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Happy Release Day to Laura Chapman!

10/25/2016 08:56

 

Our favorite fantasy football queen is back in

THREE & OUT,

the latest in the Queen of the League series by

the lovely Laura Chapman!

 

It's another hilarious, compelling read we've come to expect from this series.  I'm an exhausted mess this morning thanks to Laura--I sat up reading past midnight because I just had to find out what happened to Harper and Brook.

 

Keep reading for a fun interview she did with me, as well as a giveaway!

 
 

Find it on

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKobo | iBooksGoodreads

 

After rushing to the altar and moving across the country, Harper Duquaine (or is it MacLaughlin, now?) is in uncharted territory. What once seemed like a promising opportunity to advance her husband’s career while giving her some much-needed independence and adventure has proven to be a bust. By the time fall rolls around again, she’s back in a boring job by day and overstocking her inventory of crocheted scarves by night. Not even the prospect of a new football season holds much excitement.

 

 At least that’s what she thought. Harper suddenly finds herself the manager of not one but two fantasy football teams—each with its own set of drama. Between the added pressure of her new marriage, an unexpected career prospect, and the hiccups created by people from her past and present worlds, Harper quickly finds herself going from bored to overwhelmed.

 

Can she hold up under the pressure, or will Harper learn the hard way that the turf isn’t always greener on the other field?

 

 

My interview with Laura:

So Harper is in a new town, so that means a new crew for her fantasy football league.  Can we expect some new alpha males in THREE & OUT?

There is a new, somewhat significant alpha male in THREE & OUT, but he isn’t in either of Harper’s fantasy football leagues. While she still plays with the Mega Ballerz back in Nebraska, her crew in Seattle has the distinction of being all female. The Real Coaches’ Wives of Seattle is a league comprised entirely of the wives and girlfriends of the coaches and staff members on the fictional Seattle State football team. The commissioner in this league makes the guys in the Mega Ballerz look like a bunch of prince charmings. Harper will have more than bragging rights and a prize pool at stake with this cutthroat group.

 

Now that Harper and the oh-so-loveable Brook are married, did you find it difficult to keep the spark in their relationship alive in this book?

This was a fun an interesting step for me to explore as a writer, because saying “I do” certainly changes dynamics. With Brook’s work schedule even busier, and the demands even greater, they don’t get a ton of time together. Thanks to another complication in their lives, they have almost no alone. So when they do steal precious moments together, they definitely make it count. While they might be physically apart, they come up with some inventive ways for keeping in touch. Brook, in particular, acquires a taste for overusing emojis and sending snaps when they aren’t together. The new technology might seem modern, but in a way, it kind of felt like a nod to the love letters you imagine in historical romances. Only instead of flowery prose and sonnets, they’re sending each other hearts and smiley faces.


Not only do you have a cast of characters, but you also made up a league full of football players for the fantasy league.  How do you keep track of all the football players and their stats? 

Keeping track of the fictional football players, and the weekly matchups, is definitely the most challenging part of this story. It became twice as difficult this season, because there were two teams, two leagues, and two sets of games to track. I write with Scrivener, which is writing software with fantastic organizational components. In Scrivener, I keep a file of Harper’s players and a schedule for how her team will perform on each week, including wins, losses, and points. I figure out this part early in the plotting process, because so much of Harper’s world gets shaped by what happens with her players. That said, I get a little confused sometimes, and I am super fortunate to have a couple of vigilant beta readers, and my copywriter Chrissy Wolfe of EFC, who help me make sure players names and positions stay consistent. Another challenge was coming up with names for so many people. For the first book, I enlisted the help of my blog readers. For the second, I held court at my sister’s bar and bounced names back and forth with her for an evening. For THREE & OUT . . . I honestly don’t remember. There were a handful of repeat players from previous seasons and the rest I kind of made up under the duress of a deadline.


When you started the series, did you think you’d be moving Brook and Harper across the country to start a new life?

I initially started this series as a standalone book. After conducting interviews with a couple of coaches and the significant other of a coach, I realized there was a lot more drama to mine in football beyond the first book, and the series was born. Once I committed to a series, I knew I’d send them to Seattle for the third book. FIRST & GOAL explores the ins and outs of fantasy football. GOING FOR TWO builds on that, but also focuses on the world of high school football. THREE & OUT moves them into college football, which seemed like a natural progression. I chose Seattle, because I love the Pacific Northwest and wanted to set a story there. I actually initially planned to set the series there, but early in the writing process my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, felt like a more natural place to begin. Young coaches like Brook seem to move around a bit early in their careers. Harper also seems to have a latent wanderlust that partially stems from trying to find personal and professional fulfillment. Once they were together, it only seemed natural that they would hit the road at some point.

 

Are you planning more adventures for Harper in the future?

It depends on when you ask me! I keep going back and forth. I’m pretty satisfied with where I left Harper at the end of this book, because at a certain point, you kind of want to stop beating up your characters and give them a chance to live happily ever after. But… I left the door open for a continuation of it feels right. As of now, I do not have a definite plan or schedule to write a fourth story, but I have an idea of what I’d like to explore next if there ever came a FOURTH & INCHES. What really excites me is the possibility of a spin-off. There is a certain character who really seems to want a starring role. But, I have other story ideas itching to be told, so we’ll see. In a few months, I might miss Harper enough to push them aside and bring her out of retirement. Even if Harper isn’t back for next football season, there’s a good chance we could visit her down the road. How’s that for a non-committal answer?

 

 

*** BARGAIN ALERT *** 

To celebrate the new release, for a limited time, you can pick up the first two stories in the series for only 99 cents each. EBooks First & Goal and Going for Two are available for only 99 cents each. ***

In Laura Chapman’s Queen of the League series, Harper Duquaine joins a fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way). Her competitive streak soon emerges, and she catches the interest of her top two competitors. With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

 

First & Goal

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

Going for Two

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

About the Author

 

Laura Chapman is the author of First & GoalGoing for TwoThree & Out, and The Marrying Type.  Her holiday novellas Making Christmas and What Happens at Midnight will be released on November 8, and are now available for pre-order. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Connect with her online on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube and on her website at www.laurachapmanbooks.com.

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Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister is out!

10/21/2016 08:41

 

Congrats to my author friend Tracie Banister on the release of her latest novel!

 

Get it HERE!  

I got my copy today and can't wait to read it!

 

 

BOOK BLURB

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.  

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sauté pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

 

RELEASE WEEK GIVEAWAY

Purchase a copy of Mixing It Up between October 19th, 2016 and October 25th, 2016 and you could win this fantastic prize pack inspired by the book’s heroine and her love of French food!

 

 

 This prize pack includes:

Garnier-Thiebaut Oh, La La, Chéri French-themed Kitchen Linens Set

(Apron, kitchen towel, pot holder, and oven mitt.)

 

Kate Spade Deco Dot Recipe Box 

with 8 tabbed dividers and 40 recipe cards

 

The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano

 

To enter this giveaway, simply e-mail the author at traciebanister@gmail.com with your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until midnight on October 26th, 2016 when a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys Mixing It Up within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!

 

 

AUTHOR BIO

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

 

CONNECT WITH TRACIE

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz http://eepurl.com/by0VAv

Blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/traciebanister

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/traciebanister/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5448518.Tracie_Banister

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Release Day to David Lamb!

10/20/2016 10:25

A new twist on A Christmas Carol, just in time for the holiday season!

 

Buy it HERE!

 

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens' classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age. 

 

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you've come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music's biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.   They never imagined being music's most powerful couple, but that's exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she's created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje's ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.   Now, it's been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they'll be given a second chance.   Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don't often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?  

 

Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year's Best Fiction.

 

 

BIO:

David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb's hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David's grandmother's radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they'd think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life's challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes)

 

LINKS:

https://twitter.com/authordavidlamb

www.davidlambbooks.com

 

 

Deborah Nam-Krane's Needs, Wants, and Other Weaknesses is out!

10/06/2016 11:20

 

Congrats to Deb on her new release!

 

Get it here.

 

 

Book 6 in The New Pioneers series

 

For anyone who has read the series, this is a great continuation of the rocky life of Robert Teague.  Whether you loved him or hated him in after reading China Doll, you definitely had an opinion, and I was happy to find out what really makes him tick in this novel.  Deb was not afraid to dig into the twisted world of human trafficking to expose the ugliness most of us never see--and it was all done with the level of empathy and care we've come to expect from her.    

 

Another winner in The New Pioneers series!

 

Boston Police Detective Robert Teague risked his professional reputation to close the case that ruined his father. He burned a lot of people to do that, and after six years the captain who saved his job hasn’t forgotten how much Robert screwed up. A detective of his experience should have something better to do than chasing down a complaint against a paroled convict, but maybe that's why his gut is telling him something doesn’t make sense. Why did this boyfriend pimp get such a light sentence in the first place, and why did one of Boston’s most prestigious law firms represent him? And what is it about the complaining witness that makes her less reliable every time he talks to her? (The fact that she’s using an alias isn’t helping.)


Even a hard-boiled cop would be shocked by the world Hannah Bruges has been slipping in and out of since she was a young teenager. Counterfeiting, child prostitution and slave labor in all its forms make the world a miserable place, and Hannah knows better than most how evil it can be when no one cares. When anyone can get what they want at every level of a dark market, nothing’s as cheap as a human life. Robert would be happy to close the case if Hannah didn’t keep walking into trouble and dragging him into it with her. And if he’s honest, the detective in him wants to know what she’s really after: the people the law can’t find, or the person no one bothered to look for?

There’s always someone who can give you what you want and what you need, but nothing comes without a price. How much are you willing to pay when it’s someone you love?

 

 

Bio:

Deborah Nam-Krane loves Boston, romance, mysteries and thrillers, and you're going to find all of that in her latest work. When she isn't following her characters into their twisted adventures, she's homeschooling her sons and desperately trying to get some sleep.

 

Find Deb on the Internet:

Blog

Newsletter signup

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

 

 

 

Killer Nashville 2016 photo journal

09/08/2016 11:28

 

As usual, my friend Karen and I had a killer time in Nashville at the Killer Nashville conference.  We probably did more sightseeing than conference-ing, but that's what a girls' weekend is all about, right?  

Here are some highlights from our trip.

 
Coffee and lunch at Edgehill Cafe
 
Driving through town with the top down
 
4th and Broadway
 
Writing Strong Female Leads panel
 
Lunchtime at an oddly-named but fantastic restaurant
 
Finally met Tom Wood in person, and hung out with the lovely Manning Wolfe
 
Dinner on Broadway
 
Dealing with Writer's Block and Other Fears panel
 
At Big Shotz, one of the locations in A WHOLE LATTE MURDER
 
No visit to Big Shotz is complete without getting yourself a "Dirty Pirate Hooker" shot, Juliet and Pete's favorite.  
Everyone looks at you funny when you order one, though.
 
 
And one last highlight--DEATH BEFORE DECAF was a finalist for Killer Nashville's Silver Falchion Award in the category of "Best Book by an Attendee!"  See the list here:  http://www.killernashville.com/2016-killer-nashville-silver-falchion-finalists/
 
 
I made a lot of great new friends and am already looking forward to next year!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wedding Bell Blues is out!

07/26/2016 09:24

 

The fifth and final installment of 

 

THE LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series 

 

is now available!

 

 

Get it here:

 

Amazon  B&N  iBooks  Kobo

 
Lizzie Hart’s crazy love life has been leading up this moment…when she finally gets to marry Blake Morgan. But with their luck, will they make it to ’til death do us part before the wedding even starts? 
 
It’s June in the small town of Liberty, and that means it’s wedding season. Faster than you can say “I do,” the social height of the year turns deadly as a sadistic killer begins targeting couples on what should be their happiest day. 
 
The terror begins as a groom keels over before he can get through his vows. The clever killer frames Bethany McCool, the dead groom’s ex, for the murder. Lizzie knows her friend Bethany is innocent, so she enlists the help of her fiancé, Blake, and sets out to find the real killer. But as the mayhem intensifies, the duo realizes they’re going to have to partner up with the police this time instead of trying to do all the sleuthing on their own. 
 
As if they don’t have enough to do, Lizzie and Blake’s big day is fast approaching, and neither of them can wait to tie the knot. Lizzie’s domineering mother has taken over the planning for the wedding, but even she can’t hold everything together as one by one the florist, the baker, and the caterer start pulling out over safety concerns. With the string of violence threatening to ruin their happily ever after, Lizzie and Blake must rush to find the killer before they become the next victims.

 

Lizzie Hart’s crazy love life has been leading up this moment…when she finally gets to marry Blake Morgan. But with their luck, will they make it to ’til death do us part before the wedding even starts? 

 

It’s June in the small town of Liberty, and that means it’s wedding season. Faster than you can say “I do,” the social height of the year turns deadly as a sadistic killer begins targeting couples on what should be their happiest day. 

 

The terror begins as a groom keels over before he can get through his vows. The clever killer frames Bethany McCool, the dead groom’s ex, for the murder. Lizzie knows her friend Bethany is innocent, so she enlists the help of her fiancé, Blake, and sets out to find the real killer. But as the mayhem intensifies, the duo realizes they’re going to have to partner up with the police this time instead of trying to do all the sleuthing on their own. 

 

As if they don’t have enough to do, Lizzie and Blake’s big day is fast approaching, and neither of them can wait to tie the knot. Lizzie’s domineering mother has taken over the planning for the wedding, but even she can’t hold everything together as one by one the florist, the baker, and the caterer start pulling out over safety concerns. With the string of violence threatening to ruin their happily ever after, Lizzie and Blake must rush to find the killer before they become the next victims.

 

 

Cover reveal for CARDS FROM KHLOE'S FLOWER SHOP

06/06/2016 08:45

 

Cover Reveal for Isabella Louise Anderson's 

CARDS FROM KHLOE'S FLOWER SHOP

 

 

Blurb:

As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she's kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interested is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all...

                                  

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, sending herself flowers from him to feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. Gabby Lewis, a recently widowed senior, isn't ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor's guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again.

 

As these stories intertwine through flowers and cards sent from Khloe's shop, the three women begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

 

Author Bio: Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with working on her next book.

 
She created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies!  She loves featuring authors and their books, and has a book business, Goddess Book Tours.

Currently, she lives in Dallas with her husband. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

 
Author Contacts:
Snapchat username: mrsanderson1981 
 
 
 
 
 
Find the books:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Isabella-Louise-Anderson/e/B00IWCNQFO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from ANY WAY YOU PLAN IT by Monique McDonell

05/06/2016 09:28

 

My author friend Monique McDonell has a new book out--read the excerpt below and get the book here!  And enter the Rafflecopter contest below.

 

 

 

Mike warned Marissa back in high school that if they kissed, she’d never get over it. He was joking, but he was also right.

Ten years later and Marissa is well and truly stuck in Mike’s friend-zone and he’s made it very clear that’s where she’s staying.  Her love-life isn’t the only part of her life that’s in a rut so when her elderly parents pack up and move South, Marissa admits it’s time to move on with her life.

With the encouragement of her friends Lucy and Cherie, the matchmaker, she updates her wardrobe and her attitude. Lucy’s engagement party is the perfect place to start fresh and find her old self again, the self that likes to dance until dawn. Mike wants Marissa to be happy and he’s convinced he’s not up to the job, but he doesn’t like watching her flirt with other men or worse, dating again. His twin brother, Todd, who is Marissa’s best friend warns him to back off, he’s had his chance.

Is this a case of not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone? And if so what is Mike prepared to do to get Marissa back with the whole town there to offer him advice.

Will Marissa and Mike get their happily ever after or is it a case of too little too late?

 

 

Any Way You Plan It is Book 4 in The Upper Crust Series

Book 1 – Any Way You Slice It

Book 2 – Any Way You Dream It

Book 3 – Any Way You Fight It.

 

Excerpt from Any Way You Plan It

 

An hour later, she was sitting at the bar at The Pit and was on her third beer. She was tired and emotional and probably—no definitely—should have curled up in bed with a book that promised her a happily ever after.

“Hey there.” Todd Kowalski slid onto the barstool next to her. Todd was Mike’s identical twin brother and one of her oldest friends. The twins looked the same to the untrained eye, but Marissa’s eye was very well trained indeed.

“Hey, Todd. How’s it hanging?”

Marissa knew Todd had a faint scar in his right eyebrow where Mike had hit him with a Frisbee as kids. She knew that when Mike smiled the left side his mouth rose first and the reverse was true for Todd. She knew that her heart beat a bit faster near Mike and inexplicably never had near Todd.

“How’s it hanging?” He raised his eyebrows at her.

“I’m working on some new material,” she replied.

“Keep working.” He raised the beer that had been placed in front of him to her. “Cheers.”

“Good day?”

“Just work.”

The town thought Todd was a graphic designer, which he was. What they didn’t know was that he had also invented the online gaming app, Jungle Jam, and was currently worth an absolute bucket-load of money. She knew and Mike knew, and well, that was about it.

“Anything new?”

He nodded. “Yep, nearly done. I’m kind of excited.”

“Good for you,” she said, but her voice sounded flat even to her.

“You don’t seem happy tonight. Anything I can do to cheer you up?”

“I’m just in a funk. My folks are moving, I’ve wasted my twenties, and I’m a lonely librarian . . .”

“Ah, so nothing major.” He gave her a gentle shove with his elbow.

“Exactly.” She took a swig of her beer.

“What number is that, honey?” He pointed to her drink.

“Three.”

“I’ll drive you home.”

“Thanks, Todd. You really should find a nice girl to lavish your kindness on.”

“Yeah, thanks, but no thanks. I’m very happy being single and hanging out with you.”

“Who’s happy being single?” She’d know that voice anywhere. Not that she didn’t hear it practically every day. She looked over her shoulder and took him in. Dark hair, NYU sweatshirt, and jeans. Nothing that should make a girl’s heart flip, and yet hers did an elegant somersault.

“Your brother, of course.”

Mike slid onto the barstool on her other side. It was pretty standard. She was the rose between two thorns. “I see.”

They sat there in amicable silence. Or so it seemed. To the whole town, they were just three friends who hung out. It wasn’t like that, not really. Marissa had been in love with Mike for as long as she could remember, and Todd knew that as well. Meanwhile Mike, the object of her infatuation, acted, or was, oblivious. It was the routine they’d fallen into when they all drifted back to town. Not that Marissa usually drank at The Pit; that alone was out of the ordinary. She was only here because Lucy and Chase were in town. For years, she’d spent her weekends being bossed around by her mother or Patty, an old high school frenemy who bossed half the town around. Lately, she’d withdrawn even more and either went and played video games with Todd or was home with her folks.

Lucy and Chase came in with a whoosh of cool air, and they all moved over to a table.

“How is it at your mom’s?” she asked Lucy.

“It’s nice. That makes it weird in itself. I’m not used to nice.” She eyed Marissa. “Do you usually drink beer?”

“I’m trying new things.” She shrugged.

“How’s that working for you?”

“I’m on my third.” Lucy looked shocked. Even when they’d been at college together, she’d never been a beer drinker or much of a drinker at all. “Todd’s dropping me home. Don’t worry. I’m notoriously sensible.”

“I know. I’m a little worried about you,” her friend said, giving her arm a squeeze.

“I guess I just have some stuff to work out. Like who I am, what I want, and where I’m heading.”

“Just the simple stuff then?”

“That’s what Todd said.” She sighed.

 “It is going to be okay, Marissa.” Her friend patted her hand.

“Yeah, if you say so.”

 

 

About the author – Monique McDonell

I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance.

I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards I was busy working in public relations I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)

When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since.

I am the author of five stand alone novels including Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire and the Upper Crust Series. Many of my novels focus on an Australian characters meeting and visiting US characters.

I have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for ten years. Our anthology Better Than Chocolate raised over $10,000 for the charity Room to Read and helped build a library in South East Asia. I am also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia. In 2015 had a piece on writing chicklit featured in the successful Australian non-fiction book Copyfight.

I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter where I run a boutique PR consultancy.
 

To learn more about  my books, my writing, my caffeine obsession and my upcoming books please visit  www.moniquemcdonell.com.au.

 

Links:

Amazon author page

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Goodreads

 

 

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Interview with Author Laina Turner

05/01/2016 14:29

 

Welcome back, Laina Turner, on her 

Necklaces & Nooses blog tour!

 

Get the book here.

 

When Presley’s boss is found hanging she thinks its suicide until the police discover its homicide. Who would want to kill a the owner of a high end women's boutique? Presley's not sure but she’s determined to find out.

 

Interview with Laina

 

What is the best dish you can cook?

My lasagna is world famous. Ok, maybe not world famous but my friends and family love it.

 

Can you fake any accents?

Not and be believable. I need to stick to my normal voice.

 

You wouldn't be caught dead, where?

In a minivan. My fiancé drives one and they are super versatile but I won best car of my high school senior class and I have to be in a hot car. You know, like a Buick.

 

Do you have any hidden talents?

None at all. Unless you count…nope. None.

 

What do you have in your pockets?

Right this minute chapstick and lint.

 

Most hated chore on the household chore list?

Grocery shopping. I despise grocery shopping. I love to eat but I wish the food would magically appear.

 

Which bad habit drives you crazy?

My son refuses to put the toilet seat down. Drives me nuts and I think of creative punishments all the time.

 

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at.

Household logistics. When I first had kids I was paranoid I’d forget one in the back. Now I juggle 2 kids, school, multiple sports, and their social calendars. Being a mom is the hardest job there is.

 

Name one thing you totally suck at.

Cleaning. I wasn’t meant to clean.

 

What was least favorite job that you had?

Kentucky Fried Chicken at 16. I did enjoy making biscuits but I hated smelling like chicken.

 

What is on your bedside table?

Nail file, reading glasses, pad of paper and pen, and usually a glass of wine.

 

If you could play any instrument, which would you play?

I play the guitar but not very well. I’d love to play well.

 

If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be?

Speedy Gonzales. He cracked me up as a kid.

 

Alcohol or coffee?

Yes. Oh, was I supposed to choose. I wish I could.

 

Are you a morning or night person?

I would prefer to sleep until noon and stay up until 3am but with kids I’m up at 5am and in bed by 10pm.

 

Name a singer you can't stand the sound of.

Justin Beiber.

 

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

I would totally be a trapeze artist. How cool would that be.

 

Name one thing you remember about your high school prom.

My dress which at the time I LOVED but now I am like “what was I thinking.” Got to love the 80’s.

 

What was the last thing you watched on TV?

Flip or Flop on HGTV.

 

What was the last photo you took on your phone?

Of a glass of champagne I was drinking at my bridal shower.

 

What's your favorite holiday?

Christmas by far. The decorations, the food, the pumpkin pie, and Chevy Chase in The Christmas Vacation.

 

When was the last time you fired a gun?

I was probably 10-11. My dad took me target shooting. Though it’s something I’d love to do again.

 

Author Bio
 

As a child Laina thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child).

As she grew older she realized her talents lay in academics and business and for the last several years has been a business consultant and college professor where she uses the analytical side of her brain and not the side that makes up stories.

Through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing. This stemmed from childhood whereas an only child she developed a vivid imagination spending most of her time making things up and thinking the Incredible Hulk lived in her closet.

Proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing to being on the dance team for a semi pro basketball team to being a mom of 2 amazing kids, she tells her family and friends that no one is safe from their escapades slipping in to her books.

Taking the plunge to write books (cozy mysteries and chick lit) that she actually let people read in 2010, she has worked her way up to being a real author, having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). Her blog, Writing is a Lifestyle, was launched to share the daily fun in the life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest along with the musing of other fabulous ladies.

 

Links

https://www.facebook.com/LainaTurner

https://twitter.com/laina_turner

http://www.lainaturner.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13131692-necklaces-nooses

 

 

 

MUG SHOT Release Today

04/19/2016 08:55

 

My second Java Jive Series mystery,

 

MUG SHOT,

 

is now available!

 

Get it here!

 

Full of humor and suspense, the bestselling Java Jive series heats up as the irrepressible heroine of Death Before Decaf faces off against Nashville’s upper crust to solve a shocking murder.
 
Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there’s always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete’s snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don’t always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia’s dead body on the morning of the race.
 
When Pete is arrested for Cecilia’s murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn’t enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville’s high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete’s bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.

 

LOVE this meme made by Collector of Book Boyfriends & Girlfriends!

 

 

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