Red Series

Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Space Between Cover Reveal and Re-Introduce Myself

Today I'm doing the cover reveal for The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith.

Title: The Space Between
Author: Victoria H. Smith
Expected release date: April 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult Cover Designer: Okay Creations; Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

Links to find the book: Goodreads

Book Description:

When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.
Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.
Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.
The Space Between is a new adult contemporary romance.

About the author:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.

Author Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Hi I'm Sheena-kay Graham and I decided to participate in the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest. So I'm a Christian and Jamaican who loves to read and absolutely has to write. Whether it's fiction or fan fiction, writing is a huge part of my life. This year I plan to self publish four novellas from The Sacrifice Series starting  this May. Also hoping to have my novel Escaping Wonderland written and edited by the end of March so I can start sending it out to agents. I'm crazy about YA and my new faves include the Divergent series and will include Beautiful Creatures as soon as I get my hands on the book. Yes I love it that much and can't wait for the movie. I have like three movies I want to see this month (Warm Bodies, Beautiful Creatures, Hansel and Gretel) which is funny because I didn't see more than one in a month last year. Saving is going well though. Wish me luck.

At age 28 I'm single and enjoy reading whenever I can and going to the movies. Been blogging a little over a year now and so happy with the fellow bloggers and writers that I've met. I'm mainly a quiet person unless I hit a topic that I really love then I might transform into a chatterbox. My blog Queendsheena has really brought me out my writing shell and while I'm still not the biggest sharer of my poetry, I have shared my writings and w.i.p.s. quite handsomely. My crazy imagination also keeps novel idea coming which is both a blessing and curse for this professional dreamer. Ever got a novel idea from a facts under a Snapple Cap? I did.

Now that you've got a second chance to know me, here's a 2012 pic of me in my natural glory. Even though my hair was creamed. Sorry but the natural hair's a bit tough to manage. Have a great 2013 everyone and remember to visit others participating in this blogfest.

Monday 28 January 2013

Clayton Falls Blog Tour: Derailed and Veer Book Review

Today I'm participating in the Clayton Falls Blog Tour, coordinated by Xpresso Book Tours. Both books are New Adult and fall under the Contemporary Romance umbrella. Scroll down for my review.

Derailed (Clayton Falls, #1) Alyssa Rose Ivy  -- September, 2012
When you're lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.

FREE until the end of the tour on Kindle!


Derailed starts with Molly who has moved back home after the death of her fiance. Things only get more complicated when her high school sweet heart drops in the picture. Will her family, her friend Kelley, her own resolve and the community she returned to be enough to help heal her broken heart? Or will taking a chance with someone new be a better fix?

Derailed was a fun easy to read book about family, romance and moving on. This book will be a solid read for anyone who's a fan of contemporary romance and enjoys their romance on the lighter side. Despite some predictability the plot flows well and the twists and turns can keep anyone reading. Clayton Falls in North Carolina is a beautiful setting that only enhances the novel. The close knit community also helps and readers will wish Molly all the best in moving on.

Rating: 3 Stars

Veer (Clayton Falls, #s) Alyssa Rose Ivy  -- November, 2012
Only when you let go can you learn to live.

Between the death of her mother and pushing through law school without her best friend, it's been a tough year for Becca. Needing a break from Boston, she moves to a tiny coastal North Carolina town for a relaxing summer. After bumping heads repeatedly with a local cop, she realizes her summer will be anything but quiet.

Three years after a career ending injury ruins his chance to play Major League Baseball, Gavin has a distrust of northerners and lately girls in general. He wants nothing to do with a girl who is only in town for the summer.

When the two give in to their impossible attraction, they realize that they may just have found the key to freeing themselves from the ghosts of their pasts.


Veer is the second book in the Clayton Falls Series. Becca and Gavin are two lost souls who find themselves in each other in this novel. Even though they give in to passion there is more to discovered in this contemporary romance. Of course they're hot scenes included and obstacles along the way. But both have experienced the pain of loss and if what's between them more than sex it's up to them to discover it and embrace it.

One of the good things about this book is the readability. Not so heavy that it takes weeks to read but well done enough to keep you reading. This sequel flows well and if it's any indicator book three will also be properly linked to it's predecessor. Each book being set in Clayton Falls gives it a familiar feel that doesn't have you trying to learn a whole new environment around the characters like many contemporary romances do. You can feel how the loss of Becca's mother affects her and that Gavin's bad break in baseball and his inability to trust. This is a pair readers will root for.

Rating: 4 Stars


Author Bio & Links:
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

--Author Website:

Wednesday 23 January 2013


This month's Challenge from Misha's Blog My First Book. Please note in my entry everything written intentional. The strange writing, errors and everything else. Enjoy and best of luck to all entrants.

In less than 300 words, I want to see your idea of the WORST beginning you can possibly write. The funnier and more creative you are, the better. To make it easier for me, you have the WHOLE of January to enter, but you must please enter the SPECIFIC entry link into the linky list below.

Gimme Back My Candy!

Suzy sat on the windowsill chewing her delicious candy. The sky was grey today but with the promise of a dragon ride over the Land of Poop things were still looking gravy.

Suddenly a shard of glass swooped down and pricked Szy's finger. While the bony blonde shook it, a ribbon snuck up and wrapped itself around her fat bag of candy. By the time the little girl looked down the flying shard of glass grabbed the end of the ribon and flew away.

"Gimme Back My Candy!" Suzy screamed in a gravelly voice.

The shard of glas flew several feet away and did a mock dance. It's greeniness caused Suzy to squint since it seemed to bring out more of the moon which was strange since it was daytime.

Suzy tried to call her dragon but it was in vain. Dragon's didn't get up before noon and now she had to watch  this cursed piece of glassipoopabob prance in the air of sky with her candy.

Monday 21 January 2013

The Next Big Thing: Escaping Wonderland

Hi I volunteered to be tagged from Kelley Lynn's post which you can check out by clicking her name. Her idea is definitely fun and adventurous and I hope you will enjoy mine as well. You can also read more about this w.i.p. here.

The Next Big Thing Bloghop

This blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress. So here we go.

1. Working title for your book?

Escaping Wonderland.

2. Where did this idea come from?

Funny enough it happened through my 2012 Nano project Gold. This spawned as an extra then I scrapped Gold in December. No matter though, I'm glad to have Escaping Wonderland which I'm writing as a stand alone. I've wanted to write a non-sequel book for a while and Nevermore is the only other project I have that might be a stand-alone. But since the latter won't be finished anytime soon, I'll settle for Escaping Wonderland which has Alice as a teenager trying to get out of Wonderland after nearly being executed by The Queen of Hearts.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy. It is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland.

4. Which actors would you chose to play your characters in a movie rendition.

This is what I think Alice should look like. This is a picture of Cariba Heine when she was younger. She's 24 now but any actress who can fit this look would be perfect for Alice. This pic is probably during Cariba's stint on the show H2O: Just add Water.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I'm going to cheat and do a four-sentence one instead.

Saviour turned fugitive Alice has to escape Wonderland before the queen haves her head. With Max Hatter; son of the man who betrayed her as her heart's desire and two 'talking' animals as her only source of help, what could go wrong? But as they seek the hat that will get Alice home can she hold her pain and broken heart in check as Max tries to worm his way back into her heart. Also can she really run away from her prophesied role to save Wonderland and if so, at what price?

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency.

My plan is to get an agent for this one.

7. How long did it take to write the first draft?

Haven't finished yet and a ten page critique I won from Candy Apples Books has pointed out some flaws I need to fix.

8. What other books would you compare this to?

Right now it's just a retelling of the Alice in Wonderland story for the young adult market.

9. Who, or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said earlier my 2012 Nano project.

10. What else about this book might pique the reader's interest?

If you enjoy your fairytale with dark elements and not all fluff and rainbows this is for you. Readers get to follow Alice after she's been disenchanted and brokenhearted by the true dark face of Wonderland and watch as Max tries to bring back her faith and trust. If you like your romances with the significant other earning their love and not just 'falling for each other,' this is also for you. Lastly if you like books with a surprising twists. This one has a few. So in closing if you like unique tales that don't follow the storybook 'has to end this way' formula, then Escaping Wonderland is the book for you. With an ending that might actually surprise readers and a story about friendship, love and sacrifice.

Well that's it everyone. I'll now pass this unto five people. Hope to hear about your next project soon.

Morgan Shammy

Jenny Morris

Elizabeth Seckman

Carrie Butler

Victoria H. Smith

Friday 18 January 2013

Corded Cover Reveal

Corded by Alyssa Rose Ivy is today's Cover Reveal. This reveal is in league with BB Book Tours.

When: Jan 17, 2013

Cover by PhatPuppy Art ( )

Book Details:

Corded by Alyssa Rose Ivy

In a world where women are commodities, the only thing more rare than finding true love is a happy ending.

Kayla is in hiding—her only crime being born a girl in a society of 99% men. When her sister and niece are kidnapped, she is willing to do anything to save them. Kayla ventures into the dangerous streets of the city, a place where a woman can be claimed by anyone unless she has been marked by a club.

Desperate, she turns to Mason, a powerful club leader whose help comes at a cost—her freedom.

Goodreads link:

Author Bio:

Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write.

Author Links:

Thursday 17 January 2013

Getting Personal: Doing the right thing

When I saw this image it got me thinking. In today's world it's so easy to do the wrong thing and not only get away with it, but often get cheers when you don't. I however plan to be among the many good and honest people of the world. No we're not perfect, yes we have been dishonest at some point. Yet we never throw our morals in the dumpster whether it's for money, fame or other personal gain. If you're like me and believe rule #11 above is not for you, hold your head high and go in high spirits with the Dumbledore quote below in your hearts.

I choose to do what is right! (:

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Publication Date: February 2013 (Might be delayed)

Summary: Sixteen year old Loki Blackstar is no Prince Charming. His mother is a ghost. His only friend is a red Cadillac that talks to him through the radio. He looks like an Angel but acts like jerk. No wonder he has been banned from Heaven, which is the least of his troubles. Loki needs a job to pay for school and support himself.

Still, Loki has a rare gift: He is a Dreamhunter. One of the few in the world who can hunt and kill immortal demons in their dreams so they never wake up again.

When Loki is sent to kill a sixteen-year-old vampire girl the locals call Snow White Sorrow, he is pulled into a magical but dangerous world. The locals believe the monster to be Snow White.

The real Snow White... living in the ruins of an ancient castle in a small town. She is described as horribly beautiful, terrifyingly enchanting, and wickedly lovely.

What he finds instead is a beautiful monster girl filled with rage and hurt, who has an epic untold story to tell of things such like why the Brothers Grimm altered the fairy tale, who the Evil Queen really is, where the mirror came from, and who possessed it.

Snow White has killed every person who has dared come near the castle where she once lived with the queen. Mysteriously, she lets Loki live, and whispers two words in his ears; two words that will change his life forever.
I loved the Grimm Prequels to this novella and can't wait to read what happens next.

Monday 14 January 2013

Obscura Burning Book Blitz

Today I'm taking part in the Obscura Burning Book Blitz through Xpresso Book Tours.

Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen - December 7th 2012 / Etopia Press
The world's going to end in fire…and it's all Kyle's fault.

Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore.

Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...




Suzanne van Rooyen:Suzanne is a freelance writer and author from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. Niteblade nominated her short story Where dreams are grown for the Pushcart Prize. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance to ninth graders or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.

Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

Author Links:

Friday 11 January 2013

Book Love

Original Link: here

Today I just want to remember the love only we crazy book readers have for books. Take a moment and reminisce. Grab a book if you can. If you're like me you have more than several in both print and e-copy nearby. Of course there's nothing like print. But that's just me.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday 10 January 2013

Getting Personal: Poetry Corner

My first Getting Personal post of 2013. What is Poetry Corner you ask. Today I'm going to post two poems by me and discuss them a bit. Poetry is another favourite writing style of mine. It was the first piece of writing I got paid for and I believe poetry can touch the soul in a way most other forms of writing can't.

Family Portrait

On a hill sits a mansion.
Resting on the wall within this mansion
is a family portrait of a
wealthy family of four.
Two parents, two children.

A mother with hair raven black
in a wonderful expensive
blue dress, a father in an
expensive classy black suit
with hair sunny blonde.
One son of year twelve
With hair like mother,
blue eyes of the father and
wearing a costly navy blue suit.
The last and youngest son with
hair like his father and
almond brown eyes like the mother.
He’s wearing a costly black suit
and like everyone else smiles with
perfect bright white teeth.

A perfect portrait for a seemingly
perfect rich family.

But a family portrait is
just a family portrait.

Only showing what the camera takes
Not what really goes on within this place.

This poem was inspired by a fan fiction story I wrote called The Horror of Popularity. I was thinking of doing a special prequel (never did it though) and this poem was written to start it off. It shows a family that went through tormoil in the book in the before. But even then the poem hints on trouble in paradise. I think this poems shows the perfect rich nuclear family in the first three stanzas. But in the last two tells us not everything is as it seems.

Soulless (For Madeline McCann’s parents)

As the flash of the camera dies.

I see the evil intention in your eyes.
You don’t care about their little girl.
Only what will make your readership
level whirl.
The mother doesn’t care, the father’s
not doing enough.
Madeline’s drugged, dead, you’ll make up
anything to that will sell.

The mother killed her, the father covered it up.
She hung out with friends to create an alibi.
He stayed to be a supportive husband.
They’re murderers, accomplices, baby traffickers.
Since when was it okay to steal story lines from
Lifetime to make headlines?

Don’t tell me this is news.
Don’t tell me you’re looking out
for the greater good.
As the flash of the camera dies.
I see the evil intention in your eyes.
You people are soulless.

I wrote this poem at a time when I was angry about how a part of the media was handling Madeline McCann's disappearance. This was a serious matter and some media outlets were not only completely focused on her parents but publishing and stating opinions as facts. Some of them so outrageous it made my blood boil. I believe in people being suspects yes but not at the expense of real information being dispensed to the masses. So this poem was me writing out my outrage.

So that's it for today. Thank you for joining me for another post with me Getting Personal.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile by Shannon Messenger

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny--the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities--her life finally seems to be coming together.  

But Sophie's kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger. 

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever.

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more.

See the cover? It was just revealed on the author's blog yesterday (Tuesday) and it's just gorgeous. Exile is book 2 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series and I can't wait for October to get a copy. Definitely buying it in print.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Goals for 2013 and Release Book Blitz

Goals for 2013

7. Ensure that my Jamaican based books Snow and The Seer are ready to be published in 2014. Also start plotting out another Jamaican novel named Trafficked. Have no idea when I'll finish writing it but what to have the basic ideas for the book jotted down. I'm a renowned pantser but some worksheets that I've downloaded have helped me make some leeway in basic plotting.

6. Lose at least 10 pounds. Lost 10 in 2011 and 0 2012. But I'm still proud because I didn't regain any weight unlike in 2010.

5. Prepare myself to start looking into the death of a relative. He was sot to death years ago and I always promied myself I'd look into his unsolved case. Well no year like this year. I guess.

4. Finish Lyric World by the end of June. This novel was my 2011 Nano and it's one that has a story line I still love. And when I say finish I mean by having the second rounds of edits done.

3. Finish all my 2012 self published books in time to be published on their current publishing dates. Last year I had to scrap publishing any of them because they weren't ready. They will be this year.

2. Move out of my parent's house. Seriously, I know that all my sibs still live at home. But I need to go. Also, finally get a passport.

1. Complete Escaping Wonderland by the end of March so that I can start sending it out to agents. Yes it will take a lot of work but I can do it. With my goal being at least 75,000 words, I'm ready to go.

So there are my goals for this year. Now don't go anywhere there's a book blitz below you don't want to miss.

Today I'm taking part in the Release Book Blitz through Xpresso Book Tours.

Release by Nicole Hadaway: January 4th, 2013 / Visionary Press Cooperative
“The ends justify the means”...

For vampire Miranda Dandridge, using her supernatural abilities to rescue children from impossible circumstances is her means to be a part of the human world that she loves so much, despite the atrocities of WWII.

For doctor Ben Gongliewski, saving his fellow Jews from the horrific death camps is an end for which he risks his own life every day, hiding his Jewish heritage while feigning loyalty the SS.

Neither Miranda nor Ben expects to find love in World War II Europe, but that is exactly what happens as they work for the Resistance. When the war draws to a close, it seems like the vampire and the doctor are free to start a future together. But just how far the Nazis will go to further their own evil ends?

Desperate times make for ruthless men as loves and lives are threatened, but, Miranda and Ben know that their world cannot go to hell, not by any means…



Purchase  -Amazon: (the book is not yet listed but will be by release day)

Nicole Hadaway:
As a lawyer, Nicole Hadaway knows all about bloodsuckers and deals with the devil.  She currently lives in Texas where she pens such tales involving the supernatural, featuring her heroine, the vampire Miranda Dandridge.

Author Links:

Friday 4 January 2013

From The Ashes Cover Release Blogfest and Disconnected Cover Reveal

Please Note: Due a mix up I had written on Wednesday that I'd post my 2013 goals today. That post will be tomorrow (Saturday) instead. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Today I'm doing two cover reveals. From the Ashes by Jennifer K. McKendry, a teen blogger and who's hosting her reveal as a blogfest & Disconnected by Imran Siddiq through Xpresso Book Tours.

From the Ashes by Jessica K. McKendry

I'm not sure how it all went wrong.

The concept was simple.

The Trials were made to test us. They were made to challenge our strengths; our bravery.

We were supposed to come out better.

Winning the Trials would make us Superior citizens.

It would bring us honor and demonstrate our loyalty to the Imperial Alliance. I knew exactly what I wanted.

Until I met him.

There was something about him. Something dark. If only I had known the danger it would put us in.

I thought I knew the risks.

But I never imagined the price we'd pay.


An insightful look at the good and bad that exist within us, McKendry's debut is a high-octane adventure that pushes the imagination to the limit as it lays bare the nature of self-reliance, self-confidence, and teamwork. Playing with the concepts of dark and light and how they affect our lives in multiple forms, her novel is a complex coming of age story that encapsulates the heroine's journey from student to leader. A dark tale of love and revenge, From the Ashes is a powerful reminder to think for yourself instead of blindly following what you've been taught to believe.


Disconnected Cover Reveal

Disconnect by Imran Siddiq (Divided Worlds Trilogy, #1) -- Publication date: February 22nd 2013
"In space, love has boundaries."

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.

Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan.

Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may devour the reason he lives; Rosa. 

Imran Siddiq
Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. At a young age, his primary school teacher commented on his creativity and ability to tell stories. At the age of 29, during a night in the jungle, the bug inside awakened, and for the last 5 years he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to write. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in every novel. 

Thursday 3 January 2013

Healing Summer Tour: Meet Elizabeth Seckman and her Latest Novel Release

Today I have Elizabeth Seckman author of Healing Summer. We've been blogging buddies for practically a year now and I'm honoured to be the one kicking off the Healing Summer Blog Tour. I'll not only be promoting her book but Elizabeth herself will discuss a question of my choosing. Scroll down to meet Elizabeth and read about her new novel. Plus Lizzie is having a great giveaway which you can also find in this post.

Miss Sheena-kay has decided to really pick my brain in the “Healing Summer” blog tour! She wants to know: How do Couples Make Relationships Work?

Elizabeth Seckman

If I had all the answers to that question, I’d have my own talk show and people would say, “Dr. Phil who? Never heard of him. I watch Ms. Lizzie!”

Me: See? With banter like that how can you not love her? Pardon my interruption, back to you Liz.

But I have learned a thing or two in my twenty years of marriage.

1. Marriage isn’t a 50-50 split. It’s more like a 70-30 split. And sometimes it’s in your favor and sometimes it isn’t. But that’s what relationships are about…winning some and losing some.

Me: I'm a single gal with less dating experience than the typical teenager (who's allowed to date). So hit me with some advice Elizabeth.

2. Stop keeping score. Keeping track of the days you got the 70 or the 30 will never lead to happiness. Actually, it’s a bit juvenile and there’s a reason children aren’t allowed to get married.

Me: Excellent point yet just a little creepy at the end.

3. But if you have a beef…speak up. Immediately. Don’t wait days, weeks, or years to voice it. Treat it like fried chicken in the summer sun. Eat it fresh or toss it…if not it’s bound to be poison.

Me: That's something that's not done in my family and I always hated it. When I tried to get things in the open immediately I was pegged as the bad guy. *Sigh* Leaving things unsaid only lets it come out one other way. Arguments. Bad ones. And if there's someone you can't tell what to do is sibs and your parents. 

4. Treat your honey like a stranger. We are more polite to cashiers than we are to the people we love…and that’s just wrong.

5. Remain an individual, even when part of a couple. Maintain your interests and your hobbies and allow your mate to do the same.

6. But keep it honest. My husband knows all my passwords and has access to all my accounts. There’s more than one reason why it’s called intimacy.

Me: Hi honey my passwords are...I can't do it. And I'm not even dating. Wow. But good for you Liz.

7. So, you’re totally open and honest…it still doesn’t hurt to always get to the mailbox first. I prefer to break it to my husband how high the Christmas tab was…I don’t want the heart stopping Visa statement to be the one to break the news!

Me: Yeah no one wants to shopaholic life partner. But worse? The secret shopaholic life partner. Seen enough tv shows based in fiction and reality to know what that kind of business leads to. Debt and srtess.

8. Being a couple means being best buds too. There’s a reason spouses aren’t expected to testify against each other in court…you’re supposed to be watching each other’s backs…not stabbing them.

9. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

My mom once told me the definition of love was when you cared for a person more than you care about yourself. Relationships are tough. When you are in one, you can’t just do whatever you want whenever you want with whomever you want. Being a couple means accepting limits and making compromises…and if there is no emotional investment…you’re going to have trouble.

Me: *Nods*

10. So lastly, no matter what- hold out for love.

Me: Definitely. I can see why you're into writing romance Elizabeth. You definitely know how to handle your business. 

Now to introduce the book. Look at this steamy cover then read below to learn more, read an excerpt and check out the giveaway.

The Blurb:

Maybe Love, Not Time, Heals All Wounds

Ditched at the altar…biopsied for cancer…Mollie Hinkle is having a bona fide bitch of a summer. When life sucks so hard it takes your breath away, what's a girl to do?
Road trip! Pack a bag, grab a few friends, and leave the past and the worry in the rear view mirror. What wounds can’t be healed by a drive across the Heartland, where quarter flips at cross roads determine the route and the future?
All roads lead to Craig, the second son and bad boy of the haughty Coulter line. Craig has spent his life taking care of number one—himself. He’s not interested in a relationship and he’s definitely not looking to fall in love. But if a morsel drops in his lap, who is he to refrain?
Mollie’s not looking for love either, but truth be told, she’s not opposed to it. Heck, if fate brought her to the minuscule Montana town to find happily ever after, she won’t fight it.Perhaps it is a summer where love, not time, heals all her wounds.

Links: BlogBlog Tour PageFacebookGoodreads.

Purchase: Amazon

Healing Summer Excerpt

Chapter 1

Craig Coulter drifted through his party with one thought: he should have kept the damn fish. Moved by a rare moment of humanity, he had looked into its unblinking eyes and felt pity on the finned beast. Hooked and vulnerable, its life resting in the palm of his hand, he gave the creature a toss and watched it swim away. Now, as he looked around at the revelers in his yard, he couldn’t help but think fresh trout and cold beer would have been a much deserved consolation for the intrusion.

He felt duped. He simply wanted to be alone, preferring to click off another year on his life calendar in the company of no one. Why was that so hard for people to comprehend? Knowing his requests for solitude would be ignored, he had thought he had outsmarted them all with careful planning and ruthless execution. His answering machine caught all the calls from his family, he called off work, and he headed to the mountains before daybreak to avoid well-intentioned friends. When night fell, he came home assuming he could fall into bed alone, but someone had a different idea.

And he knew exactly who. It didn’t take Craig long to find him hiding in the shadows where the tiki torches and bonfire couldn’t cast a glow. Ron Stiles was closer to Craig than family ever could be, but no one would ever mistake them for brothers. Craig was tall, dark haired, and white. Ron was short, bald, and black. As Craig approached, Ron grinned and held his arms out like he deserved a hug. Craig scowled.

“Hey, Ron,” Craig said through clenched teeth and a snarl of a smile. “What the hell’s going on, buddy?”

Ron’s eyes danced with mischief, and his natural smile broadened. He wrapped an arm around Craig. “Look here, man, you’re my boy. Have been since we were what, sixteen? And it’s your birthday, and I know you’re getting old…but you’re not so damned old that you need to be as grumpy as you are. What the hell, man? Fishing all day for your big 3-0? I figure you can do that when you turn freakin’ ninety or something. For now, you party.”

“I don’t feel like a party. Thought I was pretty clear on that.”

Ron shrugged. “Yeah, well, I didn’t listen. Besides, I have to save you. This, um, relationship dry spell is eating at your soul, and, you know I love ya, but,” Ron rolled his eyes, “all your bitching is getting old. I just wanted to get you out and get you mingling. That’s all.”

“I don’t bitch.”

“The hell you don’t!” Ron laughed and looked to the sky. “My God, you are like hanging out with my gramps. Get you some diabetes and start yanking your drawers on up to your freaking man boobs and you two’d be twins. And I love ya man, but you need a change of pace. And for God’s sake, you got to quit blaming yourself and….”

“Shut up, Ron. You’re in deep enough shit. I told you no party. I explicitly said no party, no anything.” Craig looked around his yard, cringed as people moved in and out of his house. He rubbed the back of his neck and wondered when this stopped being fun.

Ron touched his heart with his hand. “See what I’m talking about? Telling me, your best bud, to shut up? Come on man, who saved you when you first arrived at Trent Academy? The commandant would’ve had you doing push-ups till your arms fell off if I hadn’t taught you to survive, and you know it.” He leaned closer to Craig. “You know man, you never knew when to just ease up and go along. It’s up to me to guide you, and since I have a better feel for your emotional state than you do… tonight… you are going to enjoy some entertainment.” Ron shoved a six pack in his hands then turned him toward the crowd. “Now get out of here. No more bitchin’, start livin’.”

Ron gave him a push. Craig turned to argue, but Ron stuck his fingers in his ears like a child and repeated, “stop bitching,” till Craig shook his head and huffed, “You’re a dick, Stiles,” and then stormed off.

“Happy Birthday, buddy,” Ron called.

Craig flipped him off over his shoulder and kept walking.

“I love you too, man,” Ron yelled.

Craig rolled his eyes and clutched the six-pack. A couple of years ago, he would have loved the opportunity to drink too much, dance too close, then end the evening with a girl whose name he’d likely not remember in the morning; but not anymore. He supposed it was maturity. He opened a beer and decided the problem might be that he was simply bored. There was nothing new to this scene to spark his interest.

The fire dancing across the logs offered him more entertainment than anything. He stood mesmerized by the flicker until a timber crackled, snapped, and broke in two. It sent a spray of fire to the heavens then settled back down into the bon fire. The lowered flames cleared his view to the other side. A woman stood across from him. There was nothing special about her that would normally catch his eye, but catch it, she did. She was pretty, not drop-dead gorgeous, but cute. Perfect little button nose, petite body, with rounded curves that couldn’t be hidden by the baggy jeans she was wearing. Her chin-length chestnut hair looked soft, so soft his fingers itched to touch it and find out for himself. Same with her lips, they looked smooth and supple, perfect for….

Whoa, he thought with a shake to his head. Maybe the drought was dehydrating his brain. Maybe his friend was right. Maybe he should take the opportunity to break his fast. He looked around his party. He scanned each of the ladies there and trusted his years of experience to accurately locate the ones who would likely warm his bed with the least amount of effort.

Then his eyes returned to her.

She would never be easy pickings and since he refused to lie or make false promises, she would probably never be the kind of girl he could bed, but still he couldn’t stop staring. He was boldly fascinated.
And she never noticed. She evidently wasn’t looking for company, because she never looked around. She stood in that crowd of people all alone, hands stuffed in her sweatshirt pocket. He wondered if she too was dragged here against her will. He was about to brave the other side of the fire when she pulled her phone out of her pocket and spoke into it, covering her open ear with her hand to block the party noise. She closed her eyes for just a moment and then shook her head. She snapped the phone shut and then returned to her original position… head bent, shoulders slumped, hands hidden. She chewed on her cheek. A tear fell. She wiped it away quickly. She looked across the party, took a single step back, turned, and walked away.

He followed, sticking to the shadows.

She sat on his porch. Her phone buzzed again. She sighed hard, but answered. He felt bad for eavesdropping, but not bad enough to stop. Besides, who ever confused him with a gentleman?

“No. You’re lying.” She leaned against his porch pole. “Please, tell me you and Meggie are pranking me.” She covered her eyes with her hand. “Oh, this is so much worse than bad.” She removed her hand. “Can you make sure Mom and Dad don’t see?” She leaned forward. “Why would she call and tell them? Oh, dear God… I think I may vomit.” She listened a minute, then shook her head. “Hell no. I don’t want to come home… especially not now…no I don’t want to talk to… hi, Mom.” Long silence. “Joanie just thinks she’s funny.” Her hand twisted in her hair. “I’ll talk to her.” Head nod. “I can take it down as soon as I get off here…I know her password.” Silence. “Why would I want to come home now of all times? I don’t care if it offends him or not…I did just talk to him…It was just a joke. No big deal…I’m not under stress. Please, it’s nothing. I just want to enjoy my vacation.” She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. “Mom…Mom…please stop crying.” Her voice was quiet, soothing. “Mom. Listen. Everything will be fine. I’m fine. I feel fine.” She took a deep breath, said her love yous, and hung up the phone. She was doing something on her phone when it rang again, and again, and again. She responded to each call with the same response, “You know Joanie. She thinks she’s a riot.” Then she would hang up, then answer, and repeat. Her voice was becoming more strained and brittle with each call. He could feel her frustration, and without thinking, he stepped out of the shadows and ordered, “Just turn off the damn phone.”

She looked up at him with the biggest, most vulnerable eyes he’d ever seen. They looked as rich as melted chocolate, and he guessed they were the windows for something far sweeter. “But,” she managed.

He sat beside her on the porch. “It’s driving you crazy. Just shut it off.”
She looked at her phone. It lit up and buzzed in her hand. She looked at him like a deer trapped in a car’s head lights. He took the phone from her and killed the power.

She stared at her now quiet phone, “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” He pulled a bottle out of the carrier. “Beer?”

“Sure…I guess.”

Craig opened it before handing it to her. He held his up for a toast. “Here’s to ignoring problems for a peaceful life.”

She clinked bottles and laughed a little. “Is that your motto, or just tired of hearing me whine on the phone?”

“You weren’t whining, but yes, I have made avoidance an art form. I am the master.” He drank his beer and grinned at her. His voice was rich, like a roughened purr, and she suspected he had just a hint of a southern drawl. He reached out with his empty hand. “Craig Coulter, you are?”

“My name?” she said barely above a whisper. Her heart sped up when her small, cold hand touched the large, warm one of the gorgeous man across from her. His face was shadowed from the dusk to dawn light that glowed behind him, but she had seen him earlier tonight. He stood a head taller and burned several degrees hotter than most men. He had black hair and a firm square jaw. His features were perfect, yet rugged enough not to qualify as pretty. She couldn’t help but remember his body was firm, athletic. The man neared perfection. The realization made her blush deepen as she reluctantly pulled her hand back and squeaked, “Mollie. My name’s Mollie.”

“You from around here, Mollie?”

Mollie shook her head no. She suddenly couldn’t think of words. She’d already forgotten his name. No, she didn’t, she thought. It was Craig. Craig something. Craig the lumberjack with his big brawny arms and… she took a long drink. She was getting warm. She looked at Craig. He was a fully developed man, one that was way out of her league.

“So, where are you from?” he asked, evidently unaware of the pain she was under trying to think in his presence.

“Pittsburgh. In Pennsylvania.”

Craig laughed. It was a low rumble. “I’m aware.”

Mollie shook her head. “I’m sorry, it’s been a really long night.”

“I heard.” He drained his beer and dropped it back into the carton. “So, how did you wind up in Windham, Montana? Not exactly a vacation resort.”

“That’s a long story.”

“Entertain me,” he said smoothly as he opened another beer.

Mollie blushed. “Well, we were touring Custer Park, and we got a flat tire. This state trooper helped us fix it, and he invited us to this party, and we came.”

“That’s not a long story.” Craig looked at his beer. “I’m not even one drink in.”

“I guess it’s not…I’m sorry.” Mollie blushed.

“You’re quite beautiful when you’re flustered. Anyone ever tell you that?”

Mollie laughed. “No. Never.”

“Well, you are.”

Mollie rolled her eyes.

“You saying I’m lying?”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“You rolled your eyes.”

“Well.” Mollie picked at her beer label. “That’s just because I know better. But it’s nice of you to feel sorry for me.”

“Why would I feel sorry for you?”

“Because you overheard my phone calls.”

“You were fighting with your mom. What else is new?”

“I wasn’t fighting with my mom,” Mollie explained. “She was just worried about me.”

“Oh. Well, for the record, pretty lady, I could only hear your end of the phone conversation, and I heard nothing that made me think you needed my pity.”

“Oh.” Mollie bit her lip. “I guess I should say thank you then.”

They drank in silence a moment. Then Craig said, “I know it’s none of my damned business, and you can tell me so, but what the hell was all that about? And why does a beautiful woman at a party look like her dog died?”

Mollie looked out across the people laughing and having fun. “I guess pouting on a porch does make me look like a real ass.”

“I didn’t say that.”

Mollie blinked back tears. Craig frowned. He looked off into the night at the moths dancing in the light. He said gently, “This is my house. House rules are if you cry, you are obligated to tell me why.”

Mollie laughed a little. “You really want to know?”

Craig nodded. “I really want to know.”

“Okay.” Mollie thought a minute, then started her tale with, “I have a friend who is totally moronic, childish, inconsiderate, thoughtless, and,” Mollie paused a moment before adding, “feel free to add in any other word that means lame, stupid, ignorant, callous, rude, crude… well, I think you get my point.”

“Sounds like the bitch pissed you off.”

“She is. And I am.”

“So, what did she do?”

Mollie took a drink. “Joanie, that’s my friend, has a blog. She calls it Horn Dogs and….”

“What’s a blog?”

“Kind of like an online diary on the internet. One that’s open to the whole world.”

“I see, and this blog pertains to you….”

“In that Joanie blogged about my needing to heal over the summer from the heart ache of my break up, henceforth this road trip. Then she goes on to add that I’m still just too moody, so she is going for plan B… and that is…oh, lord, Joanie…I could just kill her.” Mollie took a drink. She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Joanie wrote that I needed to, you know, hook up with some guy…that she and Jack, my blond friend with that guy you called Ron….” She pointed toward the fire.

“Trouble making Ron.”

“So anyhow, my friends, Jack and Joanie, worked out this arrangement that they would fix me up with some guy tonight…which makes me mad, cause I hate hook-ups…but to make it absolutely horrible… Joanie blogs it…she actually blogged that I need to get laid!”

“Now the story gets better.” Craig laughed. “Now I have to wonder, who’s the lucky guy?”

“Could be anyone.” Mollie waved her hand across the crowd.

Craig shook his head. “Might want to have your friends check. He might have died in a car wreck on the way over, cause that’s the only thing I can imagine that would stop a guy from a sure thing with you.”

Mollie gasped. “I’m not a sure thing. I never agreed to this. I never even knew what was going on until my little sisters called to read me her post. Oh Lord. Trust me, had I known, I would never have come here.”

“So you came, but you didn’t know you were here for a date until just now?”

“Exactly. All of my family in P.A. heard the news before I did. Oh, mark my words, when I get hold of those two at the hotel tonight? They’re going to get it. I have half a mind to fly home and leave the both of them.” Mollie sighed and stuck out her lower lip. “Honestly, I totally don’t want to be home right now either. This all just stinks.” Mollie took another swallow. “Joanie actually wrote that the cop who fixed our flat, what’s his name?”

“Mitch,” Craig answered
“Yeah, Mitch. She wrote that the cop promised her that he had a friend who could seduce a nun, and Joanie thought that was just great because my problem stemmed from a lack of variety in my life…and oh, what did she write, that I needed to trade boys for men…a good mind blowing, well you know, that was the balm my broken heart needed…and Mitch’s friend would be eager too because it’s his birthday. Sooo, Mr. Birthday, Mr. Don Juan himself, gets laid, I get such great sex that I forget all about my problems, and everybody wins.”

“And that’s on the internet?”

“Well, it was until five minutes ago when I deleted it.”

“Too bad, would’ve made an interesting read.”

“Trust me. Enough people read it.” Mollie drank her beer. “Including my mother.”


“Yeah. Ouch.” Mollie picked at the label. “And to make it all worse…my fiancé, well my ex-fiancé, called me and was kind enough to point out that he didn’t think he should be blamed for all my troubles, and that it’s not his fault I’m a frigid little bitch. I mean, my gosh, of all the things Joanie wrote about, the only thing he gave a damn about was the fact that his prowess was threatened?”

Craig laughed. “He didn’t worry about you meeting Mr. Don Juan?”

Mollie paused, and then said, “No, he didn’t, and I guess he was right not to be concerned.” Mollie sighed. “I don’t see anyone lining up to take a crack at the ice queen. Maybe Justin is right. There probably is something wrong with me.” Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. She bit her lip and willed them to go away.

Craig looked at her, then up at the stars and said with a sigh. “I suppose I would have to agree.”

Mollie let out a wide-eyed gasp. She couldn’t believe he just said that to her face. She expected him to think it, but expected propriety to stop him from saying it. She didn’t know how to respond to such honesty. Her mouth hung open, but no sounds came out.

Craig looked back at her and shifted his body closer. He took her by the chin and turned her face to his. He moved her hair away from her ear and leaned in so close she could feel the heat of his body. “You definitely have a problem.” His lips were warm against her ear as his whisper sent electric current down her spine. “Your problem is… you haven’t been with the right man.” A puff of warm breath made the skin on the back of her neck tingle.” His voice dipped low and husky, “Tell me, Mollie, when he kisses you, does he do this?” His hand wound its way into her hair, tugged gently, and tipped her head back until she was looking up at him. “Does he touch this very tender spot right here?” His finger trailed lightly across her throat. She closed her eyes and licked her lips. His lips returned to her ear. “Does he remember to tell you how beautiful you are?”

Mollie shook her head no.

“That’s a shame.” His lips descended toward hers, and then stopped, barely brushing them. “You are definitely beautiful.”

Mollie swallowed. “Thanks,” she whispered.

His hand cupped her chin. Strong fingers stroked against the pulse that now hammered in her throat. His kiss was sweet, gentle.

Mollie’s first thought was to pull away from him. She didn’t even know this man. But she didn’t…couldn’t. It felt too…right.

He lifted his head and smiled down at her. His thumb brushed against her bottom lip.

“I…I…don’t normally….”

“Enjoy a kiss so much?”

“No. I….”

“…talk too much.”

Molly didn’t know what to say. Her voice lost, he pulled her close again, but this time his kiss wasn’t gentle.

His hand moved down her sweatshirt, pressing against her hot flesh. She gasped when she felt the warmth of his hands on her skin. Her body jerked as she gasped.

Craig winked down at her and smiled. “Can’t blame a guy for trying, Mollie. It is my birthday.”


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