Monday, April 30, 2012

The lovely Felicity Lennie!

I'm honored to have lovely author, Felicity Lennie, from the United Kingdom on my blog today! She's the writer of thirteen books and a musician living along the Atlantic. She studied astronomy and seismology, loves to create logic puzzles, do crosswords and cartoons. And she's a cancer survivor.

Welcome, Felicity!       

The First Romantic Moment of A Tomboy

As a small tomboy, I really wasn't much into dolls and was consistently refused a train-set. Growing up I benefited from nephews just slightly younger than me who I could teach football and rounders. They had stuff like Meccano and Racing Cars which I enjoyed. I did Judo with them and enjoyed reading their comics like the Hotspur.

Until the age of eighteen, boys were mates and actually a lot still are. Anything vaguely romantic or slushy made me squirm (still does) and would result in my telling the person responsible to take a hike.

However, I did like travelling and persuaded my parents to let me go off on my own when I was eighteen (rare in those days). My friends thought it was crazy going off alone but fortunately I had an exciting adventurous mother who also thought it was a good idea. She furthermore thought I should stand on my own feet and pay for it too. I worked hard, paid for it with my own money and sailed off brimming with intrepid confidence.

Whilst away, I gave short shrift to any 'would-be' suitors with soppy inclinations preferring to mix with a large gang of folk older than me but all great 'minds' I could learn from.

One chap was a school teacher from Scotland who taught my age-group so I really felt comfortable with him. Furthermore he took it upon himself to be my protector which I actually found useful when dispatching young officers and other lotharios. In his company, I got to go to some really off-the-beaten-track places as he was making a documentary for the school which I became the narrator for.

One evening, he asked me if I would like to go to a real night club to see what it was like. I was always game for anything and my big sister had helped me choose clothes for the trip. I wore a really tight, low-backed midnight blue chiffon dress and can picture it now. It was ridiculously uncomfortable and I could only take small steps in it especially with the high heel blue buckled sling-backs.

I looked in the mirror at a complete stranger looking back, an older version of me in fact my sister. I thought about changing back into denims and sweatshirt but it was too late. There was no time.

The dress made me wiggle and that made me giggle all the time so did the wolf-whistles that started to come my way. I actually blushed then blushed all the more because I was blushing.

I met the 'old' (as I thought of him) teacher on the Quay. He was dressed up smart in a tuxedo. I stared at him gobsmacked. Furthermore he was all scenty which wasn't like any teachers I had ever known who had smelt of chalk-dust and old books.

From behind his back he produced a round box tied with pink ribbon (I hated pink with a passion). I looked at it as if he had produced a blancmange. He could see I was completely at a loss so he opened it for me. Inside was a single orchid tied with ribbon.

As I stood there, stunned into uncharacteristic silence and stillness, he pulled it out and pinned it on this tight dress. I looked up at him wondering who the hell he was and what was coming next?

He took my hand and said, "You are truly beautiful." I gulped.

He was great...nothing inappropriate...not even a 'Goodnight' kiss. He wouldn't let me drink and within minutes of hitting the night club I was up dancing like a lunatic with local dance troupe and he was back to fending off the gigolos.

Through my life I often think of this worthy, trustworthy, honourable man who for a couple of minutes taught me what it was going to be like being a woman. I told him I would never forget him and I never have. Magic!

You can find Felicity at:

Website -- http://www.felicity-lennie.com
Twitter -- https://twitter.com/#!/FelicityLennie
Blog -- www.fellyospohy.blogspot.co.uk
Blog -- http://bookislandcastaway.blogspot.co.uk 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Welcome, Michelle Betham!



Today, I welcome Michelle Betham from England to my blog!

First of all, I just want to thank Jan for giving me the opportunity to do a guest spot here on her blog. So, what am I going to talk about? Well, I'm going to talk a little bit about my new book, Bon Voyage, and just what it was that inspired me to write it. Now, although I'm a romance writer, the books I've written kind of fall into two different categories of romance, really; I've written a couple of books that are much more on the sexy, edgy side of romance -- think Jackie Collins with just a hint of Jilly Cooper -- and I've written two books that are very much what I suppose you'd call chick lit, stories that are far more light-hearted. Romantic comedies, if you like. And Bon Voyage -- my fourth book -- is definitely a comedy romance!

I got the idea for the book by taking two of my favourite things, and working a story around them - my love of cruise holidays, and the fact I'm a huge fan of one of Britain's biggest boy bands (Take That). I wanted to write another fun romance with a holiday theme, and I'd always wondered what it would have been like if I'd ever met one of my favourite pop stars so, taking that premise, and setting the story aboard a cruise ship seemed the perfect idea for a book, and so Bon Voyage was born.

It's a book that, I hope, will not only entertain, but also take people on a journey around the beautiful Mediterranean as these new characters I've created undertake a two-week summer cruise, as I've done on more than a few occasions. So, I used my past knowledge of some of the ports of call I've visited, as well as some of the colourful characters I've met on these holidays, and put all of that into Bon Voyage (with a touch of artistic licence, of course!). Writing the book gave me the opportunity to not only remember and re-live some of the fantastic shore excursions I've experienced, but it also gave me the chance to remember what it was like to be young with a crush on a boy band member!


I also seem to have started a pattern of writing about places a touch more exotic than the one I live in -- past books have included some stories set in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and the island of Tenerife -- and a Christmas romance I have planned for later this year is going to be set in Levi, Lapland, where I spent a fantastic New Year's Eve a few years back. But I guess I deal in escapism, really. I don't write books that are going to change the world, I just write books that I hope will take people out of the one they're living in and into another, altogether different one. Even if it is for just a few hours.

Blurb for Bon Voyage:

Thirty-something Geordie girl Aimee Anderson has just been dumped by her fiance, Robbie -- on the the night of their engagement party. So, in an attempt to get over both the relationship, and the rather embarrassing way in which it ended, Aimee and her best friend Jemma are going on the holiday of a lifetime which, in their case, is a trip around the Mediterranean on a mid-budget cruise liner. And there's only one thing Aimee's determined to do on this holiday, and that's forget about Robbie and have some fun.

Danny Johnson is one-fifth of the 90's boy band Bon Voyage, and they're about to make a comeback. In the middle of the Mediterranean. On the same cruise ship as Aimee. And Aimee used to love Bon Voyage. Aimee used to love Danny Johnson...

Back in the day, Danny had been the band's "bad boy", and whilst the years haven't damaged his looks in any way, his post-pop-star life is in a bit of a mess. About to be divorced from Newcastle party princess and Z-list celebrity wannabe, Davina Black, and harbouring a secret from the past about the real reason Bon Voyage split up, Danny just isn't sure if being back in a boy band is what he really wants. But one thing he does want is some fun. For the next two weeks, at least.

So, when Aimee finally meets the man of her dreams -- literally -- could they possibly have some fun together? Or is something -- or somebody -- about to stand in the way of Aimee having a holiday to remember?

Bon Voyage is a romantic comedy; a story of boy bands, broken dreams, and love on the ocean wave...

Excerpt for Bon Voyage:

"Can you believe we're about to see Bon Voyage back together after all these years?" Jemma squealed, grabbing Aimee's arm. "It's like being fifteen all over again!"

Aimee couldn't deny a tiny fluttering of anticipation in her stomach as the strains of the bands first ever number one -- We're Here To Party -- started to fill the packed Show Lounge. But she wasn't altogether sure whether those butterflies were because she was about to see her favourite boy band back together and performing after almost sixteen years, or whether it was because she was about to see one of them in particular. Either way, she was feeling unusually emotional. She hoped she wasn't going to cry -- that would just be ridiculous!

Jemma's grip on Aimee's arm got tighter as the dry ice finally started to clear and five figures -- all dressed in black and red -- emerged from the smoke, although Aimee was almost sure that the coughing fit Ross Nelson seemed to be experiencing hadn't meant to happen.

"Oh-my-God!" Jemma squealed again, and Aimee couldn't help but let out a little squeal herself as all five members of Bon Voyage lifted their heads and started singing the track that had catapulted them to stardom all those years ago.

Suddenly, a barrage of screams coming from behind them alerted both Jemma and Aimee to the fact that they obviously weren't alone in being the only fans on the boat and, swinging round in their seats, they noticed two whole rows of pushed-together tables to their left filled with about twenty or so hysterical women of all ages wearing Bon Voyage T-shirts circa 1993 and singing along loudly to the words of the song.

Aimee stared at Jemma, then they both burst out laughing. Looked like a fan club had got wind of this reunion and booked itself one hell of a holiday.

"We may just have some competition," Aimee whispered to Jemma, their eyes now back on the band as Ross and Frankie attempted (rather unsuccessfully) back flips that were quickly covered up by Danny and Cal, who jumped in front of them as Andy took over lead vocals.

"No chance," Jemma whispered back, her eyes not moving from Cal, who seemed to be wearing exceptionally tight trousers for a man who had to move about quite a bit. "They're no competition for us. They're just weird stalker-types."

"And what were you last night at the bar with Danny?" Aimee hissed, removing Jemma's hand from her arm, which now bore the marks of her friend's manicured fingernails.

"I was being friendly," Jemma smiled. "Now shut up and watch the band, will you? And remember -- you're supposed to be trying to catch Danny Boy's eye."

Aimee sat back in her seat, her eyes -- whether she wanted them to or not -- falling on Danny as he stood to the right of the stage, looking out ahead of him as he sang into his headset, his hips still swivelling the way they'd always done back in the day, that sexy vibe that she'd swooned over so many times in the past still very much there and she felt her stomach do those tiny little flips she'd experienced so often during their live gigs all those years ago. Those old, familiar feelings rushing back as though they'd never gone away. Except, this time, the man she was watching up there on that stage knew exactly who she was. He was real, he wasn't just a poster on her wall anymore.

Buy links for Bon Voyage:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007X5KXRK
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007X5KXRK




A little bit about Michelle...

I'm a British writer of both edgy, sexy romance and humorous light-hearted chick lit. In the past I've worked as an accounts clerk, and a Nursery Nurse, but after going back to college to train in the Performing Arts, and then spending many years working as a Media Technician in a University, my husband and I upped sticks in 2004 and moved to the Spanish Canarian island of Tenerife for a couple of years before returning to the UK to settle in County Durham, in the North East of England.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but only plucked up the courage to self-publish my work a year ago, and I now have four books out there in the big wide world with many more ideas floating round in my head that I hope will materialise into many more.

I love writing (obviously), discovering other new author's to read, rock music, reality TV and the comedy of Peter Kay. Oh, and chocolate -- of course!

Here's how you can find Michelle:

Blog URL -- http://michellebethamwriter.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook - author page: https://www.facebook.com/michellebetham.romanceauthor
Facebook - main profile page: https://www.facebook.com/michellebetham.author

Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/michellebetham

LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michelle-betham/36/324/587


Thank you for being here today, Michelle! I enjoyed your post and look forward to reading your book, Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lucky 7's

I've been tagged by Sharon Saracino !

So when an author is tagged for Lucky 7's, they go to page 77 of their latest release or work-in-progress and count 7 lines down. Then they post the next 7 sentences from that point.

These 7 lines are from my work-in-progress, a romantic suspense - 'Stay Close, Novac!'


     Jessi's gaze slid in his direction. Ian was so damned fine in a bad boy kind of way. And she wanted to share with Olga June the happy feeling she got from being with him. That conversation would have to wait until he was more than twenty feet away.

     "Has he fallen off any more ladders?" Olga June teased.

     Jessi laughed despite her mood. "Not that I know of."

     "When you see him again, take a picture with your phone so I can see what the hunk looks like."

     She couldn't tell her editor that she and Ian were in a hotel lobby, ready to check in. "Hunk? I didn't say he was a hunk."

    
I'm tagging:

Teri Heyer

Peggy Edelheit

Regina Puckett 

Onisha Ellis








Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome, Ellis Vidler!

Today I'd like to welcome author, Ellis Vidler to my blog! Ellis writes stories laced with romance and a lot of suspense!

IN A DIFFERENT PLACE - SETTING

By Ellis Vidler

     When you're in a place with atmosphere or some unique quality, does it trigger your imagination? It does mine. On those infamous dark and stormy nights, do you see murder and mayhem? A wild romance? What happens when you see a charming cottage? A busy street in a big city? These are the things that start story ideas churning in my head. Since I lean toward crime fiction, I try to fit the crime to the scene that intrigues me. What kind of character would be out on that wild night? Why? Soon a story idea is born. Some are depressingly short-lived, mind you, but they're fun to think up.

     For several years, I traveled as part of my job. I had the good fortune to work in Maine, Spain, Holland, Mexico, and many other fascinating places. I took pictures but it was before digital cameras, so I have to dig them out and scan them. (I'm mentally merged with my computer now) I have hundreds of half-baked ideas that I need to consider.

     Setting is such an important part of a story, almost another character. When you think about place, consider how it affects all five senses. If you're near the sea, can you smell the salt air? Fish? Pluff mud (the wet, pungent soil found in marshes)? If you're downtown in a city, what are the sounds? A lonely saxophone wailing in the night? The constant honking of taxi horns? How about touch? Do you feel the humidity, the wind? Are surfaces gritty? The rich details (in moderation, of course) bring places to life.

     I carry my camera, a small digital one, everywhere. It's a wonderful tool for bringing back memories. A recorder is another. Tell it what's passing through your mind concerning the other four senses. It's all useful.

     How do you use setting? Do you enjoy reading about places, the kind where you say "Oh, I've been there. I remember how the icicles hung from all the rooflines" or "Yes, the wind carried the scent of the pines"? Do you have some examples to share?



     Ellis Vidler bio

     All my stories have some degree of romance and a lot of suspense. Cold Comfort is my new romantic suspense, set in Williamsburg in a Christmas shop. My first book, published by Silver Dagger Mysteries, was Haunting Refrain, which takes place in Greenville, SC, and the surrounding area. The second was The Peeper, a suspense novel co-authored with Jim Christopher; it's set on a small college campus in SC. My collection of three short Southern stories, Tea in the Afternoon, is available on Kindle. There's more about me and my books at www.ellisvidler.com or http://theunpredictablemuse.blogspot.com.



     Cold Comfort

     Claire Spencer owns a charming Christmas shop in Williamsburg and leads a conventional life. When a thug attacks her, she hires security consultant Ben Riley to find out why. Old letters in a hidden trunk direct Claire and Riley to connections between politics and organized crime, revealing secrets that turn her life upside down. http://tinyurl.com/ev-cc-Kindle or http://tinyurl.com/ev-cc-Omni

     Jan, thanks so much for letting me visit.


     Ellis, thank you for being a guest on my blog today! I'm reading Cold Comfort right now and it's awesome!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A sneak peek at KISS ME!!

I love this story so much and I'm over-the-moon-happy to share a little bit of KISS ME!!


BLURB:

Falling for the cop who wrote her a speeding ticket and dated her spoiled stepsister throws Lacy Goodlow's world into chaos, but ignoring her heart to keep the peace is not an option.



EXCERPT:

"Sir, seriously," Lacy whimpered. "I haven't been drinking. And I need to get going." She held her wrist up so he could see her watch. "My sister's bachelorette party has already started, and if I don't get there soon, she's going to blow a gasket."

Deputy J. Kelly's eyes widened perceptibly.

Crap. He was picturing the same thing she was -- drunken women and lots of alcohol.

Regardless, she was late. Lacy blew out a weighty breath of frustration, and contemplated making a move for his gun or handcuffing herself to his cruiser; anything so she wouldn't have to face the wrath of Angela.

Deputy Kelly's first command was for her to walk a straight line. Ha! Her sandal teetered on a stone and she swayed sideways. Next, touch the end of her nose. The earth must've shifted, because she missed and almost jabbed herself in the eye. And because of the diet cola she'd downed on the way there, she was fidgeting all over the place. "Are we done?"

Without answering the question, he leaned forward and took a big whiff.

An involuntary prickle of pleasure pulsed through her.

"I'm not going to administer the breathalyzer because your eyes aren't glassy or red, your speech is not impaired, and I don't smell alcohol on your breath."

Duh. He'd been sniffing for alcohol, not enjoying her perfume.

Lacy mumbled a feeble thank-you, but it was drowned out by a car filled with teenagers who buzzed past and hollered "Strip-search her."


Thank you so much for reading this snippet from KISS ME!!  If you would like to check it out further, you can find it here:
  

I would be tickled if you would follow me --
Website - www.janromes.com