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New Cover for Strip Me Bare!

Title: Strip Me Bare
Author: Marissa Carmel
Release Day: October 10, 2013
Genre: New Adult
Cover Design by: Cover Me, Darling
Reveal Host: Lady Amber’s Tours

Book Description:

“I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.”Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone?
Five years ago Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without leaving so much as a post-it note behind. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to and her virginity to. So imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male reviews as Jack the Stripper.
Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again. But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle. She finally has Ryan back; but how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women inNew York City?

Marissa Carmel has been writing since a young age and although it has always been for personal enjoyment,Maryland several years ago, she enjoys reading, writing, and catching up on her ever growing DVR library. She is currently working on the sequel to iFeel, Gravitational Pull and the third and final installment of the Vis Vires trilogy, Constellation.

she finally decided breakout and share her imagination with the world. She hopes that her universe is as fun and intriguing to her readers as it is to her. Marissa Carmel is originally from NJ but moved to

Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marissacarmel      Handle:  @marissacarmel
Buy Links:
Praise for Strip Me Bare-
This story was absolutely amazing. Marissa Carmel is fabulous and her writing style is phenomenal. You can feel the emotions coming right off the pages into your heart and soul…It’s hot and steamy and trust me you will say Oh MY! Read it, read it, read it!- Amazon
This book is all about second chances and starting over, learning to trust and finding yourself. It’s an amazing read- Amazon
5 stripping stars- Angie’s Reading Dungeon
This book surprised me in the best way. The way it’s written makes the story flow perfectly, and I absolutely adore Alana’s spunk. And the fact that Ryan fights to get back what he lost the moment he sees Alana again tugs and pulls at the heart strings in all the right ways. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book with these two characters to see just how this all started.- Amazon
We stop in front of some hanging crystals. They clink as Ryan pushes them aside, “after you.”  I walk under an orange spotlight, into a small space with a white leather couch deep enough to lie on and walls a warm golden yellow.
Ryan steps in behind me and presses his body flush against mine. My mind races.
Is he really going to do this?
Am I really going to let him?
Can I even handle this? Five minutes ago he was with another woman. Quite possibly in this same room doing God only knows what.
“Why do you do this Ryan?” I expel. I know he explained it in words, but I need to experience it to truly understand.
He ambles around me so close; the only thing separating us is a whisper of air.
“I told you, the money,” he says as he unbuttons his shirt.
“You said women too,” I watch him cautiously, my gaze jumping between his eyes and his chest.
“That was before you walked back into my life. You’re the only woman I want to touch now. The others, like you saw before, it’s just an act. A business transaction. It’s what I have to do to get what I want.”
“Doesn’t it make them feel used?” I flick my eyes up at him.
“It mustn’t. They always come back.”
“You like it. I saw your face. That wasn’t an act.”
Ryan stands right in front of me, his shirt unbuttoned and dangling open. “I won’t lie to you Alana, I’ll never lie to you,” his tone is hard, but seductive. “I do like the attention. But it’s not real. It’s my job to sell attractiveness and fantasy, and I do it well. But that’s all it is, fantasy and I know it. When I’m with you, that’s my real.”
My breath catches when he says the word real. I can’t help but find the irony in his words; I’m exactly to him what he is to me. Two people one and the same, both living a double life to get what they want; a future and each other.
And that is what I want. A future, with Ryan.
I go to put my hands on his chest, but he steps away shaking his head no. “In this room, it’s all about you,” he walks around, stopping right behind me. “You have to tell me what you want Alana,” he whispers in my ear and I almost go limp, the sound of his voice is erotic as hell.
I swallow hard, but can’t utter a single word, because truth be told, I have no freakin’ idea what I want. At least, not in this scenario.
Ryan starts to rub my shoulders. I think he can feel my hesitation.
“Why are you so tense? This is supposed to be fun.”
Fun? The word rattles around in my head. Fun – a time or feeling of enjoyment or amusement.
Okay, let’s have some fun.
I turn around to face him and our eyes lock. “Show me.”
“Show you what?” his tone dripping with sensuality.
“Show me Jack the Stripper.”
Holy fuck!   
Playlist:
Muse- Madness

 

Run- Leona Lewis
I Know You Want Me- Pitbull
Troublemaker- Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida
What You Wanted- OneRepublic
(I Just) Died in You Arms Tonight (Club Remix)- Cutting Crew
Counting Stars- OneRepublic

COVER REVEAL! Mine to Steal

COVER REVEAL

Mine to Steal
T.K. Rapp

SYNOPSIS

In life and business, Trey Miller has always been the good
guy. Nothing wrong with that, since it’s gotten him everywhere he has needed to
be. His startup company is a success and growing so much that he is gaining the
attention of larger corporations.
By all accounts, Trey has it all, but the one place he fails
is love.
He thought he might have had something with Emogen Kane, but
she was taken before he even had a chance. Now, he hides behind work, unwilling
to take any risks in the love department.
When Trey finds himself vying for a huge account against
Faith Young, he knows he’s going to have to play it tough to win. Faith is
smart, attractive and rumor has it, she lands every account she goes after.
When Faith is thrown into his path at every turn, Trey
starts to feel that it is more than a coincidence. Seeing Faith with her
boyfriend douses the flame that he was starting to feel, until he realizes that
the guy might not at all be what he seems.
Trey let go once, but he’s determined to win it all this
time. Does he have it in him to roll up his sleeves and get dirty? And if he
does, will he finally end up with the girl?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

T.K. Rapp is a mom, a wife, a daughter, a
sister, a friend – a writer. She’s a
lover of music, photography and raunchy television (the raunchier, the better.)
If you asked her friends what words they would use to describe her: an
incurable dork, slightly awkward, loyal to a fault, a bit of a gossip, and a
bit bitchy. (She tends to agree with all of them in some small measure.)
In July of 2013, T.K. published her first
novel, Being There. Set in Texas, Being There tells the story of Cass, as she encounters
life-altering news and the reemergence of old friends in her life. It was a
lifelong dream for T.K. to write something and see it published, a feat she is
incredibly proud of.
Her latest novel, Mine to Lose,
was released in January of 2014. MtL
is a story about Emogen Kane – who finds her relationship with her fiancé,
Ryan, falling apart. She’s left wondering if they were meant to be, or if it’s
time to move on.
Rapp is currently working on completing the
follow-up to Mine to Lose, titled - Mine to Steal - due to release Mid-May
2014.
When not writing, T.K. can be found
chauffeuring Gidget & Peese (her kids) to their various activities or
hanging out with her husband.
Contact
Links:

Uncovering You Blog Tour with Excerpt!

Excerpt

A hand touches my elbow, surprising me. I start to turn, but the voice I hear stops me cold.

“Lilly.”

Oh God. It’s him. There’s no mistaking that rich, masculine treble.

What’s he doing down here?

“M-Mr. Stonehart,” I stutter, turning. I curse my inability to hide my surprise. He totally caught me off-guard. I have to look up to meet his eyes. Then up some more.

The face that I find is so striking it should belong to a Greek god.

He’s younger than I expected. Late thirties, maybe early forties.

That means he started his company when he was younger than me!

Dark scruff lines his angular cheeks. His jet-black hair is styled in long, natural waves. My fingers itch to run through it.

Totally inappropriate.

He has a prominent nose that might be too big on a less imposing man, but on him, it’s perfect.

In short, he’s a package of the purest masculinity I’ve ever seen.

And then there are his eyes. Oh my God. His eyes. They pierce into me like honing missiles. They are the deepest black I have ever seen. They would be frightening if they weren’t so beautiful. When the light reflects a certain way, you catch a glimpse of the purple underneath.

They are like midnight sapphires. His eyes reveal a cunning intellect. Those eyes do not miss a thing.

Add all that to his towering height, his wide shoulders, his confident-yet-at-ease posture… and Stonehart cuts an intimidating figure.

My gaze darts to his left hand before I can stop it. No ring. He’s unmarried.

He looks down at me, expectantly. His eyes narrow ever so slightly, and I feel like I’m being dissected, measured up, and tucked away in some small corner of his brain. I imagine this is what a gemstone feels like under the magnifying class of the most critical appraiser.

Stonehart clears his throat. I come to with a start, realizing I haven’t said anything in ages. I open my mouth, but the capacity for speech seems like a foreign concept to my brain. “I—”

Somebody bumps into me from behind. I stagger forward. I’m not used to these shoes, so my heel steps the wrong way. My ankle twists under me, and I start to fall.

I don’t fall far. The hand still on my elbow tightens, and Stonehart pulls me into him.

I plaster myself onto the solid steel wall the man has for a body. I catch a scent of his cologne. It’s a deep, musky smell with a hint of charred spruce that is all male. It scrambles my thoughts even more.

“Sorry!” a rushed voice calls out. From the corner of my eye, I see the postman giving a hurried, apologetic wave.

Although the sequence lasts less than a second, it feels like an eternity. Pressed up against him like that, I don’t want to move. I know that I couldn’t have made a worse first impression.

510-uncovering-you-1

Title – Uncovering You

Author: Scarlett Edwards

Genre – Dark Romance
Release Date – March 27th, 2014
Cover Reveal – February 18th, 2014
Series – first book in series.  Second will be out April 20th, 2014.
Synopsis-
When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what’s waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.
Reality is much worse:
A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.

I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:
J.S.
Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:
Resist and die.
Or submit, and sign my life away
GoodReads Link:
6941559
About the Author
I’m Scarlett Edwards. I wrote my first book as a college sophomore. After six months of edits, it made its debut as Yours to Savor.

 

That was at the start of 2013. I’ve written more books since then. You can find them all here.

 

It’s funny how quickly life changes. I used to think I’d need a degree to get a “Real Job.” Then I wrote a few books, they got somewhat popular, and now I’m living the life as a full-time romance author.

 

Thanks to all my readers for making my dreams come true!

 

Stalker Links

 

Giveaway Details
10 Uncovering You audiobooks
20 – Signed paperbacks of Uncovering You
50 – Digital copies of all of Scarlett’s books (Change of Heart, Change of Heart Part 2, Never Let Go, Yours to Savor, Uncovering You)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour organized by:
5n4sa0

 

 


Clinging to Rapture Cover Reveal!

 

http://alittlebitofrnr.com

 

Clinging to Rapture

Rapture: Book 2

Author: Megan D. Martin

Publication date: April 25, 2014

New Adult Erotic Romance

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20703324-clinging-to-rapture

Blurb:

“I let you walk away, Julia. I let you go, but I can still take you back if I want.”

Four months ago I ran away. I left him behind. The man who stalked me, took control of my body, and claimed he loved me.

Now he’s returned. Like dripping razor blades, he has slashed his way back into my life. But everything is different.

He doesn’t want me anymore.

I expected him to come back, to be sorry. I even planned to forgive him. I should have known that he would discard me like everyone else in my life. But I’m going to change that.

My billionaire stalker has come to say goodbye…only this time I plan to keep him.


 

About the Author

Megan D. Martin is a multi-published author, mother, student and editor. In her spare time she enjoys decorating her house with strange things that do not match, playing her old school Nintendo Entertainment System, and buying fish for her many fish tanks.

 

Website: http://www.megandmartin.com/

Blog: http://www.MeganDMartin.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormegandmartin
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Megan_D_Martin
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6656963.Megan_D_Martin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/115096823539939478098/posts
 Cover Reveal
organized by:
5n4sa0

 

 


Cover Reveal for Orange Blossom by Sarah Daltry!

Orange Blossom, the penultimate title in Sarah Daltry‘s bestselling New Adult romance series, Flowering, is available now! The reading order and information about the other titles follows.

orange_blossom

Title: Orange Blossom

Author: Sarah Daltry

Cover Design: Shoutlines Design

18+ New Adult Contemporary Romance

Buy Link:

“I’ve never understood a year. A year was always a measurement of something bad for me. A year in my father’s prison sentence, a year since my mom’s death, a year left of school before I could get far, far away from here. Now, as I look down the end of my college career, with only a little more than a semester to go, a year seems like something magical. It has been a year since Lily chose me, since she sat with me on the old swing set and made a decision that I was worthy of her. And every minute of the entire year has been better than the last.”

You already know their stories: Lily, the perfect princess, always living someone else’s life. And Jack, the broken boy, who had stopped believing in hope. Somehow, though, they found each other and what was one night blossomed into a love story.

Now, a year later, Jack and Lily are dreaming of the future. Despite all of his promises to himself that he would never be indebted to anyone, Jack makes a new promise – this time to Lily – that he will be there for her forever. But when life unravels for them, he starts to pull away, and Lily worries he’s out of reach for good.

When Jack does the unthinkable, Lily is left destroyed. Is it possible to have a happily ever after? Does love ever really save anyone?

Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!

 

Excerpt: obteaser2

 

He’s smiling. Not that smirk he gets when he’s bitter but also pleased about something. It’s not the smile that says that he knows happiness is temporary. When he lines up his Skee-ball shot, there is a smile on his face that is pure. Genuine. It’s like taking a step back and seeing Jack in a photograph. One from years before his life went crazy. He’s just a dorky kid playing Skee-ball and he’s so happy when he nails the shot. He does an awkward little dance and it’s the kind of thing about Jack that makes me love him. He’s gorgeous and sexy and aggressive yet sweet. He’s kind and considerate of me, both sexually and in general. But I don’t love Jack for that. I love him because there is light in the world in the space he takes up. I know he doesn’t see it, but he’s inside himself. From the outside, all I see is the absolute electricity and fire that fills the air around him.

 

“That’s how it’s done,” he tells me when he finishes his game, wrapping up his ridiculous stack of tickets. I’m so going to lose, but I don’t care. He’s happy. I just almost wish I was better at this, so we could stay here longer, so that Jack could be this part of himself for as long as he needs.

 

“I think you’re perfect,” I say.

 

“Because I’m good at Skee-ball? Shit, that’s all it takes?”

 

I shake my head. “No, but you tell me all the time. I don’t think I ever say it to you. I don’t like the idea of perfection. It’s too much of a standard to live up to, but I don’t think you even understand. It’s cheesy and probably cliché, but I just can’t imagine how I could breathe without you. How did I exist before this?”

 

He looks down, uncomfortable because it’s one thing to tell Jack he’s hot or sexy; he can handle that and he gets cocky and ridiculous when I tell him that. But this part of him, this vulnerability, he buries it so deep that drawing attention to it makes him want to disappear. But I don’t want that. I want him to embrace it, because it’s sweet and beautiful.

 

“Don’t look down,” I say and I lift his face to look at me. His eyes explode with light, the way fireworks do on New Year’s when the sky is like ink and then it’s suddenly on fire. I lean in and kiss him, feeling his hands tighten on my arms and his lips opening against mine. He’s scared. I can feel it in the way he kisses me today; he feels himself falling and he’s trying to hold on and I need to figure out how to be steady enough to hold him. “Trust me,” I plead. “Let me take some of what you’re feeling. I can handle it, Jack.”

 

He nods. “Another day. Today, I just want to stay here, to be here with you, where it’s safe and comfortable and my entire world is this. Where strawberries and popcorn and Skee-ball and shitty plastic toys are the entirety of what exists.” He pauses. “I promise, Lily. I will. Soon. But let me hide from it. Just for a little longer?”

 

“Okay, but don’t hide from me, okay?” I ask.

 

“I’ll try,” he offers and it’s okay that he can’t promise. He’s honest and I would rather he is than say something he knows is a lie. I’m not fragile. I won’t break if he hurts me. I just don’t want him to worry about doing it. I never signed up for it to be easy. I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be. “Now, stop distracting me. Unless you want to concede defeat?”

 

“Never gonna happen,” I say and I settle in to play more Skee-ball. I don’t really care about winning since whatever the prize ends up being is going to be more of him, regardless. But I try my best and actually win two games in a row. Of course, that’s as long as it lasts.

 

When he beats me, by eight games, he gloats in his victory, but he ends up using his tickets to get me a green plastic piggy bank. The options are pretty bad, but I love that he picked the bank, because it’s hideous and cheap and we spent far more than we could even fit in the bank. I love it because I’ll never use it, but it will always be like this day – something that doesn’t really belong but needs to exist because the world is simply better for it being there.

 

Series Reading Order: Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, and Blue Rose can be read in any order. There is some crossover in scenes between the titles, but each stands alone as one character’s story. Star of Bethlehem is a direct continuation from Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. Orange Blossom and Ambrosia (releasing June 6, 2014) assume readers have read the other four titles and read as sequels. In essence, the first three are #1, Star of Bethlehem is #1.5, Orange Blossom is #2, and Ambrosia is #3.

FMNTitle: Forget Me Not (Lily’s Story)

Author: Sarah Daltry

Cover: Shoutlines Design

18+ New Adult contemporary romance

Buy it Now!

This is a coming of age story, but it isn’t always sweet and innocent. If dirty talk, bedroom toys, and threesomes offend you… this is not your book.

“No one tells you when you start school just how homesick you will be, or how hard it will be to start life over with no direction and no friends or family. No one says that becoming your own person is terrifying.”

I never wanted anything but Derek, my brother’s best friend. When I chose a college, it didn’t seem to matter that he would be an hour away. We could survive it. After all, we were in love. But almost immediately, things change between us. I blame myself. Maybe I’m just not sure how to be a girlfriend and independent.

Life seems to be getting away from me – and then there’s Jack, the guy down the hall. He’s rude and vulgar and my parents would be shocked by him, yet every single time I see him, I feel like I’m being pulled toward him. It’s physical, sure, but there’s something in Jack’s eyes – and I want to know him.

I know I don’t always make the right choices, and I’m the only person at fault when everything falls apart. How do I tell Derek, the guy who was supposed to be everything, that I don’t feel like fighting for him anymore? And do I run to Jack, when I know his past is way too much for me to handle when I’ve just turned 19? Finally, where do I end up in all of this? Can I be more than just someone else’s idea of what I should be?

Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!

LotVTitle: Lily of the Valley (Jack’s story)

Author: Sarah Daltry

Cover: Shoutlines Design

18+ New Adult contemporary romance

Buy it Now!

Jack’s story isn’t pretty. He’s suicidal, depressed, and he uses meaningless sex and alcohol to survive. However, the story is about finding light in the darkness, but sometimes the road there isn’t always easy to walk.

“No one tells you about pain. They tell you that it hurts, that sometimes it’s consuming. What they don’t tell you is that it’s not the pain that can kill you. It’s the uncomfortable numbness that follows, the weakness in your body when you realize your lungs may stop taking in air and you just can’t exert enough energy to care. It’s the way taste and color and smell fade from the world and all you’re left with is a sepia print of misery. That’s when the shift starts – the movement from passive to active. I fall asleep, hoping that the morning will bring back the pain. At least the pain is a thing.”

I’m a plague, a cancer. My mom is dead – and my father is in prison for it. I survived high school because college was my way out. I needed to escape, to get away from my family and the people who tortured me, but it hasn’t grown any easier.

I don’t pretend that I’m a good person. I drink far more than I should, and I use my best friend, Alana, because together, we thrive on destroying each other – as well as the parts of us we hate. I don’t believe in love, but sex is fun and it also makes me feel something.

The morning I see Lily, the beautiful princess who smells inexplicably like strawberries every time I see her, I realize I’m in trouble. I should hate her. I want to hate her, because the alternative terrifies me. However, as she continues to crash into my life (often literally), I can’t avoid feeling something that is the one thing I swore I would never feel. I can’t fall in love, because people like me don’t live in a world where love saves anyone.

She just won’t go away, though, and I don’t know if I can keep running. The voices and the darkness hover over me and they threaten to bring me back to the safety of my hate, but the stupid scent of strawberries lingers on the horizon, as something like hope.

Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!

BR_frontTitle: Blue Rose (Alana’s story)

Author: Sarah Daltry

Cover Design: Shoutlines Design

Buy it Now!

Warning: This book deals with topics of abuse and may trigger reactions in people who have experienced those things in their own lives. It remains a story about healing, but it’s not always an easy journey.

“Four. My life has been shaped by four people. Four men, to be more specific. My father, my stepfather, my best friend, and my boyfriend. The first two shaped it in horrible ways, but what I am, who I am, is all because of four men.”

Over the last twenty years, I’ve learned how to keep secrets. It doesn’t really matter, since everyone already seems to think they know everything about me. So I hide. I avoid confrontation, I treat Xanax like a magic pill that will make it all go away, and I become everything they think I am. A slut. A whore. Nothing but trash.

I can only name two guys who have ever made me feel like I was more than that. Jack is my best friend and I’ve loved him since I met him. Now, though, he’s in love… with someone else, and I guess I need to get over him. Somehow.

And then there’s Dave. The guy I never gave a chance. The guy I used almost as much as people used me, because I wanted to pretend I was someone worth loving. Two years have passed since we last spoke, but I don’t know how to stop thinking about him.

My new therapist is making me face my past, and she tells me that life inevitably changes without our permission. I believe it, but I know what I am. I hear what she’s saying to me, and I want to try again with Dave, to help Jack find joy, to love myself, and to move on. I just wonder if anyone can do that, really.

Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!

SoBTitle: Star of Bethlehem

Author: Sarah Daltry

Cover: Shoutlines Design

18+ NA contemporary romance

Buy it Now!

This is a holiday novella-length story that follows Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley.

“With you, Jack, it was the first time I ever felt real. It was the first time anyone looked at me and saw substance. It was the first time I wanted to make someone see me.”

Jack: New Year’s Eve. I’ve somehow managed to get here, and now I’m wearing a hideous and unreasonably itchy sweater, because I want to impress Lily’s family. I want to do anything for this girl who has made me believe in second chances.

Lily: The house is beautiful and shining with light, but it feels empty. At least until Jack gets here. I know how desperately he wants this – a family, love, a home. If I can be the person who can give it to him, it’s all I need, but I hope I can keep him from seeing how hollow it all really is.

Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!

button.2About the Author:

Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

Sarah has also written Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy romance, and Backward Compatible, a gamer geek romantic comedy.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://sarahdaltry.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahDaltry

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sarahdaltry/boards/

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/sarahdaltry


Guest Post from Nikolas Baron from Grammerly!

What You Can Learn From Bad Writing

In high school, one reads the classics. To study symbolism and extended metaphor, some courses focus on the novels of Steinback. If youths are interested in the struggles of coming of age, they can follow the life of Holden Caulfield through the pages of Catcher in the Rye. On the Shmoop website, I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou yields commentary on at least eight literary devices. Is there anyone who denies the valuable lessons that these classic pieces of literature teach about creative expression? I should hope not. However, who champions poorly written literature? If no one volunteers else, I nominate myself. To serve this great cause, I want to pay the awkward, illogical, and ineffective writing the attention that it deserves. We all are sure to learn a thing or two!

Annoying Screenplays

We have all watched bad movies. I do not want to be too specific, but I have a certain one in mind. In this film, the characters are flat. The romantic side plot is forced and unconvincing. According to my personal theory, the romance feels so far-fetched due to the mismatched qualities of the two lead characters. The couple has little in common; no reason is given why they begin developing feelings for each other. What is the lesson? The audience needs to “see” the invisible sparks that cause romantic interest bounce between two actors to appreciate the budding romance. The authorities agree; one must create this chemistry with words. In a blog, Jennifer Echols suggests that a writer should dig a hole, and then fill it up. In other words, create a need in one character that is fulfilled by the qualities of the love interest. Then, readers understand why the pair is made for each other.

Spam Emails

How long does it take you to realize that an email is spam? Within a few seconds, you click the delete button to discard the unsolicited correspondence. How do you know that it is not a “real” email? First, the writing style is usually a dead giveaway. No one in my life addresses me as a “dear esteemed friend.” Additionally, grammatical and spelling errors abound. As a fascinating aside, a leading researcher at Microsoft Research’s Machine Learning Department claims that the neglect of grammar is intentional. Poor writing only attracts the most likely victims, gullible types who believe anything that they read. The bookworms who will be reading your manuscripts will spot mistakes a mile away. These faults will repel rather than attract the scholarly. Rather than allow your laborious efforts end up in someone’s junk folder, use an online proofreader to weed out errors.

Too Much Leftover Mystery

Within the first six pages, it is obvious that the culprit is the insecure gardener with the suspiciously radiant rose blossoms. Two hundred pages later, the author confirms your deductions in the concluding paragraph. Isn’t that the worst? Learn from the inferior novels. If your plot includes a mystery, create several characters with plausible motives. Use characterization to make these characters live in the reader’s mind. If possible, surprise yourself with some of the things the characters say and do.

If you lose your copy of Catcher in the Rye, do not despair. Imperfect writing is plentiful. The next time you read a movie script, examine the unrefined features of the plot. If you are interested in the effects of poor grammar, you can find lovely specimens of unsolicited scams in your junk mailbox. To learn how not to write, ask around for bad novels and articles. Lots of people would be happy to donate them for your educational pursuits. Before long, you will have a long list of what not to imitate in your own writing.

By Nikolas Baron

——————————————————//————————————————————-

Bio:
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown childrens’ novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.


Interview with Lori Lopez

Interview with Lori Lopez

What inspired your new release?

My latest E-book is SPOOKED, a ghost story obviously.  Then there is a piece that was chosen as the story of the month on Servante Of Darkness.  I have a story and poem in the new BONES II anthology.  My weird tale SLEEP OF FOOLS is already out, but it will be released soon in HEARTCORE (Volume One or Two), a charity anthology to benefit authors in need.  A story and poem were published in the thirteenth issue of THE SIREN’S CALL E-zine honoring WOMEN IN HORROR.

These were all written for publications, which is a great inspiration for me to write stories.  I missed the anthology deadline with SPOOKED.  I had finished in time, but I still needed to read through it.  I don’t leave that to other editors.  I go through my work meticulously, at least three times, after editing while I write (checking for redundancies and discrepancies, polishing lines, proofing and so on).  The bright side is that when I don’t get into an anthology, I can release the work myself.  Either way, I have a new story.

Tell us about any WIPs you have

Let’s see, the most immediate ones are illustrating a story co-written with Blaze McRob some years ago to release both print and E-book versions (TIDES OF CHAOS), and a story that is already an E-book, JAR BABY, to release in print with artwork at the request of a fan.  Then I have stories to finish for an anthology and a couple of new collections.  I also promised myself I would focus on sequels this year to stories and books such as UNLEASHED:  TAIL ONE; HEARTBEAT; FOSSIL; DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS (which I will also turn into a “graphic novel”).  My next two poetry collections based on my column are close to completion.  I just have to add some extra poems.  An art book needs additional sketches.  There are novels to finish and begin.

How many people ask you to read their books?

I’m not known enough to be hounded by newbie writers, though I do get some.  I also get occasional requests from fellow authors I know.  If it interests me, I’ll accept a copy or exchange titles.  But I have to explain how busy I am.  I can’t guarantee when I will read it.  When I do, I’ll review it.  I don’t like to trade reviews.

In a word sum up your writing style

Eccentric.  Quirky also fits.

Do you have a character you enjoyed writing the most?

It’s a toss-up between Meezly of An Ill Wind Blows, Dwayne of Monstrosities, Midnight of Unleashed, and Spider of The Fairy Fly.  Those are extremely different characters, not at all alike.  But I connected with each and had great fun conjuring their exploits.  I say conjuring because writing can feel like magic, the way all of the pieces fall into place.

Is there a genre you would like to try?

Steampunk.  I’m drawn to the atmospheric quality of it, and the alternate-reality aspect.  I have a story or two waiting for me to get around to them.

Could you live without coffee?

I could and have my entire life.  Never touch the stuff, same as alcohol.  I have an occasional tea.  I used to drink A LOT of diet sodas.  Not very healthy.  Now I drink water with lemon, occasional juices, almond or coconut milk, also coconut water, and plain water if I’m exercising.

Tell us one of your favorite jokes

I used to tell one about a farmer and his wife, who agree to ride in a small open-cockpit plane at a county fair.  The farmer thinks ten dollars is too expensive, so the pilot offers to take them up for free if neither of them says a word during the flight.  He then performs all kinds of stunts to scare them, but finally lands and pumps the farmer’s hand telling him, “Not many people could have gone through what you just did without saying a word!”  The farmer replies, “Well, you almost had me once when my wife fell out!”

I learned it from a joke book I loved as a kid.  I prefer to make up something funny if I want people to laugh.  My own books can be amusing.

What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?

I love being in a story, carrying it in my head and assembling it word by word like a puzzle.  It’s the best time for me, when I’m creating.  I actually enjoy editing my work as well.  It’s still part of the creative process.  I don’t enjoy editing for someone else.  Once the writing and editing are done, I enjoy making the cover.  These are all very satisfying.

Three facts about you

I’ve been a vegetarian since age fifteen but am eating vegan more and more.  I plan to teach myself ukulele (I already play guitar and drums).  I’m afraid to drive.

Do you believe in UFOs?

Yes.  There is simply no reason to not believe in them.  This is a vast universe.  There are parallel universes.  It would be crazy for there not to be other worlds like ours out there in the cosmos.

What was your favorite snack growing up?

Wow.  I loved going to movie matinees and eating Good-And-Plenty candy, so I would say that.  I have the cavities to prove it.

Would you rather have fame or fortune?

One or the other?  I’d be happy if my books were being read by a lot of people.  That’s one of my dreams.  It would also be nice to have money to help organizations like Greenpeace and animal-rights groups, shelters for abused children and women, things like that.  I guess then I could hire people to read my books.  But it wouldn’t be the same.  Difficult question.

Pick one book that is your all-time favorite?

An even harder question!  Seriously, I could scream!  I love ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS, which are actually two parts of the same story.  There are so many others, like FRANKENSTEIN, that I love too.  But ALICE is just so brilliant, so incredibly clever.  Sigh.  I could name others.  And there are some I haven’t read yet.  This is impossible to answer, really.  Ever.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Definitely an introvert.  I used to be an extrovert when I was small.  That changed.  Now I’m the opposite, but the extrovert comes out to play on occasion.  If you don’t know me in person, I can seem quiet and serious.  If you really know me, you’ll know I can talk a lot and be funny.  I’m kind of weird either way.  Slightly peculiar.

Muppet – I like The Cookie Monster.  He’s a monster, he likes cookies, and he’s a puppet.  What’s not to love?

Cartoon growing up- I went through phases.  TOM AND JERRY, SCOOBY-DOO.  Now I watch PHINEAS AND FERB and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.

Color- Black.  I like others, but that’s the one I like to wear.

Type of Monster- Frankenstein.  Sorry, Cookie.  Frankenstein stole my heart ages ago.

Do you speed when you drive?  Ha ha ha.  I don’t drive.  If I did, I would probably speed in terror.  You do not want me on the road behind the wheel.

Spaghetti or Lasagna and why?

Lasagna.  It’s richer, more substantial, and has lots of cheese.

Your thoughts on Self Publishing

If it weren’t for self-publishing, my voice might still be silent, unheard as a writer.  I might be posting my poetry column at our website, and free stories, yet not be found.  Without this movement, this E-book and Print-On-Demand revolution, I might never be known by the amazing readers I’ve met both online and off.  I might not be able to hold my books in my hands (another dream), see them in the library, sign them for readers, share them with the world.  Whether the world knows it or not, I am finally an author.  I’ve waited a very long time for that.

Your thoughts on Zombies

I love all manner of monsters.  Zombies are fun because they’re everywhere.  They’re us, dead and revived and hungry.  I like to tinker with them.  I’m not one for formulas.  I tend to do my own thing, whatever the monster.  Or make up new ones.  But I have four zombie tales out, and I will probably write more.

Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?

I do.  It’s entirely plausible that such creatures could exist in certain circumstances, left over from the Dinosaur Age.

Are you a tweeter, a re-tweeter, or you couldn’t care less about Twitter?

I do both.  My time is so limited, however, that I have little chance these days to check the posts that pass through the Feed.

Would you rather sit on a porch with sweet tea or go hiking with a bottle of water and a smile?

The porch sounds tranquil, on a rainy day.  I don’t like sunny days, preferring gloom.  I also enjoy hiking.  Especially in the woods.  Oh yeah.  That is the most tranquil place on Earth.

Your favorite type of music

Oh boy.  I love so many types.  It would be easier to say the types I don’t like.  Heavy Metal.  Some Rap is okay, poetic, nice tunes.  But a lot of it seems unpleasant, explicit.  Hip-Hop is better.  I’m primarily into Pop and Folk, Folk-Rock, Rock, some Country, Blues, Jazz, Classical.  There are other genres, and I appreciate music from other cultures.  I like my own music, a blend of Folk and Rock, some Pop and Country mixed in.

Your favorite color of Skittle

I don’t eat them.  Don’t see the fascination.  I’m more into Dark Chocolate, especially with nuts.

Your favorite way to spend an evening

Seeing a really good movie.  Better still, a really good double-feature.  The genre will depend on my mood.  Horror anytime, but not all horror films (some are just bad); Thrillers, Action and Suspense, Comedy, Romantic-Comedy . . .

Tell us what you are working on now!

I have a story for another anthology in progress, also some illustrations to do involving monsters and mummies (fun stuff).  And I just started my next poetry column.  I’ll be writing an introduction, then around five poems, primarily dark verse, some of them humorous.

Anything you would like to say to the aspiring authors reading this blog?

If you truly love writing, pursue it with everything you’ve got.  Don’t expect it to be easy.  But if somebody takes the time to read your writing, and if they enjoy it, that’s the best feeling in the world.

Thanks so much again!

Thank you, Emily!  Very entertaining questions! :)

 

BIO:

Lori R. Lopez wears a lot of hats, literally and otherwise, and you never know what madness might lurk beneath them.  An author as well as an artist, musician, actress, activist and more, she writes short stories and novels, along with a dark often-humorous column called “Poetic Reflections”.  Her books include AN ILL WIND BLOWS, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, and THE FAIRY FLY (ages twelve through adult).  Her stories and verse appear in anthologies such as MIRAGES: TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON’T, BONES II, SPLATTERPUNK SAINTS, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, THE EPOCALYPSE: EMAILS AT THE END, SOUP OF SOULS, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE: 14 TALES OF TERROR.  Fifteen of Lori’s poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY.  Her prose and poetry have been featured in THE SIREN’S CALL, THE BLACK GLOVE, GHOSTS AND HAUNTS and other magazines.  She unapologetically takes pride in creatively bending and reshaping the rules of writing when it suits her style.

Links:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

http://www.amazon.com/author/lorirlopez

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE

http://www.facebook.com/lorirlopez.author

WEBSITE

http://fairyflyentertainment.com

POETRY COLUMN

http://fairyflyentertainment.com/category/category/poetic-reflections

TWITTER:  @LoriRLopez

 

A humorous book trailer for DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS that my sons and I made:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsoS9k2PSNo

 

A link for author readings we filmed (more to come):

FAIRY FLY ENTERTAINMENT YOU TUBE CHANNEL: 

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO8H3bHfH1WmzJ-3nDo9Krw

 

Amazon links for my books (or Smashwords if they are free there):

    SPOOKED http://www.amazon.com/Spooked-Lori-R-Lopez-ebook/dp/B00HXC5148

    JAR BABY http://www.amazon.com/Jar-Baby-Lori-R-Lopez-ebook/dp/B00G51KFJE

    3-Z (FREE) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GD0UH0E

    THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB (FREE) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DRSI2SY

    THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ: THIRTEEN TORMENTOUS TALES http://www.amazon.com/Macabre-Mind-Lori-Lopez-ebook/dp/B0090GMY18 PRINT:http://www.amazon.com/Macabre-Mind-Lori-Lopez-Tormentous/dp/148107976X

    MONSTROSITIES http://www.amazon.com/Monstrosities-ebook/dp/B009Y01R40

    JUGULAR by Lori R. Lopez http://www.amazon.com/Jugular-ebook/dp/B008R9DHQU

    AN ILL WIND BLOWS by Lori R. Lopez http://www.amazon.com/An-Ill-Wind-Blows-ebook/dp/B008397NO6 PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/Ill-Wind-Blows-Lori-Lopez/dp/1484097734

    OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES http://www.amazon.com/Out-Of-Mind-Experiences-Thirteen-Tales-ebook/dp/B0072JRUVE PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/Out-Mind-Experiences-Thirteen-Tales/dp/1438216602

    CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES: A SAMPLER OF HORROR http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Covered-Eyes-Sampler-Horror-ebook/dp/B00612RJ6E PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Covered-Eyes-Sampler-Of-Horror/dp/1481001957

    HEARTBEAT http://www.amazon.com/Heartbeat-ebook/dp/B006NQHFZI

    SLEEP OF FOOLS http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GLS5SAM

    BEDEVILED http://www.amazon.com/Bedeviled-ebook/dp/B006QESGWI

    CREEP http://www.amazon.com/Creep-ebook/dp/B0070OB7D8

    FOSSIL http://www.amazon.com/Fossil-ebook/dp/B007MHI718

    BLOODPATH http://www.amazon.com/Bloodpath-ebook/dp/B007T25JCG

    MACABRE http://www.amazon.com/Macabre-ebook/dp/B007TYEYOS

    BAD MOOD http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Mood-ebook/dp/B007TYL5EA

    SOME THING by Lori R. Lopez http://www.amazon.com/Some-Thing-ebook/dp/B0084T2TLW THE LYCANING by Lori R. Lopez http://www.amazon.com/The-Lycaning-ebook/dp/B00857522Q

    THE WRAITH by Lori R. Lopez http://www.amazon.com/The-Wraith-ebook/dp/B0084T4HD0

    UNNATURAL by Lori R. Lopez http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MQ6XTQ

    CEREAL BOX SURPRISE http://www.amazon.com/Cereal-Box-Surprise-ebook/dp/B009YP7RJY

    BEYOND THE STUMP http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-The-Stump-ebook/dp/B00ADIF8E2

    NUANCE http://www.amazon.com/Nuance-ebook/dp/B00ADIFCOS

    NEXT DOOR (FREE) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258798

    HORRENDUS (FREE) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258797

    DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Chupacabras-Trilogy-Trilogies-ebook/dp/B007KTUZQ8 PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Chupacabras-Trilogies-Lori-Lopez/dp/144951393X

    UNLEASHED (FREE) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115698

    THE FAIRY FLY http://www.amazon.com/The-Fairy-Fly-ebook/dp/B00CO3NS8M PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fairy-Fly-Lori-Lopez/dp/1492843628

    POETIC REFLECTIONS: KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD http://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Reflections-Heart-Child-ebook/dp/B00BFRX3S8 PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/poetic-reflections-keep-heart-child/dp/1451586531

    THE MUDPUPPY PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mudpuppy-Lori-R-Lopez/dp/1489525297

    THE FOX TROT PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fox-Trot-Lori-Lopez/dp/1489527338


Release Day Blitz! The Harder I Fall

Title: The Harder I Fall
Author: Jessica Gibson     
Genre: New Adult  Contemporary Romance

Blitz Host: Lady Amber’s Tours

Blurb:
Becca Langer was not a normal girl, she didn’t have normal girl problems. For most of her life, she’s had to take care of herself, her younger brother Chad, and her drunk mother. She’s lived under the shadow of what her father did when she was ten years old. Forever branded by his actions.College was her escape, she could get away and finally live. Her dream was to make it in the New York Ballet Company one day. That for her meant a long road full of hard work and dedication. She didn’t have time for distractions, and Levi Klein was definitely a distraction.

Will Levi be able to crack through her tough exterior and really see the wounded soul underneath? Becca needs to be loved, but the question is, will she let Levi love her?

Facebook Release Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/482673011839050/

Jessica Gibson is a recovering bookaholic, she’s down from four books a week to a more reasonable one. It was that love of words and creativity that made her dream about writing her first book. That dream was hidden for years, always put on the back burner, filed away in the “someday” section, until her husband Matt gave her the kick in the pants she needed to actually get off her butt and write.
Jessica and Matt live in Southern California and have a serious addiction to reality tv shows like Pawn Stars and American Restoration. They have one son and hope to add to the family in the near future.
Aside from writing, she runs an online event planning business called the Release Day Diva. In addition to novels, Jessica writes and maintains the blog Book on the Bright Side. Keep up with Jessica and her latest releases and events on her blog.


Links

Earthbound – Interview with Elaine Calloway!

What inspired your new release? Earthbound is Book 3 in my Elemental Clan Series. This is Terran’s story, the Earth Elemental, and his journeys in Portland, Oregon. The series idea came about from a number of factors. I figured it would be interesting to pair Elementals and Fallen Angels together.

Tell us about any WIPs you have I am in the midst of writing Book 4 (Wind Elemental) to conclude the main series, then I plan to write a few offshoot books with similar themes, in addition to a ghost story trilogy.

How many people ask you to read their books? (unsure of question? – people don’t ask me to read *their* books – but I do get readers wanting to read mine) Now that there are several books in the series available, I have more readers asking when the next book will be released. Maybe twenty people asking these days? It was a thrilling feeling to get my first fan email, asking when I would release Earthbound because he enjoyed the first 2 books so much!

In a word sum up your writing style Descriptive

Do you have a character you enjoyed writing the most? I tend to fall in love with one character per book. In this Elemental series, I enjoyed writing the villains the most, particularly a Fallen Angel named Cristos, who will eventually get his own book. Readers seem to respond to him, too.

Is there a genre you would like to try? I think doing New Adult would be interesting. I already write paranormal, fantasy, and women’s fiction, but I’ve never tried New Adult.

Could you live without coffee? Yes, but never without Diet Coke over ice!

What’s your favorite thing about the writing process? I get excited over the planning stage, when I’m gathering information and the characters are beginning to take shape. But my favorite part is when I’m almost done with the first draft. By then, I can see everything clearly and it gets me excited to know it will eventually be edited and turned into a readable manuscript.

Three facts about you – I’m from New Orleans, I live in the Southeast USA, I love Twix bars!

Do you believe in UFOs? – Yes. I don’t wear tinfoil on my head and act paranoid, but I do think that we are a small planet in a big galaxy, with an even bigger universe. To think we are the only ones in our tiny region is not true, in my opinion. I also don’t think mankind had the engineering capability around 3000 BC to build and make some of the feats done in that time (pyramids in alignment, for example). I think mankind had help.

What was your favorite snack growing up? – I can’t remember who made it, but there were these mini-snack cheesecakes in stores in back then. Small enough for one person, but delicious! I miss those. I love love cheesecake :)

Would you rather have fame or fortune? Fame, but not in the typical sense of the word. I want readers to identify with my stories, to enjoy my stories and characters. I’m not looking for the spotlight, just a means of bringing some sunshine into readers’ lives.

What are some of your favorite books and/or series? I like the Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor and the other books in that series. I also like the detective series by Dennis Lehane. He is one of my favorite authors; his words make music on the page.    

Guilty pleasure – Movies. I love movies, especially during the daytime.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? It’s changed back and forth throughout my life, but at the moment, introvert.

Favorites:

Muppet – Fozzy Bear. Always! I love all Muppets but Fozzy is awesome J

Cartoon growing up- Scooby Doo. The *real* one, not the ones with Scrappy!

Color- purple and green

Type of Monster- Cookie Monster! I even have his voice input into my GPS setup!

Do you speed when you drive? – Only by about 8 mph. It’s not really speeding in Atlanta traffic; it’s staying alive by going with the flow.

Spaghetti or Lasagna and why? Lasagna. It has more layers of meat and cheese, whereas spaghetti is just sauce and noodles. I do like spaghetti with lots of other things added to it: onions, peppers, etc.

Your thoughts on Self Publishing – I think it’s a great step. That’s not to bash traditional publishing in any way, but there are many readers out there who want more than the genres/books that traditional publishing is putting out. Many editors and agents gave me the same old quote after I submitted manuscripts to them: “I love this, but I’m not quite sure we could market it, so I’m passing.” Authors can market their own work to readers and find a readership. I think the only negative thing about self-pubbing is that too many people slop their work up onto Amazon without ever editing or making it better. But, readers will be the judge, rather than a gatekeeper like in traditional publishing.

Your thoughts on Zombies – As much as I like Norman Reedus, I can’t seem to get into zombie plots on TV shows or movies. I tried watching The Walking Dead once. Maybe someday I will try again. I understand that the later episodes are better than the first ones, but still, not my favorite genre.

Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster? – No. I like legends and myths from Europe, they make great inspiration for stories. But real? No.

Are you a tweeter, a re-tweeter, or you couldn’t care less about Twitter? – I’m a tweeter and re-tweeter! I do enjoy Twitter. It’s a quick way to connect with people, not to mention learn about breaking news! Several times, I’ve found out about a major news event on Twitter before other news sites.

Would you rather sit on a porch with sweet tea {insert other beverage if tea isn’t your thing} or go hiking with a bottle of water and a smile? – I’m from the South, so of course it’s going to be the porch! Maybe with a mint julep, though I’m not the Scarlet O’Hara type.

Your favorite type of music – That’s hard to narrow down. Top 40, Irish folk, oldies (1980s), classic rock. Basically, anything except rap.

Your favorite color of Skittle – red

Your favorite memory – Hard to narrow down a favorite, but I love the memory of my family going to Destin, Florida for vacation when I was little. The Gulf Coast sand was so white and soft, the ocean was so green-blue, I love looking back on that memory.

Your favorite quote – “The difference between the right word and the wrong word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

Your favorite way to spend an evening – Curled up with an easy but tasty meal and a great book or movie.

Tell us what you are working on now! – I’m working on Book 4 of The Elemental Clan Series (WINDSTORM), which is Tempest’s book. It is set in Napa Valley and San Francisco, where she meets a whole new breed of evil Fallen Angels. The book should release mid-2014. After that, I will be working on a ghost story trilogy.

Anything you would like to say to the aspiring authors reading this blog? – Thanks again for joining and I hope you enjoy Earthbound!

 

BLURB:

Some say history repeats itself, but for Terran, an Earth Elemental, history has returned and slapped him in the face. Along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, the Acobi Fallen Angels have decided to go underground–literally. They are resurrecting an old legend, shanghaiing innocent people into slavery. Underage girls are trapped and kept in holding cells, ready to be sold into the sex trade. Terran must stop the Acobi and keep the public away from the Shanghai tunnels, all while keeping his supernatural powers hidden.


Kelly Habersham, overachieving real estate developer, has finally convinced her father and brothers to give her the Portland condo project, which would require extensive construction near the tunnels. Determined to impress her father and make a name for herself in the family business, she is not about to let a Save-the-Earth guy get in her way.


Terran and Kelly must work together and come to a truce–or they may be the next shanghai victims.


Elaine Calloway


Crafting Stories of the Living, the Dead, and the Eerie In Between.

Elaine Calloway grew up in New
Orleans with a love of cemeteries, gothic architecture, and all things
paranormal. She is currently writing The Elemental Clan Series, a good vs. evil
set of tales involving Elementals and Fallen Angels. For more information and
to connect with Elaine online, visit her website at
http://www.elainecalloway.com.

Follow Her!

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/writerscanvas

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/authorelainecalloway

My Pinterest Pagehttp://pinterest.com/elainecalloway/

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13256243-elaine-calloway

GIVEAWAY!!

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Cover Reveal – The Contract

510-uncovering-you-1

Title – Uncovering You

Author: Scarlett Edwards

Genre – Dark Romance

Release Date – March 27th, 2014

Cover Reveal – February 18th, 2014

Series – first book in series.  Second will be out April 20th, 2014.

Synopsis-

When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what’s waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.

Reality is much worse:

A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.


I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:

J.S.

Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:

Resist and die.

Or submit, and sign my life away

GoodReads Link:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20512700-uncovering-you

Excerpt:
“Lilly.”
Oh God. It’s him. There’s no mistaking that rich, masculine treble.
What’s he doing down here?
“M-Mr. Stonehart,” I stutter, turning. I curse my inability to hide my surprise. He totally caught me off-guard. I have to look up to meet his eyes. Then up some more.
The face that I find is so striking it should belong to a Greek god.
He’s younger than I expected. Late thirties, maybe early forties.
That means he started his company when he was younger than me!
Dark scruff lines his angular cheeks. His jet-black hair is styled in long, natural waves. My fingers itch to run through it.
Totally inappropriate.
He has a prominent nose that might be too big on a less imposing man, but on him, it’s perfect.
In short, he’s a package of the purest masculinity I’ve ever seen.
And then there are his eyes. Oh my God. His eyes. They pierce into me like honing missiles. They are the deepest black I have ever seen. They would be frightening if they weren’t so beautiful. When the light reflects a certain way, you catch a glimpse of the purple underneath.
They are like midnight sapphires. His eyes reveal a cunning intellect. Those eyes do not miss a thing.
Add all that to his towering height, his wide shoulders, his confident-yet-at-ease posture… and Stonehart cuts an intimidating figure.
My gaze darts to his left hand before I can stop it. No ring. He’s unmarried.
He looks down at me, expectantly. His eyes narrow ever so slightly, and I feel like I’m being dissected, measured up, and tucked away in some small corner of his brain. I imagine this is what a gemstone feels like under the magnifying class of the most critical appraiser.
Stonehart clears his throat. I come to with a start, realizing I haven’t said anything in ages. I open my mouth, but the capacity for speech seems like a foreign concept to my brain. “I—”
Somebody bumps into me from behind. I stagger forward. I’m not used to these shoes, so my heel steps the wrong way. My ankle twists under me, and I start to fall.
I don’t fall far. The hand still on my elbow tightens, and Stonehart pulls me into him.
I plaster myself onto the solid steel wall the man has for a body. I catch a scent of his cologne. It’s a deep, musky smell with a hint of charred spruce that is all male. It scrambles my thoughts even more.
“Sorry!” a rushed voice calls out. From the corner of my eye, I see the postman giving a hurried, apologetic wave.
Although the sequence lasts less than a second, it feels like an eternity. Pressed up against him like that, I don’t want to move. I know that I couldn’t have made a worse first impression.
Stonehart eases me off him with a firm yet gentle grip. Our eyes meet. I flush the most vibrant red. His fingers graze my forehead as he brushes a lock of hair out of my face.
Any tenderness I may have imagined vanishes when Stonehart takes out his cell. He long dials a key and growls an order. “Steven. See the delivery boy leaving right now? Have his building pass revoked.”
I gape. Stonehart keeps speaking. “Wait. I thought of one better. Bar his company from accessing the building.” There’s a pause. “For how long? Indefinitely. FedEx can talk to me when they have an improved employee selection program in place.”
The phone call gives me just enough time to compose myself. My heart’s still beating out of my chest. But nobody has to know that.
I speak without thinking. “You’re going to restrict the entire company from serving this building because of that?”
Stonehart humors me with an answer. “A company’s employees are its most important asset. Their behavior reflects the organization as a whole. If FedEx decided that clown is good enough for them, it tells me they’re sloppy. I do not do business with sloppy organizations.”
“What about the other tenants in the building?” I ask. “Won’t that piss them off?”
When I hear myself and realize how improper my question is, my cheeks flame red again.
Stonehart’s eyes darken, as if he cannot believe I asked that question. I open my mouth to apologize for my imprudence, hating the way my professional skills have evaporated into thin air. I’m cut off by a short, barked laugh.
“Miss Ryder.” He sounds amused. “I believe that is the most direct and honest question anybody has dared ask me in weeks.” He takes my elbow again and leads me to the elevators. I have to take two quick steps to match one of his long strides.
“Yes,” he continues. “They will be ‘pissed off.’ But the perk of owning a building—” he hits the elevator call button, “—is that you get to make executive decisions.” He gives me an unreadable glance as the doors open. “That is, at the risk of being questioned by inexperienced interns.”
If that isn’t a loaded remark, I don’t know what is. I flush scarlet red for the third time since I’ve met him. I’ve never had a man throw me so off balance.
The elevator is packed, for which I’m infinitely thankful. The trip up will give me some time to properlycompose myself.
Gratitude turns to panic when the crowd files out, meek as mice, when Stonehart steps in. None of the people waiting in the lobby follow us.
The doors close. I’m alone in here with him. My heart’s beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.
He catches me staring. “Impressed?” he asks.
“They know you,” I manage.
His dark eyes flash with amusement. “Astute.”

Chapter One

October 2013. Date unknown.
(Present day)
A faint hiss, like the sound of an angry cat, jars me from my sleep.
I open my eyes to pure blackness. I blink, trying to get my bearings. A vague memory forms in the back of my mind, too far away to reach.
Why can’t I see anything?
My breath hitches. Panic rips through my body as the horrifying answer comes to me:
I’m blind!
I scramble onto hands and knees and desperately claw at the dark, searching for something, anything, for my senses to latch onto.
A dim overhead light comes on.
Relief swells inside.
I plop back on my butt and close my eyes, taking deep breaths to dispel the rush of adrenaline released by my body. When my heart’s not beating quite so fast, I open my eyes again.
The light’s gotten brighter. I look up at the source. It’s far above me, like a dull, miniature sun. It spreads a little sphere around me, maybe ten feet in diameter. Past that, everything is swallowed by darkness.
An irksome memory keeps gnawing at me. But my head is too heavy to remember. I feel… strange. Kind of like I’m hung over, but without the telltale pounding between my ears.
Cautiously, I try to stand. My limbs are slow to react. They feel heavy, too, like they’ve been dipped in wet clay. I steady myself. Only when I’m satisfied that my knees won’t give out, do I strain my ears for that hissing sound again.
It’s coming from somewhere behind me. I turn back—and nearly smash my head on a gleaming white pillar.
What the hell?
The sound is forgotten as I reach out and brush tentative fingers against the pillar’s surface. It’s cool to the touch. Smooth, too. I put my other hand on it. If I had to guess, I’d say it was made of marble. But what is a lone, white marble pillar doing in the middle of this room?
The memory is like a gong going off inside my head. But trying to reach it is like grasping at a smooth, slippery stone at the bottom of an aquarium. Just when I think I have it, it slips through my fingers and falls even farther out of reach.
I walk a slow, measured circle around the pillar. If I tried wrapping my arms around it, I doubt if I could even span half the circumference. Something far in the back of my mind tells me I should be alarmed. I look behind me and frown. By what? A dark room?
No, you idiot. By the reason you’re here!
My eyes widen. The reason I’m here? I don’t… I don’t remember.
I wince and bring one hand to my temple. Why am I having so much trouble remembering?
I gasp as a second gruesome thought hits me. Did I lose my memory? Do I have… amnesia?
I sink down with my back to the pillar. Desperation starts to take over. I hold my head between my knees and close my eyes to focus.
My name is Lilly Ryder. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 17th, 1990.
My eyes pop open. Joyous tears form in the corners. I do remember! I take a deep breath and try to keep going.
I was raised by my mom. I do not know my dad…
Suddenly, all my childhood memories come streaming back. Moving around as a kid. Never staying in one place longer than six months. All the cities I’ve lived in. All the apartments my mom and I called home. Even the revolving door of her boyfriends. There was Dave, and Matthew. Tom, and Steve. There was…
I shake my head to stop myself. I don’t doubt my memory anymore. But that still does not explain why I have absolutely no recollection of this place, or how I got here.
I push myself back up. The spotlight above me has gotten progressively brighter. The little enclosure of light doesn’t feel quite so tight anymore. I trail my eyes up the length of the pillar. I can’t see where it ends because of the light. But I can tell it’s tall, at least twenty, maybe twenty-five feet…
There’s also something about its surface that calls out to me. My hands itch to run over the smooth stone. A giggle bubbles up as I picture myself stroking it. The column is quite phallic.
I waver at the unfamiliar thought and have to catch my balance against the beam.
Focus, Lilly! I chide myself.
I have no idea where that thought came from. I have never been overtly sexual.
Nothing feels right. The fog that’s heavy on my mind is starting to lift, but not yet enough for me to understand—or remember—where the hell I am. This place is unfamiliar. I know that much. But right now, I feel almost like a surgery patient whose anesthetic kinked out: fully awake mentally, but completely impaired physically.
I go back to my memories. I can remember high school. I remember college. That’s where I spent the last three years of my life, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, it is.
“Hello?” I call out. My voice echoes into the surrounding gloom. “Is anybody there?”
I wait for an answer. All I get is the hollow repetition of my own voice.
anybody there, there, there…
I spent the last three years in college… but that’s not where I think I am right now. No. I shake my head. I knowthat’s not where I am. My memories are fuzzier the closer I bring them to today. Time feels… skewed. Freshman year’s easy to remember. So is sophomore, and most of junior… but things get weird toward the end.
I… finished junior year, didn’t I? Yes. Yes, I did. And then…
And then I took an internship in distant California for the summer, I remember with another gasp.
Suddenly, my mind is crystal clear. That pressing memory hurtles into view. It’s from yesterday. The last thing I recall, I was alone in a booth at an upscale restaurant. The waiter brought me a glass of wine. I took a few sips, contemplating my future….
Oh, God! Fear wraps a stranglehold around my neck.
The restaurantThe wine.
I’ve been drugged!
I can’t breathe. A suppressing tightness constricts my throat. I feel dizzy, and terrified, and most of all… ashamed.
Holy shit, Lilly, way to look out for yourself! My semi-mad inner dialogue pans with a generous dollop of sarcasm.
I’ve always known about the dangers of sick men preying on unsuspecting girls. I just never thought I’d fall victim to it.
I’ve been on my own since I turned eighteen, after the final falling out with my mother. I’ve always been proud of how well I managed. Even the shabby holes I’ve lived in while saving up college tuition were an improvement over living with her and all her low-life boyfriends. At least there, I had autonomy.
I’ve dealt with landlords selling crack on the side and the junkies they attract. Always, I’ve been known as independent, and strong—maybe offputtingly so. But, those were the character traits I had to develop to have any chance of getting ahead.
And all that lead to what? To this? To letting my guard down for one night and ending up… here?
Wherever “here” is, I think to myself.
The shock of the revelation has subsided a bit. I push off from the pillar. I can figure this out. I take a deep breath and look at my hands and feet. I am not bound. I pick at my clothes. They are the same ones I wore last night.
Do you know what might be lurking in the darkness?
I shove the meddlesome voice down. I don’t need more worries. Not now.
Carefully, I place one foot in front of the other and edge to the outer reaches of the light. The strange hissing noise has gone away. I don’t know when that happened. Maybe it was in my head the entire time.
I strain my eyes, trying to pierce the surrounding darkness. It’s impossible. I reach out with one hand and find nothing but air. This far from the pillar, I can barely see my outstretched hand.
“Hello?” I try again. “Who’s there?”
There’s no answer.
What kind of madman would do something like this? I wonder. What is hidden in the shadows?
Without warning, my imagination starts to run wild. Torture devices? Bondage equipment? Something… worse?
Snap out of it! I tell myself firmly.
I refuse to give in to despair, even if my entire self-preservation mechanism is on high alert. Despair is what whoever brought me here wants me to feel.
I will not succumb to that.
I look down at the floor. It is made of some expensive stone. I kneel down and brush my hand over the large, square tiles. They feel solid. Sturdy. They don’t belong in a dingy basement or a dirty warehouse.
Somehow, that thought strengthens me. Things aren’t quite as bad as they could be.
I stand up and peer into the black. I glance back at the safety of my pillar. If I venture past the light, I can always find my way back.
Go slow, I warn myself. Who knows what might be waiting for me out there?
I’ve seen the horror movies. Just because I don’t get the dungeon vibes here does not mean I’m not in one.
Haltingly, my foot reaches past the edge.
A thousand bright lights flood the room. I gasp and shy back, shielding my eyes on instinct.
After a few seconds, I lower my arm, blinking through the sharp pain that shoots through my head. I can almost groan. Light sensitivity, too?
Then I see the room.
Holy shit.
It’s huge. Massive. It must be at least five thousand square feet of pristine, flat space. I’m smack dab in the middle of it all.
The lights come from embedded ceiling lamps high overhead. Three of the walls, far away from me, are decorated with black and white abstract paintings created in bold brush strokes. The fourth wall is shielded by a heavy red curtain. The entire floor is made of rich, creamy white tiles reminiscent of steamed milk.
The ceiling is so high above me I almost feel like I’m in a cathedral. It’s made of exquisite dark oak beams.
But this is no church.
I do a slow turn. Something about this is all wrong.
So wrong.
Why am I here? What is behind the curtain? Other than the massive pillar and the paintings, there is nothing in the room.
If I’m being kept prisoner, why am I unbound? Why waste so much space on me?
I cup my hands around my mouth and yell.
“HEY! Anybody? Where am I?”
As before, I’m greeted with silence.
I take one more careful look around. If I got in, there must be a way out.
My eyes dart to the curtain.
Behind there.
I start toward it, my bare feet making determined slaps against the cold floor. I’ve not even gone ten paces toward it when I feel a small tug on my ankle.
I stop and look down. I discover a thread, so thin it’s almost translucent, tied loosely around my foot. The other end is attached to the base of the pillar.
I bend down and finger it.
What on earth is this?
The thread looks like it should snap with the smallest amount of force. I wrap my hands around it and tug.
It doesn’t give.
I frown, and apply a little more effort.
This time, it breaks in a clean cut.
I shake my head as I straighten.
Strange.
I half-expected something to happen when I did that. Alarms to blare, the lights to go off, something.
Nothing.
That’s when I notice a small white envelope leaning against the pillar. It’s right where the thread connects. In fact, it blends so well with the marble that I’m sure I would have missed it were it not for the string.
Exploration forgotten for now, I pick up the envelope. Maybe it will give some clue about what the fuck is going on.
It’s made of heavy paper. A wax stamp seals it, imprinted with a two-faced drama mask that I would find unnerving no matter where I saw it.
The only time I saw a wax-sealed envelope was when my ex got tapped by the Spade and Grave at Yale. I can understand the need for antiquity in New Haven. It makes no sense here.
My finger slips under the flap. I carefully ease it open. A foreboding sense of doom swirls around me as I pull the folded letter out.
I stare at it for a long minute. This is all so surreal. It feels like being caught in a bad dream. Once, I play myself right into my captor’s hands.
My natural inclination to resist, to fight back, tells me to tear the paper up without another glance. But that would be madness. The only clue I have to my whereabouts might be contained inside.
My thirst for information gets the better of me. I sit on the floor, cross my legs, and slowly unfold the paper.
It’s handwritten in swift, flowing blue ink. The rows of words make perfect strides across the page. Precision is the first word that comes to mind to describe the owner of the handwriting.
I set the sheet on the floor in front of me, lean forward and begin to read:
Two items require your immediate attention.
 1.   You may spuriously assume you are being held here against your will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You are a guest. As a guest, you retain full ability to leave my home at any time. The door behind the drapes shall remain open for the duration of your stay. There are no physical barriers to speak of—though I would advise you to read to the end of this letter before making decisions based on a flawed understanding of your situation.
 2.   You may have already noted the new adornment around your neck. If so, well done! I applaud—
Adornment? I stop reading. What adornment?
I bring my hands to my neck. I feel the unfamiliar shape against my skin. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?
I scamper closer to the marble pillar to try to make out my reflection. I can’t see much, but I can make out the “adornment”. There’s a black collar around my throat. I touch it with one hand.
It’s smooth and flat. It’s made of some kind of matted plastic, like the edges of a computer screen. It’s not tight or uncomfortable.
It frightens me. If it warranted a place in the letter, there must be something to it. I need to get it off.
My fingers dart around the edges, seeking the clasp that opens it.
I don’t find one.
The collar is smooth inside and out. It feels like a single piece of plastic. I trail one finger around the rim on the inside, and, finding no discrepancies, do the same on the outside. Again, I feel nothing.
There’s no crack, no edge, nothing to indicate how it was put around my neck.
I jam all my fingers between my skin and the plastic and pull with all my might. The collar flexes ever-so-slightly but doesn’t give.
Dammit! I cry out and try again.
I pull with all the strength God gave me. It’s not enough. I try again, and again, and again.
Nothing.
I realize I’m panting at this point. The exertion has me almost hyperventilating.
I drop my hands. It’s just a stupid, harmless little piece of plastic. Why do I want it off so much?
Because the idea of having anything foreign touch your skin is repulsive.
The voice is right, as always. But what can I do? The collar is bound to be part of the mind game in which I’m an unwitting participant. Reacting the way I just did is probably exactly what my captor wants. He—and I am certain it’s a “he” now, from the wording of the letter—wants me to feel terrified.
I will not give him the pleasure. I return to the letter and continue to read:
…applaud your perspicacity! You should know, however, that it is not an ordinary collar. Contained inside is a small positioning chip and two electrodes. They become activated the moment you stray outside your designated safe zone.
The string around your foot offers a conservative estimation of the distance you may roam past the marble column. Stay close, and you will remain untroubled. I am told that the electric shock the collar provides, while not lethal, can be quite unpleasant.
Holy fuck!
My spine goes absolutely straight and I forget to breathe. Now the collar has meaning. It feels like a live serpent wrapped around my neck.
My eyes are wide as I look down to my foot. The piece of string is still there, but it’s not connected to the one linked to the pillar.
I’d ripped it like a moron.
How far do I dare go? I’ll have to retie the string—unless I find a way to get the collar off my neck, first.
Another thought occurs to me:
Maybe this is a bluff? Does the collar really have an electrode in it? It’s so thin. Where would it draw power from?
I stand up. Assuming the collar is rigged, and the pillar is the center point… but that’s just what he wants me to believe, isn’t it? The letter claims there’s a door behind the drapes. It could be my path to freedom. I would have to be an idiot to stay here without testing the boundary myself.
I can’t trust anything the letter says. But, I can’t give in to despair, either. My only choice is to contest everything that’s thrown at me. If this is supposed to be a battle of the wills, the guy chose the wrong girl to mess with.
I pick up the remainder of the string and hold it in my fist. I square my shoulders to the long, drawn curtain. I hold my head high. My free hand itches to tug at the collar, but I keep it still. If my captor is watching me—which I’m sure he is, because I’m positive there are cameras hidden all around me—I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing me hesitate.
I take a deep breath and start toward the curtained wall. My strides are strong and purposeful. I will not waver. I will not turn back. Fear of a little shock will not keep me from testing the true limits of this prison.
The string goes taut, and I stop.
So far, so good.
It’s the next few steps that will determine everything.
I glance at the floor to mark my position. So, he expects to keep me in an invisible cage, does he? A cage of my own imagination?
Yeah, tough luck.
I drop the string and take one solid step forward.
Nothing happens.
I risk one more.
Nothing happens.
The corner of my lip twitches up in a hint of a smile. I called his bluff. But, I’m not home free yet. The veiled wall is another thirty-odd paces away from me.
I take two more steps forward, and, when nothing happens, start to walk more briskly.
My stroll is cut short by a sharp little zap beneath my left ear.
I tense and wait for more.
Well, color me surprised.
It looks like the collar does have bite, after all. When a second jolt doesn’t come, I can’t stop my smile from becoming a satisfied smirk. I knew the collar couldn’t possible have enough juice to hurt me. Where would the battery go?
Extremely pleased with myself, I venture onward, toward the curtain and its promise of freedom.
The violent torrent of electricity blindsides me. One second I’m on my feet, the next I’m writhing on the floor.
The current pours into me. I thrash about like a grounded fish. Fierce convulsions rock my body. And all I know is pain, pain, pain.
I can feel the source of it, snug around my neck. I’m helpless to fight the onslaught. My head flails about on the ground, throwing hair into my face. A high-pitched squeal sounds in my ears and I desperately hope that pathetic sound is not me.
My eyes roll up and all goes black.
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About the Author

I’m Scarlett Edwards. I wrote my first book as a college sophomore. After six months of edits, it made its debut as Yours to Savor.

That was at the start of 2013. I’ve written more books since then. You can find them all here.

It’s funny how quickly life changes. I used to think I’d need a degree to get a “Real Job.” Then I wrote a few books, they got somewhat popular, and now I’m living the life as a full-time romance author.

Thanks to all my readers for making my dreams come true!

Stalker Links
www.scarlettedwards.com
https://www.facebook.com/Author.Scarlett.Edwards
https://www.goodreads.com/ScarlettEdwards

Giveaway Details

10 Uncovering You audiobooks

20 Signed paperbacks of Uncovering you

50 ebook copies of Scarlett’s books

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal organized by:

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