Excerpt, Giveaways

Excerpt from The Exene Chronicles by Camille A. Collins w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #youngadult #contemporary #debutauthor

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Camille will be awarding a lovely pen and notebook to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Camille A. Collins’s lyrical debut novel speaks to the passionate engagement of adolescent girls—with music, with injustice, with love, with life. This is a courageous coming-of-age story, one that poet Nikki Giovanni recommends “sharing with our teenage sons and daughters.”

Collins’s 1980s southern California set novel is a literary debut that tackles social inequality with poetic riffs and heart-pounding angst.

Read an Excerpt:

It was not the paper doll cutout, but Exene’s actual mouth that Lia imagined, twisted into a snarl, blaming her. ‘It’s you, Lia! It’s all your fault what happened to Ryan!’ Because Lia’s mother had woken her to say Ryan never made it home the previous night. Fraught with worry, Mrs. Green had already phoned the police, and Lia’s first thought was that Ryan must be dead.

Right away, Lia found the only way to deal with the worst possible scenario was to confront it head-on, to embrace it as though she were cradling in her arms a soft kitten. Lia’s rendition of the death of her very best friend was not especially morbid, or as gruesomely detailed as it might have been. It was the quixotic rendering of a burgeoning poetess.

At the very least, Ryan deserved the grandeur of theater. So Lia envisioned the most enchanted garden, a neat little knoll of green, green grass nestled beneath an elegant magnolia tree in full bloom. That graceful magnolia would weep its ripe, inflorescent tears down onto a grand mausoleum. Ryan’s body would lie inside, near the hollow mouth of her final abode, a structure built of the finest marble, festooned with chiseled hearts, and inside those hearts would be inscribed eternal valentines proclaiming, “Ryan we love you” and “Forever in our hearts,” all with floating cupids, their arrows shooting heavenward. Ryan’s body would lie cold, her skin luminous, enlivened by the candent glow of four flaming torches, bathing her heart-shaped face in a delicate nimbus of pale yellow light. Her body would be covered by a white linen sheet, and nestled against the slope of her shoulders and the tapering silhouette of her waist and legs would be flowers: orchids and white roses, failing in all their beauty to compare to Ryan’s infinitely ravishing, cold, dead grace. Lia’s short reverie was disturbed by her mother’s persistence—Mrs. Payne stood in the doorway of Lia’s bedroom with a hand on her hip. “Baby, you’ve got to get up. Don’t be scared now. The police just want to talk to you about what you and Ryan did last night.”

About the Author: Camille A. Collins has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The African-American National Biography, published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press; in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University, and other places.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B07HGLR7FN/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vu00_tkin_p1_i0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4398269.Camille_Collins
Publisher Author Page: http://www.brainmillpress.com/the-exene-chronicles

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FB2MHT1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Author Interview featuring debut author V.H. Luis & Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1) w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @VH_Luis_ #contemporaryromance

Waking to Black

by V.H. Luis

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GENRE:   Erotic Romance

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BLURB:

He shattered my defenses, and I was fragile to begin with…

The first time I saw Adam Black, I was between the arms of a criminal, a gun to my throat and even then, I knew I was staring at the most dangerous man in the room.

Maybe it was his confident, cerulean eyes, or the sex appeal radiating from his pores like heat waves on a scorching day, but by proximity alone he made my vision blur and my heart stammer.

The day I was nearly killed in a bank hold-up, I began to live—because of him.

Now, I’m praying for the first time in years, hoping the scars of my past, the secrets I keep, don’t interfere with my future…

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Excerpt Two:

“It must be difficult; constantly running away from anything remotely intimidating.”

It’s the dare in his voice that makes me turn my head, not the statement.

“Those are the words of someone who hasn’t gotten what they want.” Even as I’m speaking I know I’m the mouse in this cat and mouse game—I should walk away, but I can’t.

“What do you know about what I want?” He climbs the last step of the porch, his broad shoulders flexed.

Refusing to take the bait, I give him my back. Reaching for the door with my right hand, I’m halted by the strong pull of my left.

Before I can focus, his lips press against mine while his body traps me between him and the door. One of his hands runs over the curve of my waist while the other tangles in the curls of my hair, pulling on the strands and angling me so that he can have free reign. I moan, loving the possessive way he grips my body, and he takes the opportunity to dip his tongue inside my mouth. His taste is divine; it’s a heady mix of wine and passion. The remnants of my resistance melt as I meld against him, moving my hands over his stomach, and resting them on his belt buckle.

He pulls back with a quick nip to my bottom lip and my eyes pop open at the sudden jolt of pleasure-filled pain.

“Say you’ll do the mural,” he commands.

“Do you always get what you want?” I counter, gazing up at him from lowered lashes.

He rubs his cheek against mine so his lips hover over my ear.

“Persistence is a virtue.”

“I thought that was patience.”

Welcome V.H. Luis! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

I’m a Miami girl who lives minutes from the beach. I love to write, paint, play video games and most important of all, spend time with my baby boy. Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1), is my debut book and I’ve enjoyed the experience of publishing and reaching out to readers and bloggers.

Is Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1) a single title, or part of a series?

It is the first in a planned trilogy. Fortunately for those that hate reading books in a series which is yet complete, Fading to Black (Uninhibited #1), is already written and will be released in three months.

What were your inspirations for the story?

I love billionaire romances—I’ve read so many of them throughout the years. In part my reading preferences inspired me to write this story. Though if I’m one-hundred percent honest my relationship with my father is reminiscent of the relationship Evelyn Snowe (the heroine of my series), had with her father. I wanted to shed light on a subject that I don’t often see in romance while still writing a steamy-read about self-discovery, redemption, and perseverance. I think I’ve done that and I’m proud of the accomplishment.

Please share your setting for Waking to Black (Uninhibited #1). Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

Waking to Black is set in Miami, FL. I was born and raised in this city so I am very familiar with all the wonderful things Miami has to offer. I love how cosmopolitan this city is and of course it’s beautiful down here, we have gorgeous beaches and the best weather. Some might think I took the easy route and developed my story in a setting I’m familiar with and though in part that is true, Waking to Black is set in Miami because I genuinely believe it to be one of the best cities in the world—even if the people down here can get super aggressive when driving…

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Julie Garwood, because I love her historical romances and I want to BEG her for more of them. Sylvia Day, because her Crossfire Series in part inspired me to write my debut book. J.R. Ward because I want to ask her so many questions about self-publishing and writing. Kristen Ashley because I’m a fan and she seems like cool people. Maya Banks because of so many reasons already mentioned—I’m a fan. I can probably sit here all day adding names…

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

Keep reading and without-a-doubt keep writing. There will always be people who love what you write and of course there will be those who absolutely HATE it—you need to recognize that and follow Dory’s advice from Finding Nemo, just keep swimming. I think I waited as long as I did to publish because I was terrified of reading bad reviews and having others diminish what I worked so hard to create. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m older now but the idea of being criticized doesn’t scare me as much, in fact I read those critiques learn from them and hope that perhaps with the next book I can change those people’s opinions.

Aspiring writers listen carefully… EVERY book, even the most famous ones, have negative critiques and that’s okay. An audience exists for what you write and it’s your job as a writer to find that audience. Take comfort in knowing you did it, you actually wrote a book and many people say they will do this one day, but few actually do.

Keep your head up high and keep reading and writing.

 

***Thank you for your time and attention.

XOXO

V.H. Luis

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

V.H. Luis is the author of the Black Series, an erotic romance trilogy that follows the love affair of Evelyn Snowe and Adam Black. Her debut book WAKING to Black, will be released in 2018, and the subsequent sequels FADING to Black, and SURRENDERING to Black, will follow shortly thereafter.

Welcome to my internet haven!

I’m a born and bred Miami Girl—and proud of it! I would wear shorts and flip-flops every day of the week if I could. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by my parent’s heritage has made me proud of my Cuban ancestry. Cafecito and a guava pastry for breakfast? Yes, please! Salsa music while I tidy the house? Of course.

If I’m not busy scribbling notes about the story pounding out of my head, I’m painting, listening to music, or spending time with the love of my life—my son. If I decide to travel, I bring the whole family (in-laws included), or at least I try to, because life is too short not to spend it with family; one of the many lessons my father taught me.

My website:  https://vhluis.com/

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/VH_Luis_

My book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Waking-Black-Uninhibited-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07C9CBV67/

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

V.H. Luis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release

#Review of Someone Else’s Star by Madalyn Thane #YA #romance #debut author

Title: Someone Else’s Star
Author: Madalyn Thane
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Published: October 24, 2017
Page Count: 167 Pages

When the boy who appears hellbent on ruining her life shows every sign of doing a 180-degree turnaround, seventeen-year-old Sadie Davis doesn’t know whether to trust her head or her heart.

After years of wishing on stars, she’s beginning to give up on her dream of finding true love. Can Jacob, the boy who has tortured her for three long years convince her that she hasn’t been wasting her time wishing on someone else’s star?

 

ONLY .99 cents through Release Week

 


Someone Else’s Star Excerpt © Madalyn Thane 2017
“Can you please try to get along with him?” Why did Bree make her feel like she was acting like a petulant child? Sadie was not the friend in the wrong in this situation. She would never ask this of Bree. Damn. Damn, damn, damn. She hated being such a pushover.

“Get along with him? I’m not the asshole who hit him in the face with a dodgeball, forever ruining the line of his nose. I need to think about this. You have no guarantee whatsoever that he won’t try something even worse on the so-called dates. What if he tries to actually kill me, once and for all? Maybe something has finally snapped in his mind and he wants me dead. I fully believe that a serial killer could lurk behind those eyes.”

What a debut.  I mean, really?  I debut.  I’ve been reading a lot of YA over the past year and some of it has been really, really good and some meh.  This book falls into the really good category.  This can be categorized under the tropes of enemies to lovers or childhood friends.  Plus, it has the family issues that some YA books tend to either over angst about or just skim through it.  This one has just the right balance.

I won’t go into the details of how and why Jacob tortured Sadie all those years but let’s just say it isn’t what it seems.  Oh yes, boys at this age don’t sometimes express their feelings in such a nice way.  But Ms. Thane writes it in a way that is sometimes funny but heartbreaking as well.  He really is a big softie in the end.

I really liked Jacob and understood why he did the things he did.  Masking the pain that he was in for so long and then realizing that he had to do something about Sadie was the big growing up moment for him.  He really was a good guy but displaced hunger was getting to him and he realized that Sadie would slip through his fingers.

Sadie is a hoot.  She is snarky but hidden behind all that snark is a girl that has never figured out why Jacob has been so mean to her.  I loved how Bree was able to get to her see Jacob in a new light and just maybe even liking him a bit.  Their dialogue is spot on for teenagers and heartfelt, as well.  I could also understand why Sadie was a bit skeptical at first.  No guy does a 180 like that.

Overall, I really liked this novel.  The ending is OMG!  Ms. Thane has written a beautiful, funny, heartfelt, and oh so good YA book that anyone can enjoy.  Not too much angst, funny moments and two characters that you will just fall in love with.

 

 

Madalyn Thane lives in Western Montana with her husband, teenage son, four dogs and two cats. She has another son who lives in heaven with the angels.

Someone Else’s Star is her debut novel.

 

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