Tag Archives: Ebook

Author Interview with Kayden Clarement & New Release: She Came First

I am happy to welcome author friend Kayden Claremont to my blog…

Kayden, please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

Hi everyone. I’m Kayden Claremont and I’m married to my high-school sweetheart. I have two married kids, love their spouses, so I usually tell everyone I have four kids and one grandson. I live in the greater Toronto area in Ontario, Canada. I’ve always lived in Ontario, but have traveled all over the US.

Right now, I’m between pets, but I usually have a dog and a cat, who I spoil rotten. From time to time I have my grand dog for a week. He helps me write by throwing his toys on my lap. I’ve shared he’s my employee of the week on several occasions.

Where did you get the idea for SHE CAME FIRST?

My Daughter bought the family tickets to the Charlotte Speedway. I love watching car races on the TV but this was the first time I’d been to a track. We had such a wonderful time checking everything out. Then we did the tour and I was amazed there were three types of tracks in one complex.

We all climbed into van and a woman climbed into the driver’s seat. She told us she’d come with the dirt then she drove us on the track. She’d driven a pace car, so she put her foot on the gas. I’m never had such a great time. I could imagine what it would be like in a car racing around the track and the idea for SHE CAME FIRST came to me.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I wanted to make the heroine a blue-collar person, so she became a mechanic. I had so much fun letting this woman dressed in coveralls reveal her sexy wild side when she has a second chance for love.

Do you collect anything?

I collect beads. Lots and lots of them. I love making jewelry. I don’t sell it, but I love to have a new necklace or earrings to wear. When I go to the bead shops in Toronto, I spend hours picking out each item. I have more beads than I’ll ever make into jewelry but that’s the fun.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

I know most people expect me to say ‘my husband’ (grins) but he teaches at college and is busy. But I should get rid of my TV. I watch way too much, but I tell myself I’m watching story, so I’m doing research. Now if only I could say that with a straight face. I can watch the same movies over and over again, so I really should restrict myself to only watching them five times each.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read SHE CAME FIRST?

I want them to believe in love. I want them to experience falling with love with the hero and living a happy for now ending. Isn’t that why we all read romance?

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

What I want is an honest review. If you loved the characters and their story, terrific. If you couldn’t relate to either the characters or their situation, terrific. I know not everyone will love each story I write and I will respect their honest opinion.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Ha ha ha. I think most authors will say tones of them. Not all ideas will work up into a book. Sometimes a piece of an old manuscript will be a catalyst for a new manuscript, but the story goes in a different direction.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My friends think I can write a first draft worthy of publication, but this isn’t true. I struggle to the best story I can written for the readers. Believe it or not, sometimes the characters don’t like my ideas an won’t do what I think they should. (grins) This causes me to go through several drafts before I should the manuscript to my critique partners. Then I go through it a few more times before I send it to my editor. I love her and we go through the manuscript one more time. When I tell people this is my process they are amazed and shocked that writing isn’t as easy as reading is.

How did you come up with the title?

SHE CAME FIRST was an easy title to come up with. The story is about racing cars and is an erotic romance. Easy peasy.

Your favorite…

Music – smooth jazz for writing. If there are lyrics I tend to them as a sing along. I also listen to country, and pop when I’m not writing.

Place you’ve visited – Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Place you’d like to visit- Hawaii is the top of my bucket list.

TV show from adulthood – there are too many to list. I really do have to cut back on my TV time.

Food – chocolate anything.

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board games.


Thank you, I enjoyed getting to know you better. Now, please tell us about your book!

Blurb: As head mechanic for her family’s stock car team, Tracy Hyland is making sure her car is ready for tomorrow’s race. If the car comes in first, she can claim her rightful place in the business. She can’t afford distractions, especially an ex high school sweetheart, one who broke her heart but still makes her engine purr.

Racecar driver Delaney P. Jones comes home to drive the Hyland’s car and to win back the girl he left behind. To break the iciness between them, he tempts his sexy mechanic into a smoldering dance of passion. His ultimate goal might prove more difficult—getting her across a private finish line.

Excerpt: Tracy Hyland slipped into the garage of the family motorsport business and smiled as she glanced at her 1989 Camaro. Her baby’s new blue and white paint glistened in the overhead light. Tomorrow was the car’s first race. Her hopes of standing in the number one spot on the podium depended on their performance.

She walked to the radio and cranked her music. Music and racing—pure heaven.

While the male mechanics would be at their favorite watering hole, hoping to hook up with pit bunnies for a night, she planned a quiet evening ensuring her car was tuned perfectly. Who was she kidding? She was just tinkering. Better here alone than in a noisy bar with strangers.

Tracy had become the head mechanic only after her dad died in a fiery crash. Women belonged in the office, not the track, or so he thought. She should go home and get a good night’s sleep—alone. She liked a good fuck. Actually, a great night in the sack helped her relax before a race, but she’d make do with a hot shower and Dilly the dildo to relieve her tension. What more could she want?

Tracy let the music take hold of her and boogied toward the car, twirling around and shimmying her breasts.

The side door opened, and she froze mid-step and turned.

Delaney P. Jones leaned against the jamb, filling the doorway. Her pulse quickened at the sight of her high school sweetheart.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Uk92YM

B&N, https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1131094833?ean=2940161234532

Bookstrand: https://www.bookstrand.com/she-came-first


Kayden Claremont’s Bio

Kayden’s sensuous writing style drives the characters in lustful romps. She loves reading stories of lust and love.  When she is not crafting erotic romantic stories, she loves to make jewelry and travel.

Kayden is a member of Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

She hopes you enjoy her other books, Hell’s Bounty, Heaven’s Watcher, Timeless Passion, Red Hot, and Tartan Temptation, all published by The Wild Rose Press.

Author Media Links:

Website: www.KaydenClaremont.com

Blog: https://kaydenclaremont.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kayden.claremont/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaydenclaremont

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/9136748.Kayden_Claremont

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/search?search=Kayden+Claremont

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTlCs84dLR5D3MJw25yrBQ

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kayden-Claremont/e/B015BMVN4I



Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

“Tainted” is #FREE!!

I’m happy to share a freebie from my dear friend, Tina Fausett. It’s only free for a limited time, so grab it while you can!!

Tainted – Part 1 (A Shift in the Universe) by Tina Fausett

The first installment in the ongoing saga of A Shift in the Universe is FREE for a limited time…

Amazon purchase link:



Part 1 – Tainted:

A jealous, malevolent wife hooked on prescription drugs, a husband caught between reality and carnal fantasies, and an angel cast from heaven, are all bound together by their hatred for one woman whose spells and manifestations catch them in a downward spiral towards hell…Gina Faulkner, thought to be a voodoo queen, owner of Swamp Witch Pickles in New Orleans, is the center of it all.

Bane Colton, dangerous and cocky, sees Gina at the French Market and the game is on. He makes up his mind he’s going to break the feisty redhead with the infamous kinky reputation, body and soul. And Gina’s ready to be a player, until Bane’s estranged and demented wife, Beverly, wants him back.

Enter enigmatic Darsh, known to many as the Angel of Death, who’s watched over Gina since she was fifteen and has loved her almost as much as he’s hated her. Now they would come face to face. He could save her from certain peril, but could never save her from herself. Would she destroy them all? At the very least, a shift in the universe was coming.


“I had a love once that I never got over. I still dream about him, think of him, wonder if I’ll see him in heaven. No, it wasn’t your grandfather, Ian. I did love him. But sometimes there’s one person your soul meshes with so completely that you don’t care if you ever have sex because it’s worth a lifetime just to see them once in a while.” His grandmother looked off as if she were seeing someone in the distance. “Can you understand what I’m saying?” She turned back to him, her gaze penetrating.

“No,” he lied as tears stung the backs of his eyes.

“Sometimes, you love someone so much you almost hate them for it, for to hate someone you have to be capable of loving them. Who is it that you just lied about? Who is it that you hate?”

“No one, Grandmother…no one.”

“I’ve always felt sad for you, Ian, never having known what it’s like to be in love. But I see it in your eyes. You know what it’s like to be in hate.”

Darsh stood, walked to her, bent, and kissed her cheek. “No one is worthy of my hate,” he whispered.

“If you saw her today, the woman unworthy of your hate, what would you feel for her?” the old woman asked knowingly.

“Extreme dislike,” he answered, his eyes narrowing. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do before dinner.”

Darsh turned down the hallway towards the library. My world’s crumbling…I can’t keep going like this.. He ran his hands through his hair. It’s all finally catching up to me and soon nothing will be the same. A shift in the universe is coming and Gina Faulkner’s bound to be at the heart of it.

Check out the other stories in the series…

Link to other installments:



About the author:

Tina Fausett was born and raised in Oklahoma City and attended both the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma University, majoring in History and English. She’s a published poet and novelist, as well as an oil painter, historic home specialist. She’s owned an antique store and art gallery and currently runs a company called Red Hot Mamma’s Pickles in Oklahoma City where she lives in an historic neighborhood. She’s lived in the Garden District in New Orleans, the city she loves, and tries to spend her time between the two cities. Tina has a daughter, son and granddaughter that are her main focus.


Find Tina Here:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tina.fausett

Twitter: @TinaFausett




Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway

The Fourth, Siblings, and The Searcher

Good morning!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe Fourth of July. I didn’t celebrate the holiday, I seldom do. But, I did go see my sweet momma in the nursing home. She has been ill and had to have IV antibiotics. I hated seeing her like that, so weak and feeling unwell. She was still precious and happy to see me, though. I love her so much, and I’m so grateful she’s still living. I feel bad, though, because I know her quality of life is not great. She often says she just wishes she’d pass so she could be in Heaven with my dad. Then, she says, “But I worry, what if he’s up there with his first wife, Anne?” 🙂 I assure her that Anne is with the husband she was married to for 4o something years and Mom will be with Dad, who she was married to for 40 years. 

I then had dinner with my BFF, Paige. We’ve been friends for more than 40 years, and I’m so blessed to still have her in my life. Her daughters, who are 13 and 14, are spending a few weeks in California with their aunt, so Paige is a little lost, but I encouraged her to enjoy the peace and ‘me’ time. As a single mom, she doesn’t get much of that. What about you? When your kids were away, were you lost and bereft? Relieved and at peace? A little of all of those?


This weekend, my siblings and I are all going to Checotah, Oklahoma, near Lake Eufaula, and renting an AirBnB so we can visit my brother, who’s battling cancer. He lives in the area and can’t travel, so we’re going to him. There are seven of us (and two of my brothers-in-law will be there as well, so we’ll have eight in the house we’re renting…should be interesting! :)). My eldest brother, my half-brother, is coming from Arkansas. I’m sad, yet excited, about the weekend. It’s horrible to watch Brett struggle with this awful disease, but I’m glad that our family will be spending time together. The seven of us were together a few months ago at a music benefit for Brett. Before that, I believe our last time to be together was after Dad passed in 1994. 

(If anyone is interested, we are holding a few different fundraisers for Brett’s medical bills. You can purchase Tupperware, my books, a wrist band, or just donate. Brett Robertson Cancer Fundraiser)

Top Row: L to R: Eddie, Me, Sheri, Christi (the baby). Bottom Row: Ruth, Brett, Janis

What I’m reading/listening to:

I seldom actually read a book. I’m so busy that having down time to sit and relax and read is a rare luxury. So, I’m a member of Amazon Audible, and I do most of my pleasure ‘reading’ via audio books in the car. Even if I’m on a 15 minute drive, I listen to audio books. I’m very picky, though. Suspense/Thriller is my favorite genre, but it’s difficult to find a good, solid suspense. I give up early in quite a few of them. My very favorite are police procedurals. If you have any good recommendations, I’d love to know. (Not really ‘romantic’ suspense. I have plenty of good ones I haven’t read yet) The one I’m listening to now is ‘Their Lost Daughters.’ The plot and writing are pretty good, but the characters are not all that memorable or interesting. The protagonist is a good ‘copper’ whose team are good coppers, they just aren’t at all unique and didn’t really come alive for me. I do love that it’s British. I love listening to British narrators, and I enjoy the idioms. For example, ‘Duty Solicitor’ instead of Public Defender and ‘Dust Up’ instead of argument or disagreement. 🙂 Overall, it’s definitely worth reading. The fact that I’m almost finished with it is a testimony to its enjoy-ability. 🙂


What I’m writing:

I’m working on my Martini Club 4 story, Paralyzed. It’s been slow going, but it’s starting to pick up and I am determined to finish soon. We had our critique meeting on Monday night, and I actually had a scene submitted by the time we met. We all did, as a matter of fact. I was quite pleased. I told the group a few days before the meeting that, in order to provide some incentive, we should make it a rule that, unless all 4 of us have submitted, we will not meet. They balked at the idea (well, they shot it down altogether, LOL), BUT, even the threat of it apparently encouraged us all to submit. 🙂 My thought is, we’re in this for the writing. We need to get a little more serious. If we can’t even finish a scene in two weeks, we’re not taking it seriously enough, am I right? Of course, once we finish a project, we’ll be in revisions for a while, then we’ll need to brainstorm and plot our next project. So, at that time, we shouldn’t be expected to submit during that time. This is a ‘mock’ cover for my MC4 story. Hopefully, looking at it will inspire me to keep plugging along!


I’m excited about this new documentary about Elvis. When Krysta Scott and I were in Memphis in March, we stayed at The Guest House at Graceland and met some ladies who mentioned the show and that they were there at the hotel when the film crew was there filming part of the documentary. Can’t wait to see it!




Filed under Alicia Stuff

Retreat, Zoodles and Serialized Novels

Good morning!!

Our weekend retreat was even better than I expected! You can read about it here if you’d like: Facebook Post 

The place we stayed was perfect, our host could not have been more gracious and accommodating. And, I was fairly productive, although now that I’m back in the ‘real world’, I’m afraid I’ve once again let my writing slide. I’m working on a daily habit, though. Wish me luck!


I’ve done a very poor job of staying on Weight Watchers, but like my writing, I’m determined to be more committed. I made cauliflower rice and was NOT a fan, but then, I don’t like cauliflower. I’m going to try zucchini rice, since I love zucchini. Here is a video showing different ways to make them and another with a few recipes:

Would you like to share any healthy tips/recipes you’ve run across?


I’m meeting a friend this evening to help her with a book she’d like to self-publish in a serialized format. She’ll release each section, which will be approximately 15 to 20,000 words, every two weeks for 99 cents each and let readers know it is ‘to be continued.’ I plan to do the same, one of these days, with a story idea I have. As a reader, I very much dislike when authors leave me on a cliffhanger. However, if I know going in that it’s ‘to be continued’, it wouldn’t bother me. How about you? Would you be okay with a continuation if you knew it going in?


And, just because…

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Filed under Alicia Stuff

Author Interview with Jennifer Perkins ~ Upcoming Release: Daring Return

Another fun interview…please help me welcome Jennifer Perkins…

  1. Where did you get the title for your book?

Since I’m writing for the Carly Phillips’ Dare To Love kindle world, I knew Daring Return would be a sports themed book. Lucky readers here are getting a sneak peak of my cover since it hasn’t been revealed yet! The sport in my novella is football and I wanted to have my title reflect this. Originally, my working title was Daring Rebound. My children pointed out that my original title was more for basketball and they helped me retitle it for football. Ha, they’re bigger fans than me! Who knew?

  1. Some authors have said life sometimes gets in the way. Have you experienced this?

Haha. I have to laugh, because I was originally scheduled to be here several months ago, but life did happen to get in the way. My husband had knee surgery last year due to a fall and this week he had his sixth knee surgery. After the original operation, he’s been fighting infections. The first infection cleared, but he had a secondary infection. Between administering his medication through his picc line, taking care of the house (I actually wired a light fixture into our bathroom), and bringing him where he needs to be, I carve out time to write. It’s tough, but here I am at midnight creating the stories I hope my readers love to read.

  1. Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story?

Some authors I know write their stories by creating the characters first, some like to create the location first. I like to think about a situation or conflict and how two general people might resolve this. After working out the conflict, I like to create the actual characters and then try to see what location would best fit the story.

  1. Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

Reviews are very personal and there could be a myriad of reasons for what a person writes. I feel there’s value in any review, good or bad and they can help a writer grow. Having said that, I generally have a rule when reading reviews of books I think I’d like to read or a product I wish to purchase. I tend to not read the five star reviews. I find a lot of those come from an author’s friends and or family so they may be biased. I also tend to stay away from one star reviews, since I’ve found a lot of those are complaints on delivery or other issues not related to the actual book or product.

  1. What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Oh, good question. I have a few ideas for thrillers, something that might be along the lines of a Steven King thriller. I’d love to tell you about these, but they’re still in the idea stage. They’ve been on my mind lately and actually something I might try and develop later this year.

  1. What would you want your readers to come away with after they read Daring Return?

I’d like to think they’re moved in some way by this and any of my stories. I like to write sweet, so Daring Return is outside my comfort zone. This story has a BDSM flair, a first for me, and I hope the readers enjoy the way the story evolves. I believe readers like to experience stories and become immersed in our created worlds. Sometimes readers read for a reprieve from the turmoil their own lives take and I’d like to think I helped.

Thank you for joining me, it was great getting to know you. Now, please tell us about your book…



Blurb:  Rose Perez is a physical therapist who shares a secret with Miami Thunder halfback, Bruce Hawkins. They also have separate careers outside of their shared world that could become derailed if their secret gets out. Neither had wanted a relationship. Does Rose have what it takes to look past the life Bruce is trying to portray or is she starting to fall in love?

Bruce decided early in life that true love was something other men wanted. Does he have what it takes to help Rose find real happiness without risking his heart?


Before Bruce could say anything else, he heard the slam of Rick’s phone in his ear. The noise factor was probably one of the reasons Rick hadn’t used his cell. After the falling out he had with Rose, Bruce decided she’d be the best person to work with. He’d acted as a jerk, not letting her explain what happened. He needed to give her the benefit of the doubt and if he had to, he’d apologize to her. This day couldn’t get any worse. Then Bruce’s phone rang and he saw Randy’s number on the display.

“How much are you looking for or are you calling to tell me you found a real job?”

“That’s no way to greet your little brother,” Randy said.

“You stopped being my brother when you decided drugs, booze, and women were more important than family.” Bruce got out of his car and slammed his door shut in frustration. This was one conversation he’d rather not have.

“That’s why I’m here. So we can bond. Actually, it was mom’s idea. She suggested I crash here with you a while. You know, maybe pick up some kinda inspiration.”

Bruce had just gotten in the elevator and punched the number for his floor when his brother’s request registered with what he said. “What do you mean crash here? Where the hell are you?”

“Sitting on your couch looking at the great views you have. You know you’ve got a really nice place.”


Release date is Feb. 28th in Dare To Love Amazon kindle worlds – Author’s Amazon buy link page: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Perkins/e/B01M992WVJ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1



Jennifer Perkins grew up in a small New England town where quaint neighborhoods still remain hidden. This combination has led to a sweet mix of her love of family, romance, and imagination.

With a degree in Marketing, she’s held a potpourri of jobs. She’s an active member of RWA. Her two young adult children, while pursuing their careers are, with her husband, her greatest cheerleaders. Jennifer lives in Florida with her husband. When she isn’t dreaming of interesting ways to enable everyone to join in her characters’ lives, she loves to spend time with family, garden, dabble in photography, and go for long walks on the beach.

Contact Links:

Website:    http://www.authorjperkins.com/

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

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/AuthorJPerkins

Pinterest:    https://www.pinterest.com/authorjperkins/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15968745.Jennifer_Perkins



Filed under Author Blog Post

New Release: Training Tessa by Debra Doggett

Please help me welcome Debra Doggett, a fellow Authors Helping Authors member who has a brand new release!


I used to tell people I got a history degree because I didn’t have to take math classes for it. That was only part of the reason, but back then being a history nerd didn’t give off the best aura. Even my dad said he didn’t understand how I could take those classes because history was boring. It was one of the few things we disagreed on. Growing up, my hero was James Michener. It wasn’t only that he could write like nobody else, but he wrote history. His work inspired me, and one day I plan to write my own historical epic. My first attempt at dipping my toe into that goal was Training Tessa. I set this story in Renaissance Italy, one of my favorite time periods. It gave me an excuse to dig back into that time and place, making the writing fun. One of the biggest reasons for it, however, was the way sensuality permeated art, and life. Yes, there were lots of naysayers, but artists in particular began to look at the human body as sensual. That concept fit well with the story. I hope the story fits well with you.




Meretessa Brexiano believes in love. Her heart yearns for a true bond with the man she weds. She also believes she can change her fate. Refusing the marriage her father has arranged, she strikes a bargain with a man she hopes can teach her the art of seduction. Nicolo da Parma is a businessman with a reputation as a connoisseur of women. Their sensuality is the palette he has painted on since his youth. This time, however, he may have struck a bargain which costs more than he planned. Training Tessa might be the greatest challenge to his own heart Nicolo’s ever had.


Nicolo reached a hand toward her. “Seduction is a slow process, Tessa, a process which begins with you. It begins in here.” He tapped her forehead. “Do you even know what your own body looks like?”

She moved, grateful for even a small space between them. “That’s ridiculous! Of course I know what I look like. I see myself every day.”

“Ah, but do you really see? How can you tempt a lover with a body you are not even aware of?”

Before she could protest, he swallowed up the small, safe distance. Strange sensations stirred within her, leaving her without the ability to form the words she knew she should be saying. Nicolo’s fingers untied the lace along her bodice. He slipped the thin scarf through his hand with a sensual caress that made her shiver. What would those fingers feel like against her skin? As his hand slid over her shoulder, his fingers nudged her dress down, letting the fabric glide to the top of her breasts. He leaned in close and for a moment she thought he might kiss her. Tessa wondered what his lips would feel like, what they would taste like.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Training-Tessa-Debra-Doggett-ebook/dp/B01GAF0EYK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483472306&sr=8-1&keywords=debra+doggett



Debra Doggett has been writing since childhood. Keeping stories in her head while raising three daughters, pursuing her BA in History and working as a museum professional has kept the writer inside her alive. She has also written, performed and directed for the stage, her second love.


Author links:

Debra Doggett | Facebook

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgdoggett





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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

NEW RELEASE Alert!!! TARGETED (FBI HEAT #2) by Marissa Garner

So pleased to share my friend Marissa Garner’s latest release. She writes excellent Romantic Suspense…looking forward to reading this one!



For San Diego’s elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city’s most dangerous criminals—but falling in love is the greatest risk of all. 


FBI Special Agent Marissa Panuska faces the most explosive case of her career when she impersonates a female terrorist to infiltrate an al-Qaeda cell. Her dark hair, olive complexion, and Arabic fluency make her the perfect imposter, but each passing hour raises the risk of discovery. Can she stop the dirty-bomb plot—alone—when the Feds don’t even know the target? And should she trust the mysterious man who bursts into her life when her cover is blown?


Former Navy SEAL Ameen Ali has a very personal reason for hating the terrorists and vowing to stop them. But when a beautiful woman joins the sleeper cell spreading death-to-America propaganda at his mosque, he doesn’t want to believe she shares their evil goals. Can he convince her to join forces before it’s too late?



Marissa slipped around the corner of the nearest building and held her breath. She inched backwards. When her foot came down on the paw of a dog sleeping against the wall, the mutt yelped and sprang to its feet. It growled and then barked ferociously.

“Hush. No bark. Quiet,” she scolded in Spanish to no avail.

She scooted back to the corner and peered down the road. As she had anticipated, the men were searching for her in the direction of the border crossing. But hearing the barking, they stopped, turned, and raced back in her direction. Marissa spun around, ran several steps, and stopped with a gasp.

The short alley was a dead end. And she couldn’t return to the road because Samir and Omar would see her. 


With the dog biting at her heels, she tried to pry open the door of the building on the right side of the alley. The door refused to budge. Rushing across to the other building, she slammed both hands into the door. It shuddered open a crack. She rammed her shoulder into the wood and the door gave way. Ignoring the pain shooting through her arm, she swung inside the abandoned building, pushed the dog back outside with her foot, and shoved the door shut.

Minimal moonlight filtered in through the dirty, broken windows. She strained to see as she felt along the grimy walls until she found a doorway. Repeating the pattern, she worked her way back through six rooms. Where’s another exit? There can’t be only one.

The dog’s blood-curdling yelp stopped her in her tracks. Oh, God. Samir’s knife.

When the two terrorists shouted and barged into the building, Marissa slipped into another room and flattened herself against the wall beside the door. Her eyes desperately sought a way out. No more doors. Only two windows, four feet above the floor, shattered in the center. Could she dive through one without ripping herself open? Was there time?

Not bothering with stealth, the men cursed as they separated and searched, room by room. Closer and closer. When Omar stepped through the doorway, Marissa slammed the door into his face, her bulky clothes hampering her efforts.

She dashed toward the windows, but Omar recovered before she reached them. Grabbing her abaya from behind, he yelled to Samir. Viciously, he kicked the backs of her legs, buckling her knees.

She collapsed to the floor.

Samir charged through the doorway, brandishing the knife in front of him.

As she scrambled up onto her hands and knees, Omar yanked off the veil. He clutched handfuls of her long hair, exposing the back of her neck and dragging her forward. She cursed and clawed at her attackers, but both stayed just out of reach.

Samir grunted as he raised the massive knife high over her neck.

“Benja! Miláčku,” Marissa screamed. 


 Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1P0zz2Y

B&N:  http://bit.ly/1NY3NVj

iTunes:  http://apple.co/1qZwLim

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1WVzy8P


Marissa Garner is a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, she cut pictures of people out of her mother’s magazines and turned them into characters in her simple stories. Now she writes edgy romantic thrillers, steamy contemporary romance, and sexy paranormal romantic suspense. Her stories will titillate your mind as well as your libido. She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband, but enjoys traveling from Athens to Anchorage to Acapulco and many locations in between. 


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Website:  www.marissagarner.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Writing Tip: The Middle Third by Author Michele Drier – Plus, her Vampire Novel, SNAP

Please help me welcome Michele Drier with an informative article and her latest release.

Thank you for joining me, Michele! Your series looks awesome…right up my alley. 🙂


The Middle Third

Most writers know the Dreaded Middle Third. The roughly one-third in the middle of the book where you can get bogged down in telling the story.

You start with a bang, It’s a new story, you’re developing the characters (and you like them!), you have action, maybe a new romance, a dash of fear, all the things that get your adrenaline moving

The last third, well you know the ending and it’s fun tying up all the loose ends, resolving conflicts, settling into a relationship.

But that middle third. This section is where you build the bridges to get from the excitement of a new adventure to the resolution at the end. It’s many times the crux of the book. The characters get depth, sometimes so much they take over. The tension increases. Does Character A know the background of Character B…let alone how s/he’s overcome it? Or is it still there, sabotaging every move?

Will Character C really go in that small, creepy basement?

Will they or won’t they fall in love?

What challenges raise their ugly heads? How many fears are standing in the way of a happy ending?

All good stuff. Harder to write.

What happens when Character B takes off with the narrative and you find that she’s developed an aversion to all those traits that intrigued her about Character A? Wow, this feels like a much stronger story and you like her new, feisty personality. It’ll never get her from the first to the last third, though.

Do you leave her like this, go back and rewrite the first third? How will that change affect the other characters? The plot?

Will the resolution change?

Probably plotters have a little easier time with the middle third, but for pantsers like me, one has to tread carefully. You give the characters space to tell their story, guiding them toward the resolution, but you don’t always know until you’ve written it, what’s going to happen.

Will the protag get pushed off the boat? Will an old lover show up? Is there abuse in the past? What’s he lying about? How will this affect the relationship?

It’s more difficult writing the middle third. A lot of times it’s like juggling four, five, six balls or kintting a sweater without a pattern. Oops, I have three sleeves! This is the time, though, where you can let the plot grow organically, following faint paths of desire, defeat, dishonesty, deceit.

I’m deep in the middle third of my thirteenth book, a stand-alone psychological thriller with a working title of Ashes of Memory.  It’s different from anything else I’ve written and juggling the balls is trickier. I believe one can learn from any experiences, no matter how weird, no matter how old. And this exercise is teaching me not to be complacent, stay open to new ideas. I have one character who will turn out to be the opposite of what he appears and I’ve never written a villain like this before.

I’ll finish it this summer and I’m hoping to emerge at the end a stronger plotter, stronger writer, stronger story-teller.

How are you planning to spend your summer vacation?


Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home.  During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, (called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death and Delta for Death.

Her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, has received “must read” reviews from the Paranormal Romance Guild and was the best paranormal vampire series of 2014. The series is SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, Danube: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights,  SNAP: All That Jazz, SNAP: I, Vampire .

Visit her webpage, www.micheledrier.com

facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleDrier or her Amazon author page, http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Drier/e/B005D2YC8G/



Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, New Release

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 62 – Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker

A little over 60 years ago, in August of 1955, Elvis signed a contract with manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The Colonel negotiated a deal with RCA for Elvis’ Sun contract for an unprecedented $40,000, $5,000 of which was a bonus for back royalties owed by Sun Records (Elvis was 20, and officially a minor, so his father had to sign the contract).

elvis and colonelc14a12cdb06b577407f_six_column

Over the years, many differing accounts regarding their relationship have surfaced. From what I can gather, based on snatches I’ve heard from sources that should be reliable, Colonel Parker was both beneficial and detrimental to Elvis’ career.

No one can argue that Elvis rose to mega superstardom never seen before or since. But how much of that had to do with the Colonel and how much was solely due to Elvis’ phenomenal talent and charisma? It appears the Colonel was more concerned with money than what was good for Elvis. While Elvis received 50% of the profits rather than a per picture fee, he was also more or less forced to star in movies that were considered laughable by some (although I personally enjoyed them immensely), rather than serious movies he could be proud of. As most know, the only movie Elvis made that he liked was King Creole. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of James Dean and Marlon Brando, but supposedly, the Colonel held him back from that. Robert Mitchum wanted Elvis to play in ‘Thunder Road’ but the Colonel refused to allow it.

Other notable Elvis/Colonel facts…

  • By the end of Elvis’ career, the Colonel was taking 50% of Elvis’ earnings, rather than the standard 10% for managers.
  • The Colonel never served in the military, but was given the ‘title’ by a pal. And, while Elvis never learned this, the Colonel’s true name was Andreas Cornelis Van Kujik and he was born in Breda, Holland and in the U.S. illegally. Elvis would have loved to tour overseas, but he was never able to because the Colonel feared deportation.
  • Scotty Moore, who was Elvis’ first manager and his original guitarist tells of a time early in Elvis’ career, before he made it big, when Elvis promised Scotty and Bill Black 50% of his earnings. Scotty told him that was way too much. He said Elvis would make it big and he shouldn’t offer such a high percentage. Scotty told Elvis that, if he wanted to, he could just give them 1%. Elvis agreed, but Parker took over his career and shut Scotty and Bill out of the earnings. Scotty did approach Elvis about it, but the Colonel had so much control over Elvis, he was more or less helpless. Obviously, Elvis was known for his kind heart and generosity, so he most definitely well-compensated those who worked for him. But as far as any contractual agreements, those were all controlled by Parker.

More Elvis Presley photos+ 10,000+ more pictures www.morethings.com/photo_gallery_index.htm

This is a rare and fascinating interview by Ted Koppel with Colonel Parker:


He starts out by saying he had little to do with Elvis’ success, but by the end, he is definitely giving himself a great deal of the credit. He also states that no one told Elvis what to do, but then admits to turning down a script that the producer said could almost guarantee Elvis an Academy Award because they couldn’t pay them what they wanted. I’d say that is a pretty damning admission. No doubt in my mind, the Colonel held Elvis back from doing the serious acting he desired.

I feel that the Colonel was a crafty manager and knew how to make a buck, but I don’t believe that he was the best choice for Elvis, and that Elvis could have done what he did, and perhaps exceeded that and at least had an opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a serious actor, with someone else managing him. What do you think?

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:


END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.


All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook


Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 61 – Elvis the Lonely

It’s difficult to understand why, but in spite of Elvis’ fame and the hordes of people who were almost always around him, he was actually very lonely. I think maybe that’s one of the reasons he surrounded himself with so many people, to fight that loneliness. I remember reading this story a while back, from a member of his entourage although I don’t recall which one, (this is the way the story was relayed):

“Elvis had been ill with a cold and he was in the music room playing gospel songs on the piano. I walked into the room and said, ‘How are you feeling, Elvis?’

‘Alone,” said the king.’


Many people who knew him have told similar stories. Longtime girlfriend Linda Thompson said Elvis told her that he was intensely lonely on the inside.

From friend, hairdresser and confidante, Larry Geller (taken from this website:  http://elvispresleybiography.net/index.html)

“Elvis sat in silence for a moment with his eyes fixed on the ground, then looked up at me. ‘No one knows, Larry. No one knows, an’ it might surprise you just how God-awful lonely I get, how empty my life feels sometimes.'”

When I first heard Elvis sing ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ back in 1973 during the Aloha from Hawaii concert, and he began with, “I’d like to sing a song that’s probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard” it had a huge impact on me. He’d done Don’t Cry Daddy, In the Ghetto, Long Black Limousine, Mama Liked the Roses, and no doubt heard countless sad songs in his life, yet a song about loneliness was ‘probably one of the saddest’ to him.

Watch the clip and listen to the haunting sadness in his voice. 😦 (Pay special attention to what he does at around :46 seconds. I must apologize in advance for the sexiness he throws in there. The man couldn’t do anything, even be lonely and sad, without also being extremely hot and sexy 🙂 )

Here, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry is sung by Hank Williams, Sr, who wrote it (and was one of the saddest men I’ve ever heard of.) This song was my dad’s favorite, so it makes me a little sad to listen to it, but it’s sort of a good kind of sad, because it reminds me of my daddy. 🙂

Two legends, two men who had so much talent and such a bright future, but were extremely lonely souls who died too young.

I’ve been alone a lot in my life. I live alone, and I spend a great deal of time by myself. But, I can honestly say, I never feel ‘lonely.’ There is a huge difference between being alone and loneliness. So sad that someone like Elvis had to experience it so intensely.


I have to wonder if Elvis feeling lonesome had something to do with his stillborn twin, Jesse Garon. Elvis always felt a part of him was missing, and he wondered what his purpose in life was, why he lived when his brother didn’t, and why fame came to him of all people. Most likely, it also stemmed from losing his mother, at a fairly young age, just when he was making it big.


What do you think? Any ideas about what contributed to his loneliness?

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:


END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.


All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook


Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment