RED HOT VALENTINE TAKEOVER! UNDERSTANDING ROMANCE…

Great opportunity to win great books and get to know and interact with some new writers. Come along and join us.

J.A. Kerr

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Valentines Day is the annual celebration of romance. Our Red Hot Takeover  is doing this in style with lots of fun, author chat, competitions, and giveaways. Click on the link to join us http://on.fb.me/1OMBF9Y and get involved.

Romance is a complicated genre with many subcategories. However, that also means something for everyone. Joining our author TakeOvers is a great way to meet new authors and speak to them directly. Got any burning questions? Join in and ask away. Readers are so important to us. We love to hear from you. Here are some of our sassy team.

Contemporary Romance

93c4b-authorContemporary Romance  J.A. Kerr

Hi there!

When I set out to write my books, I wanted to create something that mirrored the kind of books I like to read. My choices  are always unique, featuring strong male and female protagonists with attitude. I can’t tell you how many readers have commented how…

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Sweet on You

Sweet on You by Marianne Rice
Series: The Wilde Sisters #1
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
|| SYNOPSIS || 
An extravagant cake design brings small town baker Trent Kipson to fame…
After gaining social media exposure of his culinary art, Trent’s cake design goes viral. Soon he’s contacted by the Cooking Network to host a new show in California. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for the owner of a modest shop in Portland, Maine, and the financial freedom the network offers could be the answer to all of his monetary problems.
Fitness instructor Rayne Wilde wants the life every small-town girl dreams of…
Rayne wishes for a future full of romance and the pitter-patter of little feet. She wants it all, including a white picket fence and a dog named Spot—which is exactly why she refuses to sleep with Trent, the sexy man who attends her Zumba classes. After a series of dead-end relationships, this time she really is in love. Trent is special, and the fear of letting him slip through her fingers keeps her advances at bay.
Life is waiting—all it takes is a leap of faith…
As their friendship grows and skeletons creep out of their closets, their relationship is put to the test. Stakes get higher, and the spark between them burns hotter than ever before.
Can they handle the heat when life-changing secrets are exposed, or will the fear of being burned send them on two different paths?
||| PURCHASE |||
Available on Kindle Unlimited!
|| ABOUT THE AUTHOR ||
Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

A Song for Cape Verde

If you follow my blog (and I know I’ve been very neglectful of it in recent weeks) you know I have been a traveler all my life. Not by choice, mind you. Life just always took me on journeys I probably would never go on should it be left up to me. I’m not very adventurous and as an introvert as much as I love visiting new places and seeing new things I need something or someone to push me in that direction.

When I was about seven years old I lived in a small Atlantic African island called Sal in the Cape Verdean archipelago. Literally translated Sal means salt and there is a very good reason why that island bears this name. It’s been a long time so I cannot speak for the island as it is today. However, back then Sal was a small arid island that survived off the sea salt mines and lobsters. It never rained, there was not much to eat besides lobster and goats were about the only livestock that could survive the harsh environment.

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I was not too happy there at first because I was a minority of epic proportions. I was a white skinny girl in an island of dark-skinned people but, even worse, I was a poor white girl in a place where the only other two white girls my age were the daughters of officers. I was stuck between two worlds. The black girls hated me because I was white and the white girls hated me because I was poor. I won over the local girls by showing them I was almost as poor as they were, lived among them in a house with no electricity (eventually we were upgraded to a house with electricity, but not much more) and no running water and—brace yourselves—by telling jokes. Yes, I became a regular comedian as a survival strategy. I stole my “material” from my father’s old comedy records (by the great late Portuguese comedian Raul Solnado) and put on a daily show every day during recess. I can’t say I made a lot of friends, but at least I was able to get along with the other girls in school (not the white girls though. They truly hated my guts).

Solnado

Raul Solnado

Like most places where I lived in the great continent of Africa, Cape Verde holds a special place in my heart. There is something magical about Africa. We, the expatriates that lived there, used to say it was something in the water; once you drank it you could never remove Africa from your heart. For me one of the most magical things about Cape Verde (besides the wealth of lobster, which I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner) was the music. Cape Verde were originally uninhabited islands discovered by Portuguese explorers and later populated with a mixture of Portuguese settlers and African slaves. Because of its geographic location and history, the islands developed a very unique culture and language. Creole (which I spoke once), a mix of Portuguese and African dialects, is the language spoken on the islands. Just like the language, the music also reflects the influence of both Portuguese and African traditional music. The coladeira is a fast dancing tune that sounds a little like a merengue; the morna is a slow, poignant, warm and sensual dance .

Coladeira                                                                             Morna

Thanks to my parents who loved music and dancing, I was exposed to all of Cape Verdean dances and by the time I left the island I was moving my hips just as well as the other local girls and their music was forever enshrined in my soul. I went back years later as a young adult to enjoy their beautiful isolated beaches for a few days. But nothing can describe the plight and harsh beauty of the islands better than the song Regresso by the great Cape Verdean singer Cesária Evora and later sang by the equally great Brasilian singer Alcione. I hope you have the chance to listen to it and enjoy it. Even if you don’t understand the words, the music says everything. Here’s a song for Cape Verde.

Regresso as sang by Alcione

The Queen of the Kings-A Memoir

When I think of my childhood the image of my aunt and her house are always the first thing that pop in my memory. I was named after her, Natalina, and I grew up both fearing and looking for becoming somebody just like her. She was the Queen of the Kings, a play on our family name which literally means kings in Portuguese (Reis).

My aunt was a formidable woman especially for her times. When I think about it, I get annoyed with myself for never having thought of asking more questions to those that knew her better. Most of those people are gone now and I am left with the little I know and a lot of guess work. She was fiercely private. Even those that lived under her roof didn’t know half of what was going on in her life and in her heart. She married late (I believe in her early thirties, which was unheard of back then), she looked like a movie star (and she dressed like one, too) and she broke more than one preconceived ideas about females back then.

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Unlike most of the women back in the day, my aunt was the so-called bread winner. Working as a bookkeeper for a city papelaria (stationary/bookstore)—and even though my uncle worked for a newspaper—she was definitely the “boss” in that household. Unable (or unwilling, not quite sure which) of having children of her own, she brought up four nephews and one niece and took my young widowed grandma and her two sons under her wing. She was often featured in the local newspaper because of her social and community involvement. Sports were one of her major interests. Very active in her sports club, Sporting, at one point she was the champion of ping-pong. It may not be a sport we usually think of as very athletic, but for a female at the time this was huge. She was so much into her sports that she enrolled each of her grandnieces (me included) as club paid members from birth.

I’m not sure if she ever learned how to drive, but she did indeed have a car, a Mercedes Benz that her husband drove to and back from both their jobs in the city and every other weekend to the little town of Caldas da Rainha where they rented a single family vacation home.  If she ever learned how to cook, she never used that skill. My grandmother had taken on the role of housekeeper who ran the busy home and watched over the young live-in maids—a job that could not have been easy considering it was a house with six young males.

I am often compared to her, something that fills me with equal pride and dread. Not only was I named after her, but people in my family always liked me to her personality; quiet, calm, cold and determined (or is it stubborn?). She passed onto me her great love for reading and writing. From her I learned to love the arts; opera, ballet, theater, and classical music. We spent almost every weekend at her house, sitting around a huge old-fashioned table, eating my grandma’s great cooking and enjoying each other’s company. I remember one time (or maybe it was more than once) when we all squeezed into her library, a small room lined with ceiling-high bookshelves, a couch and a piano. My uncle Eugénio was the only one that could play it, so he sat at the piano and we all sang along with him. Funny how you remember certain things and forget others. I loved that library and everything in it.

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However she also had the reputation of being “cold”, unemotional, and rigid. That’s the part I’ve dreaded all my life. I’m not cold, not inside anyway, and I’m sure she wasn’t either, but people seem to perceive me that way just like they perceived her. Her relationship with my uncle is still a mystery. They got along famously in spite of the many rumors of his womanizing. I have my own theories about it, but whatever the truth was it died with them. My uncle suffered from gout. He often had to be admitted in the hospital overnight because of it. We got so used to it that when he went in that time, we didn’t think much about it. He never came home though; he died of renal failure that same night. My aunt, the cold woman, was never the same again. Within days of his death, she stopped talking and functioning altogether. A few weeks later, she died. I think she died of a broken heart. Because in spite of what everybody seems to think about quiet, non-demonstrative women like her or me, we are a turmoil of feelings inside; they are our lifeline, what keeps us going and we hold on to those we love for dear life. When my uncle died, I think my aunt just lost that lifeline and found no reason to keep living.

I’m proud to carry on her name in spite of the cons. She was an amazing woman who may not have made a mark in history, but certainly left a mark in the life of seven nephews, niece and their children. I will never forget her. Long live the Queen!

Sweet On You

Sweet on You by Marianne Rice

Series: The Wilde Sisters #1
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
|| SYNOPSIS || 
An extravagant cake design brings small town baker Trent Kipson to fame…
After gaining social media exposure of his culinary art, Trent’s cake design goes viral. Soon he’s contacted by the Cooking Network to host a new show in California. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for the owner of a modest shop in Portland, Maine, and the financial freedom the network offers could be the answer to all of his monetary problems.
Fitness instructor Rayne Wilde wants the life every small-town girl dreams of…
Rayne wishes for a future full of romance and the pitter-patter of little feet. She wants it all, including a white picket fence and a dog named Spot—which is exactly why she refuses to sleep with Trent, the sexy man who attends her Zumba classes. After a series of dead-end relationships, this time she really is in love. Trent is special, and the fear of letting him slip through her fingers keeps her advances at bay.
Life is waiting—all it takes is a leap of faith…
As their friendship grows and skeletons creep out of their closets, their relationship is put to the test. Stakes get higher, and the spark between them burns hotter than ever before.
Can they handle the heat when life-changing secrets are exposed, or will the fear of being burned send them on two different paths?
||| PURCHASE |||
Available on Kindle Unlimited!
|| ABOUT THE AUTHOR ||
Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

My Writing Process

I wanted to talk to you about the process of writing. I have read so many great advice articles about it and I thought to myself, “I’m a writer. I have advice to give, right?” Well, apparently if it’s there, it’s buried deeper inside of me than my little ceramic angel on my front yard today (Snowmagedon 2.0).

I seem to do things out of intuition rather than following any perceived and/or planned process. This is not just with writing. My teaching is the same way (try to explain that one to your principal) and so is anything in the creative realm of my brain. I am a pantser, but I do some planning. The problem is, I often change my plans as I go along or forget them altogether.

Normally when I start a piece, be it a long novel or just flash fiction, I start with a kernel of an idea and I just let my imagination take me wherever it wants to take me. Don’t get me wrong; this “system” has a lot of flaws. For instances, I often forget what my characters look like and then I find myself searching the whole finished manuscript for inconsistencies. It is not unusual for one of my main characters to start with brown and end up with green eyes. I’ve been training myself to write these things down as I go along so I avoid these time-consuming mistakes. I have tried character questionnaires and interviews. They are fun, but just like with real people I find it very difficult to describe the entirety of my characters’ personalities, likes and dislikes off-hand. They are a work-in-progress, they grow as the story grows and like most of us they change and adapt to whatever situation I throw at them. The same goes for the plot. It grows and stretches and demands certain things that I could not possibly have planned ahead.

Jump and you will find (1)

My so-called process probably does not deserve the name since I, myself, can’t really explain it. It is something that comes from inside of me as a seed and grows to a story. But, of course, I need the tools to do so. If I hadn’t learn to write properly or been a reader and a student of other authors’ art, no matter how creative I may be I would have never been able to write them. A solid piece of advice I can give any aspiring writer is to read. A lot! And not just read, but to pay close attention to the way the author writes, the words he/she uses and how he/she uses them. Writing is part creativity, part structure. For any writing to be good both parts have to be present.

Writing is sometimes a lot like weaving or knitting. Instead of yarn you are weaving all your experiences, your dreams, your fantasies into one story. Conversations you’ve overheard, a character you once met at a party or in the supermarket, a place you visited when you were twelve or a language you heard someone speak once. That’s the magic of writing; turning what could have been the most banal thing into something special.

Whatever your “process” is, the most important thing you can do is pay attention to your surroundings and let the ideas flow. And of course, your heart out.

 

Shades of Sydney

Sydney West enjoys sampling summer boys, but this year, one refuses to be a one-night stand…
Twenty-one-year-old Sydney doesn’t believe in relationships. Her parents’ toxic divorce has taught her love is nothing but a sinister fairytale. So every summer she parties, hooks up, abandons her lover before dawn, and repeats.
 
That is until she meets gorgeous local surfer Jason King at the beach…
 
When Jason fails to flirt—or even give her a second glance—she decides something must be wrong with him, and it’s safer to stay away. But when Sydney and Jason’s best friends hook up and become Malibu’s hottest couple, they are forced to spend more time together than either of them cares for.
Armed with a sharp tongue, Sydney works to keep Jason at bay…
 
In a moment of weakness, Sydney lets her guard down and confides in Jason, realizing he’s more than just a hot guy—he’s also a friend. And when Sydney’s need for a summer boy results in her falling into bed with Jason, despite her better judgment, she runs away from him by morning.
 
The problem is, he won’t accept being another one-night stand, and will do anything to prove…

Love really does exist.
Amazon US ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt One:
 
The thrill of the game winded down. People broke away in groups of two and three. I wanted to call it a night and see if any beer was left.
“I challenge you, Sydney, to a game of Truth or Dare,” Jason declared.
I sunk into the sofa and glared at him with my mouth agape. “Are you serious?”
Of course now is when he decides to say my name correctly.
He nodded, flashing a wicked grin.
I swallowed. My throat was too dry. I didn’t want to play. I didn’t want to admit truths to a bunch of weirdos. I guess most were drunk, so they wouldn’t remember, but it was the principle of the thing.
“Do you accept?” a boy wearing black jeans and no shirt asked.
The pressure of everyone’s eyes on me was too much. I sighed. “I guess.”

“Good. We got another game, people!” the boy shouted with excitement.

Excerpt Two:



“I can show you some tips. Been surfing all my life,” he said proudly.

“Yes,” Amelia said excitedly, dragging the poor boy to the ocean.
Rolling my eyes, I turned toward the other boy. He was tall, but not über tall, like the other guy. His muscles moved like liquid as he approached me. I had the urge to touch his abs and see if they were as firm as they appeared. His hair was tussled and golden brown, as if sun kissed. His board was a light blue with black stripes. It was a good brand, but a basic print.
“Do you need surfing lessons too or are you here in support?” the boy asked me. His silver eyes mirrored the moon, sending shivers down my shine.
“Umm…I was wanting to be surfing…”
What the hell did I just say?
His eyes sparkled with laughter, but he didn’t mock me. “I can teach you some tricks if you want.”
I looked at him closer. My stomach fell to the sand. He was the guy I bumped into at that club and he didn’t bother giving me a second look. He kept walking as if I was just another body in the crowd, no one worthy of his attention.
“Were you at Club Purple last night?” I asked.
He tilted his head. “Yes, how did you know?”
“I ran into you and we kept going the same way and then—”
“Oh, right,” he said, nodding as if it all made sense.
Excerpt Three:
 
“Wait,” he pulled away from me so he could look me square in the eye, “Who said anything about having sex?”
“It’s fine. I know the unspoken rule. The guy is all sweet and cooks for the girl and she gives him entry into her.”
He closed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair. His words were jumbled together as he muttered to himself. I stared at him, wondering why he was upset.
“Damn it, Sydney! Why do you chalk every damn thing up to sex? Life isn’t all about fucking. Sometimes people are just being nice. I didn’t expect anything from you tonight.”
“I assumed…” I mumbled, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
“Don’t…at least not with me. Last time was a mistake—”
I fought back my tears. “I didn’t know…I mean I’m sorry I didn’t please you.”
“No, you did.” He leaned in close, brushing the back of his hand down my cheek. “Listen to me. It was too fast. I got caught up in the heat of the moment. You’re a sexy woman and I loved what we did, but usually I wait until the third date before sleeping with a girl.”
Out of habit, I put space between us, enough room for another person to sit in-between. “Why wait?” It was a foreign concept to me.
He stood and paced the length of the couch. “I wait to see if I like the person. Get to know her, see if I can imagine her in my future. Not as a wife or anything, just as someone that would last a lot longer than a one-night stand. I see if I could fall in love with her. If I had sex with every woman, then it would become mundane and meaningless.”
“But I don’t believe in love. That’s why I—”
 
Brittney Coon graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a minor in Film and Media Production. Brittney has always been creative and turned to writing to share the stories playing through her head. In her spare time she reads, watches Friends, and hangs out with her cats. She currently lives in Arizona.

Harley

 

Harley

Harley
Michelle Jo Quinn
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: January 19th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

All of her life, Cadence “Cade” Williams has been lied to…

With her ailing father on his deathbed, a whispered secret sends Cadence’s life into a tailspin. Determined to either confirm or debunk her father’s claim, she sets out on a mission to grow close to the only man with evidence to set things straight. To do that, Cadence earns a position in an elite security firm owned by her father’s old army buddy, Noah “Mac” Mackinley.

Mac is the only man who could hold the evidence to support her father’s claims…

But first, she must prove herself worthy of Mac’s trust and get close enough to find the truth. Her first mission is to watch over an eight-year old girl, Harley Clark.

Harley is not an ordinary girl. She’s the daughter of a rock star…

Despite her fragile appearance, Harley has tenacity and brilliance like nothing Cade has ever seen. To everyone’s surprise—including her own—Cade forms an unlikely friendship with the beautiful wallflower.

Her first assignment just became more interesting…

When Harley’s rock star father, Jax Clark, enters the scene, Cade can’t deny the instant attraction for the self-proclaimed bad boy. Tattoos, piercing eyes, and a raspy voice that sends thousands of fans into a screaming frenzy, he’s more than just a heartthrob. Worse, Jax starts to pay her more attention than she expects.

She’s faced with a choice—get lured in by the celebrity world and lose any chance of finding out the truth, or stick to the plan and avoid Jax at all costs to earn Mac’s trust.

Goodreads / Amazon

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlEJbmrZW-0

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Author Bio:

Michelle ‘s love for writing blossomed when her father gave her a diary. However, instead of recounting her daily life, she wrote stories of fictional people. Like most of her characters, she believes in Happily Ever After. Naturally, she finds harmony in writing romance.

An unabashed, self-proclaimed foodie, Michelle loves to try new food whenever she travels. She once had triple crème Brie and duck rillette for lunch on top of Grouse Mountain. She enjoys watching foreign films and reading a good book by the fireside.

Michelle is an active member of RWA and several of its chapters. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Fast Love

FAST LOVE by Zoe Adams
The Billionaires Club Series #3
Limitless Publishing
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design
= = SYNOPSIS = = 
Indiana Bernstein lives life in the fast lane…
Even when her famous father died in a racecar crash when she was fifteen, Indiana still dreamt of becoming a driver herself—but the terms of her father’s will required she finished college before claiming her inheritance. Putting her love of speed to good use, Indiana finished college by eighteen and pursued her goals…which also included superstar driver Richard Sand.
Richard Sand’s career meant everything to him…
A favorite of the fans and surrounded by beautiful women, Richard knew any hint of involvement with an underage girl would ruin him, and he was determined to stay away from fifteen year old Indiana, despite her obvious interest. But when she turned eighteen, there was no longer any reason to deny their attraction.
 
Their relationship is shattered when Richard’s past catches up to him…
When Richard receives devastating news, it appears there is no chance of a happily-ever-after with Indiana, who kicks her dedication to the racing circuit into high gear and tries to outrun her pain.
Then Indiana’s own career takes a turn for the worse, and she must learn whether there’s a future for her anywhere other than in the cockpit of a racecar.
Can Indiana find a way back to Richard and be the supportive woman he needs?
The road ahead is far from easy…but the victory is sweet if you’re bold enough to take the risk on a fast man and a fast love.
= = THE BILLIONAIRES CLUB SERIES = = 
Rich Love, Book #1: http://amzn.to/1OEdHvn
Close Love, Book #2: http://amzn.to/1V6oe6c
= = ZOE ADAMS = =
Zoe Adams currently resides in Hawaii. She was born to a big family from the center of North America. A family store gave a lot of human interaction and work experience from a very young age.

 

Her mother gave a love for books, paper, pens, and any other creative mediums. Her father instilled work ethic for making, repairing, or polishing things until they shine. There was a lot of competition in the large family and she learned how to tell a good story with few words.
Some days she can be found at the beach or kayaking with her husband and partner of twelve years. They have no children but are perfectly content to spoil a dog.

Nine Lives

NINE LIVES by Erin Lee
b16e8fa7-33d2-42bf-8846-aab7cfd29d6a
Standalone Novel
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Three teenage sisters didn’t mean to destroy their family…
Sisters Laina, Faith, and Sadie Nelson know they are to blame. There was no way to predict how their lives would shatter with just a few lies—but they did, and now they fear the pieces are too many to pick up.
Had their parents let them leave, their father wouldn’t be behind bars…
The girls just wanted to escape from their hyper-strict home and start lives of their own. If he’d just allowed them to spread their wings, their father wouldn’t be serving thirty years for a crime he didn’t commit.
Sometimes you have to be creative to get your way, but creativity’s not always what it’s cracked up to be…
With the lives of nine siblings hanging in the balance, what will it take for the girls to admit their deceit and recant their tales of abuse? And if they do, will there be any room for forgiveness?
Family and friends are left to question everything they know about the legal system, social services, marriage, and family.
Can anyone really be trusted?
Can a family heal in the wake of false allegations, broken promises, and betrayal?
Or is it too late…
|| MEET THE AUTHOR ||
Erin Lee is freelance writer and therapist from Southern, NH. Lee’s work has appeared in journals and magazines since 1995. She’s received numerous awards from the New England Press Association for her work as a journalist. “Wave to Papa” is her second novel. Currently, Lee is publishing “Crazy Like Me” with Savant Books and Publications, LLC, to be released in summer 2015. She has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and works with children and families in crisis.
More of her work can be seen at www.authorerinlee.com.