September 2013 - A Life Through Books

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Begging For Forgiveness by Astrid Cielo
7:22 AM 2 Comments

Erotic Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 9/17/2013

When Aspen Clarke saw Skylar Ashmore for the first time, her cougar screamed that this wolf would be hers.  But Aspen can't trust the mating call because she knows all too well that sometimes fate can get it wrong.  After a steamy night with Skylar, Aspen is broken-hearted to find that her worries are founded when she awakens alone and confused.  So, she runs back to Pinewood Creek and her old pride that’d always made her feel welcome, unlike her own parents.  Little does she know that she carries more with her than emotional baggage.  Now faced with motherhood alone she's decided that she doesn't need a mate.

Skylar just wanted to forget his last assignment, so like he had for the past six months after he was forced to execute yet another shifter he stopped at the little restaurant a town over from his apartment to lose himself in good food.  He never expected to lose himself in a female.  He took the beautiful Aspen to bed the moment he caught her scent, his wolf beside itself wanting to claim its mate.  But after it was over he knows he's made a mistake...because he's already mated.  So, he runs and hopes he can beg his mate for forgiveness.

Xavier had never felt a betrayal as deep as when Skylar slid into bed beside him smelling of a female, not even when his old pack had nearly beat him to death.  But soon that feeling of betrayal faded to confusion, then surprise when he realized that whatever female his mate had taken was also his mate.

Now Skylar and Xavier will hunt for their missing mate.  But little do they know, Skylar's last assignment has a loose end that's just waiting for the right moment to strike--and it's set its sights on Aspen.  

Can Aspen accept the man who left her pregnant and doubting mating all over again?  Can Skylar and Xavier convince her to mate with not one, but both of them?  Will Aspen survive to forgive?

Astrid Cielo

Astrid Cielo is a Mississippi girl who enjoys a variety of things. By night, she is a nurse in her local ER, and by day, she is spilling her imagination out on paper.
Astrid began writing when she was a child her stories featuring a variety of characters (including her imaginary friends). When she was in high school she wrote her first completed story and was published twice in poetry anthologies. Gathering her courage, Astrid self-published her first book, Surrender Serenity, Salin's Salvation, Book 1 and enjoyed every minute of it.
Now she balances her time between being a nurse (which she loves) and writing down the scenes that play out in her mind. She also plays World of Warcraft (which all of her friends think is weird)!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blog Tour: Regrets Only by M.J. Pullen
2:00 AM1 Comments

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: July 2012

Regrets Only is the second book in the Marriage Pact series, but it can be enjoyed by those who have read The Marriage Pact and first-time readers alike. A fast-paced and charming story, Regrets Only centers on Marci’s picky best friend, Suzanne, whose event-planning skills are almost as legendary as her exploits with men.
At thirty-three, Suzanne Hamilton has it all. A successful party-planning business with an elite client list. A swank condo in a hot Atlanta neighborhood and a close group of friends – especially her longtime best friend Marci. A list of men a mile long who have tried to win her heart and failed. Plus, she’s just landed the event that will take her career and social status to the next level. What could she possibly have to regret?
Then a freak accident changes everything, and Suzanne discovers that her near-perfect life is just a few steps away from total disaster. She is humiliated and at risk of losing it all… except the surprising support of her newest celebrity client. With nothing else to go on, Suzanne follows him into an unexpected job and unfamiliar territory. Soon she will question everything – her career, her past, her friendships, and even her own dating rules. 
But when her catalog of past relationships turns into a list of criminal suspects, she is faced with the horrifying possibility that she may not live to regret any of it…

This is the follow up to M.J. Pullen's - The Marriage Pact. I really enjoyed how the author didn't stray from her writing style, however it did seem to be a bit predictable at times due to its similarities with the first book.

That being said, it had a very smooth plot and I actually enjoyed the new characters even more than those in the first book. 

This was a very quick read and a perfect get lost in a book type. I definitely recommend it. 


Guest Post

Why I Chose Indie Publishing by M.J. Pullen

People often ask me questions about indie or self-publishing. As the publishing industry shifts and churns, opinions about self-pubbing range from excitement to disdain – with lots of confusion in between. I can’t claim to be an expert, but I can tell you about my own experience and why I chose this path.

I’ve been a writer off and on my whole life. In high school and early college, I was sure that a writing life was the life for me. I even got accepted to an MFA program… But I chose a different path, and life happened. I didn’t have the discipline or patience to eat Ramen noodles while waiting for query letters to come back. Frankly, I don’t think I knew enough to be a writer in my early 20’s anyway. I did some freelance projects, sold a few magazine articles, and attended creative writing groups at night. But the idea of breaking into publishing felt like winning an Oscar: bright, shiny, and unattainable by average human beings like me.

Fast forward one decade, two marriages (still in the second), two graduate degrees, a couple of mortgages, a kid, and a few career moves. I found myself missing non-academic writing, scribbling story notes while riding the bus and on coffee breaks. Soon I’d written nearly 40,000 words (later scrapped) and my husband pointed out maybe it was time to actually sit down and write a novel. Finishing things has never been my strong suit, so the idea of writing a book with an ending was appealing. So I did. 

I finished writing The Marriage Pact when I was six months pregnant with our second child, working part time and tired all the time. We had just learned my dad had likely-terminal lung cancer and our twoyear-old was… well, two. Despite all this, I was anxious to see what people thought of my book. I wanted a way to share it with my friends and family, and I wanted my dad to see my name in print before he died. If strangers got to read it or I made any money, that was a bonus. At that point in my life, the idea of trying to find an agent and wait for rejection letters was more than daunting. It was pretty much unthinkable.

So I researched self-publishing and talked to some friends who had done it well, and decided to pull the trigger. Honestly, I didn’t worry about whether self-publishing would destroy my writing career; I didn’t have a writing career. Just over two years and 100,000 downloads later, I think I made the right choice. 

I’m finishing the third book in the Marriage Pact series, the books have sold better than I ever would have imagined, and I love interacting with fans (I can hardly believe I have fans!). I don’t know if I will ever explore traditional publishing or not. For now, I’m just happy to be doing something I love!

When she’s not chasing two little boys or trying to wipe something sticky off the floor, M.J. (Manda) Pullen is the bestselling author of two contemporary women’s fiction novels: The Marriage Pact (2011) and Regrets Only (2012). She is working on several new projects as well, including more women’s fiction and a YA paranormal adventure series.

M.J. grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Writing has always been a big part of her life, both professionally and personally. She studied English Literature and Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, and later Professional Counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She practiced psychotherapy for five years before taking a sabbatical to spend more time writing and raising her brood. Since high school, she has also been an executive assistant, cashier, telemarketer, professional fundraiser, marketing guru, magazine writer, grant-writer, waitress, box-packer, HR person, and casual drifter.

M.J. loves creating true-to-life characters who are flawed, relatable, and most importantly redeemable. She tries to explore all aspects of relationships, from romantic entanglements to battles between mortal enemies, and everything in between. She reads and writes across many genres, and learns something from everything she does. No matter what she’s writing, M.J. believes that love is the greatest adventure there is, and that hopeless romantics are never really hopeless.

After years traveling and living in places like Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, M.J. has now returned to her home city of Atlanta (actually Roswell, for hard-core Roosevelt fans and connoisseurs of suburban culture), where she lives with her husband and two young sons. She loves to hear from readers and other writers – so drop her a line!
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour: An Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao
2:00 AM0 Comments

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 10/08/2013

 Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.
She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. 'I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It's probably a good thing to do anyway.'
As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, 'So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?'
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

"In Rao’s debut novel, an arranged Indian marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love.
Shaan Ahuja and Ruhi Sharma’s arranged marriage has an inauspicious start. Shaan spurns his new wife on their wedding night, still pining over the American lover he left back in Los Angeles. However, the begrudging spouses soon make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States just long enough to avoid embarrassment. The young bride hopes she can use the time to win Shaan’s heart, and although Ruhi’s beauty and attentiveness do change Shaan’s feelings, his immaturity and inability to express himself—and Ruhi’s lingering mistrust—keep them from reconciling. As they attempt to be “friends without benefits,” they start to reveal their true selves, including her needling puckishness and independent spirit and the reasons for his reserved nature and impulsive jealousy. Their eventual reconciliation comes not from forgiveness but from acceptance and understanding. The novel trades in a certain amount of melodrama that, thanks to its light tone, comes across as indulgent but satisfying. ...The novel seems highly aware of its influences, using cultural expectations and delayed gratification in the same spirit, if not with the same deftness, as Jane Austen. Shaan and Ruhi also sometimes mirror the star-crossed lovers from Casablanca (a film that the book directly
An often intoxicating,  will-they-or-won’t-they tale." - KIRKUS 

Simi K. Rao
Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several
years. This book is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came
from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community.
Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from
friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is
an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently
lives in Denver with her family.

You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at

Twitter: @simikrao

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Blog Tour: A Shot in the Dark by Jennifer Burrows
5:00 AM1 Comments

Romantic Thriller
Date Published: 7/11/2013

Most of the patients that are brought to the trauma bay in the ER remain nameless, and for the most part, faceless.  For Laney Pearson and the rest of the staff, this makes it easier to move past the senseless death and destruction that they see on an almost daily basis.  But all of that changes for Laney when she finds herself trying to pump the life back into a young motorcycle rider who arrives by helicopter more dead than alive.
Skyler Smith has all the makings of the next great motocross rider, right up until he crashes while trying to perform the trick that will secure his future.  From the time his motionless body is lifted off the track, the question becomes not when his next race takes place, but whether he will live to see another day.  And now there is mounting evidence that the tragedy was no accident
Laney can never envision this boy’s crash and the ensuing investigation will have such an impact on her own life, but in the days that follow, she discovers a life within her she never knew existed.  While the police sort through the mounting evidence from the crash, Laney has to sort through her own feelings for the handsome trauma surgeon that she previously never gave a second thought.  Is he really as charming as he seems, or is there another reality hiding beneath the surface?  And just how long has he been watching her?   

My Review:
Oh Wow, I really enjoyed the Hospital factor of this story. The setting alone really helped to set it apart from other Mystery/Thrillers.

A smooth plot with no noticeable plot holes, everything really came together at the end and the journey getting there was Thrilling and surprising. Thoroughly enjoyable. 

Jennifer is a Registered Nurse, and she holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration.  She has 15 years of experience working in the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit of a major trauma center.  While she is equally adept at all facets of patient care, Emergency room nursing is her passion, and is the inspiration for this story.  Currently, she resides in Southern California with her husband and their three amazing boys.  This is her first published novel, with the sequel expected soon.

Twitter: @jenburrows234 

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Blog Tour: The Eggstone Murders by Herbert L. Smith
2:00 AM0 Comments

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: 7/2013

A thick-headed sheriff, a young, unsure, wannabe detective, and a savvy older criminal-turned-investigator, are only the beginning of the cast of characters included in this story of small-town life in southwestern Iowa, set in 1952.

Enjoy the storms, the intrigues and the mid-western hospitality – including the wonderful food –

of Hillville, Iowa as its down-to-earth folks work their way through the dailyness of their quiet lives.  There are the murders, of course, which cause dismay, but the con-man turned detective, Guy, is able to resolve them after a few bumps, and the guilty are punished – or, as is sometimes Guy’s choice, forgiven.

As a whole, it’s a pleasant outing on an Iowa summer’s day.

My Review:
Everything from the premise of this book to the characterization was just wonderfully done. I really did enjoy this book. It was an escape, and it was a quick and easy read. I thouroughly enjoyed the novel and it was very well written and had plenty of surprises along the way to keep the readeers interest. 


Herb Smith

Facebook: Herbert L Smith

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PROMO Blitz: Turn a Blind Eye by Marta Tandori
1:00 AM0 Comments

Turn a Blind Eye- PROMO Blitz
By Marta Tandori
Date Published: 8/31/2013

Eight years ago, Michigan retirees, Jack and Beverly Donnelly, had helped Libby Newton recover from an unspeakable tragedy. Now the tables are turned and it’s the old couple who need Libby’s help when the most recent consequences of Beverly’s progressing dementia have left the old couple homeless. Libby, now the general manager of Banyan Bay Resorts, one of Orlando’s premier timesharing properties, secretly stashes the old couple in a new luxury unit intended for the resort’s VIP guests until she can find them a new home. 

But the problems start almost immediately as Beverly’s dementia leaves her in a state of constant confusion over her unfamiliar surroundings and when she announces that she’s seen “Thanksgiving pilgrims” unloading boxes behind the resort’s pizzeria, Beverly’s announcement falls on deaf ears – until Rebecca Kendall, an attorney from Seattle, shows up at the resort a short time later, trying to retrace the last steps of her nineteen-year-old Amish daughter, found dead in a south Florida motel six weeks earlier. Libby doesn’t believe the two incidents are connected until Beverly is found dead a short time later, the tragic victim of a double homicide.

With the help of her sister, Mia, who’s in Florida doing an exposé on the elusive treasure salvor, Dain Lyons, they retrace Beverly’s last steps – only to stumble upon a killer who soon has the sisters convinced that poor Beverly had been the sanest one of them all.


“This is it – the Sandcastle Motel,” declared the cabby, stopping abruptly outside a shabby, white-washed cinderblock structure before his eyes involuntarily sought her out again in the rearview mirror.  His stare wasn’t particularly creepy or leering, just curious.  It was the same look he had given her about a mile down the road when he’d almost rear-ended another car stopped at a red light.  Luckily, the cabby had managed to brake in time, but not before her purse and its entire contents had gone flying from the seat beside her onto the floor of the cab.
Sarah Yoder understood his curiosity all too well although her husband, Daniel, sitting in the back seat beside her, seemed oblivious to it.  As far as she was concerned, enduring the curious looks came with the territory but it was the leers, the covert whispers and the giggling she couldn’t stand – and there had been plenty of that from their fellow passengers soon after she and Daniel had boarded the Greyhound yesterday in Columbus.  In Holmes County, they looked just like all the other locals but once out of their familiar surroundings, they stuck out like a pair of sore thumbs.  Truth be told, years ago Sarah would’ve acted just like everyone else but things were different now.  She was different and the Sarah of old simply didn’t exist anymore.  
She glanced at her husband of little less than a month, noting the grooves of fatigue etched in the lines on either side of his mouth.  He looked as tired as she felt.  Usually talkative, Daniel had been aloof, saying very little on the ride down to Florida.  Understandably so, Sarah thought, since there really wasn’t anything to say that hadn’t already been said before they had reluctantly embarked on this journey.
“Sarah.”  Daniel’s hand reached across the back seat and briefly touched hers.  “Are you all right?”
Sarah gave him a small smile, hoping it was convincing.  “Yes, of course.”  With that, she opened the door and got out of the cab.  The intense heat hit her the minute she left the comfort of the air conditioned cab, sucking the breath from her lungs as she blinked against the blinding Florida sunshine.  The black cotton stockings she wore seemed to draw in the heat as they clung to her legs, already damp with sweat.
She looked at the motel with misgiving while Daniel paid their driver and took their only suitcase from the trunk.  “Sandcastle Motel” was definitely a misnomer since there didn’t appear to be any sand or castles as far as the eye could see.  She had caught glimpses of the Atlantic and its inviting sandy beaches as their cab had made its way up North Ocean Drive to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea but this motel was a good quarter-mile inland.  The one-story building curved around a small, deserted pool and structure-wise, looked like many of the others dotting this south Florida resort town, practically deserted this time of year.  The only difference was this one was in serious need of repair, from the peeling paint on the room doors to the malfunctioning vacancy sign.  Even the few scruffy palms that grew along the outer perimeter of the building did little to enhance the motel’s appeal.
Daniel took her hand and they resolutely walked over to the glass door marked “OFFICE”.  Pulling it open, they went inside.  The room was small and cramped but at least it was relatively cool, thanks to a window air conditioner that sputtered none too quietly.  One wall was taken up by a display that featured colorful brochures, pamphlets and discount booklets on Florida attractions while the other side of the room had a small reception desk.  Behind it sat a non-descript man, reading a paper.  He glanced up as they came in.
“Yeah?”  Reaching over, he brought his fist down on top of the window unit and it immediately quieted down.  “You looking for a room?”
When Daniel didn’t answer, Sarah quickly spoke up.  “Not exactly.  The last name is Yoder.  You’re expecting him.”
The man grunted, deliberately fixing his cold gaze first on her and then on her husband.  “Who’re you?”
“I’m his wife,” Sarah answered proudly.  
Apparently satisfied with what he saw and heard, he turned and took a key off the wall before handing it to Daniel.  “Room 8.”
Daniel went to say something.  “I don’t think—”
“—Room 8,” repeated the man before turning back to his paper.  
Sarah took Daniel’s hand and headed for the door.  Once outside in the scorching July heat, the little confidence she had had, seemed to evaporate as she turned to her husband.
“There must be some other way.”  She gestured towards the road.  “Let’s just forget this craziness and leave right now, Daniel.  Please!”
He shook his head slowly.  “You know we can’t.  We must do this for Samuel.”
Sarah swallowed hard, taking a moment to get a hold of her turbulent emotions before nodding briskly.  “You’re right, of course.  Let’s go, then, and get this over with.”  With that, she turned and walked down the path towards Room 8 with Daniel close on her heels.  Finding it, she waited while her husband opened the door.  
The blinds were drawn and the room was dark, cool and smelled musty.  Stepping inside, Sarah felt along the wall until she found the light switch and flicked it on.  The room was immediately flooded with a harsh light that seemed to accentuate the battle scars on the worn pieces of utilitarian furniture.  Not that there was much – just a four-drawer dresser with an old TV on it, a chair off to one side, the requisite dark drapes on the window in a grating seventies pattern that matched the old spread on the bed and complemented the shag carpeting on the floor.  
Sarah’s eyes were immediately drawn to the bed – or rather, the box sitting on top of the bed.  There was nothing unusual or threatening about it.  It had a large picture of one of those individual creamers you got in a restaurant for your coffee and the words “Mendoza Non-Dairy Creamers” under it.  She went over to the bed to get a better look.  Aside from the additional information of “500 packets/Product of Mexico”, there were no other markings on the box.   Spying a folded piece of paper beside it, Sarah picked it up and passed it to Daniel without reading it.
Taking it from her, he read it slowly.
“What does it say?” she finally asked.
“It says to call the number on the paper for further instructions,” he replied, “and not to open, tamper or damage the box in any way.”  He looked around the room.  “There is no phone in here.”
“That’s strange.”  Sarah frowned, going over to the far side of the room and opening the door.  As she had suspected, it contained a small bathroom – but no phone.  “I suppose we’ll have to use the one in the office.” 
“I’ll go,” he told Sarah, giving her a tender smile.  “You stay here and get some rest.”
Sarah nodded, watching silently as he left.  Unlacing her shoes, she shrugged her feet out of them before unpinning her cap and placing it on the small nightstand beside the bed.  She was about to remove her stockings when she thought better of it.  No telling when they were going to be on the move again and the last thing she needed was to have to struggle with trying to get her stockings back on in this humidity.  
Sarah gingerly lay down on the bed, staring at the box which was easily within arm’s reach.  Trying to put it out of her mind, she closed her eyes but the image of the box seemed to burn its way through her closed lids.  A few minutes went by before she finally gave up.  It was no use.  The box was like the proverbial elephant in the room.  Opening her eyes, she stared at it with misgiving.  Getting up off the bed, she tried putting some distance between her and the box but it was as though a will stronger than her own was pulling her towards it.  Unable to resist its allure any longer, she finally picked it up.  It felt solid.  Turning it sideways, she felt the contents shift inside the box.  The back of her head began to thump, a sure sign that she was getting one of her headaches.  It’s from the stress of not knowing, she reasoned silently.  Maybe if I have a quick peek inside, it’ll put my fears to rest.
Making up her mind, Sarah put the box back on the bed; this time with the bottom facing up.  She removed one of the bobby pins from her hair and used it to cut away the tape holding the flaps of the box together.  There was nothing special about the way the box was taped and they could easily buy some packing tape a little later, resealing the bottom before delivering it to its destination and no one would be the wiser.  When she had cut the entire length of the tape, Sarah carefully lifted apart the two outer flaps, followed by the inside flaps, revealing what looked like a piece of white plastic lining the bottom of the box.  The thumping in her head was turning into an insistent ache and her throat felt tight but she soldiered on, intent on revealing the contents of the box.  
Gingerly pulling aside the plastic, Sarah could only gape in horror.  The spaces between the neat rows of creamers were filled with…coffee grinds.  Horrified, she immediately jumped away from the box but the damage was instantaneous.  Coffee was her kryptonite and although she hadn’t touched it, she had had direct exposure to it.  Her heart began to race and her breathing came in short violent spurts, as if she had just competed in an Olympic sprint.  Her head throbbed, ready to explode, as her eyes frantically scanned the room for her purse.  It was on the chair a few feet away but when Sarah tried to get to it, she collapsed as she felt the full onset of anaphylactic shock.  She knew that in a few more minutes, she’d be dead unless she got to her epinephrine injector so she could give herself a shot.  Painstakingly, she crawled towards the chair, fighting the darkness enveloping her, her sight also impaired by the sweat dripping from her forehead into her eyes.  Somehow, Sarah managed to crawl close enough to the chair so she could reach up and grab onto it, only to have it and her purse both topple on top of her; a painful impact she barely felt.  Hyperventilating, she blindly upturned her purse, groping frantically for the one thing that could save her life – but it was nowhere to be found.  With her heart feeling like it would explode, Sarah numbly remembered the near-collision in the cab.  Her purse and its contents had gone flying.  With her last agonizing breath, she realized that her only lifeline was still probably somewhere on the floor on the cab…

*          *          *
Daniel hurried back to the room, anxious to collect Sarah and be on their way.  Their ordeal was far from over and he was eager to put it behind them so he and Sarah could finally get on with their lives together as man and wife.  Opening the door of their room, his eyes immediately took in the overturned chair and the opened box before moving to the scattered contents of Sarah’s purse, stopping abruptly at the sight of her hand closed over it.
“Sarah!”  He rushed into the room and threw himself onto the carpet beside her.  Daniel’s eyes took in her mottled color as he frantically tried to find her pulse before crawling around on the carpet, searching for Sarah’s injector.  When he couldn’t find it, Daniel rushed out of their room with tears streaming down his cheeks.  He pounded on the door of the room next to theirs and when no one answered, he rushed back to the office.
The man at the desk was still reading his paper.  “Is there a problem?” he asked, looking up.
“My wife,” Daniel managed in between sobs.  “She’s collapsed.  Please – you must call an ambulance!”
The man had his full attention now.  “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“But you don’t understand,” Daniel insisted.  “She’s collapsed—”  He turned and made for the door, anxious to return to Sarah.
Daniel didn’t see the gun the man withdrew from his desk or hear the single shot until it was too late.  He crumpled to the floor just inside the office door.
The motel clerk picked up the phone and dialed the same number Daniel had dialed only a few minutes earlier.  It was answered on the first ring.  “I think we got ourselves a situation down here.”

Marta Tandori

By the time Marta Tandori reached fifth grade, she was an avid reader and writer with a stack of short stories collecting dust in a box under her bed but it wasn't until she began studying acting in her early twenties at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York that Marta realized acting wasn't really her passion - writing fiction was. What followed was years of writing workshops as well as correspondence courses in writing for children through the Institute of Children's Literature in Connecticut. She credits the award winning author, Troon Harrison, as the instructor who helped her find her literary voice. Marta's first work of juvenile fiction, BEING SAM, NO MATTER WHAT was published in 2005, followed by EVERY WHICH WAY BUT KUKU! in 2006. With her more recent endeavors, Marta has shifted her writing focus to "women's suspense", a genre she fondly describes as having "strong female protagonists with closets full of nasty skeletons and the odd murder or two to complicate their already complicated lives". To learn more about Marta, visit her website at

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Pro Resume's Made Easy By Andrea Drew
2:00 AM0 Comments

How To/Non Fiction/Career 
Date Published: 9/30/2012

Written by a professional resume writer of 15 years, this book takes you through the step by step process to write your resume and cover letter like the Professionals do it – at a tenth of the cost!  Contains samples and examples to assist you along the way, along with a free resume critique with every book sale. 


Chapter 1 – Some basics
What is the purpose of a resume?  If you ask most people, they will tell you it is “to get a job interview.”  Yes, that’s right it is designed to get you a job interview.  But a resume is also designed to sell you, or generate enough interest in you to make the reader make contact and schedule a meeting time.  Your resume has had enough impact, that out of the hundreds of resumes a recruiter receives in their email inbox daily, yours has stood out.
If you’ve heard the saying that recruiter’s look at most resumes for between 5 and 20 seconds, it’s true.  Add to that equation the fact that resumes are now received via email inbox, and you need to consider the fact that this means that the top third of your first page will be the first thing the recruiter sees when they click open the attachment.
I’ll be running you through the step by step process I use when writing a resume.

  • My resumes are written in a way that they;
  • Catch the recruiters eye immediately
  • Give them a reason to keep on reading
  • Stand out by writing them in a way that only 5% of all job applicants use effectively; and
  • Works with scanning software sometimes used by recruiters
  • Makes the reader want to meet with you!


Andrea started her professional resume writing career in 1998, forming a professional resume writing service online for all professions.
In April 2011, she successfully transitioned the business over to new management, in order to focus on her specialty niche, IT professionals, Executives and Managers.
Well, in Andrea's words "Executives and Managers are accustomed to collaborating to produce cutting edge results, and so are professional in their dealings enabling a unique and top class result and enabling me to write even better career marketing documents."
This doesn't mean that if you are not an executive or Manager she can't help you.  It simply means that unless you understand this is an investment and will involve some work on your part (providing the information needed) then it's probably best you look elsewhere that's all.  

Twitter: Impressive CV

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Friday, September 20, 2013

PROMO: Forbidden Surrender by Priscilla West
6:15 AM0 Comments

Contemporary Romance/Erotica
Date Published: 8/12/2013

“What gives you a thrill Kristen?”
The minute I saw Vincent Sorenson, I knew he was trouble. Billionaire. Bad boy. And dangerously sexy. He was everything I craved, and nothing I needed.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t just avoid him. The higher ups at my company decided they needed his business, and I was on the team to bring him in. Vincent Sorenson didn’t seem as interested in business as he was in me, but I knew that was a door better left unopened. If I got involved with him, it would only unearth the pain I spent years trying to bury.
I thought I had it under control, but I seriously underestimated Vincent’s seductive charm and silver-tongue. I would soon find out how delicious it would feel to let myself fall into this forbidden surrender.

“Mistake?” His brows furrowed.
“I wasn’t thinking clearly and you took advantage of it. We can still move on and pretend like it never happened, or I can transfer you to Richard—” My nails dug into the palms of my hands.
He let out a frustrated breath, shaking his head. “I’m not working with anyone else but you. I thought that was settled.”
“Look, I admitted I’m attracted to you, but we shouldn’t have acted on it. You’re a client for Christ’s sake. You caught me off guard and I was confused.” I tried to make it sound as convincing as I could, but he didn’t look like he was buying.
He stooped to pick up the paperwork and my work bag. As he walked over to me, I scrambled to my feet. My heels felt wobbly, and I took a step back, worried he was going to kiss me again.
He eyed me darkly, “Are you sleeping with anyone?”
He just wasn’t going to give up. “No, but I don’t—”
“Then there was no mistake. Stop apologizing, and stop denying what happened. We both wanted it.” His brows narrowed, his gaze was intense. It was clear we were both exasperated, but for very different reasons. “If you still think you’re confused, I’ll make you a bet: before this week is done, you’ll be touching yourself while thinking about me.”

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Priscilla West is the author of the popular erotic romance series The Sandstone Affair and is currently writing the Surrender series. She likes to write stories with sassy heroines and strong but flawed heroes.

She enjoys: cuddles, men in suits, eskimo kisses, life-sized teddy bears, and eggs over medium.

You can find her at 

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