Monday, April 14, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway!

 Please join me in welcoming Patricia Kiyono and Stephanie Michels, authors of The Friendship Star Quilt.

Here's a little about their book. Be sure to read the whole post for information about at $5.00 Amazon gift card giveaway!




What would you do if you had to start a new life with only the clothes on your back?

 

Anne Brown is faced with that problem. Running from an ex-husband, she travels alone until the money runs out. Since she’d married young, she hadn’t trained for any job skills. Fortunately, Anne knows how to sew, and she wanders into The Stitching Post Quilt Shop where she lands a job and meets the people who help her start over.  This skill helps her earn extra money, and she’s able to sew her own clothes using her employee discount. And on Tuesday nights, she meets a group of women who become her friends.

 

The Stitching Post Romances focus on the women in this quilting group. The Calico Heart was the first book in the series and was nominated for a RONE award for Best Contemporary Book of 2013. Patricia Kiyono and Stephanie Michels are pleased to announce the release of the second book in the series, The Friendship Star Quilt.

 

 

BLURB:

 

Anne Brown loves her job at The Stitching Post Quilt Shop in Grandville, Michigan, but she keeps a suitcase packed so she can leave at a moment's notice. Living under the radar, she longs for a normal life, but settles for listening to family stories told by the friendly ladies of the quilting club who meet at the shop on Tuesday evenings. When she meets Brad, the handsome band director of an area high school and his adorable daughter, Anne begins to hope for a happily ever after of her own. But someone has far different plans.

 

Brad Carmichael is juggling the demands of his job as band director at Rivertown High School with trying to be a better father to his daughter. When Brad is late picking Jennie up from a birthday party, the pretty young clerk from the local quilt shop comes to his rescue. Kind-hearted and talented, Anne becomes a vital part of Brad and Jennie’s lives. But her past threatens to destroy their relationship.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

 

Patricia Kiyono retired from public school teaching, and is now an adjunct faculty member at Grand Valley State University, where she instructs future teachers. Born in Japan, she lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from their five children and nine grandchildren. In addition to writing, she enjoys sewing, scrapbooking, playing in local bands and orchestras, and taking care of grandchildren.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stephanie Michels considers herself a “Jill of All Trades.” During her corporate career, she worked as a computer trainer, advertising copywriter, personnel agent, radio DJ, magazine columnist, and a financial planner among other things.  She recently left those behind in order to focus on writing full time.

Raised in Michigan, she lived in South Carolina, Missouri, and Germany, before returning to the Mitten State to raise her family.  When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her reading or spending time with family, friends, and Beta Sigma Phi sisters.

The Friendship Star Quilt is her second novel with writing partner, Patricia Kiyono.

 

 

BUY LINKS:

 

The Friendship Star Quilt is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, as well as other ebook outlets.

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

Stephanie Michels is giving away a $5 Amazon gift card at each stop of our blog tour to a random commenter. To win, please leave a comment about a skill you possess that helped you in some way. And to increase your chances, visit author Kristin Wallace’s blog tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Words of Wisdom and a Spotlight

Please join me in welcoming Zee Monodee and her new release, Light My World.

I had the pleasure of reading this wonderful story. It should be added to every one's to be read list!

Now, some words of wisdom from Zee herself. Take it away, Zee!



One of the first pieces of advice you pick up when you start writing is “Write what you know.” I’ll admit that when you are first picking up your pen to write, it is easier to write about something you have inherent knowledge of....
I wrote Diya Hemant’s story in 2007, when I was 24 – the same age as she. While I admit I had no plan at first to write her story (I didn’t even know she existed!), the minute she appeared in the narrative of The Other Side, Book 1 in the Island Girls trilogy and the story of her eldest sister, Lara, Diya proved herself a force to be reckoned with...and she left me with no other choice but to give her a happy ending after travelling along a rocky/twisted path.

I had never ‘planned’ her – she happened just like that. Sprightly, bubbly, so vivacious she could make you feel wiped out just by being around you, Diya just about wrote herself in with one of those takeover elbow nudges she can do so well when she wants something.
When it became time to write her story, I knew there had to be lots of aggravation for her. But how do you make life tough for someone who’s like a flighty butterfly and who only sees the good in everything?

Well, the idea came to compromise her plans...especially that of finding Mr. Perfect. The man who would land on her path would be everything except perfect, at least by Diya’s standards. So Trent Garrison became much of an oaf. Older and ‘wiser’ than her, jaded, pretty much discouraged by life after some setbacks in his past – he cuts her no corners. And, he came with family, to boot – he has 2 young sons.

Halfway through writing this story, it dawned on me how and why Diya’s story came to me so easily.
Because I was writing much of myself in her. Like I said, we were of the same age, and a few years prior, I had gone through a similar journey to find Mr. Perfect...only to land on an older man with a young kid and who, at first, seemed way off the idea I had of what my Prince Charming would be.

 So yes, “write what you know” was a big part of Light My World. I hope you’ll enjoy this glimpse into a (romanticized!) version of my own quest for Mr. Perfect turned out to be. I promise Diya’s is much more entertaining!
From Mauritius with love,

Zee
 
Now a little about Light My World!
 
Blurb:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that to find a prince, a girl has to kiss a few frogs along the way. But what happens when a modern-day princess comes across…an ogre?
So what if a girl has to kiss a few frogs to find her prince?
Tired of her Indian-origin mother’s relentless matchmaking, Diya Hemant is determined to find her Prince Charming on her terms. Armed with a definitive list of requirements, she is sure she’ll know her man when she meets him…
But looking and finding are two different things, especially on the tiny island of Mauritius…
When her path crosses surly British widower Trent Garrison’s, it’s hate at first sight. And though fate keeps pitting her against him, she’s certain he can’t be turned into a frog let alone a prince.
Can this modern-day princess overcome her own expectations and see beyond the ogre to the man beneath?


 
Excerpt 1
 
He heard more than felt the car hit the back of the SUV, which had halted in a screech of tyres. The smell of burnt rubber filled his nostrils when the calm came back. He expected the airbag to blow from the wheel, but none released.
Better and better. The car wasn’t only tiny, it didn’t even have an airbag.
A wave of concern washed over him. He wasn’t hurt. At least, he didn’t feel any pain. But what about the other driver?
However, as he stepped out of the car, the worry drained away as another, stronger emotion settled in. Anger.
What sort of inconsiderate driver stopped like that in the middle of a main road?
The bloke should be tagged as a public danger. To top it all, he was going to be late to see his children.
Bloody hell!
His tall height allowed him to peer into the vehicle without much difficulty. He swept his gaze over the top half of the interior, and puzzlement replaced his fury.
The car couldn’t be empty. Where was the driver? When had he had the time to get out of the vehicle?
Walking around to the front of the hood, Trent stopped in his tracks.
The body of an unconscious—or worse, dead—dog lay sprawled on the street. Sunlight glinted off its shiny, metal-studded collar. Must’ve been the reason behind the streak of light that had blinded him and the other driver, too, probably.
As he ran a hand in his short hair, he cursed again. How did the locals respond to accidents here? Especially when there was a death involved, even of a dog? Not something he wanted to find out, and not as a participant in this involuntary homicide.
With his hand on his mouth, he goggled at the dog that picked itself up and hobbled across to the other side of the road, before disappearing in between two rows of sugarcane.
What the hell? What was it with this strange island? Couldn’t anything be predictable on it?
The muffled opening click of a car door broke the silence, and Trent stepped back to glare at the person getting out, more like slithering out, of the SUV.
A slim pair of legs emerged and wobbled for a second after the sandal-clad feet hit the asphalt.
When the door closed, he glimpsed a short denim dress hugging a tiny frame. Straight black hair brushed the shoulders and the lapels of the collar, and framed a lovely, delicate face.
He had to blink a few times. The woman, or the girl, could pass for a life-sized doll. She stood no taller than five feet, so small he could probably encircle her waist with his hands. Her eyes were deep-set and dark, rimmed with black kohl. Her golden skin struck him as somewhat pale underneath her makeup, and she bit her full, pale lips, as if trying to work some colour into them.
“Thank God the dog is alive,” she said in a light, youthful voice. “I sure would’ve hated to have killed it. Lucky there isn’t any damage.”
Her voice reminded him of laughter, and the tinkling of fragile crystal flutes.
Shaking off the bizarre notion, a slow throb built in his blood. The overwhelming feeling settled as a twitch in his cheek, and he winced when a stab of pain shot from his clenched jaw.
No damage? What about his car? “Miss, you demolished my car.”
Nothing betrayed her cool composure when she checked out his car before staring at him again.
“Sorry, but you hit from behind. You’re at fault.”
He’d started to think that the delicate motion with her frail shoulder could topple her over, so much she seemed fragile. But the concern sputtered into outrage once her words registered. The cheek of the girl.
She’d stopped dead in the middle of the road. How the heck could it be his fault? “If it weren’t for you, none of this would’ve happened,” he snapped in a low growl.
She pursed her full lips, and jutted her pointed chin out in a fierce way as she settled her hands on her hips. Craning her slender neck to peer into his face, she stood her ground.
“Well, I should’ve killed the dog? This is what you wanted?”
“No, but—”
“And you wouldn’t have jammed into my car if you hadn’t been tailgating me.”
“I wasn’t tailgating you—”
“Yes, you were.” She poked a finger into his chest. “And you were speeding, at least a hundred where the limit is sixty.”
Could this girl be for real? “Miss, you were going faster than me, so don’t get on your high horse here.”
She poked him again. “Stop evading the issue. It’s your fault.”
Disbelief strangled his throat. She glared back, not in the least bit intimidated by the fact he towered above her by more than a foot.
At the same time, he flinched under her accusing words. Kill the dog. Right. Like he’d have wanted to kill a poor animal. What was it about this scrap of a girl that had him so ruffled?
A thought struck him. “Are you old enough to drive?”
“I’m twenty-four years old, for your information,” she said, spitting the words out at him.
So she could be held responsible for the accident. “My car is damaged, and it’s your fault.”
Blimey. They sounded like little children during kindergarten recess in the schoolyard.
He should drop this matter, deal with her like the adult he prided himself to be.
If she’d let him, though. Her dark eyes grew even darker as they narrowed on him. Fire, or ice, burnt in them. Her voice dripped with frost when she next spoke.
“I thought British men were supposed to be courteous.”
“I beg your pardon?” She’d done it again, struck him speechless. Unbelievable.
She fluttered her hand before her in an evasive gesture as she shook her head. “You know, proper British manners. Can’t say you’ve shown any so far.”
How could she sound so righteous, as if she were the injured party?
“How do you know I’m British? Does it read not-from-Mauritius somewhere on my face?”
“Your accent,” she said. “You speak just like Hugh Grant.”
Hugh Grant? That pasty-faced pin-up?
Even better. Not. “Thanks. It’s a very positive compliment.”
Trent had the pleasure of seeing his sarcasm unsettle the unnerving Miss Know-it-all. Her chest rose and fell in rapid succession as she glowered at him.
“You’re so….” She paused and seemed to search around for the proper word. “…obnoxious.”
And she was a brat. Nothing more.
Her barb hit home, though. He’d been called many things in his life, but this one was a first. And coming from a tiny lady like her, he didn’t know whether to laugh or be annoyed. He couldn’t remember the last time, if ever, he’d had such a verbal joust with someone. Loath as he was to admit, but tangling with her tickled him as stimulating as the encounter unnerved him.
Blimey, he had no time to dwell upon that. He was getting late. And he itched to shut the little spoilt princess up.
“My, incredible,” he said. “A pretty head as yours came up with such a big word. I sure hope you won’t get a nosebleed from too much brain activi—”
Yes, he’d been callous, but the sight before him horrified him more. He stood there, his jaw slackening as his mouth fell open.
“What?” she asked.
He pointed at her face. “Your nose. It’s bleeding.”
 
Tidbits about the Island Girls series
 
- Book 1, The Other Side, was the eldest sister, Lara’s, journey to find herself after a painful divorce in England. Back in Mauritius, where her divorcee status makes her a pariah, her path crosses that of her very first love, Eric Marivaux. Eric is white...while Lara is brown. Colour codes shouldn’t exist in modern times, but they’re still very much alive and thriving on the island! Released June 30, 2013.
- Book 3, Winds of Change, follows Neha as she must come to terms with widowhood and the fact that her marriage has always been a sham. In waltzes a man with the ability to make the perfect, ‘saintly’ widow she is burn with passion like she never suspected existed. Will the saint turn into a sinner, or find her rightful place simply as a woman? Coming soon in 2014.
Buy Links:
Trailer:
 
 
 
 
 
About the author
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture
Zee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.
From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favourite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.
Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is a head-over-heels wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween son, best-buddy-stepmum to a teenage lad, an incompetent domestic goddess, eternal dreamer, and an absolute, shameless bookholic. When she isn’t penning more stories and/or managing the Ubuntu line at Decadent Publishing, you can bet you’ll find her with her nose in her tablet, ‘drinking in’ a good book.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In the Spotlight...Nicole Zoltack

Please join me in welcoming Nicole Zoltack to my blog today. Her book, Starving for Love, released yesterday! 

Blurb:

Sirena never thought a trip to the surface would change her life forever until she meets Kristian. The sea might hold her body, but Kristian now holds her heart. Their love can never be, however, for she is a mermaid and he a human.
Rushing to steal some time with him, Sirena swims as if sharks are after her only to find Kristian's lifeless body in the sea. Heartbroken, she turns to a sea dragon witch. With the promise to bring Kristian back to life at the mere cost of Sirena's memories of him, the sea witch works her magic. Only, Sirena isn't specific enough with her request, and her love returns as a zombie who threatens the mortal world.

Longing to fill the emptiness inside, Sirena swims to the surface and discovers a distraught child crying about a monster eating his family. Appalled at the notion, she promises to slay the monster, not knowing she is seeking to destroy the man she loves.    


Buy Link:

Amazon




Bio: Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, or regency. When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In the Spotlight...Wendy Knight!

Please join me in welcoming the talented Wendy Knight to my blog. Her newest release, The Spark of a Feudling, is featured today.

Blurb: 



Hate can start a war, but a shattered heart can fuel it for centuries.
Everything Ada does is wrong. She’s the daughter of a Duke but she isn’t proper or formal. She prefers the company of her servants—particularly Christian, the boy she’s loved since she was six years old, and his sister, Charity, Ada’s very best friend in the entire world.

Ada isn’t just the daughter of a Duke. No, she’s the daughter of one of the most powerful Edren sorcerers alive, and no matter how strong she is, it isn’t strong enough. Ada will give up almost everything to earn her father’s pride.
Christian has loved Ada since the day his mother became her governess. But two societies are determined to keep them apart—the aristocracy who say a groom will never be good enough for a Duke’s beautiful daughter, and the sorcerers who say a Carules and an Edren can never be together. Christian will do anything to make Ada his—even drive himself to madness.

When Ada suspects her father of hurting Charity and Christian in his quest for knowledge, she is torn between loyalty to him, and a fierce determination to protect them. The division tears her soul and breaks her heart.

The pieces of her broken heart will start a war that can only be stopped by the death of the most powerful warrior alive by the hand of the boy who loves her.


****
**Bonus Story –Feudlings in Peace**Join Ari, Shane, Ada, Christian and everyone they love as they chase their happily ever after.
 


Excerpt:


He sprinted down the path, into the forest, leaping over huge rocks and tree roots and through streams he couldn’t see but his magic told him were there. He had no idea where he was going, but there seemed to be a tether from his heart to hers — he always knew where Ada was. He ran straight to them, nearly colliding with her father’s guards as he raced through the thick trees.
“What happened to her?” he bellowed, jerking Ada out of Davis’s bloodstained arms.
“She was hit, saving me,” Harrison answered. “Can you help her?”
If there had been time, any time at all, Christian would have paused at that. How exactly had his tiny little Ada saved the giant Harrison? But there wasn’t time. He laid her on the thick grass, searching for the wound. But there was so much blood.
“There!” Davis snapped, jabbing the air above her stomach.
Flames roiled across Christian’s hands and he held them above her, letting the flames soothe the skin before he tried to touch it. They swirled through the air, seeping and mending the broken, charred skin.
“Does she breathe?” Harrison asked, crouching close to put his face next to her mouth.
Christian ignored him. He didn’t care if she breathed or not.
She would breathe, or he would die with her.
“She does.” Harrison sat back, relieved.
“Can you not heal at all? Stop the blood flow from her shoulder!” Christian snapped.
Harrison gaped at him. “We’re Edren. We don’t heal.”
“I’m Carules and I can throw a lirik if need be,” Christian muttered under his breath, but he couldn’t argue with them now.
She moaned.
They all froze in shock, and then redoubled their efforts. Davis jerked his shirt off and held it to her shoulder while Christian’s blue flames leaped and danced from his hands, fighting the poison eating through her body.
“Christian. I knew—” she whispered as her skin healed, leaving only pink burns behind.
“Shhh. Don’t speak. You’re still very weak.” He moved from her stomach to her shoulder, pushing Davis’ shirt out of the way. It was stiff with dried blood and she shrieked when he ripped it from the wound. “Forgive me, dear one,” he whispered, his mouth near her temple, kissing the pain away. “Forgive me.”
“I knew… you would come. I knew you… could heal me.” Her eyes fluttered open, dazed with pain, dark orbs barely reflecting the moonlight.
“Always, Ada. Forever.”

Buy Link:

Amazon 
  

Author Bio and links:


Wendy Knight is the bestselling author of the young adult series Fate on Fire and Riders of Paradesos. She was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, no touching the knives…you get the idea). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big—her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing. 





Social Media Links:
Blog: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wjk8099
Instagram: http://instagram.com/wendyjo99