a lot longer. Years longer.

Long distance relationships are no fun. They are full of heartache and can drive you to the brink of insanity.

But, if you’re lucky, there still may be a happily ever after at the end of it.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? Did it work out? Why or why not?

Choosing to Dream Cover

 

Title: Choosing to Dream

Series/Volume: Sunset Dreams Series/Book 2

Author: Jennifer Senhaji

Release Date: July 17, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B0103BEN9Y

YouTube Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/IGA67m1l98Y

Blurb: Jenna Morris and Jacob Walker have finally given in to the flames of passion licking at their heels. But they’re only allowed one, blissful week together before the responsibilities of Jen’s café and Jake’s new film wrench the new lovers from each other’s arms.

Struggling to keep insecurities at bay whilst involved in a long distance relationship with one of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors is tough enough. Dealing with Bethany Phillips, ex-supermodel turned actress and Jake’s new costar is almost unbearable.

They say love can move mountains, but can it bridge the gap that fame, jealously, and thousands of miles between them has caused?

 

Jennifer's Author PhotoAuthor Bio: Jennifer Senhaji was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and is married with two children. If she’s not singing along at the top of her lungs to whatever is playing on the radio, you can find her making music playlists at home on her laptop. She works full time and splits her spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. Other than English, Jennifer speaks Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. She loves to travel, but doesn’t do enough of it and will weave places she has gone or wants to go into her stories. Reading has been a passion for most of her life and she loves to write. She calls herself Your Sweet and Spicy Romance Author because she loves the sweet nuances of new love, but also is a bit of a voyeur and wants to be in the bedroom when the characters finally come together.

Website www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jsenhaji13

Twitter https://twitter.com/jsenhaji13

Blog: http://jennifersenhaji.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jennifersenhaji

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Jsenhaji

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/jennifersenhaji

WordPress https://jsenhaji13.wordpress.com/

***COVER REVEAL**MIAMI HEAT***

MiamiHeat_TLReeve

Holy hell, how about that cover?! Yum! I know I can’t wait to get immersed. Oh, wait, you want to know what it’s actually about?? Okay, fine, you read the blurb, while I continue to stare at the cover…

Blurb: 

A trip to Miami for a blind date—what could go wrong?

Violet Wilson is a book lover at heart. As a librarian she loves her job and quite frankly no one else, from her prospective, could do it better. The only downside for being such a voracious reader, she has a high expectation of men.

Violet needs to let her hair down, embrace life and have fun—something her best friend Kate is willing to help her with. After an afternoon lunch with her best friend, she is handed a plane ticket and a hotel reservation to Miami. However, there is a catch…her date.

Roman Carpino isn’t looking for love. He has his tattoo parlor, his friends and several different women whenever he needs or wants a companion. To him, his life is golden. But, given the chance to take a vacation on his friend’s dime, he relents. What he isn’t expecting however, is his date, Violet.

With a weekend to spend together, will they find what each desires most–or will a friendly gesture damage two lives forever?

 

Excerpt:

“Roman.” She sighed. “You did this on purpose?”

He grinned. “What?”

“You purposely dressed like a god so I would drool all over you.” She swallowed hard, and her gaze caressed his arms and chest. Fuck, he’d never get used to or tired of the way she stared at him.

“I had to prove my statement last night. You love looking at me, and what better way for you to do it than while on a date with me?” He shrugged.

“I’ll be staring at you all day, that’s for sure.” She glanced at his arms and narrowed her eyes. “Are those old-school Universal Studios monster tattoos?” She blushed. “I mean, they’re cool and all. My parents really loved old black-and-white monster flicks. I, however, enjoyed reading about monsters. You know, Universal really bastardized Frankenstein. I’m sure Mary Shelley was rolling over in her grave.”

“Unless she figured out a way to be regenerated.”

Violet rolled her eyes, and he smiled. Actually he was impressed she knew his ink, even if her cover was weak. He loved old black-and-white horror movies. Bela Lugosi was his favorite actor. The range it took to go from Dracula to The Wolfman was insane. So, he’d gone into his shop and showed his buddy what he wanted done. He’d kept it all black-and-white with some shadowing. In the foreground of the work of art sat a mini graveyard with the moon shining high above, casting a silvery glow over the cemetery. Then, behind tombstones, the different characters were added in. The only color on the whole tattoo, which went from his shoulder to his wrist, was in Dracula’s cape. The completed process had taken three sittings and over ten hours. “Yeah. Do you like it?”

“Duh.” She grinned. “From far away I never knew what it was. I mean, I always saw the red strip in it but never got up the nerve to ask. What’s on your other arm?”

“Jason and the Argonauts.”

“Seriously?” She grabbed his hand, and a zing of electricity shot up his arm. Her soft gasp let him know she felt it too. “Sorry. I shouldn’t just grab at you.”

“Don’t worry about it.” He walked into her room and closed the door behind him. “Okay, now take your fill of the tattoos.”

Violet did just that. Her fingertips traced each line, each detail as though she was engraving them into her memory. She glanced up at him. Awe and desire glittered in her violet gaze. “You are a mysterious man,” she whispered.

Author Bio:

TL Reeve, a multi-published author with Cobblestone Press, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing and Loose-Id, was born out of a love of family and a bond that became unbreakable. Living in the south, TL misses Los Angeles and will one day return to the beaches of Southern California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach. When not writing something hot and sexy, TL can be found curled up with a good book, or working on homework with a cute little pixie.​

Check out TL Reeves on Goodreads!

 

**NEW RELEASE** Killing Me Softly

Congrats, Kathryn R. Biel, on your latest release, Killing Me Softly! I have it on my iPhone and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend reading it! I loved the last book I read by Kathryn, Jump, Jive, and Wail, so I *know* I’ll love this one, too. Want to know what it’s about? Here you go:

Sadie Perkins has a sixth sense about things—especially people dying. Her clairvoyance has never bothered her until she starts to believe that her visions are causing the deaths of those around her. After her latest relationship ends … badly … Sadie swears off love for good. While searching for an uncomplicated life, Sadie finds her hands full not only with a home renovation project but with defending herself against suspicion of murder. There’s a fine line between predicting someone’s death and causing it. Has Sadie finally crossed that line?

Enter contractor Max Schultz, who is not only good at working on houses, but he’s good at working on Sadie too. Much to Max’s dismay, as he’s trying to win Sadie’s heart, he finds Sadie’s first love, Henry Fitzsimmons, is back in the picture, snooping around.

Sadie doesn’t know which way to turn or who to trust, including herself. Can Sadie clear her name and open her heart all at the same time?

Killing Me Softly Cover

Excerpt:

The first person I ever killed was a has-been comedian. I didn’t mean to kill him, of course. The tabloid websites said it was drugs and alcohol, but I knew the truth. It was all my fault. My friends and I had been out drinking, and I quoted a line from this guy’s most popular movie. The movie was still relatively obscure, and I had to explain it. Someone asked, “Whatever happened to that guy?” and my answer was, “Oh, he’s probably drinking himself to death right now.”

Guess what? He was.

This sort of thing happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. I don’t even know what to call it—psychic ability, premonitions, a sixth sense? It’s not creepy, not really. Just enough to send a small chill up my spine. It never bothered me—until death got involved. Most of the time, it’s pretty innocuous. Like someone from my past will pop into my head, and the next day I run into them. Or I think about a song that I haven’t heard in years and then suddenly it comes on the radio. Nothing big, just coincidences. A lot of coincidences.

Until the day it started turning fatal.

Rob, my boyfriend of almost two years, doesn’t believe me. When something happens and I tell him, “Oh, I had a dream about that,” or “I was just thinking about this,” he says I’m trying to be dramatic and seek attention. (which wouldn’t really be such a big stretch, considering my family. We’re the poster children for dysfunction). But I’m not like the rest of my family. I actually don’t even tell many people about it because I don’t want attention, certainly not for this. I want to be taken seriously. I teach high school American history. With kids these days being tougher and tougher, I need as much street cred as I can get. The last thing I need is for them to think I’m some kind of quack or whack job.

My best friend, Therese, knows all about it. She’s one of the few people I can talk to about this topic. She doesn’t judge me or think I’m weird. I think she thinks I can predict the future or something. Which would be cool, but it is not what I do. I think I’m just intuitive at times. Who knows?

Over the years, since the comedian episode, I think I’ve been “responsible” for at least four deaths. A couple celebrities, a distant relative, and a well-known local businessman. When I have the dreams or make the comments, I don’t recognize them as premonitions. They’re just random thoughts that pop into my brain and often fly out of my mouth without me even realizing what I’m saying. People are used to me doing that. It’s only later, after the event, that I realize what happened. In each case, I made an unkind remark. It’s not just a premonition—I say something mean and then someone’s dead.

 

Pick up your copy today:

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Smashwords

 

Author Bio:

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), and Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015).

 

Kathryn Biel Author PicAuthor Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynrbiel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KRBiel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7113914.Kathryn_R_Biel

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kathrynrbiel/

Website: http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com/

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