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text 2017-11-02 21:21
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 5 - Advent

Tasks for Advent: Post a pic of your advent calendar.

 

The cat wasn't in a festive mood (he thought it safer to watch my photo antics from under the living room table and wait 'till I was done), so a red background will have to do.

 

Anyway, the Lions' Club branch of a small town north of Cologne named Leichlingen publishes these calendars every year as part of a charity lottery: The featured picture is painted by a kid -- it's a different picture each year.

 

A former colleague of mine is a member of that branch of the Lions' Club and has been sharing these calendars for (at least) the past 10 years.  I got mine today, so it's a perfect fit for my first "16 Festive Tasks" post: square 5 -- Advent.

 

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text 2017-09-01 08:10
Release Blitz - Most Valuable Playboy

   

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the swoony and oh-so-romantic title…MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY.

In MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, the NFL starting quarterback Cooper Armstrong needs his best friend’s sister to pretend to be his girlfriend. Violet is willing, but neither one expects their boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage to turn into a full-contact sport so quickly. Find out if their fake play will become the real deal or if they can turn back the clock to when they were just friends in this sexy new standalone sports romance!

   

Now available on all retailers! Get your copy delivered now! 

 

 

 

✮✮✮ MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is here! Grab your copy today!✮✮✮

 

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don't let the fact that I'm the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I'm only a player on the field. I've kept my pants zipped all season long -- and it has been long -- because nothing's more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner's recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who's dead set on winning more than a date with me.

 

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

 

She's my best friend's sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don't even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she's my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he's negotiating my contract. Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is -- I've been riding the bench for years.

 

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?

MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!

   

 Amazon ✦ Amazon UK ✦ Audible ✦ Audio on Amazon

iBooks ✦ Barnes & Noble ✦ Kobo ✦ Amazon PB ✦ Google Play 

       

10% of the proceeds from the release day sales along with a portion of pre-orders across all retailers of MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY will be given to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Houston Humane Society to help those in need from the natural disaster.

       


✦The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber! Grab your copy today! http://adbl.co/2gbiHT2


       

"Lauren Blakely is a master at writing sexy, engaging stories that draw you in and make you fall in love with her characters. A definite go-to author for me!" - NYT Bestselling Author Melanie Moreland

   

“Lauren Blakely never ceases to amaze me with her sense of humor, her talent to write fabulous heroes and heroines and to pull an A game with a male POV. Most Valuable Playboy is a real treasure. - Becca at Little Read Reading Hood

 

     

“The slow burn, the teasing, the kisses, OH THE KISSES!!! MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY exceeded all of my expectations. Lauren Blakely has a knack for making a reader fall for her characters."

- Jess at Jo and Isa Love Books Blog

 

Add it to Goodreads here!

 

 

 

 

The business suit woman raises a hand, offering forty-one hundred.

 

Maxine’s eyes laser in on me, and she slashes an arm through the air. “Five thousand dollars,” she says, jacking the price up by nine hundred and staking her claim. I shudder inside.

 

The guy’s eyes widen, and he holds up his hands. “I’m out.”

 

My stomach plummets when the business woman shakes her head.

 

“Going once?” Sierra asks, scanning the tables, looking for perhaps one last big spender. My eyes scan the crowd, too. Hell, maybe I’ll find an escape hatch. A trapdoor to drop into and disappear like in a magic act. Maybe Trent will learn to read my mind. Trent, I’ll cover you for anything you bid. Just raise that hand, name a price, and save me.

My best friend’s expression is merely curious now as he watches Maxine and Sierra, waiting for the verdict. My opportunity to play yard boy slips through my fingers.

The look in Maxine’s eyes is pure satisfaction as she waits for the final word. She winks at me, as if we have a secret. Holy shit. She thinks I want this. She thinks I want her to win me. 

 

A flash of chestnut brown hair in the back catches my attention. A flurry of silver. It’s Violet, hands in the air, wildly flapping over her head in the middle of the ballroom. She brings her finger to her nose. And she’s tapping it, like fucking Santa Claus coming down the chimney, and Harlan tapping his nose to signal his agent, and all the greatest solutions in the universe at once.

 

My heart goes crazy.

 

It hammers in my chest. This is like finding an open receiver a second before you’re sacked.

 

“Going twice,” Sierra says, trailing off as she waits.

 

I raise my arm and tap my nose, too. Violet is the only one who knows I need to get out of this jam. She’s the only one I mentioned it to. And she’s the only one now who can save me.

 

“Ten thousand dollars.”

 

Holy shit. Violet does not mess around with my money. Her eyes widen, as if she’s surprised she bid that high.

 

My gaze finds Trent. He’s staring at his sister, slack-jawed.

 

Sierra’s smile is bright and wide. “Ten thousand dollars. Do we have ten thousand, one hundred?”

 

The room is hushed. Maxine’s expression is blank. She must be shocked. She probably didn’t expect anyone to vie with her to this extent.

 

I tap my foot, willing Sierra to close this quickly. Just slam the door shut, please, fucking please.

 

“Going one. Going twice.”

 

I say a silent prayer. I cross my fingers. I hope.

 

Maxine blinks, opens her mouth, and I steel myself for a disgustingly high counter bid.

But there’s only silence. No words come. Violet has shocked her speechless. This type of bid wasn’t in Maxine’s playbook.

 

Sierra raises her arm. “And a night with the quarterback is sold for ten thousand dollars.”

 

Talk about a Hail Mary.

 

 

 

       

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮

 

Lauren’s Most Valuable Playboy Team Spirit Prize Package Giveaway! This bundle is valued at $450 and includes a Coach Handbag ($300 value) and $150 Stub Hub Gift Card to use for tickets to the game, your favorite concert, or theater performance.

http://laurenblakely.com/valuable-playboy-giveaway/

 

 

    About Lauren Blakely: A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In September she'll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter  

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-05-31 06:52
REVIEW BY HELEN - Surrendered Control (The Control Series #1) by Anna Edwards
Surrendered Control - Anna Edwards,Charity Hendry

When unwilling erotic dancer Amy Jones was gifted a holiday to Lanzarote she had no idea how much it would change her life. Everything she knew was about to fall apart thanks to an encounter with a handsome blue-eyed stranger. He will show her truths and help her face her innocence, but can she live with his need to control and the reasons behind it?

Debonair businessman James North is running from his past. He refuses to face it, preferring to hide behind his rigid control. But when he meets a blonde haired beauty the volcanic eruptions of passion between them show him that life isn't the black and white he was lead to believe.

Surrendered control is the debut novel of the author Anna Edwards. It tells of the fledgeling love between James and Amy and how their pasts twist and turn to tear them apart. The novel is set in London, but through business travels, it is given an international feel based on the author's personal life.

Are you ready to step inside the world of Control?

 

Helen Beasley, @Anna__Edwards, @LoveBoundPromos, #Contemporary, #Erotic, #Romance, #Suspense, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)


Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/helen/surrenderedcontrolthecontrolseries1byannaedwards
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text 2017-05-12 14:47
Feature Friday for Charity Becker's Presence: Awakening with Interview and Excerpt

 

Today for "Feature Friday" let us welcome the awesome Charity Becker with Presence: Awakening the first book in the Presence Series.

We will have info about the book and author. Plus a great interview with Charity and a excerpt from the book.

Make sure to check everything out and go and give her some love and add her books to your TBR ;)

Happy Reading :)

 


 

Presence: Awakening

 

Mina Jewel swears the boogeyman slaughtered her abusive stepfather. But as far as the quiet town of Port Orchard, Washington is concerned, Mina is a cold-blooded killer and Cadric Jaden had been a saint. After enduring nine years of psychiatric care and whispers of her guilt, Mina is hell-bent on clearing her name, exposing Cadric for the sadistic pedophile he really was, and uncovering the true identity of the strange being who saved her life.... See More Through a whirlwind of near-death experiences and sanity- shattering revelations, Mina discovers that Washington is a hotbed of supernatural activity, Cadric's sinister plan didn't die with him, and that she could hold the key to ending the suffering of millions. . . But first she has to survive.

 

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Buy Links

 

amazonBig  bnbuy 1BlyssterPrint--Satin--Boxed--100X140

 

 

 

ONE

~~

“Mina, get up.”

The voice yanked me from my sleep, but I didn’t open my eyes. Opening my eyes would make it all real, make the punishments start again. Of course, I’d be punished no matter what I did; nothing I did was ever good enough. I was never good enough.

“Come on now,” the voice said, “open your eyes.”

My stomach cramped, waiting for the grabbing, hurting hands, but I cracked my eyelids, ready to face it because I had no other choice. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad this time. Maybe they’d get tired, or bored, or distracted by someone else for a change. Maybe.

“Welcome back to planet Earth.”

I turned toward the voice, squinting against the bright morning light. Gradually, a face came into focus. A smiling, kind face framed by soft black curls.

“Alice,” I whispered, and the memories hit me in a dizzying rush. I closed my eyes for a moment, basking in sweet relief. There were no more punishments, Cadric Jaden was really dead, and I. . . Well, I was here, safe at last. “I’m okay,” I said softly as the last bits of fear drained away.

“That’s debatable,” Alice said with a little chuckle. “Now, come on. Get up. We gotta go.”

I opened my eyes to see her still smiling, holding a hairbrush out for me to take.

Sitting up, I took the brush from Alice, then pulled it through my tangled curls. Static snapped with each stroke, and I cringed at the tingle against my neck. “Ugh,” I said, pulling the brush away from my long hair. “If I don’t shower first, I’ll be the only white girl on the second floor with an Afro.”

Alice folded her arms under her breasts, tipped her head to the side, and grinned. “Well, hurry it up, Sistah.”

“Why the hurry?” I raised an eyebrow. “What’s on the activity roster for today? Chess in the game-room? Square dancing? Maybe a little papier-mache?” I gave a mock shiver of excitement and dropped the brush onto my bed.

“Don’t be a dork.” Alice’s dark eyes twinkled with good humor. “Doc wants to see you in his office. . .″ she glanced at her watch. “Like, ten minutes ago.”

“Ah!” I said with a grin. “The truth comes out. Let me guess,” I wiggled my eyebrows up and down. “Anthony on the fourth floor keeping you from your nursing duties?”

Alice blushed and looked to the floor, a smile tugging the corners of her mouth.

“Don’t worry,” I said as I slid out of bed and moved toward my dresser. “Dr. Stevens won’t hear from me how you’ve been gallivanting around the surgery ward with the interns.”

~~

“Good morning,” Dr. Stevens said with a crisp nod. The sudden movement sent his glasses sliding down his long nose, saved only by the red, allergy-swollen tip.

“Aw, no lecture on the importance of promptness, Doc?” I said with a little pout. I slumped down into the rigid leather chair across from the doctor’s.

“Not today.” He smiled pleasantly and folded his hands on his desk. “You’ve made amazing progress, Mina, and done far better than I could have hoped for in these nine years.”

“Did I miss the ′Make A Loony Feel Special Day’ memo?”

Dr. Stevens pushed his thick glasses back in place, ignoring my attempts to rattle him. He’d gotten good over the years, but I was determined to shake him today. I was about to try again when he cut me off with one raised hand.

“Now, I’m not saying we want you to leave us—”

My playfulness dropped like a boulder to the bottom of my stomach, and I sat up straight, gripping the arms of the chair. “You’re sending me away?”

“No, not sending away. I believe you’re ready for the next step in your recovery, to venture out on your own. Isn’t that exciting?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “I. . . I’m not ready.” The first wave of panic rolled my stomach around the boulder, squeezing it into a painful knot.

“In this phase of your rehabilitation, you’ll live your life the way it was meant to be lived, using all the skills we’ve taught you here at Divine Hope.” Dr. Stevens picked up a slip of paper from his desk, quickly looked it over, then held it out to me. “This man is willing to give you a job.”

I swallowed hard, staring at the doctor. “A job?” This wasn’t real. They wouldn’t just toss me out into the big wide world like this. I’d never had a job before, unless you counted working in the hospital library. But that was just busy work, something Dr. Stevens cooked up to keep me from pestering the hospital staff.

When I didn’t take the paper, the doctor stood and leaned across his desk to push it into my hands. I blinked once, then glanced at the paper. There was an address and Oliver Page written in neat block letters. My chest tightened around my pounding heart. It was real. They were throwing me away.

“But. . .” I looked up. “But, where will I live?” I asked, scrambling for something to say, something to keep me here just a little bit longer.

“As part of our rehabilitation program, we’ve secured an apartment for you a few blocks from your new job. Your landlord has many years of experience with ex-patients, so you’ll be in good hands. Each week you’ll come back here for your sessions, and you can always call if you need anything.” Dr. Stevens glanced down at my lap. “Just relax, Mina.”

I’d entwined my fingers so tightly around the paper that my knuckles were white and my fingertips had gone numb. I hadn’t even noticed my hands folded in my lap, my good girl posture, something I hadn’t done in years. I pulled my hands apart, flexing my fingers, leaving the paper crumpled in my lap. Quietly, I counted, concentrating on taking slow, steady breaths between each number.

“Good,” Dr. Stevens said softly. “Good. Now remember, you’re not a prisoner to Cadric anymore. You’ve earned your freedom.”

“Right,” I said, my skin prickling. “Freedom.”

~~

 

Check out the rest of the series 

 

Presence: Wolf Moon  Presence: Smoke and Fire Presence: Into the Dark Presence: August Heat (Presence #5) Presence Caged  

 

 

 How many hours a day do you write?

That depends on the day, how I’m feeling, and what other things I’ve got going on. Since I do editing, ghostwriting, work for video game companies, and do some freelance copywriting in addition to my novels, I feel like I’m writing all day long. If I had to give it an average, I’d say probably 8 + hours a day writing, not including emails, social media, and personal stuff. Thankfully, I type really fast!

 

How do you select the names of your characters?

An interesting tidbit about my characters is that I know every single one of them in my real life. EVERY one, even the bit parts or the people you only see a quick description of one time. They’re friends, family, acquaintances, people that have piqued my interest in some way. It’s not always good, and in fact, every villain in my stories is someone from my life who hurt me or a loved one in some way. So, it stands to reason I’d also choose names based on the people in question. Generally, I use their middle name as a starting point and adjust it from there. Some of the stranger names (like Zia, Teo, and Mr. Boad) are still people I know, but their names are anagrams for something personal. Sometimes an anagram won’t work, so I use abbreviations or the result of a name-code chart I created when I was ten.

 

 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read every book review! I deal with negative reviews the same way I deal with positive ones: I thank the reviewer (if possible), and I take the time to appreciate and acknowledge their opinions. If the critical review points out a flaw, I take it to heart and consider the topic for future books. I don’t see a negative review as inherently BAD, but rather an opportunity to look at my writing from a new perspective. That’s not to say I don’t get my feelings hurt; I am human, after all. But I don’t let it affect me on a personal level. Logically, I know my books won’t be for everyone. It’s impossible to write a book that 100% of people will love 100% of the time! If someone is just being mean though, like a troll just out to be hurtful, I’ll ignore it. If a critical review only says “This book is shit” then it’s not really a review, is it? If they won’t take the time to explain why they think it’s shit, why should I take the time to care what they said? That said, I’ve never received a review like that, lol. I appreciate well-worded and thought out reviews, both positive and critical, and I listen when my readers talk.

 

 As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A wolf or a tiger, depending on my mood. I love both equally, and each possesses traits that I connect with. I have a collection of plush wolves and tigers all over my house, and I even have a tattoo with a wolf paw print and a tiger paw print.

 

 What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I wrote a letter to my dad when I was very young, and it said “I hate you!” Of course, I didn’t actually hate my dad; I loved him very much. But I was angry that I’d been caught being naughty and that I’d been disciplined for it. At 5 or 6 I didn’t have the capacity to understand it was my fault I was in trouble because I broke a rule. Anyway, I couldn’t bring myself to say the words out loud (because I knew in my heart I didn’t really hate him), but I could write it out and almost feel brave. But then he read it, and everything changed. I remember it vividly! I stood in my bedroom doorway, peeking down the hall as he picked it up and read it. He turned to face the hallway and I zipped back into my room before he could see me (though I’m sure he knew I was there). The next morning, there was a folded note taped to my bedroom door. I opened it up, and I saw it was my note, and my dad had added to it. He’d circled my poorly scrawled “I hate you!” and underneath, in his flowing, beautiful handwriting, he said, “And I will always love you.” That day, I realized that words were powerful, and that we should wield them with care. A hastily scribbled note of hate and cruelty can destroy a person as surely as a sweet love note can remind them they are adored, appreciated, and wanted . . . even when they’re being snotty little assholes who shot the BB gun without permission.

 

 

As a domestic violence survivor, Charity uses her past as fuel for her fiction, creating strong characters who overcome great odds to learn, grow, and evolve past their own pain. In her non-fiction, Charity is straight-forward and no-nonsense, giving the facts (and her opinions) with no apologies.

Bibliography:Presence: Awakening, Presence: Wolf Moon, Presence: Smoke and Fire, Presence: Into the Dark , Presence: August Heat, Beyond the Veil: Book One, Blyssfully Abnormal, Bird's Town Presents: Chick Rebuilds, Brother Toad and the Giants, The Pit Monthly, the Don't Sweat series, The Pantheon Cycle: Shrouded Aspect by Gilligames (video game storyline), projects for Nekki (video games), and various ghost writing gigs.

Besides writing, Charity is also a professional editor, as well as an accomplished artist and musician. See her stuff at http://www.optycal.com or chat on Charity Becker's Facebook.

All books are available for great prices at the Blysster Press store!

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Amazon *** Goodreads 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/feature-friday-charity-beckers-presence-awakening-interview-excerpt
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