Author Interview: Orlando Ortega-Medina

I’m excited to introduce you to today to debut short story writer Orlando Ortega-Medina. He brings a fresh, diverse and brilliantly unique new voice to the literary world with his new release Jerusalem Ablaze: Stories of Love and Other Obsessions.

He has a very diverse background as Judeo-Spanish via Cuba and incorporates his heritage and life experiences into this collection of 13 eclectic tales from Los Angeles to the eastern townships of Quebec, and from Tokyo to Jerusalem, all places where Ortega-Medina once lived. Orlando was born and raised in LA and studied English Literature at UCLA.

An emerging latino author to watch in the contemporary literary fiction landscape, Orlando Ortega-Medina now resides in London.

We noticed your cross-cultural and multi-faith upbringing has an impact on your fiction writing. What inspires you?

Yes, I was born with an excess of identity. At first, it was like having a closet crammed full of costumes and not knowing which one to wear. I think it’s fair to say that my life has been about learning which costume to wear. I clothe my characters in the hand-me-downs.

Which are your favourite stories in the collection?

My favourite stories are: “Torture by Roses”, “After the Storm”, “Love at Masada”, and “Invitation to the Dominant Culture”.

Who are your favourite authors?

My favourite authors are Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Jown Fowles, Anthony Burgess, Jorge Luis Borges, and Yukio Mishima.

How has your law career influenced your writing style?

As a lawyer, I solve problems and strategize preventative measures for my clients. As an author, I create worlds. My author-ability to think creatively and outside the box makes me a better lawyer. My lawyer-ability to think systematically, foresee problems, and create preemption regimes, makes me a better writer. I can’t imagine one without the other. On the technical side of things, my constant review of deposition and court transcripts has helped me develop a keen sense of dialogue.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just completed the first draft of a novel. It’s a three-part black comedy about star worship, a search for identity and, of course, religion. It’s set the seventies and eighties in Los Angeles, Jerusalem, and Tijuana (Mexico). I’m hoping to shop it around early next year.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I like to think that agents and publishers will recognise an outstanding manuscript when it comes across their desks. That said, publishing is generally a for-profit business. So if ones manuscript doesn’t have commercial appeal, excellent as it may be, one may expect to knock on many doors before finding someone who is willing to invest in one’s manuscript. My best advise to new writers is make sure your manuscript is professionally edited and that you consider the feedback of several Beta Readers before you even dare to send it out.

 

#OneInAMillion Competition Launches on Bookshop Day

Did you Celebrate Bookshop Day this year?

Books Are My Bag was created in April 2013.

Now entering its fifth year, it has recruited well over 100 high profile UK and Irish and international authors, broadcasters, models, sports stars, actors, politicians, chefs, journalists and comedians – all willing to lend their image to the campaign, to be photographed with the iconic canvas bag which has been designed as the centrepiece for the movement.

The Books Are My Bag tote bag carries a simple and powerful message allowing readers to display their love and support for local bookshops while encouraging others to do so. Over the last four years, nearly a million people have worn a Books Are My Bag canvas bag in support of the campaign.

The Industry has united to Celebrate 1 Millionth Books Are My Bag Supporter with an AMAZING giveaway!! 

The competition marks the 1 millionth Books Are My Bag tote bag to be worn by the public, showing their support for bookshops in the UK & Ireland.

 

 Book lovers in the UK & Ireland have the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime competition with an incredible bundle of prizes on offer to celebrate Books Are My Bag (BAMB) – the annual bookshop campaign – reaching one million supporters this year.

One lucky book lover is in with the chance of winning a host of extraordinary prizes donated from across the book industry and beyond, including a beautiful, totally one-off Orla Kiely luxury leather bag, in the style of this year’s Books Are My Bag tote bag.

To enter, book lovers just need to Tweet #OneInAMillion saying what their favourite bookshop is and why.

The #OneInAMillion Prize winner will take home:

  • An exclusive, one-off Orla Kiely leather bag
  • £250 in National Book Tokens
  • A golden ticket to Hay Festival
  • Afternoon Tea for Two at Claridges (Hachette)
  • London Zoo tickets and a copy of Zoo Quest (Hachette)
  • A limited-edition copy of Alan Bennett’s Keeping on Keeping On, RRP £200 (Faber)
  • A limited-edition print from Billy and the Minpins, signed by Quentin Blake (Puffin)
  • A special edition Handmaid’s Tale (Vintage)
  • A set of Vintage Classics Dickens (Vintage)
  • A signed Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World print by Kate Pankhurst (Bloomsbury)
  • A signed first-edition copy of Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst (Pan Macmillan)
  • A set of PanMacmillan70th Anniversary edition books (Pan Macmillan)
  • A pair of tickets to The Christmasaurus Live on Stage at the London Apollo (Penguin Random House) – any date between 20 – 28th December

 

Two runners up will also be in with the chance of winning the following fantastic prizes:

 

Second Prize

  • A signed copy of Hurrah for Gin by Katie Kirby, together with a bottle of Sipsmith gin (Hachette)
  • A copy of Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, At My Table (Vintage)
  • A signed copy of The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein (Bloomsbury)
  • A signed copy of My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley (Bloomsbury)
  • A signed copy of Moonrise by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
  • Subscription to the New Scientist magazine (Hachette)
  • Haunted House tour and a signed copy of Devil’s Day by Andrew Hurley (Hachette)
  • A mounted Emily Sutton print (Bloomsbury)

Third Prize

  • A copy of Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and a box set of Stephen King DVD’s (Hachette)
  • A signed copy of Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom by Monty Don (DK)
  • A copy of The Creakers by Tom Fletcher (Puffin)
  • A signed print of Oliver Jeffers’ new book Here We Are (Penguin Random House)
  • Perfectly Norman print by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury)

 

Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services at the Booksellers Association, said: “Reaching our one millionth supporter is a hugely exciting milestone, and we’re delighted to be able to show our thanks to bookshop lovers across the UK & Ireland with this fabulous prize. It is wonderful to see the book industry coming together to support bookshops with the amazing prizes they have donated. We wish everyone the best of luck, and look forward to hearing all about our supporters’ favourite bookshops!”

 

Bookshop lovers will have until 7th November to enter the competition, with the lucky winners being revealed on 25th November, when bookshops across the country will offer a Saturday Sanctuary as respite from the business of daily life.

 

Orla Kiely, said: “I am so happy to have collaborated with the Bookseller’s Association. As a great lover of books and bookshops, nothing gives me more pleasure than discovering a new book, whether it’s a beautiful edition on a new favourite photographer, a great novel or a rare out of print edition. There is nothing more relaxing, inspiring or stimulating than reading and losing oneself in another world. We should all take time to read and importantly, to encourage our children to love books.”

 

Now in its fifth year, the Books Are My Bag campaign highlights and celebrates the vital role of high street and campus bookshops. Over the last four years, a million people have worn a Books Are My Bag canvas bag in support of the campaign.

 

More details on Books Are My Bag 2017 will be unveiled in the coming weeks; keep an eye on www.booksaremybag.com for updates.

 

 

For more information on events, visit www.booksaremybag.com

Blitz: Just Friends By Elizabeth Grey

Just Friends
Elizabeth Grey
(The Agency, #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Why did her heart have to choose him?

Violet Archer has her dream job at one of London’s top advertising agencies, and the fact she gets to work with Ethan Fraser every day makes it even better. He’s the best friend a girl could have. And she’s never even noticed how hot he is. Nope. Definitely not.

When a big night out deteriorates into a great big mess, Violet’s world starts to wobble like a drunk giraffe on stilts. She’s caught in a web of secrets, none of which are hers. And maybe she is starting to notice how hot Ethan is, after all. And sweet and kind and… oh dear.

Has Violet fallen for her best friend? Can their friendship survive yet another secret? And, the question Violet is most scared to ask, could Ethan have feelings for her too?

This raunchy, hilarious rom-com is the first in The Agency series by Elizabeth Grey.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

IT’S ONLY TAKEN THREE MONTHS, two weeks and five days, but here I am – in Stuart Inman’s Notting Hill bedroom, wearing underwear that screams ‘sex goddess’ and a spray tan that shrieks ‘never again!’

Thankfully Stuart is too busy burying his head in my cleavage to notice my tangerine armpits and stripy inner thighs. He’s also groaning and purring and nuzzling and . . . okay, I’m not really sure what he’s doing down there, but I hope he tries another move soon. I can think of much better things I’d like him to do to my boobs than use them as a pair of earmuffs.

Ah, good, he’s heading north now. I look into his deep blue eyes and remind myself why I’m here. Stuart Inman is hot. Think Matt Damon in an action movie: all blonde and ripped and gun-toting. Matt Damon, that is, with the gun-toting. Not Stuart. The only thing Stuart totes is a rather feminine Burberry man-bag.

He backs me up against his bedroom wall and I run my fingers over the taut muscles of his fabulous chest. Then I feel his lips brush against mine, his tongue darting in and . . . oh, sweet Jesus, what the . . . ?

Breathe. Close your eyes, think of England and for heaven’s sake, just breathe . . .

What in the name of all things holy was that? If it was supposed to be a kiss, then please don’t let him kiss me again. Talk about disappointing. Has he been practising his make-out skills with a bathroom sponge? I’ve kissed a few men in my life, and most of them have been far less confident, successful and drop-dead gorgeous than Stuart Inman, so how is it possible that he kisses like a half-starved pufferfish devouring a shrimp? Ugh . . . no. Just no.

I run my fingers over his abs, trying to avoid his hungry mouth. So what if he’s a crap kisser? We can work on the finer details later. The important thing right now is sex is happening – my eight-month-long drought is coming to an end and my velvet-touch, thirty-function, silicone Raunchy Rabbit can hop off into the sunset and do one.

His hands move over my body as he lowers me onto his bed. I look into his eyes, his cheeks dimpling as he smiles seductively. I should be kissing him, feeling him, touching him until we’re both sweaty and panting for more, but my stupid brain decides to torture me instead: Stuart kisses like a pufferfish. Stuart kisses like a pufferfish. Stuart kisses like a pufferfish . . . and . . . oh no, he’s nuzzling my boobs again . . . and oh my god! What the hell was that? Why are his pants stuck to my stomach? Oh shit, he has, hasn’t he? He’s shot his load. He rolls onto his back with a thump. “I’m sorry . . .” he whimpers.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Where’s my Matt Damon action hero gone? Why does the fittest client I’ve ever worked with have less knob control than a horny teenager who’s just discovered Pornhub? What did I do to piss off the gods of shagging this time? Could life be any more bloody unfair? Come back, my beloved Raunchy Rabbit, I miss you already.

He turns to face me, but I don’t want to look at him. Yes, I’ll admit, I’m a coward. I can’t think of anything good to say, which, given words are my livelihood, is pretty pathetic.

“You’re just so hot. I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.” He removes his sticky pants to reveal an appendage that could accurately be compared to a half-eaten Walnut Whip – sad, shrivelled and hollow. He crosses his legs in an attempt to hide his shame, and sadly, it doesn’t take much to hide it. How on earth didn’t I notice that before? I usually check out a guy’s bulge before I commit, don’t I? Jeez, this must be the most desperate for sex I’ve ever been in my entire life.

“It’s okay. Maybe next time?” I say, with the kind of insincere politeness a politician would be proud of.

“I can still go on. Just give me a minute,” he says with an enthusiastic tug to his manhood, and my stomach lurches. Do I want to have sex with a Matt Damon lookalike if he’s only packing a chipolata and kisses like a pufferfish sucking on a sponge?

Ten seconds later, he’s sliding his hand into my knickers and frantically rubbing away at what I’m sure he thinks is my clitoris, but of course, it isn’t. The gods of shagging wouldn’t be that merciful. I simulate a few polite moans and consider following through with a fake orgasm, but as he’s jabbing the inside of my leg with the elbow of the hand that’s futilely attempting to transform the chipolata into a frankfurter, I can’t take it anymore.

Mission abort! Mission abort!

“Okay, stop. Just stop,” I say as I squirm out of his grasp.

He removes his hand from inside my underwear and frowns at me. “What’s up?”

“Um . . . that’s not really doing much for me. Sorry.”

“What do you mean? What’s wrong with you? I always get girls off doing that.”

I feel my eyes pop. “Really?”

“Yeah, really,” he replies with an eye roll and way too much attitude. All of a sudden I have too many words, but as none of them are kind, I swallow them down and start putting my clothes back on.

Stuart tuts, gets up and pulls on a robe. I leave his apartment as fast as I can and head towards Holland Park Tube, flagging the first taxi I see on the way.

 

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Grey spent a sizable chunk of her childhood in North East England locked away in her bedroom creating characters and writing stories. Isn’t that how all writers start?

Following a five year university education that combined such wide-ranging subjects as fine art, administration, law, economics, graphic design and French, Elizabeth entered the business world as a marketing assistant before moving into operations management.

Marrying Chris in 2007, Elizabeth now has three young children and runs a small, seasonal business selling imported European children’s toys and goods – www.tildaandtom.co.uk. During her time as a stay-at-home mum, Elizabeth rekindled her love of writing and thinks herself lucky every day that she is now able to write full time.

When not working, Elizabeth finds herself immersed in her kids’ hobbies and has acquired an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter (thanks to the big boy), Star Wars (thanks to the little boy) and Barbie (thanks to her daughter). She loves European road-trips, binge-watching Netflix series and doing whatever she can to fight for a nicer world.

She’s been told she never loses an argument.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Blitz: The Nameless Land by Lazlo Rappaport

The Nameless Land
Lazlo Rappaport
Genres: Adult, Mythology

Desperate to free herself of the dream fox residing in her womb, Anastasia travels off to the shores of the Red Sea and strikes a deal with Lilith: If Anastasia will fashion three mirrors for the primordial witch, so the sorceress will exorcise the evil spirit.

A poetic parable of the modern woman, the riddle of love, and the question of meaning in a seemingly-godless world.




Add to Goodreads

Nominate Lazlo Rappaport’s The Nameless Land, and you may win a free copy!

EXCERPT:

Anastasia turned upon her side, and soon she lost herself in a dream—a memory of the night journey to Arkhangelsk, a memory of that very moment the engineer applied the brake.

Once the train had stopped altogether, the young Anastasia suddenly felt the absence of any soothing vibrations. In addition, she intuited a most ineffable presence standing outside the cabin door. When she opened it just a crack, she found herself face to face with a bald-headed girl dressed in a snug fur coat boasting a silvery diadem-spider brooch pinned to the lapel. “Are you a daughter of Lilith?”

“A daughter of Lilith? No, I’m a ghost. My name’s Svetlana.” As the bald-headed girl spoke, the silvery brooch turned the color of corroded high-tin bronze.

Anastasia glanced over at Mother where she lay snoring very softly in her bed and then turned back. “What do you want?”

The ghost girl did not answer. Her delicate bare feet perfectly silent against the floorboards, she walked off down the passageway.

“Come back here!”

“No, you follow me!” Swiftly the ghost girl continued to the end of the sleeping car, vanishing through the door.

With trembling heart, Anastasia continued down one car after another until she reached the caboose where she joined the ghost girl outside upon the landing.

What a fine Arctic summer. The midnight sun bathed the tundra in a soft-orange haze, and the wildflowers emitted a sweet scent not unlike that of freshly-baked Belorussian honey cake.

The ghost girl reached into her coat pocket, removed a little wooden flute, and performed the tune to Mussorgsky’s “Hebrew Song.” Afterward she turned to Anastasia and poked her right arm with the foot end. “Do you know why the train stops here? If you were to ask the conductor, he’d tell you that we stop here so that we don’t collide with one of the trains out of Finland. But that’s not so. In truth the train stops here only because the Arctic fox compels the train to stop here, for this would be the place where the Arctic fox prefers to climb aboard and prey upon some hapless little girl. Just like he preyed upon me last summer.”

Anastasia pointed at the railway tracks. “Look around!” she blurted out. “There’s no Arctic fox anywhere! You’re a daughter of Lilith, that’s what you are! You’ve come to deceive me and—”

“No, he’s here. It’s just that he’s rendered himself invisible.” The train lurched forward, and the ghost girl smiled. “You’re lucky. But I doubt that you should be lucky a second time, so whatever you do, you should not come back this way.”

“But we must come back this way. Back at the House of Fabergé, the bookkeeper and everyone else, they’re waiting for Mama to bring them a box of volcanic glass.”

The train’s steam trumpet bellowed out its deafening wail, and back in Sinai, Anastasia awoke to find that the fire had almost died out.

She sat up some and thought of the dream, the heretofore repressed memory. How could I forget all that? She thought of her childhood in Russia and sought to recall the precise moment when the invisible fox spirit would have slipped inside her womb.

Author Bio:

Lazlo Rappaport is the pseudonym of a very reclusive author from Ohio. He wrote the original draft of The Nameless Land while night-clerking at a series of Palestinian youth hostels in the Old City of Jerusalem, 1996-1999. Under his proper birth name, he holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

The Scotiabank Giller Prize 2017 Shortlist!

 

Scotiabank Giller Prize (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

 Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links

The five titles were chosen from a longlist of 12 books announced in St. John’s, NL on September 18, 2017. One hundred and twelve titles were submitted by 73 publisher imprints from across the country.

Three authors on the shortlist have previous nominations, while Michelle Winters and Ed O’Loughlinappear for the first time.

Also represented for the first time is independent publisher Invisible Publishing based in Picton, Ontario.

The books shortlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize are:

Prize Short List

by Rachel Cusk
Recommended for you:
Unit Price
£14.44
Available
Estimated Standard Delivery: 2 to 7 business days.
Publisher
Vintage Publishing
by Rachel Cusk
Publisher
Vintage Publishing
Recommended for you:
Unit Price
£14.44
Available
Estimated Standard Delivery: 2 to 7 business days.
by Ed O'Loughlin
Recommended for you:
Unit Price
£10.88
Available
Estimated Standard Delivery: 2 to 7 business days.
Publisher
Quercus Publishing
by Ed O'Loughlin
Publisher
Quercus Publishing
Recommended for you:
Unit Price
£10.88
Available
Estimated Standard Delivery: 2 to 7 business days.
by Michael Redhill
Recommended for you:
Unavailable at this time
Publisher
Doubleday Canada
by Michael Redhill
Publisher
Doubleday Canada
Recommended for you:
Unavailable at this time
by Eden Robinson
Recommended for you:
Unavailable at this time
Publisher
Knopf Canada
by Eden Robinson
Publisher
Knopf Canada
Recommended for you:
Unavailable at this time
Recommended for you:
Unit Price
£13.12
Available
Estimated Standard Delivery: 2 to 7 business days.
Publisher
Invisible Publishing
Publisher
Invisible Publishing
Recommended for you:
Unit Price
£13.12
Available
Estimated Standard Delivery: 2 to 7 business days.

 

 

Rachel Cusk was previously shortlisted for her novel Outline in 2015, Michael Redhill’s debut novel Martin Sloane made the 2001 shortlist, and Eden Robinson was shortlisted for her novel Monkey Beach in 2000.

To celebrate this year’s shortlisted authors, a series of special readings will take place in:

  • Calgary on October 12,
  • Vancouver on October 16,
  • Halifax on October 26,
  • Ottawa on November 1,
  • Toronto on November 6
  • London, U.K. on November 9

Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists will take you inside the minds and creative lives of the writers on the 2017 shortlist.

For venue and ticket information, please visit:
www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/news-events/events-and-important-dates/#between

 

Review: Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson

Synopsis

Escape to Wildflower Cottage this summer with the brilliant new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Teashop on the Corner and Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café.

Viv doesn’t like animals. And the feeling is mutual: animals seem to hate Viv too. So when she applies for a job at Wildflower Cottage, a tumbledown animal sanctuary which caters for a variety of unloved animals, she is not sure she will fit in. But then she catches sight of Heath, the owner, and things start looking up…

Geraldine runs the Wildflower Cottage sanctuary. She’s a woman who has a secret in her past and who was drawn to the sanctuary just as Viv was. But her sanctuary is about to come under threat. Can she keep her past a secret and her future safe?

Back home, Viv’s mother Stel thinks she might have found a man who will treat her right for once. Ian is kind, considerate, and clearly head over heels for her. That’s what she has wanted all along, isn’t it…?

Review

I am such a massive fan of Milly Johnson and she has totally excelled herself yet again with this book.

As an author she offers so much more than the usual boy meet girl, girl hates boy but girl loves boy in the end kind of story.

This book goes a bit darker than that.  It shows that everybody has a past no matter how perfect they appear to be! It’s gritty yet still has a lightness to it that makes it so easy to get involved with and read quickly.

What the synopsis doesn’t tell you is it’s so much more than the stories of Viv, Geraldine and Stel.  It has lots of different story lines as well around Stel’s group of friends which are excellently interwoven into the main storyline.

The author keeps your attention throughout by dropping little hints of what’s to come before she drops that bombshell! The end of the story moves quickly to a massive climax that, unknowingly to the main characters, links them forever.

This book will make you rage, laugh and cry which is a testement to Milly Johnson’s ability as a writer to really make you feel for the characters in her novels.

Nat

 

Disclosure:  The Pursuit of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge.  All opinions are our own.

Cover Reveal: Hacienda Moon by KaSonndra Leigh

Hacienda Moon
KaSonndra Leigh
(Path Seekers #1)
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Suspense

Centuries ago, his ancestor fell in love with a woman cursed by a jealous witch. No one believed him until it was too late. Eric Fontalvo was determined to prove one thing… that a family curse didn’t cause his father’s death.

The plan was working until the day he found her…again. Suddenly his life changes forever, and he is forced to question everything he believes.

Moving into an old plantation house was just what Tandie Harrison needed to recover from tragedy. So she writes a book, a story based on a man in her dreams. There’s only one problem though… the characters from her novel keep showing up on her doorstep.

And then she finds a diary written hundreds of years ago.

As if that isn’t strange enough, she meets him…the man from her dream, someone who reawakens her psychic power along with something else from long ago.

Can Eric and Tandie’s love destroy the force keeping them apart? Or will darkness win again?

Hacienda Moon is a new classic tale of two lovers crossing time. A seductive tale of one woman’s journey to confront the demons of her past and to find the courage to face her future. It is a mesmerizing novel that explores the deepest depths of human nature, and the characters will hold and haunt you long after you have read the final chapter.

Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Meet your word sculptress…

Author of the Bestelling Lost Immortals Saga, Musical Interlude Series, and the PathSeekers Novels, KaSonndra is also a mother, blogazine owner, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of undead Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. She believes in karma, coffee, and seriously wish that the producers of Xena would bring her favorite show ever back.

Strange things about KaSonndra: Everything. She’s weird, odd, unusual, and generally tends to make people think she swooped down from another planet. Maybe she did. Who knows? She’s also a member of the #zombiesurvivalcrew on twitter. So if you need protection from the upcoming apocalypse, don’t hesitate to call on KayLeigh and crew!

KaSonndra was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now live in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC, when she’s not hanging out in Bardonia (Lost Immortals Saga setting). Most of her characters are based on people that she has met throughout her travels and adventures. People tend to stop and start conversations with KaSonndra as if she has known them her entire life. Does this freak her out? Not really. Her mom says that one day she’ll get kidnapped by one of these folks. KaSonndra’s response? She told her mom that if it weren’t for these lovely people, then she wouldn’t be able to create such fabulously romantic stories.

A few other tidbits about KaSonndra… She has watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun almost 200 times. This is her explanation regarding her obsession. She figures that if she keeps watching the film enough times, then suddenly the house that Diane Lane lives in will magically appear in her backyard. Yes! KaSonndra has a huge imagination!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

XBTBanner1

Blitz: Shopping for a CEO by Julia Kent

Shopping for a CEO
Julia Kent
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #7)
Publication date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

I’m thrilled to be the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding, but the best man, Andrew McCormick, is a chauvinistic pig with a God complex.

And I can’t stop kissing him in closets.

(Don’t ask.)

He’s the brother of the groom and the CEO of my biggest mystery shopping account, but suddenly he’s refusing to be in the wedding. He won’t talk about it. Won’t see reason.

He’s such a man.

And he still won’t stop kissing me in random closets.

(Thank goodness.)

I’m a fixer. That’s what I do. I can fix anything if given the chance. But when the game is fixed there’s only so much I can do.

The ball’s in his court now.

Game on.

* * *
Shopping for a CEO is the 7th book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping series. When CEO Andrew McCormick and mystery shopper Amanda Harrington find themselves in the unlikely position as maid of honor and best man in the Boston society wedding of the year, an undeniable attraction and dual stubborn streaks add fuel to the fire in this romantic comedy from Julia Kent.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

*Also available as a 12-hour audiobook (with Whispersync)!

99¢ for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

It’s Andrew McCormick.

Oh, sweet holy hell.

I haven’t seen him in months. Haven’t kissed him since we were in the emergency room after my best friend, Shannon, swallowed the engagement ring his brother, Declan, gave to her as he proposed.

(A tip: don’t bury a three-carat diamond ring in a piece of tiramisu at a fancy restaurant as a way of proposing to a woman. Any woman. Why ruin the dessert like that?)

I’m the maid of honor for the wedding. Andrew is the best man. We’ve managed to avoid each other so far, but the wedding is three months away. I knew this day was coming.

But I didn’t expect it to be today.

My heart starts skipping beats as I take him in from afar, shielded by the angle of my bench. He has no idea I’m watching him. Thick hair, cut short and with the kind of layered sophistication that only comes from a stylist who charges three figures. Shaded eyes that I know are sharp and smoldering, a blend of brown and honey that makes you melt inside. He’s in a full suit, tie still snug against his neck, the moonlight reflecting off a white shirt. His grin is contagious, making my own smile widen as I tilt my head and let myself get lost in wondering.

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Blitz: Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien

Carry Me Home
Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult

“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.

* * *

Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

“You ready for this, Guera?” he asks.

It’s a test, Guera. Only thing I can say is you’re allowed to fight back. Take ‘em out with everything you got.

I’d heard of people being jumped into a gang before, maybe it was Rosa who told me about it. As the girls start to descend from their spots around the room, slowly closing in like encircling wolves, I know what’s about to happen.

The realization takes hold in my chest, a quick plunge of the heart into an icy lake of fear. I back away slowly out of instinct, ready to run, but there’s nowhere to go. The sound of their skittering feet is the first thing I hear before they come at me. Me against all of them. Me against Rose Tattoo and Cigarette Twins. Me against the jealous novias. Ten sets of eyes glinting with the thrill of a fight. I flinch and turn my back to avoid the fists, but they’re all around me. One of them catches me by the shoulders, holding me in place as the other girls hit the back of my skull. My head flies forward, chin to chest.

At first I don’t know whether to swing or cover. I reach up to protect myself, but there are too many points of contact. The rush of adrenaline is intense. It blocks the pain, but there is a fiery need in me to get away. I try and kick or punch, feeling one or two connect, but the girls are everywhere. An elbow slams against my temple. My head splits and my ears ring. I go down.

Every infinite minute of being the enemy feels like it’ll never end.

Someone’s shoe stomps my thigh. Others strike my ribs. I heave and gag until I can’t breathe. But that kind of terror turns me into a resilient kind of crazy. The kind of rabid-mad that is born of desperation. I scrape and flail until I’m on my feet, pulling hair and swinging my fists, making contact with whatever I can. I don’t realize I’m screaming until Toño calls them to a stop.

It ceases the moment the girls hear his voice, and I’m left there shaking and crazed, my breath dragging in and out of my lungs in a feverish effort to return to its normal rhythm. I pant and cry, as softly as I can, but it’s hard to deny my body the relief of all-out sobbing. My head hurts. My brain smashes against my skull with the pulse of too much pressure. I taste blood in my mouth, though no one has touched my face. Now that it’s over, the pain of it all rushes to the surface and makes me want to vomit. I feel like I could die.

Why am I here? Why am I doing this?

“She’s in,” Toño says, and the cheers of the group shock my senses and make me tense up.

They all rush me, and at first I’m terrified it’s about to start again, but instead they hug me and pat me on the shoulder all at once. Each hand on my back or squeeze around the shoulders rocks me with pain, but they’re so happy. Their laughter and cheering is contagious, it flows into me, filling me with a strange sense of pride and belonging. I can’t help my smile when I see their encouraging faces. I even start to laugh.

 

Author Bio:

Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called, The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on an a YA suspense thriller series and a middle grade fantasy series.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Blitz: The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting

The Chosen Knights
Mary Ting
(The Angel Knights #1)
Publication date: March 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

(HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first–The Angel Knights)
SOME BOOKS AREN’T MEANT TO BE OPENED
***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code.
Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.
*** SILVER AWARD WINNER 2016–YA FANTASY–READERS’ FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD***
A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine

Book trailer: http://bit.ly/2t0cOKF

When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.

There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.

Goodreads / Amazon

FREE for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

Eli willed his sword away. It disappeared behind his back, just the way I would have done it. “You know nothing. Nothing about me is human. I won’t be a part of something that could kill any one of you.”

“How could it kill us if—?” Then I had a thought, recalling the first time I’d seen him in the cafeteria. I had no evidence but it was worth the shot. “You can astral travel, can’t you? You’ve done it before, when you first saw me in the cafeteria. You can travel in the present too. That’s why you took off.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you even know what that is?” His jaw clenched.

I knew he was lying. “Out-of-body experience.” I followed behind him when he started walking away.

“You have no idea of the consequences when you travel. Astral travel.”

“Then let it be my consequence.”

Eli whipped around. His face was just a breath away from mine. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Then show me.”

Eli pierced his eyes into mine. His heart drummed a mile a minute. “You want to feel pain, Lucia? You want to know what happens to people when they astral travel?”

“I-I—” I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t expect him to say the things he did.

Eli extended his arm to me. “Take my hand.”

“No.”

“Take my hand, Lucia.” His tone was stern.

I shook my head.

“Last warning.”

“Last warning for—ELI.” I screamed. My stomach dropped, along with my body. Eli’s arms embraced me as we plunged through multiple layers of clouds with my back facing down. Hair whipped my face and the force of gravity made me dizzy.

“You didn’t heed my warning, Lucia,” Eli grumbled.

“So you’re trying to kill me?” The normal reaction for someone in this situation would be to fight back, but my instincts told me I wasn’t in danger. “What are you doing?” The clouds got smaller as we plummeted faster by the second. I began to have second thoughts. Wanting to believe so badly I could get through to him, I’d let it possibly cost my life.

He ignored my plea. Looking squarely in my eyes as air rushed against us, he said nonchalantly, “Get ready to die.”

 

Author Bio:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1