The Printed Fox: March 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spotlight and Review | Alpha Me Not by Jianne Carlo

Alpha Me Not by Jianne Carlo

Susie White wants no picket fences, no alpha, and no cubs. White wolf woman she may be, but no pack for her, no sireee. Alpha me not, that’s her motto. In all caps.

Mercenary and half-breed wolf Joe Huroq’s not looking for a mate. Stop and go screwing, that’s his motto. Hot and heavy between missions. Then he glimpses his new neighbor tanning nude and the situation explodes.

Literally. Susie’s house is consumed by fire. What’s Joe to do but offer Susie his hospitality?

Susie can’t resist the temptation of big, bad, mercenary, so she suggests a friends with benefits arrangement which he accepts with an amazing alacrity. The sex is frantic, hot, and frequent. Neither one can keep their hands off the other.

Then children go missing. The fire’s deemed arson. Bodies pile up. Susie refuses to accept Joe’s mate claim. Can he keep her safe when she won’t obey a single order?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.


Available at

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I must say, while in some respects I had mixed feelings about this book, for the most part, I enjoyed it.

The main thing I liked about it was the different take on shifters. Usually what makes them special is that, well, they shift. But not Susie and Joe. I really liked that new spin on things. They still identified as wolf, but their outlook was still a little different. It was refreshing!

Susie's whole take on virginity was a little hard to swallow. I can usually support a virgin --particularly one who's reached her age or older-- with a really good reason. There wasn't one with Susie, and her transition from virgin to minx was just...I dunno. Maybe I could blame it on the wolf, and that they recognized they were perfect for each other on an instinctive level, but I would've liked to see more substance there.

There was a particular element that I did really enjoy how Ms. Carlo handled, dealing with loss. Without giving away spoilers, I'll just say that was done very well.

All in all, it's an enjoyable story. I understand it's in the middle of a series, which I haven't read, but as a stand alone it does pretty well. Normally for books, I have extremely exacting standards, but if you're looking for a change of pace in your shifter stories, enjoy a little mystery, this one will fit the bill!

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Available at

About the Author

My motto is simple: Alpha Me Please. While strong heroines, exotic locations, and cultural differences are my forte, I go weak in the knees for warriors of any type, rebels, SEAls, Vikings, and bad-ass mercenaries.

Send me a man with an attitude and I'll find the right woman to tame him. My writing career began in 2008, and since then I've been lucky enough to have over twenty books published. Most of my books are TOP PICKs and several have been nominated for and won awards and prizes.

Nothing makes my day more than an email from someone who’s read one of my books. So far, I've received emails from almost every continent on the planet. Almost…

Connect with Jianne Carlo
Email: Jianne@jiannecarlo.com
Website: www.jiannecarlo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jianne.carlo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jiannecarlo
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004D8XOLM
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2508742.Jianne_Carlo
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jiannecarlo/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/jiannecarlo
Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/JianneCarlo/
The Romance Studio: http://theromancestudio.com/fm/jcarlo.htm
The Romance Reviews: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com...Jianne

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Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!




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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spotlight and Review: Sunspots by Karen S Bell

Sunspots by Karen S Bell

“One can never be, and should never be, smug about life,” says Aurora Goldberg. An aspiring New York actress who has never realized her dreams, Aurora keeps herself afloat by doing odd temp jobs where her rich fantasy life helps her get through the day. Aurora sees the world through the lens of characters in literature and film and these fictionalizations are woven into her interpretation of reality.

On one of her temp assignments she meets Jake Stein, a man who could “charm the skin off a snake” and she decides to follow her destiny as his wife in Austin, Texas. But Jake's sudden death after two short years disintegrates her world and Aurora must reevaluate her life and let go of a love that has become an obsession.

With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home's original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake's true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.



Available at

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Although I had started to speak, I immediately fell speechless creating another awkward moment as his dark flame-throwing eyes studied my face. He was smiling and I could see dimples forming on either side of his mouth. We just stood there, apart, in silence, yet there was an unmistakable sexual tension gluing us together like Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford in Witness or Omar Shariff’s Dr. Yuri Zhivago and Julie Christie’s Lara Antipova. When he finally spoke, he asked me if I could recommend a good restaurant nearby elongating his vowels in a cute Southern accent that I would later learn was peculiar to Texans.

“If you like French cuisine, there is a wonderful place right around the corner, La Grenouille. I believe it’s quite popular with some of the executives here,” I said no longer mute, and handed him a business card that was kept in a stack on the desk.

“Would it be too much trouble, ma’am, for you to call and make a reservation?” he asked in a faux subservient manner. “I can’t understand French accents, especially over the phone.”

“Of course… sir,” I said returning his request with sugary sarcasm. I was, after all, nobody’s secretary and certainly not of the vintage that brought forth ma’am from the lips of a virile stranger. When I got the restaurant on the phone, I looked up and asked casually, “For what time, sir?”

And then he paused, looked at me with a gleam in his eye and said quite softly, “Well, let’s see. What time is good for you?”

Shocked but not rattled, I responded without any hesitation, “Now,” I said steadfastly meeting his gaze, “Now is perfect.”

And that’s how I met Jake Stein and sealed a future that fate ordained. Life-changing events seem to come when you’re ready even if you’re not aware of their import. Intuition can

nudge feelings into your conscious space making a seemingly ordinary encounter, like a dropped  book, one of great significance. Somehow, I understood that then and I understand that now. Meeting Jake Stein was my dance with destiny.

We instantly harmonized, interacting on two levels. The overt reality of the commonplace chitchat, sexually charged banter, and frothy intellect contrasted with a covert reality, a place where everything had deeper meaning, connection, and familiarity. In some cosmic way, our unspoken language was far more important than the spoken. Scientists might describe our attraction as the interaction of airborne pheromones—chemical messages emitted through our skin conveying our primal sexuality. Indeed, we seemed to be enchanted at the deepest levels of our instincts. Two realties happening at once—the outer and the inner—one a slick manifestation of the intelligentsia, the other a calming and gentle journey afloat a timeless river.

Throughout our initial encounter, playing faintly in my mind was the music from the sappy but tender, A Man and a Woman, my mother’s favorite movie when she was a teenager and strangely at odds with her penchant for a counter-culture way of life. She played the album all through my childhood—sealing my connection with whispery French sounds to all things romantic. And so that haunting melody was my personal soundtrack as we walked to La Grenouille.

My prudent study of this man, this Jake Stein, as we nonchalantly strolled along, was intentionally unintentional—I absorbed him as if he were liquid. My senses were on high alert, a spy observing my target in secret. Now, wafting about my face and filling the air around me was a hint of soap and expensive cologne. Now, smooth fingertips lightly touched and guided my arm bringing an explosion of sensuality but also feeling like a safe harbor. Now, upon my ear, the pleasant cadence and timbre of his voice sounded like a sweet symphony. My darting eyes savored his honey-tanned and smooth complexion and nose of quality, straight and sharp (but not too sharp). Luxurious thick, jet black, wavy hair fell casually over intense brown eyes. There was strength, a physical strength to his tall, elegant, Jeremy Irons frame. A noble grace to this huckster businessman. And his sensuous lips with just a hint of fullness, lips that I could almost taste—wanted to taste—formed words so provocatively. Later, in the privacy of my own thoughts, I would relive, with a slow and deliberate progression, these mesmerizing details that stirred me to my core.

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I was actually surprised how much I really did enjoy this book. There was enough from the blurb to let me know what to expect, and I had guessed at Viola Parker's identity (I was close), but what I really loved was the psychological affirmation that we do, indeed, contribute to our own situations much more than we realize.

We have the power to be as happy or as miserable as we choose to make ourselves, even when that choice is subconscious. I see this studying psychology more and more, but seeing it in a romance was probably one of the best examples of putting that concept into action. Ms. Bell did a superb job there.

My heart absolutely ached for Aurora Goldberg. Her pain was so sharp, and even when it struck me as obsessive, it was still really hard to watch her be that much in pain. The obsession made me wonder, at first. But as I learned more about her, I realized it was her defining characteristic and the light bulb came on. "Aha! This is why she chooses her pain! Because she chooses the clingy kind of love." It made my heart hurt even more for her, because I was able to understand her.

She lost so much of herself in her relationship with Jake. It was as if she had become merely an extension of him. Aurora had so many people to help her, and there were times my eyes got a little misty. I've had moments like those, and Ms. Bell captured the feelings --all of them!-- so poignantly.

Definitely  recommended if you're looking for something a little deeper, with painful truth and aching wisdom, yet still enjoyable with characters that you can grow to love.


Available at

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About the Author

Walking with Elephants was my first novel, although I am not new to writing. I was a theater critic and celebrity interviewer for a weekly tabloid in Jacksonville, Fl and I earned a Master’s in Mass Communication from Oklahoma State University. For 15 years I worked in Corporate America as a technical editor/editor/writer. I experienced first hand the politics and intrigue that goes with that territory and the balancing act that comes with being a working mother. I salute all those mothers who are the glue that holds their families together while pursuing the nine to five brass ring. And that is what inspired me to write that novel.

With my second novel, Sunspots, I continue to be in awe of the magical and wondrous phenomenon called life. As an observer and obvious participant in feminine values and approach to our human challenges, I bring this perspective to my work. Fascinated by the mysteries of the unseen forces that perhaps play a role in guiding our choices, I search for answers in the mundane as well as in the cosmic forces that surround us.

Connect with Karen S. Bell
Email: karen.bell@yahoo.com
Website: http://karensbell.com/KSB_PRESS/WELCOME.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenSueBell





Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts.
So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!



Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Spotlight: Fatal Promise by Kelly Gendron

Fatal Promise by Kelly Gendron

When Rainey Ann McKenna's dying husband asked her always to be there for his brother, Tex McCoy, she had no idea that five years later her promise would bring a murderer into her home. According to the conditions of his release, for the next three months Tex will be on house arrest. Obligated by a promise, Rainey Ann takes the gorgeous but dangerous felon in.

Tex McCoy may have gone to jail for murder, but after a decade of being incarcerated, he too is dead inside. Resurrecting any of Tex's feelings—including the ones he once had for Rainey Ann McKenna—could be fatal. In jail, he fantasized about Rainey Ann. Behind steel bars it was acceptable to think of her in such a way, but in the real world, it's dangerous.

Yet as desire awakens, Rainey Ann’s threat heightens. After years of being locked up, Tex is ready to reclaim some control, and his fantasy woman is only a touch away.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations (including BDSM) and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers
.

Available at


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About the Author

Writing, what other way is there to describe it—it's Kelly's conviction. After working in the human health field profession for nearly two decades, Kelly's aware of how deficient many people's daily lives are of true human connection. Through her writing, she strives to reconnect readers with those all-too-rare feelings of unquenchable desire, heated passion, and splendid euphoria. The recipe for the men in her stories: dark and mysterious, strong and confident and, of course, besides magnificent bodies, and shameless aptitudes, they must have a heart you want to rip out of the pages (or your e-Reader) and take to bed with you at night.


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But being left alone with Tex McCoy, the murderer, she found it difficult to summon her characteristic stubbornness. She glanced up at him and saw him gazing out the window. With him filling it, her normally decent-sized kitchen suddenly appeared small. It seemed to shrink even more when his eyes slithered from the window to her—so much so that it seemed to become devoid of oxygen, and her breath caught in her throat. He took a step toward her. At that point, her breathing seized altogether. His hand came out, nearing her face. Or was he going for her throat? She panicked and gasped for air as if his hands were already around her neck and squeezing. Was he going to…strangle her? She slapped his hand away. “Don’t you dare touch me!”

He shoved his hand into the pocket of his jeans. His eyes, if at all possible, became darker, almost black, but his expression remained impassive. “You have dirt on your face,” he said flatly and remotely, as if he’d expected her impulsive reaction.

“Oh.” Her hand went to her cheek, the one he had planned to innocently wipe off for her. She rubbed it, wondering if she’d overacted. What was she going to do when he freely walked around her house, took a shower in her bathroom, or slept in the bedroom below hers? Was she going to jump with every step he took? Was she going to lay awake all night? And the shower—her shower. Rainey decided thinking about Tex McCoy naked in the shower wasn’t a good idea. He was a killer. But he already served his time, right? Was he…reformed? Wait, was she really trying to rationalize here? It was manslaughter, not murder, right? And he did claim self-defense. Right. Then why’d he brutally stab Curtis Watson multiple times?

The questions swarming through Rainey’s head were undoubtedly the same questions the jury had asked. Their answer to that question had earned Tex the maximum sentence of fifteen years. The unanswered question that remained was why Tex McCoy and Curtis Watson, a hired hand who’d worked at the McCoy ranch three years prior to the murder, had gotten into a brawl outside of the bar in the first place, the scuffle that eventually led to Curtis’s death.

For the sake of her son, Rainey had to believe Tex was reformed. She had to trust he had no other choice and that he had a damn good reason for killing Curtis Watson.

“Uh, I’ll show you to your room,” she said, diverting her eyes from his so she could start down the hallway. She couldn’t hear him behind her. She glanced over her shoulder. He was right there, near and looming, with all the prowess and silent pursuit of some sly, predatory panther. Her heart slammed into her chest wall. She straightened her back, valiantly suffering through another panic attack. When she reached the spare bedroom, she opened the door and walked in. “This used to be my grandmother’s room. Nobody’s stayed in here since she died, but it has a queen-sized bed, an empty dresser…” She stopped and turned, practically bumping into him. Swallowing her insistent fear, she took a step back.

“You do have clothes, don’t you? I, um…well, I don’t see any luggage or a duffle bag.”

“Yeah, I have clothes,” he said and moved forward, recapturing the distance she’d intentionally placed between them. “My things will be dropped off later.”

“Oh,” she breathed, backpedaling until she hit the wall. “Good.” Her body went still. He was standing just inches from her. He wasn’t touching her, but she felt pinned against the wall just the same.

He lifted his hands and placed them alongside her head, resting them on the wall. Now, she was literally pinned. His eyes drifted to her mouth, and every nerve trembled from the inside out. She wanted to run. Her breathing seized, and her heart had stopped midbeat. Fear was winning.

He leaned forward, and his dark lashes lifted until his eyes met hers. “You look scared,” he said, in a voice so low, ominous, and deep that it shook her insides.

She stood there, speechless.

Ever so slightly, like his menacing approach, his lip curled up. “That’s good,” he said, swaying
dangerously closer. “You should be, Rainey Ann.” His eyes ran over her face. “In fact, you’d better take that fear and hold it real close.”

His hand came from the wall, dark lashes lowering once more. He gazed at her lips. They were quivering, but at that moment, Rainey couldn’t have cared less if he saw it. She was terrified. Warm fingers scraped her shoulder, slithered up her nape, and gripped around her neck. His fingers indented her skin, and being strangled came back to mind.

“Or,” he said, tilting in toward her ear, their bodies bordering lethal contact, “you could give in to that fear right now and scream.”



Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!



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Book Spotlight with Angelica Dawson!

Serviced: Vol 1 by Breathless Press

All's fair in love and war, they say. Come find out if it's true in these ten stories where soldiers prove that their skills in the field are only rivaled by their skills in the bedroom.

For One Night Only by Allie A Burrow
Corporal Mark Butler is back in the country for one night only, and Kate isn't about to let the opportunity pass her by...

Over A Dead Body by Leona Bushman
Riker hated days that start out with dead bodies. Edie hated days that started out with dead bodies found by ex-fianc├ęs. Both wanted to find the killer.

Reds, Whites, and Blues by Mickey J. Corrigan
He was stationed in Key West during the Vietnam War when he met the artsy girl who didn't capitalize her name.

Leave Taking by Angelica Dawson
Will has a surprise for his wife for the tenth anniversary. He's coming home.

First Date: The Italian Colonel by Jesabelle Jones
There are fireworks when horny English nanny, Leonie, meets squadron commander, Colonel Luca Giordano - the sex is hot, and it's only the first date.

Major's Minah by Ravan McAllan
Oliver knew his duty, he needed a wife and heir. Minah knew what she wanted--him. Could his ideals and her dreams be the same? There was only one way to find out.

Knock Out by Natalia Petrovskii
Warrant Officer Ryan Wilson is handsome and arrogant and Corporal Nicole Muchmore enjoys taking out her frustration against him on the sparring mat. One day the tables turn and before she knows what is happening he is exacting a punishment of another kind-this time totally pleasurable.

A Chance At Love by Shelli Rosewarne
Suzanne had always told her big brother that being a soldier was too dangerous, so when she sees the uniformed officer in front of her house she knows exactly what he's here to tell her. While Aidan may set her blood on fire, Suzanne has already lost one soldier she loved and she's not prepared to trust her heart to another one.

Taking Command by Zara Stoneley
How far would you go if the man you loved walked away, so you didn't suffer? Would you take a risk, take command?

Riding Out the Storm by Natalia Petrovskii
Corporal Anna Jordan keeps her secret fantasies about her superior officer, Lieutenant Kyle Campbell, well hidden. When the two must take shelter from a winter storm during a training exercise she has no idea her wildest dreams are about to come true!

Available at

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These sound hot, hot, hot! How about an excerpt from Ms. Dawson's story, Leave Taking...

A smile spread over my face and I closed the door quietly behind me, setting my duffel on the floor. Unless I missed my guess, Dani was upstairs singing in the bathtub. I had dreamed of her leaping into my arms at the door, but fate had given me a better surprise. I twitched in my pants as I pulled off my boots, thinking about her with each note and splash coming from the bathroom. I padded up the stairs.

"I don’t want, anybody else. When I think about you, I touch myself..."

I bit hard on my knuckles to keep from making a sound. The first muffle was laughter. The second was a groan as I peeked through the crack in the door. Danielle was shaving her legs, careful quick strokes down each long white limb. I sighed and adjusted myself. God, she had beautiful legs. I didn’t want to startle her while she had the blade in her hand.

The whole time she kept on singing with the music. "When I’m feeling down, I want you above me."Oh, I was going to be above her all right. She was soaping her arms now and I didn’t mind giving her a little scare. I yanked the door open and she screamed, plunging her head under the water.

The Divinyls continued to touch themselves while I chortled and lunged to the tub, sitting on its edge despite the water coming over the side.

Dani's head came up at the sound of my laugh. "Will! You scared the shit out of me! Don’t you ever... You’re home!" She jumped out of the tub to hug me, knocking us both to the tiled floor.

I kept laughing, nearly as wet as she was, holding her as she kissed my face.

"You don’t have to touch yourself anymore, honey," I told her, still laughing. "I’ll be happy to do it for you."

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I'm so loving Will's playful side, Angelica! Very cute! If you'd like to get in touch with Angelia on Facebook, you can find her page here: http://www.facebook.com/authorangelicadawson/ She's super nice, and I know she'd love to hear from you! Like her page, and leave her a comment!

And if you're interested in getting your copy of Serviced, it's available at these lovely online retailers. Get your copy now!

Available at


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Author Interview with Thea Landen

Please welcome Thea Landen to The Printed Fox! I would really like to thank her for taking the time to visit as she promotes her latest release, Disintegration, her erotic futuristic/sci-fi romanc.

To celebrate, she's also hosting a giveaway! Huzzah! We love giveaways here.

So what's the prize?
 The prize is 5 eBooks copies of any title from author's back list (winner's choice; 1 each to 5 winners) PLUS swag pack (magnets). Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Apr 13.

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

So let's get to the interview! Ms. Landen was kind enough to let us get to know her better, and we all want to know more about the creative mind behind such an awesome book like Disintegration!



Available at

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What’s your name and where do you come from?

My nom de plume is Thea Landen, and I was born and raised in New York, where I’ve always lived. (I don’t live in the city itself, but it’s close enough that I can pop down there at a moment’s notice!)

Tell us a bit about your latest release.

Disintegration is probably my most complex project to date. It’s heavy on the sci-fi/fantasy and world-building, and the sex scenes are among the hottest I’ve ever written! If you’re not sure about committing yourself to a full novel, I have a collection of three short stories (also erotic) that serve as prequels to the book available for FREE at Smashwords.

How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man?

The perfect swoonworthy man has it all – he’s strong, yet sensitive. He’d shoot through an army of villains to protect us, and then go save a kitten from a well. He can make us giggle and blush with his witty remarks and warm our hearts with eloquent professions of love. And, naturally, he’ll listen to us and strive to fulfill our needs in the bedroom.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? Why are they your favorite?

Ro from Disintegration is my favorite, as she was just so much fun to write. She speaks her mind (even if other people don’t want to hear it), has no evidence of a brain-to-mouth filter, and got some of my best sarcastic/flippant remarks. As the book progressed, I enjoyed gradually chipping away at her layers and exposing her vulnerabilities to both the other characters and the audience, all while keeping her in line with the persona I’d already presented.

Definitely! It's always so much fun to uncover so much about a character that is so hard to get to know. Sometimes the characters with the more difficult traits are the funnest to write and read about. So what trait do you find the sexiest?

A killer sense of humor. I’d take Adam Sandler over Brad Pitt any day of the week.

Oh, me too, me too! lol 

What are the hardest scenes for you to write? Suspense? Sex? Dialogue? And why?

I struggle the most with action/combat sequences (though I’d like to think I’m getting better!). While I do play some video games and watch the occasional action movie/TV show, I’m not that great when it comes to battle strategies and special ops missions and the like. (Yet somehow, they keep winding up in my plots.) I’m very lucky in that I have a number of friends I can consult who are interested in that sort of thing, and they help me keep my action scenes both realistic and exciting!

What are your favorite types of heroines? Do you like the damsel in distress who needs saving or the kick-ass variety? Why?

Kick-ass all the way! Sitting around waiting to be saved by the hero is BORING. I much prefer the heroines who either help save themselves, or are fighting right alongside the hero to achieve victory. Regardless of what sort of dynamics are present in the sex scenes, I like to have my male and female characters on equal footing when they’re out and about in other situations.

What was your worst date ever?

I met a guy at a music festival, and after we *cough* had a good time one night, we agreed to get together the following month when he’d be visiting my town for another event. While I was on the phone with one of my best friends telling him about the festival, the guy sent me a friend request on Facebook, and I was super excited to accept it…until I clicked on his profile and saw that he appeared to be functionally illiterate. This was back in the day when you listed your favorite books and movies in the designated spaces on your profile, and he’d even written “i dont read books just magazines lol.” My friend on the phone will back me up on this – I almost cried.

He did seem really nice and we DID have that *cough* really good time together, so we went out again when he was in the area. It was the most awkward dinner I’ve ever sat through. We had nothing to talk about, and I just kept thinking “don’t mention books, don’t mention books, don’t mention books….” He left the next morning (yeah, I know…), and I never saw him again. Moral of the story? If you like to read books, don’t expect a lasting relationship with a man who considers this an utterly foreign concept. Even if their bodies are the stuff dreams are made of.

Oh, poor Thea!  I mean, I'm kind of chuckling over here, because who hasn't had that awkward date where you have nothing in common? But functionally illiterate! *facepalm* You're braver than I would've been; you at least went out with him again, lol.

So if that was your worst date ever, what was you most embarrassing moment?

I used to proctor the SATs to pick up some extra cash a number of years ago. Once, the students were at least halfway through the test before I realized my zipper was open. The zipper was on the side of my pants and the strap of my underwear was CLEARLY visible. A number of people had walked by the classroom (including the school’s principal), and I just blithely waved to them, unaware that one unclothed hip was hanging out for the whole world to see.

I don’t proctor the SATs anymore.

Yeah, I don't blame you! Oh dear, you poor thing! (Is it wrong that I'm laughing, though?)

Who has influenced how you perceive love? Why?

I am married, so it makes sense that my husband has influenced my perception of love. One of the reasons our love is so strong is our unconditional support for each other in whatever goals we hope to reach. We do have different interests, and while I know he’ll never quite “get” writing sci-fi/fantasy erotic romance like I do, I know he’s always behind me one hundred percent of the way. In a perfect world, we’d all get that kind of support from the people who love us and go on to accomplish  amazing things!

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Thank you so much, Ms. Landen! That was certainly fun, knowing more about you! Some of your answers were quite interesting.  *cough*

About the Author

Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and a variety of houseplants. A former educator, she strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire.

Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction and fantasy and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.


Connect with Thea Landen

Website/Blog: http://thealanden.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thealanden
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheaLanden

Disintegration

Dutiful soldier Callum Renwick wakes up in the underground laboratory of a mercenary organization. He learns he was the sole survivor of an attack that destroyed his unit, his hometown, and his family. In addition to the loss of his loved ones, he discovers that due to his injuries, half his body has been supplanted by artificial skin and cybernetic parts. Once he has recovered, he is assigned to the care of Ro Bernard, who leads the effort to turn him into a powerful assassin. She is outspoken, yet secretive, and uses unconventional means to mold him into a depraved killer. Mind games and rough sex are in her repertoire of training tactics, and Callum is both infuriated and fascinated by her. As he comes to terms with his grief and his new role, many of his biological body parts fail and must be replaced. Will he adapt to survive in Ro’s world and exact vengeance on the woman who ordered the attack that changed his life?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Available at

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!



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Thursday, March 21, 2013

For Writers By Writers | How To Write a Synopsis Made Easy

Writing a Synopsis Made Simple

If you’re like most writers, the words “write a synopsis” fill you with blood-curdling dread. If you’re like most writers, you’d be hard pressed to choose between writing a synopsis and chewing foil. And if you’re like most writers, you put it off until you absolutely have to write it, and struggle and lurch through it while blubbering the entire time. Am I right?

Same with writing blurbs, yes?

Sometimes you might even doubt calling yourself a writer at all. But instead of doing that, just remember my #1 Basic Writing Tool, and you should be fine.

Okay, the blubbering’s hit or miss, but still.

Personally, I love writing blurbs and synopses, and it’s usually the first thing I write. It’s a breeze. (And no, I’m not a freak of nature.) How do I do it?

With a little discipline and forethought. Now, before all you pantsers start panicking or lamenting that you can’t do this, hear me out. This will work regardless of if you’re a plotter or a pantser.

First of all, you have to remember there are a few ways to write a synopsis. You’re not locked into one format, so you have a bit of leeway in how you approach it.

Unless, of course, your publisher really does have only one way to write it, in which case yeah, you’re stuck, but that doesn’t mean writing it has to be torturous.

-=[~]=-

Use the trends of your genre

Secondly one of the best things to remember is fiction, these days, is more character-driven than anything. Especially if you write romance.This makes it even easier to write a synopsis.

You could write a character synopsis. It's super easy, and shows how the characters are the major driving force of the story. Here's an example from my latest MS, Devil's Bitch:

Baruk (alpha rival):
Third son of the Lord of Banadar, Baruk made a name for himself as the newest Force General in the army. He is also Norelia's oldest friend. Since childhood, they were brought together once a year to learn and train together in hopes there might be a renewal of old familial alliances.
Two years ago, Baruk proposed to Norelia, and she has avoided him since. With both the Emperor and General Kallan dead, Norelia is both Empress and General in dire need of support. With the main Force of the Endless Army slain, Norelia's forces and political support are thin. He has to be there for her.

When he sees Reoth with her, his own desires turn into a simmering jealousy. Who is this nameless wanderer to think he can marry his Norelia by winning one measly tourney? He has to talk some sense into Norelia and remind her of their lifetime in common. If the Emperor is truly dead, any wager she made with him is forfeit. Nothing is stopping her from making her own choices!
When Reoth reveals to Norelia's war council he knows who is behind the slaughter of the main Force, Baruk offers to kill Reoth. Baruk's pedigree is perfect, and they were intended to marry practically since birth. What can he do to make her see that he is the logical choice for marriage and keep her safe from this invasion when she keeps avoiding the subject?

The formula is easy, and you can see it in my alpha rival's character synopsis: Who is the character? Why is the character important? What relationships or circumstances make this character vital to the story? What obstacles does the character face because of the presence/interactions of other main characters? What is the character's personal struggle, and why is it personal for them? What can the character do to achieve their personal goals, or what is their conundrum?

See? Easy peasy. Do this for each of your main characters. Ideally, each character's obstacle and goal would mesh or conflict naturally with other characters' obstacles and goals.

-=[~]=-

The Long Synopsis De-Mystified

If you're at all familiar with Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method, then you'll already know how to write the five sentence plot-points paragraph. If not, here's the basic format:

Your beginning: Sentence 1
Plot Disaster #1: Sentence 2
Characters making things worse, result in Disaster #2: Sentence 3
Character choice/action + some plot influence brings Disaster #3: Sentence 4
Resolution, falling action, ending: Sentence 5

From there, take each sentence and expand it into a full paragraph. Keep in mind each paragraph should end in another Disaster, except the final paragraph. Your final paragraph should wrap up the story and resolve plot holes. And please don't forget to write the ending of your story. No cliffhangers, no "read and find out!" no "maybes" or "surprises" or any of the other teasers some writers like to include for some reason.

Not only does it scream "amateur," but it really could be enough to land your query or submission in the circular file. Publishers want to see that you can write a solid story with a beginning, a tight middle, and a believable resolution. They also want to know what the story is in its entirety so they don't have to thumb through your entire ms to see if it's something they even like. Save the "read it and find out" for the blurb. That's what it's for.

Use the same structure of the five sentence plot-points paragraph for each of your paragraphs. In essence, have mini-Disasters or other complications--usually character-driven, but can also be other things-- giving you rising action, climax, and a little resolution within each section.

-=[~]=-

The Takeaway

There! Follow these steps, and you will have successfully completed a synopsis with very little pain, and quite possibly no blubbering!

With a little practice, the character synopsis is a task easily conquered, and the long synopsis is no match for your literary awesomeness. The Three Act format is another of the writing basics that you want to keep in your back pocket. Having a solid structure for your story will keep you out of some of the worst writing jams.

Trying out these tips? Share your success! Leave me a comment and let me know how it worked for you. I love hearing from you!

Ciao!








***

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Spotlight | Remember the Stars by Natalie-Nicole Bates

Remember the Stars by Natalie-Nicole Bates

Waking up in the gutter, for Leah Rhodes, life as she knows it has just changed forever. In the dark surroundings of her distant past, a familiar man stands out in the confusion. But Remy Moreland has been dead for years. It soon becomes apparent to Leah that both she and Remy are trapped in a hell of their own making. Can one night together not only lead to the way out, but to love, as well?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.




Available at

-=[~]=-

“Remy,” she said his name. Where did she know that name from? It wasn’t common. Think, Leah, think. Then it hit her—hard.

She remembered exactly who Remy Moreland was.

He was in the newspaper years earlier. Her mother had shown her a copy. Remy Moreland was involved in a fatal street race. His Porsche had been split in two, killing him and a young woman in another car.

Remy Moreland was dead.

But if he was dead, what was he doing here, alive, and with her?

Sweat broke out on the back of her neck and her vision clouded. This was someone’s idea of an evil, evil joke. She had to get out. She had to find her way home.

Standing, she grabbed the edge of the deck for support. “I have to get out of here,” she mumbled and stumbled her way around the desk.

He grabbed her around the waist. “You can’t go back out there. It’s dangerous.”

She sunk her open palms against his chest and struggled to get out of his grip. “Get off of me, you malevolent freak! You’re dead! You’ve been dead for years!” she blurted.

Immediately, he let go and jumped back from her as if he had been stung.

“What are you talking about? He demanded.

She backed away, ready to make a run for the front door. But the confused mix of anger and disbelief in his contorted expression stopped her.

How could he not know he was dead?

“It was years ago, Remy. You had an accident. It was in the newspaper.”

He tilted his head, his blue eyes huge. “Do I look dead to you?”

Well, he was pale, his blue eyes ethereal. She hesitated, and then spoke. “Now that you mention it…”

“You bitch!” he snapped.

The force of his voice caused her to flinch and she raised her fingers to her throbbing temples. All she wanted at that moment was to get out of this man’s sight and find her way home.

“I’m not dead,” he stated ominously.

“Okay, you’re not dead,” she conceded as she rubbed circles on her temples.

He took a step closer. “As a matter of fact, right now I am languishing across town in a nursing home. I eat through a tube in my belly and piss into a catheter bag. I remain nothing but an emaciated, contorted version of the man I once was.”

She closed her eyes. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening. None of this was real.

When she opened her eyes, he was in front of her, a macabre grin creasing his handsome features. He lifted a brow. “So, what did you do?”

“Do? What are you talking about?”

“To get here. You know my situation, so what’s yours?”

He wasn’t making any sense. She turned away from him, left the office and began to walk the long hallway to the front door, but he followed her closely.

“Let me guess,” he provoked. “You look like a murder-suicide kind of girl. You’re not wearing a wedding ring, so I’m assuming you shot your boyfriend in the head and then offed yourself in some spectacular way—like jumping off a balcony and splattering on the ground. How could you have known you would wind up here?” he chuckled unpleasantly.

She stopped cold. How could he say such a horrible thing? She turned back to him only to find him mere inches from her. “You’re horrible. You don’t even know me, but you’ve resorted to participating in some sort of evil joke on me. I just want to go home…or wake up.”

“Your life as you know it is over, Leah.”

“What are saying, Remy? That I’m dead?”

“You’re not dead…not quite. This is limbo…purgatory…the first circle of Hell. The most wretched place on earth where you are sent to atone for your sins.”

-=[~]=-


Available at

About the Author

Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author. Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia. She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.

Connect with Natalie-Nicole Bates
Blog: http://www.natalienicolebates.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BatesNatalie
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/natalienicole.bates
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/natalienicolebates

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Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!


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Book Spotlight with Gemma Parkes!

Hello, my lovelies! I have a really spectacular treat for you today. The sweet and amazing erotic author Gemma Parkes is here for a visit to The Printed Fox!

Gemma in Benalmadena, Spain
Thank you for having me over on you blog today. Yours is a very interesting blog and one l have visited, and learnt from, many times in the past.

Just to tell your readers a little about myself, l am a freelance author from the UK who specialises mainly in erotic fiction. I’ve been writing in this genre for around two years and l have many self published books available (to those 18+) and also a few anthology inclusions with several publishers. Erotica isn’t my only genre but it is the only one l write in under the name of Gemma Parkes.

I started off this part of my career by sending several anthology short stories in answer to submission requests from different publishers. I was fortunate enough to have these first few accepted and this gave me the confidence boost l needed to self publish a few of my other titles.

I feel there is much to be gained by choosing to self-publish (it is a choice and not just something we only do if we get rejected!) for example I like to keep an eye on my daily sales. I can see at a glance what’s selling and what isn’t. This helps me to read the market and target my audience accordingly.

Of course the downside is that l spend far too much time editing (if that’s possible). For example I can spend a long time agonising over whether or not my characters would actually have the money to visit the particular wine bar/ restaurant I’ve put them in! It is difficult to be objective about your own writing and of course l do seek out opinions from time to time.

I don’t write full time yet but l would really like to, for me writing is a necessity. I have always written and my head is so full of untold stories that l can’t imagine a time when l won’t.

My latest novella is quite different for me. It’s called ‘A Wicked Game’ and it tells the story of a college professor who finds himself embroiled in an affair he started reluctantly.

Available at

-=[~]=-

 A Wicked Game



A clandestine encounter between lecturers at Keywood upper college campus is witnessed by second year psychology student Lucinda White. Determined to make the most of this opportunity Lucinda embarks on a little blackmail, convincing senior lecturer Mr. Peter Caine that she will keep quiet about her discovery in exchange for a series of after college tuition.

But what does Lucinda really want? Is there more to this enigmatic girl than meets the eye?

‘A Wicked Game’ is a story of sexual desire and intrigue. Follow it through its many twists and turns until the story reaches its final climax.

This book is sexually explicit and intended for adults only.


-=[~]=-

Here's a little sneak peek!

“How long do you think she’d been standing there?” Amy’s voice was almost shrill in its urgency.

“Damn it, l don’t know! Hell Amy why didn’t you lock the damn door when you came in?”

“You could have locked it yourself if you weren’t in such a hurry Peter.” Amy reminded him testily.

Peter sat down in the large leather swivel chair and stared blankly at his office door. He wished he could will it to go back in time and lock itself against this embarrassing intrusion.

“I will sort this,” he said, “Damn girl shouldn’t be up this end of college in the first place, and she should have knocked.”

Ten minutes later, after sending Amy back to her own office, Peter had gathered his thoughts. He knew he needed to act quickly before the story was spread throughout the entire campus. He made his way down to the main reception where he spoke carefully to the college secretary, “Will you find out where Lucinda White is right now and tell her to make her way to my office please?” he said as pleasantly as he could before adding, “Immediately.” In a tone that left no-one in any uncertainty about his smouldering agitation. Then he headed back there himself to wait.

When Lucinda knocked quietly on the door just a few minutes later Peter was ready for her. He’d paced the room in an attempt to clear his mind and calm his nerves. It wouldn’t do to show fear.

He was pleased to find the girl quite contrite when he opened the door, her eyes were downcast and her posture slightly nervous.

“Ah Lucinda,” he spoke almost paternally, “Do come in and take a seat.” He gestured to the smaller of the two office chairs and watched as she sat herself down.

Somewhat demurely she straightened her skirt before raising her eyes momentarily as if trying to gauge Peter’s anger towards her.

Peter took the seat opposite her and rested his palms on his knees as he spoke very clearly and carefully.

“Now Lucinda, we seem to have got ourselves into an uncomfortable situation don’t we?”

“Yes sir.” Lucinda replied, her voice barely audible.

“Perhaps you can explain first and foremost why you felt the need to disturb me in my office during my lunch hour? Then you can explain to me why you didn’t knock before entering.”

The Wicked Game
Available at

-=[~]=-

Thank you so much for visiting, Gemma! The Wicked Game certainly sounds delicious, and I do so love a good intrigue!

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

For Writers By Writers | The Road to Hell is Paved with Adverbs

On Writing

Anyone who is a fan of Stephen King's fiction might've read his book On Writing.

If you're a writer and you haven't, shame on you.

'Kay, not really shame, but seriously, why not? One of the most well-known and loved writers of our time has put together a book on your craft. Why wouldn't you want to get your grubby little hands on it at the first opportunity and devour what's inside?

In it, he says the road to hell is paved with adverbs. In fact, he compares them to dandelions:

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day . . . fifty the day after that . . . and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late. --Stephen King, "On Writing"

On Editing Adverbs

Of course, I don't believe it's ever too late. If you're determined, and you have a dedicated editor, you can weed your entire literary lawn of all but the most necessary of adverbs. If they're ubiquitous in your writing, prepare for a lot of pain and a massive re-write, but consider it lesson learned. Like an intense workout leaves you sore, think of it as growth.

Growth through pain. Learn to love the pain. And let it be a Pavlovian kind of motivation to stay the frack away from adverbs and actually write something real.

Why are they compared to weeds and the paving stones of Hell's Road? Because they're signs of lazy writing. Of juvenile writing. And --worst of all-- of timid writing.

Rumor has it F. Scott Fitzgerald said of adverbs, "Don't use adverbs so often because it makes you look like an amateur jackass, loser!" but so far I haven't been able to substantiate that. It makes me laugh, though.

Every time I see an adverb, I want to ask the writer why on earth I'm even reading their work. They're not bothering to give me a story. They're showing me nothing, and telling me everything. When I pick up a book, I want to watch the story unfold in my head, not listen as someone gives me a secondhand account. Isn't "show, don't tell" one of the most basic rules of storytelling?

How Not to Use Adverbs

"She got into the car seductively."
"He got clumsily to his feet."
"...she said threateningly."

[insert eye roll here]

What does "seductively" even look like? What is "clumsily" to me? Or "threateningly." What does that look like? What's on their face? How are they holding themselves? What came before and after that adverb? For crimeny's sake, what are these people doing? Show me that instead, because I don't even know what your adverbs look like to you and --as an avid reader who is happy to give my money to writers in exchange for my valuable time well-spent with a damn good book-- I really don't care.

There is Hope! How To Fix It

What about:
"She nipped his bottom lip and gave him a knowing smile. Saucy minx, he thought, as she slinked into the passenger seat, careful to give him a tempting flash of leg as she settled in."

"He reached for the counter to steady himself. His bum leg protested, like it always did, at being asked to work. It seemed to think it was here for decoration. He hoisted himself to his feet, staggering a little and wishing like hell she wasn't here to see this."

"She banged her fist on the desk. 'Damn it, Johnny! One more word and so help me...'"

See the difference? Stephen King talks about context being important, about showing what's happening around that adverb to give the words color and texture. From the examples, which ones actually get the point and picture across?

With strong context and good description, a writer can see adverbs for the clunky, extraneous paving stones they are. As the life-sucking weeds in the beautiful garden of your writing.

Kill your darlings. Show what's going on. Dare yourself to put your foot down and write like a boss.

You love writing?

Show it.







***
Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spotlight: Urban Renewal by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Urban Renewal by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Movie star Mercedes Montague has it all – the fame, the fortune, and the glittering celebrity lifestyle.  But she lost herself somewhere along the way. On a publicity tour for her next movie she realizes she’s just fifty miles from her hometown.  Mercedes – real name Marie Dillard – decides to bolt and go home to see if she can find what’s left of herself.   Hiding away in her grandparents’ old home in a working class neighborhood she’s haunted by memories and reminders of her first and only love, Joe Shelby.

 Marie’s stunned when Joe shows up at her door.  Passion kindles between them from the first moment their eyes meet but she won’t let it consume her unless it’s going to include a lasting love. As they renew their relationship, Marie and Joe face many struggles.

Can a movie star return to reality or is love just a distant dream?



Dying for a glimpse? Check out this sweet excerpt, and tell me you're not excited!

-=[~]=-

As Mercedes Montague she’d locked lips with most of Hollywood’s leading actors, the stars who incited lust in every woman across America from pre-teens to great-grandmas.  More than a handful found their way into her bed and onto her expensive silk sheets for intimate encounters yielding physical release but nothing more.  Sex turned into a celebrity rodeo as each man tried to prove his talents, to top the others and although maybe Mercedes liked it, Marie loathed it.  She hated the lack of any real emotion, any passion beyond the need for another body in the lonely night and the few times she felt a spark with someone always faded fast with morning light.

Joe brought back expectations long forgotten and evoked desire with such depth Marie sank into it as it sucked her down like quicksand.  She should fight it but couldn’t and didn’t even want to struggle against it.  Her fingers clawed against his plaid flannel shirt as he tightened his grasp on her, his tongue darting into her mouth like an exploring snake.  New waves of pleasure brought intense delight and Marie leaned against him so her weak knees wouldn’t dump her onto the floor.

His mouth stirred the ashes of their past and restored dozens of memories, brought back the memory of other kisses just as sweet.  Whatever emotions they once claimed, all the old bonds connecting them renewed as power roared to life between them.   Marie never knew how long it lasted and she never thought of anything but Joe within the same span.  Her world shrunk to this, to his mouth and hers, connected.  Driving in St. Joe yesterday she thought she came home but she hadn’t, not until now.

If Joe wanted to take her upstairs, he could and if he decided to have her on the floor between Ma’s living room and dining room, Marie wouldn’t resist.  Instead, he pulled back and put her at arm’s length.  “See?” he said as a tiny smile flirted with his mouth. “The way I feel about you hasn’t changed, Marie.  You still make me crazy.”

“Crazy good or certifiably insane?” she asked, happiness bubbling up from within like a wet weather spring.

Joe chuckled. “Crazy good, I think. Hell, I don’t even know you now and you don’t know me but I’d like to get reacquainted.  What do you say?”

His request blindsided her.  When she walked away from her celebrity life, she didn’t expect to even see Joe but Marie wanted to spend more time with her first love.  “I’d like to, Joe, very much.”

“Good,” Joe said.  His blue eyes shimmered now, reminding her of placid lake waters touched with sunshine. “I can’t stay now.  Would you like to go out for dinner tonight?”

“Yes,” Marie said. “It may sound like an excuse but I don’t have a thing to wear but I can get something.  What time?”

“Is six too early?” Joe asked. “I figure you’re still on California time but by six, the kid’ll have come and gone so he won’t wonder where I’m at, not that he would.”

Her floating happiness threatened to nose dive into despair. “Kid? Are you married?”

Joe shook his head. “I was but she’s dead.  The kid’s my step-son.  Trust me, he’s a problem child but I’m all he’s got.  Six okay?”

Marie made a quick time calculation and sneaked a glance at the clock.  “Six thirty would be better,” she said.

“All right,” Joe said. “I’ll pick you up then.  Be prepared – I’d like to hear the long version, Marie.”

“Sure,” she said. And I want to hear the story of your life, she thought but didn’t dare speak it aloud, everything you’ve done, about your wife, and why you’re not in the Army. “I’ll be ready.”

About the Author

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy writes romance about everyday people often caught up in extraordinary circumstances.  Her titles range from contemporary to historical to time travel and sometimes stray into the paranormal.  She is a native of the historic city of St. Joseph, Missouri, a jumping off spot for countless wagon trains in the days of the old west and where outlaw Jesse James met his death.  She now lives in a small Ozark town in what passes for the suburbs.  As a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Writers Guild, and the Ozark Writers League, Lee Ann pens a weekly column for the local newspaper.  She has served on the local library board and arts council.  As a member of the Rebel Elite team, her upcoming releases will shift to exclusive Rebel in 2013.  Lee Ann is also one of the short list of Rebel authors named Best of 2012.  She was also among the Best of 2011. She’s married with three children and one spoiled Jack Russell terrier.


Available at


Connect with Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Email: leeannwriter@gmail.com
Website: http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogpspot.com
Rebel Writer (Blog): http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/leeannwriter
Facebook (personal page): https://www.facebook.com/LeeAnnSontheimerMurphy
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Sweet-To-Heat-The-Romance-of-Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/287540748010934
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4543214.Lee_Ann_Sontheimer_Murphy

Prize is 15 eBook copies of "Urban Renewal" (1 each to 15 winners). Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Mar 23. **Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.**
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Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spotlight and Review: Gone by Barb Han

Gone by Barb Han

How far would you go to find a child that never existed?

Elizabeth Walker awakens in a mental institution, the aftermath of a nightmare in her veins. All she can think of is saving a little boy—her son. But the orderlies who rush in and jab her with needles assure her she has no son. So does her mother, who demands her doctors keep her calm and prevent her from these troubling delusions. But Elizabeth’s nightmares are so real, and her arms still feel the memory of holding her son. And her instincts tell her to trust no one. Her child is gone. Her memories are gone. Everything is just…gone.

Ex-military medic David Kerrigan will never stop blaming himself for the childhood tragedy that took his younger sister’s life. Working on assignment at the facility, he’s drawn to Elizabeth, and he’s not sure that everything about her case is on the up and up. David knows full well he can’t change the past, but what if he can save this one person? And maybe helping Elizabeth might just save them both…

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Available at
Amazon | ARe | B&N


-=[~]=-

If memories were liquids, then Elizabeth Walker’s would be blood. Not warm, life-giving, tissue-bathing blood, but cold, coagulated, dried up, and stepped-over-on-the-sidewalk blood.

Memories weren’t liquids.

They were more like fireflies blinking in the dark, daring to be caught, disappearing a moment before they could be reached. And the only liquid left in Elizabeth’s body was a few unshed tears. They hardly ever fell now. Even they seemed to be drying up on her.

Nightmare or not, she would claw her way through any level of consciousness to save the boy. The last ounce of breath she drew from her lungs burst out as a scream, leaving her choking and gasping for air.

The sense of urgency to save him, to do something, burned frustrated holes through the bottoms of her feet—feet that did not touch pavement no matter how fast she moved.

She had to do something. But what?

She calculated the likelihood of reaching him and came up short. He was far. No way could she reach him in time. Yet waiting, doing nothing, wasn’t an option either. Protective instinct propelled her legs forward, and damn the odds.

“Somebody. Help.” She pushed herself from the dream.

She dug her fingers into her mattress, discharging a crush of bleach into her hyperventilated nostrils.

A drowning sensation filled her lungs. She clenched her chest muscles. She gasped, struggling for oxygen.

A door slamming against a wall made her sit bolt upright. Two bulky men in blue scrubs burst into the room.

-=[~]=-

I must admit, it's been a very long time since a book grabbed me, held me prisoner, and had me emotionally invested on the first page. Gone by Barb Han did just that. I was incensed at the way Elizabeth was treated, and almost comically frustrated by the universal refusal she met when she asked anyone but David Kerrigan for help.

Barb Han's writing is gripping, and beautifully executed. There were a few times when I just had to re-read a sentence because it was so perfect, or poignant. Elizabeth is so genuine, and so determined! It's so enjoyable to read female characters that listen to and trust their intuition. Marry that with a mother's infinite drive to protect her child no matter the cost, and you have a strong, kickass woman who pulls herself out of the drug-induced fog she's been forced to endure and fights back.

David Kerrigan is just lovely. I know that sounds trite, but bear with me. He's a gorgeous male, a bit tormented, a medic recently out of the military, and trying to figure out where he fits. Or even if he fits anywhere. With everything stacked against him in the situation regarding helping Elizabeth, he does what just about any of us could do, but the difference? He takes responsibility for it! Even when he really didn't have any sane choice, he still accepts it was his choice, and he makes up for it.

June Walker. Holy moly. Talk about guano loco! She was written just as wonderfully as all the others, but what I really would have wanted to know was what she had that gave her so much power over people. Without giving any spoilers, I want to know what was it about her? Particularly regarding one character, who had every bit as much influence and resources as June did, if not more, why did June instill such fear? And Elizabeth's doctor, Dr. Madrigano. Why was June allowed to call all the shots to the point of Madrigano risking her career? What was it about June Walker that she could do this?

I must admit, if you're easily frustrated, you might find yourself dying to flip ahead and find out what happens. But I admit, I'm one of those that flips to the last chapter in a mystery. I will definitely be reading this one again, if only to enjoy the experience of reading it! The first time around, I was so into this book that I was reading as fast as I could to find out what happens next. Ms. Han definitely does tension and suspense well! And I don't handle it so well, lol.

Five stars, and a must-read!

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 About the Author

Barb Han lives in North Texas with her husband, has three beautiful children, a spunky Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle mix, and too many books to count.

When she's not writing, researching, or otherwise getting lost in a story, she volunteers at her children's school, is in the kitchen 'creating' dinner, or can be found on or around a basketball court.

Writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense has been a dream come true for Barb--something she's wanted to do for as long as she can remember. She left her corporate job, at her husband's urging, and has been happily playing with imaginary friends ever since.

Learn more about her latest releases at http://www.barbhan.com and don't forget to say hi. She loves hearing from readers.

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Connect with Barb Han
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