Release Blitz: Chasing Cassidy by D. Kelly

Title: Chasing Cassidy
Author: D. Kelly
 Release Date: July 28, 2015
Blurb

When Zachary Stafford first set eyes on Cassidy Pope she was being beaten by her father. After witnessing the traumatic event, he made it his mission to befriend her. As the years pass, their relationship evolves and Cassidy not only gives Zack her friendship but her love, as well.Cassidy spent her childhood being verbally and physically abused. The best part of her life is her friendship with the Stafford twins, Zack and Rylee. Although she tries to put on a brave front, the years of abuse have turned Cassidy into a woman filled with insecurities who doesn’t believe she deserves love. Especially not the kind of love Zack has given her for the last twelve years.

On their wedding day, Cassidy’s insecurities get the best of her and she does the one thing she knows how to do well…she runs. Zack is devastated and when he discovers why Cassidy ran, his devastation becomes fury. Long ago, Zack made Cassidy a promise he fully intends to keep and sets off on a journey to bring her back into his arms where she belongs.

Will Zack and Cassidy get their happily ever after, or will Cassidy’s inner demons keep her from getting the only thing she ever wanted in this world? To be loved.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK
Excerpt
Releasing my hands, he pulls my dress over my head and runs his hands across my black bra and gives my breasts a quick squeeze. When he reaches my panties, he slides his hand inside and cups my pussy, sliding one, then a second finger inside of me. My eyes close momentarily while I absorb the exquisite feeling of him inside me. It’s been too long.

“That’s my vixen. Wet as fuck and just aching for me to make you scream. My fingers are the only ones that ever belong in your pussy, Cassidy.” Chuckling, he corrects himself, “Well, mine and yours. You know how much I love watching you finger yourself until you come.”

“Zack.” His name falls easily from my mouth as he continues to finger me. There’s no way anyone could ever make me feel as amazing as he does. He’s right—he’s the only one for me, the only one I could ever love. I know that more and more with every passing second we spend here, but I still have a secret to tell him.

One that will change everything.

As he slowly pulls his fingers out of me, he brings them to his mouth one by one, tasting each one slowly, savoring the taste of me on his tongue. It’s as if he’s enjoying his favorite dessert, the eroticism of the moment is heady.

“Fuck, I’ve missed tasting you on my lips, and I’ve really missed running my tongue along your sweet, tight pussy as you come all over my face.”

Suddenly, he flips me around, holding both wrists in a single hand above my head with my face against the wall. His teeth bite down onto my shoulder but he soothes the pain with a swipe of his tongue and with the touch of his kiss against it.

“Perhaps I should punish you for running. What do you think? What should the punishment be for delayed sexual gratification?” Zack’s punishments are filled with pleasure and just the thought of it makes me want him even more. With my history, there’s no spanking, but the exquisite pleasure he brings me while he has me tied up is incredible.
 
 
Also Available
The first book in The Acceptance Series
is currently free
 
AMAZON US / UK
and 99c at B&N
Author Bio

I’m a wife, a mom, and a dog lover. I’m also a taxi, problem fixer, extreme multi-tasker, and my kids’ biggest fan in anything they do. I’m married to my high school sweetheart… how cool is that? Margaritas and sarcasm make me happy. Chocolate makes that happiness grow exponentially. People who make me laugh are my favorite kind of people. I believe Karma is a bitch who slaps back hard and mean people suck. I’m California born and raised, and I love the beach but hate the sand. And, of course, I believe Starbucks makes any day better. I’m the author of The Acceptance Series and Chasing Cassidy with more books soon to come.

Author Links

Blog Tour: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22840182-the-summer-of-chasing-mermaids
http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Chasing-Mermaids-Sarah-Ockler/dp/1481401270/http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-summer-of-chasing-mermaids-sarah-ockler/1120488443
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481401272
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O66042I/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00O66042I&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
Title:The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre:
Publication Date: June 2015
About the Author:

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of six young adult novels: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Her short work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Teen Me and Defy the Dark.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, tea drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in the Pacific northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and at sarahockler.com.

 

Release Blitz: Rekindling the Flame by L.V. Lewis

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LIVE!!!

REKINDLING THE FLAME

(A Second Chance Romance)

 summary (1)

Sabine Beaudelaire returns to her hometown of New Orleans to the bedside of her favorite uncle, Sebastian Beaudelaire, who’s been in a horrific accident and lies comatose at a local hospital. Estranged for six months from her fiancé of eight years, she still hopes for reconciliation. Enter a gorgeous man she affectionately dubs “Hot IT Guy”, whose sex appeal–and open season at her family’s secret sex lair–fills her head with thoughts of propositioning a man for the first time.When it becomes apparent she’s lost the love of her life to a more accommodating woman poised to give him everything he desires, Sabine’s hopes are shattered.

With career benchmarks looming, Sabine is fulfilled by her work but lacking a love to call her own, a situation which Hot IT Guy, aka Xander “Fish” Fishbourne is eager to remedy.Is it by coincidence or by design that Xander, her protective older brother’s high school friend who once admired her from afar, becomes her guest at the Den of Sin? Who cares? Her dormant libido needs a serious kickstart since she and her fiancé called it quits. But will this weekend of sexual freedom rekindle an old flame, or will it further complicate her already complicated life?

Rekindling the Flame is a second chance romance bringing an alpha hero back with a woman he wanted before any other, and a heroine whose dominating older brothers shielded her from every man’s advances. Now they’re , together again at the Beaudelaire Big Easy Luau, a Den of Sin event where long held fantasies are made to be acted upon.

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Author Bio: 

Growing up, L.V. Lewis wanted to be an internationally known rock star, but unfortunately, lived in the wrong part of the country to pursue that career (and neither American Idol nor The Voice were available then). An early love for the written word gave her the plan B she sought. Her career as a contract manager was not creative writing by a long shot, but it didn’t require her to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars required for a law degree. It does pay the bills while she dabbles in the publishing world as an author on the evenings and weekends.

LV lives in Florida with her husband. They are the parents of four children, three of whom don’t think they need their parents anymore, so they share their home with a sweet female German Shepherd and an alpha male Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix who thinks he rules the world.
Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.

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Look for these already LIVE great reads from Holley Trent and Melissa Blue!

(Click the covers to read summaries and buy)

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His Every Touch Cover

Blog Tour: Same Time Next Week by DL White

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Same Time Next Week Blurb
From the author of ANONYMOUS and Brunch at Ruby’s comes a decadent, sexy, indulgent Interracial Romance. 

In a past life, Jackson Sweeney, child star and former member of award-winning male vocal group ‘Boy Wonder’, was more rich and famous than he’d ever imagined he could be. But that was then. Now he’s returning home to Orlando to take on a new job– Music Director to rock’s reigning Prince, Rod Phillips. On an early morning shopping trip, he meets a disheveled insomniac named Shelby. 

Shelby Morris is a troubled young woman in hiding and on the run. Her past involves a fiery accident, a murder accusation and an escape from Miami in the dead of night. She doesn’t sleep, so she wanders until dawn. On a warm twilight morning, she happens upon music’s most eligible bachelor at the grocery store. 

Sparks fly, especially the next morning when they accidentally-on-purpose meet up again. After a flirty first date, they decide to meet up again the next week. And the next. And the next. Soon, Thursdays come to mean decadent chocolate cake, sweet red wine and two bodies intertwined.

Every attempt to get to know this beautiful, mysterious woman is rebuffed; Shelby is cagey, full of secrets that can’t be pried from her. Jackson can’t risk another relationship where he gives more than he gets… but Thursdays have become a habit that his body can’t do without.

 Eight seconds turn Shelby’s life on end, luring an old enemy from the shadows. Jackson is poised to learn more than she ever wanted him to know about the woman she used to be. And this time, her mistakes could hurt someone she’s come to love. 

This summer, Thursdays will never be the same…

Purchase Links
Amazon.com
Smashwords
Lulu.com

Excerpt

The cage of the grocery cart rattled on wobbly wheels as he slowly pushed it up one aisle and down another. Jackson wasn’t much of a cook but he could make easy dishes if the directions were clear. He loved those one box meals– pour it in a pan, shove it in the oven. Warm up some rolls and there you have it. It was nothing fancy, but it was dinner. And if he couldn’t stop by a Taqueria in the middle of the night and get a burrito, the least he could do was have something easy to make and warm up when he got home.

It was going to be a long year.

The store was virtually empty; a few cashiers, an overnight manager who didn’t even look up when he walked past the Customer Service counter, stock boys refilling shelves and maintenance gliding over the floors with dust mops, emptying garbage cans, washing windows. It seemed like a peaceful job, if you were a night owl. Not a lot of people around to bug you, pretty much the same deal, night after night after night. Maybe, when he was done with all of this music industry business, he could retire and work at a grocery store, and work overnights, and make it his job to see that the windows sparkled, and the floors were clean, and the shelves were stocked.

Yeah, right.

Jackson heard the front doors slide open and then close again. Someone else liked shopping at 4 AM, it seemed. He’d made his way around most of the store, his cart only half full of boxed food, cereal, milk and bottled water. He stopped at the vitamin section, overwhelmed with all of his choices—One-A-Day for Men, One-A-Day for Energy, Vitamins added C, D, and E…
He pushed his cart, steering it toward the next aisle. With a loud rattle and the vibrant clang of steel on steel, he collided with something he couldn’t see around the bend.

“Sorry, sorry. My fault.”

“It’s okay,” said a female voice from around the corner. “I’m sort of not paying attention, either.”

His cart wouldn’t pull back for some reason, no matter how hard he pulled, so he had to walk around and inspect the wheels. As he expected, he’d rammed the other cart so hard that the wheels rode up and got caught in the rungs at the bottom of the other cart. The harder he pulled, the more he was melding them together.

“Uhm. Our carts seem to be uh… intertwined, here.” Jackson bent and pushed and pulled and tipped and twisted, and finally they came apart, rolling away like they couldn’t stand to be near each other.

“Thanks. Sorry, I guess I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

Jackson stood, wiping oil and dirt off of his hands onto his jeans, reaching out for his cart before it knocked boxes off of the shelves. He redirected it and lifted raised his face to hers. “No problem. It was my fault, anyway.”

She smiled back and for a millisecond everything was fine. And then he saw it, in her eyes. Recognition. That look that women got when they realized who was standing in front of them, that split second of trying to decide if they should freak out or play it cool, say something or let it go, ask for a picture or an autograph and a serenade, or respect his privacy.

“Well, it was nice running into you,” she said, her smile a little wider.  She had a dimple. It was cute. She was cute, despite a half up, half down messy pony tail and an inside out t-shirt. Her eyes were red-rimmed, though and she looked tired. “Maybe we’ll do it again sometime.” She was going with playing it cool. Good choice.

“Sure,” he said with a chuckle. “Anytime you’re out shopping at five in the morning, I’m game.”

“It’s a date. Well… I’ll let you get back to your… shopping.”

He watched her back up and steer her cart around him, on her own trek through the store. He might be missing Kim but he was still a man with a libido and still knew what a pretty woman looked like. He could only imagine how she looked when she tried.
He poked his head around an end cap that boasted 50% off of Flintstone Vitamins, Bayer Aspirin, and Calamine lotion and watched her walk toward the frozen food section. His eyes fixed on two perfectly formed cheeks, hugged and outlined by the fabric of her yoga pants as they moved with her slow, sexy sway across the dull linoleum. His eyes roved up her body quickly before she could move out of his line of sight to her thin waist, slight shoulders and long neck. He wished he’d paid more attention to the front of her, but the back of her wasn’t a bad view at all.

She turned her head as she was about to go down an aisle. He quickly ducked back behind the end cap. Flushed and embarrassed, he pulled his cart down his own aisle and headed toward checkout. Praying she hadn’t seen him leering at her like a creepy old man.

But afraid that she had.

Author photo

Author DL White

About the Author DL White

As the daughter of a serviceman, I am formerly from all over the place; however I have lived in the grandest city in the south, Atlanta GA, since early 2003. I’m a northwestern girl at heart but I think I’ve finally got this southern thing down… the tea is sweet and the fish come with grits!

I’m a lover of technology, a fan of brunch and am seriously addicted to coffee. I am hardly ever serious and ridiculously sarcastic. I devour books (and Skittles) and have been blogging my thoughts on books and writing at TheSweetEscape.net since 2009.

I previously released a short story entitled ANONYMOUS in December 2014 and my first full length novel, Brunch at Ruby’s, was published in March of 2015. I have been writing for most of my life but began seriously pursuing a writing career in 2009. More than four years later, I’m loving my experience as an Independent author and I hope to be able to provide more good reads for those that enjoy them!
For more information about me or my writing, I’m a click away! Find me online at:

Facebook
Twitter
Website
Email
Amazon Author page

OTHER TITLES BY THIS AUTHOR

ANONYMOUS, a Short Story
Brunch at Ruby’s

Giveaway

Click the link below to enter DL White’s Same Time Next Week giveaway. There will be four prizes drawn

  • (2)$25 Amazon gift certificate
  • eBook edition of Same Time Next Week
  • Paperback edition of Same Time Next Week

Winners will be drawn and notified via the entry email submitted to Rafflecopter

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Review: Olivay by Deborah Reed

OlivayI stumbled upon Deoborah Reed’s Olivay thanks to fellow writer and Matera brainstormer, S.G. Redling. A few days ago, she mentioned it in a Facebook post, and it caught my eye. I loved the premise: a woman, widowed one year, brings home a stranger and spends the night with him–the next day bombs explode in Los Angeles, not far from where she lives–and the stranger she brought home may have saved her life…and he may have been involved.

Olivay is a literary thriller that–even with its very tight timeline–slowly unfurls, not rushing to reveal all its secrets. Even with the backdrop of the novel being set against a terrorist attack during the LA Marathon that is exacerbated by the Santa Ana winds and wildfire, Olivay tells more than just the story of a terrorist attack. It is the story of a woman struggling to emerge from her grief. It is the story of two people finding one another. It is the story of discovering that your marriage is not what you thought it was. It is the story of a murder and of reinventing oneself.

What I love about this novel is that both of the characters–Olivay and Henry–are so

Author Deborah Reed

Author Deborah Reed

marvelously flawed. Both are unreliable yet vulnerable. Sometimes both are so solicitous of one another and yet capable of cruelty. Olivay recounts at one point that both her husband and her mother accused her of being full of meanness. There are times when her behavior towards Henry seems to confirm this and yet, there are other times when she is so tender towards him–even when she begins to feel suspicious of his skittishness.

This is one of those pageturner novels–seriously, I had a hard time setting aside my Kindle because I didn’t want to stop reading. And it’ll have you guessing as you try to figure out Henry’s–and at times, Olivay’s–intentions. The descriptions–of the bombings and its aftermath are so rich and so powerful… Of course it will remind you at times of that surreal, disconnected and yet hypersensitive state many of us were in following the September 11th attacks and the Boston Marathon. Reed’s use of how the media reports misinformation and retractions is especially important to the plot and helps to increase the novel’s frenetic tension.

Olivay is a fantastic, thought-provoking novel to lose yourself in this summer. Make sure you get a friend to read it at the same time–you will want to discuss it as soon as you finish reading it!

Loved it!

My rating?

5_Star

Blog Tour: Perfectly Broken by Prescott Lane

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Even after years of trauma therapy, Peyton still believes she’s broken. She has little desire to date or show off her natural beauty, content simply to hang out with her best friends and run her pie shop in New Orleans. But her world turns upside-down when a handsome architect and self-confessed player shows up in her shop and thinks she’s perfect, much more than the usual hook-up. While Peyton does her best to resist his charms, believing she could never be enough for him, she can’t deny the obvious heat between them. With Reed determined to have her, Peyton must decide whether to continue to hide behind her apron and baggy clothes or take a chance and share her scars with Reed, a man with a playboy reputation and scars of his own — a dark past he can’t possibly share with Peyton, not after learning the horrors she’s endured. But if they can find a way to trust each other, and themselves, they just might be able to heal, to save each other, to live perfectly broken together

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon US * Amazon UK

Excerpt

“Sometimes it’s better to push people away, so you don’t hurt them,” Peyton said, “and they don’t hurt you.”

“Bullshit!”

Peyton shook her head.  “I’m never going to be whole again.”

“That’s bullshit, too.  I won’t have talk like that, Miss Peyton.  I just won’t have it.”  Dr. Lorraine cocked her head to the side.  “It’s time for a change in direction — a serious change of direction.  This is what we are going to do.  You made a lot of progress with Reed – lots of good oral and other stuff.  But now you’ve cut him off, and I see you backsliding.  I don’t like to see it.  I won’t allow it.”  She stroked her chin then cracked her knuckles in preparation for some great declaration.  “I’m prescribing a little retail therapy.”

“What?” Peyton cried.

“Yes, that’s what I’m prescribing.  You get that friend of yours, Quinn, and hit the shops – Canal Place, Magazine Street, St. Charles Avenue, wherever,” Dr. Lorraine ordered, her whole body bouncing.  “I don’t want to see you in those sad, baggy ass clothes anymore.  Just looking at them, they mess with my head, and they screw up my whole day.  You ever think about how they make me feel?”

“No,” Peyton said with a laugh.

“Makes me sad.  I hate them.  So I want new shoes, clothes, athletic wear, undergarments!  Everything new.  Got it?”

“How is this therapy?”

“Honey, you’re hiding again.  You’ve flipped your sex switch back to off, and I’m not about to let it hibernate in some frozen tundra again for years.  We’ve worked too damn hard.  You need to get in touch with your sexuality without a man helping you do it.  You have to do it.  And clothes are the perfect place to start.”

Peyton shrugged.  “I don’t feel like it.”

“You don’t feel like it?  Tough shit!  I didn’t feel like getting my pap smear last week, but I did.”

Peyton smiled.  “It just seems like a waste of time and money.”

“Well, if you don’t want to do it through clothes, I can prescribe something else.  Maybe a pole dancing class?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Or daily masturbation?”

Peyton rolled her eyes.  “Fine, I’ll get the clothes.”

“Good,” Dr. Lorraine said, writing in Peyton’s chart, as if filling out a prescription to take to the drugstore.  “Among other things, I want you to get some power panties.”

“Power panties?”  Has she been talking to Bret?

“Sexy underwear,” Dr. Lorraine said, still writing.  “They can make a woman feel very powerful.”  She put down her pen and looked at Peyton.  “When a man wants to be taken seriously, he usually wears a red tie.  Ever notice that in presidential debates?  Lots of red ties.  Red is the color of power.”  Dr. Lorraine waved her hand and snapped her fingers.  “So get yourself some red panties, girl!  Take back your power!  Do it for yourself!”  She handed Peyton her prescription.

“I didn’t realize my power was in my underwear.”
About the author

Prescott Lane is the author of First Position and her new release, Perfectly Broken. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Centenary College with a degree in sociology. She went on to receive her MSW from Tulane University, after which she worked with developmentally delayed and disabled children. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

Connect With Prescott Lane

Website – http://www.authorprescottlane.com

Facebook – facebook.com/PrescottLane1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/prescottlane1

Instagram – http://instagram.com/prescottlane1

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/PrescottLane1/

Review: In the Nothing by Nia Forrester

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 21.13.58Nia Forrester’s In the Nothing is one of those stories that sticks with you. This emotionally-charged story is set in Washington, DC and focuses on Trinity, a young woman temporarily living with her verbally abusive aunt and her disaffected cousin while she tries to figure out a better situation for herself. Trinity has been living with them since her mother died of AIDS and has had to deal with her aunt’s fluctuating moods and her cousin’s resentment. All Trinity wants is a better life and, when her aunt tells her one time too many that it’s time for her to look for a new place to stay, Trinity goes uptown and stumbles upon a job at a health food store called the Green Banana. There she meets the charismatic and sometimes very cruel Skylar, who pulls Trinity into her sphere and exposes her to a completely different kind of life.

All I can say is…WOW. In the Nothing shakes you and doesn’t let go. Trinity’s story is so riveting that you can’t help but feel empathy for her, even when she is doing things you wish she wouldn’t. And her cousin, Chanelle, who is silently struggling with depression yet has no way of dealing with it, has perhaps the most heartbreaking story. Her search for love doesn’t go as she’d planned but at the end of the day there is hope for her. And then there is Skylar–dynamic, spoiled, entitled Sklyar. We all know someone like her. She is a whirlwind of unnecessary drama and her bouts of generosity are almost always followed by thoughtless (and sometimes intentional) cruelty. We all know someone like her.

One of the things that I really love about In the Nothing is how Nia handles this story of haves and have-nots. Too often, less-experienced writers simply portray the haves as being entitled whites without considering that entitlement is not simply relegated to whites. Having grown up in a working-class Philadelphia neighborhood and gone to school in a very diverse, affluent neighbourhood in downtown Philadelphia, I could relate to this story. Trinity and Chanelle’s uneasy relationship was almost too close to home for me–I understood Trinity’s desire for something more than the limitations her old neighbourhood represented and I understood Chanelle’s initial inability to realise that her fate was in her own hands.

Pure magic, Nia. Pure magic.

My rating?

5_Star

Getting to know Ines Johnson

It’s time for another instalment of my “Getting to know…” series. Today, author Ines Johnson is joining us. I first heard about Ines through Facebook–we’re both passionate about diversity in romance writing– and after reading her novel, Pumpkin: a Cindermama story, I asked her to join my release party for Maybe Forever. Ines is based in Washington, DC and writes erotic, paranormal and fairytale romances. Add her books to your TBR list, and follow her on Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 07.25.03When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

I come from a family of storytellers. My mother would talk your ears off for hours and my father is a songwriter. I began my storytelling career in television, where I still dabble from time to time. A few years ago I’d written a script that I thought would make an excellent book, only I didn’t know how to write a book. So I took a couple of classes and started querying. I never received a single rejection letter. Instead, I got no responses at all in the beginning! But I never gave up and I never stopped writing. Wait, isn’t the the definition of insanity?

Do you have a favorite place to write?

I do my best writing at hightop tables where I can alternately sit or stand while typing on my laptop. A cuppa is a must. My favorite is a cuppa soy chai, sweetened with honey. I write best in the morning from 8am until lunchtime. Nights are reserved for reading.

Where do you find your inspiration when you write?

I’m a very bad Buddhist. I sit each week in sangha, which is similar to sitting in a church pew on Sunday. In a sangha the teacher, think preacher, will  lecture on spiritual teachings and guide the group in mediation. During meditation when I’m supposed to be getting my zen on, my mind always wanders back to the teaching and turns it into a story.

Tell us about your latest release. What inspired this book?

I released my debut fairytale retelling in March. It’s called Pumpkin: a Cindermama story. Here’s the blurb:

Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town. Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne because for generations the Charmayne’s have spotted their soulmates be seeing a golden aura around them the first time they laid eyes on them. When Manny meets Pumpkin he sees…nothing, but sparks fly off the richter scale. The more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Could you describe your writing process for us?

I love plotting. Its my favorite part of writing. I love to go into Scrivener and use the Outline tool to plan the journey of my characters. I can recite just about any plotting structure you can think of. The Hero’s Journey, Save the Cat, Romance Arc, Relationship Arc…I could go on.

The first time I tried to write a book it took me one year to write the first three chapters because I agonized over each word choice. Now, I believe in fast drafting. Vomit the story onto the page without a care for comma placement. All told, it takes me about six months from the first drafted word to the final polished manuscript.

I take three to four weeks for the first draft, which I call The Dirty. I let The Dirty breath for as long as I am able to be parted with it -usually a week or two. Then I come back and Sweep up the grammar and plot holes, which usually takes another three to four weeks.

Next I send The Swept draft out to my trusted critique partners. When it comes back I Clean it up for another three weeks focusing on my weaknesses which is setting. Finally, I send The Clean manuscript off to the copyeditor for two to three weeks. When it comes back I Polish up all the commas and rethink my overused words. Then I hit publish, and start all over again!

Whats the hardest part about being a writer?

I went to school for producing and screenwriting, and worked in the broadcasting industry for over a decade, before trying my hand at novel writing. I wrote my first novel in 2009. It was based on a script that I wrote but couldn’t find the financing for. I was so proud of my work, but readers and critique partners noted that it was evident that I was a screenwriter and didn’t understand the mechanics of novelization. Screenwriting consists of action and dialogue. That’s it. In scripts, there is no internal monologuing and setting is minimal. I had some learning to do. Five years, and a ton of classes later, I’ve got four published novels lush in setting and internal angst.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Why are you so partial to that character?

My favorite character is still my first hero, the pleasure monk, Jian, from The Pleasure Hound.

The elements of a great romance is when the hero and heroine fit each others need. There’s a preponderance of books where pain is pleasure. And that’s okay with me -when I believe that there’s actually pleasure being had. I’ve read too many books where women are getting spanked just to get spanked. It’s not clear how the act satisfies a need in them, nor is it clear that the man understands and is acting to fulfill that need. That understanding is the sexy part to me: a woman who knows (perhaps subconsciously) what she needs and a man who knows exactly how to give it to her.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 07.26.23My book, The Pleasure Hound, came into being out of this frustration. I wanted to read about a heroine who was eager to explore pleasure. I wanted to encounter a hero who was skilled in, and solely interested in, that woman’s pleasure. My hero, Jian, studies women’s bodies like textbooks. After thorough perusal of, he emerges ready to ace the examination.

Do you have a critique partner? If so, could you describe how you work together?

I have a fairy book sistah in author L. Penelope. We’ve been sharing stories since our days as film students and college roommates. In 2014, after a few years at NANO and writing workshops, we made a pact to self-publish in 2015. Pulling, pushing and shoving each other along, we both made it through and haven’t looked back.

We share WIP drafts in the early stages of crazy sentences and plotting derailments; messy pages that we would never show our editors. For me, the early stages is the only time that I’m open to making changes in my story. Once I start painting my words with pretty prose I’m no longer open to critique.

Which books are on your TBR list? Do you have any particular indie writers who are your favourites at the moment?

I’m obsessed with Ernessa T. Carter who just went indie. Her book “32 Candles,” is an 80’s fairytale retelling for women of color.

Whats next for you? Are there any new publications in the pipeline? If so, could you tell us about them?

Author Ines Johnson

Author Ines Johnson

I’m currently working on the second book in the Cindermama series. These books are fairytale retellings featuring single mothers as the heroines. The first story is Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story, which is a retelling of the Cinderella story. This story is based on actual events. Shortly after my divorce, I was out with my two children at a community farmer’s market. A really handsome politician waved me over and began chatting with me about his platform. I was more interested in his light-colored eyes. But my burgeoning fantasy was dashed when my son sauntered over and embarrassing words spewed from his mouth. I ushered myself and my kids away, chiding my silly imagination. What man would be interested in a single mother of two school-aged kids? There are no fairytales featuring mothers as the heroines.

That night, I rewrote the events of the day to my liking. In my imagination, the light-eyed politician asked me out, after winning over my guard dog of a son. We got married and I moved out of my apartment and into some big mansion with a closet stocked full of name brand clothes. Oh, that closet…

Anyway, it was October, and so I plotted the book for the next month of NANO. The completed manuscript sat in a drawer for years because I didn’t think anyone would want to read a story where a single mother was the hero. Thankfully, I was wrong. Every woman deserves an HEA.

Thanks so much to Ines for joining us! Hope we can meet in person when I am in the US again! 

Book Review: Maldeamores (Lovesick) by Mara White

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 21.45.57One word describes Mara White’s Maldeamores (Lovesick): heartbreaking. Lucky and Bey’s story pulls at you–challenging you because their love is forbidden, yet making you empathise with them because their love is like an addiction, an illness they can never overcome. So why is their love forbidden? Luciano (also known as Lucky) and Belén (AKA Bey) are cousins, growing up together in the Heights. What starts as familial love becomes romantic love, even when both know that nothing can ever come of it…

Mara White never disappoints–she takes on controversial subjects (this time: incest) and weaves wonderfully written stories that smoulder and pull at your emotions. This is an emotionally-driven story that’s tight, erotic and challenging. A tightly written page turner, you’ll get sucked into this story and it won’t let you go until the very end. As much as I knew Lucky and Bey’s love would tear them apart, I longed for them to find happiness. It’s the sort of love story that leave you ragged, that makes you want what you know you cannot have…

This is not a book for everyone–but if you’re willing to give yourself over to Mara White’s sensational storytelling, you won’t regret the experience. Maldeamores (Lovesick) challenges what is love, what is acceptable in society, and how love can destroy you…

And I loved every minute of it.

My rating?

5_Star

Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.