#writerslife #eggcerptexchange

My Choices Brought Me Here #MFRWAuthor

Life is filled with roads untraveled. Decisions I’ve made to go left instead of right, north instead of south, have brought me to where I am—who I am—today. What if I’d made different choices? Would I be a different person? Maybe. Maybe not. There are too many “what if” questions to know for sure. That being said, the answer to the question, “What would I do if I didn’t write?” isn't a stretch when one considers I still have a “day job”. Two, in fact. In my work life,I always find myself in some type of social service. Whether it was as a social worker, a professor, or CEO of a non-profit, the emphasis has always been on working closely with people, helping them to acquire the skills, information and resources needed to live their best lives possible.

My human service work isn’t as disconnected from writing as one might assume. I’ve learned to patiently get to know people, to see their lives from varying points of view instead of making easy snap judgements about them due to their circumstances. This probably explains my tendency to write about and cheer for the underdog, as well as create rich, three- dimensional characters.

None of this means, however, that I don’t dream a myriad of what-if scenarios. An exercise in The Artist Way by Julia Cameron asks the reader to write down 5 occupations he or she would like to have. Here’s my list: Rock star, dancer, rock star’s wife, rock star manager, or rich man’s kept woman. I guess I zigged when I should have zagged.

What’s your what-if list?

It's a Little Like Giving Birth #MFRWauthor

People ask me all the time if I write myself into my books. Yes and no. Most of my characters are male so I don’t particularly identify with them other than finding them attractive and, for my heroes, likeable. My ego may show up in a female character at some point, probably more as someone I'd like to be rather than who I am. That being said, I’m not sure that it is possible to create without having myself in my writing to a significant amount. Getting a book to print is a little like giving birth: Your DNA is in the mix with your blood, sweat and tears. And it's all fun and games until you have to painstakingly squeeze out actual words that you  hope other people will find as wonderful as you do.

More to the point, like DNA is passed onto one's children, my interests and choices are infused in my stories. For example, on a simple level my characters—or at least my heroes—will look and behave in a manner I find appealing. My heroes are either significantly short or exceptionally tall. None of those average height guys for me. They'll all have long hair because I like long hair. Their clothing may change to conform to the story but it will still be something I find attractive. So my preferences and desires will always be present.

In terms of personality and behavior, the protagonists in my books are unlikely heroes who have to go the extra mile to prove they are worthy. I’m not sure that means anything more than their struggle is huge (and therefore more interesting to me). I would have a difficult time writing about a gorgeous billionaire who has to fight to get ahead. Kudos to those who can.

Because it's so important in my life, music will usually play a role in my stories. If nothing else, a minor character will be a musician but most often it will be a significant element in the setting or in the life of a main character. I frequently get ideas for stories from music. I am sure that the mood of the music I play while writing affects the words on the page. Emotional music makes for an emotional story. Sexy music…well, you know.

There is also the aspect of the time and effort that goes into writing these stories. If I'm tired and pressed for time, my writing echoes a negative feel and drags on. In revisions, I can effectively moderate this tone. On the other hand, if I'm excited about the story or something else in my life, my writing takes on a lighter, happier, or more optimistic tone.

I dare say people die when I am feeling angry about something. #writerprivilege

#EggcerptExchange-Made Maleen: An Erotic Twist on a Fairy Tale by Jeanne St. James


Made Maleen: An Erotic Twist on a Fairy Tale

By Jeanne St. James

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

A Novella loosely based on the Grimm’s fairy tale Maid Maleen

Blurb:

 “Just let me love you.”

 When Maleen King’s father catches her naked in the hay loft with her high school sweetheart, he sends the eighteen-year-old away to receive a college education and rise above the humble beginnings of an Idaho dairy farm. Now fourteen years later, Mal comes home to run the farm after the death of her father. The stress of a disastrous marriage and being a NYC stock broker made her long to return to a simple life.

Braydon Daniels, devastated when Mal’s father sent her thousands of miles away, has thought about her every day since. Now, over a decade later, he finds himself alone, divorced, and beaten down by the trauma of his broken marriage. When Mal comes back to town for her father’s funeral, he realizes the feelings he once had for her are just as strong. There’s one little snag, though. His ex-wife is the woman Mal has hated her whole life. And they have a child together.

Despite the struggle to recover from their past relationships, the undeniable attraction between them still exists. Can they rekindle the passion they once had?

Excerpt:

Mal picked at her black pencil skirt, pulling the scratchy fabric away from her skin. She was anxious to get back to the house and change into an old, comfortable pair of jeans. She wished she still fit into the worn pairs she found in a box at the bottom of the closet in her childhood bedroom. But like Braydon, she had also matured. Which meant having curves that no longer fit into junior skinny jeans.

As she walked down the ramp from the funeral home, it surprised her to find a car other than hers still left in the parking lot. She figured she would be the last one leaving, especially after staying to make arrangements with the funeral director for her pop’s cremation.

She stumbled and caught herself by grabbing the metal rail running alongside the concrete incline.

He looked good.

Shit. Good was a gross understatement. That was like saying a sundae full of ooey, gooey hot fudge, wet walnuts, colorful sprinkles, a pile of real whipped cream, and a cherry on top tasted only good.

Her stomach growled. She wasn’t sure if it was due to the fact she found herself now hungry for a sundae, or the sight of Braydon Daniels leaning his ass against the side of a pickup truck, his arms and ankles crossed as he watched her approach.

She looked down at her blouse. Yep, her nipples had hardened into two mountain peaks. She sighed. Way to be so obvious, Mal.

Though she could kill two birds with one stone: Eat the sticky sundae right off his—what she could only imagine—firm stomach. She bet his six-pack had indentations where the melted ice cream and fudge would pool until she licked away all traces of the sweet goodness.

Mal faltered and had to take a deep breath before closing the gap between them.

“I figured that was your car.”

She wasn’t used to his deep voice yet. The voice of a man, not a teenager. He was parked only two spaces away from her bright red Audi R8 convertible. With the upgraded 5.2 L V10 and manual transmission, the pretty little sports car had set her back a cool $166,000. Five-hundred fifty horses weren’t cheap. Though a beauty and hell of a lot of fun to drive, out here in Bum-fuck, Idaho, the car was nothing but a joke.

Oh, it impressed her colleagues back home in New York, but here a manure spreader was more useful. Suddenly, she realized she mistakenly thought of New York City as “home.”

“How’d you guess?” she asked, trying not to be too apparent when her gaze skimmed every inch of him.

He laughed, shaking his head, and glanced down at the pavement for a moment. When he looked back up, he pinned her with his greenish-gold eyes.

She did her best not to squirm.

Available at Amazon for only 99¢ or FREE in KU: http://amzn.to/2klYO8o

Author Bio:

JEANNE ST. JAMES is an erotic romance author who loves an Alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing since it gave her an escape from teenage angst! Her first paid published piece was an erotic short story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages.

She has a few new releases coming up in 2017. So keep an eye on her website at www.jeannestjames.com or sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup

Connect with Jeanne here:

Blog: http://jeannestjames.blogspot.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanneStJames

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jeannestjames

Review & Book Crew: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JeannesReviewCrew/

 

 

#EggcerptExchange: The Rest of Forever by Carrie Pulkinen


The Rest of Forever

By Carrie Pulkinen

Genre: Paranormal Romance - Angels

Blurb:

Suspended between two worlds—belonging to neither—April must let go of her dreams and embrace her duties in the afterlife to win the man she loves.

April Carter is a high school history teacher who dreams of finding the perfect man to whisk her away from her small-town life. She wants it all—the husband, the house, the kids, the car. But her dreams of living the perfect life are shattered during a school shooting. Now she must learn to accept her fate if she's ever going to find the life she loves.

Damian Perkins is April's Guardian Angel, though no one would guess that based on his attitude. A tragic event in his past has left him bitter and resentful, and he won’t let anyone get close enough to care about him. He's tried to make April hate him, but she sees through his abrasive exterior and awakens a part of his soul he thought had burned out long ago. Damian must let go of his past and accept his responsibilities or he'll spend the rest of his existence alone and miserable.

Excerpt:

Damian lay on the bed behind her with his arm across her body. God, I wish I could feel her. The memory of the way she fit in his arms tightened his chest, and he yearned to feel her warmth again. To feel her soft curves pressed against his body. She could’ve used some real affection. But as much as he wanted to give it to her, it wasn’t his place. He’d have to settle for comforting her from The In-Between.

She took a few deep breaths and slowly drifted to sleep. The tension in her body relaxed, and her pulse slowed to a steady, rhythmic beat. Rest was exactly what she needed to chase away the fear and guilt that must’ve been coiling inside her. To be betrayed by someone who was supposed to love her. He couldn’t imagine what she must’ve been feeling.

Well, yes he could...

He breathed in her intoxicating scent and closed his eyes. He was getting in too deep, and he needed to get away.

But as the last of the tension left her body, she exhaled and whispered, “Damian.”

Hearing his name dance from her lips made his heart lodge in his throat. Was she dreaming about him?

“I’m here, April. You’re safe.”

A soft moan vibrated from her chest, and she nestled her head into the pillow.

She couldn’t possibly be dreaming about him, could she? He’d tried so hard to make her hate him. What dream could possibly be twirling through her mind? She was sound asleep, and he knew it was safe to leave her alone.

But he stayed.

As much as he hated to admit it, he liked holding her, whether he could feel her body pressed to his or not. There was nowhere in the universe he’d rather be. And he desperately wanted to hear her whisper his name again.

Get it together, man. It’s not gonna happen.

The sun set, and soft moonlight filtered through the window, giving her skin an angelic glow. Even with her tear stained cheeks and disheveled hair, she was magnificent. The soft rise and fall of her chest, her gentle breath, her fragile posture. He could’ve held her forever.

But he needed to leave. To get away from her before his thoughts went any farther down the path he’d been avoiding all this time.

He pulled his arm from around her and prepared to Jump. She moaned and reached to the place where his arm had rested moments before.

“Please don’t leave me, Damian.”

He froze, his body paralyzed in anticipation, and swallowed down the lump in his throat. Did she sense him? Did she know he was there with her? No, it wasn’t possible. Charges felt comfort from their Guardians, but they never knew why.

“Damian, please.”

Liquid warmth flowed from his core, out to his limbs. His heart raced at the sleepy sound of her voice. He imagined it was how she’d sound in the morning, after a long night of lovemaking.

But he could not think about her that way. There was no way in hell he’d ever fall for a Charge. Not if he could help it.

Available at Amazon for $2.99 or FREE in KU

 Author Bio:

Carrie Pulkinen has always been fascinated with the paranormal. Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an exciting storyteller.

Carrie spent the first part of her professional life as a high school journalism and yearbook teacher. She loves red wine and chocolate, and in her free time, she likes to read, take pictures, and spend time with her family.

Connect with Carrie here:

Web Page | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter

#EggcerptExchange: Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem


Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

A Haunted Voices Novel

 Blurb:

An addiction counselor and a security guard struggle to free a little girl and her father, two lost spirits trapped inside an abandoned mental asylum. Addiction counselor Laura Horton returns from college to move in with an old friend and start her career. But her homecoming is jarring. Her friend moves out, leaving Laura alone with the gorgeous but intimidating ex-boyfriend—in a house that snugs up to an ancient graveyard.

Officer Miller Stanford is a man with a shattered past. His alcoholic dad destroyed their family, a weakness Miller is terrified will consume him too. The last thing he needs is a sexy, blonde addiction counselor watching his every move. When he begins to see specters in the dark, he starts questioning his own stability.

But Laura sees her too—a pathetic child-spirit searching for her father. When Laura starts digging into old asylum records, the eerie events escalate . . . Can Miller and Laura uncover the secrets of Talcott Hall without jeopardizing their love—and lives—in the process?

Excerpt:

“Hey. Little girl. Let me help you,” Miller tried again, and the child finally lowered her hands. She was younger than he’d first thought—ten, maybe. Tears streaked her reddened cheeks, glistening in the beam of his headlights. Her pale, golden hair was baby fine and wispy, but tousled and disheveled. As though it hadn’t seen a brush in good long time.

She met his gaze with eyes like the man’s, clear and blue and strangely luminescent. The sadness Miller saw behind them made his chest ache.

“Where did your friend go, sweetheart? The man who came out with you. Where did he go?”

She stared at him with lips quivering before her face crumpled again. “I don’t know. I don’t know where Daddy is. I’ve been looking and looking for him. Every time I think I’ve found him, he goes away.”

Miller swallowed. Yeah, that’s one way to describe the mysterious vanishing act.

He drew in a breath and tried again. “What’s your name, sweetie? Was that your daddy with you?”

Head bobbing, the tears flowed freely now, and she wouldn’t take her eyes off Miller’s face. He felt a lump growing in his own throat, as though she was somehow transferring her pain to him. His hands, clasped in front of him, began to shake.

When she spoke again, her voice took on an echoed quality, as though she were receding into an empty culvert. “I’m Greta. And I’m looking for my daddy. He used to live here. But I keep coming back to find him, and nobody knows where he is.” She dropped her chin to her chest and ground her knuckles against her eyes.

“Greta,” he repeated, a stab of pity piercing his gut. So freaking pathetic. A forlorn little girl . . .his own memories rose up like foul-smelling steam. Swallowing hard, he pressed on. “Greta, honey, what’s your last name?”

When she looked up, Miller gasped. Behind her, against the fence, a bright red McDonald’s French fry box clung to the base of the chain link. Directly behind her, yet he could see it clearly. That’s when he realized he could see . . .right . . .through her.

Claire Gem Bio:

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of emotional romance—sexy contemporary, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.

Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her rock star contemporary, The Phoenix Syndrome, won the women’s fiction division in FCRWA’s The Beacon Contest.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 38 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

You can find out more about Claire and her work here:

Website:                      http://www.clairegem.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.emotionalcontemporaryromance.com

Facebook:                    http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author

Twitter:                       http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter

Buy Links:

Createspace:            https://www.createspace.com/6899776

Amazon:                   http://amzn.to/2jt6k1p

Book Trailer:             http://bit.ly/1QreCAY

 

 

 

 

 

I Love Words. Except These.

Background image with white letters flying in air I probably need to cover myself up front by saying that I know lots of people who use words that make me grind my teeth or roll my eyes. I still respect them in the morning.

Words I find distasteful seem to fall into three categories. There are the profane words that polite society seems to frown upon. There are bodily function words. And there are words used incorrectly or simply made up. After I made my list I asked my writing group what their ick-factor words were. Although we had some dislikes in common, our differences surprised me.

My own absolutely-will-not-say words fall into the bodily function category. I didn't realize this until a fellow writer pointed it out. Being a biology research scientist, these words don't bother her at all while they're even hard for me to make myself write. For the sake of the blog, I'll do it: Fart, snot, and puke. Once, I stopped reading a book by one of my favorite authors when farting became a large part of the story.

Two words that I hear way more often than I should are orientate and conversate. I will say these words only as punchlines to jokes. A colleague offered the word confusement as her pet peeve.

Misused words make the list, too. A huge irritant is the use of less when fewer is the appropriate word. One writer-friend hates sentences that begin with so. I cringe when I am asked if I am done. Unless you're talking about meatloaf, the question is "Are you finished?" Another friend hates the phrase all y'all.

I'm from Virginia. I understand that idiom completely. And I loved it when Prince used it in a song. Y'all didn't know he was southern, did you?

Through my friends I learned there are words that some people dislike for no apparent reason, like moist, ooze, cannibalism or space cadet. The collection of words that drew the biggest groans? The feels, adulting, squee, bae. These made up words seem cute, but in reality cause massive eye rolls from  readers/listeners.

If you are interested in seeing how new words spread across the country, check out these links. Then let me know what words make you cringe.

Here's how new words spread across America.

Here's just the video.

Just Hungry for a Good Story #MFRWAuthor #bloghop

I suppose it could be called a total lack of willpower. Or maybe it is incredible focus. Whatever you call it, I have it: A tendency to binge watch television programs.

With some shows, binging comes easy. Several seasons were available when I stumbled upon Stranger Things, Hemlock Grove, DareDevil, Luke Cage-Their stories captivated me. It was easy to just keep watching.  It doesn't hurt that Netflix requires nothing of you to play the next episode. It just rolls on to the next one in the queue.

With other shows, I deliberately wait until the season is over before I start to watch.  If I could only watch one episode at a time, Empire would frustrate me to the point that I would stop watching completely. Longmire falls into this category too. The main characters of both shows pull such stupid and illogical stunts that I would stop watching if I had to wait a week. Watching the season in it's entirely allows me to see the story unfold and resolve.

Then there is the third type of binge watching. I start at Season 1 and watch the entire series--and then start back at Season 1. Supernatural falls into this category. I cannot even calculate how many times I've watched this series from beginning to end. I also have favorite episodes I pull out if I only have a small amount of time. Usually these are humorous but not always.

Interestingly,  this sort of binge isn't restricted to TV. How many times have I read the first six of the Anita Blake books? Or Tanya Huff's Shadow series? Or Stephanie Plum?

What brings on Binge #3? Mostly disappointment. When I can't find a new TV show that I like, or if I've started a few books that I can't force myself to finish, I go back to my favorites. The entertainment equivalent of comfort food.

Regardless of the type of binging, it isn't about lack of will power. It's about my hunger for a good story. What about you? Do you binge watch? If so, what do you hunger for?

Check out more great posts below!

She Has My Back: Surviving the Writer's Life #MFRWAuthor

Both my partner and I are writers. We understand the craziness that happens when a deadline approaches, or writer's block moves in and settles down to stay awhile. We are lucky that we rarely have the same problem at the same time. We tend to be very supportive of each other's writing process.

She is slow and methodical. When she sits down to write she knows exactly what she wants to say. Because of her work schedule, she can’t write every day so she schedules marathon sessions. I have seen her put together a 70,000-word document in a weekend. On those days I stay handy to provide meals and snacks, do little bits of research, and play cheerleader.

On the other hand, I tend to decide what scene I need, close my eyes and picture it like a movie. I can then describe what I see. Unfortunately, sitting still for even an hour is torture. I just can’t do it. So short writing sessions every day works best for me.

I do a lot more rewriting and editing than she does. She'll listen to my endless rambling about the plot until I finally decide what I am writing, and she drags me back to the plot when I get another idea I think would work better. (It usually wouldn't. Its just newer and "shinier" and therefore more interesting to me.)

 

We cheer each other on when other family members, who will remain nameless, are not as encouraging. Like when a relative expresses shock that a book was published. Or another is so competitive that he must try to beat us at anything having to do with writing, such as winning Nanowrimo. Others who didn't even buy the book in the name of being supportive.

Despite the lack of support from our families, we continue to write. We have each other's back.

Check out more great posts below!

DRESS UP/DRESS DOWN WITH MARCIA JAMES

It's my pleasure to welcome Marcia James to the Living After Midnight Blog, to tell us about the meaningful attire worn in her novella, "Nothing But a Hound Dog."

ADOPT, DON'T SHOP: My Characters Proudly Wear Their Convictions

Cindi Landon, the heroine of my novella, "Nothing But a Hound Dog," is the director of the animal shelter in Jenkins, a small North Carolina town. As a hands-on, pro-animal advocate, she works alongside her staff. That means dressing in jeans and shelter t-shirts. One day, she might be working with dogs rescued from a hoarding situation. The next day, she might be meeting with families looking to find the perfect pet. There's nothing she likes more than to rescue and then place a homeless pet in its forever home.

After a night of raucous partying following a rodeo and concert in Jenkins, country music bad boy (and the hero of my novella), Ryan "Rowdy"Gates, is sentenced to community service at the shelter. Like the rest of the staff and volunteers, he wears jeans and shelter t-shirts while he helps out—whether it's cleaning dog runs or bottle-feeding an abandoned Basset Hound puppy he names Buddy. The shelter t-shirts sport different pro-adoption slogans, which start out as abstract concepts to Ryan, then become his conviction after he witnesses pets living on the streets or being surrendered to the shelter.

While researching my novella (which is the third in my "Klein's K-9s Service Dog" series and currently featured in the Love Notes ebook box set), I found quite a few wonderful, pro-adoption slogans, including, "Rescue: It's Not Just a Verb. It's a Promise."; "Paws to Love a Rescue Pet."; and "The Best Things in Life are Rescued." Being pro-adoption myself, I was happy to include many of the slogans in my novella. In fact, I have rescue dogs, cats, and the occasional pot-bellied pig in all of my books. These fictional pets add so much to the plot and reveal in my two-legged characters a love for animals that makes readers root for them to find their happily ever after.

Of course, "Nothing But a Hound Dog" has a happy ending, with Cindi offering Ryan something he's never had—a home, a family, and unconditional love. And, of course, they adopt Buddy the Basset Hound.

Nothingbutahounddog_Kindle"Nothing But a Hound Dog" Excerpt:

When the puppy was sleeping soundly, Shauna, the shelter's volunteer supervisor, stood to go. "Why don't you stay here and hold him, so he'll know he's not alone. The best thing for this little boy is food and sleep. And while you're sitting here, think of a name for him." Shauna left, heading down the hall toward the dog runs.

Ryan looked at the puppy. Somehow the usual dog names—Spot, Rover, and the like—didn't seem right. So he gently rocked the puppy while he considered other names. He began to hum, something he often did when working out a problem. Then he started softly singing the song Elvis had made famous, "Hound Dog."

The puppy had been twitching, as though having a bad dream, but he settled down when he heard the song. Obviously, he had good taste in music. Ryan smiled. He could name the puppy Elvis, but it didn't seem to fit.

Ryan segued into Buddy Holly's "Everyday," a personal favorite. The little guy's mouth opened in a doggie grin. Maybe he should name him after the singer?

He stopped singing and said, "Buddy."

The puppy's ears twitched. Each time he said the name, he got the same reaction. So it was settled. Ryan christened him Buddy the Basset Hound.

 

Cindi stood in the clinic doorway, watching Ryan sing softly to the poor little thing. It was so poignant that her heart swelled and tears pricked her eyes. The tough kid from high school had grown into an admirable man who could gently rock a puppy and—according to what Shauna had told her—befriend and feed Andy, a troubled teenager who volunteered at the shelter.

God help her, she might be falling in love with Ryan.

She doubted he would appreciate her getting misty-eyed over him, so she simply listened until she got her emotions under control. He was singing the Buddy Holly song, "Words of Love." Cindi was a sucker for 1950s' pop music, so she joined in.

Startled by her voice, Ryan stopped and blushed, actually blushed. "Uh, the puppy settles down when I sing to him."

"He must be a fan of oldies, like me." She sat next to Ryan and gazed at the puppy. "He looks better already. Did he eat yet?"

"I bottle-fed him with Shauna's help. And I named him Buddy."

Buddy. It was perfect for the little pup. Suddenly, she remembered why she was there and stood again. "Speaking of eating, I came to get you. Your massive order from the Asian fusion place on Main has arrived. If you want any before the shelter hordes scarf it down, you better come with me."

Holding the puppy in a towel, Ryan got up from the chair without disturbing the Basset Hound's sleep. "I need to take Buddy with me. Shauna says he can hear my heart."

A warmth spread through her chest, and Cindi turned to the doorway before her face revealed what she was feeling. She was a sucker for a man who cared for animals.

Love Notes 3DBuy links for "Nothing But a Hound Dog" in the Love Notes box set:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SFYWOA

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1PvSMdq Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1ZWZ151 Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1RHjuWX Itunes: http://apple.co/1nhJc7p B&N: http://bit.ly/1TdXXom Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Sa9pAr

Author Bio & Links:

Marcia James finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first contemporary romance. Her releases include Sex & the Single Therapist (the first in a comic romantic mystery series) and the "Klein's K-9s Service Dogs" contemporary romance series. She is a national and international ebook bestseller, who writes hot, humorous romances featuring heroines you can root for, heroes to die for, and funny dogs.

In her eclectic career, Marcia has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels' steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.

Website: www.MarciaJames.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Marcia_James

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/marciajames/

Amazon Author Central page: www.amazon.com/author/marciajames

#Excerpt exchange: Kim Cox

eggs

Authors from all over the world are celebrating the season by guesting on each other’s blogs–an Eggcerpt Exchange. Please join me in welcoming Kim Cox, author of  the romantic suspense, ALL THIS TIME. 

image

ALL THIS TIME Style & Profile Series – Book 1 Treachery, Greed, and Psychosis

At thirty, Jenny Morgan’s biological clock is ticking. But as a fashion magazine CEO with a busy schedule and no significant other, her wish is unlikely to come true. When her father receives a potentially terminal diagnosis, he longs for a grandchild before he dies. With her religious beliefs, a sperm donor isn’t an alternative. Jenny’s only immediate available option is her single co-worker and best friend, Trevor Drake. Can she really trust him to be a good husband?

Trevor has loved Jenny since college, but she only sees him as a friend with no ambition. After he learns of her predicament, he proposes and sets out to prove he can provide everything she needs. Jenny is determined to have a prenuptial agreement with an “out” clause after one year. Can Trevor convince Jenny of his love by then?

As if they don’t have enough on their plate, someone at the magazine is out to stop their wedding and their impending parenthood, and destroy the magazine’s reputation. Jenny is nearly killed in a sabotage attempt. Can Jenny and Trevor to make a life together while uncovering a common enemy?

Available now in print and electronic formats through Amazon Kindle and Amazon Print,  24Symbols, Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes iBookKobo, and Page Foundry.

imageExcerpt Prologue After she took the last swig of cola, she hurled the empty cup into the trash and paced across the plush carpeting in front of her desk. The office was quiet—everyone had left hours ago, leaving her to finish their work as usual.

If it weren't for her, the magazine would've folded years ago. But did any of them appreciate her? Her organizational skills? Her stamina? No! Damn all the Morgans, especially Joe Morgan. Memories rushed into her mind. Ten years ago, when his wife died, who had looked after him day after day, made sure he ate, petted him, nurtured his aching heart and later, gave him her body to help him release the stresses he faced? She had, that’s who. Well, she hadn't really had sex with him. A glass of wine with dinner and the knock-out powder fixed him right up. Who was to say what did or didn't happen when Joe had awakened beside her and both of them naked?

She shivered at the image of sex with such a dried-up old prune.

To him, she had been just his secretary. His right-hand girl, that’s what she’d been, taking care of his business when his grief proved too much for him to handle and his precious daughter had returned to college, leaving him alone. When she invited him to her home, it gave him a change of scenery, a reprieve from staring at the same walls and the same rooms he’d shared with his late wife for thirty-five years. Joe had made promises of a promotion within the company during those times to repay her for helping him through his pain.

When she told him she was pregnant, he wanted to marry her and become his little missus, but that wasn’t her style. Running Morgan Fashions magazine was her dream. Not playing mommy, nor nursemaid to an old man. She would've made the sacrifice, though, if only for a little while. At least until she gained control of the magazine. Then he caught her, found the telltale sign on the sheets that morning when he'd arrived early for breakfast. As soon as she turned off the shower, she knew she’d been found out. She’d lied about being pregnant and he knew it. Joe was furious, called their relationship quits and demoted her to the mailroom.

She ground angry tears from her eyes. At first, she planned to burn the place to the ground, but knew she could catch more Morgans with sweetness rather than vengeance, especially after Joe retired and handed the reins over to his daughter, Jenny. All his promises had been lies. Joe’s plan all along had been to hand the company over to a blood relative.

That was ancient history. Her mind returned to the present. Too bad Joe hadn't died from his heart attack last night. Jenny had tried to keep it a secret from the staff and everyone else. This girl keeps her ear tuned in for everything. That’s the only way she would be able to dish out just desserts to the Morgans.

She slammed her hands onto the desk. After scratching her way through college, she’d be damned if her business degree would amount to nothing. Now that the managing editor position was available, there was no way anyone was stealing it from her. Jenny liked ambition in her editors, and none of the other potentials had her determination or her persistence.

The only threat to her plans was that wimpy Trevor Drake. He might be Jenny’s best friend, but he didn’t measure up. He relied heavily on his assistant to keep him organized and the bachelor in him couldn't turn away a pretty pair of legs if they killed him. Even if he got the position, she’d prove him incompetent and step right into the job and still come out as innocent as a newborn.

A sly smile spread across her lips. Like a mason lays his bricks one at a time to build a well-constructed house, she would triumph by tackling one obstacle at a time and use Trevor’s laid-back, pushover personality against him. He’d be a cinch to handle.

Jenny Morgan, however, would be much more difficult to fool. Yes, one obstacle at a time. Available now in print and electronic formats through 24Symbols, Amazon Kindle and Amazon Print,  Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes iBook, Kobo, and Page Foundry.

imageAbout Kim Cox Kim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers--Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. 

Sign up for Kim's Readers List for exclusive information, new releases, contests, giveaways, and free books.

Visit her at the following sites: Author's Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com Blogs: Kim's Musings, Kim's Author Support Page Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox Social Media locations: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr/

#Eggcerpt Exchange: Tracey Clark!

eggs Authors from all over the world are celebrating the season by guesting on each other's blogs--an Egg-cerpt Exchange. I'm excited to have on LAM today artist and author Tracey Clark to tell us about her book, Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel)

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About Tracey, in her own words:

I am a country-twang gal from the bluegrass state. Kentucky is a hot bed of horses, cave 101_0322systems, and whiskey. And I love all three. With my pugs and bossy kitty cat, I spend my days writing and working social media. I write with the help of the voices pushing me to create worlds for them to live in. Fantasy Romance, Contemporary Romance, and eventually some cowboys (because cowboys live in a group all their own, yummmm)… These are the genres that I love best. Oil paints, crafts, dealing with Multiple Sclerosis, and writing into the dead of night… this I my life!!!

To Find out more about Tracey here are some links…

Author Page (Main):

http://traceylclark.com/

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/103301.Author_Tracey_Clark

MS Page:

https://multiplesclerosisnewsblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author Page:

https://www.facebook.com/traceyclark.finderskeepers/?ref=hl

Twitter Page:

https://twitter.com/traceylclark11

About Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel):

An act of rebellion, Marin doesn't think that running into the new store in town will hurt anything. Her aunt will never know... right? One car wreck later, her aunt is hospitalized, Marin is forced to spend her twenty-first birthday fighting for her life, and magic - the very thing her aunt has always sworn to be for fools - is real. And so is the irresistible Fae dedicated to Marin's protection.

Kyland has searched Earth-side and all the other realms, looking for a missing Fae child. A child his Queen prophesied would be able to one day save the Fae people from the Danshue, as the evil Fae threat tries to overwhelm the entire Supernatural Community. A child that would know nothing of her blocked gifts, or her Fae heritage waiting to be claimed. A child that has grown into a curvy, delicious morsel he would love to taste

Together Marin and Kyland will fight Fae assassins, overcome betrayals, and if they're lucky ... they will find the Danshue responsible for their plight. That's if Marin doesn't shock him to death with her erratic new gift, and her out of control emotions.

Buy your copy today!!

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Smashwords

Excerpt: (from chapter two Shocking Finds)

Marin needed answers. Like why had they been targeted? The parking lot hadn’t exactly been lacking for vehicular violence victim contenders. There had been a group of at least four women, standing by their cars, chatting. If there was a target more deserving of vehicular rage, it had definitely been that group of women. They had finished shopping, and courtesy demanded that their parking spots were to be relinquished as soon as possible. Why not them?

The man—and Marin was only guessing that the driver was a man—had bypassed those without parking lot etiquette and zeroed in on Lindal. If she had continued her slow progress through the parking lot, would Marin be in this horrible room with its beeping monitors and bleached air instead of Lindal.

Staring down at her aunt’s unmoving form, Marin tried to find a place to rest her hand. She needed to touch her. She needed to know that the only person willing to take her in, after the death of her mother, was really here and still alive.

“They will find him, Lindal. He won't get away with this,” Marin made her vow as quietly as possible, not wanting to disturb Lindal's recovery.

Glancing up to keep tears from falling from her eyes, Marin noticed something swinging off of Lindal's oxygen line. “What the...” It looked like a Barbie doll with wings, perhaps six inches tall. The odd little creature wore a loin cloth and sported some overly obvious male attributes. Was it wrong to be checking out the abs of someone no larger than a child’s toy?

His arms tugged and his muscles bunched as he attempted to make a knot in Lindal's oxygen line. His silver skin tone went beautifully with his tri-colored wings— a mix of light purple, maroon, and gold. The little man didn't seem to realize that Marin was staring at him.

“Stop,” Marin shouted. Dammit, this was a hospital. She needed to lower her voice. She also needed to go upstairs to the psych ward. Head trauma, shock, or hallucinations¼ something wasn’t right. If she told Lindal about this, her aunt would call her every kind of fool.

Hallucination or not, she grabbed the little man by the wings, pulled him from Lindal’s oxygen line, and tried to speak more calmly. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She finally had her figment’s attention. A striking, though small, pair of lavender eyes glared at her through overly long sandy brown bangs. On closer inspection, she could see that his hair was actually multicolored. It seemed to go from crystal white sand to bronzed gold.

“Well, answer me. What do you think you're doing?”

“Waiting for you, of course.”

“What are you?” She was losing it. The buzzing in her temples was increasing. And she was now speaking to a figment of her imagination. Yep, she needed to be medicated.

The creature put its tiny fists on narrow hips. “A Sprite, of course. Don't you know anything? I have my work cut out for me.” Now she was being insulted by her imagination. Great.

“Nope. Too Much,” Marin said and tossed the little man with wings out of the hospital window. She needed coffee. Either that or a large dose of Thorazine. Maybe both.


 

Now… without further ado… here is Marin Yarthine…

Interviewer: You’ve had quick the introduction to the Fae world, Marin… Can I call you Marin..

Marin (reddened cheeks): Uhh… sure… I mean, that’s what most people call me… Kyland has been call me, Minzet, but I’m pretty sure that’s something just between us since it means Sweet One… but…yeah… Marin would be best.

Interviewer (light chuckle): Great. Well, I nice to finally get to sit down with us… and as the new Princess to the Fae people, with such an odd upbringing… the Fae would love to know a little pit about you… Tell us a little bit about day to day life in the royal world…

Marin: Pfft… Most of the time I think they have the wrong girl… I mean… I was home schooled, and have worked at Finder’s Keepers since I turned 17… for the past four years I have been slipping into Finder’s Trances in order to locate everything from pets to abduction victims… from car keys to family heirlooms… it sounds like important work but really, I mostly had to pull a bunch of information together so that other Finder’s could go out on Mission to locate whatever the client had misplaced…

Interviewer: That sounds like important work to me… also, something that would take a toll on your emotions… do you have someone to cuddle up to at night to help you get through the day???

Marin (Cheeks now flaming red): Kyland… he came out of nowhere and changed my life… and he doesn’t even mind when I accidentally shock him with this new power that has a tendency to get out of control when I’m upset…

Interview: …. (shuffles through questions) … (scoots chair back and grits her teeth)… What goals and hardships do you face… what do you want for the Fae?? I mean… what are your plans to keep the Fae community safe?? (scoots back a little further…)

Marin (head cocked to the side): I’m still learning about the Fae world.. but I would say my goal is to keep as many people safe as I can… (fists clench) … if the evil Fae, those Danshue ********… sorry for my language, but if they would just stop getting in the way, I could learn a little faster… someone needs to stop the Danshue before this community I’m just getting to know dies out…

Sparks light up on Marin’s hands, but Interviewer merely gets a white knuckled grip on her set and continues…

Interviewer: One final questions and we will let you get back to your new duties as Princess… Can you tell us what fears you are facing in this new chapter of your life???

Marin: … (Deep Breath…) Lindal… that the woman that pretended to be my only family, that kidnapped me as a child (sparks on her fingertips) … that she will find a way to finish what she started… (more sparks) … that she will find a way to hurt the people I am coming to care about… that she will hurt KYLAND … (small explosion blowing out all the lights)

Interview warily pulls herself up out of the floor, where she dove to avoid flying glass…

Interview(voice shaky) : Alright… I think that’s all we have time for… thanks for stopping by Princess…