Month: March 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Lost in Distraction by BJ Harvey Prologue and First Chapter

Blurb:
In the three years after a horrible crime claimed her family, Elise Halliwell has been alone, shut off from the world in a self-imposed emotional exile. She goes through the motions, finishes high school and moves across country to start college and begin the next step in her pre-destined life. 

But her exile is dramatically cut short by the entrance of a dark haired, blue-eyed, smirking man who shakes her to the core, achieving what everyone else before him has failed to do, he makes her feel again. 

As much as he wishes it were different, fate has not brought Braxton James into Elise’s life, or has it. 
Brax has to keep her safe from people in her life who have ulterior motives and may want to hurt her. 

Elise has no idea the threat she faces, and Brax wants to make sure it stays that way. But as Brax struggles with getting close to her, he begins to live a lie. 
Unable to resist the pull that is Elise’s bright green eyes, infectious giggle, and loving heart, he finds it impossible to stay away, so the double life of being Elise’s boyfriend and keeping her safe begins. 

Full of twists and turns, danger and revelations that no-one could predict, you won’t be the only one lost in distraction.


Prologue 

Elise 
His blue eyes haunted me. 
Every day they would haunt me. My morning, my day, my night, my dreams…those baby blues tormented me. 
It has been five days since he left. Five of the longest days in my life. 
He was right when he said I would never be the same, that I would never forget him. The way he could reach in and touch my soul with a single glance, an eyebrow quirk, or a smirk with that delectable mouth. 
It was unfair that he approached me. He wormed his way into my cold, unforgiving heart and made it warm again. His appearance in my life made the sun rise and fall in my dark world, but now I was back in total darkness. 
He disappeared without a trace, without a single word. One night I went to sleep in his arms in our bed, our cocoon, our sanctuary. The next morning I woke alone and unsure. 
Where was he? 
Why he had gone? 
Why was his phone disconnected? 
He caught my attention the moment our eyes met. His ice-blue eyes pierced my heart from across the room. 
My life as I knew it changed the day that I met Brax. I’d never felt such love, my body had never felt such satisfaction, my soul had never felt such passion, and my life had never been so full. 
Now he’s gone and my heart has never felt so broken. 
When you had no hope, then had hope reborn, and then all of that hope disappears within a moment…where do you go? 
Where do you go from there? 
Brax 
The moment I lost her forever was the moment I got in that car. 
I knew in that millisecond that I would lose her, but I had no choice. My soul mate, my sole reason for being, my Elise. I knew there was nothing I could do that would make it right with her again. 
It took everything I had to heal her the first time, to mold her back into the brilliant, radiant light she deserved to be. When I saw her photo I had to know her, had to get inside those gorgeous green eyes. 
Knowing that I am the one who shattered her this time is breaking my resolve to stay away. 
Knowing that my leaving was the end of the light and the return of the dark in her life feels like a knife being driven into my heart. 
If only I could explain that I had no choice. Explain how they told me she would be safe if I left her. 
If only I’d believed in us enough to stay. 
I would have laid it all out for her if it meant she would stay untouched and unaware of the truth. Because if she knew the truth, the real reason why I was gone and why I even came into her life in the first place, life would not be worth living. 
For all of us. 
For them. 
For me. 
And especially for her.



Chapter 1

Elise
Today is my first day of college. The first day of my new adult life.
You finish high school and think that you’ve hit the big time whenreally all you’ve done is finished one stage of your life so you can move onand start the next. Usually it’s a move sideways instead of forwards andsometimes backwards if you’re really unlucky. But sometimes you’re juststanding still, even when you feel like you’re moving ahead, and it is really everyoneelse around you who is moving.
I’ve had this feeling of being at a standstill since I was sixteen. Theday my parents and only sister were killed. It has taken three years, but I can now talk about it. If someone asksabout my family, I can turn around and tell them that a stranger broke into myhome when I was away at camp and shot my family dead. I often hear gasps ormuttered apologies. Better yet, I sometimes get tears and awkward hugs fromstrangers who don’t know me.
I understand it should be upsetting, and it was for a while, but nowI’m just numb. My feelings ran dry the day I came home to a house surrounded byyellow police tape and a guarded door. 
I shut down.
 I’ve simply been a vessel sincethen, an empty person ambling through life doing everything that was expectedof me. I’ve learned that I don’t need hope and that I don’t need love. The onlything I need is to focus on putting one foot in front of the other so I can getthrough each day.
After the murders, I withdrew into myself. I stayed with Uncle Harryand his wife because I had no other family nearby and as my godparents, theywere the next best thing . Life as I knew it died with my parents and sister.
The funeral was a highly publicized affair. I suppose that when a billionaireentrepreneur, his beautiful former model wife, and their ten year old daughterare brutally murdered, it is national news. But when the funeral was over andthe search for the killer ran cold, the media went off to hunt the next bigstory and the people who had offered their sympathy soon returned to their ownbusy lives, forgetting about me. That left me with Uncle Harry and Sylvia intheir huge empty mansion. Uncle Harry was unable to have children so he wasnever sure how to handle me. Sylvia, however, was always trying to help me andby the time I left for college, we were very close.
When I returned to school, most people didn’t know how to treat me.Some would look at me with pity, some would snigger at the popular girl turnedorphan and some were opportunists who used what happened to try and bring medown a peg or two.
Unable to deal with the gamut of emotions I was facing, I rebelledagainst Uncle Harry and Aunt Sylvie. I stayed out late, drank and triedeverything I could to make myself feel something, anything. I was emotionallynumb and refused all the professional help that Harry and Sylvia offered me. Inmy mind, I didn’t need a therapist. I just needed something to make me feelagain. Something, or someone, to make me feel alive. I hung out with the wrongcrowd and went to college parties, waking up in many different beds with norecollection of the night before.
I was on a path to self-destruction with no end in sight. 
One person was able to snap me out of my rut. She was a girl fromschool that had always been a loner, but for some reason felt the need toconnect with me after the murders. Her name was Katie Jamieson and she had alsoexperienced the loss of her family. Her parents had been killed in a caraccident when she was fourteen and she had been in the crash with them, butsurvived.
When she saw my life spiraling out of control, she placed a letter inmy locker. She didn’t offer any sympathy, but instead offered someone to talkto, someone who had been through a similar situation. Looking back, I can nowsay that Katie was one of the most influential people in my life. We weren’tfriends for very long, but just being able to talk to someone else about what Iwas feeling, or not feeling as the case may have been, was exactly what Ineeded. She was a year ahead of me, so at the beginning of my senior year shemoved to London to study literature and I was suddenly alone again.
I graduated from high school and moved across the country to the EastCoast to study economics and business. I did what was expected of me. I had myfather’s business to run after I finished my degree, a multi-billion dollarindustry that he built from scratch. 
But what is the point of having money when you feel completely numb tothe world around you?
Have you ever had no hope, no love, no day, no night and a feeling thatyou’re just existing?
Welcome to my life.
This morning I have an economics lecture up first. I walk into a roomfull of wide-eyed newbies who are all excited and chatting away to each other.I sit down in the middle of the lecture hall, one seat in from the aisle,hoping to just blend in with the crowd. By the time the professor walks inalmost everybody is seated and ready. He proceeds to introduce himself, thenlaunches into an explanation about the world of economics.
About five minutes into his spiel the door opens and a late studentrushes in, apologizing profusely to the professor who waves him off and directshim to find a seat. I look around the lecture hall and I realize the only seatnot taken is the one right next to me and the man who is running late isheading my way.
So much for getting through unnoticed. 
Brax
My new assignment has me worried. I’ve been assigned to an heiress of amulti-billion dollar company whose family was murdered just over three yearsago. It’s a tricky situation. We know she is in danger, but have no firmevidence as to what the threat is or where it is coming from. In any case sheneeds protecting and I’ve been chosen to do it, but she can never know this.
In this business, knowledge is dangerous. It can get you killed,kidnapped, or you can simply disappear. I’ve seen it happen on more than oneoccasion. One day you’re talking to them and the next they’re gone without atrace.
This type of job is nothing new to me, but this case is different andthe difference is Elise. I said yes as soon as I saw her photo. Her deep greeneyes stared out at me, absent of any spark or life. It was as if her life-forcehad been extinguished and I was compelled to relight it. She was gorgeous, arare natural beauty with smooth tanned skin and beautiful long brown hair. 
The file information I was given confirmed that her father, BenjaminHalliwell, was a self-made billionaire with a multi-billion dollar empire thatdominated the West Coast market at its peak. After the high profile murders ofBenjamin, his wife Emily and their youngest daughter Paige, the business took ahit as investor confidence plummeted. The business returned to profitability,but when Elise was named the sole heir and 60% shareholder in the company,investors got nervous again. The shareholding is being held in trust until hertwentieth birthday, which is eight months away.
From all reports she doesn’t flash her wealth around and isn’t yourtypical heiress in any way, shape or form. Our intel even suggested that shedoesn’t have a clue as to the true extent of her wealth. All she knows is thatshe has a business to take over when she finishes college.
I have a feeling that as soon as I get close to Elise, I won’t be ableto stay away. This is a problem, a conflict of interest if you will, but Ican’t stop now. If she needs to be saved, even if it is only from herself, I’llbe the one to do it.
As it happens, I’m running late for my first day. My alarm didn’t gooff, the hot water ran out, and my car didn’t start, but I manage to make it tomy first class only five minutes late. After apologizing to the professor, Iturn and look for a spare seat. As luck would have it, it is right next toElise.
Perfect timing.
I try to contain my wonder at seeing her in person. Seeing her brightgreen eyes, I know I’m definitely in trouble now. The overwhelming urge toprotect her hits me. I’ve never had a job feel so personal before and right nowI’d do it for free. It feels like something I was born to do, like I amsupposed to be here with her.
I remember when I originally looked through the file. I was saddened bythe fact that she had no close family and nobody looking after her. All she hasis herself and a company that, from all accounts, she has shown no interest in.Now there is a threat to her safety due to her inheritance of that company. Myjob is to keep it that way and keep her safe.
Making my way to my seat, I take the opportunity to look at her. Herlong brown hair curls at the ends, right at the small of her waist. She has anice slim frame with curves in all the right places. I can see that she dresseswell. Not flashy or revealing, but feminine with a touch of class. She’s closeto perfection.
Damn, this is not helping me retain my professionalism.
I slide into the seat beside her and she nods politely in my direction,then returns her focus to the professor. I can tell by her demeanor that she istrying to blend in so people won’t notice her. I’m thinking that this job, andgetting close enough to gain her trust, may end up being a bit of a challenge.I’ve always been one to thrive in the face of adversity.
This could be good, maybe even fun.
The professor continues to talk about the course structure and runsthrough the assignments that need to be completed, including one that is to bedone in pairs. I seize the opportunity to introduce myself and lean towardsher.
“Hi, I’m Braxton. Is this your first day, too?”
She sighs and looks over at me cautiously, like I’m disturbing her.“Yes,” she replies with a frown.
Feeling bold, I nudge her with my elbow which makes her glance up at mein shock. “I didn’t catch your name,” I say with a warm smile.
She looks away again and grinds her teeth together. “That’s because Ididn’t give it to you.”
Now I get it. She doesn’t want to let anyone in. She really thinks shecan make it through college unnoticed. Looking over at her tanned skin,gorgeous brown wavy hair and those damn green eyes, I feel lost, alive, andscared shitless.
This is going to take some work, but goddammit, for her I’m willing totry.
Elise
At the end of class, the professor hands out our first assignment andjust my luck, it’s an exercise to be done in pairs. Great! Just what I need,being forced to talk to someone.
I glance at the man named Braxton sitting beside me, the one with badtime management who couldn’t even make it to his first class on time. He’s alot taller than me, maybe 6’2 or 6’3 and definitely not fresh out of highschool. His hair is a gorgeous dark brown that is slightly longer on top, butwell maintained around the sides and back. He has a slight tan which tells mehe must spend some time outdoors.
Moving my eyes down, I see he has slight stubble covering his jawlinelike he was running late this morning and forgot to shave. He’s wearing ablack, short sleeved shirt that shows off his nicely toned arms. Going by thedeep drawl in his voice I would guess he’s from Louisiana or maybe Georgia.
Lost in my musings, I hear him clear his throat to get my attention.
“Uh…so, would you like to pair up for the assignment?” he asks me. Hislow voice resonating through me.
Looking up at him, I’m suddenly caught in his amazing ice-blue eyes.They’re the lightest color of blue I’ve ever seen and are almost ethereal.Shaking my head slightly, I realize that he is still waiting for my answer.
“Elise. My name’s Elise, and I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to talk aboutthe assignment with you.”
With a slight smirk, I catch him slowly scanning my body.
“I don’t think it could hurt at all, Elise.”
A gasp escapes my mouth at his outwardly flirtatious comment. Who isthis guy, and why is he acting like he wants to know me intimately? I feel mycheeks heat up. Whoa, why am I blushing? I haven’t felt anything for over threeyears and suddenly this stranger has me feeling embarrassed?  I’m supposed to be numb and broken. I havenever been affected by a guy like this before. I watch the smirk on his faceget bigger, almost breaking into a full on smile. I’m totally thrown bywhatever the hell is happening between us and I don’t seem to be able to stopmyself from reacting.
“Want to go grab a coffee and talk it over? The assignment, that is.Together, since you asked and all?” I wish I could just shut up! I pause andtry to settle my breathing.
He leans in towards me ever so slightly. “That sounds great. I know agreat place down the street. Shall we go?”
He stands up in the aisle of the lecture theatre, gesturing with hisarm for me to go ahead. I give a small smile and start walking towards thedoor. As I step past him he lightly puts his hand on the small of my back,sending a jolt through me. I don’t know what it is about this man, but he seemsto have the ability to get me right where he wants me.
And that scares the hell out of me. 

Author Links: Author Page | FB Page | GR Page

The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life


Tourists flock to Jefferson Point for the antique shops and riverboat tours. Everyone knows everyone and secrets are impossible to keep. Or so it seems…


Dr. Ryan Harper’s brutal slaying stuns the picturesque river town. High school football star, Prom King, and on his way to finishing his residency, Ryan was their golden child.

After a two-year struggle to care for their young son alone, his widow, Nicole, reluctantly returns to Jefferson Point. Her homecoming reopens old wounds, as Ryan’s family and friends struggle to adapt to life without his dynamic presence.

The last person Nicole expects to reconnect with is Aaron Foster, Ryan’s best man and reluctant keeper of his secrets.

With opinions circulating on Nicole’s post-Ryan existence, she must maneuver the rapids of past loves, new expectations, and haunting dreams of her fallen husband.

The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life is a frank story of questionable decisions, small town politics, and love after loss

The Review:

I have to say that I truly LOVED this book!  Both Michelle and Tammy did a wonderful job of balancing a loveable and relatable cast of characters.  Not to mention the fact that I now have three new book boyfriends (a girl has to have her fun somewhere right?).  The story has it all pain, loss, anger, love and most of all strength!  Following the painful loss of her husband we follow Nicole on her journey to find herself again.  Moving back to her home town proves to be more than she ever hoped for.  Rekindling her friendship with her best friend turned sister – in – law Avery, Nicole learns that the perfect life is not always what you think it is.  The past is never far and as much as she may want to forget, it will always be a part of the present.  Life is a small town is not easy and Jefferson Point shows us just that.  Old boyfriends and in-laws make Nicole’s journey that much harder but will reconnecting with her old friend and best friend of her late husband, Aaron, show her that letting go is what’s best?  
Michelle and Tammy weave a web of words that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Along with a cast of supporting characters that would fare well with books of their own (hint, hint) this story keeps you wanting more.  I felt that I grew with each of the characters and the fact that I was crying from the first two pages made this read a true emotional journey for me.  I felt as if I was renting a small one bedroom apartment in right there in Jefferson Point!!  Life is not perfect and that is what is beautiful about it.  We are all beautifully flawed and that ok because that’s what allows us to know we are alive!  This book shows us just that.  We all have issues and want the same thing in the end…The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life.
“But I guess no one really has their shit together. Everyone’s on the quest for the perfect life…but the secret is there’s no such thing”
4 Stars and a must read!
The Authors:
Michelle Pace and Tammy Coons

Michelle Pace is a RN living in Texas with her husband, Les. She has two daughters, Holly and Bridgette, and one son, Kai. A singer and actress in her youth, Michelle has always enjoyed entertaining people and is excited to continue to do so as a writer.

Tammy Coons is the youngest of 7 children and lives in Illinois with her husband, Casey and three children Skyler, Sawyer and Savana. Tammy graduated from Scott Community College in 2010 and holds a diploma in Health Information Technology. In order to pass time while seeking employment in 2010 she decided to update Fury, one of the many stories she and Michelle have written together in the past 20 years.

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Blog Tour: Bullet by Jade Jamison Excerpt & Playlist

An Epic Rock Star Novel

What if you discover the man you want is toxic?

She tasted a little bit of heaven with him, and now they’ve gone through hell and back, but can their relationship take anymore?

Valerie Quinn is a naïve college freshman when she meets on-the-rise rock star Ethan Richards. He’s an idealistic, handsome, reckless young man, but he’s captured her heart. She doesn’t give up on him and eventually his walls crumble down. By the time Valerie has given herself to him completely, she discovers he’s damaged and may be beyond help. Can she save Ethan and their relationship before he implodes, or will he self-destruct and take her with him?

Once he sat down next to me, he started laughing again, this time uncontrollably.  I couldn’t figure out what was so funny, but his laughter was infectious.  Soon I started giggling at him, and I didn’t finish until my stomach ached.

But then his face got serious again, and he stroked my cheek.  “Sorry about earlier.  I guess we put you in an uncomfortable position.  I didn’t know you didn’t smoke pot.”

“I was accused of being prude in high school more than once.”

He placed his hand on my thigh.  “Oh, I don’t think you’re prude, Val.  You just haven’t met your drug of choice, and you definitely haven’t met the right guy.”

His hand was warm.  I was staring at it and deciding if I wanted to push it off my leg or not.  As usual, though, I couldn’t resist Brad…flirting with him or anything else.  So I said, “Meaning you’re the wrong guy?”
He smirked at me, and I wished I could figure out what he was thinking.  “Yeah, I’m sure I’m the wrong guy, but I can feel like the right one if you let me try.”

I don’t know why, but his words were exactly what I needed to hear in that hazy state, and I felt like the most special girl in the world then.  Brad had that effect on me, and I think it’s because I’d never seen him with another female…ever.  It allowed me to believe him.  Someone like Ethan, though…it was evident that he loved women, but he loved allof them.  Whether Brad had designs on other girls or not, I didn’t know, because I’d never seen him hit on other girls when I was around.  It was like he only had eyes for me.  And I don’t have any idea why, because—even though that sexual attraction was there—I didn’t feel like I was encouraging him at all.  He knew I was hung up on Ethan.  He’d known that from the first day I’d met him.

“Did I tell you already how much I like this skirt?”

In spite of my muddled emotions (or because of them), I liked his hand on my thigh and a deep, dark part of me that I would never admit to thought I wouldn’t mind if he moved his hand even higher.  But I struggled to maintain control.  Still, I couldn’t stop myself from flirting.  “Your eyes did.”

He took his hand off my leg and placed it on the back of my neck while his lips touched mine.  The passion—yes, it was still there, murky and bottomless, threatening to consume us both, but somehow he had a grip on himself.  I didn’t know if it was the pot helping him to slow down, but this kiss was notlike the kisses we’d shared in the past, as few as they’d been.  This kiss felt like an exploration…not just of my mouth but of what was between us.  It was questioning, probing, moving slowly, hoping to find something.

And, yeah, whether I wanted to admit it or not, my judgment was impaired, although I don’t think Brad could have been considered a bad choice for anything.  But my code—the notion I had that I needed to love the man I lost my virginity to—was thrown out the window with the too hot air in his van.

And after luxuriating in his sweet kisses for several minutes, he kissed my neck, and those nerves must have been connected to my nipples and my pussy, because the sensations vibrated to those places and past them to my core.  Oh, God, I wanted Brad like I’d never wanted anyone else.  To hell with the code.  So when he said, “Come on up here,” and placed his hands under my arms to help lift me on his lap, I went with the flow.  My legs were bent at the knees as I positioned myself on top of him, straddling him.  Oh, it would be so easy, and I tingled all over in anticipation of what was sure to follow.

He started kissing me again and, in spite of my feeling of relaxation, I could feel my muscles respond to his touch over my entire body, and I could tell I was breathing heavier too.  I’d been running my fingers through his thick, soft hair, but now I decided to act with abandon.  I felt my way to the bottom of his shirt, but I wasn’t just going to be coy and run my hand on his skin underneath.  Oh, no.  I was going to take his shirt off.  I wanted to feel all of his skin.  I’d never done it, and I knew he had a firm body and just the slightest amount of hair on his skin to make him look deliciously masculine.  I’d seen it enough times that I wanted to touch it.  He leaned forward to help me and grabbed it too to help pull it off.  And then he thrust his fingers in my hair followed by his tongue in my mouth again, and I felt as though every nerve fiber in my body was ready to start singing.  So when I felt his hands on the bottom of my t-shirt, I just pulled my head away from him and lifted my arms.  He set my shirt on top of his on the seat beside us and placed his hands on my cheeks to pull my mouth to him again.

I think he knew I needed to move slowly, because he didn’t just grab my breasts even though they were right there, and I probably would have let him.  Instead, he moved his hands to the small of my back and, while still kissing me, moved them up, just feeling every square inch of bare skin below my bra strap.

Meanwhile, my hands were enjoying feeling his chest and abs.  His skin was smooth but firm underneath, and as I explored, I felt him growing hard underneath me.  Oh…that felt really nice, the feeling of his penis up against me, right where he belonged.  His jeans and my panties were all that separated that joining, because my skirt wasn’t impeding us at all.

       He moved his lips to my neck once again, and I heard a breath of air rush out of my mouth.  This time, though, he kept moving down and began kissing the tops of my breasts that weren’t covered by my bra.  Yeah, this felt way too good to stop.  I was unaware of everything else—of the almost uncomfortable, stifling warmth in the van, of the world around us.  It was just Brad and me.


FULL CD:
 New American Gospel by Lamb of God

just because I’m a huge LoG fan!






Blood by In This Moment

ITUNES | AMAZON

This album is crucial for many reasons. First off, if the character of Val in full metal persona should remind you of anyone and she doesn’t remind you of Lita Ford, she should remind you of Maria Brink. More than that, though, there are two songs that I played a lot while writing particular scenes. The song “Burn” helped me when I wrote the scene where Val realizes who she really loves (“There was a song in my head that played, one that would never be written, one I’d never sing, but one that my soul was singing for him, crying for him, one that would never not need him”—chapter 36) and “Adrenalize,” for the HOT scenes before—chapters 35 and 36).

§ Shadows are Security-As I Lay Dying: In case you hadn’t already heard, former bassist for AILD, Clint Norris, was the inspiration for Jet’s look, so I had to channel that through the music, especially the songs where he sings clean vocals: “Through Struggle,” “Confined,” and “The Darkest Nights.”


 No Time to Bleed by Suicide

(fueled writing the scenes where Ethan and Val first meet). Also “…and Then She Bled”—the feel of that song goes well with the scene where Val was drugged (chapter 26).





The Black Crown by Suicide

Because I imagined Fully Automatic to sound a lot like Suicide Silence, I listened to all their music, especially when I wrote the scenes where Val first meets the band (honestly, I listened to all three CDs while writing the first five or six chapters of the book!)


The Cleansing by Suicide








SONGS:

§ “Tempest”-Deftones (various Brad and Val scenes, not to mention that this is one of my new fave songs!)

§ “Moon Baby”-Godsmack (Ethan on guitar having an alpha male moment when Val first meets the band)

§ “So Hott”-Kid Rock (Sweetheart Dance)

§ “Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero”-Stone Sour (Another new fave song, and a little angry, good for channeling Ethan)

§ “Still Swingin” and “Where Did the Angels Go”-Papa Roach (more new favorites)

§ “Pleasure and Pain”-Gemini Syndrome (Good for channeling how Val feels about Ethan)

§ “Soldierhead”-Newsted (Another new favorite song!)

§ “Chalk Outline”-Three Days Grace (Fave)

§ “Forgive and Forget” and “Relentless Chaos” Miss May I (More for channeling the “feel” of Fully Automatic)

§ “Hollow”-Alice in Chains (Fave)

§ “Crewcabanger”-Chelsea Grin (Ethan and Val get NASTY in the hallway! Also reminiscent of Fully Automatic’s sound)

§ “94 Hours,” “Parallels,” and cover of Judas Priest’s “The Hellion/ Electric Eye”-As I Lay Dying (one of Val’s favorite bands, so I had to listen!!!) § “Open Your Eyes”-Guano Apes (Wake up, Valerie!!!)

I always play music when I write, and Bullet was no exception.  In this playlist, some of this music I was just listening to some of it was for inspiration (which I note below):

Jade C. Jamison was born and raised in Colorado, moved from one city/town to the next, and she’s decided she likes it so much she wants to stay…although travel is not out of the question. She lives in a big town in Colorado (not unlike Winchester!) with her husband and four children. She is working on becoming a crazy cat lady. Okay, so maybe not. 
Still want more? Jade has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Theater, a master’s degree in English, and a master of fine arts in Creative Writing. Obviously, she loves school and the student loan folks love her. She works in human services by day, teaches English and creative writing at night, and—in between playing soccer mom and community leader—writes like a fiend. Someday soon, she’ll narrow it down to just writing, but let’s get all those kids off to college first. 

BLOG TOUR RECAP: Moving Forward by Erika Taylor

From all of us here in The Book Avenue, we would like to thank Erika Taylor for trusting us with her blog tour, to all the bloggers who willingly participated, and to all our followers and readers who continuously support all our tours and events. For those who missed the posts, we have gathered together all the activities done during the tour for your reference. here are the links! Untill our next tour!

March 21
Momma’s BooksPlaylist
Literati Literature LoversAuthor Interview

March 22
The Book AvenuePrologue and Book Trailer
Love N. BooksReview

March 23
Wolfel’s World of BooksInterview with Jesika & Review
KindlehookedReview

March 24
Book Addict MummaInterview with Derek and Review

March 25
Book Boyfriend ReviewsReview

March 26
I Love Indie BooksExcerpt and Review
Sugar and Spice Book ReviewsReview

March 27
Shh Mom’s ReadingExcerpt & Review
Romantic Reading EscapesReview
Reviews by Tammy and KimReview

GIVEAWAY WINNERS

BLOG TOUR: Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder Interview, Review, Book Trailer and Giveaways

Blurb:

I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.


Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.


Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

                         
 Buy from Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Interview with Ms. Jasinda Wilder

Can you tell us something we don’t know about Jasinda?

I play the flute and the piano.

When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I published Preacher’s Son as something to do for fun and to see if I could actually sell any of them. Then I started writing Big Girls Do it Better as a cathartic journal entry (it is semi-autobiographical, but I’m not telling which parts!). When that turned into a series, I realized how much I loved writing. Then that sort of took off and found its audience, and the rest is history. 

So let’s talk about the book. Why do you feel you had to tell this story? Is there something in this book that is based on real life experience? 
I actually started with the title first, and tried a few other ideas to go with it. Then I remembered a friend of mine who went through something very much like Nell’s experience with Kyle’s death. That turned into an exploration of the effect such an experience would have on Nell. My friend did not react the same way as Nell, just FYI. She grieved and is doing okay, now.

What was your inspiration in creating the characters? Was it hard to do a story about 2 broken souls?

Nell and Colton are…all of us. They are everyone who has felt such pain that we have to take life one breath at time (wasn’t that a line in Sleepless in Seattle?) The inspiration for them was to explore the effects of their individual experiences, i.e. Nell’s refusal to grieve, Colton’s dyslexia and being alone in New York at seventeen. Was it hard? Yes. I came to think of them as real people, friends. To see them go through such terrible experiences was very hard. But we are all broken, in some way, aren’t we? And that, as I said at the beginning, is the inspiration.

There were a lot of good songs incorporated in the story, was it something planned or you just thought of it while writing it?

It wasn’t planned, actually. I’d been wanting to do a book with a playlist, since I’d read a few other great books with playlists or music incorporated into them. I always listen to music when I write and these songs inspired me.

Among all the books that you have read, which of these has significantly contributed to your writing style?

Oh god. All of them. Every book I read influence my writing style. One book may give me an idea for a character, another may influence my use of certain words or phrases. Bella Andre was one the first writers in my overall genre that I read, so I have to give her credit for inspiring me. I believe in the power of love to bring two people together and past any obstacle. I believe in the healing power of love, and the wonder that accompanies sex between two amazing people.

The book was out in just a few days and we have been receiving incredible feedback about it, did you ever expect that people would have such a warm reception over the book? How do you feel about it?

I never expected this kind of reception. I knew as I was writing, and after I read the first draft, that I had what seemed to me to be a powerful story that would likely touch a few people. I never, ever expected the amazing, overwhelming outpouring I’ve gotten.

Let’s do our fast talk:

• Coffee or tea? Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

• Lights on / lights off? ON! I gotta see my man.

• Boxers or briefs? (For your man) Yes! I like my man in boxer briefs.

• Favorite male body part? Do you have to ask? LOL!

• Do you believe in love at first sight? Hmmm. I believe that there can be an instant chemistry, a unique connection established immediately. I think real, true love has to be developed. You have to have trust and friendship and respect for there to be love.

• 3 things you never leave home without? (apart from keys, phone and money)
You said except keys phone and money, so I’m guessing that means my purse counts? What woman ever leaves home without a purse? Not this one. I almost always have mints or gum. The third thing? My husband. 

• Sleep in or get up early? Which do I do, or which do I wish for? I’d love to sleep in, but I’m up early. 
• Ever slapped a guy? Slapped, punched, kicked, broken pools cues and beer bottles over heads…Anna from Big Girls is a DJ, and that’s one of the autobiographical bits. I’ve had some crazy experiences. 
Any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Stop aspiring and start writing.

Any message to us, your fans?

I love you! You make this career so amazing.

And lastly, if I put my magic mirror in front of you, what would you tell yourself right at this very moment?

It’s only going to get better!

Jasinda Wilder has taught me a lot! I now know that some stories are made for at home reading and some are not to be read at 30,000 feet in the air. Especial not in first class beside a businessman who keeps asking if you are ok because you keep crying! I know now that the “ugly cry” is better left at home under the covers. Mostly she taught me that even in your darkest hour when you feel that you have nothing left you can always find the beauty of love. To say that this book rocked me to my core is an understatement!

“I can’t be fixed.”
“You’re committed to being broken forever?”
“Goddamit, Colton. Why are you doing this? You don’t know me.”
“I want to.” It’s the answer to both of her statements.”

Falling Into You follows the journey of Nell and her childhood best friend turned boyfriend Kyle. Life doesn’t always turn out as planned. In an instant tragedy rocks Nell’s world and it’s in that moment that Colton, Kyle’s older brother, shows her that she will survive the pain but Nell is not ready.

“I wanted nothing more than to climb into the box with him and quit breathing, find him in whatever came after life.”

Two years have passed and Nell is still living in the same brittle state, lost and still in pain. Meeting back up with Colton brings back old feelings and Nell finds herself fighting what feels right. With thoughts of pain and a life lived on barrowed time Nell begins a new journey to find the person that she wants to be. Colton shows her that she needs to allow herself to feel. That she has to deal with the pain.

“I want you to let yourself be broken. Let yourself hurt.”

As we see the story through both Nell and Colton eyes we are able to fully understand tragedy along with the healing power of love. Anything worth having is worth work for. Both Nell and Colton learn that love is a fine balance of joy and pain but falling into love is never easy.

“I’m not just falling in love with you, Nell. I’m falling into you. You’re an ocean, and I’m falling in, drowning in the depths of who you are. Like you said, it’s scary in a way, but it’s also the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. You are the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced.”

Jasinda Wilder has done an amazing job of telling a story of sadness while still allowing you to see beauty. It sounds cliché but Jasinda words play out like a beautifully written song. The music becomes the forth character in this story. Emotions are best expressed through song. The playlist for this book is amazing (When you throw The Avett Brothers in the mix you can never go wrong). This book delivered so much with in its 223 pages and is a must read for anyone dealing with death. When the ones we love die it is hard to pick up the pieces. We move on by mourning their life but sometimes that isn’t enough. When your soul attaches to another you are permanently bound to each other and not even death can sever that bond. The hardest part of death is the living. Thank you Jasinda! Your words have moved me to tears and brought me back to joy and that is a gift I cherish!

5 STARS!!!! A MUST READ!!!!!!

Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women.

When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading.

Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre.

She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio.

You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.

BLOG TOUR: Moving Forward by Erika Taylor Prologue, Book Trailer & Giveaways

Jesika Reynolds’ heart was left broken one year ago when her husband died, leaving her and her son alone in this world. Slowly, she started putting the pieces back together of her life. Knowing that she may never open herself up to love again. That was until the day Derek came into the picture.

Why does this gorgeous stranger seem to care so much, so suddenly?

Derek Jordan’s charm drew her in with an instant connection, and familiarity that helps her feel at ease. Her heart is falling at his feet, but as their relationship grows, so does a secret from both of their pasts that neither saw coming. One by one, the threads slowly start to unravel.

Can their newly sought love stand up against the secrets that life is unlocking to their pasts? Or can they decide together that moving forward and forgetting the past is the only option for them to find true happiness?

Prologue 
*Jake* 
I was born into the Silver Platter type of lifestyle. The good life as most people would call it was always at my fingertips. My mother, being the single rich mom that she was, was hardly ever around. She wasn’t cut out for having kids or being any sort of positive role model. In fact, she always had my daily activities so mapped out that it would be damn near impossible to ever interfere with anything she had going on. As a child, I knew my mom loved me, but also knew she just didn’t know how to show it; or more like she didn’t care to show it. Being the only parental influence I had around, she was the one I really looked up to. She dated a lot of men and called it being social; I called it being a hussy. I was around her enough to know how she was willing to do anything to get her way and keep working her way up the social ladder. I know you can’t always blame the way you are based on how you were brought up, but in my case I do. 
Amateur MMA fighting had become a welcomed outlet in my tightly put together life. It wasn’t that I had a temper, well not much of one. It was purely just a much needed release for me. Stepping into that ring always held such an unpredictable outcome; it was the unknown that I craved. There were no guarantees that once I was on the other side of that tightly pulled elastic that I’d come out a winner or come out with my ass beat. Either or, it never really mattered to me. Whether it was my fist connecting or my face being connected with, I’d never felt more alive in all my life. That was until Jesika came into the picture. 
I knew she was special, that there was something different about her. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was unlike any of the girls that had ever crossed my path. And more than anything, I knew I didn’t deserve her . . .but that didn’t stop me. I was a selfish prick who was always willing to do anything to get what he wanted; obviously a trait I picked up from my mother. Jesika had instantly become my obsession and I didn’t bat a fucking eye at pushing away who ever I needed to win her over and keep her put. 
Looking back now, I regret so much. I hurt people like I didn’t have a fucking conscience. Who am I kidding? I pretty much didn’t back then. But now, I’d give anything to go back and fix it all. Shit’s about to hit the fan and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. I hate not having control of the situation or knowing what the outcome holds. Tonight might be the last time I’m able to hold my wife. I tried turning my mind off while we were out; making sure I savored every kiss, held her hand a little longer than normal, put as many smiles on her face as possible and made her laugh every chance I could. Now as I watch her sleep on our way home, I can’t help the few tears threatening to fall down my face. I have everything I need or could ever want in the seat right next to me, and I had to fuck it up. Everyone makes mistakes; some are bigger than others and hold graver consequences. Mine was one of the big ones. 
I can’t take back what I did, or the man it’s going to paint me out to be. Glancing over at Jesika who is now lightly snoring I catch something running towards the road. I instantly slam on the brakes, but it does no good. That damn deer has everyone swerving and slamming on their brakes all at once. The feeling I’ve had all night of knowing I was about to lose my family is ringing loud and clear in my head right now. I know I’ve lost it all as I watch the cars that are unable to stop come closer and closer to my side of the car. I silently send up a prayer that Jesika makes it. My son needs his mother, and I can’t stand the idea of him losing both of us tonight. I silently pray that she is able to forgive me one day and move forward from this. I grab her hand telling her I love her as the deafening screeching of brakes and metal crunching takes over all my thoughts.

Erika Taylor was born into the army lifestyle as an only child. Being the only child, she learned to keep herself entertained by unleashing her inner tomboy. Fishing, navigating through the woods and tree climbing were a few of her favorite escapes as a child along with her fast growing love of video games. While she is still a down home girl at heart, she grew to love music and left the wildness behind. She is a devoted lover of music and a closet groupie. Genre of choice is always rock but she has been known to kick it old school from time to time and jam to the 90s greatest hits. Her passion for music fueled her imagination and she has since found at age twenty-nine that she loves to read. While reading didn’t seem to interest her growing up you will almost always find her with her nose in a book nowadays. Erika is currently a native to Oklahoma where she lives with her husband and five small children that they have combined between the two of them. She admits to loving caramel frappe’s, getting her hair done, Ace Ventura When Nature Calls and candy of choice being Airheads. She blames The Hunger Games book series for her newly formed addiction to reading, which has since brought on her desire to write. She is currently working on her debut novel “Moving Forward” set to release May 3rd, 2013. 


Share for a Cause: GIVEAWAY for BOBBY

They support us! Lets support them! Maggi Myers is dedicating 25 % of the sales for The Final Piece from March 22, 2013 thru April 22, 2013 to Veterans for Common Sense http://veteransforcommonsense.org/

Lets get the word out! Everytime you share this link on Facebook or Twitter you will be entered for a chance to win on of 10 copies of The Final Piece by Maggi Myers.

A Piece for the Cause

 

Maggi Myers has a cause that is near and dear to her heart and she needs your help!  Below is an open letter from Maggi Myers.  Please read and buy a copy of The Final Piece.  It is an amazing story and you would be helping a wonderful cause!
 
 
For Bobby.
 
Those are the first, and most important words of my book, The Final Piece. Without Bobby, my life would be vastly different. Without him, I would never have known the intrinsic value of unconditional love, or self worth.
 
He is my hero. Plain and simple.
 
I wrote the character Tommy to reflect the wonderful man who Bobby was. Immortalizing him ensures that he lives on through me. I miss him every day.
 
Bobby was a Vietnam War Veteran who battled depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder until he took his life in 2004. It was a tragic and senseless loss that many families of war veterans suffer. PTSD robbed me of the most influential person in my life and it was 100 % avoidable. I know because I also suffered from PTSD. The difference between me and Bobby is that I had access to help. No veteran should be denied the mental health benefits they need. Ever.
 
Veterans for Common Sense is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that has championed for veterans’ mental healthcare rights, all the way to the Supreme Court. They’re the people I would’ve wanted in Bobby’s corner, so I’m dedicating 25 % of the sales for The Final Piece from March 22, 2013 thru April 22, 2013. You can also make a contribution directly to  http://www.veteransforcommonsense.orgin honor of Robert James Waldron Jr. You can purchase The Final Piece at here.
 
 ~Maggi Myers
  Author of The Final Piece
 
 
 
 
 
You can find The Final Piece through the following links:
 
Amazon
 
B&N
 
 
 
 
 


WORLD TOUR: Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley, April 1- 10

World Tour Schedule

April 1st
April 2nd

The Book Avenue Welcomes the Newest Member of the Family: Jennifer Gruler Haren

It feels like just yesterday when I welcomed Pam in The Avenue and from the time she joined, I have nothing but the best experiences. I enjoyed every single minute we shared chatting over FB, doing funny reviews, organizing blog tours and brainstorming for book trailers. She has contributed a lot and inspired me to continue what we do best
Now is another milestone for us. Pam and I are so happy to introduce to you the newest member of The Avenue, Jennifer Gruler Haren.
So let’s get to know Jenn!

BIO: 

Name               :  Jennifer Gruler Haren
Born                :  April 4
Hometown      :  Fredericksburg VA

Grew up in Germany but was born in Japan.

I’m just a happy girl loving life. My glass is always half full. Things that keep that glass full are my family, friends, my love of life, and of course my love of a good book. My family and friends make my life and I adore them all, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do for each and everyone of them! I love adventure, traveling, learning new things, and especially learning about people. I love to write and I love to read – getting lost in the pages of a good book is my favorite pastime. I’ve been told I love too much, I’ve been called crazy (but I prefer passionate) and I love to laugh (especially at myself). I believe in living life to it’s fullest and believe in the Happliy Ever After. 

“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.” ~ Helen Keller

TOP 3 BOOKS:

1. Beautiful Disaster
2. The Winemakers Dinner
3. Leave Me Breathless

TOP 3 AUTHORS:

1. C S Lewis
2. Sylvia Day
3. S C Stephens

TOP 3 BOOK BOYFRIENDS:

1. Travis Maddox
2. Kellan Kyle
3. Seth Warren (Ghost)

Thank you Jenn! I hope you enjoy your stay!
~ Cris