Archive | February 2017

Heating It Up by Elizabeth Harmon

heatingitup_badge

Download a new Red Hot Russians novella from RITA finalist Elizabeth Harmon!

In HEATING IT UP, a heart-warming novel of mistaken identity and forced proximity, widow Nora Bradford and Russian adventurer Alexei Zaikov must work together to save their small Antarctic town from being shut down—but will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

Keep reading to get a sneak peek at Heating It Up!

Title: Heating it Up
Author: Elizabeth Harmon
Author Location: Chicago, IL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Indie
Series: Red Hot Russians
Word Count: Novella, 30k
Format: Digital
Digital ISBN: 9781370182220

 

heatingitup_harmon_800pixRed Hot Russian Alexei is king of the Ice…Antarctic style

Alexei Zaikov loves his life in remote Amity Bay, Antarctica, until a new luxury guesthouse threatens the small town’s future. As head of Amity Bay, he’s driven to save it, but first must discover who is hiding out in the supposedly deserted lodge…and why.

Nora Bradford has lost everything; a promising career and the man she loved. Glacier Ridge Lodge, the architectural masterpiece she designed but was denied credit for, seems like the perfect place to grieve her loss, until a ruggedly handsome Russian arrives on her doorstep, determined to bring her in from the cold.

Desire sparks, leaving them hungry for more. But will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

 

 
 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | Goodreads

 

Exclusive sneak peek at HEATING IT UP!

Copyright © 2016 Elizabeth Harmon

The first thing she noticed was that yesterday’s sad vulnerability was gone. Now his ice-blue eyes were flinty and determined as he strode inside. She remained by the door, hand on the knob, ready to show him the way out. Yet she sensed that sending him away wasn’t going to be so easy this time.
“You’re too late,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Fifteen years ago some New Zealander became first woman to winter-over solo. Maybe you already know that. Or maybe you don’t care, because we both know that’s not the real reason you’re holed up in here.”
She winced. He knew she wasn’t being honest, but not to what extent. Burdened by guilt and too deflated for battle, she sighed and leaned against the door. “You’re right it isn’t.”
“Nora..,” the gentleness in his voice felt like a caress. “Staying here alone doesn’t hurt Herbert Quinn, it only hurts you. And it hurts me too.”
“How’s that?”
“Because to keep you secret, I have to lie, not just to IFAR, but to the people who work for me. People whose trust I don’t take lightly. Staying up here not only puts you in danger, but also them. This what your brilliant boss forgot. Down here, people survive because they depend on each other. If one of the systems failed in bad weather, or you had an accident, computers and Vancouver would be useless. Someone would have to put themselves at risk, and come to help.”
Most likely, that someone would be him. Even with blizz lines strung, making such a trip could be life-threatening. Fear tightened her throat as she considered how it would feel to mourn another man she cared about.
“I know you’ve lost much,” he said. “And while I know losing a fiancé is different, I understand the hurt of missing a person I loved dearly.”
“That woman who lied to you?” she demanded, shocked and angry.
“No,” he said. “Not Natalia. I’m talking about my mother. For a long time, I felt like she was the only person who understood me. But when I came here to Antarctica, I found others like me and a place to belong. In time, the pain was not so bad. Up here all alone, you don’t have that.”
“No,” she whispered.
“Ask yourself if this is what he’d want for you. I don’t think it is. I know that if I was gone… and the woman I loved was left behind, this isn’t what I’d want for her.”
Her fingers twitched on the doorknob, and she thought of ordering him out, but didn’t. In her heart, she knew he was right. Even if she weren’t drifting through darkened rooms in a ruined wedding gown, she was teetering dangerously close to Miss Havisham territory. In the process, she was putting others in danger. The weather was turning, and soon the months of darkness would come. It was time to decide where she would spend them.

 

The Author:

elizabeth_harmon_5Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world. Her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.

An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

 

Website |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  | Goodreads | BookBub |  BookLikes  | Google+

 

Other Books in the Red Hot Russians Series

publication1

PAIRING OFF
(2016 RITA nominated Best First Book!)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

TURNING IT ON
(Red Hot Russians #2)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

GETTING IT BACK
(Red Hot Russians #3)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

Praise for the Red Hot Russians Series:

Pairing Off: A 2016 RITA Award Finalist
Pairing Off: “Very Enjoyable Book by a knowledgeable author about my favorite sport”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Turning It On: 2015 Favorites—Nelle’s Nightstand
Getting It Back: “Truly Magical”—Top Pick-Harlequin Junkie
Getting It Back: 4 Stars—Romantic Times
Getting It Back: Heats Up the Ice—Library Journal

pq2_hiu

 

Spread the news about HEATING IT UP with a GIVEAWAY!

Three winners – Three Digital Book Bundles!
Each winner will receive Pairing Off, Turning It On, and Getting It Back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit all participating blogs for more chances to WIN!


I Love Romance

Book Reviews & More by Kathy
For Love of Books
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Books,Dreams,Life
Jen’s Reading Obsession
nikkis book nook
Tangled Hearts Book Reviews
The Avid Reader
Becky on Books
Key Read That
Lisa’s Loves (Books of Course)
OMGReads
Just Us Book Blog
Sour Puss Reviews
Those Crazy Book Chicks
Rainne’s Ramblings
Read Love Blog
Sassy Book Lovers
Reese’s Review
Babbling About Books and More
Fiction Vixen
Read Between the Lines
Nicole’s Book Musings
Romance Reviews Today Blog
Evermore Books
It’s All About the Romance
RoloPoloBookBlog
Dog-Eared Daydreams
A Small Girl, Her Man and Her Books

 

 

Sexiest Dad Alive by M. Clarke

sda_blitzbadge-1

The decisions I’ll have to make won’t be easy. No matter what I choose, my heart will break…

Find out what Josh Bennett needs to do to get his own happily ever after in the world of Knight Fashion with SEXIEST DAD ALIVE by M.Clarke…

 
knight-fashion_sda-final-high-4Josh Bennett

It was a simple offer.

I invited Isla to rent a room in my five thousand square foot home. Plenty of rooms and plenty of space. But the second she moved in, I knew I was in trouble. I could handle wanting her when there was distance between us, but once we started to play house, all my pent up desire started knocking down walls.

That was my first mistake of many.

The private investigator I hired to track down my ex found her not far from where I live. I should have locked my past behind me, but something urged me to find her. I’m glad I did. But our union left me with a situation to be reckoned with.

When a new fire is lit and old flames rekindle, one will have to burn out.
The decisions I’ll have to make won’t be easy.
No matter what I choose, my heart will break.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Add to Goodreads!

 

Excerpt:

      Since Isla moved in, I’d been eating better. Of course I gave in return by taking her out to eat. I wasn’t a selfish bastard, and I wasn’t about to take advantage of her. For a while, I suspected Isla had feelings for me, and I for her, but both of us kept the feeling locked away. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship if things went wrong. But I realized there was a great chance of something happening, even between friends, when you play house.
      Isla and I often said things husbands and wives would say to each other: Goodnight, dear. Honey, I’m home. Love you. Don’t forget to pick up milk. The words flew naturally and we laughed it off, but deep in the recesses of my mind, I wondered what it could be like if we did date.
      But … but … but … we had crossed the line. I might have started to cross over first, but Isla encouraged it. And damn, she felt and tasted amazing. Fuck! I was going to want more of her. Control yourself, Josh. I had been doing well so far. I just had to continue, especially since I had to find out if Shelly’s baby was mine. And if so, Isla may not want anything to do with me.
      Regret rippled through me. I shouldn’t have kissed her, but when her bright green eyes filled with lust, and she lowered her gaze to my lips as she licked hers, I gave in to temptation. I’d forgotten about Shelly until it was over. Then reality flooded back. I had to get my life straightened out before I even attempted to have a relationship with Isla. She deserved the best of me, not the worst.
      After I took a freezing shower, I got ready for bed and debated whether to say something to Isla. We’d agreed to pretend nothing happened, and if I didn’t say goodnight to her like I did every night, she would feel like shit. I knew I would. So I opened the door and shot my eyes open wide.
      “Isla. I was just about to come see you.”
      Her raised fist, ready to knock on the door, dropped while her eyes lingered on my bare chest. “Josh. I—I—you were about to come see me?” She smoothly changed the subject.
      When I raked my hair back, her eyes landed on my biceps. Her longing-filled eyes had me so close to giving in to my desire and taking her in my room. Closing my eyes to contain my lust, I inhaled a deep breath to shut out my thoughts and my dick wanting what it shouldn’t. What I couldn’t have.
      But shit, Isla. Did she have to look so damn hot in her night outfit—shorts and a T-shirt? She crossed her arms, to hide her nipples no doubt. But that didn’t stop me from envisioning the beautiful breasts I saw, touched, and tasted. Oh hell, I imagined my mouth on them as she stood before me. Her disheveled auburn hair—wild and full—contrasted with her face, looking innocent with no makeup.
      I arched my eyebrows, loosening up, trying to get us back to the way we were. “Yes, I was, but why don’t you tell me why you’re here first?” I gave her my goofy grin—lips twisted, tongue slightly poking out, and eyes crossed.
      She smacked my arm and let out a delicious, contagious laugh. When her laughter died, my heart died a little too because I couldn’t have her, at least not yet.
      “I came to say goodnight. Since we’re starting over, I thought we keep things … you know … normal,” she said hesitantly, eyes darting to the door, to my bare chest again, swallowing, and then to her perfect, manicured feet.
      “I’m glad you came.”
      Her eyes shot to mine. “You are?”
      “Of course I am. I was on my way to your room to say goodnight.”
      “Oh. Okay. That’s good. Thanks. I mean. Goodnight.” She stumbled over her words.
      Oh hell. I made it that way. She didn’t sound like my friend Isla, but rather a broken and confused Isla.
      “Goodnight, honey.” I played along. “Do I get a hug?” I thought to ease the tension between us, but as soon as she wrapped her arms around me, I tightened with the tension of unfulfilled pleasure.
      Isla’s touch burned through my skin, and her body molding to mine unraveled me. Her lavender shampoo filled my nostrils, and I wanted to take her to bed and make love to her all night. We stayed entangled longer than we should have, frozen in time and space. Then Isla pulled away, leaving me cold and empty.
      Running her hands through her auburn locks, she didn’t notice she had exposed her T-shirt when she backed away. Oh fuck me! Her T-shirt framed her breast, teasing what I could no longer touch or taste. She gasped and crossed her arms again when my dirty eyes reminded her.
      “Anyway. I’m going to see my brother tomorrow, and I’m going to spend the weekend with his family, so I’ll see you whenever.”
      Why did that feel like a punch to my gut? It shouldn’t. She had done that two weekends before. “Sure. Have fun.”
      “You got any plans?” Her long eyelashes fluttered, curious.
      “I’m having dinner with Nathan tomorrow, but not much.”
      She nodded and took several steps back. “Okay. Have a great weekend.” Then she turned and walked away.
      “You too.” I stared at her fine ass and her long legs until she disappeared out of my sight. Inhaling a deep breath, I got back to bed with my laptop to distract me.

 

See what people are saying about the Knight Fashion series:

“Sexiest Couple Alive is a spectacularly exhilarating and breathlessly sensual story that shows us that scars can be beautiful and mistakes can lead you to the best things in life. ”
-Amber from The Wonderings of One Person

“Sexiest Man Alive has it all; heartbreak, drama and excitement! M.Clarke has once again completely blown me away, she had me at the edge of my seat and left me wanting for more.”
-Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

“5 Stars!!! Yes 5 stars baby!!! Wow!!! OMG  I am at a loss for words!!! This book was HOT, Sexy and suspense! I can’t believe the ending and WAIT for book 2!!!! Nathan Cross is EVER women’s dream ….ALPHA male, Model and yet a sweet warm hearted guy! And Olivia she is a CONFIDENT, sexy and knows what she wants! She triumphs and struggles which makes her relatable and lovable as a character Grab this today you won’t be disappointed and make sure you get ready to be hooked on a new series.”
-FMR Book Grind, Stacey

“I am already anxious for the next book as I can’t wait to find out what happens next! I have been a huge fan of M. Clarke’s since first reading her work a few years ago, and I really love her Something Great series. Nathan is a character that I felt really connected to right away though, and I could not put this book down.”
– Ramblings From This Chick

 

 

Check out the other books in the Knight Fashion series!

**Feb 27 – Mar 3 – SEXIEST MAN ALIVE is on SALE for $0.99!**


picture1Nathan Cross is a struggling actor waiting tables at a local restaurant to make ends meet while he attends endless auditions. Though his hopeful career moves at a slow pace, Olivia is the strength and sunshine in his life… until she leaves him. One day, he is offered a contract with a modeling agent, leading him to work for Knight Fashion Magazine—a dream job he never imagined would become a reality.

Olivia swore she would always put her career first and that’s precisely what she did when she left Nathan. Having a deadbeat dad and watching her mom work two jobs to make ends meet have been her driving force. When she is offered a modeling career, she drops everything—even the love of her life—and moves to New York. Though Nathan and Olivia try to steer clear of one another, working for the same fashion magazine causes their paths to cross again and old emotions are awakened.

Can Nathan forgive Olivia or will he take the next step with the woman he is currently dating? Will Olivia do everything she can to break them apart? Or will she choose her career over her heart… again?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Books | Kobo

 

SEXIEST COUPLE ALIVE (Knight Fashion Book 1)

picture2Nathan Cross is living his dream. Not only is he modeling for Knight Fashion Magazine, recently voted “sexiest man alive,” but he is dating a beautiful photographer who could be his new future. When he unexpectedly reunites with his past love, his world crashes around him. Two loves. The past or the future: which one will he choose?

Olivia’s past choices come back to haunt her and could ruin everything she has worked so hard to build. Troy has the power to destroy any hope of happiness. She will do everything to keep that from happening, even if it means giving up her second chance with Nathan. Lies. Revenge. Scandal. Olivia could lose it all.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

CELEBRATE THE RELEASE WITH A GIVEAWAY!
1 Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card
3 Runner-Ups: Each will receive a digital backlist copy of any M. Clarke or Mary Ting book.

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

Author Bio:

picture3

International Bestselling, Award-Winning, 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.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon
Newsletter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Unexpected Love by Kacey Hamford

kacey

 

untitled3Standing outside the local motorcycle club was not something Jasmine ever imagined herself doing, but it was her last option. Her son had been stolen, her life was in turmoil.

The Cornish Crusaders were her final hope to get her boy back.

Solar’s life was going his way, finally. He had his brothers, any girl he wanted, whenever he wanted. Not even prison time could put a dent in his path. He was happy.

So when she storms in begging for help why does it feel like so much is about to change?

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Paths cross, obstacles occur and the unexpected happens.

Amazon | Goodreads

 

untitled5

 

 
The Author:

Kacey Hamford is a pen name for me (Kelly). I am in my thirties and started this journey in 2014, I love to read romance books about rockstars, so thought I would have a go at writing one myself. I really enjoyed it and got a boost of confidence once my books started selling.

I have gone on to write a young adult series, set in a college. The series is still on going.

I also have an MC series, it was something different for me to write and I enjoyed it so much, especially when I got readers telling me they would love to read books about the sub characters.

I work full time as a dog groomer, I love to read and my friends and family are very important to me. They are all so supportive of my writing career and encourage me to carry on.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 
Other books in the series:

publication1

Devon Destroyers MC

Cornish Crusaders MC

Trusting Love

Forbidden Love

 

mailservice

Bookworm Promotions

The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan

fairytalechicagorelease

 

Title: The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan
Author: Steve Wiley
Genre: Fantasy

 

“Did you know most anything that matters in this city was built by magic before it was built by men? Of course you didn’t. This city is different from other cities. The true history of it is unpublished. Lucky for you, I know it all by heart.”
~ Francesca Finnegan

 
ftalechicago-cover-imageIn Chicago, a secret L train runs through the mythical East Side of the city. On that train, you’ll find a house-cat conductor, an alcoholic elf, a queen of the last city farm, the most curious wind, and an exceptional girl by the name of Francesca Finnegan.

When we first encounter Richard K. Lyons, he is a man who has long forgotten the one night, when he was still a boy called Rich, when Francesca invited him aboard the secret L for an adventure though the East Side. The night was a mad epic, complete with gravity-defying first kisses, mermaid overdoses, and princess rescues.

Unfortunately for Rich, the night ended like one of those elusive dreams forgotten the moment you wake. Now, Rich is all grown up and out of childish adventures, an adult whose life is on the verge of ruin. It will take the rediscovery of his exploits with Francesca, and a reacquaintance with the boy he once was, to save him.

Amazon

Website | Facebook | Kirkus Review

The Author:

picture2Steve Wiley is a father, husband, uncle, brother, friend, and purveyor of fairy stories. He grew up in and around Chicagoland, where he still lives with his wife and two kids. He has been published in an array of strange and serious places, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to Crannóg magazine in Galway, Ireland. This is his first book. He has an undergraduate degree in something he has forgotten from Illinois State University and a graduate degree in something equally forgotten from DePaul University. You can email Steve at Lavenderlinepress@gmail.com, or visit thewileymancan on Instagram.

 

The Illustrator:

picture1Chris Cihon is an artist who studied at Columbia College Chicago. He is a Chicago native and has lived here all his life. Chris’s paintings have been showcased in many local galleries and beyond. When he feels like it, he travels elsewhere to find inspiration. You can reach him at Chris.cihon@gmail.com, or visit _ccihon on Instagram.

 

Nicu by Ariel Marie

Cover Reveal for Nicu (The Dark Shadows #5)

Nicu Olaru, the heir to the vampire king was not a vampire to cross. Even while seething in the dungeon of the necromancers, he plotted how he would kill Sodan, their king. But first, he had to escape his prison cell. He just had to wait for the Dark Shadows to come for him. His brothers would not forsake him. They would come for him, but somehow the first person who stumbled upon him was an innocent with large brown eyes…

Samara Shamus had never experienced such a rush of power before. One look at the menacing figure locked away in the cell and she knew that he was a force to be reckoned with. The word danger dripped from every facet of his body, but for some reason, he was the only one that she could trust. Her entire future changed the night she met her first vampire.

The Dark Shadows were fighting a war to save their race. But how could Nicu focus when he had more at stake to lose than just his race?

Warning: This book contains material for those 18 years and older.

Preorder

16710287_1737697886545088_335205403_o

 

The Author:

Ariel Marie is an author who loves the paranormal, action and hot steamy romance. She combines all three in each and every one of her stories. For as long as she can remember, she has loved vampires, shifters and every creature you can think of. This even rolls over into her favorite movies! She loves a good action packed thriller! Throw a touch of the supernatural world in it and she’s hooked!

She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she currently resides with her husband and three beautiful children. Want to know more about her and her books? Visit her website

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub

The Haunting of Tinley Hall by Tania Hagan

tinley-hall-rdb-banner

 
Title: The Haunting of Tinley Hall
Author: Tania Hagan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: CHBB Publishing
Cover Designer: Aurelia Fray, Pretty AF Designs
Editor: CLS Editing Services

 
tinley-hallSeventeen-year-old Tinley Hall takes a fall down the steep staircase in her family’s restored Victorian home. When she becomes aware of her surroundings, she realizes she might be dead and she’s not alone as her spirit haunts the old mansion that once was her home.

After meeting a handsome stranger, Tinley is forced to question if he’s really a ghost and if she’s really dead, but she knows something more complicated must be happening.

Will Tinley be able to pull herself through death’s door, back into the land of the living? Or, will she even want to?

As feelings for her companion grow into an otherworldly love affair, Tinley must decide if she’s actually found her soulmate or if she just imagined the whole thing. Either way, she’s about to face the most difficult choice of her life … and of her death.

Amazon | Goodreads

  

Excerpt:

I didn’t die easily. For me, death was pretty much like everything had been in my life—complicated and ambiguous.
The day was dragging out like any other day. My little sister had been whining to my mother about summer camp since the night before, so I did my best to avoid them. My best friend was planning to spend the night, and she and her brother had been hanging out in our pool most of the afternoon.
“I really hate him being here.” Ally rolled her eyes as she laid on her beach towel beside me. She nodded vaguely in her brother’s direction.
I looked across the pool at the boy who had just pulled his long, lean body out of the water on the deep end. He shook his head for a second, sending splashes of water everywhere. As he ran his hand through his damp, dark brown hair, I had the slightest urge to go rake my fingers through it too.
I batted away my thoughts. AJ Stockwell was the last boy I wanted to get mixed up with. Although he was undeniably gorgeous, he had run through a string of four girls during the last school year alone. When he wasn’t loving and leaving his girlfriends, he holed up in his room, building and painting ridiculous model boats. Besides all that, he was my best friend’s brother, so he was sort of off-limits from the get go.
“It’s fine, Al.” I rolled over on my stomach and straightened the back of my swimsuit bottoms. “He just cut the grass, so my dad invited him to take a swim. No big deal.”
“Ugh. It’s a big deal to me,” Ally complained. “I mean, I can’t talk about anything with him around.”
“Relax. He’ll be out of here soon, I’m sure.” I craned my neck, looking at AJ again. “Besides, he’s not bad to look at.”
“Oh, give me a break, Tinley.” Ally turned over on her belly as well. She leaned her shoulder against mine and brought her voice to a whisper. “Didn’t I tell you he just broke up with Amanda? After he dumped Natalie, and Sarah, and—”
“Yeah. I get it. You’ve warned me a thousand times about how much of a creep he is to girls. One cheerleader after another. I would never get involved with someone like him, even if he wasn’t related to you.”
“He’s like a psychopath or something. I swear. He dates these girls for, like, a minute, and then he dumps them. It’s like he’s test driving them or something.”
“Well, he’s pretty hot, so I guess he has that option.”
“Or, maybe, these girls get one look at his toy boat collection and run for the hills screaming.” Ally laughed and moved onto her knees. She stuffed her sunglasses and sunblock into her bag. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of this sun, and enough of you drooling over my disgusting brother. Let’s go up to your room. I want to check out my Instagram anyway.”
“Drooling? That’s extreme.” I flopped over onto my back again and sat up just as AJ walked by. “Oh. Hey.” I squinted up at him.
“You know I can hear every word you say, Ally? Your voice isn’t exactly the most discreet sound in the neighborhood.” AJ wrapped a towel around his waist as he stood there. “I have my reasons for everything I do, and spreading rumors about me only makes you look like an idiot.”
“It takes one to know one.” Ally jumped to her feet, spewing probably the oldest and dumbest comeback known to man.
“That’s just about the most juvenile thing I’ve heard you say, like, ever, Al.” AJ pulled on a tight gray t-shirt before he sat in a nearby deck chair. He nodded to me. “Hey, Tinley.”
Did he just blush? No, Tinley, that’s a sunburn.
“Hi.” I quickly threw on my cover-up before I stood up. “Um, thanks for doing the lawn.”
“No problem.” AJ shot me a gorgeous smile. The dimples on his cheeks seemed to ripple as he talked. “I know your dad’s been busy with that new book of his.”
“True.” I nodded. “I hate mowing, so it was either you or call the gardeners back.”
My parents had fired our weekly gardeners at the beginning of the summer. They were constantly leaving the back gate open, letting our Golden Retriever run free in the neighborhood.
My parents thought my twelve-year-old sister was too young to handle the lawn mower, and my dad had been busy lately writing his latest novel. Plus, my mom swore she had never mown a lawn in her life. So it was up to AJ or me. I always talked them into opting for AJ.
“Come on, Tinley.” Ally grabbed my hand and started tugging me away from the pool.
“I’ll see you around then.” AJ winked in my direction as we were leaving.
Ally dramatically rolled her eyes in response.
“If she sees you first, even from a mile away, I promise you won’t see her around,” she teased her brother.
“Again with the brilliant one-liners, Al.” AJ wadded up his towel and threw it under his arm. He touched my arm as he stood up. “Tell your folks I said thanks for letting me hang out by your pool.”
“I will.” I stood still, despite Ally yanking on my arm.
“Later.” AJ nodded to me one more time before he hopped our six-foot gate on his way out of our yard.
Ally and I tossed on our flip flops before we went through the back door. My mom was really fussy about not getting marks on the floors, especially from pool water. My dad had just restored the original hardwood throughout our Victorian-era, five-bedroom house the previous year. Homes like ours dotted the Chicago suburb of Waybridge, and my parents claimed ours was one of the most authentic restorations in the area.
I couldn’t have cared less about things like that. To me, the old home always felt drafty, and our heating and air never seemed to work as efficiently as the systems inside the modern subdivision houses. I always envied the homes where some of my friends lived on the outskirts of town. But, my parents were in love with ours, and my vote didn’t count much…

  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card, ecopies of The Cure and The Haunting of Tinley Hall, and this Love Bracelet.

tinley-hall-giveaway

  

 
The Author:

tania-haganTania Hagan was born in Illinois, but moved to Southern California as a young teen. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in Social Science and Psychology.

She began her writing career shortly after school, when she wrote for a major business magazine. She also read the nightly business report for the company’s TV news. At the same time, she produced, and reported for a weekly TV news magazine program.

After she was married, Tania and her husband moved back to the Chicago area, where she worked briefly as a stringer for a local newspaper. She also became a successful Realtor, and continued to write for online, as well as for print publications.

They have one beautiful daughter. Her dream of dreams is to eventually adopt many more children. Out of everything she’s ever accomplished, she is most proud of being a mom.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

la_website-bannerLady Amber’s PR

 

 

Romancing the Smokies Reader/Author Event

How we made centerpieces for Romancing the Smokies Reader/Author Event

1-orange

I’m happy to share with readers and authors alike my experience doing a crafty project. You see several of the authors in my local writing group would be participating in Romancing the Smokies. We wanted some pretty centerpieces for the luncheon. Attending readers will come away with great books and lots of swag, but we also wanted these centerpieces to be prizes given away.

We set out to make many of them reminiscent of spring with bright colors. One could certainly do all of them alike, but we had the idea of naming the tables. Some readers had requested to have lunch with authors they wanted to get to know better. Instead of being seated at table 5, our guests would be seated at the pansy or daisy table.

I know you are all asking, “How is that cup suspended in air?” Hidden among the flowers is a bent-up fork that has been hot glued to the cup and saucer. On this black and white version, I covered the fork with some black satin trim.

2-covering-fork-with-ribbon

On this centerpiece I covered the fork with some of the green leaves. Sometimes after you get all the flowers arranged they have covered up the fork nicely. But to ensure it looks magically suspended it is worth taking the time to hide it from the get go.

3-fork-glued

As with many creative endeavors, you can spend a great deal of money on supplies and tools or you can do things in an economical fashion. I’ll share with you that some things about this project are very reasonable. I found a whole bag of silverware for three bucks at a local thrift shop. They also have silverware at the Dollar Tree store.

4-silverware

I also found some cups and saucers for fifty cents.

5-thrift-store

For the purposes of this blog post I also wanted to show a more modern set of saucer and mug with a beachy scene. Even buying those two pieces brand new was only three dollars for both.

6-blue-modern-mug

There was a great deal of variance in pricing at the different retail stores. I found the sea shell items at Carolina Pottery for three dollars a bag. I was later at JoAnn’s and they were the same brand, size of bag and they were asking almost double.

7-searocks-and-shells

I also found some great artificial flowers at Dollar Tree. Don’t forget to check out the jewelry section at the thrift shops while you are looking for teacups. I found a green bracelet for a dollar that have fabulous big green pearl like baubles that went perfectly with some of the green and orange large flowers.

8-small-teacup-for-web

There is one thing you can’t skimp on: the right glue gun and glue. You can use any regular glue gun for the flowers and decorations. Gluing the fork to the saucer and cup must be the hard-drying high temp glue. The glue that is rubbery and can be peeled off can’t hold the weight or the seal with metal to glass. Here is a shot of the type of glue that worked superbly for the fork attachment.

9-stronger-glue

A couple of points to keep in mind:

  • The thinner the fork, the easier it will be to bend.
  • Make sure when you glue the fork down, the weight of the cup will still be ‘over’ the saucer. Otherwise it will tip the saucer over.
  • Do put down some newspapers or other covering on your work area. I was being careful, but some strings of hot glue do end up threading places you didn’t intend. And when you set the gun down on occasion some glue drops may still get on the work surface.
  • We used regular pliers to bend the fork. Most needle nose pliers have a section close to the fulcrum that is a wire cutter also. They can also be used to snip the artificial flower pieces you need.
  • Place the whole arrangement on the saucers to see how it all works together BEFORE you start gluing the decorative items down.
  • Use a spare fork as a poker and tucker tool. All of us burned our fingers at one point or another the afternoon we put these together. It is so easy to think “I’ll just push this to get it placed correctly.” But the heat can travel through the thin layer of silk flower. I suppose a popsicle stick would work just as well and save your fingers.

10-blue-seashells

Did you have a sharp enough eye to notice I used the seashell bag to look like a fish net on this one?

We all had a great time meeting at one of the authors homes to create these beauties for our readers. Just to let you know the level of difficulty here. I had never even used a hot glue gun before this day. Nor had I taken any type of flower arranging class. It was just a fun process to mix and match and see what looked good together.

We hope the winners of these get as much enjoyment from them as we had in making them for those fabulous readers!

         

Felita Daniels is currently working on The Case of the Sad Sons. Follow her on Amazon to be notified when it’s released.

Her non-fiction book is available at Amazon.

Felita Daniels will be attending

Romancing the Smokies

March 17-18, 2017  |  Hilton Knoxville Airport, Alcoa, TN

Romancing the Smokies, a production by Sweet Romance Author Donna Wright, is a romance readers dream with an Emerald Isle event, author meet and greet, an elegant luncheon, book signing, Masquerade Ball including fun casino games, plus tons of swag and giveaways.

Here, readers get to meet their favorite authors and authors get to connect with readers. We have put together authors from every sub-genre of Romance and even some Mystery authors so you, the reader, can make a personal connection and really get to know the authors whose books you’ve loved.

See full details at our website.

See ticket options at Eventbright.
(the book signing from 2 to 4 on Saturday is free to the public)

Find out how to win the

royal-rewards-basket-graphic