Welcome to the Holidays with the Beachwalk Babes Hop!We're all sharing a story, tradition, or holiday memory, and every blog will be giving away a prize.
I'll be giving TWO winners a free download of either of my Beachwalk Press titles; Friends and Lovers or Grading on Curves - winner's choice.
Now I'd like to share a holiday memory.
When I was in first grade, we were between houses. Our new home was still under construction and our old house sold faster than expected which left us temporarily homeless.
We moved in with my mom's parents--briefly, but it wasn't ideal. Our entire family took over my teen-aged uncle's upstairs bedroom. Three kids on a bunk bed. My younger sister and I shared the lower bunk. My brother had the upper. Our parents were on a mattress on the floor. It was very cramped. We had to run downstairs and outside to their unheated porch to get clothes from our dressers, ignoring the cold December winds howling through openings and carrying snow against bare feet.
You can imagine how much all of us wanted that situation to be over. I can't say who snapped first or why, but I remember covertly moving into our unfinished house before it was ready for us. We snuck in like thieves and became squatters. Kitchen cabinets were still in boxes. No appliances had been delivered yet. There were no interior walls, just bare joists, and only one working toilet. If we wanted water, we had to run downstairs to the laundry room sink in the basement. That's all there was so far. Luckily the brand new furnace was working just fine.
Sidestepping tools, boxes of nails, and all the paraphernalia that goes into building, my dad swept out a corner in front of the bay window and my parents set up our first Christmas tree in the new house. That night they gave me and my sister each a Barbie knock-off they'd found at Texaco on our way there. My brother got a truck. Then, ushering us up the open staircase with flashlights, they put us to bed in what would be my brother's room. The three of us shared his full-size mattress. It made me think of my Little Golden Book of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, a favorite of mine because of the beautiful illustrations. While sugarplums danced in our heads.
We had a large and proper Christmas at my paternal grandparents' house the next morning with all the relatives, but I'll never forget our first Christmas in our new house with the improvised decorations, extension cords, and the feeling we were all in on something special and secret together.To read more about the books I'm giving away, just click on the image below to find reader comments, the first chapters, and linked reviews.
Can the man of Lauren’s dreams save her from the man in her nightmares?
One-on-one instruction never felt so right—or so wrong.
Be sure to leave a comment here to be entered into my drawing. Answer my simple question: Do you play host for the holidays, visit others, or have another holiday routine? That's it. Tell me, and you'll be entered to win one of my titles.
To visit the other participating blogs, enjoy more great stories and memories, and qualify for more prizes, just click on the Holidays with the Beachwalk Babes Hop banner and you'll find the list of participating authors.
Good luck and happy holidays!
Sad news hits all of us from every direction. Some will affect us directly. Most will be indirect, a glancing blow, if you will, prompting us to offer some kind of appropriate response.
This is where I always falter. Not because my heart isn't in the right place. Far from it. I have a habit of putting myself in other people's shoes, a tendency as natural to me as opening my eyes every morning upon waking.
Like many others, I'm instinctively moved to make a sympathetic, commiserative association with the sufferer of pain, not to detract from what they're going through, but rather to identify and share it with them the only way I can. By that I mean I offer equal or similar pain. Why? Because misery loves company. It craves it.
I fear the very compassionate impulse that drives me is sometimes misinterpreted and misunderstood. Pain itself can alienate us. Rather than see the associations as an attempt to build a bridge of empathy, these actions can be misconstrued, even seen as selfish or egotistical.
That's unfortunate because, while I could offer a standard sympathetic response to bad news, a simple I'm sorry feels woefully inadequate - especially when my first instinct is to share the sorrow by showing them they're not alone and I do understand and care.
Monday, December 2nd, ALL Beachwalk Press Books will be half off. That means, not only will you be able to find my two titles, Friends and Lovers and Grading on Curves at an amazing sale price, but the entire Beachwalk Press catalog is on sale! This is an eclectic mix of books guaranteed to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and heat preferences. Now is the perfect time to discover some amazing new authors. Just click the link and you'll be taken directly to the Beachwalk Press webpage.
I've been trying to catch up on my reading recently. Reviews will be coming. I wanted to start with the two Pepper Anthony stories I just finished. I read them back to back and enjoyed them both very much. There are so many talented authors out there to be discovered. I just found another.
I confess, Amber's menage fantasy titillated me so I started there.Here's the Blurb:If you had the chance to act out your secret fantasy, would you dare?
Ray Ferris is the first person to discover Amber Jackson's naughty secret desires. While helping her move some boxes, he stumbles on her stash of erotic romances featuring ménages. Despite a strict company policy prohibiting co-workers from dating, Amber finds herself inexorably drawn to Ray. She's never been attracted to a white man before, but his intriguing invitation to actually have sex with two men at one time captivates her imagination. When the barriers to their relationship are swept away, will Amber have the courage to finally act out her forbidden fantasy? And if she does, will the experience open doors to a whole new world, or cost her a chance at true love?Content Warning:
contains scenes of explicit sexual activityHere's my review.
Amber's Fantasy was a beautifully written story. The depth of the characters shine as they try and fail to keep their interest in each other strictly professional. I love the simmering tension between them.
But with the loss of one impediment, two more are presented.One is proximity, the other emotional. Can they move beyond the realm of a fantasy fulfilled and envision a more beautiful reality? Wouldn't you like to know? I highly recommend you find out for yourself.
Available now on Amazon
and Beachwalk Press
Here's the Blurb:
Can Macy and Jerrod overcome the differences in their age and race to find lasting love?
On Macy Wilson’s first grown-up adventure to the big city, she inadvertently ends up in jail. Her father hires an old college friend, defense attorney Jerrod Preston, to get Macy out of trouble. Jerrod is more than willing to help out his buddy by representing the gorgeous young black woman, but finds he must first battle his intense attraction to her, especially when the judge puts Macy under his protective custody.
Still an innocent at the age of nineteen, Macy ignores the differences in their age and race and sees the opportunity to learn all about sex from the handsome older man. On her second night in his home, a naked midnight rendezvous at the hot tub proves too powerful for either to resist, and Macy is awakened to pleasure like nothing she could have imagined.
But the morning brings feelings of remorse on both their parts. Macy knows her father wouldn’t approve, and Jerrod is convinced Macy should be with someone closer to her own age. They settle into an uneasy platonic relationship, both secretly longing for the love that now seems just beyond their grasp.
Then an unforeseen circumstance raises the stakes, and Macy must make the toughest decision of her life. When she lays claim to the man she can’t forget, will Jerrod send her away, or dare to open his heart to love once more? Content Warning:
explicit sex Macy's Awakening is only $.99 through the month of November so don't miss this temporary sale price!Find it now at Amazon & Beachwalk PressMy Review:
This May/December romance could just as easily have been titled Jerrod’s Awakening or simply Waking because Ms. Anthony deftly shows age alone isn’t an indication of being on the right track, or even recognizing it.
As an attorney, Jerrod has all the trappings of success, and none of the satisfaction. He’s alone and detached, merely going through the motions until this lovely young woman lands in his life. She turns his world upside down, energizes him, and helps him see things with fresh eyes. Their connection is truly more than skin deep, though there is certainly chemistry, too.
Macy is an unusual mix of naïveté and maturity. On the cusp of adulthood, she senses things intuitively, though she doesn’t have the experience to back her up. Naturally she’ll doubt herself, question her bold moves, even while she takes them. She’s a young woman on a quest to find herself, explore new feelings, and chart her own course.
It will be her determination, and the sense of confidence she’s gained from the two most influential men in her life, that ultimately helps her defy them both to seize what she wants.
About the Author:
Like most writers, I've worn quite a collection of hats over the years—voice actor, artist, bookkeeper, retail sales—but I've always wanted to be a writer. My biggest dream was to see my name on a book cover. Now, with the advent of e-publishing, the covers may be virtual, but the thrill of seeing my name on them is real. I am so humbled by the idea that my stories might draw in a reader and provide her an hour or two of entertainment.
I've been married to my best friend Tom for thirty years. Together we've raised two amazing sons, and recently welcomed our first granddaughter, Leona Mae. Most days you can find me at our family's computer repair shop in a small town outside Portland, Oregon. At night I go home to my rambling fixer-upper in the woods and toil at my writing, assisted by a small menagerie of furry assistants.
I love it when a reader takes a moment to reach out and let me know what she thinks of my stories. I hope you'll feel free to email me or leave a comment on my website.
Please visit Pepper Anthony's Website
, follow her on Twitter
, or connect on Facebook
Welcome to the cover reveal for two awesome stories coming in 2014. I can't wait! First is my friend, Beth Yarnall's latest: Dyed and Gone
Cozy Mystery Length:
400 pages ISBN-13:
9781622661237 On-Sale Date:
March 25, 2014 Imprint:
Entangled Select Book Description:
Hairstylist Azalea March is looking forward to a wild weekend in Las Vegas with her friends. Oh, sure, they’re supposed to be there on business, attending the biggest hair show on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun.
But fun quickly turns to drama. On the first morning of the show, Dhane, the biggest celeb of the hair-styling world, is found dead. As it turns out Azalea’s friend, Vivian, not only knew Dhane, but the tale she weaves of how they met is faker than a showgirl’s uh... assets. When Vivian confesses to the murder and is arrested, Azalea knows there’s no way she could have done it and suspects Vivian may be trying to protect someone. But who?
Azalea now has to convince Alex, the sexy detective from her past, to help her prove Vivian’s innocence and comb through clues more twisted than a spiral perm. But the truth is stranger than anything found on the Las Vegas Strip, and proving Vivian’s innocence turns out to be more difficult than transforming a brunette into a blonde. Dyed and Gone
is available for pre-order at both Amazon
and Barnes & Noble
About Beth Yarnall:
Beth Yarnall writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious blog post. A storyteller since her playground days, Beth remembers her friends asking her to make up stories of how the person `died' in the slumber party game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, so it's little wonder she prefers writing stories in which people meet unfortunate ends. In middle school she discovered romance novels, which inspired her to write a spoof of soap operas for the school's newspaper. She hasn't stopped writing since.
For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon with her very best friend. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives deep in the heart of 'The O.C.', California with her husband, two sons, and their dog where she is hard at work on her next novel. For more information about Beth and her stories please visit her website- www.bethyarnall.com Website: http://www.bethyarnall.com/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BethYarnall Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BethYarnallAuthor Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6431701.Beth_Yarnall
A Shot of Red by Tracy March Genre:
Romantic Mystery/Suspense Length:
400 pages ISBN-13:
9781622661251 On-Sale Date:
April 22, 2014 Imprint:
Entangled Select Book Description:
After fleeing DC following a one-night stand that had her reeling, biotech company heiress Mia Moncure has thrived working with a humanitarian aid team administering vaccines in Haiti. When the United States is threatened with a flu epidemic, Mia’s grandmother demands her return to unveil a new flu vaccine for Moncure Therapeutics. She arrives to find that her ex-boyfriend, the company’s PR Director, has died in a suspicious accident in Switzerland that Mia soon suspects was murder.
Determined to reveal a killer, Mia heads to Switzerland, where she’s threatened as she discovers a plan to infiltrate the vaccine for nefarious purposes. Desperate for backup, she turns to sexy Gio Lorenzo, Communications Director for her mother, a high-ranking senator—and Mia’s one-night stand. While negotiating their rocky relationship, they race to uncover a deadly scheme that could ruin her family’s reputation. But millions of people are being vaccinated, and there’s more than her family’s legacy at stake. Mia and Gio struggle to discover the truth about the scheme and their feelings for each other, but it just might be too late. A Shot of Red
is available for pre-order on Amazon
& Barnes & Noble
. * * * * Tracy March is giving away an Amazon/Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card worth $10 during this reveal.
I just learned yesterday Grading on Curves
is not only available at the Coffee Time Romance Bookstore, but to kick off their introductory promotion, they've dropped the price by 20%!
Instead of $5.50 (already a bargain in my opinion you'll only pay $4.40!
I'm not sure how long this sale price will last, so don't delay.
Just click on the cover to read the first chapter.
If you'd rather skip the foreplay and jump straight over to Coffee Time to take advantage of the sale price, click on Coffee Time Romance.
Oh, and don't forget, my GIVEAWAY is still going on to celebrate Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder
coming out on Audible. You can enter the drawing right here, either on my last blog, or go to the Tara Mills Romance home page
My sexy screwball romantic comedy Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder
is now available on AUDIBLE! Would I joke about this? Maybe...but this time I'm serious!
If you're a person who enjoys listening to books, you're going to get a kick out of this one. It'll have you cracking up, maybe even tearing up, as you listen.
Here's the blurb:
Sabrina Eckhart is losing it. Oasis, the restaurant she manages is getting battered by a trendy newcomer, and with everyone looking to her for ideas, you could say she's under a little pressure. But wait, that's not all. Her evil landlady has given her until the end of the month to vacate her crummy apartment. And her thirtieth birthday is looming, reminding her of the milestones she's missed. No wonder she’s distracted and driving off the rails…down the sidewalk, and nearly running over the man with amazing glutes.
Jackson Murphy is an avid jogger, and the local television station’s scrumptious news director -- if he can keep the job. Unfortunately, he has one year to resuscitate their wheezing news department or the owners are going to pull the plug. His hands are already full even without Sabrina dropping into them. The last thing he needs is to be involved with a publicity stunt.
The road to love is bumpy. It’ll take all of Cupid's arrows, and a lot of interference from friends, for these two to win the Dating Game.
Now you know you want to hear
more. Get Accidents on Audible.com. To celebrate this new format release, I'm also having a GIVEAWAY. I'll be sharing 5 FREE COPIES with my fans and friends. The purpose is to spread the word about this awesome story. So be sure to enter. Good luck!
It happened again. I was at a dinner party several days ago and the woman sitting next to me, having heard I'm a writer, asked what I write. I answered romance.
At seeing the change in her face, my husband instantly jumped to my defense, completely offended by her unchecked disdain. I love him for his noble reaction and pride in me. What I don't understand is why it would ever be necessary.
Everyone knows there are crap books out there. Hack writers abound in every form of fiction and non-fiction alike. These days, with vanity presses and self-publishing, there seem to be even more. Smart readers take the time to look at the sample of the writing provided before hitting the Buy/Add to my Cart button.
So why is romance viewed so differently? Why do romance writers seem to lose some of the cachet that other writers enjoy? There seems to be an unspoken assumption that writers separate out according to ability. Like cream, if you will. We all end up where we belong, based on aptitude.
I enjoy writing all kinds of things, most writers do, but I made a choice to focus on romance. Why? Because, like so many other women, I was once a little girl who loved reading fairy tales. I enjoyed stories with happily-ever-afters and romantic endings. They weren't simple or stupid. They taught love, sacrifice, noble actions, risks, and sometimes even death. Who wouldn't get excited about all that?
Romance is a broad label encompassing all of these things and more--updated for grownups. These stories touch on human frailties and strengths, kindness and cruelty. Within the various genres under the heading of romance are mysteries, suspense, ghost stories, and thrillers. You'll find historicals and sci-fi. There are bad-ass warriors and wrenching death scenes, characters with pure hearts and evil intentions. Some stories will be filled with fantasy, others grounded in reality and utterly recognizable to the reader. There might even be sex.
So what sets romance apart from other forms of fiction? Their focus on relationships and a happily-ever-after. Love isn't shoved into a closet, downplayed, glossed over, or ignored outright. Why should it be? What are we embarrassed about? That we might possibly discover we care? That these characters might form a bond before our eyes and ... oh no, pair up? Heavens!
I'm making light of people's discomfort with their emotions. Why? Maybe because acknowledging and embracing them takes courage. After all, we're at our most vulnerable when we take our emotions out of our drawstring bag and let someone else play with them. But denigrating love and romance because it makes you uncomfortable is a shabby thing to do, especially if you've never read one. So give them a fair shake before casting judgment on the quality of an entire genre and the writers who've chosen to create these works.
You might just be surprised.
Are you a person who likes thrills and chills? Does the thought of a night curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a horror movie appeal to you? Or are you like me, pretty much afraid of everything, including the weird and creepy images that suddenly pop into my head at random moments?
What scares you?
I have no trouble freaking myself out. I don't need any help. Blame it on my vivid imagination. Having one of those is essential for a writer, but that doesn't mean I have any control over what slips into my head at startlingly random moments. Some of it I'm gonna want to jot down before I forget it. Other images will send me into instant panic mode. I mentally shove them away, kick 'em back into my scary closet before they imprint themselves on my brain. That's a very real danger. If I focus on something alarming even a moment too long, chances are I'll be revisited by this image in the future. Doesn't matter if I'm awake or asleep. I'd much rather freak myself out with the next sudden surprise. It's always better to move on.
The crazy thing is, because of the way my brain is wired, I know what I'd do if my car plunged into a lake. I've seen the frozen ice cracking under my feet. I will never again go water-skiing because I'm not all that jazzed about a bloated body floating up next to me while I wait for the boat to make its turn to pull me back up again. Trust me, it's very unpleasant to feel a bluish-white corpse bobbing up against you. I no longer look in mirrors at night because I don't want to see something behind me. I make sure my curtains are closed after the sun goes down so I don't have to see that scary pale old man sitting in the chair on my deck, slowly turning his head to watch me. And if I have to visit the bathroom in the dead of night? You'd better believe I've got all the lights blazing so I can see what's coming for me. I plan ahead.
So, you won't find me watching a horror flick tonight. I'm going to watch, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charley Brown instead. I might even go so far as to watch Ghostbusters. That only scares me a little. I should be fine--as long as all the lamps are on.
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween!
I discovered something as soon as I finished writing my latest story. I wasn't finished.
Not only was it impossible to choose a title for this unusual love triangle, I was being nudged to keep going. The situation I put one of the characters into demanded further exploration. He deserves his own day in the sun, so to speak.
So I caved and began writing his story, the second in my very first series. No joke. I'm finally writing a series. Provided my publisher doesn't change things on me, Intimate Strangers
and Tarnished Hero
will be book one and two of The Pelican Cay Series. I've already got ideas for the third and fourth stories as well.
They'll be part of the new Secrets & Seduction line coming out in February 2014 from Crimson Frost Books
By the way, I'm extremely happy with the first and absolutely jazzed about the next as it strays across my screen. I'm really looking forward to sharing these.