Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kelly Smith Reviews: BOOK REVIEW: "Beautiful Monster" by Jeanne Bannon

Kelly Smith Reviews: BOOK REVIEW: "Beautiful Monster" by Jeanne Bannon: Book Description:  Lev Baronovsky, a soulless creature of the night, has a problem. Carly, the love of his life has just died in an acci...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Autism Awareness Giveaway

YOUR ENTRY IN THIS GIVEAWAY SUPPORTS THE AUTISTIC SELF ADVOCACY NETWORK!

FIND OUT HOW AND ENTER TODAY!

This month we are hosting a second giveaway. This one is for a special cause. You may have heard that April is Autism Acceptance month. If you haven't, well, now you know! So a very special team of authors has come together to help YOU donate to the cause...but wait! It doesn't cost you anything to donate! We donate for you! In fact, not only do we donate on your behalf, you ALSO get a chance to win a free kindle or $100 Paypal cash. All you have to do to show you care about this cause--all you have to do to do YOUR part to help spread awareness of the need for autism acceptance--is ENTER TO WIN A FREE KINDLE OR $100! But wait? How can that be? How are we doing this? WHY are we doing this? Very simply, the authors who sponsored this giveaway have all pitched to cover the cover of donations and prize in exchange for you helping us to spread the word! We've actually set it up so that we will donate in MULTIPLE ways. See below for details.

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At no cost to you, enter the giveaway. Here is the donation scale.

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But wait! There's more! If you see a book here you like and decide to grab a copy,

We're put tracking links on all the books, and we're going to pitch in MORE money toward our donation for books bought.

This is completely optional :) We're donating $10 for every 100 books bought, up to a $200 donation.

So take a look at the books provided by our Participating Authors, then scroll on down to the giveaway and enter to win! The more entrants, the more we can donate!

Please help us reach our maximum donation goal of $500!

OUR SPONSORS

HUGE VALUE - Many of the books are Just $0.99, Including a 21-book-boxed set! Wow!

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Penny Estelle has a story to tell





I'm happy to share author, Penny Estelle's latest novella with the world today

The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle:




Many years ago, in the land of kings and knights, Dozer, a powerful wizard, casts a spell over Scartin, and changes him into a tiny toy wizard and puts him inside the box of a puzzle.

Centuries later, Shelly Taylor, and her two kids, Bobby and Andrea, find their lives in turmoil. They are uprooted from their home and friends and moved to a small town in Idaho.  Their parents’ marriage falls apart, and to make matters worse, for some reason the kids at their schools are shunning them.

Shelly, once an advertising executive, starts cleaning houses to make ends meet.  It is in one of these old homes where the ancient puzzle is found.

As the family works on the puzzle, strange things start to happen.  An evil presence is making its way to the Taylor house, intent on making sure that puzzle never gets put together, no matter the cost, and it’s up to Bobby and Andrea to make sure that it does!

Excerpt:


             “Bobby,” Shelly knocked as she opened his bedroom door, “it’s raining.  I have to leave early today, so I’ll drop you off at school.”

            “Okay, Mom.”  Bobby rolled over on his side covering his head with his blankets.
            “I believe your mother wants you to arise.”  Scartin’s muffled voice came to Bobby. 
            Throwing his covers off Bobby sat up in bed, scratching his head, yawning.
            “You look weary, young Bobby.”
            The boy jumped up and locked his bedroom door.  “Ya think?” he asked trying to use his best sarcasm.  More than once, during the night, thunder had crashed, rattling the windows.  “A few times the thunder had woke me up and I find Rip Van Winkle staring down at me scaring the..the..you know what out of me.”
            Scartin sat down on the chair, eyes wide with wonder.  “I think you might have been dreaming.  I didn’t see Rip here last night.”
            “Ugh,” Bobby groaned.  He pushed himself off the bed and got clothes out of his drawers.  “I was talking about you.”
            After a few minutes a smile lit up the wizard’s face and then a deep belly laugh escaped from deep inside.  “You are jesting.  Now I understand!”
            “SHHHHH!” Bobby whispered urgently waving his hands.
            Andi pounded on the bedroom door.  “Who are you talking to?”
            “Uhm…nobody.  I’m singing!”  Bobby pushed Scartin toward the closet door.  “Joey and I will be here after school to work on the puzzle.  Stay hidden.”
            Scartin was still smiling as he put up a hand to stop the closet door from shutting
            “What?” Bobby asked.
            “Rip and I don’t resemble each other very much.  He’s much shorter than I am.”
            Stunned with the realization there really was a Rip Van Winkle, Bobby stuttered, “O..okay.  Dude, just stay out of sight.”

Get your copy - Amazon 

 

Bio:


My name is Penny Estelle and I was an elementary school secretary for 21 years. I heard every excuse and story in the book when kids would be sent to the principal. I promised myself when I retired I would write stories about kids and that is just what I did.

I am retired with my wonderful husband and we live on a fifty-four acre ranch in Arizona on solar and wind. I am the "greenest" person and I know, even if I don't want to be!

I am so excited to have stories out for kids and adults. Hike up Devil's Mountain, A Float Down the Canal, and five stories in The Wickware Sagas - Billy Cooper's Awesome Nighmare, Ride of a Lifetime, Flash to the Past, Bumped Back in Time, and soon to be released, Riches to Rags! All for the tween in your life

I also write under P. A. Estelle. These are stories for the older crowd. At What Price?, Her Cracked Heart, and Dugan's Creek.

Though, a few of my stories are light romance, I would love to take a crack at erotic stories, but I told my hubby I would probably have to go have a few affairs...you know, for research!!!!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mark your Calendars - Kindle Countdown

Beautiful Monster, a paranormal romance, will be on sale for 99 cents beginning March 21st and ending on March 23rd at midnight EST. It is the first of three in the series.




"Beautiful Monster - grim in that bloody, undead way, but it would be disappointing if it wasn’t!"

Beautiful Monster - The Exchange (book one) is the story of Lev Baronovsky, a soulless creature of the night and his predicament. The love of his life, a mortal, has just died and in three days will pass to the other side. Without a soul, Lev cannot cross over with her and the thought of spending eternity without his beloved is unbearable. Is seventy-two hours enough time to find a way?

With the help of his brother, they must find the only one who can help - the vilest creature of all, Boris. But Boris has selfish plans of his own.



 
I've worked in the publishing industry for 25 years as an editor and an author. I'm represented by the Serendipity Literary Agency. I've been traditionally published, but Beautiful Monster is my foray into the world of self-publishing.

Get your copy from Amazon 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Need a little romance? Author, Sandi K. Whipple has the right book for you.



Dancing with a Cowboy


Lucy Baumgardner, working partner in a law firm in Philadelphia, works too hard. So says the senior partner, who just happens to be her father. When she’s forced to take a two week hiatus, she assumes two weeks of pedicures, massages and poolside relaxation with a glass of wine won't kill her. But things aren't always what one expects.

To her horror, city girl Lucy ends up stuck on a working ranch with no phones, cell service, or WiFi. Her acute shock dictates she will not play cowgirl for two weeks. Making matters worse, Stace Levin, the very handsome owner /operator, does nothing to make things easy for her. Her days are filled with manual labor and one mishap after another, amusing Stace to no end. Surprisingly, he finds her not only amusing, but smart, stubborn, and very beautiful.

Knowing it’s for only two weeks, Lucy slowly succumbs to the ranch lifestyle. Every day something happens to change her mind about the good looking cowboy, Stace. One day he’s a pompous ass, and the next, well… Those inviting arms, and his generous warm lips and mouth can sure as hell change one’s mind about the guy.

Buy it now Amazon 






Loving Adonis


“Loving Adonis” is a novel about multiple characters and family ties. At a very young age, heartbroken Angie loses her parents. Her older brother had run away years before and now she is left entirely alone. Her aunt, whom she never knew existed, takes her in, raising her as the daughter she never had. Upon graduation from college, Angie pursues ownership of a flower shop business, pouring all of her energies and honing her focus into developing her independence. Fate, however, is at work in preventing a solitary life for Angie. As a supposed fill-in for an employee, another owner of a well-established business is introduced to Angie. Upon meeting the handsome Gary, she is shocked at her reaction to him and privately nicknames him her "Adonis". Surprised by the electric chemistry that neither can ignore, and with some reservations and trepidations, they embark upon a relationship filled with heated encounters that leave Angie breathless. Weeks filled with passion, love-making, playing, and sharing have begun to cement a commitment between Angie and Gary. But fate again steps in to test Angie on the day she accidently observes Gary embracing another woman. Too stubborn to confront the apparent cheating incident, Angie’s jealousy rises and clouds all reason and logic. To make matters worse, within a short time later, Gary overhears several conversations between Angie and two other men! Suspicions now mount in the minds of both and their false pride puts their relationship in danger. Both are too stubborn and hurt to confront one another. Struggling through days of loneliness and refusing to communicate, Angie is struck once again by the hand of fate. Family members suddenly begin to emerge from her past. Uncovered ties are realized and the dynamics of these family bonds add new perspectives and ingredients to Angie’s daily life. When the lovers are forced to confront one another about their suspected unfaithful behavior, the shaky bonds and shattered commitments are surprisingly strengthened by the truth. This is a story of new love found, lost, and regained. But that’s not the end. The story is intensified with past love found, the power of friendship and family ties. Interwoven between the pages is inspiration to search for the power of love.

Buy it now - Amazon






Twisted Engagement


Lilly, a successful entrepreneur decides marrying David would be a mistake. After breaking the engagement, her best friend, Sue, convinces her to go away. Lilly sells her business and leaves New York to regroup. She ends up in a small town called Everley Flats, Colorado. When she finds comfort and a new love, she believes all her dreams have come true. Glenn, a hotel owner, is everything she ever wanted. Lilly decides to stay in Everley Flats and rents a cottage at the edge of town. She and Sue spend days shopping to fill it and make it homey. .

Sue makes many trips between New York and Colorado to spend time with Lilly, and in the interim, falls for Glenn’s friend and hotel manager, Jim.

Once both couples become relaxed and comfortable, strange things begin happening. Lilly and Sue are nearly run over after leaving a department store, on several occasions the doors of the cottage are found unlocked and open, and they discover they’re often being followed. After many discussions, it’s decided the open doors were due to forgetfulness, and the vehicle that nearly ran them over, well… it was just a negligent driver.

Lilly spends her time culminating her new restaurant in Glenn’s hotel. Sue is back in New York, and Glenn’s been out of town on business. Lilly is alone in the cottage and excited while preparing for Glenn’s return. She hears a knock on the door and races to greet him. When she opens the door, she’s shocked to see her ex, David, standing in front of her.

David forgives Lilly for running away, and tells her he’s come to take her back to New York. He explains how they will be together, and how they will be happy. When Lilly demands that he leave, David gets physical. His assault leaves her not only bruised, but so frightened she finds it difficult to breathe. David tells her he’ll be back for her, and leaves.

Lilly drives to Glenn’s hotel to wait for him. She can’t believe her eyes when she see’s Glenn exiting a limo with a beautiful woman who put her arms around Glenn and kissed him. Devastated that he has another woman in his life, and too afraid to return to the cottage, Lilly runs to her friend Sue in New York. Unable to locate Lilly, Glenn is relieved when he discovers she is safe with Sue in New York.

Now, all the strange going-ons are explained. It soon comes to light that Lilly’s ex, David, has an unsavory past. To make matters worse, he’s been the one secretly following and spying on her. What he plans for her, well… those things were never in her dreams.

Glenn and Jim have the girls flown to Montana and drive them up into the hills to Jim’s fishing cabin. Now, hiding out with Glenn, Sue, and Jim, Lilly thinks she’s safe. Only the police know where she is. She was wrong. When David kidnaps Lilly and drags her into a hillside cave, she understands how twisted he is. The driving forces of devoted love are what it will take to save her.

But it now - Amazon




And now, here's a little bit about Sandi in her own words:

I've always maintained my work ethic with a strong emphasis on professionalism. But now that I'm retired, I have surprisingly new desires. I want to acquire skills and abilities in the written word. I consider engaging in putting my imagination into words for others to read, as time well spent. My friends, and the readers of my work are important to me.


I absolutely love romance novels. As a young girl, I used to sneak my foster mother's True Romance and True Confession magazines. They always had several short hot & steamy romance novella's. I chuckle now when I remember her saying, "you're too young to read that trash". What? If it was trash, why was she reading it? Now there's a way to set a good example, yes?

When I'm not reading a book, and even sometimes when I am, I love listening to music. I enjoy Classical, Light Jazz, Easy Listening, Country, and of course the Oldies but Goodies of the 50s and 60s.

In 2007, I was in a wheelchair for eleven weeks, and I was reading two and three Romance novels a day. I shared my disappointment with a friend about a novel I read, and she suggested, actually dared me, to write my own. So, I wrote "Loving Adonis", and stuck it in a drawer. A few months later I wrote "Twisted Engagement", and it too ended up in a drawer.

Some time later, (we're talking years, not months) I took "Loving Adonis" out of the drawer and worked on it again. When I asked a few friends to read it, imagine my shock when I was asked how long before my next novel would be ready. So, after some fine tuning, "Loving Adonis" and "Twisted Engagement" became available for everyone to enjoy.

October 15, 2014 my third novel, "Dancing With A Cowboy" was released. I laughed out loud, and cried real tears while writing it.

I think reading and owning a book are two of life's many pleasures.





Monday, March 2, 2015

Stolen is a steal

Today, author Sheila Dalton has hijacked my blog to make an announcement


 
First, a big thank you to Jeanne for allowing me on her blog today to advertise a HALF PRICE SALE of my new historical fiction ebook, STOLEN.
 
From now until March 8, Stolen for Kindle is available for $2.99 U.S.
 
Stolen came about after trips to Morocco and Devon, England. In Morocco, I visited the underground dungeons where the Christian slaves were kept; in Devon, I saw the caves and coves where British pirates plied their trade in the seventeenth century. 

Devon, England, 1633: Lizbet Warren’s parents are captured by Barbary Corsairs and carried off to the slave markets in Morocco. Desperate to help them, Lizbet sets out for London with Elinor, from the Workhouse for Abandoned and Unwanted Children, the only other survivor of the raid. The pair are soon separated, and Lizbet is arrested for vagrancy. Rescued from a public whipping by a mysterious French privateer, she is taken to his Manor House in Dorchester, where he keeps her under lock and key. Later, Lizbet is captured at sea by the pirate Gentleman Jake, and forced to join his crew. She forms complex bonds with both of her captors; but never forgets her parents and uses all her skills to enlist the aid of these men to find them. Her quest leads her to the fabled courts and harems of Morocco and the tropical paradise of Barbados.

Rich in historical detail and based on true events, Stolen is the story of a brave but very human young woman who perseveres in the face of incredible odds to establish her place in a new world.
Stolen can be purchased from Amazon Canada, U.S. and U.K.
 
 
 
And if you buy a copy of Stolen and leave a review on Amazon, I will send you a free PDF of my literary mystery, The Girl in the Box, which last year was voted a Giller People’s Choice Top Ten in Canada. Here’s the link where you can read more about The Girl in the Box:
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you are interested in the free PDF, please leave a comment with your email address.  I will get back to you and ask for a link to your Amazon review of Stolen when it is done, then send you your free copy of The Girl in the Box.
 
 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Beautiful Monster - meet some vamps and a ghost



Beautiful Monster, The Exchange (book 1)

Lev Baronovsky, a soulless creature of the night, has a problem. Carly, the love of his life has just died in an accident and in three days will pass to the other side. Without a soul, he cannot cross over with her and the thought of spending eternity without his beloved is unbearable. Is seventy-two hours enough time to find a way?

With the help of his brother, Alexei, they must face the vilest creature of all, Boris, an ancient one with selfish motivations of his own.


CHAPTER ONE

 Lev moved swiftly through the hallways, darting in and out and around what, to him, were slowly moving nurses and orderlies—those unfortunates working the midnight shift. Faster than any human eye was capable of detecting, he made it to Carly’s room in a flash. In fact, he made it there just in time, nostrils plucking the acrid scents from the air better than any dog’s.

He sat on the bed beside her in the dimly lit room and noticed, thankfully, she had no roommate. The bed beside Carly was recently vacated. The scent of death still lingered heavily and sadly.

Taking her delicate hand in his, Lev noticed a monitor clipped on an index finger. It seemed it measured her pulse and heartbeat. He noticed too that her heart was beating slowly, though he didn’t need a monitor for that. He heard its throb, and it made him think of a dying battery.

However, relief settled on him as he realized he was the first to arrive after the accident that had left her comatose. Carly’s family was nowhere near yet. It would take hours for them to get here from the other coast. He had time, plenty of it. Stealthily, Lev glanced into the hallway from his perch in the darkened hospital room. The occasional nurse strode past, but it was late, or perhaps the better term was early. In the wee hours of the morning, there would be fewer staff than during the day.

With a sigh, he took Carly in. Her blonde hair was matted and dirty, even though it looked as if someone had tried to clean her up, perhaps finger combing her thick mane and tucking it behind her head. Her face was still perfect. Not a single scratch had sullied her beauty.

A knot twisted in his belly. Why hadn’t he known? He could have saved her if only he’d known. But even Lev couldn’t know everything. It was his brother, Alexei, who’d given him the news moments ago.

“Brother,” he’d said, “there’s been an accident. Go now to the hospital or you’ll never see your precious Carly again.”

He hadn’t asked the how, the why, the when. Alexei had dropped his mental barriers. Lev felt them fall like a drawbridge. His brother had let him in. It was easier than speaking—Lev was able to glean whatever information he needed in an instant. But with the simple facts of Carly’s accident came the realization his brother was happy for the turmoil. A hint of a smile had curled Alexei’s full lips, and his eyes were bright. Lev was not surprised.

He pulled his thoughts from Alexei and looked down at his beloved’s hand in his. The pallor of it matched his own. He listened to the slow rush of blood through her veins, willing it to grow stronger.

Moving close, he whispered, “I can save you.” He brought her dainty wrist to his lips. She smelled like death already—like the musk of freshly turned earth. It was now or never. His fangs pricked at her delicate skin, drawing a bead of crimson. It tasted of iron and copper and of her. Carly’s very essence was in that droplet.

He stopped himself, knowing she wouldn’t want him to go through with it. They’d talked about it many times, about the possibility of him turning her, so they could be together, not for just the blink of an eye that was a human lifetime but for eternity. She would be furious if he turned her, and he wouldn’t blame her. Lev knew the pain and sorrow of being changed into a monster against one’s will.

But at least she would still exist. We could still be together. He shook off that small, but oh so inviting thought. No, he would not make a monster of her.

With a flick of his tongue, he licked the droplet away. A shudder of pleasure shot through him, and as he pushed her wrist to his mouth, like a child ready to bite into a ripe peach, the monitor blared a warning. He dropped her arm. Panic filled him. Carly’s pulse rose and fell suddenly. The stagnant tone of a heart that was no longer beating blared from the machine, stabbing sharply in his ears, but the growing silence of blood no longer pulsing through veins and arteries seemed louder. Hesitation had cost him. His compassion, as his brother would say, was his one true downfall.

Two nurses and a doctor were in the room now, buzzing frantically around Carly. Lev had disappeared through the pane of the window unseen and watched from outside where the moonless sky hid him. His jacket flapped in a breeze that also tousled his long black hair. It whipped and slapped against his cheeks.

It was said creatures like him could feel no pain. That they existed only as predators—takers of life—but Lev’s world had just crumbled. If he had a beating heart, it would be broken in two. Tears welled in his eyes, and he longed to let them fall. No, more than that, he wanted to scream, wanted to rip his cold dead heart from his chest and stomp on it.

Lev gathered himself as best he could, pinching the tears from his eyes and staring up to the heavens, but there would be no help for him there. For Lev Baranovsky, there was no God, only this perpetual hell he lived in. Love may come for him again in time, though he wasn’t sure he wanted it to. Would he ever get over losing his precious Carly? The vicious cycle of love and heartbreak was enough to drive him mad.

He should go now. Carly was gone. There was nothing he could do. Even though his brother would be at home, he needed the comfort of his own space to grieve.

He looked down at the ground two stories below, and when he peered back up for one last glimpse of his beloved, his brows lifted and his dark eyes grew to the size of poker chips.

Carly was dead, but she wasn’t gone.
 

Bio

I've worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. I currently work as a freelance editor and writer and am represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

My debut novel, Invisible, a young adult paranormal romance, has recently been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

Another of my novels, Nowhere to Run, tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, I'm finishing up work on Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller. 

Trailer for Beautiful Monster

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