Summer Reads – 2014 Edition

It’s summer–though you wouldn’t know it here in Stockholm with its cloudy skies and days so chilly I am still wearing a sweater. When can I expose my toes to the elements? Is it even worth investing in a pedicure when it’s not proper sandal-wearing weather? Ah well… at least I have my summer reading to look forward to, and I’ve already started with a few books I’ve had on my To Be Read List for a while.

Me-Without-You-Kelly-RimmerMe Without You  - Kelly Rimmer

I received an ARC of Me Without You from Bookouture, who’ve quickly become one of my favorite publishers. So far, every book I’ve read from their authors has packed an emotional punch or had that smart vein of humor I appreciate. Kelly Rimmer’s Me Without You is in the “packs an emotional punch” category.

Lilah & Callum are a case of opposites attracting. Lilah is an environmental lawyer whose quirkiness and love of going barefoot initially do not attract Callum, a workaholic who has put his career before his social life. But it doesn’t take long for sparks to fly and for Callum to realize that he is hopelessly in love with Lilah. Their story starts with the perfect “meet cute” and progresses into the story of the progression of their relationship, not an easy feat for two people who say they do not want or have time for commitment. But neither is prepared for just how much they will change one another. Well, I won’t give away any details. All I can say is you must read this book. And it’s true–if you loved One Day by David Nicholls, I’m pretty sure you’ll also love Me Without You.

Heres Looking At You Cover

Here’s Looking at You – Mhairi McFarlane

I absolutely loved Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello, so I was jump-up-and-down excited when I heard she had a new novel out. Here’s Looking at You tells the story of two former classmates, outcast Anna Alessi and the über cool James Fraser. Back in high school, Anna had a crush on James and, when he finally paid attention to her, she had no way of knowing it would lead to her being humiliated in such a way that it continues to eat away at her self-esteem. Fast forward to their high school reunion. Anna has a job she loves but her social life is a bit of a dud and she’s ready to give up on dating. And just when she thinks she can’t possibly go on another dismal online date, James Fraser walks back into her life and he appears to be a changed man. Should she trust him? You’ll have to read the book to find out. ;)

Loved that this story was told from both Anna and James’s POV. It’s a quick read that’s funny, intelligent and romantic. I give it two thumbs up!

Love-Lies-and-Lemon-Cake-Sue-Watson

Love. Lies & Lemon Cake – Sue Watson

Another ARC I received from Bookouture and this one falls under the fun category. Love, Lies & Lemon Cake is a story about second chances at life and love. Faye always wanted a life of adventure but she had to set her dreams aside when she unexpectedly became pregnant while in college. She long to recapture the woman she used to be–and being in a job that leaves her unfulfilled and being unhappily married to a man who she can’t remember ever really loving isn’t helping matters. And then she meets Dan, a gorgeous Australian surfer who works at her local deli and just happens to be a great baker.

Faye decides to take a chance and live the sort of life she always wanted, even if it means leaving her husband so that she can recapture her sparkle and embark on a relationship with someone new. Love, Lies & Lemon Cake is a heartwarming story about the curveballs life can throw you and what happens when you stop doing what is expected of you and start doing what makes you happy.

Jojo Moyes One Plus One Cover

The One Plus One – Jojo Moyes

I’ve been a big fan of Jojo Moyes’s books ever since I read Me Before You (if you haven’t read it yet, do so NOW). I absolutely loved that book and I am sure Hollywood will sink its claws into it and absolutely ruin it, but it will never destroy my love of Me Before You. Now Jojo Moyes is back with The One Plus One, which I read while I was on vacation in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. This is another classic “opposites attract” tale with a twist.

You have Jess, a scrappy single mom who is struggling to make ends meet and help her children, quirky math whiz Tanzie and Goth stepson Nicky, survive the council estate where they live. Jess cleans houses when she isn’t waitressing at the local pub. One night she ends up helping Ed Nicholls–a man whose life looks perfect on the surface but a stupid mistake has put him on the brink of losing everything–and this chance encounter links them in a way neither expected. Heartbreaking, emotionally driven and full of wonderful character development, it’s a story that doesn’t let go. It’s not a beach read; this is a novel that you want to be able to read when no one will disturb you. Send your kids out to play, give your hubby endless errands to run and sink into this book.

Addicted Zane

Addicted - Zane

I don’t I’d ever read anything by Zane prior to beginning Addicted other than the blog she used to maintain. I’d always said I’d read one of her books but never really got around to it. Then I saw a trailer for the movie based on Addicted and it looked intriguing. A woman struggling with her addiction to sex and the threat giving in to her desires has on her marriage…and her life. Love it so far and I am only about a third of the way through the book.

My only beef at the moment has nothing to do with Zane’s writing and *everything* to do with the publisher trying to rebrand this book like it’s a Fifty Shades of Grey wannabe. C’mon, Atria, the red tie in focus? A total copy of the grey tie from Fifty Shades (one of the worst books I’ve ever read, by the way) and Addicted doesn’t need to be rebranded like an EL James rip-off when this book was published way before EL James even started writing erotica.

On My TBR List

The AffairThe Affair – Tia Kelly

From the blurb:

For every secret, there’s a lie.

In her novella The Affair, Tia Kelly takes the reader where married men aren’t supposed to go… into another woman’s bed.

 

Finding Forever

Finding Forever - Christina C. Jones

From the blurb:

After her latest ill-fated attempt to find a forever relationship of her own, Tori Kennedy is content with connecting the dots for others, bringing them together in pursuit of lifetime love. Fresh off of the demise of her marriage, she decides to take advantage of an opportunity to do something a little — okay, a lot — crazy, and heavily fueled by an overload of emotions.

Thinking that her impulsive decision and its disastrous results are behind her, Tori moves forward with her pursuit of a happily single existence, until her best friend contacts her with a request that places a constant reminder in her life : Avery.

Avery Anderson is the epitome of “the kind of guy your momma warned you about.” Handsome, successful, charming… and not at all interested in being roped into anything that resembles love. Tori ending up in his bed doesn’t surprise him at all — it’s just what he does— but his feelings afterwards? That’s another story. An ultimatum placed on him by his little sister puts him back in arm’s reach of the pretty matchmaker that he can’t get off of his mind, but she’s not taking the bait this time.

Tori just wants to be rid of him so that she can move on with her life, and it’s not Avery’s style to chase someone who doesn’t want to be caught. When both parties are content to let the spark flicker out, can love — or something like that— still lead the way to forever?

Redemption Key

Redemption Key – S.G. Redling

From the blurb:

Her narrow escape from blue-eyed assassin Tom Booker has made former data analyst Dani Britton question all of her choices—like trusting “good guys” who carry badges. On the run and haunted by the government-sanctioned massacre of her coworkers, Dani finally settles in remote Redemption Key, Florida, at a bar where strong drinks and shady deals are the norm.

The bar owner, a local operator with a past of his own, gives Dani a job, no questions asked, and soon Dani’s ability to “read” the sketchy characters doing business at the bar proves invaluable. The libations flow, and the Key’s laid-back vibe and warm waters start doing their therapeutic work. But as the mercury rises, a twisted deal starts to go down—threatening to take Dani with it. Like sharks smelling blood, players on both sides of the law circle for the kill. And when charming apex predator Booker joins the frenzy, he may turn out to be the only one on Dani’s side.

 

Happy reading! :)

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Book Review: Love Me for Me by Jenny Hale

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 11.48.55Jenny Hale has done it again–written a great story about second chances at love with characters you really care about.

At first glance, you think Libby in Love Me for Me is going to be one of those difficult to like city slickers who pop up in novels, TV shows and movies–you know the ones I mean–like Eva Gabor’s character in Green Acres who is too glamorous for this little town–but we soon learn that first impressions aren’t always correct. We learn that Libby grew up in White Stone (a town that reminds me a lot of the little town where I spent many childhood summers in Virginia) and that she is returning to her hometown rather reluctantly after losing her NYC job and fiancé.

While Libby tries to get her life in order, she reencounters Pete, the hometown boy who broke her heart, and rediscovers what she loves about the town and the people there. She gets the chance to be herself–not the girl she has had to become in New York–and to right a few wrongs along the way.

A lighthearted story that you’ll zip through and wish were just a wee bit longer so you could stay in White Stone for an even longer visit. Two thumbs up, Jenny!

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Reading List, Review, Rom-Com, Romance, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog Tour: Keeping Secrets by Kiru Taye

Keeping Secrets by Kiru Taye
Contemporary Romance

BOOK
BLURB

Have you ever loved someone and didn’t even know it?

That’s the dilemma facing Felix Essien when he wakes from a coma to find he is married to the most beautiful and sensual woman he’s ever known. He cannot remember her or their wedding; he who had sworn never to get married or to give his heart to another. Yet, he feels an intense bond with her that he intends to explore fully.


Ebony can’t believe her good fortune when her paper husband wakes not remembering the temporary marriage arrangement with no intimacies he’d proposed, and is now the adoring husband she’s always dreamt of.


She plans to make the most of the passion blossoming between them. However, would he still feel that way when he regains his memory and realises she’s been keeping secrets and their marriage is not what he thinks it is?

Keeping Secrets Playlist
 
 
Top Ten Facts About The Main Characters

 

 

So many unanswered questions. They wouldn’t all be answered today.
“What are you doing here?” He’d ordered her to take the day off. So had his father.
“I know what you and Daddy said.” She looked away from him. “I met up with my
friend for lunch and I enjoyed being pampered at the spa. But I’ve been here
every day since you’ve been hospitalised and it felt strange not seeing you.”
“But the chair…you shouldn’t sleep in it.”
Shoulders rose and fell as she looked up at him through her long, dark lashes.
“When I arrived, you were asleep, so I decided to read. I didn’t realise I was so
tired. I just drifted to sleep.” She bit her bottom lip, drawing his attention
to it.
The need to kiss her overpowered him. On impulse, he settled a hand on her back,
pulling her close. With the other, he lifted her chin and lowered his head to
meet hers.
Muscles on her back tensed. He massaged her skin like he would a skittish horse before
a game of polo. With gentle brushes, he swept his lips across hers. The sealed,
luscious pair called him to mine their depths. Instead, he coaxed and stroked
and traced them with his tongue from one end to the other, bidding his time.
He’d caught a glimpse of her banked passion yesterday when he asked about their
wedding night. No matter what else went on, they desired each other. Mutual
attraction.
With a low moan, she leaned in and opened for him. As he slipped in, her sweet flavour exploded on his tongue.
She tasted of peppermint and vanilla. In the recesses of his mind, the kiss registered. He’d
done this before. Tasted her.
A groan rumbled within and he slid his hands around her waist and lifted her onto
his lap so that she straddled him.
Whimpering, she rubbed against him, hips canting against hips, supple breasts crushed to
his chest.
Needing intimate contact, he ran a palm over her side, skimming the swell of soft
breasts down to the hem of her tunic. He lifted it, his hand making contact
with smooth, warm skin. Another moan escaped her lips. He swallowed it, loving
her sound and taste. Moving his hand up till it reached her breast, he caressed
it through the lace of her bra, flicking the already taut nipple with his
thumb. 
In response, she ground against his bulge.
Sweet fuck!
 
 
Coming to Barnes & Noble soon
A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket
with a torch at night. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s
still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book. 
During
the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual,
atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or
travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and
children.
You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest
Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website: http://www.kirutaye.com
Link to her Amazon author page

 

To celebrate the release of Keeping Secrets, Kiru is giving away a goodie pack which
includes $20 Amazon gift card, signed paperback of An Engagement Challenge,
Keeping Secrets t-shirt and face cap.
Leave me a comment to stand a chance of winning and complete the rafflecopter to enter
the contest.

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Contemporary Romance, Giveaway, Multiculti Romance, Multicultural Romance, News, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Interview: Getting to know Tia Kelly

A few weeks ago, I discovered indie writer Tia Kelly via another fellow writer, Nia Forrester. I’d just finished reading Nia’s novel, Mistress, which I loved, and was waiting for her next book, Wife, to come out. Then Nia shared a post on her blog about Tia Kelly and her latest novel, Taste for Love, and it sounded like it was right up my alley–and it most definitely was.

So without further ado, let’s get to know Tia Kelly!

10364484_215119008697142_832864325_nWhen did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and enjoyed the creative side of story telling. I guess it’s in my bloodline and I’ve always known the passion existed.

How would you describe your writing for people who’ve never read your work before? And which book would you recommend they start with?
I am a contemporary fiction writer. My novels have elements of realism and romance, but I love to explore characters lives…. one moment at a time. I would recommend The Love Sessions to become familiar with my work.

How would you describe your writing process?
That’s a hard one. The writing process for me changes with each novel. It all depends on what my characters lead me to do and I will follow wherever they want me to go. Chances are I will play with a few ideas in my head just to get the characters talking. Then I will either just start writing or jot down a very loose outline. I hate to even call it an outline. From there, anything goes.

When did you decide you wanted to self-publish your writing?
A wonderful author suggested it a few times and I was always afraid to give it a try. One day, I uploaded Love’s Rebound just to get reader’s feedback using Amazon as a pseudo-online writing class and haven’t looked back since.

What would you say are the most important lessons you’ve learned since you began publishing your writing?
Patience. I sometimes struggle with patience in my every day life, but it’s something I am getting better with thanks to writing. I had to learn that I need to give a story time to grow before it hits the pages… patience in the process of seeing it evolve while I write it… extreme patience when I get excited to write or release the next one. Learning how to give my story time to breathe… Patience would be one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned so far.

One of the aspects of your writing that I really admire is how your characters come across as real, flawed and not necessarily perfect. How do you go about creating characters? Do they come to you fully formed, or is it a long process in creating each nuance?

Thank you. I just want to write real life, especially with love. I am an unapologetic people watcher. I observe and listen to everything. I watch mannerisms, I listen to tone, I try to get all of my senses involved so when I write those elements are translated to the characters I see playing the scenes out. Usually these characters whisper softly, hinting about what they have the potential to become. Then out of the blue they show up ready to go, literally taking me by the hand and jumping into the story with me.

A lot of writers complain about finding a good balance between “real life” and writing time. How do you manage the delicate balance?

I haven’t figured that out yet, but when I do I’ll be sure to let you know. I write all the time, especially in my head. Writing rarely takes time off and pushes it’s way into my real life.

What’s next for you now that Taste for Love is live? Have you already started working on your next book? If so, could you tell us about it?
I am working on a few things right now. The one I can talk about is the next novel in the Wilkersons in Love series. Jeremy Wilkerson is content with his life and has no desire to fall in love again in Ready for Love. This novel features Alejandra, Javier Fernandez’s sister from my novella, Yours.

Tia’s Taste for Love Playlist

Philadelphia plays a big role in your latest release, Taste for Love (which pleases me as a transplanted Philly girl). Tell us why Philadelphia ended up being the setting for Taste for Love, and what is it that is so special about Philly that non-natives just don’t understand?
Philadelphia is just a great city. Perfect location for so many other things outside of the city, too. Taste for Love ended up in Philadelphia because that’s where the entire series takes place. It’s where a few of the characters play professional sports, which is perfect since Philadelphia is such a big sports town. My next novel, Ready for Love, is about Jeremy Wilkerson and he works with renewable energy. Philadelphia plays a big part in the country’s renewable energy market, too. It’s just a great city and one of my favorite places. It just felt right to use it as the setting for a few of my novels.

What advice would you give to young writers who are just starting out?
Just keep writing and never stop. And read!

Many thanks to Tia for taking the time to answer my questions! Interested in finding out more about her writing? Check out her Amazon Author Page for a list of all her available titles. 

Posted in Chick Lit, Chick Lit & Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Indie Writers, Interview, Multiculti Romance, Multicultural Romance, Romance, Self-publishing, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog Tour: Midwife to Destiny by Nana Prah

Midwife to Destiny
by
Nana Prah
Destiny Series, Book 1
Contemporary Romance, Multicultural
Midwife to Destiny Dream Cast
 
I’d be ecstatic to have my latest release, Midwife
to Destiny, turned into a movie. Let me take it a step further and make it into
a series. Since its set in a hospital, it’s not a huge stretch of my
imagination. So much drama, so many episodes. Who would I have as my dream
cast?
To be fair to book two in the series,
Destiny Mine, which features the sassy Esi and arrogant Adam, I’ll only focus
on the hero and heroine for Midwife to Destiny, Ora and Jason.
 
 
 
BLURB:
Ghanaian nurse Aurora ‘Ora’ Aikins never expected to find the love of her life while on vacation in South Africa. Engaged to another and believing that love has no place in her life, she returns to Ghana, and puts duty and honor first.
Three years later, Dr. Jason Lartey still can’t get Ora out of his mind or his heart. After learning she never married, he takes a risk and moves to Ghana hoping to rekindle what they started. His sudden appearance in Ora’s Emergency Department sends sparks flying all over again.
They’re in the same country, working in the same hospital, and together but distance creeps between them. Can they make their destined love one for the ages? 

Buy Links
At ten past seven, Jason strode through the door of McDonald’s. What the hell had
brought him here? Staying away from her proved impossible. He’d been sure when
he woke up in the morning that this fascination with her would have dissipated.
It hadn’t.
He spotted her sitting in a booth and his step faltered. Her beauty overwhelmed
him. Today, her shoulder-length, straight hair framed her heart-shaped face.
Her almond-shaped, hazel eyes drew him to her like a black hole vortex. His
life would never be the same again after knowing her.
“Hi. Sorry I’m late,” he said.
Ora smiled and his heart flipped over. He tapped his chest with a fist and
dismissed it as indigestion.
“I can forgive you for being ten minutes late.”
“How’s your wrist this morning?”
“A little sore, but the swelling has decreased. I didn’t need to wear the bandage
today.”
The need to touch her again burned through him. “Let me take a look.”
She extended her arm. Just as it had been in the hospital, the contact of her warm,
smooth skin sent little shock waves into his fingers to course up his arm. His
reaction to her, both in the physical and, as much as he hated to admit it,
emotional sense, had confused him when they met. Early in his career, he’d
learned to detach himself from patients and deal with them on a professional
level, but not with Ora. With nothing more than her presence, she’d broken
through his clinical coolness.
He’d fallen into unknown territory and had been in danger of crossing an ethical
line, but for this woman, he didn’t care.
 
 
Nana Prah was born in Ghana, West Africa, raised in the US and currently resides in Ghana where she loves her job as a writer and nurse educator. She has been
writing since she can remember (in her journal) and has been an avid reader of
romance novels since the eighth grade. She has finally been able to utilize the
years and years of inadvertent research into writing her own romance novels
where love always conquers all.
Twitter
@NanaPrah
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Review: French for Always by Fiona Valpy

The-French-For-Always-front-cover-800pxThe perfect rom-com recipe for the summer needs a few key ingredients: a beautiful location, a heroine we cheer for, a problem that seems insurmountable and, of course, the guy who turns out to be exactly the person our heroine was looking for. We want romance, we want an escape, we want to dream ourselves away and get lost as we read, and Fiona Valpy, author of The French for Love (which I reviewed last year), delivers on all points with The French for Always.

So what’s the set up? Meet Sara and Gavin–they’ve left England behind to live in the French countryside, running a boutique wedding venue. After months of renovating their dream chateau and finally getting their business going, Gavin decides this isn’t the life he wants, cheats on Sara and then buggers off. Reeling from the discovery of Gavin’s infidelity, Sara has to do everything she can to keep her business going and hold on to her dream of the home she’s never really ever had. And then…love steps in.

Intrigued? You should be! The French for Always is such a charming book and the perfect page-turner for lazy days. Sara is a great romantic heroine–she is resourceful even when faced with the possibility of losing everything she’s dreamed of, she is strong and big-hearted. By the end of the book, you feel like you’ve gained a new friend. The secondary characters will also put a smile on your face. And the descriptions of the Bordeaux countryside make me long to go to France (and I am a confirmed Italophile!) and wander among the vineyards…

I really enjoyed The French for Always! I’m already looking forward to Fiona Valpy’s next book. :)

Rating: 5_Star

Happy reading!

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

Posted in Chick Lit, Chick Lit & Women's Fiction, Review, Rom-Com, Romance, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Everyone will …

“Everyone will have gone then except us, because we’re tied to this soil by a roomful of trunks where the household goods and clothing of grandparents are kept, and the canopies that my parenrs’ horses used when they came to Macondo, fleeing from the war. We’ve been sown into this soil by the memory of the remote dead whose bones can no longer be found twenty fathoms under the earth. The trunks have been in the room ever since the last days of the war; and they’ll be there this afternoon when we come back from the burial, if that final wind hasn’t passed, the one that will sweep away Macondo, its bedrooms full of lizards and its silent people devastated by memories.”

 

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leaf Storm and Other Stories 

 

 

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Congratulations, Donna Tartt!

donna tarttThis year’s Pulitzer Prize recipients were announced and the winner of the fiction prize is Donna Tartt‘s novel, The Goldfinch. Congratulations, Donna!

I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Donna Tartt. It all started back when I was working on my MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her first novel, The Secret History, had just been published, and everyone was talking about it. I was really looking forward to reading it–I’d read some of her short fiction and loved it, so I was certain I’d love The Secret History. Well, that didn’t really happen. Everyone else loved it. I hated it. I thought maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it, so I set it aside and decided to give it another try later. So I waited…in fact, I waited six months and tried again. Nope, no dice. Still didn’t like it. I felt like I’d been duped. I thought the language was inauthentic, and I couldn’t suspend my disbelief to accept that anything like what was taking place in the novel was even possible. I shoved the book back into my bookshelf and forgot about it.

Fast forward a few years and I moved to Sweden. I was having a hard time finding any books in English that I really wanted to read and books in English were rather expensive for a very broke English teacher who was only working part-time. I was going through a box of old papers and found my copy of The Secret History, which I didn’t even remember packing. Out of desperation, I began reading it again. This time, though, I really enjoyed it. Perhaps it was the watery grey light of Swedish winter that lent itself to the book’s mood. Suddenly, I liked The Secret Historythough I never fell in love with it in the same way that many others did.

But I came to see that Donna Tartt‘s writing style was moody, lush and exquisite. When her next novel, The Little Friend, was published, I practically devoured it. It was such a riveting story…terrifying, compelling and a great example of modern Southern Gothic.

Now it’s been a while since The Goldfinch was published and, while I have it on my To Be Read List, I haven’t managed to get to it yet. Perhaps it’s time. It’s been on my Kindle long enough.

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Blog Tour: Zack Love’s The Doorman and City Solipsism

Book Blitz Banner The Doorman Cover Synopsis

Alex seems to have it all: a great penthouse apartment, a lovely girlfriend, and a prestigious Wall Street job. But below the surface he is sure of nothing but his angst-ridden doubts. And when he realizes that his doorman may be God, or sent by God, he will question things like never before.

This novelette is a story of New York doormen, tormented love, empty office life, and the theological questions that arise in response to the horrors of evil.

City Solipsism Cover Synopsis

Have you ever been on a train, bus, metro/subway — or any other shared space with strangers — and started to wonder what that person right next to you is thinking? Did you ever start to think or hope that maybe your temporary neighbor was somehow sharing your thoughts and/or desires? Ever sensed some sort of romantic connection or sexual tension and wished you could get into the individual’s head, to know for sure?

“City Solipsism” will take you on a journey into the mind of one commuter on a New York City subway car, riding next to and thinking about a person standing awkwardly close…The man and woman are total strangers but their proximity is almost intimate, as their hands share the same metal subway pole…

NOTE: Readers seeking the over-top-hilarity of “Sex in the Title” should know that “City Solipsism” is written in a very different style. Rather than a comedic series of misadventures in New York, this short story takes more of a philosophical and psychological walk through the mind of one New Yorker observing and speculating about another.

Buy Now

CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

AMAZON * AMAZON CA * AMAZON UK

Goodreads Graphic

THE DOORMAN

AMAZON * AMAZON CA * AMAZON UK

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CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

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MeetTheAuthor

Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter / Sex in the Title Facebook

Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he tried to create a bachelor’s degree in Women. With the bachelor portion of that degree in hand, he settled in New York City but – to afford renting his bed-sized studio – found himself flirting mostly with a computer screen and stacks of documents. Determined not to die a corporate drone, Zack decided to sacrifice sleep for screenwriting, an active social life, and Internet startups offering temporary billion-dollar fantasies.

To feed his steady diet of NYC nightlife, he regularly crashed VIP parties in the early 2000s and twice bumped into his burgeoning crush, a Hollywood starlet. But – much to Zack’s surprise – neither of those awkward conversations led to marriage with the A-list actress. Zack eventually consoled himself by imagining fiascos far worse than those involving his celebrity crush. In the process, he dreamed up a motley gang of five men inspired by some of his college friends and quirky work colleagues. And thus was born Sex in the Title. But the novel is not autobiographical: Zack never had his third leg attacked by any mammal (nor by any plant, for that matter). In fact, keeping his member safe has been one of Zack’s lifelong goals – and one of the few that he’s managed to accomplish.

Excerpt

THE DOORMAN

During my first year at 777 Fifth Avenue, I came to realize that Lenny had never made a false prediction or failed to supply the correct answer to a question, no matter what the subject. He wasn’t just a handyman who could fix a twitching toilet or stubborn sink; he could look at his watch while taking you down in the elevator and accurately estimate the number of minutes before a downpour would start or a cab would show up outside. He could tell you the corner where the scent of fresh lox and bagels mixed just right with the scent of the neighboring Laundromat; he knew the best place to buy your curtains or cut your hair or get your suits dry-cleaned; and he knew every phone number you needed, like the yellow pages on two short legs. He was a pipe-smoking almanac, energetically rattling off any fact about the world. “Bhutan’s current population? Let me see,” he would say, looking up for a moment before launching into his usual light-speed speech, “2,047,453. But seven more were just born yesterday, so it’s at 2,047,460 now.” Of course, I couldn’t verify such a preposterously precise claim, but he was always right about everything else, so I was inclined to believe him. He could tend to any wound or malady, as though he had perfectly mastered the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, and his advice always seemed more effective than any doctor recommendation I obtained. And despite the swiftness of his incessant chatter, there wasn’t a word he uttered without gentle passion and infectious enthusiasm. And so he would engage you in some topic you never imagined could interest you for more than a polite minute – the history of vacuum cleaners, or the different flavors of ice cream in China, or the intricate ways of the delicate blue ball turning third in line from the sun. The elevator ride would be over but you’d still be listening until someone else called the elevator or Lenny jokingly reminded you that you had originally entered the elevator with a look of great purpose. Mercifully enough, Lenny always kept it brief in the mornings, knowing that I had to be at work by 8:30 a.m.

At one point, I began to think that I had a divine doorman. Lenny was the most unlikely incarnation of God I could imagine, and yet I kept drifting irresistibly towards this absurd conclusion. Despite my staunchly atheistic inclinations, I couldn’t explain Lenny any other way. But eventually I came to my senses and realized that he was just one of those game show freaks with an encyclopedic memory. That didn’t make him God, did it? Would God proclaim so regularly how much he likes Patsy’s Pizza?

Excerpt

CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

The pages of my calendar flip by faster each year as the bewildering march of time presses forward through alarm clock blues, dinners at the office, and “free time” planned away – in the same way – month after month. As I stand on the same subway platform, waiting for the same local train, I think to myself how youth is marked by a breathtaking novelty that diminishes with each year of age – until life becomes a delusive struggle to break routines, escape the ordinary, and rediscover the joy of discovery.

“What does it take now – as a ‘grown-up’- to make a month memorable?” I wonder. “How do you make treading the treadmill feel like trailblazing a trail? What would make this morning any more remarkable than any other morning?”

And then I notice someone who doesn’t look quite so beleaguered by it all. She’s a woman in her early-twenties with features that hail from either Italy or Spain – I can’t be sure because it’s been about six years since I played my guitar for coins across Europe (and even then, I wasn’t great at differentiating Italians from Spaniards).

Summer sticks to her skirt sumptuously, in the shiny gray fabric hanging loosely from her curves. Her chestnut eyes, apparently hidden from strangers; her simple but graceful face, unpainted by Madison Avenue; and her straight black hair, parted down the middle without ego, all suggest a minimalist – almost pastoral – beauty that is oddly discordant with her fashionable attire, comfortable indifference to the crowds, and quasi-attentive perusal of the Time magazine unfolded over her hand.

I don’t know her name and I’m sure that I’ve never seen her before, but there is something familiar about her. She seems to have this schizophrenically interested or curious look that reminds me of the female shoppers I once observed in a busy Florentine marketplace. The young Italian women in that spice-filled outdoor market, buying their extra virgin olive oil and red ripe tomatoes, seemed flirtatious in their enjoyment of the young men eyeing them, yet guardedly guilt-ridden about any deviations from a properly Catholic day of shopping. And here in our subway car, the way in which this bucolic belle’s eyes occasionally seem undecided between the text of her magazine and the people standing around her makes me wonder how those Florentine shoppers would look if their daily routine were transformed from an outdoor Tuscan shopping spree to an indoor New York subway ride. Would they all look at the magazines in their hands more or less than this woman two feet away from me does?

At the risk of fetishizing an unsuspecting subway rider, I’m going to call her “Florence.” The name of that city evokes in me so many magical memories that I’ll call her “Florence” even though the vestiges of my origin-detection skills insist that her roots might actually be Spanish. Calling her “Madrid” just wouldn’t sound as good, and admitting my uncertainty by calling her “Southern Europe” would sound even worse. So she’ll be Florence for now.

Teaser

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Blog Tour: Stealing His Heart by Ella Jade

Stealing His Heart

by

Ella Jade

Erotic, Contemporary Romance

 

When the players take the field this spring come meet my players…

Stealing His Heart Guest Post

Ella Jade

 

From Ella: Who Wants a Hot and Sexy Baseball Hero? Book Boyfriend Material…

When the players take the field this spring I have a sports romance to help heat up your night.

Do you like sexy, dirty talkin’, southern pitchers? Paxton Hughes may be your next book boyfriend.

 “Baby, I have a filthy mind, and you’re on it constantly.” He squeezed her against his side as they walked. “If you could see the things I see in my head when it comes to the two of us, you’d be blushing all the time.”

 Pax has got to be one of my naughtiest heroes. When I created him I wanted him to have that raw charm that would not only make a girl swoon but make her drop her panties too. He’s hot, charming, athletic and know how to treat his girl. Who would say no to all of that?

The cool thing about writing this kind of man is developing his transformation when he meets the right woman. Paxton changes for the heroine, Sophia, but in a good way. She never asks him to change but as their relationship grows he becomes more of a man a girl would be proud to call hers.

 Don’t worry… although his character evolves throughout the book he never loses that sexy edge that makes him yummy. He stays true to that bad boy persona so many of us have grown to love in our romance heroes.

 I hope you’ll consider adding Stealing His Heart to your TBR pile.

  

Will the bad-boy pitcher strike out when it comes to love?

Shy music teacher Sophia Ballis has sworn off men. After a bad experience with a college jock she decided it was better to be alone than to get burned again. She focused on her education and now her new job at a local private school.
Professional baseball pitcher Paxton Hughes is a player both on and off the field. He’s signed to the Kingston Crushers to bring home the coveted championship title. Nothing can get in his way. Serious relationships don’t mix with a life on the road and he never loses focus on the game. One-night stands are his specialty for a reason.

While out jogging one spring morning, the two collide, setting their course in motion. Pax is immediately drawn to the unassuming beauty. Sophia is aware of his reputation and decides one night of meaningless sex with the attractive Texas charmer is just what she needs to get over her self-imposed dry spell. Pax has more than a one-night stand on his mind, but will his bad-boy persona and demanding schedule ruin any chances of a happily ever after?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

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“Can I walk you to your car?”

“Thank you.” Sophia got up from the table and took his hand. “I’m parked right out front.”

Pax led her across the dance floor, waving to the few people who were left, and then out to the parking lot.

“It’s that one.” She pointed to her beat-up car, the one she’d bought her freshman year of college. It was used then but it still managed to get her where she needed to go. “Probably not as nice as what you drive.”

He leaned her against the car and wrapped his arms around her waist. Her heart pounded hard against her chest, strumming loud between her ears. She could smell the beer that lingered on his breath. His hazel eyes narrowed as he swiped the tip of his tongue along his top lip before tilting his head.

“I have a feeling I’m going be seeing you in my dreams tonight.” He sighed as he brought his mouth to hers. “Give me something to remember these next few days.”

She nodded as she placed her hands on his broad shoulders and guided him to her, closing any space between them. When his warm lips touched hers, she thought she would explode. A burn coursed through her and settled between her legs. The mild tingling she’d experienced when they danced was nothing compared to the intensity she felt now.

As he deepened the kiss, his tongue massaged hers. Increasing his hold on her hips, he pinned her between the car and his massive thighs. She tightened her grip on him when his erection grazed her center. Every nerve ending in her begged to be satiated. The ache inside her stomach moved lower until the dampness invaded her panties. Her nipples poked against the thin material of her silk bra.

When she moaned into his mouth, he placed one last kiss on her lips before pulling away. He looked at her for a moment, pressing his forehead to hers, as he stuttered a few words.

“That was…well, I’ve never…” He ran his fingers through his hair. “You have me tongue-tied, sugar. That doesn’t happen often.”

Now she wanted to know what else he could do with that tongue.

“You best get in that car and drive away before I…”

She’d never wanted to have a one-night stand more than she did at that very moment. Maggie had said if there was ever a guy to have one with, Pax would be the one. He was a no-strings-attached player. Why hadn’t he asked her to go home with him?

“Be safe driving home.” He reached for the handle and opened her door. “You have some sweet dreams. I know I sure will.”

Sleep? That was the last thing on her mind.

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

You can connect with her at:

Blog: http://ellajadeauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ella-Jade-Author/186959391390708?ref=hl

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellajade1

Ella is giving away a Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer, A Keychain with the cover art and signed swag to three winners throughout the tour. Enter here…

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