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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Guest Post: Quest for Honor by David Tindell

Description:

"I love the name of honor, more than I fear death." Julius Caesar

Jim Hayes lives a quiet life in Wisconsin, training in martial arts and studying the warrior ethos. Unable to prevent the murder of his wife six years earlier, Jim is determined that the next time he is called upon to act, things will be different, and he can restore the sense of honor he believes he has lost.

His estranged brother Mark, an Army colonel commanding a firebase in the mountains of Afghanistan, sees his career winding down and wonders what lies in store when he comes home. After years of dedicated service to his country, he fears nothing else will measure up when he removes the uniform for the last time.

In lawless Somalia, al Qaeda chieftain Yusuf Shalita, tired of endless jihad, has decided to defect, in one last attempt at redemption. But Shalita has only met one American he has ever trusted, so he tells the CIA he will surrender himself to Jim Hayes, his old friend from their college days in Wisconsin. That demand will bring the Hayes brothers back together in a way they never imagined, as they fight to prevent a new and devastating terror attack on the very heart of America.

GUEST POST
THE FALL OF HONOR 

It was the spring of 2013, and prominent men were falling left and right, a parade of men once held in high esteem for their accomplishments, their values, their good works. In just the last two years: Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Petraeus, Lance Armstrong, and just before the Super Bowl we learned of Dan Marino, Hall of Fame quarterback and family man, with a mistress and a “love child” in his recent past. Undoubtedly there will be more. When the news broke last fall about Petraeus, the general who led us to victory, or what passes for victory these days, in Iraq and toward the same in Afghanistan before taking over the CIA, I asked myself, “Is there no honor left, anywhere?” 

The Petraeus scandal was perhaps most disturbing to me. Here was a man who had worked his way to the pinnacle of his profession, a man at arms who had through discipline, innovation and hard work achieved so much that his name was being mentioned as presidential material. I read his biography, All In, not realizing then that he was cheating on his wife by sleeping with the author. In the span of days, everything Petraeus had built for himself was in shambles. He lost his job, his marriage was rocked to the core, his reputation forever besmirched, and for many who hoped he might be the one to take the reins of the nation in four years to lead us out of our downward spiral of dependency and financial stupidity, hopes were dashed. 

The Concept of Honor 
In what was an interesting coincidence, at about the same time I finished a series of articles on my favorite website, Art of Manliness, about the concept of honor. It is a concept with a rich and complex history, and like everything else has evolved over time, but not necessarily for the better. The more I learned, the more I came to believe that what we need in this country now, perhaps more than ever, is for us to embrace the concept of honor: what it is, what it means, and why we need it. 

My generation gave us the idea of “I’m OK, you’re OK” and its cousin, “Do your own thing.” In those heady days we rebelled against authority to usher in the Age of Aquarius, throwing off the shackles of our narrow-minded parents and their antiquated ideas about faith, duty, discipline and honor. In our tie-dyed shirts and grubby jeans we drove our smoke-filled VW buses down the road toward the next century, convinced we would have ourselves a groovy world by 2001. Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. 

The author of the Art of Manliness series, Brett McKay, wrote, “Traditional honor consists of having a reputation judged worthy of respect and admiration by a group of equal peers who share the same code of standards.” Originally, these standards were based on strength and courage, but over the centuries they came to include things like chivalry, industry, self-control and sincerity. In the 20th century things started unraveling with urbanization and anonymity dissolving the intimate personal relationships honor required. People became uncomfortable with the concept of shame, violence even in self-defense was to be avoided at all costs, and individual feelings were elevated above the common good of the group. Your own sense of honor, if you had one, was determined by nobody but yourself. Accountability became a thing of the past.

Is Honor Gone Forever? 
One particular part of McKay’s thesis struck home: “Without honor, mediocrity, corruption and incompetence rule. Honor is based on reputation, and when people stop caring about their reputation, and shame disappears, people devolve into doing the least they can without getting into legal trouble or getting fired.” We have more rules than ever, because people can’t be trusted to do the right thing, they have to be compelled to do it. Honor is more powerful than rules and laws in shaping human behavior. 

Honor checks our narcissism, builds community, creates meaning. Without it, nobody cares what you do. Merit goes unnoticed, good goes unrewarded, evil goes unpunished. Most Americans today believe we’re on the wrong track, but we’re not sure what to do about it. Perhaps we can start by embracing honor again. 

About the author:
David Tindell was born in Germany and grew up in southern Wisconsin. Today he lives up in the northwestern corner of the state, in a log home on a lake with his wife Sue, their Yorkie and two cats. After a career in radio broadcasting, Tindell went to work for the US Government and resumed the writing career he'd started in college.

His first novel, "Revived", was published in 2000, but after that he put the pen aside for a time to train in the martial arts, earning a black belt in the Korean art of Taekwondo and instructor status in the Russian art of Systema. He currently trains in ryukudo kobujutsu, an art that combines karate with Okinawan weaponry. Like his protagonist in "The White Vixen", Tindell is a linguist, although not as accomplished as Jo Ann Geary; he's conversational in German and has also studied Italian and Russian.


Happy Release Day! Special Offer: Crave by L.L. Hunter

Description:

Inspired by the short story, The Dragon Heart Keeper, also by L.L. Hunter

I remember excruciating pain.
I remember unimaginable heat.
I remember an undeniably beautiful young woman.
But I’m not sure whether these things are real.

One year ago, Ash Brandon was framed and sent to an unknown realm where he learnt his fate. A fate where he held the blood of an ancient line of Dragon shifters called Dragon Hearts. The thing is, he can no longer remember. All he knows is that he is a nineteen-year-old guy who wants to study architecture and one day, take over the family business.

Then two beautiful girls show up in his life — one who is sexy as hell and could be the woman of his dreams, while the other claims to have known him from a past he cannot remember. Only there is one thing he can’t wrap his mind around — Why does he crave each of the girls?

A now eighteen-year-old Eva, a powerful Dragon Heart Keeper from the Dragon Realm, is punished by her parents and sent to the earthly realm by her witch maiden. Her memories have all been wiped clean, but why can she still remember Ash, and the undeniable bond they once shared?

Emily is a Siren princess, and she always gets what she wants. When she sets her sights on Ash, all bets are off. She will make him hers — if only his Keeper weren’t in the way.

Will Ash discover who he truly is before its too late? Or will his deadly addiction to both girls get him killed?

Crave Love - Crave Life - Crave Truth

You can Download The Dragon Heart Keeper FREE from all eBook retailers!
Purchase yourpy of Crave for the special release day price of 99 cents!
About the author:
L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Eden Chronicles. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens - everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” 


Branded: A Bad Boys Anthology

Published: August 28th, 2014
Cover Design: Cover It Designs 

Description:

B.L. Wilde, Jeanne McDonald, Jo Matthews, Mary Elizabeth, and Sarah Elizabeth give us five good reasons why good girls love bad boys. The men of Branded are sexy, adventurous, and troubled deep into their souls. There may be no redeeming them, but at the risk of losing everything, these good girls must decide if loving their bad boy is indeed worth the cost. 

All of these stories were well written bad boy/good girl stories. I loved them all. I am sucker for bad boys like most women who read modern day romance novels. Each story had a different story line, but fell in the same category. I definitely felt a wide range of emotion while reading each story. They all had a certain level of hotness (sexy time), suspense, angst, and drama, hello? Who doesn’t love all of that in their bad boy reads? - Goodreads

Condemned by B.L.Wilde
Cover Design FS Meurinne 

Ten years served for a crime he didn’t commit. Ten years to lose everything he ever knew. Finally released from prison, Clayton McGuire is on a mission and nothing will stand in his way. He is determined to get revenge against the gang that set him up and take back what was stolen from him all those years ago. 

Clay will stop at nothing to win back his honor and the heart of the only woman he has ever loved. Will she take him back when he finds her? Or will he be condemned to live a life without his soulmate?

B.L. Wilde is a British author obsessed with many things, including heated love stories. Fully supported by her husband, she can often be found at her desk working on her next project.

Her journey into the world of erotica began when she started writing online stories over three years ago, and she hasn't looked back since.

Website ** Blog ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter

Renegade by Jeanne McDonald
Cover Design: Jada D'Lee Designs 

A chance meeting between a rookie cop and a common criminal who’s searching for a way out. 
An unforeseen circumstance. An instant attraction. A magnetic connection. 
Tattooed, pierced, and foul-mouthed, she can’t help but be drawn to him. 
Two people entirely wrong for one another, yet so perfectly right. 
When their worlds collide, Lucy Diamond will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice as she embarks on the road of no return with bad boy Jude Wallace. 
Like a thief in the night, love will take them both by surprise.

Jeanne McDonald began telling stories at the ripe young age of five, when her mother considered the truth to be a lie due to her extensive embellishment to the retelling of an event. She wrote her first short story when she was twelve years old, and at the age of sixteen she tried her hand at poetry. She reconnected with her love for writing in 2010 thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend.

Her passions include a "mild" Starbucks addiction, music, reading, quotes, movies, and romance. When she's not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, chatting with her friends or diligently working toward her bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.


Desolation By Jo Matthews
Cover Design: Jo Matthews

Liam Jenkins grew up with everything he ever wanted. At age 17, his world is ripped apart and he finds himself without a home, without a car, and without money. His support system is gone and he is left to fend for himself. Not having any other option, Liam turns to sex and small crimes to survive.

When a beautiful woman chooses not to turn him into the cops but invites him to her hotel room instead, Liam’s world is flipped upside down again and everything he’s learned on the streets ceases to exist.

What will happen when one night with her isn’t enough? When she haunts his thoughts and dreams? When his past finally catches up with him, will he be able to start over? And will his mystery woman be there to see him through?

Jo Matthews is an Arizona native, where she lives with son. A stay-at-home mom since 2007, she only recently discovered her love and passion for the written word. When she’s not writing, she’s usually knee deep in editing—an aspect she thoroughly enjoys.

As an editor, she has propelled quite a few authors into the published world, and with her skills, has landed several stories on Amazon’s Top Sellers lists.

Blog ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Google+

Low By Mary Elizabeth
Cover Design: Valentine S.

Lowen Seely has been forced into making bad choices his whole life but none as consequential as the one that lands him behind bars. He thought times were tough before he was locked up; the boy from the hood learns living a law-abiding life is nearly impossible with a felony record.

He finds hope in Poesy Ashby, the girl who kissed him through glass partitions every weekend for two years.

Not everything is simple, but in her he finds strength.
In her, he is brave.
Even crooks love.
When Lowen and Poesy stare poverty in the face, he has another choice to make.
And this time, she’s driving.

Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths—a duo brave enough to never hide the truth. Born and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.


Don't Let Me Go By Sarah Elizabeth
Cover Design: Bishop Clark

Based almost entirely on body language, intimate feelings can develop within less than a minute of meeting someone.

Additionally, meeting in a dangerous situation increases the chances of falling in love.
This is that fall.
Where meeting her eyes means seeing it through.
Following down from the start to don’t let me go.
From roll up to run.
Between old glory and new beginnings.
This is what happens when a lamb is carried to the slaughter by courage, instead of a cowardly lion.

Sarah Elizabeth love’s listener is a lone wolf born a unicorn with a red panda soul and a heart she drew herself. friend, sister, elizabeth, and true love, she’s a messenger that makes art with words and love with art. she’s been yelly, yellowglue, squeak, cuppycakes, precious pinks, warren, little grey, a girl named ben, and sarahbear. she’s a synesthete, a heart junkie, a truth seeker and secret keeper. poet half, sun half, and total scripturient, Sarah’s work is equal parts her passion, sanctuary, precipice, vice, adventure, restorative, deliverance, and joy. she currently resides in Kansas City, and she’s bringing Rococo back.

Tumblr ** Goodreads ** Twitter ** Facebook


Special Offer: The Last One by Tawdra Kandle

Release Date: September 28th, 2014

Description:

Meghan Hawthorne is restless. The last year has been a roller coaster: her widowed mother just married a long-time family friend. Her younger brother unexpectedly became a father and a husband. Everyone's life is changing. . .except for hers. As she begins her final summer of college, Meghan's looking for excitement and maybe a little romance. Nothing serious; this girl just wants to have fun.

But the only man for Meghan turns out to be the last one she expects.

Sam Reynolds doesn't need excitement, and he doesn't want romance. Fun is out of the question. He's been the steady, responsible one since his parents were killed, and serious is his way of life.

When Sam rescues Meghan alongside a dark Georgia backroad, she falls hard for his deep brown eyes and slow drawl. But making him see her as more than just a party girl won't be easy. Sam's tempted by the fiery young artist, even as he realizes that giving into his feelings will mean radical change. . .maybe more than he can handle.

Nobody ever said love was simple.

Goodreads ** Pre-Order NOW at Amazon and Smashwords for only 99 cents!
About the author:
Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since the invention of the pen. Her first published work appeared in Child's Life magazine when she was 13. After a brief, thirty-year hiatus, she published a young adult quartet, The King Series. More recently, she's released contemporary and paranormal romances in both the adult and New Adult genres. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband and children, of both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair. Follow Tawdra on:


Excerpt and Giveaway: Docked series by Rachel Wade

Description: 18+

It’s not water that paralyzes Anya Banks—it’s the ocean. Tumultuous and powerful, sleek and unpredictable, it’s just like Tanner Christensen, owner of Trident Voyager, the cruise ship she’s been talked into boarding by her vivacious, foodie fanatic best friend and co-worker, Lana. Tanner exudes confidence, and his raw masculinity is hard to resist. But Anya came aboard to work, face her demons, and then get the hell back to dry land.

Until Tanner convinces her to take the plunge.

She quickly dives into a fun, carefree arrangement with him and embraces her goal to be brave, no matter how loudly her shaky knees tell her to abandon ship. For twelve days, Tanner’s all hers. For twelve days, she’s his goddess. Once the cruise is over and the ship docks, she won’t be the same. But being brave always costs something, and this time, it might cost her heart.

Anchored (releases in September!):

Tanner and Anya’s story continues…

Choosing to put aside her reservations about spending more time with Tanner Christensen, Anya said to hell with her instinct and agreed to another cruise. She agreed to take the risk. But now she’s stuck.

Stuck on Trident Voyager.

Stuck with Tanner Christensen, and the woman hell bent on making her pay.

What was supposed to be a fun, careless fling turned out to be something else entirely. Something she wasn’t prepared for and something she certainly can’t take back. The damage is done, and this time, Lana and Brie aren’t by her side to help her weather the storm. There are no escape routes, only ship decks, miles of white sand, and one very self-assured, dominant cruise ship owner determined to get her attention and set things straight.

Lana might still be her partner in crime, but it’s Anya who must fight for—and protect—her heart when all is said and done.
EXCERPT





My hair blows wildly as Tanner flies down the road, The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” blaring loudly through the speakers. The road curves and we wind around, little glimpses of the water flashing in between the thickets of palm trees that line the shoulders. We cruise farther and farther from any signs of tourist activity, leaving the cabanas and guest beach in the dust. A few minutes pass and we speed around another corner, peeling onto a long, dirt driveway that leads deep into the tropical brush.
A small turquoise house comes into view, its shutters weathered, the paint peeled along the slats.
“What are we doing here?” I finally ask as Tanner brings the car to a stop.
He reaches over and turns the radio off, then flicks the ignition. The windows are still open, and the purr of the smooth machine we’re sitting in dies. “You’re here to learn some more Tanner Christensen 101,” he says matter-of-factly, yanking me over the console and onto his lap. A surprised yelp sends the wind rushing from my lungs. When I collide with him, he finally tears his shades away and tosses them on the passenger seat.
I grip his shoulders, my eyes wide.
“Let me clarify something for you, Miss Banks,” he demands, gathering my disheveled, windswept hair in his hands and holding it at the nape of my neck. “I was under the assumption that when we made our agreement, the exclusivity we discussed went both ways.”
I blink. “Well, you assumed right. I wasn’t doing anything with—”
“I don’t want to hear his name,” he snaps, clutching the back of my head, “I don’t want to know anything about him. I already got an eyeful of his hands on you, and it told me everything I need to know. He’s a boy, not a man, and he won’t be able to take care of you.” His mouth hits my throat, hot and wet. He murmurs against my skin, voice raw and rough, an unhinged edge to his tone. “Right now, you’re going to ride me hard. One, because it’s been a hell of a morning and I need it, and two because you need it and you don’t know it yet.” His fingers make quick work of my bikini top, ripping at the flimsy strings. He flings it aside and then tears my bottoms off, swinging my legs around like a pro. He kisses me, his mouth harsh, tongue demanding. I taste the sea salt from my skin on his lips.
His hands are firm and controlled, roaming everywhere. Sand grinds at my skin with each touch. He’s sucking the breath from me and I’m so shocked, I can’t even process the deprivation. I can only sink into him, quench his thirst and satisfy his hunger. I push at his suit jacket, frantically peeling it down his shoulders. He groans in approval and cups my breasts, squeezing and trailing his thumbs along the undersides.
“Tanner,” I whimper, “I love the way you touch me.”
“Bite,” he demands huskily, placing the pad of his thumb on my bottom lip. I obey and press my teeth down, moaning as he pushes his hips up to deliver the most delicious pressure. His thumb leaves my mouth and trails across my jaw bone, landing just below my ear. He rubs gently, the moist pad working delicate strokes into the skin. “You like this spot, baby?”
I lean into his touch, and my eyes drift shut in pure pleasure. “Yes.”
He keeps rubbing the space just below my ear while he leans up to nip my lips, working me into a blissful haze. The last few minutes are a blur. In a matter of seconds of being on this man’s lap, I’ve almost forgotten my morning with Lana and Brie, and my walk on the beach with Jonah. All my body registers is Tanner’s raging need and my desire to give him what he’s desperate for.





About the author:
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at:


Happy Release Day! Giveaway What to Read After FSOG Gemstone Collection 5

Description: 18+

Playing the Game by Stephanie Queen 
Superstar athlete Barry Dennis gets taken down a peg by a woman in the habit of taking men down a peg.

She’s been accused of murder because of her habit.

Triage by Tara Crescent
A surgeon with secrets. A woman craves to be spanked. When they get together in an examination room – what will happen next?

Lisa Preston has always fantasized about a doctor tying her down on the examination table, and taking her for his pleasure. When she meets Dr. Patrick Anderson in a club, will she be brave enough to tell the Doctor what she needs? And will the Doctor make her fantasies come true?

Note: This novella includes medical play, spankings, domination, graphic sexual scenes, and more.

Fever by Cathryn Fox
Reporter Sara Jack has the fever to do a story on the Hot Line. There’s no better man than Mitch Adams to help with research. The solid stud is all pro, but in Sara he’s met a woman willing to fulfill one of his fantasies—if they’re ready to accept what comes next.

Rules of the Game by Elaine Raco Chase
"You need an attitude adjustment!" Samantha Logan told Adam Rourke.

She didn't care that he was rich, she didn't care that he was handsome, and she didn't care that her boss was his surrogate father.

She tried to ignore the fact that his deep voice hit her behind the knees and made her feel oddly off balance. And she was sure those heart palpitations were the result of drinking two five-hour energy drinks in less than thirty minutes and definitely not from a pair of broad shoulders, green eyes and a sexy stubble.


Fragmented by Colleen Connally
The first in the Boston's Crimes of Passion Series! A pulse-pounding thriller! Ms Connally's first murder mystery delivers! Suspenseful...shocking...a psychological thriller-- leaving readers on the edge of their seat. Cameron Quinn is caught in a web of deceit. Protecting her brother from being framed for a murder places Cameron in untold danger. When the real killer diverts his attention to her, she has nowhere to turn, especially not to the man she shared one unforgettable night... who now is trying to put her brother in prison.

Drake Restrained by S.E. Lund
Drake Morgan, MD, Neurosurgeon, bass player, philanthropist – Dominant. He doesn't do girlfriends, he doesn’t do sleepovers, and he certainly doesn't do breakfast in bed the morning after. Into bondage, D/s and the occasional dungeon scene, Drake keeps every part of his life separate, the divisions between them neat and tidy. That is until Kate McDermott crosses his path and screws everything up. Now, nothing is neat and tidy anymore, for Drake is smitten and things are going to get messy…

Cooking Class by Valerie Douglas
Lily Cavanaugh did it the hard way. She'd apprenticed under Master Chef Evan Taylor until he threw one temper tantrum too many. Then Evan and the director of his new TV show, Dylan Bryant, walk into her restaurant to offer her an intriguing proposition...


The Principles of Lust by Sasha White
Step into Lush, the decadent art gallery that specializes in the sensual, and let your desires set your heart free.

Businesswoman Teal Jamison knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. With her dream art gallery about to open, she’s in need of some serious stress relief and virile carpenter Zack Dillon is just the man to give it to her.Only Zack doesn’t think they’re a good match. He likes to be in control, always, and Teal’s anything but submissive when she comes on to him.

The Sexperts: The Girl With the Pearl Necklace by Melinda DuChamp
In the future, some people are still prudes...

And the most prudish of all are the righteous defenders of righteousness at the Purity Foundation. When the director sends her own daughter on an undercover mission to eliminate sexual satisfaction from earth, the only thing standing between the human race and complete and total sexual frustration are the good instructors of the Seimann Sex Institute.

Fanny and Peter, along with new instructors Chastity and Milo, have devoted their lives to ensuring everyone can enjoy a healthy, prosperous sex life. But they will have to use every tool and technique in their arsenal if they are to overcome this new threat, because the Purity Foundation isn't going down...not without a fight.

No sacrifice is too much if the cause is just, and love might the greatest cause of all...


A Voice to Love by Karolyn James
Lead singer Luke Nolan's sudden success is everything dreams are made of. Going from playing at a local dive bar to touring with mega band Chasing Cross, seemingly overnight, and ultimately saving the headliner's tour, has the men of Fallen Tuesday absolutely loving the life on the road. In fact, Luke is loving it so much that he has used every excuse to not tell his bandmates about his medical condition that is worsening with each performance.

In a small town just outside Syracuse, New York, Amy Deleranne seeks solitude in the kitchen of Tommy Two's, her uncle Tom's restaurant that should have been hers by now. She understands his emotional attachment, but she has poured her life into its survival and has more at stake than anyone knows...

With Luke battling a skyrocketing career and the medically unknown and Amy terrified to look over her shoulder at all times, it is no wonder that sparks fly when they meet. However, can their hearts, and their careers, survive the secrets they've been keeping?


About the authors:

Stephanie Queen: USA Today Bestselling author Stephanie Queen is a romantic at heart and a writer by nature with the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. She enjoys creating stories where her rose-colored world-view comes to life and the good guys always win. Although she lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf.


Tara Crescent is a writer of erotic fiction. She believes in sassy submissives, firm Dominants, completely consensual relationships and happily-ever-afters! Her favorite kind of romance stories are ones that are somewhat believable.
In her spare time, Tara reads, gardens, cooks, and procrastinates about cleaning. From time to time, Tara blogs about what she's working on (and anything else that she finds interesting). She lives in Toronto.
She is somewhat active on Facebook and Twitter, especially when the writing is going poorly.


Cathryn Fox: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband.


Elaine Raco Chase: If you like sassy, laugh out loud, contemporary romances - some more explicit than others - you have found the right author!
Reviewers have called them: "cat & mouse" - "slow burn" - "hot and steamy" - "highly addicting" - "solid characters & lots of humor" - "amazing reads!"
I call them fun! My heroines are NOT: thin, petite, clueless or submissive. They are strong women who aren't looking for a man - until the right one comes along!
And those men! Tough-guy, alpha males who don't know what hit them! But do know they want MORE!


Colleen Connally is one of the pen names of Jerri Hines. Under Colleen Connally, she has written a historical romance series, Secret Lives, which is riddled with romantic suspense and a touch of paranormal. The Secret Lives Series consist of Seductive Secrets, Broken Legacy, and now Seductive Lies. Fragmented, Book One Boston's Crimes of Passion, marks Ms Connally's first contemporary suspense thriller.


S.E. Lund lives with her family of humans and animals in a small city in Western Canada in an old house on a quiet tree-lined street. Besides writing erotic and contemporary romance for a living, she advocates for climate action, plays piano and dreams of living in a warm climate by the ocean.


Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors in almost every genre she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and, as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance.
Happily married, she's companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.


Sasha White: Gifted with a salacious imagination, USA Today and NYT Bestselling Author Sasha White’s brand of Romance with Heat, and Erotica with Heart is all about sassy women and sexy men. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or romantic suspense, you can’t go wrong by reading something White Hot.


Melinda DuChamp: I'm a professional author who has written more than fifty novels, most of them romances. Recently, I began writing erotica under this pen name, beginning with Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland. I do my best to make my books playful and funny without taking away from the kinky, steamy love scenes. It's erotica for smart people who like to laugh, just like you.


Karolyn James - Did you know Karolyn James is the pen name for bestselling western romance author, Claire Charlins?



Happy Release Day! Excerpt and Giveaway: Blood & Gold (The Hand of Kali #2) by T.G. Ayer

Description:

As Maya perfects her Fire skills she finds there is more to being the Hand of Kali than just wielding Fire.

A surprising summons to Mount Kailas takes Maya on a journey to meet the Lord of the Hindu Pantheon – Lord Shiva himself. This time the God’s request may not be so easy to fulfill.

Maya and her friends must flee the demons and the ruthless killers on their trail to retrieve the golden bow of Lord Rama.

Can Maya get the bow back in time, and also save a certain demon king in the process?

Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he's telling.

Maya doesn't believe the gods are real, doesn't waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhounds become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn't normal to be ...

The Hand of Kali.

A new Paranormal coming of age series delving in the fantasy and magic of Hindu mythology and its plethora of gods, demons, legends & mythology.

About the author:
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: How the Water Falls by K.P. Kollenborn

Description:

On the fringes of a civil war arise a kaleidoscope of stories of abuse, power, betrayal, sex, love, and absolution, all united by the failings of a dying government. Set in the backdrop during the last years of South Africa's apartheid, How the Water Falls is a psychological thriller that unfolds the truth and deception of the system’s victims, perpetrators, and unlikely heroes.

The two main characters, one white, Joanne– a reporter, the other black, Lena– a banned activist, have their lives continuously overlap through the people they know during a thirteen-year period and eventually become friends as a result of their interviews together. Joanne personifies the need to question and investigate apartheid’s corruption from a white person’s perspective. Although her intentions begin with idealism, no matter how na├»ve, as the years pass while the system is failing, she crosses the threshold of what it means to be caught up inside the belly of the beast, especially after crossing paths with the Borghost brothers. Lena, who is inspired by her predecessors, such as Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, is among the minority of black women to peacefully battle for equality, even if her struggle is indicative of sacrificing her health and safety. Hans Borghost is Johannesburg’s commissioner of police who, like all those before, had a military background before pursuing a law enforcement career. Violent, manipulative, and controlling, he incarnates the image of South Africa’s perpetrators. Jared Borghost is the younger brother of Hans and, like his brother, has a military background, but unlike Hans, he internally combats between his sense of duty and morality. His inconsistency indicates a conscience that leaves one to ponder whether Jared is either a perpetrator, victim, or both. As his surname suggests, Bor-GHOST represents the “ghosts” that haunt the family’s past. Many other characters play the roles of spies, freedom fighters, lovers, adversaries, and supporters.

This novel is as complex as apartheid was itself, unlacing fabrics of each character’s life to merge into a catalyst downfall. The question of who will survive this downfall will suffice in the courts of truth and reconciliation and whether love is strong enough to preserve peace.

MB's INTERVIEW
Thank you, Mrs. K.P. Kollenborn
Is still the apartheid a subject of interest? What history teaches us? 
There are two reasons that the subject of apartheid prevails: One, there is a strong correlation of what occurred in South Africa to what is happening now in Israel. Segregating a population, denying them citizenship, displacing that population into ghettos or refugee camps, and the violence that precipitates mirrors the two countries in hardships and failures. When laws can’t and don’t protect all people living on the same land, it opens up abuse and injustice. Two, it’s only been twenty years since the eradication of apartheid, and we’re continuing to understand what all of that meant. Although political emancipation has succeeded, but discrimination and corruption resumes. The aftermath of apartheid endures a legacy of unresolved issues. What we all should learn from history is that a true democracy, one that is not dysfunctional, is all inclusive, and that education is best method to make it so. Ignorance and greed is what makes war; education and uniting people for a common goal is what saves our future.

How much fiction / non fiction is in How the Waters Falls? 
The first chapter begins with the Truth and Reconciliation where I abstract real stories from those who testified at these events. From there, I douse the novel with historical events and references to fuse with the development of the plot. Several of my main characters, such as Joanne, Lena, Wanda, Jared, Hans, Father Mulalo, and Topsy are inspired by a mesh of people I’ve researched. I wish to preserve the integrity of the historical significance as much as possible while maintaining a strong story. If I had to calculate between the two, I would put fact and fiction at 50/50. 

The apartheid in How the Water Falls, Japanese-American (people) relations after Pearl Harbor in Eyes Behind Belligerence – why to take such important historical events and transpose them in fiction stories? 
There is more freedom in fiction. Although I do my darndest to uphold historical continuity, sometimes I need to bend the actual timeline or combine few real people into one person, thereby fictionalizing that character, as a means to represent either an archetype in fiction form or to establish the attitudes of that era. 

What is the writer’s responsibility when approaching such themes? 
Honestly, John Steinbeck wrote it best: “The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit—for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.” And within the same context, he also wrote, “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” 

What is the biggest trap to avoid in a psychological thriller? But in one based on real events? 
Huh, that is a good question. My concern, when I wrote my second novel, (because my first novel is more of a historical drama rather than a thriller,) was to feel cheated after reading it from start to finish. And what I mean by “cheated” is by not making sure each of my characters felt real, had an authentic voice and purpose to the story, that there was a reason for their existence. I also wanted to make sure I didn’t “cheat” the historical accuracy while allowing the plot to prevail. The two had to “tango” well together in order to understand the psychology of each of the character’s mindset. Based on where the characters were born, what families they were born into, had influenced how they reacted to their environment and toward each other. I hope nothing felt forced and had a natural experience through it all- even though the violence as well as the tender moments.
About the author:
Although I've been writing since childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned to value our lessons, and the best way to recite our lessons are through storytelling. That's why I love history: To learn. To question. To redeem our humanity. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, our society's past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

I am fortunate to have been trained by one the top ten writing teachers in the US, the late Leonard Bishop, and author of 'Dare to be a Great Writer.' I owe my love of writing to him. In addition to writing, I draw, paint, create graphic design, and am an amateur photographer.

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Excerpt and Giveaway: Hunted By The Past (Book 1 of the Psy-IV Teams) by Jami Gray

Published: August 26th, 2014

Description:

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call. The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list--Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw. Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her. A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart. 

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves. 

EXCERPT





My spine itched, but no matter how many times I checked my back trail, it stayed empty. 
We were only a couple of streets away from The Dragon, but here urban renewal was slow to encroach. Inky eyes of dark storefronts watched my game of cat and mouse, their entryways offered minor concealment.  Sprinkled in-between these were the occasional boarded up abandoned shops. Trailing someone on a quiet city street is far from easy.  Headlights from passing traffic played havoc on both my eyesight and ability to hide. Watching my steps, I tried not to invade some poor soul’s cardboard home even as bass-pounding, tricked-out cars drew attention at the most inopportune moments.
By the time Ramirez ducked under a flimsy excuse for a fence, sweat coated my spine.  Even after nine at night the temperatures were still hovering in the nineties. I picked up my pace and crossed the street as he disappeared into the weed-choked lot. Standing on the cracked sidewalk, I took in the tall, looming shadow hovering in the narrow space between buildings.
Streetlights failed to hold the darkness back, but I could still make out the boards haphazardly covering what had once been windows. Large signs proclaiming the penalty for trespassing ringed the lower half of the two-story structure.  Someone even added a few lines of spiked wire and metal rods. As if that would deter anyone from entering. Didn’t prove much of a hindrance to me or to Ramirez, who had disappeared somewhere inside.
My soft curse as one of those barbs scratched along my shoulder had Kayden coming across the line. “Where are you?”
“Between First and Central on Monroe. Ramirez just disappeared inside an abandoned building.” I worked my way around the side accompanied by the clicks and hums of an overly loud chorus of insects.
“Hobbes just paid his check, I’ll meet up with you.”
“No,” I said, spotting a gaping hole in the far back corner. “Delacourt’s orders were to stay on him, so stay. I’m fine.”
“And if that changes?”
“It changes,” I shot back.
“Shaw,” Wolf broke in. “I’m twenty minutes out.”
“Fine,” Kayden growled. “Cyn, you keep your ass in one piece until I get there.”
“Don’t forget my camera,” I reminded him. His grumbled curse made me grin. Standing outside the ragged opening, I wished for a flashlight. Instead I pulled my Sig free and with a sigh, warned the team, “Going quiet.”
It took some serious contortions to make it around the rough edges of the opening. Once inside, the heat was stifling and sweat popped out on my forehead. With both hands on the Sig, I used my shoulder to wipe it away before it stung my eyes. I held still, waiting for my vision to adjust to the shrouded interior. 
I’d come in from the back of the building.  Some diffused light made it in-between the gaps of boards and a series of holes peppering the back wall. Unidentifiable piles were scattered across the floor.  Walls divided the space into a maze where anything or anyone could hide. Underfoot, a thin layer of grit layered the concrete floors, making it hard to keep my steps silent. From the ceiling, large panels hung like drunken Legos just waiting to fall on the unwary.
Sound reached my ears. I held my breath, straining to listen. The indistinct murmur resolved into voices. Did Ramirez have company or was he talking to someone on the phone? Dust trickled from the ceiling as someone walked across the second story floor. Stairs, somewhere there had to be stairs. Doing a slow scan of my surroundings, I found them crouched in the far corner.
Keeping my back to the wall, I drifted forward. Shifting shadows added a creepy vibe to the gaping doorways and piles dotting the open floor. The tang of smoke found its way up my nose. Using an outstretched hand, I brushed my fingers along the rough surface of the wall. Bringing it back, I could make out the smudge of black now staining my fingers.  Great. I got to creep around in burned-out building.
Staying close to the wall, I lowered my gun and kept my finger on the side of the trigger.  Trying to hold my gun upright for too long would result in muscle fatigue. More dust rained down as whoever was upstairs walked across the floor. Maybe Ramirez was pacing? Or were there two people up there?
Time to brave the unknown. Was there any other way to the second floor? One that wouldn’t dump me in front of Ramirez and his possible company? It took time and a nerve-wracking patience to work my way through the lower level, but it paid off in a small second, narrow flight of stairs near the front of the building.

Sending a quick prayer that they would hold my weight, I began to creep upward.  A handful of steps from the top, a board underfoot gave a loud protest. Dropping into a crouch, I kept my gun aimed at the dark opening and tried to calm my pulse. The murmur of voices stopped. A tense, waiting quiet crept in.




About the author:
Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON (5/14) was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.