Thursday, January 29, 2015

Win a $15 Amazon GC - Exclusive Excerpt: A Perfect Catch by Anna Sugden


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will award a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter, as well as 4 signed copies of A Perfect Catch AND 4 exclusive A Perfect Catch notebooks. (international giveaway). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops.

He's the perfect catch…for now!

When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She's had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair.

Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy's determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won't go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Ike put his fall out of his mind and focused on seeing the puck as it began to fly at him from all angles, courtesy of his teammates. Strangely, after a dozen shots, he still didn’t feel on his game. Biscuits sailed past him when he should have stopped them.

He frowned, holding up his glove to stop the drill, and took a long drink from his water bottle. After squirting water over his face, he got back into position and nodded to start the routine again.

After another round of shots, he adjusted his stance and his grip. But things still didn’t feel right. He forced himself to focus harder, to visualize success. Gradually, he dragged himself into the right mental zone and settled into a comfortable rhythm. He was satisfied he’d be ready for the game, but something still felt off.

Ike left the ice early and headed back to the locker room. Maybe he needed to start over. He stripped down to bare skin and started to dress again, from the jock up. Right sock, then left. Right pads, then left. Pants. Skates. His trusty old chest-and-arm protector, the one he’d worn ever since he’d come up from the minors. He probably should replace it next season—it had been patched so many times—but he hated breaking in new gear.

Finally, he slipped on a clean jersey and got his mask and gloves ready. He downed his pre-game Sprite as he listened to last-minute instructions from Coach Macarty.

Confident he’d done everything so he could go back out onto the ice with a clear head, Ike began to slip into game mode. As the locker-room clock counted down, his mind became sharper, more focused.

At the three-minute mark, Scotty rose and headed to the front of the locker room. As he had every game since becoming captain, he said, “Let’s go out there and show them the Ice Cats play the best damn hockey in the world.”

Ike joined him, ready to lead the team out. When the doors swung open, he tapped the doorframe for luck and strode forward. The roar of the crowd, along with the announcer’s introduction, welcomed him to the ice. This time, he made it to his crease without mishap. Satisfied, he roughed up the blue paint and repeated his post-to-post sliding ritual.

“Good game, bro.” Bad Boy tapped his stick against Ike’s pads.

He nodded. “You, too.”

The horn sounded and Ike removed his mask for the national anthems.

As the singer began “O Canada,” Ike’s gaze slid over to the family seats. His heart warmed to see his mom and Rory, her husband, and Jake’s parents, with Emily between them. It felt weird to see the gaps for the women who weren’t there. Maggie, who couldn’t leave Joe yet, and Tracy, who always joined her sister and was a staunch Cats’ fan. It was unusual for Tracy to miss a game, even for work. Was she okay?

Not your business.

The singer switched to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Ike forced all thoughts other than those of the players he was about to face from his head.

About the Author: Harlequin SuperRomance author, Anna Sugden, loves reading and writing happy endings as much as hockey! When not reading or watching hockey, she loves football, good food & wine, making simple cross-stitch projects, and collecting memorabilia, penguins and fab shoes!

A former marketing executive and primary teacher, Anna lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and two bossy black cats. Learn more about Anna, her heart-warming romances and her shoes at www.annasugden.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on the Romance Bandits blog.

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Harlequin.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Win a $25 Amazon/BN GC: a guest blog by Tariq Saleim, author of ON THE MONEY


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tariq will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why I Wrote My Book


I have written this book for the young boys and girls who will enter their professional lives only to discover that wealth is concentrated in few hands globally and they face an uphill task to earn their share of the pie. They will learn that their schools, colleges, and universities have presented to them a naïvely simplistic worldview. In the real world, hard work and good intentions do not necessarily translate into financial success. The real world is complicated, sometimes dark, and asymmetrical. Real people have to offer much more than just hard work and good intentions to attract success in life.

It is not my claim that this is the only book one needs to read on the subject. I do, however, believe that this book will teach you a few things that you will find useful in your practical life. It will also leave you with some controversial thoughts that you may find easy to disagree with initially. I am confident, however, that with time and experience you will agree with my analysis.

This book is a tribute to every self-made person who went from rags to riches and feels comfortable with the choices he or she had to make along the way. I believe that the human race can achieve anything in life provided people are willing to pay a price for it—a simple yet often overlooked premise.

People who are born into affluence—who never have to go without food, shelter, or protection in their lives—often tend to take things for granted. Their view about what is normal in life is often distorted. The reality is that an overwhelming majority of the world’s population lives in poverty today. From where they stand and look, an affluent lifestyle is a distant dream. It will likely remain so unless someone makes an effort to teach them what they need to know. To all such people who dare to dream, I humbly present my work. I pray that you are able to achieve your dreams and hope that you have the courage to pay the price of your achievements.

Everything in life comes at the cost of something else. The more you have of something, the more you have to let go of something else, and this applies to money, too. There is no exception to this, and therefore it is important to know the true cost of your achievements. The more money you accumulate, the less you have of something else (often health, time, relationships, dignity, respect, etc.). Most of us are not able to fathom these costs up front, and when we finally understand, it is usually too late.

A banker by profession, Tariq Saleim has been the confidant of many successful individuals across his international career. He is a believer that true happiness comes from knowing what you want in life -and what you are willing to sacrifice to get it. 'On the money' is his first romantic novel that discusses time-tested moneymaking concepts and reflects on the hidden costs of our decisions in the process.

Enjoy an excerpt:

True happiness comes from knowing what you want in life; what you are willing to sacrifice to get it; being convinced that the sacrifice was worth the achievement; and believing that what was left was either undesirable or too pricey.

You should ask yourself this question now - what am I willing to sacrifice for money? Remember your answers so that you would be able to revisit your responses later in life. Money which is earned at any cost usually comes at the cost of everything else.

About the Author:
Tariq Saleim was born in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1972 and currently resides in Singapore. He is a banker by profession and has been associated with the industry for over two decades. He is a law graduate and also holds an MBA in finance. His first book, A Chronicle of Amends, was published in 2013 and received encouraging reviews from critics and fans. His second book, On the Money, discusses time-tested moneymaking concepts and reflects on the hidden costs of our decisions in the process.

Amazon Author Page ~ Facebook


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Win a $10 Amazon/BN GC - COVER REVEAL: Hearts on Fire by Alison Packard


This post is part of a virtual book tour revealing the cover of Alison Packard's newest book Hearts on Fire which will be released on February 3. One randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter will receive a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Country music star Jessie Grant has it all. An amazing voice, a string of multi-platinum albums, and a sold-out concert tour. But just before her Hearts on Fire tour rolls into Las Vegas, her lead guitarist is badly injured and is unable to play. Desperate to find a replacement before the night of a televised live show, Jessie is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants to see again.

Drew Carmichael has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the best up-and-coming musicians in Nashville, without cashing in on his renowned father’s name. When Jessie’s manager calls and asks him to fill in for her band’s injured guitar player, he agrees to help Jessie out even though she cut him out of her life four months ago.

In Sin City, sparks fly between Jessie and Drew, and it isn’t long before they give in to their mutual attraction. But when the dark past Jessie has successfully hidden for ten years explodes in the media, their tenuous bond is put to the test, and both Jessie and Drew must learn to trust each other if they don’t want their newfound romantic relationship to go up in flames.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jessie Grant stared at the cheery yellow wall in her dressing room, and fought the overwhelming urge to throw something. Anything. Her agitated gaze fell on the lovely vase of flowers that had been delivered just before the show, and she had to remind herself that violence, especially towards a perfectly innocent bouquet of pink roses and white calla lilies, wouldn’t solve anything.

But then again, it might relieve the tension that was coiled inside of her like a tightly wound spring.

“Calm down.”

“Calm down?” Jessie whirled around and met the exasperated eyes of her manager. “You expect me to calm down when my guitar player, who, unbeknownst to me, was half-wasted during our set, and decided to stage dive into the audience.” She pointed a finger at him. “That broken arm of his isn’t gonna to heal in four days. I need another guitar player, and I need one now.”

“Relax,” Wally Lindell said in a soothing voice. “I’m working on it.”

“How are you working on it?”

She propped her hands on her hips and gave him her best glacial stare. It didn’t faze him. It never did. He’d been her manager since she was fifteen years old, and he knew her better than anyone. So he should have known that she would be totally freaked out about losing her lead guitar player four days before her exclusive gig in Las Vegas, after all, he was the one who had dubbed her a perfectionist.

“I put in a call to Drew.”

Jessie’s already churning stomach lurched wildly. “Drew Carmichael?”

“How many other guitar players named Drew do you know?” Wally shot her a wise-ass grin.

Only one.

“So you talked to him?” she asked, as she moved to the make-up table. She picked up the bottle of water her stylist had left out for her and took a sip. Maybe the simple task would soothe her frayed nerves.

It didn’t even come close.

“What did he say?”

“I left him a message. He hasn’t called me back yet.” Wally shoved his hands into the front pockets of his black jeans and looked her straight in the eyes with an unflinching directness.

She’d seen that look before; the one telling her that while she might be the star, he was the one who’d gotten her there, and before she went off half-cocked, she’d better let him have his say. And of course, she would. She respected Wally far too much not to listen to him.

“He’s the only guitar player we can get on such short notice that knows your set list,” he continued. “I don’t know what happened between the two of you, but whatever it is, you need to put it aside for the sake of this gig, and maybe the rest of the tour.”

“What makes you think something happened?” she asked with feigned nonchalance.

It was best not to let anyone, especially Wally, know how much she cared about Drew.

“Because you two were as thick as thieves last spring, and now it’s like he’s dropped off the face of the earth. Did you have a falling out?”

“No.” Jessie scowled, as she returned the bottle to the table. “We didn’t have a falling out. I’ve been on the road for months now and he…he’s got a life.”

A life that didn’t include her.

About the Author:
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s still getting used to the blistering summers and the slot machines in every grocery store.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, Alison spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

Website: http://alisonpackard.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alison-Packard-Author/368976796492227?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alleyfics
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Alison-Packard/e/B009JG39XQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4?qid=1419875275&sr=8-4
Barnes and Noble Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/alison-packard

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Win a $20 Amazon/BN GC - A Gift Freely Given by J. Ellen Ross

1_7 BBT_TourBanner_AGiftFreelyGiven

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J. Ellen Ross will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1_7 Cover_AGiftFreelyGivenLeisha’s father, the king of Tahaerin, bartered away her childhood with his failed invasion of a neighboring kingdom. She grew up a hostage, a guarantee of the king’s good behavior. At sixteen, she returns to a land and a throne she knows almost nothing about.

Her powerful and ruthless uncle plans to force her into a marriage or take her crown by violence. The nobles of her kingdom all expect her to fail spectacularly and are eager to fight over the scraps. But, Leisha has no intention of going along quietly with any of their plans.

As a boy, Zaraki watched as slavers butchered his family. Orphaned and starving, he was taken from the streets, trained to spy and kill. He finds a position with the new queen when he is forced to flee the only home he remembers. But the job is far larger than he anticipated and Leisha’s life is threatened from all sides.

Leisha will fight to hold her crown and her throne with the help of an unknown and unproven spy. Zaraki will try keep her alive and to keep the oaths he took - to be loyal to her, to keep her secrets and never, ever fall in love with her.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Aniol did not disappoint. Leisha stiffened as his hand dropped to the knife at his belt. Even as an unconscious action, it told her all she needed to know. Zaraki was right. Staval had a plan for her and this was one of the men charged with seeing it through. With her uncle giving orders here, Aniol felt invincible.

Before his hand could stray further, he landed face down on the floor. Zaraki put a knee in the man’s back and yanked Aniol’s head to one side. When he pressed a light blade against Aniol’s throat, the smaller man stopped struggling and whimpered softly.

“Her Majesty was very clear, I thought. I hope this is equally as clear,” Zaraki said in a low voice, into the other man’s ear.

“He’s planning on going straight to Cyril,” Leisha hissed, seeing the intention flash through Aniol’s mind. At the first hint that she was trying to seize control of the castle, Cyril would spring the trap and turn the guards against her. She would die and likely, Symon and Zaraki along with her. Suddenly, the threat was all too real.

Zaraki made a face, still holding Aniol’s head back. Fool. He could have walked out alive. “If you’ll excuse me a moment, Your Highness?” While he did not enjoy killing he would do it. However, murdering the man in front of a sixteen year old girl was out of the question.

1_7 AuthorPic_A Gift Freely GivenAbout the Author: J. Ellen Ross lives in Texas with her husband and their four rescue dogs. She works in high tech, which has nothing to do with fantasy, romance or writing.

When she’s not busy chasing dogs around or rushing someone to the vet, she loves to read and play video games. She has a hobby of having hobbies, so she’s also been known to do sculpting, beadwork, and painting.

Website ~ Facebook


Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Smashwords.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Win a $25 Amazon GC -- Guest Reviewer: The Green Rose by Stephanie Burkhart


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

On the continent of Gaia, evil is brewing. Turncoat wizard, Balthyser, kidnaps the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. He wants the green rose, a source of powerful magic.

Princess Sonia of Tapin is forced to hunt down the rose in exchange for her father's life. It's the ultimate betrayal of Gaia's peace, but she has no choice if she wants to save her father.

Prince Ivánstan of Dahaka accompanies her on the journey. Both face challenges and obstacles that test their strength of character during the hunt for the rose. Dare Sonia put her trust and faith in a man she hardly knows to secure Gaia's peace or will the continent's harmony be shattered forever?
Guest Review: The Green Rose

What a delightful story--Ivan and Sonia are both forced into roles they have been brought up for, but are not quite sure they are actually ready for. They are the heirs to their respective fathers, the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. Once their fathers are abducted and held hostage for the green rose, they have to work together to find it.

Despite an initial hesitancy on the part of Sonia, the two find themselves growing closer as they are on the treasure hunt. I really liked the way both characters grew and changed in this coming-of-age romance. Each of them found hidden depths they did not know they possessed. Both of these young people were likable, if sometimes a bit hard-headed at times, but the more they worked together and learned to trust each other, the more they were able to work together as a team.

I enjoyed the interaction with the secondary characters as well--and especially the scenes between the fathers. There was one element I wish Ms. Burkhart could have changed, but I'm sure it fit the story-- it just made me sad.

All in all, a most enjoyable read-- I look forward to reading more of this land and these people. I really hope Ms. Burkhart is considering more books set in this land. 4 stars.

Enjoy an excerpt:

His lips brushed against her ear, sending a warm pulse of physical awareness through her. Ivánstan was all male. Slowly, she turned around in his arms to gaze into his eyes. They were soft now, the orange reminding her of the sun; his pupils, while still slitted, were narrow. He said nothing, but held her firmly. Her heart pounded an erratic rhythm. What was he doing to her? Was the magic in their blood at work between them? Why did being in his arms bring her a sense of comfort? Protection? Desire? Could she even trust these feelings?

He leaned forward, opening his lips, his mouth skirting hers, teasing, tempting, before he gently covered her. He kissed her slowly, heightening the pleasure that spiked in her body as her breasts tingled against the fabric of her clothes. One of his hands rested at the base of her spine, supporting her. The other hand he brought up to her face and brushed his fingers against her cheek as they kissed.

By Nyla, she could barely stand, so lost was she in the pleasure of his lips. Fear quickened through her. No man had ever kissed her like this before -- so tenderly, so reverently. She placed her hands over his chest and pushed him away gently, placing distance between them. Ivánstan cupped her cheek as confusion splayed across his handsome features. "What's wrong?"

"Why did you kiss me?"

Amusement filled his eyes. "Truth be told, I find you attractive."

About the Author:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.

Win a $50 Amazon/BN GC - Just the Way You Aren't by Lynda Simmons


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Read today's section of Lynda's serialized novella:

Sneaky Manx

It was Ophelia who first called me Sneaky Manx, even though The Girl told her my real name before handing me over. “I call her Lola,” The Girl said, “like the song.” And then she smiled because she used to dance me around whenever it played. But then she met The Guy with Allergies and he said, “Choose,” so here I am.

The Girl cried when she drove off and I was dumb enough to think that meant something. Like she was going to change her mind. Say, “Get a shot,” to The Guy and come back for me.

Took a while to admit that wasn’t going to happen. Time spent avoiding the other cats, refusing to let Ophelia touch me and eating anything except what she put in the bowls.

“You Sneaky Manx,” she said when she found me licking plates on the counter. And again when she caught me fishing leftovers out of a pot.

She must have liked the sound of it because even after I turned my back on The Girl, Ophelia kept it up.

“Sneaky Manx, what are you doing up there?” after I claimed the top of the fridge as my own.

“Sneaky Manx, are you spying on me?” when I crept out of her closet after a close encounter with the biggest cat I’d ever seen.

But the worst was when I finally ate her stupid crunchies and she had the gall to say, “Sneaky Manx, what are you doing in Scruffy’s bowl?”

How was I supposed to know the scribbling on the side of the bowls meant anything? And how hard would it have been to call me by my real name for a change?

I tried everything to prove I wasn’t a sneaky Manx. Sitting in her lap, letting her brush me, but it was never enough. She kept right on calling me that horrible name and once Bernard, the leader of the colony, picked it up, there was no going back.

I was Sneaky Manx. The thief, the spy, the bad girl. The one no one would trust.

Is it any wonder I’m happy Ophelia is gone? Thrilled to see her lying at the bottom of the stairs, dead as a doornail.

No one knows how long it will be before someone comes looking for her, but unlike the rest, I don’t much care. Let them hold meetings and make plans. I’m happy to watch Newcomer search for a way out, something he’s been doing since he arrived last night.

My job is to keep tabs on him, report any suspicious behaviour as well as any success he has with an escape route. As an added bonus, Bernard promised me treats for every secret revealed. Sometimes it pays to be Sneaky Manx, but I have no loyalty to Bernard or anyone else. If by some miracle Newcomer does find a way out, I will shut that boy down faster than you can say, “Sneaky Manx, why are your teeth in that cat’s throat.”

You see, Ophelia’s body is safe at the moment, protected by the colony’s love of all things Ophelia. But let this nightmare drag on a while. Let the food run out and we’ll see how sacred the old bat is then, how insistent they are that we shouldn’t eat her, or her stupid birds. That’s the moment I’m waiting for, and an early escape doesn’t fit the plan. But Newcomer’s determination is amusing to watch, and he’s surprisingly energetic for a cat who doesn’t know when his next meal might be, if ever.

“Where are those love birds I heard about?” he asks as we climb the stairs.

“In Ophelia’s office.”

“It’s odd that I missed them last night.”

“They’re covered and quiet at night. Easy to miss in the dark.”

He pauses when we reach the top. “Seems kind of cruel to keep birds in a house full of cats.”

“Ophelia had her moments.” I direct him to the end of the hall. “Down there, on the right,” I say and he darts ahead.

When I reach the doorway, he’s sitting on the desk, staring at the cage while the birds hop from perch to perch.

“Go away,” one of them squawks. “No cats allowed in here.”

“It’s a new day, folks.” Newcomer sniffs the box of seed beside him. “And you’re going to starve unless you get out of there.”

The other one kicks gravel at him. “We’re fine. Now buzz off.”

“Your funeral.” Newcomer peers around the cage. “Hold on. Is that window open?”

Ophelia liked filtered air so the windows were always closed tight. But he’s right. For some reason she left this one open a little at the top.

Newcomer leaps onto the sill. “I believe I’ve found our way out.”

“Through that tiny opening?” I stroll over to the window. “Good luck.”

“We just need to open it more.” He springs up and grabs the top rail, but his claws find no purchase and he falls down hard. “Maybe if I start up higher.” He leaps onto a bookcase, lines up the window.

Jumps.

Falls.

Tries again.

I stretch out under the cage. With luck I won’t have to do anything at all. The fool will take himself out for me.

He’s about to go again when Fluffy pokes her little air head into the room. She doesn’t see me and whispers, “I was hoping to find you alone,” to Newcomer.

He stares at her, apparently tongue-tied, so I sit up and answer for him. “Actually, he’s not. Can we help you?”

“No, it’s fine.” She draws back a step. “I’m just going around, seeing if anyone needs help.” She looks up at him. “Call if you need me.”

He nods mutely.

“Well, well,” I say when she’s gone. “Looks like someone has a crush on the pretty kitty.”

Newcomer ignores me. Lines up the window and jumps.

Unfortunately this time, he holds on. And damned if that window doesn’t move.

What happens when an everyday Cinderella makes a play for the prince?

A moment of madness. That’s all muralist Sunny Anderson expected when she donned a glittering mask and a fabulous gown to crash the gala at Manhattan’s newest boutique hotel. Project manager Michael Wolfe has no idea that the beauty staring up at the mural on the ballroom ceiling is also the artist who painted it. He’s captivated and she’s willing, but when their moment of madness on the sofa in his suite comes to an abrupt end, his princess is off and running, leaving nothing behind but a pair of earrings. He’s determined to find her again, but all he has to do is look closer at the woman painting the mural in his office to see that the one he needs is standing right in front of him.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sunny’s feet moved of their own accord and she stared straight ahead, horrified and thrilled at the same time. Wondering what she was playing at and not at all surprised when he fell into step beside her.

This was why she wasn’t ready to leave, she realized. She was enjoying herself too much. Enjoying the fact that as Sonja she could do anything or say anything. Be shocking and sexy, and make Michael Wolfe sit up and take notice.

She glanced over at him as they walked, feeling beauti­ful, powerful, but most of all desirable. Because if that wasn’t hunger she saw in those dark eyes, then she’d been out of circulation for far too long.

Which was a distinct possibility given that her last sexual encounter had been almost a year ago in the back of Vince Cerqua’s convertible when the top wasn’t the only thing that wouldn’t go up. She’d spent the drive home assuring him that it happened to men all the time; at least that was what she heard in the tearoom.

She felt her face warm, knowing instinctively that Michael’s top would never let him down. Not that she wanted to find out. Not really. Not now, at any rate.

“Where will you be going in the morning?” he asked.

“New Jersey.”

He drew his head back and she laughed. “There’s a theater group I’m rather fond of. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. I’m just a wanderer. Never in one place long enough to plant a garden as they say.”

“Is that what you’d like to do? Plant a garden?”

“Yes,” she said, slipping in a touch of Sunny, but staying true to Sonja. “Of course, with so many emerging artists, I’m not thinking about that right now.”

He stopped and took her hand. “What are you thinking about?”

Trouble. And sex. Mostly sex. For all the good it did her.

Truth to tell, Sunny wasn’t the kind to have a one-night stand. She was conservative in her thinking and cautious when it came to matters of the heart. She was the kind who delivered hampers at Christmas, painted faces at the community center on Halloween, and made sure her organ-donor card was signed. No question about it, she was Sunny the good: Balanced. Friendly. And utterly predictable.

But Sonja? Now there was a real vixen. A woman who traveled the world, took risks every day, and was never, ever predictable. It seemed a shame to make her leave the ball so early when she was only in town for one night. And Sunny had the rest of her life to spend being good.

Michael ran his thumb across hers and the pull was stron­ger than ever, bringing her back a step. After all, it wasn’t as though he was a total stranger, some masked man she picked up at the sushi bar. This was Michael Wolfe, Beast of Brighton, Terror of the Tradesmen. And she already knew he looked good without a shirt.

Maybe Hugh was right. Maybe a moment of madness was good for the soul.

The music changed again, the singer launching into a slow, sultry torch song that begged an answer to the question women had been asking for centuries: what is it with men and commitment?

Sunny had wrestled with that issue herself for years, convinced that the boy she’d loved too much would come back for her one day. Pale and contrite, wanting nothing more than to love her the way he should have all along. But commitment wasn’t on her mind at all when she twined her fingers with Michael’s and gave him Sonja’s best come-hither smile. “I’m thinking we should go to your place,” she said, and was sure she was floating as they headed for the door.


About the Author:
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat - a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she's not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she's found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Amazon Author Page ~ Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter


Buy the book at Amazon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Win a $10 Amazon/BN Gift Card - Under Texas Blue Skies by Debra Holt

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Debra Holt will be awarding a $10 Amazon/Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1_6 Cover_UnderTexasBlueSkiesJ.D. Sterling, the sexy star of country music, had come back home to McKenna Springs, Texas. Years before, he had left to chase his dream and had succeeded. His life was almost perfect. Almost. He was still missing the part of his heart he had left behind…Mandy Lawson.

Amanda Lawson had changed from the young, innocent Mandy…the teenager madly in love with the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Heartbreak and tragedy would do that to a person. She was determined to keep her well-ordered, work-driven life on the successful path she had fought to achieve on her own. No singing cowboy with a devil’s smile in his green eyes and a sexy body in tight jeans was going to be allowed close enough to break her heart again.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I have other business in town also,” Amanda spoke up. “I don’t know why I was called out here but…”

“Because I want you.” Those jade green eyes pinned her to her spot. J.D.’s choice of words knocked the air out of Amanda’s lungs for a moment. Did he think that he could turn that look on her, along with that famous half-grin that sent deep grooves down his cheeks and made fingers itch to touch them and females swoon at his feet? He was still the lying, no good cowboy who had played her for a fool and then left her behind when the bright lights beckoned. He wanted her? Well, he'd had her once, but never again.

Cold blue eyes pinned him. “People don’t always get what they want, J.D. But sometimes they do get what they deserve.”

When Mandy stood looking at him with those blue eyes, where once there had been the warmth of love glowing in them for him, there was now a cool curtain, devoid of anything but a banked anger mixed with a dash of indifference. For some reason, he felt he had been judged and found lacking in her estimation. He definitely had to regroup. There was another battle ahead, and he had fought many in his lifetime and won each of them. This would be the most important one. Losing was not an option.

1_6 AuthorPic_Under Texas Blue SkiesAbout the Author: Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and owning a wedding planning business (ah, romance!).

Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance...Janet Dailey's Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles...and sighs... to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

The Seymour Agency represents Debra and she is soon to have two contemporary romances published by Spencer Hill/Tulip Romance and Astraea Press. Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com. Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Win a $10 Amazon/BN GC - Unexpected Places by V.K. Black


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

One treasure map; a pair of priceless emeralds; two very keen hunters — only one can win, but who says that competition can’t be a little fun?

When sweet, pretty Ariana Noonan knocks out treasure hunter Luke Donahue with a champagne bottle and steals his treasure map, he vows to get his map back, find the missing priceless emeralds…and exact a fitting revenge.

When Luke finally discovers Ariana in a dingy hotel on a remote tropical island, she’s in desperate straits and he finally gains the upper hand. Of course he will rescue her. His price? They act on the attraction that’s been simmering between them from the very beginning.

But all is not as it seems, and Luke’s sexy bargain turns up not only an unbelievable secret, but Ariana’s reasons for wanting the emerald. Suddenly, nothing is clear-cut anymore, and map or no map, Luke and Ariana are sailing into uncharted territory.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Okay, let’s see where you want to take this. Luke smiled at her again, raised an inquiring eyebrow and waited.

‘Um, this is a lovely place,’ she said.

‘Yes,’ he agreed, gravely, ‘it is.’

‘But a little crowded, don’t you think?’ she purred. Luke leaned down, catching a faint wisp of her flowery perfume as he tried to hear her words over the squeals of the girls behind them. Then she — what did she say her name was? Ariana, a pretty name — gave him a smile that left him in no doubt about what she wanted. Sex and his map, which was currently resting in his coat pocket. Well, little Ariana, that’s a big yes to the sex, but good luck with the map.

‘Definitely too crowded. And that champagne is very ordinary. I have a nice bottle in my room, if you’d care to share it with me.’ Always have a good bottle of champagne in your hotel-room fridge. You never knew when it might come in handy. That policy had served him well for many years.

Lovely Ariana smiled the dazzling smile that had probably ripped off half a dozen men, and put her glass down on the table. Luke placed his hand under her elbow and guided her toward the lifts. Her skin was soft but firm. His cock was harder than steel. He’d been treasure hunting for so long now, it had been a while since he’d been with a woman. The added allure of payback made the idea of sex with this cute little blonde doubly inviting.

As they rode up to his penthouse room, Ariana’s feminine perfume filled the small space. They stood, side by side, staring at the lift doors in silence. He had no doubt she was thinking through her game plan, the same as he was.

Let the games begin.

About the Author:
V.K. Black is from Queensland, Australia. She loves tropical islands, snorkelling on the Barrier Reef, good wine and hot spicy food. Amazingly, all of these appear in Unexpected Places (published by Escape Publishing). Sadly, treasure maps and priceless emeralds have been in short supply in her real life, so she has written a story about them.

As well as her action/adventure contemporary, Unexpected Places, V.K. Black has written an erotic fantasy/sci fi called Heavenly Revenge (published by Secret Cravings) and a World War Two historical called Lies and Seduction (published by Cobblestone Press.) There is a unifying theme. They are all fun sexy romances, with a handsome hero and a lovely heroine.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


Buy the book at Escape Publishing.

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Friday, January 09, 2015

Win a $10 Amazon/BN GC - VBT Running Away With You by Suzanne Sweeney

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn guest. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1_8 BookCover_RunningAwayWithYouJuliette Fletcher’s life has been full of surprises ever since she began dating NFL superstar Evan “Big Mac” McGuire. He’s everything she could ever have wished for – strong and tender, and wrapped up in an exquisite package. She has experienced more happiness than she ever dreamed of, but she’s also survived enough pain and anguish to last a lifetime.

It’s Evan’s rookie season as starting quarterback with the NJ Sentinels, and it looks like he just might take the team all the way to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. And now Juliette is planning her dream wedding in the dazzle of the paparazzi’s camera flashes.

But Juliette is about to learn how quickly a dream can turn into a nightmare. Dark secrets begin to emerge – the kind that wreck careers and break hearts. Is silence a betrayal, even when the truth could cause anguish to the ones you love? And when the past threatens to cast its shadow over the present, how far is too far to make certain it stays buried?

Running Away With You is the third book in the Running Series.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I hear the water running in the bathroom while Evan showers. AC/DC is blaring, and when I hear Evan singing along to “You Shook Me All Night Long”, I can’t help but smile. We have a routine when he’s got an away game, and “You Shook Me All Night Long” pretty well sums it up. The first few weeks of the season, I felt guilty for keeping him up all night so close to a game, but then I realized that the night before the game, he’s safely tucked away in his hotel room by eight o’clock. That more than makes up for whatever sleep he may have missed the night before.

He doesn’t need to bring much with him when he travels. He’ll wear a suit jacket on the plane, and then again on the way home, so there’s no need to pack that. He needs workout clothes, something to wear to dinner, and lots of clean socks and underwear. God, he has great underwear. Some say Armani on the waist. Others say Andrew Christian in gold. They are all tight-fitting boxer briefs and all make him look sexy as hell. Not that he needs any help in that department.

“Why are you staring at my underwear?” he laughs. I am so caught up in my thoughts, I never heard him turn off the music. Now, he’s standing in front of me wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. Water droplets cling to his skin, and all I can think about is licking them off one by one.

My God, he’s delicious.

1_8 Author Pic Running Away With YouAbout the Author: Suzanne Sweeney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she studied Education and Sociology. For some time now, she has been sharing her love of literature with the young minds who sit before her in class each and every day. After years of teaching the art of writing, Suzanne has finally taken her own advice and put pen to paper in order to produce her most recent book, Running Away With You. She writes what she lives, residing in the community she loves, Point Pleasant, with her family who provide a constant source of inspiration and support.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest


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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Win a signed copy of CRASHERS by Lindy Hudis


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lindy will be awarding an autographed paperback copy of Crashers (US Only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Fraudulent car accidents is a multi-million dollar racket, involving unscrupulous medical providers, personal injury attorneys, and the cooperating passengers involved in the accidents and who also receive a portion of the illegal proceeds. Such is the fate of newly engaged, Nathan and Shari, whose joy is tempered by the dark cloud of mounting debt. A chance encounter with a stranger in whom Shari confides her troubles, proves fortuitous: he tells her of a get-rich-quick scheme that will put her and her fiance on easy street. Seduced by the chance to move from hard times to good times in no time, she finds herself acting as a stuffed passenger the victim in a staged auto accident. Shari gets her payday, but getting out and breaking free of the insurance fraud underworld will take nothing short of a miracle. A modern day cautionary tale that uncovers how the innocent get lured into the scheme of cappers and hammers.

Enjoy an excerpt:

For KXXX TV and KXXX AM Radio News, this is Katie Carlson with your mid-morning eye-in-the-sky traffic report, and it’s an easy one: It’s messed up EVERYWHERE! So far, the 405 South is backed up all the way to the 101. So, if you are going into Hollywood this morning, you are going to be late for that audition. Also, there is an injury crash on the Eastbound 10. So, if you are heading into downtown LA, you might want to bring a magazine or get some knitting done. If you are going to LAX, forget it, call mom back east and tell her you will be driving out instead. Just Kidding! Any way, this is Katie Carlson with the Los Angeles mid-morning traffic report. Enjoy your commute everybody, NOT!

About the Author:
Lindy S. Hudis is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, Weekends, her "Hollywood" story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. She is also the author of an erotic short story series, "The S&M Club" and "The Mile High Club". Her short film "The Lesson" was screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-Nights in 2000. She is also an actress, having appeared in the television daytime drama "Sunset Beach". She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page


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Win a $10 Amazon/BN GC - The Writer's View: Eileen Carr


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eileen will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View


These photos are of my favorite coffee shop in the town where I live. It’s called Common Grounds and is actually in the shopping area on which I loosely modeled the shopping area in Veiled Intentions. I stress loosely. The people who work the counter are way more intelligent and on top of things than I made the ones in the book sound. I also have no clue as to whether or not they have any kind of security system with video.

I write at Common Grounds a lot. It’s got everything I need. Good coffee, comfy chairs, and wi-fi. In addition to what I need, it also has things I want. It has a lovely little courtyard area with a fountain. Yes. It’s December and the door is open and the fountain is on. That’s one of the perqs of living in northern California. At any rate, the fountain makes some lovely background noise and is great to stare at while I’m trying to think of what comes next in my book or how exactly to say what it is I’m trying to say at any given moment.

It looks pretty empty in these photos because I took them the week after the fall quarter at UC Davis ended. Last week, the place was packed to the rafters with girls wearing yoga pants and panicked expressions and boys with bags under their eyes wearing jeans that probably needed to be washed. They’re all gone now which means I can have a spot on the couch in the corner with easy access to a power strip.

Truly writer nirvana.

When a Muslim high school student is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, her school counselor gets involved to clear her record in this ripped-from-the-headlines novel.

When Lily Simon finds cops in the lobby of the high school where she’s a guidance counselor, she’s not surprised: cops and adolescents go together like sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. But when the cops take Jamila, a Muslim student, into custody for a crime she didn’t commit, Lily’s high school becomes a powder keg.

Police think Jamila is responsible for a hit and run, and since she’s not talking, they have no choice but to keep her as the main suspect. And since the victim—a young soldier recently returned from Afghanistan—is lying unconscious in the hospital, the whole town is taking sides on whether or not Jamila’s arrest is religious persecution. Determined to find the truth, Lily teams up with a reporter to uncover what really happened the night of the hit and run.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Lily read Daniel Richardson’s article with a horrible sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach. She brought up Facebook on her computer and started searching.

She found the “Jamila Is a Terrorist” Facebook page by following a fairly long line of comments among other students. Despite being incredibly computer savvy, it surprised Lily to see how few kids had much regard to their privacy online. Even the ones who had made their profiles private didn’t seem to realize that if they commented on a page that wasn’t private, someone could have limited access to their information.

She felt physically ill when she found the page. Scrolling through it made her feel even worse.

“Cast your vote! Which one of these Darby High students is the most likely to bomb the place to the ground?”

Lily’s stomach dropped when she saw the poll. At this moment, Lily wasn’t sure what horrified her the most. Was it the fact that someone had created a poll like that on Facebook? Or that so many of the kids at school had already voted on who they thought was most likely to commit an act of terrorism against the school. Two hundred and seventy-nine votes had already been cast.

Four of the five choices were Muslim students. Jamila, of course. Then Hakim Massoud, Abdul El-Sayed, and Fareed Bahri. The fifth choice was SpongeBob SquarePants.

SpongeBob was trailing by quite a few votes.

About the Author:
Eileen Carr was born in Dayton, Ohio. She moved when she was four and only remembers that she was born across the street from Baskin-Robbins. Eileen remembers anything that has to do with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or champagne.

Eileen’s alter ego, Eileen Rendahl, is the award-winning author of four Chick Lit novels and the Messenger series.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Publisher


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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Win a $20 Amazon/BN GC - My Turn: Achieving the American Dream by Jonathan Williams


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jonathan Williams will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Silicon Valley is home to several large Technology and Pharmaceutical \ Biotech corporations. Chris moved to this area in early 2000. He has been handling data for prestigious companies for well over ten years. His work ethic and morals have kept him employed. During his tenure at a Fortune 100 company, he is offered a position at a small Biotech. It is not too long after taking this new position that he is promoted to Management. The IT Directory who Chris reports to gives him the choice of playing the corporate game or getting fired. Chris must either choose being ethical and getting fired or keeping his job by being unethical. After much thought, he realizes that honesty and integrity have kept him from achieving the American dream. Tired of living paycheck to paycheck he decides to play the corporate game. This decision will not only affect his professional life but his personal life as well.

Enjoy an excerpt:

From an early age, Chris understood that data was the key to everything. He didn’t need a 9/11 incident to tell him that certain systems needed to talk to each other. He also didn’t need a Wikileaks incident or an NSA leak to tell him that access to any kind of data must be reviewed with scrutiny.

About the Author: Jonathan Williams has worked in Information Technology for over twenty years. He has spent most of his career working in the Financial and Pharmaceutical \ Biotech sectors. He specializes in Database Management Systems.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9794311.Jonathan_Williams

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble Currenly FREE on BN.com

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Monday, January 05, 2015

Win a $10 Amazon/BN GC VBT: The 5-Year Plan by Cara Nelson

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cara will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1_6 5 year MediaKit_BookCover_The5YearPlanVictoria is sticking to her five-year plan: get married, have children, and become the youngest vice president in town. Problem is, she’s four years in with no husband or kids in sight. She’s sure her coveted promotion is right around the corner, though. All she has to do is impress her boss by catching the person responsible for leaking confidential information.

Trent may be the head of the IT department, but he leaves himself plenty of time to have fun with no strings attached. Too bad his best friend Victoria is still following the ridiculous plan she created in college—she’s beautiful, smart, but far too uptight for his lifestyle. When Victoria takes the blame as the leak at the office, he’s determined to help clear her name and expose the person getting past his security measures.

Suddenly out of a job, Victoria is desperate to get her life back on track. When her childhood friend Trent—funny, good-looking, and completely wrong for her—suggests they team up to catch the culprit, Victoria jumps at the chance.

As the pair sorts through suspects, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable, and they find themselves struggling to remember that they’re just friends.

Sometimes life has other plans…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Victoria Ashwood wasn’t the type to sneak around, lie, or get caught in a compromising situation. That was why, when she found herself using her keycard to access her office at TerraDyn, she could feel her heart pounding. Her palms slicked with damp and she pressed a hand to her churning stomach. But she was still going to do this. Outside the corridor’s pane glass window, she could see the round, silver moon, and the stars flanking it. The street below remained silent and empty. No one else would be in the office this late. This was the perfect time.

Once she stepped into the room, Victoria stood for a moment until her eyes got accustomed to the darkness. She dared not switch on the light. Sweat trickled down her cheeks as she gathered her breath for her next move. The office around her remained eerily quiet. She moved forward, avoiding a collision with a desk chair. Behind her, she heard the metallic click of the door swinging open.

Someone hit the light switches.

Bright lights blinded her for a moment. She covered her eyes with one hand and when she could finally look at the other intruder, she burst out with one word. “You?”

Trent stared at her, his mouth hanging open and a flash of anger in his eyes. “Tori! You’re the one who has been stealing information from the company and selling it? Can’t believe it! Straight-laced Victoria involved in such underhand and scandalous activity? I don’t have words to describe my heartbreak at this evidence of your treachery.”

“Shut up! Don’t try to pin it on me.” She pointed her finger at him. She’d forgotten she had her shoes dangling from the same hand. With a muttered oath, she put down her heels and slipped her feet into them again. “I’ve caught you red handed.”

About the Author: 1_6 5 year Author Pic _The 5-Year PlanCara Nelson is the author of the bestselling 'Men of the Capital' series. Her books hit the Amazon store in the summer of 2014 and have since been enjoyed by over 50,000 readers! She is known for her bold characters, hilariously witty dialogue and touching romances.

Born and raised in South Africa, Cara now resides in Denver with her loving husband, 3 boisterous sons and 2 huge Dalmatians. She loves chocolate oranges, her family and, of course, books!

Interested in a fun, light and breezy read? Her readers recommend you start with The Billionaire's Hotline.

To find out more about Cara, head over to her website: www.CaraNelsonBooks.com or find her on Facebook.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Win a $50 Amazon GC - Who Am I? by Megan Cyrulewski


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved the water. On family vacations, my cousin and I would play in the pool for hours. In Michigan, we have fresh water lakes to serve as our summer beaches. I find peace and calm when I’m surrounded by water.

Every year my friend and I head up to Northern Michigan for a Spa Retreat mini-vacation. It’s a time for us to have fun and relax. But it’s also a great respite for me to write. We spend one entire day at the Spa with the most magical view in all of Michigan. How can I not find the motivation to write?

When my friend and I spend the day at the Spa, in between massages and facials, we lay out by the pool with our wine and breathe. It’s so easy to forget how much stress is in our daily lives. We have all become sort of automated. Each day following the same routine. That’s why every year, my friend and I count down the days to our mini-vacation.

I sit in one of the padded lounge chairs by the Spa pool and with my wine on the table next to me, I pull out my laptop. I turn off my Wi-Fi because I don’t want the outside world intruding on my sanctuary. I take a look at the beautiful calming waters of Lake Michigan and I write. If I get stuck, all I have to do is look at the water and breathe.

By the time our mini-vacation is over, I feel like my battery has been recharged. This picture may not be the view outside my window, but it’s the view that reminds me to slow down, breathe, and write.

Megan Cyrulewski is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into postpartum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact - and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.

Enjoy an excerpt:

On January 18, 2012, we all convened in the courthouse for the Motion for Parenting Time hearing. My dad and I arrived with my attorney, but Tyler loved an audience so he brought his dad, step-mom, and his new on-again off-again girlfriend, Heather. Tyler walked in with his posse in tow, cocky as hell. It took all of two minutes for the judge to knock him off his feet.

The Judge addressed our respective attorneys. “Why are we here?”

“Your honor,” Tyler’s attorney began, “my client has clearly been denied his parenti—”

The Judge didn’t even let him finish. “How?” She turned to my attorney. “Don?”

“Your honor, as you can see in the divorce decree, there was supposed to be a review when the minor child turned twelve-months-old. The Defendant has ignored that review.”

“I—if I may, your honor,” Tyler’s attorney sputtered.

“I see the review in the decree. It’s here in black and white,” she told Tyler’s attorney. “What is the problem? Why didn’t you understand the review? Your client signed the divorce decree.”

Tyler’s attorney tried again. “But your honor—”

The judge cut him off. “There is to be a review conducted by the Friend of the Court referee assigned to the parties. Until then, the Defendant will continue his parenting time schedule as agreed upon in the divorce decree. Dismissed.”

And that was it. After eight police reports and numerous harassing text messages, phone calls, and e-mails, we won. As Don and Tyler’s attorney went to speak with the clerk to file the necessary paperwork, Don told us to wait for him outside the courtroom.

As we exited the courtroom, the hallway was so packed with people that my dad and I were only able to find enough space to lean against the wall. We were talking about the court proceedings when we looked up at saw Tyler and his new girlfriend standing right across from us.

“Why do you lie about everything?” Tyler screamed.

Heather walked up to me and stood about an inch from my face. “As a mother myself, you should be happy that Tyler is the father of your child.”

My jaw dropped. “I’m sorry but I don’t know you.”

She smirked. “Well you’re going to get to know me, bitch.”

Tyler made a big show of pulling her from me like I was going to punch her or something. By this time, everyone in the hallway was watching us. We were pure entertainment.

Heather continued her rant. “Two times in the psych ward, Megan? What a great mother you are.”

“Where is your mom, the real mother of our child?” Tyler screamed. “She’s the one who takes care of Madelyne.”

My dad and I tried to move away from Tyler and Heather but they followed us.

“Awww…” Heather mocked. “Do you have to take a Xanax because of your anxiety?”

“Go take your Xanax and sleeping pills, you drug addict,” Tyler shouted.

Finally, Don emerged from the courtroom and pulled us into a quiet corridor. He explained that I needed to call our referee to set-up a meeting to discuss a visitation schedule. I told Don about the verbal assault by Tyler and Heather. Don said he would call Tyler’s attorney to let him know that Heather would not be allowed in my house.

Upon leaving the courthouse, Heather screamed, “See you on Sunday, Megan.”

I turned toward her and said calmly, “I don’t know you, but you are not welcome in my home.”

That night, Tyler sent me multiple texts attacking my mothering skills, my supposed drug addictions, how he was going to fight for joint custody of Madelyne, how Heather would be accompanying him for his visitations, and a barrage of other insults:

“Get a life already”

“Don’t you have something better to do than wasting your parents’ money?”

“Go take your pills and relax, oh yeah, then your parents would have to watch our daughter. Oh yeah, they already do.”

“Go talk to your friends. Oh yeah, you don’t have any because of how crazy you are.”

“Interesting to know you’ve been to the hospital a couple of times. You really need to get it together.”

“Better go call your lawyer and make up some more stuff about me.”

“Don’t be mad at your sorry life.”

“I am sure living with Mom and Dad the rest of your life will be fun.”

“When you get a job, then you can pay me child support. Fun.”

I finally had to turn my phone off at midnight.

About the Author:
Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old. Eventually she settled into a career in the non-profit sector and then went back to school to get her law degree. While she was in school, she documented her divorce and child custody battle in her memoir, Who Am I?, which was published in 2014. Megan lives in Michigan with her 3-year-old daughter who loves to dance, run, read, and snuggle time with Mommy. Megan also enjoys her volunteer work with Troy Youth Assistance as the Fundraising Chair on the Board of Directors.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~ Goodreads


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