Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review of Mate Claimed by Jennifer Ashley

Blurb: Collared and controlled, Shifters are outcast from humanity, forced to live in Shiftertowns. But waiting within are passions that no Collar can contain…

As a wildcat Shifter and leader of his Shiftertown, Eric Warden knows his own kind. When he sees Iona Duncan, he realizes that although she appears human, she is a half-Shifter wildcat living without a Collar—and that if she doesn't acknowledge her true nature and her mating hunger, it may kill her…

Iona finds the mysterious and powerful Eric alluring, even though she has vowed never to reveal her Shifter side, lest her mother pay the price for hiding her all these years. But her mating hunger is rising, and with Eric so close, she may not be able to resist…and her desire may lead to the very doom they are fighting to deny…

Review: I have to start by saying, I don't think I've ever read a Jennifer Ashley book and have been disappointed with her heroes. To be honest with you, the heroines have never disappointed either. 

She's definitely become of my top authors. In every book I've read, I've fallen in love with her characters. Of course, Mate Claimed was no different. Of course, I could kick myself for waiting so long to read it. Not that I didn't preorder it when it was available, just haven't had the time to read much lately. I'm sure you guys know how that goes. 

At any rate, I really enjoyed this book and reading more about the Las Vegas Shiftertown. She also brought in more characters that I am just dying to read about next, such as Tiger and Graham. 

I love the world she's created in her Shifters Unbound series. The family dynamic is close and they each rely on one another. They definitely embrace each member of their close-knit family with welcome arms. Something I also liked about this book and the previous, Wildcat, they main characters were previously mated and lost their mates. Even though they found new mates, they didn't totally forget about their lost ones, but they didn't live in their pasts, allowing it to create conflict in their new relationships. They accepted the "then" and "now". 

Eric Warden was no different from her other heroes, in that, he kicks ass when he needs to, but he is so loving and possessive of Iona. The sexual tension is fantastic between Eric and Iona. He's not pushy and allows her time to accept their connection. And when she does, I love that she's just as possessive and protective of him. Gotta love a strong heroine paired with a strong, alpha male.

Where, oh where, is my Jennifer Ashley hero. *Le Sigh* So, now I'm just hanging around until Tiger Magic comes out in June. 

I'm just saying, if you haven't read any of the Shifters Unbound series yet, now would be a good time to go ahead and check those out. 

Available for purchase atAmazon

Be sure to visit Jennifer at: Website 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Release Day to you, Bobbi Romans!

A member of my critique group has a new release today! Congratulations to you, Bobbi Romans. Wishing you many, many sales. :) I'll be sure to pick up my own copy of Swamp Magic. By the way, that cover is pretty rocking.

Blurb: Deep in the muggy swamps where there is but one rule, kill or be killed, a new species has emerged - born not from nature but spawned from evil.

Octavia wasn’t stupid. Those unfortunate souls who have crossed paths with her didn’t just become swamp creatures, they became the least deadly of them. She hadn’t counted on the strong spirits of those she’d cursed.

From those murky swamp depths, a hero emerged. The type from which legends are born.

Moss, whose sensual iridescent tattoos are in fact thanks to his reptilian side, still struggles to come to terms with his fate and wants nothing more than to be left alone.

Beth’s life becomes upturned when she reluctantly agrees to accompany her idiotic brother on a hunt for the Bog Man. When she becomes separated from the others she comes face to face with the legend himself . . . only no one ever mentioned how damn sexy he was.

The swamp’s dark history tests the duo on their survival skills as well as luring them deeper into the magic of the swamp.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Available at: Amazon

Be sure to stop by and send Congrats to Bobbi at: Website

How about a couple Freebies?

So, I just happened to be trolling through kindle releases on Amazon and saw a few noteworthy books marked under a free promotion period. I just had to mention some of them.

1. Up first, we have Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice. Now, there's just something about this author that makes me love her. Her heroes are a bit more crass and all alpha male-ish, but for some reason, I love it. If you haven't read this yet, be sure to pick up your own copy while it's free. It's more of a romantic suspense/erotica type genre.

Listed for free here ---> Amazon

2. Now, I haven't read this particular book, but I have a few novels by Marsha Canham. I've picked this one up to read because I enjoyed all her other books I've read. If you're into historical romance, grab your copy. :)

Listed for free here ---> Amazon

3. I've just started reading one of Danelle Harmon's books and I love it so far. So here's another historical romance for you. 

Listed for free here ---> Amazon

4. I haven't read this particular book yet, but I have read a trilogy by this author that I really enjoyed. So, I picked this one up to try out as well. Her books are romantic suspense.

Listed for free here ---> Amazon

5. Right, so another historical romance. Ha, I love those. Sorry 'bout it. I love Claire Delacroix. I remember reading The Warrior a few years ago and falling in love with that book. So, here's a book to pick up for free. :)

Listed for free here ---> Amazon

Alright, lovelies. That's all I have for the moment, but never fear, I'm sure I'll be back with more. In the meantime, grab yourselves a few great, free books while they're available. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ha, gotcha!

So writing is tough, I think any writer knows that. But, is there ever a time when you begin to wonder if you should just hang it all up and be done with the headaches?

I suppose I should insert this preamble. I realize my writing isn't "poor" per se. Through hard work, devouring critique partners' advice, consuming numerous articles, posts, books on the craft, I've created a solid foundation for a novel.

But, come on, a foundation just isn't enough for a decent novel, which brings me to my point. How long do you struggle to just "get" it and attempt to make it work, always feeling that some essential element is missing? Your "beast of burden", a.k.a. novel, is as weary and drained as you are. Of course, you know the saying, "You can't flog a dead horse." So, do you pack it in and call it a day?

Then along comes a baby...

On the cusp of defeat, the epiphany I've awaited for ages FINALLY decided to pop by for tea yesterday. With that said, apparently my struggle has taken nearly a year.

I'm now in possession of that one critical component that has eluded me for so long. So to sum up this whole weirdo post, GOTCHA!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Interview with Sara Walter Ellwood

Today I'm happy to have Sara Walter Ellwood stop by for a visit. Recently, I had a chance to read Gambling on a Secret and I loved it. So I was tickled to have Sara drop in. :)

Melissa: So I'll start by asking if you can you tell the readers a bit about yourself? Perhaps something we might not know about you?

Sara: Thank you, Melissa, for having me today and for the wonderful review! 

Emm... You know after you do so many of these reviews, this question is the hardest! How about I give you seven words that I’d use to describe myself?

Loyal. Dependable. Determined. Gardner. Wife. Mother. Faithful.

How’s that for different? Because I really hate repeating my bio....LOL.

Melissa: That'll work and that's understandable as well. Hmm, perhaps I'll have to rethink that question. :) So, you also write under another name, Cera Dubois, right? And paranormal romance to boot? How on earth do you have so many great idea for novels popping up in your mind?

Sara: Yes, I’m published under the pen name Cera duBois. I’ve actually written a lot of different things. I originally tried to be a historical author. It made sense since my first career was as a high school social studies teacher. But then, I started writing Star Wars fan fiction for fun. I still have an idea for a science fiction romance tucked away in the cobwebs of my mind. I’ve been a little hesitant to write it because it goes against my beliefs in where we’ve come from... The title is Back to Eden. And I don’t mean the Garden of Eden, but the planet... Let’s just leave it there.

I got into vampires after reading the Twilight series. And A Hunter’s Angel demanded to be written. Then I came up with the book that eventually became Heartstrings, my upcoming April release. The hero is a country star and it just made sense that he’d be from Texas. So, I started writing, and that was my first contemporary western.

I get ideas from everywhere. Songs, situations, the news, a line in a book, anything.

Melissa: Now you can be honest with me… Any plans to write about a cowboy vampire soon?

Sara: LOL! Actually, I kinda did. Austin Calhoun in A Hunter’s Blade is a former FBI agent from Texas and a new vampire, who is also a hunter. He buys a Colorado ranch and pretends to be a cowboy/rancher in order to catch a feisty werewolf saloon owner who might be killing humans in the small ranching town of Silver Creek.

Melissa: Well deuce! (Now would be a good time to mention to you readers, I ran off to pick up my own copy of A Hunter's Angel.) So how did you come up with the idea of your new contemporary release, Gambling on a Secret? And what made you tackle certain issues in the book such as alcohol abuse?

Sara: You are so not going to believe this—unless, of course, you’ve been following my book tour...LOL

In the summer of 2009, a yellow (or tiger) swallowtail butterfly laid eggs on some parsley I had planted in a pot on my front porch. One of the caterpillars survived long enough to form a cocoon. About 2 weeks later, it hatched, and by total fluke (because I almost never water my plants in the morning) I was out there watering one Sunday morning and watched it hatch. The story came to me while my kids and I witnessed that beautiful butterfly come out of its ugly shell.

The issues I tackle in the book kinda evolved as I wrote the book. For my metaphor—as Charli puts it in the book: the ugly worm becoming a beautiful butterfly—to work, I needed something in their lives to be ugly so that the beauty of change could shine through. Dylan’s past/present was actually easy for me. I work in an Army clinic, and I’ve sat through enough training sessions on PTSD to know its symptoms and manifestations. Alcohol abuse is just one of the ways someone with PTSD deals with the pain.

The other major issue I deal with is Charli’s life as a drug addict runaway living with an abusive gang leader/pimp. I’ve done a lot of research on this as I wrote her character, and I tried to keep it as honest as I could, and still stay within the accepted trope of what makes a romance heroine. By the time the book opens, she’s done a lot of healing, but she still has to learn to trust her gut when it comes to men—Sometimes the wrong man is the right one and the supposed right one is not so good.

Melissa: That's an awesome story. Yeah, I never get great ideas like that. Kudos to you for being able to pull a wonderful story out of butterfly eggs on parsley! :) Who knew? Maybe, I should watch the herb box more often now. So which character came to you first, Charli or Dylan?

Sara: Charli. As I watched that butterfly come out if its cocoon, she popped into my head as clear as if I’d known her all my life. Dylan soon followed and I knew they were perfect for each other.

Melissa: They really are! Come now, you don’t have to play coy with me. Please tell me you have plans to write a happily ever after for Zack and Tracy.

Sara: Oh, you’ll be happy to know it’s already in the works. Their story tentatively is set for release in September. Gambling On A Heart is book 2. Altogether, there will be 6 books in this series.

Melissa: I am happy to hear this! I'm a sucker for secondary characters. Can't explain it. :) Can you share one of your favorite excerpts from Gambling on a Secret with us? And why is it one of your favorites?

Sara: This comes from Chapter 6. I’ll admit what makes this my favorite scene (at least one that I can share without giving too much of the story away) is Dylan’s dialogue. I just love him.

Excerpt: "They left the shop and headed to a German pub he had frequented while stationed at Fort Hood. Over their meals of Bratwurst sandwiches and sauerkraut, he couldn’t hold back voicing what had bothered him ever since his cousin started working on the ranch. “Kyle seems interested in you.”

Charli set her sandwich on the plate and wiped her mouth with a paper napkin. The action drew him in like a fly to honey. What wouldn’t he do to feel those lips under his? The possibility sent a jolt straight through him.

“I would never date a man like Kyle McPherson.”

He raised a brow. “Why not? As far as I know, he’s not gay, and the girls in town seem to think he’s good-looking.”

She shrugged and sipped her sweet tea. “I don’t like men my own age.”

A terrible wicked hope burned into his heart. Hell, he was only thirty-six, and that wasn’t ancient. “Okay” was the only response he could muster.

Grinning, she gazed at him with eyes so blue-green they were like the ocean, forbidding and inviting at the same time. “I like older men. I find guys my own age to be complete immature idiots.”

She looked away, leaving him hanging somewhere between drowning in the pools of her eyes and floundering in midair.

He crashed down when he realized he wasn’t the only older man in her life. Leon might be forty-two to her twenty-four, but morals didn’t matter to him. Moreover, the lack of financial security and fear of a broken heart didn’t hold that old bastard back. “What about Leon?”

“I appreciate everything he’s done for me.” Charli picked at the sauerkraut on her plate. “I just wish he’d stop bringing me gifts every time he visits. I love the flowers, but I never have anything to repay him with.”

The instant fire climbing his neck had him breathing hard and his gut turning cold. He growled at the image of her and Leon together. “I can tell you what he wants.”

She put her fork on the plate and narrowed her cat-like eyes at him. “You aren’t going to insist he wants my land again, are you?”

He shook his head and unlocked his jaw. Picking up his glass of cola to keep from fisting his hand, he kept his tone as blase as he could. “Not at all. I’d say first he wants you in the sack as naked as the day you were born.”

Her mouth fell open and she spread her hands over the tabletop. “That is the most vulgar thing you’ve ever said to me. Whatever happened to the officer and a gentleman attitude among you military types? Because no Texas gentleman would ever speak to a woman that way.”

“First of all, I’m not a ‘military type.’ Second, I never proclaimed to be a gentleman of any kind. I just like the facts straight up. There’s no bullshit to wade through to get to the truth.”

Charli looked out the window beside them and jutted her chin a notch. “Sounds like you’re just a jerk to me.”

“You don’t think it’s true?” After taking a much-needed gulp of his soda, he set the glass down with a thud. “Fine, in nicer language here’s what I think. Leon wants you. He’s wooing you, and you’re falling for his crap hook, line, and sinker. And once you’re reeled in, he’ll take that land and leave you high and dry.”

“I’m not falling for anyone’s ‘crap’ because I’ve sworn off men after my last disastrous relationship.”

What happened to you?

She changed the subject and asked about her bathroom remodel. Good move. He was starting to act like a jealous jackass."

Melissa: Ha, I liked that excerpt too! Dylan doesn't really hold back what's on his mind. Now, I believe I read you live in Pennsylvania, right? I was a bit curious if you had grown up on a ranch or might ride horses frequently? You seemed to nail the ranch life to a tee.

Sara: Yes, I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Really? You think I nailed ranch life? D’Ann, you hear that? LOL, I have a secret weapon—I mean critique partner. The great and totally awesome D’Ann Lindun. She taught me so much while working through my first three westerns. But I did grow up on a small farm in the Appalachian Mountains, so I understand farm life, and I think that’s why I can capture ranch life.

Oh, and riding horses? I had the pleasure of riding my first horse this past summer—and I’m 43...

What’s that saying? Write what you know? Obviously, my muse hasn’t heard that rule before.

Melissa: Ha! D'Ann is an awesome lady and writer. Love her books. :) So what’s currently in the works for you? Will we be seeing more releases this year from Sara or Cera?

Sara: I have 4 books releasing in 2013. Book 2 of my Hunter’s Dagger series, A Hunter’s Blade (Cera duBois, The Wild Rose Press) officially released on January 2. Heartstrings (Sara Walter Ellwood, Lyrical Press) releases April 1. And tentatively, Gambling On A Heart, book 2 of the Colton Gamblers will release in September.

Hopefully, I’ll have book 3 of the series, Gambling On A Dream done early enough this year for a winter release. But don’t hold me to it!

Melissa: Wow! Busy lady! Well I look forward to reading every one of them. Thank you so much for dropping by today, Sara. I wish you tons of success with all your books.

Blurb: When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?

Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.

Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.

When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

CONTENT WARNING: Details abuse of a minor, drug abuse, alcoholism, swearing, spicy sex, murder.

COVER QUOTE: “Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Just a Cowboy and His Baby.
Ms. Brown also named Gambling On A Secret as one of her favorite romance reads in 2012 in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today.

Excerpt: “Ferguson, what are you doing here?” Dylan barked.
Leon ambled toward them on the stone path. “I’m saving a young maiden from torment. What are you doing here, playing the part of the devil?”
“I’m Miss Monroe’s new manager.” The deadly edge of his voice matched the flintiness of his eyes. “If there’s anyone to save the young maiden from, it’s you.”
“Mr. Quinn, please.” She turned to Leon. “Leon, is there something I can do for you?”
He smiled, showing off perfect white teeth in a face handsome enough to belong to an actor. “I was just passing by on my way home and decided to stop. How are the boys working out?”
Dylan’s stance widened and his hands flexed at his slides. “What boys?”
“Charli and I have entered into a business arrangement.”
She lost the battle with the urge to wrap her arms around herself. As much as she appreciated Leon’s kindness, respected him, and was even a little attracted to him, something about him didn’t sit right with her. He represented her peers in the community. According to Mrs. Pratt, besides the Cartwrights, she and Leon were undoubtedly the wealthiest residents in the county. No one in Colton could learn about her past. It would ruin her, and Leon, no doubt, had the means to dig up the dirt.
“Really?” Dylan stepped closer to her in a protective manner. Whiskey tainted his breath as the warmth of the exhalations tickled her cheek. “What kind of business arrangement?”
She could protect herself. Dylan Quinn wasn’t any safer than Leon Ferguson. Stepping away from him, she forced her arms to her sides. “Mr. Quinn, I can handle this.”
She faced Leon. “I’m amazed by how much the men got done since starting on Monday. The foreman told me last evening they’d be reseeding another fifty acres for hay this morning. And they have the corrals fixed and started on the fencing in the north pasture.”
“Good, good.” He glanced at Dylan. “I’ll be going, unless you need a more reliable exterminator. I couldn’t help but overhear about your snake infestation. I can give you the name of the company that has gotten rid of the snakes in our lakes over on Oak Springs for years.”
Although he presented the perfect solution, she didn’t the like way Leon had looked at Dylan as he said the word exterminator. “No, Mr. Quinn is quite capable of getting rid of the snake.”
“Oh, I’m sure he is.” Leon tipped his hat. “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you, Charli.” Dylan’s jaw tightened as his uncle glanced at him. “It’s good to see you up among the living again.”
Leon headed back to his Porsche. With no pretense of lowering his voice, Dylan said, “Now, there’s a snake no one wants in their garden.” Upon hearing the jibe, Leon’s shoulders jerked in mid-stride.
Rattled by Leon’s attention and the snake fiasco, she turned on Dylan. “You aren’t off the hook. I want those snakes gone.”
“We’ll see.”
“I hate snakes.” She shuddered and put her hands on her hips. “Maybe I should have asked him who the exterminator is.”

My Review: Now anyone that knows me and what I like to review, you might have noticed I tend to stick with the books I really enjoy. So typically I’m a bit leery of reviewing anything that comes as an ARC or request. But I confess, I took a gamble and it paid off. I thoroughly enjoyed Gambling on a Secret.

You guys might have also figured out, there usually are certain reasons why I will like/love certain books. Of course, that could be why I like so many. :)

Nonetheless, I have to point out some of the things that made me love this particular book.

First, the time lapse. Why you might think that’s odd to say, it was well done in my opinion. You didn’t get the “one month later” effect. It was woven into the story, so there wasn’t a dramatic shift in time that would throw the reader off. For me, that took the story a long way, because the hero and heroine needed the time for their relationship to sprout and grow. I like that the author gave our couple time to work through their issues and the time to fall in love realistically.

Second, I don’t believe I encountered a single “lull” at all. The entire book pulled me in from start to the very finish, maintaining a steady, constant pace that continually had me flipping pages to find out what was going to happen next. And now is a good time to point out, the story was cleanly written and well delivered, while the plot was attention-grabbing.

Lastly, the characters and their flaws. I’ve already mentioned the time lapsing in the story. That played a big part for me because it made these two characters’ relationship work. They both had to have the time in order to get around their own pasts and work toward their future. Charli and Dylan both had their own flaws but that just made them more endearing to me. It made them more real and made me sympathize with them and their struggles all the more. I actually really loved Charli and how she turned her life around. And I loved Dylan as well, though he could be a jerk when he wanted, but tell me a man that isn’t. :) In my opinion, these two were well suited for each other. And I think it’s through their flaws that they could find growth, appreciate each other, and reach their happily ever after together.

All in all, I thought Gambling on a Secret was a great read. I even have the itch to read everything this author has written now. By the way, if Ms. Ellwood wanted to write a story about Zack and Tracy, I wouldn’t be sad. Just saying. 

Available for purchase atAmazon 

Author Bio: Sara Walter Ellwood is an award winning author whose novel Gambling On A Secret was named by bestselling author Carolyn Brown in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today as one of her favorite romances of 2012. Although Sara has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her stories. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia.
She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name of Cera duBois.

Stop by and visit Sara at: Website

Now for some goodies! On each stop Sara is offering: 
~One poster from every stop will win a Gambling On A Secret ebook
~One commenter from each stop will win a piece of custom jewelry.
(The winners of these two prizes will be announced the day after the tour stop.)

She is also offering 2 Grand Prizes during her Gambling on a Secret Tour.
~First Grand Prize is a SWAG PACK, including a signed copy of Carolyn Brown’s Just a Cowboy and His Baby. Also included is a copy of D’Ann Lindun’s Shot Through the Heart, a pen, a notebook, a horse themed mini calendar, a patriotic themed day planner, and more all tucked away in a reusable tote bag at the end of my blog tour. (Books for swag pack were purchased and are given away with authors’ permission.)

~Second Grand Prize is a $10 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you follow the tour and comment as often as possible, you increase your chances of winning!
(The winners of the Swag Pack and Gift Card will be announced on March 1, 2013.)
(Swag Pack is only eligible for US residents to win. The jewelry and gift card are eligible to US and Canada residents only. The ebook is eligible to anyone, unless prohibited by law.)
For Grand Prizes, enter here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The intriguing characters, Cass and Troy, from Liza O'Connor's Saving Casey drop in for a visit

Today, I am interviewing a romantic couple. From Saving Casey, written by Liza O’Connor, we have Casey Davidson and her bodyguard, Troy Mason.

Troy: Hold on, there is nothing going on between Cass and me!

Melissa: Well, I’m confused. Why would Liza send you here, if Saving Casey isn’t a romance?

Troy: I’ve no idea why Liza does anything. However, Saving Casey is a Young Adult Suspense Thriller. Check any of the bookstores.

Cass: Troy, I think I saw a shadow pass the window.

Troy: I need Cass moved to a windowless room now!

Melissa: There’s my library. *leads them to the library*

Troy: *focuses on Cass* Stay here. Do not open this door for anyone. I’ll return once I’ve confirmed the place is safe. *He grazes her cheek with his fingers* I won’t let anything happen to you.

Cass: *nods and manages a faint smile*

Troy: *hurries out*

Melissa: Should we hide under the desk?

Cass: *softly laughs* Sorry for scaring you. I didn’t see anyone run by your window. I just needed Troy to leave before he convinced you Liza had misrepresented her story.

Melissa: So it’s a romance, rather than a suspense thriller?

Cass: *sighs* I’m not sure what it should be called. But Troy is my soul-mate. He fits me as no one ever has. So it’s definitely a love story.

Melissa: You’re only seventeen, how can you know he’s your soul mate? You’ve barely begun life.

Cass: *Laughs bitterly* You’ve no idea how wrong you are. This body may be seventeen, but until a couple of months ago I was an eighty-year old woman diagnosed with cancer. I decided to skip the years of pain and took a faster way out. Then I, inexplicably, wake up in the body of a teen. And meet Troy.
In all my eighty years, I never found anyone who fit as well as Troy. So don’t even try to tell me I’m too young to recognize my soul mate. Troy is my one and only love.

Melissa: And how old is Troy?

Cass: *grimaces* Thirty, which makes me jailbait.

Melissa: So that’s why he denied a relationship between you?

Cass: That’s why he refuses to even consider anything but a platonic love between us.

Melissa: *sighs* Well, he’s right, you know—

Cass: If I were truly seventeen, I might agree. And while I don’t feel ‘old’ anymore, I still have eighty years of life experience, so if anything I could claim Troy is too young for me. But I’ve no problem overlooking his lack of life experience, because I know it’s not that important. When you find your soul mate, nothing else should matter.

Melissa: Well, it will matter to everyone else, so Troy is right to keep it platonic until you reach eighteen.

Cass: Oh, he plans to wait longer than that. But I’m worried, he’ll wait too long.

Melissa: And you find someone else?

Cass: No! Once you find your soul mate, no one else will do. I’m just worried my enemies will kill me before we’ve even had our first kiss.

Melissa: Then your dangers are real?

Cass: Yes. I’ve declared war on this vicious thug who has my schoolmates terrified and who made the prior Casey’s life hell. Before yearend, one of us is going down.

Troy: *reenters the room* Place seems secure for now. But, we should go.

Melissa: But we just started.

Troy: Look, there is no romance to discuss. I am a security specialist, nothing more. Liza should have never sent us here.

Melissa: *watches as Troy slips his hand to Cass’ back and protectively leads her from the room*  Well, I apologize for the abrupt ending to my interview, but Liza did send me some information about her book Saving Casey.

Blurb: Having been diagnosed with cancer, Cass Goldman decides to opt out of any futile medical care and end her life. While she has some thoughts on afterlife, she never expects to reincarnate into the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Casey Davidson.

When she awakens in a hospital, Cass discovers two disturbing facts: One, she is now inside the body of a troubled teenager, and two, the former owner of this body committed suicide, but only Cass knows that. Everyone else believes Casey has survived, but suffered a complete memory loss. Cass has two choices: to take on Casey’s life and turn it around, or to confess the truth about her reincarnation and end up in a mental asylum. Given this second chance to life, Cass decides to take on the future life of Casey—the frightening ghoul-faced teen with short, black, spiky hair.

Every person around Cass has an ulterior motive and discovering the truth of Old Casey’s life is more complicated than the “new math” she is forced to learn in school. In addition, Cass has to contend with raging teenage hormones and the prior crimes of Old Casey, which she might not remember, but everyone else certainly does. However, her biggest frustration concerns her feelings for her father’s rugged security specialist who sees her only as a teenager and doesn’t want to explore the mutual attraction between them.

As determined as Cass is to turn this life around, Old Casey’s enemies are just as determined to end her life. She has no idea whom she can trust, but she knows she’ll never survive going it alone.

Excerpt: (Phone Conversation between Cass and Troy)

“And if I’m scarred, causing little children to scream at the sight of me, will you still love me?” She expected Troy to flounder with his response because it required him to actually admit he loved her, something he’d refused to do. To her shock, he replied at once.


“No hesitation?”


“So explain why you’ll love me without hesitation if I’m hideously scarred, but won’t even kiss me when I’m just ghoulishly tattooed?”

“Simple. Your father wouldn’t mind if I’m the only man in the world who still thinks you’re beautiful. But as long as millions of better alternatives exist, Dan would never forgive me for stealing your future.”

Damn, she hated it when he nailed the truth. If she were really seventeen, she would agree a hundred percent.

Melissa: Well, Troy may be right. This might not be a romance, but I’d say this suspense thriller has a definite love story interweaved into its plot, just one he can’t admit to…yet.



About Liza O’ConnorLiza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog, Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Some new things for a new year..perhaps a giveaway

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and new year.

Not too bad on this end. Had some delicious sushi on New Year's Eve with my two best friends in the world. Can't think of a better way to begin the new year. :)

You know you want a piece. 

A wonderful and very talented friend and author, Sheri Fredricks, won First Place in Fantasy Romance in the 2012 Paranormal Romance Guild's Reviewer's Choice Awards.

For a limited time, Remedy Maker is only $3.99 on Amazon. Pop on over and pick up your copy if you haven't already.

By the way, I'm patiently waiting for Aleksander's book. :)

Feel free to stop by and congratulate Sheri. She loves to hear from readers. :)

I've started off the year by reading two books I've thoroughly enjoyed. 

I'll actually have Sara Ellwood stopping by later in the month, so be sure to drop by for a visit. :) I'm sure we will have some goodies for you guys.

Lastly, I'm nearly done with my own book. Woohoo!! AND, I still have hair left on my head. It's amazing.

I refrained from New Years' Resolutions. I mean, really? What's the point? I'll just break them immediately.

Hmm so I suppose we should start the new year right. I'll offer (2) $5.00 Amazon gift card to two commenters who included their email. We all know the drill by now. Tell me if you have any big plans for the year. Any exciting, new developments? I'll pick two of you lovelies on Wednesday.