Book Spotlight & Guest Post/ Beginning With Forever

 

Beginning with Forever E-Book Cover (1)

Title and Author: Beginning with Forever by Lan LLP

Publication Date: March 2014

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance


~Synopsis~
Love isn’t easy to forget even
if you’re determined to never feel it again. It has a way of finding you when
all hope is gone, resurfacing tender emotions 
you’ve
 buried deep in your core because the pain of acknowledging them is too much for you to handle.

Carson Bradley, CEO of a
powerful pharmaceutical corporation is rich beyond boundaries with a missing
soul. His heart faded away fifteen years ago with the death of his first love.He
strives every day for the sake of his cancer research because he’s determined
to eradicate it forever.

Lillian Ly is a humble, young medical
student whose kind and generous heart is as vast as the universe. Being raised
poor by a single parent; she matured quickly and respected the sacrifices her
mother made for her. Lillian’s determination leads her down a stringent
five-year path with no room for love.

When their paths cross at an
unlikely place thousands of miles away from home, they both realize that fate
has brought them together, and Carson will never let anything or anyone tear
them apart. He knows how desolate life is without love and refuses to return to
that empty place ever again.

Lillian enters Carson’s
world with the purest intention of loving him with all her heart, but discovers
that his volatile world will alter her uncomplicated life indefinitely. Regardless
of what obstacles are thrown in their path, Lillian and Carson will endure them
all to hold onto their forever from the beginning to the end.




~Excerpt~

 

“Carson, I’m freely offering myself to you right
now. Please.” I plead
fearlessly. I’m shameless and not above begging for him to take my body. Who is
this sex-craved woman anyways?

 


“Sweetness, you’re making it very difficult for me to resist you, to
control myself.” He lowers himself intimately close to graze his soft, moist
lips on my forehead, bridge of my nose and then intensely over my lips. The
urgency of his need for me is translated through his kisses. Biting down firmly
on his lower lip, it appears that he’s forcing the strength of his will to
remain tame. Our eye contact is broken when he seals his shut to blind the
temptation lying beneath his body. His hands grip the sheets desperately,
clawing and then fisting. I think this is his last hope of hanging onto his
dignity. “Goodnight Lily, only offer your body to me when you believe it in
your heart,” h
e murmurs and
rolls off me.
 
~Meet the Cast~

 

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~Carson & Lillian~
 

 

~Meet The Author~

Over a long year ago, I picked up a pen to jot down the first sentence of my vivid imagination. Those initial words were the seeds that grew into my flowering romance book, “Beginning with Forever.” With all my heart, I wrote, rewrote, edited, re-edited and now, I’m finally ready to share it with all of you. My one and only aspiration for this book is to have readers embrace my story and characters with their heart.If I can make someone laugh till their gut hurts, hate the villain with vengeance, cry till their eyes dry out, fall in love all over again, and drool over the hero or feel any other emotions, than I’ve succeeded my goal.
I’m the sappiest person in the world when it comes to romance. Don’t smirk! I believe in love at first sight, Prince Charming or in my book,Mr. Hot Billionaire, and happy endings. In my heart, every women deserves all three, and they will when they lose themselves in my books. Your fantasy can become a reality with just the flip of a page, so come join me.

Connect with the Author:Goodreads | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Wattpad | Pinterest
 
~Tour Wide Giveaway~
 

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TOP TEN LIST OF THINGS YOU NEED ON HAND
WHEN YOU WRITE: 

1)      Chocolate, peanut M&M’s or dark chocolate bar

2)      Music- usually instrumental

3)      Tall glass of ice water or ice coffee

4)      Pictures of my hero and heroine for inspiration

5)      Salty snacks: sweet potato chips*

6)      Ipad for research (I Google everything that I’m unfamiliar with
before I write about it.)

7)      A black notebook that I scribble ideas and names of characters

8)      All my charging cords

9)      A comfy sweatshirt/socks

10)  Healthy snack to offset the bad ones 😉

I just quickly want to thank Lan for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this fun guest post for me. I had so much fun thinking up this guest post and reading your replies.

Guest Post & Book Spotlight/ Handpicked

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Handpicked by Dani Oden
Publication date: August 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:
College freshman Jill Holloway takes one look at the stuck-up girls going
through sorority rush and nearly returns her borrowed dress and heels.
Against her best judgment, she ends up falling for the prestige and
parties, and snagging a bid from a top house. After moving in, she quickly
grows skeptical of her too-perfect sorority sisters. She tries to ask
questions, though no one will take time from their busy social calendar to
give her any real answers.

Jill wastes no time digging for everything she’s not supposed to find, and
soon comes face-to-face with a big and bloody secret hidden in her
sorority’s basement. She knows she’s in over her head, but taking off so
soon would raise the perfectly-plucked eyebrows of her suspicious new
sisters. She’s stuck until she can make a smooth exit.

But the closer she gets to leaving, the more it becomes clear that it
won’t be as simple as she hoped. A tempting fraternity guy, a best friend
who needs her, and new details about what has really been happening in the
basement have her questioning what her next move should be, and whether or
not it’ll be worth the risks.

HANDPICKED is a New Adult coming of age, with elements of suspense and
romance.

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GOODREADS

PURCHASE:
Amazon
BN

Author links:
Twitter: @MsDaniOden
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8390838.Dani_Oden
Blog: www.trapperkept.com (blog on pop culture & nostalgia)

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Guest Post: Deleted Scenes

 

Thank you so much for having me! I thought I’d offer readers a “behind-the-scenes” peek at some sections that were part of earlier drafts of HANDPICKED, and why they didn’t make the final cut.

 

This first one is part of an extended version of the opening scene. Our main character Jill is trying to get ready for her final night of sorority rush in her dorm bathroom…

 

The girl from the stall emerged, wearing a gold lacy number and looking movie-star perfect except for her red, watery eyes. She reached around me, grabbed a paper towel, and daintily dabbed her mouth. “I can’t effing handle this,” she said, squeezing into my mirror space and fluffing her wavy brown hair. “I haven’t been able to eat for days.”

Blond handed her a piece of gum. “Couple more hours, and it’ll all be worth it. And that dress looks amazing on you now.”

The brunette caught me staring at her reflection and raised her eyebrows. She sized me up, clearly not approving of how I was still in my yoga pants and a tank top, and how my long red hair was in a loose ponytail. “Where are you preffing?” she said casually, asking which sorority parties I was visiting for the final round of rush that night. Thankfully, I had just learned the jargon earlier that day.

I shrugged. “I can’t remember, my list is back in my room.”

She gaped at me. Her hand stopped not even an inch from her face, her lip gloss still pointed to her mouth. “You can’t remember?”

Blond started to laugh as if I’d been joking.

I bristled. “Well, all their names sound the same, don’t they?”

They stared at me. 

“I guess some do,” the brunette said slowly, like she didn’t really think so at all.

My cell phone started buzzing from my pocket, so I quickly grabbed it and scooped up my small make-up bag. “Excuse me,” I said, glad to get away. They smelled like a Victoria’s Secret store mixed with throw-up.

 

Ultimately, this exchange was cut simply for pacing. I wanted to speed up the time it takes Jill to get back to her room so we can get her out the door and to the sororities faster.

 

This second one is from a scene when Jill dozes off next to her crush, Tad…

 

In my sleepy state, I was less guarded than I would have been under most circumstances. He started tugging at my sweatshirt, and instead of encouraging him to explore underneath it with his hands, I simply raised my arms up high. Obediently, he lifted it. The hood was tight over my head, but he managed to squeeze it off me, pulling out my ponytail holder. My long red hair fell loosely over my face and I imagined it looked quite sexy. Well, sexy for me, which is about as sexy as like, one of those live-action Disney movies that gets played on Sunday night cable.

 

This section was cut because of Jill’s reference to being less guarded because she was tired. I was concerned that her comment it made it seem like she wasn’t that into Tad, which was not at all what I was going for – the final version of the scene makes it *pretty* clear that she’s excited to be with him J

 

Thank you for giving me the chance to share these scenes!

bookexcerpt

The commotion in the center of the room seemed to grow, and I leaned my head back against the barrel behind us. “How are we going to keep up with these girls?” I asked.

“What?” Lindy leaned toward me, nearly tipping over.

“These girls! They drink hard!” I shouted.

“Yes,” she said, and I wondered if she heard me.

“What’s happening?” Hannah interjected, staring at the mob of colorful dresses directly in front of us.

Our pledge sisters had stopped dancing and were all crowded together. A handful of actives seemed to be trying to organize the group, and once they managed to get everyone to step back and give space, I could see a girl in a bright turquoise dress lying in a heap on the ground.

“Oh no,” Hannah cringed, sensing the emergency.

“Someone hurt?” Lindy said.

Within seconds, actives swooped in and scooped the girl up. Whoever it was, she was completely limp. Her limbs dangled and swayed as they stealthily carried her away through a set of double doors in the back corner of the room.

The music never stopped, and the lights never came on.

“Who’s that?” Hannah slurred.

“Was she okay?” I asked, knowing neither of them was actually going to answer.

Lindy scrunched her face in concentration. “Kimmy?”

“Kimmy?” I repeated.

“Her dress,” Lindy said, as if it was an explanation.

“Cammie,” Hannah mumbled, tilting her head against her barrel and closing her eyes. “Cammie ruined her dress.”

“The Idaho girl from our lunch table?” I asked. She’d been with us in the limo, too.

Neither of them responded.

“Where’d they go?” Lindy wondered, staring at the closed set of double doors. The party had started up again, and girls were back on the dance floor, standing and swaying on the same spot where she’d just fallen.

“Away,” Hannah mumbled.

I wanted to get up to inspect, but I didn’t trust my jello-y legs to navigate through the pulsing crowd. “I think something’s wrong, you guys,” I said.

 

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Book Spotlight/ What if It’s Love?

 
What If It’s Love? by Alix Nichols
 What If It's Love? by Alix Nichols
Series: Bistro La Boheme
Publication Date: June 2014
No. of Pages: 244 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
~Synopsis~

Can a Paris bistro heal a broken heart?

Charm, wit and poignancy abound in this gripping contemporary romance.
Introverted heiress Lena moves to Paris to nurse old wounds reopened by her neglectful boyfriend. Enter Rob, a charismatic and handsome Frenchman who waits tables at La Bohème — a café on Lena’s street — and has big dreams.
He makes her laugh and forget her insecurities. She stirs something infinitely tender in his soul. Before they know it, they’ve fallen for each other, even though both had good reasons to fight the budding love.
But their passionate romance is cut short when she discovers his dirty secret…
 
 Add to Goodreads: What If It's Love? by Alix Nichols

 

~Watch the Trailer~
~Excerpt~
“Can we be friends again?” he asked.
“So you think we were friends?”
He nodded.
She arched her brows. “And you think you can be friends with me and Amanda at the same time?”
“Why not?”
“Can be a health hazard, what with all the sparks that fly.”
He grinned. “Never mind Amanda’s taunts. She’s like that with everyone.”


“Nefarious?”


“Spiky. But she’s a sweetheart, once you’ve grown on her.”


“I wonder how I could ever accomplish that.” Lena smiled, a speck of sadness still lingering in her eyes.


He stared, mesmerized. He could never get enough of that smile.


A cloud hiding the moon must have shifted, because suddenly silver light poured over the terrace turning it into an enchanted place.


Lena gasped. “What happened to your hand?”


He followed her gaze and saw that the knuckles of his right hand were smeared with blood. Shit. He could bet there’d been none after he punched the wall.


He covered the abrasions with his other hand. “It’s nothing.”


She grabbed his wrist and yanked his hand closer to her face. “Have you disinfected them?”


Rob didn’t register her question. He looked at her delicate fingers holding up his hand. Then at her face. She was squinting at his hand, trying to assess the seriousness of his cuts. Her gesture was devoid of any erotic subtext. And yet the contact of her skin scorched him, just like when he held her hand at L’Espace. It stirred an impulse inside him that was both feverishly raw and infinitely gentle. It made his heart bump against his ribcage as if demanding to get out.


He gazed at her hands holding his. The urge to run his fingertips over her skin, from her nails down to her wrist and then inside her palm was too overwhelming to resist. . .


“So have you?” she asked.


Rob blinked and looked up. “Have I what?”


“Disinfected.”


“It’s just a graze.”


“I have a disinfectant in my suitcase,” she said. “I can fetch it–“


And release my hand? “Stay,” he blurted out. Shit. “I mean, I also brought some, so you don’t need to bother. I’ll disinfect as soon as I get back to my room. I promise.”


“OK,” she said softly and let go of him.

 
~Buying Links~
Amazon.com: Paperback | Kindle Ebook
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~Meet the Author: Alix Nichols~

Alix Nichols is an avid reader of chick lit, romance and fantasy,
caffeine addict and a badge-wearing Mr. Darcy / Colin Firth fan.
 
She lives and works in Paris, France. When not writing, she reads
romance (what else?) and spends time with her family.

Social media links:

 Alix on Goodreads Alix's FB Page  Alix on Pinterest  Alix's Website

 

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-1st Prize: $15 Amazon GC + 1 Ebook of “What If It’s Love?” by Alix Nichols
-Runners-up Prizes: 2 Ebooks of “What If It’s Love?” by Alix Nichols
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-3 copies of “What If It’s Love? by Alix Nichols

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Book Spotlight/ Guardians Inc The Cypher

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Title: Guardians Inc.: The Cypher
Author: Julian Rosado-Machain
Publisher: Julian Rosado-Machain
Pages: 239
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Purchase: Amazon US and Amazon Canada (This is currently available for free)

 

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe are only mythology and fairy tales.The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.

The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future, and to unlock the future they need a Cypher.

This is the first book of the Guardians Inc Series.

PUYB-Meet-the-Author

guardiansincauthor
Julian Rosado-Machain has enjoyed pizza in three continents, worked in graphic design, armored vehicles, built computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears that he has seen at least one ghost.
He lives in San Diego, California. And enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.
His latest book is the YA fantasy adventure, Guardians Inc.: The Cypher.
Visit his website at www.guardiansinc.com.

bookexcerpt

First Chapter:

Vice Principal Killjoy
       Thomas fiddled with his thumbs waiting for his grandfather to emerge from his meeting with Vice Principal “Killjoy” Khanna.
He hadn’t come up with that nickname; it was something he had heard since his first day at Oceanic High School, in Carlsbad, California. It was whispered along the corridors and classrooms with dread, like a monster under the bed. If you did something wrong, Killjoy would get you.
 Even the adults knew about her infamy. Morning drop-offs at school were always a chaotic cutthroat race until Killjoy took command of the school’s entrance. Holding a metal notepad in one hand and a large coffee mug in the other, Killjoy gained control of the drop-off zone. As parents cautiously drove through the parking lot, a mere frown stopped those who wanted to cut in line. A wave of the metal notepad dissuaded those who wanted to drive into the teacher’s parking lot. Her system was very simple: students wouldn’t be admitted to school that day if their parents tried to cut in line. Simple as that.
Killjoy always wore a long overcoat over a buttoned knitted sweater, even in the summer. Her haters compared her to a barrel with legs, but many of the girls were jealous of the wavy black hair that reached her lower back and her thin manicured hands. Nobody had seen her eyes — she always wore huge sunglasses that covered half her face — but it was rumored that her eyes were the blackest black.
She was shorter than the average sophomore girl, so it was easy for her to walk among students undetected during recess, and she was silent too, like a tiger stalking prey. Someone had found out that her shoe size was around 12 or 13, but Killjoy wore rubber-soled shoes and walked in a short step gait.
In those first two weeks, Thomas had been startled three times by her sudden appearance. Only the first time had she acknowledged his presence by nodding her head at him, her chin embedding itself deeply into her large double chin.
That simple nod was enough for an introduction.
There was a story about how Killjoy stopped a speeding SUV by standing in front of it and putting her hand on the grill of the car. The incident happened before Thomas even entered school, and he knew it must have been an exaggeration, but the story went that two days later, the family who was driving the SUV moved from the county.
Or so it was rumored.
Parents avoided her, teachers respected her, and students were completely terrified of her. In a nutshell, the school was completely under Killjoy’s iron grip. The principal seemed happy to be just a figurehead, the school ran like clockwork, and there were no problems between him and Killjoy since Killjoy was always right.
Everyone told Thomas to avoid her, but he was now on her radar.
Thomas shifted in his seat, swinging his legs back and forth. He stared at Killjoy’s closed door. He shivered.  This was his first visit to her office, and since he had just transferred from Ohio, the Killjoy legend hadn’t really sunk in. A boy from his class had called him a “farm boy” in front of a group of girls, and although he had let that one slip by, he couldn’t ignore “hick,” “redneck,” and all the other names that followed. He dropped his backpack and immediately a ring of onlookers gathered.
The other boy, Roger Hill, was large and strong, with blond hair and blue eyes. He was three inches taller than Thomas, and his shoulders were many inches wider. Roger was a linebacker on the school’s football team.
 Thomas was the complete opposite – always on the skinny side, with black hair and brown eyes. But three years in Tae Kwon Do earned him a red belt and third place in Ohio’s junior open. Of course, nobody knew that, and Roger found out the hard way.
Thomas didn’t throw the first punch; he tried to talk first, but when the punches came he made sure to throw the last kick, and then the next one, and the next one, as Roger’s teammates jumped in to help their linebacker. Thomas was in a trance – fighting – and zooming in on one of Roger’s friends when the circle of onlookers opened and Killjoy entered the arena.
With a wave of her notepad, Killjoy dissolved the spectators and assessed the situation. Everyone was silent. Thomas tried to catch his breath.
“You three,” she said in a thick Hindu accent, “to the principal.” Then she turned to Thomas and pointed with her coffee mug. “You, follow me.”
Thomas picked up his backpack and followed the short, plump woman through the school hallways. All the kids looked at him with pity; some even waved goodbye.
With a little kick, Killjoy opened her office door and led Thomas inside. She pointed to a chair across from her desk and waited for him to sit down before plopping in her chair. She intertwined her fingers and leaned over her desk, staring at Thomas.
Thomas tried to keep his cool and held her gaze while he counted in silence. He’d never been prone to get into trouble. He was never singled out for anything other than for his prowess in Tae Kwon Do in Ohio.
In Fulton, a town of roughly eleven thousand people, and a high school with a total two hundred students, everyone was familiar with each other. They’d actually grown up together. His old principal, Mr. Blair, had been to barbecues at his home many times. When someone got into trouble, not only did the parents know about it, within hours, the whole town heard of the news. And, like it or not, your reputation grew up with you — screwing up as a kid, you’d be branded a “bad apple,” and your reputation would follow you forever.
The switch to Carlsbad, a proper city between San Diego and L.A., and a school with about three thousand students, had been difficult. It was harsh and disorienting. It seemed that everyone was trying to be individuals, trying to do something that would set them apart from each other. Clothing, attitude, friends, sports. It was all about who was who. Who did what?  And, who was with whom? Thomas had tried to keep a low profile, but once again, his prowess in Tae Kwon Do had singled him out.
And now he was sitting in front of Killjoy.
When he had counted to twenty Mississippi, Killjoy finally spoke.
“Did you throw the first punch?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Did you entice the fight in any way?”
“Entice?”
“E-N-T-I-C-E. Entice,” she spelled. “To bait, to attract. Did you lure Roger to fight with you?”
“No. They started it.”
“They?”
“Roger and his friends.”
“So you know him?”
“He’s in one of my classes.”
“And you don’t like him.”
“I don’t really know him.”
“You wanted to fight him?”
“No.”
“You wanted to show off in front of the school? Build a little reputation? Show everyone who’s boss.”
“No.”
“No to which question.”
“No to all of them.”
“Show me your hands.”
Thomas paused, and then extended his knuckles.
“Palms up,” Killjoy said leaning forward. He opened his hands and turned up his palms.
Killjoy leaned even closer and lifted her sunglasses. Her eyes weren’t black but light brown, so clear that they were almost yellowish and perfectly delineated with a dark line. If she wasn’t wearing the sunglasses all the time, the girls would surely have another thing to envy. As she stared at his palms, Thomas began to feel a tingling sensation.  He pulled his hands away.
She leaned back in her chair drawing in a deep breath. “Are you afraid of me?” she asked as she reached for her coffee, her nails screeching as she ran them across the mug.
“Should I be?” Thomas asked the way he had answered all of her other questions, immediately, without thinking.
 Yes, she was scary, and she ruled the school with an iron grip, but in all the stories he’d heard, she was portrayed like a righteous but level-headed person. He really wanted to believe that he would get a fair interview with her.
Killjoy smirked. “I ask the same question to every student that sits in that chair. Ninety-nine percent say ‘yes.’ The other one percent, the bold or stupid, depending on how you want to look at it, say ‘no.’ You are the first to ask if you should be afraid.”
She turned her computer screen toward him. “This is your student record. Because of your fight I can suspend you. I can also try to expel you. I can have all the teachers keep tabs on you and let me know when you do something that’ll bring you back to this chair. I could recommend counseling, maybe even a psych evaluation. I could go out of my way and write some college recommendation letters, the kind that hint that maybe you wouldn’t be the best candidate for that school. I could do all that, maybe even a little more. And you know what?”
She stood and filled her coffee mug with a fresh batch from a machine she kept behind her desk. “It wouldn’t matter. This…” she pointed at the screen, “is your record, but it isn’t you. It isn’t what you are or what you can become. No matter what I or anyone else does to help you or bring you down, only you can decide your future. Success or failure is in your hands. You understand all of this?”
Thomas nodded.
“Good,” she said sitting down.  “Because most people your age don’t. That said, the answer is no, you shouldn’t be afraid of me, but you will respect me while you’re in this school. Are we clear?”
“Very clear.”
“Now get out of my chair and I’ll call your grandfather. You’ll wait outside and study.” She took a sip of coffee and turned to the computer screen.
Thomas didn’t know if he needed to apologize, thank her, or ask her what was going to happen next.  He stood up and walked toward the door.
He’d imagined a completely different outcome from the stories he’d heard. He had actually liked his little chat with Killjoy except, of course, that she was calling in his grandpa.
Now that was a conversation he began to dread.
“By the way,” Killjoy said, “for a red belt, you’re twisting your back leg too much on your Dwi sa gi.”
“Excuse me?”
“Your back stance,” Killjoy said without looking at him. “If Roger had known a little Tae Kwon Do, or any other martial art, he would have blocked your side kick and you’d have ended up on the floor. You need to work on your side-raising kick too.”
It was almost word-for-word what his Master in Ohio had told him to work on before he left for California.
“Thanks,” he said. “I will.” And she waved him away with the mug.
Thomas sat down outside of her office to study, but all he could think about was his chat with Killjoy.  How did she know that he practiced Tae Kwon Do, and how could she have guessed that he was a red belt?
It took Thomas’s grandfather four hours before he arrived. The school was almost empty when Morgan Byrne entered through the office doors. Thomas felt the full intensity of his grandfather’s glare, even behind his thick, coke-bottle glasses. As his grandfather walked toward him, Thomas felt his body shrink. He had seen that glare before. He closed his notepad and got ready for the lecture that was sure to come. His grandfather’s limp was more noticeable when he walked at a brisker pace, and the way he nodded was an even worse sign of things to come.
Morgan Byrne had big hands, and at seventy-two he was an imposing man. He still had a full head of hair, although it had gone completely white. The diabetes and mild arthritis had only begun to dent his stamina, but he still exercised every morning and tried to get Thomas to exercise with him as much as he could.
“Tom.” His grandfather lifted a finger from his clenched fist, but before he could say another word, Killjoy opened the door to her office.
“Mr. Byrne,” she said extending a hand. “I’m Vice Principal Khanna. Before you take Thomas home I need to speak with you.”
Morgan shook Killjoy’s hand, flashed Thomas a final glare, and disappeared into the office.
Thomas’s guts twisted into a knot, and he locked his hands in between his knees. He involuntarily began to rock back and forth. A chat session between Killjoy and Grandpa could very well mean a whole new level of grounding.  He tried to listen to the conversation through the door, but he only heard muffled voices.
Grandpa raised his voice, then Killjoy, then Grandpa again, followed by a long stream of words from Killjoy.  Then a long silence, then… laughter?
Were they really laughing in there?
The door flung open. His grandfather walked out of Killjoy’s office with a smile. He turned and waved at Killjoy.
Thomas stopped rocking and drew in a long breath. His grandfather didn’t seem as angry as he thought.
 But, Thomas’s relief was short-lived as Grandpa’s smile slowly turned into a grimace.
“To the car, Tom,” his grandfather snapped. Not another word was spoken until they reached the parking lot.
“I tried to talk it out first,” Thomas began when they reached the car.
“Inside.” Morgan opened the door and closed it very gently. The car was his most prized possession: a black 1959 Chevrolet Impala that had been in and out of his garage only a couple of times since he’d bought it.
Thomas had heard all the car stories more than once. It was his grandfather’s pride and joy, his first car, bought with the labor of his teenage years and his first check from the Marines. The car that wooed his grandmother; the car his dad first learned to drive; the car Thomas’s parents used on their first date.
The car had been as special for his parents as it was for Grandpa and, had they not disappeared, it would already be theirs.
“I was furious with you, Tom.” Morgan buckled his seatbelt. “You got into a fight two weeks after I finally became your legal guardian. Really? Don’t you remember how difficult it was? All the hurdles and hoops? What would those people at the board say if they knew about this fight?”
“I tried to talk first, Gramps, I’m sorry.”
“Well,” his grandfather pursed his lips and turned on the ignition. “You should be. Let’s go.”
As they drove away, Thomas saw Killjoy leaving the school and, for a second, he thought she smiled at him.
“So,” Thomas asked once they pulled out from the school driveway. “We’re good? You’re not mad?”
“Oh no, I said I was furious.” Grandpa turned on the radio to one of his sixties stations. Bob Dylan was asking once again how it felt to be a rolling stone. Grandpa immediately joined in with the rhythm, tapping on the wheel with his hand.
 “Until Miss Khanna told me that you beat up three kids today and…” he slapped the wheel and mouthed the words of the last chorus.
  “And?” Thomas asked. He swallowed a lump in his throat.
“And I told her that three against one wasn’t my idea of a fair fight, especially since they are older than you. Aren’t they?”
“Well, yeah. But just by a year. They’re juniors.”
“Do you go beating up freshmen?”
“No.”
“Well, there you go. You didn’t start the fight, did you?”
Thomas lifted up his hands. “No, I swear I didn’t.”
“But you did finish it and I can’t get mad at you because you defended yourself. I told Miss Khanna that only cowards gang up on someone and that I expected the parents of those kids to give us a call to apologize.”
“Really?” Thomas was sure that if Killjoy called the parents of Roger and company, his social life at school was over before it even got started. “And what did she say?”
“That you’re suspended for a week without it going on your permanent record. To keep appearances.” Grandpa turned the radio dial; The Rolling Stones were  playing Sympathy for the devil.  “Those boys belong to the school’s football team, one is the running back. He had a big game this weekend that he’s not going to play, and if they lose and she doesn’t punish you somehow, well, I’m sure you know just how popular you would have become. Nice going champ. Good way to make friends.”
“But is she calling their parents or not?” It was great that Killjoy wouldn’t put the fight on his record, but she could still destroy his social life with that call.

“Of course she will.” Grandpa parked inside of their garage. “But, to tell their parents that they beat you up, and that they have extra duties at the school for a month.” He looked at Thomas and winked. “She also has her Killjoy reputation to keep, you know?”

Book Spotlight/ Project Lexi

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Title – Project Lexi
Series – The Lexi Series
Author – Lisa Survillas
Genre – NA/Contemporary Romance
Publication Date – June 19, 2014
Publisher – Lisa Survillas
Cover Artist – Cover design by Kimberly Knight
Photographs for cover – Geanette Trumbull of www.TLCbyG.com

 

Project Lexi - Cover

 

 

Book Blurb/Synopsis

Lexi Crandall’s, world is turned upside down junior year of high school. Her confession tears her family apart and leaves them broken. Looking for escape, she heads out of town for college. Wracked with guilt and shame, she keeps to herself, befriending only her roommate, Paige.

Derek Fressen experiences one tragedy after another. After learning to cope with being raised by a single mom, he and his sister, Tiffany, become closer than ever. When Tiffany escapes Seattle for college, Derek takes the opportunity to leave his past behind as well.

San Francisco State University is where Lexi and Derek find themselves junior year, thrown into the most uncomfortable situation possible, a group project that requires each to open up about their past. Their grade depends upon the ability to prove to the professor through a class presentation that they truly learned about one another.

Painful memories and terrifying tests of courage propel Lexi to learn how to take baby steps in the healing process and give her hope of one day feeling normal. Although he feels he’s pretty well healed from the horrible events of his past, Derek is lonely and longing for a life of more. Will they be able to share enough of their lives with each other to pass this class? How much will Lexi let Derek help her in the process? Are their tragic pasts too much to overcome, or will love be in their future?

 

BUY & TBR LINKS

Amazon USAmazon CAAmazon UKBarnes & Noble NookiTunesGoodreads

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EXCERPT

I can’t get her to look at me, I think she’s ashamed that she has no experience to go with. When I’m finally begging, she looks up and I can’t help it. She looks so lost, so sad. I know that she just needs the courage, but how will she ever find it if she doesn’t know what the reward is like? So I lean over, I place my hand on her cheek, and my lips on hers. She doesn’t freak out, so I use my tongue to entice her. I run it along her lower lip. I feel her breathing pick up and I’m nervous she’ll push me away, but when she doesn’t I try to coax her lips apart so I can really kiss her. When she opens them, her tongue meets mine and I have to keep repeating to myself, “Slow, slow, slow,” or my body might take over and try to push her past her limits. She’s not ready for more than this.

I don’t let myself linger too long. I would love to kiss her all night, but she needs baby steps. I need to give her that or this won’t work. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself, but I should’ve made sure it was okay first.” I say it knowing that she needed the surprise of it or it would’ve never happened.

Her response takes me by surprise, “Don’t. Be. Sorry.” She is breathing hard and can’t form a sentence. I love it. That means she loved it. When she brings her hand up to touch her lips, I know I can make this better for her. I stop her hand with mine and leaving the other on her cheek, I lean back in for a deeper kiss. She responds immediately. I make this one longer, but not much. This time when I pull back, we are both panting for air.

“Wow.” A simple statement from her confirming that she liked it.

 

Project Lexi Teaser 5

 

 

 

Project Lexi - Author Photo

 

AUTHOR BIO

I’m Lisa. I live in sunny southern California with my wonderful husband and two teenage children. Hubbyis a high school PE teacher and is the coach of three different high school sports. With two kids in high school and involved in activities both inside and outside of school, I have a lot to juggle. When home, I lock myself inside the office to write. I’ve always loved to write, but life always seemed to be too busy. When inspiration finally hit, I made the most of the time hubby and kids were busy and published my first book in February 2014. It’s a teen/young adult book and the first in a series. I’m currently working on a New Adult/Contemporary Romance series with the first book due out end of June 2014. Be on the look-out for more.

 

STALKER LINKS

Amazon Author PageWebsite/BlogFacebookTwitterGoodreads

 

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GIVEAWAY PRIZES

$5.00 amazon gift card
e-book
keychain
postcard – signed
bookmark – signed

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Book Spotlight/ Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

 

 

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia

 

Category: Non-fiction

 

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages

 

Publisher: Cardinal Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2012

 

Amazon.ca * Cardinal Publishing * Amazon.com

 

 

Try One of the Recipes!

 

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci

 

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts

 

 

  Ingredienti For filling:
1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil 2 shallots, finely chopped ¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped ½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives 2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices
  For chicken: 6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil 6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened 1 orange, cut into wedges 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half 5 bay leaves
To serve: Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange Preparazione Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now. To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper. Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices. Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

 

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips) The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’è? (what is it?) I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out. To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

Meet the Author

Maria Loggia is one of Montreal’s best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy’s regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

 

An Interview with Maria Loggia

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

 

 

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Book Spotlight/ Renewal “Anytime” 10 Day Detox

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About the Author
Lisa Consiglio Ryan is the founder of Whole Health Designs, juicy clean living advocate and mama of two. She loves her yoga practice, running, and has a mission to spread the word, “Food is love.” She provides detox programs and private coaching for women who desire to embrace clean living.

As a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach, Lisa has worked with thousands in her Renewal 10 Day Detox programs. Her work has been featured in Fitness Magazine, TinyBuddha, Elephant Journal, Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life, The Daily Meal, and Mind Body Green. You can also check out Lisa’s new membership program, Clean + Sexy 2014 (year-long detox + community) Kickin’ It Clean gluten-free meal plans for plant lovers and Juice Shop. Lisa is leading a wellness retreat in Costa Rica this July: Clean + Sexy Wellness Retreat.

Her latest book is the health/wellness/cookbook, Renewal “Anytime” 10 Day Detox.

For More Information
Visit Lisa Consiglio Ryan’s website.
• Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit Lisa’s blog.
Find out about her private coaching here.
Contact Lisa.

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About the Book:

Lose weight, energize, and glow with over 50 recipes and complete 10 day detox plan. This whole foods cleanse includes detailed menu plan, shopping list, and bonus recipes to make after your cleanse. Renewal “Anytime” also includes pre-detox plan, daily instructions, FAQ’s, and post-detox next steps.

For More Information
• Renewal “Anytime” 10 Day Detox is available at Amazon.
• Download your copy at iTunes.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Title: Renewal “Anytime” 10 Day Detox
Author: Lisa Consiglio Ryan
Publisher: Lisa Consiglio Ryan
Pages: 118
Genre: Health/Wellness/Cookbook
Format: Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Lose weight, energize, and glow with over 50 recipes and complete 10 day detox plan. This whole foods cleanse includes detailed menu plan, shopping list, and bonus recipes to make after your cleanse. Renewal “Anytime” also includes pre-detox plan, daily instructions, FAQ’s, and post-detox next steps.

bookexcerpt
Welcome!

Are you ready to get your detox on? I have so many exciting things in store for you. If you need a quick pick-me-up after vacation or a binge weekend, Renewal “Anytime” is a perfect body reboot. You can also use this detox if you need to look and feel good fast for a wedding, reunion, or big event. Before you embark on your detox journey, I want to talk about the word BALANCE. Ahhhh, balance.

You are told to strive for balance in your life. In my opinion, that’s pretty difficult to accomplish. As humans, we have so many outside sources that can get us out of whack with life. New job, moving, marriage, trips, environmental toxins… Since you can’t control every single thing in your life, you can, however, control what you put into our body and how you deal with stress.

That’s why I developed Renewal “Anytime” 10 Day Detox. Think of this plan as a clean living jumpstart. You will start with eating clean, whole foods. You will also incorporate exercise, breathing, and even dry brushing and massage. So let’s call it a re-balance. This is something you can do when you start to feel “off”, overwhelmed or even heavy and tired. Our bodies do, however, strive for balance to keep us in optimum health; physically, mentally, emotionally, within seasons, nature, and even with each other.

Physically, your blood needs to be at a pH level of 7.365. Did you ever hear of acidity and alkaline? Maybe in a biology class way back? I don’t want to go into a science lesson, but instead, I want to point out something extremely important; your body loves you. Your body works hard to keep you alive. When we become acidic over time due to consuming a lot of caffeine, sugar and processed foods, being exposed to environmental toxins like pesticides, and most of all stress, this leads to inflammation.

Inflammation leads to chronic disease.

Not good. We don’t want any of that. So doing a gentle cleanse is a great way to re-balance by pumping the alkaline foods such as dark leafy greens, veggies and fruits and taking some “me” time.

Managing stress is also a way to help the body re-balance. Try yoga, meditation, or breathing. While eating lunch, try sitting still for 5 minutes without the TV on, texting, or reading a magazine. Your body is striving for balance so make sure to participate in activities that are relaxing and soulful; alkaline activities.

While your body is working to keep you healthy, make sure to get a re-balance once in awhile to help her out. Take out this plan after your cleanse; use the recipes, tips and give your body a reboot each season or when you need a healthy jumpstart. Remember that having perfect balance isn’t really doable, but you can get pretty darn close by following the steps in this plan.

I’m so excited to be on this wellness journey with you. Have an amazing detox experience and keep in mind this is not about perfection but about getting a chance to RE-BALANCE.

Pre- Cleansing Instructions:
Here’s your action plan for a successful detox:
1. Set a goal or intention. Before you begin your detox, write down a few things you hope to achieve during your 10 days. You can reference your goals when your enthusiasm occasionally dips.

2. Prepare your loved ones. Your family, friends, even coworkers (especially those you eat meals with) should know how important the detox is to you. Ask for their support.

3. Invite a friend to join in on the fun. Even the most motivated person can derail without support. Doing the detox with a partner means you can encourage each other, trade meals, or even chat about daily progress. It’s nice to have someone to commiserate with when you miss that chocolate!

4. Start weaning off the following:

* Caffeine
* Sugar
* Processed foods
* Gluten
* Alcohol
* Soy
* Dairy

First, start weaning with caffeine and sugar. They are drugs I tell you! Plus your first few days of detox will be extremely difficult if you don’t start weaning at least 2-3 days beforehand.

For caffeine, limit your use. For example, if you drink 3 Diet Cokes a day; try for 1 and replace with water or an herbal tea. If you drink 4 cups of coffee, just drink 2, then half caf/half decaf.

For sugar, limit processed foods as much as possible. Artificial and added sugars hide out in boxed and bagged products. Also, try using natural sweeteners like stevia or raw honey until your detox starts.

Next, limit any processed foods, gluten, soy, dairy and alcohol during the pre-cleansing process. That way you can ease into your detox without shocking your system.

5. Clean out your fridge. Get rid of any old produce, leftovers, and any foods that don’t fit into the detox plan. Make room for all the gorgeous veggies, fruits and greens. I promise when you open up the door, you will see beauty!

6. Check your detox shopping list and look in your pantry for items you already have on hand. Make sure you have these basics:
* filtered water
* fresh lemons (for morning water especially)
* extra virgin olive oil
* raw apple cider vinegar ( I use this daily…fights any illness I swear!)
* sea salt- preferably Celtic
* organic pepper
* an assortment of fresh herbs
* spices (to jazz up any grain or veggie)

6. Get yourself a detox prezzie. Invest in something that will make your 10 days more comfortable and fun. I bought a pretty bowl for my salads and a gorgeous crystal-looking glass for my juices. What about a cool travel lunch bag or cooler to tote around all your detox goodies? Funky placemats to use for your meals? How can you feel special during these 10 days? This is the most important step…ready?

7. Please use these 10 days to take care of YOU. Tell your family and friends that you are taking time for yourself so that they know to either help out with meals or give you some alone time at night. Make sure to limit stress as much as possible. Also, your food is so connected to your thoughts. Cherish each bite and take time to breathe and be still.

This is a time of connection: your body, mind, and spirit.

I’m so happy to be cleansing with you!
Renewal “Anytime” Detox…How It Works
Renewal “Anytime” Detox is for 10 days…10 days of discovering new things about your body. How glorious!

Here’s how it works:
1. Read this entire book, cover to cover, before you head to the grocery store.

2. Check your pantry. Do you have leftover quinoa or a spices that can be used for the cleanse? Don’t go and buy extra items. Stick to the list, especially if you have a budget. You might have some of the ingredients hanging out in your cupboard or fridge.
*Most items can be found at a natural food store. Just ask anyone in the produce section or bulk section for items you are looking for. Don’t take a lot of time searching for items. Ask for help.
*I like to buy my grains like quinoa in the bulk section of the grocery store; saves me a little cash plus I can get the right amount I need for a recipe.

3. Make sure to follow the Daily Practices such as breathing and dry brushing so you have an overall holistic experience with your detox.

4. Journal during your cleanse to jot down feelings, observations, etc… This is a nice way to get to know your body better and make that body-mind connection even stronger.

5. Use the “Return to Life” section of this book to ease back after detox. Make sure to focus on what foods you don’t need or just want to introduce slowly.

This packet can guide you towards a plan afterwards. As you know, each person is uniquely different, so customize your next steps per your body, schedule, and lifestyle.

6.Use the BONUS recipes after your detox to keep the glow going. These recipes will also help you ease back into “regular life” without shocking your system.

Questions about detox…
Detox can be an amazing experience, but knowing the ins and outs of the process is so beneficial to a successful cleanse.

These questions have been compiled during my work with thousands of clients. You might be asking yourself some of these questions as you embark on this clean living adventure. Make sure to refer to this section before you start your detox – and during – if concerns come up.