Hi All! Over the past few months, many of you have asked “When is your next book coming out?” and I keep giving the same answer – soon. Well, though I don’t have an exact release date for Still the Best Woman for the Job, I figured the least I could do is reveal the book cover. Here it is!
Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.
Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.
Still the Best Woman for the Job is book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series is the sequel to Best Woman for the Job, a short story which can be found at these online locations for only $ .99!
Here’s a little back story on five female members of the Jenkins Family who will fall madly and passionately in love with five unsuspecting men.
STEVEN JENKINS, the patriarch of the Jenkins Family, and founder of Jenkins & Sons Construction wants what every entrepreneur head of the family wants – for his children to continue to run the family business long after he’s dead and gone. None of his four sons and three daughters are interested in taking over the reins. It’s not until his oldest granddaughter, Peyton Jenkins, shows an interest that his hope is renewed.
Now its 16 years later, he’s happily retired, and business is better than ever – thanks to five of his amazing granddaughters. TONI (TJ) JENKINS, a master plumber, is his favorite granddaughter – though he’ll never admit it; sweet, levelheaded PEYTON (PJ) JENKINS is an electrician, and the senior construction manager for Jenkins & Sons Construction; MARTINA (MJ) JENKINS, is a carpenter and Steven’s most challenging grandchild. Then there’s CHRISTINA (CJ) JENKINS, the shy one in the group who is a painter, but refers to herself as an artist. Last, but not least, is JADA (JJ) JENKINS the youngest and the most spirited of the bunch. Steven still hasn’t been able to figure her out, but he has to admit, she’s a darn good sheet metal worker.
Stay tuned as I share each of their stories!
I am honored that author Nia Forrester agreed to let me interview her on my blog today! It’s because of her (and her amazing stories) that I have lost my share of sleep trying to finish her books. If you haven’t read anything by this author, you are truly missing out! BUT, I must warn you, don’t start one of her books if you don’t have time to read it in one sitting! Her characters will pull you in so tough, you’ll lose all track of time – and I’m not kidding!
To show you how much I LOVE this author’s work, I’m gifting a copy of one of her books – from her backlist to one lucky winner (that includes all titles except for her latest release)! But first, let’s meet Nia Forrester.
Nia, I noticed that in many cases, you do stories that are a continuation of a previous story. I love the idea (especially since your characters are so intriguing), but wonder how do you decide when you’re going to do this with certain characters?
My first book, ‘Commitment’ was over 500 pages long and while I felt like I was saying what I wanted to say about Shawn and Riley and their journey, I had to acknowledge that it might be a little on the lengthy side. So I made a concerted effort to write shorter books. But I also wanted to explore different themes with the same characters, themes that could have seemed like too much for one book. In ‘Commitment’, the theme was consistent throughout—it was about love and loyalty, commitment even through adversity. So that was fine to have one book, no matter how long.
But while ‘Unsuitable Men’ featured the same main characters as ‘Maybe Never’, the themes were very different. In ‘Unsuitable Men’, the characters learned to demystify love and being in love, to let go of their “ideal” image of what ‘being in love means’, and break down walls that prevented them from seeing both themselves and the person they loved in a non-idealized way. ‘Maybe Never’ was about the aftermath of that—now that you realize your lover isn’t perfect, how do you come to terms with that? And does love have to be perfect to survive?
And ‘Secret’ and ‘The Art of Endings’ were simply two different sides of the same story—the female journey to love was more prominent in ‘Secret’ and ‘The Art of Endings’ was all about men and how they process the powerlessness that emotional attachments sometimes make them feel. But at the end of the day, I just need to feel like the characters have reached their own personal turning points, and then it’s time for me to leave them alone.
How important have your social media relationships been to your success? How much has it changed your book launch process?
I think social media is almost entirely the reason that I have the moderate success I have. I think the work itself speaks to a certain segment of readers for sure. But apart from that, I think being on Facebook and interacting with readers (some of whom have become friends) and blogging so that people know a little about who I am and what motivates me as a writer have been invaluable. I think it’s changed my book launch process because now I’m very aware that people have expectations—be it about the timing of a release, or the quality of the book—and that becomes a consideration and a source of pressure, no matter how I try to counter it.
I like your book covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
Thank you, Sharon! My book covers are entirely my own process and creation (except for the photos themselves). I like abstract images. No faces, and nothing too explicitly sexual or sensual. I like the idea of using conceptual images, not literal images. So the Band-Aid on the heart on the cover for ‘The Art of Endings’ is a concept everyone can understand without it being too literal. So you know from looking that someone’s got heartache, and you may want to read the book to figure out who, and why. I like that idea—that readers will see the cover and have an idea of the content of the book, but only upon reading it will they have a true understanding of what the images mean. The ‘Commitment’ cover had rings on it, but I wanted them not to be too obvious until you read the book and realize what they are and why they’re there.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set writing schedule or do you sort of play it by ear?
Sharon, I manage my time very poorly! Lots of things fall off the plate all the time! That’s in part because I am not an organized writer. I tend to wait for the muse to visit and then I want to write as much and for as long as I can. That’s not a workable way to write, but I am still working through the idea of having a schedule and sticking to it. It’s a challenge. I want to write when inspired, but know that to maintain my writing and other career, that will have to change.
I know you just released, The Art of Endings (the sequel to Secret). Are you working on any new projects that you’d care to tell us about? If so, a little tease would be great!
I’m working on a book called ‘Afterwards’ about Chris Scaife who appeared in ‘Commitment’, ‘Unsuitable Men’ and ‘Maybe Never’. He’s an enigma. A loner who is very ambitious and driven and has no time for emotional attachments. He’s a bit of a misogynist and doesn’t view women as anything other than playthings on the one hand, and annoyances on the other. But he had a soft spot for Riley in ‘Commitment’ and that gave me the spark of an idea to explore what it was about her that made him drawn to her. What was it she had that Chris wanted or needed? In ‘Afterwards’, we find out. I wanted to humanize him, and expose more of who he is and why he is the person he is. I also find him to be a writing challenge because I wasn’t a fan of Chris’ and as a writer, I want to make him not just interesting but appealing, sympathetic and even sexy. I’m as curious as anyone else about whether I can pull that off.
Here’s an excerpt from ‘Afterwards’:
Only two figures remained on the dance floor, and Chris shook his head, wishing that they would pack it in so he could head upstairs and to bed. Then he realized that it was the bride and groom. Tracy’s dress, with the dim light behind it, looked like it was made of the finest gauze, and of course, she looked almost inhumanly beautiful; she always did. Brendan’s arms were wrapped about Tracy’s waist and hers were about his neck. Barely moving, they were looking directly into each other’s eyes, swaying to the strains of Patti Labelle’s ‘If Only You Knew’.
Though the music was loud, it was almost as though they were in a quiet, private space, all alone. Chris tried, but could not take his eyes off them—two people who for all their tempestuousness were in this moment, made one.
For a nanosecond, because that was all he would permit himself, there was a hole in the center of his chest, like a gaping wound. Out of nowhere, someone nudged him and Chris turned. It was Riley, smiling at him. She hugged his arm and leaned in.
“I think we’re going to take off,” she said. “The kids are out, and I think Shawn’s getting there too.”
Chris looked over to the sofa where Shawn was sitting earlier. He was still there but this time he was partially reclining and his son was draped along his thigh, hugging it tightly like a lifeline. He was still at that age where his parents resisted cutting his hair so it was long, curly and fell over his face. The little one, the girl, was asleep on his chest, her head just beneath his chin.
Riley had dressed her in a little yellow and white jumper, and satin soft shoes that were so tiny it seemed almost impossible that there were feet little enough to fit into them. Shawn’s head had fallen back and he was clearly half-asleep himself, but with his arm, he held the baby securely. With his kids draped over him, he looked almost more comfortable than if he had been lying there alone.
For Chris, alone was definitely more comfortable. Or so he told himself.
I LOVED Chris’ character in Committment…and though I vowed never to stalk an author (even if its a favorite author), can I just say…PLEASE don’t make us wait too long for his book. I know you have to work your magic and all, but I’m just sayin’…PLEASE don’t make us wait too long!
Okay, I’m sorry, I just had to get that out. So tell us about your latest release – The Art of Endings
‘The Art of Endings’ is about two men at a crossroads in their emotional lives. Trey is learning to let the women he loves—his younger sister whom he raised, and the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with—spread their wings and grow, even if that growth takes pieces of them away from him. And Darren is a man who thinks he’s got his life figured out, except for one troublesome little piece of it, the woman who has loved him since they were nineteen years old who continues to love him despite his every effort to make her stop. The Art of Endings is my effort to explore how men process strong emotions of love and attachment, and how they sometimes hopelessly bungle it, and in doing so, hurt those they love most.
Is there a scene in this book or one of your other books, that you particularly enjoyed writing? If so, tell us about it.
One of my favorite scenes that I’ve ever written is in ‘Commitment’. Shawn and Riley attend a party. The previous week they’ve had a huge argument, one that exposes how differently they view their marriage. During that argument, Shawn tells her he thinks Riley “belongs to” him and means this in the most romantic way; Riley thinks it means something very different, that he views her as a possession within his control. With that misunderstanding between them, they later go to a party where Shawn purposely keeps his distance from Riley and spends time with a woman who is being flirtatious with him.
Riley, seeing this, becomes enraged, jealous and possessive in a way she’s never experienced before. She feels a profound sense or ownership about Shawn that she didn’t know she had. After the party, they have a passionate screaming fight that results, predictably, in passionate lovemaking. The incident leaves them both shaken because Shawn, who always knew how incredibly strong his feelings were for Riley, sees for the first time how equally strong her feelings are for him. And Riley, who always saw Shawn as the ‘lover’ and herself as the ‘beloved’, understands just how much she, too, loves him. That is one of the few scenes I’ve ever written where I got on paper precisely what I saw in my head and wouldn’t change a single thing.
I LOOOVVVVED that scene!
Nia, thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with me! I am truly honored.
Get your copy of Nia’s books!
Now for the giveaway!
Prize: An ebook copy of one of Nia Forrester’s backlist titles -winners choice (1 winner will be chosen)
Enter to win: In the comments section below, answer the following question – What is your favorite Nia Forrester book? OR Which book by Nia Forrester would you like to read, but haven’t yet?
NOTE: anyone who is a subscriber to my blog or has “Liked” my Facebook Fanpage will be entered into the drawing twice!
Deadline: You have until 9:00pm EST -July 16, 2013 to enter for your chance to win. The winner will be announced in the comments section below on July 17, 2013 and will also be contacted via email. ***You do not have to leave your email address in the comments section.
By the way, Nia, how can readers contact you?
It is with great pleasure that I welcome my author friend, Alicia Hill Jones, to my blog today! Alicia has stopped by for an interview and to share one of her favorite scenes from her latest novel, When Two Become One. Join me in welcoming Alicia!
Independently publishing two novels under my publishing company, Destiny 11 Publications and the great feedback that I have received from readers.
How do you celebrate each book release?
I haven’t really ‘celebrated’ my book releases…maybe I should (smile). However, I do take at least a week off from anything writing related to prepare myself for the marketing & promotion hustle. Most importantly, I take time out to thank God for everything that enables me to produce my books.
What inspired you to write your latest release?
At the time I wrote “When Two Become One”, I was going through a dry spell in my marriage, so writing was therapeutic to me. As I continued to write, the story and characters started to evolve beyond my experiences. At that moment I felt God not only wanted to use the novel to help me, but also others that can relate to the characters and the situations they faced.
What genre do you write in and have you ever considered another genre?
Inspirational/Christian fiction is the genre I currently write in. I haven’t considered writing in another genre, but I like suspense/mystery stories. Right now, I don’t think I have a suspense or mystery story inside of me, but you never know—one day I may give writing one a try.
I definitely think you should try your hand at writing romantic suspense! They are a lot of fun to write. Now, Alicia, do you have any writing rituals that help to get your mojo flowing so you can write?
Recently I discovered that the sound of water, like ocean waves or a flowing fountain relaxes my mind and gets scenes/words flowing in my head. So, I’ve invested in a desktop water fountain that I plan to use very soon and as often as possible. Relaxation and quiet time are essential to my creative mojo. Maybe one day I’ll own an oceanfront house that I can retreat to and write to my heart’s content.
Now for some fun. I’m going to throw out a word and you give me the first answer that comes to mind.
Dessert: Chocolate chip cookies
City: Charlotte, NC
Type of hero & heroine: An everyday person who does something for someone out of the kindness of their hearts—not for recognition or reward.
Actor: Denzel Washington
Actress: Angela Bassett
Band: Mint Condition
Solo singer: Jill Scott
Leather or lace? Leather
Long or short hair? Short hair
Fruity drink or strong liquor? Fruity drink
Heels or flats? Heels
Jeans or skirt? Jeans
Coffee or tea? Tea
Glamorous girl or girl next door? ½ Glamarous girl, ½ girl next door
Picky eater or adventurous? Picky eater
Glamorous makeup or au naturale? Au naturale
Sexy bed-head or sophisticated coif? Sophisticated coif
Those were great! And can I just say that we have the same favorite actor and actress! Okay, a couple of more questions:
What adjectives would your close friends use to describe you?
Ambitious, smart, organized, humble, quiet, down-to-earth, and funny.
Finish this sentence: The one thing I would like to change about myself is…
Being able to stay focused on the task at hand without getting overwhelmed with all the things I ‘need’ to do, so that I don’t end up doing nothing.
Description: When Two Become One
A marriage is destined for divorce long before the couple’s first date. In this inspirational faith-based novel, the battered foundation of Jonas and Shayna Ambrose’s four year marriage is about to crumble when an unexpected pregnancy occurs. Fortunately, the mother-to-be is not one of Jonas’ mistresses, but his wife. The problem: Jonas is adamant about Shayna not having the baby. At odds about the pregnancy they separate, until tragic events reunite them. But something is still missing in the relationship. When truths are exposed, will the Ambrose union be able to overcome issues deeper than what’s on the surface?
Is there a scene in the book you particularly enjoy?
It’s so hard to choosed just one scene, but one that I enjoyed is when Shayna gets a call from her mother-in-law, Charlotte and they have an heart to heart regarding the future of Jonas and Shayna’s marriage. This conversation marks a turning point in the couple’s relationship, but in which direction you’ll have to read the book to find out (smile).
Shayna closed her eyes that burned with tears.
“Do you still love my son?”
“Yes, I do,” Shayna’s voice cracked, but the words surprised her. It felt sure compared to weeks ago when she’d left the meeting with First Lady Amanda with so much uncertainty. Truth be told, she missed Jonas. His long hours spent away at work seemed minor compare to the time that had crept by over the past weeks, knowing she’d be sleeping alone.
“Shayna, it’s gonna take that love and you trusting God with all your heart to fight for your marriage. And since Jonas is running from God, you’re gonna need enough faith for both of you. I’m not trying to force you into letting him come home because he’s my son. It’s important that you do what’s best for you, but be sure you’re under God’s direction.” Charlotte placed her on hold and after a few seconds, returned to the phone. “Jonas is awake now, so I’m going to tend to him. I will continue to pray for both of you, and if you need anything from me don’t you hesitate to call, okay?”
“Yes, I will. Thank you.”
“You take care, honey.”
Shayna hung up the phone, with mixed feelings. Charlotte’s good intentions had just added another chapter to her story. Shayna didn’t know how two helpless and broken people could save a marriage buried in rubble. Was it worth keeping her heart and sanity on the line to find out?
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About the Author:
Imagine giving birth to something that has developed inside you for over 20 years. The combination of school, work, family, and fear of rejection aged Alicia Hill Jones’s dream to become a published author, but her dream never died.
Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Alicia discovered her love for creative writing at the age of 12. Growing up in a rough, low-income neighborhood is part of her history—but not her story. Through life lessons and faith, Alicia realized that when God blesses you with a gift or talent it will not return to Him void. In the fall of 2005, Alicia accepted her destiny and began writing Blessings of Purpose, a novel. In between writing, she founded and established Destiny 11 Publications, LLC an independent publishing company by which she publishes her work and plans to present other aspiring authors to the world. Alicia resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their two daughters.
Where can readers find you online?
Thanks for hanging out with me today, Alicia! I’ll anxiously await that romantic suspense that you’re going to write!
First, can I just say that I LOVE the title of Mal Olson’s latest novel, Too Sexy for his Stetson! Not only that, the story has some of my favorite elements – romantic suspense and it’s a western! Mal is sharing an excerpt and doing a giveaway – also, see my review below.
Contemporary Western Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Anessa Books
Release Date: April 29, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 318 pages
Anguished over his father’s lack of morals, Deputy Blade Beringer struggles to conquer self-doubts. When he and his K9 partner Rambo arrive in the mountains of northern Idaho, Blade is faced with a band of white supremacists, a homicide investigation, and a murder cold case, not to mention the task of training a gorgeous blond rookie.
Trainee Brandy Wilcox is bent on clearing her mother’s name of a wrongful murder conviction. While working the homicide investigation with her sexy new training officer, she discovers a connection between the victim and her mother’s case. The two deputies struggle to resist their mutual attraction and abide by the no-fraternizing rules, but passion blazes and teeters on the brink of love. With a killer targeting them and danger lurking at every turn, Brandy doubts their love can blossom, especially when she puts Officer Skip Coogan—Blade’s best friend and father figure—at the top of her suspect list.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Brandy’s trigger finger twitched. A bead of sweat tickled its way down her backbone. She was inexperienced, off duty, and miles from her truck, which sat near a trailhead in the mountainous wilderness of northern Idaho, and the intruder she held at gunpoint probably had seventy muscled pounds on her.
She studied the cowboy’s sweet-as-honey, wicked-as-sin smile through the sights of her department-issued Remington semiautomatic rifle. From his pose on the rickety porch of the old log cabin, he assessed her right back. His full lips tugged across Crest-white teeth, exposing a small but sexy gap between his central incisors.
He tipped his head toward the jimmied-open window. “I know this looks bad, Ma’am, but I can explain,” he drawled out “Ma’am” again.
“Deputy Sheriff Brandy Wilcox. Keep your hands where I can see them.”
“Brandy?” Impervious to the deputy sheriff title, he straightened and angled his dusty black Stetson over his forehead so the brim shadowed his cool-water eyes. “Name like that could make a man real thirsty.”
Brandy had heard just about every come-on in the book, but never from a trespasser on the business end of her rifle. She calculated his over-confident grin, the twinkle in his eyes, the tilt of his head—blond curly hair no less. A sensual package that promised a ride on the wild side—if one was so inclined. Which she was not.
Yet something primal tugged deep in her stomach.
Bracing the Remington more firmly against her shoulder, she steadied her aim and revved up her grit. This guy was banking on his wild smile a little too heavily. What he needed was some taming.
“Okay, drop ‘em.”
When he lowered his arms, she said, “Not your hands, your pants.”
For several beats, he stared at her like he hadn’t heard.
“Lose your Levis,” she urged again. She had no desire to shoot him, but she didn’t have handcuffs on her and she wasn’t about to chance his getting away. If it came to a footrace, his long muscular legs could outrun her in a heartbeat. But he couldn’t get far stomping barefoot in his skivvies through the mountainous shale-scabbed terrain. Not that making a break for it was something she intended to let him try.
“Excuse me? You want me to strip?” A trill of elation noticeably brightened his whisky-smooth voice. His expression bounced between “this is my lucky day” and disbelief.
“You got it. And while you’re at it, you can get rid of the shirt too.”
The fine lines defining his too-blue eyes crinkled as his expression turned sultry, and charisma dripped off his broad shoulders like summer rain over mountain granite.
Charisma, hell. That would get him exactly nowhere with her. “Necessary precaution. I wouldn’t want you trying to mosey off.” Not before she could engage an on-duty deputy to make an arrest.
She may have looked as young and inexperienced as she was, but she was physically and mentally tougher than her feminine five-foot-four frame suggested. She could outshoot and outthink every cadet in her graduating class at the police academy.
Revenge had a way of empowering a woman.
Despite her upbringing, she’d beaten the odds. She was making something of herself, and she wasn’t about to be intimidated by this guy and his toothpaste poster-boy smile, nor the blond, sweat-soaked curls straggling across his collar. Or the pumped biceps stretching the fabric of his shirtsleeves.
“I’m still waiting.”
“You’re serious?” He eyed the lettering on her I’m a Redneck Woman T-shirt, a fifty-cent find at Goodwill. “I usually like to get to know a woman a little before taking my clothes off and having a good time.” The dazzle of his smile cranked the charisma meter several notches higher.
“I can assure you, you won’t be having a good time.” Smart ass.
“That’s debatable. I’m already enjoying this more than you can imagine.”
Too eagerly, his fingers began tugging open his shirt buttons, revealing a deep triangle of bronzed skin dusted with tawny chest hair. More sun-kissed eye candy than she was ready to cope with.
As he slid buttons through buttonholes, her gaze skidded to a stop on abs honed like corrugated steel. She tore her glance upward only to meet those unnerving eyes, speckles of light glinting in the azure pools.
As he reached for the fastener on the waistband of his slim-fit 510’s, the heat blooming on Brandy’s cheeks slid south. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Still, he couldn’t run far in his underwear. Seconds ticked by. Golden sunbeams gleamed off beads of sweat on muscles she didn’t really want to notice, but her attention was completely captured by the liquid heat trickling down his chest. She worked harder to convince herself the quiver in her gut came from adrenaline not feminine hormones. At any moment, her survival instincts and training would take over and stop this ridiculous sensual reaction to him. “Turn around and take off your boots.”
“My boots?” The first sign of indignation crept into his voice. “Brandy, Honey, I think you’re making a big mistake. Did you ever hear of fairness in apprehension?”
“You sound experienced.” Obviously, this wasn’t his first tangle with the law. “Have you heard of justification of lethal force? Consider yourself lucky that I didn’t shoot first and ask questions later. Now turn around and get to work on those boots.”
“What about my Miranda rights? Or the proposition that a man’s innocent until proven guilty?” he asked even as he followed orders and pivoted, presenting her with a view of his equally impressive backside.
But rather than shucking off his well-worn snakeskin Justins, he removed his shirt and slowly slid his belt through the loops, making a sensual striptease out of the movements.
Get your copy today! Amazon
Prize: Three ebook copies (1 each for 3 winners) of Shadow of Deceit by Mal Olson
Here’s how you can enter for your chance to win: Rafflecopter
In exchange for a copy of Too Sexy for his Stetson, I agreed to give an honest review.
The beginning of this book was cute and funny, pulled me in immediately! Brandy, a rookie cop, catches this suspicious guy, Blade, hanging around a property that was a part of an investigation. Since she was off duty (no handcuffs) and she didn’t want him to get away, she held him at gunpoint and made him strip (almost completely). This was my favorite scene (too cute). I won’t give too much away, but it turned out that Blade was actually a lieutenant who was new to the area and her department. He was also her new boss – making the scene even funnier.
Their attraction to each other was immediately and throughout the first half of the story, they tried to fight their attraction – mainly because there was a no fraternizing policy. At first I enjoyed the cat and mouse game, but then it went a little too long in my opinion. It helped that there was a nice suspenseful plot woven into the story at this point, with nice twist and turns that kept me reading. The author also did a good job with describing the setting/surroundings and I could easily visualize the scenes. Oh, and Rambo, Blade’s trusted K-9 – was a wonderful touch!
Though there was entertainment and suspense to the story – like my second favorite scene when they were chased down by a huge truck that sent them over a cliff (great scene), thereafter, the story was just okay. The action that came after Brandy was hospitalized (for a brief period) after the cliff incident, was okay – but at times not believable. The day after the hospitalization (where she had a sprained ankle, bruised shoulder and damaged ribs) she was lured away and kidnapped. She went through a lot including being knocked out, physically attacked by a guy who was high, sent down stream in a boat (no paddles and her hands were tied) – after a major storm w/ high tides – the list goes on (mind you, this was the day after she was released from the hospital). Some parts I could go with (and they were thrilling), but the scenes thereafter were too over the top for someone in her physical condition (in my opinion).
Overall, this was a cute story with some nice suspense and great creativity. I would consider reading something else by this author.
Overall Rating = 4 Stars
Book Cover = 5 Stars
Book Blurb = 4 Stars
Writer’s Voice /Style = 4 Stars
Character Development = 3.5 Stars
Story Appreciation = 3.5 Stars
About the Author:
Award winning author, Mal Olson, writes adrenaline kicked romantic suspense. She enjoys skydiving, ski jumping, SCUBA, hang gliding, big wave surfing, car racing, mountain climbing—that is, vicariously through her characters, who are always kick-ass, and often boss her around rather than allowing her to spin her stories the way she intends. (She did, however, personally engage in zip lining this past summer.)
Her debut novel Shadow of Deceit, released by The Wild Rose Press in 2012, is an edge of the seat romantic suspense-thriller set in Milwaukee and parts of northern Wisconsin. Shadow of Deceit earned Mal a spot as finalist in WisRWA’s 2013 Write Touch Reader’s Award contest for published authors.
A couple of her favorite reviews came from Beverly at The Wormhole, who said, “Wow! This one has it all! Non-stop action, hot and sexy characters, betrayal, smokin’ romance, and a thrilling plot–” and Gothic Mom’s Book Review, which stated, “In the 150+ books that I read per year, there are very few that receive a five star rating. Shadow of Deceit did just that. Non stop action, sexual tension, an adventure that had me on the edge of my seat…A fantastic book that had me from page one…”
Too Sexy For His Stetson is another romantic suspense-thriller. This time Olson’s bossy characters lead her to the mountains of Northern Idaho, where a deputy sheriff and his female rookie deal with menacing white supremacists, a homicide, a murder cold case, and a threat to a nearby dam—all while trying to keep their hands off each other. Meanwhile, Rambo, the hero’s retired K-9, quietly steals the show.
Olson also offers two short stories. Danger Zone, which has spent months in the Kindle top 100 free romantic suspense category, is a guaranteed fifteen minute pulse pounder where two strangers survive a rock ‘n roll landing on an icy Milwaukee runway and chase a could-be terrorist into the danger zone. Me and Brad, a feel good romance, features an irresistible K-9 and was ranked in the Kindle free top 100 list for months in the Contemporary Romance category.
Connect with Mal Olson
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It is with great pleasure that I welcome fellow author, Deatri King-Bey to my blog today! Alright Deatri, take it away!
The Only Option by Deatri King-Bey
What’s wrong with wanting a traditional family where the father works outside the home to provide for his family financially and the mother works inside the home to raise the couple’s two point five children? What if the world kept telling you the traditional family you’ve always wanted isn’t for you?
What if an opportunity to have your dream come true made you an offer you’d be insane to accept but every fiber of your being is telling you to accept it? This is where Isis, the heroine in my contemporary romance The Only Option, finds herself.
The Only Option: Sane upwardly-mobile women don’t agree to enter into arranged marriages… Or do they?
Control freak Jonah Tazi comes from a long line of arranged marriages, but the thought of his parents picking his bride never sat well with him. Time is working against Jonah, so he reluctantly agrees to allow his father to find him a proper bride. Then he meets Isis and becomes infatuated with the vibrant, funny, and talented woman. A powerful man used to getting exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it, he is unprepared when Isis doesn’t agree to his proposal immediately. Now he is determined to convince her (and everyone else) that he and Isis belong together. Jonah intends to be her only option.
Isis Michaels has always been sheltered by her father. The tables have turned, and now she must shelter him. Isis rearranges her life and will do whatever it takes to please her father during the time he has left—almost anything. It becomes clear that he wants to see her settled before he passes. Is marrying Jonah, a man she’s emotionally and physically attracted to but just met, her only option?
Here’s a little sample. Enjoy…
“Dad, you’re not choosing my wife.” Adjusting his earpiece, Jonah exited the elevator. Fifteen minutes early for an acquisition meeting, he considered himself late.
“You’re a lot closer to forty than thirty. People are starting to talk.”
“I don’t care.” Artwork lined either side of the hallway. The priceless collection had taken Jonah years to build and there were more pieces to acquire.
“Well, I do. Three years. Three years ago you promised to dedicate time to finding a wife.”
“I’ve been busy running a multibillion-dollar corporation.”
“I was just as busy as my father and his father before him. We’ve always had arranged marriages. That didn’t change when my father moved to this country. He did an excellent job of choosing my wife.”
“You’re divorced.” Jonah’s grandfather had moved his wife from Morocco to the United States shortly after their marriage. The majority of the family remained in Morocco and Spain along with many of their traditions. Jonah’s selection of a wife went beyond tradition. As the only son, Jonah believed it was his duty to produce at least one heir to carry on the Tazi name. Time had slipped by too quickly for him to find a wife. A control freak, he hated the idea of his father choosing his wife, but he didn’t see an alternative.
Attracted to the maturity of women his own age, if he waited much longer, the type of woman Jonah wanted wouldn’t be of childbearing age. “Fine, I’ll get married. I take it you have suitable options in mind?”
“Of course I do. I’ll have your assistant set up the meetings.”
“Speaking of meetings, I have one in thirteen minutes. We can talk later.” Jonah disconnected and continued along the hallway. Originally, he’d tried to acquire D. M. Solutions two years ago, but the owner wouldn’t consider his offer.
He rounded the corner, then stopped in his tracks. Few people had access to his private floor, so seeing a woman standing dangerously close to his Auguste Rodin sculpture shocked him. What drew him even more than her presence were her legs. Quite tall himself, he rarely met a woman who reached his shoulders. He’d give his Rembrandt to have her legs wrapped around him as he pushed into her.
Soon he’d be selecting a wife and other women would be off-limits. Currently a free man, Jonah had no intention of allowing the long-legged lovely to pass him by.
Needless to say, Isis will not be passing him by. I hope you give The Only Option a try.
Sharon, thank you for being a stop on The Only Option virtual tour. I appreciate you a whole lot and a bunch.
Deatri, thanks so much for stopping by! BTW, congratulations on your new release and I wish you much success!
It is with great pleasure that I welcome author Olivia Linden to my blog today! Olivia has stopped by to do an interview and to share one of her favorite scenes from her debut novel, Jaded Hearts. Join me in welcoming Olivia!
Okay Olivia, let’s get started. What inspired you to write Jaded Hearts?
A friend read some of the chapters that I had written years ago, that were just collecting dust. She demanded more, and I ended up completing the book to supply her demands! lol
Lol! Friends do have a way of lighting a fire under us don’t they? So, did you always want to be a writer? If not, what else did you want to do?
I always loved writing, but when I was younger I wanted to be a teacher.
On your road to megastardom, what types of interesting or odd jobs have you held?
Ha Ha! From your lips! My jobs haven’t really been ultra interesting. I previously worked for a security contractor to the government. I learned a lot working in that industry. The most interesting has to be working in hospitality. You don’t know drama until you’ve worked for a large hotel.
Whew, I can only imagine!
So, what is your greatest accomplishment as an author so far?
Taking a step, and deciding to self-publish my book. I have surprised myself by doing things that I never thought I would be able to do.
What has been your biggest mistake (or challenge) as an author?
This answer will qualify as both: Not researching the industry or having any idea of exactly what self-publishing entailed when I began the process. I have learned a lot so far, but I have a lot to learn. I would have spent more time writing my series and developing my brand before jumping into the game.
What was the nicest comment or most interesting question you’ve received from a reader?
I think all positive feedback is like gold for most creative folks. When someone says they loved the book, and couldn’t put it down it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
What do you do for fun?
Fun is as fun does, so I try to make the most out of anything I do. Bowling, shooting pool, or spending time with family and friends is always sure to be fun.
Okay, Olivia, now tell us about Jaded Hearts:
At 24 years old, Jade Spencer’s life has hit a brick wall. Haunted by the mysterious abandonment of her mother, she found it was easier to live in the shadows of someone elses expectations. From the strict authority of her grandmother, the unwillingly guardian to Jade and her brother, to a controlling fiance who she can’t seem to please, denying her feelings has been a necessary coping mechanism. Reality has suddenly come crashing in under the strain of denying her own dreams for so long, and for once, Jade is ready to live life by her own rules.
It’s time for a fresh start. Turning away from the disappointment of her past, Jade ditches her shady fiance and packs her bags for New York City. With help from her aunt, she looks forward to her new future, her fabulous apartment in the city, a new job, and new experiences. Two fated encounters complicate her world when they both lead to unexpected and powerful emotions. She struggles with her desire to embrace these new feelings, and her habit of denying what she truly wants. In this not so classic love triangle, with a hint of mystery, Jade learns the hard way that sometimes intentions can mean everything and nothing at all, and no matter how far you run from the past, it’s never too far behind.
Will she find love or will she leave a trail of jaded hearts? Love, secrets, and lies are all on the menu.
Is there a scene in the book you particularly enjoyed?
There are a few scenes that I enjoyed, but this one is the funniest to me:
I went to the kitchen to get a drink and collect myself. How was I letting someone who wasn’t even here affect my life?
“You know, crazy people tend to talk to themselves.” Drew walked up and took the drink out of my hand as if I had just made it for him. I just shook my head.
“I’m gonna kill Jackie. How could she not give me a heads up about Edward?” I was riled up.
“Who is Edward?”
“He is freaking Julian’s Uncle.” I sputtered
“Who is freaking Julian?” Drew was not following.
I gave him a shamefaced look and long sigh.
He looked at me like a brother who was enjoying his sister finally being the one in a mess.
“Don’t do that.” I snipped.
“Do what?” He asked.
“Don’t judge me.” I used his other favorite line on him and he laughed.
“Damn, Baby girl. I need details before I can do that. You know the rules.”
So I told him about my very brief whirlwind relationship with Julian. In typical Drew fashion he let out a long whistle after I was done.
“Yo, you don’t do anything small do you? I mean you really didn’t do anything because you met this guy first, and JB is JB so I don’t blame you for that, but you do have to check yourself.”
“I don’t even realize I need to be checked until random shit like this happens.” I defended.
“Well, that’s what I mean. Get yourself in check. Either confront this shit or put it in a box and burn it. JB is not going to have it. Alpha male to the highest power and smart enough to check himself.” He advised.
“Confront what?” I knew I shouldn’t get upset, but I couldn’t help it.
“That! All of that right there. Snapped.com. Get a grip!” Just as he was giving me the fake Mike Tyson right hook, Jackie walked in looking like she caught the canary. Drew stood between us like a bodyguard.
“I was wondering where you two were. Are you ever coming back outside?” She grabbed my drink from Drew.
“Don’t give me that. Are you serious right now?” The wrong words and I was going to blow.
“Jade! I didn’t know he was coming. He called me and asked what I was doing, and then he called an hour later saying he was here.” She sounded convincing.
“He called to see if you could work and then showed up? How did he get here without directions?” I was not following.
Jackie just looked at me and Drew with a guilty grin.
“You’re seeing Edward? Jesus take the wheel!” I was a little slow at times.
Drew laughed so hard his platinum shades fell off of his head.
“Man, you can’t pay to see shit like this. This is classic. Priceless, even! If I don’t do anything else for the rest of the week my trip is already worth it.”
Get your copy today!
Olivia, where can readers find you online?
About the Author:
Olivia Linden was born in Queens, NY but raised between Queens and San Antonio, TX. Reading and writing were her passions from a very young age. Other than a blog and a few articles written for a website, Olivia is a newbie to the industry. Jaded Hearts (The Jaded Hearts Club Vol. 1) is her first published novel. Olivia’s writing style takes after her personality in a big way. Her sometimes sarcastic, and usually humorous tone comes across in her stories. In reality, she prefers to laugh her way through even the toughest of situations.
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- Atlanta restaurant
- Blog Guest
- Blog Hop
- Blue Roses
- Books by Sharon C. Cooper
- Business Start-up
- Coming Soon
- Debut Novel
- God's word
- Good News
- Guest Post
- Hump Day
- Jenkins Family Series
- Just Thinking
- Legal Seduction
- Model Attraction
- Months in Review
- Morehouse Men
- Negotiating for Love
- New Release
- Operation Midnight
- Rendezvous with Danger
- Romantic Suspense
- Romantic Times
- Secret Rendezvous
- Seducing the Boss Lady
- Sin City Temptation
- Sneak Peek
- Something New – Novel
- Special Guest – Interviews
- Sweet Romance
- Tempting the Artist
- The Bennett Triplets
- Truth or Consequences