Heavensent-Behind the Character

My fourth book will be released to the world next Saturday (July 15). If you follow me, you know I’m a sub-genre hopper–like a rabbit or a frog, I hop from one sub-genre to another for no rhyme or reason other than to write the story in my brain. Possibly not the best thing for me as I build up my platform but on the other hand, that’s who I am as a writer. Why not share it with my readers?

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Lavender Fields is a M/M Paranormal Romance and had strange beginnings. Not unlike most of my books, this story started as a flash fiction piece written from a picture prompt, but took a whole unexpected life of its own.

Sky Heavensent was to be a girl alien at first (don’t laugh), but–pantser that I am–as I wrote the story she turned into a he, and the alien became an angel. By the time I was finished, the angel in my story grew to mean something much larger than just a character in a book. Thus the decision to turn a few pages of writing into a full-length novel.

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Sky was born of some very deep beliefs I carry about humans and the way we relate to each other. It also embodies a lot of my hopes, fears, and emotional baggage.

As a character he’s not perfect. In fact, among his kind he’s an outcast ( know, I know. Another one), a very clumsy angel who seems to be an expert at making his boss, Gabriel, irate beyond what should be possible for an angelic creature.

But he is perfect in so many other ways. He’s color-blind, gender-blind, difference-blind. Like all angels he’s made of pure love but unlike the others he actually practices what he preaches. Sky is willing to do just about anything for what’s right even if that places him in all kinds of danger.

He has a big heart and he’s not afraid to use it.

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Writing Lavender Fields was an amazing experience because it came from the depths of me, those corners of myself that remain under wraps most of the time. I’m a terrible introvert who is incapable of participating in a conversation involving more than two people. So, a lot of what I think, of what I feel, of what I believe stay buried deep inside. Writing this story was in so many ways a release because the characters (all of them but Sky in particular) spoke for me.They all have a little bit of myself in them (including Caleb’s foul-mouthed younger sister) but I dare anyone who knows me to figure out what.

In fact, I believe that Sky was indeed heaven-sent. Have you ever written a character who meant a lot more to you than all the others?

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GIRL ON THE VERGE BY PINTIP DUNN RELEASE WEEK BLITZ

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn!

Check out the excerpt below, and
be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Congratulations Pintip!!

 

 

 

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kensington

Google Drive | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs.

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said, when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together.

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible.

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name.

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.”

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way.

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?”

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions.

She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.

 

 

 

 

Pintip is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip’s first novel, FORGET TOMORROW won the RWA RITA® award for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella, BEFORE TOMORROW. She is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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An Introvert In The Crowd

My New Year’s resolution was to be more outgoing and challenge myself to attend lots and lots of writing-related events.

Let me explain why this is important and difficult to me. I’ve always been an introvert. I love people and I do like socializing, but when that involves crowds bigger than two or three it all becomes too stressful for me. Even in small groups, socializing always requires at least a few hours (a few days being ideal) of decompressing and quietness afterwards. I lack the self-confidence that would allow me to feel comfortable hanging out with people I don’t necessarily know very well. My anxiety makes me question everything I say or do constantly (it’s exhausting) and if I decide to just be silent–which I do more often than not–then I chide myself for being unsocial and unnoticeable. Such is the life of a true introvert; we don’t want to be noticed but also don’t want to vanish into the background–and we envy those who always seem to so effortlessly steal the limelight.

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I have challenged myself all my life in this arena. As a young woman I chose a profession that wouldn’t give me the option of NOT being around people and speak in public. I was a tour guide, in charge of large groups of people. I not only had to “herd” them from one place to another but also deliver long, detailed speeches about the places we were visiting, often in more than one language. I loved it, but everyday I had to go home and bury my head in the sand for a while.

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Before that, I worked in a ClubMed-type resort where I had to crawl out of bed super early and–oh the horrors–sit and make small talk with the guests during breakfast (in French). I also had to get on stage every night and perform some kind of skit–sometimes a lip-synced musical, a mime, or a comedy skit. So out of my comfort zone.

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I’m used to being always uncomfortable in social situations–doesn’t mean I have to like it–but I now fear it is hurting my writing career. So I challenged myself again and booked myself into various writing-related events. I just came back from RT Atlanta, one of the biggest romance writers and readers convention in the US.  I had a lot of fun meeting and getting to know my publisher and all the ladies that work for her–editors and writers. What an amazing team I’m part of.  I’ve been back for three days and my neck and shoulders are still recovering from the tension of meeting new people.

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Yesterday I attended an outdoors book sale where I met two other romance writers and in spite of my lack of confidence I actually interacted with the public and even sold a couple books.

In August I’m sitting on my second panel of the year. It’s not an easy thing for me to do even if I will be talking about one of my favorite things in writing–world building–but I’m hoping to put myself “out there”, make myself recognizable and network.

I have signed up for meetings, workshops, book signings…I’m doing the branding, marketing “thing”. It’s exhausting and gratifying all at once. Take my word for it; it’s not easy being an introvert in a very extrovert world.social battery

How many introverts out there? Do you ever challenge yourself? Share your experiences with us.I’d love to hear from you.

 

Roller Coaster Ride

Living with someone who suffers  from a mental illness is like being stuck in a roller coaster ride for life. At first it’s scary but you can ride it out knowing–or hoping–the dips will eventually end but after a while, the non-stop changes in direction, rises and falls begin messing with your sense of equilibrium.

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My youngest son was always an active, bright, and adventurous kid. There was never a boring moment with him. He could be just as sweet as he was horrible and he came to earn the nickname of Houdini because there was no restraints that he couldn’t break from. By the time he was three or four he had figured out how to unlock all the children’s safety locks in the house. Car seats were no challenge for him, and when I bought a four-point harness to keep him in child seats at restaurants and coffee shops, his future career as an escape artist was looking very bright indeed.

Art was strong in this one. He loved dancing, singing, and playing instruments. He was playing the guitar in fourth grade and joined the strings orchestra in fifth. By the time he was in high school he was playing with local orchestras and being spotlighted as a soloist. In his senior year we had the opportunity to visit New York city with his orchestra and he decided then that’s where he was going to study music.violin-374096_1920

All his dreams (and mine) came crushing down one evening when he walked into our living room and declared to my husband and I that he was Jesus and like Jesus he must die in order to save his friends. At first we thought he was high on something but this went on for days afterwards with Facebook posts and strange and scary behavior from him. He began going to bed with whatever “weapon” he could find (gardening tools, kitchen knives) because they were after him. Who they were was never established.

He would get in his car and drive for hours sometimes in the middle of snow storms or tornado watches and often would stay in the car all night because “the house was not safe”. It became quite apparent to us that something had shifted in his mind. His behavior became more erratic and risky to himself and us at the house.

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Since then he has been hospitalized five times before we finally managed to find the right cocktail of meds that made him stable. He was stable for a few years until recently when he lost his balance again. The roller coaster began again…

Living with a mental health patient is difficult enough, but the system makes it even more difficult. As parents of an adult we have no rights whatsoever. Patient’s rights to confidentiality–which I totally believe in most cases–dictates that someone who is going through a psychotic episode and thinks everyone is literally watching and out to get him has to be the one deciding about his treatment options.

This roller coaster ride means sleepless nights followed by days when your body is at work but your mind is at home wondering what he’s up to. It is long days at work followed by hours of mind-exhausting nonsensical rants, followed by more sleepless nights. It means not having a single knife or headache medicine readily available because they have all been hidden somewhere safe, just in case.

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I never liked roller coasters, not even as a child. I don’t like anything that keeps me off balance. I don’t even like rocking chairs because of that. The universe sure has a warped sense of humor to put me in this ride and keep me in constant chaotic shifting and turning. I want out but know I am stuck on this ride for life. He’s my son and I love him. Seeing him unstable and suffering kills me one cell at a time. And there is nothing I can do to help him.

 

NOTE: This last return to our roller coaster ride was due in great measure to unwise choices my son made. It is totally possible to control most mental illnesses these days as long as you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices; such as taking your meds regularly, getting enough sleep, keeping partying to a minimum, and staying away from any substance that will make your condition spin out of control. At some point my son became very comfortable in the knowledge he was stable and decided he didn’t have to be cautious anymore. Thus the sudden “dip” again. He is now on the right track and staying away from everything that may cause him trouble. Of course, there is no guarantee he will stick to it forever. I’m cautiously hopeful…

Germ Attack and Getting Old…

I’ve been hit by the bug. Not sure which bug but definitely a nasty, unwanted bug that has made me feel miserable for the past week and sent me back in my work load another couple weeks. Normally I write a lot when I’m sick but this particular germ brought a nasty headache with it. My brain feels as if someone has put my head in a vise for a few days. Four days of utter misery and a diet of meds. On the positive side I’ve lost weight. On the negative side I haven’t got anything accomplished. No grocery runs, no cleaning, no lesson plans, no yoga, no writing.

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I bring this lovely subject matter up because I have come to realize that getting old sucks big time. Let me explain. Three years ago I would have bounced back this thing, be back at work and go to exercise afterwards. I remember having minor surgery in the morning and going to work in the afternoon. I used to think my friends were “milking” it when they acted as if they were dead after a simple cold. I had done it all; surgeries, wisdom teeth extractions, colds, even an ulcer without having to barely take any time off work. Until about a year ago when I had another of my repeat-offender surgeries in the morning and decided gleefully to go to work in the afternoon. Big mistake! The difference one year made. Something changed. I thought I was going to die. As soon as the anesthesia began wearing off I was in hell. So sure I could bounce off it as I had done many times before, I had refused any pain medicine. I had never needed it before, why start now? Because apparently your body just had it, foolish woman! 

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Same with this cold. I’m not suffering from the flu or any major illness. It’s a freaking cold. And it is kicking my butt. Everything hurts from my head to my toes (and I mean that literally) and all I can gather energy to do is sleep. The simple act of getting dressed and driving to the store down the street to get meds left me exhausted. Is this what I can expect from now on? Is this what getting old feels like? Can someone get me off this ride please? It’s not fun anymore.

Front Porches & Funerals-New Release

Front Porches & Funerals

By:K.A. Ware & Cora Kenborn

Release Date: February 21st

Hosted By: Chance Promotions

Cover by: Bite Me Graphics

ADD TO YOUR TBR:   http://amzn.to/2mgFg6z


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Synopsis

 

They say you can’t go home again.

But when you’re broke, down on your luck, and wanted in two states…

It’s the only place left.

Adelaide spent high school dreaming of the day she’d lift a middle finger
to her small town life and watch it all fade away in the rear-view mirror.
After marrying a man who she thought was her prince charming, Adelaide had
finally gotten everything she ever wanted…until the silver spoon was ripped
from her mouth and her prince was revealed to be just another cheating
jackass. Suddenly homeless with nowhere else to turn, she must head back to
the one place she never thought she’d have to show her face again.

Savannah just wanted to see the world, but ended up a twenty-five year old
vagabond with nothing to show for her life but a string of loser
ex-boyfriends. Instead of saving the planet, she sells jewelry on the
internet and digs in the cushions for loose change. Making the decision to
cut her losses, Savannah packs up and hits the road. It’s time to go back
to the beginning and figure out where she went wrong.

Adelaide and Savannah couldn’t wait to leave the bayou. However, when
circumstances force them out of their self-imposed exiles, they have no
choice but to belly crawl back to the place they both turned their backs
on. The Dubois sisters find that sometimes you’ve got to uncover your roots
to find your future.

The good thing about hitting swamp bottom?

There’s only one way to go…

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

K.A. Ware

K.A Ware is an indie author living in Portland, Oregon. Her days consist of
working at her real life job in the financial field and taking care of her
young daughter. Writing is not her only passion, K.A. also serves on the
Board of Directors for a local non-profit and spends way too much time
reading. She believes in the power of words, alpha females, and that
special escape you get when you hunker down into a good book.

When she’s not busy mothering, working, writing, or reading she enjoys
spending time with family and friends and embracing the weirdness that is
Portland. K.A. loves music, so if you find yourself at a metal show in
Portland —take a look around— she’s the crazy redhead head banging at the
front.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ authorkaware

Instagram: https// instagram.com/authorkaware

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ authorkaware/

Website: www.authorkaware.com

Email: authorkaware@gmail.com

Cora Kenborn

Cora Kenborn writes contemporary and romantic suspense novels with strong
heroines, complex alphas, harrowing danger, and snappy dialogue. She loves
delving into the twisted mind of a dark villain as well as giggling while
writing romcom banter.

Cora lives in Eastern North Carolina and is a true Southern girl, who grew
up on sweet tea, front porches, and the simple life. She says “y’all,”
“fixin’ to,” and should you deserve it will “bless your heart.” She’s the
proud mother of three hyperactive and occasionally adorable children, and
wife to an understanding husband who tolerates her chaotic writer’s cave.

Although reading is her passion, she can usually be found watching true
crime shows and crafting inspiration for twisted new tales. Cora admits to
being a horrible cook, an even worse baker, and believes she’s more
dangerous with a hot glue gun than any weapon on earth. Oh, and she and
autocorrect are mortal enemies

Website: https://www.corakenborn.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/corakenborn

Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com/corakenborn

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/corakenbornauthor

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15178303.Cora_Kenborn

Street Team:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/corasdarkangels

Reader Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/monstersandrockstars

Newsletter: http://www.eepurl.com/b1xCtj

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Mjusi, the Flying Lizard

(Third part in the Character Problems series)

My second novel, Desert Jewel, was about Milenda, an African princess and her love, Jaali, a man from the Northern lands. I wanted to include Africa as a setting because—well, because I lived there for many years and I loved it. A children’s author I love, Nancy Farmer, set a lot of her middle grade stories in Africa and I always wanted to do the same. My Africa is half-real, half made-up.

But back to the characters. Even though Milenda and Jaali are from different ethnic groups, that is not what the story is about. The story is about two strong young people who against all odds meet and fall in love. Two people who want to change the world but don’t know how. Two young lovers who find themselves the center of something dangerous and much bigger than themselves.

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Both Milenda and Jaali were carved out of the idea that nothing is ever the way it seems and that everybody, no matter who they are, carry pain of one kind or another inside their hearts.

Milenda is privileged and sheltered and yet, she is not spoiled or blind to the injustices around her. She wants to change her society, she wants to make it better to all who suffer due to her world’s ways and beliefs.

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Jaali is poor and has suffered unimaginable pain as a slave. However, he is not bitter or angry at the world. He is forgiving and kind.  He loves with all his heart and soul. In the words of Sid, the sloth from “Ice Age”, Milenda and Jaali complete each other. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist!)

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But the one character who started it all is Milenda’s sidekick, Mjusi. Mjusi is not a human. He is a flying lizard, or a mini-dragon if you prefer. He doesn’t speak, but he plays an important part in the story. He is not just lonely Milenda’s only friend but also the one character that helps the story move forward, the comic relief when we need to laugh, the available shoulder when we need to cry.

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Which comes to show that often the sidekicks are as important as the main characters. Mjusi, like Marcy, will have his story—or at least more of his story—told in the near future. There may be a few surprises about his origins and I’m certain he will surprise me yet again!

Photo credits: Look by Schmiegel

Predators Among Us

There has been a lot of talk about sexual assault; the kind that millions of women worldwide endure on a daily base and that leaves deep psychological scars. When this whole scandal with one of the presidential candidates came to surface many people (some women included) said things like, “Well, if this was true why is it just now coming up?” or “Why are all these women all of a sudden coming forward with these stories? Isn’t that suspicious?”

I am not endorsing one side or the other of the political arena, but I’m here to tell you that the reason why all these women are coming forward now is because once the first one had the courage (yes, it takes courage) to bring her story into the public eye it gave all others the motivation and the strength to do the same.

When you have been a victim of that kind of assault, no matter how minor, you go through many emotions. You’re embarrassed that this happened to you, you feel guilty sometimes because of comments you hear about similar cases, you’re afraid that no-one will believe you or even worse, that they will turn you from the victim to the one who was asking for it.

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I grew up in a very male-oriented country at a time when women had very limited opportunities. Back then only rich people drove cars to work. Driving to school was unheard of. You took the bus or the train, most of the time both. During rush hour the public transportation was standing-room only and we were crushed against each other like sardines in a can. It never failed. There was always the one guy (sometimes two) who decided this was the optimum setting to give free reign to their sexual desires. By the time I hopped out of the train or the bus, I had been groped and rubbed against just as matter-of-fact as if I was wearing a sign saying, “Please, use my body in any way you please.”

From the time I was thirteen I had to endure these not-so-subtle attacks and the odious cat-calls. They were not really cat-calls and they did not stop at “hey beautiful”, “hot mama”, or whistling. Most were very explicit in what the men who yelled them out would do to me should they ever catch me alone. Others felt compelled to comment on parts of my body that should never have been discussed by strangers, especially those who were old enough to be my grandfather in some cases.

One day as I am sitting on a bus commuting home from a long day at work, I dozed off. When I woke up I felt something warm between my legs. The young man sitting next to me had slid his hand on my crotch and even my death-gaze did not faze him. Why didn’t I tell the bus driver or the police? Because I guarantee you if I did, someone would say he was just being a young, red-blooded male and what did I expect when I was wearing such tight pants?

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I am a much older woman now and if you think these incidents are lost in memory you’d be very wrong. They live in my head as vivid and as painfully embarrassing and demeaning as the day they happened. They have left scars, some of which I may not even be aware of. It’s hard to speak about them (this post has been languishing in the draft folder for a while) without feeling shame.

Things have changed quite a bit since then, even in my country, but let’s face it, there are still many who either think this is acceptable behavior or that it’s just “play” and does not do any harm. Well, you are wrong! It’s time women stand together against this type of assault and for one, I admire and applaud those who were courageous enough to come forward. As a woman who “been there, done that”, I thank you.

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Desert Jewel – New Release

“Powerful, passionate, & epic.”

Natalina Reis

 Desert Jewel

Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Release Date: October 8, 2016
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
 Add to Goodreads
 On sale for 99 cents 
Rebellion brews inside Milenda’s heart as the date for the Trials approach. As the
heiress to the throne of Natale, she is forced to choose a consort from the survivors of the
grueling quest across the desert.
Milenda’s heart belongs to Jaali and wants no part in the ancient and cruel ritual, but the
Elders—the true rulers of Natale—will not back down.
Jaali was brought from the far North as a child slave. His only chance to be with the woman
he loves is to volunteer for the Trials, no matter how dangerous or how much Milenda
objects.
Together they begin their journey of discovery and rebellion against the Elders. But will their
love be enough or will they lose everything they’ve fought for?
 ONLY 99 CENTS 
Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA
Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. Her novel, We Will Always Have the Closet, is her first published romance.
After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.
Sign up for Natalina’s newsletter HERE.

The Desert Jewel- Cover Reveal

Author: Natalina Reis

Title: Desert Jewel

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Release Date: October 8, 2016

Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing

Cover Designer: Claire Smith

Add to TBR: https://www.goodreads.com /book/show/31123668-desert-jew el

 99c PREORDER SPECIAL 

https://books2read.com/desertjewel

 

Print

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Rebellion brews inside Milenda’s heart as the date for the Trials approach. As the

heiress to the throne of Natale, she is forced to choose a consort from the survivors of the grueling quest across the desert.

Milenda’s heart belongs to Jaali and wants no part in the ancient and cruel ritual, but the Elders—the true rulers of Natale—will not back down.

Jaali was brought from the far North as a child slave. His only chance to be with the woman he loves is to volunteer for the Trials, no matter how dangerous or how much Milenda objects.

Together they begin their journey of discovery and rebellion against the Elders. But will their love be enough or will they lose everything they’ve fought for?

 

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author-bio

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Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. Her novel, We Will Always Have the Closet, is her first published romance.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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