#MusicTuesday: Vanessa de Largie on Staying Connected to her Late Parents Through Music

Is it Tuesday again? This week has really flown by! Today, I’m happy to welcome Australian author and actress Vanessa de Largie to my blog. This is a poignant post that I think many readers will relate to. Thank you, Vanessa!

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vanessaMusic connects me to my parents. Their souls, their love – our memories.

Both my parents were dead by the time I was 27. I began to use music in a way that I hadn’t before. I was seeking solace, answers – I was seeking nourishment.

As humans we crave connection. We are driven to join the dots. My foundation had been ripped from under me and it was time to rebuild.

Most people reminisce through photographs. I reminisced through songs. Each song was a snapshot in time, a time machine – that carried me back to a memory.

Some songs were like bruises – they hurt when pressed. Other songs sparked a cause for celebration. A celebration of what once was.

All of my emotions were being played within the octave of grief. Music theory lessons never prepared me for this.

Sometimes I would turn on a sombre tune just so I could cry. I would howl into my pillow as the melody pierced my heart like broken glass. Music was the one thing that could contain my grief. It was also the one thing that could relieve it.

It was more helpful than therapy and it was a lot cheaper. It was cathartic to play songs that triggered memories. It was cathartic to be so beautifully aware of my own pain. I was facing grief head-on – I was shining a light on it and it had nowhere to bury itself and hide.

As the weeks rolled into months and the months rolled into years – my heart began to strengthen. Sometimes I would hear a song and be caught off guard. I would crumble into a heap and wonder if I’d made any progress with my grief at all.

But mostly, music after their deaths became a beacon.

A compass – to find my way home.

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Vanessa de Largie is an award-winning actress and author based in Australia.  She is primarily interested in issues that affect women and much of her writings reflect this. For the past 15 years, Vanessa has worked in the film industry as a professional actress.
 
In 2013, she had her first book published by a Parisian publisher.  Since then she hasn’t looked back.  To find out more about Vanessa’s work visit her website www.vanessadelargie.net
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Need a Perfect Song to Help you Write that Sex Scene? #MusicTuesday Guest Post by Sheri Williams

Well, here’s a slightly new twist on #MusicTuesday. If you’re a writer looking for some inspiration to help you with that sex scene, this list just might be it. Thanks so much to Sheri Williams for this great post!

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sheri_williamsAs a writer of sexy books, I often blog about sex.  Well today I shall also be blogging about sex, in a more roundabout way.  Writing the sex.  More importantly, the music you listen to for inspiration while writing the sex. We all have songs that spring to mind when asked about sexy music. (At least, I hope we do) (please tell me it’s not just me) Maybe you’ve always figured at one point you would be doing the horizontal mambo to the sounds of Al Green. Well, I’ve written sex to his music and I’m here to tell you….not really sexy. Maybe it’s just me.

I am the odd duck out more often than not, so I am okay with that. When I need to write the sex I go for a pounding beat (pun intended). I like dirty lyrics. Songs that make no bones about being about the sex. Also when it comes to a good rock song, it doesn’t even have to be about the sex if the tune is right.  And then, then, sometimes I just like a good pop beat. Something up tempo for the silly sex scenes. Because sometimes you need those as well. So without further ado…(check me sounding all smart and crap) here is my TOP TEN SONGS TO WRITE THE SEX TO!

1.  “Closer” -NIN; really do I have to explain this? Have you listened to the lyrics? No? Go and do it now. This song is killer.

2.  “Back in Black” -AC/DC; this is also a killer song. It is classic for a reason. The beat is pounding and it makes for a fast pace scene and that is just how I like it.

3. “Pour Some Sugar on Me”- Def Leppard; and oldy but goody. This song will surely put you in a good writing mood.

4. “Pony”- Ginuwine; okay I know the guy is a bit creeptastic but this song is fantastic. If you are in the mood to write some down and dirty sex, this is the song for you

5. “This Love” -Maroon 5; seriously, have you seen this video? Keep her coming every night? Yes sir!

6. “Christian Woman”- Type O Negative; suggested by one of my writing group, The Writing Wenches. I had never heard it but oh holy hell. That would be the perfect song to write a smidge of bdsm to, am I right?

7. “Sex On Fire”- Kings Of Leon; a beautiful song with a wicked beat. Puts me in the mood every time, the writing mood that is.

8. “Gorilla”- Bruno Mars; another wenchy suggestion. I had never heard this song before but I love his voice and it certainly brings to mind lazy Sundays in bed.

9.  “Man Of Me”- Gary Allan; this song isn’t really about sex per se, but it is about the power of the lovely models glittery hooha which has obviously made a man of him. Plus, watch the video, people. He is a mix of a cowboy and a rat pack guy. Perfect inspiration for that scene you might be stuck on. (hint for ya- that pool might be fun)

10. “That’s the Way Love Goes”- Janet Jackson; a sweet bit of R&B for when you need to write the romantic sex scene. When it needs to be all whispers and sighs. This is the perfect song for that.
Anyway, that’s my list. With a little bit of help from my wenches. So how does it measure up? What do you think of my songs? Could you write a scene guaranteed to make us all hot under the collar with these songs? Let me know if you do, I’d like to read it.

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Sheri Williams is a wearer of many hats. Wife, mom, writer, nerd, all of them at once it seems. She is a happily married mom of two, owner of many pets, and dreamer of a clean house. Sheri is a romance novel junkie and always knew she wanted to grow up and writer her very own. so far the plan is working but as it works it morphs. Romance, fantasy, fairytales, Sheri wants to write it all. 

A giant nerd and BBC fangirl, Sheri spends an equal amount of time writing as she does watching Doctor Who. When she’s not writing, or going full on Whovian, you can find her scouring YouTube for awesome new music. most artistic people need a soundtrack and that’s where Sheri finds hers. There are a few published works out but stay tuned for a handful more this year. You can always fined Sheri on social media.

Check out her website, her Facebook author page , or find her on Twitter here.

Posted in #musictuesday, guest blog, guest post, music, sex, sheri williama, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

That’s Life: #MusicTuesday Guest Post by Author Brandy Jellum

BrandyJellumToday, author Brandy Jellum takes the floor for Music Tuesday. Thanks, Brandy, for stopping by!

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Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte, The Beatles, The Temptations, The Marvelettes, Diana Ross, The Dixie Cups, and Captain & Tennille.

What do all these things have in common? At first glance, not very much. They seem like just a bunch a names to people who may not know who they are. To me, they are the epitome of my childhood/adult life.

Unlike most twenty five year olds, I prefer the sweet croonings of ‘The Way You Look Tonight” from my boy Frank. When I want to dance, I pop on “Jump In Line,” and shake it all the time. When I want to relax, I turn to The Beatles.

The thing is, I have a song, person, or group, for every mood. Only I’m pretty sure I was born in the wrong decade. With that being said, I am one of those people who actually does listen to just about everything. From Pantera, to Muse, to Tchaikovsky, and yes, even Justin Bieber. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

To me, music is music. If I love it, that’s all that matters. I don’t care what artist might’ve done this or done that. If the song speaks to me, makes me want to dance, or head bang…then it’s game on.

Music plays a huge influence on my life. I listen to it when I clean, singing into the handle of my broomstick, and putting on a show for my kids. I’m the crazy person sitting at a stop light singing at the top of her lungs, and dancing like I have no rhythm, because I don’t. I listen to it when I write. I have several playlists on my laptop. Some are by genre, some are by decades, and some are by my favorites. Then I have the mixes, a little bit of everything because I can’t decide what I want to listen to. When there’s an infinite amount of words to hear out there, it can make the decision harder on some days. There’s times where I’ll bounce around, pressing the skip button until I settle on one that speaks to me. Which drives my husband- and children- insane.

I’m even that person who absolutely loves musicals of all kinds- yes that means the High School Musical franchise as well.

I grew up with music. It was my escape from the troubles at home. I’d just pop in a tape- because I didn’t have a CD player- and open my newest book. It was my refuge from reality. A way I expressed myself without ever having to use my own words. Eventually, I decided to create my own music. Starting with the clarinet in elementary school, moving onto the flute, and then finding my niche in the 6th grade in the choir room. Wherever I went, one thing was certain, there had to be a choir program. Particularly, show choir.

There is something to be said about preforming on stage. Singing, dancing, playing a role, and making the crowd stand on their feet. It was exhilarating. My favorite memories from high school were on the many stages I sang on. And despite how alive I felt up there, under the bright lights, I never once sang alone. I felt vulnerable, afraid, and would clam up. I was okay with that though. While singing is a passion of mine, it was for fun, a way to release built up energy. And though, it’s been a few years since I’ve found my way back onto that stage, I still sing. Every day around the house, and at night to my son when he’s in bed. That crazy kid who is rather fond of my rendition of “Frosty the Snowman.” Because let’s be real, who doesn’t love that magical pile of snow who comes to life.

Nowadays, I find myself searching for artists who aren’t as big as the pop stars who rule the day. The ones who love music as much as I do. They write songs, they play, they sing, because they can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve learned that those minorities, those unknown talents, create some of the best melodies I repeat in my head. Then I plug in my headphones, pull up my playlists, and I do the one thing I love more than music- writing stories.

At the end of the day, music still plays a very important role in my life. Wherever I go, whatever I’m doing, there’s always something playing in the background. But nothing is sweeter than the sounds of my four children laughing at their mom putting on a show.

My Top Fifteen Playlist (in no particular order)

“Dawn”- Marianelli (Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack)

“The Way You Look Tonight”- Frank Sinatra

“I Want to Hold Your Hand”- The Beatles

“Jump In Line”- Harry Belafonte

“Can’t Help Falling In Love”- Elvis Presley

“What A Wonderful World”- Tony Bennett

“Nocturnes, Op. 9: No.2 in E-flat Major”- Chopin

“Hear You Me”- Jimmy Eat World

“Panic Station”- Muse

“Hallelujah”- Shrek Soundtrack

“The Phantom of the Opera”- Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Soundtrack)

“Blank Space”- Taylor Swift

“New York, New York”- Frank Sinatra

“Jack & Diane”- John Mellencamp

“I Want You to Want Me”- Cheap Trick

Bonus Song!

“Crazy In Love (Remix)”- Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack

Can’t get enough of that song ^^

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Author Bio: Brandy’s passion for writing began long before she actually sat down to write. As a child, she has had an obsession with reading everything from the classic stories by Jane Austen to YA Fiction by Richelle Mead. Finally, in 2012, she decided to create her own stories for people to fall in love with. Brandy bounces back and forth writing both Romance and Young Adult Fiction (which is mainly just for fun). At the beginning of 2014, Brandy signed a contract with publishing company Booktrope. Her books, If I Say Yes, and If I Say No, are available on Amazon, BarnesAndNoble.com, and at select bookstores. When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing after her husband and her four children. Or curled up on her favorite corner of the couch with her newest book.
You can visit Brandy online at http://brandyjellumbooks.wordpress.com
And on Twitter: @Brandy_Jellum
IISYIf I Say Yes can be purchased here on Amazon and here at BarnesAndNoble.com
If I Say No can be purchased here on Amazon and here at BarnesAndNoble.com  IISN
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#MusicTuesday with Penelope Brown: Pastel Pink at a Metallica Concert?


Today, I welcome a new friend, Booktrope author Penelope Brown, as my guest for Music Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by, Penelope!

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penelope BrownAs a child, I would record music from MTV and VH1. I would spend countless hours putting together mixed tapes that would fit every mood. I needed one for time with friends, another for family and one for workouts. As I got older, I lost interest in the top forty and music television.

I realized that I had a quieter soul than most. Many times the radio was turned off and I never really got into the hair-bands. Once in middle school, a new popular girl was talking about Metallica and how she really rocked out to them. Of course, I played cool and said that they are my favorite band also. Boy did I stick my foot in my mouth, before I knew it the new girl and I were headed to the concert. I was ill prepared. Everyone had on black. Not me, I wore pink and pastel pink at that. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Then everyone started head-banging, not to just one song, but throughout the entire concert. The gig was up for me; from then on I decided I was going to be true to myself.

My sister was five years older and in high school. They would always smoke cigarettes and listen to The Smiths. It really resonated with me. It wasn’t too loud, the words were decipherable, and the songs were catchy. I would always join their group until I was exiled; my sister decided that I needed friends my own age.

My first boyfriend in high school was extremely passionate about his music. He actually picked great tunes. We would listen to trendy grunge such as Candlebox, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and Nirvana. I remember that he would sit in his car, if we had a fight, and close his eyes and jam out to his tunes. I guess it was his happy place. He had books of CD’s and he knew the words to every song.

Many years later, when I met the man I would later marry. He introduced me to the music that I love today. I think I had just never been exposed to the classics. He was an old soul, like myself, and enjoyed harmony, melody and great instrumentals. We listen to Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Feinstein, Chicago, Boston Pops, Josh Groban and Billy Joel, to name a few. I love classical and jazz but mostly I listen to The Coffee House on Sirius while driving. I finally get music now. Once you find the music suits you, it can transport you to a different place, it can change your mood and sooth your very fiber.

We recently went to Phantom of the Opera, the music took my breath away. It stirred my emotions and almost brought me to tears. The play was fantastic, but the music made it a masterpiece. Music can do that. It turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

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Penelope Brown grew up in England in a magical little village that has been her inspiration for the Gatekeeper series. Many of the ideas came from dreams that she journaled growing up. She later researched her notes to find out they were uncannily accurate. She has decided to share her stories with the world. She now lives in Florida. Her future plans are to expand her Gatekeeper series, her focus being based on truths and scientific research. She believes that anything is possible and she is willing to explain how.

gatekeepers secretThe first book in her Gatekeeper series is called The Gatekeeper’s Forbidden Secret, and it can be purchased here on Amazon. 

You can visit Penelope at  www.PenelopeABrown.com

She is on Facebook here, or find her on Twitter at @PenelopeABrown

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Stigma Fighters: Mary Rowen

So honored to be featured on Stigma Fighters stigma fighterstoday. This was hard to write, as it’s about how bulimia changed my life in some sad ways. I do hope, though, that it may inspire someone with an eating disorder to seek help. Please click on the link below to read the post.

Stigma Fighters: Mary Rowen.

Posted in eating disorders, guest post, health, life experiences | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

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Hi Friends!

I’m very excited to be participating in this Valentine’s Day book giveaway! There are 40 different books you can win, including my two (#8, Living by Ear, and #9, Leaving the Beach). Please check them all out, then scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter giveaways for each book. Best of luck!

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And here are the books!

1. DANGLED CARAT by Hilary Grossman

Dangled-Carat-Hilary-Grossman FINAL
For every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him…..

For every girl who listened to her heart instead of her friends advice….

For every girl who l wondered if she was wasting her time dating that guy….

meet Hilary….

She had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship–why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved.

Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready–and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.

“Dangled Carat sparkles with humor and shines with wisdom. It is a gem of a book.” – Christina Baker Kline – New York Times & USA Today Best Selling Author of Orphan Train.

Available: AMAZON Print $11.53 eBook $2.99 Barnes & Noble

2. OUT TO LUNCH by Stacey Ballis

Out_to_LunchA touching and hilarious novel from the fabulous Stacey Ballis about best friends, true love, and the joy of food—for fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin…

Jenna has lost her best friend.

With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.

And gained her best friend’s husband…

But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?

The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble Print $9.70, eBook $9.22

3. MY BIG DELICIOUS LIFE by Stacey Ballis

Big_Delicious_Life150 simple and scrumptious recipes from Stacy Ballis’s hit novels Out to Lunch, Off the Menu, Good Enough to Eat, and Recipe for Disaster, as well as 40 new, never-before-seen recipes!

Stacey Ballis is not a professional chef. She is, however, a foodie novelist, meal innovator, family cook, memory maker, and Brussels sprout advocate who believes that delicious meals can be simple, fun, and creative. Her love of all things culinary has made her “foodie fiction” irresistible. Now, all of the best recipes featured in her novels are available in one mouthwatering cookbook, including 40 “lost” recipes that were not included in the original printings.

With dishes for every occasion, designed to appeal to both experienced cooks and kitchen newbies, this easily-transportable digital collection will make every meal a happy moment and a special memory.

Includes a preview of Stacey’s delectable novel, Recipe for Disaster

“Deeply satisfying.”—Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of The Tao of Martha

Available: Amazon eBook $3.79

4. BLOGGER GIRL – by Meredith Schorr

blogger girlWhat happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Available Amazon eBook $1.99

5. HOW DO YOU KNOW - by Meredith Schorr

how do you knowWhat if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?

On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding toward her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble eBook $3.99, print $14.64

6. BROKEN PIECES – by Rachel Thompson

Broken-Pieces-paperback

Not easy subjects — love, loss, sexual abuse, date rape, grief — but real ones, told in pieces (thus the title). Broken Pieces is a work of non-fiction.

Poetry, prose, and essays to let you into one woman’s life — a searingly raw examination of topics most people avoid.

Already a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women’s Poetry and Abuse, this book is recommended for mature audiences only.

Available Amazon $0.99 eBook, $7.10 print

7. BROKEN PLACES – by Rachel Thompson

broken places

Award-winning author Rachel Thompson courageously confronts the topics of sexual abuse and suicide, love and healing, in her second nonfiction book of prose: Broken Places. The sequel to Rachel’s first nonfiction book, Broken Pieces, Rachel bares her soul in essays, poems and prose, addressing life’s most difficult topics with honesty. As you follow one woman’s journey through the dark and into the light, you will find yourself forever changed. Rachel’s first book in this series, Broken Pieces, has been a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women’s Poetry and Abuse. Please note: this book discusses serious topics, and is intended for mature audiences only.

Available Amazon

mike_lbe8. LIVING BY EAR - by Mary Rowen

What happens when the world you love doesn’t press pause when you do? Singer-songwriter Christine Daley hit the streets of Boston and became a minor celebrity—with a local radio hit—in the 90s, but a “short” career break to marry and have kids changed everything. Now, sixteen years later, she’s a frustrated suburban housewife, struggling to find her place in life.

After filing for divorce, she learns that her attempts to reestablish her own rhythms—both in music and in love—are more complicated than she’d anticipated. Her two teenagers are desperate for their mom, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband is throwing every obstacle he can in her way. Adding to the stress is the progress in technology, which has not only changed the music industry, but also the dating world. Is there room in the mix for Chris?

Available Amazon eBook $3.99, print $13.59

9. LEAVING THE BEACH - by Mary Rowen

leaving the beach

Erin Reardon gets her first kiss from Jim Morrison. She loses her virginity to David Bowie. When she flunks out of college, Bruce Springsteen is there to comfort her, and Elvis Costello breaks her heart in Europe. So what happens when she actually meets a rock star? Leaving the Beach is a gritty story about illusion, reality, and the odd ways that music can blur the lines between the two.

Written with heart and keen observation about the day-to-day struggles of a “functioning bulimic,” Leaving the Beach explores the power of fantasy, then shoves it up against harsh reality until something has to give in this women’s novel set on the sandy beaches of Winthrop, Massachusetts.

Available Amazon eBook $3.99, print $13.59

10. STARTING FROM LOST – by SK Wills

Starting from LostHannah Rogers is lost: cynical, insecure, and withdrawn. Skeletons forged through a bad breakup that should have been a marriage proposal. Now four years later, Hannah follows her dead-end job to the big city where her only hope is to survive the next eight months as her flirtatious boss’s personal assistant. The last thing her predictable life needs is to collide with the boy responsible for breaking her heart, or the twist of fate that sends a sexy new neighbor to awaken feelings she’s long since put to bed.

Alex Sorrento doesn’t have any room in his life for another pet project. He’s already put aside his career and his personal dreams to follow his half-sister Mackenzie to the big city. Lost in the guilt over the events that nearly took her life, he feels he owes her that much. When Mackenzie befriends the new girl on the third floor, Alex finds himself defenseless against the sizzling chemistry between them and the sadness in her eyes. Can he protect Hannah from her ex without losing his heart?

In this turbulent journey about self-discovery, forgiveness, and love, some second chances aren’t worth taking, but others have their own rewards.

Available Amazon eBook $3.99

11. MY FAIR LILY by Meara Platt

My Fair Lily CoverEwan Cameron, estranged grandson of the Duke of Lotheil, is in London because of a deathbed promise made to his father and has no intention of staying beyond his three month obligation. Nothing can tempt him to remain, not even Lily, the beautiful bluestocking determined not only to restore relations between him and his grandfather, but to turn Ewan into a proper gentleman. Ewan, proud of his Scottish heritage, refuses to admit that Lily, a blue-eyed, English girl, has claimed his heart. It doesn’t matter that his big lump of a sheepdog is madly in love with her. Nor is it significant that Ewan can always tell Lily apart from her identical twin sister. Always.

Lily Farthingale, the scholarly twin, dreams of becoming the first female member of the Royal Society. She grabs at the chance when the elderly Duke of Lotheil approaches her with a proposition – he’ll admit her into the Royal Society, if she helps him to establish a relation with his estranged grandson, Ewan Cameron, a very rough-around-the-edges Scotsman who hates everything English. Between shootings, explosions, and Lily’s abduction, Ewan ends up falling in love with Lily in this Pygmalion-inspired story.

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble eBook $3.99

12. A SHIFT IN THE WATER - by Patricia D. Eddy

shift_fullCade Bowman leads a small werewolf pack in Bellingham, Washington. Or he did, before a fire elemental intent on revenge traps him as his wolf. His pack gone, held prisoner by the elemental’s charms, he knows death is coming for him.

Mara Taylor is dying. A mysterious blood disorder is taking her life and her doctors can’t seem to stop it. Only her daily swims offer her any relief. Resigned to her fate, she heads to Orcas Island for one last swim.

When Cade’s wolf finds Mara, he knows instinctively that she’s the key to freeing him from the fire elemental’s charm. She’s more than that. She’s his.

Can Mara free Cade his wolf and save her own life in the process? And if she does, can they survive when they learn the identity of the fire elemental hunting them both?

Available Amazon eBook $3.99

13. 32 GOING ON SPINSTER SET – by Becky Monson

Spinster Cover - Amazon

Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her career, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

14. 33 GOING ON GIRLFRIEND

Girlfriend Cover - AmazonJulia Dorning thought she would die a lonely spinster. That was until nine months ago, when her world was turned upside down. Now she’s got a dream career as a bakery owner, and a relationship with handsome Jared Moody—a life she never thought possible.

Just as she’s starting to feel comfortable in her new life, Julia is invited to battle it out on national television making cupcakes. An amazing opportunity, if she can muster up the confidence to do it, that is. Then, out of the blue, Jared goes and throws a rather large wrench in their relationship causing Julia to have to make some big decisions. With her two trusted confidants off in wedding la la land, Julia is on her own to figure everything out.

Left to her own devices, will Julia be able to work things out for herself? Or will she make a disaster of it all?

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble $0.99 Spinster $2.99 Girlfriend

15. WHISKEY AND GUMDROPS – by Jean Oram Book TWO in the Blueberry Springs series — All STANDALONE novels from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jean Oram!

Whiskey303KOne woman. One case of self-denial. One hunky best friend who wants a lot more.

Mandy Mattson has always believed that what you want isn’t what you need. But never in her life has she been more wrong.

As a small town waitress, Mandy has never felt as though she deserves the love of her best friend Frankie. But when she sees an ex-lover marry her rival she realizes her life is adding up to a big fat nothing and she needs to make a change. With every path in her new life leading back to Frankie, will she finally be able to reconcile that the one thing she’s always wanted is the very thing she needs?

This best friend romance is a companion novel to Champagne and Lemon Drops: A Blueberry Springs Chick lit Contemporary Romance and can be read as a standalone–does contain spoilers for Champagne and Lemon Drops (free ebook).

Available Amazon Barnes & Noble Print $10.99 eBook $2.99

16. THERE ARE NO MEN – by Carol Maloney Scott

ThereAreNoMen-ebook coverDivorced thirty-something Claire doesn’t know who’s in her dating pool—but she’s doing her best to avoid shark infested waters.

Leaving her clueless and insensitive husband behind was a smart move after losing her fertility, but now she’s riding the wave of flying toupees and strange men in leather thongs.

After a long drought, men are flooding her shores and she’s drowning in choices. There’s the 25-year-old IT boy-genius with the GQ looks, the charming but mysterious doctor, and her hot new neighbor with the hard rock night gig.

To further rock her boat, Claire’s ‘stable’ career in publishing has been tossed about by her floundering company’s launch of a new line of trendy, salacious books. Cookbooks aren’t selling these days, but erotica is flying off the shelves—and challenging Claire’s attitude about sex, work…and her new, tempestuous life.

Available Amazon ebook $2.99

17. CHARLOTTE’S RESTRAINED, THE ACCIDENTAL STALKER - by Celia Kennedy

2 Charlotte's Restrained E-Book Cover

What could go wrong celebrating New Years in the swanky, celebrity-packed, French Alps? The answer is nothing, unless your name happens to be Charlotte Young.

Her four closest friends conspire to help Charlotte meet long-time celeb crush, Des Bannerman, a.k.a. King of Romantic Comedies. While she may not be able to dislodge his world-famous girlfriend, the evening is a dream come true. That is, until an innocent night of champagne, gambling and lighthearted banter turns into tabloid fodder and a restraining order.

An entertaining series of events allow Charlotte to hunt Des down, helping her restore her reputation and uncover a misunderstanding. Fifteen minutes of fame just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

18. VENUS RISING – by Celia Kennedy

Venus Rising E-Book Cover

Akshaya Bertrand, is a Professor of Art History at an Ivy League college in New England. Young and incomparably beautiful, she hides her traumatic childhood in India behind vibrant veils of secrecy.

Jared Harrison, a war correspondent in the Middle East accepts a position as guest lecturer. Upon meeting, the two find themselves drawn to one another, sensing the others deep wounds.

Thrown together on a voyage of discovery, the two travel through exotic India. Amongst beauty and poverty, sorrow and friendship, they both will finally face the past that has shaped them and the present that defines them.

Will the answers they find close the gap between them or push them further apart?

Available Amazon $2.99 eBook

19. I’M STILL HERE – by Kathryn Biel

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070]It started out as an ordinary day for Esther Comely-Cox, if you consider simultaneously totaling your car, smashing a Ho Ho in your face and meeting a handsome doctor ordinary.

Estranged from her family over her sister’s mental illness and death, Esther can’t help but feel alone. And when Esther hears the voice of her twin sister who committed suicide seven years ago, she begins to question her own sanity, leading her to wonder if anything is what it seems. Searching for answers, Esther must confront her past while looking towards a new future—one in which she is finally accepted.

Through humor and heartbreak, Esther learns that blood does not mean family, that absence does not make the heart grow fonder and that silence can speak volumes.

Available Amazon Barnes & Noble eBook $3.99

20. CONFESSIONS FROM A COFFEE SHOP – by TB Markinson

Confessions CoverCori Tisdale was on top of the world. A basketball star at Harvard and a promising author with a lucrative book deal.

A few years later, Cori’s life is falling apart. Her beautiful girlfriend, Kat Finn, has a shopping addiction. To make ends meet, Cori takes a part-time job at a coffee shop.

Just when Cori thinks her life can’t get any worse, an old crush appears out of the blue. Cori’s friendship with Samantha Clarke pushes Cori further into a dangerous abyss when Sam reveals two secrets to Cori and asks her not to tell a soul, including Kat.

Will this be the end of Cori’s and Kat’s relationship?

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

21. FRENCH TWIST – by Glynis Astie

french twistSydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love.

Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist…

Available Amazon eBook $0.99

22. FRENCH TOAST – by Glynis Astie

FRENCH TOAST!Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met?

As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months.

With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast…

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

23. HOME – By Rachel Smith

homeAfter twelve years on top of the charts, country music superstar Lily Rae has decided to hang up the microphone and move home. Becoming Lillian Raftzen again is harder than she anticipated and soon, it seems running home is not enough to escape from her manipulative ex-agent, who not only threatens to end her happiness, but her life.

When the girl of his dreams walks back into his life twelve years later, Justin DeLuca realizes as much as he loves her, she is no longer the girl he remembers. With everything they must overcome, can the two of them make their dreams come true? Lily’s dream to sing and Justin’s dream for a family are so very far from the same path. But by veering off course they find a new dream on a new path ending up right where it all began…..home.

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble eBook $2.99

24. FIVE MINUTES LATE – by Rich Amooi

Five minutes late ebook coverCan an always-tardy garlic mogul and a punctual Silicon Valley librarian fall in love?

The world needs garlic and somebody’s got to sell that garlic. Cedric Johnson is that man. But even though he’s got just about everything he can wish for, Cedric is still missing one thing in his life: someone special. Fate may be on his side, but he encounters a few distractions along the way—like almost being killed by a UPS truck. Oh, and a little case of blackmail.

Ellie Fontaine is a walking Wikipedia with clear professional goals, but when it comes to landing Mr. Right, she doesn’t know jack squat. She even gives online dating a shot and ends up with an unappetizing buffet of unibrows and losers. What’s a girl to do?

After Ellie saves Cedric’s life, serendipity takes over as they continue to run into each other. Their connection grows stronger with each meeting, even though he embodies her number one pet peeve: he’s always late. But even if they can get past their issues and misunderstandings, Ellie’s ex-boyfriend, an unscrupulous cop, will do anything to keep them apart.

Five Minutes Late is a hilarious fast-paced romantic comedy, full of snappy dialogue and fun, quirky characters, guaranteed to warm your heart.

Available AmazoneBook $4.99 Print $12.99 Paperback

25. PLOTTING MR. PERFECT – by S.E. Babin

Plotting mr perfectThe closest Katie has come to romance lately is arguing with her lawn-care-obsessed, handsome neighbor, Will. After a drunken girls’ night out with her best friends involving a visualization exercise for the perfect man and an instance of breaking and entering, Katie wakes up thankfully in her own bed with a massive hangover and her neighbor standing on her porch with a peace offering.

But soon after, she gets another surprise in the form of a naked man in her driveway who proclaims he’s been created just for her. As antics and romantic gestures commence, Katie will begin to question herself about love and loyalty. How do you know when the perfect man is not really perfect? And when does Mr. Wrong begin to look like Mr. Right?

Available Amazon eBook $3.82

26. BATTER UP – by Robyn Neeley

BatterUp_FinalShe mixes more than flour and sugar into her cake batter, and he’s about to find out if a little bit of magic is to his taste…

Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret — a delicious, slightly unorthodox secret. Each Monday, she mixes up a premonition to share with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, and sets one lucky man on the path to true love.

When reporter Jason Levine finds himself mixed up in a Las Vegas bachelorette party, he hears the strangest rumor: the marriage is happening thanks to magic cake batter. Seriously skeptical, and sick of frauds, Jason journeys to the backwater town of Buttermilk Falls to expose the baker and release the townspeople from her evil clutches.

But when Jason meets Emma, tempers flare and sparks fly. Will Jason cling to his logic at the expense of a future, or will he let himself fall under Emma’s spell?

Available Amazon eBook $3.53

27. THEIF FOR HIRE – by Jillianne Hamilton

Theif for hireProfessional, experienced contract burglar.

It’s not exactly something you can put on a business card.

Molly Miranda has made a successful living from “acquiring” valuables and delivering them to clients who pay buckets of cash for her unique services.

So what if she has to lie about her lavish lifestyle in Manhattan and her frequent trips out of the country? Molly has everything under control.

Things go astray when she knocks boots with her charming roommate right before taking off to Scotland with an untrustworthy wildcard on a job assignment that doesn’t go quite as planned.

It doesn’t help that this new partner-in-crime is super annoying. And attractive…

Join Molly on her hilarious adventures as she dodges bullets, trespasses, wears disguises, and steals her way into trouble.

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

28. SHE SINS AT MIDNIGHT – by Whitney Dineenshesincover-copy

Lila Montgomery, thirty-two-year-old Hollywood assistant extraordinaire, has a secret. On the outside, she’s a hard-working dedicated employee, a good friend, and a loving daughter. But above all else, she’s been raised to be a lady, which of course is why she’s determined to conceal her secret life. If her straight-laced friends and family back home ever discover that she is really the smashing new author of a steamy romance novel, their disapproval would shame her forever! That’s why Lila has chosen to publish her sexy narrative under the nom de plume, Jasmine Sheath.

With her fifteenth high school class reunion on the horizon, Lila finds herself at a crossroads. More than anything she wants to go home and see her childhood friends but is embarrassed that she hasn’t accomplished the things she feels she should have by this time in her life; mainly marriage and children.

After another brutal run-in with Melinda Forrester, Oscar nominated actress and client of her boss, Josh Furber, Lila decides that fleeing Hollywood for a month is the best thing for her. Lila packs her bags for her childhood home of Bentley Hills, sure that her friends and family will be the touchstone of normalcy that she so desperately needs. What she doesn’t expect is that Melinda will follow her and a tabloid media circus will ensue!

Not only does Lila discover that her home is nothing like she remembers, but she meets and falls in love with the very man that inspired the hero in her novel.

She Sins at Midnight is full of laugh out loud hi-jinks that will make you never look at Hollywood the same way again!

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

29. SET ME FREE – by Jennifer Collin

Set me free coverDisastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.

But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.

Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.

As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

Available Amazon eBook $0.99

30. What A Texas Girl Wants – by Kristina Knight

what a tx girl wantsKathleen Witte is a down-to-earth girl. She has to be, with the family

ranch on the verge of success. After seven months of keeping it all

together by swearing off men, however, Kathleen needs a bit of fun in the

sun. Waking up with a husband she can’t remember isn’t how she planned to

blow off steam.

The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl.

He has four weeks of freedom in which to find his birth mother. He’s done

well avoiding commitment until now, so when he wakes up on a Mexican beach

with Kathleen his first reaction is curiosity. When he spies the matching

wedding rings on their left hands curiosity turns to concern.

Neither Jackson nor Kathleen want to stay married, but when her family

shows up, they have no choice. Once back in Texas, however, can they keep

this all-business marriage from turning into an all-consuming love?

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble eBook $3.82

31. THE DAUGHTER HE WANTED – by Kristina Knight

the daughter he wantedSince the loss of his wife, Alex Ryan has been living a half-life. But

with one phone call, Alex discovers he’s the biological father of a

four-year-old girl…and everything changes.

Single mom Paige Kenner preferred to have a family without the man. Now

suddenly there’s Alex, who desperately wants to be a father to her little

girl. A gorgeous, kind and committed father. Letting a stranger into their

lives is far too dangerous—especially if his presence stirs a part of

Paige that she longs to forget…

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble eBook $4.74

32. THE TROUBLE WITH DYING – by Maggie La Page

the trouble with dyingWhen Faith Carson wakes up on a hospital ceiling looking down on her body in a coma, it’s a bad start to the week. A very bad start. She has no idea who she is or how she got there or why, and the biggest mystery of all is why she married the schmuck who wants her ventilator switched off.

As if that’s not enough Faith has a dead gran haunting her, a young daughter missing her, and one devilishly delicious man making her wish she could have a second chance at life. And maybe she can, if she finds a way back into her body and wakes up by Friday. But if she doesn’t, this will be her last bad week–ever.

Nate Sutherland decided long ago he’d settle for friendship if he couldn’t have Faith’s heart. But now, as she nears death, he’s going to have to listen to his feelings in a whole new way–and act. Because if he doesn’t, this week will be the worst damn week of his life. He’ll lose everything he’s ever loved.

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

33. MISS ADVENTURE - by Geralyn Corcillo

Miss Adventure Cover

Day-dreaming city girl Lisa Flyte decides to face her fears and get a backbone by going on daring outdoor adventures with the cynical adrenaline junkie Jack Hawkins. She survives all the treks, dives, and jumps (barely!), but can she use her new found moxie to become the alpha hero of her everyday life? Will she find the grit to go after a career she really wants or the nerve to stand up to her bulling family? And will she get gutsy enough to go after Jack? He’s a man who’s not afraid of anything…except falling for Lisa.

Available Amazon eBook $2.99

34. CHEATING TO SURVIVE – by Christina Ardigo

Cheating_To_Survive_E-Book_CoverEdge-of-your-seat Drama, Steamy Romance & Hilarious Humor!

So many Women are trapped in Marriages & feel they have no options.

Is Cheating the Answer? Heather traveled down a forbidden Road. TWICE.

And she was Married.

Can Cheating on Your Husband Bring Unimaginable Pleasure or Completely Destroy Your World?

To her three daughters, Heather is a fun-loving, silly mom. Her co-workers at Norlyn Plains Hospital think she has it all, including a handsome lawyer husband.

But when a flirtatious new doctor chooses Heather to spend his down time with, he reminds her of the man she regrettably gave up so many years before. Each interaction breathes new life into her and she gives in to the doctor’s seductions, threatening her fifteen year marriage.

Her co-workers Victoria and Catherine, are stunned by her actions, but when they see the positive transformation in Heather, and question their own crumbling marriages, they wonder if she has the right idea.

Can cheating on their husbands bring the three of them happiness? Or will they be destroyed by the consequences?

Available Amazon $3.99 eBook $11.99 print

35. BLACKMAIL BRIDE – by Storm Chase

Small Blackmail Bride by Storm Chase

No swirling highlanders here! This is a modern Scottish novel (But the hero is a hunk and the heroine has brains!)

Stalked by her abusive ex-husband, Lucy Grant is desperate for a protector. Lucy aims for the one man who is tough enough for the job, ex-convict Jack Welsh. Found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit, Jack Welsh is convinced Lucy’s ex set him up. Jack will do anything to clear his name – even if it means marrying Lucy. A story of love and redemption with fully depicted love scenes.

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble $1.49 eBook

36. THE DEGAS GIRL – by AJ Adams

small The Degas Girl“He wore jeans and a turquoise T-shirt. The colour made his eyes look blue instead of green. I wasn’t fooled by his looks and his gentle ways. This man had a will of iron, and by the way he looked at me, I could see he was just as determined to control me as Angelo. He just used his tongue instead of his fists.

I’d go along with it, because anything that kept me out of the hole meant I had a chance to escape. I’d pretend to be docile, and as soon as he fell asleep or took his eye off me, I’d make a run for it.

He looked me over, frowning slightly. Suddenly I wondered if he was changing his mind. Maybe he wasn’t going to let me eat. Maybe it was a game. Maybe he’d show me the food, and then tie me up and leave me to starve while he stuffed his face. I was trembling at the thought. “

###

Serenity Bishop is a work of art. Her skin a canvas, decorated with the scars of her evil captor’s twisted abuse. But her tormentor, Angelo, is about to lose control.

Zachary Schiavelli is an art thief and forger. His handsome face is merely the mask that hides a cold, calculating man whose own childhood of abuse has honed him into a remorseless killing machine.

Zachary is about to take an intense disliking to Angelo.

Sometimes you need to fight fire with fire.

In a violent tale of mob rule where violence begets violence, an unlikely alliance between two forces of nature is about to change the face of organized crime. When Serenity and Zachary collide, it’s an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, and everyone around them is about to get caught in the crossfire.

A complete novel with no cliff-hangers.

A violent tale of mob rule and dark romance. Warning contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex. Adults only

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble $3.99 eBook

37. A FAIR EXCHANE – by Monique McDonell

A_Fair_Exchange (2)Who hasn’t wondered about their first love? What happened? What went wrong? Where are they now?

What if you got a second chance?

Amelia Armstrong is about to find out. What a shame her long-lost love, Matt, has returned (looking way too good and acting way too sweet) when her life is a shambles and she has finally decided once and for all to put herself and not whichever man is currently in her life, first.

How do you balance that desire to recapture that loving feeling with the need to finally be the best version of yourself? What if this really is the one, how do you choose when to stand your ground and when to cut your losses? Amelia takes a journey from Sydney to New York and back again trying to find the answers while negotiating with pop-divas, ex-lovers, crazy teenagers, a well-meaning cousin and the tabloids.

A Fair Exchange is a story about being a grown up when, maybe, you’d much rather be sixteen again.

Available Amazon $2.99 eBook

38. THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP – by CeCe Osgood

Divorced Not Dead Workshop. Final.contrast ebookcover (2)Divorced five years ago and recently dumped by Theo, her Brit boyfriend, Dorsey brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced men. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through.
That all changes when her feisty best friend opts to set up the workshop on a cruise ship. But do things ever really work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.

A startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of handsome but wily Finn Woodall soon send things topsy-turvy for Dorsey. More trouble arises with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey and Theo rekindle their relationship? Or is she smitten with Finn who could possibly be a back-stabbing weasel? And has the workshop made a difference in what she desires in life … and love?

Available Amazon $2.99

39. THE UNICORN’S DAUGHTER – by Norma Beishir

unicornJaime Lynde would stop at nothing to find the truth….

As a child, she was told her father was dead, but one by one, the lies began to unravel. James Lynde was an operative for the OSS during World War II, and later for the CIA. In 1986, he was still alive and working undercover in Libya. As Jaime followed his trail, a traitor followed hers…and the US prepared to take military action….

“Beishir pens a winner with this gripping thriller…she confidently builds to a revelatory and spellbinding finale.”

— Publishers Weekly

Available Amazon, Barnes & Noble $2.99 eBook

40. WE’VE ALWAYS GOT NEW YORK – by Jill Knapp

Weve_always_got_new_york high resThe second book in Jill Knapp’s fabulous series about dating in New York picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil – and finds that life has indeed gone on without her.

Fresh off the plane, Amalia’s feeling anxious and unresolved; left alone to pick up the pieces and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael.

Without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she’s even without a best friend, she finds herself holding on tightly to the one thing she is familiar with, New York City.

Sometimes you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be…

Available Amazon $4.74

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You’re Too Old To Listen To That: #MusicTuesday Guest Post by Keisha Page

My guest for #MusicTuesday is author Keisha Page. In addition to being a great writer, Keisha is also my marketing person at Booktrope, and I’m so happy to be able to share her post today.

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keisha.headshot

I’m going to tell you a secret.

I’m a fangirl. Almost, but not quite, one of those raving lunatic women you hear about at concerts. While I’ve never thrown my panties up on stage, I did cry during a Queensryche concert in 1996. It was at Red Rocks (http://redrocksonline.com/about/photos), in Denver, and I was standing at front row center. I was feet away from the band I had idolized since high school. I sang along to every song, even the one from their EP. I looked like the women in those black and white videos of The Beatles’ first shows in America. It was a moment, people.

Redrocks

Today, I’m 42. My oldest daughter is 22, and planning her wedding. I have teenagers and pre-teens. And I have some type of music player in almost every room in my house. At any given time, one of them is probably playing Queensryche.

guitar

Queensryche has been the soundtrack to my life. It was literally the first sound one of my children heard, as he made his way into the world, kicking and screaming. It was the music I played at full blast, wearing headphones, trying to find the right way to mourn the death of my father. It’s usually what I dance to in the kitchen as I close the oven door, baking cookies for my kids or making a casserole for dinner. One of the first songs my son managed to pick out, on his Ebay special acoustic guitar, was “Silent Lucidity.”

Oh sure, there’s been other music. David Bowie and Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers have all been there for me in those moments, both ecstatic and miserable, when I needed something, anything, to grab onto. The music was there for me. But like a trusted friend, Queensryche was always the band I went back to. They were truly my first love.

Recently I was participating in a discussion on a thread on a band’s Facebook page. The topic of the discussion was “being too old” to still be listening to bands like Megadeth and Nine Inch Nails and, yes, even my beloved Queensryche. Apparently, somewhere between 35 and 40, your musical tastes are supposed to change from Black Flag to Lawrence Welk.

The thing is, though, many of those bands are still making music. And like we view those bands as beloved friends, they are trusting of their fan bases, that they’ve been working for twenty or more years to build. While every artist needs new blood to love and adore them, insuring future music sales, it’s the older fans, who were there from somewhere near the beginning, that shell out $20 a pop for every single album, and, sometimes (I’m looking at you, Kiss), hundreds of dollars for concert tickets.

David Bowie is 67, and his latest album was released last year. Alice Cooper is 66, and he released his most recent album three years ago. AC/DC released their first album in 1975, and their most recent this year, almost forty years later.

I kind of want to meet the guy who walked up to Alice Cooper and told him he was too old.

The point is, if these musicians are all still making music, and they’re a good bit older than I am, why am I too old to be listening to them? I’m not. There’s no too old, and there’s not really too young (age-appropriate lyrics aside). There are no specific ages that are allowed to listen to specific genres, and there’s no rule that says you can’t play Metallica in your minivan on the way to drop the kids off at pre-school. And thankfully, there’s no rule that says I have to stop listening to Queensryche because I’m old. Cause if you try to take my Queensryche CDs, I’m going to beat you with my cane.

———————————————————————————————————-Keisha Page has a music-themed story called “Rhythm of Love” included in the holiday anthology Unwrapping Love. She is currently working on a novel, which is scheduled for publication later in 2015. You can learn more about Keisha on her blog, or visit her on Facebook here. Her Twitter handle is @_WordMistress.

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