Tag Archives: secrets

Guest Release—Forever And Always by Susanne Matthews

forever&always-001(1)

BLURB

Ballet is the only thing Brandi Alexandra Jameson has ever known. When an accident leaves her dance partner dead and herself unable to dance again, she tries to accept the situation, but some pain goes too deep to be set aside so easily. Lost, alone, frightened, all she wants to do is hide away, but her family has a different idea.

Jarrett Sullivan has been in love with Brandi from the first day he saw her and blacked a kid’s eye for calling her names. Shy, unsure of himself, he stayed in the background, looking out for her, but before he could make his move, she left Victoria for the stage in Toronto. Now that she’s back, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her heart. After badgering her sister, he earns the right to escort the woman he’s always wanted to the event of the year.

When Brandi discovers Jarrett paid an exorbitant amount for an Alexandra Jameson poster, she assumes he’s lied to her and is nothing but another crazed fan. Her heart broken she flees Victoria and ends up in Geneva where she hopes to learn to cope with what’s happened to her.

Can Jarrett find her and explain what happened or will a spiteful woman’s half-truths keep them apart forever?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Solstice Publishing

EXCERPT

“You’re here and dressed for the occasion,” Jane said, her grin so wide it split her face. “I almost expected you to back out.”

“I came close,” Brandi answered, leaning into him for support. “But I figured you wouldn’t let me and, as I’ve learned on the way over, he would’ve dragged me here as you’d requested.”

“Not sure he’d have gone that far,” Jane laughed, winking at him. “But, I’m sure he’d have tried to persuade you to attend. Now, come on over here and say hello to everyone.”

Brandi followed her sister into the room, leaning on him for support even though she held her cane with her left forearm and hand.

“Auntie B!” The small ball of energy dressed in red and white chiffon separated herself from her father and ran toward her, almost knocking Brandi down with her exuberant hug.

“Whoa, munchkin,” Brandi said, and laughed. “I’m not that steady on my feet, yet. Don’t you look pretty?”

The vivacious, tiny brunette, hands above her head, pirouetted to show off her fancy dress.

Jarrett watched Brandi blink away tears. Would she ever be able to see this without hurting?

“I learned that at dance class. I even stood on my tippy-toes,” Hope said. “It’s called a parette. I’m going to be a ballerina, just like you one day.”

“You’ll be a much better dancer than me,” Brandi answered and smiled. “Now, tell me about your beautiful dress.”

“Nana bought it for me. I look like a princess.”

“You do,” she agreed.

“Come on, Hope,” Jane said, her face slightly flushed. “You can talk to Aunt B later. Right now, they have games and prizes for the kids in the salon.”

The child clapped her hands and reached up to take her mother’s. She waved at them as they left the room.

“Nice to see you again, Jarrett. Thanks for bringing my girl here,” Phil Jameson said, reaching for his daughter.

Jarrett reluctantly let go of her and moved out of the way, but stayed close by her side. She was his date tonight, and he wanted every one of the ravenous wolves in the room, looking at her as if she were the blue plate special, to know it.

“You look wonderful, darling,” her dad said, kissing her. “How’s the house?”

“It’s great. You did a magnificent job.”

“Not me,” he said, and chuckled. “Your escort here did all the work.”

“Why didn’t you mention that on the drive over?” she asked, turning to look up at him.

His face heated. This was another thing he’d hoped to keep quiet. The last thing he wanted was for her to feel beholden to him.

“It wasn’t very much really—moving a few walls, redoing the bathroom, putting in sturdier staircases and railings, refinishing the woodwork and staining the wood furniture to match—and it isn’t as if I did all of the work myself.”

He’d done most of it though, considering it a labor of love.

“Of course not. You’re the boss, but I appreciate it. Please tell your men how happy I am with everything.”

“I’ll pass it along,” he said, trying not to preen.

Brandi turned to her father once more.

“I’m more solid on my feet now but, after a while, I get tired and when I do, my back aches, the way it did after a particularly, grueling rehearsal.”

“Jarrett,” a silver-haired woman in black stepped up beside Phil and extended her hand. “Thank you so much for picking her up.”

“It was my pleasure, Reverend Jameson,” he answered.

“Please, call me Clarice. After all, we’re almost family.”

She reached over and pulled Brandi into a tight hug and then held her at arms’ length. “Darling, you look lovely, but you’re still too thin.”

“Mom, you saw me just last week.” The exasperation in Brandi’s voice was clear. “I can’t gain weight that quickly….”

“I know, but you’re even smaller than you were when you danced.” Clarice’s face turned a deep red. “I’m so sorry….”

“Mom, it’s okay. I used to be a prima ballerina. Now, I’m not. I’ve accepted that. We can’t keep dancing around the elephant in the room, pardon the pun.”

Susanne Matthews

Canadian author Susanne Matthews lives in Cornwall, Ontario. A retired educator, she spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

Guest Promo–Twist of Faith by Darlene Fredette

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Tagline:

One twist of Faith can change everything.

Blurb:

Katrina has one goal—follow through on her late-grandmother’s last request, to oversee the renovation of Katrina’s childhood home. The handsome contractor is distracting, but she refuses to be swayed by his deep brown eyes and broad shoulders. A summer romance is not part of the plan. When the truth is discovered about her family’s past, Katrina fears her own future is in jeopardy. She doesn’t have faith, but the twists that lie ahead may just change her mind.

Nick refuses to accept help from anyone, until Katrina gives him an ultimatum—one he can’t refuse. Her renovation project will save his business, but puts his heart on the line. Can he convince Katrina to stay or will a promise to her late-grandmother pull her away? With a little twist of Faith, the odds may be in his favor.

BUY LINKS:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Excerpt:

The man shifted his weight.

Suddenly, the air cooled around her. For the first time since she spied him in her home, Katrina stared face-to-face at her intruder. Past the pain, she saw a strong jaw line and a chin framed by the shadow of a goatee, or as they say in Paris, a French beard. A perfect set of lips held a thin moustache and his brown layered hair fell just above his chin. Dark brown eyes kept her gaze captivated. Johnny Depp has broken into my house.

His face didn’t belong to someone who made a living from breaking-and-entering. This face belonged to a refined and hard-working man. She could tell there was more to the story behind those eyes, but the instant she stared at his lips, her thoughts turned to mush.

He stumbled to stand, leaning on the wall for support. Johnny Depp kicked the wood, sending it rolling to the other side of the room.

Katrina, now believing he meant no harm, accepted the hand he offered to help her from the floor. She ignored the tingling sensation running up her arm, knowing the fuss couldn’t be from the strong hand holding hers.

He inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak, but shook his head instead. Frowning, he pointed a finger toward the card on the floor and limped to the exit, slamming the door behind him.

She bent to pick up the card, which read, Donaldson and Porter, Architecture and Contracting, Nick Porter. Her shoulders dropped. “Damn!”

Katrina now had less than twenty-four hours to master the art of groveling.

BIO:

An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to put a pencil to paper and plot out stories of her own. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When Darlene isn’t writing, editing, or reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab.

Contact links:

Web Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Giveaway:

Commenters here and other spots on the book release blog tour are eligible for ecopy of Twist of Faith or $5 Amazon GC or pair of earrings.

TOF Giveaway

Guest Interview–JM Stewart

Today I’m interviewing author JM Stewart, author of contemporary romance with titles available from several publishers.

Thanks so much for having me, Linda!

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a stay-at-home mom by trade. My husband and I have been married for 18 years now. I’ve been devouring romances since, gosh, probably around high school. I can’t actually remember when I first picked them up. I started writing them somewhere around 14 years ago, when my youngest was a baby. My first book published in 2010. That book has since been lengthened, revised and reedited, and is being republished by Berkley Intermix.

 What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Characters. My plots are always character driven, so the plot itself requires me to know the character(s) first.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

A little of both. I start with a basic premise and some idea of a plot, because I have to have some idea of where I’m going. But even then, I don’t really follow a plot. I follow my characters, so much of the book is character led. I like to say I just take dictation. I go where I’m told. 😉

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I really kind of need quiet when I write. Music can be distracting, because my toe starts tapping, and suddenly I’m singing out loud and the page I’m writing has gone forgotten. lol I like a variety, though, usually stuff that moves me, but mostly contemporary stuff. Some of my current favorites: Josh Groban, Rascal Flatts, Adele, Daughtry, Christina Perri, Bruno Mars.

What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?

Depends on the story and how much the plot requires it. For example, for Risking It All, I didn’t need much. I needed to know about what it’s like to be a detective, the adoption process and witness protection, but most of it I researched as I needed.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Kind of. Risking It All and Whatever It Takes are both set around where I live, in Puyallup, Washington. But otherwise, no, not really. I wish.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

Take a break and let it sit for a day or two or five. In other words, however long it takes to get me out of my head. Then I come back to it. Often, when I get stuck it’s because I’m stressing too much about writing the “perfect” story and not listening to my characters. Taking a break allows me to de-stress and get my head back where it needs to be. I need to forget the internal editor and write the story. I can always revise. The perfectionist in me absolutely loathes this, so when I get stuck, it can often take me days to let it go.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

The final product. I’m always amazed at watching the story come alive. For Risking It All, I had a lot of edits/revisions to do. The changes weren’t extensive, but lots of small things needed to be added in order to fully flesh out the story. The overall effect, for me, when it was finished was like looking at a different book.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

 I’m up somewhere between 4 and 5 am most days. Just can’t sleep anymore. The older I get, the earlier I conk out, which means by the time 4 am rolls around, I’m wide awake. Lol From the time I get up until the time my kids leave for school at 6:30, I do promo (check email, check the street teams I’m on, including my own, check my calendar to see if I have a guest on my blog, write up tweets, etc).

The rest of the day is divided between household chores (laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc), taking care of the dogs, and writing. But really, I write full time, from about 6:30 am until 2pm. The kids get home then, and the dogs get excited, and I like to catch up with my boys, so I take a break. IE: I can’t concentrate in noise, so I give in. lol I take another hour or so to write while I’m making dinner. After dinner, my brain is shot and my eyes are tired.

 Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

 My current release (and the next two, actually) is a contemporary romance on the sweet and heartwarming side. I’m currently writing (and getting ready to submit) a contemporary series that’s a bit hotter than what I’ve written before. Not erotic, but I’ve turned up the heat quite a bit.

 What’s your dream vacation destination?

It’s a toss-up between Hawaii and Paris. Paris is so romantic and the city has so much history. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere foreign, to visit someone else’s culture. But Hawaii is warm and beautiful, and I live in The Pacific Northwest. I’m tired of gray and I’m tired rain. So, somewhere sunny and semi warm would be a dream. lol.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

Not while plotting. Though, I do like Pinterest. Most of the time, I just like seeing my story in pictures, because I’m a visual person, but it can also help when I need to describe something. So, in this case, I use it more for research. Like, for example, deciding what the heroine of my current work-in-progress wore to a formal function.

 In what genre do you read?

 Contemporary and historical. Historical is a pleasure read for me.

 What resources do you use for picking character names?

 Most of the time, my characters name themselves. But I like babynames.com for first and middle names. For last names, I look up a website on most common surnames. But in the last two series I’ve written, I had characters who came from specific roots. For example, the heroine of my current WIP is of Greek descent, so I had to research authentic names, in which case, Google is my best friend.

 Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

 Oh yeah. I love most animals, but I’m mostly a dog person. I’ve had them most of my life. We currently have two. Got them both from shelters when they were puppies. Misty is a Lab/Shepherd mix and Tiger is a Chihuahua/French Bulldog mix. Take a guess who runs the house. lol

 What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

 I hope they enjoy the stories. Though, honestly, I hope the stories touch them in some way. My favorite stories are the ones that touch me, that I can’t forget, and that’s what I always hope for. But really, in a perfect world, I want the reader to sit back and think, “Wow. That was a great story.”

Risking It All

Blurb:

She’s everything he wants…

For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…

 …and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.

 Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…

Buy Links:

Penguin

Amazon

Barns & Noble

iTunes

Books-a-million

Excerpt:

 “I need to know, Kyle.”

His answer sat on the tip of his tongue, but the voice of reason sounded in his head. Don’t say it. Whatever you do, do not say it. Just keep walking.

Her soft footsteps sounded behind him. “You can’t just do something like that and walk away and expect me not to question it. You blow hot and cold, do you know that? I know desire when I see it, yet you just keep walking away.”

“Ever think maybe I wanted to kiss you?” The words left his mouth on a hoarse whisper, and God help him, a desperate need to see her eyes seized him. He turned to find her directly behind him. She stared for a fraction of a second too long, heat and curiosity blazed in her eyes. A heartbeat later, a light blush stole into her cheeks, but she didn’t move, didn’t say a word.

Everything inside of him ground to a halt, his mind twisting off in another direction. I’ll be damned. If ever he needed a confirmation, there it was. Whatever had happened between them was definitely not one-sided.

From 5-star reviews:

“I enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed Kyle I just loved him.” — A Crazy Vermonter’s Book Reviews

“While raising the perpetual question, “Can men and women ever be just friends?”, “Risking It All” by J. M. Stewart also adds mystery and suspense to the plot.” – Mari Davis, from Marienela.net

JM Stewart

BIO:

JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

Contact links: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook