Review: Haunted by Christina C. Jones

Haunted CoverI love a good paranormal story–especially one that is creepy and sexy at the same time–so I was intrigued when author Christina C. Jones began sharing teasers on Facebook of a paranormal story she was working on. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. I finally had to ask her if she’d already released it–the impatient Golden in me just couldn’t wait. 🙂

Haunted – a paranormal love story is very different from Christina’s other books, which has been more romantic in nature(contemporary romance and romantic suspense), so I could understand when she said she was hesitant in releasing it. Fans do not always react well when authors release something that is completely different from what they usually write.

ChristinaJOnes

Christina C. Jones

Well, I can say that, having read Haunted, I am one very happy Christina C. Jones fan. We start with what seems like a very normal situation, club manager Khalida is in bed with her boyfriend Travis (whom she is beginning to find a bit tiresome) and she is unable to sleep. But pretty soon we understand that all is not what it seems. Beneath the very normal veneer of her life, Khalida is hiding a secret–a fantasy (phantom, perhaps?) lover who satisfies her in ways that Travis never could. The intensity of her fantasies is increasing to the point that she is finding it hard to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. And then a very handsome, very intense man called Aram walks into her life. Aram has secrets of his own and Khalida is connected to them–even if she doesn’t initially understand how or why.

I won’t give away more of the plot, just know that if you want to read a well-written, intriguing and sexy paranormal novella featuring African-American characters, then Haunted – a paranormal love story is just what you need! I loved reading it and I think you will too!

My rating?

5_Star

Blog Tour: Sins of the Father by Thelonius Legend

sotf announcement banner

10 Random Facts – Get to Know Thelonius Legend 

  1.  I’m the 2nd oldest of five kids.
  2.  I once held a meet record for the bench-press and dead-lift total. (If I tell you my totals I have to kill you.)
  3. I come from a working class family (OK we was po, not poor, but po!) and I was the first one to go to college.
  4. A girl once broke up with me because she said I read too much. (She tried to friend me on Facebook a few years back and she was, say it with me… DENIED!)
  5. I once sparred with ex-world champion William Joppy (have never had less fun in the boxing ring). Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still see the punches coming.
  6. Mild mannered IT consultant by day and did some work for a small organization called the IRS. One of my most famous or rather infamous applications while there was the Where’s My Refund link. (Don’t act like you don’t know what that is!)
  7. One of my pet peeves is reading terribly choreographed fight scenes. Fight scenes that make absolutely no sense logistically or stylistically. Drives me crazy.
  8. I can smoke ribs like no-ones business. No, I’m serious–I am really good at making ribs.
  9. When I was in college me and my buddies would have a big home cooked meal every Sunday and then each of us would take 100 pennies to the $1 movies show. The movie people hated but what can you do–it’s legal tender.
  10. The first book I remember reading and still love is the Purple Crayon.

Sins of the FatherAbout the Book

This was going to be a special year for the Parker sisters. Eve was going to dominate in the classroom and on the basketball court.

Gwen was going to make the starting five and go down in history as the greatest prankster ever. Ana was going to do as little as possible.

But without warning, all three sisters gain extraordinary abilities that defy science… powers that come with a cost. Now all they want to do is make it through the school year without drawing any undue attention, while racing to find a cure before the side effects of their new abilities kill them. Eve’s temperament, Gwen’s fondness for pranks, and Ana’s predilection for money, however, are challenges they must overcome to achieve their goals. Because if they can’t, they’re dead…

Book Links

Amazon: Purchase Link

Barnes & Noble: Purchase Link

Goodreads: Connect about it on Goodreads!

Book Depository: Pick up internationally!

 

TLAbout the Author

IT Professional by day, but by night I use my pen and pad as a canvas to explore questions of race, identity, privilege and class in a science fiction setting. Eclectic reader with a fondness for the classics and first generation Hip Hop snob. Don’t start none won’t be none! Philadelphia Eagles football fanatic and I also enjoy MMA from the safety of my couch. On the weekends you can find me wine drinking, rock climbing, fishing, or being an unpaid chauffeur to my daughters’ activities. Also I’m a snark purveyor and been making with the funny since it was called the ‘Dozens’. Get at me!

 

Connect with Thelonius Legend

Website: Official Blog

Facebook: Sins of The Father Page

Twitter: @TheLegendBooks

Goodreads: Author Profile

 

logo11

 

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. 

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

add-to-goodreads-button31

CITY SOLIPSISM: A SHORT STORY

add-to-goodreads-button31

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

The Doorman Teaser 1

The Doorman Teaser 2

The Doorman Teaser Pic

City Solipsism Teaser Pic

Hosted by:

EJ Button

Guest Post: Getting to Know Mara White

HOD_quote_01A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon fellow indie writer Mara White on Goodreads. It all happened by chance–another member posted a short note about a book she was reading, and the synopsis sounded pretty intriguing. Who knew it would lead me to reading a book that beautifully captures the dilemma of craving someone you know should not want? I’m halfway through Heights of Desire, and it’s a definite must-read if you like your books hot!

Could you tell us what inspired the story of Heights of Desire and the Heightsbound series?  

My main inspiration has come from living in Washington Heights and closely watching the wave of radical gentrification that the neighborhood has been experiencing within the last five years or so.  The story and plot line developed as I started writing, but the inspiration for Kate and Jaylee’s relationship definitely came from witnessing the changes in the neighborhood.

Mara White Author

Mara White, author of Heights of Desire

Two years!!  My kids are toddlers, so there was a lot of interference from daily life.  About three-quarters of the way through the novel I started to feel disillusioned with the genre and actually gave up.  Then I read a new novel and it inspired me, so I decided to reach out to the author.  She took me under her wing, beta read for me, walked me though the self-publishing process and helped turn my disheartened attitude into determination.  Without her, HOD never would have come to fruition and she’d kill me if I revealed her identity so I’ll just say that she is a phenomenal writer and quite possibly the kindest and most generous person I know.

When you were writing, did you envision any actors or actresses to play the leads? Or did you find inspiration elsewhere? 

Not really.  Dare I be inflammatory and controversial here and say that Hollywood does not fairly represent the US population.  Knock, Knock, Hollywood – let the world in!  How hard is it to cast HOD?  Hard enough that I gave up on doing a blog post on casting despite help from friends.  I would absolutely love it if readers would chime in and throw ideas for casting my way.  But to answer the question – whenever I felt that the age difference between Kate and Jaylee was too extreme or bordering on inappropriate, I would look at pictures of JLo and Casper Smart together and channel their chemistry.  I also have become – of the corner boys as well as the young men that work out on the neighborhood playgrounds in the Heights (as you can imagine) so I picked up a lot of inspiration from listening and watching.

Heights of Desire CoverHow would you describe your typical writing day?  

Oh Lord!  Write if I possibly can.  Write after the kids are asleep if I’m not too exhausted.  My most productive writing time happens on the NYC subway on my commute to work (if I get a seat) with a pen and a notebook and bumpy train handwriting.

Do you have a special place where you like to write? Could you describe it for us?  

The train!  Somewhat dirty, oftentimes packed beyond belief, always entertaining (with performers or just regular, crazy old, New Yorkers), always infuriating (late or stuck underground or running on an alternate track) and forever epic – the best mode of NYC transportation hands down.

Did you have a special playlist or soundtrack which you listened to while writing Heights of Desire? Could you share it with us? 

I mostly just listened to the soundtrack of my neighborhood seeing that wherever you go in the Heights there is always music playing!  For the playlist for HOD, I collaborated with a dear friend and fellow WaHi resident, Leslie de Jesus.  She runs a music reviewing blog called http://sinistergirlz.com  The fist song Leslie gave me was ‘Llévame Contigo’ by Romeo Santos and I listened to it repeatedly while completing the end of HOD so that’s how it became Kate and Jaylee’s song.

 When will the next book in the series be released?  

As soon as I can finish!  Late 2014

Sale Graphic-2What has been the biggest challenge for you as an indie writer? What lessons do you feel you’ve learned going through the process?  

Definitely trying to get the word out about he book to the general public.  Accept any and all help offered because you can’t possibly do it all on your own.

Have you already got plans for other standalone novels or series? Could you share any info about those with us?  

I do have new ideas as well as some older work that I’d like to revisit at some point but for the immediate moment I’m just putting my energy into finishing the Heightsbound sequel.

What advice would you like to give to aspiring authors?  

Write because you love to write.  Don’t let the criticism get you down.  Break the rules.  Run from convention.  Push boundaries.  Challenge your readers.  Scare yourself.

Many thanks to Mara for making a book blitz pitstop with us! If you like sexy women’s fiction, then head over to your favourite online bookstore and get a copy of Heights of Desire. It’s on sale this week for e-readers for only 99 cents–but I can tell you this book is definitely worth the normal price. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Heights of Desire Synopsis

A woman who has everything meets a man who can offer her nothing but trouble.  They bring each other to a height of desire neither thought possible, but is it enough to overcome the differences that tear them apart?
Kate Champion, a forty-two-year-old, married mother of two, leads an enviable upper class life of luxury.  Her comfortable path takes an unexpected detour after a chance encounter at a neighborhood playground.

Jaylee Inoa is a twenty-two-year-old, second generation New York Dominican with close ties to the Heights and the gangs that run them.

Her life of privilege is no match for the code of the streets he navigates with ease.  When a crime of the heart leads to a crime in the flesh, how far will she go to redeem him?  Can she risk all in her life that is golden for the love of her golden-eyed man?

Add to Goodreads

Heights of Desire is on sale for $.99 during the blog tour!

Purchase Links:  Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords

 

About the Author

I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic.  I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela, and Bikram Yoga enthusiast.  I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.

Connect with the Author:  Facebook | Twitter | Blog  | Instagram | Goodreads 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Heights of Desire in paperback:

Tour-Wide Giveaway

 

 

Snowbound is now live for NOOK, Kobo and iBooks!

Image, snowbound, coverYay! Snowbound is now available for Kobo, NOOK and iBooks Store via iTunes. Still waiting for word when it will be available via Sony Bookstore for the Sony reader, but at least my novel is available for more readers than just Kindle (even if Kindle is my reader of choice).

So now Snowbound is available for just about everyone and I couldn’t be happier. Now I just hope that everyone will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Coming soon? Another novel. I have a few in line, just waiting for final tweaks. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing) and thanks so much for all of your support!

Snowbound now available for Kindle

dfw-kg-sb-cover-2-smallJust a quickie to let you know that Snowbound is now available for Kindle! 😀

If you live in the US, get it here. UK readers can get it here.

Nook readers, you’ll have to wait a bit longer–around 2 weeks–since BN isn’t as quick about delivering. Not sure why.

You could always download the free Kindle app and read it on your tablet, phone or computer. 🙂

Hope you enjoy reading Snowbound! If you do, please write a review and/or drop a line and let me know.

Happy reading (and writing)!

At the Women’s Fiction Festival 2013 — What happened today

Image, Matera, Women's Fiction Festival, Italy

The Sassi district in Matera, Italy

Well, it’s my second full day at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and it’s been very insightful. We’ve had some great panel discussions, including one on screenwriting tips for novelists, which was led by James Dalessandro, author of 1906 and who also happens to be a poet/screenwriter/director/producer. Jane Corry led a very in-depth and compelling workshop on how to better revise your novel. David Gaughran was also on hand for a very interesting presentation of self-publishing and what one needs to think about when embarking on a self-publishing project.

Lessons I’ve learned today?

  • novels don’t have to have a nice, tidy ending (unless it’s a romance)
  • don’t write your novel thinking it would make a great film–write it thinking this is a great story
  • always read your writing aloud to make sure you have the right pitch and rhythm
  • keep main characters to a minimum–readers get lost when there are too many people “on stage”
  • don’t spend all day on Twitter–start a mailing list and send out updates to your readers this way
  • good metadata increases discoverability
  • invest in a good editor and a good cover designer

As always,  there was good wine and great food to be had. 🙂

It’s 30°C here today and I feel sapped of all energy, so I need a nap. And then I will do a little more writing. 🙂

By the way, if you haven’t heard yet, Ernessa T. Carter has a new book out called The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men and it’s…awesome! You need to read it ASAP!

Snowbound now has a Goodreads page

ImageIn Copenhagen and the weather is splendid. Just wanted to let you know that Snowbound now has a Goodreads page and a preliminary release date (31 October). Head over and put Snowbound on your Want to Read list. 🙂

It’s a fun holiday read about Mia and Jake, two people who thought they were going to have some alone time but end up thrown together by a snowstorm and…let’s face it, they’re attracted to one another.

Mia’s got her Rules of Cohabitation that she keeps breaking. And then there’s that pesky married ex who shows up just when things are looking up for her. Jake’s got his own issues–he’s a photojournalist who’s been in a few too many combat zones and seen too many people die. He’s trying to figure out where his life goes from here–back to another war zone or stay in Hunters Grove, where life feels normal enough, even if it drives him crazy that the whole town knows everyone’s business.

Want to know more? Well, you’ll just have to read Snowbound once it’s out. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)!