J.V. Speyer on the Inspiration behind ‘Whirlwind’ by J.V. Speyer (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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Whirlwind by J.V. Speyer
JMS Books LLC
 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.V. Speyer here today on her tour for Whirlwind.  Welcome, Jaye.

♦︎

 

Hi, my name is Jaye and I’m here to talk about my new book, Whirlwind. Whirlwind is the story of a rock star and a mystery writer who fall in love at their siblings’ weddings. It’s a contemporary romance, and it’s my first published love story between women.

The story grew from a few different seeds. The first was my daughter. She’s been agitating for me to write a story “about girls” for a while now. Actually, she’s been requesting a story “with all girls, no romance, no kissing, and with the boys getting sent to the moon and left there” for a couple of years. (She’s eight.)  I was pretty up front with her about the need for there to be romance in a romance story, and she finally conceded that I could write a story with romance “as long as no one of any gender kisses any boys.”

So I came up with a story, and I wrote the outline, and then it sat on my hard drive for a while. Then I saw a call for submissions for stories involving characters who were opposites, and I thought, “Well, half of the work is already done for this one…”

The characters of Jo and Valeria came from a few different places. Jo is a musical prodigy, which was inspired by Prince. Her backstory was inspired by some more current events, though. Jo didn’t choose to come out. She was outed by someone she was dating, and not for good reasons.

That was inspired by legislation put forward in some US states recently. When I was a kid, some activists made a practice of outing celebrities and public figures. While that was problematic in and of itself, at the time it had its place in eroding stigma and saving lives. The legislation put forward now, in the modern era, required teachers and other adults to out children to their parents, or even to report suspicions of non-heterosexual orientations. These states had high concentrations of evangelical Christians, and I think any reasonable person would fear for the safety of children so reported.

Jo, of course, was over eighteen and no longer living at home. I didn’t want to go quite so dark in this book, but I did want to address the consequences of outing someone. In Whirlwind, it’s all in the past. Jo is still paying the price, of course. Her family doesn’t want anything to do with her, and she is treated poorly at the wedding because of it. Jo’s experiences, however, give her a lot of sympathy for Valeria.

Valeria is closeted. When she’s at home in Brooklyn she can live relatively openly, but her mother is one of the most vitriolic anti-LGBT pundits and conservative talk show hosts in the country. Thanks to some quirks of a rapidly consolidating publishing industry, they have enough shared business interests that Valeria has concerns about her future if she ever comes out. Does it make sense to throw away her family, and possibly her career, for someone she’s known for such a short time?

Valeria’s situation is a little more, er, personal. I spent most of my life in the closet. While no one in my family made a living from homophobia, there were some issues that kept me there until fairly recently. (Please note that I was not inspired to come out by a sudden romance with a gorgeous rock star, but one shouldn’t close doors to things like that. I’m just saying.)  I spent a long time thinking, “Is there a reason to do that?  Why?  Is it worth it?” 

Not every inspiration from Whirlwind came from such a heavy place, of course. Weddings, and the events around them, can bring out some of the most “unique” aspects of people’s personalities and most of the shenanigans seen in Whirlwind have their origins in real-life events that happened to me or people in my circle.

The bridal shop is based on one near my old house. I was in a wedding once, and the bride insisted on going to this salon that I swear was like being inside one of those ceramic tea sets you see in museums. It was my vision of Hell. The shop owner made a point of body shaming the bride at every turn, but she still wanted to give them her money. I don’t get it. I guess I don’t have to, it wasn’t my money, but it definitely had to make an appearance here.

The fight scene from the bridal shower?  It happened, although it happened at a wedding reception. My parents were the witnesses, not me, and apparently chairs were involved. As far as I know, the police were not involved. The thing is, weddings involve family, and often alcohol, and things get heated. And the rest of the crowd just wants something a little more entertaining than watching Uncle Egbert trying to figure out how to dance to Rihanna, so no one’s going to try to calm anything down…

So basically, all kinds of little incidents from real life combined to inspire Whirlwind. They all got folded into the batter and baked, and this is the final result. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

♦︎

QSFer J.V. Speyer has a new FF romance book out:

Rock star Jo Avery didn’t have a choice about coming out, but ever since her ex outed her as bi she’s been a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ issues. Most of her family wants nothing to do with her, but her brother has always supported her. When he gets married, he wants her in the wedding party, and she has to accept.

The only problem? Her new sister in law is the daughter of conservative pundit and anti-LGBT warrior Sarah Tremblay. Sarah has another daughter, too, the beautiful and charming Valeria.

Valeria has been in the closet since she was fourteen. She’s always envied Jo’s strength and freedom, if not her path to living her authentic life. She soon finds herself falling for the fierce, pretty rocker, but coming out could cost her everything. How many risks can she take for someone she’ll only know for two weeks?

Can Jo and Valeria turn attraction into love, or will their whirlwind romance blow out before it gets off the ground?

Releases Apr 14th at JMS Books


Giveaway

JV Speyer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Excerpt

Simon shifted uneasily in his seat. “Should I step in?”

Jo shrugged. “Seems dangerous. You’re not being paid to break up fights between conservative media hosts.” She looked up and groaned as she saw Sarah Tremblay making her way toward her. “Just when the fight was getting good.”

Simon straightened up in his seat as Sarah swept into position beside Jo. “This is not the way people should behave at an event like this. It’s supposed to be a joyous occasion, where people give the bride the material she’ll need in her new life as a wife. Not some kind of spectacle for the enjoyment of others.” She sniffed and cast her gaze pointedly at guests who had their phones out, recording the action.

Jo hated the thought of agreeing with Sarah Tremblay about anything, but she couldn’t argue either. “It’s a little bit like watching daytime television.”

Sarah stared as hotel security swooped in and separated the fighting women. The one who’d been kneed in the face was going to need an ambulance. “This is what comes from an overly permissive culture,” she said after a moment. “This is why I fight so hard.”

Jo rolled her eyes. And of course it all comes down to this. “So we can all enjoy a live action version of the Jerry Springer Show?”

Sarah curled her lip. “Do you honestly think any of this would have happened if you hadn’t showed your face here today?”

Jo lowered her eyes and laughed. “Sarah, I don’t even know those women. Any of those women. The great part of being a pariah at things like this is that no one can say they did anything because of me.”

Sarah grabbed onto Jo’s wrist with one claw-like hand. “You come walking in here with all of those tattoos exposed. That alone lowers the tone. It tells people, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what you do.’ And with you flaunting your sin all over the place, disobeying your mother, giving your body to anyone who wants it, wallowing in the sin of Sodom and Gomorra without shame, everyone knows who you are. They know what you do.

“They think to themselves, If she can get away with that, then I don’t have to worry about what I do. I don’t have to live a clean and wholesome life. I don’t have to behave myself in public. And then we get what we had here today.”

“Wow. You get all that from a couple of tattoos and a complete failure at reading the Bible.” Jo snorted. Her hands shook, but they were hiding under the table so it didn’t matter. “Did you miss the part about motes and beams and all that? Or the Samaritan woman? I’m, like, ninety percent sure that those people would have fought even if I’d stayed on tour.”

“You should have stayed on tour. No one wants you here.” Sarah narrowed her eyes at Jo. “If even your own mother can’t stand to look at you, why should the rest of us be troubled with your presence?”

Jo shrugged. “Take it up with Tom. Much as I love hanging out here and being harangued about my sex life, I’d rather be out there with my band mates touring.”

Sarah recoiled, nose in the air. “I can see I’m not going to get anywhere with you. Just stay away from my daughter.”

Jo blinked for a second. Was Sarah really worried about Valeria’s virtue around her? If she was, that must mean she had a reason to be. Maybe there was hope after all. As for the rest of it …

She curled her lips into a wolfish smile and stood up. As Simon stood up beside her, she dropped a hand onto Sarah’s shoulder. “Oh, Sarah. I didn’t realize. I didn’t mean to lead you on. I’m not great with subtle hints. If you wanted to ‘get somewhere’ with me, you should have been more direct. If you want, I can help you find someone who might be looking for someone a little more like you, though.” She walked out of the shower, smiling.


Author Bio

J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house with more animals than people.

J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game. She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.

J. V. can be found on Twitter at @JVSpeyer, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyer

Website: http://www.jessicawritesonline.com

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyerAuthor/

Twitter: @jvspeyer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14108614.J_V_Speyer

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-v-speyer/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.V.-Speyer/e/B074G3SMMB/

RIPTIDE TOUR Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin

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Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jodie Griffin here today on her Twice in a Lifetime tour.  Welcome, Jodie.

✒︎

Hi! I’m Jodie Griffin, and I write contemporary romance and kinky erotic romance. I’m here to talk about my sixth published book, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, a contemporary female/female story with mature characters—and my first story for Riptide! I’d like to thank all the blog hosts for letting me stop by, and I hope you take the chance to visit all of their sites. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card.

About Twice in a Lifetime

When widow Talia Wasserman applies for a job with the local police department, she’s shocked to discover she’ll be working for Lieutenant Eve Poe, an officer she’d met—and been attracted to—during a long-ago citizen’s police academy workshop. Fifteen years later, the spark is still there, and no one’s currently in Talia’s life or in her bed. But there’s just one teeny, tiny problem. Eve is her boss, so she’s completely off-limits.

Eve feels a sizzling connection with Talia from the very first, but Talia works for her, and that’s just a bad idea. Besides, Eve needs to focus on the person sending disturbing emails to her office, and not on the woman who quickly makes herself invaluable to the department. It’s too bad her heart doesn’t agree with her.

Then Eve is badly injured in the line of duty, and Talia’s worst fears are realized. She may lose her chance at happiness with the woman she’s come to love, and she can’t survive that kind of loss twice in a lifetime.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

 

About Jodie Griffin

Jodie Griffin didn’t always want to be a writer. She spent hours reading, but school papers were written one painful word at a time. Then a story idea came, demanding to be put on paper. After years of practice, she took the leap, submitted her first manuscript, and hasn’t looked back.

Jodie is also an avid photographer, a chocoholic, and a lover of bad puns. When she’s not writing, she’s likely out stalking the moon for that perfect shot.

Jodie’s own happily ever after includes one incredibly supportive husband and one future heroine. Visit Jodie at www.jodiegriffin.com.

Connect with Jodie:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jodie-Griffin-165472856805202/

Twitter: twitter.com/Jodie_Griffin

Tumblr: jodiegriffin.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jodiegriffin/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorjodiegriffin/

Giveaway

  • To celebrate the release of Twice In a Lifetime, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 27, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Julia Review: Her Hometown Girl (Belladonna Ink #3) by Lorelie Brown

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I had doubts before the Big Day—doesn’t everyone?—but I didn’t expect to find my fiancée banging the caterer’s assistant right before the ceremony. Especially because he’s a guy. And we’re lesbians. The proper sort of Southern Californian lesbians who invest in hedge funds and wear bedazzled wedding dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a Subaru.

But then I became a runaway bride, headed straight for Belladonna Ink to get the kind of tattoo I always wanted and my ex always called trashy. She didn’t approve of a lot of things I did. I think maybe she didn’t approve of who I am.

So I’m determined to be as much of myself as I can manage. Dating my tattoo artist? I’m in. Cai is smart, sexy, and mysterious. Exactly what I need for a rebound. She keeps herself guarded, but I understand—I’m holding on to secrets too. The kind of secrets that make a girl want to run home to Mom, even if home is Idaho. Maybe especially then. I just didn’t expect Cai to come with me.

I wonder what it would take to get her to stay forever.

Her Hometown Girl by Lorelie Brown is the 3rd novel in the Belladonna Ink series but from what I can tell the entries are largely standalone stories that don’t build up on each other. This is my first book from this author and I have a feeling it won’t be the last.

The story is told alternately through the eyes of the two protagonists, Tansy and Cai. What got me immediately hooked on this novel was those two characters and the way they are portrayed. They each are given a very distinct kind of voice and the author grants us a very intimate look into their personalities, tastes and inner as well as outer personal problems and fears. When I started with this novel, I was expecting a more light-hearted romance story but both the depth of the characters as well as the broached subjects surprised me (in a good way).

Tansy is only starting to recover from a both mentally and physically abusive relationship with her ex-fiancée. The author does a great job in portraying the marks that this has left on her and her struggle to find her own strength again. Even the smallest, seemingly most insignificant actions have a huge impact on her in this battered state of mind like how she panics when she messes up ordering drinks at a bar. It made her a very relatable character and I couldn’t help rooting for her and admiring her struggle against her own anxieties and fears (just like Cai does).

Cai appears at least on the outside to be the very opposite of Tansy. She seems like a strong, determined woman who knows what she wants and has her shit together. But as soon as we get to hear her own inner voice, we learn that she too has her own demons from her past to contend with. The two of them showcase how appearances can deceiving: how someone who appears weak and flustered (and maybe even thinks of themselves that way) can find a great strength within and how someone who seems tough and badass still carries the pain and scars from their past inside them.

The other characters were interesting and entertaining to read about as well – especially Tansy’s grandmother who was very inspiring to me.

The sex scenes are solely f/f and contain elements of submission and domination. They are hot, emotional and never meaningless. Each one feels like it adds to the characters and the development of their relationship. There’s just the right amount of them too – enough to keep things spicy but also not so many that the story might suffer from them. Warning: The book also contains a rape scene and further mentions of sexual as well as intense emotional abuse.

This novel really caught me by surprise about how much I got into it and felt for the characters. The subject of manipulation and abuse in a relationship is dealt with in an insightful manner as we get to see what kind of things it can do to a victim. I can recommend this book to anyone who is not looking for just a quick, steamy read about characters without any problems. I will definitely be looking into other works by this author as well.

The cover design by L. C. Chase is pretty and the soft tones with the pink sky suit particularly Tansy’s character rather well.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 243 pages

Published September 4, 2017

by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-646-0

Edition Language: English

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Figure Study by Suzanne Clay (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Figure Study

Series: Chiaroscuro, Book Two

Author: Suzanne Clay

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: September 25, 2017

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 19900

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, erotica, contemporary, lesbian, artist, teacher/student, age-gap, interracial, light D/s, edging, spanking, rope bondage/shibari

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Ainsley and her former student Noma face the aftermath of their unexpected one-night stand in this second story of Chiaroscuro.

The night Ainsley spent gently dominating Noma was far more intimate than any scene she’d ever been in before. The intensity of playing with someone she’d taught and cared about was a completely different experience–and twice as intimidating. She’d had two options: turn Noma away and never see her again, or let her stay for a few hours more.

The years away from scenes have left Ainsley eager for play but unsteady in her role. And memories of a younger Noma, when their relationship was student and mentor, only add to the confusion. A return to familiar ropes and knots, an erotic bondage play, helps Ainsley regain a sense of control and face her vulnerabilities. She must learn to see Noma as an adult woman in every way, risking a dangerous power imbalance, even as her heart begins to yearn for intimacy she’s long hidden from.

As they delve into new scenes, Ainsley and Noma confront past pain and baggage. Only by facing their fear of opening up can they learn to trust each other and share something deeper.

Excerpt

Figure Study
Suzanne Clay © 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

The last time Ainsley made breakfast for someone she was procrastinating for her senior show. There had been paintings to finish, an artist statement to make foolproof, and a final defense to prepare, and ultimately, it had been too much for her. A warm body and a kind smile had helped for the night, but the morning after had been too soon for Ainsley to jump back into the fray. On that day fifteen years ago, her delaying tactic had been blueberry muffins. This morning, it was blueberry pancakes.

The fruit felt cool and firm in Ainsley’s hand as she poured them into the pale batter. She lingered for a moment, considering their fullness and the way they floated on the surface. There was a striking color contrast emphasized by the sunrise cutting through her kitchen’s picture window. It felt shameful to ruin it. But ruin she did. With one stir of her wooden spoon, she watched the berries disappear under the surface, leaving behind divots that rapidly filled with the batter again.

Moments like this struck her on a daily basis, and not for the first time, Ainsley wondered why. Was it from her artistic sensibilities, appreciating the difference of colors and the play of textures and the shifting of shapes? Or was it from yet another night of insomnia? Did her exhausted mind make everything feel a little more visceral, look a little more striking? She wasn’t sure. And while she found appreciation from these little things regardless, she also felt uncomfortable that maybe, just maybe, it was something she shouldn’t be pleased by.

She was making these pancakes to delay waking the girl in her room. She was making coffee to avoid sleeping so she wouldn’t risk sensual, aching dreams about the woman she still wasn’t sure she regretted touching.

Ainsley paused by the pantry with the syrup bottle loose in her grip. She sat at the breakfast table cradling the bottle safely in her hands.

Fifteen years ago, she made blueberry muffins to avoid her final university projects. And Noma, the girl dreaming so peacefully in her bed, had left kindergarten only a short time later. God, that puts things in perspective.

Ainsley sacrificed a pancake’s perfect golden-brown color to pour some coffee and drink it—too hot, too bitter, and too strong. The taste was enough to drown out the burgeoning worries in her head, and the burned edges of the pancake were enough penance to set Ainsley’s heart at ease again. Ainsley would eat it. She never much minded eating things everyone else wanted to throw away.

By the time Ainsley brought the tray full of pancakes and coffee and syrup into the bedroom, her mind was clear again. Noma looked like she hadn’t moved an inch in her sleep. She lay on her stomach, hands fisted by her face, and the pinks and purples that Ainsley had painted on her back were perfectly intact. She hadn’t stirred from the sounds of Ainsley moving pots around or the grinding of the coffee beans. She slept perfectly. Peacefully.

Ainsley envied that to the very depths of her soul.

After setting the tray on the end of the bed, she sat next to Noma and caressed her arm. The play of the color contrast between their skin—Ainsley’s blue-white paleness against Noma’s umber brown—stirred her imagination toward painting, but her thoughts silenced as Noma moved under her touch and made a low sound. Ainsley gently squeezed her arm and smiled. “Good morning.”

“Mmnh…” Noma squinted up at Ainsley, came up on her elbows, and rubbed her eyes. “Morning.” She froze, hand still in a fist, and grunted. “God, I’ve still got my makeup on. Did I really just pass out last night?”

“You did,” Ainsley said with a chuckle. “You must’ve been out of it.”

“Yeah, well…” Noma’s cheeks flushed a dark rose as she collapsed flat again. “I mean, y’know, I had a pretty good night and all.”

Ainsley tipped her head to the side. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” With her cheek resting on her bent forearms like a pillow, Noma peeked up at Ainsley, half her face still obscured. “You?”

Ainsley had spent a long night sitting at her breakfast table staring into the darkness and remembering over and over again what she’d done: crossing paths with Noma at Ainsley’s gallery showing, getting Noma’s safeword, painting her skin, tasting her sweet arousal—all without ever asking herself if it had been wise to move so fast. Ainsley considered her response. “I think it went rather well,” she finally said as she pushed her hair over her shoulder.

Noma stared at her intently. “You think so, huh?”

There was something Noma wasn’t saying—something Ainsley couldn’t pick up on as much as she wanted to. It was like Noma was hedging her bets until she knew exactly what Ainsley wasn’t saying. Ainsley narrowed her eyes, weighing her thoughts, and shook her head. “Didn’t I used to be able to read your face a lot better?”

“That was a long time ago,” Noma said, smiling. “I’m not quite the girl I used to be.”

“No, you’re not,” Ainsley murmured. “No, you’re a woman now.” She flicked her eyes down Noma’s body and took in the swell of her rear end, the stretch marks over her hips, and the smoothness of her skin. “Do you want to know a secret?”

Noma sat up on her elbows. “Yes, ma’am.”

“That’s part of why I didn’t sleep last night,” Ainsley said. “Just from trying to reconcile the idea of you as a woman instead of a student.”

The smile Noma gave was more tentative than anything, no doubt still trying to figure out her place in Ainsley’s bed. “Makes sense. Guess I gotta do that too. I keep seeing you as Miss Edwards.”

Ainsley smiled back. “Is that why you called me ‘ma’am’ just a second ago?”

Noma seemed flustered for a moment, her cheeks flushing even more. “No, that’s, uh…no, I think that’s from last night.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Suzanne is an asexual woman with a great love for writing erotica and enjoys spending her time confusing people with that fact. She believes there is a need for heightened diversity in erotic fiction and strives to write enough stories so that everyone can see themselves mirrored in a protagonist. She lives with her husband and cat, and, when not writing, Suzanne enjoys reading, playing video games poorly, and refusing to interact outdoors with other human beings.

Facebook | Twitter | eMail | Tumblr

 

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RIPTIDE TOUR Avon Gale on The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (A Tour Dates novel)

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The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Natasha Snow

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it Here at Riptide Publishing

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host the tour for The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale.  Check it out below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

✒︎

About The Love Song of Sawyer Bell

 

Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary.

 

 

Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry.

 

But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart.

 

Now available from Riptide Publishing

 

About Avon Gale

 

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

 

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

 

Connect with Avon:

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of The Love Song of Sawyer Bell! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 30, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Words from International Literacy Day and Updated Recovery Links. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Words from International Literacy Day and Updated Recovery Links.

 

Last week we were focused on Hurricane Irma as she left a swath of devastation across the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Keys and Florida.  Recovery is going to take months, if not years.  The pictures that come from the path of the hurricane are heartbreaking as are the stories of the people just getting back into to their neighborhoods to see what’s left of their homes.  I’ve included an updated list of organizations where you can donate if you so wish below:

Charity Navigator – Your Guide To Intelligent Giving | Home

Charity Navigator’s Approved Lists for:

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday evening, August 25th, as …

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma made landfall in Barbuda on Wednesday …

Charities with Perfect Scores

Army Emergency Relief – Religion – Last Chance for Animals – Health

Also, I’ve not forgotten our International Literacy Day! Because of the Hurricane Irma our results from International Literacy Day slid to this Sunday. we had some wonderful comments that I wanted to include below from our readers:

 

📚 From H.B.I think it’s important to get children active in reading early in life. Here in the states it’s easier to do but I feel promotion should be upped so communities know when a event or program is occurring. As for abroad I suppose the same can be done. Also if we had more volunteer programs not just missionary organizations go abroad and/or raising money for equipment and videos may even help some communities.

As for me I’ve always read. My sister use to force me to do it, I wasn’t allowed to watch tv when I wanted to. Instead I would be forced to sit down and read or write. It was my main source of entertainment. It fed my imagination, served as an escape and stress reliever.
humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

From Jen:I think the biggest thing we can do to promote literacy is to read to kids. We read to our kids starting when they were infants and they are both avid readers now. Supporting library programs, school programs etc. where books are read aloud. We also have the opportunity to donate books to our school and to a program for underfunded schools via Scholastic Books.

I’ve read a lot ever since I was young. Books open up new worlds to me and also teach me about people and cultures I might never know otherwise.

From Purple Reader:

Thanks so much for your attention to literacy. It is a necessary part of education, which I believe so strongly in. Being able to read really does free a person. That was true for me, and I’ve seen it in others. A whole new world opens up. Then comes the critical thinking skills to make sense of it all, the decision making skills to do the right things with it, and all in the context of a well grounded value system.

Reading is the first step, it opens the door that would otherwise be closed. But most times people cannot do it alone. I try to do my part by volunteer tutoring GED students at the LGBTQ center here. The people’s growth is amazing and I’m so proud of how they become solid citizens of the world.TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

and from

Ami:

Well, I live in Indonesia, where the level of people reading is pretty low. It’s a sad situation really. We don’t have a very established libraries — I always feel jealous when I see one abroad. I guess my way of promoting literacy or books usually by speaking about it on social media. Or donate books when I can — cannot exactly donate my MM romance collection, different culture and all. Because books definitely change my life. I actually discovered about my asexuality by reading books!

Announcements: Our winners of the International Literacy gift certificates are Ami and Jen.  Congratulations!.

Next week we start to move forward into things autumnal, things scary and always bookish.  Until then happy reading.  Here’s a peak at this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue

Sunday, September 17:

  • Words from International Literacy Day and Updated Recovery Links
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 18:

  • Review Tour – Clare London’s Between A Rock & A Hard Place
  • Dreamspinner Promo Jacques N. Hoff on Tufted and Tatted
  • BLITZ Fate Heats Things Up by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z
  • A MelanieM Review: Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1) by Rhys Ford
  • A Karen Review: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (London Lads #5) by Clare London
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tramps and Thieves (Murder and Mayhem#2) by Rhys Ford

Tuesday, September 19:

  • Dreamspinner Promo BA Tortuga on Finding Mr. Wright
  • TOUR A World Apart by Mel Gough + giveaway
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Covet by Yolande Kleinn
  • A Caryn Review: The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane and John Solo (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Pop Tart (Asian Idols #2) by Shawn Bailey
  • An Alisa Review: Cursed (Alpha’s Warlock #1) by Kris Sawyer

Wednesday, September 20:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Bad Boy’s Bard by EJ Russell
  • Review Tour for Amy Tasukada’s Year One
  • TOUR Torin by Lance Withton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed
  • A Lila Review: By Fairy Means or Foul: A Starfig Investigations Novel by Meghan Maslow
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Waking the Behr (Foothills Pride #7) by Pat Henshaw
  • A MelanieM Review: Year One (Would It Be Okay to Love You? #2) by Amy Tasukada

Thursday, September 21:

  • BLOG and Review TOUR Someone To Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • BLITZ Figure Study by Suzanne Clay
  • A Free Dreamer Review Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into Stories #1) by Lane Hayes
  • A VVivacious Review: Caught In Between (Daniel and Ryan #8) by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Someone to Call My Own (Road to Blissville #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Friday, September 22:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Jodi Payne on Creative Process
  • RELEASE BLITZ Waking the Behr by Pat Henshaw
  • Review Tour for KA Merikan – Manic Pixie Dream Boy
  • Review Tour for Marshall Thornton’s Night Drop
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Why I Love Bodyguards (Why I Love… #3) by T.A. Chase
  • A MelanieM Review: Night Drop (A Pinx Video Mystery #1) by Marshall Thornton
  • An Ali Review:  Manic Pixie Dream Boy by  KA Merikan

Saturday, September 23:

  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy and Joel Leslie Narrator
  • Release Blitz Tour – Amy Tasukada’s Would It Be Ok To Love You
  • Release Blitz for Tour: PROPHESY by A.E. Via

 

A Julia Review: Heat Wave (A Seasons of Love story #3) by Elyse Springer

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sara Walker’s life is going nowhere fast: she has a job she enjoys but doesn’t love, friends who are too busy to hang out with her, and no boyfriend in sight. Then a phone call on a lonely Friday night changes everything, and suddenly she’s spending her weekends with Laura. Newly single and openly bisexual, Laura makes Sara think decidedly not-straight thoughts.

Laura Murphy, with her red hair, freckles, and killer curves, is any guy’s wet dream. But Laura’s done with guys for now, and it’s Sara who can’t stop dreaming about her. When Sara finally gives in to the curiosity, Laura blows her mind and pushes her further than she’s ever gone before.

But Laura makes it very clear that this is only a rebound fling, and she’s still planning to move to California. She’s more than happy to tie Sara up, but she’s not ready to be tied down. If Sara wants to keep her, she’s going to have to work hard to convince Laura that New York is worth staying for . . . and so is she.

Heat Wave by Elyse Springer is the third volume in the “Seasons of Love” series which I got hooked on after reviewing the second entry “Thaw”. Though having read the previous books will certainly enrich your experience due to the reappearance of several characters, it is not necessary to get into the individual volumes. I’d still recommend checking out all of them as it is well worth it.

What I find particularly appealing about this series is that it features characters from a range of different sexual orientations and addresses this fact in a natural and genuine way. This time the story is told from the point of view of Sara, who is now faced with being sexually and romantically attracted to another woman after she has thought of herself as being exclusively heterosexual her entire life. Sara is a character many can sympathize with, in my opinion. She is relatively content with her current living situation but is also in need of new and more profound experiences both in her work and love life – even if she does not quite realize it or can openly admit it to herself at first. She is a strong person who enjoys organisation and efficiency as well as testing her own limits (though she is still hesitant to give it a try in certain areas).

Sara is made aware of her own ambitions and hesitations when she gets closer to Laura who is by now the ex-girlfriend of Sara’s ex-boyfriend. Laura, who identifies as bisexual, is a very open and direct person who makes no secret out of her physical attraction towards Sara and the fact that she is only looking for a friendship with sex and nothing more (at least at first). Her directness challenges Sara to re-examine aspects of her life and herself that she had previously thought to be set in stone. And it was just the thing that Sara needed in her current situation. It is inspiring and quite admirable to witness how Sara finds at last the motivation to give it her all and take her life into a new direction she had not anticipated up to this point – especially her fight to keep Laura in it.

As I mentioned, we also encounter other characters from throughout the series – most notably Nathan, the protagonist of the first book and Sara’s best friend, who acts as a source of encouragement and support. I found it quite endearing to meet familiar faces again and learn a bit about how they have been getting on with their lives.

The sex scenes here are much more numerous and explicit than in the previous book (which is only appropriate considering the characters involved). We are treated to some steamy lady on lady action with light elements of sexual submission and domination as well as a cheeky scene of public sex in a dance club.

While I greatly enjoyed the previous entry to this series, I enjoyed this one even more. The author has a clear, expressive style of writing that gives the characters very distinct voices. They are depicted as realistic and relatable with their own individual sets of strengths and challenges. The frequent reappearance of characters – one time as a protagonist facing the ups and downs of their own relationship troubles and another as a supporting friend – makes you invested in them more and more. I can honestly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt and motivational love story.

The cover design by Natasha Snow is quite pretty and fits in well with the rest of the series.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 262 pages

Published July 31, 2017

by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-515-9

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Burning Tracks (Spotlight #2) by Lilah Suzanne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Gwen Pasternak’s got it all. Or so it seems…

In the sequel to RT Book Reviews’ Top Pick Broken Records, Gwen’s life looks perfect: She has a job she loves as stylist to the stars, a beautiful wife, Flora, and a house in the heart of Nashville. But the more she works alongside country music’s dynamic princess Clementine Campbell, the less Gwen is certain of her commitment to a life of domestic bliss.

Meanwhile, her business partner Nico Takahashi is happily settled down with reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson. But when Nico questions the permanence of their relationship, Grady retreats into some dangerous old habits. Will Gwen ruin the life she’s built with Flora for something new and exhilarating? Can Grady be convinced of Nico’s devotion before it’s too late? Burning Tracks is a story of tough choices, taking risks, and the pressures of living life in the spotlight.

Burning Tracks, the second installment in the Spotlight Trilogy, sees Gwen Pasternak take center stage in this saga of intertwined relationships.   Gwen and her wife Flora have always been an integral part of Nico Takahashi’s life.  She’s his partner, sometime life support, best friend and even foundation when things have gone wrong.  And Nico has been hers, even if that put Flora on the outside.  So bringing Gwen out here and letting us see more of her life makes total sense.  She and Nico switch places for a book, with Nico and Grady switching places, their relationship drama swirling as a secondary although still greatly important element here in Burning Tracks.  Neither Gwen or Nico can be separated from each other.

We have been leading up to crisis in relationships, small, large and everything in between and the cause of them.  Here the push has been for a child from Flora, something that Gwen doesn’t really think she wants or is capable of being a good parent to.  Adding to that pressure is a new client, Clementine Campbell, who  wants all of Gwen all of the time.

Lilah Suzanne expertly threads us through the confusion that Gwen feels about all the complications in her life, the pressure she feels, the knowledge that she’s on the precipice of her relationship with her wife who she loves….we feel it all and love Gwen all the more.  She’s so human and vulnerable yet trying to do her best.

Clementine Campbell, the powerful charismatic country star on the rise is just as amazing.  She’s so brilliant a character, she shines off the page, even at her most irritating.  Only Flora comes off as a grey figure here in comparison which is a shame.

Nico and Grady, and the others are all here too, fighting for their relationship, making mistakes still due primarily to communication, something that seems to plague them all.

I love the aspect of the country music business and style here.  That never fails to entertain and inform.

Now to the sex.  Yes, there’s a lot of F/F sex here.  If you don’t care for that, then you can fly over it and still stay at the heart of this story, the relationship dynamics, the mistakes people make, and the paths back to the people who are really their HEA.  I really enjoyed this story, loved it place in the trilogy and highly recommend it.

Cover art again is perfect.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published August 11th 2016 by Interlude Press
ASINB01FSLEMXQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Spotlight Trilogy:

In the Spotlight: Her Hometown Girl (Belladonna Ink #3) by Lorelie Brown (Riptide Publishing Tour & Giveaway)

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Her Hometown Girl (Belladonna Ink #3) by Lorelie Brown
Riptide Publishing

Cover by: L.C. Chase
Read an Excerpt/Purchase it Here at Riptide Publishing

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host the spotlight tour for Her Hometown Girl (Belladonna Ink #3) by Lorelie Brown.   Check it out below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

About Her Hometown Girl

I had doubts before the Big Day—doesn’t everyone?—but I didn’t expect to find my fiancée banging the caterer’s assistant right before the ceremony. Especially because he’s a guy. And we’re lesbians. The proper sort of Southern Californian lesbians who invest in hedge funds and wear bedazzled wedding dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a Subaru.

But then I became a runaway bride, headed straight for Belladonna Ink to get the kind of tattoo I always wanted and my ex always called trashy. She didn’t approve of a lot of things I did. I think maybe she didn’t approve of who I am.

So I’m determined to be as much of myself as I can manage. Dating my tattoo artist? I’m in. Cai is smart, sexy, and mysterious. Exactly what I need for a rebound. She keeps herself guarded, but I understand—I’m holding on to secrets too. The kind of secrets that make a girl want to run home to Mom, even if home is Idaho. Maybe especially then. I just didn’t expect Cai to come with me.

I wonder what it would take to get her to stay forever.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About the Belladonna Ink Universe

Belladonna Ink is the hottest female-centric tattoo parlor in Southern California. It doesn’t matter if you’re cis, trans, het, gay, or spectrum, our host of female tattoo artists will give you beautiful ink, personally designed. We don’t believe in paint-by-number drawings—you’re worth more than that. Give us a chance and we’ll help you find the meaning in your personal scribbles, and turn your skin into our professional canvas.

Just one thing: it’s really weird, but all our friends and some of our artists keep falling in love. Maybe it’s something in the ink.

Check out Belladonna Ink! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/belladonna-ink

About Lorelie Brown

After a seminomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she now lives north of Chicago. She writes her Pacific Blue series of hot surfers in order to channel some warmth.

Lorelie has three active sons, two yappy dogs, and a cat who cusses her out on a regular basis for not petting him enough.

In her immense free time (hah!) Lorelie cowrites award-winning contemporary erotic romance under the name Katie Porter. You can find out more about the Vegas Top Guns and Command Force Alpha series at www.KatiePorterBooks.com or at @MsKatiePorter. You can also contact Lorelie on Twitter @LorelieBrown.

Connect with Lorelie:

Website: loreliebrown.com/

Twitter: @LorelieBrown

Facebook: facebook.com/lorelie.brown

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Her Hometown Girl, one lucky winner will receive a bottle of Macallan single malt whisky! Contest IS restricted to both US entries and to those over the age of 21. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 9, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

It’s Release Time for Chasing Ghosts by M.K. Hardy (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Chasing Ghosts

Author: M.K. Hardy

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 8/7/17

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 77600

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, romance, addiction, drug/alcohol use, performance arts/visual, writer

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Nic is a successful ghost writer, making a decent living churning out best-selling autobiographies of celebrities and other notable figures. She’s also a recovering alcoholic—three years sober and still tempted, every day, to open the bottle again.

Luckily she has distractions—this time in the form of Isobel DeWitt, an award-winning and well-loved actor in her prime, who has decided to release a tell-all autobiography. Nic finds her likeable, charming and fascinating…but also impossible to crack. Every draft sounds like just another magazine piece full of perfectly crafted sound bytes, but there’s no soul.

Undeterred, Nic continues to dig into the actor’s history in search of the clue that will unlock it all and finds it in the form of one Melody Graham, a reclusive playwright and, if rumours are to be believed, Isobel’s erstwhile lover. Nic chances everything to reach out to her and unbelievably she responds, sharing stories about her time with the tempestuous actress and helping Nic get further and further into Isobel’s head. The problem now is figuring out where Isobel Dewitt starts and Nic ends…

Excerpt

Chasing Ghosts
M.K. Hardy © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“Hi, my name is Nicola, and I’m an alcoholic.”

Not much of a way to begin a story, is it? But as James, my agent, always says, “truth is what makes the story.” On the other hand, my sponsor Mary likes to tell me to “be honest with yourself and screw the rest of them.” Either way, you can’t get any more truthful than that, can you?

“It’s been two years since my last drink.”

I was sitting in a dingy church hall on a flimsy folding chair, surrounded by people who looked as if they’ve been chewed up and spat out by Fate like disused pieces of chewing gum on the pavement. Some of them couldn’t even bring their eyes up to meet the gazes of their fellow addicts. Instead, they focused on the streaked wooden floor, following the whorls and gouges with their bloodshot eyes. I didn’t recognize all the faces; for every regular there was a newcomer, who more likely than not would come for one, maybe two weeks before disappearing off the map in a haze of empty vodka bottles, never to be seen again. Sometimes on my weaker days, it made me angry to see them, knowing by looking at them that they wouldn’t be back next week, and hating them for being weak enough to succumb. Just like I wanted to.

You’re supposed to share your story at these meetings, but that wasn’t really why we were here, was it? You don’t want to hear my story. Nobody does. There’s a reason my name never shows up on the front jacket—why if you read between the lines of each tell-all memoir you won’t find me mentioned there. It’s because I’m very good at my job, you see. I can draw out even the most reluctant person, put their words, their life down on paper so that the masses can’t help but want to read it, and the supposed author can’t help but rake in the cash. So I hope you don’t mind if I just give you the bare highlights of my own life—my name might be all over this, but it still really isn’t my story.

The smattering of half-hearted applause at my testimony had stopped now, and I was talking again. I was sharing my experiences of the past week—the times I’d wanted to drink, the times I’d been glad of the clarity I now had… You don’t need the details.

The truth was I could do without the clarity. Clarity, if you ask me, is overrated. I wasn’t sober because it made me clear-headed or better able to deal with my day-to-day life—honestly, I was a high-functioning drunk. That’s the thing about a Calling—you don’t have to be sober to be able to do your job. I could write just as well—maybe better—when I was drunk. I met my deadlines, I made meetings when I had to, my cat never went hungry, and I was never the type to get into fights or wake up in a gutter because, like all good alcoholics, I drank alone, at home.

No, to be brutally honest, I got on the wagon because when I hit thirty I was starting to develop a slight gut, and that’s not attractive on anyone. And believe me, some days I wish I had just switched to gin and slimline, but here I am now and so here I stay. Never let it be said I don’t see a story through till the bitter end.

After the meeting finished, the group disbanded, drifting away from each other like autumn leaves pushed by a capricious breeze. There was a table set up with orange juice, tea, and biscuits; some of the newcomers lingered there, hoping to meet kindred spirits who would reassure them that everything’s okay and it’ll just get easier with time. The regulars knew better.

Me, I picked up my sleek black laptop bag and hoisted it over my shoulder, exchanging curt nods with a few people before heading for the door. I wasn’t in full Bitch Mode, which on a normal day meant I might stop and exchange pleasantries, but I’d got a meeting to get to across town and not a lot of time. Chances were I’d probably be late. Why didn’t I just skip the meeting, go to a later one, you ask. To which I reply: you’ve never been an addict, have you?

I grabbed a taxi as soon as I could, promising the driver a generous tip if he could get me to my destination by four o’clock. That’s the other thing about having a Calling—you can make plenty of money doing it. I have even more now that it doesn’t all go on booze and mixers, but it mainly just sits in my bank account or occasionally serves to entice cab drivers to get me where I’m going on time.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that what I do is necessarily what I saw myself doing when I majored in Creative Writing at college (you don’t really care where, do you?). My starry-eyed teenaged self thought I was going to be the next Kerouac, or the next Tartt, or at worst the next Stephen King. I think my younger self would probably want to knife me in my sleep if she saw me trampling all over her dreams of renown and accolade, making a tidy little profit without my name ever appearing on a single dust jacket.

It’s still writing, though. It scratches that eternal itch. And I’ll tell you what, it’s satisfying, in its own way—getting into someone’s head, finding their voice, putting their life into their own words when they can’t make that transfer from mind to page for themselves. I’m like a conduit—weirdly, I feel connected to them. It’s an addictive sensation in its own right, and I am, after all, an addict.

Some people go from vice to vice, trying to find something that fills in that emptiness. I knew a guy in the early nineties who, after nearly killing himself on a five-year bender, sobered up almost overnight only to begin falling into bed with a different person each evening. What alcohol couldn’t accomplish, AIDS did. When you look at it like that, my way doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

We got to the hotel at five past four—even though we were technically late, I still gave the driver his promised tip. It wasn’t as if he had any control over London traffic, after all. I slid out of the cab, barely looking around to check my surroundings before heading inside. I have a lot of meetings at hotels, so I’m well acquainted with them—the plush beige carpets, the myriad mirrors, the waxy, sunlight-starved pot plants. These initial meetings are always in the bar, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that I ended up the way I did. Liquor is a natural lubricant; it gets peoples’ tongues wagging. Even now, hours before dinner time, the bar was half full, cluttered with businessmen soothing their jetlag with a pint of ale, nervous tourists tittering over a glass of merlot.

I caught sight of myself in the mirror behind the bar. It’s a rule, in writing—you have to tell the reader who they’re looking at. Never mind the picture on the cover, they want to be reminded of the sparkling blue eyes, the crisp white smile, the smooth, even tan. And you won’t be seeing my picture, so I suppose I ought to lubricate my own descriptive skills with a bit of introspection. Not that I’m going to tell you what you want to hear.

See, unsurprisingly I guess, I’m about as ordinary-looking as it gets. I’m about average height, maybe a little over but not enough to be tall. I’m average weight—maybe a bit extra on the hips and thighs from time to time; it comes and goes. My eyes and hair are a mid-brown that’s neither particularly drab nor particularly inspiring—my hair pretty much lives in a perpetually slightly dishevelled ponytail. I’m the kind of pale that you only get by staying indoors most of the time, summer or winter, and only holidaying to northern European cities that don’t require you to wear sunscreen or mosquito repellent. My wardrobe is mostly brown, black, and navy. I don’t wear rings and my ears aren’t pierced. I’m basically the definition of a cipher.

I didn’t start out that way—I am told by reliable though biased sources that I was a very pretty little girl. And I went through all the normal teenage rebellion phases—heavy eyeliner, dyed hair, outrageous clothes (though who could live through the eighties and not claim fashion victimhood?). But somehow, I ended up like this: a plain Jane, nondescript and unmemorable. Maybe it’s the exterior reflecting the interior, since my job is more or less all that defines me these days. Or maybe it’s just that spending so long in a drunken, intensely personal, and yet wholly impersonal haze erased all desire for self-expression. But if that’s the case, why am I writing this? I honestly don’t know. You tell me.

The woman I was there to meet wasn’t hard to find. Unlike me, she was well-known enough to create a bubble of impermeability around her, one which no tipsy tourist or errant waiter was likely to overstep. And even if they didn’t know who she was, she was striking in a way that caused people to stop and stare rather than come too close. And as used to celebrity as I am, I’ll admit I hesitated for a moment before breaching that no man’s land and approaching her table.

“Ms. Dewitt? Nicola Booth. Sorry I’m late.”

“Oh, are you?” she said politely, in that tone where it was obvious she’d noticed and was pretending not to—which I hate, by the way.

“Yep,” I said, tamping down the urge to roll my eyes as I took a seat opposite her at the table. Lord, save me from the well-meaning ones—give me a stone-cold bitch any day. They’re so much more fun. “Anyway, I’ve just got a few questions before we get started. I assume your agent told you what I’ll be doing?”

“Well, I know what a ghostwriter does, of course, but I’m sure you all have your own methods…”

“Sure.” I sat back in my chair, nodding a little. “A lot of writers like to pore through articles, past interviews, watch appearances on Jay Leno, that sort of thing. Really bumps up the research fee.”

She raised an eyebrow—just the one. You know how in books everyone can do that? I’ll tell you what, not everyone can do that. “And you?” she said in this arch tone and I’m not sure whether it’s getting my back up or turning me on a little.

Not wanting to give her the satisfaction of watching me jump through any of her little hoops, I turned a little, motioning for the single waiter who’s loitering by the bar. He hurried over, more for her sake than mine, I knew, and I ordered a mineral water with lemon before looking back to Ms. Isobel Dewitt with all her arched eyebrow and perfect lips.

“I like to talk.”

“To talk.”

“Mm. I mean, yes. To talk. You’re supposed to be telling your life story, right? So the best way to do that is to… talk about it. To me. I’ll record it, take notes, ask questions…and then I’ll whisk it all away and transform it into a bestselling account of your life.” Maybe it sounds conceited, but trust me, it’s true. I have never failed to turn out a book that exceeded the publisher’s expectations, and I’ve even helped a few minor celebrities to climb the social ladder to better recognition.

The great Isobel Dewitt pursed her perfect lips and tossed her perfect hair and relaxed back in her chair with a nod. “All right. So when do we start?”

Well. This is it, then. “We can start right now,” I told her, leaning over to pull my recorder out of my bag, then set it on the table between us. No time like the present. “Let’s talk about what you want out of this book.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

MK Hardy is the pen name for two geeky women living and writing together in Scotland. They’ve been writing partners for eleven years and life partners for nine. When they’re not typing frantically at one another they like to walk the dogs, cuddle the cats, drink cocktails and play boardgames.

Facebook | Twitter

Tour Schedule

8/7      Divine Magazine

8/7      Love Bytes reviews

8/8      Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

8/8      My Fiction Nook

8/9      MillsyLovesBooks

8/9      A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog

8/10    The Novel Approach

8/10    Boy Meets Boy Reviews 

8/11    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

8/11    Happily Ever Chapter

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