Friday, September 6th, 2013
Today I’d like to introduce author Susan Sloate and her romance Stealing Fire.
“How do you recognize your soulmate?
In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache … until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o’clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.
Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. "I’m sorry," she said finally, when she could control her voice. "Room Service closes at midnight."
There was a pause. "Oh. What time is it now?"
She looked at her watch. "Ten after three."
"Then whom am I speaking to?"
"I’m the night operator. This is the main switchboard."
"Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight."
Well, how about that. "You’ve got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier."
"Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?"
"Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today."
"Maybe I just love it here."
"I guess you do. But I hope you’re well compensated."
Trust a man to think of money first. "That’s not my major concern."
"Glad to hear it."
Okay, enough’s enough. It’s been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. "Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you."
"Well, better luck with them."
"Look, if you’d called earlier—"
"Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change and a screw-up in hotel administration. Forget I even mentioned it." The phone clicked in her ear.
She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he’d undermined her—and it bothered her.
CONTEST: Leave a comment and go into a draw to win a special Stealing Fire journal. Follow the rest of Susan’s tour to increase your chances of winning.
Susan Sloate is the author of 20 published books, including FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), an alternative history of the JFK assassination, STEALING FIRE, an autobiographical love story, and REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre – the self-help novel. FORWARD TO CAMELOT was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. STEALING FIRE was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY!, which won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards, AMELIA EARHART: CHALLENGING THE SKIES, a perennial Amazon bestseller, and MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ, which led to her appearance on a special for The History Channel in 2009, as well as books for five girls’ fiction series. As a screenwriter, she has written an informational film for McGraw-Hill Films and optioned two scripts to Hollywood production companies. As a sportswriter, she’s covered the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets. She’s also managed two recent political campaigns, founded the East Cooper Authors Festival (which put 18 professional authors in 17 area schools in one day) and serves on the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Thursday, September 5th, 2013
I’d like to welcome Hart Johnson to my blog. She has a new serial called A Flock of Ill Omens with the first part coming out today. Hart asked everyone who is helping her spread the word about her new release to say how we think the world will come to an end. Her suggestions ranged from Aliens, Zombies, Asteroid, A Giant Spaghetti Monster, or an Attack of the Interrobang!? Food for thought, right?
Once you’ve read about Hart’s serial, scroll down to see how I think the world might end…
Deadliest virus in a century, or a social experiment gone awry?
Every year they warned about the flu and more often than not, it amounted to nothing. Sidney Knight, a young freelance reporter had certainly never written on it. But a trip to Lincoln City, Oregon cut short by a beach full of dead seagulls and a panicked warning from her brother the scientist catch her attention. This batch is different. Deadlier. And the vaccine doesn’t seem to be helping. It almost looks like it’s making it worse…
A Flock of Ill Omens is the first episode of A Shot in the Light, an Apocalypse Conspiracy Tale about what happens when people play God for fun and profit. There will be approximately ten episodes, each the equivalent of about 100 pages.
Good Reads has a sneak peek posted. You can find the purchase link and more information about the book here. And if you want it FOR FREE, I will be offering it free on the release dates of at least the next two in the serial: September 19 and October 10.
Hart Johnson writes books from her bathtub and can be found at Confessions of a Watery Tart, though be warned. She is likely to lead you into shenanigans.
HOW DO I THINK THE WORLD WILL END?
During the last two years, we’ve had a rash of earthquakes around the world and in New Zealand, my home country. While the majority of the quakes have occurred in the lower North and the South Islands of our country, we have a sleeping dragon in the Auckland region where I live.
The city of Auckland is built on a field of volcanoes.
See the three peaks/mounds in the photo above? They’re all dormant volcanoes and there are hundreds more. The volcano in the far left of this photo is Rangitoto, which erupted a mere 600 years ago and is the “youngest” in the region. Mt Victoria (middle) and North Head (right) are much older.
Volcanoes within a field do not usually erupt again. Instead a new one pops up somewhere else, and scientists say that this could happen at any time. We’re due.
I think the huge number of earthquakes occurring worldwide is an early warning, and New Zealand is in the midst of the problem. One big volcano will obliterate Auckland for sure, but I’m thinking a super volcano. One that will cause earthquakes, maybe cause other volcanoes around the ring of fire to flare, trigger large tsunamis and send ripple effects across the globe.
How do you think the world might end? Do you go with my theory, Hart’s theory, or do you have one of your own?
Oops, I almost forgot – today I’m visiting Felicity Heaton where I’m discussing another thing unique to New Zealand—The Terrifying Taniwha! I hope to see you there!
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
When we visited Egypt a few years ago, one of the things I worried about most was the excursion to the Valley of the Kings via donkey. I’d never ridden a donkey before and my concern was that I’d fall off! The donkey ride from Luxor up into the hills and down into the Valley of the Kings turned out to be the highlight of my trip. It certainly beat the coaches that took most of the tourists to the site. My donkey was called Michael Jackson and that’s us in the middle of the photo. The other two girls were part of our group.
The donkeys ambled on the way there, but on the journey home they trotted, setting a brisk pace. We arrived home in time for lunch after exploring several of the tombs which once housed the royals. It was a fun excursion, and I loved it.
Today I’m visiting Mari Carr. I’m talking about the friends to lovers trope and there’s a giveaway. I hope to see you there!
It’s our wedding anniversary today. Thirty-one years of married life seem to have flown past in the blink of an eye. Happy anniversary, Mr. Munro!
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
I’m stepping back in time today with a photo of me taken in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Several local ladies visited our camp and offered to braid hair. I kept mine in for about three weeks. When I’d had enough of braids and unfastened them, I had the hair style from hell. The worst hair day ever!
Today I’m visiting Keira Kohl with Julia Maxwell, the heroine of Past Regrets. There’s also a giveaway.
Have you ever had your hair done in braids?
Monday, September 2nd, 2013
Today I’m visiting Faerie Tale Books where I have a spotlight.
I’m also visiting Erzabets Enchantments where we learn some facts about Maggie, my heroine.
Saturday, August 31st, 2013
This recipe comes from High Tea, recipes with a sense of occasion.
20 grams butter (3/4 oz)
1 1/2 tablespoons of golden syrup or light treacle
150 ml apple cider (alcoholic) (5 fl oz)
250 grams (2 cups) self-raising flour
pinch of ground ginger
45 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
75 grams (2 1/2 oz) chopped and pitted dates
75 grams (3/4 cup) walnuts chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F)
2. Grease a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inch) baking tin. I use baking paper, which is much quicker.
3. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the cider.
4. Sift the flour and ginger into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, dates and walnuts.
5. Beat the egg and add along with the butter mixture and spoon into your tin. Smooth out.
1 large granny smith apple
40 grams (1 1/2 oz) butter
2 1/2 tablespoons of caster sugar (fine sugar)
60 grams (1/2 cup) plain flour
75 grams (3/4 cup) chopped walnuts
1. Peel and core the apple and slice thinly.
2. Melt the butter.
3. Add the butter to the sugar, flour, apple and walnuts and combine well.
4. Spread over the uncooked base.
5. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. Cool in the tin, cut into pieces and serve.
1. This was delicious and would be nice served hot with a little yoghurt or cream for dessert, but it was also great with a cup of tea.
2. I’ll be making this one again since both hubby and I enjoyed it very much.
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Today I’m visiting Rose & Beps and discussing Auckland, the city where The Bottom Line is set.
I also have a spotlight at All I Want & More.
And last but not least, I’m visiting Susana’s Morning Room where I have another post about New Zealand and some of my favorite places to visit.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Today I’m visiting Erotica For All where I talk about Maggie’s lingerie. I also have a spotlight at My Midnight Fantasies.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
I bring you a historical with a very interesting title today—The King of Threadneedle Street. It was the title that grabbed my attention and made me look closer. Please welcome, Moriah Densley, and make sure you leave a comment to go into the draw to win some beautiful jewelry.
THE KING OF THREADNEEDLE STREET
He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindu, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.
Lord Preston wants the one thing money can’t buy…
Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street” wants the one prize out of reach: his childhood sweetheart. The papers can waste a sea of ink scandalizing over his lavender-eyed Alysia; so what if she is the daughter of his father’s mistress?
Alysia Villier learned the craft of the courtesan from her infamous mother―by osmosis apparently. A gifted artist who almost won the Prix de Rome, Alysia is not interested in following in her mother’s footsteps, since Andrew ruined her for any other man. But with her legal guardian—Andrew’s father―in control of her inheritance, she has little choice in the matter.
Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew. Not his old-fashioned family, the disapproval of the ton, nor even Alysia’s dedication to duty and propriety will stop him. Playing newspapers and investors like pawns, tumbling world markets, inciting riots… has he gone too far?
EXCERPT: Ballroom scene
After being threatened with ruin by Andrew Tilmore Lord Preston’s parents, Alysia Villier runs away to Paris. With the help of people she thinks are her friends, she makes a living as a painter and an artist’s model. The same night she learns she’s in danger, her knight in shining armor comes to the rescue…
Perhaps the people around her were speaking; she couldn’t say, for she was momentarily stunned and not sure why. Then she heard the voice again. A British, bass voice. “Excuse me, pardon.”
Was it her imagination? She shook her head.
Evigny and Ramsgate were pushed aside, and there stood Andrew, a head taller than the others and gloriously angry. Her heart stalled then kicked. She couldn’t breathe.
He gave her a low, formal bow. Pressed a slow kiss on the back of her gloved hand before turning it to press the palm to his face. Closed his eyes and inhaled deeply at her wrist. Grazed his nose along the inside of her forearm, as though hundreds of eyes were not observing.
One of the men nearby, probably Ramsgate, scoffed, “And without an introduction! Such presumption! Come now, who is—”
“We have met,” Andrew took her glass, and for the second time that evening, Leduc found himself holding it while another man cut in.
“Andrew.” Her voice caught, and her throat felt swollen. A dozen gasps sounded around her, seeming to echo.
She became aware of a chorus of lowered voices. “That is Lord Preston!” or jealously, “How does he know Miss Villier?” said as though her name meant horse manure.
“Lord Preston, The King of Threadneedle Street.”
“Lord Preston, youngest peer to sit in the House of Lords.”
All hail Lord Preston, the demi-god. Who should not be here.
She was suddenly conscious of how she must look to him, no longer the plump, modest country maiden to whom he had bid farewell over a year before. After a year of Madame Desmarais’ strict diet of vegetable juices, sprouts, and deprivation of sweets, Alysia was a noticeable one or two stone lighter. She thought she was an inch taller, as well.
But that wasn’t mortifying. Alysia resisted the urge to cover herself with her fan. She didn’t want him to see the pleated silver bodice in translucent gossamer, wasp-waist corset and low Parisian décolleté. Wisps of gossamer—a poor excuse for sleeves—sat low on her arms, exposing her shoulders and half her back. The cosmetics, the exotic perfume, her hair coiffed in semi-dishabille topped with jeweled combs…
She must truly look a harlot to him. Did he think so? He was certainly staring.
Ignoring the protests of her so-called admirers, he led her to the dance floor just in time for the next waltz, oblivious to her wooden movements. He pulled their dance position completely closed. Pressed against him from shoulder to knee — oh, the shock! His thighs rubbed hers, leading the steps as he had over a year before at his sister’s wedding. It seemed ages ago.
Constrained in the corset, she couldn’t draw a clear breath. If the dizziness grew worse, she would faint in his arms. At least his shoulder blocked her view of the room. Alysia had no desire to survey all the curious and accusing glares she knew were aimed at her.
Oh, why did Andrew have to appear this evening? She felt like an opium addict locked in a closet saturated with the scent, smoke, and juice. Tentatively his fingers moved over the exposed skin of her back, across her shoulders, blazing a sensation strangely like fire and ice together. His head turned a little and rested against hers. He hummed softly in her ear as though it was perfectly ordinary that they should be waltzing at a ball in Paris on a random autumn evening.
CONTEST: Go into a draw to win a genuine Victorian-style pearl jewelry set inspired by the book, including necklace, bracelet, and earrings. To receive more chances of winning follow the rest of Moriah’s The King of Threadneedle Street tour.
Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award “Best First Book” finalist, and 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist in historical romance. She loves hearing from readers!
GIVEAWAY LINK (picture of Victorian-style jewelry set + entry info):
Website + blog: http://moriahdensley.com
Available now in e-book:
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Today I’m visiting:
Christina McKnight with my characters Connor Grey and Maggie Drummond in tow. They’re discussing their friends to lovers relationship.
I also have a stop with Mistress of the Dark Path where I have an interview.