Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Teaser Excerpts

Character Interview & Happy Book Anniversary to The Bridesmaid’s Checklist: Marisol’s Wedding by K.T. Castle w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @KTCastle_author @ @k.t.castle @KTCastle_author

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By K.T. Castle

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

Publication date: December 20, 2016

Length: 398 pages / 63,989 words

Publisher: K.T. Castle Books

About BCL

BCL is a Contemporary New Adult Romance that tells Kassandra’s story.

Kassie is a single, independent woman that finds herself questioning her lifestyle after all of her best friend get married and settle down.

Even if she’s the only unmarried girl in the pack she isn’t single anymore. Now that all her friends are married and all the wedding planning is over, she has a chance to concentrate in her relationship with Josh. Or so she thought, since her friends keep visiting her with a major life changing crisis.

Helping her friends plan their wedding was no problem─dealing with unexpected personal situations is a whole other thing.

You can read how she helps Laura and Marisol to plan their weddings.

Marisol’s Wedding

Book 2

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Marisol’s Wedding

Kassandra’s last single friend got married in the summer. But even if she’s the only unmarried girl in the pack she isn’t single anymore. Now that all her friends are married and all the wedding planning is over, she has a chance to concentrate in her relationship with Josh. Or so she thought until Marisol visits her with a major life.changing crisis. Helping her friends plan their wedding was no problem─dealing with an unexpected pregnancy is a whole other thing.

Kassandra is unable to decide the best way to help Marisol, specially when her relationship with Josh starts reaching an amount of commitment that she wasn’t expecting. Both girls will have to remember the past in order to move their relationships forward.

Kassandra is a single, independent woman who prides herself on her own success. Now her life seems complete when Josh─a thoughtful, handsome, and the worst kind of charmer─leaves his womanizing days behind and can’t seem to stay away from her. Kassandra keeps wondering if their single days are really over and they’re ready for a monogamous and committed relationship.

Marisol is a married woman with the perfect life─A wonderful husband and a beautiful son. Life gets even better when her little boy is finally ready for school and Sol can go back to work.

Destiny is full of surprises for both girls, and sometimes the plans that you have aren’t the ones in the path before you.

Join Kassandra and Marisol as they remember how they planned Sol’s wedding while they solve together the difficulties in the present.

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About the Author

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K.T. Castle loves reading, writing, and painting. She’s on a quest to find the words, forms, and colors to materialize the worlds and people of her imagination. She loves reading Paranormal, New Adult, and Contemporary Romance. She never saw herself as an incurable romantic, but lately, that’s what she finds herself musing about. Love is found everywhere, regardless of whether it comes from a nice person or an ass—mundane or even vampire.

When she’s not busy with work, in front of a computer placing many thoughts in order, she makes her best to be creative or relax with a good TV series and snacks. Some of her favorite characters are Jon Snow, Daenerys, Barney Stinson, Saint, Rome Archer, Rush, Gretchen McKay, and Cinderella.

Her follow links:

Facebook: @KTCastle.author | Google+: K.T.Castle_author | Twitter: @KTCastle_author | Pinterest: KTCastle_author | Goodreads | Instagram | Website | Blog | Mailing list

Other Works

Laura’s Wedding

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Laura’s Wedding

Kassandra is a single, independent woman who prides herself on her own success. But when she’s asked by her best friend Laura to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding, Kassandra finds herself questioning her lifestyle. Helping Laura plan the wedding is no problem—she’s done it before for all their other friends. The first time was a blast, the second super fun, but doing it without receiving any help from the rest of the girls gets old really fast.

The whole event kicks off with the worst kind of surprise when Kassandra discovers who her friend’s fiancé really is, and she’s torn between supporting Laura’s future happiness and hiding the deeply buried, intimate past she shares with the groom-to-be. Struggling to be the bigger person and do all the hard work on her own, Kassandra finds surprising comfort in Josh, the best man in the wedding and someone she’s been avoiding for years. He’s charming, thoughtful, handsome, and the worst kind of womanizer, but she just can’t seem to stay away. All the while, Kassandra can’t help wondering if the wedding could be any more cliché—until she finds unexpected ways to change things up a bit.

Read BCL1’s first chapter

Excerpt of Marisol’s Wedding

 

Excerpt 1

My apartment had an open plan. It wasn’t big—just big enough. I had it all decorated in light neutral colors, white dominating most of the space. Marisol had taken the pink piglet with her and placed it on the marble counter while we had some tea and cookies.

She was calmer after she revealed her true intentions to me, but we didn’t discuss her options much more; we both knew that this was a decision she had to make on her own.

An hour later, Josh and Micah returned. We knew they’d already had dinner, since anyone could see red thick tomato sauce smudged all over the toddler’s face. The boys had hunted some chicken soup and green salad for us girls, relieving me of my cooking duties.

After having her soup, Marisol said her farewells. Michael texted her that he was on his way home, and she wanted to be there to greet him. She took some leftover pizza and salad for Michael’s dinner. Josh helped her out with Micah, who’d fallen asleep watching cartoons in my room.

It was a surprise to see Josh so helpful with the rowdy toddler. I didn’t know he liked children, and it surprised me even more that he was actually good with them. I finished cleaning the kitchen, and Josh came back to hug me from behind. “How about I rub your shoulders before I go home?”

“That sounds wonderful,” I said as he stepped back so I could continue with my last task.

“You’re really tense, babe,” he informed me. “What had Sol so upset?” He moved away and leaned against the kitchen counter.

“She’s pregnant.”

He crossed his arms before commenting, “I thought that would be something to be happy about. I know I’d love to knock you up.” My boyfriend said naturally, as if we’d had a conversation of the sort recently—or at all.

We’d only dated for six months, so the baby subject had never been discussed before. To be honest, I’d never in my life even thought about babies. I was about to ask Josh what exactly he meant by his comment when he distracted me with another question.

“Michael isn’t happy about her being pregnant, or what?”

“Michael doesn’t know yet,” I explained, doing my best not to show the panic I felt at his mention of us having babies. I wasn’t ready for that at all, but this was really about Sol and Michael, not us. “And, please, don’t tell him. I probably shouldn’t have told you anything.”

“Sure, that’s for them to talk about.” At least we agreed on that, but I was still stock on his revelation.

“Josh,” I asked as calmly as I could manage, trying to control the arrhythmia suddenly overtaking my body, “what exactly did you mean by the knocking-me-up comment?” I stopped wiping the microwave so I could look at him and size up his reaction.

“Nothing much,” he nonchalantly answered, his gray eyes clear with honesty. “Just a silly comment.” Then he crossed his arms over the broad chest I loved so much and gazed back at me as if he was gauging my own reaction in return.

I didn’t know if he’d meant anything by those words or if he was just trying to shake off the whole topic—maybe because of the doubtful vibes I was sending his way. I turned and walked to the sink, rinsing the cloth I used to clean the kitchen and placing it next to the wide metallic bowl. “You’d like to have a baby.” It was meant to be a question, but I expressed it as a statement.

“Sure. Why not?” Josh answered with complete honesty. “I’d like to have a baby in the future.”

I exhaled deeply. That made me feel a little better, even if he hadn’t said he wanted to have a baby with me in that future. I walked to the living room, made myself comfortable on the light couch, and took a few seconds to think clearly.

It was rational for anyone to think about having children in the future, wasn’t it?

“I didn’t even know you liked children,” I said. He joined me on the sofa and turned me around so he could massage my shoulders as he’d promised.

“I didn’t know it myself, so of course you didn’t know.” Josh cleared his throat while his hands did their magic. “I thought my nephew was the only kid I liked, and he’s older now. Playing videogames with him is the highlight of our relationship. But I’ve been spending some time with babies recently. Nat’s girl is so cute, there are no words to describe her. And Micah—he’s super fun. We had a good time together today.

“My sister got pregnant in her early twenties,” he continued, “so I was still a teenager when Elliot was born. I guess that’s why I didn’t have that much time to enjoy him. He’s twelve now—a real teen nightmare. Of course, being the cool uncle and playing Playstation with him always helps.”

“Oh.” I mean, what else could I say? I knew so little about his family. I already knew he had a sister who was a single mother, but I didn’t know his nephew was a teenager. He rarely talked about them, so I thought he wanted to keep our relationship lighter than ‘meeting-the-family’ status, and I was perfectly fine with it.

He’d mentioned to me that I should meet his sister once or twice, but there’d always been something else to do. Maybe he wasn’t that interested in me meeting his family, but I knew why I didn’t want him to meet mine. Knowing them, they’d make the situation much more formal than it should have been, and I didn’t want Josh to get the impression I was out to tie him down. Our intentions with each other were clear, but the formality and future path of our relationship was a whole other topic. I didn’t know if he was ready for something like that; I knew that at the moment, I definitely wasn’t.

“I still don’t get it, though.” Josh completely changed the subject and therefore my train of thought. “Why is her pregnancy a problem?”

“Marisol hasn’t worked since Micah was born,” I explained. “She’s the best financial manager I’ve ever met. Sol’s great at her job, banks were always throwing money at her to work for them, but most of all, she really enjoyed working with numbers. She was really truly happy. Not that she isn’t right now,” I clarified. “She’s completely in love with Michael and Micah. I don’t think she’d have it any other way. But she was happy to go back to work, to feel fulfilled in her professional life. Now that Micah’s in preschool, she accepted a proposal from a bank she used to work for. Marisol’s super happy getting her chance to work with all those numbers. And she feels that a new baby will change it all. Somehow, she thinks that Michael and her family will pressure her into staying at home with the baby. She’s terrified of that.”

“That’s why she was so upset.” Josh seemed to really understand Marisol’s situation—seemed completely sympathetic. “But there must be other options,” he added. “Besides, a new baby should be a source of joy in any family. I love how children light up a place.”

OMG. I had never expected something like this from a man like Josh. A man I saw with so many different women, I once considered him a womanizer. A man who worked in the fashion world at a modeling agency, scouting models at bars and pubs. A man who kept telling me he was so in love with me. And now he mentioned babies and how wonderful they are.

It was too much for me right then.

“Whether they’re planned or not, having a baby is a big deal. People should be happy about it,” Josh continued, voicing his opinions in a parallel universe I never thought existed.

Yep, too much. I needed to stop this conversation.

“I’m sure,” I said, trying to stop any more ‘how wonderful are babies’ comments. “You know what, Josh? I’m really tired.” I stood and ran from his loving ministrations. “This whole thing with Sol completely drained all my energy and I have an early day tomorrow. Do you mind if I go to bed now?”

“Oh, sure, gorgeous,” he said. “I completely understand.” Josh walked to the door and I followed him closely. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” The way he said goodbye sometimes made my body physically reluctant to let him go. His kisses completely melted me, and he knew just how to ignite my body so I couldn’t do anything but want him. Tonight, though, I felt like being alone, and I really needed him to go.

“Will you meet me tomorrow at my place?” he asked as his mouth left a trail of kisses down my neck. “Or should I come back here?” His hands had already unbuttoned my shirt, exposing one of my breasts, and his skilled fingers played with my nipples.

“You’re the devil,” I said, pushing him against the door. He dropped his hands and gave one his most deliciously impish smiles. “Stay away from me.”

“Until tomorrow?”

“I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know,” I answered.

“I love you, baby,” he said.

I kissed him lightly and closed the door behind him as he left. It might have been silly, but at that moment, I was really thankful that I was on the pill.

Excerpt 2

It didn’t take long for all the guests to be seated around the table.

Fortunately, it was a really pleasant evening. The food was wonderful—guacamole, rajas, carnitas, frijoles, and a bunch of other guisados that were completely delicious and complimented perfectly the soft corn tortillas Marisol had made early in the morning.

Most of the conversation seemed to focus on me. I didn’t know if it was because they were really interested about my life in Boston, my Master’s degree, or simply because we wanted to avoid the big pink elephant in the room—Sol and Michael’s first dinner at her parents’.

I didn’t mind being the buffer for that conversation, although I was sure Marisol would have to answer a million questions about her relationship and Michael’s intentions soon enough. You didn’t get to invite your boyfriend to meet your Mexican family if you weren’t expecting to go through that.

“That’s really interesting, Kassandra,” Mr. Fuentes said. “You opening your own business and helping everyone write their processes and plans.” Marisol’s father’s accent wasn’t that noticeable—not like her mother’s. I guess it was because Mr. Fuentes worked out in the city while Sol’s mom stayed at home and spent time with the family. “But I’m more interested to hear about the ‘gringo’ Sol brought to dinner tonight.” He was really direct; he probably got frustrated that all the conversation was about me and not about anyone else.

“Pa, I told you,” Marisol said. “He’s a financial manager, just like me.”

“Let him talk, Sol. It isn’t as if I was speaking to him in Spanish,” Mr. Fuentes said.

“Marisol’s right, Mr. Fuentes,” Michael said. “I work as a financial manager in the same bank as she does, only in a different branch.”

“So you don’t work together?” Mr. Fuentes asked Michael again.

“Not really,” Michael explained. “I was lucky enough to meet her at the Christmas party the company had for everyone.”

“Since Christmas then?” I could see Mr. Fuentes doing the math. It was now the middle of fall, so they’d been dating almost a year before Marisol brought Michael home to meet her parents. I didn’t want to be in Sol’s shoes when everyone left.

“Yes, sir,” Michael said.

“And you haven’t brought him home until today, Solecito?” The head of the family turned to his daughter. ‘Solecito’ was the pet name he used for Marisol, specifically when he was spoiling her not when he was questioning her so seriously.

“No, Pa.” Marisol smiled gently. “I’ve been really busy lately, and so has Michael. I didn’t find the right time to bring him home. I thought….”

“Tina, it’s his first time home, right?” Now he questioned Sol’s mother.

“Si, Manuel. Es la primera vez,” Mama Tina answered Mr. Fuentes question. “¿Qué tanto misterio?”

“I was just wondering why the gringo didn’t show his face before,” Mr. Fuentes explained. “What exactly are his intentions with my little Sol?” His question didn’t seem to be aimed at anyone in particular until he looked at the other side of the table and met Michael’s eyes. “What exactly are your intentions with Marisol?”

“The best, sir,” Michael answered.

I had to give the guy some credit—he wasn’t budging at all. He looked Mr. Fuentes right in the eye and faced him with everything he had. I could see Clay look at him with awe and respect. It wasn’t an easy task to stand up to Mr. Fuentes.

“Define best,” the protective father said.

“I adore her. I intend to care for her in every way, to love and protect her. To treat her as she deserves.” Apparently, Michael’s words weren’t convincing; Mr. Fuentes huffed under his breath. “I also intend to marry her…if she’s willing to take me.”

That about made everyone stop breathing for a second there.

“What?” Marisol said. Apparently they hadn’t had that conversation yet.

“This probably isn’t the best moment, Sol,” Michael said apologetically. “But since your father brought it up, I couldn’t stop myself.” He stood from his seat and walked the small distance to reach Marisol. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while now.” He extended his hand and helped my friend stand up next to her chair. “And we haven’t even talked about it at all. But we’re perfect together. You’re perfect.” He reached for a small velvet box inside the pocket of his trousers. “I’ve been carrying this around for a couple days now. Looking for the best moment to reach for it and offer it to you.” Michael kneeled before her.

Everyone had stopped eating to watch this surprise proposal; some even stood up in order to get a better look at the event.

“Why not here, with your family and friends as witnesses to how much I love you and how I want nothing more than to have you in my life forever? Marisol Fuentes, will you marry me? Would you make me the luckiest man alive?”

Marisol was completely speechless. Her right hand covered her mouth and tears pooled in her eyes.

¡Contéstale, niña!” Mama Tina shouted, just as excited as the rest of us to hear her daughter’s answer.

My friend was only able to nod yes. Michael took that as answer enough and placed the ring on her delicate hand.

We all clapped and cheered when Michael stood and held Sol in the most tender hug. I knew she was usually shy, but I guessed happiness was all the encouragement she needed to kiss Michael in front of her parents.

“Congratulations!” Natalie said.

“You’re going to get married!” I added in excitement.

“He’s got some balls to propose in front of Mr. Fuentes,” Clay said at some point.

“I thought I was going to be next,” Laura commented.

“I can’t believe my Sol is getting married,” Mama Tina said.

Pinches gringos. They have to do everything backwards,” Mr. Fuentes scoffed under his breath.

“This has been an entertaining night,” Julian pitched in.

We all took turns in congratulating the newly engaged couple. And I doubted I was the only one to wonder what exactly Marisol’s dad meant by his comment. We were all about to learn how Mexicans liked their weddings.

Mexican Wedding Checklist

Meet the parents

Ask for her hand in marriage

Propose to the bride

Excerpt 3

“Kass, what’s going on?” I heard Josh’s drowsy voice from somewhere behind me.

I couldn’t even turn around to give him a decent answer before I started hurling again.

“Shit, Kass.” He was next to me in a second, holding me from behind and making sure to get my hair out of the way.

Pink vomit covered the inside of my white porcelain toilet, and all I could think about was how much this would upset my grandmother.

I’d woken up what felt like ages ago. My stomach was completely upset, and I knew vomiting was inevitable. Unfortunately for me, my babushka was sleeping tranquilly next to me. I didn’t have it in my heart to wake her up—not just to tell her how sick I felt. Not with the noises I knew would be coming from my bathroom. I’d eventually wake her up, only for her to find me turning my stomach inside-out. I decided I had to leave my room and go to the guest restroom on the farthest side of my living room.

During my very long walk there, I accomplished the herculean feat of not throwing up on my wooden floor or creamy carpet. I didn’t even notice Josh sleeping on the couch; he could’ve helped me get there sooner. Then again, my intentions while almost crawling my way across my apartment were to not disturb my grandma’s sleep, which in a way included not disturbing anyone else’s.

“Are you done?” Josh asked as soon as he saw that my heaving stopped for a few minutes.

“I hope so.”

“Stay here,” he said. As if I could move anywhere else. He returned quickly, accompanied by a warm, humid cloth and a glass of fresh water.

I couldn’t express my gratitude enough.

Josh sat on the floor next to me. “Why didn’t you let me know you were this sick?” he asked.

I could understand his confusion. If he was ill, I would expect him to tell me so I could help take care of him. It would have made a lot more sense if I’d used my own bathroom. “I didn’t want bahba to know I was sick,” I confessed. “And I totally forgot that you spent the night.”

He grunted his disapproval and demanded, “Are you ready to go back to bed?”

“Not really.” That only made him grunt again. “I’d rather go with you to the couch, if that’s okay.”

“Totally fine.” While his words were a bit cold and cutting, his touch felt warm and caring. Josh carried me back to the couch with him. I rested in his lap for a little while and relaxed back to sleep.

What felt like seconds later, I felt movement underneath me. I opened my eyes and stirred a bit before I heard Josh’s soft whisper. “I think your grandma woke up. I just want to put my pants back on.”

I mumbled an okay and sat up straight. If my grandmother was coming out of my bedroom any minute, I needed to look as healthy and awake as possible.

A few moments later, Josh had managed to clean up the living room—and possibly the restroom—place some tea in the pot, and get ready for the day. I imagined he and my grandma had to leave sometime soon. I guessed I could fend for myself. I was almost sure the worst was over.

“Good morning,” Babushka said as she came out of my bedroom looking well-rested.

“Good morning,” Josh and I answered almost simultaneously.

“Glad to see you’re doing better, Kassandra.” After all that vomiting, I’d probably lost some weight, too. “It was good to stay with you and help you recover.”

“Would you like some tea, Babushka?” Josh asked the old lady.

She approached the teapot and said, “It’s only chamomile tea, but I guess it’ll do. Do you need me to fix some breakfast before I go?”

“I took the liberty of boiling some eggs for Kassandra as soon as she’s ready for them.” Eggs were probably the last thing I wanted to eat at the moment. “A friend of mine will be here any minute with sour bread from the bakery in case either one of you want some.” Bread sounded more appealing—or saltines. I thought I had some in one of my cabinets.

“Eggs for me. Kassandra, do you want some?” my grandmother asked.

“Tea is fine, thank you.”

“Good. If you get hungry, Josh has managed to prepare a half-decent breakfast,” she said. “I guess that since you’re sick, there isn’t much else that might be good for you.” Grandma fixed her egg with some mayonnaise and paprika. Their interaction was a nice distraction from how horrible I felt. Somehow, I’d managed to convince my grandmother I was doing much better, and she concentrated her attention on my boyfriend. Her gaze constantly followed his movements, probably contemplating the ease with which he moved around my place. Josh’s eyes constantly returned to me, searching my face, his composure oddly rigid. But it wasn’t because he felt uncomfortable under my grandma’s eye; he kept looking at me, as if he wanted to ask some question—that was, when babushka wasn’t talking to him.

“Josh, can I cook something for you?” she asked.

“I’m doing fine with my coffee, Babushka. Thank you.”

It didn’t take her long to finish her light breakfast and comment, “It seems there’s nothing much for me to do. I better call a cab so I can get back to your dzed.”

“I would offer to take you, but I’d rather stay with Kass for the rest of the morning,” Josh said. “But I’m sure my friend Mindy will be happy to take you home. She’s the one bringing us the bread.”

“Oh, nonsense. I wouldn’t want to impose,” the stubborn old lady answered.

“Really, babushka, please. It will make Kass and me feel better,” Josh explained, “Besides, Mindy loves driving and today she’s driving my car. You would be doing her a favor.”

“Well, if it’s a favor for this girl, then I accept.”

Josh stepped into the hall outside my apartment, probably to call Mindy and inform her of the new task she’d been given. Not so long ago, I’d been really jealous of this Mindy character. She was one of the most beautiful twiggy blonds I’d ever met, and during Laura’s wedding preparations, I’d noticed that she was always hanging around Josh. He later explained that she was actually his PA. I felt a little embarrassed after learning about their relationship, although I still kept my eyes open in case she decided to make a move on her boss.

My grandmother approached me. I hadn’t moved from the couch since Josh had helped me there. “He’s a good man,” she said. “Your Dzyedooshka should meet him. Soon.” She patted my leg and kissed my cheek. “Bring Josh home soon.”

“Mindy’s downstairs waiting for you, Babushka,” Josh announced. “Let me walk you to the car.”

We said our farewells and my grandma made me promise that I would call her that night to let her know how I was doing. I would agree to anything in that moment just to get her to leave. I could feel the dizziness and nausea coming back at me. I could do with Josh leaving, too. I was alarmingly embarrassed given he had witnessed me vomit over and over again in the night.

As soon as they left, I rushed to the bathroom inside my bedroom. Kneeling before the porcelain toilet, I heaved and heaved, leaving only water and tea. I wondered then what I could have done to deserve something like that. Where and how could I have gotten this sick?

Josh was soon with me again, hovering over me and making sure I was all right. I insisted he go home, but he wouldn’t listen. He stayed with me all day, taking care of me as if I was a baby. He fed me when I decided I was going to try and eat something. Saltines and sour bread with some butter was the only thing I could keep down. He helped me shower and put me to bed, too. Our day was spent between trips to the restroom, showering, and sleeping. We didn’t talk much. Josh had been extremely sweet by staying and taking care of me. Thankfully, my stomach’s antics had stopped at some point around noon.

Later that night, I remembered I’d promised to call my grandmother, and I shamelessly told her I felt much better. When we were finally in bed, Josh hugged me tenderly from behind. He kissed my bare shoulder and told me as I was falling asleep, “I may have managed to knock you up.”

That comment was enough to keep me awake for most of the night.

Read BCL2’s the First Chapter

 

Character Interview

Howdy! I really liked getting to know you in The Bridesmaids Checklist. You cracked me up at times but also made me want to shake you.

You can shake me, but not too hard, lol.

I’m happy to be here and so very excited about Marisol’s Wedding first anniversary. More so, because I know Marisol’s is your favorite out of the two books.

I just have a few questions for you. If you don’t mind.

Shoot!

I guess the biggest question for me is why you let Laura treat you like a doormat? As you know, I don’t like her and probably never will. She might be your best friend and all but some of the crap she pulled…I would have slapped her and walked away. You are better than that!

Oh, thanks for cheering for me.

You know, you’re actually one of the first people who has pointed out that Laura can be a better friend to me, and in retrospective I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve never perceived our friendship as one in which one person exploits the other. Regardless of me justifying her actions, I know you won’t like her so I won’t even try. I just want to say that I know she’s demanding, I know she’s high maintenance and I know she can be a total bitch, but she’s also loyal and protective of her friends. She’s one of those girls that either you love, hate, or love to hate.

Josh is a dream. I know, he didn’t seem like it in the beginning but he really grew on me. What is the one thing that drew you to him, other than the sex. LOL!

Josh, God, where to begin? He’s…. he’s everything.

I would’ve never imagined I would fall for someone as deeply and hard as I fell for him.
Physically, the first thing that drew me to him where his eyes, that deep steel gaze captured me immediately. His intensity. And then he smiled and completely melted me.
When I met him it wasn’t in the best circumstances, he was definitely a player, and as gorgeous as he is and as attracted as I felt for him, I was done with players.
Everything changed when I began interacting with him during Laura’s Wedding. He’s so charismatic, he has this dark sense of humor that always finds a way to make me smile. I was also able to see how much he cared for the people around him, always finding a way to please everyone… specially me 😉

While we are on the subject of the men in the book, Ed was a douche to you but yet, you ultimately forgave him. Why?

Edward and I have a complicated relationship. We used to date when we were younger, so having him marrying my best friend was a bucket of ice cold water. There’s a lot in our relationship that I’ll get to explain in Natalie’s Wedding, and you’ll probably get a better understanding of our story.

As to why I forgave him, I guess there’s no better answer than because I had to… not for him, certainly not for Laura, not even for Josh, but because I needed to. Whatever happened between us did a long time ago, I needed to stop clinging to the hurt I felt because of him in order to move forward. He did apologize to me, and for that I’m grateful, but there wasn’t any sense of closure because of it. That’s when I discovered it wasn’t him who would give me the peace of mind I needed. It had always been me.

One last question…are you done being the wedding planner? These girls really need to help you more.

Lol! I like planning, that’s my thing. And you’re right… I need help!! Now that everyone’s married there’s only me left. Josh and I aren’t close to something of the sort, we aren’t ready yet. At least I know I’m not. But I guess that is there’s a next wedding it would have to be ours 🙂
Now, I wonder who would be helping me if I ever decide to marry? Any bets?

Thank you so much Kass! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the story between you and Ed. As to Laura, I just hate her. But you might not like some of my friends either.
Those girls better help you when you and Josh get married. Especially Laura. Just saying.
Thanks so much for coming on the blog and explaining your side of the story.
Harlie

 

 

 

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Both Books will be on FREE promotion on December 20.

Laura’s Wedding

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Marisol’s Wedding

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Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Interviews, Meme, New Release

Grand Finale for The Man She Knew by Loree Lough w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @LoreeLoughAutho


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Man She Knew
By Loree Lough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below…

Launch – Note from the Author

Researching this novel was different from any other I’ve written, because Ian Sylvestry is my first ex-convict hero! A very troubled teen, Ian got involved with some bad dudes, and didn’t realize just how bad they were until, one rainy night, he goes along with them as they commit a felony. He had plenty of time to think about his unwise, immature choices while he served ten years for the crime. Plenty of time to think about all the people his imprudent decision had hurt. Upon his release, he works tirelessly to become a respectable citizen, and earns the respect of family and friends. But is it too late to win back the heart of Maleah Turner, the love of his life…?

Rockin’ Book Reviws – Review

“The story is a very good one. The characters were portrayed well, the scenes easily visualized from familiarity, and had a steady smooth flow throughout most of the book. A few real social problems are addressed. It is also a story of strong family relationships and support, and of dysfunctional homes. It is often uplifting and has a few twists which adds to the drams. I truly enjoyed the quite predictable tale.”

deal sharing aunt – Interview

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

For The Man She Knew, I learned that everyone, no matter what terrible thing is in their past, deserves a second chance. I also learned a whole lot about life in prison, and what it’s like to return to a society that flat-out doesn’t trust you. Those who succeed in life after serving a prison term are to be commended, because my research and interviews proved…it ain’t easy!

Booklove – Review

“Amazing, beautiful and captivating with strong and lovely characters and a flowing and engaging plot. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone.”

Beck Valley Books – Excerpt

Those final moments in the courthouse were as vivid now as they had been that dreary morning: Ian, looking like a terrified boy as one guard slammed the prison van’s side door and another put the vehicle into gear. He’d raised a hand to wave goodbye, but the chain connecting handcuffs to leg irons stopped him. Tears filled his eyes, and unable to watch, she’d closed her own. By the time she opened them again, the driver had already made the first turn onto Lombard Street and started the hour-long trip Lincolnwood Correctional of Central Maryland…

Hearts & Scribbles – Character Descriptions

Ian Sylvestry:

Mid-30s, 6’2”, 190 lbs.; green eyes, dark hair (ponytail), diamond stud in left earlobe, tattoos; former convict, now owns a popular bistro in historic Fells Point.

Janice’s Book Review – Review

“Loved that beside that he owed and ran a restaurant that he also did search and rescue with his dog. Love the families on both sides and closeness. I definitely recommend this book.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Introduction to the Series

“By Way of the Lighthouse” features heroes and heroines separated by hurt, anger, and disagreements.

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

Was this it then? The end?

When they tell her I’m gone, will she cry?

Ian hoped not. He’d only seen her cry once, on the day the carted him off to Lincoln.

Most awful thing ever…

Because he’d caused her tears, and it shamed him, even now.

If the powers that be decided to give him one more chance, he’d make things right.

Somehow, I’ll make things right…

Brooke Blogs – Character Interviews

Interview with Ian Sylvestry:

Q: So Ian, tell us what led up to your arrest…

A: I was a dumb kid with a big chip on my shoulder. After my mother ran off to England with another guy, my dad turned to alcohol to hide from what she’d done to us, leaving me to pretty much raise myself.

Q: And that’s how you got involved with what you’ve referred to as “some bad dudes”?

A: It makes no sense to me now, but back then, they were like brothers, there for me no matter what.

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“There are a lot of things going on in The Man She Knew – and it all combines to make a great read! An inspiring story of second chances, forgiveness and family, this novel more than lives up to its ‘heartwarming’ brand. It never gets sappy, though, or saccharine; instead, Lough has given us warm characters, a compelling plot, and a tender romance.”

Cinnamon Cindy’s Book Blog – Excerpt

It had been a mistake, asking Andy to drop him this far from her grandparents’ drive. Walking on flat ground had been a challenge with crutches, and then the cane. He took his time, but tromping through deep snow made him wince with every step. If you put yourself in the hospital, you’ll only have yourself to—

Becky on Books – Interview

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

For some reason, I kept hearing stories about how difficult it is for the newly released—men and women—to return to normal lives. From reuniting with family to finding a job, they meet obstacles of every variety. Now, I’m no Pollyanna…I realize some of these people are hardened criminals that will return to their old ways and probably end up right back in prison. But some of them honestly want to leave that life behind, and do everything in their power to start fresh and stay on the right path. So I wrote a story featuring a guy like that, who made a stupid mistake—and paid for it—and wanted little more of life when he left prison bars behind than to prove himself a changed man.

Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford – Review

“This is a heartwarming story of love overcoming all obstacles. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance and the characters that Ms. Lough created in this epic story and I can’t wait to read what she has in store for us next.”

It’s All About the Romance – The Setting

All stories in the “By Way of the Lighthouse” series are set in and around Baltimore, and feature the quaint, picturesque, and historic streets, shops, and homes.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This book dealt with some real emotional issues. I was impressed the Loree Lough took a tough subject matter and turned it into a positive. There are so many psychological issues that had to be overcome for this book to succeed. I felt that it was done well.

If you like books about second chances, success in spite of obstacles, family loyalty, and honor, this may be a book for you to dive into.”

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt

He’d forgotten how good, how right she felt in his arms. If she kept looking up at him that way he’d kiss her, long and hard and…

Ian cleared his throat. “You look pretty good in an evening gown.”

“And you look pretty good in a tux.”

“Good thing it didn’t snow, like Marty Bass said it would.”

“In his defense, he said might.”

“So he did…”

“But you’re right. If it had snowed, I’d break my neck in these shoes.”

Nicole’s Book Musings – The Song that Changed Everything

On the night of the big charity ball, Ian and Maleah shared a dance. Just one dance. But it was enough to remind them both how perfect their young love had been…

Getting Your Read On – Review

“The whole premise of the book is such an interesting one and I was caught up in Ian’s struggle. There is just something about a story of second chances, especially one in the extreme like this one. It wasn’t just a second chance at love but a second chance at life.”

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

“Redemption, turmoil and undying love are brought to life in Loree Lough’s latest release! We meet Ian, a tarnished man who has gone to great lengths to turn his life around and is such a joy to grow to adore throughout the book. The heroine however, is not easy to love. She’s a kind and generous soul to everyone else, but to him, she’s self-righteous and hurtful. In the end, we have to find forgiveness in our heart as well as we make our way through the story towards that happily-ever-after…”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

He missed hearing her sweet-yet-sultry voice. Missed those big glittery blue eyes, too. Once, that cheery smile had the power to light every dark corner of his life and make him forget that his mother had chosen another man over him and his dad.

Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader – Review

“This book has every thing you could want from a clean contemporary romance. You have heartache, love, laughter, and of course the Happily Ever After. If you looking for something to just make you feel good while your reading it and keep a smile on your face this book is perfect for you.”

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below…

The Man She Knew
(By Way of the Lighthouse, #1)
by Loree Lough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Don’t they both deserve a second chance?

Fourteen years ago, one reckless act cost Ian Sylvestry everything, including the girl he planned to marry. Since then, he has fought hard to turn his life around. Returning to his Baltimore town after serving a prison term was the first step. Winning back Maleah Turner’s trust is a far more daunting challenge. From their first sparks-flying reunion, it’s obvious they still have powerful feelings for each other. In fact, they might be even stronger together now. But if their second chance is going to work, Maleah has to believe that Ian is a changed man. She really wants to believe…but she simply isn’t convinced.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. The Man She Knew, #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series, her 3rd for Harlequin Heartwarming, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.com.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest

Tour Giveaway

– Two winners will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– Two winners will receive an ebook of THE MAN SHE KNEW (open internationally)
– Two winners will receive a print copy of THE MAN SHE KNEW (US only)
– Ends June 13th

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Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaways

Riders of the Lightning Storm (Horse Passages) by Jennifer Macaire w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #Recipe #Character Interview @jennifermacaire


 

RIDERS
OF THE LIGHTNING STORM
~ Horse Passages ~
Jennifer Macaire
YA, Sci-Fi, Romance, Adventure
Evernight Teen Publishing
Twins Carl and Meagan Cadet are the youngest herders in the Federation. Their parents and younger sister were abducted by the enigmatic Raiders, and now they are alone with their
horses. Aware of the dangers, they continue to herd the horses that somehow open passages between planets. 
They are on Tauii 3 when Luke Jeffries arrives on the scene with his herd. Luke and Meagan
are pulled together as they come to grips with their losses. When raiders capture Meagan and Luke, they become prisoners working in mines on an isolated asteroid. Escape seems impossible, but they encourage each other to keep up the hope even as they begin to fall in love. 
But before they can escape, they must somehow unlock the mystery of the horse passages. 
Buy Links:   Evernight
Teen
     ARe     Amazon
Excerpt:
The Jeffries’ had moved their herd to the south end of the lake. Today, the boys had started breaking in the two-year-olds, and Meagan decided before swimming she’d go have a look at their work. It was a ten-minute walk along the shoreline, and as she walked she gathered eggs from the many nests she found. She only took one egg from each nest, putting them carefully in her pouch after admiring their speckled amethyst coloring.
Luke saw her coming and waved. He sat astride the lead mare and her presence calmed the young horses his brothers rode. They cantered slowly around a circle of bare earth worn in the grass. Luke led, with his brothers right behind him. Their mounts snorted loudly and swished their tails, unused to having riders on their backs. They cantered a while, slowed to a bouncy trot, and dropped to a walk. Skittishly, the younger horses tossed their heads and pranced sideways.
“Let’s go faster!” cried Luke, urging his mare into a gallop. She pinned her ears back, as if annoyed to be acting the part of schoolmistress, but set off at a fast pace. The three boys galloped after Luke, sitting astride their horses
with practiced ease.
Meagan sat on a nearby log and watched. She admired the way the brothers rode. Everyone had a different style, but the Jeffries looked both athletic and graceful. In the distance, across the lake, she could see Carl walking toward their camp. He waved his hat in the air, and she waved back. Meagan rose and picked up the eggs. She should get back if she wanted to swim before dinner. Luke and his brothers wouldn’t be finished for a while yet.
She’d just finished adjusting the strap on her shoulder pouch when a clap of thunder made her jump. Frowning, she looked around. There were no storm clouds in sight. A faint sparkle caught Meagan’s eye, and she stiffened. A mist curtain, no more than three feet wide, appeared in the middle of the plain. Her heart seemed to stop, then start again, pounding frantically.
“R-r-raid . . .  Raiders,” she whispered. She had to warn Carl and the Jeffries brothers. She tried to shout, but her voice stuck in her throat. She couldn’t say anything. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out at all. Panic-stricken,
she screamed, and her voice shattered the air around her. She tried to call to Carl, to tell him to watch out, but all she could do was scream. A flock of birds rocketed out of the long grass, their wings whirring around her. She tried to stop, dragging air into her lungs and clapping her hands over her mouth, but she screamed again, and all of a sudden the words poured out.

“Luke! Carl! Raiders! Raiders are coming! Get the horses! Get out of here!”
She started running for her camp. The boys fought to control their young mounts as strange horses surged out of the mist curtain. Upon their backs, cloaked riders crouched low. They held long poles with lassos attached. Without pausing to look around, the Raiders galloped straight for Luke and his brothers.
Shouting, Luke motioned at his brothers to save the herd. The untrained horses, frightened by the noise and sudden panic of their riders, took off at full gallop, clods of dirt and grass flying in the pursuing Raiders’ faces. Meagan saw
Carl running toward their herd. He leapt through the tall grass and whistled for his horse. She knew he had to get the lead mare out of the way. If he could catch Boo, then he could herd their horses across the plains and out of the
Raiders’ reach. The Raiders never let their mist curtain close behind them, so they could get back home. Because of this, the Raiders couldn’t venture beyond a certain perimeter. If Carl could get their horses far enough away, they would be safe.
Meagan held on to that thought as she ran, her breath coming in sharp gasps. Behind her, she heard hoof beats. She turned. Two Raiders were swooping down upon her. She uttered a frightened scream and dodged, flinging herself toward the lake. Perhaps she could swim away from them. But the Raiders, anticipating her move, rode to cut
her off. She swerved again, her lungs burning and her legs aching as she ran. Then someone called her name, and she saw Luke galloping toward her, his hand outstretched.
“Jump on!” he shouted. His expression was grim.
“No!”

Meagan screamed back at him. “Go away! They’ll catch you!”
Already the Raiders were closing in. Luke paid no attention. Kicking his mare, he leaned over and snagged Meagan’s arm. She felt as if it had been yanked out of its socket as she was jerked off her feet. Instinctively, she swung her legs over the mare’s back and grabbed Luke’s waist. A second later a lasso zinged through the air, just missing her head.
Luke had just turned the mare toward the lake to try to lose their pursuers, when another rope shot overhead and settled on the mare’s neck. With a harsh cry, Luke pulled her back before she was knocked off her feet. The Raiders were too quick. They hauled back on the rope, sending the mare tumbling. Luke and Meagan fell heavily to the ground, and the last thing Meagan saw were the mare’s kicking feet.
#Note & Recipe:
Herders travel light. Their staple diet is beans – “dried beans are easy to carry, easy to fix, and have lots of vitamins and iron”, as Herders like to say. When they get to their campsites, they usually put a handful of beans in a pot
of water to soak, and then cook them over an open fire.
Here is one of Meagan’s favorite recipes:
Meagan’s Bean Stew with Leftover Bread
Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups dried pinto or cranberry beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
2 tomatoes, diced
1 pound kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable stock (Herders carry lots of bullion cubes to help flavor their meals)
6 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
3 or 4 slices of stale or lightly toasted Italian or French bread, cut into crouton-size pieces
Instructions:
Rinse the beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water with a little lemon juice or vinegar added. Drain and rinse. Place the beans in a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Drain and lightly mash some of the beans with a potato masher. Set aside.
Heat a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Toss in the celery, carrot, onion, garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until the onion turns a light brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes are slightly reduced, another 10 minutes. Now stir in the beans with the kale and add the vegetable stock and water. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the kale is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and season with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot in wide shallow bowls and scatter with pieces of stale or lightly toasted bread.
~ Enjoy! ~

Character Interview

 

Jennifer Macaire: Hello everyone, today we’re interviewing Meagan Cadet, a herder from Home Planet.

Meagan, what can you tell me about your lifestyle?

 

Meagan Cadet: I’m a herder, that means I follow my horses from planet to planet. We, my brother and I, are the last of our family, the Cadets, and we have a small herd of horses compared to some herders.

 

J: I hope you don’t mind me asking – why is your herd so small ? What happened to the rest of your family?

 

M: It’s a sad story. My father, mother, and baby sister were captured by alien Raiders. Only my brother and I escaped. We had to battle with the Federation to keep our herd, but finally they gave in. The other herder families helped. So now Carl and I are the youngest herders in the Federation.

 

J: What’s a typical day in the life of a herder? What do you eat?

 

M: We wake up at dawn, and I like to make myself a cup of coffee. Carl likes tea, so we boil some water and get breakfast. That can be eggs from local wildfowl, or fried fish, or even whatever fruit is in season. We drink mare’s milk, and I have my great-great-grandmother’s yogurt and cheese recipes, when we have time. Mostly we eat dried beans. They’re light, easy to carry, never go bad, and you can make loads of different recipes. We’re vegetarians, we don’t usually eat meat, but we eat eggs and fish. I have, on occasion, been obliged to eat lizards, but I don’t recommend them. As for a typical day – it varies. We have to take care of the horses and that’s time consuming, especially when we’re training the youngsters. And then there’s the traveling. I feel like we’re always packing or unpacking.

 

J: What’s your favorite planet?

 

M: Cumberland – without a doubt. The animals and birds and amazing. Most are deaf, so they communicate with light and color. The whole planet has been declared off limits for settlers, so it’s still pristine. Carl and I love it when the horses take us there.

 

J: Herding sounds hard. What was it like growing up? Did you go to school?

 

M: We were partly home schooled, and partly sent to boarding school. Carl and I hated boarding school at first – I don’t know too many herder kids that like it. We’re too used to being alone, to being with our horses. It was tough in the beginning. But our parents were adamant. Plus we learned a lot. I took classes in animal husbandry, and Carl studied veterinary medicine. In the end, we were lucky we got to go to school, especially when a horse gets sick, or when foaling season comes. We love he new foals, and it’s wonderful to be able to watch them grow and become adults.

 

J: I’m started to feel jealous. Traveling with your horses, going to other planets – is there anything you don’t like about your life?

 

M: The raiders. They are terrifying. We were very unlucky to have ever run into them. Most herders go all their lives without seeing a single one. They are rare, and no one has ever captured one alive. I’m sorry, I’m shivering now, but just the mention of Raiders makes me feel ill.

 

J: Let’s change the subject then. Aside the Raiders, what are some of the hardships of being a herder?

 

M: Missing hot baths and showers – there is nothing like a hot shower, believe me. We bathe in lakes, rivers, and cold streams. Sometimes the water is icy, and sometimes it’s full of mud and algae. When the weather is bad, we’re stuck in our tents. Thank goodness for our electronic books and the interplanetary free library! We can watch movies, read books, and play games. Carl is a mean chess player, and I love cards. Otherwise life is pretty idyllic. You have to like solitude and nature – if you do, and you like horses, then herding is the life for you!

 

J: Thank you for your time, Meagan. I hear you and Carl are heading out tomorrow. The rains are coming to Home Planet, and soon we’ll all be inside the Dome Cities, dreaming about your adventures on far away planets. Take care!

GIVEAWAY:  $10 GC Evernight Teen

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About the author:
Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite.
She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.
Where you can find my book Website
Where I write on my Blog