Monday, 29 September 2014

The Black Door by Charlotte Howard #erotic romance #giveaway





Happy Monday!!!

What! Monday's suck you say!

Well, I'm certain you will change your tune and find this Monday VERY 'Happy' once you check out Charlotte Howard's newest release,
THE BLACK DOOR.

Just a little erotic romance to help start your week off right.

Enjoy!










****GIVEAWAY ALERT****
Charlotte will be awarding an eBook of THE BLACK DOOR, a signed print copy of Seven Dirty Words with a bookmark, and a $10 Amazon gift card (£10 Amazon gift card if UK winner) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
*******


Before we get the juicy stuff, Charlotte is going tell us 10 Things she didn't know about being an Author. 
Take it away Charlotte!




Ten things I didn't know about being an author, but do now!


Wow. Where do I begin? 

First of all, by thank you for hosting me and my new contemporary, erotic romance novel, The Black Door! 

So, ten things I didn't know about being an author but do now… I could easily list a lot more than ten, but these are the things I think any aspiring writer needs to know.

1.    The importance of editing – There is a very good reason my self-published novella has been taken out of print. I didn’t edit it. I, arrogantly, wrote it and thought it was great, and then when it got rejected, self-published it (see number 7). Since making this fatal mistake I have learned that the novel you’re reading, is probably one of many versions. The Black Door started life as three separate novels, and the characters had their names, relationship statuses, and in some cases gender, changed over a period of three drafts. In fact, some poor characters didn’t even make the final cut.

2.      The importance of networking – If it hadn’t been for networking, I probably wouldn’t be a published author. My first two novels wouldn’t have been published if I hadn’t gone into freelance writing and connected with Robin Tidwell (of Rocking Horse Publishing), and had I not written those and gone to The Romance Festival in 2013, I wouldn’t have met Lucy Felthouse, and wouldn’t have looked at submitting my work to Tirgearr Publishing. I also wouldn’t have written my short story, One Night In Edinburgh (due out in November), had it not been for Lucy’s encouragement.

3.      The importance of like-minded people – I cannot stress enough how important it is to join a local writers group or similar and connect with like-minded people who are able to give you constructive criticism. My writing has improved so much since joining Yeovil Creative Writers. I would also suggest that writers ‘buddy-up’ with someone that they can use and abuse as a beta-reader and editor to help hone their skills, and develop their stories.

4.      The amount of marketing you have to do – I honestly thought that all I’d have to do is a write a book. I didn’t know that I would have to market it as well! I’ve had to create social media accounts, go to author events, attend literary festivals, be in the newspaper and on the radio… The list is endless. And not all of it successful to begin with!! But it’s all about connecting with potential readers.

5.      How NOT to write a cover letter – Oh wow, this one is almost painful to think about. My first attempt at writing a cover letter was dire! But my experience has also helped others – I am now able to say with confidence that when a “template” suggest you compare yourself to other authors, you really should skip that part. Sure, tell the agent / publisher which genre your book is, but don’t go saying you’re the next EL James / JK Rowling / Stephen King.

6.      Why you don’t need an agent – I don’t have one, and I am about to have my fourth book published. I’m not saying don’t try – I will be sending my next manuscript to agents – but it’s not absolutely vital to have an agent in order to get a publishing contract. There are plenty of Indie and small publishing houses who are looking for new authors.

7.      How hard self-publishing is – And how expensive it is! I got told it was easy, just log on to Amazon and Smashwords, upload it and ta-dah! You’re a published author! Nah. Editing, cover design, proof reading… it all adds up, and all takes a lot of hard work.

8.      Why my husband needs to learn how to cook – When I really get into a book, especially when I’m in the editing stages, I become the worst mother and wife on the planet. I could happily lock myself in a room with a constant supply of tea and food, and not speak to anyone. It’s not as simple as do a bit of typing and walk away, my laptop becomes a new limb.

9.      One book does not make you a best-selling author or a millionaire – and neither does two, three, or four. I know plenty of authors who have written numerous novels, and still work second jobs. Unless your name is one of the above mentioned, you are unlikely to become an overnight hit and earn a cheque containing a lot of zeroes. You have to work at it and keep writing.

10.  Writer’s block exists but is easily cured – I write myself into a corner and don’t know what to do. I get blocked, lose all inspiration, and consider hitting the delete button. But I’ve learned the trick. Go for a walk to clear your mind. Pick up a book in the same genre to spark some inspiration. Do whatever you want, but switch off the computer and walk away.



Thanks for sharing Charlotte. 
I can relate to all of your list but number 8 is my favourite. And I'm not saying that because I hate cooking but because that is exactly what I do!
I have front row seats for the 'Worlds Worst Mother' awards.
Tee Hee

Okay no more teasing, on with the juicy stuff!


THE
BLACK
DOOR
by  Charlotte Howard
                  
Imogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. 
If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. 
But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?







Excerpt

We sat down on a pair of large leather sofas and prepared to play our usual game of ‘who says what’. I looked around and spied a young woman with a laptop open, and a tall, skinny, something hot by her arm. The woman was in her late twenties, perhaps early thirties, with pale skin, dark hair that had been let loose around her shoulders, and a slick of crimson lipstick.

“She’s a writer,” I said, leaning close to Caroline so that nobody could overhear. “She’s writing a hot, steamy, romance where the two main characters are having a clandestine affair, and it’s all based on her life.”

Caroline tried to hide her giggle by taking a sip of her drink before hunting out a new victim.

“Okay, him,” Caroline said, pointing towards a man standing at the counter. “He works in a bank, but is trying to remain discreet and blend in with us common folk, not give away his fabulously wealthy background. He’s having an affair with a married man, and secretly likes to wax his legs.”

The man turned around. “Oh no,” I said, adding a few choice curses under my breath.

“What’s the matter?” Caroline asked, watching as I tried to shrink into the sofa and blend with my surroundings.


“That’s my boss,” I whispered.
Author Bio



British author Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.

Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.

During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.


Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers.





Where can you find Charlotte???
Twitter ~ twitter.com/Shy_Tiger





 Follow the tour!!!

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 







ENTER HERE!!!


    



Thanks for stopping by today Charlotte and for letting us have a peek behind THE BLACK DOOR.

Cheers,
Nancy

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Orange Moon Affair by AFN Clarke #thriller #giveaway



TGIF my friends!  T.G.I.F

The lovely Goddess' are organizing a Virtual Blurb Blitz Tour for best-selling author AFN Clarke and his newest release,  THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR.  

This book is a Thomas Gunn Thriller and is available NOW for those of you hopelessly hooked on this series.
For those of you not already addicted to a AFN Clarke thriller, well get ready, because you soon will be!













****GIVEAWAY ALERT****

AFN Clarke will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

*******



THE
ORANGE MOON
AFFAIR
by  AFN Clarke


Thomas Gunn (ex-Special Forces) and his partner Julie are running for their lives. Who are they running from? And why? It all starts when Thomas decides to investigate the mysterious murder of his billionaire industrialist father. He’s shocked when his every move is blocked, especially by top levels of the UK government. But when his attempts to track down an elusive American business partner of his father’s turn lethal, he and Julie become moving targets, racing to outwit those who clearly want them dead. The danger rapidly escalates when Thomas is reluctantly compelled back into working for British Military Intelligence, exposing an international conspiracy that puts the freedom of the western world at grave risk.


But who are these ruthless conspirators that wield such unimaginable power? How are they connected to his father? And what dark secrets from the past will Thomas uncover in his relentless quest for the truth? This action-packed thriller spans the UK, USA and Europe and keeps you guessing to the very last page!


“The Orange Moon Affair” and “The Jonas Trust Deception”, the second in the series, have been hailed by the San Francisco Book Review as “fast-paced books you won't want to put down and you won't want them to finish." Available from Amazon (ebook and paperback).



Excerpt

“There’s only one way. Jump.”

“You come up here and do it.”

“Mother of Mary, just jump and stop whining.”

“Whose side are you on?”

“Listen to me. It’s deep where the water crashes into the pool. If you can jump clear then you’ll hit the pool just right. It’s either that or be caught, because no way can you get down that rock face.”

What a choice. Kill myself in the fall or be shot by the guys who were now fast on my trail. I looked back again. The buggy had reached the river’s edge and was less than two hundred metres away.

Still, I hesitated.

My mind was made up for me as a searchlight beam swept over me. The first round cracked past my ear as I launched myself into space.

The drop sent my guts up into my mouth as I tumbled in the air for an eternity, then hit the water with a stunning impact that knocked the breath out of me.

Somewhere a part of my brain was functioning as a rational logical machine. It took over and told my frozen, aching body that I had to swim away from the fall of water before I could surface. I was only under for about twenty seconds, but to me it seemed like an eternity before I felt someone grab my arms.

Everything went black as I passed out.


When I came to, I was lying on the bank wrapped in an emergency space blanket and Danny had his hand over my mouth. I could see a shaft of light playing on the surface of the pool from above and caught the intermittent sound of voices through the crash of the waterfall.
Author Bio 


AFN Clarke is a full-time author, screenwriter, the son of a British MI6 operative, former officer in Britain's elite Parachute Regiment, pilot, sailor, racecar driver and father of four who's lived in Hong Kong, India, Libya, Iran, Europe, the UK, USA, and Australia. He's written seven books of fiction and his bestselling memoir, CONTACT, was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award-winning BBCTV film.


This rich background allows Clarke to bring his own unique and eye opening experiences to his latest Thomas Gunn thriller series that are fast-paced, thought provoking and frighteningly real and have captured the imagination of readers world-wide. As he says: "For me, good books are a great way to shut out every day life, suspend normal ways of thinking, and allow yourself to be captivated by another world. That’s what I continually strive to deliver to my readers."


Books include: The Orange Moon Affair and The Jonas Trust Deception (Thomas Gunn thrillers), Contact, An Unquiet American, Dry Tortugas, Dreams from the Death Age and Armageddon (The Book of Baker Satire Series), Collisions, with more coming soon. Available from Amazon; coming soon to Nook, iBooks, and Kobo.



Where can you find  AFN Clarke???





 Follow the Tour!!!

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 








ENTER HERE!!!





Thanks for stopping by AFN Clarke and the best of luck with, The Orange Moon Affair.

Cheers,
Nancy

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Pie Girls by Lauren Clark #giveaway #book tour






In the immortal words of Joey Tribbiani, "Pie good!" 

Okay that might have been "Meat good." but the guy loved pie too. Remember the Shepard's pie/trifle episode. lol

Today Lauren Clark is giving us dessert first with her funny and sassy release, Pie girls.

So, grab a fork and get ready to dig into something de-lish!








****GIVEAWAY ALERT****
Lauren will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



*******


BUT...before we get to the dessert I asked Lauren a few questions so we could get to know her better.
Take it away Lauren!



What is your biggest inspiration?

My boys, my nephew, Josh and my niece, Sarah (to whom I dedicated Pie Girls). They ask me all of the time what I am working on next and when it will be published!

Great books and beautiful writing also inspire me. It always gets me thinking about my next big story idea. Truly, I don’t feel as if my day is complete unless I’ve written or edited a few pages.

Where did you get the inspiration to write Pie girls?

The answer is really two-fold. First, I grew up enjoying the wonderful pies that my grandmother baked for us from the time I was a baby. No holiday or special occasion would be complete without a pie that my grandmother baked. They were always delicious and the perfect way to end a great meal.

Sharing her recipes in Pie Girls is a small way to pay tribute to my grandmother. Several years after she passed away, I asked my mother to write down all of her recipes so that I could have them and share them with my family and friends. 

Second, I visited a place in Greensboro, Alabama called the Pie Lab, a restaurant written up many times in Southern Living, Bon Appetit, and many newspapers around the Southeast. I kind of fell in love with the idea of such a place in Fairhope, Alabama, a lovely waterfront community near where I live. I decided to create a shop named Pie Girls there, and thus, Searcy’s story was born.



10 Things we don’t know about you.

I am in graduate school working on my second master’s degree
I am a bit of a coffee addict
I tend to leave my keys everywhere
Once, I drove away from a gas station without disconnecting the pump from my car
My favorite candy is M&Ms
I make lists all of the time
My running shoes are pink
I always use the wallet my 9 year old gave me (or else he asks me where it is)
I’m pretty darn good at remembering people’s names
My favorite brand of shoes is Born



5 Things you love about being an author.

The awesome camaraderie I have with my author friends
The ability to make people happy
The opportunity to touch people’s lives in a positive way
The fun I have creating characters and storylines
The enjoyment I get sharing book ideas with my closest friends

5 Things you don’t like about being an author.

I don’t particularly love to edit my own work
I don’t adore proofreading
I wish I could write faster! (Can I use this for 4 & 5 also?)



What research went into Pie girls?

I’ve been to the Pie Lab in Greensboro several times. It’s a special place—small town atmosphere—great food, and personal attention, but the thing that makes it really unique is that it is a place where high school dropouts or people in need of skills and training can go and learn valuable skills—how to bake, run a register, make change, and give good customer service.

I read everything I could about the history and philosophy of the restaurant, which is sharing with and giving back to the community. I wanted Pie Girls to have that same welcoming, open, big-hearted feel.



Why did you pick Southern Women’s Fiction?

I live in the Deep South and love the lifestyle, the impeccable manners, the food, and climate. I’ve traveled fairly extensively and but really find myself most at home in Mobile, Alabama, surrounded by friends and family.



What’s in a name?

Searcy is the name of a good friend’s sister. I’ve always liked it because it’s a bit unusual, but definitely Southern. To me, it evokes a character who’s a bit sassy and spontaneous, yet sensitive on the inside.

As far as the Pie Girls book title, I wanted to name the shop something that connected mother and daughter. When Searcy comes back to Fairhope and begins pitching in, it really fulfills her mother’s dreams of she and Searcy running the bakery together.



What’s your favorite aspect about being an author?

Meeting readers. Hands down. It’s the most amazing and humbling experience to be told that someone really loved my book.



The hardest part about writing isediting my own work.



A day with Lauren Clark behind the scenes

5:30 am – 7:30 am – Writing or editing my current work in progress
7:30 am – 8:30 am – Kids off to school, getting ready for work
8:30 am – 9:00 am – Drink coffee, check email, post to social media
9:00 am – 12:30 pm – Work at Spring Hill College as the Web Content Manager
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Drink more coffee, share lunch with friends
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Work at Spring Hill College
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Dinner with the boys
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Run at the gym, walk, or meet friends for coffee
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Work on grad school assignments, read with my boys
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Read my current favorite book, sleep!



Ideal writing space

I write in the office of my house. It’s a bright, sunny space with big windows. I’m surrounded by shelves and shelves of books by my favorite authors. I’ve used the same desk from Pier One since 2005.



Where do ideas come from?

Anywhere and everywhere. I am fascinated by people and always ask a million questions when I meet someone. I believe that everyone has a story.


That was great! Thanks so much for sharing Lauren. Okay now onto the good stuff.

Check it out!!!


******
Pie girls

by  Lauren Clark

Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.

But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.

Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.

Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.
      


Excerpt

"Are you sure that the baby's mine?"
           
I feel faint and the room starts to tilt and swim. "Whatever are you talking about?" I demand, doing my best to sound indignant. "Of course it's ours."
           
Alton turns his body to face mine. "I'm asking, because it's impossible," he explains.
           
My lips part. I try to form words. What is he trying to tell me?
           
"Searcy," Alton leans closer. " I had a vasectomy. Six months ago.”
           
“What?” I squeak. “How? When?”

“You were in California with Phillipa."
           
My hands begin to quiver. I brace myself on the sofa.
           
Vasectomy?
           
Six. Months. Ago.
           
I feel sick. I want to throw up. Or launch myself out the window.
           
My husband's gaze doesn't waver. He's serious.
           
"You see," Alton continues gently. "The baby can't be mine."
           
I can't speak or take a breath. All at once, I am furious. How dare he do this to me? Of all of the underhanded, rotten, selfish things to do to a wife. How could he take this away from me? From us?
           
Usually, I’m a calm, rational person. But without another thought, my right hand clenches into a fist. My fingers curl tight and the tips press into my palm. My arm bends at the elbow and I draw my body back, gathering momentum.
           
I take aim.
           
As my first jets through the air, cutting a path straight for my husband's gorgeous face, everything screams to a slow-motion finish.
           
His face registers a mix of doubt, surprise, and then...in the last second...out-right terror.
           

I punch Alton square in the mouth.


Oh no she didn't! 
Ha, nothing like a feisty southern belle. Love it!



Buy Links



Barnes & Noble~http://bit.ly/1pHBVuo





Author Bio


Lauren Clark writes contemporary Southern novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.


She is the author of four award-winning novels, Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Pie Girls, as well as a short story, A Very Dixie Christmas, published in the Merry & Bright holiday collection. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.






Where can you find Lauren???




 Follow the Tour!!!

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 






ENTER HERE!!!







Thanks for stopping by Lauren and the best of luck with Pie girls!

Cheers,


Nancy